Book Haul – 9 to 17 October 2020

I’m changing the day I send my Book Haul posts out into the world. My blog went live on a Thursday so I started doing them each Thursday but it never really made sense to me. What week finishes on a Thursday?! So, although I’m late this week (TV called me last night), I’m aiming for Saturdays from now on.

This week I finished reading R.L. Stine’s The Babysitter series, which kinda devolved as it progressed. I’d only ever read the first two books before so it was interesting to find out what else Jenny went through but, realistically, the series should have been a standalone.

It did wake up some nostalgia in me so I’m planning on continuing to visit/revisit some Point horror books. I freaked myself out with a few of these as a kid and always wanted to read more. I managed to find some used copies a couple of years ago that I’ve planned on reading but never got around to. I think it’s time.

Word of the Week: Jólabókaflód. I’ve come across this bookish dream come true a few times before but each time I see that word again I want to tell everyone I know about it. Hint, hint, to anyone who’s reading this and wondering what I might like for Christmas, or any other day of the year. If you know me at all you already know this though.

Image from a Goldsboro email

Bookish Highlight of the Week: I haven’t finished it yet but Mercy House has sucked me in. I can’t say I love it because I’ve got this whole righteous anger thing happening with much of the storyline but I’m definitely invested in seeing things turn out well for the nuns and residents of Mercy House. If they don’t, there’ll be a whole other type of anger to deal with but I’m hoping it doesn’t come to that.

Recent Reads:


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl.

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution – send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife … and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name – and her true identity – is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot. 

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old – including Arthur’s own family – demand things continue as they have been, and the new – those drawn by the dream of Camelot – fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?


Underprivileged and keenly self-aware, SoCal fourteen-year-old Layla Bailey isn’t used to being noticed. Except by mean girls who tweet about her ragged appearance. All she wants to do is indulge in her love of science, protect her vulnerable younger brother, and steer clear of her unstable mother.

Then a school competition calls for a biome. Layla chooses her own home, a hostile ecosystem of indoor fungi and secret shame. With a borrowed video camera, she captures it all. The mushrooms growing in her brother’s dresser. The black mold blooming up the apartment walls. The unmentionable things living in the dead fridge. All the inevitable exotic toxins that are Layla’s life. Then the video goes viral.

When Child Protective Services comes to call, Layla loses her family and her home. Defiant, she must face her bullies and friends alike, on her own. Unafraid at last of being seen, Layla accepts the mortifying reality of visibility. Now she has to figure out how to stay whole and stand behind the truth she has shown the world.


NetGalley

Eleven year-old Willow doesn’t want to go to her dad’s weird old summer camp any more than she wants her family to move to the weird old town where that camp is located. But her family – and fate itself – seem to have plans of their own. Soon Willow finds herself neck-deep in a confounding mystery involving stolen snacks, suspected vampires, and missing campers, all shrouded in the sinister fog that hides a generation of secrets at Camp … Whatever it’s called. 


When a child goes missing in Edinburgh’s darkest streets, young Ropa investigates. She’ll need to call on Zimbabwean magic as well as her Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. But as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

When ghosts talk, she will listen …

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghostalker. Now she 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 honor-bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan …), discovering an occult library and a taste for hidden magic. She’ll also experience dark times. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets, and Ropa’s gonna hunt them all down. 


Book Haul – 1 to 8 October 2020

I started writing a short story this afternoon! I’ve only written about 1,000 words so far and I doubt this particular story will ever see the light of day, but it’s woken something up in me.

I haven’t really attempted any creative writing (although there are plenty of worlds that live in my imagination) for many years decades. It was a time of putting pen to paper and I felt like a real writer because I’d bought myself a typewriter.

It may not be much in the scheme of things but it feels like possibilities exist tonight that didn’t this morning. And in 2020, that’s exciting!

I don’t know if you ever fell in geeky love with Reid from Criminal Minds like I may have but even if you didn’t I want to tell you about a TV series I binged this week. It’s called Prodigal Son and Malcolm, the main character, is pretty much how I imagine Reid would have turned out if his father was a serial killer. Malcolm’s father is a serial killer, he’s a profiler and he’s haunted by the flashbacks he has of the girl in the box, the girl who everyone tells him never existed. This could be my favourite new series of the year!

Word of the Week: antimony (from dictionary.com)

  1. opposition between one law, principle, rule, etc., and another.
  2. Philosophy. a contradiction between two statements, both apparently obtained by correct reasoning.

Highlight of the Week: Okay, so I’m still getting my head around this but earlier this week my blog reached a milestone that I wasn’t expecting to happen so soon. Over 1,000 visitors have dropped by. Whether you’ve found yourself here by accident or you’ve visited more than once, please know that I appreciate you.

Recent Reads:


Book Mail

FIVE friends go to a cabin.

FOUR of them are hiding secrets.

THREE years of history bind them.

TWO are doomed from the start.

ONE person wants to end this.

NO ONE IS SAFE.

Are you ready to play?


Amber knew she’d been given an incredible power, but was it a freak accident, or was there something she was supposed to do with it?

Controlling her new ability might be the hardest thing Amber has ever done. Especially when she is running for her life.

