Monday 5 July 2010

Monday Mail

I disappeared again this week and I apologise. I wasn't feeling well through Thursday and Friday and I abandoned my blog for some down time. I slept from 7.30pm right through to 6.30pm the following morning and realised I definitely needed it. I find this time of year so busy and Friday was the first day all week where I was actually at home during the day. I am looking forward to the children breaking up from school, so that we can start to slow down and enjoy the summer. We have booked our next camping trip too, so I am very excited.

I had a little splurge in the charity shops this week and came back with a bundle of books. I haven't done this in a while, so it was really nice to browse and pick up some goodies.
1) The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson - I haven't read any of her books yet, but I have heard such good things about them. This one is about a young servant girl living in a grand house in Vienna. Her life would be perfect but for the mystery of her real mother. She was found in a church, and no one knows where she came from.

2) Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier. This has been compared to The Shadow in The Wind, as it deals with a mysterious old book.

3) God's Own Country by Ross Raisin ( the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2009 and shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2008). Sam Marsdyke spends his days alone on the moors tending sheep, watching wide eyed ramblers and townies move into the area,creating second homes. Then a new family move into the area and Sam is quite taken with their daughter. This is a described as a comedy set in the Yorkshire landscape and I can't wait to read it.

4)The Crimson Rooms by Katherine McMahon. I loved The Rose of Sebastopol, so I seem to be always picking up books by McMahon to read at a later date. This one is set in London in 192 and deals with the aftermath of the war. McMahon seems to have strong female characters in her books, and this one appears not to be an exception.

5) Notes of a Scandal by Zoe Heller. I was over the moon to get hold of this one, as I have heard such good things about it. When Sheila joins the staff at St George's school, the history teacher Barbara is convinced she has found a kindred spirit. When Sheila is discovered to have had an affair with one of her young pupils, Barbara becomes her chief defender, but friends can hurt you more than lovers.

6) The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark. For centuries the people of Venice have been seeking an extraordinary book, rumoured to contain the key of immeasurable power. Now in the year 1498, mischievous street orphan Luciano stumbles across a secret that others will kill for.

7) The Owl Killers by Karen Maitland, author of Company of Liars. I just love the covers of both of these books. This book is set in England 1321 during the Dark Ages. Full of accusations of witchcraft, just my kind of book.

The children's school had a summer fayre on Friday evening and for the first time ever, they had a book stall. I headed straight for it first and picked up three books, then I hit the wine stall and won a bottle of red. That was me sorted for the evening!

As you can see, I picked up the first two books in the Percy Jackson series, where Percy is related to the Greek gods.

I also picked up another Eva Ibbotson one called Magic Flutes, which is set in the spring of 1922, following the life of Tessa, a princess, who has given up her duties to follow the heart, working backstage at the Viennese opera.

I am getting to the stage, where my book shelves are now bursting at the seams. Hubby has promised me two mores bookcases and I shall be chasing him for them now.


  1. Its a beautiful mix of books you have. I also browse second hand bookshops all the time and pick up gems.

  2. What a great mix of books! That owl killer one did get my attention

  3. Heres hoping you are fully rested.

    I love charity shops, you can pick up some real bargains. It was The Book Of Unholy Mischief that caught my eye. I shall certainly keep a look out for this one. Enjoy your books.

  4. I loved Maitland's Company of Liars and can't wait to get a copy of The Owl Killers. Happy Reading!

  5. First of all...sorry you didn't feel well, but glad you got some quality sleep. I know how hard it is when you are sleep deprived.
    I read and reviewed The Crimson Room for Historical Novels Review. I think I posted it on my blog. It was a favorite of mine.
    Eva Ibottson is a hoot and I love her books. I'm sure you will too.
    Have a great week and enjoy whatever you read.

  6. Nice selection of new books! I got Notes on a Scandal as a Christmas gift, but haven't read it yet despite all the wonderful reviews. Thinking I should read it (along with a couple other holiday books) before I ask for more this year ;-)

  7. Looks like you had a very nice week! I'll be interested to see what you think of the Heller book. Enjoy!

  8. Sorry you were under the weather! It looks like you got a lot of great books! School fairs are certainly different over there - ours would never include a wine stall!

  9. Sorry you haven't been feeling well! The books look wonderful- love a good bargain book and lose browsing book stores and sales.... now I am craving a book store visit! :D

    Have a super week Vivienne!

  10. Vivienne...Thanks to you, I realized I never posted this review. I just did. Here it is.

  11. There is nothing like a little bargain book retail therapy to help me feel better :)

    I am sorry you had a difficult week and I hope that this week is a little less taxing.

  12. Yay Notes on a Scandal!! I loved that book and it's currently sitting at one of my three favorites of the year!

  13. Sorry to hear you had a tough week,
    its good to get some much needed rest.
    Happy reading. I also have the first two in the Percy Jackson series.

    My book shelves are bursting at the seams try to really shove them in there! lol.

  14. It's so great that you have your husband on your side with the book storage issue. Mine has very lovingly stated that maybe "we" might want to curtail the book acquisition, since even the not-so-secret hidey spots are overflowing with books. :)

  15. I am thinking of hitting some used bookstores tomorrow on my day off. You just never know what you will find and you apparently had a successful week. I have an Ibbotson book on my tbr pile and also have heard great things about her. Mine is Island of the Aunts.
    I hope you have a better week and that you get to start enjoying summer holidays soon.

  16. Glad to hear you rested and are feeling better! I'm sure doing some book buying also helped :)

    I really want to read some of the books you got - the Heller book and Mercier book in particular. Did you see the movie Notes of a Scandal? It was so good.

    Anyway enjoy your loot and hope you get some new shelves soon!

  17. Mystica, thanks for stopping by my blog. I love the charity shops, I pick up so many books from them.

    Blodeuedd - it does look good, doesn't it.

    Petty Witter - I hope you find it too.

    Wisteria - I saw your review, it was fabulous. I am glad to hear Ibbottson is good.

    JoAnn - I really shouldn't ask for any new books this Christmas, as I still haven't read the ones I got either.

    Kaye - thankyou. I wish I could fit it in this month.

    Kathy - that makes our schools sound bad,doesn't it,with a wine stall.LOL.

    Sheila - Monday mail posts are dreadful for curbing our book buying cravings. I am sorry if you end up spending money because of me.LOL.

    Molly- thank you. I hope it eases off soon.

    Amanda - I saw Notes of a Scandal on the shelf and thought of you.

    Naida- I bet your shelves look as bad as mine!

    Alyce - ooh I hope my hubby doesn't say that to me. More storage is definitely needed in your house.

    Diane - thankyou.

    Kim - good luck with the good will shops. I hope you find lots of bargains.

  18. Very intrigued by Magic Flutes - sounds fun!

  19. I can't imagine where you're putting any more books. lol. It looks like you got a lot of good ones though so I hope you enjoy them when you get to them. I read The Book of Unholy Mischief and did like that one.

    I hope you're feeling better now!

  20. Hope you are felling all better! What a great batch of books!

  21. Hope you're well rested, Viv. I missed Mailbox Monday posts so much and I love your books!


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