Category: Reading Lists

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!

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Monthly Wrap-Up – July 2021

Hello everyone! I’m back with another monthly wrap-up post. Honestly, where is this year going? I’m not kidding you when I say that as part of the social committee at work I’m starting to make preparations for the big party event at the end of the year (you know the one) and it doesn’t feel like it should be coming round this quickly. But, it is, whether I think it should be or not!

This is my seventh monthly wrap-up, having started taking this approach at the beginning of the year as opposed to sharing a TBR at the beginning of the month. I’ve enjoyed the change of pace and having the flexibility to pick up what I want and when I want. Not only has this suited me was taking a step back, but it also proved not to be a hindrance getting back into it. And it’s fair to say compare to recent months, I’m back in the game. I’m really pleased with the amount of reading I’ve done over the last month, which you can find out below.

 

Books Read

The beginning of this month started with a number of short stories. I was taking part in blog tours for both Clarissa and Ruabon by Karl Drinkwater. In part, I think having the deadlines for each of these helped encourage me to pick up the books quickly, but also being quite short these were very easy to read a as well. I read and loved previous books of the series before, so I was confident these are a safe bet when I signed up for them.

Starting with these two definitely helped motivate me, because I then picked up a short story that I was loaned by our CEO. He is also an avid reader and he wanted my thoughts on the particular book he recommended (and loaned) to me. I’d had it for a little while but as I hadn’t set aside time deliberately to read it, I found I would start it, put it down, not pick it up again for a bit and then consequently end up starting again. After reading two short stories already, I felt I was in the mood and that it was time to set aside time specifically for this book. Not that it took long. I read this within a couple of days too – my reading streak was definitely a record for this year at that point already.

After reading these three short stories, and generally feeling good about my progress, I decided to pick up something a little longer. Having looked at my bookshelves for a bit, and even trying a couple of chapters on a kindle book that I’ve DNF’d before (but then decided against for the sake of preserving my newfound motivation), I decided to pick up The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J Tudor. I had read and loved a previous book of hers, The Chalk Man, and so I felt it was a reasonably safe bet. This decision paid off as well because I loved this book! It was everything I expected and utterly enthralling. I don’t think I could have chosen better.

And still, after all these books, I’m not quite done. My next read was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling. I didn’t quite finish this before month-end, however, I was well over halfway. Given that this portion of the read was about as long as The Taking of Annie Thorne, I’m pleased with this progress! Another book I started and was (and still am) making progress on was Stock Investing for Dummies by Paul Mladjenovic. It’s not the sort of thing that I imagine is everyone’s cup of tea, but given that it loosely relates to my job role and I enjoy reading around the subject, I thought this would be a good place to start. Only got to around 20 odd percent of this one before month-end.

So, as you can see, I’ve definitely read a lot more than in previous months this year. At the end of last month, I set myself a goal to try and pick up reading more regularly again. I used to read nearly every night, but in taking a bit of a break this year, this scaled back quite a lot – maybe to once or twice a week at an absolute push! I’m still not reading every night now, but picking up a book is a more frequent occurrence, and long may that habit continue.

And after all that reading, I can’t forget the audiobook progress I’ve made this month as well! After several months, I finally finished listening to A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. I really enjoyed listening to this as I love the series. I did, however, decide after finishing that audiobook that I needed a break from the series. So, I decided to listen to something completely new – A Suitable Lie by Michael J. Malone. As of the end of July, I was around a third of the way through this audiobook. It’s nowhere near as long as A Clash of Kings, and so progress should be a lot quicker.

 

Blog Posts

As always, I like to recap the posts I have shared over the last month so then if you happen to have missed any, you can check them out with a handy link from here! In addition to all this reading this month, I’ve also shared the following:

 

I hope you enjoyed today’s wrap-up post for July. I feel really good about the progress I’ve made over the last month and how I’m getting back into reading more often. Being able to give myself the freedom to pick up what I want and what I want is really suiting me – and encouraging me to get back into it more. I hope this bit of news excites you, as that means I’m going to have more bookish content to share with you in the long run.

