Tag: audiobook

Monthly TBR – February 2023

We’ve made it through the first month of 2023, and I’m back today to share my monthly TBR for February! Even though it is a short month, I am setting myself an ambitious list. If I want to make it through this TBR by the end of the month, I have to read the equivalent of just over 100 pages a day!

I’m not going to be mad if I don’t get through this list in its entirety. I know I am pushing myself in this monthly TBR. Being honest, if I am reading the last book at the end of the month, I will take that as an achievement.

I have quite the list of exciting books to read in February’s monthly TBR. Whilst I’m not normally one for themed reading, I have decided to pick up certain books on the basis that it is Black History Month. One of my book club reads was chosen around this theme, and it gave me the idea to choose some other books on my bookshelves as they also fit the bill.

Let’s dive into the books on today’s monthly TBR I plan to read in February!

 

Fixed Reads

 

The House of Fortune

The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton was an intended read in the month of January. However, it escaped mention in my January wrap-up as I didn’t quite get around to this one before the end of the month. When out in town last week, I decided to try and loan this book from my local library – fortunately, they had a copy!

So, I have moved it to my February TBR, and as I’m writing this post, it is my current read. I am already a third of the way through this book. If I am to be on track, I need to make some significant progress tonight – and that is the plan!

I have read mixed reviews about this book. That’s why I wanted to try and borrow a copy of this book rather than get my own. Especially as the book is only out in hardback at the moment, and the e-book is still quite high in price, I didn’t want to take the risk of not enjoying it. So far, that is not the case. Whilst I’m not a huge fan of the main character, I am enjoying the overall narrative. It is definitely reminiscent of its predecessor, The Miniaturist. It also fits nicely into this month’s theme, although I didn’t know that at the time of adding this to my February TBR.

 

Africa Risen

 

Africa Risen is Ezeekat’s book club pick on Fable for February. It is a little different from my usual reading in that it is an anthology. The stories within are from the science-fiction and fantasy genres – ones I read a lot of and love already. It emphasises minority voices and perspectives, which is why it makes for perfect reading during Black History Month.

I feel like the book being made up of short stories will make this easy to read. Although the book in its entirety is over 500 pages, the fact that it is broken up into 32 distinct stories should make this one fly by – it averages out at just 16 pages per story!

 

Becoming

I have had a copy of Becoming by Michelle Obama sat on my bookshelf for several months. Considering I am trying to read more non-fiction, and based on the author’s heritage, I felt this would be a great read for February.

I am not into politics, however, I still feel like I will enjoy this book. I’m looking forward to seeing what both Michelle and Barack are like behind the curtain, so to speak. We have seen so much of their public life since Barack became the first African-American president. Becoming could offer a completely different insight into who they are. I certainly hope so!

 

Illuminae

The last fixed read on my February TBR is Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

Last year, I set up a TBR jar and popped in a piece of paper for each of the books that were on my reading list. The idea behind having this jar is that by selecting a book at random from it, I get little bit of randomness to my reading. It’s also to help me get through some of the books that I might not necessarily pick for myself in a given moment. However, I’m really excited that Illuminae came out for this month!

Last year, I read The Appeal by Janice Hallett, and my understanding is that the book is written in multimedia in the same way that book is. It is not a small book at just over 600 pages. However, with the way in which the story is told, the book is clearly not 600 pages of solid prose. This is what I’m used to reading; the format difference should make Illuminae a much quicker read.

 

Mood Reads

 

The Book Eaters

This next book on my reading list is one and I’ve been hoping to pick up for a couple of months. I recently received a copy of this as part of the Illumicrate subscription. I really like the sound of this book, but I just haven’t squeezed it in yet.

At just under 300 pages, this is the shortest book in my February reading list. It is also quite different in tone and genre. If nothing else, I’m hoping I can read this as a good palate cleanser.

 

The Rise of the Dragon

I was very lucky to receive a copy of The Rise of the Dragon as an early birthday present from mum and dad last month. You know me – I am huge Game of Thrones fan! It is only fitting that this is on my February reading list, as I want to read it in my birthday month!

I have read a significantly more detailed Targaryen history from Fire and Blood previously. I’m excited to see how the illustrated version compares to that book. I’m imagining that it is going to be much more digestible! As much as I enjoyed fire and blood, it is dense!

 

In Every Mirror She’s Black

I’m hoping to squeeze one more minority voice book into my February reading list. I purchased a copy of In Every Mirror She’s Black, having seen a copy on sale in Waterstones after Christmas. It was completely on a whim, but I like the sound of the story and the message I believe it intends to put across.

In Every Mirror She’s Black is more of a contemporary fiction than I would typically pick up. However, I am intrigued by the lives of the three women portrayed, and I’m always trying to read new things!