Who is her mysterious enemy? What connection does he have to Amber’s past? And, most importantly, does Amber have what it takes to truly become … Skydragon?


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes – not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now – “Scythe Lucifer” – a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realising she cannot do this alone – or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead – the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline?


It’s been three years since Rowan and Citra disappeared; since Scythe Goddard came into power; since the Thunderhead closed itself off to everyone but Grayson Tolliver.

In this pulse-pounding finale to Neal Shusterman’s internationally bestselling trilogy, constitutions are tested and old friends are brought back from the dead.


A powerful source of healing for teen girls and young women who have experienced sexual abuse, Invisible Girls offers survivors agency and hope in an era when too many girls have suffered alone The statistics are staggering.

One in four girls will experience sexual abuse by the time she is sixteen, and 48 percent of all rapes involve a young woman under the age of eighteen. It’s not surprising then, that in a society where sexual abuse of young women is rampant, many women never share their stories. They remain hidden and invisible.

In her pioneering work with young survivors through the last thirty years, Dr. Patti Feuereisen has helped teen girls and young women to find their voices, begin healing, and become visible.

In this revised second edition, Dr. Patti’s gentle guidance and the girls’ powerful stories continue to create an encouraging message: Remarkable healing is possible if girls learn to share their stories in their teens and early twenties. With a new introduction, new chapters, and updated resources, this new edition of Invisible Girls has even more to offer girls, young women, and those who care about them.


According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon – both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle – are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.

And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist …


If you trust her you’ll never make it home …

Avery is an exceptional child. Everything he does is precise, from the way he washes his face in the morning, to the way he completes his homework – without complaint, without fuss, without prompt.

Zib is also an exceptional child, because all children are, in their own way. But where everything Avery does and is can be measured, nothing Zib does can possibly be predicted, except for the fact that she can always be relied upon to be unpredictable.

They live on the same street.

They live in different worlds.

On an unplanned detour from home to school one morning, Avery and Zib find themselves climbing over a stone wall into the Up and Under – an impossible land filled with mystery, adventure and the strangest creatures.

And they must find themselves and each other if they are to also find their way out and back to their own lives.


A new anthology bringing together five great new and established writers to explore the world of Mary Shelley’s all-time classic, Frankenstein.

“My spirit will sleep in peace; or if it thinks, it will not surely think thus. Farewell.” 

Victor Frankenstein was the first to unlock the key to life, but he would not be the last. Through two centuries of scientific enquiry and relentless advancement, five more minds found the secret, and five more creatures were made. Five more stories ended in tragedy.

From the 1840’s to the modern day, from the race to publish the first anatomy to the desperate search for weapons to win the Second World War, telling the stories of the creatures that never were.


NetGalley

“When I was in school, everyone got to a certain age where they became interested in talking about only one thing: boys, girls and sex. Me though? I was only interested in comics.”

Growing up, Rebecca assumes sex is just a scary new thing they will ‘grow into’ as they gets older, but when they leaves school, starts working, and does grow up, they starts to wonder why they doesn’t want to have sex with other people.

In this brave, hilarious and empowering graphic memoir, we follow Rebecca as they navigate a culture obsessed with sex – from being bullied at school and trying to fit in with friends, to forcing themself into relationships and experiencing anxiety and OCD – before coming to understand and embrace their asexual identity.

Giving unparalleled insight into asexuality and asexual relationships, How To Be Ace shows the importance of learning to be happy and proud of who you are.


Book Haul – 18 to 30 September 2020

The weirdest thing happened last week. No new books found their way into my life. I can’t remember the last time that happened. Sure, I have more than enough books to last me for decades already but I always find excuses to adopt more. So there was no need for a book haul post last week. Happily I’ve made some new bookish friends this week.

Word of the Week: nascent, “(especially of a process or organization) just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential.” (from lexico.com)

Bookish Highlight: Book mail! The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida arrived yesterday and I’m loving it! I found a Maya Angelou quote today that seems appropriate given what I have read so far.

Recent Reads:


Book Mail

Miwako Sumida is dead.

Now those closest to her try to piece together the fragments of her life. Ryusei, who has always loved her, follows Miwako’s trail to a remote Japanese village. Chie, Miwako’s best friend, was the only person to know her true identity – but is now the time to reveal it? Meanwhile, Fumi, Ryusei’s sister, is harbouring her own haunting secret.

Together, they realise that the young woman they thought they knew had more going on behind her seemingly perfect façade than they could ever have dreamed.


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

Ren Ishida is nearly finished with graduate school when he receives news of his sister Keiko’s sudden death. She was viciously stabbed one rainy night on her way home, and there are no leads. Ren heads to Akakawa to conclude his sister’s affairs, still failing to understand why she chose to abandon the family and Tokyo for this desolate town years ago.

But Ren soon finds himself picking up where Keiko left off, accepting both her teaching position at a local cram school and the bizarre arrangement of free lodging at a wealthy politician’s mansion in exchange for reading to the man’s catatonic wife.

