Tag: amreading

Belated Sunday Summary Post – 24th May 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to a belated Sunday Summary update post.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last updated you on my reading progress, and that’s because I’ve been on holiday. I didn’t want to advertise that I was going away ahead of time, especially online. I had a great time away with my family for what was supposed to be our family holiday in 2020, which was cancelled for obvious reasons. That’s not to say it wasn’t without its dampener; I tested positive for Covid whilst we were away. It’s typical, but we didn’t let it spoil the holiday. I’ve managed to dodge it for the last two years, and I’m not too bad with it. I am on the road to recovery now and I’m hoping to be clear of it very soon!

Whilst I was away I scheduled a number of blog posts to tide you over. That first post, which went live not long before I went away, was a Top Ten Tuesday post featuring my top ten bookish characters. That was an interesting post to put together and I actually struggled a little. Surprisingly, there aren’t that many famously bookish characters. That said, I did manage to find enough for this list!

Later that week, I shared a Shelf Control post. In that post I featured The Incendium Plot by A. D. Swanston. I added this book to my TBR because it gives me the opportunity to read about British history – a subject I felt my education lacked. If you want to find out more details about the book and why I wanted to read it, you could find a link to that post above.

The second week I’ve been away, I shared another Top Ten Tuesday post. This one featured my top ten books I was excited to get, but haven’t read yet. This post has reminded me that I have plenty reading to be getting on with, including one book that I’ve had on my TBR for far longer than I would like to admit! If you want to check out the full list, the link is above.

Last Friday, my First Lines Friday scheduled post went live. In that post, I set myself a challenge that was designed to give you some insight into my reading plans; I decided that I wanted to feature a book that I wanted to pick up and read later this year. I am really excited to pick up this book. I have a friend who really loves this author and has recommended her to me in the past. I’ve also sampled this particular book before, but never just quite got round to reading it. That’s going to change. If you want to find out what this book is, you know what to do.

 

Books Read

When I last left you in my previous Sunday Summary update post of the 8th May, I was 15% of the way through The Duke & I by Julia Quinn. I’ve decided to pick up this book based on my enjoyment of the Bridgerton Netflix series. It’s not my usual cup of tea, but I was willing to give it a try in to broaden my horizons. Since that Sunday Summary update I have continued with the book and I’m now 72% of the way through. In terms of reading time left, my Kindle suggests that it’s about an hour’s worth of reading time left.

I’m glad I’ve decided to read it and give it a go, but I’ve already made my mind up that I’m not going to read the rest of the series. I’ve picked it up and given it a try. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. I can’t lie – I have rolled my eyes plenty of times whilst reading this book. I have a real gripe with the male characters being described as roguish, rakish etc in a charming and endearing way, whilst the female characters cannot be anything but proper. Even a kiss is scandalous and ruinous for her. I just can’t deal with the inequality of it all. So, I’ll finish it off and tick my box and say I’ve read it, but I’m not going to subject myself to any more of it either.

In my last Sunday Summary update I confided in you that I had taken another book to bed one evening to sample, that being Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. I couldn’t admit it to you at the time, but I was doing this to make sure I was going to get on with the book as it was my planned holiday reading! I took it away with me but admittedly, I didn’t read half as much as I expected to.

When I last went on holiday with my sister I read the equivalent of Empire of the Vampire, and a bit more. However, as I went away with more people, naturally there was more chatter and socialising going on and so I didn’t read as much! I have read just under 300 pages of the book, which is 40% of the narrative. It’s still a respectable amount to have read, and I’m going to continue to read this one now that I’m back.

I’m loving the story so far and I’m glad that I picked this up even though vampire stories aren’t really my thing. There is so much more to this book and it’s fantastic… to be expected from Jay Kristoff really. I bought this book based on my love of the Nevernight series and I’m not disappointed.

 

Books Discovered

In the time I’ve been away I have added a book to my TBR, and if memory serves, it is a recommendation I’ve taken from the Currently Reading podcast. I really loved the sound of the story behind this book. I’m huge fan of fantasy and the way it’s blended with sci-fi and includes difficult topics such as racism and misogyny, I want to pick this up and give it a go!

 

Coming Up…

Naturally the section is going to be a little bit shorter than usual, as this Sunday Summary update is a belated one.

I will be sharing one other post with you later this week. I’m feeling in the mood to share a review with you, especially seeing as how I’ve been sharing other content with you recently. With that in mind, I would like to take the opportunity to review a book by a local author. I recently read Keep You Safe by Rona Halsall… and it was a surreal experience reading a book set where I live. Having the events of a narrative take place in towns and streets you know like the back of your hand is a very strange experience, but it was a refreshing one. In my review later this week I want to set down exactly why I think you should give this book a read as well!

Naturally, my next Sunday Summary update will return to normal schedule and I will be rounding up my reading progress from the week for you.

That’s all for me in today’s belated Sunday Summary update post – thanks for persevering with today’s very long update and I’ll see you in the next one!

 

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Sunday Summary – 8th May 2022

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update for this week. It’s time to share what I have been reading and blogging about over the last week, as well as any books I’ve added to the TBR and finally, what blog posts you can expect on the blog over the next two weeks! Yes, two!

