This is part of the weekly meme over at the Caffeinated Reviewer, where book bloggers can share the books they’ve read and share what they have got up to during the last week.
It’s been another hectic week with Ethan working on his final assignment, which finally had to be handed in by midnight on Friday evening. He managed this – and then stayed up to talk and support his fellow students who were battling to get their projects submitted before the deadline. So was rather sleepy and subdued yesterday after weeks of worry and work… Oscar has also been attending school, though we ended up in A & E on Friday evening as he had a bad fall during a playground football game and came home with a very sore wrist. Luckily there were no broken bones or sprains, which was a relief as we are just starting half term week.
I’ve been banging on to anyone who’ll listen about what a fabulous year it’s being for spring flowers. And to prove it to you – I took a short walk, no more than 10 minutes from our house with my trusty camera. The pics below show the blossom on a horse chestnut tree, a photinia bush and the hawthorn bushes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen hawthorn blossom like it – every tree and bush is smothered. The pretty purple climber is wisteria.
I was thrilled to finish my story Casta and the Giggling Knight, which came out at around 22,500 words. I was able to take it to my writers’ group on Wednesday night and got really valuable feedback, so I’ll be tweaking it in between continuing with the line edit of Flame & Blame. It was a lovely sociable week – in addition to attending my writing group, I spent most of Friday catching up with one of my ex-students, who is having a collection of her poetry published. I just need to get more sleep!
Books I’ve read in the last week:-
Bang, Bang Bodhisattva by Aubrey Wood
It’s 2032 and we live in the worst cyberpunk future. Kiera is gigging her ass off to keep the lights on, but her polycule’s social score is so dismal they’re about to lose their crib. That’s why she’s out here chasing cheaters with Angel Herrera, a luddite P.I. who thinks this is The Big Sleep. Then the latest job cuts too deep—hired to locate Herrera’s ex-best friend (who’s also Kiera’s pro bono attorney), they find him murdered instead. Their only lead: a stick of Nag Champa incense dropped at the scene.
Next thing Kiera knows, her new crush turns up missing—sans a hand (the real one, not the cybernetic), and there’s the familiar stink of sandalwood across the apartment. Two crimes, two sticks of incense, Kiera framed for both. She told Herrera to lose her number, but now the old man might be her only way out of this bullshit…
This near-future, detective noir thriller is full of personality. It’s difficult to make near-future fiction convincing, but Wood pulls it off. Review to follow.
I, Julian by Claire Gilbert
From the author of Miles to Go before I Sleep comes I, Julian, the account of a medieval woman who dares to tell her own story, battling grief, plague, the church and societal expectations to do so. Compelled by the powerful visions she had when close to death, Julian finds a way to live a life of freedom – as an anchoress, bricked up in a small room on the side of a church – and to write of what she has seen. The result, passed from hand to hand, is the first book to be written by a woman in English.
Tender, luminous, meditative and powerful, Julian writes of her love for God, and God’s love for the whole of creation. ‘All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.’
Beautiful and ultimately uplifting, it was a special read. And also shows what a rough time the survivors of historical pandemics had. Not only grieving their dead, but being blamed for the plague by the Church… Review to follow.
AUDIOBOOK – Our Lady of the Mysterious Ailments – Book 2 of the Edinburgh Nights series by T.L. Huchu
When Ropa Moyo discovered an occult underground library, she expected great things. She’s really into Edinburgh’s secret societies – but turns out they are less into her. So instead of getting paid to work magic, she’s had to accept a crummy unpaid internship. And her with bills to pay and a pet fox to feed.
Then her friend Priya offers her a job on the side. Priya works at Our Lady of Mysterious Maladies, a very specialised hospital, where a new illness is resisting magical and medical remedies alike. The first patient was a teenage boy, Max Wu, and his healers are baffled. If Ropa can solve the case, she might earn as she learns – and impress her mentor, Sir Callander.
Her sleuthing will lead her to a lost fortune, an avenging spirit and a secret buried deep in Scotland’s past. But how are they connected? Lives are at stake and Ropa is running out of time.
This series started off as Library of the Dead. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Huchu’s lively prose as gutsy Ropa struggles to keep her small family afloat in post-apocalyptic Scotland. This book held me throughout as an initial investigation into what is slowly killing a teenage boy encompasses a far wider problem. And this time around, we learn a lot more about the Library of the Dead. I’m delighted that this proved to be such a cracking adventure, as I have the arc of the next book in the series. 9/10
My posts last week:
Castellan the Black and his Wise Draconic Musings on Life
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of NETGALLEY arc Ukulele of Death – Book 1 of the Fran and Ken Stein mystery series by E.J. Copperman
Can’t-Wait-Wednesday featuring In the Shadow of the Bull – Book 1 of An Ancient Crete Mystery series by Eleanor Kuhns
*NEW RELEASE SPECIAL* Review of NETGALLEY arc Cursed Crowns – Book 2 of the Twin Crowns series by Catherine Doyle & Katherine Webber
Hope you, too, had some brilliant books to tuck into and wishing you all a happy, healthy week😊.