Reading List – June 2020

Hey guys and welcome to June’s reading list!

No surprises this month, I am actually setting a reading list this time. It was very unusual not setting one last month, but definitely the right decision to make. I had more than enough on my plate with moving house and getting tidied up afterwards without pressuring myself to read as much as possible in between.

The truth is I am going to be working on various bits and pieces in the next few months. Almost the entire house still needs redecorating for example, and that’s going to take time to do. I’m also supposed to be taking an exam in a month’s time, but that’s uncertain at the moment. The venue has cancelled pretty much all exams right now, but with one corona case left and thirteen days since our last positive testing, I’m hopeful that we will beat the stinking virus and the situation may change. Whether it happens or not, I’m still preparing for it now, so that’s more time I have to set aside for it.

Long story short, yes I am setting a TBR… but it’s not going to be a long one. I don’t want to overburden myself or lose focus on home improvements because that’s more important. I love my reading and my blog, but I know that taking a ‘step back’ is what’s needed in the short term. If I do manage to read more than I expect – great! Equally, if I don’t, I’m not going to kick myself. I’m already 6 books behind schedule so I’m very unlikely to hit this year’s target of 80 books. I was on track before the move happened, but not anymore and I doubt I’ll claw it back. Never mind.

So, enough ramble… shall we check out my TBR?

 

A Dance with Dragons pt 2 – After the Feast – George R. R. Martin

Goodreads – A Dance with Dragons

The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance.

In King’s Landing the Queen Regent, Cersei Lannister, awaits trial, abandoned by all those she trusted; while in the eastern city of Yunkai her brother Tyrion has been sold as a slave. From the Wall, having left his wife and the Red Priestess Melisandre under the protection of Jon Snow, Stannis Baratheon marches south to confront the Boltons at Winterfell. But beyond the Wall the wildling armies are massing for an assault…

On all sides bitter conflicts are reigniting, played out by a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves. The tides of destiny will inevitably lead to the greatest dance of all.

 

This entry probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, since I am part way through the book from last month. I’ve read about 140 pages so far, so I’ve made decent progress… but also a good way to go too. I’m such a fan of the series that I don’t find these difficult to read. Some long and complicated books can feel like a bit of a slog, but A Game of Thrones is an old friend to me at this point. I can pick them up and put them down really easily as I know so much about the plot, characters etc from earlier reads and the TV show, that it’s not new content to learn. Finishing this second part will complete my re-read of the series, which has been long overdue.

 

Never Ever Tell – Kirsty Ferguson

Goodreads – Never Ever Tell

She’d do anything for her boy…

Vanessa Sawyer knows all about pain. She’s felt it every day since marrying the boy who fathered her baby in high school. All he’s meant are broken bones, broken heart and broken dreams. But he also brought her the love of her life. When her son Wren was born, her baby boy was her salvation.

Vanessa watches Wren grow and become a young man she can be proud of. Until one night everything changes, including Wren. One night that her son refuses to speak of. Now Vanessa can’t rest, not until she uncovers the secret that her son has been hiding from her.

Will she find the answers she’s searching for or will her quest for the truth take her to a dark place where all hope is lost?

One evil act. One tragedy. Lives destroyed forever.

 

Although I have a reduced TBR, I am taking part in a blog tour this month. Just the one. I loved the sound of Never Ever Tell and from what I’ve read about it, the book contains some pretty mature themes. If you don’t like reading about domestic violence or rape then you probably don’t want to read either this book or my review of it on the 22nd June. The last book I read on the topic of rape actually made my Top Reads of 2019 list, so I have high hopes I’ll enjoy this one!

 

Chimeborn – Daniel Curry

Goodreads – Chimeborn

Welcome to Whitby, the quaint, magical town on the sea. Its ruined Abbey watches over from the East Cliff, broken and long since abandoned. However a magic within watches over Darcy Colben and his friends – the Chimeborn.

Born in the witching hour of midnight and gifted with magical sight, Chimeborn can see the Abbey for what it really is. A centuries old academy for their kind, and home to the Council of Chime. The power of Saint Hilda still resides in Whitby and this power has been shattered among the modern Chimeborn. A battle brews for control of the ancient magic, and sides will need to be chosen by all.

Ideal for strong young readers, and an enjoyable story up to young adult, this tale of power and growing up will leave you desperate to explore the shores of the north-east of England and find the magic for yourself.

 

A long time ago I reviewed Daniel Curry’s first book, The Kitsune in the Lantern and really enjoyed it. His books are aimed at readers far younger than I am, but I don’t care, I enjoyed it anyway! Chimeborn is the start of a new series and I’m looking forward to reading the book and letting you know my thoughts.