As this week was the beginning of May, I have taken the opportunity to share my Monthly Wrap-Up for April 2022, as well as my Monthly TBR for May on my blog this week. It was fun to look back at the books I’ve read over the course of the month, and as I didn’t get through all of my reading list, you’ll see that some have been carried forward to this month as well as added some new ones. One of those I’ve even read already, so progress is looking good!

If you haven’t checked out either of those posts, I provided links above so you can go and check them out.

 

Books Read

This has to to be one of the most random book combinations, ever.

When I left you in last week’s Sunday Summary update, I had only read the first 30 pages or so of Crowfall by Ed McDonald. I had just finished the previous book in the series, Ravencry, and I was really looking forward to delving into this final instalment of the trilogy. I fully expected this would be a quick read. Not only was I really into it having just finished the second book of the series, but I remember loving and devouring it the first time. And I’ve done it again!

When I last read Crowfall nearly three years ago, I read all 450 pages of the book in six days. This time, I read it in five! By no means was I trying to beat that record, but having looked back to see exactly how quickly I read it the first time, it’s clear that I loved the book both times!

I’m really happy that I decided to re-read this trilogy. Picking up the first book of the series, Blackwing, again was completely on a whim, but it was a good decision. And it’s been great for my reading motivation.

Next, I moved on to my current read, which is The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. Against all the odds, I really enjoyed watching Bridgerton on Netflix, and so I’ve decided to step out of my comfort zone and try the book. When I decided to add this to my TBR I wasn’t sure if this was something I was going to enjoy or not, but I was willing to give it a go. I’m currently 15% through the book and so far, it’s perfectly readable. I’m not going to say I haven’t rolled my eyes once or twice, because that would be a lie, but I’m willing to stick for now and see how it goes.

Last night I went to bed early with a cup of tea and I decided to sample the first few pages of my next read, which is Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. I bought this book purely for my love of the Nevernight series. Vampire stories aren’t typically something that I read much. However, again, I’m willing to go out of my comfort zone. Before I delve into the 700 page epic properly, I wanted to make sure that I thought I’ll like it. I’ve only read the first 20 odd pages as a sample, but it’s looking very good! I can already see in the little bit I’ve read that it definitely has a ‘Name of the Wind’ vibe in its narration style. I can’t wait to pick this up properly!

 

Books Discovered

I went to my local Waterstones this week with the aim of finding myself a new bookmark. Naturally, I walked out with said bookmark and also two books as well.

I noticed that they had stock of the second and third book in the Dune series by Frank Herbert, and so I decided to pick those up. I read and loved the first book of the series earlier this year, and even watched the film recently. Given that I have a paperback copy of the first book of the series anyway, I’m naturally going to continue to read the series this way. Thankfully, these books combined make up the rough length of the first book, so they’re not quite so big. I can’t wait to read these either!

 

Coming Up…

This week I’m taking part in a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s theme is ‘Bookish Characters’. Although I’ve read a lot of books, I’ve struggled a little bit to come up with a full list of ten. There aren’t many books I’ve read with characters as devout to reading! Nevertheless, I have just about come up with ten for the list and I can’t wait to share that with you on Tuesday!

This week there was a temporary hold on my usual Friday feature post, however, I am back next week and it is the turn of my Shelf Control feature post. I’ll be taking a look at the next book on my TBR, deciding if I want to read it still, and sharing the details with you!

Normally I’d be telling you that I’ll be back next week with a Sunday Summary update post, however I will not be sharing Sunday Summary posts for the next couple of weeks. With that in mind, I’m also going to share with you what posts are going live on my blog the following week as well, so you know exactly what to expect!

The following week I’m taking part in another Top Ten Tuesday post. The theme for the 17th of May is ‘Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but I Still Haven’t Read’. I didn’t struggle with this list; I have so many books on my TBR and my bookshelves that I have plenty of inspiration to choose from. I’m embarrassed to say that the first book on my list is over six years old! Even that’s an estimate because I can’t exactly date when I purchased my copy.

Unexpectedly, I’ll be back with a First Lines Friday post as my next Friday feature. Last time I did this post I set myself the challenge of featuring a book I read before I started my blog. I am going to set myself a challenge again, but not this one. Instead, I am going to feature a book on my TBR that I plan to read sometime this year. This is a new challenge, and one that gives me the chance to consider what my future reading plans are and give you a little bit of insight into them!

That’s all for me in today’s Sunday Summary update post. I hope you have a great week ahead and I’ll see you in the next post!

 

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Monthly TBR – May 2022

Hello and welcome to my Monthly TBR for May! It’s the beginning of yet another month and so it’s time to share what I plan to read over the next few weeks with you! I have some great books on the list and as always, I’m going to try and give myself time to fit in a couple of mood reads. Even just one would be nice. I haven’t managed to get to any over the last couple of months, so I’m setting myself a slightly reduced fixed list in the hope that I can get there this month!

 

Fixed Reads

Crowfall

It feels kind of weird to feature this book in a way, because not only has it been on my last few TBR’s, but also because I am over two thirds through the book as of writing this post. I picked up Crowfall right at the beginning of this month after just finishing Ravencry, its predecessor. We are now a few days into May and I’ve been flying through this book – so much so that I’m hoping to finish this one very very soon!