As he comes to know the figures in Akakawa, from the enigmatic politician to his fellow teachers and a rebellious, alluring student named Rio, Ren delves into his shared childhood with Keiko and what followed, trying to piece together what happened the night of her death. Haunted in his dreams by a young girl who is desperately trying to tell him something, Ren struggles to find solace in the void his sister has left behind. 


NetGalley

Illumen Hall is an elite boarding school. Tragedy strikes when the body of a student is discovered at their exclusive summer party – on her back is an elaborate tattoo of a magpie.

When new girl Audrey arrives the following term, running from her own secrets back home in America, she is thrown into solving the case. Despite her best efforts to avoid any drama, her new roommate Ivy was close to the murdered girl, and the two of them can’t help but get pulled in.

The two can’t stand each other, but as they are drawn deeper into the mystery of this strange and terrible murder, they will discover that something dangerous is at the heart of their superficially perfect school.

Welcome to The Magpie Society.


Like any student about to start university, Laurie Katz was excited to see what the year would bring. Little did she know that just three weeks into her first term, her life would come crashing down around her. What had started as a fun night out with friends ended with Laurie, alone with a terrible secret: she had been raped.

Traumatized and confused, she set out to get justice against her attacker. But when the authorities at her university dismissed her case, and warned her that she could be expelled, she was left unsure where to turn. It seemed as though things couldn’t get worse, then her attacker filed his own case.

Laurie’s story is a brave and honest reminder of the injustice still felt in society around sexual abuse. Laurie offers readers her advice, and provides them with the hope that they too can overcome a similar trauma.


Book Haul – 11 to 17 September 2020

Book mail!! A book I won in a giveaway arrived this week. I also had a book nerd dream come true this morning. I received a message from a publisher saying they wanted to send a book that’s on my TBR pile to me and asked if I wanted it. Um, is that a trick question? Of course I want more book mail! Woohoo!

The raven I met last week has gotten a lot braver and has brought a friend to meet me. The first two baby noisy miners of the season have also visited. I can’t believe how brave these birds are. Within 24 hours of them seeing me for the first time they were coming into the front yard with the adults. One of them has even come within six feet of me.

I’m not sure how much reading I’m going to get done in the next two weeks. I order heaps of stuff from my local library. The only problem is that the DVD’s always seem to arrive all at once. Tomorrow I need to collect 11 movies and 8 seasons of various TV series. DVD’s only get a two week loan at my library, which is not usually a problem. This time? It’s going to be a marathon!

Quote I’m loving at the moment: “She overcame everything that was meant to destroy her.”

Word of the Week: frisson, “a sudden feeling of excitement or fear, especially when you think that something is about to happen” (from Cambridge Dictionary)

Bookish Highlight of the Week: Just like last week, this week’s bookish highlight was Alix E. Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches. I finished reading it a couple of days ago and can now say with absolute certainty that it’s my favourite book of 2020. I may love other books before the end of the year (and hope I love them all) but I can’t imagine loving anything more than I love the three Eastwood sisters.

This week I read:


Book Mail

I wake up, and for a few precious seconds I don’t realise there’s anything wrong.

The rumble of tyres on bitumen, and the hiss of air conditioning. The murmur of voices. The smell of air freshener. The cool vibration of glass against my forehead.

A girl wakes up on a self-driving bus. She has no memory of how she got there or who she is. Her nametag reads CECILY. The six other people on the bus are just like her: no memories, only nametags. There’s a screen on each seatback that gives them instructions. A series of tests begin, with simulations projected onto the front window of the bus. The passengers must each choose an outcome; majority wins. But as the testing progresses, deadly secrets are revealed, and the stakes get higher and higher. Soon Cecily is no longer just fighting for her freedom – she’s fighting for her life.


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden


Randall Woodfield had it all. He was an award-winning student and star athlete. He was drafted for pro football by the Green Bay Packers, and chosen by Playgirl as a centerfold candidate. Working in the swinging West Coast bar scene, he had his pick of willing sexual prospects. 

But Randall Woodfield wanted more than just sex. An appetite for unspeakable violent acts led him to cruise the I-5 highway through California, Oregon, and Washington, leaving a trail of victims along the way. As the list of his victims grew to a total of at least 44, the police faced the awesome challenge of catching and convicting a suspect who seemed to handsome and appealing to have committed such ugly crimes – crimes that filled every woman within his striking range with feat and horror …


In the sequel to the New York Times best-selling novel Hope Never Dies, Obama and Biden reprise their roles as BFFs-turned-detectives as they chase Obama’s stolen cell phone through the streets of Chicago – and right into a vast conspiracy.

Following a long but successful book tour, Joe Biden has one more stop before he can return home: Chicago. His old pal Barack Obama has invited him to meet a wealthy benefactor whose endorsement could turn the tide for Joe if he decides to run for president.

The two friends barely have time to catch up before another mystery lands in their laps: Obama’s prized Blackberry is stolen. When their number-one suspect winds up full of lead on the South Side, the police are content to write it off as just another gangland shooting. But Joe and Obama smell a rat …

Set against the backdrop of a raucous city on St. Patrick’s Day, Joe and Obama race to find the shooter, only to uncover a vast conspiracy that goes deeper than the waters of Lake Michigan – which is exactly where they’ll spend the rest of their retirement if they’re not careful. 


