Tag: A Game of Thrones

The 20 Questions Book Tag!

Hello everybody, and welcome to today’s fun post – the 20 Questions Book Tag! It has been a little while since I did a post of this type, and I thought it would be a fun way to wind down for Christmas, but also give you a way of learning a little bit about me.

I saw this post over on Books and Hooks, which was my inspiration for today’s post. Shall we jump into the 20 questions?

 

1: How many books is too many for a series?

It depends really. If it is a wider series that is broken down into lots of smaller ones, this is a lot easier to read. If you’re sticking with just one main series, I would probably say around 10 to 12. Otherwise, I think you could end up getting bored. 

 

2: How do you feel about cliffhangers?

Absolutely fine if you can just jump into the next book because it’s already published, but if not then they’re just a tease! But I mean, they work…

 

3: Hardcover or paperback?

Hardcovers are nice editions, but they are cumbersome to read. On the flip-side, paperbacks are a lot easier to read, but are far more likely to get damaged. There is no clear-cut winner for me in this.

 

4: Favorite book?

Asking me to choose one favourite book is like asking your parents to choose who their favourite child is. I’m a huge fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire series… but I can’t whittle it down further than that. Sorry, not sorry.

 

5: Least favorite book?

I read a lot of books, so I have come across a few I haven’t gelled with in my time.

Earlier this year, I read around about a third of Red Sister by Mark Lawrence before I then DNF’d it. I think this one hurt all the more because I loved and enjoyed another series by Mark Lawrence in the past – The broken Empire. Red Sister was full of promise, but it just didn’t work for me at all. I gave it a good try before I threw in the towel!

 

6: Love triangles, yes or no?

Generally speaking, no. However, I did recently read Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan which contains a love triangle, and I didn’t hate it.

 

7: The most recent book you couldn’t finish?

Malice by John Gwynne – another disappointment really. This was sold to me as a mash-up between Game of Thrones and possibly the Name of the Wind series – at least, two series I have read and really enjoyed. I only got three chapters into Malice before I decided I was done. I didn’t get on with it at all.

 

8: A book you’re currently reading?

My current read is Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. This is the first book in the Liveship Traders series, and the fourth book of the overall Realm of the Elderlings series.

 

9: Last book you recommended to someone?

One of my friends is interested in reading Babel by R. F. Kuang and was asking me about it on Saturday. Obviously, I’ve recommended it to her!

 

10: Oldest book you’ve read by publication date?

I had a look back on my Goodreads account to try and determine which is the oldest book, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a difficult question to answer. In a lot of cases, I have read more recent editions of books compared to their original publication date.

The oldest book on my ‘read list’ is Terry Pratchett’s 1985 edition of The Colour of Magic – the first book in his Discworld series.

 

11: Newest book you’ve read by publication date?

This question is a lot easier to answer as it is a book that I read as part of a publication blog tour. The most recently published read book on my list is Warrior and Protector by Peter Gibbons.

 

12: Favorite author?

Without a doubt, George R.R. Martin. I’ll make a mental note to never use this as a security question ever again –  it’s not exactly a secret he’s my favourite!

 

13: Buying books or borrowing books?

I tend to buy more than borrow, but it’s dependent on the type of book and the author more than anything. If I’m going to try anything new, I’m more likely to borrow to try it out before investing money. However, as I tend to read a lot of the same authors, this doesn’t happen very often.

 

14: A book you dislike that everyone seems to love?

I can’t say I dislike this particular series based on reading it, because I’ve never tried it. I really just don’t understand the fascination with Twilight. It was the book series to read when I was going through school, and I just never understood the appeal.

 

15: Bookmarks or dogears?

Anybody who deliberately dogears a book belongs in hell.

 

16: A book you can always re-read?

The first that obviously springs to mind is A Song of Ice and Fire. To date, I’ve read all the published books twice, read the first one a third time, and listened to the audio for it as well. I’m partway through the audio for A Clash of Kings too. 

No doubt when the next book(s) make it out into the world I’ll be re-reading again!

However, I’ve re-read a number of other books I’ve loved over the years. One of the most recent is the Harry Potter series. You can always get more out of a re-read!

 

17: Can you read while listening to music?

It mostly depends on the type of music. If I’m listening to something fairly neutral like classic or a soundtrack, then yes. Otherwise, not really. It’s a distraction.

Equally, if I’m out and about and there is music on in the background, it’s generally quiet enough not to bother me.

 

18: One POV or multiple?

I prefer books written in third person, so multiple definitely. I don’t object to books written in first person – though third is a distinct preference for me.

 

19: Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

I generally read books over a span of days.

If I ever read a book short enough to read in one sitting, then great! However, I mostly pick up 500+ page fantasy novels. I would love to have the motivation and time to be able to sit and read those in one sitting, but it isn’t going to happen!

 

20: Who do you tag?

I’m going to tag mistybookspace as she is a regular reader of my blog and I’d love to hear her take on the 20 Questions Book Tag!

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Series I’d Like (Need) to Finish!

In today’s Top Ten Tuesday post, I am sharing my top ten book series that I would like to finish. Scratch that – I NEED to finish!

The theme of this post could also have been book series that I would like to start or continue with. Now, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit how many books series I have ongoing. The ones that I have selected for today’s post are just a small handful from a very big pot. They are, however, the ones I have made the most significant progress in, or ones that I am heavily invested in and therefore more likely to finish sooner rather than later. At least, theoretically… 

I didn’t want to share a post about books from a new series that I would like to start. It would only fuel my desire to start even more. I certainly don’t need any help in that department!

I’m hoping that this post will serve as a personal reminder of some of the series I have ongoing, and help me get around to finishing them. Some of the series featured today can’t physically be completed at the moment. I am fully up-to-date with some of them, and I’m awaiting further books to be published. However, for the most part, they are ready and waiting to go. The only thing stopping me is me!

So, without further ado, let’s dive into today’s list: –

 

Mistborn

 

The Mistborn series is split into several parts. I read the first trilogy as a teenager, but finally came back to reading the second trilogy last year. It was great to revisit the series and the magic system that I came to enjoy when I was younger. It was a gamble to see if I was going to enjoy the books set in a slightly more advanced time period, however, it really worked in my opinion.

The final book of this series has been awaiting publication for quite some time. However, that last book is due to be published in November. So, since I only have one book left, and the events of the second series are fresh in my mind, I would like to start this sooner rather than later!

 

The Dark Tower

 

I started The Dark Tower series at a time when I wanted to try Stephen King, but wasn’t feeling quite confident enough to read horror. They proved to be a good introduction. However, to date, I’ve only read the first two books of the series.

I actually own all of the series, and most of it is up on my bookshelf, waiting to be read. According to Goodreads it has been three years since I picked up The Drawing of the Three, the second book of the series. I didn’t think it was quite that long ago since I last picked it up. It proves the point that I need to pull my finger out and start reading these more seriously.

 

Discworld

Reading my way through the Discworld series is going to be a project. I have already made a good deal of progress though. The series has a total of 41 primary works, and to date, I have already read 18 of those.

What I really like about these books is that the wider universe is split down into smaller series. So long as these individual series are read in order, everything will make sense. I have taken the decision to read all of the books in order, but the beauty is, you don’t have to! You don’t even have to read the entire thing. I have some preferred mini-series over others, such as the witches and death series. Whilst I wouldn’t let that stop me reading all of them, anyone has the flexibility of choosing not to read all of them if you don’t want to.

The books in themselves are also reasonably short and very lighthearted. One of Terry Pratchett’s skills is addressing important or difficult topics in a satirical manner. It may take some time to get through the whole series, but it is one that I can chip away at and read quite easily.

 

A Game of Thrones

This is one of the series on my list in which I physically can’t progress at the moment. To date, I have read the entire published works of the A Song of Ice and Fire series twice. There are two books remaining in the series, and I can’t wait for them to come out so I can finally read them!

Whilst talking about this, I’d like to take the opportunity to call out people making angry noises about George R.R. Martin and the series because they’re having to wait for the sequel. Yes, it has been a long time since he published the last book, A Dance of Dragons. However, you’d also complain if he turned the last two books out quickly and didn’t put the full thought and planning into them that makes them as good as they are. If he rushed it, and you thought it was crap, you would also complain. The man can’t win!

They’re his books, and he’ll publish them when he’s happy with them. Don’t hate on him, and certainly don’t give up on the series because you’re impatient. That’s just cutting off your nose to spite your face.

 

The Name of the Wind

The circumstances of The Name of the Wind are very much the same as George R.R. Martin and the A Song of Ice and Fire series. However, we are waiting on just one book to conclude this three-part series (The Slow Regard of Silent Things shown above is a companion novella to the main series, but it is one I have also read).

Again, we have been waiting for a while, and the author is getting a lot of hate for it. I reiterate my comments above. Patience is a virtue. 

 

Dune

Dune is a series I started at the beginning of this year. I was gifted the very first book of the series about five years ago, and it has taken me that long to start it.

To date, I have also read the second book of the series and own the third ready to pick up. It is an interesting series, and it is unique to my TBR in that it is probably the oldest in terms of publication date. I typically pick up more modern books, and in some ways, Dune shows its age in its portrayal of some of its characters. However, I can see it is a series of its time and I haven’t let that stopped me reading it.

There are a total of 8 books in this series, and I can’t wait to pick up the next one. And the next one… you get the drill. 

 

Rivers of London

It’s not very often I have an audiobook series that I’ve made decent progress on, but Rivers of London fits that bill.

I started this series back in 2020 and to date, I have listened to six of the nine primary works currently published. Of course, as with any popular series, there are novellas and side stories that I could delve into if I wanted. However, my priority is to work my way through the main series. I only have three books (as things stand currently), so I think it makes sense to try and get a shift on with these.

 

Saxon Stories

The Saxon Stories is a series by Bernard Cornwell with which I’ve made solid progress… but there’s more work to be done yet.

This is also a lengthy series, currently standing at 13 primary works (unlucky for some). I have read the first five books so far, and I think I’ve actually progressed with the storyline via the TV series beyond this point. That’s a rarity in itself, but I haven’t felt my enjoyment of the books wane or be affected as a result of watching it on TV first.

Having checked out when I read the last book, The Burning Land, I need to pick this series up again. It’s been two years since I made any progress on it. It is clearly a genre and setting I enjoy, because I have read books very recently set around the same period. Maybe I need to focus my efforts on continuing what I’ve already started…

But where’s the fun in that!

 

Skyward

Skyward is a series by Brandon Sanderson that I started just this year. It is the first young adult narrative of his that I have read, and I really enjoyed the first book of the series. The next book of the series is up on my bookshelf and begging to be read. I very nearly added it to my November TBR. Depending on how things go, and whether my mood changes, it may very well worm its way on. We’ll see.

 

Realm of the Elderlings

This last series is another I started this year. Do I sound like a stuck record yet? Maybe now you see my problem? I don’t regret starting this one, as much as I joke about my tendencies to over-commit. Robin Hobb is an author that a friend of mine has been recommending to me for a number of years, and now I see why. In just the latter half of this year, I have already read the first trilogy that makes up a wider 16-book series.

These books have been absolutely fantastic. I’m simultaneously looking forward to a change of setting in the next mini-series (the Live Ship Traders), but also to going back and re-visiting the same characters at a later date. Whereas I have allowed other series mentioned in this post to fall by the wayside, I don’t think that’s going to be the case with Realm of the Elderlings at all!

 

So, those are my top ten series that I really need to get on and finish, as well as airing some dirty laundry on my bad habits!

Have you started or finished any of these series? Are you like me in over-committing to too many series at once? As always, I’d like to have a chat in the comments or on social media.

 

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Book Review: Fire and Blood – George R.R. Martin

I’m really looking forward to sharing today’s book review with you all for Fire and Blood. It is well documented that I am a huge fan of George R.R. Martin, and with the current airing of the prequel show, House of the Dragon, I wanted to share my thoughts on the book that inspired the series!

If you are unfamiliar with the book, Fire and Blood is the first of a two-part history of the Targaryen family line. The book begins with Aegon the Conqueror’s conquest of Westeros, and from there, history only gets, well… bloodier.

 

Fire and Blood – George R.R. Martin

Genre: Epic fantasy

Pages: 706

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: 20 Nov 2018

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Goodreads – Fire and Blood

From the masterly imagination behind A Game of Thrones – one of the greatest fantasy epics of all time and an unmissable HBO hit series – comes a definitive history of Westeros’s past as told by Archmaester Gyldayn.

Unravelling events that led to A Song of Ice and Fire, Fire and Blood is the first volume of the definitive two-part history of the Targaryens in Westeros. Revealing long-buried secrets and untold lasting enmity, it sets the scene for the heart-stopping series conclusion, The Winds of Winter.

300 years before the events of A Song of Ice and Fire, long before the schism that set the houses of Westeros at each other’s throats, one house ruled supreme and indomitable. House Targaryen, the house of the last remaining dragonlords.

After surviving the Doom of Valyria the Targaryen’s established themselves on Dragonstone. This volume traces their legendary lineage from Aegon the Conqueror to the bloody Dance of Dragons; a civil war that pitted Aegon II and his half-sister Rhaenyra in a bitter conflict for the throne of their father, nearly wiping out the Targaryen dynasty forever.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel.

With all the scope and grandeur of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Fire and Blood is the ultimate guide to Westeros’s past. Featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley this is an essential volume for any Game of Thrones fan’s library. For the first time the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed.

 

My Thoughts…

If you are watching House of the Dragon and wonder how it compares to Fire and Blood, you may be interested to learn that the events of the TV show don’t start until approximately 340 pages into the book. Those events are the passing over of Rhaenys as heir in favour of Viserys I (because God forbid a woman sits on the Iron Throne!). It was touched upon very briefly in the first few minutes of the TV show, and from there the rest unfolds.

Naturally, that means there is a good deal of history that the prequel show doesn’t even touch upon. Granted, I can see why that is the case. A significant portion of the book prior to these events covers the reign of Jaehaerys I Targaryen. By all accounts, Jaehaerys was a well-suited ruler and lived to a ripe old age. If you are unfamiliar, that’s about as rare as hen’s teeth in the Targaryen bloodline! Whilst good Kings are good for the realm, they don’t make the most interesting of stories!

My copy of this book is the illustrated hardback edition, illustrated by Doug Wheatley. The pictures are interspersed throughout the narrative and really bring the characters to life. Some of my favourite illustrations in the book are of Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters Rhaenys and Visenya, the portrait of Maegor the Cruel, as well as a number of the action scenes and dragon fights within.

I would be lying to you if I said that this first instalment of the Targaryen histories wasn’t dense. There are a lot of characters in this book. As a result, I benefited from taking a break and splitting reading the book into two. It gave me the opportunity to digest what I had read so far. That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it, because I absolutely did! George R.R. Martin went to a great deal of trouble to incorporate the histories of both Westeros and Essos throughout the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I am glad that it made it into its own book(s), as the depth of detail deserves its moment in the limelight.

As I thoroughly enjoyed this first book so much, I cannot wait for the second half of this history. If it is anything like the first then there will be plenty of tension, drama, and conflict to look forward to. As we can only expect from George R.R. Martin, I am sure it will not be a short book either. There is nothing superficial about the world or characters he creates. For fans of epic fantasy like me, that leaves us a lot to dive into. These are the sorts of books to find some new detail in with every re-read.

If I had one wish about Fire and Blood, it is that it went further back in history. The book begins with the conquest of Aegon the Conqueror, which happens approximately 100 years after an event referred to in this book and the main series as the ‘Doom of Valyria’. Personally, I would like to finally understand what this mysterious event is. We don’t know what happened, other than Valyria is destroyed as a result. It is written into the lore of the world as to why we don’t know about what happened, but it’s an itch I would love to scratch one day. Surely he can come up with a loophole to finally leak the story somehow?!

Have you read Fire and Blood? Are you a fan of the A Song of Ice and Fire series? I would love it if you let me know and we could have a chat in the comments!

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Quotes from A Game of Thrones

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday freebie post! With complete discretion this week as to the subject matter, I’ve been looking at some of my highest ranking blog posts in order to decide what I think you would like to see.

Some of my most-viewed post types are about my favourite book quotes – those include my top five quotes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series so far and my Quintessential Quotes post featuring quotes from Brandon Sanderson’s The Stormlight Archives. In addition, one of my top-viewed book reviews is A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.

With this as my inspiration, I’ve decided to combine the two together and share my top ten quotes from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, better known as A Game of Thrones! I previously shared a quintessential quotes post based on A Game of Thrones, over four years ago. However, in that post, I only share five of my favourite quotes. Since I have re-read the series, the quotes I chose to feature have both changed and expanded, although there are some quotes that remain firm favourites! 

I have broken the quotes down into which book they come from, so you can go and find them for yourself if you wish!

 

A Game of Thrones

 

“If you would take a man’s life, you owe it to him to look into his eyes and hear his final words. And if you cannot bear to do that, then perhaps the man does not deserve to die.”

 

“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”

 

“My brother has his sword, King Robert has his warhammer, and I have my mind … and a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”

 

“We all need to be mocked from time to time, Lord Mormont, lest we start to take ourselves too seriously.”

 

“When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”

 

A Clash of Kings

 

“Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less.”

 

“The wide world is full of people wanting help, Jon. Would that some could find the courage to help themselves.

 

A Storm of Swords

 

“You are grown so very great now, yet the higher a man climbs the farther he has to fall.”

 

A Feast for Crows

 

“He understood the way that you could sometimes fall right into them, as if each page was a hole into another world.”

 

“I prefer my history dead. Dead history is writ in ink, the living sort in blood.”

 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s quick and easy Top Ten Tuesday post! It’s always exciting to feature one of my favourite books and series of all time!

Have you read A Game of Thrones or any other books/short stories by George R. R. Martin? Maybe you’ve watched the TV series? Let me know in the comments!

 

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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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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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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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Sunday Summary – 16th January 2022

Good evening and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary update post. As always, I hope you’ve had a fantastic week whatever you have been up to?

I have been keeping busy this week. I’ve been doing quite well in working towards getting blog posts written a little bit more in advance compared to last year. I have managed to get myself organised nicely so this will be continuing going forward. It’s a little bit more work in the short term, but in the long term, I will be drafting posts in the same kind of frequency, just a week in advance!

The post I shared at the beginning of this week was a book review for Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It’s one of those books that you start to review and honestly question whether you can do it justice! I enjoyed this book and I hope that comes across in my review; if there is anyone who dismisses reading classics because they read them at school or they think they’re boring and stuffy then I’d ask you to please give them a chance. Of all the books I’ve read, I would say Brave New World is a great one to try. It is easy to follow and it’s a relatively short read as well!

My Friday feature post this week was a First Lines Friday post. In that post, I set myself the challenge of featuring a non-fiction novel. This week’s excerpt is deliberately short because the scene depicted gets a little bit graphic after the opening paragraph. In the interest of not upsetting anyone I’ve excluded it, but the first paragraph gives you an idea of the content of the book. I am personally excited to read this one!

 

Books Read

As of last week‘s Sunday Summary update I was 62 pages into Dune by Frank Herbert. Dune has been my main area of progress this week, with a further 140 pages read.

I’m really enjoying the storyline, however in terms of what is going on and the writing style I find it quite dense. It’s the sort of book that is good to read, but is best picked up little and often. I usually find I get about 30 odd pages through before I have to put it down again to digest what I’ve read. It doesn’t detract from the story or anything at all; I am really enjoying it. I just can’t read it in large quantities! Having said that, the last time I picked up the book I think I managed to get around 40 or 50 pages through before I had to put it down. Maybe I’m getting used to it, or maybe it was just an exceptionally good part. I am looking forward to picking this up tonight once this post has gone live and continuing this over the next week!

As well as reading Dune, I’ve also been continuing to listen to A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin this week. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I haven’t listen to as much of this audiobook this week as I wanted to, or should have. That’s okay though! The important thing is to read and listen at a pace I’m happy with and what I have listened to has been really good.

 

Books Discovered

For the first time in a few weeks I can happily say that I haven’t added anything else to my reading list this week!

 

Coming Up…

Early next week I am sharing a book tag on my blog. It’s one that I saw completed by another blogger and I thought it would be fun to take part in! It’s been a little while since I’ve done anything like that. I really enjoy reading these posts because you get to learn a little bit about the person behind the blog. But also, they’re fun to write. This particular tag is called The Bookaholics Anonymous Book Tag and I hope you can check that out in the coming days.

My regular feature on Friday is going to be a Shelf Control post. This week’s featured book is a good one and slightly different from the usual content of my blog. There’s only one author I would read without hesitation who frequents the horror genre – Stephen King. I’m excited to be featuring one of his books later this week – but you’ll have to check my post out on Friday if you want to find out which book I’m talking about!

And as always, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary post.

Until then, I hope you have a great week! Are you currently reading or listening to any interesting books?

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Sunday Summary – 9th January 2022

Good evening everyone and welcome to my weekly Sunday Summary update. It’s been a busy week since my last post! Not only have I been working towards my goal of preparing blog posts a little bit earlier, but I’ve also been reading a lot more than I have been for several months.

At the beginning of this week, I shared my Monthly TBR post. Yes, I’m back to sharing reading lists, but with a little more flexibility than before. Instead of giving myself a completely fixed list for the month, I’ve decided on a compromise and I’m only setting myself a couple of books on each TBR. That allows me some time and space to pick up any other book(s) I want to read once those are done. This way I think I get the best of both worlds. I get the structure of having a couple of fixed ones, but also the flexibility to be able to pick up anything on a whim!

Later in the week, I shared a Shelf Control post with you. This week’s featured book is one that I’m excited to pick up. From what my mum has told me this is the start of the series that my grandad used to enjoy reading. I’m looking forward to picking it up and seeing if we have a commonality in enjoying this particular series. And it sounds good and I trust his judgement so I’m sure I will!

 

Books Read

As of last week‘s Sunday Summary update post I was 75% through reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. I had every confidence that I was going to be telling you I had finished this book this week and I’m pleased to tell you that is the case! I finished this reasonably quickly after sharing my last update with you! The narrative has a lot of different elements and I loved how it brought them together. It was a real mix of genres and I enjoyed how they were blended together.

Next, I decided to pick up The Feedback Loop by Harmon Cooper. This particular book is only a couple of hundred pages long and I wanted to capitalise on my newfound motivation. I’m glad I made this decision because I managed to finish The Feedback Loop within a couple of evenings. It was really easy to read, full of action and there’s plenty of plotline to keep the reader invested for those couple of hundred pages. From my experience of the first book I’m not sure I’ll go on to read the rest of the series, but it was a perfectly adequate standalone novel to pick up for a quick read!

And then last, but not least, I have made a start reading Dune by Frank Herbert. Given that there’s been a film released recently I’ve seen a lot of people getting copies of this book or even reading it as well. I had actually intended to read this earlier, but last year was a bit of a strange one for me and I didn’t have motivation to pick it up in earnest. However, that is not the case now! I’m currently 62 pages in so I’ve made a solid start. I’ve gotten further than I ever have before into giving this ago and I can’t wait to see how the plot unfolds. It seems like it’s an interesting science-fiction that’s going to have an underpinning element of politics between the characters. I i’ve really enjoyed these kind of elements in previous books (Game of Thrones being the obvious example) and so I can’t wait to see how this works within a science fiction!

Speaking of A Game of Thrones, I have also been listening to my audiobook, A Storm of Swords, as well. One of my plans to help get through this particular audiobook was to listen to it (at least) during my morning and evening commute to work. I didn’t quite do that every day, however I did it for most and I also managed to sneak in an extra hour or two here and there throughout the week. I’m pleased with how far I am through at the moment and I think I’m on track to be close to finishing this by the end of the month.

 

Books Discovered

I added a good few books to my TBR recently. In last week’s Sunday Summary update I shared a fair old list. Whilst I would love to say that I haven’t added any more because frankly I already have enough, I’d be lying. I decided to go for a look in our local Waterstones on Friday (as I had some vouchers that were obviously burning a hole in my pocket), and well, you probably know what’s coming. I bought myself a couple. Shock!

Now technically, only one of the books I bought is a new addition to my TBR. After the release of Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff, I promptly added this to my list to be read. I have really come to love he’s never night series and I knew straightaway that I wanted to pick this up. Having seen a gorgeous hardcover copy in Waterstones, I had to. I just had to!

The second book I purchased is Starsight by Brandon Sanderson. It’s the second book of the Skyward series; I already have the first book upstairs. Brandon Sanderson is a go-to author for me. I absolutely love his works and the variety between them and so this was a no-brainer to pick up. I was, however, surprised to see that although I had a copy of Skyward upstairs already, I hadn’t added this first book to my TBR. A slight oversight on my part, but now both Skyward and Starsight are safely on the list to be read.

At some point.

 

Coming Up…

Early next week I will be sharing a book review with you all! It has been about a month since my last one and so I felt it time to start sharing them again. If I’m going to be reading more than before I’m going to have to step up the number of reviews I’m sharing. I also have a bit of a backlog, so you can expect to see more of these soon. For this week’s feature, I am sharing my thoughts on Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I really enjoyed reading this classic novel and given that it’s a reasonably short one I think it’s a great one for anyone to pick up.

Later in the week I’ll be back with a First Lines Friday feature. Whilst I haven’t christened the particular book I’m going to be featuring yet (and I will be deciding and preparing this post imminently) I have decided that I’m going to set myself a challenge of featuring a non-fiction book. I hope you can join me on Friday to check out what this week’s featured book is!

And as always, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary update and sharing with you all my reading news.

 

Until then, I hope you have a great week! Are you currently reading or listening to any interesting books?

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Sunday Summary – 2nd January 2022

Good evening everyone and welcome to my first Sunday Summary post of 2022. I have a lot of optimism and motivation for the year! It has been a couple of weeks since my last Sunday Summary post, and so I have a few updates for you!

After my last Sunday Summary post on the 19th December 2021, I announced that I was going to be taking a short break for the festive period. I had family over visiting and it was lovely to just chill out and enjoy spending a wonderful Christmas with everyone!

That’s not to say that nothing was going on in the background, however. After Christmas I started drafting some blog posts ready for the New Year. In particular, I drafted and shared an End of Year Review post for 2021 and shared that on Friday. In that post I looked back at my goals and resolutions for 2021 and discussed how I feel I got on with them. Ultimately, I achieved what I wanted to, which was to take a step back and give myself break whilst still enjoying my hobby. I’m happy that I managed to do this and I still read a decent number of books, so I’ll take that as a win!

I also drafted and another post which I shared with you yesterday. In that post I talked about my New Year Goals/Resolutions for 2022. The main highlight from that post is that I’m back in the game. I got the break I needed and I’m motivated to start setting myself some challenges again. I’m doing so in moderation because I know that I don’t want to burn out again. Not only that, but I have expanded on other hobbies and interests and I will be continuing with those as well. My aim for 2022 is to achieve balance. If you want to read more you can do so using the link provided above to yesterday‘s post!

 

Books Read

Despite it being two weeks since my last update, I’ll confess that all of my recent reading progress has taken place in the last week. As of my last Sunday Summary update I was around 25% of the way through The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. In the last few days I’ve been making a solid effort with this and I’m now 75% of the way through the book. If you needed proof that I am back and raring to go then take this as a sign! I love all the different facets to the story and the most recent plot developments are really intriguing. At this rate, I’m hoping to be telling you next week that I’ve finished this. It’s a shame I’ll have finished it a couple of weeks late to return this to my sister’s boyfriend Chris, but never mind!

In my last Sunday Summary post I was nearly finished with Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell; I only had around 30 minutes of audio left. I’m pleased to say that I finished listening to this one whilst commuting home from work one day this week. To be honest I didn’t think I wasn’t going to achieve this. It was only a little bit left and I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Sebastien de Castell is a new author to me and I really enjoyed this book! I am definitely continuing with this series (I’ve already purchased the audiobooks ready to go). I also discovered this week is that I’ve had my eye on another series written by him (Spellslinger), but I hadn’t realised that it was the same author. If I go on to love the rest of these books as I have the first then it’s safe to say I’ll be delving into the second series!

For now though, I’ve started listening to another audiobook. It’s a solid favourite and I can’t wait to get back into this series. I have already read the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series (a.k.a. A Game of Thrones) at least twice but I’m also now listening to the books. They are very long but audiobooks are an easy way to digest them. I’ve already listened to the first two in the series and so I have moved on to A Storm of Swords. This audiobook is over 47 hours long, so I have my work cut out for me to listen to it. My goal however is to make a habit of listening to it regularly. If I can achieve that then I think I can complete this by the end of January. Wish me luck!

 

Books Discovered

I have been very good and not added many books to my TBR for a good few weeks. But, you know, Christmas has been and gone and so that streak ends here.

I was very lucky to receive copies of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, The Appeal by Janice Hallett and The Promise by Damon Galgut for Christmas. I’m collecting clothbound classics and so the copy of Oliver Twist was very well received for that reason! I’m also really happy to have received the other two books. I hadn’t really read much about them up until I received them, however both books sound really interesting! They were also given to me by someone who has a similar reading taste, so I have every confidence that I’m going to enjoy them!

If that wasn’t enough, I’ve added a couple books to my TBR that I’ve come across as part of completing my CPD for work. I don’t tend to read much in the way of self-help, but I think I could benefit from these two books. The books I have added are Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. The crux of both titles is to help the reader develop ways in which to effectively communicate with others, particularly where differences of opinion occur. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I’m not the most diplomatic of people, so I am sure I have plenty to learn from these books!

And then last, but certainly not least, I watched The Imitation Game on New Year’s Eve. It was a fantastic film and all of the actors were brilliant! I don’t watch films very often but I really enjoyed this one. And obviously, we get to the end and I find out it’s based on a book called Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. So of course, that’s now on the list as well!

It’s a good job I’ve found my reading motivation, right?!

 

Coming Up…

I already have a blog post scheduled for you that is going live tomorrow. If you’ve already read my New Year Goals/Resolutions for 2022 post then you will know that I am setting a monthly TBR for myself again. I’m doing so with a bit of a twist; I’m only setting a couple of books for the month and allowing myself time and space to pick up mood reads as and when those are done. I have shared my fixed list, as well as a couple of provisional titles that I might pick up. But, they may well change once I’ve read the fixed list. If you want to find out what I’m going to be reading in January then check out tomorrow’s post!

I will shortly be drafting the second post of the week, which is a Shelf Control post that will be going live on Friday. I’m working towards drafting my blog posts (with the exception of the Sunday Summary) at least a week in advance and I’m getting there. The book I will be featuring in Friday’s Shelf Control post is an interesting one, because if I remember correctly, my mum says that this is a series that my grandad enjoyed reading. The synopsis of this first book sounds really good, so even without that knowledge I would still be picking this up anyway. If I’ve piqued your interest then make sure to check out my blog on Friday!

And as always, last but not least, I’ll be back with you this time next week for another Sunday Summary update.

Until then, I hope you have a great week full of fantastic books and all the other fun stuff. What are you reading? Have you set yourself a reading goal for 2022?

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