Books, General

April: It’s a Wrap

I’m sat at home, putting off doing housework that needs to be done, frantically updating my reading spreadsheet for this month and thinking ahead to work. What an exciting morning, eh? It’s sunny outside today. It’s not really warm, yet, but it’s sunny. I finally feel like we’re getting to the good weather this year. Y’know, the kind that let’s you go for a walk and sit down and read a book in the local park. We’re getting there, slowly but surely.

Another month has gone by since my March Wrap Post and it’s been a poor reading month. I didn’t read that many books from start to finish, and ended up reading some absolute tripe towards the end of the month. I wouldn’t say I fell into a reading rut, but I worked so many hours for so much of the month that it left me with little time to read around it, so I think reading those rubbish throwaway novels has got me reading again. I’ve also got 4 books on my currently reading shelf, so if that’s anything to go by, then next month’s list should be a little longer and better looking. I’ve crossed off another couple of challenges, but they’re starting to get a little harder now, and I’ve somehow still only read books new to me. How?! Continue reading “April: It’s a Wrap”

Books, General

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street | Review

Title: Watchmaker of Filigree Street

Author: Natasha Pulley

Rating: 5 Stars

Dates read: 02 Apr 18 – 13 Apr 18

Publication date: 02 July 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury Circus

Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Description:

In 1883, Thaniel Steepleton returns to his tiny flat to find a gold pocketwatch on his pillow. But he has worse fears than generous burglars; he is a telegraphist at the Home Office, which has just received a threat for what could be the largest-scale Fenian bombing in history.

When the watch saves Thaniel’s life in a blast that destroys Scotland Yard, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori – a kind, lonely immigrant who sweeps him into a new world of clockwork and music. Although Mori seems harmless at first, a chain of unexpected slips soon proves that he must be hiding something.

Meanwhile, Grace Carrow is sneaking into an Oxford library dressed as a man. A theoretical physicist, she is desperate to prove the existence of the luminiferous ether before her mother can force her to marry.

As the lives of these three characters become entwined, events spiral out of control until Thaniel is torn between loyalties, futures and opposing geniuses.

Utterly beguiling, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street blends historical events with dazzling flights of fancy to plunge readers into a strange and magical past, where time, destiny, genius – and a clockwork octopus – collide. Continue reading “The Watchmaker of Filigree Street | Review”

Books, General

Billy and Me | Review

Title: Billy and Me

Author: Giovanna Fletcher

Rating: 4 Stars

Dates read: 22 Mar 18 – 24 Mar 18

Publication date: 23 May 2013

Publisher: Penguin

Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance

Description:

Sophie May has a secret.

One that she’s successfully kept for years. It’s meant that she’s had to give up her dreams of going to university and travelling the world to stay in her little village, living with her mum and working in the local teashop.

But then Sophie unexpectedly meets the gorgeous Billy Buskin – a famous actor with ambitions to make it to the top. As they begin to grow closer, Sophie finds herself whisked away from the comfort of her life into Billy’s glamorous – but ruthless – world.

After years of shying away from attention, can Sophie handle the constant scrutiny that comes with being with Billy? How much is she prepared to give up along the way? And is their love strong enough to keep them together against the odds?

Charming, heart-warming and utterly romantic, Billy and Me is an unforgettable story that will completely capture your heart. Continue reading “Billy and Me | Review”

Books, General, Travel

The Dark Tourist | Review

Title: The Dark Tourist

Author: Dom Joly

Rating: 5 Stars

Dates read: 19 Mar 18 – 30 Mar 18

Publication date: 2 Sep 2010

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genre(s): Memoir, Travel

Description:

Ever since he can remember, Dom Joly has been fascinated by travel to odd places. In part this stems from a childhood spent in war-torn Lebanon, where instead of swapping marbles in the schoolyard, he had a shrapnel collection — the schoolboy currency of Beirut. Dom’s upbringing was interspersed with terrifying days and nights spent hunkered in the family basement under Syrian rocket attack or coming across a pile of severed heads from a sectarian execution in the pine forests near his home.

These early experiences left Dom with a profound loathing for the sanitized experiences of the modern day travel industry and a taste for the darkest of places. And in this brilliantly odd and hilariously told travel memoir, Dom Joly sets out on a quest to visit those destinations from which the average tourist would, and should, run a mile. The more insalubrious the place, the more interesting is the journey and so we follow Dom as he skis in Iran on segregated slopes, spends a weekend in Chernobyl, tours the assassination sites of America and becomes one of the few Westerners to be granted entry into North Korea. Eventually Dom journeys back to his roots in Beirut only to discover he was at school with Osama Bin Laden.

Funny and frightening in equal measure, this is a uniquely bizarre and compelling travelogue from one of the most fearless and innovative comedians around.

Continue reading “The Dark Tourist | Review”

General

Lootcrate Unboxing | March 2018

On this Tuesday evening that kinda feels like a Monday, I bring you this month’s edition of Lootcrate Unboxing. And look, it’s on time(ish)! I know that I’ve moaned over the last 2 posts about about the late arrivals of the boxes, and that last time I decided to cancel my subscription, so this week I am going to do nothing but praise this pretty good crate. This month’s theme is Enchanting Essentials, and unlike the past 2 crates, I did have a spy at the contents on Instagram to see if there was anything I could put on my wall as part of my gallery collection (spoiler: there was). There were lots of Lootcrate exclusives in this box, and lots of things I really liked!

Loot crate is a monthly subscription box full of exclusive collectables, apparel and gear delivered to your door. I am currently subscribed to receive the Wizarding World crate, a bi-monthly subscription that brings the magic of Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts right to your doorstep.

Let’s check out this month’s box: Continue reading “Lootcrate Unboxing | March 2018”

Books, General

American Psycho | Review

Title: American Psycho

Author: Bret Easton Ellis

Rating: 1 Star

Dates read: 02 Mar 18 – 17 Mar 18

Publication date: Mar 1991

Publisher: Picador/Vintage

Genre(s): Thriller, Crime, Horror

Description:

Patrick Bateman is twenty-six and works on Wall Street; he is handsome, sophisticated, charming and intelligent. He is also a psychopath. Taking us to a head-on collision with America’s greatest dream – and its worst nightmare – American Psycho is a bleak, bitter, black comedy about a world we all recognize but do not wish to confront.

American Psycho is one of the most controversial and talked-about novels of all time – a multimillion-copy bestseller hailed as a modern classic.

This review features spoilers, and discusses some of the graphic themes that feature within the book, so please be warned that there will be uncomfortable scenes and discussions, as well as major plot points mentioned throughout, and that this post will not be suitable for those under 18. Continue reading “American Psycho | Review”

Books, General

Hangman | Review

Title: Hangman

Author: Daniel Cole

Rating: 5 Stars

Dates read: 18 Mar 18 – 22 Mar 18

Publication date: 22 Mar 2018

Publisher: Trapeze/Orion

Genre(s): Thriller, Crime, Detective,

Description:

How do you catch a killer who’s already dead?’

Eighteen months have passed, but the scars the Ragdoll murders left behind remain.

DCI Emily Baxter is summoned to a meeting with US Special Agents Elliot Curtis of the FBI and Damien Rouche of the CIA. There, she is presented with photographs of the latest copycat murder: a body contorted into a familiar pose, strung up impossibly on the other side of the world, the word BAIT carved deep into its chest.

As the media pressure intensifies, Baxter is ordered to assist with the investigation and attend the scene of another murder to discover the same word scrawled across the victim, carved across the corpse of the killer – PUPPET.

As the murders continue to grow in both spectacle and depravity on both sides of the Atlantic, the team helplessly play catch up. Their only hope: to work out who the ‘BAIT’ is intended for, how the ‘PUPPETS’ are chosen but, most importantly of all, who is holding the strings.

 I received an e-ARC of this book courtesy of Trapeze/Orion Publishing and Net Galley in return for a fair and honest review. 

Continue reading “Hangman | Review”