Top Ten Tuesday – Reads to Pick Up This Halloween!

Hello everybody, and welcome to my Top Ten Tuesday post, with recommendations for books to pick up this Halloween! If you’re not sure what you want to read this spooky season, I have ten recommendations for books that I have read and I think would make excellent reading. There is quite a variety of books in this selection, so there should be something here that meets your needs.

Where I have a live review of each book on my blog, I’ve provided a link to that if you want more information.

So, let’s jump into my recommendations!

 

The Stand

I’m starting off with some of Stephen King’s most iconic books. Aside from The Green Mile, The Stand was one of the first books I read of Stephen King’s. I actually listened to this epic on audiobook due to its size.

If you are uncomfortable with the idea of a premise that is a more extreme version of the pandemic we have just lived through, then maybe this one isn’t for you. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this post-apocalyptic narrative.

Full review here

 

IT

Another Stephen King novel I read and really enjoyed is IT. I read this one physically, and I have no doubt that I’ll be going back to my copy on my bookshelf at some point! I really enjoyed the dual-timeline narrative, and at just under 1400 pages, this is the longest book I have ever read. Despite that, I managed to read IT in a couple of weeks.

Full review here

 

Pet Sematary

If you want to try a Stephen King novel that won’t (quite) knock somebody out if you throw it at them, Pet Sematary is shorter than the previous books listed, yet is still brilliant.

I had no idea this book was going to end the way it did. However, it encapsulates the horror genre brilliantly.

Full review here

 

Imaginary Friend

Moving away from Stephen King, I have a number of books on this recommendation list from other authors.

I read Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chboksy in October 2019. This is also quite a sizable horror, but well worth the investment! Even though I read a good portion of this book on holiday, the narrative was chilling and unnerving enough to give all the autumnal, spooky vibes!

Full review here

 

The Dark Chorus

If you want to pick up a fairly short read this Halloween, then The Dark Chorus may just be the book for you. The narrative focuses on a young boy who can see lost souls. The narrative has a spiritual emphasis and involves this young boy committing terrible, ritualistic murders, towards his end goal.

It was a very creepy read, but one I rated very highly!

Full review here

 

Empire of the Vampire

If you like to read more towards the fantasy genre, Empire of the Vampire is a strong recommendation for you. I read this book by Jay Kristoff on holiday this year. As the name would suggest, this book is about vampires, but also about our main character, who is a vampire slayer.

Empire of the Vampire is a very Gothic style fantasy, with elements such as religion and the undead being at war with each other. I personally cannot wait to pick up the sequel to this book, whenever it is published. In the meantime, I can only recommend Empire of the Vampire to you!

 

The Chalk Man

Coming in at 280 pages, The Chalk Man is a very approachable reader for anybody. With a dual-timeline split between Eddie’s childhood, and his return to his hometown as an adult, a very dark story unfolds.

The benign language a group of friends used to communicate with each other leads to the discovery of a body, and nothing is ever the same again.

Full review here

 

The Taking of Annie Thorne

The Taking of Annie Thorne is another fairly short, but very sinister read. This was the second book. I read by CJ Tudor, and she is an author I will go back to for this kind of read in the future. It is brilliantly paced, the characters are engaging, and the storyline is something else.

This was a five-star read, and now I’m recommending it to you in the hopes that it will be for you too.

Full review here

 

Bell, Book and Candle (To Snare a Witch)

If you are a bit pressed for time this Halloween, maybe a series of short stories would be better suited to you?

I read these short stories back in October 2019 and they are a great way of delving into the dark and sinister without too much investment. They are also very easy to read, and you can read as many or a few of them as you like. The good thing about short stories is that they are very approachable!

Full review here

 

Mort

Lastly, if you’re not much into the Halloween genre and want to read something more satirical, I can recommend Mort by Terry Pratchett. It has a loose tie to the genre in that one of the main characters of this book is Death. In this first instalment of the Discworld series, Death decides to take an apprentice – Mort.

 

So, those are my Top Ten Tuesday recommendations for books to pick up this Halloween! Have you read any of the books listed today? Would you recommend any of them to others?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 23rd October 2022

Good evening and welcome, as always, to my Sunday Summary update post. If you are new here, this is a weekly post in which I talk about the books I have been sharing and reading, and those acquired during the week! At the end of the post, I will also talk about what you can expect on my blog next week.

Let’s jump into this week’s updates!

I have been enjoying a week of work this week. It has been a really good one in terms of reading progress. On the blog, things have been very run-of-the-mill. On Tuesday, I shared a book review for a read I thoroughly enjoyed last year – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This was an emotional five-star read, and I really enjoyed the unusual perspective. If you’re interested in my thoughts on this book, you can find a link to this post here.

Later in the week, I returned with a Shelf Control post. In this regular feature, I take a look at the books on my TBR to determine if they are still relevant. I feature one book at a time and talk specifically about why I am looking forward to reading it. This week’s book, much like my review on Tuesday, was a historical fiction novel. However, the similarities end there. Focusing on a completely different time period and continent, my shelf control feature is set in one of my favourite periods of history. If you haven’t read that post yet, there is a link here for that one!

 

Books Read

In my last Sunday Summary update post, I was 466 pages into Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb. I also shared that I was optimistic that I could finish this book this week, whilst I was off work.

I am pleased to say I did in fact finish this book! If you have ever read Robin Hobb for yourself, you will know that these are not easy books to read. There is a lot going on; the depth of world-building and detail means you cannot consume them quickly, however hard you try. I chipped away at the remaining half of this book across several sittings and finished the book on Thursday. As I expected, this was an absolutely phenomenal read. I really enjoyed how this book concluded. Most importantly, I can’t wait to see how the characters in these books come back later on in the series.

Next, I picked up my fixed read of the month, Blink of the Sun by Ross Kingston However, this didn’t go as well. In the end, I read just over 50 pages before I decided it wasn’t for me. It’s a shame because this was a book I really liked the sound of and had requested to read and review for the author. If you have never been in the situation before, sites such as BookSirens (via whom I downloaded this book) help you to provide feedback to the author. It isn’t a nice position to be in, but the one thing I pride myself on is being honest. It wasn’t for me, and if I had read and reviewed the book it would have reflected in my review.

After the unfortunate conclusion to Blink of the Sun, I decided to pick up Babel by R.F. Kuang. After receiving my copy of this book a couple of months ago, I’ve been dying to dive in. Admittedly, I’ve only really just started this book – I’m whole 34 pages in! A start is a start though, and one I want to build on. Naturally, I’ll update you next week’s Sunday Summary post with how I get on!

 

Books Discovered

I have one addition to my TBR this week, which is a little unusual in that it isn’t a genre I normally choose.

Kerry Tucker Learns to Live strikes me as a contemporary novel, but the synopsis indicates that there is something more going on. Having looked into the author, Louise also writes psychological thrillers. I’m hoping that an element of this comes into Kerry Tucker Learns to Live. Even if it doesn’t, I really enjoyed reading In Case You Missed It by Lindsey Kelk recently. Sometimes it’s good to have a change or palette cleanser, and that is my aim with reading this book. 

 

Coming Up…

Next week I have a fun and seasonal post to share with you on Tuesday. That particular post is part of the Top Ten Tuesday family. The topic is a freebie, provided it is Halloween-themed. With that in mind, I have decided to share my top ten Halloween reading recommendations for the spooky season!

Later in the week, I was supposed to be sharing my review of Blink of the Sun with you. However, as I am not reading and reviewing that book anymore, I will instead be sharing a First Lines Friday feature post with you. As of yet, that post has not been drafted. However, I’ll be getting onto this tomorrow night. So, I can’t even give you any spoilers as to what my featured book will be, as I haven’t decided yet! If you have any ideas of books you would like to see, or a challenge you would like me to take part in when selecting the book, let me know in the comments!

As always, I will be rounding up the week with another Sunday summary update post, at the same time next week.

 

That will do it for today though folks! Don’t forget to let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see in my First Lines Friday post; otherwise, I look forward to seeing you in the next one.

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Shelf Control #55 – 21/10/2022

It’s Friday and that can only mean one thing; it’s time for my Shelf Control post!

Shelf Control is a regular feature on my blog. It’s a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies… 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.

