April 2019 Wrap Up

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How can it be May already?  I swear someone has pressed the fast-forward button on my life!  Welcome to my April wrap up in which I’ll talk about a couple of events I attended, the films I’ve seen and the 9 books I managed to read which for me is amazing!

Bookish Events

I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch party for The Flatshare on 10th April.  I adored The Flatshare – I am positive it will be in my top 10 of 2019 and the way things are going I think it will be number 1!  The team at Quercus did a great job of recreating Tiffy and Leon’s flat.  I was a little shy as I went on my own but the team from Quercus were so welcoming and Beth herself is just so lovely.  She did a short reading from the book and was happy to listen to me gush to her about how much I loved it.

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The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

On 30th April I was invited to view the Folio Society summer collection.  This event is always a treat.  Held in their offices, it is an intimate affair – this time there were just 5 of us and the staff are so passionate and knowledgeable about the books.  And there is the added bonus of being able to see every Folio book ever published around the offices.  I always leave with a huge wish list.  I plan to write a longer blog post in the next day or so, so be sure to look out for it!  For a sneak peak of the new collection, take a look at the picture below.

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The Folio Summer Collection 2019

Wrap Up

I’ve read a total of 9 books this month – I’d committed to a lot of blog tours this month and I just about managed them all.  Going forwards though I hope to do less, and read more of the books on my shelves!  Follow the links on the titles for my reviews.

41436051 The Passengers by John Marrs

Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide.
When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.
The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?

How did I get it? I received an ARC from Penguin

41716125 My Sister’s Lies by S D Robertson

For a decade, Hannah’s life has been pretty close to perfect – she has a great job, she’s married to Mark, and her child-free existence means she’s free as a bird. The only sadness in her life is a fall-out with her sister Diane, who hasn’t spoken to her in over ten years. But now Diane is on her doorstep – and this time, she’s got her teenage daughter Mia in tow.
When Diane asks if Mia can stay with Hannah and Mark for a few days, Hannah is glad of the chance to get to know her niece. But as the days turn into weeks and Diane doesn’t return, Hannah begins to worry. Why hasn’t her sister been in touch?
Diane is carrying a devastating secret that will destroy Hannah’s carefully constructed life. But how much is she willing to reveal – and when will she pick her moment?

How did I get it? I received a copy from Avon Books for a blog tour

44907085 The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Tiffy Moore and Leon Twomey each have a problem and need a quick fix.
Tiffy’s been dumped by her cheating boyfriend and urgently needs a new flat. But earning minimum wage at a quirky publishing house means that her choices are limited in London.
Leon, a palliative care nurse, is more concerned with other people’s welfare than his own. Along with working night shifts looking after the terminally ill, his sole focus is on raising money to fight his brother’s unfair imprisonment.
Leon has a flat that he only uses 9 to 5. Tiffy works 9 to 5 and needs a place to sleep. The solution to their problems? To share a bed of course…
As Leon and Tiffy’s unusual arrangement becomes a reality, they start to connect through Post-It notes left for each other around the flat.
Can true love blossom even in the unlikeliest of situations?
Can true love blossom even if you never see one another?
Or does true love blossom when you are least expecting it?

How did I get it? I received a ARC from Quercus books and loved it so much, I brought a copy for my forever shelf

40584479 Sleep by C L Taylor

All Anna wants is to be able to sleep. But crushing insomnia, terrifying night terrors and memories of that terrible night are making it impossible. If only she didn’t feel so guilty…To escape her past, Anna takes a job at a hotel on the remote Scottish island of Rum, but when seven guests join her, what started as a retreat from the world turns into a deadly nightmare.
Each of the guests have a secret but one of them is lying – about who they are and why they’re on the island. There’s a murderer staying in the Bay View hotel. And they’ve set their sights on Anna.
Seven strangers. Seven secrets. One deadly lie.
Someone’s going to sleep and never wake up…

How did I get it? I received an ARC from Avon Books for a blog tour

43090923 The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious books the prisoners have managed to smuggle past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the secret librarian of Auschwitz, responsible for the safekeeping of the small collection of titles, as well as the ‘living books’ – prisoners of Auschwitz who know certain books so well, they too can be ‘borrowed’ to educate the children in the camp.
But books are extremely dangerous. They make people think. And nowhere are they more dangerous than in Block 31 of Auschwitz, the children’s block, where the slightest transgression can result in execution, no matter how young the transgressor…

How did I get it? I received a copy from Penguin Books for a blog tour

39932930 Vox by Christina Dalcher

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.
On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.
This is just the beginning.
Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.
But this is not the end.
For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

How did I get it? I received a paperback copy from HQ as a Vox Champion, but also own a Hardback version which I bought for myself.

41716140 Envy by Amanda Robson

Erica has always wanted to be exactly like her neighbour, Faye: beautiful, thin, and a mother. But Faye’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems – she has a terrible secret, and slowly but surely, it is threatening to destroy her and everything she holds dear.
When Faye’s daughter Tamsin goes missing after school, the police turn to Erica. But is Erica the only one who has been enviously watching Faye? Or is there another threat hiding in the shadows…?

