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sunday-salon-2It’s nearly December. How did that happen so fast?

It’s been a quiet but positive reading week for me. I have finished reading The Girl on the Train and I’ll have more to say about it when I post my review in the next day or so, but main impression is that it was a very enjoyable thriller but not the groundbreaker that marketing suggested it would be. But I did like it and who cares about marketing anyway?

I have now started reading They All Love Jack by Bruce Robinson (yes, the guy who directed Withnail and I). It’s a looong book about Jack the Ripper, a topic I have been unable to resist over the years, and I’ve made it through the first chapter which has left me with two distinct impressions (1) this author has some significant bees in his bonnet which he’s not afraid of sharing, and (2) I feel like I am being lectured by someone with the CAPS lock permanently on. I think I may have Thoughts about this when I finish it. It’s a book that may require reading in small chunks so I have identified a couple of others to bring me a bit of relief – Christopher Fowler’s book of Bryant & May short stories and Slade House by David Mitchell. The Bone Clocks was one of my favourite reads from earlier this year so I’m expecting a lot from this one.

No new books came into the house this week; feeling virtuous 😀

sunday-salon-2Short and sweet this week.

I’m still reading The Girl on the Train and enjoying it very much. I can see why there have been comparisons to Gone Girl, but it feels like a different beast to me. Hope to finish it soon, but have been distracted by Jessica Jones. What can I say, a bright and shiny new thing with bonus David Tennant in full-on evil mode.

Only two new things of a bookish nature arrived this week; one was a Joyce Carol Oates short story and the other something I pre-ordered a while back, July in fact, The Promise of the Child by Tom Toner. Both for Kindle.

The book-buying embargo is otherwise holding as I submitted my Christmas wishlist to the Book God this afternoon. Some very very interesting things on there, wonder what I will receive 🙂


Well, not only have I finally finished the book that I’ve been reading for a month but I’ve read a second book from cover to cover and know exactly (and am quite excited about) what I’m going to read next.

It’s probably too early to say that the reading slump is really, genuinely over but it looks promising and I was so relieved to feel that pull from a really good book that keeps you hooked and you don’t want to put the thing down.

So, in terms of the books read:

  • My Bloody Valentine by Alistair Gunn, the second in the DI Antonia Hawkins police series; another serial killer novel and not without its problems which I’ll talk about when I finally get around to writing up my review but quite satisfying nevertheless
  • The Uninvited by Liz Jensen, creepy end of the world as we know it thriller, the third of her novels that I have read and the third that I have enjoyed so that’s all good

Books have still been creeping into the house but the book buying embargo is still holding. We visited our closes Waterstones yesterday (just to check it was still there) and we did buy the new Nigella Lawson cookery book but that doesn’t count because (1) my husband paid for it and (2) it’s a practical thing.

  • The Straw King by Danielle Paige, another in the series of novellas attached to her Dorothy Must Die series
  • Home by Nightfall by Charles Finch, the umpteenth Charles Lenox novel; I have loved them all, looking forward to this one but have graciously allowed the Book God to read first because I’m nice that way.

I will be finalising my (lengthy) Christmas wish-list this week, so that will be fun, and hoping to read at least one novel. Wish me luck!


The slump continues. I still haven’t finished anything though I did do a bit of reading this week, though not as much as I would have liked because there was a dinner, and then a champagne and cocktail evening, and lots of work and dentists and at the end of each day I just collapsed all of a heap and couldn’t concentrate on anything.

I haven’t even made up the Christmas list I mentioned last week, though I have ben mulling over what it will include.

I have, however, been receiving pre-ordered books this week, much to my excitement and this bodes well for getting my reading mojo back. I’m not abandoning the book that I have been reading for 3 weeks because I do actually want to know who the murderer is and why. But on to the new stuff.

Physical books

These are both collections of short stories by two of my favourite authors.


These four are all novellas so I should have no excuse for racing through them.

I was also lent a book by my friend The Moff – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, and once again I will be the last person in the known galaxy to read this, so don’t tell me what happens!


Well, that was a longer break from the Salon than I intended. I was a bit surprised to see that my last proper post was on 13 September and here we are on 1 November with Halloween out of the way, Guy Fawkes on the horizon and *whispers* Christmas just around the corner.

I mention Christmas only because today also marks the beginning of a book buying embargo. Because the Book God and I tend to buy each other books and DVDs and music for Christmas we have a deal that from 1 November until Boxing Day we don’t buy ourselves anything so that we can swap extensive Wish Lists. So, yesterday I bought the last book for myself before presents are exchanged, John Connolly’s Night Music: Nocturnes 2. I’m usually pretty good at sticking to this self-imposed ban, and the only exceptions are those books I’ve pre-ordered but not yet received, so new things will appear, just not unplanned purchases.

Since I last wrote a proper post I have read the princely sum of 2.5 books. Dreadful really considering that I was on holiday in Vienna for 10 days and I usually do a lot of reading when I’m away, but not this year. The reading slump is still fully in place but I’m beginning to feel vague stirrings that as the cooler weather arrives I will turn to books more and more.

And I want to blog more regularly too, so I really need to get the reading muscles exercised or I will have nothing to talk about 🙂

Vienna was fantastic, by the way!


Drum roll please.

I have finished a whole book. Really. *Fanfare*

OK, so it was a re-read of The Shining for a book club I never made it too, but I have broken a month-long slump and hope that it’s the start of getting back to normal.

I also abandoned a book, again one I was reading for The Horror Book Club, and again I didn’t make it to the meeting (this time because I was a bit unwell). This was also a re-read, of I Am Legend which I had read before and liked but this time round found just far too bleak for the mood I have been in recently. Sticking to my guns over not going on with things I’m not enjoying because there are so many books and life is already too short to get to them all.

Still buying of course 😀

Those were all Kindle books so I can pretend they’re not real. I also pre-ordered a couple of books but I’ll talk about them when they finally appear on my device.

But hurrah! I’ve read a book!!


Still buying. Still reading. Still ahead of annual target.

Still not finishing anything 😦

Since my last post I’ve started reading a fifth book,  a non-fiction piece that I’m not sure I’ll review (or even mention at the moment because Complex Feelings), and I have added the following to Mount TBR:

Both bought as a result of readings at the SRFC at the end of August. Love that group, not sure my credit card agrees 😀

Then on Tuesday I found myself stuck in Birmingham with quite a lot of time to kill before my train back to London, and the splendid New Street branch of Waterstones beckoned and I couldn’t walk out without buying something, so this happened:

The first two were on my wish-list already but the Mitchell was a lovely surprise; she is one of my absolute favourite crime writers and I have never come across this one before so this was exciting.

And finally, just because I could:

Really must do better 🙂


So here’s the thing. Every time this week I have sat down to read a book I have fallen asleep, regardless of the time of day and (mostly) regardless of location i.e. I haven’t fallen asleep on public transport. Yet. Well, not because I was reading anyway.

But I’m still ahead of my target to read a book a week so I’m not panicking. Also yet.

Of course not reading – or, to be more accurate, not finishing – books hasn’t stopped me from bringing more into the house (mostly but not exclusively invisible Kindle books). This week I have managed to get a hold of:

And despite the fact that I have made no or little progress with the three books I was reading this time last week I have started a fourth – Hannibal Rising by Thomas Harris, largely because I am so taken with Bryan Fuller’s TV series Hannibal (which is based on the characters and bits of the plot but isn’t a direct adaptation) that I thought I would pick up the only book in the series I hadn’t yet read, especially as it was kicking around.

Hopefully a better story to tell next week 🙂

sunday-salon-2Very little reading done this week for reasons which I can’t easily identify but probably have something to do with Life 🙂

I am making good progress with The Shining but wasn’t able to make it to the book club meeting which was probably just as well; enjoying it hugely – I just love Stephen King, always have.

I have continued to add to the Invisible TBR pile that is my Kindle app with the following:

  • Shutter Man by Richard Montanari – the ninth Byrne and Balzano book, a series i have become mildly obsessed with this year;
  • Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand – acid folk band recording in country house with dark secrets;
  • In Plain Sight by Dan Davies – the life and lies of Jimmy Savile, an exploration of the dreadful sexual crimes of a man who was once really huge on UK TV. reading this because of an long-standing interest in true crime but also it has been nominated for a major non-fiction award;
  • The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons – another gothic historical literary chunkster featuring Sherlock Holmes and Henry James;
  • Open Season by Archer Mayor – this is the first of 23 or so Joe Gunther mysteries set in New England; I know nothing about this author but it was mentioned in an article about S3 of True Detective and where it might (should) be set and it sounded intriguing.

Must do better 😀

sunday-salon-2Astonishingly, I have actually finished a book, albeit a relatively short one and assisted by being on a train for a few hours but it’s an achievement nevertheless and I am hopeful that my reading slump is over. I still have the other three books I mentioned last week on the go but haven’t yet identified a new book in the hard copy fiction category; still mulling that over.

The book I did finish was The Collini Case and my review is here.

As I mentioned last week I am re-reading The Shining for a book club and I had forgotten how good it is; really enjoying it, which is just as well as the meeting is on Thursday and I have to finish it by then.

I’m also still buying books, though not as many as in previous months which is probably just as well. In fact only three purchases since my last post; a book of short stories by Paul Cornell on Kindle, the Emma Trevayne novel I heard her read from at the end of last month and a novel by Louise O’Neill, again on Kindle and picked up only this morning after reading a reference to it on the Book Smugglers website.

Hoping to continue making reading progress this week 😀

Bride of the Book God

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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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September 2020