Today’s book is a historical fiction novel set in one of my favourite periods of history. It is tumultuous and full of strife, but it is a part of history that fascinates many. Myself included. I have already read books on the topic (including The Lady of the Rivers and Songbird), but it is one that I will never get sick of!

Shall we jump into today’s feature?

 

Anne Boleyn: A Novel – Evelyn Anthony

Genre: Historical-fiction

Pages: 320

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Open Road Media Romance

Publication Date: 17 Nov 2015

 

 

Goodreads – Anne Boleyn: A Novel

Set against the intrigue and pageantry of the sixteenth-century English court, Evelyn Anthony’s novel tells the love story of Henry Tudor and Anne Boleyn, who would become his wife, his queen, and the mother of one of Britain’s greatest monarchs.

On a lovely midsummer afternoon, Henry Tudor rides to Hever Castle. There, he feasts his eyes on Anne Boleyn, who caught his roving attention at court a few months earlier. Anne is in no mood to receive her king. He has torn from her the one man she loved: Harry Percy, who was forced to marry another. But King Henry VIII is not a man who gives up—the thrill of the chase only excites him more. Yet the woman he desires so passionately is no fool. Educated at the French court, Anne vows that she will not share the fate of her naïve younger sister, Mary, who after bearing Henry a bastard son was cast away and married off to a country squire. No, Anne will settle for nothing less than the crown of England, even if Henry has to break with Rome in order to marry her.

History comes thrillingly alive in a novel that features a teeming canvas of iconic real-life characters: Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, the enemy Anne vows to destroy; Henry’s first wife, the proud and pious Queen Catherine of Aragon; and Thomas Cromwell, who engineers Anne’s downfall. From the halcyon early days of courtship to her imprisonment in the palace tower for treason, this is a tale of love, ambition, and the tragic destiny of Anne of the Thousand Days.

 

My Thoughts…

Described as the love story of Anne Boleyn and Henry Tudor, this book is set during one of my favourite periods of history.

The infamous Henry VIII and his multitude of wives (and their various fates) leaves plenty for readers to pore through. I enjoy reading about this complex period of history, and I can’t wait to learn more about Anne Boleyn specifically from this book.  From the early days to her tragic end, Anne is a centrepiece in English history. In order to become Henry the eighth’s Queen and second wife, vast political and religious shifts must occur.

Anne Boleyn is often conveyed as an ambitious and conniving individual. She is often demonised as the reason for a lot of the reforms in England during the period, as well as being unable to provide the King with a son. Eventually, this led to her downfall just a few short years after she married Henry.

I’m interested to see if this particular book heralds the same tone, or if we get to see a different take on who she was as a political figure, but also a woman. The synopsis of this book suggests it is more of a romance. Whether this is just a different take on their story, or whether the whole saga is romanticised remains to be seen. 

That is all from me in today’s Shelf Control post! Have you read this book… or any other books on the Tudor period that you would recommend?

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Book Review: The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

I’ve been really looking forward to sharing my thoughts on The Book Thief with you. This was a very easy five-star read, and it was far more emotional than I imagined it was going to be! I enjoyed this book so much that I went on to purchase a physical copy. If I’m not sure about books, I tend to get them on my kindle. However, books by authors that I know and love, and will read again, end up on my physical shelf. That’s also the case if I go on to love something new, as was the case with The Book Thief. If that doesn’t tell you how much I enjoyed this book then I don’t know what will!

 

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 552

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Publication Date: 14 Mar 2006

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

 

Goodreads – The Book Thief

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.

In superbly crafted writing that burns with intensity, award-winning author Markus Zusak has given us one of the most enduring stories of our time.

 

My Thoughts…

I find it more common to find books about the Second World War written from an English or American perspective. It is rare that we see the effects of the war from the perspective of Germans. The Book Thief is refreshing in that aspect because it fills a gap that isn’t explored enough. It peels away any stigma that all Germans supported and contributed to the war activity. On the contrary, a lot of them objected to it and actively tried to help those of Jewish faith, who were victimised. 

I also enjoy how the book is told from the perspective of death. It is a challenging narrative to write, but it is one I have enjoyed by other authors in different contexts. An author who has been similarly bold in writing from this character perspective is Terry Pratchett, in his Discworld series. It would be remiss of me to imply that these books were similar, however. On the contrary, the tone is very different. That said, I appreciated both for different reasons. In The Book Thief, it emphasises how prevalent death is throughout such a tragic, heartbreaking narrative.

This is a book that will tug at your heartstrings. The ending is especially emotional, and whilst extremely personal to one of our main characters, Liesel, it fits with the events of the book. I shed a few tears. However, this book is not all doom and gloom. If anything, it only goes to emphasise the goodness of the human spirit in times of hardship. Liesel, who tragically loses her brother at the beginning of the narrative, and whose mother is taken away, is taken in by another family. Not only do they raise her when they have very little to offer in the first place, but they help inspire a fierce love – of reading.

Perhaps it is the quality time that learning to read gives her with her foster father. Perhaps it is because books are a ‘forbidden fruit’. Whatever her reasons, Liesel is a character that all book lovers can understand and come to love. She is a wilful, passionate child, growing up in a difficult time and turning to books and writing to escape. I think that is something we can all understand!

I don’t really want to discuss the finer points of the narrative and spoil the book for anyone. However, there is a lot that happens in this book. It is not the shortest at around 550 pages, but it is worth the investment of time. This is a book that I will be going back and reading again at some point in the future. It is one of those where you can do so and take away something new every time.

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 16th October 2022

Good evening – welcome back to another Sunday Summary update!

This week has been considerably better than last week. However, as a consequence of my working overtime last week, I’ve only shared one blog post with you this week. It isn’t the end of the world, but it is a deviation from my usual blogging schedule. I hope you can understand and that you enjoyed my light-hearted book tag post – The Cozy Autumn Book Tag.

 

Books Read

Thankfully, I have also had a lot more reading time this week. As of my last Sunday Summary update, I was 183 pages into Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb. Don’t get me wrong, 183 pages is reasonable progress. However, when you take into account this book is nearly 840 pages long, it’s not as much as you think.

This week I have done considerably better. I am now 466 pages into the book (which is just over halfway) and I’m really excited about where the plot is leading at the moment! A lot has already happened so far, but I feel like we’re finally getting into the main action of the story. 

I was avidly reading this book earlier this morning and I can’t wait to jump back into it soon as this post goes live! Fortunately, I have a lot more free time next week as I am on annual leave from my job. I’m going to be making a real push to finish Assassin’s Quest next week – wish me luck!

 

Books Discovered

Good news is I haven’t added any new books to my reading list this week! I have been fluctuating at roughly the same number of books on my reading list for quite some time. Whilst it’s good but it’s not growing, I would like to try and whittle it down some!

 

Coming Up…

You’ll be glad to know that I will be back to my usual schedule of sharing two posts midweek, and a Sunday Summary to wrap up events at the end of the week.

My first post of next week is a book review of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I really enjoyed my read of this historical-fiction novel. Whereas we normally read narratives of World War II from the perspective of British or American characters, I found the book me refreshing in as it focused on the lives of German and Jewish individuals. The Book Thief was a very easy five-star read for me, and if you want to find out why, check out my post on Tuesday.

Later in the week, I will be back with a Shelf Control. In that post, I am featuring another historical-fiction novel; this one is from a very different, but equally loved time period. If you like reading and learning about the Tudors, I recommend you check out my post on Friday!

As always, we will round off the week with another Sunday Summary update. How much reading can I do during a week off work? Let’s find out!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

The Cozy Autumn Book Tag!

Hello everybody, and welcome to today’s book tag post! I saw this post over on Kristin Kraves Books. As I was looking for an easy post to draft at short notice, I thought this would be perfect. It’s also a great little seasonal read. I hope you enjoy today’s post and that you can learn a little bit more about me in the process!

Let’s jump into it!

 

What book always reminds you of fall/autumn?

Naturally, one of the first things I think about when considering autumn is the start of the school academic year. It has been a large part of my life for a very long time. Although I am no longer at school, I frequently enjoyed the start of the school year (maybe not the early starts, or other students at times). I enjoyed throwing myself back into studies.

So, one of the biggest book series that immediately comes to mind with this is the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. All of these books begin with summer coming to a close and the new school year approaching. Before too long, the leaves are coming off the trees and the main characters Harry, Ron, and Hermione are embroiling themselves in mischief. Mischief is always managed.

 

What is your favourite autumnal book cover?

I love the cover of IT by Stephen King. There is a beautiful mix of moody and vibrant shades of orange that adorn my copy of this book. It reminds me of the turning of leaves during the transition from summer into winter. Not only that, but Stephen King is a classic author to pick up at this time of year.

Maybe it is because I read IT in October 2017 that it has an additional autumnal connotation in my eyes. This is a brilliant, spooky read, so if you’re looking for something to pick up around Halloween, I would recommend this book!

 

What is your favourite autumnal drink to read with?

Tea or coffee? Coffee or tea?

That is a very difficult question for somebody who enjoys both! You can keep your hot chocolate and all the sweet stuff. Even putting syrup in coffee is a cardinal sin in my house!

Really, I suppose it depends on the time of day and the mood I am in. I can’t pick one over the other.

 

Do you prefer to read late at night or early in the morning?

Early in the morning is not a phrase in my vocabulary. I will hold my hands up and openly admit that I am the kind of person who will get out of bed last minute as much as possible.

I am a night owl and most productive in the evening. That is why it is my time to work on my blog, but also to read. I am also a fan of reading as a means of winding down after the day (be that a working day or the weekend, in which I’m inevitably catching up on household jobs).

I will sometimes read in the morning at the weekend – but you can guarantee it’s late morning at best!

 

Halloween is coming! What is your favourite spooky read?

Whilst I do enjoy a Stephen King novel around Halloween, I have read some other brilliant, spooky reads! In 2019 I read Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. This was a brilliant read, even though I read a good portion of it on holiday, in 20+ degree weather.

I am not so much a paranormal reader, but I do enjoy a good mystery or thriller. These are the kind of genres I look for at this time of year!

 

What is the ultimate comfort read for you?

The genre I always go back to is fantasy. I have been reading fantasy heavily since I was a teenager. I love the depth of world-building and the escapism these books offer me. They can also be quite chunky.

They are perfect companions for a chilly night, wrapped up in a blanket burrito, surrounded by candles, and with all the hot drinks you can manage.

 

What is your favourite autumnal reading snack?

All of them?! 😂

What is your favourite autumnal candle to burn whilst reading?

I don’t so much have a favourite scent specific to autumn. Rather, I like having multiple tealights burning in lanterns across my mantelpiece. I enjoy the candle-light, and the suggestion of warmth and coziness it offers.

 

When you’re not reading, what is your favourite autumnal activity?

I enjoy making things. I have self-taught a number of crafts over the years, but one that I go back to more than most is knitting. I enjoy knitting clothes. In particular, I like making jumpers and cardigans. Perfect apparel for this time of year, and not projects for the faint of heart.

I currently have a jumper on one set of needles and a cardigan on another. Both are very different projects – the first is a colour-work piece, the second being a textured Aran.

 

What is on your autumn/fall reading list?

This year, I have a classic Stephen King novel on my TBR, Carrie. I’m not even that well versed on the plot, despite the story being made into a movie. I’m looking forward to reading this and seeing what it is all about!

In October, I also have Babel by R. F Kuang on my list. This is a relatively new release that I have heard excellent things about.

I’m looking forward to picking up my copy of this book as well!

So, that concludes The Cozy Autumn Book Tag! If you have enjoyed today’s post, and would like to share your answers to these questions, I would love to read them! Be sure to tag me in that post, so I can take a look at your answers.

Until next time, happy reading!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 9th October 2022

Hello everybody and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. I don’t know about you, but it is a very dreary evening here. It is the kind where you just want to snuggle in with blankets, candles and all the cosy things about you. I have done just that.

This week… has been a long week. I can’t say it particularly went to plan. In terms of my blog, this week’s posts went out as usual. On Monday, I shared my reading list for October 2022. This list is considerably more manageable than last month’s TBR! I’ve deliberately kept the number of books on the list towards the shorter end. Whilst I may be reading fewer books, the ones I am picking up are also on the chunky side! If you want to find out what I’m reading and haven’t taken a look at that post yet, there is a link above as always.

On Friday I shared a First Lines Friday post. In that post, I feature a book that I purchased a copy of originally… not realising it was part of a wider series. This particular book caught my mum‘s eye on my blog, and she has gone on to read some of these books even before I have touched any of them! She has really enjoyed them so far, and I can’t wait to try them for myself.

As for the rest of the week, well, it ended up being busy in every aspect that I didn’t expect. Long story short, I ended up doing overtime on a project for work. As a result, my usual blog post scheduling, and a lot of my reading, just didn’t happen. I’ll leave it at that. The good news is, we got the project done. However, I was working some fairly long days towards the end of this week.

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I had just finished reading Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. That was the last book on my September TBR that I managed to pick up.

This week, I started my October TBR, but not with my one ‘fixed read’ of the month. I decided to pick up one of my mood reads. It was one that I had wanted to pick up sooner, however, I couldn’t justify picking it up in September as I had a large quantity of books to try and read. I have been really enjoying the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb, and so I have picked up Assassin’s Quest, the final book of that trilogy.

As I mentioned above, I ended up working a lot this week and so this limited the amount I was able to read. However, as of this Sunday Summary update, I am 183 pages into this 800-and-something epic. I am really enjoying where this book is going so far, and so I’m optimistic that I will be able to make a good amount of progress next week! I am very heavily invested already, meaning I want to pick it up at every opportunity I’m given!

One of my ongoing reads from my previous Sunday Summary post was Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfeifer. As of that last post, I only had 45 minutes of listening time left of my audiobook. I will admit that I only picked up and finished this audiobook this morning. However, I’m really glad I did. I have mentioned quite a few times that this is a really interesting book, albeit sad. I have really enjoyed this listen and I have learned things about the events of 9/11 that I didn’t know before. This book will work really well to read (in print or kindle) or as an audiobook. The narrative flows really well, and I think I would have flown through this in either case!

 

Books Discovered

I suppose I have technically added a book to my TBR this week, although it was always going to be on there. As I am enjoying my current read of Assassin’s Quest, I decided to pick up the next book in the Realm of the Elderlings series – the first book of The Liveship Traders series.

Ship of Magic is every bit as chunky as the rest of the series has proven to be so far. This excites me; this book/series shifts its focus from the main character we have seen so far, FitzChivalry Farseer, into the wider realm. It’s an opportunity for me to dig into world-building from a different perspective.

 

Coming Up…

Normally I would have next week’s post already lined up for you. However, this week I don’t as yet.

I have been trying to work out a plan of attack and I have decided that this week I will be reducing my posting schedule from three posts (Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday) to two posts. Instead, I am going to share my take of The Cozy Autumn Book Tag on Wednesday this week.

I’ve taken that decision because I am already going to have my usual full ‘blog workload’ in drafting and scheduling posts for the week after next. I didn’t want to put myself in a position where I effectively doubled my workload, at a time when I’m just recovering from having an increased workload! So, I hope the change of schedule and the slightly lighter topic isn’t too much bother for anybody, and I’ll be back to my usual posting days from the week after.

In addition to my post on Wednesday, I will of course be back for another Sunday Summary update at the end of the week. Naturally, I’m hoping for a lot more progress in terms of reading – but I will let you know next week’s Sunday Summary.

That’s all from me folks! There isn’t too much in the way of updates from me this week, but I hope you can understand why.

What have you been reading?

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

First Lines Friday – 07/10/22

Happy Friday, and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post!

In today’s post, I feature a book I bought on a whim, not realising it was part of a wider series. The synopsis grasped my attention right away, and when I’ve talked about it on my blog, it caught my mum’s too…

Without further preamble, shall we dive into today’s First Lines Friday intro: –

 

At ten after five on a raw December afternoon, Joshua Kane lay on a cardboard bed outside the criminal courts building in Manhattan and thought about killing a man. Not just any man. He was thinking about someone in particular. It was true that Kane had, at times, while on the subway or watching passers-by, occasionally thought about killing a nameless, random New Yorker who happened to fall into his line of vision. It could be the blond a secretary reading a romance novel on the K train, a Wall Street banker swinging an umbrella as they ignored his pleas for change or even a child holding their mothers hand on a crosswalk.

How would it feel to kill them? What would they say with their final breath? Would their eyes change in that moment of passing from this world? Kane felt a ripple of pleasure feed heat into his body as he explored those thoughts.

He checked his watch.

11 after five.

 

 

Th1rt3en – Steve Cavanagh

Genre: Thriller

Pages: 356

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Orion

Publication Date: 30 Jan 2018

 

 

Goodreads – Th1rt3en

 

The serial killer isn’t on trial.

He’s on the jury…

They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

 

My Thoughts…

Th1rt3en is the first Steve Cavanagh book that caught my eye. I purchased a copy of it straight away, but later found out it is the fourth in his Eddie Flynn series.

Through my blog I introduced mum to his books. Whilst I am still yet to pick one up, mum is ahead of me and has made a start on them. As far as I know, she has enjoyed them so far. I cannot wait to give it a try for myself!

I’m looking forward to a legal thriller. The idea of the murderer being on the jury and knowing that from the outset is a real hook to draw us in as a reader. If we can set out from that revelation without giving much away, then what other twists and turns do we have in this narrative? I don’t know, but want to find out!

What also appeals is that whilst the book is part of a series, they are separate stories. So, they don’t strictly have to be read in order. The books themselves aren’t too long either. My mum read the first book and started the second on a week’s holiday earlier this year. There is enough to entice us in, but the books aren’t too long either. This will appeal to a lot of people – I can only hope I feel the same way when I finally get to this read for myself!

Have you read Th1rt3en, or any other Steve Cavanagh books? Let me know in the comments below, or let’s have a chat on social media!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Monthly TBR – October 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to my monthly TBR for October! How are we in the final quarter of the year? Already, this year is absolutely flying by, and before we know it I’ll be talking about the books I read in 2022 in total! But, enough of that now. Today’s post is all about the books I intend to read during October. This month I am toning things back down and not taking part in any readathons. Instead, I have gone back to my previous model of setting a small number of fixed books to read in the month, but the rest being mood reads that I can chop and change at will.

So, let’s dive into my October TBR!

 

Fixed Reads

Blink of the Sun

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 488

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Lunar Triumvirate

Publication Date: 30 Jun 2022

 

 

Goodreads – Blink of the Sun

My one and only fixed record of the month is Blink of the Sun. I have agreed to review this book on BookSirens, and the review is due towards the end of this month. This particular fantasy caught my eye, and as I’m always trying to explore new authors (especially indie authors), I fancied giving it a go. I can’t wait to see you how it compares with a number of other fantasy books I’ve read, and what makes it stand out if anything.

 

Mood Reads

Assassin’s Quest

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 838

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: 27 Mar 2014

 

 

Goodreads – Assassin’s Quest

I have been wanting to pick up this third book in the Farseer trilogy for the last couple of months. Unfortunately, there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to read this as part of a monthly TBR in September with the way Bookoplathon went. However, I have every intention to pick this up this month whilst the events of the first two books are fresh in my mind. I am also really enjoying this series, but I’m partly kicking myself that I didn’t try it earlier. Better late than never though, as they say.

 

Carrie

Genre: Horror

Pages: 322

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Anchor

Publication Date: 24 Jun 2008

 

 

Goodreads – Carrie

I didn’t get chance to read Carrie in September. This was a poll pick as part of Bookoplathon, but as it was one of the last rolls in the game, I just didn’t get to it. However, October is a perfect month to pick up a book like this! It would be rude not to have a Stephen King novel as a Halloween read, and whilst I already had this one on a TBR, I figured it made sense to carry it forward. This is a mood read, however, and I have plenty of other Stephen King books on my bookshelf. I could always change my mind and pick up The Shining, or Outsider, or even Sleeping Beauties if I fancy a change.

 

Babel

Genre: Fantasy / Dark Academia

Pages: 545

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: 23 Aug 2022

 

 

Goodreads – Babel

I received my copy of this book just over a month ago now, and I have been looking forward to reading it ever since! I haven’t really read much in the way of dark academia to date, however, I feel like this is a perfect seasonal read. This book begins with a child in a plague-ridden house. A sinister setting if ever we saw one. From there the story really comes into its own. I’m also really interested to see the take on language and translation that is an integral part of the plot. I can be a little bit of a nerd when it comes to language… particularly English. This isn’t a usual plot device or theme of a book, so I want to see how this works.

 

Queen of Our Times

Genre: Non-fiction

Pages: 690

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Publication Date: 05 Apr 2022

 

 

Goodreads – Queen of Our Times

With the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II last month, I have been inspired to pick up a book about her life. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that she reigned for over 70 years as the British monarch. Most people don’t work for that long in their lives. I have to say, when it comes to the British monarchy, I am fairly in the dark. I can’t say I know very much about it, and it is for this reason that I want to pick up Queen of Our Times. I want to fill that gap, and in reading this book, honour the woman who gave her life to her job, to her duty.

 

That is my monthly TBR for October 2022! Compared to last month, it is not remotely adventurous, but that’s a good thing! Last month’s reading list ended up being far too long, but that wasn’t really my fault. It was just bad luck. This month I’m aiming for a smaller list but with good quality books that I’m really going to enjoy.

Have you read any of the books on my October Monthly TBR? Have any of them caught your eye? Let’s have a chat in the comments! 

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 2nd October 2022

Hello, and welcome to another Sunday Summary update post! It is the end of yet another week, and the autumnal vibes are really kicking in. The tree in my front garden has turned a vibrant shade of red. The nights are starting to draw in earlier and I’ve been cosying in with candles lit everywhere. Can you tell this is my favourite time of year?

This week I’ve been a busy bee. In terms of blog posts, I shared a book review for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Tuesday, and my Monthly Wrap-Up post for September, yesterday.

I had been meaning to continue reviewing my re-read of the Harry Potter series for some time. I knew I wanted to share another review before we got into the swing of the month-end and then posting the following month’s TBR. If you haven’t checked out that review already, I’ve provided a link above, so you can go and take a look.

Typically I post on a Friday, however, with that being the end of the month I decided to push my usual Friday post out to Saturday. That meant I could provide you with a full monthly wrap-up for the whole month. I didn’t get anywhere near finishing my September TBR, but, I expected it. That said, I still enjoyed most of the reads I picked up in the month. Again, if you haven’t checked out that post yet, there is a link above.

 

Books Read

This week I have been continuing with Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. As of my last Sunday Summary update, I was only 20% through this book. I was already enjoying it from what I had read so far, and I’m pleased to say that the book only gets better from there!

It is every bit the science-fiction thriller I was promised. I really enjoyed the twisty narrative and how the ending came together. If you enjoy stories that deal with parallel universes, this is something you will enjoy! I have been making progress with this book for most of the week and I finished it this morning. It is the last book on my September TBR that I got to. It’s good that it hasn’t taken me long to finish, because it means I can move on to my October TBR in earnest.

I have also been listening to more of Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfiefer this week. If I’m honest, I had expected to finish this audiobook this week. Whilst I didn’t quite get there, I only have 45 minutes of listening time to go. I’m going to make every effort to finish this tomorrow. This is another book that I have really enjoyed reading (or listening to in this case). It is naturally a difficult subject, but it has taught me things about that awful event that I didn’t know until now.

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added any new books to my TV off for two weeks in a row now – I think that deserves a pat on the back!

 

Coming Up…

Next week’s posting schedule is exciting because I am sharing October’s TBR with you on Tuesday. This month’s TBR is going to be considerably shorter than the last – and it needs to be! One of the books on September’s TBR (that I didn’t get to) also makes a reappearance. Can you guess which one?

Later in the week, I am back with a First Lines Friday post. In that post, I share a book that I originally picked up on a whim, not realising it was part of a series. The good thing is, these books aren’t interlinked in a way that means you have to read them in order (they just have a certain character in common). My mum has already started on these books. I introduced them to her through my blog and still I haven’t read any of them yet! But, as preparing that post reminded me, I can’t wait to try them.

So, that’s all the gossip from me in today’s Sunday Summary post. What have you been reading? Have you read any of the books discussed in this post? As always, I would love to hear from you below.

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads