My September TBR!

At this very beginning of September I’ve been finishing off my reads for the MiddleEarthAThon, so that has delayed me starting my actual tbr. It’s also tempting a slump because WOW I read a lot 😂 but that’s why this tbr is a little late.

Ironically, my video version wasn’t late – so if you’d rather see this in video form then check it out!

But now onto the list version of my tbr! I do have one “secret” book on my tbr, that you folks won’t find out about until mid-October at the earliest. I really need to get reading on that one!

Babel by R.F. Kuang is one of the most hyped books of this month and I’m so excited to dive into this diverse dark academia. I’ve not read anything by Kuang yet (The Poppy War is on my tbr still) and so I really hope I enjoy her writing style – I have hope! This one was, of course, from my Illumicrate subscription.

My Goldsboro GSFF subscription brought me Lost in Time by A.G. Riddle and it’s definitely something very different to what I usually pick up! A man is sent back to the time of the dinosaurs as a punishment but he has to get back to the modern day. Sounds wild and I’m here for it.

Then for the Middle Grade Magic readathon which is taking place from the 1st to the 11th September I’m wanting to read two books. One is Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko which I’m wanting to read via audiobook, a YA high fantasy, magical, queer read. Always here for that and I’ve heard wonderful things. The other book is The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan, the second book in his Ancient Egyptian series The Kane Chronicles. This is one of the few middle grades that I have a physical copy of so it was the obvious choice.

And then I have four books on my general tbr, along with a fifth for my tbr jar pick.

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin is a piece of classic LGBTQ+ literature that was gifted to me by my uncle (who runs this amazing page called On This Gay Day) and I’ve been meaning to read for a while!

Then one that I keep hearing amazing things about, The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss. Now that I’ve read more gothic literature, I’m excited to dive into this book that utilises both those tropes as well as the famous characters from these books, and I’ve heard the communication style is unique.

It’s been a while since I read a dystopian so I’m finally going to pick up Raging Star by Moira Young and finish the Blood Red Road trilogy. I’ve had this on my tbr for so long now that it’s slightly ridiculous. Time to finally read it!

Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sonderby is my last book before the jar and this is a sci-fi read that has autistic representation that I’ve been told is wonderful. It’s also an indie-published novel which I always love supporting!

And then for the jar. I went through the jar with Caitlyn from Mad Cheshire Rabbit and added and removed some entries – from the newly refreshed jar I picked out……

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco! (which was gifted to me by Kari from Kar-ing for Books) This is a sci-fi fantasy read where the planet has stopped rotating. One half is freezing and the other is boiling – but the two must work together. I’m excited to try out this one.

And that’s my tbr. As always it’s far too big but fingers crossed I can get through all these reads and that I enjoy most of them, we’ll have to wait and see 😉

What are you most excited to read in September? I’m assuming for most of you the answer will be Babel! I’m super excited for that one too!!

My June TBR Hopefuls!

After how hectic the end of May was, I thought I’d be a little more down low for June and only put 10 books onto my tbr (yes… I’m aware that’s still a lot. This was as low as I could get it!) A couple audiobooks, one non-fiction, and a load of fantasy. Perfect!

My tbr video is already up if you’d rather consume this in video form!

Not included in the 10 is The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, which I’m reading one chapter a day of. I’m carrying on with it in June and I’m actually hoping to finish it this month! We’ll have to wait and see.

Then, the TBR jar returned this month! And from that I’m picking up The Muse by Jessie Burton. This is a historical fiction set between the 1960s and 1930s that follows art, or more accurately, one painting. This was gifted to me by my little sister back in 2016 and I really do need to get around to it!

Because I’m one of the co-hosts for MiddleEarthAThon I really should have read the Lord of the Rings… and I haven’t. So I’m wanting to listen to the audiobook of The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein! One of the most well known high fantasy books, and it’s a wee bit shameful I’ve not read it yet 😂

And for my second audiobook, Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth. This is an LGBTQ+ gothic historical fiction, and I really know basically nothing else. But my friend Lizzie enjoyed it (from LizzieIsElf) so why not! It’s a long audiobook, just under 20 hours, so I’ll most likely start this one after reading LotR.

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch is a longstanding fantasy series that I’ve seen around for a few years now, it follows a detective around a magical version of our London. I love a good mystery, as well as a fantasy, so I’m hoping this combination really works for me.

Vox by Christina Dalcher is a dystopian where women can only speak 100 words a day. Any more and they get hit with 1000 volts of electricity. I enjoy concepts like these, but I am wary of it being “women” who are impacted by this. How does this then impact trans women, or non-binary folk, or trans men? I’m not expecting this book to be aware enough to cover this topic but I’ll be super pleasantly surprised if it does.

Another social commentary kind of book, 84k by Claire North. This is set in a world where each life has a monetary value, and if you can afford the price you can do whatever you like. Including murder. Our main character doesn’t care, until someone they love has their life bought.

Hannah from LadetteM sent me The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake when she was unhauling it. She really didn’t vibe with it, but I also enjoyed Addie LaRue, which Hannah hated sooooo I thought it was worth giving a shot to a fantasy world where only 5 people will get a place in this society each year.

For my non-fiction of the month I’m going for Minnesota’s Geologist by Sue Leaf, which was a present from Kari from Kar-ing for Books who lives in the state and knows I’m always down to learn about geology! I’m super excited for this one and have been for a while.

The Goldsboro GSFF box for May gave us The Collarbound by Rebecca Zahabi, this is advertised as a magical, brink-of-war setting and I really do enjoy political fantasy and have had fantastic success with previous GSFF books so I’m excited for this one!

And finally is the Illumicrate book from the May box which is Book of Night by Holly Black. I’ve never been interested in Black’s books before, but this one has a woman who is fantastic with explosives and I am totally here for that. I just hope it’s a good one!

And that’s my June TBR! Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought of them. And let me know one book that’s on your TBR, I’m always here to add more books to the list!

My May tbr

The fact we’re already so far into the year is panicking me a little, but let’s focus on all the books I’m hoping on reading this month!

I’m back on my BookTube Bullshit (TM) this month so if you’d like to see my tbr in video form instead then click below!

To the books!!

First up we have This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada which is the third book in the This Mortal Coil series. This is all about a disease which causes people to explode, and is set in a world where people can manipulate their DNA. A Sci-Fi YA and I have *adored* the first two books so I’m super excited to delve into this final one!

Rebel Heart by Moira Young means I’m continuing in another series, but this time with the second book in the trilogy of Blood Red Road. Set in a Dystopian future in the continental US and following a young woman who, in the first book, sets out to find her brother after he was kidnapped by the Tonton.

Then I want to read Illumicrate’s book for last month, Portrait of a Thief by Grace D Li which is set around five Chinese American teens/young adults “stealing” back artefacts from Western museums which were originally stolen from China. The concept is amazing and I’m really looking forward to delving in.

For a fun book I’ve went with The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde which is a companion series to Thursday Next and follows nursery rhyme characters inside their book world. British humour at its most ridiculous is what I’m expecting!

Graceling by Kristin Cashore is a “classic” YA fantasy that Kar-ing for Books and Veronica’s Shelf are super excited for me to read, and given that I bought the four books currently out in Feb? Well I felt like I should get going!

My non-fiction pick for the month is Living Planet by David Attenborough which is a republishing (with significant edits apparently) from the original in the 80s. I adore all things Earth Science and Ecology so I am 100% here for this.

I’d love to get to The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde this month. It’s only a short classic and I’ve heard amazing things about Wilde’s writing!

Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May came in my Goldsboro box and I like to try and read those and keep on top of them so I’m definitely diving into this one. All I know about it is that it’s a Historical Fantasy set during the 1920s!

And last but never least, my audiobook for the month is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein, and yes it’s shameful I’ve not read it yet. There’s a free audiobook available on Spotify and I’m really excited to delve into this beloved fantasy world!

And that’s it! Just a short tbr this month as I get back into the swing of things. Have you read any of these? Tell me what you thought of them! And have you picked out your May TBR? Let me know what you’re excited to read this month!!

My March Hopefuls!

I struggled to narrow down my TBR this month, I wanted to put so so many books on the list! But eventually I managed to narrow it down so let’s dive into the list.

First up I of course will be carrying on reading my chapter a day of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas along with Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe. We’re both really enjoying our read of this (although a little less so in recent days) and we’re excited to see where the story goes next.

Then I am finally going to finish Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. I started this damn book in 2018? 2019? I can’t remember, but it’s taken me an age to get through. I really struggled with big books back then and it shows. But now I don’t have much issue with them so I want to get this finished off! I’ve got about 150 pages of this to read (at a guess) and hopefully that’ll be it finally done and dusted!

Of course I’m wanting to do my Skulduggery Pleasant reread of Dead or Alive by Derek Landy. This is the most recent Skulduggery novel and due to Until the End having its release date pushed back the Dead Famous Readalong has matched up nicely.

I always read the Illumicrate book of the month before too. I won’t say what it is here cause spoilers, and truth be told I’ve not gotten the box yet as I write this. But I think I know what the book is and I’m excited to read it along with the Discord group at the end of the month.

Next up I want to read Super Volcanoes by Robin George Andrews which is a non-fiction book. As you might know I adore volcanology (and focused on an aspect of that for my MSc thesis) so I’m super excited to delve into this book that was gifted to me by my MIL.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab has been on my physical tbr for a few months and my overall tbr since I heard about it. So it’s high time I finally read it! I’ve heard very mixed things about this one and I’m still undecided about Schwab from the other writing I’ve read so it’ll be interesting to see with this one.

Another long time tbr-er is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. This YA fantasy with ghosts and friendship is one that’s been raved about for years online and it’s time for me to delve in and see what I think.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman is one that I’d been putting off for a few years because of how big it is (600+ pages) but I’m vastly better with longer books now. Also I’ve heard mixed things, with some in my “real” life stating that this is a brilliant book, and some of my online bookish friends saying it’s one of the worst things they’ve ever read. Might as well dive in while the intrigue is hot!

Then I’m wanting to finally finish up a series with Cathy’s Ring by Stewart, Weisman and Brigg. This is a series I bought way back when (no seriously, in like 2013 or earlier) and I want to be able to tick off! It’s a fun series too with immortal beings and doodles on every page. This should be a nice quick read.

Second last and we’ve got I Am A Cat by Natsume Soseki which was one of the books my boyfriend got me this past Christmas. It’s the first “Japanese cat book” and he bought me three of the other books that were inspired by this one so I’m wanting to read the original first! It’s reasonably long which is a little intimidating for a translated book but I’m hoping that I’ll love it.

And finally. I own this book in paperback but I think I’m going to read it via audiobook, and that’s Champion by Marie Lu. Another finishing book in a trilogy, it would be nice to cross this one off the list and seeing as I have it on audiobook I can listen while I work.

And that’s the stupidly big tbr I’ve made for myself for March! Do you think I’ll manage it? Have you read any of these? What books do you want to read in March? Let me know in the comments!!

Goodreads Monday! #5

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners and all you need to do is show off a book from your TBR that you’re excited to read!

Native by Akala

This is a book I’ve had on my tbr for just over a year now. It discusses racism in a squeamish Britain that prefers to deny its history. This sounds like such an important book and I’m so excited to add it to my shelves (it’s on my Amazon wishlist and I just might have to treat myself for my birthday in October!) Check out the synopsis below:

From the first time he was stopped and searched as a child, to the day he realised his mum was white, to his first encounters with racist teachers – race and class have shaped Akala’s life and outlook. In this unique book he takes his own experiences and widens them out to look at the social, historical and political factors that have left us where we are today.

Covering everything from the police, education and identity to politics, sexual objectification and the far right, Natives speaks directly to British denial and squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race and class that are at the heart of the legacy of Britain’s racialised empire.

This sounds absolutely fantastic and the focus on British denial is one that is sorely needed. As a Brit I can confirm half of the country likes to be very proud of our past, the other half like to pretend it never happens. Neither attitude helps us move forward. I’m hoping this will make me think a lot more about my life!

To Be Red

A phrase we say all the time in the bookish world, but usually we spell it a little differently. To be read. TBR. The books that we want to read. Quite often this will be narrowed down to those we own, or even those we want to read in a specific time frame. Today, I’m going to talk about the books I own a physical copy of, that I’ve not read yet, that have red covers 📕

Despite me having a… sizeable physical tbr in my home. I don’t actually have that many physical, red books that I’ve not read before. Which I didn’t expect cause I’ve got quite a few on my “read” shelves! So these won’t be all solid red, but they’ll have at least a good splash of the colour on their covers.

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Starting out with the hardback books, I only have one and that’s Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris which was gifted to me by my parents a few Christmas’ ago. I’ve not picked it up yet because I know that it’s going to break my heart and… I’m not quite ready for that just yet.

Next up? My non-fantasy books (which is how my physical tbr is currently organised).

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Gifted to me by someone who used to be a friend, she isn’t anymore, but she did have a good taste for a synopsis that would intrigue me! The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco is a translated mystery fiction which I’ve not picked up purely for it’s length. It’s got small text and it’s around 600 pages long. But it sounds like a great historical mystery and I’m excited to eventually pick it up!

Now to delve into my YA Fantasy reads.

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Does this count as red? Maybe not. This Savage Song by VE Schwab, but it does have another edition which is super red soooo???

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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, one that I really should’ve read years ago and that I still hear great things about.

And now. My Adult Fantasy shelf!

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The Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch is a historical fantasy mystery following a police detective… come on I have to give this a go!

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After reading the Thursday Next series I knew I needed to read more from Jasper Fforde so when I spotted The Big Over Easy in a charity shop I just had to pick it up. It’s linked in with the Next universe and I’m looking forward to delving in to nursery rhymes!

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Vox by Christina Dalcher is a dystopian book where women have a limited number of words they can use each day. Awful, but something I really want to read.

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The wonderful Eleanor gifted me books two and three from the Darker Shades of Magic series by VE Schwab with the red book being A Gathering of Shadows (cause book 3 ain’t technically red)

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And last but by no means least, Sepulchre by Kate Mosse, which is the second book in the Languedoc series. I recently just finished the first book and this one is linked but not a direct sequel. It should be interesting!

And those are my To Be Red books!! Tell me a book on your tbr that’s got a red cover!

September TBR

Okay so I NEED to pare back on my tbrs! I massively failed with my August tbr to the point where the books ended up back on the shelf before the end of the month! (okay I can’t lie, it was before week 3 even started). On top of this my life is a *lot* right now and unfortunately I need to prioritise things other than reading.

So speaking of which, let’s get into my not-as-big-as-usual tbr!

First up we have the buzzwordathon prompt which is “dark” and because ya girl needs a fucking break, I’m not going for that in the title of a book. My original plan had been to pick up The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton, but I’m going to push that back to my October tbr. If I have time (ha!) then I’ll happily squeeze it in but it’s not in my plans. Instead I’m linking it to a book with a mainly black cover.

Double Cross : Malorie Blackman : 9780141378671

And that is Double Crossed by Malorie Blackman

This is the fourth book in the Noughts and Crosses series which starts out by following Sephie and Callum. A Black girl and a white boy, in a world where whites are considered inferior.

Malorie Blackman covers so many important real world topics in the setting of this reversal of our world.

Of course by book 4 the plot has moved on slightly, and I don’t want to spoil anything so I’m not giving it here. But I’m excited (and nervous because these are heartbreaking) to read this book!

Highlight here for tws:

Cathy's Book: If Found Call 650-266-8233 : Stewart, Sean, Weisman, Jordan:  Amazon.co.uk: Books

Next up is a book I’ve been wanting to read for a decade and that’s Cathy’s Book by Stewart, Weismann and Brigg.

I picked up books 2 and 3 in the series in the US many moons ago, not knowing that I didn’t have the first book. It’s taken this long for me to be able to get my hands on a copy of book 1 and I’m excited to finally dive in!

Multi-media formatted with notes and clue and doodles and phone numbers and yes. I’m excited for this contemporary, YA mystery!

Highlight here for tws:

Doctor Who: Paradox Lost: 157: Amazon.co.uk: Mann, George: 9781849902359:  Books

Book three for September is Paradox Lost by George Mann, a Doctor Who book.

I’ve had this little box set of three books for about 4 years now, after my mum gifted me them one Christmas. I’ve read the other two books in the set so I thought it was about time for me to delve into the last one!

In this one there’s a mystery that has spanned a thousand years, and the Doctor is the only one who can solve it and who can save the planet.

Nothing new there then!

Highlight here for tws:

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold | Waterstones

And last but by no means least! The Five by Hallie Rubenhold

This is the only non-fiction book on my tbr, and Rubenhold, a historian, delves into the lives of the five women who were murdered by Jack the Ripper, but who society doesn’t know.

I’m really looking forward to this, macabre as it may sound. I’m hoping that it’s going to be utterly engrossing and highly educational. I can’t wait to learn more about these women who had their lives ripped from them and who have been forgotten by time and society.

It’s one I’ve been seeing everywhere online so fingers crossed I love it!

Highlight here for tws:

I had been hoping to take part in G from Book Roasts Magical Readathon this month. As well as Becca’s Bookopolathon. But it just wasn’t to be. Maybe next time! And maybe for the magical readathon I can give myself a deadline extension and carry it out in October/Novermber??? 😉

Let me know what books you’re hoping to read in the month of September and whether you’re taking part in any readathons!!!

10 books, 10 countries

Whilst we’re stuck in *current situations* travel seems like a distant dream to most of us. Especially international travel. So I thought it could be fun to talk about travelling the world in books!! Here are 10 books which take place outside of England and the US, which are the most common places for books popular on the internet to be set. (there’s also no Aussie books on this list because I HARP on about my Aussie faves enough as it is!)

Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Amazon.co.uk: Kawaguchi, Toshikazu,  Trousselot, Geoffrey: 9781529029581: Books

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi – translated

This book is set in Japan and written by a Japanese author!

We rotate around a coffee shop which has the ability to sent you back in time, but only within limited confines. This is such a beautiful and heart wrenching book and I cannot recommend it highly enough!

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra: Baby Ganesh Agency Book 1  (Baby Ganesh series) eBook : Khan, Vaseem: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan

This book is set in India and written by a British Indian author!

This is such a fun cosy mystery and I adore this series. Our main character is a retired police officer who is bequeathed a baby elephant in his uncle’s will! And that elephant of course has a big part in the plot!

The Silver Mine by Selma Lagerlöf

The Silver Mine by Selma Lagerlof – translated

This book is set in Sweden and written by a Swedish author!

This teeny tiny book follows a mining town which discovers a seam of valuable minerals and how they react to this. It’s delightful.

The Stone of Destiny: A Four Treasures Novel (Book 1) (The Four Treasures)  : Caroline Logan: Amazon.co.uk: Books

The Stone of Destiny by Caroline Logan

This book is set in Scotland and written by a Scottish author!

This book focuses around the Scottish folk lore of Selkies, seals who can turn into human beings, and a rough and gruff young girl who is isolated from the rest of society. It’s delightful!

Skulduggery Pleasant #1: Skulduggery Pleasant - Scholastic Kids' Club

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

This book is set in Ireland and written by an Irish author!

A skeleton detective and a teenage girl run around Ireland, solving magical mysteries and being completely badass. As we all know, I adore this series more than life itself. How could I not include it?!

Long Walk To Freedom Book Summary (PDF) by Nelson Mandela - Two Minute Books

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

This book is set in South Africa and written by a South African author!

This is Mandela’s memoir, so it is deep and it’s long, but it’s a fantastic read. I actually read 500+ pages of this book all in one day. Don’t ask me how. I don’t know. But I’m not complaining! A wonderfully written memoir.

The Gilded Ones (Gilded, 1) : Namina Forna: Amazon.co.uk: Books

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

This book is inspired by West Africa and written by an author from Sierra Leone!

The first book on this list that I’ve not read yet. Blood that runs gold or red. An unequal society. Girls and woman fighting for equality. Yes. Just yes.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi | Waterstones

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

This book is set in Ghana and written by a Ghanaian author!

This book follows two sisters on different paths and how their descendants live. One stays in Ghana living in luxury, and the other is enslaved and shipped to America where her children and grandchildren are destined to be raised in slavery. I definitely need to read this.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

This book is set in Botswana and written by a Zimbabwean author!

I feel it is important to point out this book is written by a white man. But he’s born and raised in Zimbabwe and Botswana. This appears to be a cosy mystery vibe and I’m very excited to get around to this series at some point! I love cosy mysteries with a twist!

The Star of Kazan : Ibbotson, Eva: Amazon.co.uk: Books

The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson

This book is set in Austria and written by a British author who was born in Austria!

This last book goes back to one I have read. I adored this book as a child following a young girl who was abandoned at a church as a baby. She’s raised lovingly in the slave quarters of a house but one day her birth mother returns for her. But things in her new-found family aren’t quite as they seem. I love it so much and as always with Ibbotson’s writing it’s beautiful.

And there you have it! 10 books set in countries that you might not read as much from! Have you read any of these? And what books set outside of the US and England do you recommend?!

Goodreads Monday #2

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners and all you need to do is show off a book from your TBR that you’re excited to read!

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The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde

I’ve listened to the first five books in the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde and absolutely loved them! This is a tangent series, set in the world of fairy tales, and I just had to pick it up and see if I like other works by Fforde! I 100% recommend the Thursday Next series if you like books about books and fantasy worlds, and for this book? Check out the synopsis below!:

Dead bodies never look like this.

It’s Easter in Reading – a bad time for eggs – and the shattered, tuxedo-clad corpse of local businessman Humpty Stuyvesant Van Dumpty III has been found lying beneath a wall in a shabby part of town. Humpty was one of life’s good guys – so who would want him knocked off? And is it a coincidence that his ex-wife has just met with a sticky end down at the local biscuit factory?

A hardened cop on the mean streets of the Thames Valley’s most dangerous precinct, DI Jack Spratt has seen it all, and something tells him this is going to be a tough case to crack…

This tag is just reminding me of the potentially amazing books I have on my tbr that I need to get to!!

First Lines Friday! #24

It’s time for another First Lines Friday! Hosted by Wandering Words!!

What if, instead of judging a book by its cover or its author, we judged the book by its opening lines?

Here is how it works:

– Pick a book and open to the first page.

– Copy the first few lines without revealing which book it is.

– Reveal the book!

So… do these first lines entice you?

There are two versions of the events of 1887. One is very well known; the other is not.

The first version is the one printed in most history books. It is the one that those who lived through the age wished to recall, the version they recounted to their grandchildren with a wistful smile.

Scroll down to reveal the book!

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The Five by Hallie Rubenhold | Waterstones
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

Do you know how many places I’ve seen this book??!? I’m so so excited to read it! And those first lines? So this is a non-fiction read. Those first lines lead me to believe that this is going to be written in a really readable manner rather than like a textbook and I’m very excited for that. Have you heard about this book before? Are you interested? Let me know!