WWW Wednesday 23rd November 2016


This meme is hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words. A similar meme, This Week in Books is hosted by Lipsyy Lost and Found.

Why not join in? Just answer the following three questions in a post and then put a link to that post in the Comments over at Taking on a World of Words.

The questions are:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

As always, clicking on the cover image will take you to the book’s Goodreads page.

1. What I’m reading at the moment

Blame by Simon Mayo

blame-by-simon-mayoSticking with YA dystopian fiction…

The blurb: What happens when society wants you banged up in prison for a crime your parents committed?

That’s the situation in which Ant finds herself – together with her little brother Mattie and their foster-parents, she’s locked up in a new kind of family prison. None of the inmates are themselves criminals, but wider society wants them to do time for the unpunished ‘heritage’ crimes of their parents.

Tensions are bubbling inside the London prison network Ant and Mattie call home – and when things finally erupt, they realize they’ve got one chance to break out. Everyone wants to see them punished for the sins of their mum and dad, but it’s time for Ant to show the world that they’re not to blame.

2. The last books I read

I haven’t had time to take part in WWW Wednesday for absolutely ages, so the following is a long list!

The Power by Naomi Alderman

the-power-by-naomi-aldermanIf you have a book club, please push them to read this. You’ll be debating it for hours. Here’s my full review.

The blurb: In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who larks around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls now have immense physical power – they can cause agonising pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world changes utterly.


The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale

the-suspicions-of-mr-whicher-by-kate-summerscaleThis was an interesting combination of murder mystery and social history. I found the content about the history of the detective and detective fiction more interesting than the murder. Here’s my full review.

The blurb: It is midnight on 30th June 1860 and all is quiet in the Kent family’s elegant house in Road, Wiltshire. The next morning, however, they wake to find that their youngest son has been the victim of an unimaginably gruesome murder – the house was bolted from the inside. As Jack Whicher, the most celebrated detective of his day, arrives at Road to track down the killer, the murder provokes national hysteria at the thought of what might be festering behind the closed doors of respectable middle-class homes – scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealously, loneliness and loathing.

This true story has all the hallmarks of a classic gripping murder mystery. A body, a detective, a country house steeped in secrets and a whole family of suspects – it is the original Victorian whodunnit.


I Am Half-Sick of Shadows (Flavia de Luce #4) by Alan Bradley

i-am-half-sick-of-shadows-by-alan-bradleyI LOVED this. I didn’t realise this was part of a series and I’ll be hunting down all the other books asap! Here’s my full review.

The blurb: It’s Christmastime, and the precocious Flavia de Luce – an eleven-year-old sleuth with a passion for chemistry and a penchant for crime-solving – is tucked away in her laboratory, whipping up a concoction to ensnare Saint Nick. But she is soon distracted when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ decaying English estate, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers at Buckshaw to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found, past midnight, strangled to death with a length of film. But who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens and the list of suspects grows, Flavia must use every ounce of sly wit at her disposal to ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.


Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

brooklyn-by-colm-toibinMy first audiobook was good, but I’m still disappointed by that “what?!” ending. Here’s my full review.

The blurb: Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America — to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood “just like Ireland” — she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister behind.

Eilis finds work in a department store on Fulton Street, and when she least expects it, finds love. Tony, who loves the Dodgers and his big Italian family, slowly wins her over with patient charm. But just as Eilis begins to fall in love with Tony, devastating news from Ireland threatens the promise of her future.


The Body in the Library (Miss Marple #3) by Agatha Christie

the-body-in-the-library-by-agatha-christieI finally read a Miss Marple story and it was as good as you’d expect of Christie. Nothing remarkable, but rock solid. The woman was a genius. Here’s my full review.

The blurb: When the Bantrys wake up to find the body of a beautiful, young stranger in their library, Dolly Bantry knows there’s only one person to call: her old friend Miss Marple.

Who was the young girl? What was she doing in the library? And is there a connection with another dead girl, whose charred remains are discovered in an abandoned quarry?

