Monday, 30 June 2014

Reading Wrap-Up | June 2014

I gave myself an incredibly ambitious TBR at the start of this month and then, naturally, fell into a huge reading slump that I only managed to climb out of in the last week of the month. Even so, I managed to read three books and a short story this month so it could have been worse - I could have read nothing at all!

by Polly Bloom

My Rating: 

A treasure trove of age-old customs and time honoured advice, as well as eccentric old wives' tales, this book includes:

A brief history of old wives' lore
Remedies for health and well being
Practical guidance for home and garden
Tips on predicting the weather
Superstitions and hokum

I found this little book in The Works for a very cheap price, and it's probably not the kind of book you'd expect you'd expect to see mentioned on a book blog, but as some of you know I'm currently working on a historical fiction novel and my protagonist is a healer. I decided to pick this book up to see if it would come in handy and it did actually provide me with a few tidbits I can use in my writing, as well as teaching me how haemorrhoids played a part in the Battle of Waterloo!

by Marissa Meyer

My Rating: 

Next I read another of Marissa Meyer's short stories set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles. This little story follows Carswell Thorne as a little boy and shows us what really happened regarding the incident with Kate Fallow. It was such an adorable little read, and it was great fun to be back in this world!

by Livi Michael

My Rating: 

Wouldn't you like to save your family, Jennet?

Jennet's family all believe they are witches. Other folk think they are, too. But 1612 is a dangerous time to be a witch. When her family are imprisoned and put on trial in Lancaster Castle, Jennet's evidence will help decide their fate.

Next up was some middle grade historical fiction, and it's been so long since I read any middle grade that this was a lot of fun to read. I had the pleasure of meeting Livi Michael a couple of months ago at the Children's Literature Festival in Lancaster, which was where I bought my copy of Malkin Child (which she very kindly signed for me) and went to an event where she talked about writing the book and read out some extracts.

This is a very touching story based on the Pendle Witch trials of 1612. I definitely recommend checking it out!

by Marcus Sedgwick

My Rating: 

At first, Jamie isn't too worried about the bad dreams he's been having since coming to his aunt's house. Most people awoken in the middle of the night to find their house burning down would probably have nightmares, too. But instead of fire, he keeps dreaming of a "horrible, scary old woman," relentlessly coming after him for some awful, inexplicable purpose. Even though he's come to Aunt Jane's to recover from the fire's aftermath, he doesn't want to bother her or his cousin Alison with his silly fears. He can see that they are very busy with their village's community service project--cleaning off an age-old carving on the side of hill that overlooks the town. But when the carving turns out to be a peculiar primordial figure instead of the "crown" that the people of Crownshill expected to see, and Jamie uncovers evidence of an ancient witchcraft trial in local history papers, he is swept into a centuries-old mystery to which he unwittingly has the key. Who is the old crone chasing him, and what does she want? Jamie will have to endure an experience worse than fire to find out.

After Malkin Child I jumped into another middle grade book, and my first Marcus Sedgwick book. This was a fun, spooky little novella which, like Malkin Child, I read in the space of about an hour. I didn't enjoy this read quite as much; oddly enough, even though Malkin Child is based off real events, I actually found Witch Hill more predictable and a little boring. I'd still recommend it to any younger readers, though!

What did you read this month?


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