Are there any good books you have picked up in the last month, or is there even something you’re currently reading that you would recommend? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Monthly Wrap Up – June 2021

When I drafted my half-year review post last week, it hadn’t even occurred to me that it would make sense to post my June wrap up first. Still, here I am at last. It should be quite a quick one since June was a relatively quiet month for me. In addition to doing some other things this year, my sister also came to visit this month and so everything was pretty much put on hold for that. Was lovely to see her for the first time in 16 months and I can’t wait to be able to see her again!


Books Read

As I said above, this month’s progress has been reasonably quiet. In terms of reading, I have managed to read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. As of last month’s wrap-up post, I had actually just started to read this and I finished this book in the last day of the month. It’s not a lot of progress, I will admit. However, as much as I enjoy reading, I don’t live for it and I’ve done plenty of other things with my time instead.

I’ve enjoyed the more relaxed pace of reading so far, but I’m definitely looking to start picking up more books over the next six months.

More audiobook progress has been made, however I am still (just) working through A Clash of Kings by George R. R.Martin. I only have a few hours left to listen to and I expect in next month’s update, I’ll be telling you that I finally got to the end of this one! Don’t get me wrong, I am really, really enjoying it – but it’s a long one! I think for my next one, I’m going to pick up something smaller.


Blog Posts

Thankfully, I’ve been a bit more active blogging that I have reading this month. So, I have plenty of posts to share with you and give you the opportunity to catch up if you have missed any: –

 

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s rather quick wrap-up post! As always, I really enjoy getting your feedback and I would love to hear about what you have been reading recently!

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Monthly Wrap-up – March 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to my March wrap-up post. When drafting my Sunday Summary post yesterday I completely forgot to mention this post coming up this week!

I’m enjoying writing these retrospective posts rather than a TBR post upfront. It means I can work at a more relaxed pace without the pressure of a list. So, without further pre-amble, here are the books I’ve been reading this month! 

 

Books Read

Most of this month has been spent reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak on and off. It’s a long book at around 550 pages and I will admit that my reading did taper off in the early stages of this month. I think in part that has to do with some other hobbies, as well as the new lockdown. However, I did pick up more later on and I went on to finish this near the end of the month.

I picked up Fire and Blood by George R. R. Martin again in the very last few days of the month. Having finished The Book Thief and in general just getting back into reading a bit more habitually, I have taken this to bed and have also gotten out into the garden to enjoy a bit of a read. This is also a large book and taking on such a big read when you’re struggling with being in the mood for it is a challenge. That said, I’ve thrown myself back into it and I’m really looking forward to reading more of this in April!

I have been a bit better than usual on the audiobook front, as I have listened to The Toll by Neal Shusterman this month. Normally my audiobook progress is a lot slower than reading, however spending increased periods of time at home, I am able to play audiobooks on various devices I have around the house. Listening to them whilst I’m doing other jobs is very accessible. It’s also a good alternative I find to watching television if I am working on some craft – it means I can focus on my project and not the TV.

Once I finished listening to The Toll I must admit I felt a bit bereft that night. It was such a good audiobook and series and I had no idea what I could follow up with that would be just as good. I ultimately decided to listen to A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. Not only are these books firm favourites, I also haven’t actually listened to them yet. I read them in every other format so far so why not complete the set? I listened to about 20% of the audiobook throughout the course of March and I will definitely be continuing this through into the next month.

 

Blog Posts

In the second half of March I feel like I have done better and certainly enjoyed blogging more. Without going into specifics I was having some technical issues with the laptop I’ve logged on and I’ve ultimately decided to change the way I block. That has been working out for me very well and I say they’re probably has been a slight increase in the number of posts I’ve been sharing. I’ve certainly been enjoying doing it more, if nothing else. In case you missed any of my posts over the course of the month, you can find a list of what I’ve shared below: –

 

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s wrap-up post! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will have plenty of news to share with you in next month’s wrap up post. However, until then, I hope to see you around on the blog.

