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Clare_Riley

Clare_Riley

Joined May 2016

I'm on Goodreads too where, very originally, I am also Clare Riley!
review
Clare_Riley
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Pickpick

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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Pickpick

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...

20 likes1 stack add
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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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Pickpick

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 5mo
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! 5mo
Clare_Riley I don‘t know wether this will help: https://thepigeonhole.com/ 5mo
Crazeedi @Clare_Riley thank you!!! 5mo
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 5mo
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? 5mo
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 😊 5mo
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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Pickpick

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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Clare_Riley
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! 6mo
14 likes1 comment
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Clare_Riley
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Pickpick

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. 6mo
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! 6mo
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 🤷🏼‍♀️ 6mo
Tamra @Clare_Riley I‘m guilty of that. 😏 6mo
Clare_Riley @Tamra sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn‘t - this time it will thankfully worked!😆 6mo
Readswithcoffee Well said. I agree! 3mo
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!

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Clare_Riley
My Life as a Rat: A Novel | Joyce Carol Oates
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Why am I only just reading a Joyce Carol Oates book NOW?! Well, this won‘t be the last book of hers that I‘ll read, that‘s for sure. A child is ostracised from her family, and it affects the rest of her life and her self esteem. How could it not? If any book character ever needed to be forcibly removed from her storyline and hugged, then this is that character. It really left me feeling such sadness for her. Highly recommended.

17 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
Beneath the Surface | Fiona Neill
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Pickpick

What better way to spend my day off than reading this fabulous book?! A family who all have their secrets, soon realise that in keeping them they‘re making their lives much more complicated. I love these types of books.

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Clare_Riley
The Doll Factory: A Novel | Elizabeth Macneal
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I‘m rubbish at keeping up on here - it‘s been busy 🤷🏼‍♀️. Still found time to read though! Anyway, here‘s what I read in June - they‘re all 4/5 and 5/5, but my favourites were: Underland - Robert Macfarlane (non-fic, journeys in underground spaces), The Doll Factory - Elizabeth Macneal (a woman trying to find her freedom in Victorian England), and The Brief - Simon Michael (criminal lawyer in 1960s). I promise to do better in July!

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Clare_Riley
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My giveaway prize arrived yesterday, but unfortunately I was at work - so I walked to the post office this morning to collect it! I‘m looking forward to reading this (I‘ve no idea when - my tbr pile is huge!)

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Clare_Riley
The Parisian | Isabella Hammad
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This is an example of why I read. A true labour of love - 710 pages and I savoured every word. Besides the history lesson, it‘s a story of how people cope with huge upheaval, and it‘s another example of how British colonialism and the way they portioned up countries, messed up countless lives. But it‘s the people: the men who fought and died for their beliefs, the strong women who supported them. And Midhat Kamals story... I loved it.

RachelO I have this as an ARC - you‘ve convinced me I really need to get on and read it. Thanks! 8mo
20 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Clare_Riley
Those Who Are Loved | Victoria Hislop
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The Pigeonhole app has managed to pick some absolutely wonderful books over the time I‘ve subscribed to them (it‘s free!) and this is one of them. We follow Themis and her family from childhood to adulthood , through some of the most turbulent years in Greece‘s history. Dictatorships, World Wars, love, loss, imprisonment, migration. I felt emotionally drained by the end. It‘ll be birthday presents for a few friends this year (my mum included!).

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Clare_Riley
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Pickpick

Loved it! Why are so many books labelled YA when they could just as easily be read by anyone - young and old (ahem!)! A soft apocalypse: no cannibals, zombies, violence, dictators, just a gradual slide in to ‘no more humans‘. A seemingly harmless virus renders everyone, without exclusion, infertile. This book looks at what it is to be human. Lovely lovely book. And actually, there is a bit of action, so don‘t think it‘s a damp squib 😉

19 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
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Mehso-so

I tried to like this. The main characters though - why on earth would you spend Qc,000 on an android, then ignore it? What a waste of money and potential adventure/ pleasure! The main characters were pretty unlikeable, which isn‘t usually a problem for me, but they really grated on me. The alternative British history was interesting (Britain lose the Falklands war, and Alan Turing doesn‘t commit suicide), but I nearly gave up reading this,

Penny_LiteraryHoarders I have to say that this cover is one of the most unappealing ones I've ever seen and put me off from reading it. I see that I'm okay with judging the book by the cover! 😛 8mo
Clare_Riley @Penny_LiteraryHoarders I think you‘d be safe to, yes!😂 8mo
Freespirit I have loved some of his books..this one doesn't appeal...nor does the cover I agree @Penny_LiteraryHoarders 8mo
20 likes3 comments
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Clare_Riley
Failsafe Query | Michael Jenkins
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The Kompromat Kill is the 2nd in the Sean Richardson series, and only just published (which is why I can‘t find it on here I suppose!). Another exciting adventure with Sean - he finds out some unsettling and surprising information in this book. And stops a nuclear bomb attack. All in a days work...

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Clare_Riley
Paper Girls Vol. 5 | Brian K. Vaughan
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I love this series - the girls are still in the future. And we find out something rather interesting about the ‘old timers‘.
And now I think I‘m going to have a look for volume 6 - I think I saw that it was out. It might just go on my birthday list....

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Clare_Riley
The Disappeared | Amy Lord
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I really enjoyed this: a Britain under a one party rule, where reading the wrong book or saying the wrong thing can cause your ‘disappearance‘. Clara decides to take up where her disappeared university English lecturer father left off before he disappeared. She and her history lecturer boyfriend decide to teach a select group of students about their past before the Authorisation Bureau. It doesn‘t go well. It was a great, if violent, read.

TrishB Stacked - sounds good 👍🏻 8mo
Clare_Riley @TrishB it‘s had some good Goodreads reviews too, so I‘m relieved I‘m not the only one that enjoyed it (this happens 🤷🏼‍♀️). I hope you enjoy It! 8mo
Freespirit Sounds intriguing!!! 8mo
19 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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Clare_Riley
Saltwater | Jessica Andrews
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This book is largely about the relationship between a mother and her child, from the daughters point of view. This part really affected me. It‘s that feeling that you want to be independent of your mum, but there are times when you just wish you could have them all to yourself. Growing up is hard. Being a grown up can be harder (I‘m experiencing ‘teenager‘ from the parents side just lately 🤯)

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Clare_Riley
You Will Be Safe Here | Damian Barr
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Set in the internment camps of Bloemfontein in the 2nd Boer War and a modern day camp that ‘makes men out of boys‘. Brutality under the guise of safe-keeping. How humans can be so wilfully/ casually cruel is astounding. This will keep you thinking long after you‘ve finished. History that affects the present. “You will be safe here” was said to both groups of people - and they weren‘t. A truly beautiful book despite the subject. Highly recommended.

17 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
Internment | Samira Ahmed
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I really enjoyed this. It‘s obvious (through lack of gory detail) that this is YA: it was a good story, nonetheless. I wish the main character had started her campaign of resistance earlier, but I did manage to get quite emotionally involved by the end - it was a bit rushed in the final chapters, though. It is quite scary how easily we could fall into this trap of exclusion, racism and general hate. An important subject to read about right now.

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Clare_Riley
NIGHT BY NIGHT. | JACK. JORDAN
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Panpan

If you like weepy female characters, then this is for you. If you like people who see police corruption and then do pretty much nothing about it, then this is also for you. I will say there were plenty of people who read this with me on The Pigeonhole who loved it. I did not. In fact, I wish I‘d given up, but here we are 🤷🏼‍♀️

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Clare_Riley
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Set in Victorian London, this is the second in the Leo Stanhope series (at least I‘m hoping it‘ll be a series!). A woman is murdered, Leo is implicated, and so he decides to try and solve it and look after her children too. A story of family secrets, sibling rivalry and poverty. Leo is managing to keep his secret so far, but will he continue to when someone else from his past knows? This was even better than the first book! Worth a read!

16 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
North | Frank Owen
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The continuation of South! I don‘t recall reading anywhere that you can read this without having read South first, but I wouldn‘t (the cause of some of the low ratings on Goodreads). You need to understand the privations of the South to really understand where this one is coming from. There are some seriously unpleasant people in this - power-hungry men, politicians and a truly mad scientist! And the viruses continue to plague the people.

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Clare_Riley
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I loved this book! Frannie is a Jamaican slave, a house girl, brought to England by her owner. She should be free on English soil, but he gives her to a friend, Mr Benham, and she becomes Mrs Benhams companion. Frannie and Mrs Benham have a love affair of sorts, but the story starts with Frannie in Newgate jail after being found asleep next to the dead Mrs a Benham, with Mr Behams dead body downstairs. She has no memory of it. This is her story.

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Clare_Riley
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I honestly didn‘t think I‘d like this. Arty lived in a commune shut off from the world in a wood in India, where they have there own rules and money isn‘t needed. An illness kills everyone except Arty and her ‘brother‘. She thinks she is all alone after Zeus is claimed by an aunt, and ends up leaving her foster family to go to Mumbai, hoping to get to England to find her uncle. It‘s a surprising story. We could all learn a little from Arty.

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Clare_Riley
Doggerland | Ben Smith
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The Road meets Waiting for Godot via Huis Clos! This is a tense book, where not much seems to happen - but there‘s loads going on under the surface. How can an author can make you feel so trapped when there‘s thousands of miles of sea outside your door? Climate change is a big part to this - the sea has reclaimed a lot of the UK, and they fish for ‘relics‘ (a lot of plastic!). What happened to the boys father? Will we ever find out?!

19 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
Spring | Ali Smith
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I flipping love Ali Smith. She has her finger right on the pulse of Britain at the moment, and it‘s not all nice (we have our saving graces though - honest!!). This is such a great book. I even love the David Hockney cover. Just go and read it!!

19 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
Adele | Lela Slimani
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I‘ve read some really well translated books recently - and this is another of them. Adele appears to have a wonderful life: good job, surgeon husband and a beautiful son. Except she‘s not happy, and seems to have a sex addiction - and uses it to punish herself, I thought. A really desolate book, not one to read if you‘re feeling low - this will do you no favours. But I loved it! And another unresolved ending that I seem to love 🤷🏼‍♀️

Severnmeadows Good review! 9mo
17 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Clare_Riley
Cruel Acts | Jane Casey
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I really enjoyed this police procedural. Set in the UK, the main character is a detective sergeant who is put on the case of re-investigating a murder trial. There has been enough doubt thrown on the conviction of the murderer that they have to trawl back through the whole thing. And they find some interesting and dangerous new evidence. I think that‘s a vague enough synopsis! I couldn‘t put it down though! Such an exciting, enthralling story.

TrishB Love this series 👍🏻 9mo
15 likes1 comment
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Clare_Riley
Spring | Ali Smith
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THAT‘S how you start a book!! I flipping LOVE Ali Smith!

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Clare_Riley
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It‘s not often that the second in a series is better than the first - but that‘s what Holly Black has done with this one! I loved it! The intrigue, the backstabbing, the nearly-romance (if they weren‘t so close to double-crossing one another all the time!). So now the wait until 2020 for the last in the trilogy...

BooknerdsLife Haha yes! Loving their "almost there" romance ? 9mo
Clare_Riley @BooknerdsLife I‘m sure this is the reason why so much women‘s fantasy gets put into the YA category - they don‘t write enough sex! But I don‘t want to read about sex all the time, to be quite honest 🤷🏼‍♀️ And why should that be the reason why something is or is not YA? 9mo
Clare_Riley I should say “fantasy written by women” otherwise it‘s another thing entirely🙄 9mo
22 likes3 comments
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Clare_Riley
Daisy Jones & The Six | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Oh how I loved this book! I‘ve wanted to be in a rock band since I was a small child. There are only two problems: 1. only I think I can sing, and 2. I learned the clarinet NOT the lead guitar 🤷🏼‍♀️ Life is so unfair. Anyway, this is told through interviews with the various band members, and is fascinating! The dynamics within the group, the relationship between Billy, the lead singer and Daisy, the OTHER lead singer. Very Fleetwood Mac 😉

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Clare_Riley
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I read this through Jellybooks, so it‘s not actually released until August. It‘s a cracker! A rip-roaring adventure story, with a strong, intelligent female lead, who can teach the men a thing or two! Not bad for a woman in the 1700‘s!

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Clare_Riley
Mouthful of Birds: Stories | Samanta Schweblin
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Mehso-so

This was an odd one. I enjoyed some of the stories (Headlights, Preserves, and the title story), but others were a bit too odd. I did read the book all in one go, and I think it would have perhaps been better if I‘d dipped in and out.

RachelO I agree totally with your review - very strange! 9mo
24 likes1 comment
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Clare_Riley
Queenie | Candice Carty-Williams
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This book deserves to be big! It‘s so good. Queenie is a British-Jamaican, and she‘s having a few problems. Her friends are right behind her, as is her Jamaican family. It‘s funny in places, but also very serious, as it tackles subjects of mental health, abuse and risky behaviour. It‘s a real roller coaster of a read. You‘ll probably want to throw the book at Queenie from time to time, but I liked that, it made her more human. Highly recommended!

27 likes1 stack add
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Clare_Riley
Close to the Edge | Toby Faber
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Panpan

I tried really REALLY hard to like this book. It was abysmal. The main character was the most pathetic woman I‘ve read in a book - has the author actually ever met any women? And the storyline was all over the place, as though he hadn‘t kept track of when things were supposed to happen. Characters had random personality changes which left me confused. If I hadn‘t have been reading it on The Pigeonhole, I would‘ve given up 🤷🏼‍♀️

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Clare_Riley
Lanny: A Novel | Max Porter
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Well this ended far too quickly! This is such a beautiful book - I actually rate it an ‘Uber-pick‘! If I could write a book, I would wish it could be like this. Lyrical, poetic, even. Funny, moving, and just jam packed with descriptions and imagery. The Dead Papa Toothwort bits are just a work of the most amazing mind. Am I gushing enough? If I thought Porters first book was good, this far exceeds that one. Gorgeous.

TrishB Great review👍🏻 9mo
Clare_Riley Thanks @TrishB 😊 9mo
saresmoore Sold! 9mo
See All 6 Comments
Clare_Riley I hope you enjoy it as much as I did @saresmoore ! 9mo
batsy Great review! I haven't even read his first—I'm not sure what I'm waiting for! 9mo
Clare_Riley @batsy do it! You won‘t regret It!😁 9mo
29 likes2 stack adds6 comments
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Clare_Riley
Ayesha at Last | Uzma Jalaluddin
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I loved this!! Pride and Prejudice set in Canada with a Muslim cast. It has so much heart, it‘s funny, and most importantly, it‘s just a really good retelling. I think it might already have a film deal as well. Even the more unsavoury characters are written in such a way as they can‘t be completely reprehensible. It‘s an important story I think at this time in history - muslims are just people who live and love like anyone else.

RachelO ..and I‘m half way through this one, and would quite happily cancel everything else to read it! It‘s so much fun! 9mo
Clare_Riley @RachelO it is! I‘m glad you‘re enjoying it! 9mo
28 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Clare_Riley
Lanny: A Novel | Max Porter
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51 pages in, and I love this book already. This excerpt actually brought tears to my eyes (I‘m one of those ‘emotional readers‘🙄😆). And this is the least of it. Just been gushing to my 14 year old about the Dead Papa Toothwort bits. His response: “You‘re a bit weird really, aren‘t you.” How I love my children! 😂

Crazeedi I cry through books all the time, I'm right with you 10mo
Clare_Riley @Crazeedi I‘m glad I‘m not on my own! 10mo
21 likes2 comments