Book Haul – 4 to 10 September 2020

I finally finished the report I was working on for the past couple of weeks so I was able to begin my reward book yesterday! It’s my Bookish Highlight of the Week. Knowing I had something I was really looking forward to waiting for me at the end of an emotionally intensive experience was much more helpful than I anticipated. I have another icky report to work on during the next couple of weeks. Because it worked so well the first time I’m going to motivate myself with a bookish reward again. I just need to decide what it’s going to be.

I saw about half a dozen whales when I went to the beach last weekend. They were really close to the shore so it was easy to see them. I looked again today when I went for a walk but it was quite windy so there were too many white horses to spot any whales.

This morning I glanced across the road and saw a duck and six teensy ducklings. They all wandered down a driveway before deciding that wasn’t where they wanted to go. After walking back up the driveway they went down the next driveway instead. I’m not sure if they were heading for the swimming pool in the back yard or the bushland behind the home. I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye out for them. They were so adorable!

We’ve also had a new visitor to our front yard this week – a raven. It’s quite timid but is gradually coming closer to me and getting used to me talking to it. I took this photo of a raven in our back yard a couple of years ago so it’s probably not the same one. Hopefully I’ll get close enough for a photo of my new feathered friend soon.

Word of the Week: grit – “courage and determination despite difficulty” (from Cambridge Dictionary)

Bookish Highlight of the Week: I’ve started reading Alix Harrow’s The Once and Future Witches. Their debut, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, was my favourite read of 2019. I’m absolutely loving this one too!

This week I read:


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

When you can’t trust your mind, trust your heart.

Adam is a pretty regular teen, except he’s navigating high school life while living with paranoid schizophrenia. His hallucinations include a cast of characters that range from the good (beautiful Rebecca) to the bad (angry Mob Boss) to the just plain weird (polite naked guy). An experimental drug promises to help him hide his illness from the world. When Adam meets Maya, a fiercely intelligent girl, he desperately wants to be the normal, great guy that she thinks he is. But as the miracle drug begins to fail, how long can he keep this secret from the girl of his dreams?


Ox was twelve when his daddy taught him a very valuable lesson. He said that Ox wasn’t worth anything and people would never understand him. Then he left.

Ox was sixteen when he met the boy on the road. The little boy who talked and talked and talked. Ox found out later the little boy hadn’t spoken in almost two years before that day, and that the little boy belonged to a family who had moved into the house at the end of the lane.

Ox was seventeen when he found out the little boy’s secret and it painted the world around him in colors of red and orange and violet, of Alpha and Beta and Omega.

Ox was twenty-three when murder came to town and tore a hole in his head and heart. The boy chased after the monster with revenge in his bloodred eyes, leaving Ox behind to pick up the pieces.

It’s been three years since that fateful day – and the boy is back. Except now he’s a man, and Ox can no longer ignore the song that howls between them.


NetGalley

Mila is used to being alone. Maybe that’s why she said yes to the opportunity: living in this remote place, among the flowers and the fog and the crash of waves far below.

But she hadn’t known about the ghosts.

Newly graduated from high school, Mila has aged out of the foster care system. So when she’s offered a job and a place to stay at a farm on an isolated part of the Northern California Coast, she immediately accepts. Maybe she will finally find a new home, a real home. The farm is a refuge, but also haunted by the past traumas its young residents have come to escape. And Mila’s own terrible memories are starting to rise to the surface.


The Phantom of the Opera, the iconic gothic romance, is retold with all the spectacle its legend demands in this devoted graphic novel adaptation that marries stunning artwork with Gaston Leroux’s haunting prose.

Everyone has heard the whispered tales of the phantom who lives beneath the opera house, the mysterious trickster behind all the little mishaps and lost things. But no one has ever seen the monster … until now. When the promise of blossoming love lures him out from his intricately constructed hideaways in the labyrinthine building’s walls and cellars, a hideously disfigured artist trains the lovely Christine to be the opera’s next star for a steep price. Does she choose her newfound success or her beloved Count Raoul? This doomed love triangle threatens to combust when a tragic death, a series of betrayals, and increasingly dangerous accidents cast the players of The Palais Garnier into a heart-wrenching horror story that will echo through the ages. 


Book Haul – 28 August to 3 September 2020

Okay, so I accidentally bought a bunch of Kindle books this week. I’m still working on the reports I was writing last week so I’ve decided that book bingeing is an entirely legitimate stress response and not a problem at all.

I’ve had a couple of beach walks this week and managed to spot some whale blows yesterday. Saying ‘whale blows’ sounds so weird but I looked it up and found out that’s what it’s called when you see puffs of smoke-like water. Blows are fountains of water spouting from a whale’s blowhole each time it breathes. I thought all of the whales were still up north with their babies. Maybe this one is a loner.

We’re three days into the bushfire season here in Australia. The first fire of the season near me that wasn’t a hazard reduction burn happened five days ago. I really hope Australia doesn’t go up in flames like it did last summer. That was the worst bushfire season I’ve ever known. 

We were lucky last summer. The nearest fire to us was about half an hour away but the air was still thick with smoke and each time I ventured outside I’d see ash falling around me. Fingers crossed for a better season this year.

Word of the Week: Expergefactor. “Something that wakes you up” (from lifehack.org). The expergefactor in my life right now is the neighbour two doors down. They got a pool a few weeks ago and now they’ve got tradies doing landscaping around it that apparently requires the constant use of hammers. It starts at an ungodly hour. Every weekday. Can’t wait for them to be done!

Bookish Highlight of the Week: I won a copy of Lili Wilkinson’s The Erasure Initiative on Twitter today! Book mail coming soon! I love book mail!

This week I read:


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

SHOCK …

First, the electricity goes – plunging the east coast in darkness after a devastating nuclear attack. Millions panic. Millions die. They are the lucky ones. 

AFTER SHOCK …

Next, the chemical weapons take effect – killing or contaminating everything alive. Except a handful of survivors in a bomb shelter. They are the damned.

HELL IS FOR HUMANS

Then, the real nightmare begins. Hordes of rats force two terrified families out of their shelter – and into the savage streets of an apocalytic wasteland. They are not alone. Vicious, chemical-crazed animals hunt in packs. Dogs tear flesh, cats draw blood, horses crush bone. Roaming gangs of the sick and dying are barely recognisable as human. These are the times that try men’s souls. These are the tortures that tear families apart. This is hell on earth. The rules are simple: Kill or die.


Fact: During the night of February 1, 1959, in the remote reaches of Siberia, nine Russian hikers slash open their tent from the inside and flee into a blizzard in subpolar temperatures. 

Fact: By morning all are dead, several having suffered gruesome, violent deaths. What happened to them has baffled investigators and researchers to this day.

It has become known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident.

Now, an American true-crime writer seeking answers to the enduring mystery sets out to retrace the hikers steps on their fateful expedition. However, nothing can prepare him for what he is about to discover …


You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart – no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments – even at the risk of one’s life – is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten …

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever. 


Attentive readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoir, A Natural History of Dragons, are already familiar with how a bookish and determined young woman named Isabella first set out on the historic course that would one day lead her to becoming the world’s premier dragon naturalist. Now, in this remarkably candid second volume, Lady Trent looks back at the next stage of her illustrious (and occasionally scandalous) career.

Three years after her fateful journeys through the forbidding mountains of Vystrana, Mrs. Camherst defies family and convention to embark on an expedition to the war-torn continent of Eriga, home of such exotic draconian species as the grass-dwelling snakes of the savannah, arboreal tree snakes, and, most elusive of all, the legendary swamp-wyrms of the tropics.

The expedition is not an easy one. Accompanied by both an old associate and a runaway heiress, Isabella must brave oppressive heat, merciless fevers, palace intrigues, gossip, and other hazards in order to satisfy her boundless fascination with all things draconian, even if it means venturing deep into the forbidden jungle known as the Green Hell … where her courage, resourcefulness, and scientific curiosity will be tested as never before.


Devoted readers of Lady Trent’s earlier memoirs, A Natural History of Dragons and The Tropic of Serpents, may believe themselves already acquainted with the particulars of her historic voyage aboard the Royal Survey Ship Basilisk, but the true story of that illuminating, harrowing, and scandalous journey has never been revealed – until now. Six years after her perilous exploits in Eriga, Isabella embarks on her most ambitious expedition yet: a two-year trip around the world to study all manner of dragons in every place they might be found. From feathered serpents sunning themselves in the ruins of a fallen civilisation to the mighty sea serpents of the tropics, these creatures are a source of both endless fascination and frequent peril. Accompanying her is not only her young son, Jake, but a chivalrous foreign archaeologist whose interests converge with Isabella’s in ways both professional and personal.

Science is, of course, the primary objective of the voyage, but Isabella’s life is rarely so simple. She must cope with storms, shipwrecks, intrigue, and warfare, even as she makes a discovery that offers a revolutionary new insight into the ancient history of dragons.


Even those who take no interest in the field of dragon naturalism have heard of Lady Trent’s expedition to the inhospitable deserts of Akhia. Her discoveries there are the stuff of romantic legend, catapulting her from scholarly obscurity to worldwide fame. The details of her personal life during that time are hardly less private, having provided fodder for gossips in several countries.

As is so often the case in the career of this illustrious woman, the public story is far from complete. In this, the fourth volume of her memoirs, Lady Trent relates how she acquired her position with the Royal Scirling Army; how foreign saboteurs imperiled both her work and her well-being; and how her determined pursuit of knowledge took her into the deepest reaches of the Labyrinth of Drakes, where the chance action of a dragon set the stage for her greatest achievement yet.


Join Sophie, Agatha, Tedros, and the other students as they begin a new era in the Endless Woods – The Camelot Years – where Evers and Nevers alike must move beyond the bounds of school and into the biggest, boldest adventures of their lives.

The students at the School for Good and Evil thought they had found their final Ever After when they vanquished the malevolent School Master. Now, on their required fourth-year quests, the students face obstacles both dangerous and unpredictable, and the stakes are high: success brings eternal adoration, and failure means obscurity forever.

