Monday 12 April 2021

Reading Round Up 2021 #15

 Hey there bibliophiles, how are you all?

This weeks reading round up is a bit more substantial compared to the previous post that I wrote. I've made a good dent in the pile of books that I wanted to read during this month (even though I may possibly have more books to read now - thanks Mr Postman).


I'm also over two thirds of the way to reaching my Goodreads target this year. Ok I know the numbers don't necessarily matter but once I've set a goal I do like to reach it in good time!

Lockdown has at least been good for finding time to read.

On to the reviews...

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller 5 out of 5 stars

Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Their rented cottage is simultaneously their armour against the world and their sanctuary. Inside its walls they make music, in its garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance.

But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down. At risk of losing everything, Jeanie and her brother must fight to survive in an increasingly dangerous world as their mother's secrets unfold, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake.


This is one of those books that pleasantly surprised me.

It is what I'd describe as a beautifully dark read.


The author writes in such a way that you sort of become mesmerised the more that you read. It became a compulsion to turn the pages.

There is a simmering feeling of fear but I can't quite put my finger on what is so terrifying.

The storytelling is detailed and enriching. I'm finding myself eager to read more, the need to know where events will lead is strong.

Unputdownable- think I just made up a word.

With Unsettled Ground there is beauty in dark times.

Rumaysa A Fairytale by Radiya Hafiza 4 out of 5 stars

This funny and empowering story weaves together three classic fairytales into one new adventure with an unusual structural twist: Rumaysa is a Muslim girl who lets her hijab down from a tall tower in order to escape. Set in a magical version of South Asia, Rumaysa explores enchanted forests and dragon lairs, teaming up with Cinderayla and Sleeping Sara along the way to create a strong sense of sisterhood. 


I really loved this, I'm just sad that I didn't read it sooner.

A modern day take on some classic fairytales.

Making them diverse and fiercely strong with some fantastical female leads.

This is a book that should be read by the masses to show that not all princesses need to be saved, that in fact they can save themselves!

A Man Named Doll by Jonathan Ames 4 out of 5 stars

Happy Doll is a charming, if occasionally inexpert, private detective living just one sheer cliff beneath the glass houses of Mulholland Drive with his beloved half-Chihuahua half-Terrier, George.

A veteran of both the Navy and LAPD, Doll now works through the night at a local Thai spa that offers its clients a number of special services. Armed with his sixteen-inch steel telescope baton, biting dry humor, and just a bit of a hero complex, the ex-cop sets out to protect the mostly undocumented immigrant women who work there from clients who have trouble understanding the word "no."

Doll gets by just fine following his two basic rules: bark loudly and act first. But when things get out-of-hand with one particularly violent patron, even he finds himself wildly out of his depth. 


I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of this book from Pushkin Press.

This is a clever piece of literature. Crime mixed with dark, sarcastic humour. It was a combination that really worked.

Happy is a private detective, nearing the end of his career, this is a man who really just wants a quiet life. But things don't go quite as Hap planned.

When he kills a man (not that he wanted to), Hap finds himself caught up in drama that is way above his pay grade.

I really liked Happy as a character. He was a great concoction of quirky and grumpy.

There was a real edge to the tale, add to this the fact that it was pacy and not too long, I found myself thoroughly entertained.

I'd love to see another novel with Happy taking the lead role.

The Split by Laura Kay 5 out of 5 stars

Wounded and betrayed, after being dumped by her girlfriend, Ally makes off to her dad’s in Sheffield with the one thing that might soothe the pain and force her ex to speak to her again: Emily's cat, Malcolm.

Back home and forced into a 'date' by their parents, Ally and her first ever beard, Jeremy, come up with a ridiculous plan to win their exes back... to revenge-run a half marathon. Given neither of them can run, they enlist the support of athletic, not to mention beautiful, Jo. But will she have them running for the hills... or will their ridiculous plan pay off...?


If I could give this book more than 5 stars I would.

After reading so many brilliant reviews for this novel, I just had to read it. And the reviews don't lie. If uplifting stories are your thing, then The Split is the book for you.

We follow Ally (and her cat) as she tries to get on with her life following on from the break up with her long time - now ex girlfriend - Emily.

Poor Ally finds herself homeless, jobless and unfortunately friendless too. That is until she reconnects with her old pal Jeremy. What happens after that is quite frankly hilarious.

A brilliant mixture of humour, sarcasm, love and cake. What Laura has written is a story which makes you laugh and instills a sense of hope within you at the same time.

I don't want to sound the same as others but I will anyway, The Split is heart-warming and gives you all the feels.

Romance and unintentional comedy combine in this tale of friendship, family and frolics.

Together by Ece Temelkuran 3.5 out of 5 stars

In 2020 protest movements across the world revealed the inequalities sewn into the fabric of society. The wildfires that ravaged Australia and California made it clear we are in the middle of a climate catastrophe. The pandemic showed us all just how precarious our economies really are, and the conspiracy theories surrounding the US election proved the same of our democracies. Those in charge do not have the answers. In fact, those in charge, more often that not, are the problem.

So, what do we do? In Together: 10 Choices for a Better Now, award-winning political commentator Ece Temelkuran puts forward a compelling new narrative for our current moment, not for some idealised future but for right now, and asks us to make a choice. To choose determination over hope; to embrace fear rather the cold comfort of ignorance; to save our energy for an unwavering attention on those in power and the destructive systems they uphold, rather than wasting time spewing out anger and outrage online.

Above all, this book asks you to choose to have faith in the other human beings we share this planet with.


Intelligent, a well articulated book to make you think.

This isn't a book that preaches, not telling you what to do.

It simply highlights and guides.

I think the author aims to open the readers eyes to other possibilities, allowing them to see certain actions in a different light.

I think perhaps I tried to read it too fast though.

Maybe this is why in my opinion it lacked a real impact, not quite punchy enough, or perhaps I just wasn't who this book was truly aimed at.

Unfortunately it just didn't light a spark in me.

Well written, short and, the idea of ten points to be made makes it snappy. I however came away not quite knowing what I was meant to think or do.

Perhaps a second read is in order.

We Go On Forever by Sarah Govett 5 out of 5 stars

Arthur is dying. He must transition within the next four weeks or face permanent memory loss. Alba is studying, preparing to impress the Mentors in an all-important interview. If she’s picked as the next Apprentice she will be reunited with her best friend and cross the Wilderness for the first time.

They meet and everything comes together. And everything falls apart.


This is a dystopian novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.

It is highly unique.

Refreshingly, I didn't find myself comparing it to other books of a similar genre.

A story that stands out on its own. Fairly short in length, this is a well paced tale told from two POV, Arthur and Alba.

Both characters are well rounded, intelligent, curious. Similar in their thoughts yet live completely different lives.


I won't say more as I'm joining the blog tour next month so look for my full review, just know that this is a book you are going to want to read.

My current read is Life After Truth by Ceridwen Dovey. What books are you reading, did you get any good book post recently?

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