I thought I would bring you something different today in the blogging department! My February was a bit slower than my January but that’s okay! I enjoyed the majority of my reads and I am carrying two of them over to March because I read nothing last weekend – the sun was calling me to walk outside instead so no regrets! My stand out read of the month was Madamby Phoebe Wynne – definitely keep an eye out for that one!
Five Star Reads
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
My only five star read of the month and also my only re-read! I love love love this book and it will stand the test of time with my reading I think! Lynch creates such a fantastic world, it’s almost overwhelming the amount of detail he puts into it. Locke holds a special place in my readers heart and I hope he stays there forever! The Gentleman Bastard series is supposed to be five books long but only up to three has been released! I’m nervous about the amount of time it is taking to bring out book four now!
Four Star Reads
Madam by Phoebe Wynne
I actually reviewed this one here so feel free to read the whole thing. Ultimately, this was a great debut novel – beautifully written and well rounded as a story. “A mystery at its heart and feminism in its veins”.
Act Your Age, Eve Brownby Talia Hibbert
A fantastic end to the trilogy for the Brown sisters – I love Hibbert’s writing, she makes me laugh so much and Eve was such a wonderful character to read about. Her relationship with Jacob is my favourite! I’ll be posting a full review of Eve Brown here soon!
For 150 years, high above rocky Scottish cliffs, Caldonbrae Hall has sat untouched, a beacon of excellence in an old ancestral castle. A boarding school for girls, it promises that the young women lucky enough to be admitted will emerge “resilient and ready to serve society.”
Into its illustrious midst steps Rose Christie: a 26-year-old Classics teacher, Caldonbrae’s new head of the department, and the first hire for the school in over a decade. At first, Rose is overwhelmed to be invited into this institution, whose prestige is unrivaled. But she quickly discovers that behind the school’s elitist veneer lies an impenetrable, starkly traditional culture that she struggles to reconcile with her modernist beliefs—not to mention her commitment to educating “girls for the future.”
It also doesn’t take long for Rose to suspect that there’s more to the secret circumstances surrounding the abrupt departure of her predecessor—a woman whose ghost lingers everywhere—than anyone is willing to let on. In her search for this mysterious former teacher, Rose instead uncovers the darkness that beats at the heart of Caldonbrae, forcing her to confront the true extent of the school’s nefarious purpose, and her own role in perpetuating it.
Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker – and she now speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honour bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.
She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan . . .) as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets. And in the process, she discovers an occult library and some unexpected allies. Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?
Thank you to @lovebookstours for my gifted copy for the tour!
This little book is filled with little things to do every day and encourages you to think about kindness – what you think it is and how you pass it on – what are your expectations in regards to kindness?
Obviously there is an importance in being kind to others but you also need to be kind to yourself and Thurston really breaks it down with tips on what to change in your daily life so you can do both!
My favourite tip included in the book has been thinking about my screen time. I’ve got back on the forest app and I’m really trying to reduce my time on my phone and laptop which really helps me focus – I actually read a whole book in a day which I haven’t done for a long time.
My favourite quote from the book is “Comparison is the Thief of Joy” – so true! I think this is especially important for users of social media, comparing yourself to someone else is a guaranteed way of putting you in a down mood (and it’s hard to stop, but you can do it!).
I’d recommend you get this book to cultivate your own kindness habits and see how it improves your physical and mental health and also check out the charity 52 Lives!
Her destiny was death. The shadows brought her back.
Wrongly accused of her brother’s murder, Sonara’s destiny was to die, sentenced to execution by her own mother. Punished and left for dead, the shadows have cursed her with a second life as a Shadowblood, cast out and hunted by society for her demon-like powers.
Now known as the Devil of the Deadlands, Sonara survives as a thief on the edge of society, fighting for survival on a quest to uncover what really happened to her brother and whether he is even dead at all…
A forbidden romance… Munich 1930 Jewish ballet dancer Lilli Sternberg longs to escape the rising Nazi menace. But a whirl-wind romance with a promising young army officer, Captain Marco Zeiller, puts her Hollywood dreams on hold – until her heart is broken.
A dream shattered…. Making it to Hollywood, Lilli dances with the legendary Fred Astaire, who introduces her to high society and the heir to the British throne, Prince Edward. But when injury ends her film career, Edward and his American mistress, Wallis Simpson, both Nazi sympathisers, have other plans for Lilli.
A final chance to save her loved-ones and change the course of history… As war looms and Marco Zeiller, now working for Goebbels, re-enters her life, Lilli’s loyalties are tested as one by one her family falls prey to Nazi terror. Against all odds, can Lilli save her family and foil Hitler’s plot to kidnap Edward?
With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.
As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception, she learns that the secrets her mother took to her grave are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.
Thank you so much to Love Books Tours for including me on this campaign!
I’m sure you can tell from my photo above that this book is absolutely stunning! The illustrations are beautiful and so detailed!
An informative and entertaining look at why plants have been used in magic and what that tells us about people and plants in a post-magic world.
With chapters on subjects as diverse as Witchcraft, Curses and Blessings, Divination, the Plants of Faery, Hallucinogens, Divine Plants in the Christian and Pagan traditions and a Plant Bestiary, Greg Kenicer’s book is an erudite and informative look at how and why various plants have had a role in Europe’s supernatural and magical traditions.
Individual entries look at particular plants combining botanical analysis with historical examples and anecdote to explain exactly why each plant came to be used in this way. Considerations of dangers and actual efficacy cast light on how modern science is now re-examining the uses of many of the plants and how the evolution of the plants themselves has been influenced by our use of them.
Whether Foxglove or Mandrake, Hawthorn or Aspen, Rowan or Oak, St. John’s Wort or Bird Cherry, Plant Magic shines a bright and fascinating new light on dozens of familiar plants.
I haven’t read this book cover to cover, it’s definitely one for me to dip in and out of but I have looked at all the pretty pictures!
Considering I’m very much not green fingered, I really have enjoyed the bits I’ve read! It’s an informative and genuinely interesting read. I recognised a lot of names from books that I’ve read (fantasy mainly as they often have magic and spells etc) I wish my physical copy had arrived as I would absolutely love to have this on my shelves – it is definitely one to add to your gifting lists this year at Christmas as it would make a lovely present!
Gregory J. Kenicer writes with a smooth and easy language making this reference text a nice easy read and actually, I quite fancy getting some more plants now!
For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.
But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.
Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men. Fable takes you on a spectacular journey filled with romance, intrigue, and adventure.