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April was mainly cold and it’s currently been raining for about a day but there was some summer weather in there for a few days.  Despite that I still read.  And read.  This was definitely my most productive month reading, with a staggering 13 books added to the shelf.  I have certainly had some very pleasant days reading though I have been pushing myself to get 10,000 steps done too, not always succeeding, but enough to please me.

This is the first month, probably because of my staggering read pile, that I’ve decided to do a wrap up post.  Some of the books I just won’t find time to blog about as I want to carry on reading.  You may have seen that my May pile is not much shorter than my April pile.  So I thought I would do a quick overall review here.

  1.  The History of Bees by Maja Lunde.  I blogged about this one so you should know I wasn’t a fan.  Interesting concept poorly executed.
  2. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness.  This is the first book in the Chaos Walking series and is a YA book.  It’s dystopian and follows the story of a boy and his dog.  I enjoyed this book, the characters were excellent.  There was a traumatic event about 3/4 of the way through that saw me put the book down and struggle to finish it.  I don’t know that I will carry on with the series because of the effect that moment had on me.  Very good writing and I know the series is highly thought of, we shall see…
  3. The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill.  A novella by Susan about a cursed picture.  An quick and easy read with a really interesting story at the heart of it.
  4. Dark Matter by Michelle Paver.  I blogged about this one.  I’m a big Michelle Paver fan, she builds tension very well and writes great ghost stories.
  5. Out of Thin Air by Anthony Adeane.  A great piece of non fiction about two murder investigations in Iceland.  I really enjoyed this.  Blogged about this one too.
  6. A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle.  The initial introduction of John Watson and Sherlock Holmes and their first investigation together, the blog was out last week.
  7. The Devil’s Dice by Roz Watkins.  The blog for this will be available on Thursday.  Let’s just say, not a fan.
  8. Snow Blind by Ragnar Jonasson.  The book Roz Watkins forced me to read by writing such bad British crime fiction.  So I do have something to thank her for.  A new favourite author and I have three of his books to read in the coming weeks / months.  Yippee.
  9. The First Men in the Moon by H G Wells.  I have this on my pile to blog but I think I shall leave it here.  This is a remarkable story by the Daddy of Sci – Fi, H G Wells.  My favourite walk route takes me past a house he had built in Sandgate so I thought I should read something of his and this was in one of my favourite bookshops.  Two men, one a writer and one a scientist, build a spaceship and fly to the moon where they meet the indigenous population.  Bearing in mind this was written right at the start of the 20th Century when we were 60 years from landing on the moon the science is remarkable.  And sometimes I was a bit bamboozled by it to be honest.  But what I did see in it was how inspirational the book has been.  At moments I couldn’t be sure I wasn’t reading Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy!  I found it a bit science heavy but the story was fab.  What an imagination, founded in fact!
  10. When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy.  This is short listed for the Womens Fiction Prize and I am trying to get some of them read before the winner announcement next month.  The book is about a woman that marries on the rebound from a big relationship and finds herself in a terrible situation of being beaten and raped by her husband frequently.  The book starts by letting you know that she escaped after 4 months so you do read it knowing that at least she is safe.  This is a tough subject, that goes without saying, and a subject that needs to be written about so that victims of domestic violence read that they are not alone, read that what is happening is wrong and is not their fault, and read that there is hope.  That said I didn’t enjoy the writing.  Written in the first person I found fenced off knowing any of the other characters or their motivations at all.  Some of her ways of coping, like pretending to write to people, were a bit dull to read.  Sorry.  Not that it’s not for anyone because it clearly is, lots of people rate this book.  Just not for me.
  11. The Electricity of Every Living Thing by Katherine May.  A non fiction book about the authors challenge to walk the South West Coastal Path before her 40th birthday. During the journey she comes to terms with her late realisation of being Autistic and reflects on the impact on her life.  Inspirational.
  12. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara .  The non fiction true crime account of McManara’s quest to find the East Area Rapist, or The Golden State Killer as she referred to him.  This guy was picked up last week though sadly Michelle never lived to see the happy ending to this mans reign of terror.  Blog to come!
  13. The Moving Toy Shop by Edmund Crisp.  This is a vintage crime novel from the 1940’s which I blogged about earlier in the month.

And that’s a wrap my friends!  This month I also blogged about the bookshops I managed to visit for my #bookshopchallenge2018 and they were just marvellous, particularly loving Much Ado Books in East Sussex but what’s not to like about Stanfords in Covent Garden and Word on the Water, the bookshop on a barge, on the water!!!!

Super hopeful of an equally thrilling and staggering wrap up next month.  What did you read this month?  Any recommendations of what to read or what not to?

May