December TBR

Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager“Have you ever played two truths and a lie? It was Emma’s first summer away from home. She made friends. She played games. And she learned how to lie. Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned… Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale. She thinks she’s laying old ghosts to rest but really she’s returning to the scene of a crime. Because Emma’s innocence might be the biggest lie of all…”

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead“The Van Meters have gathered at their family retreat on the New England island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne to an impeccably appropriate young man. The weekend is full of lobster and champagne, salt air and practiced bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust seep through the cracks in the revelry. Winn Van Meter, father-of-the-bride, has spent his life following the rules of the east coast upper crust, but now, just shy of his sixtieth birthday, he must finally confront his failings, his desires, and his own humanity.”

The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey“A hot summer. A shocking murder. A town of secrets, waiting to explode… A beautiful young teacher has been murdered, her body found in the lake, strewn with red roses. Local policewoman Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock pushes to be assigned to the case, concealing the fact that she knew the murdered woman in high school years before. But that’s not all Gemma’s trying to hide. As the investigation digs deeper into the victim’s past, other secrets threaten to come to light, secrets that were supposed to remain buried. The lake holds the key to solving the murder, but it also has the power to drag Gemma down into its dark depths… “

#ReadYourFaceOff TBR – December

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 1st December to 9am on Sunday 2nd December in your time zone. My focus for this round is to finish off my November book club book, and get started on a Christmas themed nostalgic read for December. Good luck to everyone participating in this round!

November Book Haul

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater“Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him. Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (lead by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour. Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?”

Into The Forest by Jean Hegland“A distant war rages overseas. Resources society had depended on, such as gas and electricity, are no longer available. Riots spread through the inner cities, while deadly viral infections spread across the countryside. Isolated in their home in the northern California woods, Eva and Nell live in a world without television or phones, in a time of suspicion and superstition, of anger, hunger, and fear. Perhaps one day the lights–and their dreams–will return, but orphaned by their parents’ deaths and by society, Eva and Nell have been left to forage through the forest, and through their past, for the keys to survival. As they blaze a path into the forest and into the future, they become pioneers and pilgrims–not only creatures of the new world, but the creators of it.”

Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager“Have you ever played two truths and a lie? It was Emma’s first summer away from home. She made friends. She played games. And she learned how to lie. Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned… Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale. She thinks she’s laying old ghosts to rest but really she’s returning to the scene of a crime. Because Emma’s innocence might be the biggest lie of all…”

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak“Here is a story told inside out and back to front. Five Dunbar brothers are living – fighting, loving, grieving – in the perfect chaos of a house without grown-ups. Today, the father who left them has just walked right back in. He has a surprising request: Who will build a bridge with him? It is Clay, a boy tormented by a long-buried secret, who accepts. But why is Clay so broken? And why must he fulfil this extraordinary challenge?”

Watching You by Lisa Jewell“You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow. You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room. That’s when you meet the man next door. He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him. All the time. But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession. Or that someone is watching you”

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton“Tonight, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed… Again. It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed. But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot. The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…”

#ReadYourFaceOff TBR – November

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 17th November to 9am on Sunday 18th November in your time zone. My focus for this round is to finish off a couple of books that have been gathering dust on my TBR shelf this year, along with a couple of nostalgic reads. Good luck to everyone participating in this round!

Birthday Book Haul

It is my birthday in under a week, and I figured it would be nice to treat myself to a few new books as a little birthday gift. I’ve been trying to curb my book-buying lately because I have a full shelf of new books that I am yet to read. But surely a birthday calls for a bit of a splurge, right? Here is what I picked up –

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater“Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her. His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.”

Into The Forest by Jean Hegland“Eva, eighteen, and Nell, seventeen, are sisters, adolescents on the threshold of womanhood–and for them anything should be possible. But even as Eva prepares for an audition with the San Francisco Ballet and Nell dreams of her first semester at Harvard, their lives are turned upside down and their dreams are pushed into the shadows. In a nation suddenly without electricity or communications, Eva is compelled to dance alone to the music of memory, and Nell’s education consists of reading the encyclopedia, devouring knowledge as if it were her last meal. Theirs is an age of darkness and terror… A distant war rages overseas. Resources society had depended on, such as gas and electricity, are no longer available. Riots spread through the inner cities, while deadly viral infections spread across the countryside. Isolated in their home in the northern California woods, Eva and Nell live in a world without television or phones, in a time of suspicion and superstition, of anger, hunger, and fear. Perhaps one day the lights–and their dreams–will return, but orphaned by their parents’ deaths and by society, Eva and Nell have been left to forage through the forest, and through their past, for the keys to survival. As they blaze a path into the forest and into the future, they become pioneers and pilgrims–not only creatures of the new world, but the creators of it.”

Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager“It was Emma’s first summer away from home. She made friends. She played games. And she learned how to lie. Then three of her new friends went into the woods and never returned… Now, years later, Emma has been asked to go back to the newly re-opened Camp Nightingale. She thinks she’s laying old ghosts to rest but really she’s returning to the scene of a crime. Because Emma’s innocence might be the biggest lie of all…”