Peter Donnelly

Awards Blog

February Book of the Month Award

February 19, 2019
February Book of the Month Awards Book Cover February Book of the Month Awards
Book of the Month
Peter Donnelly
The Reading Desk

The Reading Desk team will nominate 3 books each month from the many that are collectively read. The 3 nominees will be put forward on a social media poll to the wider book community to vote for that month's winner. 

Each monthly nominated book will go forward to the Annual Awards Competition. The annual awards will be decided by a mainly external panel of globally recognised reviewers and authors, chaired by Peter Donnelly.

We have responded to a number of feedback suggestions that this feature from The Reading Desk would support authors and their activities to promote and market their books. We also hope that it is a mechanism to bring the book community together. We hope you enjoy and support the community.

3 wonderful books nominated by The Reading Desk for February Book of the Month Award

Only a Mother – Elisabeth Carpenter @LibbyCPT

The Wait for Shadows – Karl Holton @KarlHolton…

Fantasy Young Adult

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – JK Rowling

February 19, 2019
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) Book Cover Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)
Harry Potter
Rowling, J.K.
Juvenile Fiction
January 10, 2015

In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the summer after Harry’s first year at Hogwarts has been his worst summer ever… the Dursleys more distant and horrible than ever before. But just as he’s packing his bags to return to school, a creature named Dobby the house-elf announces that if Harry goes back to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. And it turns out, Dobby is right. Harry and Ron miss the Hogwarts Express, so they fly to school in a blue Ford Anglia, crash landing in the notorious Whomping Willow. Soon other worries accumulate: the outrageously stuck-up new professor Gilderoy Lockhart; a ghost named Moaning Myrtle, who haunts the girls' bathroom; the strange behavior of Ron's little sister, Ginny Weasley; rumors about the "Chamber of Secrets," a cavern buried deep below Hogwarts; and a magical diary owned by Tom Riddle, a Hogwarts student of long ago. Harry is also shocked to discover that he can speak Parseltongue, the language of snakes - a rare ability that Lord Voldemort also possessed - and that anti-Muggle prejudice exists in the Wizarding world, even affecting Harry's friend Hermione. But all of these seem like minor concerns when someone starts turning Hogwarts students to stone: an evildoer said to be the fearsome Heir of Salazar Slytherin, on of the founders of the school. Could it be Draco Malfoy, Harry's most poisonous rival? Could it be Hagrid whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one person everyone at Hogwarts most suspects: Harry Potter himself?


Here I am with The Chamber of Secrets, the second book of the Harry Potter series feeling the tightening grip of adoration, as I get ensnared in the glorious bewitching…

Crime Thriller

Lust, Money & Murder Book 3 – Mike Wells

February 16, 2019
Lust, Money & Murder Book 3 Book Cover Lust, Money & Murder Book 3
Lust, Money & Murder
Mike Wells
Crime Thriller

Global counterfeiting mastermind Giorgio Cattoretti takes Elaine under his wing, tempting her with heady amounts of money to apply her expert knowledge to improve his near-perfect U.S. bills. But Elaine still loves Nick. When Nick enters the picture, it maybe too late. With nowhere to turn, will Elaine give in to a life of crime, or will she find the love she has always wanted? 


Mike Wells has delivered an engrossing thriller pitting an international super-villain against a very capable secret services agent, in majestic settings throughout Europe. The third book in the original Lust, Money…

Literary Fiction

99 Nights in Logar – Jamil Jan Kochai

February 16, 2019
99 Nights in Logar Book Cover 99 Nights in Logar
Jamil Jan Kochai
Bloomsbury Publishing
February 7, 2019

A coming-of-age story about one boy’s journey across contemporary Afghanistan to find and bring home the family dog, blending the grit and immediacy of voice-driven fiction like We Need New Names with the mythmaking of One Thousand and One Nights.

Twelve-year-old Marwand’s memories from his previous visit to Afghanistan six years ago center on his contentious relationship with Budabash, the terrifying but beloved dog who guards his extended family’s compound in Logar. Eager to find an ally in this place that’s meant to be “home,” Marwand approaches Budabash the way he would any dog on his American suburban block—and the results are disastrous: Marwand loses a finger and Budabash escapes.

The resulting search for the family dog is an expertly told adventure, a ninety-nine-night quest that sends Marwand and his cousins across the landscape of Logar. Moving between celebrations and tragedies, deeply humorous and surprisingly tender, 99 Nights in Logar is a vibrant exploration of the power of stories—the ones we tell each other, and the ones we find ourselves in.

Enlightenment99 Nights in Logar is a well-crafted novel where the main plot thread is entwined with multiple tales, incidents, interesting characters, enthralling history and a harsh location. There is a…

Crime Mystery Reviews Thriller

The Interpretation of Murder – Jed Rubenfeld

February 13, 2019
The Interpretation of Murder Book Cover The Interpretation of Murder
Jed Rubenfeld

'Manhattan, 1909. On the morning after Sigmund Freud arrives in New York on his first --and only -- Visit to the United Sates, a stunning debutante is found bound and strangled in her penthouse appartment, high above Broadway. the following night, another beautiful heiress, Nora Acton, is discovered tied to a chandelier in her parents' home, viciously wounded and unable to speak or recall her ordeal. Soon Freud and his American disciple, Stratham Younger, are enlisted to help Miss Acton recover her memory, and to piece together the killer's identity. It is a riddle that will test their skills to the limit, and lead them on a thrilling journey -- into the darkest places of the city, and of the human mind' --rear cover.

PsychoanalysisThe Interpretation of Murder is an intelligent and considered crime thriller, probably trying to create the first instance of ‘serial killer profiling’ before the science was developed. The murder of…