Tag: Book Tag

End of Year Book Tag!

In today’s End of Year book tag post, I’m taking part in a book tag that the lovely Misty @ Misty’s Book Space tagged me in. I’m a little late to the party with Just 11 days left in the year…. But it’s just a bit of fun!

Let’s get stuck in!

 

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

I only have one book on hold at the end of this year, and I won’t finish it in 2023.

Earlier in the year I started listening to Queen of Our Times. Whilst I am enjoying the book, I ended up putting this on hold to pick up at a time where I was better suited to this type of non-fiction.

December’s reading list is already christened (and I’m not likely to finish that either). I’ll have to pick this up again in 2024!

 

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

I wouldn’t describe myself as much of a seasonal reader. At times I do, but not consistently. As a result, I have nothing seasonal on my reading list for December.

I had a couple of seasonal reads in October / November. Ironically, I didn’t pick either up at the ‘right time’. In October, I started The Shining on Halloween but ended up reading most of the book in November. A second read, based loosely on the Gunpowder plot, would have been an ideal read in November. I didn’t get to it at all though. Maybe next year!

 

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I’m only eagerly anticipating one release, and that’s not until next year. I’m not one for keeping too much of an eye on upcoming books in any case, but doing this End of Year book tag post so late in the day would limit my choice for 2023 releases. I feel like the savvy author would have published them in time for Christmas gifting.

The only book I am looking forward to releasing in the near future, and I have a pre-order of, is Empire of the Damned by Jay Kristoff. The book comes out on the 29th February 2024 – you bet I’ll be re-reading the first book in February so I can pick this up in March!

 

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

I have a reading goal of completing more than 15 non-fiction books by the end of the year. As of this post, I’m close to that goal. I’ve read 14 and I have the last two books on the go.

Currently, I’m listening to How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and physically reading The Success Code by John Lees.

If I have to prioritise a third book to finish off the rest of my December TBR, it will be Chaos and Order. I’ve agreed to read and review the book, so that’s a priority over the others. But for that, I’d have had a hard time choosing one as I have a number of great books on the list.

 

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

Gemina is a contender for that title. After reading and loving Illuminae earlier in the year, I wanted to pick this sequel up before the end of the year to keep up momentum.

One of my goals is to continue with series, (and spoiler alert, this is likely to continue into 2024). With this in mind, picking up a detailed, but easy to read mixed media book that’s a sequel to a 5* read just makes sense!

 

Have you already started making reading plans for 2024?

I have started making plans, although nothing is set in stone yet. At the beginning of the year I typically set myself reading goals and this is also my intention in 2024.

A fair amount of work is going on behind the scenes to take stock of where I’m at with my reading, the books I own etc and this will likely shape my goals next year. Honestly, I don’t expect my ‘core’ reading goals to change drastically, but watch this space. I may yet change my mind!

I also think I’ll be setting myself some blog/social media goals for the first time. However, that’s all to be worked out in the next couple of weeks and I’ll be sharing these with you in January. 

 

I hope you have enjoyed my end of year book tag post. Are you looking to complete any goals before the end of the year? Are you setting any for 2024?

 

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The Firsts of 2023 Book Tag

Given a busy schedule this week, I wanted to make today’s post a light and easy one for me to share! It’s been absolutely ages since I shared a book tag, and so I found this firsts of 2023 tag over on witchy reading’s blog.

Given that we are coming up to the last quarter of the year, I thought it would also make for a good time to recap where things started at the beginning of the year. So, let’s get into it.

 

First Book Read in 2023

The Secret History

Technically the first book I finished in 2023 was a carryover I started in 2022. For the purposes of this section, I am going to feature the first book I read in full in 2023, which was The Secret History by Donna Tartt.

It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, since I picked up the book, but it clearly was!

 

First Book Reviewed in 2023

Around the beginning of this year, I was completing my reviews on the Harry Potter book series. The first review of 2023 was for the fourth book of that series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

This book is actually where I really get into the series. The early books are generally quite light, but have a good set up for the later books. I enjoy the dark themes and more complex narrative that we see a lot more of later on. This book really bridges those two together for me.

 

First Book by a Debut Author

My first debut of the year was a book called Thanks For Sharing by Eleanor Tucker. I read the book as I had just taken up a sustainability role at my workplace and I wanted a perspective on how someone can live more sustainably.

This book definitely gave me that insight. Not all of it is relevant to a workplace, but gives ideas on little changes we can all make in order to make a difference!

 

First Book by a New-to-me Author

It’s hardly surprising that of the first books I read this year makes this feature. Over the course of the year, 22 out of the 42 books I’ve picked up are written by authors I have never read before. It’s fair to say that when it comes to trying out books by new people, I am not shy!

The very first book I picked up this year, technically in part as I started it on New Year’s Eve, is The Secret Library by Oliver Tearle. To summarise this book, it is a book about books. It made for an interesting non-fiction that explored some lesser-known titles in a comparison to headline books, with some or other interlinking factor between them.

 

First book that slayed me in 2023

A book I really enjoyed this year, so much so that it took me by surprise, was The Waste Lands by Stephen King. This is the third book in The Dark Tower series.

Having read the first couple of books, I was already confident that I was going to enjoy this third instalment. What I didn’t expect was how quickly I was going to devour it! Having not picked up the series for four years between The Drawing of the Three and The Waste Lands, I thought it was going to take me some time to get back into this book. It didn’t! On the contrary, I picked it up, and I ran with it… and never looked back!

 

First Book of 2023 that I wish I could get back the time spent reading it

The only book I’ve not really had a great time with this year is The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean. This book is a rare one in that I pushed through with finishing it, despite not enjoying it. It was only a relatively short book, and the storyline was compelling enough that I wanted to see how things worked out. Without these factors, I’d probably have DNF’d it!

As it stands, I read but didn’t really enjoy it. The story is a strange one, and it’s not what I expected based on the write up of the book.

So, those are my firsts of 2023! If you like the look of this post and would like to write your own, then I would love to see your answers. Tag me in the post so I can check them out!

 

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The Cozy Autumn Book Tag!

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

Let’s jump into it!

 

What book always reminds you of fall/autumn?

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

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

 

What is your favourite autumnal book cover?

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

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

 

What is your favourite autumnal drink to read with?

Tea or coffee? Coffee or tea?

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Halloween is coming! What is your favourite spooky read?

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

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

 

What is the ultimate comfort read for you?

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

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

 

What is your favourite autumnal reading snack?

All of them?! 😂

What is your favourite autumnal candle to burn whilst reading?

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

 

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

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

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

 

What is on your autumn/fall reading list?

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

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

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

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

Until next time, happy reading!

 

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The Last Book I… Book Tag!

Hello and welcome to today’s ‘The Last Book I…’ Book Tag!

When I was deciding what to post at the beginning of this week, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I wanted to keep the subject quite light as I have a book review coming to you on Friday as part of a blog tour. I wasn’t keen on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme either (titles featuring a number in them). Fortunately, I recently found this book tag over on Dini Panda Reads blog and I was banking it to take part in at a later date. This is the exact scenario I was keeping it for, so I am going to be sharing my answers for this tag today.

If you like the look of this tag and you want to take part then please feel free to do so! I’d love to see your answers as well so as I’ve done above, I’d really appreciate if you’d link me in your post so I can take a look!

And now, onto the questions!

 

The Last Book I… Bought

I purchased two books on Sunday  – my current read, Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb as well as Master of Sorrows by Justin Call.

I have been meaning to start Robin Hobb’s books for a long time. Not only have I seen a number of reviews over the blogosphere and BookTube, but most importantly, my friend Rachael loves this book and the wider series. A little earlier this year I committed to starting it soon, and I’m really glad I have! I’m already about halfway through the book and absolutely loving it!

I purchased a copy of Master of Sorrows is having heard great things about it. Most prominently, a BookTuber I watch (Ashleigh at A Frolic Through Fiction) has really enjoyed this first book and recently read the second. It’s on her recommendation, and my general interest in the book from the synopsis, that I’ve decided to purchase a copy.

