Friday, 3 October 2014

Reading Wrap-Up | August + September 2014

After a little hiatus my reading wrap-ups are back, and today I'll be sharing with you what I read in August and September. Considering I was finishing up my MA portfolio and just generally stressing out throughout both of these months I got more reading done than I expected!

by Katherine Howe

My Rating: 

Connie Goodwin should be spending her summer doing research for her Ph.D. dissertation in American History. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, she's compelled to help. It's not long before the time she's set aside for research is instead spent sorting through her grandmother's ancient possessions, discovering a woman she barely knew. One day, while exploring the dusty bookshelves in the study, Connie discovers a key hidden within an old bible. And within the key is a brittle slip of paper with two words written on it: Deliverance Dane. Along with a handsome steeplejack named Sam, Connie begins to dig into the town's records, looking for references to Deliverance Dane. But even as the pieces begin to fall into place, Connie is haunted by visions of the witch trials so long ago, and she begins to fear that she is more tied to Salem's dark past than she could have ever imagined. 

The first book I read in August was a re-read for me. I first discovered The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane in my local library and enjoyed it that much that I had to get my own copy. It had flaws in places - the villain was a little too obvious and the ending felt a little rushed - but I enjoyed it just as much as the first time I read it. Connie's a very relatable heroine and I love her mother, too. Not to mention Sam, the love interest, who I certainly wouldn't kick out of bed.

by Terry Deary

My Rating: 

Want to know:-- who invited Queen Elizabeth I to visit his brand new toilet?
- what you get when you sew the front of a chicken to the back of a pig?
- how to catch jail fever if you've never been to prison?

Read on for amazing information about the good times and the gory - from the fabulous fun of the great goose fairs and the harmless horrors of Shakespeare's plays, to the vicious variety of painful punishments and the terrible trickery of the ruthless royal family.

History has never been so horrible!

I grew up on the Horrible Histories books, they might be non-fiction but this series was one of my absolute favourites when I was little and I devoured them. Over the past few years it's garnered a whole new fanbase following the success of the show on CBBC and new, bright editions of the books have been released for a whole new generation of kids to enjoy. But I will always love the editions I grew up with which I sadly lost some years ago (I have a feeling my Mum donated them to charity), so when I discovered an entire box of the books in the editions I grew up with on a market stall there was no way I was walking away empty-handed. They were only 70p each, so I ended up picking up some of my favourites, including this one! One night I couldn't sleep, so I read this and it was really comforting. I love these books.

by Mira Grant

My Rating: 

Shaun Mason is a man without a mission. Not even running the news organization he built with his sister has the same urgency as it used to. Playing with dead things just doesn't seem as fun when you've lost as much as he has.

But when a CDC researcher fakes her own death and appears on his doorstep with a ravenous pack of zombies in tow, Shaun has a newfound interest in life. Because she brings news-he may have put down the monster who attacked them, but the conspiracy is far from dead.

Now, Shaun hits the road to find what truth can be found at the end of a shotgun.

The last book I read in August was the second book in Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy. As expected, it was amazing and I loved it and I had to start the third book, Blackout, straight away. I haven't had much of a chance to really get into the third book yet, but I'm hoping to complete the trilogy this month! If you haven't picked up this series yet then frankly I don't know what you're doing with your life.

by Daphne du Maurier

My Rating: 

The Restoration Court knows Lady Dona St Columb to be ripe for any folly, any outrage that will relieve the tedium of her days. But there is another, secret Dona who longs for a life of honest love - and sweetness, even if it is spiced with danger. Dona flees London for remote Navron, looking for peace of mind in its solitary woods and hidden creeks. She finds there the passion her spirit craves - in the love of a daring pirate hunted across Cornwall, a Frenchman who, like Dona, would gamble his life for a moment's joy.

In September I finally read my first Daphne du Maurier book! I was going to read Rebecca, but I've heard such amazing things about it that I didn't want to read Rebecca first and ruin du Maurier's other books for me. Being the lover of historical fiction that I am I decided to pick up Frenchman's Creek instead, and I really, really enjoyed it; it was just the kind of fun adventure/romance story I needed after finishing up my MA, and now I can't wait to read more du Maurier!

by Celia Rees

My Rating: 

Ellen Forrest is sick, she feels as if the life is being sucked out of her. The doctors think that she is suffering from a disease of the blood, and she has been sent to her grandmother's house to rest, but she seems to be getting worse, not better. Can it have anything to do with the diaries she has found in the attic? Diaries written in Victorian times by her great great grandmother. Diaries that describe an encounter with a handsome young Count who comes from the Land Beyond the Forest. 

Ellen likes a vampire story, who doesn't? The difference is that this one just happens to be true…

I wanted to cross at least one book off my Autumn TBR in September, so considering Blood Sinister isn't even 200 pages long it seemed like the perfect choice. It was okay. It wasn't the worst book I've read, but it wasn't particularly special either, although it was fun to read about people watching videos - you just can't beat the '90s! If you're in the mood to read something easy this Halloween then I recommend you pick it up, but don't expect to be wowed.

What have you read recently?

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