Sunday Salon – 8 July

The temperature 15 minutes ago!

It’s been too hot to read or blog over the past couple of  weeks but as the weather doesn’t look likely to break any time soon I thought I’d just provide a quick round-up of where I am book-wise at the moment.

I’m plugging on with  #ReadingMuriel2018 but I’m a couple of books behind so need to press on. Later today I’ll be starting The Takeover, which I haven’t read in donkey’s years, and about which I remember very little, so that will be interesting.

Since I last wrote here I have finished precisely one book, but that was an absolute corker; I’ll be writing about The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet over on Bride of the Book God shortly, but if you love well-written and engaging science fiction then this is for you. I immediately bought the sequel (as you will see below).

Talking about books bought, here is my haul since my last post:

  • Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
  • The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
  • The Changeling by Victor Lavalle
  • Awakened by James Murray & Darren Wearmouth
  • A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers (as mentioned above)

Apart from a foray out to the National Gallery to see the excellent Thomas Cole exhibition, I’ve mostly been hiding indoors to avoid the heat. But pleased that I’ve managed to crack some books open at any rate.

Have a great reading week!


Sunday Salon – 24 June

A lovely sunny week and quite a bit of reading done; but first, other stuff…..

We visited the Cinema Museum , based in what used to be a part of the Lambeth Workhouse, whose most famous inhabitant was a young Charlie Chaplin. It’s a fascinating place full of artificers from the history of cinema – the buildings and the experience rather than the movies themselves. It’s under threat at the moment as the building it leases has been sold and although they are talking about the future with the new owners they need a lot of support.

But you probably want the all-important stats, so…….

Books read:

  • The Summer Children by Dot Hutchinson – the third in the Collector trilogy (as was – I believe there is going to be a fourth published next year). I’ve really enjoyed all three books and can recommend if you are in the market for serial killers with a touch of creepiness.
  • The Abbess of Crewe by Muriel Spark – the latest in the reading challenge and one of my absolute favourites, this is basically Watergate in a convent. Read in a single sitting while suffering from insomnia.

Books bought:

I’ve behaved a little bit better this week 😀

  • After the Party by Cressida Connolly – set in the thirties, this is “powerful, poignant, and exquisitely observed, After the Party is an illuminating portrait of a dark period of British history which we are yet to fully acknowledge.”
  • The Church of Accelerated Redemption – “Aliette de Bodard, winner of the Nebula, Locus and BSFA Awards, teams up with BSFA Award-winner Gareth L. Powell to present an uplifting short story of machines and humans, of intense emotions and cutting-age technology” A short story to sneak in between longer reads 🙂
  • The Synapse Sequence by Daniel Godfrey – “In a future London, humans are watched over by AIs and served by bots. But now that justice and jobs are meted out by algorithm, inequality blooms, and protest is brutally silenced.”

Currently reading:

  • The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers“When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn’t expecting much. The ship, which has seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past.” I’m reading this several centuries after almost everyone else but I always knew I would get there; after all, hyperspace tunnels!

Out and about a lot this coming week but hope to continue my reading streak. Have a good one!

Sunday Salon – 17th June

IMG_1925It’s been a quiet week chez Bride, doing stuff around the house and so on, though we did venture out to a Romanian restaurant to have a goodbye lunch before our friend returns to Bucharest. We were overlooked by a colony of decorative bats as we ate our Transylvanian beef soup, which seemed fitting !

But onto the bookish stuff –

Books read:

  • Black Dahlia, Red Rose by Piu Eatwell – an examination of the very famous and culturally influential unsolved murder case
  • The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz, in which he is one of the main characters; I read the whole thing in a single sitting so that should tell you something…..

Currently reading:

In between books at the moment but I have the next Muriel to read and will find another from my 20 books of summer list

Books bought:

Oh dear, didn’t mean to do this but never mind….

  • True Detective by Max Allan Collins – 1930s American crime, blaming the Book god for persuading to buy this and you know that once the floodgates are open then
  • Stanly’s Ghost by Stefan Mohamed – third in the trilogy (I have but not yet read the other two) bought to support Salt Publishing after their Twitter appeal
  • Patrick Melrose: The Complete Novels by Edward St Aubyn, because I’m enjoying the TV adaptation very much and after a suitable gap would like to read the source novels, plus they have the lovely Mr Cumberbatch on the covers
  • Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh – is there a serial killer on the jury? Sounded intriguing so I thought why not
  • Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig because I’ve just started following him on Twitter and he seems cool
  • Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott – because I’m a sucker for books about high society, in this case the women surrounding Truman Capote.

