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Clare_Riley

Clare_Riley

Joined May 2016

I'm on Goodreads too where, very originally, I am also Clare Riley, and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/clares_little_book_obsession/
review
Clare_Riley
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Pickpick

I was lucky to get an ARC of this book - if you like historical fiction, you‘re going to love this. Katherine Parr is always seen as the wife who survived Henry VIII, but she wasn‘t really that lucky. Her earlier life was fascinating, and her too short life after Henry was so interesting. Life in these times always seems unfair for women for many reasons, but Katherine seemed to do very well by the men she married. This is well worth reading!

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Clare_Riley
Gun Island | Amitav Ghosh
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I loved this - I‘m always up for a bit of magical realism, and mixed in with some of my other favourite themes (the environment, identity, folklore, the refugee crisis in Europe, historical fiction), this was just my kind of book. I‘m always drawn to books set in India too, and this is in part, as well as California, Venice and New York. Beautifully written story as well.

19 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
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You can feel the suffocating heat rise off the page in this book (set in the UK = no air conditioning 🤷🏼‍♀️). A child goes missing, her teacher, Rachel, has a good idea where she has gone. This is a woman who seems to be struggling with her life: an absent husband, full of insecurities about her looks and her age, loss of control of her daughter. I really liked this, and if you like the unlikeable protagonist trope, you will too.

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Clare_Riley
If I Can't Have You | CHARLOTTE. LEVIN
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Loved this. Loneliness that turns into obsession. I read this on The Pigeonhole, and whilst a lot of readers disliked Constance because she kept leaving herself open to heartbreak, I have a soft spot for the unlikeable main character. And I thought she seemed very vulnerable. The character who deserved a good slap, was the object of her obsession. Really well written, and a great debut novel.

20 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
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If you haven‘t read this yet, why not?! It‘s just this marvellous breath of fresh air, which to be honest was just what I needed with England‘s 2nd lockdown in sight when I started it. Evie is a 16 yr old girl from East Yorkshire in the 1960‘s, embarking on her life. She wants to work in London (or Leeds), but she has to save her dad from the clutches of the evil Christine, her soon to be stepmother, first. I LOVED this. Just what I needed!

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Clare_Riley
The Harpy | Megan Hunter
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I think I‘ve found my spirit animal? Beast? Creature? Anyway, I‘ve found it! Lucy finds out her husband Jake is having an affair, and they agree that she can do three things to him as a punishment. It doesn‘t end particularly well, and goes some way to explaining that revenge isn‘t necessarily good for your sanity. This is a flipping marvellous book! Loved it!

BilboBookends SO 👏🏻 GOOD 👏🏻 2y
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Clare_Riley
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Oh. My. Word. I loved this. History is rewritten with a witchy slant - women rediscover their abilities to weave spells and stand up to the men who would see them being meek, mild housewives and mothers. Suffragettes are seen to be as bad as the witches that they still burn in this book. The Eastwood sisters find one another in New Salem after a number of years, and the world is set to change. And the ‘baddie‘ is just the right kind of evil!

19 likes2 stack adds
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Clare_Riley
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What a book. It started off with a quirky, independent little girl, and progressed into the story of a young woman who wants to get away from her small English town and limited life choices. Augusta and Parfaits stories run side by side, and you know they‘re going to meet. It‘s a bit heart rending (Mediterranean refugee crisis & suicide feature). Loved it.

BookwormM I agree great book 2y
20 likes1 comment
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Clare_Riley
Stepsister | Jennifer Donnelly
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I do like a fairytale retelling, and this delivers really well. Told from the side of the ‘ugly‘ sisters, there‘s a feminist slant to this story. Why shouldn‘t girls be able to do what they want? Well, society dictates, and mothers do too, to the extent that daughters cut bits of their feet off to placate them. This is no cheery tale, it has guts and encourages girls to go for what they want. I loved it. If I had daughters, they‘d be reading it!

19 likes3 stack adds
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Clare_Riley
Summerwater | Sarah Moss
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A day in the life of a group of holidaymakers in a Scottish Highlands holiday park. Each section follows a different person as they kill time during a very wet day. Not all of them are particularly nice, but they‘re very normal people, with the usual worries of children, work, retirement, illness. I really liked this, it had a great atmosphere running through it, almost a dread of something happening. Moss writes good atmosphere 😉

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Clare_Riley
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This was a great book for a sceptic like me, and it wasn‘t at all what I was expecting! Nando Fodor is called to Alma Fieldings house because of what appears to be poltergeist activity. He decides to conduct a thorough investigation. This becomes so much more than a house haunting - it appears that Alma herself is haunted. With a backdrop of the lead up to WW2, there‘s a lot going on in the world. I didn‘t think I‘d like this as much as I did! 👻

17 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
Hamnet | Maggie O'Farrell
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I‘ve just finished reading this, and I‘m bereft. Such a beautifully written book, it deserves all the praise and more. The parts after Hamnet‘s death where his mother is preparing his body brought me to tears. Stunning, stunning writing.

