REVIEW: Fifty Fifty

“Most killers I’d come across I could make a stab at some kind of explanation for their behaviour. I was always able to rationalise it. This time, there was no easy explanation.
No key. This one I couldn’t rationalise.
There was something dark at the heart of this case.
Something evil.
Watching.
Waiting.”

Why Did I Read This?

This was my local book club pick for October and I have to say this book won all but one vote! Everyone was desperate to read this thriller…and I can see why.

What Did I Think?

OK, guys…it’s been a while since I’ve read a thriller and this book reminded me EXACTLY why I love this genre. 

If this is the first time hearing about this book, Fifty Fifty is about two sisters who are BOTH on trial for the murder of their father. Each thinks each other has killed him. But one is a LIAR.

This was my first time reading a Steve Cavanagh novel, but I had heard extremely great things about his other novel, ‘Th1rte3n’. This book had everything a good thriller needs. Intertwining stories. Different narratives. Twists. Turns. Suspense.

One thing I loved about this book was we get a narrative from the killer herself but Steve Cavanagh does an incredible job of keeping her identity under wraps right until the VERY end. That’s what I love so much about a good thriller, you’re kept guessing right until the final pages and this was certainly the case with Fifty Fifty.

Cavanagh also did a great job of giving us a perspective from a female lawyer within the industry. Kate’s perspective and the experience was one of my favourites throughout the novel because all the odds were against her. She starts the book by being controlled by a horrible, sexist, and pervy boss. Cavanagh was clever and brave to address the sexual abuse and biased behavior within the legal system.

I loved both the lawyers (even though they were fighting on different sides) because they each had their quirks but worked extremely well together. 

There wasn’t anything I didn’t particularly not enjoy about this book because like I said before, I thought it included everything a good thriller should, but when my boyfriend asked me if it was a 5-star, I had to think about it. And for me, if I have to question whether a book deserved 5 stars, then it probably didn’t. However, my opinion might change once we discuss it with the book club because those discussions either go one of two ways; I either end up loving it more or loving it less! 

Safe to say though, I have added a few of Steve Cavanagh’s other books to my TBR!

Fifty Fifty

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Publisher: Orion
Published: 2020
# of Pages: 349
Genre: Thriller
Trigger Warnings: Violence, blood, murder, abuse, graphic scenes, self-harm, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, inappropriate behaviour at work
Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Blackwells

BLOG TOUR: Bent Coppers by Norman Pilcher

So today is my turn to join the Bent Coppers Blog tour hosted by Faye at Authoright. When this blog tour was announced, I was so excited to be part of it because there is nothing I love more than a good police drama but this is the story of the man who arrested some HUGE names which makes it even more special.

Complete with real police reports and Pilcher’s witty humour, Bent Coppers is the perfect read for those who want to experience what it was like being a policeman in the 1960s, when the force was corrupt and had its fair share of cover ups.

The Book

Bent Coppers is the electrifying true story of Norman Pilcher, the most infamous police officer in British law enforcement history. Truth and justice were the tenets of Pilcher’s war against crime in the capital, but they soon collapsed in a landslide of scandal, perjury and blazing newspaper headlines. 

The man who arrested The Beatles and The Rolling Stones would pay the ultimate price for his service. Finally he sets the record straight.

An Extract

My name is Norman Pilcher. I was a policeman in the 1960s in London during a period when the Met Police was rotten to its core. Now I have reached a ripe old age, I plan to set the record straight on a few things concerning my reputation, and that of my team. I write this story not from a bitter or pained place, but one of understanding. I was naïve at the time; I am not anymore. My hope is that in straightening out rumours and hearsay that a record will then exist which is more powerful than gossip and newspaper stories, because this record is the truth and truth is the most powerful thing of all.

