Audio Book Haul – September

A Storm Of Swords by George R. R. Martin“Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world… But as opposing forces maneuver for the final titanic showdown, an army of barbaric wildlings arrives from the outermost line of civilization. In their vanguard is a horde of mythical Others–a supernatural army of the living dead whose animated corpses are unstoppable. As the future of the land hangs in the balance, no one will rest until the Seven Kingdoms have exploded in a veritable storm of swords…”

Out Of Beat by Cassandra Giovanni – “Danny ‘Madman’ Maddox isn’t supposed to make Skylar Haze’s heart beat out of rhythm. At least not anymore. She hasn’t seen that boyish face, always covered in a five o’clock shadow, dimpled smile and teasing hazel eyes since the day he left to go on tour with her brother Joey’s band. Now with a major record label backing them the band is in need of a bit of help, and when Joey asks Skylar to be the band’s photographer, she can’t help but say yes. Of course, Joey doesn’t know about that forbidden kiss. The one Skylar hopes Danny’s forgotten. But can she? One smile and she finds herself slipping again. But he’s the drummer, and he’s beaten her heart before. And she won’t let it happen again.”

August Empties

Paula’s Choice Hydralight Moisture-Infusing Lotion – I’ve been through quite a lot of these hydralight lotions, and it’s safe to say they are my favourite from the Paula’s Choice range of day moisturisers. This is a great product to use year-round if you have normal skin. It does a great job of hydrating while being nice and lightweight, and I find that it sinks into the skin really easily. I’m still not a huge fan of the scent (a bit like what I imagine a sea cucumber would smell like), but at this point I think I’m just used to it.

Paula’s Choice Hydralight Healthy Skin Refreshing Toner – Similarly to the lotion, I’ve been through a large number of these toners, and they’re definitely one of my favourites. This is also a product that works well year-round if you have normal skin. As with most toners, I don’t notice a huge difference in my skin when using this, but my face always felt nicely refreshed and that’s good enough for me.

Glasshouse Candle in Montego Bay – It took me about six months to burn through this candle, I know this because I ordered a few when I first moved from Perth to Adelaide. This candle was in my office, and I would burn it in the afternoons while I worked or when I would sit in my reading chair on weekends. This remains one of my favourite fragrances from Glasshouse, the combination of coconut and lime is nice and bright and smells really refreshing.

Jergens Shea Butter Deep Conditioning Moisturiser – This has been kicking around in my cupboard for quite a while now, and it was nice to finally use it up. I love this as a body moisturiser, it feels rich and nourishing on the skin and the shea butter fragrance was lovely. Unfortunately Jergen are not cruelty-free, so I will not be repurchasing this and will be making a conscious effort to seek out a cruelty-free product instead.

Firebird Perfume Oil in Almond Milk – This is an old-school product for me — I’ve had this sitting in my perfume collection for YEARS because I didn’t want to finish it. Because I’ve been working from home this year I haven’t been wearing as much perfume, and when I did want to wear a fragrance I would reach for this because it was lovely and subtle. This has reignited my interest in these perfume oils, and I’m planning on browsing Etsy at some stage in the near future to see what is currently available.

[sample] Tatcha Violet-C Mask – My friend Caitlin had been raving about this mask for ages, so I picked up a sample when I was shopping at Mecca recently. I absolutely love this mask. So much so that I purchased a full-size version after using up this sample. I highly recommend checking this out if you’re in the market for a brightening mask that will help even out your skintone.

[sample] SK-II R.N.A Power – This was a sample that came with my recent Adore Beauty order, and I was excited to try my first ever SK-II product. I liked this as a day cream, but it was nothing groundbreaking for me and certainly nothing that I could justify the price tag for.

Latest Library Loans – September

Beartown by Fredrik Backman“In a large Swedish forest Beartown hides a dark secret… Cut-off from everywhere else it experiences the kind of isolation that tears people apart. And each year more and more of the town is swallowed by the forest. Then the town is offered a bright new future. But it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. Who will speak up? Could you stand by and stay silent? Or would you risk everything for justice? Which side would you be on?”

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang“t’s high time for Stella Lane to settle down and find a husband – or so her mother tells her. This is no easy task for a wealthy, successful woman like Stella, who also happens to have Asperger’s. Analyzing data is easy; handling the awkwardness of one-on-one dates is hard. To overcome her lack of dating experience, Stella decides to hire a male escort to teach her how to be a good girlfriend. Faced with mounting bills, Michael decides to use his good looks and charm to make extra cash on the side. He has a very firm no repeat customer policy, but he’s tempted to bend that rule when Stella approaches him with an unconventional proposal. The more time they spend together, the harder Michael falls for this disarming woman with a beautiful mind, and Stella discovers that love defies logic.”

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison“Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden. In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees… and a collection of precious “butterflies”–young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens. When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself. As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…”

#ReadYourFaceOff TBR – September

The general goal for a #ReadYourFaceOff readathon is to get through as much reading as you can in a 24-hour window of time. It’s a fun (and short) readathon that was created by Riley from RMFickFack. This round will run from 9am on Saturday 8th September to 9am on Sunday 9th September in your time zone. I have quite a few books I want to get stuck into nice an early this month, including the #ReadYourFaceOff Book Club book for the month – Beartown. Good luck to everyone who is participating in this round!

September TBR

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah PinboroughLouise – Since her husband walked out, Louise has made her son her world, supporting them both with her part-time job. But all that changes when she meets… David – Young, successful and charming – Louise cannot believe a man like him would look at her twice let alone be attracted to her. But that all comes to a grinding halt when she meets his wife… Adele – Beautiful, elegant and sweet – Louise’s new friend seems perfect in every way. As she becomes obsessed by this flawless couple, entangled in the intricate web of their marriage, they each, in turn, reach out to her. But only when she gets to know them both does she begin to see the cracks… Is David really the man she thought she knew and is Adele as vulnerable as she appears? Just what terrible secrets are they both hiding and how far will they go to keep them?”

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne“Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman sit across from each other every day… and they hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. HATE. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight approach to his job and refusal to smile. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and desire to be liked. Now they’re up for the same promotion and Lucy, usually a determined people-pleaser, has had enough: it’s time to take him down. But as the tension between Lucy and Joshua reaches its boiling point, it’s clear that the real battle has only just begun…”

Into The Drowning Deep by Mira Grant“Seven years ago the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a mockumentary, bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a tragedy; others have called it a hoax. Now, a new crew has been assembled to investigate. And they’ll discover that whatever is down there is definitely no joke…”

The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty“Over seventy years have passed since sisters Rose and Connie Doughty found an abandoned baby near their home on the island Scribbly Gum. With no one to take care of it, Rose and Connie took the baby in as their own. Since then the ‘Munro Baby Mystery’ has brought fame and fortune, putting Scribbly Gum on the tourist map, especially for the island’s annual celebration. But now, with Connie dead and outsider Sophie Honeywell about to move into her home, Rose begins to wonder if they made the right decision all those years ago. How much longer can they cover up the lie that has sustained their community for generations? And what other secrets are about to be revealed?”