Friday, 30 November 2018

A Month In Books - November 2018

Welcome to November's Month In Books roundup!

I read 18 books in November which took me over the 180 I'd set for my 2018 Goodreads goal. I reckon I will top 200 books this year which feels pretty amazing. November's stash included my first novel ever by a Greenland author, Crimson, and my first story by Edith Wharton, Xingu. I've also reviewed the usual disparate mix of fiction and nonfiction: a biography of a medieval composer and a memoir of a white Kenyan family, a Finnish graffiti thriller and a Rwandan love story, a hard-hitting Palestinian novel and classic Argentine crime fiction.

Regular blog series:
I blogged another five excellent female-authored books for ReadingWomen on the 10th with the Around The Blogosphere choice coming from Laura at Blue Eyed Books. I also blogged Bookish Bingo and State of the ARC updates.

November's WorldReads featured books from Jamaica and I will be 'visiting' Switzerland for December's WorldReads on the 5th.

The Spotlight post giveaway winner was Driving Whiskey Wild by Melissa Foster. (If you'd like the chance to win a Spotlight for your book, add its link to This Linkup. One winner drawn each month!)

Reading Challenges:
Alphabet Soup: X added, K and Z remaining.
Books In French: 0 finished
Classics Club: 2 added, 39 remaining
Decade Challenge: 3 added, 4 remaining. If you want to join me, there's more info and a sign-up here

Now, on with this November Reading Roundup!
(Clicking each cover image will take you directly to my Literary Flits review or Spotlight page)

My Reviews



My Book Of The Month was a tough decision this month with three books vying to be my favourite. I struggled to choose between Fishing For Maui by Isa Pearl Ritchie, Becoming Someone by Anne Goodwin and The Diary by Vikki Patis. Finally, however, Becoming Someone just pipped the other two at the post!

I hope you have found some books to tempt you in this selection! You can keep up with my daily book posts on Literary Flits and don't forget all the Giveaways are listed in my Giveaway Linkup.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

State Of The ARC - November 2018

I saw this State of the ARC meme over at Avalinah's Books blog in January 2018 and thought it would be fun to join in.

The idea is to keep track of all the ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) books I've got awaiting reading and reviewing, and to make headway through the overdue pile. For my State of the ARC, I am including all books sent to me for review whether they are pre-publication copies (as ARCs should be) or simply review copies of books already available publicly. I don't include books that I have purchased myself, book exchange swaps, or free downloads.

In November I blogged my reviews of these ARCs:
Click the cover images to visit their reviews (The Wooden Hill's post will be blogged on the 30th)


Here's my State of the ARC numbers as of today:

Awaiting Reading

Read / Reviewed / Blogged




1 R / 1 RRB


From Authors




Blog Tours




From Publishers




RRB (Read, Reviewed and Blogged) essentially means those book reviews are completed and I'm just waiting for their scheduled blog post date.

Today I am going to start reading that overdue one From Publishers so its red 1 should finally be a black 0 by this time next month. Hopefully no other reds will pop up in the meantime!

No State Of The ARC would be complete without checking out the additions to my ARC stash. Quite restrained this month I thought.

Here are November's new arrivals

If you want to join this State of the ARC meme check out This Page at Avalinah's Books.

My next State of the ARC will be blogged on the 29th December.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

A rainy week at Isla Cristina + a new Kirsty McGee #Kickstarter

I'm linking up with The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Reviewer.

We've spent this week at Camper Park Playas De Luz which is just outside Isla Cristina in Andalusia. The campsite only opened in August of this year and consists of a two tiered gravelled plateau overlooking marshlands. Dave chose it for its proximity to a via verde which runs directly alongside the campsite entrance. We thought we would be able to cycle for quite a distance in two directions to explore the area. Unfortunately torrential rain on our first night followed by more rain on pretty much every other day has rendered the via verde more a canal so not ideal for cycling! We've had a few walks - tiptoeing along its edges! - though and cycled into Isla Cristina for shopping and sightseeing. The older part of town is pretty and quaint. I loved a seated statue of a man reading (couldn't spot a sculptor's name).

I was put off by the state of the litter- and glass-strewn cycle path over the bridge into town - and having to push my bike back with a puncture one time. Even by Spanish standards, the roadway looked uncared for. Once into town it was ok though and the red painted cycle route around the edge of town is nice to ride along.

We actually shopped at a Lidl too! Having been quite rude about them in the past because I couldn't ever find food there that I wanted to eat, I discovered this week that Spanish Lidls at least have improved drastically over the last few years! They had organic fresh fruit and vegetables, plus a good range of preprepared vegetarian foods. I had thought vegetarian and vegan food would be much more difficult to find in Spain, but in the supermarkets at least it's been as easy as in France and the UK.

For music fans amongst us,

There's A New Kirsty McGee Album On Kickstarter!!

Get pledging! I love Kirsty's music and she needs £5500 or the album won't happen. Pleeez join me?!

In bookish news I am currently (finally?) getting into the Christmas spirit by reading Christmas At Black Cherry Retreat by Angela Britnell. I got a copy as part of it's Rachel's Random Resources blog tour - Rachel gets some great books on her tours. Take a look and sign up your blog if you haven't already!

Giveaways closing soon
28th Nov: Anthony Spaeth books giveaway at Dab Of Darkness
29th Nov: An Unpromised Land by Leon Gettler audiobook giveaway at Dab Of Darkness
See all giveaways and free books in my Giveaway Linkup

On my blogs this week were:

Stephanie Jane
2019 New Release Challenge sign-up post

Literary Flits
The Bees by Laline Paull review
Divided We Stand by Rachel McLean spotlight
Hildegard of Bingen by Honey Meconi review
Sweet Days Of Discipline by Fleur Jaeggy review
Becoming Someone by Anne Goodwin review
The Dragon and the Lumberjack by S W Ellenwood spotlight + excerpt
The Girl And The Rat by Jari Jarvela review

Artisan Rainbow
Westie #Scottie Dog Tree Decoration by Cherish Handmade
House Number Sign by Sol Pixie Dust
Ceramic Daisy #Flower by JG Ceramic Gifts
Stained Glass #Mistletoe by Mayfly Mosaics
#Kawaii #Penguin Key Charm by Claytive Designs
#Snowman Toilet Roll Cover by Tilly Knits Shop
Upcycled Book Apple Ornament by Creaton Crafts

Airing Out
Campsite - Playas De Luz - Isla Cristina - Andalusia - Spain

Stained Glass #Mistletoe by Mayfly Mosaics

Upcycled Book Apple Ornament by Creaton Crafts