The backdrop to my career was the Swinging Sixties, which most people think of as an era of celebration. Beatlemania, counterculture and social revolution were how it became popularised. The sexual revolution, and questioning authority with marijuana, LSD and psychedelic music – that’s what many people stood for. So, as you can imagine, being a policeman arresting pop stars for taking drugs was not going to score me any brownie points with the public during this period of change! The thing was though, I did not join the Met for popularity; I did it for other reasons and it was not to arrest famous people, I can assure you of that. Perhaps without being able to articulate it at the time, I wanted to do something sincerely useful in this world. By preventing something bad from happening, stopping someone doing something wrong or dealing with somebody when they had done wrong, I could make my contribution. What I learnt was that the majority of people were good people. And a lot of people were simply rebelling.

The Author

Pilcher was a policeman in the 1960’s in London during a period when the Met Police was rotten to the core. He grew up in Margate (but now lives in the Tunbridge Wells area.) He had a great family life and never got into trouble, because if he had he’d have got a good old thumping from his dad.

“I went into the building trade on an apprenticeship when school finished. I didn’t like it, so when my dad came back from racing pigeons, I told him that I fancied joining the army which I did. I trained at Woking and joined the Military Police and like my dad, I went to North Africa. As I was part of the Military Police, I was destined to be a copper, so when I came back, I joined the Met Police.”

You can follow Norman on Twitter and Facebook to find out more about the book and to be kept up to date with all his latest ventures!

Bent Coppers

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Published: 2020
# of Pages: 184
Genre: Memoir
Links: Goodreads, Amazon

The 2020 BBC National Story Award

As you may already know, I was kindly asked to be involved in the launch of the 2020 BBC Radio 4 Short Story Award by Comma Press and I can’t believe my luck!

The shortlist for the 2020 BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University was announced on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row on Friday 11th September 2020. The stories shortlisted were then broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 to showcase each individual story.

The Shortlist

BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University 2020 shortlist is:

  • ‘Pray’ by Caleb Azumah Nelson
  • ‘In The Car With the Rain Coming Down’ by Jan Carson
  • ‘The Grotesques’ by Sarah Hall
  • ‘Come Down Heavy’ by Jack Houston
  • ‘Scrimshaw’ by Eley Williams

My Winner

‘The Grotesques’ tells a story about a fictional family with its own oppressive rules. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that the mother is controlling but there are also hints of other darker secrets hidden in the family as well.

The author, Sarah Hall has been shortlisted for the BBCNSSA four times already, so I’m really rooting for her to win the award this year. Her story, just like all her other entries, perfectly combines the feeling of tension and relief, in ways I never knew possible.

The Award is one of the most prestigious for single short stories, with the winning author receiving £15,000, and the other four further shortlisted authors winning £600 each.

Excitedly, the announcement of the winner of the award will be broadcast live from the award ceremony on BBC Radio 4 from 7:15 pm on Tuesday 6th October 2020.

If you would like to catch up on all the stories broadcasted on BBC Radio 4, check them out on BBC Sounds!

REVIEW: Expectation

“I think the pressure for women to have a perfect home is one of the greatest heists of capitalism.”

Why Did I Read This Book?

This was the September pick for Beth’s Book Club and I luckily had a brilliant copy due to it being one of Richard and Judy’s Summer 2020 Book Club picks too! 

I had heard very good things about the book and whilst I was reading it, it seemed that everyone else on my social media was too! 

What Did I Think?

What I liked the most about this book was that it portrayed the modern woman’s life perfectly. There was no beating around the bush that Anna Hope wanted to create a story that shows the pressures of womanhood in these modern times. 

If you are unaware, Expectation follows Hannah, Cate, and Lissa who are young, vibrant, and inseparable. They live on the edge of a common in East London, and their shared world is ablaze with art and activism, romance and revelry – and the promise of everything to come. They are electric. They are the best of friends.

Ten years on, they are not where they hoped to be. Amidst flailing careers and faltering marriages, each is hungry for what the others have. And each is wrestling with the same question: what does it take to lead a meaningful life?

Expectation honestly depicts female friendship and how it changes with age and milestones. All three women lead different lives but each woman has something in her life that she wishes she could change. One is desperate for a child, one is regretting ever having a child and the other is desperate to for that BIG break in her dream career. I think throughout the story, you feel for each character but you find yourself disagreeing and becoming angry with the choices they make. 