Chimeborn has been on my review request list for a little while, and I figured a light, short read is the sort of thing I need right now! The synopsis sounds great and on a good night, I can probably read it in one sitting – two tops!

 

The Burning Land – Bernard Cornwell

Goodreads – The Burning Land

The enemy is massing on the borders, a united force for once.

The king, a man of many victories, is in failing health, and his heir is an untested youth.

Uthred, the king’s champion, leads his country’s forces to war, but his victory is soured by personal tragedy and by the envy of the king’s court. So he breaks with the king and takes off for the land of his birth, determined to resist all calls for his return. That is, until one unexpected request…

This is the making of England brought magnificently to life by the master of historical fiction.

 

The Burning Land is the fifth Saxon’s Stories novel by Bernard Cornwell. This series has fast become a favourite of mine; I love the characters and the setting, and it’s well written and entertaining too!

I’ll be happy if I round off the month having started but not finished this book. Like I said, i don’t want to take on too much. I’m already well acquainted with the series so I should be able to jump in nice and easily, despite not picking up the series for just over a year!

That’s my reading list for June folks! Have you read any of these books? Do any catch your eye? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 31st May 2020

It’s time for another weekly update, although this one is going to be a bit sparse. Welcome back another Sunday Summary post – I hope you are all keeping well in the present situation?

So far I’ve only shared one post with you this week, (this being my second). On Tuesday I shared a Top Ten Tuesday post featuring my top ten opening lines of books. I do a fortnightly series on Friday’s in which I feature one book at a time and in more detail, but this was a quicker overview of many short, snappy openings. I was also supposed to be sharing an audiobook review of Cilka’s Journey, but I’m sorry that it didn’t go live.

This week’s Sunday Summary post is very sparse as I actually spent my week doing a lot of other things. If you are a regular reader you may remember that I moved house a few weeks ago. Since moving in I’ve had quite an extensive list of things that need doing to tidy the place up and make it my own. Well, it’s fair to say I have spent a lot of time this week going towards that. From taking a filter off my bedroom window to removing, filling and sanding down all the screw holes left behind, I’d done my fair share of little jobs by midweek.

I decided to keep going though. I knew one of the first larger jobs I wanted to do was repaint my lounge and dining room. The existing colours weren’t my preference and one of them didn’t match the wallpapered feature wall (in my opinion). Since its open plan, I wanted to repaint it a neutral shade throughout. And I have. I spent about five hours after work on Thursday and Friday and around five and a half hours yesterday getting it done! I still have a couple of little tidy up jobs to do, but I’m really proud of what I have gotten finished in the last week.

Consequently, my review for Cilka’s Journey didn’t happen because I was too drained to do it. I started it on Thursday night but barely got anywhere and I stared at it for all of five minutes on Friday at 10pm before deciding I just couldn’t be bothered. I think you’ll understand why.

 

Books Read

As a result of all the DIY I’ve been doing, my reading time has suffered a lot. I read a couple of chapters of A Dance with Dragons pt 2 last night before bed, and that is literally it. I don’t feel guilty though – I think my time elsewhere has been well spent!

 

Books Discovered

Nothing to report here either this week!

 

Coming Up…

Despite still having a couple of jobs to do I am planning on a little more activity here next week. Of course, we start a new month tomorrow, so you can expect my reading list in the next couple of days!

I’ll also be finishing my review of Cilka’s Journey since I have started it, so that will go live this Friday instead.

Sorry it’s only a short one but that’s all from me this week! What have you been reading?

 

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Opening Lines

When I saw the topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post, I knew I had to do it. I love sharing the opening lines of books in the hopes that it will encourage someone to try a new, different book. Regular readers will know I have a fortnightly First Lines Friday series, in which I choose a book and share the opening paragraph.

Today’s post is all about my top ten opening lines. To avoid regurgitating content and boring you all to death with a blog post thousands of words long, I’ve decided to be selective about my books and pick the best one (or two!) liner beginnings that appeal to me. I have read most of these books, but there are a couple that are still on the TBR.

Shall we dive in?

 

The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss

Goodreads – The Name of the Wind

It was night again. The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.

 

Dear Child – Romy Hausmann

Goodreads – Dear Child

On the first day I lose my sense of time, my dignity and a molar.

 

1984 – George Orwell

Goodreads – 1984

It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.

 

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Goodreads – The Handmaid’s Tale

We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.

 

The Gunslinger – Stephen King

Goodreads – The Gunslinger

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.

