Birthday Book Haul: It was a very bookish day!

Birthday card.jpgHey lovely people, first and foremost, I’d like to thank you all for the birthday messages, in the comments, on Twitter, on Instagram, everywhere, you guys, more than anyone, made it a very special day. I had a lovely day, this year was the most bookish birthday I’ve ever had and I’d like to share with you just how bookish it was!

*If you haven’t entered my birthday giveaway to win a book of your choice that published on the 9th March, there’s still time, to enter – click here.*

A few days before my birthday, I won a giveaway hosted by the lovely Wendy @ Little Bookness Lane to celebrate her 2nd blog birthday, and when the items arrived, it truly felt like my birthday had come early. It was such a kind and thoughtful gift – Thank you so much Wendy! How about this for a giveaway prize!!

The Secret Library by Oliver Tearle, two gorgeous bookmarks, chocolates, Amazon gift card and a Fresh Meyer Lemon scented candle [that smells like all that’s good in the world.]

On the morning of my actual birthday, I was blown away again by the generosity of the book community. Donna @ chocolate’n’waffles shared an amazing review for Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson and a few of us ended up talking about this series on Twitter, I’m yet to read the series so I planned to treat myself to Snowblind for my birthday. The human embodiment of kindness, Karen @ Orenda Books, sent me THE ENTIRE SERIES!!!

While we’re on the topic of Nordic Noir series’, I recently read Cursed by Thomas Enger, and absolutely loved it, I jumped on board this series at book 4 so it’s only right I go back and read the previous books, Renee @ It’s Book Talk read book 2: Pierced, and rated it 5* so I when I saw the Kindle editions of books 1-3 available for 98p each, I couldn’t resist!

Some of you know, I had a trip to the bookstore planned for my birthday, and well…now I own these 12 beauties:

Little Deaths by Emma Flint

Little Deaths - Emma Flint

It’s the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery.

Noting Ruth’s perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation. Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can’t help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press. Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew.

Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive – is she really capable of murder? Haunting, intoxicating and heart-poundingly suspenseful, Little Deaths by Emma Flint is a gripping debut novel about love, morality and obsession, exploring the capacity for good and evil within us all.

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder's Sister - Beth Underdown.jpg

‘The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six…’

1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives. But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.

To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

Based on a true story, this beautiful and haunting historical thriller is perfect for fans of Sarah Waters, The Miniaturist and Burial Rites.

Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy #1) by Mira Grant

Feed - Mira Grant.jpg

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop.
The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives—the dark conspiracy behind the infected.
The truth will get out, even if it kills them.

Marrow by Tarryn Fisher

Marrow - Tarryn Fisher

In the Bone there is a house.
In the house there is a girl.
In the girl there is a darkness.

Margo is not like other girls. She lives in a derelict neighborhood called the Bone, in a cursed house, with her cursed mother, who hasn’t spoken to her in over two years. She lives her days feeling invisible. It’s not until she develops a friendship with her wheelchair-bound neighbor, Judah Grant, that things begin to change. When neighborhood girl, seven-year-old Neveah Anthony, goes missing, Judah sets out to help Margo uncover what happened to her.

What Margo finds changes her, and with a new perspective on life, she’s determined to find evil and punish it–targeting rapists and child molesters, one by one. But hunting evil is dangerous, and Margo risks losing everything, including her own soul

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things - Jodi Picoult.jpg

When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father.

What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.

Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us.

It is about opening your eyes.

Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare

Lady Midnight - Cassandra Clare.jpg

In a kingdom by the sea…
In a secret world where half-angel warriors are sworn to fight demons, parabatai is a sacred word.
A parabatai is your partner in battle. A parabatai is your best friend. Parabatai can be everything to each other—but they can never fall in love.


It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.
Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…
Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark-who was captured by the faeries five years ago-has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind-and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Alice by Christina Henry

Alice - Christina Henry

In a warren of crumbling buildings and desperate people called the Old City, there stands a hospital with cinderblock walls which echo with the screams of the poor souls inside.In the hospital, there is a woman. Her hair, once blonde, hangs in tangles down her back. She doesn’t remember why she’s in such a terrible place-just a tea party long ago, and long ears, and blood…Then, one night, a fire at the hospital gives the woman a chance to escape, tumbling out of the hole that imprisoned her, leaving her free to uncover the truth about what happened to her all those years ago.Only something else has escaped with her. Something dark. Something powerful.And to find the truth, she will have to track this beast to the very heart of the Old City, where the rabbit waits for his Alice.

