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sunday-salon-2Didn’t do as much reading as I would have liked to this week but I did make progress with all of the books that I’m currently reading (see sidebar), so that’s pleasing 🙂

I did buy a couple of new books(both for my Kindle app):

  • Imprudent King by Geoffrey Parker – a new biography of Philip II of Spain, really looking forward to this, may make it the next 16th century study subject (as that doesn’t count for the Triple Dog Dare because, studying)
  • The Beauty of Murder by AK Benedict – absolutely no idea where I saw the information for this but it looked interesting – “a serial killer wit all the time in the world” – who could possibly resist.

I will be spending most of Tuesday this coming week sitting in various hospital waiting areas as I go through the various stages of my regular retinopathy scan (or having my head examined as I prefer to call it). I will therefore have heaps of time to read, so not all bad (plus making sure your eyes work properly is generally A Good Thing). Hopefully more to report on the book front next week, hope you all have good one 🙂








sunday-salon-2It’s my birthday today, so of course that means presents, and presents mean books!

Main things to note before we get to the really good stuff is that I finished my second book of the year, The Three-Body Problem, an excellent (and award winning) piece of sci-fi translated from the Chinese. If you like lots of science in your science fiction then this is one for you.

It was so good that one of the three books I bought myself this week was the sequel:

And now to the pressies!

  • The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin – “as inventive as Agatha Christie, as hilarious as PG Wodehouse”
  • God’s Traitors by Jessie Childs – terror and faith in Elizabethan England
  • In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson – “Berlin 1933, William Dodd is America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany and is about to witness a turning point in history”
  • Numero Zero by Umberto Eco – “fuelled by conspiracy theories, Mafiosi, love, corruption, and murder”
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness – “not everyone has to be the chosen one”
  • Mr Gaunt by John Langan – and other uneasy encounters

So feeling very pleased with myself as you can imagine and hoping to do quite a lot of reading this week 🙂








sunday-salon-2It’s been a busy week but here is a re-cap of my book-related activities.

Main things to note:

  • I finally finished my first book of the year, They All Love Jack: Busting the Ripper by Bruce Robinson. It was enormous and fairly potty and I felt like I’d been reading it for millennia, but it was remarkably entertaining and I’m going to publish my review soon, hopefully tomorrow
  • I went to a book launch in London for the publication of The Girl on the Liar’s Throne by Den Patrick who is a lovely person and was accompanied by other authors Edward Cox and Jen Williams, also lovely. There was wine, and good chat and I got my book signed (so I have signed copies of the whole set)
  • I have thrown in the towel on the book embargo and I’ll be buying new things as I see them because why suffer? BUT I will be sticking to the TBR Triple Dog Dare and not reading anything bought after midnight on 31 December until April.

So, what have I bought? Because there must be a reason for dumping the no-buy rule, right?

This is what’s come into the Bride’s possession this week:

  • Den’s book obvs (as mentioned above)
  • Occupy Me by Tricia Sullivan, pre-ordered last year
  • If This is a Woman by Sarah Helm, because I enjoyed (if that’s the word) her previous book about Vera Atkins which I reviewed here
  • Murder of a Lady by Anthony Wynne because I love vintage crime and it is set in Scotland and was on my wishlist
  • Seveneves by Neal Stephenson because I had breakfast with my friend Silvery Dude and he is currently reading it and told me I would enjoy it (and he’s often though not always right about that sort of thing)
  • Disclaimer by Renee Knight because it’s the Next Big Thing – or at least it was; as always I’m a bit late to the party on this one
  • The Good Liar by Nicholas Searle because I read a review of it on Clothes in Books and it sounded interesting.

I’m going to try to be good over the next few days because it’s my birthday next week and I believe there may be a book or two amongst my presents. And I’m hoping to finish my current read, The Three Body Problem, which I’m really, really enjoying.





sunday-salon-2So here we are, Sunday once again and I still don’t have any finished books to report, but I’m being very relaxed about that because I am still actually reading, and like I mentioned last week significantly more than I was managing at the end of last year.

I’m concentrating on trying to finish Bruce Robinson’s They All Love Jack, which is all about his theory on who Jack the Ripper really was and the (alleged) cover-up which has kept his identity hidden for all these years. I’m about three-quarters of the way through and enjoying it even though in most respects it’s completely mad. I knew it was a long book but it was only when I saw a physical copy (I’m reading it on my Kindle app) that I realised just how enormous it was. I wish I’d taken a photo because stacked face forward on the shelves the copy at the front looked like it was going to plummet to the floor if you so much as glanced at it.

