Monthly Wrap-Up – February 2021

Welcome to today’s second monthly wrap up post for February 2021! It’s a bit later than I anticipated originally. You may have heard that the Island is now back in lockdown again, just a month after the last one. As a result, I have been working from home. I must confess the last thing I feel inclined to do is spend my time sitting at a laptop in the evening to blog when I am spending my days staring at a laptop for work! Never mind, it is what it is. 

If you read last months wrap up post, you will know that I’ve recently changed the way in which I’m writing my blog for this year. Instead of setting a monthly TBR at the beginning of a month, I am instead writing a retrospective review of what I’ve done at the end of the month. That way it takes the pressure off and I can really get back to my roots of enjoying the books I pick up, rather than feeling obliged to complete a certain number of books which at times takes the enjoyment out of it!

The decision to do this was twofold; on the one hand, I wanted to take a bit more relaxed approach to blogging given that I had such a busy year personally last year. On the other, it gives me the freedom to pick up books as and when I want to, so I have more flexibility in my choice of reading at any given time. This way I am more likely to pick up books of different genres on my TBR and so make more progress with clearing the backlog! And boy is there a backlog…

 

Books Read

This month has been a bit of a strange one. I started it by actually taking a very short break from reading whilst I did some last-minute revision for an exam I sat. It’s weird to think about that actually; I sat the exam on the 3rd of February but it doesn’t feel like it was a month ago… I would actually say it feels like a lot longer!

After that short break, I picked up Fire & Blood by George R. R. Martin for a few nights before bed. Still, I haven’t made much progress on this book this month. Why? Well, because I started reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling on impulse. Yes, it is part of my re-read, but I picked it up because I really felt like I wanted to. I really enjoyed reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher‘s Stone last month and I was eager to continue with the story. Since picking this up I have taken a break from Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin. Rest assured, it’s still sitting on my bedside table and I plan on picking this up again soon!

I then moved onto my current read, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It’s a funny coincidence that I picked this up when I did; about a day after I started reading it I was channel hopping for a film to watch (it was a Friday night and I wanted something substantial to watch). Lo and behold, what film did I find on Film4? You guessed it – The Book Thief!

I’m still chipping away at this, I towards the end of the month I actually deviated towards listening to my audiobooks than actual reading. As of last month’s wrap-up update, I was listening to A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I don’t know why particularly but I caught the bug for this and I managed to finish the audiobook this month! I will definitely be continuing with listening to series over the course of the year. It’s going to be a long one as I can testify by how long it took me to do a physical re-read, but what can I say… I just can’t stay away!

Last but not least I moved onto one final audiobook before month-end. I have started listening to The Toll by Neal Shusterman; I can’t wait to see how this final book in the trilogy ends. Of course, I have gone on to listen to this more over the past few days, but more on that in next month’s wrap-up. As of month-end I had only really just started this.

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the amount of reading I have done this month. I’m also making more of an effort to enjoy other hobbies, as well as reading and blogging. I have made a good deal of progress but equally, I haven’t forced myself into doing it when I really fancy doing something else. It’s a lot healthier balance that I was achieving last year and I feel a lot better in myself for it.

 

Blog Posts

As I did last month, I’ll be sharing the posts I published last month in case you missed any! Here are the posts: –

 

That’s all my updates for February! I hope you have enjoyed today’s post! If there is anything else you would like to see in my monthly wrap-ups, please let me know!

What books have you read recently?

 

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Sunday Summary – 28th February 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s catch up Sunday Summary! I hope you have all had a good week as I have?

You may have noticed I was a little late sharing the posts I had planned this week. I shared my first post of the week on Friday. There’s no excuse really, as I already had most of my Harry Potter Book tag drafted last week. I just ended up doing other things, watching TV, knitting etc. My next post went live on Saturday, which was a review for Auxiliary: London 2039. I read this book towards the end of last year on request and I shared my thoughts on this fun cyberpunk thriller novel this week. If you haven’t taken a moment to read that, please do so using this link here.

