Hello my bookish folks,

Well, hasn’t April been an interesting month? I’m not going to lie to you, April has been a tough one for me. Essentially, I have been house bound since March the 24th due to a nasty flare up of my Colitis which wasn’t great (you can read about it here) but on the flip side of that I have managed to read an awful lot. I think this month has been the most book heavy month I have had in a long time.

Here is what I read:

First Date by Vanessa Wester (Short Story)

Spring at the Café at the End of the Pier by Helen Rolfe (Short Story)

The Bletchley Park Enigma by Alan Johnson and Amanda Strickland (Short Story)

Beat on the Brat and other Stories by Nigel Bird (Short Story Collection)

Bookish Boyfriends by Tiffany Schmidt (NetGalley Review Copy)

Derby Girl by Shauna Cross (Hardback – Reread)

Chick-Lit Saved My Life by Maureen Riel (Short Story)

Murders, Lies and Cover Ups: Who Killed Marilyn Monroe, JFK, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and Princess Diana by David Gardner (NetGalley Review Copy)

Brief Encounters by Kate Harrison (Short Story)

Dead Feminists by Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring (NetGalley Review Copy)

How the Marquis Got His Coat Back by Neil Gaiman (Short Story)

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Paperback Copy)

Lunch with Harry by Tony Drury (Short Story)

The Girl with More than One Heart by Laura Geringer Bass (NetGalley Review Copy)

Love, and You by Gretchen Gomez (Poetry Collection)

Labyrinth: Coronation #1 by Simon Spurrier (Graphic Novel)

Everybody Needs a Bridge by Colleen D. Scott (Paperback Review Copy)

Labyrinth: Coronation #2 by Simon Spurrier (Graphic Novel)

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (Hardback Copy)

Halfway to Paradise: The Life of Billy Fury by Caroline and David Stafford (NetGalley Review Copy)

Cocktails and Dreams by A. L. Michael (NetGalley Review Copy)

Julia Jones: The Teenage Years (Book #1 Falling Apart) by Katrina Kahler (Short Story)

Kisses on a Paper Airplane by Sarah Vance Thompkins (Short Story)

Conquer Colitis by Dr Brad Turner (Non-Fiction)

The World at War (Poems) by Wilfred Owen (Poetry Collection)

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran (Hardback Copy)

Stealing Marilyn Monroe by Sophie Warren (NetGalley Review Copy)

Dear Ijeawele – A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi (Essay)

Next Year, For Sure by Zoey Leigh Peterson (Hardback Copy)

Clean by Juno Dawson (NetGalley Review Copy)

Brief Encounter at the Picture House by the Sea by Holly Hepburn (Short Story)

Bitter Betrayal by Amanda M. Thrasher (NetGalley Review Copy)

Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi (Hardback Copy)

Singing in the Rain at the Picture House by the Sea by Holly Hepburn (Short Story)

The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend (Hardback Copy)

Dirty Dancing at the Picture House by the Sea by Holly Hepburn (Short Story)

The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink (NetGalley Review Copy)

The Frontman by Ron Bahar (NetGalley Review Copy)

Some Like it Hot at the Picture House by the Sea by Holly Hepburn (Short Story)

Fatigue Free with Crohn’s and Colitis by Greg Williams (Non Fiction)

The Best Minds of My Generation – A Literary History of the Beats by Allen Ginsberg (NetGalley Review Copy)

Votes for Women by Jenni Murray (Non Fiction)

I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron (Essay Collection)

So yeah. That is a lot.

But, I managed to get my NetGalley percentage up to 38% – huzzah. I will endeavour to get it up to 39% by next month. Also, I now have reviews ready to go live all the way through to July so I am feeling pretty damn good about myself at the moment.

I am currently reading The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee and I won’t lie guys, I am bored. Alas, I will plod on and get it read

Overall, my favourite books of the month have to go to Derby Girl by Shauna Cross – which technically is a reread but by god I love this book and How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran. Caitlin Moran is my spirit animal. I love her.

In other news, I have realised I am an emotional book buyer. I will do another post on that soon but let me tell you, it ain’t pretty.

Oooh, just as a quick note. Clare over at A Book and Tea has branched out. She has rebranded and she is doing some great things over on her blog. Go check her out, you will be awfully glad you did.

Have a great May

L x

How to Build a Girl Derby Girl

Title: Chick-Lit Saved My Life Book #1 (Chick-Lit Trilogy)

Author: Maureen Reil

Pages: 105 Pages

Publisher: Maureen Reil

The Blurb

It started like any other month, but when passengers on board a train find themselves robbed at gunpoint and over the following weeks, a clothing manufacturer, a jewellery shop and finally a book-store. What do all these places have in common? Besides, a young woman named Kelly Stanford since she was at each incident and became the victim of someone who took great pleasure in stealing her handbags, not to mention her Chick-Lit books.

Just what type of man are we dealing with here? Kelly tries her best to continue as normal, but the crimes have clearly affected her greatly and it all comes to a head when she falls for the new love interest to enter into her life. She also discovers her stolen Chick-Lit novels for sale in the second-hand wicker basket on the counter. Is it possible that the bookseller bloke and the lone gunman are the same person? It would simply be so typical of her bad luck lately, without her late (adoptive) grandmother’s brooch which the thief took in the first robbery.

Find out more by reading this British, funny farcical novella. This is book one in the trilogy and book two is titled Chick-Lit Stole My Life and book three is titled Chick-Lit Staged My Life as it’s currently at a website near you..

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

What a load of nonsense.

I can honestly say that this book gave me a headache. The protagonist prattled on in a completely bonkers (and not in a good way) way. Her diatribes over the minutia of life was intolerable. It was like Reil was going for whimsy but it just came across as drivel. I’m thankful that this was only a short story and not a full length novel. I will not be reading part 2 and 3 of the trilogy.

1 star

Title: Beat on the Brat and Other Stories

Author: Nigel Bird

Pages: 76 Pages

Publisher: Amazon Media

The Blurb

Beat On The Brat (And Other Stories) is the second collection to be released by prize winning author Nigel Bird, following the success of his debut, the critically acclaimed Dirty Old Town (And Other Stories).

The Review

Well Beat on the Brat was certainly a quirky short story collection. The selection of stories which were inspired by the Pulp Fiction soundtrack bordered on the twisted and the entertaining. Nigel Bird’s collection doesn’t follow a pattern and each story feels fresh and imaginative.

This is a good collection for people who like to be surprised by what they are reading.

Beat on the Brat and Other Stories by Nigel Bird is available now.

For more information regarding Nigel Bird (@amouseandaman) please visit www.nigelpbird.blogspot.co.uk.

3 Stars

She Caused A RiotTitle: She Caused a Riot – 100 Unknown Women Who Built Cities, Sparked Revolutions, and Massively Crushed It

Author: Hannah Jewell

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks

The Blurb

Often women in history are made to sound as if they spent their entire life sighing, and gently rebuking their oppressors. That isn’t how life works, and it never has been. The empowering, no-holds-barred history book She Caused a Riot gives 100 powerful examples of women getting their hands dirty, and inspires a courageous new movement to do the same.

The Review

Who knew that there were so many wonderful, talented, world changing women in the world? Not a lot of us because sadly women aren’t as celebrated throughout history as men have been. Don’t get me wrong, men have made some amazing contributions to how we live now and world history but so have women; a lot of them.

This is the subject of Hannah Jewell’s book She Caused a Riot. Through this book we traverse through time and space (world space not like interplanetary space) and look at the amazing women who have – as the extended title of this book suggests – crushed it.

Hannah Jewell’s acerbic sarcasm is so hilarious to read. She makes it very clear how much she thinks that the patriarchy sucks and you find yourself chuckling away with yourself as you read this it. I happened to be reading it in a hospital waiting room. Didn’t make me look strange, not one bit.

I made a mistake when I read She Caused a Riot. I tried to read it all in one go when really I should have dipped in and out of it. Especially when I had something coming up that made me feel like I needed the inner strength of one of the 100 women featured in She Caused a Riot. Never mind. It was still a jolly good, eye-opening book.

She Caused a Riot – 100 Unknown Women Who Built Cities, Sparked Revolutions, and Massively Crushed It by Hannah Jewell is available now.

For more information regarding Hannah Jewell (@hcjewell) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Sourcebooks (@Sourcebooks) please visit www.sourcebooks.com.

35 Stars

Title: Release

Author: Patrick Ness

Pages: 288 Pages

Publisher: Walker Books

The Blurb

A startling and tender novel about how to let yourself love and set yourself free by Patrick Ness, the twice Carnegie Medal-winning author of A Monster Calls. Today will change Adam Thorn’s life. Between his religious family, unpleasant boss and his ex-boyfriend, the bindings of his world are coming undone. And way across town, a ghost has risen from the lake. Is there time for Adam to find his release?

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

For years I have avoided books written by Patrick Ness. You may be wondering why. He is a celebrated author after all; prize-winning even. However, about 8 years ago I read his book The Knife of Never Letting Go and I hated it. I just didn’t get it. So since then I have avoided his books.

I work in a school and spend the majority of my time trying to raise literacy levels; I work in the school library and spend the rest of my time in school discussing books with students and encouraging them to read. Now, with the Carnegie short list announced I decided it was time I gave Patrick Ness another chance. I picked up the book Release as my first read and man I have to tell you my humble pie tastes fantastic.

Release is amazing.

It is not what I expected at all. Ness deals with themes of identity, first love, sexuality, and growing up. His characters are alive on every page. I was transported to this Podunk religious town and I felt the oppressiveness that Adam felt.

Release really is a great story that I urge you to read.

Release by Patrick Ness is available now.

For more information regarding Patrick Ness (@Patrick_Ness) please visit www.patrickness.com.

For more information regarding Walker Books (@WalkerBooksUK) please visit www.walkerbooks.co.uk.

4 Stars