Oryx Fabulous book. 2y
Clare_Riley @Oryx it really is. 2y
23 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Clare_Riley
Piranesi | Susanna Clarke
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This has just dropped on to my kindle, and honestly, I don‘t think I‘ve been as excited about a book since The Testaments!

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Clare_Riley
Mordew | ALEX. PHEBY
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I‘ve just started reading this, and I‘m very excited. 60 pages in, and I can feel that this is going to be a good one! Is it just me who takes the covers off to read? I use a book cover as well to stop the pages getting damaged when I carry the book around with me. It has been said that it‘s just another excuse to buy more book stuff. I couldn‘t possibly comment 🤷🏼‍♀️😉

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Clare_Riley
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I think I spent half of this book worrying about the welfare of the children in this book. A really interesting look at the Wild West and the gold rush. It‘s an interesting one as someone from the UK: how people who looked obviously different from the mainstream were shunned and held in suspicion, especially at this time of BLM which is just as big a movement in the UK as in the US. Oh, and eye leakage is guaranteed.

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Clare_Riley
The Split: A Novel | Sharon Bolton
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Ooh, this was a good, twisty, turny read! Just when you think you have the plot nailed down, something else pops up! I loved it. I really liked the descriptions of South Georgia - it sounds both beautiful and uninviting!

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Clare_Riley
The Keeper | Jessica Moor
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When Katie Straw‘s body is pulled from the river, the women at the refuge she has been working at believe she has been murdered. The police on the case say it‘s suicide. Another great read, this looks at life in a Women‘s Refuge, why they left their abusive partners, and why so many go back. It‘s not a straightforward murder mystery. I would have happily read more about the women in the refuge. The police are predictably dinosaurs 🤷🏼‍♀️

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Clare_Riley
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Just my kind of thoughtful, no rush story. But there‘s so much going on! I loved this. Sarah, Ruth and Viviane‘s stories are told from different points in history, with the Bass Rock ever present off the coast of North Berwick (Scotland). Themes such as relationships between men and women, mothers and daughters; cruelty and abuse; mental health; the difference between what‘s expected of women and what they actually want to do, are all looked at.

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Clare_Riley
The Deep | Alma Katsu
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I really enjoyed this spooky tale of the Titanic and the Britannic. Annie Henley is a stewardess who survives the Titanic, and finds herself as a nurse on the Britannic (talk about bad luck!). When Annie sets foot on the Britannic, the memories of her previous fateful voyage come flooding back to her. There‘s an underlying menace, which frankly, would keep me off anything that floats for life! It doesn‘t end well 🤷🏼‍♀️ Recommended!

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Clare_Riley
A Thousand Moons | Sebastian Barry
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Oh how I loved this book. You know that feeling when something you‘re reading is so beautifully described that you think your heart might burst? Well, that‘s this book. I now need to go back and read the FIRST book (Days Without End), and I‘ll probably destroy myself all over again. Why have I only now found Sebastian Barry?! Oh, and I read this on The Pigeonhole app - if you haven‘t found it yet, I highly recommend it. And my iPad needs a clean!!

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Clare_Riley
You Let Me In | Camilla Bruce
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The UK cover is what drew me to this. I didn‘t even know what it was about! If you like a different take on fairies (ie. they‘re not very nice AT ALL!), you‘ll like this. You‘re never quite sure if the main protagonist is telling the truth or completely mad. Either way, it was a good story!

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Clare_Riley
One Year of Ugly | Caroline Mackenzie
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I‘d never heard about Venezuelan refugees. This is the story of the Palacio family and their new lives in Trinidad. It‘s funny and dark, especially when Trini crime lord, Ugly, makes his appearance. I have to admit to feeling some guilt when laughing at some of the more inappropriate bits, but the author has said that this was the approach she was after, and let‘s face it, in times of adversity there are always those who can see the funny side.

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Clare_Riley
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I loved this creepy, gothic, slow-burner of a novel. It‘s set during WW2, and Hetty Cartwright is put in charge of moving and taking care of, the mammal collection from the Natural History Museum from London to Lockwood Manor. If it‘s not enough that the Manor House seems unwelcoming, Lord Lockwood is rude and condescending too. Lucy, his fragile adult daughter, and Hetty form a friendship,and try to preserve the collection. I really enjoyed this!