Some of you will have twigged that if I saw Jack in the wild that means I must have been in a bookshop and it’s true; I suspended (I prefer that to broke) my self-imposed book buying embargo on Thursday by going into Waterstones and buying two books. I had a good excuse though; I had just spent an hour in the dentist’s chair having my broken front tooth reconstructed and I reckoned I earned a treat. The treat took the form of:

The trip to the dentist and subsequent need to curl up on the sofa and feel sorry for myself meant I didn’t get to the Horror Book Club which is dat as well as I hadn’t finished the reading.

Other than that I have been good, though I’m going to a book launch this week and it’s usually pretty hard to get a book signed if you haven’t bought it, so I’ll do what has to be done 😀


sunday-salon-2So what’s been happening since my last post?

I am reading significantly more than I have been for ages, and although I haven’t finished any books so far this year I’m feeling very positive about it all. Hoping to finish either the Jack the Ripper book or the Chinese sci-fi novel, and absolutely must finish The Troop as I will hopefully be attending the Horror Book Club to discuss it this coming Thursday. So far so creepy, haven’t got to the gruesome body horror stuff yet. Ideal read for commuting 🙂

The big thing for me this week was deciding to start studying again for my own pleasure and to get my brain working. My great love is 16th century history so that’s where I’m headed, starting with Anne Boleyn and how she has been perceived by succeeding generations. I will be tracking all of this over on my other blog if you are interested.

I’m still sticking to my intention not to buy any books though I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of All the Birds in the Sky from the publisher to read and review, so that will be my next mission. Sounds wonderful so really looking forward to it.

And of course it’s my birthday at the end of the month so I’ve constructed yet another present list for the Book God to choose from. There might be some books involved there, watch this space……

IMG_0335Happy New Year to everyone that I haven’t said it to already! I hope that everyone is geared up for 2016. I’ve been doing some thinking and planning and hoping to read a lot more than I managed in 2015 (though actually I was only 4 short of my target of 52 books so think what I might have achieved if I hadn’t had that awful reading slump).

So what’s been happening since my last post? Well…

My last read of the year was Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, which I re-read after many years specifically so I could enjoy the three-part adaptation that was on the BBC over the Christmas weekend. My thoughts on the book and the programme can be found here.

I am now in full challenge mode, reading only stuff I owned at midnight on 31 December whether to help clean up my e-reader or as part of the Triple Dog Dare, both of which I have mentioned before. Although not required by either of those challenges, I have put in place a buying embargo for the full three months, so of course that meant a quick flurry of expenditure in the short window between Christmas and New Year, where I bought the following from my wish list:

I also bought a couple of short eBooks to help me develop my journalling; I’ve been keeping a daily diary for a few years now but want to get more out of it this year to help me cope with the mental health issues which blew up in 2015.

I’m still steadily working my way through The Three Body Problem and the Jack the Ripper book, and I’m about to start reading The Troop for the first Horror Book Club meeting in 10 days time. These are all eBooks so I’m also in the process of identifying a physical book to have on hand. That iPad has to charge sometime.

So here’s to a good reading year for all of us 😀

IMG_0886I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas. I was very pleased with the great selection of books I was given (picture to the right – with a couple of DVDs and an audio play).

We apply a very simple mechanism to selecting gifts – we share an enormous list of things we want, then the other selects an agreed number of presents. That means we get things we want without knowing exactly what we’re getting.

It also means that I get to make some additional purchases after the holidays to pick up things I didn’t get as presents  before I hit the end of the year and the TBR dare and self-imposed buying embargo.

But in the background I finished the Stephen King short story collection I was in the middle of this time last week, continued to move forward with Jack the Ripper and began my first read for the 2016 Sci-fi experience, The Three-Body Problem (Chinese sci-fi, very interesting).

So what did I get?:

  • The Bullet by Mary Louise Kelly – Two words: The bullet. That’s all it takes to shatter her life.
  • Abomination by Gary Whitta – “Game of Thrones by way of HP Lovecraft”
  • The Visitant by Megan Chance – A crumbling palazzo in nineteenth century Venice holds a buried secret
  • Romantic Moderns by Alexandra Harris – subtitle = English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper
  • The Lost Landscape by Joyce Carol Oates – one of my absolute favourite writers, this is “a writer’s coming of age
  • Old Man’s War by John Scalzi – because everyone tells me to read this
  • The Creation of Anne Boleyn by Susan Boyd – “in search of the Tudors’ most notorious queen” (really?) because it wouldn’t be Christmas without something about the 16th Century
  • The Rim of the Morning by William Sloane – “two tales of cosmic horror” with an introduction by Stephen King
  • The Hotel on Place Vendome by Tilar J Mazzeo – “life, death, and betrayal at the Hotel Ritz in Paris
  • The Last Policeman by Ben H Winters – can’t remember who recommended this but it’s been on my list forever
  • Made to Kill by Adam Christopher – “part Chandler, part Asimov, and part Philip K Dick” – ooooh!
  • Dreams & Shadows by C Robert Cargill – “a dark place to be

