Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Penumbra

About the book:

Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone – and serendipity, coupled with sheer curiosity, has landed him a new job working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead they simply borrow impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behaviour and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what’s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore…

Click HERE to get your copy!

My thoughts:

This little gem of a book was hiding on the second last page on my kindle (page 126, so you can do the maths as to how many books are on there!), so I’d obviously had it on there for quite some time. 4 years to be exact, as I’ve just checked my kindle orders and I bought it back in 2013. I fancied cheating on my TBR and Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore was what I chose back in late June.

We meet Clay Jannon, who used to be a web designer, but then the recession hit. On the lookout for a new job, he comes across a sign for work in Mr. Penumbra’s 24 hour bookstore ad he ends up getting the job. Assigned to the late shift, Clay settles in to what he thinks will be a boring and quiet job, but it turns out to be anything but!

Strange customers, an unusual book stock and an enigmatic employer means that Clay becomes very curious about those who visit this bookstore. Upon further investigation, Clay learns that the store holds almost as many secrets as it does books.

What follows is a quest for the truth with elements of mystery and intrigue way beyond what I was expecting when I started the book. There is something about Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore that made me smile many times while I was reading it. The characters, the plot, everything was just so enjoyable that it was hard not to love this one!

Truly a hidden gem, Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore will worm its way into your heart. The characters will stay with you as you join them in their quest. A truly wonderful, fun and engaging read, Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is definitely one to add to your list.

Highly recommended!

May Book Haul!

Hello!

It’s hard to believe May has been and gone already. It seems to have flown by! As it’s the 1st of June, I’m getting my book haul post in nice and early! Last year, my May book haul was crazy, because I turned 30 and I asked for 30 books as my present! 🙂 You can see what I got HERE, and I can guarantee the majority are still unread 1 year later!!!

For any of you who don’t know, this is where I list the books that have made Bibliophile Book Club their new home in the previous month. The books are usually bought books (a LOT of bought books), ARC’s sent from publishers, Netgalley review books and just basically any books I get go on here.

I did relatively well with not buying books this month. I say that, and then I look at this list:

  1. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
  2. You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood
  3. My Soul to Take by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
  4. The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni
  5. The Twilight Wife by AJ Banner
  6. Stalker by Lars Kepler
  7. Sockpuppet by Matthew Blackstad
  8. Why Did You Lie by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
  9. Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson
  10. Exquisite by Sarah Stovell
  11. Snowblind US Edition by Ragnar Jónasson*
  12. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter
  13. Broken Branches by M. Jonathan Lee
  14. The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey
  15. Blue Gold by David Barker
  16. Trust Me by Angela Clarke
  17. Age of Assassins by RJ Barker
  18. Snowblind Signed 1st Edition by Ragnar Jónasson*
  19. Dying to Live by Michael Stanley
  20. Wolves in the Dark by Gunnar Staalesen
  21. Ghosts by Ed McBain
  22. Trick of the Dark by Val McDermid
  23. Sanctus by Simon Toyne
  24. Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
  25. Sanctum by Denise Mina
  26. The Wrath of Angels by John Conolly
  27. Give Me The Child by Mel McGrath
  28. The Demon of Dakar by Kjell Eriksson
  29. Trigger Mortis by Anthony Horowitz
  30. Infernal by Mark De Jager
  31. The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber
  32. Last Breath by Robert Bryndza
  33. No Middle Name by Lee Child
  34. The Ice by Laline Paull
  35. Nocturnal Animals by Austin Wright
  36. The City & The City by China Miéville
  37. Little Sister by Isabel Ashdown
  38. The Sixth Window by Rachel Abbott
  39. Deadly Fare by David Liscio
  40. Vanished by Kendra Elliott
  41. Nowhere to Run by C. J. Box
  42. Our Little Secret by Darren O’Sullivan
  43. Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear
  44. Two Sisters by Kerry Wilkinson
  45. The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka
  46. Each Little Lie by Tom Bale

*I clearly like Ragnar Jónasson’s books, pretty sure I have at least 5 copies of Snowblind now! 🙂

I think that’s all the books from the month of May! Pics below 🙂

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Do No Harm by Henry Marsh

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About the book:

What is it like to be a brain surgeon?

How does it feel to hold someone’s life in your hands, to cut through the stuff that creates thought, feeling and reason?

How do you live with the consequences when it all goes wrong?

DO NO HARM offers an unforgettable insight into the highs and lows of a life dedicated to operating on the human brain, in all its exquisite complexity. With astonishing candour and compassion, Henry Marsh reveals the exhilarating drama of surgery, the chaos and confusion of a busy modern hospital, and above all the need for hope when faced with life’s most agonising decisions.

Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery by Henry Marsh

My thoughts:

I’ve had Do No Harm on my kindle for 3 years, yes, YEARS! After reading Fragile Lives earlier this year, I figured I’d give this one a go as instead of a cardiac surgery this book centres on neurosurgery. I have a morbid fascination with medical things like that so I was looking forward to it.

Henry Marsh has written a very interesting book. He’s no Derek Shepherd in terms of drama and excitement, but he is dealing with the everyday lives of his patients. Do No Harm gives the reader an interesting glimpse into what it’s like to be a neurosurgeon and the things they go through inside and outside of the surgical theatre.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked it up but what I found was an honest memoir. It had case studies in every chapter, as well as a glimpse into Marsh’s own life outside of surgery, and how it impacted his home life. 

It’s an easy read in terms of pace and writing, but it’s all too easy to forget you are reading about patients. Any one of us could end up on an operating theatre table needing help from a man like this. 

The irony of Do No Harm, for me, was that my eldest child ended up in A&E on the day I read this book. He fell after deciding spinning around to make himself dizzy was a good idea and proceeded to hit his head!!! He is completely fine, but this book couldn’t have been read at a worse time!

 Do No Harm is definitely a book to read if you like true life medical stories! Interesting, graphic but always honest!

Recommended!

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

About the book:

Black Echo

LAPD detective Harry Bosch is a loner and a nighthawk. One Sunday he gets a call-out on his pager. A body has been found in a drainage tunnel off Mulholland Drive, Hollywood. At first sight, it looks like a routine drugs overdose case, but the one new puncture wound amid the scars of old tracks leaves Bosch unconvinced.

To make matters worse, Harry Bosch recognises the victim. Billy Meadows was a fellow ‘tunnel rat’ in Vietnam, running against the VC and the fear they all used to call the Black Echo. Bosch believes he let down Billy Meadows once before, so now he is determined to bring the killer to justice.

The Black Echo by Michael Connelly

My thoughts:

I’ve decided to go back to the start of the Harry Bosch novels, created by Michael Connelly, as I missed out on a fair few over the years. It was only natural to start at the beginning and re-introduce myself to Detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch. My plan is to try to read one a month on top of my review books, so I read The Black Echo in April.

In The Black Echo, we meet Harry Bosch for the first time when he gets a call on his pager to attend the scene of a body that has been discovered in a drainage tunnel. What he finds leads him to believe there is more at play than just a simple drug-related death.

What startles Harry more though, is the fact that he recognises the dead body as someone he served with during the Vietnam War. A tunnel rat called Billy Meadows. Meadows used to run the tunnels and flush out anyone hiding in them, and these tunnels were dubbed the black echo.

What follows, during the course of the investigation, is the uncovering of far more than just one death. Corruption, conspiracy and so much more take place in The Black Echo. I had forgotten how good Connelly is at creating such a strong plot. Whilst it moves at a slower pace, nothing is out-of-place, there is no padding. The whole story fits together effortlessly and is supported with an excellent cast of characters.

I can’t recommend Michael Connelly and his Harry Bosch series highly enough. A must for crime fiction readers! I can’t wait to pick up the next book. Hopefully I can sneak it in during May. 🙂

 

November Book Haul

Hi everyone,

It’s time to talk books. As usual, this post is a list of any and all books that I’ve acquired during the last month. Various sources include purchased, Netgalley and downloaded books. It seems these are getting increasingly lower with every passing month, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

So, without further ado, I’ll leave you all with the list and whatever pictures I could lay my hands on…

  1. Rattle by Fiona Cummins
  2. The Pictures by Guy Bolton
  3. Strange Magic by Syd Moore
  4. While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft
  5. Killing Kate by Alex Lake
  6. Isolation by Neil Randall
  7. Fickle by Peter Manus
  8. Lies by TM Logan
  9. Exile by Richard North Patterson
  10. Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain
  11. Wire in the Blood by Val McDermid
  12. I See You by Gregg Hurwitz
  13. On A Small Island by Grant Nicol
  14. Remote Control by Andy McNabb
  15. Girl Unknown by Karen Perry
  16. Hunted by Elizabeth Heiter
  17. Everyone Lies by AD Garrett
  18. A Long Time Dead by Andrew Barrett
  19. Eleven Days by Stav Sheraz
  20. Pendulum (signed) by Adam Hamdy
  21. Night School by Lee Child
  22. The Whistler by John Grisham
  23. Fantastic Beasts Screenplay by JK Rowling
  24. The River at Night by Erica Ferenick
  25. Then She Was Gone by Luca Veste
  26. Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski
  27. The Diabolic by SJ Kincaid
  28. Everything You Told Me by Lucy Dawson
  29. The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

TWENTY NINE BOOKS!!! That’s the lowest it’s been in a long time, but this reading slump hasn’t helped much I guess!

Have you got any of these? Or read any of them? Do let me know in the comments below…

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The Diabolic from Illumicrate!

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Reader’s Block…

As a book blogger, I kinda have to read, a lot. So when I find myself not pushed about picking up my books, I know there’s a problem! Nick Quantrill (author) recently suggested maybe writing about it, because we hear of writer’s block, but not much about reader’s block. So I’m writing this… when I should be reading!!!

The irony in this is that my blog name is BIBLIOPHILE Book Club:

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Now, I have no issue with the admiring and collecting of books, as anyone who follows me on here or social media can attest to, but every so often my reading mojo decides its time for a little holiday and leaves me in a bit of trouble!

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Anyway, last time I was in a bad reading slump, I mentioned it briefly in this old post from earlier this year: I’ve hit the wall…& Weekly Wrap Up so I’m going to chat about it a bit more this time I think.

There have been a number of things suggested to me to help get rid of the reader’s block, so I’m going to list them here as though they don’t work for me, they might help someone else.

  • Read some short stories or novellas.
  • Re-read an old favourite.
  • Pick a book that you want to read as opposed to one you need to read.
  • Write something.
  • Watch some tv, or a good movie to keep your brain occupied.
  • Read a magazine (The National Enquirer is GOLD for this one!!!)
  • Read a kids book.
  • Read outside your preferred genre.
  • Walk away from the books, they will still be there when you come back.

I have done most, if not all of these, in my quest to try and get back into a reading rhythm, but to no avail this time round.

*Update*

Funnily enough, it seems I got writers block with this post too. It’s been 5 days since I started this post, and I genuinely couldn’t finish it because I didn’t even know what to write. Even now, I’m only checking in while I’m prepping the blog tour posts that are coming up on here.

I’m still reading, but I’m reading books that I’m on blog tours for first and then I’ll move onto review requests again. I think this slump is making me feel like I’m at school, and I have to read as opposed to picking books to read for pleasure. 

In writing that, I genuinely don’t remember the last book I read that I picked! And it’s not like I don’t have any to choose from, I have literally hundreds of books on my shelves and kindle!

This is just a snapshot of some of my TBR…


(More books have been added since this photo was taken-shocker!!! 😂)

So, have you ever had a reading slump? If so, how do you get out of it? I’d be interested to see if there’s anything I haven’t tried yet!

Let me know in the comments 😊

The Road by Cormac McCarthy


About the book:

A father and his son walk alone through burned America, heading through the ravaged landscape to the coast. This is the profoundly moving story of their journey. The Road boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which two people, ‘each the other’s world entire’, are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.

 

 

My thoughts:

Bleak. That’s the only word I wrote when I tried to make notes for myself. Many people have lauded McCarthy’s novel as a literary masterpiece. I’m not sure how I can begin to describe it.

I am not one for literary books, as in the super heavy verbose books that garner high praise from readers and intellectuals alike. They aren’t my style, so in picking up The Road, I genuinely don’t know what I was expecting.

The Road takes place in an assumed post-apocalyptic America, where the land is razed and little has survived. It follows a father and son on their journey to reach the coast. It is a harrowing read, yet compulsive because I couldn’t put it down.

It explores many different facets of human life; the desire to survive, to keep going, the love between the father and son who have nothing left in the world but each other, loss, emptiness. There is so much going on in this book, it’s very difficult to come up for air.

While I didn’t love The Road, it kept me turning the pages and I wanted to know what was going to happen. It is hard going, it is tough to read sometimes, it is so very bleak but I would still recommend it!

Have you read it? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below 😊📖