 

So, those are the books on my monthly TBR that I’m hoping to pick up throughout the month of February. Wish me luck!

What are you going to be reading?

 

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Monthly TBR – January 2023

I’m very excited to be sharing my very first TBR with you of 2023! January is always a good month for reading as I’m excited by the clean slate.

This year, I’m starting my January TBR with a book I’ve carried over from December last year. It’s quite a short read and one that I’m making good progress with already despite the number of blogging hours I’ve put in this week! And, there are plenty more to come.

As I started doing last year, I’m going to set myself a few fixed reads that I would like to get through in the month. I’m also going to set some mood reads that will be a reflection of what I want to pick up when I draft my TBR, but I can change in the month if I wish. I’ve found this approach really works for me, as it focuses me on the things I need to read, but also allows that bit of flexibility if and when things change.

Enough preamble – let’s get into the books I plan to pick up in January!

 

Fixed Reading List

 

The Secret Library

The Secret Library was on my December 2022 TBR, but I only got around to it right at the end of the month. As I have done in previous months, I underestimated the amount of time it takes to make progress with books in the Realm of the Elderlings series by Robin Hobb. As a result, I didn’t get anywhere near finished with my December TBR.

I started January having read the first of nine chapters in The Secret Library, and this is my current read as of drafting this post. I am already just over halfway through the book and it is a compelling read. If you like books about books (especially little-known books), then the tidbits of knowledge in this book will appeal to you as they do to me.

 

The Secret History

The Secret History

The Secret History was also on my December TBR, as a TBR Jar pick. I decided to set this jar up as a means of randomising my reading list a little bit and to encourage me to pick up books at times when I wouldn’t necessarily do so by choice. It’s a means of broadening my horizons.

So, I didn’t get around to it in December for the same reasons above. That is why The Secret History is on the fixed side of my January TBR. I have been looking forward to reading this book for some time, as I have heard great things from multiple sources about it. Having read other books within the same genre last year and really enjoyed them, I’m excited to see what this book holds.

 

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow is a fixed read on my reading list as it is the featured book in Ezeekat’s online book club this month.

I joined this club in time for last month’s read of Daughter of the Moon Goddess, and that proved to be a fantastic read. Whilst it wasn’t on my reading list as yet, it was on my radar and I probably would have read it at some point anyway. I really enjoyed this book, so naturally, I’m excited to see what this next read brings.

Having read the synopsis of Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, I really like the sound of it. As someone who enjoys gaming as well as reading and crafting and everything else I do, I have something in common with the main characters. I’m hoping that relatability will add to my enjoyment of the overall book.

I have seen this book around on social media, but I wouldn’t have picked it up unless it was part of the club. It will be interesting to see what my perception of the book is after I’ve read it, as this is a true test of using online book clubs to push my reading boundaries… because this is exactly the scenario I’ve been looking for.

 

Mood Reads

 

After You

It was a conversation with my friends before Christmas that inspired me to read this book in January. I threw myself a curveball a few years ago and picked up Me before you by Jojo Moyes. It is not the kind of book I would normally read, however, it was great. It made me cry bucketloads, but it was a really, really good book.

I didn’t know much about this second book of the series, After You. It was the discussion amongst my friends that enlightened me as to what this book is about. It’s a difficult one to talk about without letting on the events of the first book, but to explain as briefly as I can, this book deals with the aftermath and the conclusion of the first book. Given the way that it ended, and how this second book has been explained to me, I feel like reading this as a follow-up will be a good way of resolving my feelings about the first book. It also ties in nicely with my goal this year of finishing series!

 

The House of Fortune

Speaking of that goal, here is another book towards that end! One of the open series I have at the moment is The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I read the first book a good few years ago now (and if I recall correctly, it was around Christmas/New Year as well). I have been aware that there has been a follow-up book to pick up, but I just haven’t gotten around to it since its publication last year.

This month, I am making that effort. Once I’ve read this book, I can happily tick a series off my list!

 

The Chimp Paradox

I’m also working towards another reading goal in this last pick for my January TBR. The Chimp Paradox will be my second non-fiction read of the month, making for a very good start towards my goal of reading more than 15 non-fiction books throughout the year.

I have seen this out and about quite a few times of late. I even considered picking up a copy of this book during my recent trip to Waterstones. However, as it is a new book by a new author, I ultimately decided to either borrow the book or get a copy on my kindle instead.

Based on the synopsis and flip through in the bookstore, I’m interested to see what angle this book takes and whether I find anything in it useful in terms of personal development. I’ve seen recommendations for it, so I am optimistic that it will be an insightful read!

 

So, those are the six books on my January TBR! A few of the books I picked for this list are on the shorter side, so I’m optimistic to make good progress in this TBR.

Have you read any of the books on this list, and would you recommend? What are you reading right now? As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – December 2022

Today begins the start of a very busy week, catching up with my month and year-end reviews for 2022, as well as introducing my 2023 goals and reading list! Today’s post is my monthly wrap-up for December 2022. As usual, I’ll be recapping the books I read throughout the month.

Whilst I was hoping to have read around five books in December, it didn’t pan out that way. I should’ve known when I put a Robin Hobb on my TBR that it was not going to be a quick read. I always underestimate how long these are going to take!

Let’s dive into my monthly wrap-up in earnest and check out which books I read in December.

 

Books Read

Daughter of the Moon Goddess – Sue Lynn Tan

The first book I read in December was Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan. I read this as part of Ezeekat’s online book club hosted via Fable. I had been considering joining one for some time as I want to stretch my reading and start picking up books I wouldn’t necessarily choose myself. Having followed his Instagram for a while, there are plenty of overlaps with the books I read, but also enough variety that I get the stretch I’m looking for.

As it happens, this month’s pick – Daughter of the Moon Goddess – was already on my radar. It wasn’t on my TBR as yet, but I think it would’ve ended up being on it.

I’m glad I picked this up! I read a lot of fantasy, however, it tends to be very westernised fantasy. Daughter of the Moon Goddess is entirely different in that the fantastical world behind the events are based around Chinese mythology. It was a completely different setting that I was used to, and a lot of the characters and their development was very different. It was a refreshing change to read a book from a completely different setting and it’s something that I am going to try and do again!

 

Ship of Magic – Robin Hobb

The next and last book I completed in full in December was Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. I really enjoyed this first instalment of The Liveship Traders trilogy. Having read and enjoyed the Farseer trilogy earlier this year, I knew I wanted to keep up the pace with reading the Realm of the Elderlings series.

But, as with all Hobb books I have read to date, they are quite the marathon. They are not small books in any case, but they are also very dense. There is a lot going on, and you cannot race through them. With every single book so far, I have underestimated the amount of time it was going to take me to read. Ship of Magic is 880 pages long, and in the average week I was reading somewhere between 200 and 300 pages. I think the only reason I succeeded in completing this book before the end of the year is because I had the week off work prior to Christmas. In that week, I read the last 360 odd pages – quite substantial! In context, I could be reading that number of pages as a whole book in itself!

 

The Secret Library – Oliver Tearle

The last book I started in December was very late to the party. I started this on the evening of the 31st of December, more because I was in the mood to pick it up more than anything. I knew I wasn’t going to be finishing the book for my December wrap-up or have it count towards my end-of-year reading total. But, that doesn’t matter. I only read a small amount of this book as a means of introduction to it – the first chapter, or approximately 10%.

So far, it’s an interesting little book. If you, like me, or a fan of books and are interested to learn a little bit about literature itself, then I’d recommend this book to you already. It’s one of those books that will be a very quick read, but there’s still plenty to learn from it!

 

So, that’s the end of my monthly wrap-up post – you’re up to date with my December reading! Have you read any of the books on this list? Let me know in the comments. I’ll be back again tomorrow with another blog post all about my 2023 resolutions – I hope you can join me for that!

Until then, happy reading!

 

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Audiobook Review: Traitor’s Blade – Sebastien de Castell

In today’s audiobook review, I’m sharing my thoughts on the first book of the Greatcoats series, Traitor’s Blade. This is the first book I have read/listened to by Sebastien de Castell, but it’s not the first I’ve seen. If I recall correctly, I first saw Spellslinger.

However, I added Traitor’s Blade to my TBR as it’s a more typical fantasy with tropes I know and love. This was a massive hit and I’ve gone on to download the rest of the series on audio. To date, I have also listened to the second book of the series.

But, we are getting ahead of ourselves. We’re here to talk about the first book. Let’s dive in!

 

Traitor’s Blade – Sebastien de Castell

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 325

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books

Publication Date: 10 Feb 2014

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Goodreads – Traitor’s Blade

Falcio is the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. Trained in the fighting arts and the laws of Tristia, the Greatcoats are travelling Magisters upholding King’s Law. They are heroes. Or at least they were, until they stood aside while the Dukes took the kingdom, and impaled their King’s head on a spike.

Now Tristia is on the verge of collapse and the barbarians are sniffing at the borders. The Dukes bring chaos to the land, while the Greatcoats are scattered far and wide, reviled as traitors, their legendary coats in tatters. All they have left are the promises they made to King Paelis, to carry out one final mission.

But if they have any hope of fulfilling the King’s dream, the divided Greatcoats must reunite, or they will also have to stand aside as they watch their world burn…

 

My Thoughts

Plot

If you enjoy your fantasy when it’s full of action, with plenty of fight scenes, Traitor’s Blade is the start of a series I would recommend to you! As somebody who typically enjoys fantasy with more magic than we see in Traitor’s Blade, this didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book at all. Rather, I enjoyed the change of pace and emphasis within the writing.

Traitor’s Blade is the kind of book that will have you on the edge of your seat throughout. There is not a chapter that goes by without hasty retreat, violent clashes, or danger lurking around the corner. I can only liken the main characters of the story to the three musketeers in terms of companionship and the dangers, they find themselves in constantly!

Political turmoil is the driving force behind current events in Traitor’s Blade. There is plenty of backstory in the narrative to explain how Falcio, Kest, and Brasti wind up in less than favourable straits at the beginning of the narrative. I already enjoyed how much world-building there is already, but I hope to see yet more of it throughout the series. If anything, the plot is slightly more action-heavy than I would typically read, but that’s understandable. I hope a full explanation of historic events comes to pass in future books.

 

Narrative Style

I really enjoyed the narrative of this book. The writing style is really easy to read and approachable. If you enjoy your sarcasm and witty comments, then this will appeal to you. I really enjoyed the humour that shines through even in the grave situations our main characters end up in.

The narrative is told in first person from the perspective of Falcio. If I have to choose, my preference is to read in third person as it’s a neutral perspective. However, I really enjoyed this even though it was first person. The telling of this story from Falcio’s perspective gives us ample opportunity to explore his past and backstory in more detail – of which there is a lot to unpick!

 

Audio Experience

Whilst Traitor’s Blade already has a compelling narrative style, it’s really came to life in the audiobook edition. The narrator, Joe Jameson, brings each of the characters and the events to life. In particular, I think he does a great job with the sarcasm and witty remarks that form a significant portion of the dialogue between our three main Greatcoats. 

Each of the characters has their own distinct voice, and it was very easy to follow the narrative and dialogue because of this. The acting behind the events of the story really added an extra layer of enjoyment.

This was not a chore to listen to by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, this is a great companion listen to accompany you whatever you are doing. I listened to Traitor’s Blade whilst commuting, doing Pilates, or even when washing the dishes. It made everything more entertaining and is a great distraction from real life. 

 

Characters

Traitor’s Blade is told from the perspective of Falcio, the first Cantor of the Greatcoats. He was once head of this great order, however, he now finds himself with just a small band of friends. As a result of reading the story from his perspective, we get far more in the way of character development from him, and his experience in the past than Kest and Brasti. Whilst there is enough in the book to get a distinct feel of the characters and personalities, I hope to see a little bit more from them in the future.

The main characters are developed quite well, but there are a lot of peripheral characters that are honestly quite forgettable. Personally, I think the book would have benefited from focusing more on a smaller pool rather than adding in a vast array of characters that couldn’t be done justice in the page count available.

 

I enjoyed listening to Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell so much that I have already listened to the second book of the series! This was my first book by this author, and it certainly wasn’t going to be my last! I can’t wait to resume the series and see what heroic events await Falcio and the gang next.

 

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Monthly TBR – December 2022

We are in the final month of 2022, and I can hardly believe that I’m sharing my Monthly TBR for December! It barely seems like two minutes ago since I was setting my 2022 goals and resolutions for the year. And now, here we are, nearly at the end of it all.

It may nearly be the end of the year, but we’re not quite there yet! There is still one monthly TBR left in me for this year, and I am now striving to exceed my reading goal by 10 books by the end of the year. That means I need to read another five books throughout December.

Let’s take a look at my picks!

 

Fixed Reading List

 

Daughter of the Moon Goddess

 

 

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Pages: 512

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: 11 Jan 2022

 

This month is a month of firsts. That may be an unusual thing to say in my last monthly TBR post of the year, but, you’ve got to try it sometime. New experiences aren’t just for January. The reason I say this is because I am taking part in my first online book club read!

I have decided to read Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan. Somebody in the bookish community I discovered through Instagram (@ezeekat) has recently started hosting a book club through Fable. It’s the first time I’ll use this app and take part in a group read in this way.

However, if I really enjoy it, this is something I would like to continue with. I have always liked the idea of book clubs because they encourage you to broaden your horizons. It is through such groups that you’re encouraged to read things out of your comfort zone.

 

TBR Jar Pick – The Secret History

 

The Secret History

 

Genre: Dark Academia

Pages: 559

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Vintage

Publication Date: 16 Sept 1992

 

A second first in today’s Monthly TBR for December is that I have decided to add a pick from a TBR jar.

The first reason I set up my TBR jar was to help out during times when I don’t know what to read. When I’m feeling indecisive or really open-minded, I would like to be able to select a book out of my dedicated owl mug at random and go on and read my selection.

The second reason I wanted to set this up was so it encourages me to pick up books when I wouldn’t necessarily choose them for myself. Whilst I will never force myself to read a book, the use of my TBR jar will allow me to overcome any bias I have at a given time.

My first TBR jar pick is The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I have actually been looking forward to picking up this book, and it’s crossed my mind since reading something similar – Babel. I’m also looking forward to it because I know another reader who has picked it up, enjoyed it, and recommended it to me this year.

 

Mood Reads

 

The Keeper of Lost Things

 

 

Genre: Contemporary

Pages: 288

Audience: Adult

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 21 Feb 2017

 

The Keeper of Lost Things is one of the oldest books on my TBR now. With that in mind, I would like to try and pick it up in December.

Along the lines of broadening horizons as mentioned above, The Keeper of Lost Things is more contemporary than I would usually pick up. However, I really like the sound of the synopsis. As a very sentimental person, I think I can understand the motivations and plot line behind this particular book.

It is a little bit different from my typical read, but this can be a good thing. Often, I need a break in routine. I have been reading a lot of fantasy of late, and so The Keeper of Lost Things will give me the chance to read something different during December.

 

The Secret Library

 

 

Genre: History / Non-Fiction

Pages: 256

Audience: Adult

Publisher: O Mara Books Ltd

Publication Date: 29 Sept 2016

 

I am really looking forward to picking up The Secret Library. In summary, it is a book of books. It explores some lesser-known literary tidbits from history that will sate my curiosity to learn.

On the one hand, I may find the odd one or two hidden bookish gems that I will want to pick up and read as a result of reading The Secret Library. Equally, my TBR pile may just explode. I can’t predict it. Either way, The Secret History looks to be a short, fun read full of history and literature.

 

Ship of Magic

 

 

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 897

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: 01 Mar 1998

 

Now that I have recovered from reading Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb, I am looking forward to jumping into the next series within the wider realm of books. I have read the first trilogy out of a total of 16 books in the Realm of the Elderlings series. In that first trilogy, the universe is introduced (in reasonable depth) through the perspective of FitzChivalry Farseer.

Already a lot has happened in the first three books, but what I’m looking forward to in this next series is a complete change of perspective. It will be interesting to see if they ‘standalone’ well, add to my overall enjoyment of the universe, or whether it serves as filler for a main series.

 

Queen of Our Times

 

 

Genre: Non-fiction / Biography

Pages: 690

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Pegasus

Publication Date: 05 Apr 2022

 

As my audiobook listen of Queen of Our Times by Robert Hardman is still ongoing, I’m going to try and make further progress with this audiobook this month. This originally featured on my October Monthly TBR post. I have a lot of progress to make, as I have been a little lax on audiobooks in the last couple of months. 

Fingers crossed December is the month of steady progress!

 

So, that is my monthly TBR for December! I’m sorry if you’re a little disappointed that there aren’t any seasonal reads in this list. If I’m entirely honest, it’s not something I would generally pick up. Plus, by the end of the month, I’m going to be all Christmassed out anyway!

Have you read any of the books on my December TBR?

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – November 2022

Somehow we are already into the final month of 2022, and that can only mean that it is time for my monthly wrap-up post for November!

I read quite a few books in November. All in all, it has been a very productive month. I took part in a couple of blog tours early on, and then went on to work my way through my whole reading list. That is something I haven’t achieved for a long time!

Let’s dive into the books I read in November!

 

Warrior and Protector

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Goodreads

My first book of the month was Warrior and Protector by Peter Gibbons.

This was the first read as I had a fairly imminent blog tour deadline to meet. That said, it was an incredibly easy read to pick up and enjoy. I read this in just a handful of days. If you enjoy books like Bernard Cornwell’s the Saxon stories, or anything set in 10th century England, I’d recommend this one highly.

I really enjoyed the character development in this particular book. It has a perspective that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a book of this kind. If you want to find out more, you can check out my full review here.

 

Warrior of Mercia

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Goodreads

The next book I picked up was very similar in setting but was part of a series that I started earlier this year. I have been really enjoying the Eagle of Mercia Chronicles by MJ Porter.

When I received the invite to take part in the tour for Warrior of Mercia, I knew I would be daft not to take it up! The plot lines of these books are full of action, but equally do not script on character development either.

For entirely different reasons to Warrior and Protector, the protagonist of his book makes an interesting character in terms of his motivations. He is a dutiful young man, but his heart isn’t really in being a warrior. If you want to find out more, again, I have a full review where you can find out more.

 

Babel

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Goodreads

It was nice to pick up and be able to stick with Babel by R.F. Kuang. With my ongoing blog tour commitments, I was picking up and putting this down quite a bit. However, once all my obligations were over and done with, I read this book very quickly.

I really enjoyed how this book delves into language and translation. Although it is a fantasy fiction novel, it reads quite academically. The story is cleverly interwoven with the fantasy element, but also combines more serious topics including racism, colonialism, and even classism. To an extent, Babel was everything I expected it to be – however it was also so much better!

 

Malice

Rating: DNF

Goodreads

Malice by John Gwynne is the one disappointment in my monthly wrap-up for November. I have owned my copy of this book for a very, very long time. I attempted to pick it up once somewhere in the region of 2016. However, as this pre-dates both my blog and my Goodreads account, I can’t pinpoint exactly when I started it.

Unfortunately, the fact that I didn’t make it much further than the third chapter back then should have told me everything I needed to know. I gave this a solid attempt, but I just wasn’t getting into it at all. After three days of pushing through the first 50 odd pages, I decided to hang this one up. There was absolutely no point in trying to struggle on with it. I knew I was onto a good reading streak, and I didn’t want to spoil it.

It’s not the end of the world. Yes, it is a shame when you don’t enjoy a book as much as you would like. However, thinking on the bright side, I have enough ongoing series as it is without adding another one!

 

Dear Child

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Goodreads

Next, I decided to pick up a genre that I haven’t read very much of lately – psychological thriller.

I had wanted to read a book like this in my October TBR. However, I didn’t get around to it. I recently featured Dear Child in my Autumn TBR post. The synopsis has been playing on my mind ever since. Given that I already owned a copy of the book ready to pick up, it was a no brainer decision.

And this was a fantastic psychological thriller. For me, I determine a book like this to be a hit if I’m thinking about it even when I’m not reading. If I’m trying to work through who the characters are, and determine what potential motives and hidden plot twists there are yet to unveil, that’s a very good sign! Of course, I was doing it with Dear Child.

Another good indicator is how quickly I managed to read this book. I started it on a Sunday morning and finish it by Thursday the following week.

 

The Motivation Code

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Goodreads

Having worked my way through my November TBR at this point, it took me a while to decide what to read next. I hadn’t even considered my December TBR at this point, so I was at a bit of a loss. In the end, I turned to my recent TBR additions for some inspiration. I found The Motivation Code.

I recently took the online assessment that accompanies this book, and I wanted to find out what my results really meant. And in that way, this has been an insightful read. Some of the results I got were to an extent, a surprise. However, having read about these different motivation codes, I can see myself in them 100%. They go a good way to explaining why I like to work in certain settings, and equally importantly, how I like to work. I don’t necessarily just mean employment. I mean as in how I operate. How I do things. 

The book is also useful in that it highlights where there may be gaps in your skill set. For example, one of my top three motivators is to explore. That means I am good at delving into new things and starting many projects (hardly shocking news to anyone who knows me). However, one of my downfalls is that I might try to take on too many things and lose focus on what I’ve already started. I am the kind of person who, at times, needs to be re-focused away from the ‘new and interesting’. I can do this myself, but it is something I need to consciously do.

Reading The Motivation Code has helped me understand who I am and why I think it act the way I do. It is one thing to know it subconsciously, but to read this book and bring it to the forefront enables me to work on the elements of my personality that aren’t necessarily positive.

 

Queen of Our Times

Current Read

Goodreads

I haven’t really made much progress with Queen of Our Times this month. I started the month with every intention to pick up and listen to this audiobook more regularly. However, I will be completely honest and say that I haven’t done it.

Quite often, I’m in the mood to listen to music. Especially so this month, as Dermot Kennedy released his new album and I’ve been listening to it on repeat since it was released mid-month. I have no shame.

Also, I have been making more of an effort to watch more TV this month. As you are probably aware, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here has just been on and I really enjoyed watching it! However, for me, watching a show like that is a commitment. My TV doesn’t go on that much, and certainly not as regularly as I’ve needed to keep up with the show. That’s also impacted on my time to listen to audiobooks.

This is a book that will rollover into December.

 

So, those are the books I’ve been reading throughout the month of November. Technically, I also started the first book of my December TBR on the 29th of November. However, I’m not giving any spoilers as to what that book is. Instead, you’ll have to check out my TBR going live on Saturday!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my monthly wrap-up post. Have you read any of the books on this list? Have any of them caught your eye?

Let me know in the comments, and until next time, happy reading!

 

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Monthly TBR – November 2022

It is the penultimate month of the year and I cannot believe we are here, sharing my monthly TBR for November already! The good news is, the reading pressure is off. I’ve officially met my reading goal of 40 books in 2022! I’m not overly interested in numbers or pushing this figure out as far as I can. Instead, I’m going to spend my time enjoying good-quality books.

For November, I have a couple of ‘fixed reads’ as I have signed up to a couple of blog tours. The remainder of my reading for the month is ‘mood reads’. 

Let’s jump into my monthly TBR for November!

 

Fixed Reads

Warrior and Protector

Goodreads – Warrior and Protector

My first read of the month is one that I’m going to have to get on pretty quickly, as I’m taking part in the upcoming blog tour on the 5th of November. I signed up for this tour relatively last minute to help out the organiser, Rachel, in a pinch. I really enjoy historical fiction novels of this kind and have read multiple this year already. With that in mind, taking on such a read at short notice is a pretty safe bet and I can’t wait to try out this new author.

my Blog Tours post needs to go live early in the month, it’s about time this month with your post is out, I should have read it (or nearly) already!

 

Warrior of Mercia

Goodreads – Warrior of Mercia

Along a similar theme, I am taking part in another blog tour later this month (15th November) for a similar book. This is not a new author to me, however; the book is the third in a series that I have already started and enjoyed this year.

One of the things I really like about this series is the unique perspective it offers in what is by no stretch of the imagination, a violent setting. Icel is a warrior, but not by choice. He is the kind of person who would rather heal rather than harm. However, he also has a sense of duty. These different aspects of him result in some internal conflict, and this is really interesting to read. I can’t wait to see how this comes into play in this third instalment of the series.

 

Mood Reads

Malice

Goodreads – Malice

Malice is the oldest book on my physical TBR to date, and it’s finally time I ticked this one off the list. I made a very cursory start to this book a good number of years ago, however, I never really got into it. That’s not to say I particularly tried, because I didn’t. It was at a time in my life (pre-blog) when I wasn’t reading much.

I have heard brilliant things about John Gwynne and this series. I cannot wait to give it a try and see if it lives up to the hype and expectations I have!

 

Dear Child

Goodreads – Dear Child

I featured Dear Child in my Top Ten Tuesday Halloween Recs post. I really like the sound of it and so I’ve decided to pick this up even though Halloween is now over.

It has been a little while since I last picked up a psychological thriller novel (that didn’t crossover with science-fiction, anyway) and I’m looking forward to getting back into the genre. It is one I enjoy, even though I don’t read it quite as much as I used to.

 

Queen of our Times

Goodreads – Queen of Our Times

I was originally supposed to read Queen of Our Times last month. I had ordered a copy of this book from Amazon for the occasion. However, their shipping has been absolutely terrible of late. Although they appear to offer free shipping for books over a certain value, in reality, they don’t seem to actually ship them out. Instead, they state that they are going to let you know when they’re going to ship it, but then don’t for a good length of time! In the end, I decided to cancel the order of this book, and instead, I got an audiobook version as an instant download.

I didn’t end up doing this until quite late on in October, so consequently, I haven’t started it yet! I’m looking forward to listening to this one. If I do enjoy it as much as I imagine, I may decide to try and pick up a physical copy again at a later date. But probably not from Amazon.

So, that concludes my Monthly TBR for November! Even though I have read 40 books this year (my target), I would like to keep up with the reading and most importantly, enjoying the experience!

What are you planning to read this month?

 

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Monthly TBR: September 2022 (Bookoplathon!)

You can laugh at my expense into today’s September Monthly TBR, so please enjoy the opportunity whilst you can! I’ve decided to take part in another monthly readathon – Bookoplathon! 

Taking a more flexible approach to reading has really worked for me, even when I took part in a readathon last month. I really enjoyed taking part in that readathon, and when I happened to see that there was another one that I really liked the sound of, I decided to do it this month along with other readers. All I can say is it’s a good job I’ve found my reading motivation because as you will see, luck was not on my side with this particular game.

As you have probably guessed by the title, Bookoplathon is based around the board game Monopoly. Each space has a different reading prompt.  To start the game, decide on a number of rolls and as you move around the board you have to pick a book relevant to the prompt you land on.

It would be too much to explain the whole game in detail. If you are interested, here is a link to Becca‘s announcement video which explains all the spaces and rules. The only rule I will explain here is that if you roll a double, you have to add an extra roll to your game. This means you end up adding another book to your TBR. This happened to me a lot! As and when any other rules become relevant, I’ll describe them below.

Here is a copy of my Bookoplathon board, which shows how my game played out.

I decided on five rolls before I started. That way, I rationalised, that if I got a double, I still have the capacity to read six books. Only, luck wasn’t on my side. I ended up rolling three doubles, meaning I have a total of eight books to pick up this month.

I don’t normally compensate with the length of the books I choose to read. When I loosely set a TBR, I’m more likely to read fewer books if the page count is high rather than deliberately choose shorter books. Unfortunately, I have to be conscious of the length of the books I’m going to be picking up this month to satisfy the prompts of bookoplathon. That’s not to say I’ve added eight 20-page books to my reading list this month, because I haven’t. However, I also don’t have multiple 800 page epics like I did for magical readathon. I learned my lesson there!

So, now the basic rules have been explained, let’s jump into the prompts I landed on and the books I have chosen to satisfy them: –

Silverthorn

Starting from the go square, I rolled a seven for my first roll. As with the normal board, the seven lead me to a ‘chance’ space. In bookoplathon, specific books are listed on the ‘chance’ cards, and ‘community shelf’ spaces have additional prompts. For this particular game, I set 6 books for ‘chance’ and 6 prompts on the ‘community shelf’. For ‘chance’, I decided to add books already on my TBR, and for ‘community shelf’ I added prompts that weren’t already included on the board. In order to decide which book I had to read in the case of landing on one of these spaces, it was decided by a single dice roll. For my roll on the ‘chance’ space, I rolled a two. This meant the book I have to pick up is Silverthorn by Raymond E Feist.

I added this book to the ‘chance’ card because I am long overdue progressing with this series. I read the first two books as a teenager, and then again not long after I started my blog. The aim was to refresh myself to continue with the series. That was about five years ago. I won’t be reading them again (again!), in part because I don’t own them anymore, but also because I don’t have the time. I will find a way to refresh myself on events so I can pick up Silverthorn.

 

Red Sister

Next, I rolled a 12. Obviously, this was my first double roll, so I knew pretty much straight away I was already adding at least a sixth book to my list. After rolling 12, I landed on the space for favourite trope. That for me is fantasy.

It’s a very broad prompt, but I have decided to pick up Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. This is one of the oldest books on my reading list, and it fits this prompt perfectly!

A lot of fantasy books can be quite long in length, however this one isn’t too bad at 467 pages. I have read and enjoyed other books by Mark Lawrence previously – his The Broken Empire trilogy. If I enjoy Red Sister as much as I enjoyed those books, then I will be very happy I have another series to dive into!

 

In Case You Missed It

For my third roll, I landed another seven. This took me on to the prompt for reading a book that features romance. Romance is the genre I by far read the least of. However, I have enough books on my TBR that I was able to find one. For this prompt, I have decided to go way off the beaten path and pick up a book that my mum gave to me to try.

My mum is a huge fan of Lindsey Kelk, and when she ended up with two copies of the same book by accident, she gave one to me. The book is called In Case You Missed It. I’m fairly sure I’ve seen this listed as a top read from its publisher recently. If it is the book I pick up to try Lindsey Kelk as an author, then it is probably the best pick!

 

The Long Earth

For my fourth roll I landed yet another seven. Moving around the board, this took me to a ‘community shelf’ space. As with the chance space earlier, I decided which of the six prompts to pick by the roll of a single dice. I rolled a three, and the prompt was to pick up a book that has more than one author. I already have a few books that meet these criteria on my TBR; I’ve decided to pick up a book co-authored by one of my favourite authors of all time.

The book is called The Long Earth, written by Terry Pratchett and Steven Baxter. I am a huge fan of Terry Pratchett, and my dad is a fan of Stephen Baxter. I’m really enjoying science-fiction in general lately, so I’m looking forward to picking this book up. Hopefully, it goes better than another read I started which was co-authored by Terry Pratchett – Good Omens. That one did not end so well… not such a good omen in itself, but we’ll see! 

 

Ordinary Heroes

Moving onto my fifth roll, I rolled a six. This was my second double of the game, meaning I had to add another roll to the game later. The six lead me to the prompt for the highest rated book on my TBR. For this prompt, I had to go to my existing TBR and select the book with the highest community rating. I actually ended up picking the second book listed, only because the first was an ARC with only 11 votes and I didn’t think that was a fair representation.

The second-highest book had over 850 ratings. That book is called Ordinary Heroes, and is a memoir of the chief firefighter who attended the 9/11 incident. It is fitting that I will end up picking up this book in September.

Fortuitously, it also helps me towards my wider goal of reading at least one non-fiction book a month!

 

Dark Matter

My sixth roll was the first additional roll I had to do as a result of landing a double. I rolled at nine, moved around the board and landed on the ‘pattern and text’ prompt. I had quite a few examples of books with covers fitting the prompt on my bookshelf, but most I’ve read already. In the end, I found one that fit – Dark Matter.

Dark Matter is a relatively short science-fiction/thriller novel. It has been on my reading list since 2018. Reading this book for this prompt will allow me to tick another book off of my reading list once complete. This will be the first book I have ever read by Blake Crouch, and as I’m always excited for new to me authors, I’m excited to see if I want to continue with the series!

 

Carrie

My seventh roll was supposed to be my last roll, but luck was not on my side; I rolled a four which was yet another double! I was a bit frustrated with my luck at this point, I cannot lie. Rolling the four landed me on the ‘poll pick’ space. For this prompt, I had to choose four books and post a poll on Twitter to get the bookish community to choose my read. Here’s how the poll played out!