 

The Last Book I… Borrowed

The last book I borrowed was The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I was recommended this book by my sister’s boyfriend Chris and he very kindly loaned me a copy so I could give it a try and see what I think. I’m very lucky as well because he has now loaned me the second book of the series, The Man Who Died Twice.

I enjoyed The Thursday Murder Club because it was on the one hand quite a lighthearted read, but at the same time had its prominent moments. Overall it’s a very funny book to read and very approachable for that reason. Based on my thoughts for the first book I am looking forward to reading The Man Who Died Twice.

 

The Last Book I… Was Gifted

The last books I would have received as gifts would probably have been received for my birthday. Looking back, I received copies of The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (aka J.K. Rowling).

At the time of receipt, the first of those books was already on my TBR and as a result of receiving a paperback copy, I added The Silkworm to my list too.

 

The Last Book I… Gave to Someone Else

I last gifted some books at the beginning of April to my friend Rachael. I have been re-reading a brilliant fantasy series this year, and I decided to gift her a copy of The Raven’s Mark trilogy for her birthday. I think we have similar reading tastes, especially when it comes to fantasy books, so I hope she enjoys these.

I also gifted this trilogy back in December to Chris, and he read the entire thing within about three weeks. That boosted my confidence in the recommendation, which is why I felt comfortable enough giving these to Rachael.

 

The Last Book I… Started

The last book I started is my current read, Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb.

I started this on Sunday night after I published my Sunday Summary update post, so just a few days ago. I am already nearly 200 pages in which works out to be about halfway through the book. Honestly, I would be further into it were I not revising for an exam at the end of the month. I’m really enjoying it, and finding that I’m thinking about it even when I’m not reading it.

 

The Last Book I… Finished

On Sunday morning I finished reading Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman.

I was actually pleasantly surprised with this book as I haven’t taken to Neil Gaiman’s writing style particularly. I haven’t loved any of his books, and there are some that I just haven’t enjoyed at all. Ultimately, I picked up Norse Mythology as I owned a copy of the book and because I wanted to give him one last try… but on relatively safe ground.

I enjoyed his re-tellings of Norse Mythology tales. I must admit I am not well versed in them at all, so I haven’t read any of them before. Based on this experience though, I would definitely dip into norse mythology again… and just maybe read another Neil Gaiman book provided it was on the right subject/genre.

 

The Last Book I… Rated 5 Stars

This book is one that you are going to find out a lot about on Friday, as Wolf of Mercia by MJ Porter is the book that I am reviewing as part of a blog tour.

I really, really enjoyed this book! This is the second book in The Eagle of Mercia Chronicles and it follows the adventures of Icel. The book is set in England during the time that Vikings invaded and settled in Britain. That said, the conflicts within the plot centre around divisions between Saxons in Mercia and Wessex. If you are familiar, you can see why this kind of book would appeal to fans of Bernard Cornwell‘s The Last Kingdom series. I am fans of both!

What is really unique about this perspective, however, is that Icel does not enjoy the traditional role he is expected to play of a warrior. He certainly does his duty, more so than the first book, but he does not relish killing. He is a healer. It’s a completely unique perspective based within this timeline, and the internal conflict he has between his conscience and his duty makes for an interesting read.

All in all, the book has a lot more action than the first as well and was really exciting to read. You’re going to hear a lot more about it on Friday and I hope you can join me for that post to find out just why this was a five star read!

 

The Last Book I… DNF’d

I have only officially DNF’d one book so far this year, and that is One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest by Ken Kesey.

I really liked the sound of the plot and it became clear early on that our narrator isn’t necessarily the most reliable. As a general rule this is a concept that I quite like, but in this book it just didn’t quite work. I found myself bored of this one, and trying to slog through a book you’re not enjoying is just not fun at all. I decided to DNF this book at 40%, so I gave it a solid try, but I don’t regret putting this down.

 

The Last Book I… Listened To

I have been a bit hit and miss with audiobooks lately. I’ve started a few, but not seen them through to the end. However, the last audiobook I finished was Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell.

