Book Review Round Up - August 2020



A round up of books reviewed during this month 

(also ⬆️ not my cat, it is a stock picture before anyone asks!! I’m naming her Gizmo)

Have you read any of them? What did you think? What was your favourite book this month?

August was actually a really good reading month with 
mostly 4’s and 5’s out of 5!

Famous Five 1-3Famous Five 1-3 by Enid Blyton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes I love books about aliens and zombies, murderers and psychopaths but I also love quaint books set in a time where there was considerably less to worry about. When kids could wander without worry and every farm was willing to feed you.

I read the first book many many many years ago, it was my cousins, I borrowed it, I never gave it back and she still reminds me to this day. I actually still have it so I might return it. I instantly loved the five, their slightly posh ways and wonderful picnics.....read more.


Lying Beneath (The AURA Operation, #1)Lying Beneath by Kevin Moran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What would you do if you found an unusual trapdoor in an abandoned building, would curiosity get the better of you or would you disregard it and get on with your day. Me? I’d be curious.

Whilst doing a bit of urban exploration with her boyfriend Derek, Ayla stumbles across an abandoned, heavily guarded building, an unusual trapdoor is hidden within it. Curiosity does get the better of her and despite her boyfriends concerns she wants to see what this strange building is hiding within its depths....read more.


EarthlingsEarthlings by Sayaka Murata
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I loved Convenience Store Woman, it really was a delight to read and I was excited to read Earthlings. I was hoping for a dose of the charm that flowed through that book.

Earthlings was a bit of a shock to the system, The general gist of the story, a young woman who doesn’t want to conform to societies norms came through but how she gets from being a child besotted with her cousin to a woman in a loveless marriage is a bit of a disturbing one.....read more.


Giant Days, Vol. 3 (Giant Days, #3)Giant Days, Vol. 3 by John Allison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Volume 3 has election madness! The current student union president is quite frankly a posh t**t who’d rather ski that deal with student problems. Ed, now working at the student rag uncovers the deception within the students union and an election takes place.

Susan somehow gets herself involved with campaign managing the competition, this turns her into a crazy person who stays awake all night and lives in a dream state - it also spells the death of her and McGrath’s relationship as she stupidly neglects him choosing to concentrate on her campaign instead of taking five minutes to talk to him.....read more


Frankie ComicsFrankie Comics by Rachel Dukes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love my dog, I really do but I think she needs a friend. I suggested a puppy pal to her, it was met with a look of disgust, I suggested a kitten, she promptly packed her bags and left no forwarding address. I like the idea of having a cat but the reality is different!

Meet Frankie, an adorable ball of fluff who makes herself at home on Rachel and Mike’s doorstep and worms her way in to their home and heart....read more.


Giant Days, Vol. 4 (Giant Days, #4)Giant Days, Vol. 4 by John Allison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Volume 4 is all about house hunting, I mean who wouldn’t want a bunch of students living in their rental property that they spent thousands on?!

Esther has been cut off by the Bank of Mum and Dad, she decides to try her luck in the real world and ends up working in BakerMax (a thinly disguised Gregg’s to my UK readers - let me know rest of the world readers where you buy your sausage rolls, meat pies and assorted cakes from), Esther is a gothic creature of beauty who now finds her head in an industrial oven scraping of grease....read more.


ArkhangelArkhangel by James Brabazon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

With comparisons to Lee Child and David Baldacci straight away I knew I was going to be in for a good read, Arkhangel doesn’t disappoint.

Our protagonist is Max McLean a man who doesn’t exist and a man who has so many bumps and scrapes throughout this book I am surprised he gets past the first couple of chapters alive! But that is what he is trained to do, he is an assassin, one that operates with his own agenda.....read more.


The GuardiansThe Guardians by John Christopher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Usually when I write a review, I have no problem finding the cover image, not today dear reader, today I had to *gasp* take my own photo! My copy of The Guardians was published in 1982 and it cost £1.10p. I’m not sure when I took ownership of this book but as it is literally falling apart I can only assume it must have been a while back.

I read this book during high school, it was discussed as part of our English lessons (quick side note-it was also during these lessons that the teacher introduced my to The Hobbit thus starting my love of The Lord of the Rings) and it could well be one of the first dystopian books I read.....read more.


Giant Days, Vol. 5 (Giant Days, #5)Giant Days, Vol. 5 by John Allison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Volume 5 takes us to a music festival and moves us in to a new home with a few detours on the way!

Reviewing all of these volumes I don’t want my reviews to become to repetitive so I’m going to share my five favourite moments of this volume.

#1
Mild mannered Daisy exploding at her condescending Archaeology tutor reducing him to tears...read more.


Alice Isn't DeadAlice Isn't Dead by Joseph Fink
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ll be honest I am not a huge audiobook fan but I took advantage of a special offer Audible sent to me and as I knew Joseph Fink is behind the wonderful Welcome to Night Vale and I had yet to listen to the podcast version of Alice, I thought I’d try this first.

I can honestly say hand over heart I loved this, It was creepy as anything. The book is narrated by Jasika Nicole (who also narrates the podcast) as Keisha Taylor, a long haul trucker roaming the highways looking for her wife Alice....read more.


The Saturday Night Ghost ClubThe Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book wasn’t what I expected. I think I expected something more like stranger things with more monsters and scary shit falling about the place. It is not that kind of book, however there are monsters just more of a teenage hormone kind.
Told from the dual POV of 12 year old Jake, a shy loner and his older self, a successful neurosurgeon. Jake lives in Niagara Falls with his parents, he is bullied at school and he finds solace in the company of his eccentric occult shop owning uncle Calvin. Calvin’s shop is next door to a Betamax rental shop, if you are 35 and younger this may mean nothing to you - google it!  His uncle is full of great stories, he loves all things strange and unusual.....read more.


The Watcher by Kate Medina
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always choose the worst possible times to read books for example The Watcher I decided to read on my kindle in the dark whilst a massive electrical storm clashed and banged its way overhead, possibly not the sort of environment for a happy sleep but actually it was the perfect environment as this book was quite frankly creepy as anything and the fact I couldn’t sleep was credit to this books disturbing atmosphere....read more.



SnowSnow by John Banville
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A library should be full of books, high back leather chairs and a roaring fire. It should not the resting place of the bloodied corpse of the local parish priest.

Set in 1950’s Ireland, Snow takes us back to a slightly more innocent time. But don’t confuse that with people behaving themselves. DI St John (pronounced Sinjin) Strafford is called to Ballyglass to investigate the death of the local Catholic priest. His body has been found in the library of Ballyglass House, seat of the Osborne family, the nature of his death is gruesome......read more.


The Wizerd Vol. 1: And the Potion of Dreams!The Wizerd Vol. 1: And the Potion of Dreams! by Michael Sweater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A reclusive wizerd is dragged on a request by an annoying princess who longs to be a “hunky” warrior, I’m in!  We follow our intrepid pair as they look for the ingredients to help the princess achieve her goals, of course this being a kind of quest, nothing goes to plan but its good fun reading about it.....read more.


War and Peas: Funny Comics for Dirty LoversWar and Peas: Funny Comics for Dirty Lovers by Jonathan Kunz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s so good, who’d have thought the Grim Reaper would be funny (“Us, that’s who” shouts legions of Discworld fans), he is joined by a slutty witch, cool dogs and ghosts learning to be ghosts.

Each comic is made up of four panels, these are not light and fluffy, they can be dark but they are most definitely funny.




23 comments

  1. Alice Isn't Dead was excellent! Have you listened to the podcast?

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    1. I’ve got it downloaded, I make such a difference having the sound effects. I really love it, the whole Welcome to Night Vale universe is great.

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  2. You take me way way back with the Enid Blyton. Do children still read her?

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    1. Yes they seem to but my eldest wasn’t impressed with her books!

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  3. The Famous Five look both super fun and nostalgic as well. The Watcher does look a bit creepy as well!

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  4. I've enjoyed my Enid Blyton re-reads over the summer-The Wishing Chair and the Secret series were fun. I need to knuckle down to the Adventure series soon.

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    1. I cant get over how many books she wrote, I don’t think I’d ever get through them all.

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  5. Crikey you've reviewed a lot of books lately! I love the sound of The Watcher! x

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    1. I know, it was a good month! The Watcher is a great book, very creepy.

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  6. I do like the sound of The Watcher.
    Lynn :D

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  7. I can see that you enjoyed your reading in August, as did I! I know a man named Kevin Moran, or at least I used to know him. Have not had any contact with him in many years. I don't think he ever wrote even one book though. Ha ha. Happy reading in September!

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  8. Earthlings is one on my tbr pile. Wonder how I'll like it. I loved Convenience Store Woman too.

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    1. I loved Convenience Store Woman but this was a little too crazy for me.

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  9. Hi Heather! Oooooe ... I love this post! I used to do a Library card on my previous blog.... Maybe I should start that again.

    You sure did have a good month!! I want to read The Watcher. That sounds good. And I think I also need to re-read Famous Five. Sounds like a great idea.

    We must maybe look into a buddy read for children's fiction. But when WE were children. I know that we are about the same age. So it can be fun! Have you ever read Hitchcock's children books?

    I haven't done a wrap-up. 1st of September is suppose to be spring, but it's dreadfully cold! So in my mind August is still continuing. Don't even know how many books I've read. Not a lot. I'll catch up during the holidays!

    Okay, I'm a chatterbox here. Will say bye for now. PS: How do you make your photos like that?It's awesome!!

    Elza Reads

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    1. I haven’t read the Hitchcock’s books, I shall have a look for them. The weather I feel is crazy I’m expecting crisp days with beautiful autumn leaves outside and its just grey, wet and windy.

      This is my first proper round up since I restarted, Its quite nice to revisit all that I’ve read!

      Canva is responsible for all the images on the site apart from the graphics that came with the template, I usually just have a play about till I find something I’m happy with. The top image as I found it had black frames, I then added a frame so I could just bung a picture in each physical frame and then added the text. I always find I do them, add them to the post and find myself tinkering till I’m happy.

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  10. I haven't read any of the books on your list, but you sparked a memory of one I read many, many years ago. It was probably in the late 60s when I received a copy of Enid Blyton's *The Magic Faraway Tree* which I read over and over. I also had a copy of *Well, Really, Mr. Twiddle* and wanted to get fish and chips wrapped in newspaper just like he did. :) Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

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    1. Fish and Chips in a newspaper is the best, I haven’t had it for years as our local fish and chip shop has started using those horrible polystyrene cartons. Its not the same.

      I remember reading The Magic Faraway Tree, she has such a way with words.

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  11. Only book on your list I've even heard of is Alice Isn't Dead. I'm glad you had a good reading month. Check out my monthly wrap-up

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  12. The Famous Five <3 My husband has never read any enid blython or seen and of the tv shows that have been made of her books and I have been shocked I tell you!

    Yeay for Giant Days! I read the first two volumes when they were translated to dutch but there have been no more than that unfortunately.

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  13. Based on your star ratings, you definitely had a great reading month. These are books I've never seen or heard of before and I do enjoy finding new books to me. Gizmo is a great cat name--I laughed when I read your disclaimer about not being your cat. I hope you are doing well!

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Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it and will make the time to come and visit your blog, maybe not today but soon as I am always behind!

Sorry due to lots of Spam I am moderating all comments - no spammers I don't want to buy whatever it is you are selling!