So yes, it feels a bit strange, because I’m featuring it at a time when I’m about to finish it!

 

The Duke and I

The Duke and I was on my ‘mood read list’ last month, but as you know, I didn’t get round to it. That’s not the end of the world, because what I’ve taken to doing (if I can) is bump my mood reads up onto my fixed list if I still want to read them the following month. And I really do want to give this ago!

I’m still not 100% sure if this will be my cup of tea as it’s more of a romance than I’m used to reading. But, I do enjoy historical fiction and so I’m willing to give it a go for that reason. I have also really enjoyed The Netflix TV shows based on these books, so I’m hopeful that this will be an exception to the rule instead of a DNF! Having not long taken part in a contradictions book tag, that post has reminded me that sometimes we can be surprised by what we like when we don’t expect to, but also vice versa!

 

Empire of the Vampire

Another reason why I am setting a slightly smaller reading list this month is because I am picking up this chunk of a book.

At over 700 pages in its own right, this is going to be a substantial read. Maybe not quite enough to equate to 2 books of average length (for me), but it’s still plenty to be sinking my teeth into. The pun was fully intended!

As a general rule, I’m not big on vampire stories either, but that’s not to say I can’t enjoy them. I have enjoyed elements of them in the past, and frankly, I’m willing to overlook the fact because this is written by Jay Kristoff. I loved his Nevernight series and I autobought this book on that basis – that’s how much I loved them! I’ve also seen reviews that it has a very Patrick Rothfuss-y ‘The Name of the Wind’ vibe about its narration, and I’m all for that too!

 

Mood Reads

Dune Messiah

I just bought myself a copy of Dune Messiah at my local Waterstones the other day (not a spoiler because I’ve already shared it on my Instagram) and I want to read it – soon!

I saw this on a whim, but as I have the first book in paperback, I decided to pick this up, as well as the third book of the series (Children of Dune), with some vouchers I had. Not only have I watched the new film recently, but I did also read that first book of the series earlier this year. And I really enjoyed it, so whilst it’s fresh in my mind I’m thinking this might be my next good book to read. It’s also comparatively short at around 300 pages, so quite digestible. It will be a good one to pick up if I want something more concise.

 

Death of Kings

I’ve started watching the fourth series of The Last Kingdom in the last week, and it’s reminded me that I have the next book in the series yet to pick up. Technically the events in this book cover what occurred at the end of the last series, but I really don’t mind! I want to keep going with the series because I’m really loving the setting, the characters and the overall conflict that keeps rearing its head. As a fan of historical fiction it ticks a lot of boxes for me. And, it’s been awhile since I picked the last one up… so it’s about time I got stuck back in!

 

I may have pencilled in what I think my mood reads are going to be, they are precisely that – mood reads. That means that whilst these are books I want to pick up now, I might change my mind when it comes to it. If I want to pick up something totally different then that’s okay. I find giving myself the time to pick up something on a whim suits me. It keeps my reading motivation up and keeps it fun. It’s only my hobby, after all!

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

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – April 2022

Welcome to today’s Monthly Wrap-Up for April 2022! We are already a third of the way through the year and honestly, time is flying once again! In today’s post I want to talk about the books I’ve been reading throughout the month of April, as well as provide a little commentary on where I’m up to with my 2022 Goodreads Challenge.

Get yourself a cuppa and make yourself comfortable!

 

Books Read

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

My first read of the month, carried forward from March, was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. This is the longest read on my list so far this year; even having started and read a couple of hundred pages in March, I still had around five hundred to go to get to the end of this epic! And epic this story is! I’m glad that I’ve completed my reread of the Harry Potter series; it’s one that I loved as a teenager as I grew up with them. I’m pleased to say that even reading them through the perspective of somebody little bit older, they still have all the appeal they did when I read them first.

 

The Thursday Murder Club

Next, I moved on to something a lot more lighthearted, and a book that I was recommended to read. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman was a completely different ballpark, but I loved every second of this one as well! I say this one was lighthearted, but there was one section in the story really took me by surprise. There are a couple of chapters in the book that take a very sudden turn, and whilst their inclusion in such a generally lighthearted book meant that the chapters had more impact, they made me cry.

This was another fantastic read overall. I loved the characters and the story in general, because I had me questioning everybody and their motive to see if I could get to the bottom of the story before the end of the book. The writing had me questioning pretty much everybody had some point, so it was really good in that respect! I’m definitely going to continue to read more of these books. If you like the idea of a whodunnit, but with a private investigation being led by more geriatric members of society, then you’ll enjoy this one as much as I did.

 

Ravencry

Ravencry

Lastly, I read Ravencry by Ed McDonald in the month of April. Having read and loved Blackwing at the end of February/early March, I knew I wanted to continue the trilogy in full. I read these books originally over 3 years ago now and loved them – so much so that I’ve gone on to gift two copies of this trilogy to friends.

Picking this up again has been great for me. I have enjoyed having the confidence in knowing that I’m going to enjoy a book, especially at a time where things aren’t exactly all that great in the world, and a guaranteed pick me up is a blessing. You have probably gathered that my overall reading speed isn’t the same as it was a couple of years ago either, and whilst I’m certainly not trying to break any records or push myself too hard, I would like to be reading a little bit more than I am.

