Yay. Survived 2023 week one relatively unscathed. Only three days in work last week helped, but I am dreading this week as I have to do a whole week of five days. FIVE! Think I only did that about twenty times last year so this is going to hurt. 😟 Still … could be worse and it pays the bills. Thankfully I’m in about twenty meetings over the course of the week so the time should pass quickly enough. I also started healthy eating (again) this month and am trying to get back into a cycle of exercise that I have been neglecting for far too long. My legs ache and I feel twenty years older than I am, but I am also four lbs lighter so I will take that as a win. Baby steps. Not with the diet … That is literally all I can do now after a week of exercising 🤣.
Despite a lovely six mile walk last Monday, I don’t really have any new pics to share as we only saw a robin and a squirrel from a distance. The rest of the week has been too miserable to get out for any walks around town so instead I’m sharing a picture of my reading companions. They’ve been keeping my feet warm all week. Who needs an electric blanket?
Book wise this has been a very quiet week. No book post. Purchase wise I pre-ordered one book, purchased two more, one in ebook and one in audio. My purchased books were The Dry in ebook and Force of Nature on audio, both by Jane Harper. My pre-order was a signed copy of The Dead of Winter by Stuart MacBride (16 Feb) from Waterstones. I am tempted by a couple of others but undecided at the moment as trying to be responsible spending wise and I know I won’t read them for ages (blog is fully planned out to May right now). I had one book from Netgalley – None Of This Is True by Lisa Jewell (20 July).
Books I have read
Exiles by Jane Harper (02 Feb)
Critically acclaimed international bestseller Jane Harper returns.
A mother disappears from a busy festival on a warm spring night.
Her baby lies alone in the pram, her mother’s possessions surrounding her, waiting for a return which never comes.
A year later, Kim Gillespie’s absence still casts a long shadow as her friends and loved ones gather to welcome a new addition to the family.
Joining the celebrations on a rare break from work is federal investigator Aaron Falk, who begins to suspect that all is not as it seems.
As he looks into Kim’s case, long-held secrets and resentments begin to come to the fore, secrets that show that her community is not as close as it appears.
Falk will have to tread carefully if he is to expose the dark fractures at its heart, but sometimes it takes an outsider to get to the truth…
An outstanding novel, a brilliant mystery and a heart-pounding read from the author of The Dry, Force of Nature, The Lost Man and The Survivors.
Black Foam by Haji Jabir (07 Feb)
From award-winning Eritrean author Haji Jabir comes a profoundly intimate novel about one man’s tireless attempt to find his place in the world.
Dawoud is on the run from his murky past, aiming to discover where he belongs. He tries to assimilate into different groups along his journey through North Africa and Israel, changing his clothes, his religious affiliations, and even his name to fit in, but the safety and peace he seeks remain elusive. It seems prejudice is everywhere, holding him back, when all he really wants is to create a simple life he can call his own. A chameleon, Dawoud—or David, Adal, or Dawit, depending on where and when you meet him—is not lost in this whirl of identities. In fact, he is defined by it.
Dawoud’s journey is circuitous and specific, but the desire to belong is universal. Spellbinding to the final page, Black Foam is both intimate and grand in scale, much like the experiences of the millions of people migrating to find peace and safety in the twenty-first century.
The Only Suspect by Louise Candlish (02 Feb)
There’s the obvious story. And then there’s the truth.
Alex lives a comfortable life with his wife Beth in the leafy suburb of Silver Vale. Fine, so he’s not the most outgoing guy on the street, he prefers to keep himself to himself, but he’s a good husband and an easy-going neighbour.
That’s until Beth announces the creation of a nature trail on a local site that’s been disused for decades and suddenly Alex is a changed man. Now he’s always watching. Questioning. Struggling to hide his dread . . .
As the landscapers get to work, a secret threatens to surface from years ago, back in Alex’s twenties when he got entangled with a seductive young woman called Marina, who threw both their lives into turmoil.
And who sparked a police hunt for a murder suspect that was never quite what it seemed.
And it still isn’t.
It was supposed to be an easy job.
All Detective Constable Edward Reekie had to do was pick up a dying prisoner from HMP Grampian and deliver him somewhere to live out his last few months in peace.
From the outside, Glenfarach looks like a quaint, sleepy, snow-dusted village, nestled deep in the heart of Cairngorms National Park, but things aren’t what they seem. The place is thick with security cameras and there’s a strict nine o’clock curfew, because Glenfarach is the final sanctuary for people who’ve served their sentences but can’t be safely released into the general population.
Edward’s new boss, DI Montgomery-Porter, insists they head back to Aberdeen before the approaching blizzards shut everything down, but when an ex-cop-turned-gangster is discovered tortured to death in his bungalow, someone needs to take charge.
The weather’s closing in, tensions are mounting, and time’s running out – something nasty has come to Glenfarach, and Edward is standing right in its way…
Not too shabby for my first week of reading. I’ll take it. I’ve set myself my usual 85 book target on Goodreads so well on my way now. Busy enough week on the blog considering we are taking it easy. Recap below:
Just the one blog tour this week and that’s on Wednesday when I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Dirt, the brand new novel from Sarah Sultoon (16 Jan).
And that’s it for this week. Can’t guarantee next week will be any more exciting, but I will, hopefully, have read some more lovely books.
Have a lovely week all. Happy reading.