Booksnchill Listening to the audio on this now and enjoying the creepy gothic vibe of the natural history museum taxidermied (is that a word?) animals in an old manor house! 2y
Clare_Riley I can imagine that the audio could really add to the atmosphere! 2y
22 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Clare_Riley
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One of my non-fic picks of the year - already!! Well researched, funny, eye-opening - you‘ll want to tell all of your friends the fascinating things you learn in this. Some things you‘d never find out about otherwise, and some you didn‘t KNOW you needed to know about! The photos are informative and at times, titillating, and some are terrifying (doctors equipment from Victorian era and earlier 😱). Visit Whores of Yore on Twitter (authors page)!

ElaineR Sounds fab. 3y
Booksnchill Really love the look on her face!🥱 3y
Clare_Riley @Booksnchill believe it or not, that‘s actually a doctor examining her!! 🤣😂 3y
28 likes3 stack adds3 comments
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Clare_Riley
The Sisters Grimm | Menna van Praag
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Fairytales with a twist and a sting in the tail? Yes please! 4 sisters, four different mothers, the same father, all born on the same day. They must find one another and prepare themselves for their initiation in Everwhere - except they don‘t really know that it exists. Or they think it‘s a dream. It‘s a coming of age story as far from a twee fairytale as you can get. I just wish that it wasn‘t a one-off - I need more closure!

Clare_Riley And I‘ve just found out that it‘s actually the first in a trilogy (the author retweeted my review!). So I‘m well up for this trilogy then! 3y
24 likes1 comment
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Clare_Riley
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A funny, frustrating read, it illustrates all that‘s wrong in the UK penal system (and a few other countries too, I should think). Atkins was convicted of fraud and received a 5 year prison sentence, the first year of which was spent in HMP Wandsworth (in London). He kept a diary, and this book is the result of that. It‘s an eye-opener: do we want incarceration or rehabilitation (my takeaway from this)? Is this money well spent? Great book!

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Clare_Riley
The Mercies | Kiran Millwood Hargrave
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Absolutely adored this book. It‘s a slow burner: the underlying menace and the fact that I knew what the inevitable ending was going to be, kept my heart in my throat. It‘s beautifully written too. It‘s about a village in Finmark - all the men were killed at sea in 1617. The women had to learn to cope on their ow - never a good thing in the 17th century, because of course that makes them witches 🙄 The Church and men don‘t come out of this well.

Crazeedi What a gorgeous cover! And it sounds really good! Adding 3y
squirrelbrain I loved this one too! 3y
Tamra I really want to read this one! 3y
28 likes3 comments
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Clare_Riley
The Other People | C.J. Tudor
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I‘ve just finished this - and it was so good! Gabe spends all of his time, driving up and down motorways searching for his daughter. He‘s adamant that she wasn‘t murdered along with her mother - he saw her in the back of a car driving away when she should have been dead in his home with her mother. Murdered by an apparent burglar. Oh this is a chilling thriller - well worth a read!

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Clare_Riley
Haven't They Grown | Sophie Hannah
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Thought I‘d picked up something from the Sci-Fi shelf - that could be the only logical explanation, surely, but this is a mystery, a thriller, not Sci -Fi! What else would you think though, if you saw your ex-best friend and her two children who looked exactly the same as they did 12 yrs ago? Well, the MC isn‘t going to let it lie, and decides to find out what‘s happened. I flipping LOVED this book! And I did NOT guess the ending!

LiteraryinLawrence I just read this (published under a different name in the US) and really liked it! 3y
Clare_Riley @LiteraryinLititz I‘m so glad you enjoyed it! 3y
20 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Clare_Riley
Pine | Francine Toon
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I finished reading this yesterday, and it is probably one of my highlights of this months reading - I LOVED it. It‘s so atmospheric, eerie, bordering on slipping into being a horror story (but it‘s not!). It‘s set in a remote Scottish village, and 10 year old Lauren keeps seeing a strange woman - anyone else who sees her immediately forgets they have. And then a teenager goes missing. This book isn‘t what you think it‘ll be. It‘s so much more!

24 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
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My first Allende book (I know 🤷🏼‍♀️), and I think I‘ve found a new go to author (this list is becoming frankly enormous). Historical fiction, telling the story of a family after the Spanish Civil War. They escape to France as refugees, are kept in concentration camps, then escape to Chile on the Winnipeg - a ship organised by Pablo Neruda to bring exiled Spaniards to Chile. It‘s a sweeping historical tale of family and love. Cracking story!

