Talk of the Town | the place for bookish people to be

Hi all!  Is it warm enough for you?
Welcome to this week’s Talk of the Town link up.  A book post sharing linky that I co-host with Shaz at Jera’s Jamboree.  If you’re new to Talk of the Town, see all the info here. All posts are shared on Twitter and pinned by Shaz on a dedicated Pinterest board.

This is our last week for showcasing Black & White Publishing’s Not The Only Sky by Alyssa Warren. Read on to find out more.

A fantastically engaging character piece which examines the bonds of blood and family.

Publisher: Black and White Publishing (27 April 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1785300903
ISBN-13: 978-1785300905
ASIN: B06ZZ7FCSR

‘Wait. Patient. Now. Not long. Good girl. Wait here.  Brave girl. Think of it as a vacation.’
‘Back in a jiffy.’

Big Bend, population 500, South Dakota, 1988. Eight-year-old Tiny Mite lives in a ramshackle farmhouse next to her grandfather’s crashed airplane and the pine tree where she trains as a spy. Goddamn is her favourite word. Taking pictures with her camera made of aluminium foil and a tin can is her new big thing. She lives with Bee, her apocalypse-obsessed grandmother and Luvie, her hard-drinking great-aunt. And then there’s her mother Velvet, beautiful and desperate, still in love with her high school boyfriend who she left to have a brief fling with Tiny Mite’s absent father.
One night, Tiny Mite hears a cry, but it’s not what she imagines. And nothing will ever be the same.
Six years later, Clea won’t let anyone call her Tiny Mite anymore. Luvie has fallen in love with a pastor, and Bee’s health is failing. Velvet is gone, and nobody except Bee, who can’t bring herself to turn her back on her daughter, will even mention her name.
Containing a wonderfully engaging and eccentric cast of characters who live long in the memory,  this is the story of mothers and daughters, people bound by blood and geography, moments captured and lifetimes lost, and things never quite turning out as expected.

Alyssa Warren spent a muddy, scruffy, happy childhood in the creeks and abandoned homesteads of South Dakota, before completing a BA in English Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MA at the University of Sydney, Australia. She has taught creative writing and modern British literature at the Universidad San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador, and has served as a contributing editor for Surface magazine, covering art, design and fashion. She is a printmaker and photographer based in East London, where she lives with her husband and three sons.

Connect with Alyssa Warren via Website | Twitter

Talk of the Town linky is sponsored by Black & White Publishing.

Black & White Publishing was founded in 1999. Since then, they’ve grown into one of Scotland’s leading independent publishers with over 300 books in print across a variety of genres. Committed to publishing the best books from the most talented writers in the UK and beyond they produce an extensive range of titles, including general non fiction, biography, sport and humour, as well as selected fiction, young adult and children’s books.

Please feel free to add the badge to the post you’re sharing.

WIN – just copy the tweet below…simples

Join in the #ToTT linky and share your love of the literary word #Giveaway sponsored by @bwpublishing

to be entered into a monthly giveaway for either a single book or a book bundle.  If you’re sharing the weekly post and can add @bwpublishing that would be fab.  The giveaway might be paperback (UK/ROI) or digital (UK/ROI/INTL).  The winner will be randomly selected using Tweetdraw and books will be sent directly from Black & White Publishing.  Make sure you use the shortened hashtag so that your tweets can be picked up and added to the random draw.

Link up your bookish posts here >>

I’ll be linking up with my review of Erin Kelly’s latest novel He Said She Said.   It was a bit of a slow burner in some parts but the writing and the tension more than made up for it.

Book Review: He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

What’s it about?

In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura witnesses a brutal attack.

She and her boyfriend Kit call the police, and in that moment, four lives change forever.

Fifteen years on, Laura and Kit live in fear.

And while Laura knows she was right to speak out, she also knows that you can never see the whole picture: something is always hidden… something she never could have guessed.

My thoughts

Set against the natural phenomena of various eclipses this was one of those books you go into thinking it’s about one thing but then ends up being something else.  You know with the title and the first few chapters what you think it’ll be but that’s where it ends.

As a female reader my natural and first instinct was to believe the ‘she said’ but as I read on, and only by my own interpretation and prediction (not what I read), I thought we were heading down the road of hang on a minute, what if she’s lying and I shouldn’t be giving her the benefit of the doubt.  As regular readers will know, I’m crap at predicting what’s coming and needless to say it was no different in this case 😉

I thought this book was brilliantly written although somewhat slow in places that I wanted it all to move on a little quicker but I couldn’t fault the drama, the tension and all the twisty bits down to the last sentence and I didn’t have a clue what was coming (coz I’m rubbish!).

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon

Author links: Twitter | Website

Small print for info
Source: ARC – many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton
No of pages: 416
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton


Talk of the Town | the place for bookish people to be

Saturday sure does come around quickly…Welcome to this week’s Talk of the Town link up.  A book post sharing linky that I co-host with Shaz at Jera’s Jamboree.  If you’re new to Talk of the Town, see all the info here. All posts are shared on Twitter and pinned by Shaz on a dedicated Pinterest board.

During May Talk of the Town are showcasing Black & White Publishing’s Not The Only Sky by Alyssa Warren. Read on to find out more.

A fantastically engaging character piece which examines the bonds of blood and family.

Publisher: Black and White Publishing (27 April 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1785300903
ISBN-13: 978-1785300905
ASIN: B06ZZ7FCSR

‘Wait. Patient. Now. Not long. Good girl. Wait here.  Brave girl. Think of it as a vacation.’
‘Back in a jiffy.’

Big Bend, population 500, South Dakota, 1988. Eight-year-old Tiny Mite lives in a ramshackle farmhouse next to her grandfather’s crashed airplane and the pine tree where she trains as a spy. Goddamn is her favourite word. Taking pictures with her camera made of aluminium foil and a tin can is her new big thing. She lives with Bee, her apocalypse-obsessed grandmother and Luvie, her hard-drinking great-aunt. And then there’s her mother Velvet, beautiful and desperate, still in love with her high school boyfriend who she left to have a brief fling with Tiny Mite’s absent father.
One night, Tiny Mite hears a cry, but it’s not what she imagines. And nothing will ever be the same.
Six years later, Clea won’t let anyone call her Tiny Mite anymore. Luvie has fallen in love with a pastor, and Bee’s health is failing. Velvet is gone, and nobody except Bee, who can’t bring herself to turn her back on her daughter, will even mention her name.
Containing a wonderfully engaging and eccentric cast of characters who live long in the memory,  this is the story of mothers and daughters, people bound by blood and geography, moments captured and lifetimes lost, and things never quite turning out as expected.

Alyssa Warren spent a muddy, scruffy, happy childhood in the creeks and abandoned homesteads of South Dakota, before completing a BA in English Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MA at the University of Sydney, Australia. She has taught creative writing and modern British literature at the Universidad San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador, and has served as a contributing editor for Surface magazine, covering art, design and fashion. She is a printmaker and photographer based in East London, where she lives with her husband and three sons.

Connect with Alyssa Warren via Website | Twitter

Talk of the Town linky is sponsored by Black & White Publishing.

Black & White Publishing was founded in 1999. Since then, they’ve grown into one of Scotland’s leading independent publishers with over 300 books in print across a variety of genres. Committed to publishing the best books from the most talented writers in the UK and beyond they produce an extensive range of titles, including general non fiction, biography, sport and humour, as well as selected fiction, young adult and children’s books.

Please feel free to add the badge to the post you’re sharing.

WIN – just copy the tweet below…simples

Join in the #ToTT linky and share your love of the literary word #Giveaway sponsored by @bwpublishing

to be entered into a monthly giveaway for either a single book or a book bundle.  If you’re sharing the weekly post and can add @bwpublishing that would be fab.  The giveaway might be paperback (UK/ROI) or digital (UK/ROI/INTL).  The winner will be randomly selected using Tweetdraw and books will be sent directly from Black & White Publishing.  Make sure you use the shortened hashtag so that your tweets can be picked up and added to the random draw.

Link up your bookish posts here >>

I’m not able to link up myself this week as I’m away with the family all this week but I’ll do my best to check out your posts on Monday.  Have a lovely weekend and thanks for linking and sharing! 🙂

Talk of the Town | the place for bookish people to be

Hi, welcome to this week’s Talk of the Town link up.  A book post sharing linky that I co-host with Shaz at Jera’s Jamboree.  If you’re new to Talk of the Town, see all the info here. All posts are shared on Twitter and pinned by Shaz on a dedicated Pinterest board.

During May Talk of the Town are showcasing Black & White Publishing’s Not The Only Sky by Alyssa Warren. Read on to find out more.

A fantastically engaging character piece which examines the bonds of blood and family.

Publisher: Black and White Publishing (27 April 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1785300903
ISBN-13: 978-1785300905
ASIN: B06ZZ7FCSR

‘Wait. Patient. Now. Not long. Good girl. Wait here.  Brave girl. Think of it as a vacation.’
‘Back in a jiffy.’

