Welcome to Lizzie’s little book nook


Welcome to my book nook. This is a place where you can read, relax and connect with other book lovers. It is still a work in progress so please bear with me but I would love for you to join my little nook.

This will be used as a place for all things bookish as well as a platform to help promote small businesses during these tough times!

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Book Review – Book Lovers by Emily Henry

If you tell me there is a book out where the setting is book related (i.e., publishers, library etc) I will go straight for it. So, when I heard about Book Lovers I couldn’t resist.

This time we travel to America to Nora Stephens, a cut throat literary agent who doesn’t have much luck in her relationships. But, her sister, Libby is a very different personality and after becoming pregnant with her second child, decides that she needs a vacation with Nora for a month before the baby arrives. The place she chooses? The small town which Nora Stephens’ clients book is set. This is your typical small-town America with plaid shirts, small grocery stores and of course everyone knows everyone’s business. So, imagine her shock when she bumps into none other than Charlie, an agent who once turned down said author’s book and dismissed the small-town location.

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Top Book Releases for August 2022

I can’t believe we are coming to the end of July, where has the month gone?? This month I am starting a new feature, which is inspired by my friend’s own feature, over at Desert Bookshelf

So, without further ado here are my most anticipated book releases for August.

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Book Review – The New Doctor at Peony Practice by Christie Barlow

I last read a book from the Love Heart Lane series back in December last year, which was Heartcross Castle. This was the second book I had read in the series and I loved both of them, so when I saw a new title from the series on NetGalley I jumped straight on it.

This time the main characters are the doctors of Heartcross. We have Dr Ben Sanders, who only moved to the area 6 months ago and has become a large part of the community. However, after a while he realises he needs help with the practice and one doctor isn’t enough, so he hires a new doctor who turns out to be an old University rival, Dr Katie O’Neil. He hasn’t seen or spoken to her since uni where they often competed to be top of the class, and suddenly he is forced to work closely with her. However, the competition hasn’t stopped, as a charity boat race pushes them once again head to head against each other.

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Speaking LITerally podcast- Episode 15 – Interview with Gillian Libby

Hi bookish peeps,

It’s that time again, another episode of our Speaking LITerally podcast is live. This month we speak to the lovely Gillian Libby about her debut novel, Four Ways to Wear a Dress.

Find out about Gillilan’s favourite authors, who inspires her and a special sneak peek at what she is working on now!!

Plus you can expect your usual dose of bookish news and our own bookish reviews of what we have been reading in the last month.

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Book Review – Immanuel by Matthew McConaught

If you had said to me a year ago I would be reading a book about religion, cults and megachurches, I would have laughed in your face. I am not particularly a religious person, although I do believe in something else out there, I am just not sure what. But, I was gifted this by Fitzcarraldo books, and after reading another of their authors Adriana Shibli, I was raring to try this out and it was made all the more enjoyable as I read this as part of a buddy read with my lovely friend, Alex.

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Book Review – Summer at Primrose Tower by Annie Robertson

This book was gifted to me by Welbeck Publishing in exchange for an honest review. I read the author’s previous novel, Christmas at Lobster Bay so I was very excited to jump into this one.

The main protagonist of this story is Jennie, a passionate florist who has just been offered an apprenticeship of a lifetime, to work alongside a renowned florist in London who is the go-to florist for the wealthy and celebrities alike. However, things don’t quite go to plan and after being fired she ends up moving into Primrose Tower with Kat, one of her clients whom she has become close friends with. She wants to start up her own business as a florist, but can her dream really become a reality?

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Book Review – The Colour Storm by Damian Dibben

I first heard of this book from a wonderful friend of mine, whom I met on Bookstagram but can now say is a true friend after meeting her in real life. I can’t deny that the first thing which attracted me to this book was the cover, I mean seriously, look at it. It is a work of art in its own right. But, after reading the blurb and discovering it was set in Italy, I was further drawn to it.

Anyone that knows me, knows I love all things Italian, especially the food, and the fact that this is set in a place I have always wanted to visit, Venice, made it just that much better.

The Colour Storm is set during the Italian renaissance, a time of art and creativity but also violence and treason. The main protagonist, Giorgione Barbarelli, or Zorzo to his friends is an artist trying to make a living doing what he does best, painting. But competition is rife which means his life and livelihood is often hanging on by a thread. He even resorts to pawning his relative’s ring to make ends meet.