Darktown by Thomas Mullen

Darktown _ Thomas Mullen

Responding from pressure on high, the Atlanta police department is forced to hire its first black officers in 1948. The newly minted policemen are met with deep hostility by their white peers and their authority is limited: They can’t arrest white suspects; they can’t drive a squad car; they can’t even use the police headquarters and must instead operate out of the basement of a gym.


When a black woman who was last seen in a car driven by a white man turns up fatally beaten, no one seems to care except for Boggs and Smith, two black cops from vastly different backgrounds. Pressured from all sides, they will risk their jobs, the trust the community has put in them, and even their own safety to investigate her death. Their efforts bring them up against an old-school cop, Dunlow, who has long run the neighborhood like his own, and Dunlow’s young partner, Rakestraw, a young progressive who may or may not be willing to make allies across color lines.

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Girl in Pieces - Kathleen Glasgow

Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.


Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

The Winter People

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea’s diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother’s bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara’s fate, she discovers that she’s not the only person who’s desperately looking for someone that they’ve lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.

Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

Fragile Lives - Stephen Westaby

An incredible memoir from one of the world’s most eminent heart surgeons and some of the most remarkable and poignant cases he’s worked on. Grim Reaper sits on the heart surgeon’s shoulder. A slip of the hand and life ebbs away.

The balance between life and death is so delicate, and the heart surgeon walks that rope between the two. In the operating room there is no time for doubt. It is flesh, blood, rib-retractors and pumping the vital organ with your bare hand to squeeze the life back into it. An off-day can have dire consequences – this job has a steep learning curve, and the cost is measured in human life. Cardiac surgery is not for the faint of heart.

Professor Stephen Westaby took chances and pushed the boundaries of heart surgery. He saved hundreds of lives over the course of a thirty-five year career and now, in his astounding memoir, Westaby details some of his most remarkable and poignant cases – such as the baby who had suffered multiple heart attacks by six months old, a woman who lived the nightmare of locked-in syndrome, and a man whose life was powered by a battery for eight years.

A powerful, important and incredibly moving book, Fragile Lives offers an exceptional insight into the exhilarating and sometimes tragic world of heart surgery, and how it feels to hold someone’s life in your hands.

Picking Cotton by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino, Ronald Cotton and Erin Torneo

Picking Cotton

The New York Times best selling true story of an unlikely friendship forged between a woman and the man she incorrectly identified as her rapist and sent to prison for 11 years.

Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint by a man who broke into her apartment while she slept. She was able to escape, and eventually positively identified Ronald Cotton as her attacker. Ronald insisted that she was mistaken– but Jennifer’s positive identification was the compelling evidence that put him behind bars.

After eleven years, Ronald was allowed to take a DNA test that proved his innocence. He was released, after serving more than a decade in prison for a crime he never committed. Two years later, Jennifer and Ronald met face to face– and forged an unlikely friendship that changed both of their lives.

With Picking Cotton, Jennifer and Ronald tell in their own words the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge our ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.

Birthday book haul

There we have it, my hardback, paperback and ebook birthday haul! But if you thought that was the extent of my bookish goings on, you’re wrong…. After seeing a few of Jill @ Jill’s Book Cafe’s Urbane Book Club unboxings, I was convinced, and I too joined Urbane Book Club. I like to think of it as the gift that keeps on giving, as for the entire year (March ’17 – March ’18) I will receive a copy of every book Urbane publishes! And 75% off any further Urbane purchases, including the entire backlist, which I’m extremely happy about as I’ve browsed the back list and there are several books that have caught my attention! My welcome box and first months box are currently being put together as we speak, I’m so excited. I’ll be sure to show it to you guys.

As you can see, I had a super bookish birthday! Thank you all again for the wonderful messages; I’ve seen it written, I’ve heard it said, I’ve even said it myself before, and I’ll say it again – BOOK PEOPLE ARE THE BEST PEOPLE!

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Author: Keeper of Pages

Blogging about books and other bookish ramblings

54 thoughts on “Birthday Book Haul: It was a very bookish day!”

  1. Wow! You weren’t kidding! That’s an amazing haul!

    I loved The Winter People! And how wonderful of Karen to send you that entire Ragnor series!

    I don’t know how you’ll top this on your next birthday! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right, I don’t think this can be topped but if I match it next year, I’ll be happy! And Karen is the absolute best, it was so unexpected! Someone on bookstagram recommended The Winter People to me and since buying it, I’ve heard it’s highly rated by lots of people so I’m so glad I picked it up!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You know it, bookish people are indeed pretty cool people to hang out with :-). So.. wowie that is one BIG book haul.. congratulations! I don’t even know where to start commenting :-). So you’ve got like 20 books to read now, not counting what’s coming from the Urbane Book Club ?! I look forward to every one of your reviews of course but there are some that I’m looking at with great interest. The Winter People has been on my wishlist for a long time already, and Little Deaths too. I see you’re in the mood for somewhat more dark and emotional reads :-). The only one I’ve read from your list was Marrow.. I very much look forward to your thoughts on that one too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I was typing this post, I noticed that too, there’s definitely a dark and emotional theme running through these reads, I think that reflects my love of dark, flawed characters that I’m hoping to encounter in the majority of these books! Did you enjoy Marrow? I don’t know many people who have read it but the girl that recommended it to me said it was amazing! The Winter People was recommended to me by the same person so I’m hoping you liked Marrow haha! I’ve seen a few reviews for Little Deaths and it caught my attention immediately. I’ve definitely got plenty to keep me busy until my next birthday and beyond! 😅

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      1. I looked it up, I read it in July last year and gave it 3 stars. It had more potential in my opinion but the world building was really good, you really felt like you were in an entirely different world. I can’t wait to see what you think of this book. I heard many good things about The Winter People and I think it’s a more conventional book. I’m sure this doesn’t keep you from requesting more books ;-)!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re so right, I received an email from NG saying Butterfly on the Storm is available to read now for the first 200 readers, it’s been likened to Stieg Larsson’s millennium series so I snagged a copy 🙈📚

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh, that sounds like a fantastic birthday! I have Feed and Small Great Things on my TBR as well! I’ve read Lady Midnight, and really enjoyed it, so I hope you enjoy that one! 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lady Midnight is a little outside what I’d normally ready but I saw a post on Bookstagram saying it was a murder mystery and it centred around Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, Annabel Lee and I was intrigued. Do I need to have read the other Shadow Hunter books before I read this one?

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      1. Yes, it is a mystery, and it’s definitely a mix of PNR with a little romance! You do have to read the other books I find you don’t want to be spoiled don the other series, but if you have no intentions to read the other serie,S it probably doesn’t matter. 😁

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  4. Amazing birthday book haul Janel!! Thanks for the shout out, and I’m so glad you got the backlist of the Enger series. I have it also so now we NEED to read it:) Winter People is creepy, you’re going to love it I’m sure. I have to get Picking Cotton ASAP. That reminds me of Getting Life which I loved so much, I’m so drawn to those types of stories and I can’t imagine the depth of that man’s forgiveness

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ok, let me know when you’re reading Burned and I’ll read it too! I’d not heard much about The Winter People but I’m continuously hearing good things so that was a winning buy, I almost didn’t pick it up! And that reminds me, I still have Getting Life to read, I bought it when you recommended it to me ages ago. Gosh, I really need to sort out my TBR 🙈 I think I might have to introduce a monthly TBR plan that systematically allows me to read review books AND my highly anticipated reads!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ok I’ll let you know.I really want to get to the Enger books soon as well Snow Blind series which you also just got:) Yes you don’t want to forget about your own must reads which is so hard when we’ve got all brand new review books coming in!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great haul! I’m also tempted to join the Urbane Book Club having seen Jill’s wonderful unboxings, although it won’t do anything for my TBR reduction plan! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to have the entire series, I feel like I’m on the the outside as I haven’t met Ari yet but all that will change soon! Now I just need life to stand still so I can’t find the time to read them all.xx

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