Sunday Post – 7th March, 2021 #Brainfluffbookblog #SundayPost

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

It’s not been a good week. From Tuesday through to Thursday, I went down with a bug, plagued by a miserable cough – and couldn’t sleep. I had only four hours sleep in 24 by Thursday. Though I established that it definitely wasn’t COVID. And then yesterday, Himself went down with exactly the same symptoms. When I spoke to my sister, she also was ill with the same thing… Not only is it a miserable illness – the inability to sleep is horrible – but it meant I had to cancel having the grandchildren coming to stay this weekend, which is a real blow as I haven’t seen them for a while. I’m better, but still a bit washed out. So that’s why I wasn’t around in the middle of the week. Apologies for not having visited blogs, etc…

The only bright spot in the middle of all this was that I curled up with my trusty Kindles and either read or listened to books throughout. So I’ve read a few more than usual.

The photos this week are from the walk last Sunday, when it was sunny with a brisk wind. As you can see, they’re doing some dredging work on the mouth of the river to ensure the large gravel boats can still enter Littlehampton harbour.

Last week I read:
The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry
For his entire life, Charley Sutherland has concealed a magical ability he can’t quite control: he can bring characters from books into the real world. His older brother, Rob — a young lawyer with a normal house, a normal fiancee, and an utterly normal life — hopes that this strange family secret will disappear with disuse, and he will be discharged from his life’s duty of protecting Charley and the real world from each other. But then, literary characters start causing trouble in their city, making threats about destroying the world…

I’m a sucker for fantasy books featuring libraries and other book characters – but this one really exceeded by expectations. A delightful, clever read that took the story and used it to highlight sibling relationships in a nuanced, three-dimensional way. Review to follow.

The Transylvania Twist – Book 2 of the Monster M*A*S*H series by Angie Fox
Even during a truce, I have my hands full as a MASH surgeon to an army of warring gods—especially when Medusa herself turns up pregnant. I frankly have no idea what to expect when a Gorgon’s expecting, but I have an even bigger problem when my presumed-dead former-fiancé sneaks into my tent with enough emotional baggage to fill a tank…

Yes… I know I’ve read this series out of order – but it was so much fun, I really wanted to go back and get another fix of Petra Robichaud and this madcap world. Review to follow.

The Conductors – Book 1 of the Murder and Magic series by Nicole Glover
As an escaped slave, Hetty Rhodes helped dozens of people find their own freedom north using her wits and her magic. Now that the Civil War is over, Hetty and her husband, Benjy, still fight for their people by solving the murders and mysteries that the white authorities won’t touch.

When they discover one of their friends brutally murdered in an alley, Hetty and Benjy mourn his loss by setting off to find answers. But the mystery of his death soon brings up more questions, more secrets, more hurt. To solve his death, they will have to not only face the ugly truths about the world but the ones about each other.
While this isn’t a flawless book, nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the world and the main protagonist. Review to follow.

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn
1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.

1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter–the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum…
I loved this historical thriller set in Bletchley Park during WWII. Quinn clearly knows what she is doing, as weaving the stories of three women across two narrative timelines could have so easily descended into a hot mess – and it doesn’t. Review to follow.

AUDIOBOOK Death Around the Bend – Book 3 of the Lady Hardcastle series by T.E. Kinsey
September 1909, and Lady Hardcastle and her maid, Florence, have been invited to Lord Riddlethorpe’s country estate for a week of motor racing and parties. They both agree that it sounds like a perfectly charming holiday. But when one of the drivers dies in a crash during the very first race, they discover that what seemed like an uncharacteristic error in judgement may have a more sinister explanation…
Closer investigation reveals that the driver’s car was sabotaged—and the driver murdered.

The local constabulary are quick to dismiss the case, but Flo and Lady Hardcastle are determined to find out just who has committed this dastardly act, and why. As the pair begin to make enquiries of Lord Riddlethorpe’s servants and guests, it seems that, below stairs and above, there is more to this case than meets the eye. And, even in the quiet of the countryside, death is always just around the bend.
This entertaining series is becoming a solid favourite of mine. Elizabeth Knowelden’s excellent narration and the thread of humour running through the story makes this a really enjoyable listen. Mini-review to follow.