What books did you read in March?

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – February 2021

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

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Blog Posts

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

 

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

What books have you read recently?

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – January 2021

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

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

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

 

Blog Posts

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

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

Here are the posts I shared last month: –

 

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

What books did you read in January?

 

 

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2020 Wrap Up Post

2020 was a crazy year. I don’t think that’s a stretch of the imagination for absolutely anybody at this point. It also, strangely, ended up being one of my busiest years personally. Unfortunately, not as much in terms of blogging and reading as I had hoped, but that’s okay. I’ve come to the realisation that in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter.

Before I get into my blogging and reading progress of the year, I’d like to tell you a little bit about the other things I ended up doing in 2020 as well. Ultimately, this played a part in the amount of time I had to commit to blogging and reading.

 

Background

At the end of 2019, I decided that I wanted to move house. I’m not going to go into the ugly details, but let’s just say they were external forces that drove me to that decision. Moving house is a huge undertaking at the best of times, but I ended up moving in May 2020, during the middle of lockdown here on the island. We were delaying the move as per guidelines, but unfortunately again, other factors meant it had to go ahead. That meant my family couldn’t help me as they had planned to, and whilst I was able to use a removal firm on the day, the rest was up to me. There were many tears on the day and my parents had to watch me bawl my eyes from the doorstep (unable to come in but dropping off some food) once I got here, but with the help and advice of my mum and dad I got it together and within a couple of weeks of moving in I had everything straight.

But that’s where the rest of the work began. The house I ended up moving into had some very interesting decoration, to say the least! Pretty much none of it was to my taste, so within a couple of months of moving in I started redecorating. What can I say, I had holiday to take from work and nowhere to go with it!

Whilst I had anticipated moving, I hadn’t really considered that I’d end up spending so much free time working on the house after I moved in. It’s not a problem, and ultimately I’m happier because I’ve spent the time making this place mine. It does mean, however, that it ate into my free time for reading and played a part in my not reaching my goal of 80 books last year.

What I also didn’t expect was how lockdown would affect me. When it was first announced, I was obviously upset that I couldn’t see anyone. But, I stupidly thought to myself, right I’ve got all this time to kill – I’ll read more. How I can laugh at myself in hindsight. What I didn’t expect was how much of a distraction lockdown would be and actually… I couldn’t concentrate on reading all that much. At least, not to start with. Some days were better than others.

So you see, there were multiple factors that contributed to my not reaching my already very ambitious goal of 80 books last year. I thought I would be disappointed with myself if I didn’t, but strangely I’m not. I know I read at every opportunity I could and wanted to, and equally, I didn’t force myself to read things I didn’t want to either. When I wanted to do something different I enjoyed other hobbies… saw my friends and family (sorry, feel bad for saying it but it’s true) and did the things I wanted.

My other challenges also flopped a little. Whilst I started off well, reading less also took its toll on my attempt to read more of the older books on my TBR. I was still signing up for blog tours and such, and so these took priority and my challenge fell off the radar. My final challenge was to read more from my local library. Ha! With covid, that went down the pan too. I did check to see if I could borrow electronic editions, but most of the time they weren’t available at my library. Maybe I’ll be better at this throughout this year (once it re-opens again)? 

Anyway, there’s the background. And now, onto the books I read last year! My final end of year stats are:

I think I DNF’d the highest number of books I have ever recorded in a year in 2020. I think this is in part because I started to go through my TBR and my reading tastes have changed since I added the books several years ago. That’s not always the case… in fact, some of the best books I read last year were added to my TBR four or five years ago!

There were definitely more hits than misses. All in all, I think there was a pretty good proportion of books that I knew I was going to love and some more adventurous read that I want to try. Some of those worked, but those I put down definitely fall into that category.

To summarise this year wrap up post, here is a list of all the books I read last year and their star ratings: –

 

2020 Books

Have you read any of the books on this list? Or any of them on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Reading List – December 2020

Hi guys! Today I’m sharing my last reading list of 2020. Literally, where has this year gone? In some respects it isn’t a bad thing… but still. It doesn’t feel like Christmas should be just a few weeks away.

You may have noticed that my reading pace has dropped off the last few months. I’m not reading as much as I need to for a variety of reasons. I started the year planning to move, which I did in May. Since then, I’ve been putting in the work on the new place to redecorate, fix up and make it my own. In amongst all this, I’ve been studying for work-sponsored exams too. That in itself is quite a bit to juggle, but my blogging on top of that too? It’s a handful.

That’s why my reading and blogging has had to slow down a bit. I was getting a bit burned out with it, but I didn’t want to give it up. I still really enjoy reading and putting in the time to sharing my thoughts with you all, but I’ve had to find a more sustainable pace. Up until this month, I have been pretty ambitious in setting my reading lists and just carrying over what I don’t read. This month, that changes. I’ve come to accept that I am now reading less than I was… and that it’s okay. Maybe that will change again in future, and maybe not. It just depends on what else I’m doing.

This month’s list has a couple of carryovers from last month, plus one seasonal addition. Have you read any of these books?

 

Auxiliary: London 2039 – Jon Richter

Auxiliary: London 2039 by Jon Richter | Goodreads

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

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

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

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

A chip controlled by TIM.

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

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

 

I’m already a few chapters into Auxiliary and I can tell it’s a read I’m going to get on well with. I like the premise of the book and the narrative style is easy to read. The chapters are also nice and short so it’s easy to pick up. If you enjoy mystery and science-fiction genres, this might be one for you!

 

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley | Goodreads

Brave New World is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story’s protagonist.

 

Brave New World has been on my TBR for a number of years, and after watching the TV series recently, I decided it was the right time to pick the book up! I didn’t get around to reading Brave New World last month, so I will be reading the book this month instead.

 

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas – Adam Kay

Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas by Adam Kay | Goodreads

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas is the hilarious, poignant and entertaining story of the life of a junior doctor at the most challenging time of the year. With twenty-five tales of intriguing, shocking and incredible Christmas incidents, the British public will finally appreciate the sacrifices made and the challenges faced by the unsung heroes of the NHS.

Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas will be fully illustrated (as tastefully as possible) and will delight all of Adam’s fans throughout the festive period of Christmas 2019 and for many years to come.

 

I was introduced to Adam Kay earlier this year with This Is Going To Hurt by a colleague. The book was both heartbreaking and hilarious at the same time. I found out around the time I read it that there was a Christmas themed book also by him, so I have been planning on reading this book in December since then! If it’s every bit as good as This Is Going to Hurt, which I expect it will be, then this will be a great read to end the year.

 

So, that’s my reading list for the month! Have you read any of these books? What did you make of them if you have, or do you like the sound of them if you haven’t? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Reading List – November 2020

I am sharing my penultimate reading list of 2020. I just need a moment for that to sink in. Literally, WHERE HAS THIS YEAR GONE?! It’s crazy! And yet, here we are! I can’t believe it, but that doesn’t change it.

This month’s reading list features a couple of blog tour reads, as well as a couple of reading requests I previously accepted and last, but not least, a read off my never-ending TBR. One of the reading requests is a tidy up as well, as I have actually read most of the book already. I just need to finish it off!

Shall we get into what I am reading this month?

 

Glimmer of Hope – J. A. Andrews

Sometimes chasing a dream can become a nightmare…

Alecia Preen is living in poverty and desperate to make a better life for herself. Having moved to a new area for new beginnings after being disowned by her family, money was fast running out. She is struggling to make ends meet.

With the intention of charging lonely men online for her services, Alecia realises she can supplement her income by being unscrupulous. In meeting Jake Parker he requests that she role-plays as a psychiatrist, but he makes her aware of an underground millionaires playground called Sordida. He warns her to stay away.

As Alecia’s curiosity gets the better of her, she is amazed by the wealth and decadence on offer. Sordida is not the club she had anticipated because behind the legendary name lurks a very dark secret. A secret that could cost her everything.

He pays by the hour and Alecia pays in ways she had never imagined.

 

I love the sound of this particular read, which is why I’ve signed up for the blog tour! I’m not actually taking part until December, but I want to give myself plenty of time to pick the book up. It sounds sinister and intriguing, so I can’t wait to read this!

 

The Dark Chorus – Ashley Meggitt

Goodreads – The Dark Chorus

Oblivion awaits the Angel’s salvation

The Boy can see lost souls.

He has never questioned the fact that he can see them. He thinks of them as the Dark Chorus. When he sets out to restore the soul of his dead mother it becomes clear that his ability comes from within him. It is a force that he cannot ignore – the last shard of the shattered soul of an angel.

To be restored to the kingdom of light, the shard must be cleansed of the evil that infects it – but this requires the corrupt souls of the living!

With the help from Makka, a psychotically violent young man full of hate, and Vee, an abused young woman full of pain, the Boy begins to kill.

Psychiatrist Dr Eve Rhodes is seconded to assist the police investigation into the Boy’s apparently random ritualistic killings. As the investigation gathers pace, a pattern emerges. When Eve pulls at the thread from an article in an old psychology journal, what might otherwise have seemed to her a terrible psychotic delusion now feels all too real…

Will the Boy succeed in restoring the angel’s soul to the light? Can Eve stop him, or will she be lost to realm of the Dark Chorus?

 

The Dark Chorus is the second blog tour I am taking part in next month. Both blog tours are at the beginning of the month, and also on consecutive days too. This is why I am reading them nice and early this month. The Dark Chorus sounds like a really dark psychological thriller, which you guys know I love. I feel like I should have read them last month – they have a Halloween-y vibe – never mind! There isn’t a wrong time to read a book like this… at least not in my house!

 

Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Goodreads – Rags of Time

London. 1639.

Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.

A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.

But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.

Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.

Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.

In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.

Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?

And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?

Rags of Time is the first book in an engaging and entertaining new historical crime series, set during the upheaval of the 17th Century.

 

You may remember I picked this book up a couple of months ago. I read a good deal of the book then, but other time-constrained commitments meant I had to set the book aside at that time. Well, now I have a lot more time to finish the book, I’m going to wrap this up this month.

 

Auxilliary: London 2039 – John Richter

Goodreads – Auxiliary: London 2039

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

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

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

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

A chip controlled by TIM.

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

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

 

A few months ago I accepted a review request for this book and I love the sound of it. I’m a huge fan of science-fiction and I am always vowing to read more of it. I like the crime element to the narrative as well. I think this will be a really interesting read!

 

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Goodreads – Brave New World

Brave New World is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story’s protagonist.

 

My last book on today’s list has been on my TBR for three years now. I’ve decided to read it now as I recently watched the TV series currently on Now TV. I loved the dystopian vibes (let’s face it, I don’t think I’ve discovered a dystopian read I didn’t like!) and so I’ve bumped it up the list and I’m reading it this month.

 

So, that’s what you can expect me reading and talking about this November. Have you read Brave New World or any of the other books on my list?

 

 

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Reading List – October 2020

Hello everyone and thank you for checking out my reading list post for October. I don’t know about you but I’m really starting to notice the nights are drawing in faster. I actually enjoy this time in autumn. It’s still light when I leave work, but by the time I’ve eaten and gotten cosy for the evening with a cup of tea, it’s dark. It makes you feel justified curling up with a good book!

Speaking of which, would you like to find out what I’m reading this month? I haven’t made an ambitious list this month. I’ll freely admit I lost a bit of steam last month and didn’t read half as much as I planned at the beginning in my reading list. Ultimately, reading is a hobby. I’m not going to force myself to read if I really don’t want to, and I didn’t.

This month I have a little less flexibility. Almost all of the books listed are books I’ve signed up to the blog tours for. The last two are actually touring in November, but very early in November. Let’s find out what they are!

 

Limelight – Graham Hurley

Goodreads – Limelight

Life is dangerous. No one survives it. Enora Andressen makes a series of mind-blowing discoveries when her friend disappears in this compelling thriller set in an idyllic Devon town.

Actress Enora Andressen is catching up with her ex-neighbour, Evelyn Warlock, who’s recently retired to the comely East Devon seaside town of Budleigh Salterton. The peace, the friendship of strangers and the town’s prestigious literary festival . . . Evelyn loves them all.

Until the September evening when her French neighbour, Christianne Beaucarne, disappears. Enora has met this woman. The two of them have bonded. But what Enora discovers over the anguished months to come will put sleepy Budleigh Salterton on the front page of every newspaper in the land . . .

Limelight is a completely gripping and fascinating thriller featuring strong characters forced to make impossible decisions, the impact of which will be felt far beyond their quiet town… Perfect for fans of JOHN HARVEY and PETER ROBINSON.

What readers are saying about the Enora Andressen series:

“A first rate mystery with an exciting premise” Booklist on Off Script “Excellent characterization and plotting . . . I read it in a couple of days and loved it” NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars for Off Script “A very strong series debut . . . An intriguing start to a promising new series” Booklist on Curtain Call

 

I love a good thriller, and this is perhaps the best time of year to curl up and read one! Coming from a reasonably small place myself, I think I’ll be able to relate to the atmosphere and sleepiness that is the setting of the book. Although it is the fourth book in a series, I get the impression that it’s pretty standalone and therefore won’t matter that I haven’t read the previous books. At least, I’m hoping so.

I’m looking forward to checking out this thriller. From what I have read, it’s quite an atmospheric and slow build mystery so I’m expecting a lot of world-building, which I love.

 

Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord – The Secret Landlord

Goodreads – Parasite? The Secret Diary of a Landlord

Get ready to learn what really happens behind closed doors.

Landlords have become one of the most hated groups in society. Parasites, they’re often called. And there’s a lot of them. The Treasury estimates there are almost 2.6 million landlords in the UK with around 5.45 million rental properties.

But the real life of a professional landlord is very different to what most people think. From burglaries and break-ins to drug raids, police warrants, crazy tenant antics, bailiffs, squatters, lawsuits, wrecked properties, interfering council officers, game-playing freeholders to moments of heartfelt joy and happiness, the life of a landlord is never dull. Especially when the government keeps moving the goalposts.

This explosive front line exposé blows the lid off what it’s really like to be a landlord and the shocking reality of renting out a property. Hovering close to a nervous breakdown and likely suffering PTSD, The Secret Landlord exposes truths rarely shared. Stories that will grip you, move you and smack you in the face.

This is the truth, the other side of the door.

 

I don’t read much non-fiction, but when I was approached by Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources about a potential tour for this book I was intrigued immediately. I’m glad the author decided to go ahead and schedule it, because now I get to read the book!

I want to read this book to get a different perspective on landlords. I suppose I have dealt with a couple in my time and I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have the best experience with them at all. It’s not a wealth of experience though and I don’t want to tar everyone with the same brush. Yes, there are bad landlords, but I know there are tenants just as bad – I’ve dealt with one myself. I hope there’s plenty of these stories in the book!

 

Unbroken Truth – Lukas Lundh

Goodreads – Unbroken Truth

Beneath the arcane Rustpeaks lies the city of Lansfyrd, capital of one of the Dustlands many Holds. Visibility is at an all-time low and airships rumble through the skies. Detective Lentsay “Len” Yoriya of the Lansfyrd PD is a homocide detective stuck at a burglary assignment as punishment for loving the wrong person. When a xenophobic radio-shaman is murdered and the killers try to frame the city’s oppressed insectoids, Len knows better. But there is an election coming up, and the tension simmering in the city is reaching a boiling point. High-profile murders are rarely uncomplicated.

Meanwhile Len’s partner, Vli-Rana Talie, works as a lector at the Lansfyrd University, trying to keep her research going in an increasingly xenophobic environment. As the temperature rises for her partner, Vli will soon realize that delving into history, that some would prefer was forgotten, will carry risks of its own.

 

Science-fiction is one of my go-to genres to read and Unbroken Truth is my sci-fi fix for the month. For not being a big fan of politics in real life, I really enjoy the conflict it brings about in novel plotlines. This seems to be a prevalent part of the novel so I’m excited to see how this plays out!

This blog tour is now taking part in November, however, it was supposed to be at the beginning of this month. This is why I have ended up with so many tour dates in a short space of time, but I’m sure I’ll manage.

 

Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper of Whitechapel – M. K. Wiseman

Goodreads – Sherlock Holmes & The Ripper of Whitechapel

I am afraid that I, Sherlock Holmes, must act as my own chronicler in this singular case, that of the Whitechapel murders of 1888. For the way in which the affair was dropped upon my doorstep left me with little choice as to the contrary. Not twelve months prior, the siren’s call of quiet domesticity and married life had robbed me of Watson’s assistance as both partner and recorder of my cases. Thus, when detective inspector Lestrade of Scotland Yard required a lead—any lead—I found myself forced to pursue Jack the Ripper alone and without the aid of my faithful friend. And all for the most damnedable of reasons:

Early on in my investigations, Dr. John H. Watson, formerly of 221b Baker Street, emerged as my prime suspect.

 

I really enjoyed reading M K Wiseman’s Magical Intelligence this year. On that basis alone I would have signed up to a blog tour for a book by her. I also love the mystery of Jack the Ripper, so the fact that this blog tour features both is huge! By the time I signed up for this tour I think I knew about the delay to Unbroken Truth, but I couldn’t pass it up. I’m really looking forward to delving into this. I only hope it lives up to expectation!

 

Rags of Time – Michael Ward

Goodreads – Rags of Time

London.1639.

Thomas Tallant, a young and ambitious Spice Merchant, returns from India to find his city in turmoil.

A bitter struggle is brewing between King Charles I and Parliament, as England slides into civil war. The capital is simmering with dissent. The conflict is ready to boil over.

But Thomas soon has other troubles to contend with. A wealthy merchant, Sir Joseph Venell, is savagely killed; then his partner Sir Hugh Swofford plunges to his death, in the Tallant household.

Suspicion falls on Thomas, who is sucked into a mire of treachery and rumour within the City of London. As the merchant struggles to clear his name, he becomes captivated by the enigmatic Elizabeth Seymour, whose passion for astronomy and mathematics is matched only by her addiction to the gaming tables.

Pursued by the authorities, Thomas races to unmask the real killer who claims a third victim to implicate him further, toying with his future in a deadly cat and mouse game.

In a desperate race against time, Elizabeth applies her powers of logic and deduction to unearth the clues that will point to the killer, but her way is barred by a secret message from the grave.

Can she crack its code before Thomas, now a wounded and exhausted fugitive, succumbs to the chase?

And, if she succeeds, has Thomas the strength to face his tormentor and win his life and reputation back?

Rags of Time is the first book in an engaging and entertaining new historical crime series, set during the upheaval of the 17th Century.

 

Rags of Time is my current read. Whilst it’s on the back burner for a few days until my immediate blog tour obligations are done, I will be reading this in between the other books on my list. I have read most of the book now; I can’t wait to see how it ends! I’m certainly not waiting until the end of the month!

 

That’s my reading list for this month! Do any of the books catch your eye? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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