It feels like each woman is having a mid-life crisis and is questioning whether the life they are leading was what they wanted. It was extremely refreshing to hear the problems that these women were facing are problems that we all face from time to time. Questioning whether you’re leading a meaningful life is something I suppose everyone questions at some point in their life and it was refreshing to see this from a female perspective. 

Anna Hope does a fantastic job of playing with societal ‘expectations’ (excuse the pun) of what women need in their life to be considered ‘successful’ or ‘happy’. I think the title works fabulously in a bunch of different ways, whether that be society’s expectations or the expectations that each character holds when they are young and fresh out of uni with their whole lives ahead of them. Each character ‘expected’ their life to be completely different from the one they eventually end up leading but is that always a bad thing? 

I enjoyed this book, but I feel like the first part of the book is a lot more enticing than the second part. I did find myself losing interest towards the end but I think that also may be because I started to dislike one of the characters in particular and reading her narrative did become unbearable. Apart from that, I did enjoy it and I enjoyed discussing it with Beth’s Book Club too as it was extremely poignant discussing the expectations that we as women feel we are bound to. 

Expectation

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Published: 2019
Publisher: Penguin Random House/Black Swan
# of Pages: 324
Genre: Contemporary/Women’s Fiction
Trigger Warnings: Miscarriage, IVF, depression, sexual scenes, post-natal depression, adultery, job rejection
Links: Goodreads, Amazon, Blackwells

The Most Common Reasons Why We Don’t Stick To Our TBRs!

So if you are a bookstagrammer, book blogger or booktuber, at the beginning of every month you will see an INFLUX of posts appearing on your feeds all about what people are planning on reading that month. You may even be one of them; I know I am. 

Yet, you may also see people’s monthly reading wrap-up posts where they discuss the books they read AND the books they didn’t end up reading. After seeing this done by SO MANY people I follow nearly every month since joining the bookstagram community, I thought I’d set up a poll on my stories to find out the reasons that stop us from sticking to our TBRs and here are my findings:

New Books

OK, this may not be a surprise to the book addicts reading this, but the most common reason people gave for not sticking to their TBRs was…you guessed it…the love of new books.

Whether that be new books we buy, seeing new books being posted about on social media, or books gifted to us, 35% of the people asked said it was new books catching our eyes and distracting us that ultimately stops us from sticking to our TBRs.

Let’s be serious, we’ve all been there, haven’t we? Especially with book stores FINALLY being back open. You can’t beat a cheeky book shopping trip.

Mood

The second most common reason, which I found EXTREMELY interesting was…mood reading.

26 people out of the 67 asked, said that they choose what books they read based on what mood they are in. So at the start of the month, they may be in the mood for ticking some of their fantasy books off their TBR list, yet throughout the month, they can’t find the motivation or the desire to read fantasy and instead, end up reading something COMPLETELY different. 

It was interesting that the people who answered with mood reading stated how badly they felt about not being in the mood for the books they originally picked for the start of the month. I could probably write a whole other blog post about the guilt we feel when we don’t complete our TBRs or we don’t read the books we promised ourselves we’d read, but I’m just going to say this now…NEVER FEEL GUILTY FOR READING WHAT YOU WANT TO READ. Reading is supposed to be our hobby; our escape from daily life, so hun, you read whatever the f*ck you want to read and don’t ever feel guilty about it.

Time

Moving on, the third most popular reason for people not sticking to their TBRs was…time.

24% of the people asked stated that it was time that was their biggest issue. This includes simply running out of time; books taking longer than expected to finish and life/work/school commitments getting in the way of our precious reading time. 

I think one thing I’ve learnt over my initial months of being a book blogger and bookstagrammer is some days you’ll get the chance to read as much as you want and other days, you just won’t find the time. Don’t get me wrong, on those days there’s nothing you want more than to sit down with your book for half an hour and chill. Then on the days where you have the opportunity to read for as long as you like, you feel bad for just sitting on your sofa. 

Time will always be something that stops us from doing/achieving the things we want, but it’s all about making the most of the short time we have on this planet. If you can fit in five minutes here and there then BUZZING! If you can’t, no big deal!