The Wizard’s Butler by Nathan Lowell
For five grand a month and a million dollar chaser, Roger Mulligan didn’t care how crazy the old geezer is. All he had to do was keep Joseph Perry Shackleford alive and keep him from squandering the estate for a year.

They didn’t tell him about the pixies.
This quirky and unusual urban fantasy tale is unexpectedly gentle and was just what I needed. And the bonus is – this author also writes space opera adventures, too. Given how much I love his writing style, I am delighted to have discovered his work. Review to follow.

My posts last week:

Castellan the Black and His Wise Draconic Sayings

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of A Desolation Called Peace – Book 2 of the Teixcalaan series by Akady Martine

Cover Share: An Orshaw Facelift by Indie author Phil Williams

Friday Face-off featuring The Eagle of the Ninth – Book 1 in the Dolphin Ring Cycle by Rosemary Sutcliffe

*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of NOVELLA One Day All This Will Be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Tuesday Treasures – 29

Two Sci Fi mini-reviews: The Last Astronaut by David Wellington & Scardown by Elizabeth Bear

Sunday Post – 28th January 2021

Thank you for visiting, reading, liking and/or commenting on my blog. I hope you had a peaceful, healthy week – and do take care. x

56 responses »

    • Thank you, Tammy. As it happens, we got notified last night to be told that yes, in fact is IS Covid! Both Himself and I have it and are needing to quarantine for the coming week… And as I also had my vaccination on Saturday – thinking I’d recovered! – I’m also dealing with the aftermath of that as well… Oh well.

  1. Sorry you’re sickie. You deserve a sickie present, a tradition I learned from my girlfriend. It helps!
    You just expanded my TBR list, friend. These were my cup of tea.

    • Thank you Rae – I LOVE the idea of a sickie present:)). Especially as I’m feeling a tad sorry for myself right now. We were notified last night that we have Covid after all. And in addition, as I had my jab on Saturday, the grotty symptoms have now come roaring back in… So I am campaigning for LOTS of pressies!

  2. So sorry you have been ill! And to miss your time with the kids is the worst. I’m glad you are feeling better now.

    I love the look of The Rose Code…and your photos are great, too. Enjoy your books and your week, and stay well! Thanks for visiting my blog.

    • You’re very welcome, Laurel. Oh yes – I think you’d love The Rose Code:)).

      Though I’m now glad that I didn’t have the children over, as it turns out we have got Covid and are having to quarantine for the next week. I hope you have a really good week.

    • Thank you, Becky. Though as I went and had the jab on Saturday, thinking I was over it, I’m now feeling rather grotty, again. Oh well – we’re having to quarantine together for the week, so it’s an excuse to hunker down with some more enjoyable books…

  3. I’m sorry that you had such a wretched week! These days, even a “normal” cough makes us think about worse possibilities and adds a shade of worry to the miseries of illness… At least it was “just” a bothersome seasonal ailment! I hope you feel better soon – my best wishes!!! 🙂

    • Thank you, Maddalena! Sadly, it turns out it was Covid after all! So we are now quaranting and as my first jab appointment came up on Saturday and I thought I was over it – I went along. So feeling a tad sorry for myself as the aftermath is rather rough! Still, at least there are books…

  4. I am so sorry to hear you have been so poorly, SJ and I hope it won’t be long till you feel your old self again. ❤ One of the bonuses though is all that reading you got to do – I like the sound of nearly all of the books you’ve read this week! Take care and happy reading in the coming week. 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Jessica. Though it now turns out that it is Covid after all, so we’re now self-isolating for the coming week. And as I also had my first jab on Saturday, thinking I’d recovered, the symptoms have now reappeared… But at least I have some more stormingly good reads on my TBR to keep me from thinking about it too much.

  5. How awful it must have been to be so sick. Glad it wasn’t covid. I hope you are able to have your grandkids over soon.

    The sky looks so sunny and lovely. I can take the cold if it’s sunny, I think.

    The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep sounds wonderful. I’ll look for it.

    • Thank you, Deb. It was rather grim – and it turns out that it was Covid, after all. So I’m really glad I didn’t have the grandchildren over.

      Yes, it’s lovely outside here, which I’m grateful for, though as we’re now self-isolating for the coming week, no more trips to the beach!

      The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep is a lovely read – the author is clever and really well versed in the literature of Dickens, but manages to wear her scholarship lightly, which I always appreciate:)).

  6. I’m so sorry to hear about the lack of sleep. It’s the same for me with pain, many days with only 4 hours of sleep or 2 shifts of 3-4 hours. Books are my friend also as they distract from the pain. Hopefully we will both have a MUCH better week. I am also unhappy about things I haven’t been able to do. I really enjoyed The Conductors and it is her debut novel.

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

    • Thank you, Anne. It turns out that we have gone down with Covid after all, and I had another very rough night. But at least there is an end in sight. I’m so very sorry that your problem seems to be just stretching out ahead of you.

      Oh yes – I thoroughly enjoyed The Conductors! And I definitely want to read the next book in the series:).

  7. I am so sorry you felt so poorly! I hope this week will be much better! The Rose Code is due to arrive any day now.

    • Thank you, Sophie:). Turns out it is Covid so we are self-isolating for the coming week. I hope you enjoy The Rose Code as much as I did – I thought it a marvellous book.

    • Unfortunately, it turns out that we do have Covid. So we are currently self-isolating… And yes, I highly recommend The Rose Code, it’s real roller-coaster.

    • Thank you, Emma! Sadly it turns out we do have Covid. But although I’m now feeling really grotty again – mostly due to the fact I had my first vaccination on Saturday in the belief I was getting over said ‘virus’ – at least I have some wonderful books lined up on my Kindle for the coming week:)).

  8. I am sorry you and your husband have been under the weather and hope you are both feeling better soon. I hope you are getting lots of rest. It sounds like you have got in some good reading. I am looking forward to reading The Rose Code and and glad you enjoyed it. I am curious about The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep and want to read The Conductors at some point. I hope you have a better week, Sarah!

  9. Oh no! So sorry to hear you’ve been sick. I was just telling my husband the other day that I’m kinda grateful for all the masks and hand washing because this is the first year in a LONG TIME none of us have been sick. My kids are full remote with school and we haven’t seen anyone close in a long time. It sucks to be so distant from everyone, but at least we’re not getting anyone else’s germs! I hope you feel better soon.

  10. So sorry that you have not been well but glad that it was not Covid. I found that whenever I’ve been sick this past year, it’s been more intense than in the past. Hopefully, this week will be much better and you are able to rest and relax.

      • Oh no!!! SO glad you’re recovering! I iMagine you spent time trying to figure out where you got it from. How awful.

      • Oh, it’s no surprise where I got it from. Himself has been working throughout and though we’ve been very careful, several folks at his work went down with it. We suspect it is one of the new, more infectious variants, given that the symptoms are a bit different – no temperature, for instance.

  11. I’m so sorry you’ve been ill and not being able to sleep is the absolute worse. The only saving grace is that you were able to read! Hope this week has been much much better!

  12. I’m sorry that you were ill. It sounds like whatever it is, it is quite easy to catch and leaves you wiped out. Glad you are on the mend. So many great reads this week Sarah. I purchased the audiobook for Uriah Heep, but haven’t gotten to it yet. I need to move it up for sure. I know how sad it is to have to cancel visits with the grandchildren, hopefully you can reschedule soon. I hope this week has been a better one for you.

    • Thank you for your kind concern, Carla. What I didn’t know at the time, was that I was in the early stages of COVID 19… I’m so glad I cancelled seeing the grandchildren as we went through several weeks of hell with this very nasty illness.

  13. Oh no Sarah – I hope you’re both okay. I saw you’d been quite on the blog but I was also having a couple of weeks break and thought you might be doing the same thing. I hope you’re recovering?
    Lynn 😀

    • Thank you for your kind concern, Lynn. Yes, we’re recovering. Himself is starting back at work and they have ensured that he is easing himself back in gently – for which I’m very grateful. As for me, I’m still not out of the woods. I seem to have a good day – and then find myself sleeping the next day away and feeling shattered all over again. I’m trying to learn to accept it and go with the flow – although I’m finding difficult…

  14. What a bugger! Still, at least you’re on the mend, and the symptoms came before your grands arrived–imagine if you all had gotten sick! Blech. Hopefully you’re able to connect again later!

    • Thank you, Jean! Yes, it was an absolute bugger. It felled both of us… I am still recovering and though Himself has now returned to work, he still has a nasty little cough. We still haven’t seen the grandchildren – I’m so glad that I took the decision to cancel seeing them! The thought of infecting the whole family – especially my daughter – gives me nightmares…

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