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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

W… W… W… Wednesdays

Sharing my recent past, current, and immediate future, reading schedules; together with my most recent and upcoming reviews. All book titles have links to posts which share more information about both book and author.

Image for weekly meme W... W... W...

This weekly meme, hosted by MizB, over at ‘Should Be Reading’, is a snapshot of where I am at in my reading schedule. To play along, just answer the following three questions…

• What are you currently reading?

• What did you recently finish reading?

• What do you think you’ll read next?

 

. As I probably won’t be able to contribute every week, I have taken the liberty of adding in a couple more What’s?, which came to mind.

     …

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

North Of Supposed To Be by Marcia Ferguson

In the aftermath of violence, photographer Bronwyn McCall isn’t quite so alone. Former M16 agent Ernest Rose enters her life and becomes her Jeeves, equally faithful, sidekick and father figure. When she’s given the abandoned Bayside Blanket and Toboggan Factory in coastal Maine, a massive fortune – acquired in the most bizarre manner – launches second chances and the dream homes of her imagination. It’s easy to fall for the allure of frosty Maine with its luscious lobster and small town charms, but is that enough to halt the haunting loss and loneliness that define both Bronwyn and Jeeves? For this Jeeves has his dark side and secrets, and whether he’s Bronwyn’s salvation or her destruction is always in question as they are swept away on this mutual adventure.

WHAT BOOK DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

‘St Bartholomew’s Man’ by Mary Delorme

Rahere, a humble young boy in 12th century England; not a good time to be an orphan. And yet he is in the right place at the right time. Raised and inspired by kindly monks, they arrange for him to be mentored musically by the countries’ finest. He learns well, playing at the court of King William Rufus.

Incurring the Kings wrath, Rahere disappears mysteriously one night. After years, he is found. Have the torture and beatings in Rochester Castle, reduced his resolve to create great things? Can he repay the monks for their unselfish support? Will a grand tour to Rome show him the way? How can his great dream be realised?
Rahere has better friends than he ever believed possible, but there is so much to overcome…

Subtle, moving, beautifully told, and based on all the real facts available, ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’ will take you in accurate period detail, to a time in the 12th century when life was brief and harsh. To the time a humble man, a mere court jester to King Henry 1st, yet a man with great vision was formed, who was to lay the groundwork to one of the worlds greatest institutions, hundreds of years ahead of it’s time … St Bartholomew’s Hospital

WHAT BOOK DO YOU THINK YOU WILL READ NEXT?

‘Discovery Of An Eagle’ by Grace Mattioli

After his job lays him off, Cosmo Greco takes his sister, Silvia, up on her offer to drive to Portland.

At the beginning of the trip, a Mack truck wipes them off the road, nearly killing them. This near-death experience is a wake-up call for Cosmo, and he begins to question the life he’s been leading. He realizes that he is not happy with his current life and wants to make a change.

A number of encounters along the way reinforce this desire, but he’s afraid to leave the familiarity of his humdrum existence for the unknown.

Cosmo’s journey is set against the backdrop of the American road with vivid and soulful descriptions and a cast of colorful characters. So come along on a journey of adventure and awakening.

NB. Grace will be stopping by ‘Meet The Authors’ very soon, with a brand new guest post.

WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU REVIEWED?

‘Dance The Moon Down’ by Robert Bartram

In 1910, no one believed there would ever be a war with Germany. Safe in her affluent middle-class life, the rumours held no significance for Victoria either. It was her father’s decision to enroll her at university that began to change all that. There she befriendes the rebellious and outspoken Beryl Whittaker, an emergent suffragette, but it is her love for Gerald Avery, a talented young poet from a neighbouring university that sets the seal on her future. After a clandestine romance, they marry in January 1914, but with the outbreak of the First World War, Gerald volunteeres but within months has gone missing in France. Convinced that he is still alive, Victoria’s initial attempts to discover what has become of him, implicate her in a murderous assault on Lord Kitchener resulting in her being interrogated as a spy, and later tempted to adultery. Now virtually destitute, Victoria is reduced to finding work as a common labourer on a run down farm, where she discovers a world of unimaginable ignorance and poverty. It is only her conviction that Gerald will some day return that sustains her through the dark days of hardship and privation as her life becomes a battle of faith against adversity.

Read my review here

NB. Robert will be stopping by ‘Meet The Authors’ very soon, with a brand new guest post.

WHAT BOOK REVIEW ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?

‘Hemlock Lake’ by Carolyn J. Rose

For generations only a few families held title to land in the isolated Catskill Mountain community of Hemlock Lake. But with the turning of the century one man, lured by easy money, sells his inheritance to a developer of luxury homes. As the contractor bulldozes farmland and forest, neighbors cry environmental rape, and someone threatens to burn what is built.

Hoping to stop the arsonist, but tormented by personal demons, Sergeant Dan Stone reluctantly returns to his family home on the shores of the lake. The previous autumn his wife died in its dark waters and his brother put a bullet in his brain. That tragedy sent Dan’s father drifting toward death.

Isolated by his pain, Dan is thrust into the no man’s land between newcomers and long-time residents who stonewall his investigation into threats, graffiti, theft, and a blaze that nearly kills the construction foreman. Townspeople blame outsiders, eco-terrorists, a ragged tramp haunting the woods and the mysterious creator of rock cairns that often mark the sites of crimes to come. But as summer sizzles on, the arsonist turns killer, and Dan suspects it’s someone he knows well: a firefighter, a long-time friend, or a woman with a killing in her past.

Stop by and leave a link to your own reading schedule, I can’t wait to visit and check them all out!

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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18 comments
    • Hi Emma,

      So did I, although I have yet to write up my final review.

      ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’ is definitely one of those books which will stay with me for a very long time.

      I caught your review sample on Goodreads, which prompted me to stop by and check out the full post. A lovely and very thoughtful review, for such an interesting and informative story.

      Thanks for taking part in today’s post, I really appreciate your comments.

    • Hi Lindsay,

      It is good to catch up with you too. I sit down most evenings with the intention of visiting at least a couple of my regular blogging friends, but the best laid plans and all that…

      I have also taken the plunge and joined Goodreads in the last couple of months and whilst it is so brilliant and I can’t imagine why I didn’t do it sooner, the downside is that it is completely addictive and eats into the short amount of time I can spend online each evening (no time restraint, I just normally fall asleep at the desk and wake up when I headbutt the keyboard!).

      Grace Mattioli reliably informs me that ‘Discovery Of An Eagle’ works well as a standalone read, so you should enjoy it, if the opportunity ever arises. I read the first book in the Greco family saga and didn’t know whether to laugh or cry most of the time. A more emotionally dysfunctional family you couldn’t wish to meet, I just wanted to bang their heads together! Let’s just hope that Silvia and Cosmo’s roadtrip bangs some sense into at least those two siblings!

      Enjoy the rest of the week and Happy Reading.

    • Hi Tracy,

      I find that many reviews of the same book can give off some very mixed messages and leave me totally confused, so whilst i will look at the stats for a book, I do tend to avoid reading any reviews until I have read the book. For me, the problem with publishing reviews, is the fact that they are really very subjective, as they can only ever reflect my own personal opinion, which may be the total opposite of that of someone else reading the same book.

      Having said all that, ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’ has made it straight to my ‘favourites’ shelf at Goodreads, as one of the best books I have read. Personally, I can’t recommend it highly enough and it has well and truly converted me to the world of historical fiction.

      My review schedule is rather shot to pieces right now, as I have been so busy promoting books and hosting guest posts, that my reviews haven’t kept pace with my reading. I keep trying to catch up, but seem to be fighting a losing battle. I am desperately trying to get the review of ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’ published, so please bear with me, but do please read the book if you get the opportunity.

      Thanks for stopping by today, I always value your comments.

  • I look forward to your review of St. Bartholomew’s Man as well. I’m afraid I gave the impression I found it flawed, but in reality I quite enjoyed it and would recommend it to others. I also look forward to your review of Hemlock Lake. I liked the two books I read that she co-authored with her husband.

    My stats:

    Past: To See the Moon Again by Jamie Langston Turner
    Present: A Place Called Perfect by Helena Duggan
    Future: I hesitate to say since I haven’t narrowed it down

    Last review: Sister by Rosamund Lupton
    Next review: Mink River by Brian Doyle

    • Hi Kelly,

      For me, the problem with publishing reviews, is the fact that they are really very subjective, as they can only ever reflect my own personal opinion, which may be the total opposite of that of someone else reading the same book. I do tend to look at the overall ratings before deciding if I want to read a book or not, but I do try to avoid reading any in depth reviews until after I have finished with the story myself.

      I haven’t read any of Carolyn and Mike’s jointly written books yet, however the couple of Carolyn’s solo ventures I have read, have been excellent and I can thoroughly recommend them.

      I see that you and Tracy are tracking the same books, as when I checked out ‘A Place Called Perfect’, I came across her review, although I’m afraid that this probably isn’t a book for me. I do read YA fiction from time to time, but generally only if requested to. I hope that you are enjoying the book though.

      I am keen to see what you think of ‘Mink River’, as that has been on the radar at several blog sites recently and has in fact been reviewed on Goodreads by Carolyn Rose, of ‘Hemlock Lake’ fame.

      Thanks for your excellent contribution, I always look forward to these regular memes, they are such fun!

    • Hi Chrissi,

      I was never much of a one for reading historical fiction, only on the very rare ocassion. However, after accepting ‘St Bartholomew’s Man’ for review, I was totally amazed at just how much I enjoyed it. The blend of fact with fiction was seamless and the writing of an impeccable standard. I can’t recommend the book highly enough in its genre.

      I am very well thanks and hope that you are too. It looks as though our last blast of Summer has ended tonight, with some huge thunder and lightning storms, together with some torrential rain!

      I am getting a little bogged down by my current read, ‘North Of Supposed To Be’, although the storyline is intriguing and the standard of writing high. There are just too many characters entering and exiting the scene for my liking.

      Thanks for stopping by, it seems like ages since we last spoke.

    • Hi Ollie,

      Thank you for stopping by Fiction Books today. I love meeting new people and will always value your visits and comments.

      I have quite eclectic tastes in my reading choices, with science fiction being the only genre I simply don’t want to read, as I am certain that I wouldn’t enjoy it!

      I really enjoy promoting books and authors in the various memes I regularly contribute to, however my reviewing timetable is rubbish and never quite works to plan! Apart from which, a review is really only my own personal view of a story, which may vary from person to person. I can let you know in advance of the official review, that St Bartholomew’s Man’ is on my Goodreads favourites shelf for a reason … It really is that good! …. So I would definitely recommend that you get your hands on a copy if you can!

    • Hi Carolyn,

      Well worth the read if you can get your hands on a copy, as was ‘Dance The Moon Down’, although so totally different in genres.

      ‘Hemlock Lake’ review is on the drawing board as we speak, so I’ll give you a shout when that post publishes.

      Hope you are both well and have a great weekend.

  • Happy reading Yvonne. It looks like you’ve got a busy schedule. I look forward to your reviews, especially for North Of Supposed To Be. I’m in the middle of finishing up two review books myself.
    Happy weekend!

    • Hi Naida,

      I have a whole stack of reviews to work my way through, but I tend to think that perhaps I rather over analyse my reviews and they then take me twice as long to finish as everyone else’s. Perhaps this is one area where I could make a few changes and save myself a little time.

      I am still working my way through ‘North Of Supposed To Be’ and whilst the storyline is quite deep and emotionally complex and in that respect very well written and constructed, I do feel that there have been way too many characters introduced and I am more than a bit bogged down with them all. The book would have benefited from being quite a lot shorter in length, without it having any serious imoact on the excellent storyline. Writing a review to reflect all my thoughts, is going to be quite some challenge.

      Good Luck with your own review challenge and I hope that you are enjoying your weekend.

  • Currently I’m reading Mr. Sammler’s Planet by Saul Bellow.

    At this point, I don’t like it or dislike it. It’s interesting, and I’m still trying to figure out the main character, as the book is the main character’s ruminations for the most part about everything around him. Maybe there isn’t one way to pin this character down as he really isn’t meant to be pinned down. He seems to swing from feeling some sympathy towards people to being condescending towards them or feeling utterly remote (but given his history and what he’s gone through, this is understandable to some extent). We’ll see where the book goes… and what it means for this character and his growth.

    • Hi Hila,

      Both this book and its author are new to me, so I have spent an interesting few minutes checking both out, after your intriguing analysis of the story so far!

      It seems to me that there is much of the authors own life reflected in the character of Mr. Sammler, right back from the early days of religious and cultural discrimination, to times in later life when … “a good life is one in which a person does what is “required of him.”

      One line in the synopsis particularly caught my attention …
      “Sorry for all and sore at heart,” he observes how greater luxury and leisure have only led to more human suffering …
      Looking around at todays modern society, how those words stand strong and true!

      Whilst probably not a book I would choose to read, it would certainly be good as a bookclub challenge and would definitely evoke some pretty animated discussion points, I’m sure!

      Thanks for sharing and for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it.

Written by Yvonne

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