I requested a bunch of books on NetGalley recently fully not expecting to be approved for them all. But then I was. So, now I have a load of NetGalley ARC’s to read and review. Since I’m a bit of a slow reader, I decided to share what I picked up with all of you now and share the reviews as they’re ready.
Toksvig’s Almanac 2021 by Sandi Toksvig – Nov 2020
‘Fierce, funny and long overdue – I read this book out loud to anyone who’d listen.’ Adam Kay
‘Toksvig’s Almanac is intended merely as a starting point for your own discoveries. Find a fabulous (or infamous) woman mentioned and, please, go looking for more of her story. The names mentioned are merely temptations. Amuse-bouches for the mind, if you like. How I would have loved to have written out in detail each tale there is to be told, but then this book would have been too heavy to lift.’
Let Sandi Toksvig guide you on an eclectic meander through the calendar, illuminating neglected corners of history to tell tales of the fascinating figures you didn’t learn about at school.
From revolutionary women to serial killers, pirate nuns to pioneering civil rights activists, doctors to dancing girls, artists to astronauts, these pages commemorate women from all around the world who were pushed to the margins of historical record. Amuse your bouche with:
Belle Star, American Bandit Queen
Lady Murasaki, author of the world’s first novel
Madame Ching, the most successful pirate of all time
Maud Wagner, the first female tattoo artist
Begum Samru, Indian dancer and ruler who led an army of mercenaries
Inês de Castro, crowned Queen Consort of Portugal six years after her death
Ida B. Wells, activist, suffragist, journalist and co-founder of the NAACP
Eleanor G. Holm, disqualified from the 1936 Berlin Olympics for drinking too much champagne
These stories are interspersed with helpful tips for the year, such as the month in which one is most likely to be eaten by a wolf, and the best time to sharpen your sickle. Explore a host of annual events worth travelling for, from the Olney Pancake Race in Wiltshire to the Danish Herring Festival, or who would want to miss Serbia’s World Testicle Cooking Championship?
As witty and entertaining as it is instructive, Toksvig’s Almanac is an essential companion to each day of the year.
You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry – Jul 2021
‘A gorgeous romance’
‘The perfect getaway’
TEN SUMMER TRIPS
THEIR LAST CHANCE TO FALL IN LOVE
12 SUMMERS AGO: Poppy and Alex meet. They hate each other, and are pretty confident they’ll never speak again.
11 SUMMERS AGO: They’re forced to share a ride home from college and by the end of it a friendship is formed. And a pact: every year, one vacation together.
10 SUMMERS AGO: Alex discovers his fear of flying on the way to Vancouver.
Poppy holds his hand the whole way.
7 SUMMERS AGO: They get far too drunk and narrowly avoid getting matching tattoos in New Orleans.
2 SUMMERS AGO: It all goes wrong.
THIS SUMMER: Poppy asks Alex to join her on one last trip. A trip that will determine the rest of their lives.
You and Me on Vacation is a love story for fans of When Harry Met Sally and One Day. Get ready to travel the world, snort with laughter and – most of all – lose your heart to Poppy and Alex.
All the Murmuring Bones by A.G. Slatter – Mar 2021
For fans of Naomi Novik and Katharine Arden, a dark gothic fairy tale from award-winning author Angela Slatter.
‘Harrowing and beautiful, this is the grim, fairy-tale gothic you’ve been waiting for’
CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN, New York Times bestselling author of Ararat
Long ago Miren O’Malley’s family prospered due to a deal struck with the mer: safety for their ships in return for a child of each generation. But for many years the family have been unable to keep their side of the bargain and have fallen into decline. Miren’s grandmother is determined to restore their glory, even at the price of Miren’s freedom.
A spellbinding tale of dark family secrets, magic and witches, and creatures of myth and the sea; of strong women and the men who seek to control them.
The Merchant and the Rogue by Sarah M. Eden – Aug 2021
Vera Sorokina loves reading the Penny Dreadfuls and immersing herself in tales of adventure, mystery, and romance. Her own days are filled with the often mundane work of running the book and print shop she owns with her father. The shop offers her the freedom and income to employ and protect the poverty-stricken Londoners she’s come to care about, and it gives her father something to do other than long for their hometown of St. Petersburg. She is grateful for the stability in their lives, but she often feels lonely.
Brogan Donnelly was born and raised in Ireland, but has lived in London for several years, where he’s built a career as a Penny Dreadful writer. He has dedicated himself to the plight of the poor with the help of his sister. His membership in the secretive Dread Penny Society allows him to feel he isn’t entirely wasting his life, yet he feels dissatisfied. With no one to share his life with but his sister, he fears London will never truly feel like home.
Brogan and Vera’s paths cross, and the attraction is both immediate and ill-advised. Vera knows from past experience that writers are never to be trusted, and Brogan has reason to suspect not everything at her print shop is aboveboard. When the growing criminal enterprise run by the elusive and violent Mastiff begins targeting their area of London, Brogan and Vera must work together to protect the community they’ve both grown to love. But that means they’ll need to learn to trust each other with dangerous secrets that have followed both of them from their home countries.
The Sunflower Project by unLYSHed – May 2020
the sunflower project is a collection of poems that tell the story of phases of life;
growing from the seed of innocence and naivety, to almost withering into nothingness with the loss of self-love and self-worth;
then being revitalized by rediscovery and restoration and unfolding petals that are kissed by the sunshine of freedom, healing and the reclaiming. the sunflower project tells the story of love and loss, faithfulness and faithlessness, brokenness and abandonment, and finally introduces the rebirth and the determination to becoming centered, whole, and victorious in existence once again. the sunflower project was written in the hopes that readers would see themselves in its pages, acknowledge their heart’s needs, and join the writer in embracing all of the petals that symbolize different facets of their identity worthy of love and attention;
building a stem of resilience despite life’s storms; and committing to continually tracking the Son under whom there is greater grace.
Black Angel (1. Night Hawk) – script by Yann & art by Henriet – Jan 2021
It is the early 1920s. The Volstead Act has recently prohibited the sale and consumption of alcohol, which means that an active black market has sprung up—a market controlled by legendary gangsters such as Al Capone. Supplies must be secretly shipped from France to its outpost in Saint-Pierre, Newfoundland. This dangerous and illegal trade involves aviators flying primitive sea planes—aviators such as Bessie the “Black Angel,” whose mixed heritage also makes her the target of the flourishing Ku Klux Klan. Based on the historical figure of Bessie Coleman, she flies in the face of injustice, prejudice, and discrimination.
Under the Italian Sun by Sue Moorcroft – May 2021
The #1 bestseller is back with an uplifting, escapist read that will brighten the gloomiest day!
A warm, sun-baked terrace.
The rustle of verdant green vines.
The sun slowly dipping behind the Umbrian mountains.
And the chink of wine glasses as the first cork of the evening is popped…
Welcome to Italy. A place that holds the answer to Zia-Lucia Costa Chalmers’ many questions. Not least, how she ended up with such a mouthful of a name.
When Zia discovers that her mother wasn’t who she thought she was, she realises the time has come to search out the Italian family she’s never known.
However, as she delves into the secrets of her past, she doesn’t bargain on having to think about her future too. But with local vineyard owner, Piero, living next door, Zia knows she has a serious distraction who may prove difficult to ignore…
This summer, join Zia as she sets out to uncover her past. But can she find the future she’s always dreamed of along the way?
A History of the Vampire in Popular Culture Love at First Bite by Violet Fenn – Mar 2021
Our enduring love of vampires – the bad boys (and girls) of paranormal fantasy – has persisted for centuries. Despite being bloodthirsty, heartless killers, vampire stories commonly carry erotic overtones that are missing from other paranormal or horror stories.
Even when monstrous teeth are sinking into pale, helpless throats – especially then – vampires are sexy. But why? In A History Of The Vampire In Popular Culture, author Violet Fenn takes the reader through the history of vampires in ‘fact’ and fiction, their origins in mythology and literature and their enduring appeal on tv and film. We’ll delve into the sexuality – and sexism – of vampire lore, as well as how modern audiences still hunger for a pair of sharp fangs in the middle of the night.
5-Minute Really True Stories for Bedtime – Oct 2020
Why do we sleep? How do sharks snooze underwater? Where is the oldest bed in the world?
In this compendium of 5-minute really true stories about bedtime, you can go on a journey of wonder and learning to find out the answers to all these questions, and many more!
Travel to Ancient Egypt to explore the beds of Tutankhamun, jet off into space to see how astronauts get ready for bed, or even plunge underwater to learn how hibernating turtles breathe through their bottoms! There are 30 amazing 5-minute stories, with all facts verified by Britannica.
Lavishly illustrated on every page with specially commissioned artwork, and packed full of up-to-the-minute, expert information, this book is the ultimate brainy bedtime companion for children aged 4 to 8.