However, he soon hears about a legend, the Prince Orient, which is supposedly a colour like no other, found in a mine owned by a wealthy businessman. If only he could get this colour, he knows his life would be set. But, when he goes to the house he meets his wife, Sybille instead, a quiet, seemingly timid woman. Once he has won a commission to paint a portrait of his wife, he thinks he is on course to acquiring the sought-after colour. Instead, he finds himself in a conspiracy of treachery, abuse and underlying currents of a bigger threat.

This book is set during the troubling times of the plague, so not only are we given an insight into renaissance Italy but also at the effect this disastrous illness caused and the path of chaos it left in its wake.

Zorzo is an interesting character, I like how passionate he is for his art and how far he is willing to go to reach his goals. However, we are shown his weaknesses which often betray him and gets him into trouble at times. He is a complex character, brought to life with monologues which at time feel almost Shakespearean in their manner and tone.

The aspect of this book which really wowed me was the description and use of colour. In many novels you may read about a red dress or a blue coat. But, in this the colour ascends simplicity and is brought to life with such stunning imagery and description. As you read the novel these colours almost jump out at you like a beautiful rainbow, which is testament to how vivid the author’s description is. I could go on so much about how exquisite the use of colour is in this book, but all I will say is that the way it is used brings everything to life in…well…. vivid colour. I will leave you with this quote to show you what I mean.

From light and burnt ochre , magenta, lead white and a touch of cerulean blue, he mixes a series of skin tones and starts applying them to the canvas, in blocks that mark the facets of her form where the light strikes them…

If you are interested in books set in the Venice renaissance and enjoy your art you will love this book. It was a joy reading about the greats including the incredible Leonardo Da Vinci. If you are an art fan, check this out!!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – a beautifully descriptive read with prosaic monologues and exquisite imagery

The colour storm is out tomorrow!!

New Podcast Episode- Speaking LITerally podcast- 1 Year Anniversary!!

Yes that’s right, Speaking LITerally has turned one and we had such a blast recording this one (we do every time but this one was especially great)

Our special anniversary podcast episode is now live on any platform you listen to podcasts on. Listen to me and my best American buddy, @azdesert_bookworm spend an hour and a half Speaking about bookish news, books we have come to love from the podcast, things we have learnt and some sneak peeks at what you can expect in the future!!

I also just wanted to say on behalf of both myself and my awesome co-host thank you for all the support and love we have gotten from the show, and here is to many more years.

We also have a very special announcement about an event we have coming up which we will be announcing in the coming days so stay tuned!!

The pictured books are actually a happy coincidence as I wanted to show the book I was reading during our first show and the book we discussed on this one and it just so happened to be the same duology!!

As always,

Much love 💘

Listen to the podcast here.

Book Tour – Airside by James Swallow

What would you do if you found a duffle bag filled with 2 million euros? This is the foundation of today’s review and book tour.

Thanks to welbeck publishing for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review, and for inviting me to take part in this book tour…

📚Book Review 📚

Airside by James Swallow

Two million in cash.
Nowhere to run.
Nothing left to lose…

Would you risk it?

This is the basis of James Swallow’s new novel, Airside.

Businessman, Kevin Tyler becomes stuck airside overnight in an airport as he gets bumped from his flight. However, this is just one thing which has gone wrong today and this may just be the last straw.

After what may have been the worse day of his life, he suddenly discovers a duffle bag full of cash, 2 million euros to be precise. All he has to do is survive the night and make sure the people who owns the money don’t catch him!!

I love going to the airport, the trepidation and excitement of a holiday, but I have also had the experience of waiting for hours due to a delay to get home. The long wait, the tension as you eagerly await the announcement that your flight is finally ready to board. However I have never had to wait airside (in the airport past security checks) overnight before.  But this is the position that Kevin is left in when he discovers his scheduled flight is overbooked and is then bumped as he is one of the only single travellers there. As the next flight isn’t until the morning he has a long wait ahead and as the beginning progresses we get a good idea and image of what this would be like. The small smattering of travellers having to wait overnight, settling down to sleep.

The first half of the novel sets the scene well. We find out more about the main character as well as some of the other people who aren’t in the airport to travel but to conduct some dodgy business transactions. As you can imagine the first part is pretty slow paced but this reflects the dragging of time perfectly. With many hours to wait there isn’t much to do except read or try to sleep. However, after going to the bathroom and discovering a large duffel bag of cash the action really starts to ramp up.

This is a tension filled, airport thriller with some raw, brutal scenes which will have you cringing and wanting to look away from the action. The authors use of description brings the scenes to life in a bleak, grey landscape of a stormy night in a German airport which is the ideal setting for what happens next.

Airside is a story of a small airport which seems insignificant but plays a big role as the setting of a seedy, underground, criminal enterprise. It is a tale of Greed, crime, desperation and of how far one man will go if given the chance to change his life completely from the mess he is currently in.

After the initial setup this novel will have you hooked, sitting on the edge of your seat desperate to know what happens and why this all came about in the first place.

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 – a tense, slow burn (at first) thriller which depicts the dark underworld of a small airport and how far one man will go to try to change his life!!

Airside is out now!!

About the author

James Swallow is a British author. A BAFTA nominee and a New York Times, Sunday Times and Amazon #1 best-seller, he is the author of several original books and tie-in novels, as well as short fiction, numerous audio dramas and video games.

Much love 💘

Book Review – The Vanishing Triangle by Claire McGowan

I have always been interested in true crime, but I must admit I haven’t read many true crime novels so when I saw this book I was intrigued. Coming from a strong Irish background, this book instantly caught my eye, as I have always been fascinated with the history of Ireland, the good, the bad and the troublesome.

Claire McGowan is primarily known for her crime fiction and after hearing about the “vanishing triangle” she decided to write a true crime novel based on these crimes which occurred in her home country, Ireland.

You have most likely heard about the troubles in Ireland which occurred primarily between 1969 and 1998, but after that you may think Ireland to be a safe, fun country filled with friendly locals, great “craic” and if you are lucky a leprechaun. I have been to Ireland many times and since my first visit in 2001 I have seen it become a safer, more accepting country, however like all areas, it still has its dark secrets, and this is definitely one of them.

Claire investigates the mystery of 6 women who went missing between 1993 and 1998 and were never found. Many of them simply vanished in broad daylight and the lack of evidence or sign of where they may have gone is shocking. The Vanishing Triangle relates to a section in Ireland forming the shape of a triangle where these women disappeared.

What I liked about this was that the narrative wasn’t clinical or technical. Having grown up in Ireland, often nearby to the disappearance, the writer brought in her own anecdotes and experiences which made the cases more personal and interesting.

However, she doesn’t simply stop at the women named in the official search operation, she also links other potential disappearances which had a similar MO and could be considered to be connected. She discusses the life of each woman and provides the reader an insight into the events leading up to their disappearances.

I had never heard of these cases before, so it was fascinating hearing all about it. To someone familiar with these they may not find it as interesting as there is no new evidence or ground-breaking discoveries. However, what Claire does uncover to us is the dark underbelly of Ireland, the dangers that many women faced, as well as some of the many injustices they experienced, especially when the country was fiercely catholic and very strict. She also shows us how many times the police force may have dropped the ball, by losing evidence or taking too long to start looking for the missing woman or making assumptions based on their lifestyle.

Many of the events which take place will shock and unnerve you and I really enjoyed how the writer made the stark contrast between fiction and reality and clearly outlined how it would be in her crime fiction to what actually happened.

This was a fascinating read and I learnt a lot about how far behind Ireland were than us until very recently. For example, abortion was only legalised there in 2018 and up until 1993 it was illegal to be gay. I know a fair bit about the troubles partly due to my family who come from Ireland and also from my own interest in the topic, but I didn’t really know much of the other political aspects.

I know there are quite a few bad reviews out there for this book but personally I found it a really intriguing read, and for someone who hasn’t heard of the vanishing triangle it is such an eye opener to the crimes as well the judicial system in Ireland back in the 90s.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – Claire does a brilliant job of opening the reader’s eyes to the atrocities that happened alongside the troubles and brings each woman to the light to highlight their case and what may have happened to them. This is a shocking, and unsettling read but nonetheless, one that needs to be heard and read by more people.