Other

And then the remaining 11% was a mixture of other reasons.

This includes TBRs being too ambitious, book club commitments, book hangovers and reading ARCs in time for their publication dates or in time for the blog tour. 

I can relate to each and every one of these reasons, as I’m sure you can too. We’ve all been there, especially with book club and ARC commitments and I have to admit there have been MULTIPLE times where I’ve not realised the discussion date/blog tour date is so soon and had to rush through a book to make it on time.

So it looks like there is a whole array of reasons why we don’t stick or complete our TBRs and it begs the question of whether setting monthly TBRs is even worth it. But personally, I like the idea of planning what I’m reading. Even if I don’t get to read all the ones I set out to read or I read completely different ones, monthly TBRs for me, work as a great way of keeping myself on track and to not get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of books sitting on my shelves. 

I guess there’s one last thing to ask and that is…

What do TBRs offer YOU?

The BBC National Short Story Award

I was kindly asked to be involved in the launch of the 2020 BBC Radio 4 Short Story Award by Comma Press and I couldn’t believe my luck! I was gifted a copy of the 2019 anthology and as someone who hasn’t really read that many short stories, what better opportunity to broaden my horizons and fall in love with a form that has been entertaining readers for years.

The Award

The BBC National Short Story Award is one of the most prestigious for a single short story, with the winning author receiving £15,000, and four further shortlisted authors £600 each. The stories are broadcast on Radio 4 and published in an anthology. The 2019 winner of the BBC National Short Story Award was Welsh writer Jo Lloyd, who won for ‘The Invisible’, a timeless story set in Wales and inspired by social divisions and folklore. Previous alumni of the award include Lionel Shriver, Zadie Smith, Hilary Mantel and Jon McGregor. 

The 2019 Shortlist

‘The Children’ by Lucy Caldwell – A writer researching the life of 19th-century child custody reformer, Caroline Norton, draws parallels between motherhood then and now.

‘Ghillie’s Mum’ by Lynda Clark – A mother and son struggle to fit into society with their seemingly uncontrollable shape-shifting abilities in this story of mental health stigma.

‘Silver Fish in the Midnight Sea’ by Jacqueline Crooks – Three children’s ancestors watch them from the stars, as their mother’s house is haunted by her past on a far-away island.

‘My Beautiful Millennial’ by Tamsin Grey – The story of a young, Leave-voting woman in London who escapes her relationship with the older man taking advantage of her vulnerabilities, and finds friendship on a tube populated with myriad kinds of people.

‘The Invisible’ by Jo Lloyd – The values of a small farming village are challenged by talk of a wealthy community living on the other side of the lake that only one person can see.

The 2019 Short Story Award Winner

Nikki Bedi

The 2019 award with Cambridge University was chaired by Nikki Bedi, a television and radio broadcaster with a passion for making arts and culture accessible. Her introduction in the anthology was highly motivating and discussed the form of short stories and how they aren’t the warm-up act; they are the main event. As she states, short stories are ‘gifts of concision, they demand one’s total attention’ and she ‘relishes in devouring, digesting, being moved and surprised by a perfectly-formed short work.’ 

‘The Invisible’ by Jo Lloyd was crowned as the 2019 winner. Her piece The Invisible was described by judges as a “timeless” and “deeply tender” story influenced by Brexit, social division and folklore.

The BBC Radio 4 Short Story Award 2020

Jonathan Freeland

Radio 4 presenter, journalist and author Jonathan Freedland is chairing the judging panel for this year’s award, which is even more special because it is the 15th anniversary of the prize!

Freedland will be joined by a group of acclaimed writers and critics on the panel. Commonwealth Prize winner Lucy Caldwell who was shortlisted for both the 2012 and 2019 BBC NSSA; British Nigerian writer Irenosen Okojie, a Betty Trask winner and Jhalak Prize shortlistee; Edge Hill Prize shortlistee and Guardian short story columnist Chris Power; and returning judge, Di Speirs, Books Editor at BBC Radio.

The shortlist for the BBC National Short Story Award with Cambridge University will be announced on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row at 7:15 pm on Friday 11th September 2020. The stories shortlisted will then be broadcasted on BBC Radio 4 from Monday 14th to Friday 18th September from 3:30 pm to 4 pm. Excitedly, the announcement of the winner of the award will be broadcast live from the award ceremony on BBC Radio 4 from 7:15 pm on Tuesday 6th October 2020.

Translated Fiction on My Bookshelves

Have you ever read any translated fiction? I personally never have and when I got my first book in a recent subscription box, I decided to start looking for other translated fiction in a bid to help me diversify my reading. I thought I’d share the recent books I’ve bought to help me do just that!

The Discomfort of Evening

The Discomfort of the Evening is being named as ‘a radical reading experience that will leave you changed forever’. As winner of the 2020 International Booker Prize, this book, written by Netherlands prize-winning poet, follows Jas who lives with her devout farming family in rural Netherlands.

One winter’s day, her older brother joins an ice skating trip; and resentful at being left alone, she makes a perverse plea to God; he never returns.

As grief overwhelms the farm, Jas succumbs to a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies, watching her family disintegrate into a darkness that threatens to derail them all. 

Get your copy here!

The Dead Girls

The Dead Girls is a black comedy, that is both moving and cruelly funny, and Ibargüengoitia’s work is a potent and entertaining blend of sex and mayhem.

In 1960s Central Mexico, two sisters, Delfina and María de Jesús González, known as ‘Las Poquianchis’, run a small-town brothel. Kidnapped, drugged and beaten, their young workers are desperate for escape.

The Dead Girls is the discovery of these young women, buried in the back yard. In the laconic tones of a police report, Jorge Ibargüengoitia investigates these horrific murders and their motives.

Get your copy here!

The Adventures of China Iron

This book was the book I mentioned in my introduction. I received this beautiful copy in my August Books That Matter box. This was the first translated fiction book to sit on my bookshelves so I owe Books That Matter a huge thank you!

The book charts the adventures of Mrs China Iron, Martín Fierro’s abandoned wife, in her travels across the pampas in a covered wagon with her new-found friend, soon to become lover, a Scottish woman named Liz.

While Liz provides China with a sentimental education and schools her in the nefarious ways of the British Empire, their eyes are opened to the wonders of Argentina’s richly diverse flora and fauna, cultures and languages, as well as to its national struggles. 

Get your copy here!

Convenience Store Woman

I had seen this book floating around my social media channels and never knew that it was translated fiction until I watched one of Beth @ BooksNest videos where she discussed this book.

It follows the story of thirty-six-year-old Tokyo resident Keiko Furukura. Keiko has never fit in, neither in her family, nor in school, but when at the age of eighteen she begins working at the Hiiromachi branch of “Smile Mart,” she finds peace and purpose in her life.

Managers come and go, but Keiko stays at the store for eighteen years. It’s almost hard to tell where the store ends and she begins. Keiko is very happy, but the people close to her, from her family to her coworkers, increasingly pressure her to find a husband, and to start a proper career, prompting her to take desperate action…

Get your copy here!

Before The Coffee Gets Cold

Similar to Convenience Store Woman, Before The Coffee Gets Cold is one I didn’t know was translated fiction and another one I found through Beth’s videos.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold…

Get your copy here!

Kitchen

I can’t believe I’ve only just found out about his book but since buying my copy in a local bookstore in Manchester, I’ve seen it EVERYWHERE I go!

Kitchen is an enchantingly original and deeply affecting book about mothers, love, tragedy, and the power of the kitchen and home in the lives of a pair of free-spirited young women in contemporary Japan. 

Mikage, the heroine of Kitchen, is an orphan raised by her grandmother, who has passed away. Grieving, she is taken in by her friend Yoichi and his mother (who was once his father), Eriko. As the three of them form an improvised family that soon weathers its own tragic losses, Yoshimoto spins a lovely, evocative tale and companion story.

Get your copy here!

AND THERE WE HAVE IT!

I hope there are some books featured here that have tickled your translated fiction taste buds and be sure to let me know if you have read any of these or plan to!