 

Books Read

This week’s Sunday Summary section would be better titled ‘Books Listened To’, as I’ve not picked up a book this week. I have, however, listened to several hours of audiobooks… over 7 hours to be precise! As of last week’s update, I still had several hours of A Game of Thrones to make progress on. I finished that on the 25th and promptly moved on to The Toll by Neal Shusterman. I’ve listened to about two hours worth of that book so far and I can’t wait to see how events start to unfold given the conclusion to Thunderhead. I think that will start to happen soon, so I’ll be listening to more of this over the coming days

 

Books Discovered

Nothing to add here again this week, which honestly is not a bad thing!

 

Coming Up…

Tomorrow it’s officially March, and that’s kinda scary! Where has the time gone? I don’t know, but a new month means it’s time for my second monthly wrap-up post. I’ll be taking a look back at the books I read, the posts I shared and anything of note that I want to share with you about last month’s progress!

Later in the week, I’m going to share another review on the backlog pile at present. This week’s selected book is one I listened to via Audible last year. Head On by John Scalzi is the second book I have listened to by that author – I really enjoyed listening to Lock In and after that, I wanted to carry on the series. You can find out the details and my full thoughts on this listen in the coming days.

 

Until then friends, stay safe and well and I hope to see you around!

 

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Book Review: Auxiliary: London 2039

In today’s review, I feature a cyberpunk thriller novel that I really enjoyed reading towards the end of last year. I was kindly provided with a copy of the book in exchange for a review; I’m glad I agreed. It is the last book I agreed to take on before I stopped accepting any review requests. It was a really fun and intriguing read and I hope you like the sound of it too: –

 

Auxiliary: London 2039 – Jon Richter

Auxiliary: London 2039 by Jon Richter | Goodreads

The silicon revolution left Dremmler behind, but a good detective is never obsolete.

London is quiet in 2039—thanks to the machines. People stay indoors, communicating through high-tech glasses and gorging on simulated reality while 3D printers and scuttling robots cater to their every whim. Mammoth corporations wage war for dominance in a world where human augmentation blurs the line between flesh and steel.

And at the center of it all lurks The Imagination Machine: the hyper-advanced, omnipresent AI that drives our cars, flies our planes, cooks our food, and plans our lives. Servile, patient, tireless … TIM has everything humanity requires. Everything except a soul.

Through this silicon jungle prowls Carl Dremmler, police detective—one of the few professions better suited to meat than machine. His latest case: a grisly murder seemingly perpetrated by the victim’s boyfriend. Dremmler’s boss wants a quick end to the case, but the tech-wary detective can’t help but believe the accused’s bizarre story: that his robotic arm committed the heinous crime, not him. An advanced prosthetic, controlled by a chip in his skull.

A chip controlled by TIM.

Dremmler smells blood: the seeds of a conspiracy that could burn London to ash unless he exposes the truth. His investigation pits him against desperate criminals, scheming businesswomen, deadly automatons—and the nightmares of his own past. And when Dremmler finds himself questioning even TIM’s inscrutable motives, he’s forced to stare into the blank soul of the machine.

Auxiliary is gripping, unpredictable, and bleakly atmospheric—ideal for fans of cyberpunk classics like the Blade Runner movies, Richard K. Morgan’s Altered Carbon, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, and the Netflix original series Black Mirror.

 

My Thoughts…

There is a vast array of characters within the novel to complement the narrative and bring it to life. The main character who mistrusts technology is only fitting in an investigation in which technology appears to have gone awry. Carl Dremmler is a bit of a gruff old-schooler in this brave new world. He lives his life reminiscing of how things used to be… the good old days. When it comes to technology he is very old-fashioned. However, his distrust allows him a different perspective from those who have embraced it readily. Whilst he is not the most affable of people, he is very easy to read and get on with as a reader.