I am very hit and miss with audiobooks. I will go through phases where I will devour them, and then I’ll hardly listen to them at all. Whilst I am trying now and then to keep up progress with them, I’m definitely in the phase of not really listening to them right now. It really depends on my circumstances and what I’m doing as to whether listening to books suits me. I’m sure audiobooks will make a resurgence for me again at some point. We’ll see when that is. Much like deciding to DNF books, I don’t see much point in trying to force the issue if it’s not working for me at the time.

 

So, there are my answers for ‘The Last Book I…’ Book Tag! I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post and the books I have featured as part of it. Have you read any of them?

Don’t forget if you want to take part in this tag yourself, tag me in so I can read your answers as well!

 

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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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Goodreads Book Tag

Welcome to my edition of the Goodreads Book Tag! I found this tag on Stephen Writer Blog and I thought it would be a lot of fun to do! It’s been a little while since I’ve shared this kind of post, and it’s a great way to learn a little bit more about me, how I read and how I operate my blog and all that business in general.

I hope you enjoy today’s post and either learn something from it, or even take something away.

 

WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS READ?

The last book I finished and marked as complete on Goodreads is Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. This is an interesting one to kind of feature here in today’s post, because it’s not something I would describe as a typical read.

This was a recommendation from my sister, after it was recommended to her by a work colleague. It’s about women in the workplace… And in particular in leadership or more senior roles. It discusses various problems that women come up against throughout their careers, including barriers set by other people and themselves!

 

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

My current read is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! I last read this book at around the age of 17/18 – I distinctly remember I was doing my A-levels at the time, but I’m not sure which year. My gut instinct is my first year. I wanted to pick up this series again because I loved it as a teenager. In addition, I wanted to see how reading the series as an older and more widely read person to see if my opinion has changed over time.

The crux of it is no, it hasn’t. I’m still loving every minute of it. I have perhaps a slight preference bias towards the later books in the series. The storyline is more sophisticated and a bit darker, which leans away from being a middle grade/YA series in my opinion. Those aren’t genres I read much of.

 

WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU MARKED AS TBR?

The most recent book on my TBR list is The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I’m actually going to be reading this book very shortly, as my sisters boyfriend Chris has loaned me a copy. That’s on March’s TBR, however as of sharing this post I haven’t quite got round to it yet. You can expect that to be carried over and read very soon!

 

WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO READ NEXT?

The above question answers this one as well, so I’ll expand a little bit to talk about the next couple books I plan on picking up after The Thursday Murder Club. In addition, I would also like to finish re-reading The Raven’s Mark trilogy. I read the first book on a complete whim last month and I have the urge to re-read the series now. They’re just so good, and the best news is that Ed McDonald has a new book being published in June this year.

I’ve also been watching the Lincoln Rhyme series on Now TV recently, which makes me want to pick up The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver.

 

DO YOU USE THE STAR RATING SYSTEM?

I do use a star rating system, although I’ll admit I’m a very emotional reviewer. I’m very flexible with it; I don’t have set criteria and I firmly believe that you cannot judge every book by the exact same rules. Every narrative is very different and you can’t possibly apply all categories to every book.

I tend to go by feeling more than anything. If I absolutely love a book and physically can’t put it down, then it’s going to get a better rating than one that was perfectly readable at the time, but also a bit forgettable. Obviously there’s going to be some significant differences between what makes a book okay and what makes it great, but I like not to constrain myself too much when deciding on a star rating based on these criteria.

1 STAR – honestly if I really feel a book is this bad, I haven’t finished it and therefore I won’t rate it.
2 STAR – also a very rare rating for me to give, as I’m very likely to have given up on this book before finishing it as well.
3 STAR – three star reads for me are ones that are ‘okay’. They may not have the best flow or engage me in the best way, but are still readable.
4 STAR – A four star rating would typically be given for a book that I really enjoyed, but maybe I had a slight niggle with it. Maybe I don’t quite like something in the plot, or characterisation could be a little bit better etc. Basically, it’s good, but it’s not quite perfect.
5 STAR – five star reads for me a ones that I either can’t find fault with, maybe have the smallest, tiniest little niggle. These are books that I love completely and would definitely re-read them again in a heartbeat!