Tanisha_A I just pre-ordered this. Going to be first my Allende too! 3y
Clare_Riley @Tanisha_A I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!! 3y
21 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Clare_Riley
The Foundling | Stacey Halls
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This has a different name in the US (The Lost Child). I LOVED THIS BOOK!! I think I‘m becoming a bit of a Stacey Halls fan, to be honest. Bess Bright leaves her daughter at the Foundling Hospital with the intention of reclaiming her when she‘s older. 6 years later she goes back for her, and it transpires that she was collected the day after Bess left her - by Bess! So the mystery is: who took her, and where is she? Such a good book - read it!!

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Clare_Riley
The Companion | Kim Taylor Blakemore
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This reminded me a little of The Confessions of Frannie Langton, in that it was about a maid (but not a black slave this time) who is guilty of murder and awaiting their sentence to be carried out. It‘s dark, brooding, and has a wholly unreliable narrator. I really enjoyed it. It‘s set in New Hampshire instead of London, and the MC always has the option to leave (unlike Frannie). Worth a read!

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Clare_Riley
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Really enjoyed this book, but blimey, how desolate! I had to stop reading it and pick up something else to counteract it, because this book sees us in a very unhappy, drought ridden, war torn world. (FYI, the other book is Armistead Maupins Tales of the City 1 - very good 😉). This is the second in a quartet. I‘ll be reading the next two (really need to read the 1st - on my shelf, but it‘s about the death of Bees - need to prepare myself!)

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Clare_Riley
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Such a sad, beautiful book. It tells the story of Nuri and his wife Afra, and their escape from Aleppo. It‘s harrowing in places, and the despair of every one of the refugees that we meet in the story jumps off the page. But it‘s a story of hope as well. I bought this for my mum for her birthday present - I‘m sure she‘ll thank me for it later...

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Clare_Riley
The Testaments: A Novel | Margaret Atwood
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As you can see, the TV in the UK is pretty uninteresting at the moment, so I‘ve had a good reading month! The Testaments blew me away, Things In Jars was a stunning book, A Single Thread was such an unexpected treasure, and So Lucky isn‘t something I would‘ve ever picked up if it wasn‘t for The Pigeonhole (5⭐️)! My son challenged me to read Injustice years 1-4, and I loved them! October is off to a rather good start too!

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Clare_Riley
The Hiding Game | Naomi Wood
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I finished this today - basically, if it‘s anything to do with Germany and I find it, I‘ll read it. And this didn‘t disappoint. It has it all: art, in the form of Bauhaus; politics, in the rise of National Socialism; and relationships - just to add heartbreak and betrayal into the mix. It‘s such a good book.

21 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
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This book made me actually cry for the last couple of chapters, so you‘d better all go and read it too! Seriously, I would visit a museum like this. It contains objects that symbolise peoples broken promises or betrayals. Ok, so not one of those ‘cheery‘ museums, but it would be so interesting, wouldn‘t it!

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Clare_Riley
Turn of the Key | Ruth Ware
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Another Pigeonhole book - I tell you, they‘re on FIRE with their choices lately! I‘ve been reading two 5/5 books at the same time! Both had me wishing I could read on, but the wait was so good! This has a haunted house at its centre, and a nanny with some pretty awful children, to be honest! Saying that, the nanny isn‘t up to much either - and that‘s what makes it so good! Another book I‘d highly recommend!

Crazeedi Ok what pigeonhole app 3y
Clare_Riley @Crazeedi it‘s an app called The Pigeonhole - I downloaded it for free from the App Store. I‘m pretty sure they do it on android as well. I don‘t know whether it‘s available in the US, but it‘s well worth a try having a look. They‘ve picked some absolutely amazing books lately! 3y
Clare_Riley I don‘t know wether this will help: https://thepigeonhole.com/ 3y
Crazeedi @Clare_Riley thank you!!! 3y
Crazeedi @Clare_Riley so you have to grab a spot, the books you mentioned are filled? Then they release a portion at a time? Looks interesting and yes there is an app I can get. Thanks I'm going to look into it 3y
27 likes2 stack adds5 comments
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Clare_Riley
Never Have I Ever | Joshilyn Jackson
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I LOVED this! It‘s really not what I expected at all, and there were so many twists and turns! Some really great writing! It really is well worth reading! This was a Pigeonhole book - I‘m so glad I found this app, they‘ve been choosing some excellent books lately!

MuddyPuddle Pigeonhole? 3y
Clare_Riley @MuddyPuddle it‘s an app. They serialise books, releasing a ‘stave‘ at a time, each day for about 10 days. You should be able to find it on your App Store 😊 3y
26 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Clare_Riley
Never Have I Ever | Joshilyn Jackson
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I LOVED this! It‘s really not what I expected at all, and there were so many twists and turns! Some really great writing! It really is well worth reading! This was a Pigeonhole book - I‘m so glad I found this app, they‘ve been choosing some excellent books lately!

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Clare_Riley
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I‘ve had an absolutely amazing month of reading. I usually try to pick one or two favourites each month, but I just couldn‘t do it for July 🤷🏼‍♀️ (although I didn‘t think too much of The Scribe, if I‘m honest). Here‘s hoping August is as good! Oh, and I LOVED the tagged book. The drawings are so stark - the only stand out colour is the red of the handmaidens clothes, everything else seems to be black and white. True to the story, too.

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What Red Was | Rosie Price
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I took two of my library books back this afternoon, determined not to get anymore (frankly, my tbr pile is gargantuan - I smile fondly at tbr shelves and piles 🤦🏼‍♀️). And here we are. I need to read another JCO book after My Life As A Rat, and What Red Was just seemed to throw itself at me!

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Clare_Riley
Underdogs | Chris Bonnello
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Book post is the best post! I won this in a Twitter competition last week!😊

Megabooks Awesome! 3y
15 likes1 comment
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Clare_Riley
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Just finished reading these two books on The Pigeonhole, and they‘re both 5⭐️ reads! Sager‘s book is a psychological thriller - you‘re never quite sure if it‘s all in the main characters imagination, or if something sinister is really happening to her fellow apartment sitters. Oswald‘s book is a police procedural (except DC Con Fairchild is suspended from duties - whilst doing her job 🤷🏼‍♀️) with a very surprising turn of events! Both fab!

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Clare_Riley
Snegurochka | Judith Heneghan
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Book mail!! I‘ve ordered direct from the publishers, and they sent me a thank you postcard, an extract FROM THE OTHER BOOK I WANTED TO BUY BUT MANAGED NOT TO THROUGH SHEER FORCE OF WILL, and a little sachet of salt (that‘s the name of the publisher 🤭). So, I‘m probably going to buy the other book now, aren‘t I?! 🙄😆

charl08 That's very tempting- I have a library copy of the Anstruther, looking forward to it. 3y
14 likes1 comment
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Clare_Riley
Someone Like Me | M. R. Carey
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I always know I‘m going to get a good story when I read M. R. Carey books, and this is no exception. It‘s a tense, menacing story that brings new meaning to ‘body snatchers‘. It‘s a slow burner, but I enjoyed the journey!

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Clare_Riley
The Familiars | Stacey Halls
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I love reading historical fiction, but I would NEVER want to live in the past. I‘m quite happy where I am with my antibiotics, hospitals and relative freedom, thanks very much! Are they really witches, or just women with a bit of knowledge? Well, WE know the answer NOW, but then it seemed to be any old excuse to clap a woman in chains, accuse her of witchcraft and hang her - they weren‘t burnt in England. There‘s a little reassurance 🙄

Tamra What a cover! 3y
Clare_Riley @Tamra it‘s beautiful, isn‘t it. Truth be told, it‘s the reason why I picked it up in the first place 🤷🏼‍♀️ 3y
Tamra @Clare_Riley I‘m guilty of that. 😏 3y
Clare_Riley @Tamra sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn‘t - this time it will thankfully worked!😆 3y
Readswithcoffee Well said. I agree! 3y
28 likes5 comments
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Clare_Riley
Fake Like Me | Barbara Bourland
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There seems to be a lot of buzz around this book at the moment, and I can see why. It‘s a satire on the art world and a thriller, with a bit of a mystery thrown in. What really happened to Carey Logan, a young artist, and the narrators idol? The unnamed narrator manages to work in Carey‘s studio space after a fire destroys her own, and she must re-do all the paintings. I really enjoyed this - it whizzed by!

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Clare_Riley
Walking to Aldebaran | Adrian Tchaikovsky
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I LOVED this! Adrian Tchaikovsky writes great novellas, and packs so much in to them. Gary Rendell is separated from his fellow shipmates when they try to start an expedition to explore a planet sized rock near Pluto. But it‘s a lot more than just a rock. It‘s a great story of a man losing his grip on reality - the descent into insanity. And there‘s a bit of a play on words with regards to his name - which becomes clear near the end!