Big Bend, population 500, South Dakota, 1988. Eight-year-old Tiny Mite lives in a ramshackle farmhouse next to her grandfather’s crashed airplane and the pine tree where she trains as a spy. Goddamn is her favourite word. Taking pictures with her camera made of aluminium foil and a tin can is her new big thing. She lives with Bee, her apocalypse-obsessed grandmother and Luvie, her hard-drinking great-aunt. And then there’s her mother Velvet, beautiful and desperate, still in love with her high school boyfriend who she left to have a brief fling with Tiny Mite’s absent father.
One night, Tiny Mite hears a cry, but it’s not what she imagines. And nothing will ever be the same.
Six years later, Clea won’t let anyone call her Tiny Mite anymore. Luvie has fallen in love with a pastor, and Bee’s health is failing. Velvet is gone, and nobody except Bee, who can’t bring herself to turn her back on her daughter, will even mention her name.
Containing a wonderfully engaging and eccentric cast of characters who live long in the memory,  this is the story of mothers and daughters, people bound by blood and geography, moments captured and lifetimes lost, and things never quite turning out as expected.

Alyssa Warren spent a muddy, scruffy, happy childhood in the creeks and abandoned homesteads of South Dakota, before completing a BA in English Literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an MA at the University of Sydney, Australia. She has taught creative writing and modern British literature at the Universidad San Francisco in Quito, Ecuador, and has served as a contributing editor for Surface magazine, covering art, design and fashion. She is a printmaker and photographer based in East London, where she lives with her husband and three sons.

Connect with Alyssa Warren via Website | Twitter

Talk of the Town linky is sponsored by Black & White Publishing.

Black & White Publishing was founded in 1999. Since then, they’ve grown into one of Scotland’s leading independent publishers with over 300 books in print across a variety of genres. Committed to publishing the best books from the most talented writers in the UK and beyond they produce an extensive range of titles, including general non fiction, biography, sport and humour, as well as selected fiction, young adult and children’s books.

Please feel free to add the badge to the post you’re sharing.

WIN – just copy the tweet below…simples

Join in the #ToTT linky and share your love of the literary word #Giveaway sponsored by @bwpublishing

to be entered into a monthly giveaway for either a single book or a book bundle.  If you’re sharing the weekly post and can add @bwpublishing that would be fab.  The giveaway might be paperback (UK/ROI) or digital (UK/ROI/INTL).  The winner will be randomly selected using Tweetdraw and books will be sent directly from Black & White Publishing.  Make sure you use the shortened hashtag so that your tweets can be picked up and added to the random draw.

Link up your bookish posts here >>

This week I’m linking up with The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain which was my latest book club read.

Book Review: The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain

What’s it about?

What is the difference between friendship and love? Or between neutrality and commitment? Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in ‘neutral’ Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo. But Gustav’s father has mysteriously died, and his adored mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him. Gustav’s childhood is spent in lonely isolation, his only toy a tin train with painted passengers staring blankly from the carriage windows.

As time goes on, an intense friendship with a boy of his own age, Anton Zwiebel, begins to define Gustav’s life. Jewish and mercurial, a talented pianist tortured by nerves when he has to play in public, Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav’s are entwined.

My thoughts

This was our book club choice for April and was an interesting but somewhat non-eventful read.

I’ve never read a Rose Tremain novel before, and although I’m not rushing out to read another, this is  a beautifully told story about the impact on families living in a neutral country during World War 2 but moreover about friendship, love and what it means to experience both, or in Gustav’s case to not experience his mother’s true love and how this affected him his whole life.

So yeah, most of this novel is quite sad.  I was instantly drawn to Gustav because of his upbringing.  The lack of emotion and love from his bitter mother Emilie, Gustav leads a life devoid of any real relationships; pinning his hopes on a childhood friendship that is very one-sided, because Anton, as an adult, is incredibly selfish and not very likeable, but Gustav persists in continuing the friendship.

There were some secondary plotlines which I found to be more engaging than the main thread.  A soldier tasked with only taking photographs on the day of liberation at Bergen-Belsen…heart-breaking and fascinating and I wanted more.  Gustav’s father died too early for me and I wanted him to have that child with the woman he was involved with as it would have made for a more dramatic climatic read.  I guess this wasn’t the author’s intention because the whole book reads on the same level, as if told on a plateau, with no highs till the end, so a bit of hard work to get there – do you get what I mean?

All in all, with too much of predictable cliché ending and the most interesting characters  not encouraged so the reader is left to imagine more for them made it just an ok read for me.

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon

Author link:  Website

Small print for info
Source: Purchased
No of pages: 320
Publisher: Vintage