 

If We Were Villains – M L Rio

Goodreads – If We Were Villains

I sit with my wrists cuffed to the table and I think, But that I am forbid / To tell the secrets of my prison-house, / I could a tale unfold whose lightest word / Would harrow up thy soul.

 

Blackwing – Ed Mcdonald

Blackwing

Goodreads – Blackwing

Somebody warned them that we were coming.

 

The Testaments – Margaret Atwood

Goodreads – The Testaments

Only dead people are allowed to have statues, but I have been given one while still alive. Already I am petrified.

 

IT – Stephen King

Goodreads – IT

The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years – if it ever did end – began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.

 

Vox – Christina Dalcher

Goodreads – Vox

If anyone told me I could bring down the president, and the Pure Movement, and that incompetent little shit Morgan LeBron in a week’s time, I wouldn’t believe them. But I wouldn’t argue.

So, what do you think of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post? Do any of these catch your eye? What are your favourite opening lines? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary 24th May 2020

Hey guys – it’s time for another bookish update from me! Welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. I hope you are all having a lovely weekend?

After my house move, I definitely feel like I am getting back to a sense of normal – both in terms of living and blogging schedule/reading. I know things here have been a little on the light side of content, but unfortunately, that’s the way it has had to be! Over the next few months, I’ll be juggling my free time between studying for a work-related qualification, making home improvements and my hobbies. I’m obviously going to do the best I can and I’ll be keeping up with blogging. It’s just not going to have 100% of my focus for a little while. I’m not going to be bored, to say the least!

I did actually make an effort with Wednesday’s post by writing a review. It’s been a good few weeks since one of those went live! This week’s review was for a horror/thriller novel called Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. In Friday’s Shelf Control post I shared a classic novel on my TBR that I’m looking forward to reading in future.

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I was 40% through Vox by Christina Dalcher. I picked up where I left off and I read it in a couple of nights before bed this week. I absolutely loved it! It’s a really easy read and the plotline drew me right in. Given that I was looking for something lighter and easier to read to ease myself back in, I made the right choice with this book. It’s just what I wanted and needed!

Before picking up Vox I had debated using this month to complete my re-read of A Game of Thrones. I started this over a year ago and now I have just the second part of A Dance with Dragons to read. I wasn’t feeling up to such a mammoth task, but after reading Vox and getting my reading mojo back, I felt ready to make a start on it. I’m already on page 95 and even though I’m still only a few chapters in, I feel at home with it already.

 

Books Discovered

 

I haven’t added any books to the TBR for a good few weeks now, but I’m definitely making up for it this week!
The first addition to the TBR this week actually arrived for me on Monday. Just before moving house, I requested a review copy of The City of a Thousand Faces from Orion. There was a bit of a mix-up and this accidentally went to my old address, but my former neighbour was really kind and let me know it had turned up there so I could pick it up! A huge thanks to Becky for that – you’re a star!

That actually becomes relevant for the second book I have added to the TBR as well. When having a catch up with her after picking up the book she described a book someone had told her about that she liked the sound of. They couldn’t remember the name or author and so she asked my help in identifying it. I had no joy, but Becky messaged me a few days later with the name of the book – Dear Rosie Hughes. I had a look myself and it sounded really good, and it’s free on Kindle… so I downloaded a copy!

The third and final addition to the TBR is a crime novel with a bit of a science-fiction twist that caught my eye. Access Point focuses on the murder of a student, and her roommate who takes matters into her own hands when the investigation draws a blank.

It’s fair to say I’ve made up for my recent dry spell of adding books to the TBR, wouldn’t you agree?

 

Coming Up…

I really like the Top Ten Tuesday topic coming up this week – opening lines. I’ve shared quite a few in my First Lines Friday posts by now, but I’m going to go through my list of books read and find my favourite, concise book openings and share why they captured my attention or why I like them so much!

Typically I’d be sharing a First Lines Friday post with you this week, but since the Top Ten Tuesday post is going to be the same topic, I’m going to do something different this week. I enjoyed taking the time to commit my thoughts to a review this week, so on Friday, I will share a review of a historical fiction audiobook I listened to earlier this year. Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris is another harrowing account of the atrocities committed during the Second World War. If you read or listened to her other book, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, then I absolutely recommend this one too! More on that on Friday.

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post. Enjoy your long weekend and I’ll catch up with you again same time next week!

 

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Shelf Control 22/05/2020

Welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! I think we’ve already ascertained that I have no s(h)elf control, but let’s keep up with the pretence, shall we? Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

Shelf Control gives me the chance to look in more depth at the books I have added to my TBR. I talk about why I want to keep the featured book and it also acts as a second sweep to my Down the TBR Hole posts for anything that I may have changed my mind about. It’s been quite a while since I last looked at some of these books! I don’t necessarily own them all (yet), but I will have a reasonable number of them.

