Book Haul – 7 to 13 August 2020

I binged a little on books this week. There have been quite a few Kindle books I’ve been drooling over for months but had been waiting for them to go on sale. A bad day early in the week was all it took for me to give in to the urge to let books make it all better. Books make everything better! I did restrain myself a bit, only buying the three most urgent reads on my list. The others were on sale so don’t count. Don’t you just love my book logic?

I also got some book mail – a preorder and one that I won a few weeks ago.

I’ve been watching Looking for Alaska and have been surprised by my lack of connection to the characters. I wish this was Dr. Hyde’s story instead of Alaska’s. I’m one of those people who finds something to cry about in almost every movie or TV series I watch. This series though? Not a hint of a tear. Weird …

Word of the Week: inimitable. “So good or unusual as to be impossible to copy; unique.” (from lexico.com)

Bookish Highlight of the Week: The Midnight Library. It’s been on my radar since pre-COVID so, by my calculations, about 287 years. I’m about a quarter of the way through it and I’m having trouble deciding whether I want to forgo sleep to finish it in one sitting or slow down and savour it.

This week I reviewed:

Until next time, happy reading!


Book Mail

The fair is in town! Nelson and Kenny want to go on ALL the rides! But after testing Grandma’s new invention, they’re suddenly TOO SMALL to go anywhere!

Luckily, Nelson and Kenny have a plan to get TALLER again … way, WAAAAY TALLER!


A boy awakens in the Afterlife, with a pocketful of vague memories, a key, a raven, and a mysterious Atlas to guide him as he sets out to piece together the mystery of his final moments …

Back on Earth, Twiggy is a street kid with a missing dad. But when he meets Flea, a cheerful pickpocket, the pair become fast friends, better even than blood family itself. Together, Twig and Flea raise themselves on the crime-ridden streets, taking what they need and giving the rest to the even-poorer. Life is good, as long as they have each other. But the all-powerful Boss who rules the streets has other plans.

Loyalty will be tested, and a cruel twist of fate will lead to an act of ultimate betrayal that will tear the friends apart … forever?


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place – and realising that family is yours. 


A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world’s last hope.

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and her sister are not alone. Soon they are joined by a flock of sleepwalkers from across America, on the same mysterious journey. And like Shana, there are other “shepherds” who follow the flock to protect their friends and family on the long dark road ahead.

For on their journey, they will discover an America convulsed with terror and violence, where this apocalyptic epidemic proves less dangerous than the fear of it. As the rest of society collapses all around them – and an ultraviolent militia threatens to exterminate them – the fate of the sleepwalkers depends on unravelling the mystery behind the epidemic. The terrifying secret will either tear the nation apart – or bring the survivors together to remake a shattered world.


A powerful debut novel of a refuge in Brooklyn for women in trouble – and the one woman who will risk all to protect them.

In the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighbourhood of Brooklyn stands a century-old row house presided over by renegade, silver-haired Sister Evelyn. Gruff and indomitable on the surface, warm and wry underneath, Evelyn and her fellow sisters makes Mercy House a safe haven for the abused and abandoned. 

Women like Lucia, who arrives in the dead of night; Mei-Li, the Chinese and Russian house veteran; Desiree, a loud and proud prostitute; Esther, a Haitian immigrant and aspiring collegiate; and Katrina, knitter of lumpy scarves … all of them know what it’s like to be broken by men.

Little daunts Evelyn, until she receives word that Bishop Robert Hawkins is coming to investigate Mercy House and the nuns, whose secret efforts to help the women in ways forbidden by the Church may be uncovered. But Evelyn has secrets too, dark enough to threaten everything she has built.

Evelyn will do anything to protect Mercy House and the vibrant, diverse women it serves – confront gang members, challenge her beliefs, even face her past. As she fights to defend all that she loves, she discovers the extraordinary power of mercy and the grace it grants, not just to those who receive it, but to those strong enough to bestow it.


Kaylan’s life as she knew it is over. Again.

Hunted by the guards of Edriast and their ruthless captain, Kaylan is forced to flee into a world she’s never seen, armed with a power she never wanted. With her brother Elias by her side, she escapes to the distant city of Stynos, where rumour has it a possible ally is waiting … An ally who might help Kaylan control the violent magic that’s become her burden to bear.

But Kaylan can’t hide forever – not from the forces that surround her, or from the darkness inside herself. Rebel leader Bellamy seeks her help to destroy a regime; Captain Thorn pursues her with a vengeance; and as her power grows, her inner demons begin to seep through the cracks …

Kaylan may be strong, but is she strong enough to resist the Relic? 


In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren’t finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories.

Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing – a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organising books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materialising as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto.

But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil’s Bible. The text of the Devil’s Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell … and Earth.


‘Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices … Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?’ 

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.


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