 

ARE YOU DOING A 2022 READING CHALLENGE?

I am doing a Goodreads challenge this year! And I’m enjoying it too; I didn’t set myself a challenge last year and honestly I felt a little bit lost.

Goodreads challenges are great for motivation. At the moment I’m currently one book ahead of schedule, so I’m on track to read my target of 40 books this year. Even if you don’t necessarily set yourself an official challenge, it’s nice to have an end goal in my opinion.

 

DO YOU HAVE A WISHLIST?

Other than my TBR, no. Let’s face it, I want all the books! Well, not quite… but you know the kind of girl I am!

 

WHAT BOOK DO YOU PLAN TO BUY NEXT?

I don’t have a set book in mind, because I’m trying to read more of the books I already have and to work on reducing my reading list. I’m of the opinion that if I don’t put myself in a position of temptation, I can’t be tempted! It’s a simple as that!

As a more general goal, I am trying to collect some of the clothbound classics. This is a long-term goal, however. And, if prices of everything keep going up the way they are, then it’s going to be a loooooooonnnnnnggggggeeeeeerrrr  term goal.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITE QUOTES?

I mark all sorts of favourite quotes, and I really like Goodreads because it gives you the option to share them. I honestly couldn’t tell you how many I have recorded on there and the range of books I have them for years quite significant.

From classics to fantasy, no genre is safe from my highlighting! On my Kindle, of course! I wouldn’t do anything so sacrilegious as to physically mark a physical book. You can find these on my Goodreads profile with this link here

 

WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHORS?

If I had to shortlist my favourite five authors, the list looks like this: –

  1. George R. R. Martin
  2. Brandon Sanderson
  3. Laini Taylor
  4. Ed McDonald
  5. Stephen King

A bit of an eclectic mix I know, but that is only testament to the variety of books I read!

 

HAVE YOU JOINED ANY GROUPS?

I don’t think so no. I used to be part of a Goodreads group, but I never read or contributed to it and so I think I left. I’m not part of any other group of any other kind (social media or in person).

I hope that you have learned a little bit about me in today’s Goodreads Book Tag post. I hope you enjoyed it and if you would like to take part in it yourself and consider yourself tagged! I’d love to see your answers so please link back to me so that I can take a look at your answers!

 

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The Bookaholics Anonymous Book Tag

I saw a really fun book tag post over on Love13Reading’s blog and I’ve decided to take part in the tag myself today! It’s just for a bit of fun and in addition, you also get the chance to learn a little bit about me!

I hope you enjoy today’s post and if you want to take part yourself, consider yourself tagged now!

 

What do you like about buying books?

Where do you even begin with a question like this? I love being in bookshops. I love acquiring new things. I love the uncracked spines and pristine pages, but above all, the smell of a brand-new book. Booksellers have mastered the art of displaying books and it just makes me want to read them all!

 

How often do you buy books?

I’m quite sporadic when it comes to buying books. I am more regularly adding them to my TBR than I am purchasing copies, but it really depends on whether I have any vouchers or gifts that enable me to get some. Or, sometimes I wander to a bookshop in my lunch hour ‘just for a look’ and well, the rest is history.

 

Bookstore or online book shopping – which do you prefer?

Absolutely going into a bookstore is my preference, although ordering online does have its benefits. Bookshops just have an atmosphere that can’t be replicated anywhere else. The experience of going and browsing is just as rewarding for me as the final purchased item itself! There are very many shops I will say this about, but I love bookshops for that reason. You will never catch me in a supermarket just hanging out for the vibes in the same way, put it that way!

 

Do you have a favourite bookshop?

I tend to shop in Waterstones more than any other bookshop, however I wouldn’t rule any out. In September last year I popped into a lovely quaint bookshop on the seafront in Port Erin (Bridge Bookshop) and it was refreshing to visit a small, locally run store as opposed to a chain.

I will also buy books from other stores such as The Works or WHSmith, but it really depends on what’s around at the time as to where I’ll go.

 

Do you pre-order books?

Very occasionally I’ll pre-order a book if I know I want to read it, but more often than not I’ll wait. In the last four years I have only pre-ordered two books – The Testaments by Margaret Atwood and Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor. When you consider the number of books I’ve read in that time, it’s obvious to say that I don’t pre-order very many at all!

Do you have a monthly book buying limit?

No, I don’t. I don’t buy books that regularly – as I’ve said before I tend to be a bit more sporadic. If I have bought a few books in any given month I might make myself wait until pay day again to get any more, but this is rare.

 

How big is your wishlist?

I don’t really have a Wish List, but if you were to use my Goodreads TBR as a substitute then I have around 200 books on my list.

I won’t be getting bored anytime soon… put it that way!

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post – The Bookaholics Anonymous Book Tag! If you want to take part in the tag yourself then please do and tag me so I know you’ve done it and I can read your answers!

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Harry Potter Book Tag

Hi guys and welcome to today’s Harry Potter book tag! I was inspired to take part in this tag by one of my recent reads. As it happens I have finished reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets as of writing this post, but I’m really enjoying the re-read of the series as a whole so far and I love the questions in this tag.

I saw the post over at All you READ is Love – please go and check that out if you want to see some alternative answers to mine!

Today’s answers aren’t going to be Harry Potter books as that’s not allowed according to the original poster, Bookidote. The questions subjects relate to the magic and spells in the series, so that’s the link.

 

A Book you found the theme interesting, but you would like to rewrite it.

Circe by Madeleine Miller… without a question of a doubt. I like Greek Mythology and the idea of Circe’s character, but she was just so unlikeable. I’ve met cardboard with more personality and character development. The times she did show emotion, she was just a horrible cow.

Reading a whole book from a character’s perspective you don’t like is a slog, so this is the book I’d re-write if I could.

 

The first book in a series, that got you hooked?

Well, I mean aside from the topical Harry Potter, who else could I mention? The first book that springs to mind is Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I actually reviewed the last book of the trilogy earlier this week, which is why it popped into my head. In fairness though, reading this in October last year prompted a hasty binge read of the rest of the trilogy… something I don’t do very often! It’s a sure sign I was 1) hooked, and 2) I loved it!

 

A book you wish you could have right now.

Err… all of them?

Seriously, my answer has to be the same as that shared in All you READ is Love’s post, and that’s The Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin. What’s even funnier is that their post was shared about two and a half years ago, and here we are… both still waiting!

I’m not complaining; perfection takes time. I’d rather wait and it is done right.

 

A killer book, both senses. Take it as you like.

In The Stand by Stephen King, 99% of the population are killed off by a virus.

Perhaps not a cheerful book selection in the current situation, but it’s probably the book with the most death in it that I’ve read… well, listened to.

 

A book you found really confusing.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman has to take the cake for this one. To this date, I’m not entirely sure what happened, other than I continued reading the book hoping that some revelation later in the book would explain the chaos I had read before.

It did not.

 

Your spirit animal book.

Strange the Dreamer starts with a character called Lazlo Strange. He is a junior librarian, who ends up swept upon an adventure to discover a lost city and its secrets. Whilst it doesn’t relate to me personally in any way, I can easily put myself in Lazlo’s shoes and I would dream the same thing if I were him. The story just resonates well with me.

 

A dark twisted book.

The Dark Chorus by Ashley Meggitt fits the bill. It’s about a boy who murders bad people in order that their souls can free a trapped angel.

 

A book that surprised you in a great way, reveals more than it is.

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay isn’t just a humorous book written by a former doctor about some of the more bizarre people and stories he came across in his medical career. It’s also a homage to the important work NHS staff do, with little to no recognition. We rely on the fact that they will be there in our hour of need. It rarely occurs to us just how much is asked of them and it is their compassion and love for the job that keeps them going, day after day.

It’s an entertaining read, but it’s also an eye-opener as well.

 

So there you have the Harry Potter Book Tag. If you fancy doing this tag, then consider yourself tagged and let me know your answers!