In today’s post I am featuring another classic novel that I think I would have actually enjoyed at school. Well, it’s hard to say. I only got to read a few classics in my school years and at the time; I didn’t like any of them. Analysing books to death just isn’t fun. I like to read them, not pick them apart!

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey

Goodreads – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Tyrannical Nurse Ratched rules her ward in an Oregon State mental hospital with a strict and unbending routine, unopposed by her patients, who remain cowed by mind-numbing medication and the threat of electric shock therapy. But her regime is disrupted by the arrival of McMurphy – the swaggering, fun-loving trickster with a devilish grin who resolves to oppose her rules on behalf of his fellow inmates. His struggle is seen through the eyes of Chief Bromden, a seemingly mute half-Indian patient who understands McMurphy’s heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them imprisoned. Ken Kesey’s extraordinary first novel is an exuberant, ribald and devastatingly honest portrayal of the boundaries between sanity and madness.

 

My Thoughts…

I am trying to pick up more classic books. Since leaving school and re-reading a few of the classics I was *unfortunate* enough to have to study (not a fault of the book, but the education system’s idea of enriching teenagers minds), I want to pick up more of these books.

I hated pulling these books apart in school, mostly because it was so ridiculously tedious. I’m pretty sure half of the rubbish analysis is a load of **** anyway. I digress. My point is, I revisited these books and enjoyed just reading them. No analysing them to death, no over-thinking them. I didn’t get to read many classics, (which may in hindsight be for the best), so I want to make up for that now by reading some of the books studied by other classes.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest also interests me as it dabbles in psychology, and in particular, insanity. I loved my psychology class in school, so this aspect of the book will be right up my street. I can’t help but wonder if our protagonist has been declared insane as he seems to be one that challenges the system. Perhaps he’s made some powerful enemies? I literally have no idea – I have heard very little of the book. That’s why I want to read it! If that is the case then it will definitely be right up my street!

Have you read this classic? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Book Review: Imaginary Friend – Stephen Chbosky

Today’s book review post features a book I very gratefully received from Orion Books in October last year. I took part in a promotional competition by sharing a post on Twitter about the upcoming release and I was chosen to get an early access copy of the book via Netgalley! I have to say before I go further that my review is an honest one.

I did actually start reading this at the end of that month whilst on holiday, but it has taken a while to catch up with all my reviews to get my thoughts to you all. No doubt my Netgalley rating will look a little healthier after I share this with them. I’m not a big Netgalley user, but it does come in handy for blog tours and such.

Some of you may know Stephen Chbosky for another popular book he has written – The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I haven’t read this myself, so this was my first experience of his writing. As the genres of these two books are so different, I don’t think it matters whether you have read this, or any of his other books, or not.

 

Imaginary Friend – Stephen Chbosky

Goodreads – Imaginary Friend

Imagine… Leaving your house in the middle of the night. Knowing your mother is doing her best, but she’s just as scared as you.

Imagine… Starting a new school, making friends. Seeing how happy it makes your mother. Hearing a voice, calling out to you.

Imagine… Following the signs, into the woods. Going missing for six days. Remembering nothing about what happened.

Imagine… Something that will change everything… And having to save everyone you love.

 

My Thoughts…

When the promotional email I received for the book likened Imaginary Friend to Stephen King’s IT, I had very high expectations of the complexity and creepiness of this thriller novel. Glad to say those expectations were met entirely, but what I didn’t expect was the length of it! Granted, IT is an exceptionally long novel at 1,396 pages. Still, Imaginary Friend weighs in at just over 700 pages. Compared to other horror/thriller novels I’ve picked up, it’s EPIC! There were some sections of narrative that were stickier than others to read. Could it be shorter? Perhaps. That said though, I do think it all adds up to the overall ending, so it’s not wasteful content. It’s relevance just isn’t known at the time.

The content of the book is sinister enough, but what gave me the chills more was the protagonist subject to the horror and paranormal goings-on is a child. It made me question what was going on; could it be nothing more than Christopher’s vivid imagination, or was it real? I can’t say this novel gave me nightmares because I’m not really affected that way when it comes to horror. I know it to be fiction and so it doesn’t bother me that way. Judging from other reviews though, not everyone can say the same!