How did I get it? I received a copy from Avon Books for a blog tour

40692656 Perfect Crime by Helen Fields

Your darkest moment is your most vulnerable…
Stephen Berry is about to jump off a bridge until a suicide prevention counsellor stops him. A week later, Stephen is dead. Found at the bottom of a cliff, DI Luc Callanach and DCI Ava Turner are drafted in to investigate whether he jumped or whether he was pushed…
As they dig deeper, more would-be suicides roll in: a woman found dead in a bath; a man violently electrocuted. But these are carefully curated deaths – nothing like the impulsive suicide attempts they’ve been made out to be.
Little do Callanach and Turner know how close their perpetrator is as, across Edinburgh, a violent and psychopathic killer gains more confidence with every life he takes…

How did I get it? I received a copy from Avon Books for a blog tour

40698027 A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C A Fletcher

My name’s Griz. My childhood wasn’t like yours. I’ve never had friends, and in my whole life I’ve not met enough people to play a game of football.
My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.
Then the thief came.
There may be no law left except what you make of it. But if you steal my dog, you can at least expect me to come after you.
Because if we aren’t loyal to the things we love, what’s the point?

How did I get it? I received a copy from Orbit Books for a blog tour

Movies

Before kids, my husband and I would be at the cinema every week, taking it in turns to choose what film we wanted to see.  Since having kids, we have seem our fair share of cartoons!  But now the kids are older (12 & 17) we can now see pretty much what we want either with or without them. So here are the films we have seen this month

San Andreas (2015)

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This was a Saturday night home on the sofa movie! A seemingly ideal day turns disastrous when California’s notorious San Andreas fault triggers a devastating, magnitude 9 earthquake, the largest in recorded history. As the Earth cracks open and buildings start to crumble, Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson), an LAFD search-and-rescue helicopter pilot, must navigate the destruction from Los Angeles to San Francisco to bring his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) and their only daughter (Alexandra Daddario) to safety.
I love disaster movies – they are my favourite type of movie and the more disastrous the better!  This one has everything – buildings falling down, tsunamis, helicopter crashes.  And Dwayne Johnson is so cool – he can do anything! I really enjoyed this one!

Dumbo (2019)

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I really wanted to see this at the cinema as I’m a huge Disney fan and still have a soft spot for kids films.  I’m not that familiar with the original (in fact I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the whole thing or just clips).  Set just after World War 1 in a circus that has seen better days, Dumbo is born but is soon the laughing stock of the circus because of his big ears. Equestrian performer, Holt Farrier played by Colin Farrell and his children are given the job of looking after Dumbo and before long the children discover he can fly!  As word spreads, V. A. Vandevere, the entrepreneur and owner of Dreamland amusement park buys the circus out hoping to make a fortune from Dumbo’s talents.
I really enjoyed this – Dumbo is just adorable and the special effect are faultless.  I’m not sure who it is aimed at though – there were some younger children in the audience when we watched it and I think some of the plot went over their heads and they got a bit restless.  Maybe these films are really aimed at 45 year old women!

Avengers Endgame (2019)

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Living in a houseful of Marvel nuts, we saw this on the day it opened, even though it meant keeping my 12 year old up until 11pm (he didn’t mind!)
I was very excited about seeing it – we have re-watched a few of the Marvel movies recently, especially the ones that mentioned infinity stones so we felt we had all the background in place.  I really had no idea what was going to happen and hadn’t really bothered to come up with any theories.  I know a lot of people still haven’t watched it and I don’t want to spoil anything but I can say I laughed, I cried and I really enjoyed it.

The Conjuring (2013)

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I love a good horror film and The Conjuring was very tense and spooky!  When the Perron family move to their new farmhouse, they soon realise there are strange paranormal happenings which terrify the whole family, including strange noises and ghostly figures.  They employ the services of Ed and Lorraine Warren who are paranormal investigators.
I felt really jumpy while watching this but the story didn’t flow quite right.  Maybe the fact that it is based on a true story affected the pacing. But overall I did enjoy it – it was certainly atmospheric and scary so worth a watch it you like haunted house and possession films!

Looking forward to May, I’m hoping to see Avengers Endgame for the second time.  I feel there must have been so much I missed the first time round.  Detective Pikachu looks funny and I have to see the live remake of Aladdin.  My son also expressed an interest in Godzilla: King of the Monsters so I may also see that too.

TV

I watch a lot less TV than in the past as I’m always reading.  But here is what I have been watching:

Sex Education (2019)sex
Sex Education is a comedy-drama series that is based around a group of teenagers at 6th form college.  The focus of the series is socially awkward teenager Otis (Asa Butterfield) is ambivalent about sex, despite his mother (Gillian Anderson) being a sex therapist who is perhaps too frank about all aspects of sexuality. After inadvertently assisting the school bully with his sexual performance anxiety, Otis sets up a sex advice business with Maeve—a confident but vulnerable classmate—to educate their fellow students in how to deal with their own sexual problems.

This is so funny (and quite rude) and I really enjoyed the series.

Personal stuff

I’ve been suffering this month with a broken toe!  After moaning last month about my eye, you’d be forgiven for thinking I’m a bit of a mess medically but I’m actually generally quite healthy!  I managed to catch it and my god was it painful!  But apparently there isn’t much you can do for a broken toe, apart from rest!  So I have been hobbling round at work and putting up with a little fat toe and a bruised foot!

I had a few days off over Easter and it was nice to spend time with the family.  We ate out a few times and also went and did an Easter Egg hunt at a National Trust property.

My sister and nephew also came to visit, as my sister had signed up to run the Brighton 10K.  She did amazingly well and got a personal best and I was so pleased to be able to watch her and support her.

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And that’s it! I hope April has treated you well.  I’m looking forward to May and hopefully some warmer weather!

4 comments

  1. You’ve had a great month of reading! Several of the books I remember from your reviews and the hacked automobiles (Passengers) sounds excellent.

    I hope your toe is better. Breaking your toe or anything, doesn’t sound like much fun

    Liked by 1 person

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