Book review: The Passenger by Daniel Hurst

She takes the same train every day. But this is a journey she’ll never forget.

Amanda’s done it! She’s finally managed to save up enough money to hand in her resignation so she can follow her dream of becoming a writer. She just has a few more days left to serve out her notice and then she can put that daily commute from Brighton to London behind her forever.

But then, on her commute home from London to Brighton, she meets a charming stranger – who seems to know everything about her. He delivers an ultimatum. She needs to give him the code for the safe where she keeps her savings before the train reaches Brighton – or she’ll never see [her daughter] Louise again. Convinced that the threat is real, Amanda is stunned, horrified. She knows she should give him the code, but she can’t. Because she also knows there is a terrible secret in that safe which will destroy her life and Louise’s too…

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Book review: In A Deep Dark Wood by Tina Pritchard

What she saw in the wood would change her life forever...

In a deep dark wood by Tina Pritchard

While walking her dog Buddy in the woods behind her house, Fran stumbles upon a scene that will change the course of her life. In a somewhat secluded den around an old yew tree, she sees local teen Tyler standing on a crate, his hands tied behind his back, his mouth duct taped, and a noose around his head.  She sees the two men who have him tied up there. She sees them kick the crate and murder him.

Drawing on her years working in social services, Fran is able to keep her wits about her long enough to tell the police exactly what she saw. But the incident has left her shaken. No matter how hard she tries to get back to her normal life, Fran can’t shake off the guilt that assails her – could she have done something to save Tyler?

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Book review: The Testament of Loki by Joanne Harris

After the massive reading block brought on by Murakami’s Sputnik Sweetheart last year, I decided to started the new year by reading one of my favorite authors – Joanne Harris.

I started the year with The Gospel of Loki, which is a delightful retelling of the stories of the Norse gods – from the viewpoint of the trickster god Loki.

If you’ve read Norse Gods by Neil Gaiman or any other author, you would be familiar with all of these stories, there’s nothing really new there.

But what happens after the gods fall at Ragnarok? Is that the end of the road for Odin, Loki, Thor, Freya, and all the other Aesir and Vanir? Or can they return to reclaim their lost glory?

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The 2021 book bingo reading challenge

I really enjoyed the 2020 book bingo challenge, and I know that many of you did, too. So I’m excited to do this again in 2021. This time, though, I really would love to have more of a reading community so we can all nerd out together. Because reading more + reading widely is always fun, right?

Without ado, presenting….

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Book review: Along Came a Syder by Apeksha Rao

Ever since she was a child, Samira Joshi has known she wants to be a spy. And why not? Her parents are elite RAW agents, and have trained Samira in spy craft since she was a child. 

Suddenly, though, her mother, who was the biggest supporter of her dreams, has taken a U-turn, telling Samira to forget about spy games and focus on becoming a doctor instead. 

But Samira is having none of it.

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10 absolutely delightful books I couldn’t get enough of this quarter

A woman sitting by the window and reading

It’s time for the third check-in for the 2020 Book Bingo reading challenge. Wondering what the challenge is? Check out this post where I lay out all the rules for the 2020 Book Bingo reading challenge, and then come back here and jump right in!

After last quarter’s rather dismal reading tally – just 4 books, all excellent though – this quarter was rather stupendous! I read 10 books this quarter, making it a total of 18 books read this year. So here’s a quick roundup of the books I read this quarter, along with the bingo squares I checked off.Continue reading

Book review: Against the Loveless World by Susan Abhulhalwa

Book review Against a Loveless World by Susan Abhulhalwa

I live in the Cube. I write on its glossy gray cinder-block walls however I can – with my nails before, with pencils now that the guards bring me some supplies.

Light comes through the small glass-block window high on the wall, reached only by the many-legged crawling creatures that also reside here. I am fond of the spiders and ants, which have set up separate dominions and manage to avoid each other in our shared nine-square-meter universe.

So begins Against the Loveless World, and our introduction to Nahr. She’s confined in the Cube, but her mind wanders free. To Bilal, to Kuwait, to Jordan and Palestine. This is her story. But more than that, it is the story of Palestinian refugees, of the people who remained in Palestine, of how they live their lives and how they resist.

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4 amazing summer reads from around the world

Summer reading list

It’s time for the first check-in for the 2020 Book Bingo reading challenge. Wondering what the challenge is? Check out this post where I lay out all the rules for the 2020 Book Bingo reading challenge, and then come back here and jump right in!

I had hoped that the lockdown would mean more reading time, but that didn’t happen. I spent a lot of time on art and deep diving on other areas of interest instead. I did read, though I didn’t manage to hit my goal of reading at least two books a month. Oh well!

As of this writing, I’ve read just 4 books this quarter, making it a total of 8 books read this year. So here’s a quick little review of the books I read this quarter, along with the bingo squares I checked off.

P.S.: These are also amazing summer reads – and as a pleasant surprise the books are set all over the world – Kabul, French wine country, India, and Paris!Continue reading

The 2020 book bingo reading challenge: first quarter check in

Woman with her hands folded over a book she is reading

It’s time for the first check-in for the 2020 Book Bingo reading challenge. Wondering what the challenge is? Check out this post where I lay out all the rules for the 2020 Book Bingo reading challenge, and then come back here and jump right in!

At the start of the year, I had decided to read at least two books a month. I haven’t quite stuck to that goal, because other things have taken up a lot of my time – including art! I’m hoping to remedy that during the current lock-down, so we will see how that goes.

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Book Review: Kalopsia by Lucinda Lamont

Book review Kalopsia by Lucinda LamontIt’s been a while since I’ve read a straight-up romance, so when I came across Kalopsia by Lucinda Lamont, I figured it would make for an interesting read.

Kalopsia: Book blurb

Kalopsia – (n.) The delusion of things being more beautiful than they really are.

They say you never know what goes on behind closed doors, but do you really know what goes on outside your front door either?

Kate is a twenty-something, successful woman. Funny, attractive and independent, she seemingly has everything going for her. But when it comes to love, Kate wouldn’t know a good idea if she stopped at a zebra crossing and watched it pass by in front of her.

Suffering at the hands of her mentally abusive partner, she doesn’t quite have the gumption to leave. That is, until Greg shows an interest.Continue reading