As can be expected with such an epic, there are a lot of characters that play their part in this story. Whilst Christopher and his immediate family are probably the most developed throughout, there is still plenty of time put into the ‘minor’ or ‘supporting’ characters. The detail that went into establishing each of the characters and their relations with others to build the whole dynamic of the town is astounding. I feel like I know everyone like I’ve lived amongst them myself! I absolutely had my favourites – Ambrose, special shout out to you. I invested heavily with the characters, and knowing the plot is heading towards a cataclysmic event spurs you on to find out what happens!

There may be some readers that don’t like some of the religious undercurrents towards the end of the story. I’m quite happy to put out there that I’m not religious at all, but I didn’t mind its inclusion or influence on the plot at all. I personally think it made it more interesting.

Have you read Imaginary Friend? What did you make of the book?

 

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 17th May 2020

Hey guys – it’s Sunday evening again and time for another weekly update from me! I’ve had a busy week finishing up unpacking from my house move and buying supplies to start doing it up! I’m not rushing into that just yet though! I managed to get finished in enough time to have a couple of days off before I’m back at work tomorrow! Things are really getting back to normal for me now. Well, in present circumstances at least…

I hope you are all keeping well?

In between unpacking and everything I made some time to draft a couple of blog posts. The first of those two was a Top Ten Tuesday post, in which I talk about the Last Ten Books I Abandoned. My second post of the week was a First Lines Friday post, in which I featured the intro to a new publication I received this week – I am excited to read it!

 

Books Read

In the last few days, I’ve had more time than I have recently to start picking up books again. I have been reading a little in the evenings here and there, but nothing like my usual pace. I almost took a bit of a step back from it as I knew I wouldn’t have the time or concentration for a lot of reading.

That said, I have managed to finish a book I started a few weeks ago and made decent headway on another. I have been reading C. S. Quinn’s The Thief Taker casually both before and throughout the move. I had hoped to finish this on Friday evening, but it did actually just run over into Saturday before I got to the end of the book.

After I finished that I deliberated on what to pick up next. I looked at a few books on my bookshelves before deciding on Vox by Christina Dalcher, and I definitely made the right decision! I didn’t want anything too heavy whilst I am ‘getting back into reading’ because I was worried about losing interest if I dived in too deep. I picked this up yesterday evening and I’ve already read 40% of it. I had to tell myself to put it down and go to bed gone 1am last night. I love this book so far and I’ll be reading more before bed again tonight! Can’t be a late one though…

 

Books Discovered

This is a bit of an odd book to feature, but this is more of a re-discovery than anything.

Since quarantine, I picked up an old hobby of mine – crochet – and I am currently making a blanket out of a patchwork of squares of different colours and patterns. I unpacked all my books the other day and found a crochet patterns book I had forgotten I owned! I’ve been using patterns online but after finding this, I’ve had a go at some of these to add into the mix!

 

Coming Up…

My first post next week is going to be a book review. It feels like it’s been a little while since I have written one, and that is what my blog is about after all! The book I have chosen to review is Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. I actually received a digital copy of this in exchange for review from the publisher. I started to read this epic thriller novel at the end of my holiday last year… so it’s been a while!

On Friday I’ll be taking another look at the next book on my TBR in another Shelf Control post. This week’s featured novel is a classic novel that I didn’t get to read in school but I think I’ll really enjoy now I’m a little older. I won’t have to micro-analyse every sentence of the damn thing… always a bonus!

That’s all from me in today’s update! Fingers crossed my blog and reading activity will start to pick up again soon! What have you been reading?

 

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

First Lines Friday – 15/05/2020

Hi everyone! It’s Friday… so it’s time for today’s First Lines Friday post! I’m really excited to be sharing the intro to today’s book with you all! I pre-ordered this book last month having read a fantastic review over on Drew’s blog – The Tattooed Book Geek. I really liked the sound of it and today’s intro is a great way for you (and me) to sample the book for the first time!

So, without further adieu, here is today’s intro: –

 

On the first day I lose my sense of time, my dignity and a molar. But I do have two children now and a cat. I’ve forgotten their names apart from the cat’s – Fraulein Tinky. I’ve got a husband too. He’s tall, with short, dark hair and grey eyes. I look at him from the corner of my eye as I sit huddled next to him on the threadbare sofa. In his embrace, the injuries running right down my back are throbbing, as if each of them had their own heartbeat. A cut on my forehead is stinging. From time to time everything goes blank or I see white flashes. Then I just focus on trying to breathe.

It’s hard to tell whether it is actually evening, or whether he has decided that’s what it is. Insulation panels are screwed over the windows. He creates day and night. Like God. I try to persuade myself I’m already over the worst, but I can’t stop anticipating that we’ll be going to bed together soon.

 

 

Curious to find out what it is?

 

Dear Child – Romy Hausmann

Goodreads – Dear Child

Gone Girl meets Room in this page-turning thriller from one of Germany’s hottest new talents.

A windowless shack in the woods. Lena’s life and that of her two children follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He protects his family from the dangers lurking in the outside world and makes sure that his children will always have a mother to look after them.

One day Lena manages to flee – but the nightmare continues. It seems as if her tormentor wants to get back what belongs to him. And then there is the question whether she really is the woman called ‘Lena’, who disappeared without a trace 14 years ago. The police and Lena’s family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle which doesn’t quite seem to fit.

 

Purchase links: Amazon UK     Amazon US     Waterstones

 

Doesn’t this sound so good?! I can’t wait to read it fully myself! It was only released yesterday, but already it has a 4.29 out of 5 rating on Goodreads – with over 450 reviews! That’s amazing!

Have you read Dear Child yet, or gotten hold of a copy recently as I have?

 

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

***Please note this First Lines Friday post contains affiliate links, meaning that I will earn a small commission on purchases made through them. If you like what you read and are interested in purchasing a copy of the book(s) featured in this post, please consider using these links and supporting a book blogger!

Thank you!***

Top Ten Tuesday – Last Ten Books I Abandoned

Welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This isn’t something I take part in every week so I always have a lot of fun putting these lists together when I do!

I quite often go it alone with topics rather than following the set topics for the week. That said, however, this week I am taking part in the scheduled topic, as I have DNF’d (Did Not Finish) a few books lately. I don’t do this very often though, so I am going to have two lists – books I DNF’d and then books I removed from my TBR before even beginning them.

Let’s check out the lists and why I abandoned them, shall we? Each list is in date order, from my most recently abandoned book in each category.

 

Boom Time – Michelle Lowe

Goodreads – Boom Time

Bootleggers, coppers, and no good, dirty gangsters! During Prohibition, the parties were wild, the alcohol was flowing, and danger was never far away. Pierce Landcross has been brought to the fast-paced future of New York City, 1926. His abductor, the Trickster, claims he’s hiding Pierce for his own protection, but cutthroats and femme fatales lurk around every corner. Lost in a strange land, Pierce vows to keep his nose clean, but that doesn’t last long when he falls into the bootlegging racket. Pierce has to quickly adapt to a world full of diesel-fueled machines, airships, moving picture shows, and clashes with rival gangs. At the same time, he has to elude a hunter from his own time sent to kill him!

 

This is my most recent DNF, and it was purely a matter of timing as to why I had to put this down. I signed up to review this and my review was due this month, but with the house move and all I was unable to honour that! I believe I can submit a real review later with the particular site I downloaded it from, so I might finish it later and do that.

 

Good Omens – Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

Goodreads – Good Omens

‘Armageddon only happens once, you know. They don’t let you go around again until you get it right.’

People have been predicting the end of the world almost from its very beginning, so it’s only natural to be sceptical when a new date is set for Judgement Day. But what if, for once, the predictions are right, and the apocalypse really is due to arrive next Saturday, just after tea?

You could spend the time left drowning your sorrows, giving away all your possessions in preparation for the rapture, or laughing it off as (hopefully) just another hoax. Or you could just try to do something about it.

It’s a predicament that Aziraphale, a somewhat fussy angel, and Crowley, a fast-living demon now finds themselves in. They’ve been living amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and, truth be told, have grown rather fond of the lifestyle and, in all honesty, are not actually looking forward to the coming Apocalypse.

And then there’s the small matter that someone appears to have misplaced the Antichrist…

 

I was really disappointed to DNF this one, but I had to! I love Terry Pratchett’s humour, but the narrative felt comparatively dry to his usual books. You can tell this isn’t purely his writing style and that it’s a collab with another author. Unfortunately, my experiences with Neil Gaiman’s books are mediocre at best, and WTF at worst. I was hoping Good Omens would turn the tide on my experience with this writing, but it really hasn’t.

 

Gardens of the Moon – Steven Erikson

Goodreads – Gardens of the Moon

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting and bloody confrontations with the formidable Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dread Claw assassins.

For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, surviving cadre mage of the Second Legion, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities of Genabackis, yet holds out. It is to this ancient citadel that Laseen turns her predatory gaze.

However, it would appear that the Empire is not alone in this great game. Sinister, shadowbound forces are gathering as the gods themselves prepare to play their hand…

Conceived and written on a panoramic scale, Gardens of the Moon is epic fantasy of the highest order–an enthralling adventure by an outstanding new voice.

 

I love epic fantasy books, but I just could not follow what was going on in this one. A lot of people rave about it, that it’s a classic etc, but I couldn’t get on with it. I would read a chapter and finally grasp who was who and what was happening… and then the book would cut to another completely different scene and character set. It was too choppy for me to get into. Sorry guys!

 

The Eye of the World – Robert Jordan

the eye of the world

Goodreads – Eye of the World

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

 

My friend Rachael will dislike me for this, but my first experience of The Eye of the World wasn’t the best one. If you guys think The Lord of the Rings books are heavily descriptive then let me introduce you to this book! It was just a bit slow for me and even though I tried to stick with it, I had to give up. I might try again at some point when I am in a better mood for an (epic) epic.

 

The Seventh Scroll – Wilbur Smith

Goodreads – The Seventh Scroll

For 4,000 years, the lavish crypt of the Pharaoh Mamose has never been found…until the Seventh Scroll, a cryptic message written by he slave Taita, gives beautiful Egyptologist Royan Al Simma a tantalizing clue to its location.

But this is a treasure cache others would kill to possess. Only one step ahead of assassins, Royan runs for her life and into the arms of the only man she can trust, Sir Nicholas Quenton-Harper-a daring man who will stake his fortune and his life to join her hunt for the king’s tomb. Together, they will embark on a breathtaking journey to the most exotic locale on earth, where the greatest mystery of ancient Egypt, a chilling danger and an explosive passion are waiting.

Steeped in ancient mystery, drama and action, The Seventh Scroll is a masterpiece from a storyteller at the height of his powers.

 

I loved River God, and my friend who recommended these books to me loved this book best of all. You can imagine my disappointment when I just couldn’t get on with it at all. Unlike River God, The Seventh Scroll is set in modern-day. The story follows on from that first book, but I didn’t like the sudden switch of time setting. I tried to stick with it but ultimately had to DNF as I wasn’t enjoying it.

This next list is of books I have removed from my TBR. In fairness, a lot of these will have been removed as they were added many years ago and my reading tastes have changed quite a lot since then! So… here is the second list!

 

The Sheep Look Up – John Brunner

Goodreads – The Sheep Look Up

An enduring classic, this book offers a dramatic and prophetic look at the potential consequences of the escalating destruction of Earth. In this nightmare society, air pollution is so bad that gas masks are commonplace. Infant mortality is up, and everyone seems to suffer from some form of ailment.

 

When I originally covered this in my Down the TBR Hole series (a couple of years ago now) I marked this as a keeper as I was interested in the dystopian aspect of it. I confess that since then this silently slipped off the TBR. Sure, I like dystopian books, but whatever appeal it had to me when I added it has now been lost. It sounds a bit depressing, to be honest!

 

The Just City – Jo Walton

Goodreads – The Just City

“Here in the Just City you will become your best selves. You will learn and grow and strive to be excellent.”

Created as an experiment by the time-traveling goddess Pallas Athene, the Just City is a planned community, populated by over ten thousand children and a few hundred adult teachers from all eras of history, along with some handy robots from the far human future–all set down together on a Mediterranean island in the distant past.

The student Simmea, born an Egyptian farmer’s daughter sometime between 500 and 1000 A.D, is a brilliant child, eager for knowledge, ready to strive to be her best self. The teacher Maia was once Ethel, a young Victorian lady of much learning and few prospects, who prayed to Pallas Athene in an unguarded moment during a trip to Rome–and, in an instant, found herself in the Just City with grey-eyed Athene standing unmistakably before her.

Meanwhile, Apollo–stunned by the realization that there are things mortals understand better than he does–has arranged to live a human life, and has come to the City as one of the children. He knows his true identity, and conceals it from his peers. For this lifetime, he is prone to all the troubles of being human.

Then, a few years in, Sokrates arrives–the same Sokrates recorded by Plato himself–to ask all the troublesome questions you would expect. What happens next is a tale only the brilliant Jo Walton could tell.

 

This is another book that discretely slipped off the list. The appeal for this one was in the combination of different time periods all coming together, but I’ve lost interest. It is as simple as that. There are so many books out there so why waste time trying to read one you aren’t fussed on?

 

India Black – Carol Carr

Goodreads – India Black

When Sir Archibald Latham of the War Office dies from a heart attack while visiting her brothel, Madam India Black is unexpectedly thrust into a deadly game between Russian and British agents who are seeking the military secrets Latham carried.

Blackmailed into recovering the missing documents by the British spy known as French, India finds herself dodging Russian agents-and the attraction she starts to feel for the handsome conspirator.

 

I added this because the plot sounded cool, but when looking at it again more recently, I’m not 100% sure I am going to get on with the narrative. Maybe I was prepared to chance the awkward cheesiness of the main character falling for ‘the handsome conspirator’ once, but I’m honestly just put off by that now.

 

Tess of the Road – Rachel Hartman

Goodreads – Tess of the Road

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and break a relative’s nose with one punch (no matter how pompous he is) and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess yanks on her boots and sets out on a journey across the Southlands, alone and pretending to be a boy.

Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it’s a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl—a subspecies of dragon—who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she’s tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.

Returning to the fascinating world she created in the award-winning and New York Times bestselling Seraphina, Rachel Hartman introduces readers to a new character and a new quest, pushing the boundaries of genre once again in this wholly original fantasy.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed reading Seraphina and Shadow Scale years ago. I liked the concept of dragons being able to disguise themselves in this world, but I’m not sold on this related book. I’ve heard that it’s not so good as those other books, and I think I’ve probably outgrown the series anyway.

 

The Potato Factory – Bryce Courtenay

Goodreads – The Potato Factory

Ikey Solomon is very successful indeed, in the art of thieving. Ikey’s partner in crime is his mistress, the forthright Mary Abacus, until misfortune befalls them. They are parted and each must make the harsh journey from 19th century London to Van Diemens Land. In the backstreets and dives of Hobart Town, Mary learns the art of brewing and builds The Potato Factory, where she plans a new future. But her ambitions are threatened by Ikey’s wife, Hannah, her old enemy. The two women raise their separate families. As each woman sets out to destroy the other, the families are brought to the edge of disaster.

 

I feel like I originally added this to the TBR based on a review or recommendation because the synopsis doesn’t really sell it to me. That was several years ago now and I’ve no idea what the appeal was to add this to the list, so it dropped off again!

 

There you have it – that’s my Top Ten Tuesday post for today! Have you abandoned any books recently? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 10th May 2020

Hey guys! Welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary post! I hope you are all well? Apologies, this post is also going to be a little light on book content – as I was last week. In last week’s Sunday Summary post I told you guys that I was supposed to be moving house this week. There was always a degree of uncertainty over whether it would happen in the current circumstances, but it did! I moved out of my flat and into my new house on Thursday!

It was stressful; some parts of the move went really well but others not so much. My poor parents delivered a takeaway to me that evening and had to stand on my doorstep unable to do anything as I had a bit of a meltdown over it all. I’m good now though! I just let a load of stupid niggles and the stress of the day overwhelm me a bit. Having slept on it, I woke up on Friday with a better attitude towards it all and I’m in a good frame of mind to get what I can sorted.

Three days on and I’m nearly halfway unpacked! The kitchen was by far the biggest job and I finished scrubbing it to within an inch of its life and putting everything away today. I should be done in the next couple of days if I can keep this pace up! My back and legs ache and I have some bruises to show for my efforts… but it will all be worth it in the end!

Anyway, let’s get onto the bit you are actually here for – books! I managed to line-up a couple of blog posts for this week as I knew I was going to be busy. On Monday I shared my Reading List post for May and on Friday I scheduled a Shelf Control post for you guys.

 

Books Read

As you’ve probably gathered, books haven’t really been the focus of my attention this week. That said, I have picked up The Thief Taker by C. S. Quinn some evenings to wind down after busy days. I’m still reading The Women’s Room but needed something lighter to read than that. I was on strict orders to on Thursday night after my little… ahem… moment in front of mum and dad! I have also been catching up with Westworld before it drops off NowTV as well, so I haven’t made a whole lot of progress. I’ve read 33% of the book to date.

 

 

Books Discovered

Source: Giphy

 

Coming Up…

I’m not planning on much blogging or reading next week either. I may be halfway done unpacking, but once that is finished there is a decent list of DIY jobs that need doing around here. I’m not going to start anything too major just yet, but I might as well start with some of the smaller jobs whilst I’m off work and free to do them.

I am hoping for a bit more free time now the most intensive jobs are done – I’ll certainly have the evenings to myself if nothing else! With that in mind, I’d like to try and schedule two blog posts this week.

On Tuesday I am planning on sharing a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s topic is the Last Ten Books I Abandoned, which I actually quite like. I have abandoned a few lately, so it’s a good chance to talk about those properly! Then on Friday, I’ll be selecting another book and sharing the opening lines with you in my First Lines Friday post!

That’s a wrap for us in today’s Sunday Summary post guys! Thanks for being patient with me whilst I’m taking a brief step back from reading. In my absence, what are you reading?

 

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads