Month: October 2021

Shelf Control #37 – 15/10/2021

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to my Shelf Control post! Shelf Control is a regular feature here and 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.

I’ve been sharing these posts regularly so I can continue to review the books on my TBR and decide if I still want to read them. Over the last couple of years my reading taste has changed. A book on my list, added a couple of years ago, may no longer for me. I have genuinely taken a few books off this list by doing these posts. It’s a productive exercise and gives me some bookish content to share with you. And who knows, by featuring those books I still want to read, maybe I can introduce you to something that will take your fancy as well!

This week’s featured book is : –


Soul Identity – Dennis Batchelder

Goodreads – Soul Identity

You can’t take it with you… but what if you could? Most people believe their souls outlive their bodies. Most people would find an organization that tracks their souls into the future and passes on their banked money and memories compelling. Scott Waverly isn’t like most people. He spends his days finding and fixing computer security holes. And Scott is skeptical of his new client’s claim that they have been calculating and tracking soul identities for almost twenty-six hundred years. Are they running a freaky cult? Or a sophisticated con job? Scott needs to save Soul Identity from an insider attack. Along the way, he discovers the importance of the bridges connecting people’s lives.


My Thoughts…

I’m reading more science-fiction than ever before. It’s a genre I’ve always enjoyed but in the past I tended to read more fantasy. This is something I’m actively looking to change, and this change started a couple of years ago when I started adding more science fiction books to my list. Soul Identity is one of those books. I really like the sound of the book and I don’t think I’ve seen anything like it to date!

This has a lot of elements to it. It seems like one of those books that is very difficult to pigeonhole into a certain genre because it has so many overlaps. There is an element of mystery here, perhaps even crime. Because of that though, I’m confident that I’ll enjoy it and that many others will too! I enjoy most genres and so something in this book will appeal to me.

Have you read Soul Identity? Would you recommend it? As always I would love to know!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 10th October 2021

Sunday evening can only mean the end of another week… and that it’s time for my Sunday Summary post! It also means I have to get up early for work in the morning, but let’s not dwell on that bit! Instead, let’s look at what I’ve done this week! 

Earlier this week I shared my Monthly Wrap-Up post for September 2021. This type of post has replaced my previous reading list; instead of sharing my planned reads for the month ahead of time, I’m recapping what I have read instead. I currently prefer this format as it puts less pressure on me to get through a certain number of books a month. In that post, I also take the opportunity to share links to the posts I’ve shared on my blog over the period. So, if you want a reminder of what I’ve read this month, and want to make sure you haven’t missed any blog posts, go and check out that post now!

On Friday I shared a First Lines Friday post. For this post, I hadn’t set myself a challenge to feature a certain type of book. Instead, I had a full rain did use whatever I like, and I ultimately chose a book based on a recommendation on my Goodreads discover tab. Whilst the book isn’t on my TBR, I have considered it. I like the sound of the premise and it’s recently been made into a popular film. Can you guess what it is based on the shared introduction?

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update post, I was a third of the way through Red Rising by Pierce Brown. It’s fair to say from the pace in which I read the book that I really enjoyed this, because I finished this on Thursday! The next book in the series is already on my list to pick up. I really enjoyed the narrative and the combination of science fiction, action and it’s dystopian vibe.

After Red Rising I was at a bit of a loss as to what to read next. After reading such a great book it’s intimidating to find something else that will live up to it. After some deliberation I decided to turn to a firm favourite. I had to read a little reminder as to what happened in the previous book first, but I have decided to pick up Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson.

I deliberately didn’t read this too quickly after the first book. The Stormlight Archives series is planned to be ten books and currently only four (or so) are published. I didn’t want to read this too quickly and end up waiting a long time for the subsequent books. However, I think it’s been a couple of years since picking up The Way of Kings. That’s a decent amount of time to wait to be able to enjoy the next book. And it’s an epic. I’ve just over 1000 pages I have plenty to dive into!

 

Books Discovered

Aside from adding Golden Sun (the sequel to Red Rising), there’s nothing to add here. And since I ticked Red Rising off the list when I finished it, does this count as it nets off?

 

Coming Up…

It has been a few weeks since I shared an audiobook review with you, and so my plan is to share my thoughts on Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch this week. I remember listening to this last year whilst I was doing some redecorating round the house. Sometimes this doesn’t feel like it was over a year ago and yet it certainly was! So it’s definitely time for me to share my review with you.

Later in the week I’ll be back with a Shelf Control post. This week’s featured book has a sci-fi theme with an interesting premise. I can’t wait to share with you!

However, that is all from me in today’s post. As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Sunday Summary update, and I look forward to seeing you in my next post!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

First Lines Friday – 08/10/2021

Today I’m sharing another First Lines Friday post with you! If you are new to my blog, and this is a regular (fortnightly) series in which I take the opportunity to share the opening introductions of a variety of books. These may be books I’ve already read, are looking to read, or am even just a little bit intrigued about.

Sometimes I set myself a challenge with these posts, however this week I decided to leave it open. Sometimes it’s nice to have full creative freedom with my choice, and I hope this week’s featured book does not disappoint!

Shall we get into it?

 

Everyone my age remembers where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about the contest. I was sitting in my hideout watching cartoons when the news bulletin broke in on my video feed, announcing that James Halliday had died during the night.

I’d heard of Halliday, of course. Everyone had. He was the videogame designer responsible for creating the OASIS, a massively multiplayer online game that gradually evolved into the global network virtual reality most of humanity now used on a daily basis. The unprecedented success of the OASIS had made Halliday one of the wealthiest people in the world.

At first, I couldn’t understand why the media was making such a big deal of the billionaire’s death. After all, the people of planet Earth had other concerns. The ongoing energy crisis. Catastrophic climate change. Widespread famine, poverty, and disease. Half a dozen wars. You know: “dogs and cats living together… Mass hysteria!” Normally, the newsfeeds didn’t interrupt everyone’s interactive sitcoms and soap operas unless something really major had happened. Like the outbreak of some new killer virus, or another major city vanishing in a mushroom cloud. Big stuff like that. As famous as he was, Halliday’s death should have warranted only a brief segment on the evening news, so the unwashed masses could shake their heads in envy when the newscasters announced the obscenely large amount of money that would be doled out to the rich man’s heirs.

But that was the rub. James Halliday had no heirs.

 

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

Goodreads – Ready Player One

IN THE YEAR 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.

But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.

 

My Thoughts…

Did you recognise today’s feature? Whether you’ve read the book or watched the recent film made based on it, you may recognise it.

I’ve personally heard of Ready Player One, and based on the synopsis and the intro this is definitely something that would appeal to me as a reader. I’m in love with science-fiction right now, and the premise is an interesting one.

Not only does it have good reviews, but a couple of trusted book reviewers I follow have also read and highly-rated this book. If the premise wasn’t enough then their views lend a hand into convincing me to pick this up someday.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday post! Have you read or watched Ready Player One? What did you think? Let me know if this is something I should add to my TBR!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Monthly Wrap-Up – September 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s wrap up post for September 2021.

I feel like I’ve achieved a good balance in both reading and other hobbies. For the most part, I’ve been enjoying the books I’ve picked up and I’ve been doing so at a pace that suits me!

 

Books Read

As of my last monthly wrap-up post, I was halfway through Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I’m pleased to say that I went on to finish this before we were halfway through the month, so pretty quickly. Although it’s the longest book of the series I didn’t let that daunt me in anyway. On the contrary, I was looking forward to picking this up each and every time!

After reading this I decided to pick up something different. I’d been recommended The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis to read by my boss at work. I’m obviously familiar with the story, but I’ve never picked up the book itself. I managed to borrow a copy of this electronically from my library and I read it all in one sitting. That wasn’t particularly the plan, but it just worked out that way! Needless to say, I definitely enjoyed it (despite the slightly sexist views of the author dropped in… and not so subtlety).

After that I struggled a little to choose what my next reach should be. I wanted something different again, and so I turned to a genre that I pick up rarely – non-fiction. One of the earliest books on my TBR to read was The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I picked this up with enthusiasm and I didn’t take long to read this either! Whilst it’s not a genre I pick up often I admonish myself for that fact. I really do need to pick it up more often and the fact that I enjoyed this book so much is testament to that. Even if you think you have nothing to learn about yourself, you should challenge yourself on that because books like that prove to you that’s not the case at all.

Open till this point I was making really good progress. But alas, I fell a little flat at the end.

The next book I picked up was Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo. I was loaned a copy of this book by my friend who has also read it recently. I really wanted to like it. Truly, I did. I like the idea of it, however, in the practical sense the narrative style and the characters were not working for me at all. I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t enjoying reading this, and that’s ultimately why I made the decision to DNF this. There’s no point trying to force myself to read something if I’m not enjoying it. And it’s not like I didn’t give this a chance either. Whatever it was, this just wasn’t working for me.

Don’t worry though, I haven’t lost my mojo! The reading progress that comes next will fall into next month’s monthly update, but all is well; I haven’t been put off.

Blog Posts

Over the last month I’ve shared a variety of blog posts with you. If you have missed any of my content and see something you like the look of, you will find a handy link here!

 

That’s all from me in today’s wrap up post for September.

What good books you have picked up, or is there anything you’re currently reading that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary: 3rd October 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post!

I started this week by sharing a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week‘s topic was a freebie, so I went back through some of the post topics I’ve missed previously to decide what I wanted to share. Ultimately, I chose the topic that jumped out at me almost straight away, being “books that everyone has read but me”. It’s apparent that I read a lot; more than most in fact. However, there is plenty that I haven’t read (in some cases not yet). Those books were featured on Tuesday.

Later in the week, I shared a Shelf Control post. This week’s featured book was Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. It isn’t exactly going to be light reading in any sense of the word, but I’m still interested anyway.

 

Books Read

 

I’ve officially given up on Girl Woman Other by Bernadine Evaristo.

I did pick this up again this week, despite the fact I wasn’t particularly feeling inclined to. I gave this my best shot but decided to DNF after around 80 pages. The writing style didn’t work for me. The idea of the book is a good one, but it just wasn’t working for me. If I’m entirely honest, I also didn’t like how shallow the characters I’ve read so far were explored. I just wasn’t able to invest with them very much. Given that the plot doesn’t have much in the way of action (at least as far as I read), you would think this aspect would be all the more important. Also, does anyone else think all the characters are obsessed with sex or is that just me?

I’ve gotten to the stage now where I’m not going to force myself to read a book if I don’t particularly enjoy it. Frankly, I have better things to do with my time.

So, I swiftly moved on to Red Rising by Pierce Brown. I first picked this book up yesterday afternoon and I’m currently a third of the way through. If you needed proof of what the sapping my reading energy, well, I think you’ve got it.

I’m really loving the book so far! When I was trying to decide what to pick up next I got to thinking about this book based on what I remembered from my Shelf Control post back in April. You know me – I am a dystopian fan and combining this with science-fiction is a fun concept! Maybe the fact that I’m playing Horizon: Zero Dawn at the moment (a game of similar genre) planted the idea in my head. Whatever the reason it’s proving to be a great decision!

 

Books Discovered

Still nothing to add here this week, which can only mean the number of books on my list to read is going in the right direction!

 

Coming Up…

I cannot believe it is October already, but here we are! So, naturally I will be sharing my wrapup for September at the beginning of next week. Reading progress in the month has been reasonably average, but I still have plenty to share.

Then, I will be back to sharing a First Lines Friday post with you. Last time I set myself a challenge to feature a non-fiction book, which was fun. However, this time I’m going to keep my options open this time.

I hope you enjoyed today’s Sunday Summary update is and I look forward to seeing you in the next one!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Shelf Control #36 – 01/10/2021

Happy Friday everyone and welcome to my Shelf Control post! Shelf Control is a regular feature here and 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.

I try to share these posts regularly so I can continue to review the books on my TBR, decide if I still want to read them, or whether my reading case has changed and it’s no longer for me. I have taken a few books off this list by doing these posts. It’s a productive exercise and gives me some bookish content to share with you. And who knows, by featuring those books I still want to read, maybe I can introduce you to something that will take your fancy as well!

This week’s featured book is a non-fiction novel that may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s about a difficult subject and touches upon some of the worst human behaviour there is. However, I am looking forward to reading about it. Here is today’s book: –

 

Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup

Goodreads – Twelve Years a Slave

Twelve Years a Slave, sub-title: Narrative of Solomon Northup, citizen of New-York, kidnapped in Washington city in 1841, and rescued in 1853, from a cotton plantation near the Red River in Louisiana, is a memoir by Solomon Northup as told to and edited by David Wilson. It is a slave narrative of a black man who was born free in New York state but kidnapped in Washington, D.C., sold into slavery, and kept in bondage for 12 years in Louisiana. He provided details of slave markets in Washington, D.C. and New Orleans, as well as describing at length cotton and sugar cultivation on major plantations in Louisiana.

 

My Thoughts…

Twelve Years a Slave is not going to be an easy book to read, but that isn’t reason enough not to give it a go. It’s a subject matter that some will find upsetting, whether we like it or not it’s part of our history.

I’m not one to shy away from such topics and so I’m looking forward to giving this a go! In my opinion, it isn’t talked about enough. It’s a dirty subject; it’s a truth that we don’t want to acknowledge about ourselves. I’m a firm believer that we learn from our mistakes and so we must learn from them. The truth is, so many of us can enjoy our freedom today because of what has happened previously. So many have had to endure bondage and fight for their freedom… yet we take it for granted.

Have you read Twelve Years a Slave? Would you recommend it (the book, obviously)? As always I would love to know!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads