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February Book Haul – Part 2 #StackedShelves #BookReviews #BookBlogging #TBR #Bookmail

Good morning and welcome to another ATIB book haul. This is all the books sent to me in the second half of February 2018 and there is plenty to share. Thank you to Penguin, Titan Books, Hideaway Fall, Simon & Schuster and Gollancz for these generous pieces of book mail for me to review. I can’t believe my luck this month with review copies and I hope to get to them all in March. There is plenty happening in March so watch this space for brilliant books, lots of reviews and other great bookish posts. Thanks for stopping by and if you see any books you like or are reading at the moment then please let me know!

February Book Haul – Part 2


Released 12/04/18 via Hideaway Fall

Broken Branches was a hard read for me. It pushes all my buttons and it was an emotional read from start to finish. That said, it was a cracking read that explored some bold themes. I now have similar expectations for Drift Stumble Fall so MJL better live up to them. I like the sound of this novel and I hope it pays off.

Book Synopsis

Richard Brown has had enough of his life of commitment, resentment, routine and responsibility. Staring out of his window, he enviously observes the tranquil life of Bill, the neighbour living in the bungalow across the road. From his lounge, Bill keenly watches as Richard’s young family grows.

Yet underneath the apparent domestic bliss of both lives are lies, secrets, imperfections, sadness and suffering far greater than either could have imagined. As the two men watch each other from afar, it soon becomes apparent that other people’s lives are never what they seem.


Released 27/02/18 via Titan Books

I am now about to start The Vanishing Season and I am looking forward to getting back into some decent Psychological Thriller-y goodness. Joanna Schaffhausen promises loss of sleep and nail-biting suspense so I am ready for anything.

Book Synopsis

A chilling tale of suspense for fans of Julia Heaberlin. Fourteen years ago, teenager Ellery Hathaway was victim number seventeen in the grisly murder spree of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. She was the only one who lived.

Now Coben is safely behind bars, and Ellery has a new identity in a sleepy town where bike theft makes the newspapers. But each July for the last three years, locals have been disappearing. Then Ellery receives strange messages hinting that the culprit knows exactly what happened to her all those years ago. When she tries to raise the alarm, no one will listen, and terrified she may be next, Ellery must turn to the one person who might believe her story…


Released 08/02/18 via Penguin Life

The psychology books coming out in 2018 are seriously upping the game for mental health. There has already been a lot of love for It’s Not Always Depression and I am eager to jump in myself. This looks like a fascinating new approach to depression and ways to re-connect with our minds and bodies.

Book Synopsis

We were all taught that our thoughts affect our emotions, but in truth it is largely the other way around: we have to experience our emotions to truly understand our thoughts, and our full selves. This is why we should think not only about cognitive behavioural therapy or medication, but also about our emotions, when addressing psychological suffering.

In It’s Not Always Depression, pioneering psychotherapist Hilary Jacobs Hendel reveals the most effective techniques for putting us back in touch with the emotions we too often deny – methods which can be used by anyone, any time, anywhere. Drawing on stories from her own practice, she sheds light on the core emotions (such as joy, sadness and fear), defences (anything we do to avoid feeling) and inhibitory emotions (anxiety, shame and guilt), and how understanding their interaction can help us return to mental well-being.

This is the basis of ‘accelerated experiential dynamic psychotherapy:’ it accelerates healing through having an emotional experience in the here and now.

It allows you to reacquaint yourself with your feelings, to recover a more authentic self and to be more calm, curious and connected.


Released 02/11/17 via Penguin Life

I am not an inherently spiritual person but The Signs may change this. A beautiful book that explores all the elements of the stars, the zodiac and what it all means. Me and my wife have been reading this together and it is certainly decent food for thought.

Book Synopsis

Nobody’s future is written in the stars, but we can use the stars to help write our future.

For thousands of years people have looked to the night sky for the answers to life’s problems. Today’s practice is a far cry from newspaper horoscopes and fortune-telling, but instead uses the ancient wisdom of astrology to help us better understand our choices and ourselves. It’s not about prescriptive descriptions of personality and fate, but about putting the individual at the centre of decision making.

In The Signs, Carolyne Faulkner describes with warmth and humour the qualities associated with each star sign – the good and the bad – and explains how you can use your birth chart (a map of the night sky at the time you were born) to make smarter choices, avoid triggers to stress and forge stronger relationships. This is a clear and simple guide to using the stars to take control of every aspect of your life.


Released 08/02/18 via Hamish Hamilton

The Adulterants could either be an amusing but touching insight into the modern man, or it could just be to real to enjoy. I have high hopes for Joe Dunthorne as there has been some interesting reviews for his novel. I can probably relate to most of this novel as I am exceptional at making things much worse!

Book Synopsis

Ray is not a bad guy. He mostly did not cheat on his heavily pregnant wife. He only sometimes despises every one of his friends. And though his career as a freelance tech journalist is dismal and he spends his afternoons churning out third-rate listicles in his boxer briefs, he dreams of making a difference. But Ray is about to learn that his special talent is for making things worse.

Brace yourself for a wickedly funny look at the modern everyman. The Adulterants is an uproarious tale of competitively sensitive men and catastrophic open marriages, riots on the streets of London and Internet righteousness, and one man’s valiant quest to come of age in his thirties. With lacerating wit and wry affection, Joe Dunthorne dissects the urban millennial psyche of a man too old to be an actual millennial.


Released 27/03/18 via Titan Books

Another potentially great Titan thriller that I am taking part in a blog tour for in April. Suspense and a bit of paranormal activity could be really good as I have neglected this genre for far too long. I Remember You could be hard for me as a parent to a four year old but I am willing to take the risk.

Book Synopsis

Heike Lerner has a charmed life. A stay-at-home mother married to a prominent psychiatrist, it’s a far cry from the damaged child she used to be. But her world is shaken when her four-year-old son befriends a little girl at a nearby lake, who vanishes under the water. And when Heike dives in after her, there’s no sign of a body.

Desperate to discover what happened to the child, Heike seeks out Leo Dolan, a television writer exploring the paranormal, but finds herself caught between her controlling husband and the intense Dolan. Then her son disappears, and Heike’s husband was the last to see him alive…


Released 01/03/18 via Gollancz

YEEESSSSSS! The finale of my all time favourite insect themed apocalypse series! I started blogging when The Hatching came out and it was one of the first action/thrillers I reviewed. Gollancz have been very kind to me over the years and I am grateful for this copy of Zero Day. I am hoping that this has the explosive ending that has been building up over the series so far!

Book Synopsis

The world is on the brink of apocalypse. Zero Day has come.

The only thing more terrifying than millions of spiders is the realization that those spiders work as one. But among the government, there is dissent: do we try to kill all of the spiders, or do we gamble on Professor Guyer’s theory that we need to kill only the queens?

For President Stephanie Pilgrim, it’s an easy answer. She’s gone as far as she can-more than two dozen American cities hit with tactical nukes, the country torn asunder – and the only answer is to believe in Professor Guyer. Unfortunately, Ben Broussard and the military men who follow him don’t agree, and Pilgrim, Guyer, and the loyal members of the government have to flee, leaving the question: what can be more dangerous, the spiders or ourselves?


Released 18/01/17 via Vintage (Penguin)

I have always wanted to read Nineteen Eighty-Four for so long now and I finally have a gorgeously inviting edition to sink my teeth into. I am ready to get my classic on!

Book Synopsis

The year is 1984, and life in Oceania is ruled by the Party. Under the gaze of Big Brother, Winston Smith yearns for intimacy and love – “thought crimes” that, if uncovered, would mean imprisonment, or death. But Winston is not alone in his defiance, and an illicit affair will draw him into the mysterious Brotherhood and the realities of resistance.

Nineteen Eighty-Four has been described as chilling, absorbing, satirical, momentous, prophetic and terrifying. It is all these things, and more.


Released 22/02/17 via Simon & Schuster

S&S NF is superb. I am incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to read The Stowaway as it is actually an American release but they were kind enough to send one for me here. The Stowaway sounds great! Adventure, culture, history and music. Can’t wait 😀

Book Synopsis

The spectacular, true story of a scrappy teenager from New York’s Lower East Side who stowed away on the Roaring Twenties’ most remarkable feat of science and daring: an expedition to Antarctica.

It was 1928: a time of illicit booze, of Gatsby and Babe Ruth, of freewheeling fun. The Great War was over and American optimism was higher than the stock market. What better moment to launch an expedition to Antarctica, the planet’s final frontier? There wouldn’t be another encounter with an unknown this magnificent until Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.

Everyone wanted in on the adventure. Rockefellers and Vanderbilts begged to be taken along as mess boys, and newspapers across the globe covered the planning’s every stage. And then, the night before the expedition’s flagship set off, Billy Gawronski—a mischievous, first-generation New York City high schooler desperate to escape a dreary future in the family upholstery business—jumped into the Hudson River and snuck aboard.

Could he get away with it?

From the soda shops of New York’s Lower East Side to the dance halls of sultry Francophone Tahiti, all the way to Antarctica’s blinding white and deadly freeze, Laurie Gwen Shapiro’s The Stowaway takes you on the unforgettable voyage of a plucky young stowaway who became a Jazz Age celebrity, a mascot for an up-by-your bootstraps era.


Released 22/02/17 via Simon & Schuster

I try to read as many books about writing as I can find so I was elated when S&S sent me Black Ink. This is going to be a fascinatingly insightful read into black literature and I feel privileged to be able to read and talk about Black Ink on my blog this year.

Book Synopsis

Spanning over 250 years of history, Black Ink traces black literature in America from Frederick Douglass to Ta-Nehisi Coates in this masterful collection of twenty-five illustrious and moving essays on the power of the written word.

Throughout American history black people are the only group of people to have been forbidden by law to learn to read. This unique collection seeks to shed light on that injustice and subjugation, as well as the hard-won literary progress made, putting some of America’s most cherished voices in a conversation in one magnificent volume that presents reading as an act of resistance.

Organized into three sections, the Peril, the Power, and Pleasure, and with an array of contributors both classic and contemporary, Black Ink presents the brilliant diversity of black thought in America while solidifying the importance of these writers within the greater context of the American literary tradition. At times haunting and other times profoundly humorous, this unprecedented anthology guides you through the remarkable experiences of some of America’s greatest writers and their lifelong pursuits of literacy and literature.

The foreword was written by Nikki Giovanni. Contributors include: Frederick Douglass, Solomon Northup, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Jr., Toni Morrison, Walter Dean Myers, Stokely Carmichael [Kwame Ture], Alice Walker, Jamaica Kincaid, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Terry McMillan, Junot Diaz, Edwidge Danticat, Colson Whitehead, Marlon James, Roxane Gay, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Colson Whitehead.

The anthology features a bonus in-depth interview with President Barack Obama.


Released 08/03/18 via Tinder Press

The Immortalists has been all over the book community and I was surprised when a copy arrived at my door. I gave it a look over and it sounds really good! I could not imagine what it feels like to know when you are going to die and this novel explores the many ways that can influence your life.

Book Synopsis

It’s 1969, and holed up in a grimy tenement building in New York’s Lower East Side is a travelling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the date they will die. The four Gold children, too young for what they’re about to hear, sneak out to learn their fortunes.

Over the years that follow, the siblings must choose how to live with the prophecies the fortune-teller gave them that day. Will they accept, ignore, cheat or defy them? Golden-boy Simon escapes to San Francisco, searching for love; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician; eldest son Daniel tries to control fate as an army doctor after 9/11; and bookish Varya looks to science for the answers she craves.

A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists is a story about how we live, how we die, and what we do with the time we have.


Released 13/03/18 via Titan Books

I have heard that James Brogden knows his way around the surreal horror/thriller genre and I am raring to get started with The Hollow Tree. I do have a copy of Hekla’s Children but I haven’t got around to reading it so this may be double deal when it comes to reviews.

Book Synopsis


After her hand is amputated following a tragic accident, Rachel Cooper suffers vivid nightmares of a woman imprisoned in the trunk of a hollow tree, screaming for help. When she begins to experience phantom sensations of leaves and earth with her lost hand, Rachel is terrified she is going mad… but then another hand takes hers, and the trapped woman is pulled into our world. She has no idea who she is, but Rachel can’t help but think of the mystery of Oak Mary, a female corpse found in a hollow tree, and who was never identified. Three urban legends have grown up around the case; was Mary a Nazi spy, a prostitute or a gypsy witch? Rachel is desperate to learn the truth, but darker forces are at work. For a rule has been broken, and Mary is in a world where she doesn’t belong…


Released 01/02/18 via Granta Books

The Minister and the Murderer is a departure from the norm for me. I don’t usually mix with religion if I can avoid it but this story just seems compelling enough for me to put aside my differences and learn about the difficult process of going from sinner to saviour.

Book Synopsis

In 1969, James Nelson confessed to murder, served a prison sentence, then applied to be ordained as a minster in the Scottish Church (The Kirk). The case split the church in two, and challenged the institution to consider its most basic functions, obligations and duties. Part of the problem was that James Nelson’s crime was no ordinary crime. The bible has a lot to say about murder, but not about this particular variety of murder.

Stuart Kelly uses the case of Nelson to write a compelling history of the church in Scotland, of biblical and literary accounts of forgiveness and sin. The Minister and The Murderer is a gripping piece of literary detective work weaving textual analysis with memoir and narrative non-fiction. This is a book of soul-searching and speculation, deep thinking and fine writing. It is a knotty, riveting and mind-expanding investigation of truth and faith.

Thank you again for stopping by to check out all the books I have been sent in the last fortnight from publishers and also books I have picked up along the way. These hauls are the perfect opportunity to share with you all some of the great releases coming out in the near future. Also books that have been out for ages but seem to have slipped through my net. If you have read/are reading any of these books then please tell me all about them in the comments. I hope you enjoyed the haul and found out about a few books you want to read.


24 thoughts on “February Book Haul – Part 2 #StackedShelves #BookReviews #BookBlogging #TBR #Bookmail

  1. Wow long list, it just kept on going! The one that speaks to me most is The Vanishing Season.. I hope it”s a good one. I also received Drift Stumble Fall. I really liked the first novel so have good faith this one will be an enjoyable read as well. Happy reading.. now you only have to choose which one to read first 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting haul you have there! I especially like the idea of “It’s Not Always Depression” people are too quick to come to that conclusion (it’s just like a hyper active kid MUST have A.D.D even though… they’re a CHILD! THEY’RE ALL HYPER ACTIVE!) I sounds like an interesting concept I’ll have to look into!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great haul Stuart! I’m halfway through The Immortalists at the moment and really loving it. Also looking forward to reading Drift Stumble Fall next month (and our buddy read of course!!) 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

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