Have a great reading week



Sunday Salon – 10 June

It has been another celebratory week, as the Book God reached another birthday. We spent the day itself at home relaxing (there may have been cake), but on Friday we went to Canterbury to visit the cathedral (I had never been) and have a nice lunch. A beautiful sunny, warm day and lots to see; pictures are on my Instagram account if you are interested (social media links are at the top right).

In other news…..

Books read:

  • The Hothouse by the East River – my latest read for #ReadingMuriel2018
  • All That Remains – my first book for #20booksofsummer

and just this morning

  • Things We Didn’t See Coming by Steven Amsterdam. Nothing like a bit of post-apocalyptic fiction on a sunny Sunday.

Books bought:

  • Noumenon by Marina J Lostetter
  • Orchids on Your Budget by Marjorie Hills
  • Missing by Alison Moore
  • What the Family Needed by Steven Amsterdam

and, surprisingly, because I’ve been unable to find my trusty Penguin paperback, a Kindle version of The Abbess of Crewe, my next Muriel.

Currently reading:

  • Black Dahlia, Red Rose by Piu Eatwell – 1940s true crime.

Hope everyone has a great reading week!

Sunday Salon – 3 June

Echoing almost everyone I know, how the hell can it be June already?

Anyway, this past week was lovely, mainly because it was my and the Book God’s wedding anniversary and we celebrated by having a wonderful lunch at the Cinnamon Club. This restaurant used to be the Westminster Public Library which the BG used back in the day, and it still has books shelved around the walls. It’s very tempting to pull out a volume and start reading, but I didn’t. Maybe next time.

Other than that life has mostly been about chores and reading. So here are the dazzling details…..

Books read:

  • Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick – her take on Henry James’ The Ambassadors this was well worth reading.

Books bought:

  • An Excess Male by Maggie Shen King
  • The Freeze Frame Revolution by Peter Watts
  • The Croning by Laird Barron

Currently reading:

  • The Sale of the Late King’s Goods – I must finish this soon because I have lots of things to say about Charles I & Charles II
  • The Hothouse by the East River – my next Muriel Spark read; I recently posted my Phase 2 review which you can read here
  • All That Remains: A Life in Death – my first book for Twenty Books of Summer; logo for the challenge is above and you read my proposed list here

Hope everyone has a great reading week!



Sunday Salon – 27 May

IMG_1891Lots been happening in the past couple of weeks, mostly of a (not at all serious) medical nature so as per my blogging has taken a back seat, but now I am back.

Books read since my last post; I’ve actually been doing quite well on this front:

  • The Elder Ice by David Hambling
  • Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill
  • Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

and as part of #ReadingMuriel2018 I read the following

  • The Public Image (finishing off Phase 2)
  • The Driver’s seat (to kick off Phase 3)
  • Not to Disturb

Books bought (so much for last month’s ban; I have learned nothing!)

  • All That Remains: A life in Death by Dame/Professor Sue Black
  • Victorians Undone: Tales of the Flesh in the Age of Decorum by Kathryn Hughes
  • The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
  • MI5 and Me: A Coronet Among the Spooks by Caroline Bingham
  • Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough
  • Stitches in Time by Lucy Adlington
  • Francis I by Leonie Frieda
  • Slay by Kim Curran
  • Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain
  • The Summer Children by Dot Hutchinson
  • 84K by Claire North
  • The Outsider by Stephen King
  • Witchsign by Den Patrick
  • The Burning by Jane Carey

I’m currently reading Foreign Bodies by Cynthia Ozick and about to start my next Muriel

Other stuff:

Not much else to report really. I attended an exhibition at the V&A but I’m going to write about that separately. It’s possible I spent a whole day on the sofa watching a certain Royal Wedding fuelled only by Maltesers. Other than that and the aforementioned medical stuff it’s all been very very quiet.

Have a great reading week!


Sunday Salon on a Monday – 7 May

It’s a lovely day here in south-west London; as is traditional when the temperature gets above 25 degrees C, I am hiding in my lounge with the aircon on. Sad, I know 😀 but i know that if I was out in the heat I would be feeling pretty miserable so I canalise with the Judgement of my Readers.

So what have I been up to since my last Salon post a couple of week’s ago?

Books read – yes, I actually finished some books!

  • Adamtine by Hannah Berry – a creepy horror graphic novel which I didn’t entirely understand so will have to read again.
  • Hydra by Matt Wesolowski – “A family massacre. A deluded murderess. Five witnesses. Six Stories. Which one is true?
  • Final Girls by Mira Grant – “What if you could fix the worst parts of yourself by confronting your worst fears?
  • The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark, part of the #ReadingMuriel2018 project

Books bought

Other stuff:

I’ve been suffering really badly from (with?) insomnia so the days have been merging into one and as I’ve been working on a number of projects at home there isn’t a huge amount to report. Except for Avengers: Infinity War. That was awesome. Go and see it if you haven’t already.

Have a great week!