The universe in which Auxiliary: London 2039 is set is completely unique; the world-building aspect of this advanced civilization appealed to me greatly. The urban setting has it’s commonalities with modern-day London, but technologies like self-driving airborne vehicles place the setting distinctly apart from what we recognise London to be.

The pace of the book is great – there is plenty of action to keep the pages turning and new clues/revelations to keep you guessing. At just over 200 pages it’s a very approachable read. I read the book over a couple of days. I read a lot, so that’s not unexpected, but I honestly believe that anyone could pick this up with ease.

The plot concept of technology turning against humans isn’t a new one, but it appeals to a wide audience for a number of reasons. Technology is a huge part of our daily lives. We depend on it, and its presence is a familiar one. Technology is also evolving rapidly and with more wearable tech becoming more commonplace, the technology in Auxiliary: London 2039 doesn’t feel like a far stretch into the future. How easily we as readers can relate to futuristic technology is the reason the book is entertaining for many. If you have read even the synopsis, never mind the book, you’ll probably agree that it is an equally exciting and frightening realisation!

 

 

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Harry Potter Book Tag

Hi guys and welcome to today’s Harry Potter book tag! I was inspired to take part in this tag by one of my recent reads. As it happens I have finished reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as of writing this post, but I’m really enjoying the re-read of the series as a whole so far and I love the questions in this tag.

I saw the post over at All you READ is Love – please go and check that out if you want to see some alternative answers to mine!

Today’s answers aren’t going to be Harry Potter books as that’s not allowed according to the original poster, Bookidote. The questions subjects relate to the magic and spells in the series, so that’s the link.

 

A Book you found the theme interesting, but you would like to rewrite it.

Circe by Madeleine Miller… without a question of a doubt. I like Greek Mythology and the idea of Circe’s character, but she was just so unlikeable. I’ve met cardboard with more personality and character development. The times she did show emotion, she was just a horrible cow.

Reading a whole book from a character’s perspective you don’t like is a slog, so this is the book I’d re-write if I could.

 

The first book in a series, that got you hooked?

Well, I mean aside from the topical Harry Potter, who else could I mention? The first book that springs to mind is Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I actually reviewed the last book of the trilogy earlier this week, which is why it popped into my head. In fairness though, reading this in October last year prompted a hasty binge read of the rest of the trilogy… something I don’t do very often! It’s a sure sign I was 1) hooked, and 2) I loved it!

 

A book you wish you could have right now.

Err… all of them?

Seriously, my answer has to be the same as that shared in All you READ is Love’s post, and that’s The Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin. What’s even funnier is that their post was shared about two and a half years ago, and here we are… both still waiting!

I’m not complaining; perfection takes time. I’d rather wait and it is done right.

 

A killer book, both senses. Take it as you like.

In The Stand by Stephen King, 99% of the population are killed off by a virus.

Perhaps not a cheerful book selection in the current situation, but it’s probably the book with the most death in it that I’ve read… well, listened to.

 

A book you found really confusing.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman has to take the cake for this one. To this date, I’m not entirely sure what happened, other than I continued reading the book hoping that some revelation later in the book would explain the chaos I had read before.

It did not.

 

Your spirit animal book.

Strange the Dreamer starts with a character called Lazlo Strange. He is a junior librarian, who ends up swept upon an adventure to discover a lost city and its secrets. Whilst it doesn’t relate to me personally in any way, I can easily put myself in Lazlo’s shoes and I would dream the same thing if I were him. The story just resonates well with me.

 

A dark twisted book.

The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt fits the bill. It’s about a boy who murders bad people in order that their souls can free a trapped angel.

 

A book that surprised you in a great way, reveals more than it is.

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay isn’t just a humorous book written by a former doctor about some of the more bizarre people and stories he came across in his medical career. It’s also a homage to the important work NHS staff do, with little to no recognition. We rely on the fact that they will be there in our hour of need. It rarely occurs to us just how much is asked of them and it is their compassion and love for the job that keeps them going, day after day.

