Shelf Control #78 – 21/06/2024

This Shelf Control features an author I have read many times already, and will continue to do so in future. He is very prominent in his genre and is by all accounts a household name.

I added this book to my reading list as I was intrigued by the synopsis. I also know I love his writing style, so I can’t really go wrong here!

Before I get into details of the book, I share a reminder of what the Shelf Control feature is all about!

Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a celebration of the unread books on our shelves! The idea is to pick a book you own but haven’t read and 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!

If you want to read more about the Shelf Control feature, check out Lisa’s introductory post.


Bag of Bones – Stephen King

Genre: Horror

Pages: 672

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton

Publication Date: 31 May 2017

 


Goodreads – Bag of Bones

 

A powerful tale of grief, love’s enduring bonds and the secrets of the past.

When Mike Noonan’s wife dies unexpectedly, the bestselling author suffers from writer’s block. Until he is drawn to his summer home, the beautiful lakeside retreat called Sara Laughs.

Here Mike finds the once familiar town in the tyrannical grip of millionaire Max Devore. Devore is hell-bent on getting custody of his deceased son’s daughter and is twisting the fabric of the community to this purpose.

Three-year-old Kyra and her young mother turn to Mike for help. And Mike finds them increasingly irresistible.

But there are other more sinister forces at Sara Laughs – and Kyra can feel them too . . .


My Thoughts

Stephen King is an author I intend to read over time. To date, I have enjoyed many of his books, from crossovers with the fantasy genre (The Dark Tower) to pure horror (The Shining, Pet Sematary, The Green Mile etc). And, I’m not much of a horror reader in general, so there’s a compliment, right?

The synopsis is as gripping as all King novels are. There is always something supernatural going on and we are never quite sure what is behind it all. That’s what I love digging into in his books, and Bag of Bones will be no exception.

It’s also a reasonably chunky book. You know that appeals to Queen of chunky books here!

Have you read Bag of Bones? What did you think of it if you have?

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Summer 2024 TBR

In today’s Top Ten Tuesday, I’ll be making plans for my Summer 2024 TBR and sharing the top ten books I plan to read this summer season.

Some of the books on this Top Ten Tuesday list carried over from my Winter 2023 TBR. This is the last time I did a post of this type, and given I enjoyed it so much last year, I’m bringing it back. I also want to keep myself accountable to these reading lists, so before publishing the next one I’ll be doing a check-in of what I have actually read from the list I’ve set.

Now, with that out of the way, shall we get into today’s Top Ten Tuesday list?

Summer 2024 TBR


Obsidio

Having nearly concluded The Illuminae Files trilogy, I’m keen to pick up this last book and to be able to mark the trilogy as complete. But, this is more than a tick box exercise. I have really enjoyed reading this young adult sci-fi series and seeing how the storylines come together.

I plan to pick up Obsidio later this month, so watch this space!

 

Wolves of the Calla

Another series I want to progress with him the near future is Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Wolves of the Calla is a chunky instalment in the series, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.

Book in the series, Wizard and Glass, did not carry on the present-day storyline like I expected. Instead, it takes us back to the history of events to date and explains a lot about what’s been hinted at in the books. I’m hoping for a jump back to the present day so we can pick up the storyline again.


The Good Samaritan

I enjoyed listening to The Minders by John Marrs towards the end of last year. Having finished that book, I knew I wanted to pick up another of his soon.

The Good Samaritan has been on my reading list for a good while, so that is the book I want to pick up next. I’m also really intrigued by the synopsis and the conflict that I expect in this book.


Undoctored

I love Adam Kay’s writing style for his humour. As of today, I’ve already enjoyed reading both This is Going to Hurt, and his festive themed book,T’was the Nightshift Before Christmas.

I’m looking forward to going back to his non-Christmas themed writing. His books are full of humour, even though they discuss important and very thought-provoking, emotional topics.

 

The Kingdom

I added The Kingdom to my Winter 2023 TBR but never got to it. I’ve decided to carry it forward as I like the sound of the synopsis.

As fiction goes, it’s a little different to what I typically pick up. I was taken with the synopsis after hearing about the book on the Currently Reading podcast. Given it’s been an intention of mine to read the book for a while, I’ll try to include it on July’s TBR.


Jingo

If you follow my blog you’ll know that in the last couple of weeks, I’ve read two books written by, or about, Terry Pratchett. Neither of them were Discworld, but the autobiography has inspired me to continue with the next Discworld book and keep momentum going with the series.


Fool’s Errand

Another series I’m keen to keep progressing with is Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series.

Fool’s Errand is the start of a new mini-series within the wider Realm of the Elderlings collection. It also goes back to a set of characters that we have seen previously in the first miniseries, the Farseer trilogy. I’m excited to see how these characters have moved on since those first books!


Breathtaking

I recently featured Breathtaking in a First Lines Friday post. Honestly, that introduction caught my attention so hard that I really want to read this book. I’ve also recently watched the TV documentary based on it, so it’s a topic that I want to explore more of.

I appreciate not everybody wants to deal with such a topic, but I think it’s important we as a society highlight what went wrong. Why were we were so unprepared, and how can we try and prevent the same mistakes being made in future?


Defiant

Another series I want to catch up on over the course of the summer is Brandon Sanderson‘s Skyward series. Last year I read Cytonic, which at the time was the last book published. However, a couple of short months later, this next instalment, Defiant, was published.

Now that I am reasonably on track with the series, I want to keep up with these as and when they come out. I’m a little late in starting Defiant as this came out in around November last year. But, reading this will mean I am back on track with the series and I can give myself a good old tick against my series goal!


Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon

The last book on this Top Ten Tuesday list is another non-fiction. With the next series of House of the Dragon coming out imminently, I want to read my copy of Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon.

If you are unfamiliar, this book is about the main Game of Thrones series. I honestly love it so much that I can read that, any spin off books and any books about the whole process and not get bored. It’s fat to say I am a little obsessed…


Have you read any of the books featured in my Top Ten Tuesday? Have any of them caught your eye and made you want to read them for yourself?

 

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Sunday Summary – 16th June 2024

Good evening friends! In today’s Sunday Summary post I have the usual catch ups to share with you – books read, a small haul I’ve acquired this week, and lastly, what’s coming up next week.

Before that though, firstly I will say happy Father’s Day both to any dads out there, but especially my own. He really is the best! Yes I’m biased, but I pay for this little corner on the Internet so I’m allowed to be…

Now, onto my usual updates. My first post of this week was my review of Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfeifer. I initially intended this review to go out a little earlier than it did. However, to get in a place I was happy with it, I postponed posting until Thursday once the tweaks had been made.

Last week’s missed First Lines Friday became this week’s content instead. In Friday’s feature, I share he opening lines of a post-apocalyptic fantasy I’m looking forward to reading. I’ve recently read other works by the author, and this complete change of genre has piqued my interest.


Books Read


Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes

When I spoke to you in last week’s Sunday Summary update, I shared that I was 75% through Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes. I also expressed my intention to push on with this audiobook over the course of this week as I was close to finishing it.

The good news friends is that I did indeed finish this audiobook. In fact, I finished it on Saturday morning and honestly, I’m glad I was at home for the final chapters. I would be lying if I said I didn’t get teary on several occasions. That’s not unexpected given the circumstances and my family history Alzheimer’s.

I really enjoyed this audiobook and I would recommend it to any Pratchett fan to get some insight on the man behind the Discworld novels.


Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots: A History of Insanity in Nineteenth Century Britain and Ireland

Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots

I didn’t pick up or read any books for the first few days this week. I confess that is because whenever I thought about this current read, I decided to do something else instead.

It became clear by the middle of the week that I didn’t have much in the way of motivation to pick up this book. If you remember my previous Sunday Summary post, you’ll recall that I found the style of the book a little dry.

Given that I have less time to read now than I did at beginning of the year, I decided that there was no point in struggling on with this book. I don’t want to kill whatever reading motivation I have. So, Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots is a DNF at about 25%.


Master of Sorrows

This Sunday Summary post commemorates a milestone. I have been attempting to read Master of Sorrows since February, no less. As of this summary post, I have officially started the book!

Admittedly, I’m only so far as completely the prologue and partway through reading chapter 1. However, it is the start that I have been unable to make with the last four months. Naturally, I’ll be able to give you more of an update next week.


You Coach You

Last, but not least, I started my listen of You Coach You  by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis. I knew I wanted to listen to this on audio as non-fiction works really well for me in this format.

Not only that, but I enjoy listening to a podcast that Helen and Sarah put together, Squiggly Careers. It’s because of that podcast that I’m picking up this book at all. I already know I really get on with their content in audio format, so it made sense to me to pick up this book in audio too.

As of this Sunday Summary update, I am an hour and a quarter into the audio and looking forward to getting stuck in properly.

It’s fair to say that audiobook progress has been significantly better this week than physical. I’ve listened to over four hours this week, which has to be up there near the records.


Books Discovered

This week I have been bad. And I mean BAD!

I’ve picked up no less than nine physical books this week. In my defence, I purchased six of them for less than £3 each, meaning that I haven’t forked out a huge amount of money.

Both myself and my mum want to pick up books by Steve Cavanagh, and on Monday I found five I didn’t already own. As well as those five, I also picked up Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig for the same price.

On Saturday, my boyfriend made the mistake of encouraging me to go into Waterstones. In my defence, I was only going to look in the window. Instead, I stumbled across buy one get one half price tables, as well as the sequel to my current read, Master Artificer. At least I had some credit on my Waterstones card…


Coming Up…

I’ll be back with a Top Ten Tuesday post to kick off the new week. This week’s feature is upcoming books on my Summer 2024 TBR. I quite enjoy writing these posts as I get to look ahead at what direction I want my reading to take and get excited about future books… and then making time for them!

Next Friday, I’ll be back with a Shelf Control post feature. I’ll take a look at the next upcoming book on my reading list, share some details with you about it and most importantly, why I’m excited to read it. I hope you can join me for that.

My last post of the week, as always, will be another Sunday Summary update. In that post, I will share the books I’ve read over the course of the week, as well as any I’ve acquired and finally, what’s coming up on the blog.

I hope you can tune into those, but until then, that’s all for me and this Sunday Summary update.

What have you been reading of late?

 

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First Lines Friday – 14/06/2024

Last time I shared a First Lines Friday post I featured a non-fiction novel coming up on my TBR. For this post, I deliberately wanted to feature a recent fiction book I purchased by an author I’ve enjoyed re-reading recently.

I found this book at Waterstones unintentionally, but I loved the synopsis and I’m confident I’ll really enjoy the story. The opening lines below only reinforce that.

Let me share that with you now –


They kill my father first.

Shiny boots ring on the stairs as they march into our cell, four of them all in a pretty row. Blank faces and perfect skin, matte grey pistols in red, red hands. A beautiful man with golden hair says they’re here to execute us. No explanations. No apologies.

Father turns towards us, and the terror in his eyes breaks my heart to splinters. I open my mouth to speak to him, but I don’t know what I’ll say.

The bullets catch him in his back, and bloody flowers bloom on his chest. My sisters scream as the muzzles flash and the shadows dance, and the noise is so loud, I’m afraid I’ll never hear anything ever again.

 


Lifel1k3 – Jay Kristoff

Genre: Post apocalyptic fantasy

Pages: 417

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: 01 Jun 2018


Goodreads – LIfel1k3

It’s just another day on the Scrap: lose the last of your credits at the WarDome, dodge the gangs and religious fanatics, discover you can destroy electronics with your mind, stumble upon the deadliest robot ever built…

When Eve finds the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend and her robotic sidekick in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, battle cyborg assassins, and scour abandoned megacities to save the ones she loves…and learn the dark secrets of her past.


My Thoughts…

I picked up this book entirely because it is written by Jay Kristoff and I have confidence in his writing. After looking at it for content for this First Lines Friday post, I may end up picking it up soon for a refreshing change.  

I’m intrigued by the post apocalyptic setting as this is something I have read in the past, but admittedly, I don’t read a lot of. Combine this with the evident tech that has a place in this world, and we’re in for an interesting mashup!

If I go onto enjoy this first because as much as I think I will, then what a shame that it’s the first part of a trilogy. I’ll just have to conclude the series, right?!

Do you like the sound of Lifel1k3? Have you enjoyed this First Lines Friday post?

 

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Audiobook Review: Ordinary Heroes – Joseph Pfeifer

Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfeifer is a harrowing read for its subject matter. The 9/11 terror attack at the World Trade Centre is an event even I can just about recall seeing on TV. I wasn’t yet old enough to understand what terrorism was, but the significance of the event still shapes our lives today.

 

Ordinary Heroes – Joseph Pfeifer

Genre: Non-fiction /memoir

Pages: 256

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Portfolio

Publication Date: 07 Sept 2021

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


Goodreads –  Ordinary Heroes

From the first FDNY chief to respond to the 9/11 attacks, an intimate memoir and a tribute to those who died that others might live

When Chief Joe Pfeifer led his firefighters to investigate an odor of gas in downtown Manhattan on the morning of 9/11, he had no idea that his life was about to change forever. A few moments later, he watched as the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center. Pfeifer, the closest FDNY chief to the scene, spearheaded rescue efforts on one of the darkest days in American history.

Ordinary Heroes is the unforgettable and intimate account of what Chief Pfeifer witnessed at Ground Zero, on that day and the days that followed. Through his eyes, we see the horror of the attack and the courage of the firefighters who ran into the burning towers to save others. We see him send his own brother up the stairs of the North Tower, never to return. And we walk with him and his fellow firefighters through weeks of rescue efforts and months of numbing grief, as they wrestle with the real meaning of heroism and leadership.

This gripping narrative gives way to resiliency and a determination that permanently reshapes Pfeifer, his fellow firefighters, NYC, and America. Ordinary Heroes takes us on a journey that turns traumatic memories into hope, so we can make good on our promise to never forget 9/11.

 

My Thoughts

If you are looking for a detailed and personal account of one of the chief firefighters on the ground during 9/11 then Ordinary Heroes is the perfect book to pick up. Starting from the beginning of that fateful day, Joe recounts his perspective of the disaster unfolding and the fallout of the terror attack.

Ordinary Heroes is just one perspective in a huge event in recent history. However, it is a prominent perspective and very personal and insightful. I have watched several documentaries about the event but never have I come across this kind of perspective before. Admittedly, I had also never really realised how long the aftermath of the event was felt by New York more locally, but also the world. I was only a young child when this happened. As an adult I have taken an interest in the subject from time to time, but there is still much I do not know. I have no doubt that there is much that will never be known about that day and the lives of the people affected.

Ordinary Heroes honours those who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It also proudly gives thanks to the innumerable service men and women in every emergency services department who sacrificed and in some cases lost their lives trying to protect others. I already have a lot of respect for people like Joe who put themselves in the firing line and risk their lives. After reading Ordinary Heroes, that’s even more the case.


Summary

If you’re looking for a non-fiction book that memorialises a prominent period of history in a respectful manner, together with unique insight, Ordinary Heroes is a book I strongly recommend. I thoroughly enjoyed the perspective and I learned a lot that I didn’t know previously.

It’s not the easiest of reads (or listen if you go for the audio as I did), but it’s worth it!

 

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Sunday Summary – 9th June 2024

Good evening friends and welcome to this Sunday Summary update post! As always, I take the time to update you on the books I’ve been reading over the course of this week, as well as the blog posts I’ve shared. Shall we get stuck in?

At the beginning of the week I shared my monthly TBR post with you. If you’re interested to see which books I plan to pick up throughout June, this is the place to go. Naturally, you’ll see some of those books in today’s post. But, if you want the full list, then check out my TBR here.

I was also meant to share a First Lines Friday post, but I confess I completely forgot. In my defence, it was a bank holiday locally and I was out of routine. I was also doing bits around the house as well. So apologies – this completely slipped my mind.

 

Books Read

 

Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes

As of this Sunday Summary update post I have listened to a further 2 3/4 hours of Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes. That’s pretty good going, even if I say so myself! That means that as of this post I am coming up to 75% progress in the audiobook.

With just a few hours left I envisage that I’ll try and push on with this audio in the next week so I can mark it as complete. I’m really enjoying this listen as I’m very interested in Terry and his life, but the narrative style makes this even easier to listen to.

 

The Long Earth

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I was 290 pages into The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. Over the course of this week I picked up the remainder of the book, and I’m pleased to say that I enjoyed it.

I’m curious as to where the later books in the series are going to take the story. At the point of finishing this first book, I honestly don’t know what path it’s going to take. I expect a degree of conflict as this is hinted that at the end of the first book, but otherwise it’s very much open to interpretation.

I enjoyed this co-authored book. Despite not getting on with books Terry has co-authored with other writers in the past, that is not the experience I’ve had with The Long Earth. I think the two writers have come together really well to honour the science-fiction genre whilst also smattering in humour.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to continuing the series.

 

Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots: A History of Insanity in Nineteenth Century Britain and Ireland

Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots

The final book I’ve made progress with this week is Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots. This particular book has been on my reading list since 2017 and so I wanted to pick it up at last. It also works really well in contributing towards my non-fiction reading goal for the year.

As of this post, I have read the first quarter of the book. I’m getting on with it okay so far, although I do think it’s a little dry. I have no problem with the subject of the book, but perhaps a little more humour would help it go down. Maybe I’m biased in having read Terry Pratchett recently as he, by nature, is very satirical.

I’m still going to continue with the book as if nothing else, it’s less than 300 pages. I should be able to get through that.

 

Books Discovered

I discovered news that Suzanne Collins is publishing another Hunger Games novel next year, Sunrise on the Reaping.

Having read and enjoyed all of the series so far, I am excited to pick up this prequel novel that features both a significant event in terms of the plot of the story, but also one of the prominent side characters of the main series!

 

Coming Up…

My first post of this week will be another long overdue book review. I have many of those! This week, I’ll review a non-fiction book that I loved in 2022 – Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfeiffer.

Since I forgot to share this week’s First Lines Friday post, I’ve decided to defer this until next week so you’re not waiting too long.

I’m sure you’ve already worked out my last post of the week will be another Sunday Summary. I’ll be back to update you on what I’ve been reading and sharing over the next seven days.

That’s all from me in this Sunday Summary post. What are you reading currently? 

 

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Monthly TBR – June 2024

Good afternoon fellow readers and welcome to one of my favourite posts of the month – my monthly TBR. It’s a post of future plans and looking ahead at exciting books coming up on my immediate reading list!

This month I have a few carryovers (current reads and ones I didn’t get to in May) but also some new titles to feature.

So, shall we get into the details of my monthly TBR?

 

Mood Reads


The Long Earth

The first book I feature on this reading list is actually one I finished last night.

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter was a carryover from May as I hadn’t quite finished the book by the end of the month. Ironically, I have just finished it. So whilst I did technically read some of it in June, I’ll only be talking about it in this week’s Sunday Summary post.

I enjoyed this introduction to the series and I’m curious to see where the later books pick up from this first novel. I’ve gathered the scope gets quite a bit bigger just on the titles alone. I have those books in e-book format so I can pick them up whenever I’m ready!


Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes 

My second carryover from May that is working progress is Terry Pratchett’s biography, A Life With Footnotes.

At the moment I am around 50% through this audiobook, so I’m well on the way to completing this before the end of June. I’ve already enjoyed the first half of this audio, looking at Terry‘s early life, career and establishing himself as an author. We will inevitably move onto the less pleasant side of his later years, his Alzheimer’s diagnosis and ultimate passing, soon. I’m still looking forward to listening to this despite the difficult topic.

I admit I’m curious to see if Terry’s Alzheimer’s affected him in ways that are familiar to me through a family member suffering with the disease also. I’m also interested to see what impact it had on his career. I know in the end he was dictating his books to Rob, but also what other potential impacts there were that we haven’t talked about yet.


Master of Sorrows

I have a couple more carryovers from my May TBR, but these are books I did not get to start.

Are you surprised that once again, Master of Sorrows has been kicked down the line? Well, not anymore! It’s the first physical book I am going to pick up in June now that I’ve finished The Long Earth and nothing. will. stop. me. I have been trying to read this book since February – I’ve waited long enough!


Obsidio

The final carryover from my May TBR is Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.

Obsidio is the last book in the Illuminae files trilogy. I want to get to it to both finish the series, but also see how the two storylines we’ve enjoyed so far intertwine.

I anticipate Obsidio will be a relatively short read. Although it’s a good few hundred pages, the book is written in mixed media format. It has a lot of imagery so whilst there are some pages of solid text, there are plenty where there are not. I’ve really enjoyed into the world of mixed media from a variety of genres, but I do particularly like it in the science-fiction young adult series. It makes it very approachable to all readers and especially so to those who may be picking it up for the first time.


The Other People

Mum has been making her way through books written by C.J. Tudor after I introduced her to The Chalk Man and The Taking of Annie Thorne. She has recommended The Other People to me as her favourite book so far. Naturally, I want to see what it’s about!

Especially as I’ve not dabbled in the genre for a little while, I’m looking forward to seeing this book is about. This synopsis sounds as good as ever and I trust my mum’s judgement that I will really enjoy this one as she did!


Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots

Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots

In an effort to keep up with my non-fiction reading this year, I’ll be picking up the e-book Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots. This has been on my reading list since 2017 so is long overdue a read. At under 300 pages, this is also really achievable for me to pick up and make light work of.

I’ve already started this e-book as it was a convenient one to pick up after finishing a physical read of The Long Earth. I want to read on my Kindle for a bit! Aside from audiobooks, I’ve picked up a lot of physical read lately.

In just the half hour I started this last night, I am already well into the first chapter and intrigued as to where this book will take us.

If you are unfamiliar, this is a non-fiction book about how treatment for individuals in the UK and Ireland with mental health issues has changed in the last 200 or so years. By all accounts, we start this book with a lot to be desired in terms of treating people humanely and with dignity.


You Coach You

The last book on this monthly TBR is also a non-fiction and a book I intend to pick up via audio after finishing Terry Pratchett’s biography. The book is You Coach You.

I want to pick up this book for a couple of reasons. The first of these is that coaching is a skill I’m working on personally this year. I totally understand that not everyone is interested in personal development, but I’m still young and haven’t lost interest yet at the very least. On a serious note, I’m the kind of person who believes there is always more to learn. I can always improve.

So, coaching is a skill I want to work on. The other reason I want to pick up You Coach You in particular is because I listen to Helen and Sarah‘s podcast, Squiggly Careers. I already love their content and their style, so picking up their book makes infinite sense! They also narrate the audiobook, so I know exactly what I’m getting into when I start listening to this.

I can’t wait!


Summary

With a few shorter books on my monthly TBR, and a plan to pick up Master of Sorrows as a priority, I have confidence that June is going to be a productive reading month!

That’s all for my Monthly TBR post.

What are you reading?

 

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Sunday Summary – 2nd June 2024

It’s the end of another week (already!) so that can only mean one thing… I’m back with my Sunday Summary weekly feature to catch you up on the books I’ve been reading over the course of the week.

Before we get there though, let’s briefly recap the blog posts I’ve shared with you so far. My first post of the week was a discussion post providing tips I’ve implemented in the last few months in order to make time for reading. If you want to find the time to read but are struggling due to other commitments or time pressures, then something in this post may be useful for you.

Yesterday I published my monthly wrap-up for the month of May. If you want to find out which books I read in comparison to those I had on my reading list for May, that’s the post to go and look at.


Books Read


Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes

This week has been a very Pratchett week in terms of reading! As of last week’s Sunday Summary update I shared that I was a third of the way through this audiobook.

I’ve listened further over the course of this week and I am now just over 50% through. In the first part in the audio we have covered all of Terry early life and how he became an author.

I’ve just started part two and we are closer to his later years. I think soon we will get to the point of Terry’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s and the impact that had on his life. I think this is going to be a little bit difficult to listen to, even though I am interested too understand what he went through. Having witnessed a family member suffer with Alzheimer’s, I’m already familiar with the condition and how it can affect people. I’m still interested to hear the end of his story, so watch the space for future updates.

 

The Long Earth

As well as his biography, I’ve also been reading a science-fiction novel Terry Pratchett, co-authored with Stephen Baxter.

As of my last Sunday Summary I was only 50-something pages in. Beyond the general impression of enjoying the set up, I hadn’t really decided too much in the way of the book other than I was happy to keep reading.

Over the course of the week I’ve read a further 240 pages, taking me to chapter 35, or page 290. I am still very happy with the story and intrigued as to how this first book is going to end. Especially as I know this is a series, it could be anywhere. I still haven’t made up my mind on Lobsang and his intentions right now. He is a bit of an enigma, but one I am looking forward to unpicking a little further.


Books Discovered

No news is good news, or so they say. As of this Sunday Summary update I have no new additions to my TBR or on my bookshelves to update you on.


Coming Up…

The first post I have coming up next week is my June TBR. I have a couple of books I’m carrying over from May, but otherwise I have yet to decide what else I plan to read over the course of the month. If you have any recommendations for me, I’ll be more than glad to hear them!

I’ll be back with the First Lines Friday feature post towards the end of this week. It feels like it’s been a while since I last did this feature and I’m looking forward to sharing another book and interesting opening lines with you.

Lastly, another Sunday Summary post will be winging its way to you at the end of the week. As always, I’ll share the books I’ve been reading over the course of the week and any other notable news. I hope you can join me once again.

That’s all for today Sunday summary update.

How are you spending your Sunday night? Are you reading or watching anything interesting on TV? I’m always interested to hear, so do let me know in the comments.

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – May 2024

Welcome readers to another monthly wrap-up post! How are we at the end of May already? If you love motorsport and enjoy the TT (which is ongoing at the moment locally), then hats off to you. As a local driver though, I’m less than a fan of the disruption and increased traffic…

As usual, I didn’t get to all the books I planned to read in May. From my May TBR, Master of Sorrows and Obsidio remain yet untouched. Soon friends I promise! However, I have managed to read a great selection, so without further ado, let’s take a look!

 

Books Read


The Icepick Surgeon

As of my last monthly wrap-up post, I was 70% into the audiobook of The Icepick Surgeon. In truth, it didn’t take me long to finish this audio. With just a few hours left until the conclusion, drove in and made all haste to get to the conclusion.

I really enjoyed this historical science novel and the variety of topics featured throughout. From ancient history through to modern day, the book features numerous famous (or infamous) individuals throughout history and the ways they have shaped science for good or ill.


F*ck No

I picked up this audiobook by Sarah Knight on the recommendation of my piercer, Lindsay. As someone who struggles to say no sometimes, particularly at work, I thought picking this up would be a useful way of getting myself familiar with ways in which I can set expectations and not just agree to everything.

At just over five hours long, this is a really quick listen and for anyone looking for real practical advice, I strongly recommend this book. Sarah‘s funny stories about her own real life scenari(no)s really add to the narrative to give it a personal touch.


Empire of the Damned

I picked up Empire of the Damned this month after just finishing Empire of the Vampire. I read that first book of the series once again as a reminder of what has happened to date. Plus I also had a new special edition copy, so why not?

Empire of the Damned took us on a storyline that I didn’t expect from the first book, but in a way that I really enjoyed. One of the big selling points for these books is the narrative style, and it is present once again in this book, but with a twist. I enjoyed the second and challenging perspective we get as it adds a lot of dimension to the characters we have initially met through Gabriel’s retelling. No names and no spoilers because where is the fun in that?

The only sad thing about finishing this book is that I’m now going to have to wait for the sequel, and God knows how long that will take. It’s a good job I have plenty of books to keep me going in the meantime, right?


Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes

Audiobooks feature heavily in this monthly wrap-up post because I spent a good deal of time listening to them this month. I started A Life with Footnotes earlier this month and as of this monthly wrap-up post, I am about 50% into the audio.

In this first half of Terry Pratchett biography, we are looking at his early life and career. From school days and the influence of his parents to starting his career in journalism and in writing, we’ve already covered so much about young Terry‘s life.

I’m interested to see how the story progresses and really learn about the life of one of my favourite authors of all time. I know I will struggle to listen to the end. His ultimately fatal illness and the recounting of final days will resonate quite strongly with me on a personal level. My gran also suffered with Alzheimer’s. However, I am looking forward to it on some level as well. I watched the documentaries on BBC and enjoyed those.


The Long Earth

Another Terry Pratchett related novel that I have picked up in May is The Long Earth, co-authored with Stephen Baxter. As of this monthly wrap-up I am 258 pages in, or 65% through this science-fiction book. The timing of picking up the science-fiction novel was apt as I had just started listening to the section of his biography which talks about his attendance of science-fiction conventions and his love of the genre.

Initially I had reservations about picking up this book as I have had less success with books he has co-authored in the past. However, as I’ve gone into this one with only a little knowledge and sample of Stephen Baxter’s writing, it hasn’t impacted my enjoyment in a negative way. Quite the opposite, I think their’s is a fantastic combination; we get elements of humour from Terry but there’s still a good deal of science-fiction behind it. So far I’m really enjoying this physical read and as it’s a relatively short one, I’m hoping to get this finished in the next few days!


Summary

I’ve enjoyed spending a month reading books that I have been looking forward to for a little while. It’s been fun to focus on the backlist and make my way through a highly anticipated sequel, as well as return to and about one of my favourite authors.

Have you read anything this month? Do you have any recommendations for me?

 

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Discussion Post: How to Make More Time to Read

Today’s discussion post is a topic that’s been on my mind for the last few months – how to make more time to read. It’s shaped a change of my reading habits and has helped juggle my favourite hobby at a time when I’ve experienced a lot of change.

One of the frequent comments I hear when I talk about my reading and blogging as a hobby is “I wish I had time to read.” Well, I hate to break it to you guys… but I’m pretty sure you do. Either that, or it isn’t enough of a priority for you to make more time to read.

I said what I said.

And I can tell you this from a perspective of someone who now has a lot more to juggle. I started dating in February and now suddenly a lot of my free time is spent either with my boyfriend, or catching up on all the necessary things I’m not doing when I’m spending time with Shane.

So, if you want to make time to read but have a busy lifestyle, here are a few tips from someone who’s had to have a long, hard think and implement some changes herself. Here’s my best advice on how to make more time to read! 


Make a Habit: Set Aside Regular Time

It seems obvious, but if you aren’t going to make time to do a task, whether that’s necessary or recreational, then it’s not going to get done. Setting aside time for reading is a life changer. Previously I used to do most of my reading in the evenings at home. However, that time is largely taken up. So, now I find I’m doing more of my reading during my lunch hour at work.

Sure, sometimes I need to pop to the shops or do something else. However, I try to set aside at least 20 minutes of my lunch hour every day to pick up my book. There are plenty of days I don’t intend on going out and so can use pretty much the full hour at my leisure. If I do have to go and run an errand, then there’s always audiobooks to keep me company on the way!


Reading Format: Physical, e-book or audio

In the last few months I’ve discovered that I have less time to sit down and read in the same way I used to. With this in mind, I have started listening to audiobooks more to capitalise on time I’m on my own, but doing other things that prevent me from sitting down with a book or my Kindle.

Whether it’s whilst I’m driving to and from work, or doing housework, audiobooks have given me the chance to keep making progress with my reading list whilst not compromising on the daily schedule.

Different formats work best for different people and only you can be the judge of what’s best for you. Try them out and see which helps you make more time to read.


The Books: Read What Interests You

It may sound daft, but one key piece of advice I would give to anyone looking to read more often is to try and pick up books you know you will enjoy. As an avid reader, I have spent my time picking up books that I have wanted to read, but also picking up new or previously undiscovered reads for review purposes, for example.

Whilst I have fulfilled some blog tour obligations that I signed up for at the beginning of the year, I have almost stopped signing up for them as of right now. This is so I can dedicate my time to my backlist.

I’m not saying I won’t sign up for any more, but I will be more selective. For example, I will continue with blog tours for authors I have already discovered and feature repeatedly. At the same time, I’m less likely to take on anything completely new as I prefer to read my backlist (of 200-odd books).

Even then, I may start looking at this list with a new pair of eyes. I’m always prepared to stretch myself, but I will be keeping my efforts to books I genuinely want to pick up in the moment and not trying to force anything. I guess what I’m saying is I’m going to try and be more of a mood reader. That way I’m not setting expectations that result in a reading slump. I won’t have to force myself to make more time to read if I’m actively looking forward to it in the first place. The same goes for you! 

I hope these tips help all you aspiring readers to make more time to read and pick up your next book!

What book have you always wanted to read but not quite got to?

 

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