First Lines Friday – 11/02/2022

Hello and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular series in which I take the opportunity to share the opening introductions of a multitude of books. These may be books I’ve already read, are looking to read, or even just a little bit intrigued about.

For today’s post I decided to keep my options wide open. I’ve been thinking about a particular author quite a lot this week, and so I’ve decided to feature one of his books today.

Can you guess what today’s featured book is from the intro?

 

Nothing but stars, scattered across the blackness as though the Creator had smashed the windscreen of his car and hadn’t bothered to sweep up pieces.

This is the gulf between universes, the chill deeps of space that contain nothing but the occasional random molecule, a few lost comets and…

… But a circle of blackness shifts slightly, the eye reconsiders perspective, and what was apparently the awesome distance of Interstellar wossname becomes a world under darkness, its stars the lights of what will charitably be called civilisation.

 

 

Pyramids – Terry Pratchett

Goodreads – Pyramids

It’s bad enough being new on the job, but Teppic hasn’t a clue as to what a pharaoh is supposed to do. After all, he’s been trained at Ankh-Morpork’s famed assassins’ school, across the sea from the Kingdom of the Sun. First, there’s the monumental task of building a suitable resting place for Dad — a pyramid to end all pyramids. Then there are the myriad administrative duties, such as dealing with mad priests, sacred crocodiles, and marching mummies. And to top it all off, the adolescent pharaoh discovers deceit, betrayal – not to mention a headstrong handmaiden – at the heart of his realm.

 

My Thoughts…

I have been thinking about Terry Pratchett a lot lately and my love of the Discworld series. This is why I wanted to feature one of these books today.

These books are great fun to read. They are lighthearted and humorous, and full of fantastic quotes that I have saved throughout the course of reading them. My favourite from Pyramids is: –

“The conversation of human beings seldom interested him, but it crossed his mind that the males and females always got along best when neither actually listened fully to what the other one was saying.” 

The narrative and the characters within spoof human character and how faith and traditionalism affect human behaviour. These books are laugh out loud hilarious, and anything that features the character of death, however brief, is a hit with me.

What’s really good about pyramids is that it is a standalone novel. It’s fair to say that any of the books can be picked up independently, but the character set in Pyramids don’t seem to appear in any other future novels. So, this is an undisputed choice if you want to sample the Discworld series without committing to the wider series.

Have you read Pyramids, or any of the other books in the Discworld series? Let me know in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I’d LOVE to Re-Read!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday post is a freebie with the general theme of ‘love’. Now you know me, I am not interested in anything remotely romance-y. Obviously I wasn’t going to be sharing the post along those lines!

When trying to think about how I could make this topic work for me, I came to the answer quite easily. As I’ve been drafting blog posts of late, and featuring books I’ve read before, I’m frequently saying to myself that I would love to re-read them. And it’s true – I fully intend to do so! This wasn’t too far away from the forefront of my mind, so making a topic of them in today’s post seemed logical. It also means I have a record of the books I want to re-read as of now so I can always go back to it if I need to refer to it!

Half of the books on this list are ones I read prior to starting my blog and so it has been a good while since I read them. I’m interested in going back to them to see what I make of them now my reading taste has matured. Those books are: –

 

The Name of the Wind

The Mistborn Trilogy

The Gentlemen Bastards series

Blood Song

Night Angel series

 

In addition, there are books I have read within the last few years that I want to go back to again just because I thought they were brilliant! They’re the kind of books I could go back to you again and again (and again) and never get bored of them. These are the books I will shout from the rooftops about, because I think they’re bloody fantastic!

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy

Strange the Dreamer series

Raven’s Mark series

Code Name Verity

 

There is one final book on my list that I would like to re-read again, because I didn’t actually finish it properly first time round.

The Eye of the World

the eye of the world

After a very good attempt, I DNF’d first book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I was enjoying it, however it was also quite heavy. At the time I tried to read this book I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind. I started to struggle and ultimately made the decision to put this down because I wasn’t getting on with it.

I really want to go back to it because my friend Rachael absolutely loves the series and I trust her judgement entirely. I was the problem, I think… or at least the timing of it was. If I could go back to this in a better frame of mind, I’ll sail through it. A time when I’m really motivated to read and not intimidated by the length, because it is a chunky one… and only the first book of many! If all else fails I can get an audiobook copy – they are nice and easy to digest compared to physical books! 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Have you read any of these books? Do you have any books you would love to re-read?

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Sunday Summary – 6th February 2022

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary post for this week. As always, I hope you’ve had a great one?

Earlier this week I shared a brief wrapup for January and my TBR list for February. I decided to combine these two posts as more often than not, there is a degree of overlap. The start of my reading list for February is related to my reading progress in January. Naturally, it felt like a good fit and it also saved me from writing a separate post!

My Friday feature this week was a Shelf Control post. The featured book in this week’s post has been on my TBR for quite some time – since 2017. As someone who has been reading more science fiction of late, I’m excited to get around to this particular book. I like the sound of the synopsis (albeit as brief as it is)… and I hope to read it soon!

 

Books Read

 

Reading progress has been very hit and miss over the last couple of weeks. Last week was a complete lull, after the week prior in which I read a hell of a lot.

This week I found a bit more of a healthy balance. My main objective of the week was to finish reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, and I’m pleased to say I have! I’ve been enjoying my re-read of this series. I haven’t read these books for about 10 years now, and they’ve aged really well. Despite being older, it doesn’t matter. It hasn’t impacted my enjoyment in the slightest. I am particularly enjoying the later books in the series as the plot becomes more developed and a little bit darker. I can’t wait to read and enjoy the last one… and call this re-read complete!

In addition, I have also started Clockwork Magpies by Emma Whitehall. This was an impulse addition to read last month. I had seen the publisher advertising advance reader copies of the book to bloggers like myself, and I really loved the sound of it. I love fantasy and the steampunk element really appealed! I only picked this up fairly briefly one night this week, but I’m already over 10% through! It’s a bit shorter than the books I’ve been reading of late, so I expect I will get through this one quite quickly in the next week or so.

I have also made more progress with A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin. I’ve listened to a good few chapters this week, and most probably do an amount to a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, progress is progress! This is a serious I could read and listen to over and over again. I’m in no rush to get through it.

 

Books Discovered

Once again it has been a quiet week on the TBR front with no new books added to the list!

 

Coming Up…

My first post next week is going to be a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s theme is a ‘love freebie’, and I’ve decided that I’m going to be sharing a post with the topic of ‘Books I’d LOVE to re-read’. As I think you will know by now I am not a romance person by any stretch of the imagination. It’s the only way I can get this thing to work, but I will also be good for me because there are a number of books I have featured recently and said, “Hey, I want to read that again.” It will be handy to have it all in one place for reference later.

On Friday I will be sharing a First Lines Friday post. I’m going to keep it wide open this week so I can feature absolutely anything I want!

And last but not least, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary update.

What have you been reading this week? Do you have any recommendations for me? As always, I’d love to hear from you!

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Shelf Control #42 – 04/02/2022

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! Shelf Control is a regular feature here on my blog (typically fortnightly on a Friday) and is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

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

Today’s chosen book is a science-fiction novel that is semi-vague about the main storyline, but gives me enough to tell me that I’m going to enjoy it, whatever the detail turns out to be.

So, do you want to find out what today’s book is?

 

Invictus – Ryan Graudin

Goodreads – Invictus

Time flies when you’re plundering history.

Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far’s birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he’s ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far’s very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.

 

My Thoughts…

I am intrigued by the synopsis of Invictus. Having read more science fiction in the last few years, I’m confident that I’m going to enjoy this one. I’ve read similar sounding books even fairly recently and I’ve gotten on with all of them! I only hope that the time travel element isn’t too complicated to follow; otherwise I am sure this will be a great read!

Science fiction is a genre that I told myself I wanted to read more of. Whilst it isn’t my most read genre by any stretch of the imagination, it is creeping up the ranking. I do find myself reading more and more, and the good thing about the genre is the diversity in technology authors have to play with. It’s a rapidly evolving beast, with bold ideas as to what technology we will have access to in the future. Yes there are common themes, but it is a little more diverse than the fantasy genre, in which the same troops are generally regurgitated.

At around 460 pages Invictus is a decent read, but equally not too long either. It’s also a good opportunity to try something by a new author; having read the synopsis of another book she has written (Wolf by Wolf), I think this is something I could enjoy as well. However, I’ll see how I get on with Invictus before I start adding any more books to the list!

Have you read Invictus, or any other books by Ryan Graudin? Let me know in the comments!

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January Wrap-Up & February 2022 TBR!

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s January Wrap-Up and February TBR post. I’ve decided to combine these two posts so I can briefly talk about what I have read in the last month, and also share what I plan to read over the next month. More often than not there is some degree of overlap and so I think it makes sense to share both of these. I’ll try to keep it concise so it’s not too long!

 

January Wrap-Up

I’m pleased with the last month’s reading progress. At the beginning of January I was around halfway through The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. I was kindly loaned this by my sister’s boyfriend Chris to read and I’m glad he shared it with me! It has a great diversity of genres and topics and it was a really interesting read because I probably wouldn’t have picked it up myself. That’s the good thing about recommendations; it encourages you to push the boat out sometimes.

Next I picked up a fairly short read, The Feedback Loop by Harmon Cooper. I deliberately picked up The Feedback Loop next because it is a reasonably short book at just under 200 pages. I’m really glad I did this as it kept up my reading momentum. I read The Feedback Loop in just a couple of evenings – a record for me in the last few months!

After that I went on to read Dune by Frank Herbert. This particular book had been on my TBR for just under five years. I had casually picked it up once before, reading the first 20 odd pages as a means of trying the book out. I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t going to be a light read and I think that’s why I haven’t picked it up since. I’m glad I did in the end however. I was right in that there was a lot to take in at first and I didn’t start off particularly quickly. However, once I got about a third of the way in and I had gotten all the foundation information laid out, I was flying! It was definitely worth the investment and I really enjoyed this book in the end – all 529 pages of it!

I concluded the month of January with two ongoing reads – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and The Original Folk and Fairytales of the Brother’s Grimm. At the end of the month I was just under half way through Harry Potter and about third of the way through the folk and fairytales. I discovered that The Original Folk and Fairytales of the Brother’s Grimm was not a book to read on its own and was better to read concurrently with another book. So, this is why I started Harry Potter at the same time.

So, that’s that I got up to in January! And now onto the important bit – what am I planning to read this month?

 

February TBR

Fixed Reading List

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Naturally I’m starting the beginning of this month by finishing off my January reads. I’m currently just over halfway through Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Although it’s a chunky book it’s proving really easy for me to pick up and read. So, I’m hoping to get this wrapped up in the next couple of days!

 

Son of Mercia

As a huge fan of Bernard Cornwell, I was really excited to receive an invite for the blog tour for Son of Mercia. It is set at around the same time period and given that I’ve loved Bernard Cornwell’s series so much, I thought it would be great to read something similar but from a slightly different perspective. I really like the sound of the synopsis and I can’t wait to give you my thoughts on this book on the 21st of February!

 

Clockwork Magpies

Last month I saw a promotion for review copies of Clockwork Magpies and I fell in love with a synopsis immediately. Although I’m not reading too many advanced reader copies at the moment, I decided to make an exception for Clockwork Magpies. It’s a steampunk style of fantasy novel with a strong female protagonist that I think I can get behind. It’s a little bit different and I hope I love this as much as I expect to! It’s also quite a short novel as well at just over 250 pages, so it shouldn’t take long for me to devour at any rate!

 

The Original Folk and Fairytales of the Brother’s Grimm

Originally I had planned to sit and read throughThe Original Folk and Fairytales of the Brother’s Grimm as it is last month. However, I’m finding that it’s easier to pick up in small bursts. A lot of the stories are very short and so in my opinion it makes good companion reader. It’s great if you fancy a little bit of a change of pace, or just fancy something different. So, I will be reading this throughout the month alongside my other reads.

 

Mood Reads

Diary of a Young Girl

I am a big fan of historical fiction and in particular, one of my favourite topics is World War II. Having said that though, I regret to say that to date I have not read the diary of Anne Frank – not in full. Something in the back of my mind tells me I read an extract from it in my history lessons a long time ago. It’s a harrowing story but it’s one that I want to take the time to read. I’ve added it to my list for reading this month as I’m hoping to start reading a lot more. It’s definitely becoming more of a habit again. If I don’t get to it however, it’s not the end of the world.

 

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest

I’ve got the urge to pick up a classic this month and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest particularly catches my eye. I really like the idea of the synopsis; it’s been on my list for a long time (along with plenty fo other books). Again, if I don’t get round to this by the end of February then I’ll carry it through to my fixed reading list in March. If I can take off another book from the TBR then I will be very happy though!

As with last month, my designated mood reads aren’t fixed and I might choose to pick up something else entirely! And, you are always welcome to change my mind; if you have a book recommendation I’d love to hear it!

Have you read any of the books on my TBR? What are you reading this month? Let me know!

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Sunday Summary – 30th January 2022

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update for this week. As always, I hope you’ve had a great one?

I began this week by sharing a book review with you. I read Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham just over a year ago, so needless to say my review was a little late in coming to you. However, better late than never… and if you are interested in non-fiction then this might be something for you to check out yourself.

This week’s Friday feature was a First Lines Friday post. For this week’s post I set myself the challenge of featuring a book I read before I started my blog back in 2017. I’m really happy with the book I choose to feature; it’s a book series that I would like to go back and read again. I went on to read a further book by this author, but I wasn’t as keen on that one as I was the original series. If you want to find out what I’m talking about, you can check out my Friday feature using the link above.

 

Books Read

Last week my reading progress was on fire, but this week I’ve done almost the complete opposite. I picked up Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince very briefly, but I didn’t even get through a full chapter this week. Not very good progress I know, but I’ve been doing other things. I have been playing Animal Crossing and Minecraft, knitting my dad a pair of fingerless gloves (and starting a pair of my mum), as well as spending time with family. It’s actually been nice taking a step back for a little bit. I’ve still done a lot of reading this month and if I learned anything from last year, it’s to do it when I want to but equally not force it if I want to do something else. And this week I’ve done other things. That’s fine; my books aren’t exactly going anywhere!

I will be picking up Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince again tonight to make up for some of the lack of reading this week. I am actually in the mood for it too; I like to read as a way of winding down in the evening. I do particularly struggle on Sunday nights, so I think it will be of a benefit to me anyway.

I have managed to listen to more of A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin this week. Although it’s not a huge amount again, I’d actually say it was more than I managed to physically read this week.

 

Books Discovered

It’s been another good week for me here because I haven’t added any more books to the ever-growing list that is my TBR pile. I will count my wins where I get them!

 

Coming Up…

I haven’t really been able to prepare the first of next week’s blog posts in advance, because they depend on part on the reading progress I’ve made to date. At the beginning of next week I’m going to be sharing a wrapup commentary for the month of January, as well as my TBR for February together in one update post. I hope you can join me for that!

Then, on Friday I will be sharing a Shelf Control post. This week’s featured book is one I added to my list in September 2017. It’s synopsis is also quite vague, but in a way that draws your attention and makes you wonder about it. You can find out more about the book and my thoughts on it on Friday!

And last but not least, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary update.

What have you been reading this week? Do you have any recommendations for me? As always, I’d love to hear from you!

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First Lines Friday – 28/01/2022

Hello and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular series in which I take the opportunity to share the opening introductions of a multitude of books. These may be books I’ve already read, are looking to read, or even just a little bit intrigued about.

For today’s post I set myself the challenge of featuring a book I read before I started my blog. I started blogging back in 2017, so most of the reads that fall into this bracket are those as I picked up as a teenager. Today’s featured book is the first in a series that I adored completely and utterly.

Can you guess what today’s featured book is from the intro?

Azoth squatted in the alley, cold mud squishing through his bare toes. He stared at the narrow space beneath the wall, trying to get his nerve up. The sun wouldn’t come up for hours, and the tavern was empty. Most taverns in the city had dirt floors, but this part of the Warrens had been built over marshland, and not even drunks wanted to drink standing ankle-deep in mud, so the tavern had been raised a few inches on stilts and floored with stout bamboo poles.

Coins sometimes dropped through the gaps in the bamboo, and the crawlspace was too small for most people to go after them. The guild’s bigs were too big and the littles were too scared to squeeze into the suffocating darkness shared with spiders and cockroaches and rats and the wicked half-wild tomcat the owner kept. Worst was the pressure of the bamboo against your back, flattening you every time a patron walked overhead. It had been Azoth’s favourite spot for a year, but he wasn’t a small as he used to be. Last time, he got stuck and spent hours panicking until it rained and the ground softened beneath him enough that he could dig himself out.

 

The Way of Shadows – Brent Weeks

Goodreads – The Way of Shadows

From New York Times Bestselling author Brent Weeks…

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city’s most accomplished artist.

For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly – and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.

But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics – and cultivate a flair for death.

 

My Thoughts…

As a young adult I was really taken with the synopsis of this book, and my previous read of this series sticks with me because I pretty much binge-read it! I loved it so much! Back then I pretty much read fantasy books exclusively. There was the odd exception, but it was rare. For a book to stand out amongst all other fantasy books I read around the same time, I think it says something!

I read these books back in 2014 and I would love to go back to them again. The synopsis even appeals to me now; I have every confidence I could read them again as I really got on with the writing style and the flow of action. The first book alone is around 650 pages long, so on the one hand it’s not for the faint-hearted, but equally I found it so easy to read. It’s one of those things where if you’re really into it, you’re into it.

I since went on to read another book of his, The Black Prism, in 2017 but I only gave that a 3 star rating. It was a perfectly acceptable read, but I haven’t gone on to continue with the series. Another reason I’d like to go back to The Way of Shadows is to see how the two books compare. It’s been a long time since I read this series and I have read a lot of books since then. I want to see if my new perspective is consistent with my original experience or whether my reading tastes have changed.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday post! Have you read The Way of Shadows, or any of the other books in the series? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Review: Midnight in Chernobyl – Adam Higginbotham

In today’s blog post I’m going to be sharing a book review for a non-fiction book I read at the very beginning of 2021. I believe I carried this over from December 2020 to finish it, so it’s been quite a while since I read it. However, it made a lasting impression on me! I thought the book was really good and it’s about a subject that I wanted to learn more about as a result of a TV series I watched.

The events around and following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster are harrowing to read, but I think the book does an excellent job of informing the reader in a way that keeps them engaged and entertained. I certainly learned a lot from it!

 

Midnight in Chernobyl – Adam Higginbotham

Goodreads – Midnight in Chernobyl

The definitive, dramatic untold story of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, based on original reporting and new archival research.

April 25, 1986, in Chernobyl, was a turning point in world history. The disaster not only changed the world’s perception of nuclear power and the science that spawned it, but also our understanding of the planet’s delicate ecology. With the images of the abandoned homes and playgrounds beyond the barbed wire of the 30-kilometer Exclusion Zone, the rusting graveyards of contaminated trucks and helicopters, the farmland lashed with black rain, the event fixed for all time the notion of radiation as an invisible killer.

Chernobyl was also a key event in the destruction of the Soviet Union, and, with it, the United States’ victory in the Cold War. For Moscow, it was a political and financial catastrophe as much as an environmental and scientific one. With a total cost of 18 billion rubles—at the time equivalent to $18 billion—Chernobyl bankrupted an already teetering economy and revealed to its population a state built upon a pillar of lies.

The full story of the events that started that night in the control room of Reactor No.4 of the V.I. Lenin Nuclear Power Plant has never been told—until now. Through two decades of reporting, new archival information, and firsthand interviews with witnesses, journalist Adam Higginbotham tells the full dramatic story, including Alexander Akimov and Anatoli Dyatlov, who represented the best and worst of Soviet life; denizens of a vanished world of secret policemen, internal passports, food lines, and heroic self-sacrifice for the Motherland. Midnight in Chernobyl, award-worthy nonfiction that reads like sci-fi, shows not only the final epic struggle of a dying empire but also the story of individual heroism and desperate, ingenious technical improvisation joining forces against a new kind of enemy.

 

My Thoughts…

Considering that the disaster only took place in recent history, I went into this book with only vague knowledge of what had happened. I had briefly covered the subject in school in terms of its relation to the breakdown of the Soviet Union in my studies of the Cold War. In addition, I had some idea of the lasting effects of the disaster as a friend of mine’s family have previously hosted a child visiting the Island where I live. There is a charity called ‘Friends of Chernobyl’, who give children who live in areas still affected by radiation the opportunity to visit places such as where I live for an extended period for the benefit of their health. My friend’s family used to look after a girl in the summer holidays. Aside from that, the rest of what I knew about the disaster came from the TV series Chernobyl.

That’s not very good really in my opinion, and that’s why I wanted to look into this further for myself. I’m glad I picked up Midnight in Chernobyl to do this. There is a lot of interesting detail in the book, but it’s delivered in such a way that it is entertaining to read as well as informative.

I liked the way this book is written out. Each chapter is documented with a time and date and follows in chronological order, so it’s easy to follow what happens. I enjoyed how the book covers the whole history of the plant and nearby town Pripyat as opposed to just focusing on the disaster. Naturally, this takes up the majority of the book but seeing how and why it was built and the consequences of how Chernobyl came to be the place it was at the time of the disaster was interesting.

If you can also appreciate a little bit of science then I think you will also enjoy reading the explanatory narrative about how the reactors were designed to work. It was a little bit of a technical section, but not horrendously complicated and it went a long way to helping me understand what ultimately went wrong on that fateful day.

I think even if you know what happened, it’s only when you read the intimate experienced of each individual involved, and the loss of their loved ones, that it hits home.

I’m not overly surprised at the events of the disaster given the reasons it happened, but also how it was responded to. There was a ridiculous amount of secrecy around events such as these in the USSR. Chernobyl is one of the most well-known disasters, the truth is that there were a lot of smaller-scale disasters at other nuclear plants throughout the USSR in the period. But, like me, you probably didn’t know about these. Just like the scale of the Chernobyl disaster at the time, the powers that be were determined to hush it up and underplay it as much as possible. It’s despicable really when you think about the human cost.

Midnight in Chernobyl is a great read if you want a balance of information and an interesting read. I think the author does a very good job of informing readers about the event but also doing it in a way that highlights individual stories and personal consequences with dignity, with a view to outing the truth after decades of secrecy.

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Sunday Summary – 23rd January 2022

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update post to round off this week. As always, I hope you’ve had a great week?

I began this week by sharing a book tag post with you all. The Bookaholics Anonymous Book Tag was really fun to get involved in and to share my answers for. I like these posts because they’re quite casual, but also give you the chance to learn a little bit about me. If you haven’t checked out that post yet you can do so using the link above, and if you’d like to take part I’d love for you to link to me so I can see your answers!

My Friday feature post this week was a Shelf Control post. This week’s featured book is one from a genre I don’t read much of. That said, this author is also a bit of a go-to for me and I won’t hesitate to read any of his books even if they’re not normally my cup of tea. He’s a household name and I’m sure if you haven’t read the book yourself, you’ve probably watched a film based on it!

 

Books Read

I don’t know what happened this week, but the amount of reading I’ve done compared to recent weeks is off the charts!

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I was just over 200 pages into Dune by Frank Herbert, which equates to 38%. I finished the book on Wednesday! I must’ve just hit a point in the narrative where it clicked for me. It was perhaps a little bit slow to start, or at least, there was a lot of groundwork needed before the action began. My progress up until this week was getting through that, but once the action started I was in and hooked! I enjoyed reading this book – it’s been on my shelf for five years nearly and I can finally tick it off the list!

In addition, I have been reading a further two books side-by-side this week. I started with reading The Original Folk and Fairytales of the Brother’s Grimm,  translated by Jack Zipes. This is a collection of the original versions of folk and fairytales collated by the brothers and published in 1812. Even from the few I’ve read so far, the tales have changed dramatically since they were originally published. The majority of these tales were previously passed down orally, which is apparent from the way they’ve been documented. Originally, the brothers aimed to maintain as much fidelity to the oral tales as possible. They lack polish, some of them are incomplete or have alternative endings and there are some significant changes from the fairytales we know today. I like how the book includes well-known fairytales, such as Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel, but equally, there are so many other stories that we don’t know. As of this update post, I’m 79 pages into this book.

I’m finding that it’s a book to pick up in short bursts, however. With that in mind, I have also started reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling. It’s nice to have a blend of short stories that I can pick up and put down very easily, and also a longer story that is easy to take in. This particular book is a re-read so I’m fully familiar with the story, but I’m still enjoying all the same! That is obvious by my progress; I’m 124 pages into this book already.

I have listened to a very small amount of A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin this week. It’s almost not worth mentioning because it’s probably only a couple of chapters, but it’s better than nothing right?!

 

Books Discovered

 

I’ve made two additions to my TBR list this week.

The first book I’ve added is The First Binding by R. R. Virdi. It is due to be published in August this year and I like the sound of the narrative based on the synopsis. To me, the narrative sounds like it could be very reminiscent of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles books. We shall see on that front, but I’m always open to new authors and this sounds like it could be a great fantasy series!

The second addition to my TBR is Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert, the sequel to Dune. There are quite a few books in the series and it’s one that I would like to continue with and chip away at over time.

 

Coming Up…

I have prepared a book review to share with you next week. I’ve been looking back through my list of books read and decided that I’m going to share a review of Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham. I don’t read much in the way of non-fiction, but I really liked how this book balanced the entertainment of reading element, but also managed to inform and educate me as a reader. I went into this book with very little knowledge of the disaster, but that didn’t matter. If you want to check out that post, that will be going live on Tuesday.

My regular Friday feature is a First Lines Friday post this week. For this post, I’m setting myself the challenge of featuring a book I read as a teenager in my pre-blog days. I’ve read so many great ones and there are several that I would like to go back to again. I feel like this post is probably going to encourage me to do this even more! You’ll have to check out my post on Friday to see which book I’ve chosen to feature.

And last but not least, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary update.

What have you been reading this week? Do you have any recommendations for me?

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Shelf Control #41 – 21/01/2022

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! Shelf Control is a regular feature here on my blog (typically fortnightly on a Friday) and is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

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

Today’s chosen book is a little unusual in that it is from one of the genres I read the least. Not the very least (cough cough romance), but pretty close. It is a well-known story written by a prominent author of the genre; even if you haven’t read the book, chances are you’ve watched the film. Although, I have to confess I haven’t… but my parents have! it

So, do you want to find out what today’s book is?

 

Carrie – Stephen King

Goodreads – Carrie

A modern classic, Carrie introduced a distinctive new voice in American fiction — Stephen King. The story of misunderstood high school girl Carrie White, her extraordinary telekinetic powers, and her violent rampage of revenge, remains one of the most barrier-breaking and shocking novels of all time.

Make a date with terror and live the nightmare that is…Carrie

 

My Thoughts…

I have read a few novels by Stephen King now, and despite the fact I don’t read horror very often, I will always be prepared to give his books a go! His writing style is one of my favourites, and the diversity between the different stories he writes keeps his books fresh and interesting to read.

I have a very vague idea of the character Carrie and the storyline, but not very much at all if I’m honest. I’d like to keep it that way though because it means I can enjoy the book all the more. I’m looking forward to picking this up and reading something out of my comfort zone. I have every confidence that I’ll enjoy it, and it will make a refreshing change to pick up something different.

It will also be a good one to pick up because it’s quite a short read. Sometimes a shorter story can be a good break from the 500 pagers and above I have a tendency to pick up! 

Have you read Carrie, or watched the film? Do you like the story? Let me know in the comments!

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