For their quests, Agatha and Tedros are trying to return Camelot to its former splendor as queen and king. For her quest, Dean Sophie seeks to mold Evil in her own image. But soon they all feel themselves growing more isolated and alone. When their classmates’ quests plunge into chaos, however, someone must lead the charge to save them


In this fifth instalment in Soman Chainani’s New York Times bestselling fantasy series, The School for Good and Evil, Sophie, Agatha, and their friends must find a way to overthrow the sinister evil that twists lies into the truth and seeks to rewrite their story.

A false king has claimed the throne of Camelot, sentenced Tedros to death, and forced Sophie to be his queen. Only Agatha manages to escape.

Now Agatha and the students at the School for Good and Evil must find a way to restore Tedros to his throne and save Camelot … before all of their fairy tales come to a lethal end.


Beyond Good and Evil. Beyond Ever Afters.

The fairy tale of Sophie and Agatha comes to a dramatic conclusion in this sixth and final book of Soman Chainani’s New York Times bestselling fantasy series.

Who will sit on Camelot’s throne and rule the Endless Woods? Who will be the One True King? Prepare yourself for the End of Ends …


The race is on to uncover the identity of a murderer with nothing to lose – and everything to kill for. When Robbie Bishop, star midfielder for the Bradfield Vics, is poisoned by a rare and deadly toxin, profiler Dr Tony Hill and trusted colleague DCI Carol Jordan have their work cut out for them. Robbie was adored, so the public want answers – but the answers aren’t coming, and trails are running cold. Then a bomb explodes in the football stadium, causing massive casualties – and another man dies from poisoning. Is there a link between the cases? And what are the motives for these crimes? The clock is ticking for Tony and Carol – and the death toll keeps rising …


Starship Captain Ed Carew leads a carefree life of smuggling, gun-running and other illicit pursuits in a far future ruled by the fascistic Expansion Authority. But when an Expansion judiciary ship captures Carew leaving the planet of Hesperides, an out-of-bounds world now governed by the fearsome Vetch extraterrestrials, Carew and his crew are sentenced to death …

Unless they agree to travel through Vetch territory in pursuit of a human vessel that set off for the Devil’s Nebula one hundred years ago. Why are the Expansion authorities so eager to track down the ship? Will Carew and co. survive the journey through Vetch territory? And what might they find when they arrive at the Devil’s Nebula?


Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship – the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.


Dave, John and Amy recount what seems like a fairly straightforward tale of a shape-shifting creature from another dimension that is stealing children and brainwashing their parents, but it eventually becomes clear that someone is lying, and that someone is the narrators. 

The novel you’re reading is a cover-up, and the “true” story reveals itself in the cracks of their hilariously convoluted, and sometimes contradictory, narrative.


Nightmarish villains with superhuman enhancements.

An all-seeing social network that tracks your every move.

Mysterious, smooth-talking power players who lurk behind the scenes.

A young woman from the trailer park. And her very smelly cat.

Together, they will decide the future of mankind.

Get ready for a world in which anyone can have the powers of a god or the fame of a pop star, in which human achievement soars to new heights while its depravity plunges to the blackest depths. A world in which at least one cat smells like a seafood shop’s dumpster on a hot summer day.

This is the world in which Zoey Ashe finds herself, navigating a futuristic city in which one can find elements of the fantastic, nightmarish and ridiculous on any street corner. Her only trusted advisor is the aforementioned cat, but even in the future, cats cannot give advice. At least not any that you’d want to follow.

Will Zoey figure it all out in time? Or maybe the better question is, will you? After all, the future is coming sooner than you think. 


NetGalley

Della can’t work out why her adored older sister Suki screams in her sleep. Suki has always been Della’s protector, especially after their mother went to prison and her boyfriend took the sisters in. But who has been protecting Suki?

Della is in trouble at school for having a big mouth, but after she stands up to the class bully other girls rally to her cause. When Suki tries to kill herself, Della decides it’s time to tell their secrets and speak out about the terrible things that happened to Suki. Bound by love and trauma, these two sisters must find their own voices before they can find their way back to each other.

Based on the author’s personal experience, this gripping and essential story explodes the stigma around child sexual abuse. Written from the heart, with tenderness, compassion and humour, Fighting Words is about finding the words to talk about the most difficult things in young adults’ lives.


Book Haul – 21 to 27 August 2020

This week I finished watching the third season of Rosehaven, the sixth season of SVU and the final season of Haven. I’m going to be introducing Mum to Good Girls tomorrow.

I’ve been doing a stack of boring paperwork stuff this week so I’m thinking of making some cinnamon scrolls this weekend as a treat. I’ve been holding off on reading Alix Harrow’s second book, The Once and Future Witches. It’s going to be my reward when I finally finish all of the report writing drudgery.

Word of the Week: oubliette. “A secret dungeon with access only through a trapdoor in its ceiling.” (from lexico.com) Also the name of one of my favourite episodes of The X Files. (I love that show! Must schedule a rewatch!)

Bookish Highlight of the Week: Manga Classics: Anne of Green Gables. I love Anne’s story and she was even more delightful with manga doe eyes. This was also my 700th book review!