It’s an entertaining read, but it’s also an eye-opener as well.

 

So there you have the Harry Potter Book Tag. If you fancy doing this tag, then consider yourself tagged and let me know your answers!

 

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Sunday Summary – 21st February 2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. Have you had a good week? Mine has been – I’ve enjoyed some great books, TV and even a film this week. For many years I haven’t really watched much in the way of TV, but with less pressure put upon myself to read all the time, I’m finding it on more often. It’s a funny coincidence that the film I ended up watching most of was the film edition of my current read! What a coincidence, eh?

In terms of blogging, I shared one other blog post this week. I finally put together my review of Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor; I hope it does the book/series justice. It’s one of my favourites and I hope that comes across. If you haven’t checked out that post yet, please do!

I also drafted 90% of my Harry Potter tag post, but unfortunately, I ran out of time to finish it and publish it yesterday. My laptop decided to inconveniently download and install some updates late yesterday evening. Let’s just say that it’s gotten to a certain age where downloading updates renders it practically useless in terms of doing anything else! Want to flick from a word document to a web page? Sure, but you’ll have to wait five minutes, the programs will ‘not respond’ at least twice and after all that, don’t dare to scroll the web page unless you want to repeat the whole process. So, come 10:30 pm last night I’d had enough and gave up.

 

Books Read

I’ve made progress on a number of books this week. As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I was currently reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling. I went on to finish this book this week and it was honestly as good as I remember it! I really enjoyed this second book of the re-read of the series. Thankfully the early books aren’t too long, so it didn’t take long to read at all. Once I’ve read the third one they get a bit chunkier though!

Next, I picked up my current read, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I bought this on Kindle a few years ago and I decided that it was the book I wanted to pick up next. Over the course of the week, I’ve read a quarter of the book so far. Ironically, I’m about at the point in the book where I picked up on the film on Friday night, so I know what happens. I’m still looking forward to reading it though –it hasn’t spoiled it for me at all!

Lastly, I listened to some more A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin this week. I have started listening to it when commuting as I said I was going to. I still listened to the radio a couple of times, but I think getting back into the habit of listening to audiobooks on a regular basis will help me get through more of them than I am currently.

 

Books Discovered

This week’s discovered section is going to be comparatively boring to last week’s update. There’s nothing to add here and that’s probably for the best!

 

Coming Up…

Since I’ve already written 90% of the post, it makes sense to share my Harry Potter Book tag early next week. I’ve enjoyed writing it and I hope it makes for fun reading for you!

I’ll be sharing another review with you later in the week. I have a number of reviews to catch up on, and this week’s review is for a book I read late last year that I had been asked to read in exchange for an honest review. London: Auxiliary 2039 is a cyberpunk thriller novel that I loved. The plot was interesting and I enjoyed the mystery behind the narrative. I hope you can check out my full review next week!

 

Until then, that’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post! Have a good week, happy reading and I’ll see you around!

 

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Book Review: Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Laini Taylor

In today’s review, I will be sharing my thoughts on the final book of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy and honestly, I just hope I can do the book justice! I fell in love with this series the moment I started it… as you could probably have guessed based on the speed I binge-read it! If you haven’t read my reviews of the first two books, you can find my reviews of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight using these links.

Now that you’re all caught up, shall we get into today’s review?

 

Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Laini Taylor

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor | Goodreads

Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.

When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited – not in love, but in a tentative alliance against their common enemy. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves.

But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?

The New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy comes to a stunning conclusion as – from the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond – humans, chimaera, and seraphim strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.

 

My Thoughts…

Dreams of Gods and Monsters is an epic conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I had such high expectations from the previous books; a lot was at stake. Disappointment in the conclusion would have been a bitter end…. but, of course, Laini Taylor pulled all her tricks out of the bag. The synopsis isn’t wrong in calling this last instalment stunning. It has made the series one of my favourites of all-time, and one I will read again and again!

YA, or young adult isn’t a genre I read a lot of. I’ve read a few in my time but compared to a lot of other bloggers my age it isn’t a go-to genre for me. I would say the vast majority of YA books I have read are Laini Taylor’s. I find that typically the stories have a ‘coming of age’ element to them, which is a trope I have read a lot from the fantasy books I read. Honestly, I think it’s a tad over-used, but Laini manages to incorporate it quite discreetly so that it feel s more like character development rather than the whole event the book/series is based around. It’s natural and effortless to read. Arguably, I would say that Dreams of Gods and Monsters has almost a collective coming-of-age element to the book as each character has their existence threatened, allegiances tested and a new reality.

The history between the angels and the monsters is conflicted. They have fought each other for their own survival for so long, and neither side is innocent. The gritty reality of their world and the shades of grey in the morality of their behaviour make the novel (and series) far more interesting than a black and white good vs. evil conflict. It’s something I have praised the series about in my earlier reviews and I will do so again. It is one of my favourite things about it, especially how this mindset and reality is tested to the limit in Dreams of Gods and Monsters.

Another aspect of the book that I love and want to champion (again) is the relationship between Karou and Akiva. I am not one for romance in books at all, but their relationship isn’t like most portrayed in YA novels. Yes, it’s a forbidden love and they are kept apart by the divides in their people (I think this is a common enough trope of romance from what I gather). What I like about it is that it isn’t sexualised. Karou and Akiva see the world differently from others; they don’t see the need for the divide and the conflict between their people. They dreamed long ago of a world in which they could live and be together – of companionship, free from the prejudice and discrimination that keeps them apart.

I could keep going on forever about this book, I really could! But, I have to stop rambling at some point. Honestly, if you didn’t get the vibe from the review, then all I can say is this. Read it! Read them all. I binged the whole series I loved it that much! Normally I like to take my time and savour a series, but I couldn’t with Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I couldn’t wait to read the next instalment. I was gutted it ended, but I’m equally satisfied and I know I’ll be picking it up again one day.

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 14th February 2021

Hi guys – Happy Valentine’s Day and welcome to today’s weekly Sunday Summary update. I hope you’ve had a great week wherever you are? Mine has been pretty good. I’ve been kept busy at work and I’ve been spending my evening binge-watching TV (quite unusual for me, but I’ve enjoyed it!).

Aside from that, I shared an audiobook review for Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo on Tuesday. It was the review I was supposed to share last week but just needed a bit more work before I was ready to publish it. I have to confess that this was my only post this week, despite my plans to share a second review later this week. I’ll be honest with you… I just didn’t get around to it. I love Dreams of Gods and Monsters and I need to get the review right to do it justice.

 

Books Read

I’ve made some more progress with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets this week. AS of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was a third of the way through the book. I’m now nearer two thirds through and I’m looking forward to finishing the re-read of this book.

I’ve also listened to a little more of A Game of Thrones since my last update. Not much, but a couple of chapters here and there makes a difference. I still have a good few hours to listen to but I’m going to start listening to my audiobooks on my commutes again. It works out at an hour a day roughly, so it all helps.

 

Books Discovered

 

I haven’t made the most progress on reading or blogging this week, but I have made up for it in other ways. This week I celebrated my birthday and I was very lucky to get a number of books gifted to me! I received the Nevernight trilogy by Jay Kristoff in paperback and also two clothbound classics – Frankenstein and Animal Farm.  I love each and every one and I can’t wait to re-read them all!

 

Coming Up…

I’m going to share the review I didn’t get around to for Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. To make sure I get the chance to do it, it’s the only review I’m planning on sharing this week.

I’ve been inspired by my current read to take part in a Harry Potter-themed book tag. I enjoyed reading the Harry Potter tag shared over on the blog All You READ Is Love and so I want to share my own answers to this! It’ll be a nice light read for you guys and fun for me to draft. I hope you enjoy it as much as I will.

 

Until next time, have a great week and I’ll see you in my next post!

 

 

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Audiobook Review: Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Hi guys and welcome to today’s audiobook review of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. Crooked Kingdom is the second book of Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology. If you haven’t read my review of Six of Crows yet, you can find a link to that here. Please note that inevitably this review may well contain spoilers for the first book. So, if you haven’t read it yet or don’t want anything to be spoiled for you, I suggest you don’t read this review until you’ve caught up with the series.

 

Crooked Kingdom – Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo | Goodreads

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

 

My Thoughts…

The Grishaverse is a well-established setting from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone trilogy. I, however, haven’t read any other books by Leigh Bardugo to date, so I went into this completely brand-new. That didn’t matter one bit however as I have really gotten into the universe the novels are set in without having any difficulty understanding what was going on and the political/societal backdrop. Everything is nicely explained and recapped without delving into too much detail. It was the perfect balance between providing the backdrop and reminding me of previous events whilst not compromising the action. 

Events in Crooked Kingdom take place immediately after Six of Crows. The gang have just completed the most epic heist ever, miraculously unscathed, but now manage to find themselves in even greater danger. Kaz’s past really comes to light in this book and shapes the current events that risk everything the group has obtained so far. Kaz so far had been a bit of a mystery, and so I enjoyed seeing how his past has shaped the man he has become. Plenty of hints were given in Six of Crows, so I enjoyed the development of his backstory. 

There are plenty of plot twists in Crooked Kingdom to keep readers on their toes. When I first picked the book up I had no idea how events would pan out. The plans of the gang oft go awry – in fact, as far away as planned, but that’s exciting. Seeing how the events play out and how the characters react in stressful situations is the bread and butter of the series. It’s also what Leigh Bardugo is good at writing. It’s chaotic, high-risk, thrilling and still cohesively written and easy for the reader to follow. 

I said it before in my review of Six of Crows, but I love how unperfect the characters are. They have all done bad things, awful things; they steal, fight and will even kill, and yet still you can’t help but find yourself rooting for them. In Crooked Kingdom especially, the odds are stacked against them. For those of you that like that sort of thing, there are also a number of budding romances between various characters of the book. I read that other people quite enjoyed this aspect, and I certainly didn’t object to it. I’m just not a very romantic person… it has to be said! Still, based on my experience of this duology, I will definitely go on to read more books by Leigh Bardugo. I have fallen in love with the Grishaverse and the characters she brings to life in her novels!

Have you read or listened to either Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom? Let me know in the comments! 

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 7th February 2021

I’m back with another weekly update in today’s Sunday Summary post! Have you had a good week? I certainly have! It’s been a long one, but worth all the effort. You may recall that I have mentioned that I have been sitting exams for work over the last year or so. Well, I sat my last exam on Wednesday and the good news is, I passed! My grade technically remains provisional until mid next week, but after that, it will be official and I will have my qualification at last! I actually sat my last exam remotely at home, which was a very strange experience… but good that it meant I knew I could sit the exam regardless of the Covid situation.

I only shared one out of my two planned blog posts this week. My January wrap-up post went live on Wednesday; naturally in the lead up to the exam my priority was revision, so this was posted afterwards. As shared in last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was supposed to share an audiobook review later this week. However, I didn’t quite finish it in time. It has been nearly a year since I finished listening to it and so it took some time to cast my mind back to the events of the book and my thoughts on it. I’m pleased to say it’s nearly ready to be published, so you can expect it soon.

 

Books Read

My main reading priority this week (aside from last-minute studying) has been Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin. It has been on my bedside for most of the week and I’ve been going up to bed with a cup of tea to read. I’ve enjoyed this over the last few nights, and I am now over a couple of hundred of pages in. Most would probably baulk at the idea of this being light, bedtime reading… but I’m enjoying it and that’s what counts!

I decided to take a different read up to bed last night for a change of pace. I’m loving reading Fire and Blood, but at over 700 pages it is an epic that will take me a bit longer to read. I also highly doubt I’ll be popping it in my backpack to take to work for lunchtime reading either, so I wanted something else for this. Instead, I chose to pick up the second book in the Harry Potter series and continue my re-read. I don’t want to stretch out the time between reading them too long either. Since about this time last night, I have read 80 pages, which is a third of the book already!

 

Books Discovered

Once again, nothing to see here, which is a miracle! I’ve been avoiding the bookshop and its temptations deliberately…

 

Coming Up…

My first plan for the week is to get my audiobook review for Crooked Kingdom (the one I was supposed to publish this week) completed and published. There isn’t too much to do so I’m looking to share that post by Tuesday at the absolute latest!

Later in the week, I’m going to share yet another review. I have a good deal to write and given that I’m still reviewing non-blog tour books that are nearly a year old so to speak, I need to get on it. With that in mind, I’m going to review Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. It’s the last book in a trilogy I absolutely adore and I can’t wait to share this one with you!

 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Sunday Summary post and I wish you all a fantastic week to come. What are you reading?

 

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – January 2021

Hello readers and welcome to today’s first monthly wrap up post… well, ever! At the beginning of this year, I decided to change up the way I was running my blog and my reading. Previously, I was setting myself monthly reading goals at the beginning of the month with the aim of completing it by the end. That works reasonably well if you like the structure, which I did for a very long time. I like knowing what I had to read, but I had left in the month and it helped me organise my time accordingly.

However, within the last six months, I found that format not really working for me anymore. I’ve had a lot of other things on, and all in all my reading pattern and time spent on reading and blogging, in general, has declined slightly. That said, my ambitions hadn’t really changed and as a result, I was setting myself unrealistic targets when setting myself a new TBR every month. It’s a shame, but ultimately I decided I needed to change what I was doing in order to not feel bad about what I was not doing instead of celebrating what I was.

I have enjoyed the more relaxed pace this month even more than I expected. It gives me the freedom to read what I want when I want. When I read now, it’s because I want to and not because I feel I have to in order to get to the end of my list for the month. It’s definitely something I’m going to be continuing for the rest of the year.

And so onto today’s wrap-up post for January!

 

Books Read

I read a total of three books this month; these books being midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham, Harry Potter and the philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling and a remedy in time by Jennifer Macaire. In addition, I have also read just over 100 pages of fire and blood by George R.R. Martin and I have listened to around half of the audiobook for a Game of Thrones, also by George R.R. Martin.

From non-fiction to historical fiction and epic fantasy, I have enjoyed a broad range of genres in this month‘s book selection. I’m finding myself enjoying a range of genres far more so than in my younger years. Really it’s something that has come to pass within the last couple of years more than anything. Are used pretty exclusively read fantasy only, and that did come with the drawback of eventually burning out and growing bored of reading the same tropes all the time.

I’m pleased with this months progress. Whilst it isn’t anything like the amount of reading I was doing this time last year, it should be noted that I have been studying for an exam this month as well. I haven’t neglected other hobbies either; the point of taking the more relaxed stance to reading and blogging was that I could enjoy all my hobbies without feeling like I had to sacrifice one for another. I think it’s done me good!

 

Blog Posts

Since I’m going to the effort of writing a monthly wrapup post, it makes sense to take the time to summarise the posts I’ve shared within the month as well! That way, if you’ve missed anything, I can give you links to anything you might be interested in so you can go back and take a look.

Of course, my blogging year began with my goals for 2021, or the lack of as is the case this year! I published … reviews in the month, some of which have been on my list to do for some time. In addition, I also took the liberty of having some fun and sharing some more lighthearted books content, such as my Top Ten Tuesday posts.

Here are the posts I shared last month: –

 

That’s my January summed up for you! I hope you have enjoyed today’s post! If there is anything else you would like to see in my monthly wrap-ups, please let me know!

What books did you read in January?

 

 

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