My Favourite Bookmarks & Where To Buy Them

Since starting my book blog/bookstagram account, I’ve ditched the days of ‘dog-earing’ my pages and invested in some good quality bookmarks.

There are some absolutely FAB-U-LOUS ones out there and I have come across even more since writing this post, but I thought I would share my favourite ones so far which have really stood out! Most of them are available to buy through Etsy and online, so it’s now easier than ever to up your bookmark game!

The Bookmark Boys

First up is my favourite bookmark shop BY FAR which is The Bookmark Boys. I came across this Etsy shop through someone posting about it in one of the Facebook groups I am part of and I couldn’t be more in love. Each design will definitely give you a good giggle each time you open your book!

Click here to view their online shop!

Elena Illustration

I came across Elena Illustration when I received a bookmark and a pencil case in the Spring edition of The Secondhand Bookshelf‘s subscription box. They are absolutely stunning (as you can see) and are made with watercolour paint. The designs are just gorgeous to look at and there’s a whole bunch available so you’ll be sure to find one that matches your personality.

Click here to view their online shop!

Oktoberdots Shop

If you’re getting ready for Autumn or, like me, you are an Autumn baby through and through, you will L-O-V-E Oktoberdots. Their gorgeous designs will get you in the mood for a pumpkin-spiced latte and leave you feeling all warm and witchy!

Click here to view their online shop!

Infinite & Darling

One of the very first bookmarks I bought when I decided to change my dog-ear ways, and by looking at the pictures below, I’m sure it’s easy to understand why. They have a HUGE range of bookmarks available but my ultimate favourites have to be the Alice in Wonderland collection. JUST LOOK AT THOSE COLOURS!

Click here to view their online shop!

Handmade Resins

And last but no means least, Handmade Resins! If you scroll down any bookstagram feed you will no doubt see these EVERYWHERE but my favourites have to be these! Handmade Resins is available on Etsy and they sell a whole range of key rings, bookmarks and other gorgeous items at affordable prices. You can even customise the colours to your preference.

Click here to view their online shop!

And there we have it, a sneaky look into my bookmark collection. Hopefully some of these will inspire you to go and search for your next bookmark and for those dog-ear lovers out there…hopefully I’ve persuaded you to change your ways!

My Galleython TBR

I have decided to take part in the 2020 Galleython after getting the taste for readathons post-Reading Rush. If you didn’t know the Galleython is a readathon dedicated to ticking some those NetGalley books off your ever-growing list. Like I mentioned in my August TBR, my feedback ratio on NetGalley is truly SHOCKING so this readathon couldn’t have come at a better time. There are four prompts and it looks like within a week, I have given myself the challenge of reading FOUR BOOKS. Thank god I’m still on furlough!

The Prompts:

  • Newest ARC you have
  • Oldest ARC you have
  • ARC you regret requesting
  • ARC you are excited for

Newest ARC You Have: Never Say No – Elizabeth Neep

(Genre: Comedy/Women’s Fiction)

I was recently accepted for an ARC of Never Say No by Elizabeth Neep which has been deemed as the ‘perfect summer read’.

Hailey has always been told she can have it all. And saying yes to every opportunity that comes her way seems like the obvious way to make sure she gets it. When she finds an engagement ring hidden in her boyfriend Dom’s closet, she knows she’ll say yes.

And every time her new boss, the infamous Vivian Jones, asks her to stay late (again) at her dream job, the answer is always yes. But somewhere between saying ‘yes’ to Vivian’s latest demands and still trying to make it home on time for boxsets and burritos on the sofa with Dom, Hailey has lost sight of what she really wanted in the first place.

Published on 4th September by Bookouture.

Oldest ARC You Have: My Darling – Amanda Robson

(Genre: Thriller/Mystery)

This book features on my August TBR so have a look on there for more information on this book. It’s been on my NetGalley shelf for SOO long and it’s about time I ticked this thriller off.

Published on 24th August by Avon Books UK.

