This week has been rather busy physically and mentally; although I’ve been reading I haven’t had been in the right mind for blogging – so a big thank you again to my friend Julia for her midweek review for me.

Yesterday I did have a bit of a break, and filled it with a spontaneous garage sale – which meant my daughter and I carrying 400+ surplus books downstairs and setting up our stall augmented with some DVDs, CDs and other bits and pieces. Then we waited anxiously (in my daughter’s case), and reading a book in the sunshine in my case, for passers by. We made 10p short of £30 which is wonderful, and I will donate £5 of that to Helen & Douglas House children’s hospice in Oxford.

I’m still sorting out more books to go, and the next sunny, dry Saturday when we’re free we’ll do it again, then the remaining books will go to the charity shop. I also still have some more interesting/collectible/out of print books for sale – see the tab above.

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Lots of interesting books have arrived at Gaskell Towers recently – it’s always a dilemma of what to read next – as I still want to reduce the TBR piles, and not just read the latest new arrivals. Here are a few of the new ones though…

  • All Quiet on the Western Front – I’m an addict to the lovely tomes from The Folio Society, and am delighted to have been offered a free book by a publicist working for them. I chose this one as I’ve wanted to read it for years.
  • The Sacrifice (The Enemy) the fourth in Charlie Higson’s wonderful zombie series for older children, which I reviewed the first two of here.
  • The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers. A supernatural story set in 1816, the year that Byron and Shelley and co had a momentous house party on the shores of Lake Geneva. The Romantic poets get caught up in an adventure with a man whose wife was murdered on their wedding night as she slept beside him. I couldn’t resist this – just the thing for autumnal nights!
  • In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner arrived yesterday from Simon & Schuster. Set in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh during the Khmer Rouge’s rule of terror, it tell of seven year old Raami’s fight for survival. I know this is going to be gripping and tragic to read, but I do hope Raami survives.

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And finally, I have giveaway results – Thank you to everyone who commented and entered.

Firstly, the Sophie McKenzie giveaway of Missing Me.

The winners, picked at random were:

Rosie & Rosie Herridge

A total coincidence – two Rosies!
The books will come direct from the publisher.

Now for my 4th Blog-birthday giveaway – the winners, drawn randomly again, are:

Well done to you all. As none of you expressed a preference over which of the four books on offer, I’ll send a random pick, unless you change your mind when you send me your addresses. To remind you, the books on offer were:

  • Waiting for Robert Capa by Susanna Fortes (Review)
  • On the Cold Coasts by Vilborg Davidsdottir (Review)
  • The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark (Review)
  • I Have Waited, and You Have Come by Martine McDonagh (Review)
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