Book review, The Enchanted Emporium's Bookshelf

Book Review: The Moon Almanac by Judith Hurrell

Hello, December! I’m delighted to share my first review of this month with this unusual and delightful book The Moon Almanac by Judith Hurrell.

Book Review: Moon Almanac by Judith Hurrell

The Moon Almanac by Judith Hurrell

Title: The Moon Almanac

Author: Judith Hurrell

Publisher: Summersdale

Genre: Non-fiction, nature, lunar

Release Date: 23rd August 2021

Blurb

When can you spot the Hunter’s Moon, a Smiling Moon or a Pink Moon?
How can the phases of the moon help your garden grow?
What influence does the full moon have on hamsters, coral and skylarks?


Navigate the rhythms of the night sky with this evocative collection of poetry, prose and precious
wisdom. Illuminating the moon’s influence on the natural world and its depiction in folklore and the arts,
The Moon Almanac will open your eyes to the wonders of our brightest celestial neighbour.
Includes information on:


 History and folklore – learn about wolves howling at the moon and the stories behind the names
such as holiday moon, the old moon etc.
 Trivia – includes details of the Apollo missions, the first man on the moon, astronomy discoveries,
the tides, daylight moons, harvest moons and more.
 The moon in religion and mythology – gods and goddesses of the moon, religious beliefs about
the moon.
 The moon and biological rhythms – find out how you can align your body and your sleeping
patterns with the moon, and how important the moon is to your circadian rhythm.
 Words of wisdom and lunar quotes.

My Thoughts

First off, this book is beautiful and with its midnight blue cover and simple silver design, it begs to be held and read. Inside it is just as stunning with intricate illustrations using the same colour way. It feels as special as it reads.

Each section is divided into months of the year and includes information about the upcoming moon cycles, poems, folklore from all areas of the globe and snippets of literature related to the month’s moon. It is full of facts that range from scientific facts to the meanings behind moon related phrases. Who knew the phrase “over the moon” is over 500 years old. It’s one of those books that has to be seen in reality to see its true delight.

Inside The Moon Almanac

Would I recommend?

Yes, I adore this book and is a joy to read. It will be one I will refer to on a regular basis as the year progresses. I feel privileged to have this treasure on my bookcase and know it will also be popular and well loved by those visiting The Enchanted Emporium Bookshelf. It would make a wonderful Christmas or Yule gift for anyone who loves nature or the moon.

Author Biography

Judith Hurrell

Judith Hurrell is a freelance writer who lives in Buckinghamshire. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her in nature, going on about the sky, the sea, the earth and the trees to her family and dogs. She was inspired to write this book after joining a women’s circle, which meets every month to mark and celebrate the 12 phases of the lunar cycle.

Thank you Random Thing Tours for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Love

All about Books

Promo Post: The New Land by Daisy Bourne

Today I’m highlighting another book I wish I’d had time to review The New Land by Daisy Bourne. This is the first one in a series about the tales of Avalon. I’ve always loved the legends around Merlin and I’m sure the smaller witches visiting The Enchanted Bookshelf would love to read these.

The New Land by Daisy Bourne

The New Land by Daisy Bourne

Title: The New Land

Author: Daisy Bourne

Genre: Children’s fantasy, YA

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Land-Tales-Avalon-Book-ebook/dp/B077PQPV3T/

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/New-Land-Tales-Avalon-Book-ebook/dp/B077PQPV3T/

Blurb

What happened to Arthur, King of the Britons, after he was allegedly killed on the battlefield? Legend has it that Merlin, the mighty sorcerer, put the king’s body in a boat and set it sail for a mysterious place called Avalon. However, many Britons refuse to accept that Arthur was really dead. Instead they believe that Merlin had taken the king to a place of safety. There have been many theories as to the whereabouts of Avalon, but none proven to be accurate. The New Land is the first book in the Tales of Avalon series. It tells the story of how Arthur, magical beings, and other Britons, fearing for their lives, seek refuge in a far-off land. They hope their new home will be a place where magical beings and humans can live together in peace and harmony. Will the travelers find the new life they so desire? The Avalonians soon find that they have to form new and unusual alliances in order to protect themselves against an unexpected enemy. If you like stories about witches, wizards, fairies, elves, giants, and unicorns, you will enjoy this book. DAISY BOURNE http://www.TalesOfAvalon.co.uk THE TALES OF AVALON – BOOK 1 9 781999 902902

The New Land is a magical tale readers will love.  Bourne describes the fictional land so vividly, readers will think the setting is real. The descriptions of the lush greenery and mountains are expertly paired with a map of Avalon at the beginning of the novel.

The New Land would be best for fans of fantasy novels like Harry Potter and other novels about magical powers. The Merlin and King Arthur references in the novel would also appeal to fans of medieval fantasy. The book would be great for readers of The Lord of the Rings trilogy or other Tolkien-esque novels about journeys. Though the novel may appeal most to young adult readers, The New Land can appeal to readers of all ages.

Daisy Bourne has written a book that will have readers clamoring [SIC] for more. The New Land will have readers eager to return to Avalon

–Pacific Book Review

‘The New Land’ was chosen as one of Pacific Book Review’s five Books of the Month in January 2017. 

Tales of King Arthur and Merlin will probably always be told and re-told for new generations, but it’s up to the author to keep the stories fresh. This particular presentation does just that for the younger audience.

Bourne does an admirable job of building this into a believable new world and populating it with an assortment of interesting characters.

–US Review of Books

Author Biography

Photo of Daisy Bourne
Author Daisy Bourne

About the Author Daisy Bourne was born in England, in 1917. Nothing much is known about her real parents, except that their lives were changed dramatically by the First World War. At the age of six, Daisy was unofficially adopted by a farmer and his wife. They changed her name and took her to Canada. There are several similarities between the real Daisy Bourne and her namesake in this book. To a small child, Canada, with its heavy snowfalls, huge forests, and grizzly bears, must indeed have seemed like some kind of new world. Although Daisy loved Canada and the farm on which she lived, she was not happy and ran away. She returned to England at the age of 16. In later life, she took up farming again. She also enjoyed her garden and preserving much of its produce. This is where the similarities between the real Daisy and the character in this book end. I am proud to use my mother’s birth name as a pseudonym when writing the Tales of Avalon series. My ambition is to one day write the story of the real Daisy Bourne. In the meantime, I shall work to complete the other seven books in the Tales of Avalon series

Social Media Links –

http://www.talesofavalon.co.uk/

(20+) Daisy Bourne | Facebook

https://twitter.com/RoseGriffin14

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour.

Happy reading!

Love

All about Books, Book review

Book Review: Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

Book Review: Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

Title: Wish You Were Here

Author: Jodi Picoult

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Genre: Fiction

Release Date: 25th November 2021

Blurb

If your life was going perfectly to plan, would you risk everything to change it? 

Diana O’Toole’s life is going perfectly to plan. At twenty-nine, she’s up for promotion to her dream job as an art specialist at Sotheby’s and she’s about to fly to the Galapagos where she’s convinced her surgeon boyfriend, Finn, is going to propose.

But then the virus hits New York City and Finn breaks the news: the hospital needs him, he has to stay. But you should still go, he insists. And reluctantly, she agrees.

Once she’s in the Galapagos, the world shuts down around her, leaving Diana stranded – albeit in paradise. Completely isolated, with only intermittent news from the outside world, Diana finds herself examining everything that has brought her to this point and wondering if there’s a better way to live.

But not everything is as it seems . . .

My Thoughts

Ever since I read My Sister’s Keeper years ago, I have been a fan of Jodi Picoult books and she is an author I’d always buy the book without focussing on the blurb, but I did have my concerns about reading about the pandemic while cases are still high and the surrounding emotions are still raw. I needn’t have worried; I loved this book.

I was hooked with the opening scene with its fantastic imagery of the Diana’s father restoring the painting on the Grand Central Terminal ceiling. I knew from how Diana saw the world and her love of art I’d enjoy getting to know her better.

This novel is a tale of two halves and highlights the different experiences people had depending on the location, the depth of infection in the area and people’s reaction to it as a whole. The first chapters with Diana in the Galapagos islands were true escapism with the calm, stunning location and sense of community leaping off the page, making them a joy to read despite the climatic threat in the background. Conversely Finn’s experience trapped in New York facing the harsh realities of being on the frontline in the pandemic were heart breaking and eye opening. This novel does not shy away from the cruelty and horror of the disease which made for powerful but disturbing reading. For this reason, I think at the moment Wish You Were Here will be a marmite book – some people will love it and others who have been deeply touched by the virus will find it too close to home. In time it will gain more readers and become an important reflection on the realities of the last couple of years.

The Jodi Picoult twist came as a shock and drew me in further. It was fascinating and made me long to dig deeper, I wish I could chat more about it but that would be a huge spoiler. You’ll have to wait until you’ve read it and find like-minded people to discuss it with.  

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is an emotional and powerful book with a character finding her way in unfamiliar territories and has a unique Jodi Picoult twist. Not many authors would get away with a novel based on the pandemic while it is still raging but she’s managed it with great characterisation, sensitivity and the clever use of balancing the harsh and traumatic scenes set in New York with the calmer escapism of the idyllic islands. It’s a book for my forever shelf.

Author Biography

Photo of Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty five internationally bestselling novels, including MY SISTER’S KEEPER, HOUSE RULES and SMALL GREAT THINGS, and has also co-written two YA books with her daughter Samantha van Leer, BETWEEN THE LINES and OFF THE PAGE. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children.

Her most recent adult novel, A SPARK OF LIGHT first published in the UK on 30th October 2018, and was a #1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller

https://twitter.com/jodipicoult

https://www.instagram.com/jodipicoult/?hl=en

Thank you Hodder & Stoughton for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Love

All about Books

Promo post: The Arcane by Andrew S. French

Today, I’m excited to tell you about a book I wish I’d had the time to read and review for this blog tour because the blurb caught my imagine and I longed to know more – The Arcane by Andrew S. French Maybe once NaNoWriMo is over I’ll be able to have a read.

The Arcane by Andrew S. French

The Arcane by Andrew S. French

Title: The Arcane

Author: Andrew S. French

Publisher: Neonoir Books

Genre: YA fantasy

Release Date: 31st October 2021

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arcane-1-Andrew-S-French/dp/1914308077

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Arcane-1-Andrew-S-French/dp/1914308077

Blurb

Orphaned science nerd and maths prodigy Alice Valentine wants to ace her studies. She’s spent all her life struggling to make friends, passed between foster families and care homes, isolated and lonely. Losing herself in academia from an early age, she becomes the first sixteen-year-old at her local university. Her whole world changes, but nothing can prepare Alice for the night she’s attacked by a werewolf.

But even that isn’t as strange as discovering she has an identical twin sister, Cassie.

And Cassie kills werewolves. And all the other monsters Alice didn’t believe existed.

Alice and Cassie set off to discover what happened to their parents, a journey that takes them from northern England to the edge of the apocalypse, unsure if they will save the world or destroy it.

Author Biography

Photo of Andrew S. French
Andrew S. French

Andrew French is a man of no wealth and little taste. He lives amongst faded seaside glamour on the North East coast of England. He likes gin and cats but not together, new music and old movies, curry and ice cream. Slow bike rides and long walks to the pub are his usual exercise, as well as flicking through the pages of good books and the memoirs of bad people.

Social Media Links – Website, Twitter, Instagram, FB page

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and signposting me to another book to add to my TBR list.

Have you read this? What did you think? I’d love to know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love

All about Books, Book review

Book Review: Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey

I’m excited to share my review for Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey that first appeared in my other blog From under the Duvet but it deserves another shout out. This novel’s blurb made me jump up and down with excitement as it sounded different and I wondered how the author would tackle a potential complicated premise. Books like these make me feel privileged to be a book blogger and able to discover new authors regularly. Scroll down to see if this novel met my expectations.

BOOK REVIEW: MEET ME IN ANOTHER LIFE BY CATRIONA SILVEY

Book Cover: Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey

BLURB:

Joyful, devastating, and profound, Meet Me in Another Life is a story of love and connection in every possible form

 Thora and Santi have met before…

Under the clocktower in central Cologne, with nothing but the stars above and their futures ahead. They will meet again…

They don’t know it yet, but they’ll meet again: in numerous lives they will become friends, colleagues, lovers, enemies – meeting over and over for the first time, every time; each coming to know every version of the other. But as they’re endlessly drawn together and the lines between their different lives begin to blur, they are faced with one question: why?

They must discover the truth of their strange attachment before this, and all their lives, are lost forever.

Title: Meet Me in Another Life

Author: Catriona Silvey

Publisher: HarperVoyager

Genre: General fiction, fantasy, sci fi

Release date: 8th July 2021

MY THOUGHTS

This novel wasn’t what I expecting but it was breathtakingly beautiful and exceeded my expectations by miles. With an unimaginable and unforgettable ending, this has to be one of the most original reads I’ve read for a long time. I think I’d have to go back to Barbara Erskine’s Lady of Hay for its uniqueness when time slip novels weren’t a genre of its own thirty years ago.

The novel offers snapshots of Thora’s and Santi’s lifes; each one set in Cologne where a broken clock tower watches over them. Sometimes they’re lovers, other times they are friends or child and teacher; the novel shows endless relationship possibilities but both characters know things they shouldn’t, and see constellations that are out of sync with the ones they see in the sky. Each lifetime reveals something more about the characters and are captivating with the emotions conveyed. The small cast of characters were cleverly weaved into each life and though different, they never lost the true personality and essence of themselves. They made me keep turning the page as did the mystery connecting the Thora and Santi together. Was it fate as gentle Santi believed? Or all about choice as spiky Thora believed? When I finished the last page, I longed to begin the story again to hunt for all the clues leading to the ending I never anticipated but found so satisfying.

The limited location of Cologne worked well and as I got to know Thora and Santi through their lives, I also felt connected to the place. It has made me add Cologne to the places I want to visit. 

WOULD I RECOMMEND?

Yes. Read a copy, absorb it and then find some fellow bookworms to chat to about it because it’s too great to keep to yourself, and the themes and plot needs unpicking and discussing. It’s a highly imaginative, captivating and emotional read with many threads to discuss making it perfect for book clubs or dark, wintry evenings when you need a novel with depth, and uniqueness that gets your neurons zinging with joy and intrigue.

This is one for my forever shelf and one I’m sure will be popular with those who visit the Enchanted Emporium bookshelf.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Author: Catriona Silvey

Catriona Silvey was born in Glasgow and grew up in Perthshire and Derbyshire, which left her with a strange accent and a distrust of flat places. She overcame the latter to do a BA in English at Cambridge, and spent the next few years there working in scientific publishing. After that she did a PhD in language evolution, in the hope of finding out where all these words came from in the first place. Following stints in Edinburgh and Chicago, she returned to Cambridge, where she lives with her husband and a very peculiar cat. When she’s not working as a researcher studying meaning in language, she writes. Her short stories have been performed at the Edinburgh Literary Festival and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.

Thank you Random Things Tour for the advanced copy for read so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy reading!

Love