ARC You Regret Requesting: The Phone Box At The Edge of The World – Laura Imai Messina

(Genre: General Fiction)

To say I ‘regret’ this book is a bit harsh if I’m honest but the reason I have picked this book for this prompt is because I didn’t realise that it was such a devastating story.

When Yui loses her mother and daughter in the tsunami, she wonders how she will ever carry on. Yet, in the face of this unthinkable loss, life must somehow continue. Then one day she hears about a man who has an old disused telephone box in his garden. There, those who have lost loved ones find the strength to speak to them and begin to come to terms with their grief. As news of the phone box spreads, people will travel to it from miles around.

Soon, Yui will make her own pilgrimage to the phone box, too. But once there she cannot bring herself to speak into the receiver. Then she finds Takeshi, a bereaved husband whose own daughter has stopped talking in the wake of their loss.What happens next will warm your heart, even when it feels as though it is breaking. For when you’ve lost everything – what can you find?

This book was published on 25th June by Bonnier Books UK but I still have my ARC sitting on NetGalley.

ARC You Are Excited For: Ghosts – Dolly Alderton

(Genre: Women’s Fiction)

Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love is one of my favourite books because I read it at a time where I was lost and needed some direction. Dolly herself is a queen and I love her so I was over the moon to be accepted to read an ARC of her new upcoming novel, Ghosts.

32-year-old Nina Dean is a successful food writer with a loyal online following, but a life that is falling apart. When she uses dating apps for the first time, she becomes a victim of ghosting, and by the most beguiling of men. Her beloved dad is vanishing in slow motion into dementia, and she’s starting to think about ageing and the gendered double-standard of the biological clock. On top of this she has to deal with her mother’s desire for a mid-life makeover and the fact that all her friends seem to be slipping away from her.

Published on 15th October by Penguin Books UK.

AND THERE WE HAVE IT.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for all my updates on how my Galleython is going and of course, let me know if you are joining in and be sure to tell me which books you have picked to read.

Wish me luck!

Book Triggers: Why They Are Important & How To Use Them

I recently saw the lovely Bronwen at BabblesnBooks announce on Twitter that from now on, she will include triggers in her reviews. Like me, many of you reading this may have absolutely no idea what book triggers are and why we should be using them. 

So in this post, I will look to introduce what book triggers are and why it’s important that we, as book bloggers and reviewers, should be including them in our posts.

So What Are Book Triggers? 

With more diverse stories finally getting the exposure they deserve, it has become easier than ever to read honest and heartbreaking stories about the struggles within society. Yet publishers are still not including content warnings with their releases. 

Some have argued that to include trigger warnings with book reviews or publications is infantalising readers. Life doesn’t come with trigger warnings and neither should books. I can completely understand this argument but I think that difficult material should come with warnings, just like with films and television programmes.  

Picture this: you have just come out of a relationship where you were victim to domestic abuse. You are on your journey to recovery and you pick up a book in which the main character finds themselves in a violent relationship. All of sudden, those memories, anxieties and difficult flashbacks to the pain you went through come flooding back. 

THIS IS WHY WE NEED CONTENT WARNINGS. 

Trigger warnings should not be there as spoilers to the story, and neither should they discourage readers form reading any book they want to read, but with mental health being such an important topic at the minute, I think it is important that people should know if there is difficult and distressing content in the books they are reading.

You may choose to disagree with me and that is absolutely fine, but from now on, I will be including trigger warnings in my reviews. 

And Here Is How To Use Them:

There are many websites out there where you can find lots of information on different types of triggers, but I will mostly be using BookTriggerWarnings.com which has a whole wiki page on different books and their triggers. 

You can either search for the particular book you are reviewing or head to their list of warnings page. If there are any books missing from their database, you can easily create an account and add the book you have reviewed. This is especially great for new releases and less-known books which need trigger warnings too. Also, if there are any triggers that you feel are missing, you are encouraged to contact them and add your triggers to the list. 

You will find my book trigger warnings at the end of each review and I promise you, they will not spoil any of the books I’m reviewing. 

I hope this post will encourage you to think about the importance of book triggers warnings and to perhaps start including them in your reviews too.