Not a bad haul! Hope Santa brought you everything you wanted too. Back to normal next weekend when the dares and challenges will be underway, and I’ll know my books read total for 2015!

sunday-salon-2This week has been dominated by the advent of Star Wars: The Force Awakens – anticipation, seeing the movie and trying not to talk about it so as not to spoil it for anyone else 😀

But in the background I finished the Stephen King short story collection I was in the middle of this time last week, continued to move forward with Jack the Ripper and began my first read for the 2016 Sci-fi experience, The Three-Body Problem (Chinese sci-fi, very interesting).

I’m still more or less sticking to my buying embargo but three book said make it onto my Kindle app this week:

  • My Work is Not Yet Done by Thomas Ligotti, for one of the Horror Book Club readings next year
  • The Pickwick Papers, for a very lengthy read along next year which I really want to take part in
  • The Thing Itself by Adam Roberts, which I had pre-ordered and was delivered on publication; quite excited about this one so I suspect I might read it pretty soon.

And it’s less than a week until the buying ban is lifted for a short period of time, then I’m planning to run it alongside the TBR Triple Dog Dare challenge and buy nothing from 1 January to 1 April, except pre-ordered stuff of course. I managed to this year and cleared quite a few books from Mount TBR so hoping for good things in 2016.

Hope everyone has a very happy Christmas, though I’ll be posting next Sunday as normal because there might be a small book or two under the tree for me, and I won’t be able to resist sharing the details 😀


sunday-salon-2I haven’t made a huge amount of progress since last week’s post. In terms of books it was:

  • 1 finished (Slade House, which I loved),
  • 1 progressed ( the Jack the Ripper book, which is proving to be as entertainingly mad as I had been led to believe), and
  • 1 started (Stephen King short stories which I am galloping through at a rate of knots, if you don’t mind a mixed metaphor)

so not at all bad.

In keeping with the pre-Christmas buying embargo I have not brought any new books into the house, and all the bookish shaped Christmas presents are hidden away, waiting to be wrapped for the big day itself.

In the next few days I’ll be publishing my sign-up posts for the challenges I mentioned last week but I’m going to break with my usual habit and not make any reading lists; I’m going to spend the first 3 months reading whatever takes my fancy, apart from a couple of book club reads which I already have anyway.

And I finally published my thoughts on The Girl on the Train if you are at all interested; the link is here.

sunday-salon-2Another quiet reading week, with progress made on the Mitchell and Robinson books I mentioned in last week’s post, and I also finished the Bryant & May short stories this morning. I’ve been mostly working at home and it’s clear that I miss the natural reading time that commuting into London gave me (it’s amazing what you can read in a 25 minute train journey twice a day), so I have to find a way to carve out time in my home-working day.

The coming week should be better because I not only have a day in London but a trip to Manchester, and although I tend to work on the way there I always read on the way back, and that’s nearly 3 hours, so surely I can male a dent in something 🙂

I’m behind on my blogging, still haven’t written up my thoughts on The Girl on the Train and now have the short story volume post to write to; may get to one of those this evening.

I am going to sign up to some parallel challenges:

  • The TBR Double Dog Dare – 3 months of only reading what I own at midnight on 31 December. I may run a buying embargo alongside this but not sure – maybe only for January;
  • The 2016 Sci-Fi Experience – not really a challenge and already underway (started on 1 December) I’m being realistic and only participating seriously in January;
  • The Clean Your Reader Challenge which is basically the same as the TBR one in intention and timing, the difference being its the stuff on your Kindle that you’ve forgotten about. Oh, and there’s a lot on mine, believe me.

Mysterious packages are coming into the all the time now as Christmas presents are delivered, but I haven’t bought anything for myself since mid-November. Feeling smugly virtuous.

Bride of the Book God

Follow brideofthebook on Twitter

Scottish, in my fifties, love books but not always able to find the time to read them as much as I would like. I’m based in London and happily married to the Book God.

I also blog at Bride of the Screen God (all about movies and TV) and The Dowager Bride, if you are interested in ramblings about stuff of little consequence

If you would like to get in touch you can contact me at brideofthebookgod (at) btinternet (dot) com.

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March 2023