Picking up books by fantastic authors such as Ed McDonald really help motivate me to do so!

 

Ideally, I would’ve liked to have picked up Crowfall, the last book on my ‘set list’ before the end of the month. I set myself another ambitious list last month with the aim of trying to pick up my books. But, the beauty of having mood reads is that it doesn’t matter so much if I don’t get round to them. Naturally, I would like to get to a point where I have a little bit of freedom of choice with my reading (because that’s the format I’m setting myself this year – a fixed reading list and then potentially a couple where I have flexibility if I complete the set list).

At the same time, I’m not beating myself up about it either. You may not know, but I am currently studying for an exam that I’m sitting at the end of June. Whilst it’s not a large one by any means, I’ve been working through the content nice and early so I’ve got plenty of time to iron out the kinks and work out what I need to work on a little bit more. I’ve put in a lot of hours this month towards studying. In reality, if I had put that time into reading instead I would have completed my reading list very early this month. But, priorities are priorities. The fact that I’ve achieved both, as well as continuing to blog, is something I’m proud of!

 

Goodreads Challenge Update

In my monthly wrap-up posts, I am yet to comment on where am I with regards to my Goodreads Challenge for this year. I’ve therefore decided to add this review to this post, and I will also be looking at my progress in my August month-end review, and finally again at the end of the year.

As I say above, I’ve not been reading as much as I have historically, but the great news is I am perfectly on track with my Goodreads Challenge. As of drafting this post I am neither ahead nor behind. At this stage it’s a great confidence booster, because it means I don’t have to put any pressure on myself to catch up, but equally I’ve not set myself a challenge that is too easy. There have been a couple of years where I have set myself challenges and then up to them at a later date as I underestimated my capabilities. So far, it doesn’t look like I have to do that this year.

For a quick recap, here is a list of books I have read so far this year: –

  1. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
  2. The Feedback loop
  3. Dune
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  5. Clockwork Magpies
  6. Son of Mercia
  7. The Diary of a Young Girl
  8. Blackwing
  9. Keep You Safe
  10. Lean In
  11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  12. The Thursday Murder Club
  13. Ravencry

What I hope this list also demonstrates is that I am picking up a variety of books. There is fantasy and science fiction, mystery and thrillers, as well as historical fiction and even a couple of non-fiction books. For someone who doesn’t read a lot of non-fiction generally, I’m really happy that I’ve managed to squeeze two into such a short list!

So there you have it – my monthly wrap-up post for April 2022! I hope you enjoyed today’s post and you are looking forward to finding out what I’m going to be reading in May. If you are, keep your eyes peeled for a post going live in the next couple of days!

What have you been reading? Have you got any good book recommendations? As always, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Sunday Summary – 1st May 2022

Hello and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update. As always, I’m back at the end of the week to update you on the books I’ve been reading and the blog posts I’ve been sharing. I also have a TBR addition to let you know about, as well as what’s coming up on my blog next week!

Firstly, let’s go through what I’ve been sharing on my blog. I decided to take part in a Contradictions Book Tag at the beginning of this week. In that post, I shared various books I have read that don’t necessarily live up to my usual reading habits. For example, one of the questions is to name a book I enjoyed from the genre I don’t normally read, and so on. I had great fun with this post, because it gave me the opportunity to talk about books in a slightly different way. It has both positives and negatives, so I trust it will make a fun read for everybody!

On Friday I shared a First Lines Friday feature. As the posts I’ve written over the last month haven’t featured a challenge, I decided to bring this back for this week’s post. This week’s challenge was to feature a book that I read before I started my blog. Admittedly I have done this one before, but there are plenty of books I could choose from. I’m really happy with the feature I went with. If you want to find out which book I chose, you could find a link to the post above to take a look for yourself!

 

Books Read

In last week’s Sunday Summary update post, I had around 80 pages left of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman to read. My plan was to read and finish that book last Sunday night, and I’m pleased to say I did! I really enjoyed how this story ended and it was refreshing to read something relatively lighthearted! I’ll definitely go on to continue with his books, because this was a really fun one to read!

In last week’s update I also shared that I had started Ravencry by Ed McDonald. I had started this on a whim as I fancied a change from The Thursday Murder Club, so I made this my ‘bedtime reading’ book. As I finished The Thursday Murder Club nice and quickly, Ravencry became my current read in earnest and it’s the book I’ve been reading for most of the week. I actually finished this one last night, and I loved it as much as I did the first time I read it! These books never fail to impress in their epicness, the range of characters, and the overall entertainment value from them. As I’m sure you’ve gathered, I absolutely love these, and I’m glad I’ve gone back to them to enjoy them all over again!

Speaking of which, the next book on my reading list for the week is Crowfall, the third and final instalment in The Raven’s Mark trilogy. As I only finished Ravencry last night, I’m only about 30 pages into Crowfall at the moment. However, being in full swing having just read Ravencry, I’m hoping that this isn’t going to take long to read at all. I distinctly remember devouring this the last time I read it, so I have every confidence it will be the exact same this time round!

 

Books Discovered

Having heard fabulous reviews for an indie book on the Currently Reading podcast, (something I have gotten into listening to recently), I have added Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots to my TBR this week.

I love the sound of this book because it’s completely different from books I would typically read. I’m not ‘into’ superheroes, but I do enjoy an element of it now and then. In fact, my first read of the year, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, had an element of it in; the main characters in that book write comic books about superheroes. I enjoyed this particular aspect in the book because it’s not something I read a lot of. I’m hoping I think the same of Hench.

The story is a little bit different though. From what I have gathered from the discussion Meredith and Kaytee had on the Currently Reading podcast, the main character is somebody whose life has been negatively impacted by a superhero… and even despite her injures, she is deemed one of the lucky ones. Anna is living proof that not all of their deeds are for the good of all, and she makes it her mission to exact revenge. She takes up employment for the worst kind of villiains that can be expected in any superhero story. She is just a data cruncher, a small cog in a very big machine, but knowing how to use the data against them and to her advantage, she becomes a force to be reckoned with in her own right.

 

Coming Up…

Somehow it is the first week of May next week. Whilst that’s a good thing because it means it’s a lovely long bank holiday weekend, it means that time is absolutely flying by! Needless to say, it’s time for me to share my Monthly Wrap-Up for April 2022. I’m looking forward to sharing the books I’ve been reading over the course of the month with you, and provide an update on where I am up to with my Goodreads challenge!

Naturally, the next matter on the agenda is to share what I’m planning on reading throughout the month of May. I have some really good books on this month’s list, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

I’m fairly sure you know what’s coming next. I’ll be back this time next week with another Sunday Summary update for you all! Until then, I hope you enjoy this lovely bank holiday weekend and have a great week ahead!

 

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Contradictions Book Tag

Today I am taking part in the Contradictions  Book Tag!

I found this tag over at Kristin Kraves Books and I loved the idea! I’m all about trying different things and branching out, and so naturally, I have plenty of content for this type of post. Sometimes I’ll branch out to something I wouldn’t normally read and I love it. Equally, sometimes I will pick up something that I think will be a firm favourite, and it’s a flop. That is what today’s post is all about.

Let’s dive into today’s tag and look at the topics below: –

 

I love this genre but I didn’t like this book

I tried really hard with this book, but I got so far in and I still had absolutely no idea what was going on! For me, the narrative jumped around far too much to be able to keep a grasp of the plot and I lost interest because I couldn’t invest in it.

I’d heard great things about this book, so I was disappointed that I couldn’t get on with it. But equally, I’m not going to force myself to read something I’m not enjoying it either.

 

I rarely read this genre but I loved this book

Up until a couple of months ago I wouldn’t have described myself as a feminist.

The word has ugly connotations in that women who describe themselves as feminists are perceived to be out for the betterment of women, at the cost of men. That is not the definition of feminism. Feminism is about equal rights, but the connotation comes from the fact that in order to bridge the gap in equality, it’s women’s rights that need to be improved. Women are underpaid because they are perceived as a higher risk of leaving the workforce to raise children. Women are often overlooked for career advancement because they are ‘emotional’… or even because other senior women perceive them as a threat (because of course there’s only room for one senior female to be representative of the gender…)

It’s only when I read this book a couple of months ago that I reminded myself that this is not true. However, what I really liked about this book as I didn’t just focus on women, and what women can do. Obviously it’s a big part, but it’s not exclusive. It talks about how men should not be alienated for stepping up or being a primary parent and their lack of inclusion in that role, to name one example.

Whilst I don’t read the genre a lot, it’s one that I will read again. I am a feminist. I want to stand up for myself and others to be offered the same opportunities, and I won’t be put down for that.

 

I love this trope but I didn’t like this book

Stories that include unreliable narrators are great. It adds an element of mystery and really makes you second-guess everything you’re being told. It’s the kind of book that you really have to think about, and this makes it really interesting.

However, I couldn’t get on with One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Maybe it was just timing, or perhaps because I found the narrative a little bit slow. But, I couldn’t get on with this one.

 

I hate this trope but I loved this book

To be honest, I’m not really a fan of the genre in general as much as the trope, but Me Before You is a real exception to the rule. I don’t like reading books that manipulate my emotions in that way. I don’t like reading something that I’m going to find upsetting; who deliberately puts themselves in that position?

Somehow, I did. After all the hype of the film and the book, I decided I had to give it a try. And I’m glad I did! It abused my emotions to the very limit but I absolutely loved the story!

 

I love this author but I didn’t like this book

I have read so many Terry Pratchett books, and I plan to continue reading many more. But Good Omens just didn’t do it for me.

If I had to decide what was the biggest factor in making me put this down, I’d say it was because I didn’t get on with the mixed writing style between Terry and Neil Gaiman. I’ve only read one Neil Gaiman book in the past that I thought was okay – the second I didn’t like. If I had to suggest there was a theme, I think you can see where I’m going with this one…

I’m not going to let that stop me reading any more Terry Pratchett books, and I’ll even give his collaboration with Stephen Baxter a try. But, it won’t be pure Terry and I’ll just have to get used to that. Hopefully I get on with it more than this!

 

I previously disliked a book by this author but I loved this book

I originally read George Orwell around my GCSE years at school, and I thought it was really dry and boring. In hindsight, I put that down to having to study the text to within an inch of its life and over analyse it. I didn’t really enjoy any of the books I studied for school. That’s just not my way of enjoying a book.

Ironically, I went on to read 1984 again in my own time, as well as Animal Farm shortly thereafter. Taking a more relaxed approach to reading these books made such a difference! I really don’t think the way I was taught about books in school is the right way to encourage reading. It’s dull, it puts people off and what is achieved at the end of it? What difference does my ability to ‘interpret’ the authors choice of curtain colour (for want of example) make in life? Because yes folks, this is the ridiculous amount of detail we had a look at. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that the answer is absolutely naff all.

 

I love this cover but I didn’t like this book

And here is my reappearance of Neil Gaiman – this time with American Gods. This is really beautiful cover and I love the idea of the book in principle, but it didn’t work for me.

I wasn’t a fan of the writing style, I found it confusing and it wasn’t for me. I’ve seen a lot of comments saying that people are usually better off reading this book for a second time, but I decided very quickly that I wasn’t going to waste my time reading a 500 page book that I didn’t really like, again. I didn’t get anything out of the storyline, I didn’t mean anything new and I finished the book not really understanding what I just read.

It’s a no from me.

 

I don’t like this cover but I loved this book

Reading The Rag Nymph was a recommendation from my mum, and I absolutely loved this story. I really wish the cover got as much love, because honestly I don’t like any of the editions I’ve seen. As much as we say don’t judge a book by its cover, we do. We do that all the time. Even I will literally pick up a book based on its pretty cover.

That’s why I would like to see The Rag Nymph get a little bit of love and a refresh. I want people to pick this up and read it, because it’s a fantastic story with really lovable characters. It’s not the sort of thing I would’ve picked up unless my mum had recommended it… another reason why I’d like to see it get a refresh.

I want it to appeal to people like me who love these kind of stories off their own back and not just by recommendation. That’s not to say reading a book based on a recommendation is a bad thing, because hey, I have a website in which I basically give my recommendations all the time. It deserves to stand out in its own right – that’s my point.

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Contradictions Book Tag. If you’ve taken part in a post like this before, then I’d love to know what your answers were. If you haven’t, let me know any that come to mind in the comments below.

And of course, if you have done this tag, or you take this as your invitation to do so, please leave a link in the comments! I would love to see your answers to these questions!

 

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Sunday Summary – 24th April 2022

Good evening everyone! I’m back with today’s Sunday Summary update to conclude another busy week. As always, I trust you’ve had a good one?

Before we jump into what I’ve been up to this week, I have a fun little update to share with you. My blog has been on the Internet for five years! I’m just celebrating the anniversary and honestly, I can’t believe it! As someone who has lots of ideas but very rarely follows through with them, I’m proud of myself for having stuck with my blog. It’s a lot of time and effort, but I really love having this space to share my thoughts and feelings with you! Here’s to the next 5 years!

My first post of the week was a book review of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Having read and loved Six of Crows, I wanted to pick up this series. However, I expedited this after watching the Netflix series that amalgamated these two together. I wasn’t too keen on this, but that’s besides the point. It was great to dive into my opinions on why I enjoyed this first instalment to the series!

On Friday I shared my Shelf Control fortnightly feature. In this week‘s post, I shared details of the next book on my TBR – Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham. It sounds like a really interesting thriller novel and if I go on to enjoy this, it’s going to be the start of a fabulous series; it’s quite a long one. You can find out all my thoughts on this book, as well as details of the book itself in my Shelf Control post.

 

Books Read

In last week’s Sunday Summary update I was about a third of the way through The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I am pleased to report a significant amount of progress this week!

I am really enjoying this mystery story. As the mystery and thriller genre goes, this is on the very lighthearted side of things. For the most part. There is a lot of humour in it, and I’m really enjoying this aspect! I will say there are a couple of chapters that really took me by surprise though. As I say, it’s very funny and lighthearted, but without spoilers, a tragic event in a couple of the later chapters really punched me in the gut – so much so made me cry. The fact that they were included in the way they were means that it had a greater impact. Thankfully I was able to mop up the tears and carry on!

I’m hoping to finish The Thursday Murder Club tonight after this post goes live. I am currently 80% of the way through the book, with just under 80 pages or so to go until the end.

I’ve also started reading a second book this week. I fancied a change from The Thursday Murder Club for some bedtime reading. Probably conscious that I have several books still on my TBR and not a lot of the month left in which to read them, I decided to pick up Ravencry by Ed McDonald. This is strictly bedtime reading for now, so that way I can make progress with both. I’m already around 80 pages into Ravencry, and having read Blackwing (the first book of the trilogy) recently as well it helps that I am following up in a timely manner! Although the events of this book occur four years after the first book, the context makes a lot more sense. Ravencry is proving a very easy read and once I’ve finished The Thursday Murder Club, I’ll be moving onto this one in earnest!

 

Books Discovered

I have absolutely no updates for you on the TBR front this week, other than to confirm that I haven’t added anything to it once again (thankfully!)

 

Coming Up…

I’ve seen a fun book tag post, in which the idea is to share bookish likes and dislikes that go against your norms. It’s called the Contradictions Book Tag, and I can’t wait to really dig into the different topics and share books that I’ve liked and ‘shouldn’t have’, and equally those that I wanted to and didn’t!

On Friday I will be sharing a First Lines Friday post. As I haven’t set myself a challenge for the last couple of iterations of this post, I will be setting myself a challenge for next week. My challenge, you ask? The featured book has to be one I read as a teenager, and pre-dates my blogging days. I have done this particular challenge before, but as I read so much when I was younger there’s still plenty of scope to feature something new and share the love for something that I haven’t shared as yet!

As always, I will be back this time next week with another Sunday Summary post, containing all my latest updates of books read etc.

I hope you can join me for these posts, but in the meantime I hope you have a fabulous week and I’ll see you around!

 

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Sunday Summary – 17th April 2022

Good evening and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update. As always, I trust you’ve had a good week and are enjoying a nice, long Easter weekend?

I’ve been back to my usual blogging schedule this week. At the beginning of the week, I took part in a Top Ten Tuesday post. In that post, I featured books by new-to-me authors that I couldn’t wait to read. One of the books on that list is one that I have since picked up and so far I’m really enjoying it. If you want to find out what other books and authors are on my radar, you can take a look at that post using this link.

On Friday I shared my regular First Lines Friday feature. I had decided to leave the topic/theme for this week‘s post open, and I’m glad I did! When it came to choosing my feature for this week, it was nice to have a blank slate to go on. I decided to feature a book that is on my TBR and a copy is waiting on my bookshelves. It was nice to go and take a look at that particular book in more detail. I had picked up that book on a whim at the bookshop and bought it, so it was nice to share with you the introduction, because that’s what drew me in as well!

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post, I had around 150 pages also left to read of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I said that I had planned to read the rest of this book within the next couple of days. I lied, friends. I decided to start making headway towards the finish line on Sunday night after sharing my post, but as with all great books, you just get sucked in. And sucked in I was! So much so, I finish reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at about 1am on Monday morning! Whoops (sorry not sorry!)

From there I moved swiftly onwards to start The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. This book was a recommendation to me by my sister’s boyfriend Chris, and he has even loaned me his copy so I can give it a read. And I’m really enjoying it so far! The chapters are really nice and short, so it’s very easy to pick up and put down as and when required. Not that you really want to. I’ve taken to reading this later in the evening, or even before bed, and it’s very difficult to put down!

I’m currently 138 pages into this particular book, which equates to just over a third of the way through. As this is such an easy read, I hope that I’ll be able to tell you I finished this next week. I know what magic saying that did to my reading progress last week, so will see if the result is the same (or at least similar…)

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added anything new to the reading list this week. So, it’s a quiet section here, unlike last week!

 

Coming Up…

I am in the mood to share a review. I feel like it’s been a little while since I’ve shared a book review, or even an audiobook review, with you all. With that in mind I’ve been looking at my list of outstanding reviews and I have decided to share my thoughts on Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I read this book having watched the Netflix series based upon it, and I enjoyed it! I had also recently read another duology by Leigh Bardugo and it was already on my list as a result of that! Keep your eyes peeled if you’re interested in my full thoughts on that book in the next few days.

I’ll be back on Friday, as usual, but this time we have a Shelf Control post. I’ll be looking back at the TBR and featuring the next book on my list. I enjoy these posts because it gives me the chance to talk about why I’m excited to read them! And, if worse comes to the worst and I decide I’m not that interested, it’s a good opportunity to whittle down the list.

And, you know what’s coming next. I will be back next Sunday for another Sunday Summary post, and I’ll be sharing all my latest updates with you once again.

Until then, have a great week, enjoy the rest of your Easter weekend and I’ll see you in my next post!

 

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Sunday Summary – 10th April 2022

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. As always, I trust you’ve had a good week?

It’s been a busy one here on Reviewsfeed, because my blogging schedule has included an extra post. I started off the week by sharing my Monthly Wrap-Up post for March 2022. Somehow, this year is absolutely flying by and given that we’re in the beginning of April, it’s a perfect time to talk about my reading progress over the last month. Whilst I didn’t get through all of my TBR, I am still happy with the books I managed to pick up and read in March. You can find out the full details in that post!

A bit later on this week I shared my Reading List for April 2022, another natural post to share at the beginning of a new month. A lot of the books featured are ones I didn’t get round to from my March 2022 TBR. There are a couple of new additions, however, so the post is still worth checking out! I have picked some mood reads for April based on some TV shows I’ve been watching, and one of those is an unlikely pick for me.

On Friday I post a regular feature, and this week it was the turn of a Shelf Control post. I enjoyed featuring this next book on my TBR in Friday’s post. It’s an exciting thriller novel with an interesting premise – what if the person on the end of a Samaritan phoneline wasn’t looking out for your best interests? What if they thrived off other people suffering worse than them? I really like the sound of this book, and although it deals with topics including mental health and such, I can’t wait to pick this up and read it for myself!

 

Books Read

I am pleased to say that I have made a significant amount of progress with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this week. As of my last Sunday Summary post I was just 250 pages into this final instalment to the series.

That was progress I had made over the last two weeks, and as of today’s post I have nearly read that much again! I’m just about 450 pages in now, and there is only 150ish left to go! With the end in sight, I can definitely see myself finishing this book in the next few days. I’ve enjoyed getting into this book more, with less distractions in terms of television time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed watching some TV series for a change too. But, it’s also nice to get back into my reading!

I’ve also started something new this week. I found I had lost a little bit of motivation with audiobooks and listening to A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin, so I’ve started listening to another. Admittedly, I only started this yesterday and at present I’m five chapters in.

I purchased myself a copy of The Plague Charmer by Karen Maitland a good while ago now, and desirous for a change, I decided to give this a try! I’m enjoying the story at the moment, having gotten into it with very little knowledge of the story before starting it. The synopsis is relatively vague, but there’s just enough there to pique interest. I’m hoping that the change of scenery (so to speak) will help me get into the habit of listening to audiobooks a little bit more again.

 

Books Discovered

I have added one book to my TBR this week, and I appreciate it’s not going to be everybody’s cup of tea in terms of taste because it kind of relates to my work.

I have shared before that I work in an investment related role, and the particular book I have added to my list details the unveiling of one of the most high profile financial frauds in history. If you are in the investment industry or were unfortunate enough to have made certain bad investments, you’ll know the name Bernie Madoff. In essence, he defrauded billions of pounds out of people by purporting to invest their money in his funds in a way that yielded a very high value return. In reality, the money was going into his bank account. The fraud was discovered by Harry Markopolos, who proved that it was impossible for the funds to achieve the advertised returns and eventually prompted the investigation into his affairs that pulled the whole deception apart. 

I did say it wasn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but as it relates to history that has impacted my day-to-day role (and I have some familiarity with what has happened before), I’d like to dive into this a bit deeper. Naturally, this had repercussions in terms of regulations for investments and it will be interesting to know what and how this prompted these changes.

 

Coming Up…

This week I am back to my usual blogging schedule.

I’ve decided this week to take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme, which is featuring authors that I want to read, but I haven’t read yet. Not only will this be a great way to share some upcoming reads I have with you, but also it’s an opportunity for me to get excited about them!

This upcoming Friday will be the turn of my First Lines Friday feature post. I quite enjoyed having free reign of subject in my last post, and so I’ve decided I’m not setting myself any particular challenges with regards to this week’s post.

And last, but not least, I’ll be back at the same time next week to share another Sunday Summary post for another update.

Until then, have a great one and I’ll see you in my next post!

 

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Monthly TBR – April 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to my monthly TBR for April. I’m really excited to be sharing the books I plan to pick up within the next few weeks! 

I didn’t get through all of my reading list for March. I did set myself an ambitious list and so I’m neither surprised nor disappointed by this fact. I knew when I prepared the list it was very likely I was going to carry some forward through to April – so most of the books on this month’s list have already been shared on last month’s TBR! 

Let’s see what I’m going to be reading very soon!

 

Fixed Reads

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows

I will be opening the month with my current read carried over from March, being Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. I’m currently around halfway through this book and I’m excited to complete my reread of the series! I last read this book around nine years ago now, so I am keen to read this book again and experience it from a more mature perspective!

 

The Thursday Murder Club

I have been loaned a copy of The Thursday Murder Club by my sister’s boyfriend, Chris, to read. I didn’t quite get round to this one last month, but I still cannot wait to pick this up! I’ve heard great things about this book, in particular the characters and the humour!

 

Ravencry & Crowfall

I added Ravencry and Crowfall to my ‘mood read list’ last month, but since I didn’t get round to them I’ve decided I’m adding them to my fixed list for April! I have a couple of other ‘mood reads’ in mind that I’d like to pick up, and so the progression onto my fixed reading list felt natural!

Having recently re-read Blackwing, the first book in the series, I got really excited for the series again. So naturally, I wanted to read it all again as opposed to just the first book! I re-read Blackwing in just a matter of days, and I fully expect Ravencry and Crowfall to be much the same in terms of experience!

 

Mood Reads

The Duke & I

This addition to my TBR is experimental. I’m not sure if it’s a book I’m going to enjoy, however having recently enjoyed watching the second season of the Netflix TV show, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t.

If I do enjoy The Duke and I then I will continue with the book series. However, don’t expect me to suddenly start reading romance all the time; my enjoyment of these books, if indeed I do enjoy them, will be the exception instead of the rule.

What I can say, is having featured this book in a very recent First Lines Friday post, the introduction made a good impression on me! Let’s see how the rest of the book pans out, shall we?

 

The Bone Collector

I’ve also been watching the TV series, Lincoln Rhyme, on Now TV recently. I have a copy of The Bone Collector sat upstairs on my bookshelf, and now feels like the right time to pick this up for myself. I believe my sister has read at least some of this book and enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see how it compares!

 

As in previous months, my indicated mood reads are provisional and I might choose to pick up something else at the time! Last month I didn’t even get round to my mood reads, which is perfectly okay too. I feel like this reading list is a little bit less ambitious, though still plentiful enough to give myself a challenge!

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

 

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