Miss Marple must solve the mystery, before tongues start to wag, and the murderer strikes again.


Norwegian by Night by Derek B. Miller

norwegian-by-night-by-derek-b-millerThis was well-written and structured, and I like anything with a senior protagonist, but this thriller wasn’t as thrilling as I’d hoped. I did a quick review on Goodreads if you’re interested.

The blurb: Eighty-two years old, and recently widowed, Sheldon Horowitz has grudgingly moved to Oslo, with his grand-daughter and her Norwegian husband. An ex-Marine, he talks often to the ghosts of his past – the friends he lost in the Pacific and the son who followed him into the US Army, and to his death in Vietnam.

When Sheldon witnesses the murder of a woman in his apartment complex, he rescues her six-year-old son and decides to run. Pursued by both the Balkan gang responsible for the murder, and the Norwegian police, he has to rely on training from over half a century before to try and keep the boy safe. Against a strange and foreign landscape, this unlikely couple, who can’t speak the same language, start to form a bond that may just save them both.


A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir

a-torch-against-the-night-by-sabaa-tahirThe first book in this series left me a bit indifferent, so I was hoping things would get better in book two…

Meh. Oh well. My review here.

The blurb: No blurb here to avoid spoilers for book 1 of the series – An Ember in the Ashes. If you’re interested, you can read more about that book, and my review, here.


Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

gemina-the-illuminae-files-2-by-amie-kaufman-and-jay-kristoffBrilliant. Not quite as brilliant as book 1, but then I guess the formatting can only be a novelty the first time. Here’s my full review.

The (short) blurb to avoid spoilers for book 1: Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.



Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

victoria-by-daisy-goodwinI just had to request this from Netgalley because I loved the TV version and… I liked the book even more! Here’s my full review 🙂

The blurb: In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.

One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband…


Ink and Bone (The Great Library 1) by Rachel Caine

ink-and-bone-by-rachel-caineA promising series opener, but not quite as gripping as I’d hoped. That said, I look forward to the next book in the series. Here’s my full review.

The blurb: Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…

3. What I’ll read next

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

in-a-dark-dark-wood-by-ruth-weirI think I’m the last person to read this! It’s been on my list for ages.

The blurb: Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

But something goes wrong. Very wrong. Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

Have you read/are reading any of these? What are you reading? Let me know! 🙂

And elsewhere on the blog…


I made microwave mug cake. No oven or scales needed. Make tasty chocolate cake in less than 5 minutes start to finish!

Claire Huston / Art and Soul



38 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday 23rd November 2016

  1. Norwegian By Night sounded interesting to me, too bad it didn’t live up to your expectations. I also have In a dark dark wood to read, let’s hope we’ll both like it :-). I know microwave mug cake very well. They sell sachets here so you don’t even have to really put any ingredients together :-). I often feel it was invented for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t read Dark Wood though I read Woman in Cabin 10 and really like Ruth’s writing. I hope this turns out to be a great read for you. The Power does sound great. I will definitely recommend it to my book club. Enjoy your books this week. Happy reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I kept seeing The Woman in Cabin 10 everywhere by wouldn’t let myself read it without reading In a Dark, Dark Wood first (because it had already been on my TBR for so long!).
      The Power is brilliant. I would start a book club just to be able to discuss it. I hope they take up your suggestion.
      Thanks for visiting and happy reading 🙂


  3. So glad to see that you’re back for WWW Wednesday, Claire! You’ve been missed 🙂
    Quite a list you’ve compiled since 😉
    In a Dark Dark Woods looks ominous! I’ll definitely have to add it to my TBR.
    I finally got myself a copy of Illuminae and, though I haven’t read it yet, I can see why people are fascinated by it. Can’t wait to read it and Gemina!
    Happy Reading ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Blame sounds like the kind of book that would arouse emotions….and I’m also very curious about The Body in the Library.

    I loved Brooklyn, and recently downloaded In a Dark, Dark Wood. Enjoy! Thanks for sharing…and for visiting my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sorry to see a Torch Against the Night was a let down for you, I still haven’t picked it up and my excitement for it is slowly dwindling down.
    I think I liked Gemina more than Illuminae because of the characters, idk, I just fell in love with Hanna and Nik right away and I think that made Gemina better for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sorry you didn’t love Norwegian by Night! My book club really liked that one. I was a bit put off by the end of Brooklyn, too. The movie ending was much more conclusive. Happy reading and thanks for participating in WWW Wednesday!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So many tempting books on your ‘read’ list – I was so tempted by the Daisy Goodwin, I really enjoyed The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and of course I finally gave Miss Marple a fair go earlier this year – and loved it. I have Brooklyn on the TBR, cautious now regarding the ending. Thanks for a very special WWW and enjoy In a Dark, Dark Wood which I thought was excellent.


  8. Great choices, Claire! I love the The Great Library series and have been itching to get my hands on a copy of The Power. I saw the movie adaptation of Brooklyn, but I haven’t decided if I want to pick up the book or not. I kind of wanted her to end up with the other guy but I don’t even know why haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve heard the ending of the movie is a bit better because it gives you more closure, which the book definitely needed!
      I’m looking forward to the second book in the Great Library series. I’ve heard it’s better than book 1 🙂
      Thanks for visiting and happy reading!


  9. You’re not the last person! I haven’t read The a Dark Dark Wood yet, either. I’m not sure it’s officially on my TBR, though I do keep seeing it around and thinking it sounds good.

    Blame also sounds really interesting. I’ll keep an eye out for your review of that one.

    Thanks for visiting my WWW Wednesday. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Blame has been far more action-packed than I expected. Nearly finished! 🙂
      Knowing me, Ruth Ware will probably have written two more books before I catch up with The Woman in Cabin 10. When I think I’m getting somewhere, authors seem to go on a productive spree and bring out three books a year. I can’t keep up!
      Happy reading 🙂


  10. So many interesting titles! I’m definitely going to try and lower my expectations for both Gemina and Ink And Bone now… And I haven’t read In A Dark Dark Wood either, so you’re not alone. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I tried to go into Gemina with lowered expectations and was pleasantly surprised (I wasn’t sure how they could do another story, related to the first, and pull the formatting off again – but they did!).
      Sometimes I feel like I’m the last person to read everything. It’s nice to know I’m now alone 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s good to know! I wasn’t sure if they could pull off another book with the same formatting either… And it happens more often than not that I seem to be the last one reading a popular book, so I know the feeling. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Ink and Bone is on my TBR but I still haven’t got around to purchasing it yet. I still need to read Illuminae before I even get to Gemina! Illuminae seems to be visually interesting but I can see how that’d get old rather quickly.

    Thanks for visiting my post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ink and Bone had been on my TBR for ages and then I spotted it at the library recently and it felt like destiny 🙂 Particularly now that the second book is out.
      The formatting in Illuminae is, on the whole, ok. There are only a couple of times when I didn’t think it helped. I really don’t want to have to get a magnifying glass out or turn my book round and round in circles to be able to read it!
      Happy reading 🙂


  12. Welcome back to WWW Wednesday! Nice long list of November reads. I really want to read The Power, and since I have a sci-fi/fantasy/spec fic book club, I will take your advice and push for them to pick it. I love books you can discuss with people, so I’m excited to read it even if I end up not liking it (which I doubt, based on the reviews I’ve seen).
    And ohmygosh, I really just need to read Illuminae Files already. I’ve loved books in that sort of format ever since I read Regarding the Fountain in elementary/middle school, and this one’s sci fi on top of that.
    Happy reading, Claire!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really hope your book club go for The Power! They won’t be sorry. Even if some people don’t like the book, you’ll be talking about it for hours.
      The Illuminae Files are so good. I’m looking forward to seeing if they can top their incredibly high standards for book 3.
      Happy reading! 🙂


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