The Tiny Kitchen Cookbook – Strategies and Recipes for Creating Amazing Meals in Small Cooking Spaces by Annie Mahle – Sep 2021
Whether home is a small apartment, a tiny house or RV, a boat, or a college dorm room, space in the kitchen is nearly always at a premium. But cooking in a small kitchen, with minimal equipment, doesn’t have to be limiting; it can actually be is a great opportunity to hone food-prep skills and become a more efficient, versatile home chef. And the smarter the workspace, the easier it is to cook. In The Tiny Kitchen Cookbook, chef Annie Mahle shares her small-space cooking strategies and 50 of her favorite recipes she’s developed as the galley chef aboard the J&E Riggin, a windjammer she operates with her husband every summer off the coast of Maine. From her 6-by-8-foot kitchen, she prepares three beautiful, flavorful meals from scratch every day, for up to 30 people.
From versatile breakfast options, such as Sweet Corn and Jalepeno Pancakes or Pan Roasted Honey Pears with Oatmeal, to one-bowl salads and mains, stovetop meals such as Pan-Fried Red Snapper with Fresh Peas, Shiitakes, and Asparagus with Dill, dishes that can be prepared in the toaster oven (for cooks without a full oven) such as Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Fettuccini, and even make-ahead desserts in a mug, every recipe is delicious and utterly attainable in a kitchen with as little as six square feet of counter space. Along with gorgeous recipes Mahle delivers tips and techniques for making the most of a small kitchen. Strategies such as “shopping” the pantry before going to the store, transforming leftovers into new meals, create vertical storage options, and buy utensils that nest all help create meals with maximum flavor in minimal space.
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner – Mar 2021
With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.
Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.
Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her tenth wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London two hundred years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate—and not everyone will survive.
2021’s Most Highly Anticipated New Books Newsweek
Most Anticipated Books of 2021 Popsugar
‘A bold, edgy, accomplished debut!’ Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress
‘Intriguing… Readers who enjoy parallel historical/contemporary narratives about women’s lives, such as Claire McMillan’s The Necklace or Liz Trenow’s The Forgotten Seamstress, will enjoy the historical details and mystery in this engrossing tale.’ Library Journal
‘Readers who enjoy Katherine Howe and Susanna Kearsley will be drawn to this promising, fast-paced debut.’ Booklist
Black Buck by Mateo Askaripour – May 2021
*A New York Times Bestseller*
‘Mesmerizing. . . a high wire act full of verve and dark, comic energy.’ Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad
My goal is to teach you how to sell. And if I’m half the salesman every newspaper, blog, and hustler in New York City says I am, then you are in luck. With my story, I will give you the tools to go out and create the life you want. Sound fair?
Meet Buck. But before Buck was the Muhammad Ali of sales, floating like a butterfly and selling like a demon, he was Darren: an unambitious twenty-two-year-old living with his mother and working at Starbucks. All that changes when a chance encounter with Rhett Daniels, the silver-tongued CEO of NYC’s hottest tech startup, results in Darren joining Rhett’s elite sales team.
On his first day Darren realizes he is the only Black person in the company, and when things start to get strange, he reimagines himself as ‘Buck’, a ruthless salesman, unrecognizable to his friends and family. Money, partying, and fame soon follow Buck, and wherever he goes more is never enough.
But when tragedy strikes at home, Buck begins to hatch a plan to help young people of colour infiltrate America’s sales force, setting off a chain of events that forever changes the game.
An earnest work of satire, Black Buck is a hilarious, razor-sharp skewering of office culture; a propulsive, crackling debut that explores ambition and race, and makes way for a necessary new vision of the American dream.
‘A hilarious, gleaming satire as radiant as its author. . . this novel is both balm and bomb.’ Nafissa Thompson-Spires, author of Heads of the Colored People
Secrets of the Starcrossed by Clara O’Connor – Jan 2021
An absolute must-read for fans of The Hunger Games…
In a world where the Roman Empire never fell, two starcrossed lovers fight to ignite the spark of rebellion…
Londinium, the last stronghold of the Romans left in Britannia, remains in a delicate state of peace with the ancient kingdoms that surround it. As the only daughter of a powerful merchant, Cassandra is betrothed to Marcus, the most eligible bachelor in the city.
But then she meets Devyn, the boy with the strange midnight eyes searching for a girl with magic in her blood.
A boy who will make her believe in soulmates…
When a mysterious sickness starts to leech the life from citizens with Celtic power lying dormant in their veins, the imperial council sets their schemes in motion. And so Cassandra must make a choice: the Code or Chaos, science or sorcery, Marcus or Devyn?
Panem meets the Grishaverse in this explosive new YA trilogy perfect for readers of Marie Lu, Bella Forrest, and Cassandra Clare.
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