#AprilAtoZ Challenge B -Burial Rites by Hannah Kent


#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

The blogging from A to Z April Challenge is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

My theme is Book Reviews. I will be posting reviews for every day of the alphabet.


Burial Rites is a first novel, based on an actual event in Iceland in 1829. A man and woman faced execution for a murder that occurred on an isolated farm. There were no prisons in Iceland at this time, so the young woman, Agnes Magnusdottir, was kept at a farm where she had lived in her earlier years. The farmer and his wife were her guards during the long dark winter before her execution.

The family are horrified at being forced to house a murderer, and at first ignore Agnes, while going about their daily life. But as Agnes’s date with death comes closer, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story that they have heard.

My thoughts

Kent had me hooked from her opening sentence on page one: They said I must die. They said that I stole the breath from the men, and now they must steal mine”

This book is definitely not a light, happy, read. The actual event covered in this story, is well known and well documented in Iceland. It is considered to be a dark event in their history.  This novel is about the sad and dark story of Agnes, and her wait for execution during the long long Icelandic winter. There is very little happiness for Agnes as she waits.


Before I read this book, I had expected it to be so bleak that it would be an impossible enjoyable read. But enjoy it I did. I had never previously heard of the true story of Agnes. and Kent had me feeling very sad and without hope for her.

There are multiple narrators to the story and Agnes also speaks to the reader in the first person. I found myself reading her sentences over and over, as they were so beautifully written and poignant.

I have read this book twice, and listened to it once on audio. I never tire of reading and hearing Hannah Kent’s beautiful words that evoke perfectly, the darkness of a long, dark Icelandic winter.

My Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Barry Award Nominee for Best First Novel (2014)
Guardian First Book Award Nominee (2013)
Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for People’s Choice (2014)
Davitt Award for Debut Novel (2013)
Australian Independent Booksellers Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction (2014)
Australian Book Industry Award for Literary Fiction (2014)
Women’s Prize for Fiction Nominee (2014)
The Stella Prize Nominee for Shortlist (2014)
Specsavers National Book Award Nominee for International Author of the Year (2014)
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Historical Fiction (2013)
International Dublin Literary Award Nominee for Shortlist (2015)

About The Author

Hannah Kent


Hannah Kent was born in Adelaide in 1985.  Burial Rites is her first novel and has been translated into over 30 languages and won many awards. Hannah is also the co-founder and publishing director of Australian literary publication Kill Your Darlings



Published in 203 by Little Brown and Company – Hardcover 336 pages

Have you read this book. If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I promise to always reply to comments made in the section below.

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 Images: Goodreads

Theme Reveal – Blogging April A-Z Challenge 2019

What is Blogging April A-Z Challenge?

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a new blog post every day in April, except for Sunday. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example, April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B, and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

Bloggers can choose a theme to blog about. My links, at the end of this post, to my previous A-Z challenges show examples of themes. Some bloggers choose not to have a theme, and they post on different topics every day. It’s up to the individual blogger, as to how they wish to participate. I do prefer to have a theme as it gives me focus and structure. You can find more information here

My previous A-Z Challenges

This will the fourth year that I’ve participated in the challenge. But this year it’s especially exciting for me, as 2019 is the first year that I participate on this blog, which is very new, having been launched in January 2019.

Theme Reveal

This post today, is my Theme Reveal post which is where I announce my theme for the Challenge. Bloggers who choose to have a theme, usually write a ‘Theme Reveal’ post, which is published in late March.

My theme for 2019 is Book Reviews. The theme continues on with the usual content of this blog, but by the end of the month there will be 26 new reviews published. One for each letter of the alphabet. Reviews will be both new releases and older publications. They will be both fiction and non-fiction What they will all have in common, is that I will have read every book, so you can be guaranteed that all reviews will be my honest opinion.

If you are after a recommendation for that next book to read, or just want the enjoyment of reading about books, do join me in working through the alphabet of books in April.

To ensure that you don’t miss a post, you can sign sign up for email alerts in the sidebar. You can also follow me on social media:

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Link to Theme Reveal posts from previous years participation in the Blogging April A-Z Challenge.

A-Z Challenge 2016 – Bendigo 
A-Z Challenge 2016 – Towns in Victoria
A-Z Challenge 2017  – My Ancestors
A-Z Challenge 2018 – The Story of Me


Bloggers Award Nomination

Can you imagine my surprise and excitement when I opened the email that told me that this blog has been nominated for the Fifth Annual Bloggers Bash Awards in the category of Best Book Blog? I was really shocked and couldn’t believe it that a reader saw enough merit in my new book blog, to nominate me for this award. Whoever you are, I thank you very much. You have made me a very happy blogger.

As a blogger, I write and post articles, always wondering if anyone will ever read them. I love it when there are comments on an article or review and we can have a conversation. This nomination has shown me that there are people reading my articles and reviews, and gives me encouragement to keep doing ‘this blogging thing’ that I love.

What is the  Blogger’s Bash Award?

The Bloggers Bash Award is open for anyone who blogs. Bloggers and readers of blogs can nominate their favourite blog and/or vote for them, with the awards being presented in London on 15 June 2019.

Annual Bloggers Bash Awards

Links to my other blogs: Next Phase In Fitness & Life and Tracking Down The Family


Valentine’s Day Book Love

❤️❤️❤️ Today, being Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d look at love from a different angle and share my love of books.

There are many, many books that I’ve read over the years and that I’d put on a list of ‘books that I love. Unfortunately, I can’t share them all, but here are just a few in no particular order.

Five Books That I Love ❤️

Have you read any of these books that I love? Would you put any of them on your list of loved books.

Wellmania by Brigid Delaney

Title:  Wellmania
Author: Brigid Delaney

Brigid Delaney is a journalist for The Guardian Australia and a travel writer. She has previously worked as a lawyer and was a journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph in London, and CNN.
Publisher: Nero an imprint of Schwartz Publishing Pty. Ltd
Date of Publication: 2017
Genre: Health
Number of Pages: 308

Feeling overweight, unhealthy and anxious, Brigid Delaney decides to use herself as a guinea pig and try out some of the health fads, both mainstream and more alternative, that we are constantly told will transform our lives and make us happy and healthy. Some of those tried were the horrifying 101 day fast, colonics, many types of yoga, silent retreats and meditation, group psychotherapy and much more.

Brigid travelled the world to participate and gather information about these methods that are meant to improve our health and wellbeing and are touted to help us to lose weight and keep calm. It seems that everyone is trying to sell the ‘Wellness Dream’. Brigid’s experiences took her to monasteries and health farms and hiking trails, just to pick out a few.

There is also a serious side to the book, as the author presents the facts and outcomes of many of these fads. The questions asked in the book are:

  • Why do so many of us swing from indulgence to detox and back again?
  • Is it possible to integrate good habits into your daily life
  • What does our obsession with wellness say about us?
  • Why do you smell so bad when you haven’t eaten in seven days?

My Thoughts:
I experienced many emotions as I read this book. I laughed and cried, sometimes both at the same time. I felt horrifed at the thought of the 101 day fast. I wanted to shout to the author “don’t do it!” Brigid is very honest as she describes her experiences. Her honesty were the cause of my laughter and tears.

Recommendation: (who and why)
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in health and fitness, or anyone who has ever tried dieting. If you have ever tried any of the modern, crazy health fads, you will love this book.

This review has been reposted from my other blog,  Next Phase In Fitness & Life

Have you read this book. I’d love to hear your thoughts. I really appreciate the time it takes for you to comment and promise to reply to all comments.