This week I read:


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

Everyone knows the legend of the Jersey Devil. Some believe it is an abomination of nature, a hybrid winged beast from hell that stalks the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey searching for prey. Others believe it is a hoax, a campfire story designed to scare children. But one man knows the truth …

THE DEVIL AWAKES

Sixty years ago, Boompa Willet came face to face with the Devil – and lived to tell the tale. Now, the creature’s stomping grounds are alive once again with strange sightings, disappearances, and worse. After all these years, Boompa must return to the Barrens, not to prove the legend is real but to wipe it off the face of the earth …

THE BEAST MUST DIE

It’ll take more than just courage to defeat the Devil. It will take four generations of the Willet clan, a lifetime of survivalist training, and all the firepower they can carry. But timing is critical. A summer music festival has attracted crowds of teenagers. The woods are filled with tender young prey. But this time, the Devil is not alone. The evil has grown into an unholy horde of mutant monstrosities. And hell has come home to New Jersey


“Lengard is a secret government facility for extraordinary people,” they told me. 

I believed them. That was my mistake.

There isn’t anyone else in the world like me.

I’m different. I’m an anomaly. I’m a monster. 

For two years, six months, fourteen days, eleven hours and sixteen minutes, Subject Six-Eight-Four – ‘Jane Doe’ – has been locked away and experimented on, without uttering a single word.

As Jane’s resolve begins to crack under the influence of her new – and unexpectedly kind – evaluator, she uncovers the truth about Lengard’s mysterious ‘program’, discovering that her own secret is at the heart of a sinister plot … and one wrong move, one wrong word, could change the world.


A killer on the loose. A writer on the run. A town plagued by an ancient evil.  

On tour with his latest book, true crime writer Martin Savage discovers one of his most-dangerous subjects has escaped. The so-called “Witch Hunter,” a delusional murderer of women and their unborn children, holds a deadly grudge. He’ll stop at nothing to get his revenge, and destroy everything Martin cares about. 

With nowhere to run, Martin and forensic psychologist Sheila Tanner flee to the town he left when he was a boy, after his mother was locked away in a psychiatric facility. A town hidden deep in his past, where no one would think to look for them. 

But things are not what they seem in Barrows Bay. The idyllic island holds terrible secrets. An ancient evil lived here long before the first Irish settlers crashed upon its shores in a coffin ship. An evil wearing the innocent faces of elderly midwives who’ve delivered every child in the Bay for two hundred and fifty years. 

Martin and Sheila think they’re safe in his childhood home. But Martin’s mother has plans for them. Plans that require sacrifice. 

And sacrifice requires blood.


Ever been to Taured before? No? In fact, you’ve never heard of it? Well, neither had the rest of the world when in July of 2020 a European businessman shows up at Tokyo International Airport claiming to not only hail from the non-existent country but produces a legitimate passport.

What follows is a breakneck tale full of mystery, intrigue, and action that will keep you turning pages well past your bedtime.


Welcome to Sunder City. The magic is gone but the monsters remain.

I’m Fetch Phillips, just like it says on the window. There are a few things you should know before you hire me:

1. Sobriety costs extra.
2. My services are confidential.
3. I don’t work for humans.

It’s nothing personal – I’m human myself. But after what happened, to the magic, it’s not the humans who need my help.


NetGalley

Siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert were planning to adopt an orphaned boy to help out around their farm, Green Gables – instead, they got Anne Shirley. A plucky redheaded girl with a vibrant imagination, Anne turns first Green Gables and then the rest of Prince Edward Island on its ear.  

Manga Classics® is proud to be the only authorized manga adaption of Anne of Green Gables by the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery, with a foreword by Kate McDonald Butler – granddaughter of the original author!  

This volume presents a faithful recreation of this classic kids novel, from the Lake of Shining Waters to the Dryad’s Bubble! 


Book Haul – 14 to 20 August 2020

This week I binged the second season of Good Girls. It took a few episodes for me to get back into it but by the end of the season I was hooked. I’m also halfway through the third season of Rosehaven, which is one of the most Australian shows I’ve ever seen. I absolutely love it!

Three ducks decided I was interesting yesterday. I saw them across the park from where I was sitting, so naturally I wandered over for a closer look. I gave them plenty of space so I didn’t scare them but they waddled over to investigate. When I walked back to the car they walked with me. It was so cute! I lost sight of them once I was in the car but heard them quacking so looked out my window. They were standing right next to my door.

I went back to see them again today. This time I took some food for them and am pretty sure I made some new friends. I need to remember to take my good camera with me next time so I can get some decent photos.

It’s been really windy for a couple of days and Mum and I have found a new way to entertain ourselves. We noticed a few weeks ago that the new jetty at the lake moves when there are waves from boats passing by. We figured it would be fun to ride the waves on the jetty while it was windy and now it’s our new favourite thing to do. We’re obviously easily entertained but it’s so much fun giggling and trying to remain upright while the jetty moves beneath our feet.

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 Raven. I wasn’t expecting it to be that good but I loved it. Buckets of blood, mythical creatures and a main character I really liked. I’m crossing my fingers for a sequel.

This week I read:


Kindle Black Hole of Good Intentions

The new face of big evil is a little … small.