 

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Are You a Book Snob Tag

I’ve decided to share a bit of a fun post today. I saw the Are You a Snob tag over on Drew’s blog (The Tattooed Book Geek) a couple of weeks ago and I knew I wanted to share my own answers to the questions. It has been a little while since I’ve shared a post of this type, so I hope you have fun reading it. Most importantly though… I want to know what your answers are!

If you want to take part in the tag, please share your post with me so I can see your answers, or drop a comment below with your thoughts!

 

FORMAT SNOB: You can only choose one format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which one do you choose: physical books, eBooks, or audiobooks?

This is a bit of a toss-up between two formats. Whilst I listen to audiobooks, and they have their conveniences, they aren’t the main way I consume books.

The thing I love the most about books (new ones) is the smell. E-Readers can never replace that. My fellow book lovers will understand that one, but I remember some of my work colleagues having a bit of a giggle at the idea of smelling books. I also love physical books because that was how I learned to read. I didn’t get a Kindle (other e-readers are available) until I was a teenager and so up until that point, I had been a physical book reader.

But I love my Kindle. I love the convenience of having a library at your fingertips. Almost weightless. No taking up half the weight in your suitcase with books (although admittedly, last time I went on holiday I did take two physical books with me as well…). I probably read the most on Kindle overall.

That said, I think if I had to restrict myself to one for the rest of my life it would be physical books. Tapping a screen to turn a page isn’t much of an experience, and I think I would miss the feel/smell of actual books more.

 

ADAPTATION SNOB: Do you always read the book before watching the film/TV show?

No, I don’t. I am currently reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, which has been on my TBR for a few years. What’s prompted me to take it off the pile now? Watching the TV show a month or so ago.

I think I did the same with A Handmaid’s Tale (ignoring my first attempt and DNF at the book as a late teen) and A Game of Thrones after the shows caught up and surpassed the books.

I feel like reading is the better experience of the two. Is it better to watch the show first and then read the book after, therefore letting the book ‘enhance’ the overall experience of the story? Perhaps yes. It seems to be a subconscious decision I’ve made. After all, who wants to have a sub-par TV show spoil the image and experience of the book you already have? No one.

 

SHIP SNOB: Would you date or marry a non-reader?

Absolutely. I’d like to think they would have hobbies of their own and I wouldn’t judge them for theirs.

If they did judge me negatively though or didn’t like it to the point where they tried to make me stop completely, I wouldn’t stand for it. I understand that relationships involve compromises and spending time with each other too, but I do need a bit of ‘me’ time to recharge my batteries. Me time is reading time. Even just 20 minutes here and there would be all I needed. Like it or leave.

 

GENRE SNOB: You have to ditch one genre – never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

I’m with Drew on this one – if I never read anything Romance-y for the rest of my life, I’d be happy. I don’t really read the genre, although it overlaps in some other genres I do. If I’m honest, I try to avoid anything too sappy as much as I can. I don’t enjoy it, I find it cringy, and I’m about as romantic as a pet rock. Do I want to read mushy narratives with typically indecisive female protagonists? Nope!

 

UBER GENRE SNOB: You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

This is a difficult one. I read a lot of different genres, mainly because reading too much of the same thing gets boring after a time. I used to read a lot of fantasy (and stopped when I got bored of reading the same things over and over (and over) again. But still, it’s a go-to genre for me and probably the one I read the most… so that would be my choice.

I just wouldn’t read as much as I do now as I’d take more breaks.

 

COMMUNITY SNOB: Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

Again, I’m with Drew on this and agree that it’s the young adult (YA) genre.

I have read a few titles published in recent years, but it’s not a circle I’m in. I definitely get that impression though… that YA readers deem themselves a bit of an exclusive community within the wider reader group. You’re in or you’re not. I’m not, and that suits me just fine. I’ll read the odd book, but as a whole YA isn’t something I read a lot of.

 

SNOBBERY RECIPIENT: Have you ever been snubbed for something that you have been reading or for reading in general?

Not to my face, but that doesn’t mean anything really. On the whole, the feedback I’ve received has ranged from indifferent to interested. I can imagine a few people I know that probably judge me for spending my time with my head buried in a book. I don’t particularly care though. It’s my time and effort that goes into it, so it’s my opinion that matters and not theirs.

On the other hand, I do appreciate the support I get from my friends and family. I enjoy being able to talk to them about it (even if it’s just a bit)… and I also have a very good boss. He is a bit of a reader himself and regularly chats to me in the kitchen about a book either of us is reading at the time… and he even lends me books which is lovely!

 

Am I a book snob? I’m not sure. What do you think?

 

 

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Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

Hi guys and welcome to today’s Unpopular Opinions book tag! I knew I wanted to put together a bit of a fun post today, so I shopped around for some inspiration. I found this tag written by Erin at Book Loving Nut and thought it would be fun. Please go and check her answers to the below questions as well, and if you like the sound of taking part then please tag me so I can see your answers!

Shall we dive in?

 

A popular book you didn’t like

I couldn’t get on with Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.

There were recognisable glimmers of Terry’s classic humour and shenanigans in the tale, but I’m sorry to say I just got bored. I have struggled with another book by Neil Gaiman in the past (American Gods) and I think it’s his writing style that I don’t get on with. I did actually finish American Gods, but I was disappointed by it.

I couldn’t finish Good Omens. The book eventually got DNF’d at 40%, so I had a decent stab at it before throwing in the towel.

 

A book series that everyone hates but you love

I couldn’t think of an obvious answer to this question so I resorted to trawling through my read books list, sorted by average rating, to find this answer. Can I say I’m shocked by this one!

The Relic Guild is a fantastic series and I am amazed that the first book’s average rating is only 3.5 stars. The second and third book fare better with an average rating of 4 stars each. I personally rated them all five stars and I really think they are under-rated.

 

A love triangle where the MC ends up with the person you didn’t want them to end up with

I rarely read books with love triangles in them. Even where I have (Hunger Games I’m looking at you), I don’t really care for this aspect of the novel. I don’t enjoy romance novels so it stands to reason that I don’t engage with this part of a book.

Probably sounds callous, but when this is going on I’m just wishing it to get resolved so we can get back to the main plot.

 

A popular genre you rarely reach for

Again, I probably have to say Romance here. It’s cringy and makes me feel really awkward reading it. I just don’t enjoy it, so I don’t bother.

 

A popular character you didn’t like

I wasn’t as much a fan of Circe as I was hoping to be, purely because I didn’t really like Circe herself. She may be the daughter of a God, but she’s mean, vindictive and overall pretty uninspiring. Since Circe spends a lot of her time banished, the narrative is very dependent on her. If her character was better I’d probably have liked the book more. But she wasn’t, and I didn’t, so that’s that I guess.

 

A popular author you can’t seem to get into

the eye of the world

On the recommendation of a friend, I tried to read The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Keyword there is tried. I think I got most of the way through the book, but in the end, I had enough and DNF’d it.

I got very Tolkien-esque vibes from the narrative. It’s very descriptive, almost to the point of frilliness. If you have read The Lord of the Rings you might understand what I’m saying. It’s not the easiest of reading. I can manage about 400 pages of it, but The Eye of the World is a behemoth and is over twice that length. In the end, I got bored of the overly descriptive book as it put a dampener on what was actually going on.

I’m not even sure I remember what happened…

 

A popular trope you’re tired of seeing

Since I read a lot of fantasy, it will probably surprise you to read that I’m a little tired of the coming-of-age trope. It’s everywhere within the genre, so to an extent, it’s unavoidable. But particularly the versions where there are prophecies and an unlikely hero… these are the types I’m thinking here.

 

A popular series you have no interest in reading

Twilight. That’s an easy one, and particularly topical since another book has just been released. The series didn’t appeal to me as a teenager and it still doesn’t now. You can keep your sparkling vampires thanks.

 

The saying goes “the book is always better than the movie” but what movie do you prefer to the book?

The Hunger Games books are good, but I think I preferred the movies slightly. Watching the action play out at a faster pace is more exciting, in my opinion. The characters are also portrayed really well in the movies, which I think gives them the edge over the books.

 

So that’s the Unpopular Opinions Book Tag. If you are inspired to take part, please share your answers below or tag me in your own posts! I’d love to know what you think.

 

 

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