Sunday Post – 19th February 2017


Sunday Post

This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books and blogs they have written.

Himself has had the week off work. We have mostly stayed at home, because my half term break is next week *sigh*… That said, we did manage to have a couple of days when we chilled together and had lunch at our favourite place.

The weather has been variable, starting cold and wet but steadily getting warmer and sunnier – yesterday was fabulous so we went for a walk over Kithurst Hill. The views were wonderful and for the first time this year, it felt more like spring than winter. I’m not kidding myself – I’m aware that next week it could quite easily snow, but still… there it was – a slice of sunshine! The bonus was during the walk I talked through my ideas for Miranda’s Tempest, as since Christmas I’ve felt like I was wading through concrete on the rewrite. J is a really good listener and together we discussed some of the issues that I’d got stuck on, so I’m hoping to make much better progress this coming week, when I can fully concentrate on it.

As you can see, I’ve had a great reading week with a tranche of entertaining and in one case, outstanding books to read – though it looks a tad more impressive than it is, given one was a novella and one was a children’s book.

This week I have read:

The Vanishing Throne – Book 2 of The Falconer series by Elizabeth May
Aileana took a stand against the Wild Hunt, and she lost everything: her home, her family and her thevanishingthronefriends. Held captive by her enemy, and tormenting herself over her failure, escape seems like only the faintest possibility.

I encountered the first book, The Falconer, at the beginning of the year and loved the intense, brutal writing style of this YA genre mash-up, so was delighted when this offering became available at the local library. There’s no second-book slump here – May continues where the first book leaves off in this adrenaline rush of an adventure. I will be reviewing it in due course.

Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey
mirandaandcalibanMiranda is a lonely child. For as long as she can remember, she and her father have lived in isolation in the abandoned Moorish palace. There are chickens and goats, and a terrible wailing spirit trapped in a pine tree, but the elusive wild boy who spies on her from the crumbling walls and leaves gifts on their doorstep is the isle’s only other human inhabitant. There are other memories, too: vague, dream-like memories of another time and another place. There are questions that Miranda dare not ask her stern and controlling father, who guards his secrets with zealous care: Who am I? Where did I come from?

This beautifully written love story is mostly the prequel to Shakespeare’s The Tempest though you don’t have to know a thing about the play to become engrossed in the events of the enchanted island. I loved this one – it is my favourite book of the year to date.

Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds
A vast conflict, one that has encompassed hundreds of worlds and solar systems, appears to be finally at slowbulletsan end. A conscripted soldier is beginning to consider her life after the war and the family she has left behind. But for Scur—and for humanity—peace is not to be.

This space opera novella offers a cracking adventure with plenty of twists and turns, along with some interesting concepts. The slow bullets of the title are identity chips buried deep within a person that record all their major life events. They are impossible to change or over-write. So what happens in a crisis when your life and who you are can be read for all to see?

Artie Conan Doyle and the Gravediggers’ Club – Book 1 of the Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries by Robert J. Harris
thegravediggersclubOne day Arthur Conan Doyle will create the greatest detective of all – Sherlock Holmes. But right now, Artie Conan Doyle is a twelve-year-old Edinburgh schoolboy with a mystery of his own to solve. While sneaking out to explore Greyfriars Kirkyard by night, Artie and his best friend Ham spot a ghostly lady in grey and discover the footprints of a gigantic hound. Could the two mysteries be connected?

This entertaining historical mystery adventure for children tripped along at a fair clip, with the main protagonist, Artie Conan Doyle, seeming very familiar with fans who have read any Sherlock Holmes stories.


My posts last week:

Sunday Post – 12th February 2017

Review of A Closed and Common Orbit – Book 2 of the Wayfarers’ series by Becky Chambers

Teaser Tuesday featuring Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL – Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL – Slow Bullets by Alastair Reynolds

Friday Face-off – Drivin’ Along in my Automobile… featuring Ill Wind – Book 1 of the Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine

NEW RELEASE SPECIAL – Review of Artie Conan Doyle and the Gravediggers’ Club – Book 1 of the Artie Conan Doyle mysteries by Robert J. Harris

Interesting/outstanding blogs and articles that have caught my attention during the last week, in no particular order:

10 of the Best Wendy Cope Poems Everyone Should Read Once more this great blog has produced an entertaining informative article I really enjoyed.

Girl from Mars, on the telephone I love the sheer quirkiness of this pic…

Take My Hand, We Will Walk I love the simplicity of this short poem, which also has been very apt this week. Himself and I had a walk just like this one – something we should do more often.

When Dedications Leave Something To Be Desired Oh, this is hilarious! I howled with laughter and then shared the fun with J…

Interview with Sir Kipling from the Lily Singer series by Lydia Sherrer I’ve seen book characters interviewed before, but never with more entertaining snark than this gem…

Thank you for visiting and taking the time and trouble to comment – and may you have a wonderful reading and blogging week.

33 responses »

  1. Glad to hear you found sometime to enjoy with Himself 🙂

    I hear you. The weather is totally nuts. For us it was from snowstorms last week to warm in the mid 50s today! We are even having a cookout today 🙂 Hope you get lots of writing done this week Sarah!

  2. Sounds like a lovely week…we had a mix of rain and sunshine, too, yet really hard rains followed up the brief spring-like day.

    Miranda and Caliban looks intriguing; The Tempest is probably my favorite Shakespearean play, although a movie based on it (from 1982) has stayed with me longer than the play.

    Enjoy your week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

    • I highly recommend Miranda and Caliban. I, too, love The Tempest:). You sound like your weather is a bit more further along than ours. Today has been cool and cloudy, though at least it is still without that knifing wind, but definitely back to winter. I hope you, too, have a good week, Laurel:).

    • I think I remember that movie Laurel- Rain (and hope you don’t mind me jumping in here). Is that the one with Raul Julia? I remember it being quite atmospheric. I think John Cassavetes was in it?

  3. Even if you’re not going anywhere, just doing some different things than usual can still be fun. Sounds like you had a nice lunch, what kind of place is it where you had lunch? Your weather sounds similar to what we had here, some rain, but also some beautiful days where it felt like spring was almost here and I even opened the windows a few times. Sounds like you had a good reading week and got a lot read! And thanks so much for linking to my interview with Sir Kipling! Have a great week!

    • You’re very welcome – I thoroughly enjoyed the Sir Kipling interview:). It was our old friend The Sea Lane cafe where we had lunch, though on both days the sun was shining. Yesterday a lot of hardy souls were eating outside but I don’t do al fresco in this country – even in the summer it isn’t warm enough for me. Yes, I seem to be reading a fair amount, though do bear in mind some of the books aren’t very long. Have a great week, Lola and I hope you continue to keep busy:).

  4. It sounds like the walk was lovely and productive too. It’s sunny and 80s here today. I’d planned to work in the yard but after yesterday, I woke up with swollen eyes. The pollen is going to be killer this spring. It’s never affected me so bad before. Guess I’ll break out some wrap around safety glasses next time. LOL You did read some good ones this week. I enjoyed the reviews and added some of them to my list.

    My Sunday Post

    • Oh dear! So very sorry to hear you are smitten with hay fever! Do you know exactly which spring flowers set you off? If it’s any consolation (it probably isn’t) I suffered dreadfully when I was younger, but from my mid-30s onwards the symptoms gradually eased down and now I hardly suffer at all, apart from slightly sore eyes and a bit of sneezing, though when I was younger my eyes were swollen and sore, my hands would crack and bleed and I used to run a temperature with sore throat and running nose all the way through May and most of June. I hope you manage to feel better. It sounds like shrubs, with showy foliage and small, insignificant flowers might be the way to go in the garden… Take care!

  5. Glad the weather has been nice! It’s always nice to get out for a nice walk after the long cold months. And even better if you can talk through a writing logjam! The Vanishing Throne looks promising and I love the premise of Slow Bullets- I’ve seen that author before but have not read any of books.

    • You’re so right, Greg – it was a smashing walk. The Vanishing Throne is great, but do start first with The Falconer if you are considering this series. Slow Bullets is a really interesting premise. Reynolds is one of the sci fi heavyweights of the UK scene. In my opinion, his book Century Rain is the best he’s written, but he is always worth reading as he has an amazing imagination and even if I don’t always completely bond with his characters, his worlds and concepts are memorably different.

    • Thank you, Kimba – I plan to get going on the novel, so I should have a lovely time:). I hope you, too, have a great week – it sounds like you’ve earned it after all your labours of last week!

  6. That’s awesome that you worked out some of the issues with your book! I imagine it would help to be able to talk things out with someone.

    For some reason I am suddenly seeing Miranda and Caliban everywhere lol. I’ve heard nothing but good things though. Glad you loved it so much!

  7. Staying home can be great. Though I don´t know any of your books or authors I hope you will enjoy all your new babies. And I know that feeling: I come out of the library or bookstore with new books in my bag all the time despite the fact that I have enough books at home already – and not read them yet!

    Best wishes
    Vi @ Gone With The Books

    • Oh I know… we are both book addicts and the house is FULL. But that doesn’t stop either of us buying more either! Or adding them to our already groaning Kindles…

  8. I keep joking about the weather here – saying I’ll not talk about it – yet I do and I think it’s so weird everywhere it’s a constant topic of conversation.

    It sounds like your holidays haven’t intersected but that you’ve got some coming which does sound lovely!

  9. Our weather has been all over the place lately, too. Earlier in the week we got more snow, and then this weekend was quite mild. Sunday was close to 60 F (15 to 16 Celcius), so I made some time to visit one of the Cape Cod beaches on my drive home from visiting my parents.

    Don’t you love how a walk or a conversation with the right friend can help get your writing back on track? That’s happened to me before (though not all at once), so I’m happy that it worked out for you, too. Good luck as you dive back into Miranda’s Tempest. 🙂 And I look forward to reading your thoughts on The Vanishing Throne!

    • Thank you, Sara! It was SUCH a help and made me realise that J and I need to get out more and WALK. We fell out of the habit when my back injury got in the way and although it’s been fixed for a while, we haven’t resumed our hikes as a regular thing. He makes a cracking listener:). Yes – I’m definitely reviewing The Vanishing Throne:).

  10. Arte Connan Doyle sounds perfect for some of my good readers in the Kid’s Class. Of course I would have to read it first…Hmmmmm do you think that’s because it sounds like a read I’d enjoy? Ha!

  11. Oh, I remember those warmer days back in Ireland when it felt almost like summer in the middle of the winter. They are always a nice piece of sunshine in the middle of the gloom, aren’t they?
    Also, a big YAY for being able to talk about your novel. I think that it’s really helpful, because since you need to communicate it to another human being, you have to force your brain to untangle all the creative chaos in your head.

  12. Yay for a good reading week!

    I actually have The Falconer and want to read it soon but havne’t managed to schedule it into my TBR yet. I’m excited to hear that you’ve been enjoying the series. Your cover looks different to the one I have but I like it!

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