Dastardly deeds aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when one hears the name “Clementine”, but as the sole heir of the infamous Dark Lord Elithor, twelve-year-old Clementine Morcerous has been groomed since birth to be the best (worst?) Evil Overlord she can be. But everything changes the day the Dark Lord Elithor is cursed by a mysterious rival.

Now, Clementine must not only search for a way to break the curse, but also take on the full responsibilities of the Dark Lord. As Clementine forms her first friendships, discovers more about her own magic than she ever dared to explore, and is called upon to break her father’s code of good and evil, she starts to question the very life she’s been fighting for. What if the Dark Lord Clementine doesn’t want to be dark after all?


Rooted in foundational loss and the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is both a global dystopian narrative an intimate family story with quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.

Ella and Kev are brother and sister, both gifted with extraordinary power. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by structural racism and brutality. Their futures might alter the world. When Kev is incarcerated for the crime of being a young black man in America, Ella – through visits both mundane and supernatural – tries to show him the way to a revolution that could burn it all down. 


Mythical creatures, inner demons, and fear are a few forms in which monsters present themselves. When confronted by such savage beasts, the vulnerability of humanity is often exposed. Will we rise above, or will we succumb to our inevitable demise?

These sixteen horror stories by Red Lagoe explore the supernatural as well as human horror associated with grief, guilt, severed relationships, and severed limbs.


NetGalley

When my best friend Skyler told me about this party in the Hollywood Hills, I was less than enthused. As it turned out, my feelings were more than justified. That party ruined my life.

Tansy didn’t even want to go to the party. It’s hard enough living in one of your best friend’s shadows and secretly in love with your other best friend.

And now she’s leaving it a vampire.

Now her best friend Skyler is stuck on the road trip from hell, on tour as a groupie with a literal band of vamps. Tansy sets out with Vaughn, her other BFF turned maybe more, to save Skylar’s life and take down the band. But when they find themselves in the middle of a vampire war, will Tansy be able to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her friends?


Where does the story of the Owens family begin? With a baby abandoned in a snowy field in the 1600s. Under the care of Hannah Owens, little Maria learns about the “Unnamed Arts.” Hannah recognises that Maria has a gift and she teaches the girl all she knows.

When Maria is abandoned by the man she loves, she follows him to Salem, Massachusetts. Here she invokes the curse that will haunt her family. And it’s is here that she learns the rules of magic and the lesson that she will carry with her for the rest of her life. Love is the only thing that matters.


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.


Book Haul – 31 July to 6 August 2020

Yesterday my Kindle cover decided it was time to make a break for it. I wasn’t aware that it had been silently judging me for using it so much, but it finally spat the dummy. The magnet in the half that holds the Kindle flew out at me when I opened the case. I guess even bookish things can think you read too much …

One of the wild birds I haven’t seen for almost a year showed up out of the blue two days ago. Two currawongs that had very recently both lost their right eyes arrived at almost the same time last year and after a few months one disappeared. I feared the worst but hoped they’d maybe just moved to a new area. One remained; they come in to say hi and have a feed a couple of times a week.

Now the one that’s been MIA is back and they have such a sweet nature. They even brought a new addition to the family to meet me. I probably say this all the time but it makes me feel so honoured whenever a wild bird trusts me. It makes me all gooey inside.

Word of the Week: aperçu. “A comment or brief reference that makes an illuminating or entertaining point.” (from lexico.com)

Bookish Highlight of the Week: I published my 700th blog post today! 😃

This week I reviewed:

Until next time, happy reading!


Book Mail

Best friends have become enemies. Lovers have become strangers. And deciding whose side you’re on could be the difference between life and death. For Eve and Lemon, discovering the truth about themselves – and each other – was too much for their friendship to take. But with the country on the brink of a new world war – this time between the BioMaas swarm at CityHive and Daedalus’s army at Megopolis, loyalties will be pushed to the brink, unlikely alliances will form and with them, betrayals.

But the threat doesn’t stop there, because the lifelikes are determined to access the program that will set every robot free, a task requiring both Eve and Ana, the girl she was created to replace. In the end, violent clashes and heartbreaking choices reveal the true heroes … and they may not be who you think they are.


Wolf Girl is back in the wild, but that doesn’t mean life is any easier for her and her loyal pack of dogs.

She has been searching for her family for a long time. Just when she feels she is close, the soldiers following her start to close in. Then Zip is injured and the pack has to slow down …

Who can Gwen trust? And how will she keep her pack safe while they are being hunted by dangerous enemies?

Does this spell disaster for the one and only Wolf Girl?


The minotaur will be recognised by his strength.

Kelly doesn’t believe in ancient prophecies. Then again, up until recently, she also didn’t believe a horn could grow out of her forehead.

Now the Collector is holding her mother hostage, and if Kelly wants to rescue her she needs to learn how to wield all the powers of the Unicorn. She also needs some help. 

She needs to find … the Minotaur.

Minh knows something epic is going on. For the last year, he has been getting stronger and stronger. He can pull a plough as well as any horse. He can lift cars.

But he has no idea that this is just the beginning …

Kelly and Minh will need to help each other if they are to have any hope of bringing down the Collector and rescuing the people they love.