Tag: bookblogger

Belated Sunday Summary Post – 24th May 2022

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

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

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

 

Books Discovered

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

 

Coming Up…

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

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

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

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

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

First Lines Friday – 20/05/2022

Welcome to my First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular (typically fortnightly) series on my blog. It’s a fun way to share books I love, those I am interested in and/or are on my TBR… or even just to experiment with something new!

I knew I wanted to set myself another challenge for this post. Sometimes it’s nice to have the freedom of choice to be able to pick up anything at random and feature it. However, I do relish a challenge. I was in the mood to set one for myself when I drafted my last Sunday Summary post… so here we are! The challenge I set for myself in today’s post is to feature a book I plan on reading sometime this year. It’s a fun topic because it gives me a way of getting excited for the book in advance, but the best thing about it is that I get to share some of my reading plans with you!

But, before we jump right into the spoilers, shall we check out today’s intro and see if you can guess what it is?

 

A history of the Six Duchies is of necessity a history of its ruling family, the Farseers. A complete telling would reach back beyond the founding of the first Duchy, and if search names were remembered, would you tell us of Outislanders raiding from the sea, visiting as pirates a shore more temperate and gentler than the icy beaches of the Out Islands. But we do not know the names of these earliest forebears.

And of the first real king, little more than his name and some extravagant legends remain. Taker his name was, quite simply, and perhaps with that naming began the tradition that daughters and sons of his lineage would be given names that would shape their lives and beings. Folk beliefs claim that such names were sealed to the newborn babes by magic, and that these royal offspring were incapable of betraying the virtues whose names they bore. Passed through fire and plunged through salt water and offered to the winds of the air; thus were names sealed to these chosen children. So we are told. A pretty fancy, and perhaps once there was such a ritual, but history shows us that this was not always sufficient to bind the child to the virtue that named it…

 

 

Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb

Goodreads – Assassin’s Apprentice

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

 

My Thoughts…

If you know your fantasy books, then you may have picked up a hint from the first sentence of today’s extract, even if you don’t recognise it in its entirety. The keyword was Farseers. Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb is the first book in the Farseers trilogy and I am finally going to start it this year!

I’ve sampled reading this book a couple of times – the first on my phone years ago and another time I think I started reading it on an iPad. But here’s the thing, I don’t read that way. I think I wanted to try the book out, to sample it and see what I thought. I was excited enough about it to go out of my way to try it, but it never quite made it to be my current read. It’s my own fault. I was always trying it at a time when I was reading something else, and it wasn’t really a priority.

But I’m going to make it a priority.

I love fantasy and I have great hopes for this series and this author. One of my friends with whom I have a similar reading taste is a fan of Robin Hobb and she has recommended these books to me in the past. I really liked what I’ve seen based on the first of chapter or two I’ve tried, and this year I swear I’m going to start in earnest.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a book series that makes it onto my bookshelves. My copy of Assassin’s Apprentice, the first book, is currently on kindle, and I will read it that way for the moment. If I love it as much as I think I’m going to, then I’ll end up buying a paperback copy and purchasing the rest of the series that way as well!

I can’t wait to invest time into this properly. It’s full of potential and I am looking for a new fantasy series and author to dive into! I feel like this is going to be the right time to give this a go!

 

This has been quite a long First Lines Friday post, but I hope you can tell how excited I am for this book! Have you read Assassin’s Apprentice, the rest of the trilogy or even any of the other books also written by Robin Hobb? I’d be really interested to see how you feel about the books and her writing, so please drop me a comment below and let me know what you think!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday post topic, Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read, is going to be a fun one to participate in. It’s reminded me that I have a lot of great books that I really want to read, and some of them I’ve had for an embarrassingly long time!

I have been through my bookshelves and selected my top 10 books, I’ve also got a step further and done some research to find out roughly when I got them, so you have an idea of how long I have had them for. There’s even one book, the first book, that I couldn’t put a precise date on as to when I bought it. Whoops!

Enough of the preamble; shall we jump into the list so you can find out what some of the oldest books I’m excited to read are: –

 

Malice – <2016?

I cannot tell you when I bought Malice by John Gwynne.

The only way I have been able to roughly date this book is a memory of myself packing up this book when I left a job in February 2016. I was using a paperclip as a bookmark (although I’d only got through the first few pages in reality). The paper clip had left a slightly rusty mark on the page, so that tells you how long had even been there! I have absolutely no idea when I physically purchased this book, and that makes this the oldest book on my list.

I’ve heard great things about this series and John Gwynne, so maybe this post is telling me it’s time to pick this one up at last.

 

The Shining – 07/2017

Thankfully we jump ahead a little bit with this next book, although not by as much as I’d like! Now we are in the realms of a timeframe in which I had started my blog. This book is still nearly 5 years in my possession, however, and I still haven’t read it! I have come to love Stephen King even though horror isn’t a genre I would have picked up originally. I have given other books of his a go and I have come to love them.

I have no doubt that The Shining will be just good. I feel like this would be an excellent read to pick up in autumn or around Halloween, so maybe that’s what I’ll save this one for!

 

Th1rt3en – 10/2017

When I drafted this post I put together my list in what I thought was roughly date order, but I was surprised by this book. I was convinced I’d bought this a lot later, but obviously not!

Ironically, I think my mum is more likely to read this book before I do and it’s been on my radar a lot longer. Admittedly, I hadn’t realised that this was the fourth book of a series (but the stories don’t seem connected so could be read in any order) when I picked up my copy in Waterstones. That won’t stop me though, and if my mum gives the rest of the books a really good review when you can guarantee I will be picking these up as well!

 

Fools and Mortals – 05/2018

I’ve become a huge fan of Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom, aka the Saxon Stories series. Having started this one, I saw a copy of Fools and Mortals in Waterstones and decided to give it a go based on author alone.

Don’t get me wrong, I really love the sound of the synopsis, but it’s my love of Bernard Cornwell that drove me to pick this up and see what it was about in the first place! I’m still working my way through the Saxon Stories series now, but I should think that I will pick this up long before I finish that one.

 

Norse Mythology – 10/2018

I love the idea of reading a book about Norse mythology, and given that Neil Gaiman is a well-known writer in the fantasy genre, I was really excited to buy this book.

I’ll admit that now I am a little bit more sceptical. When I bought this book I had every confidence that I was going to enjoy Neil Gaiman‘s writing, however that hasn’t necessarily proven to be the case. I haven’t hated his books, don’t get me wrong. But the best read has been a three star rating from me. I finished American Gods but didn’t enjoy it and I couldn’t even finish Good Omens, his collaboration with one of my favourite authors, Terry Pratchett.

It’s not going to stop me from picking up Norse Mythology though, as I’m hoping the subject of the book will help spur my interest.

 

Skyward – 12/2019

I used Goodreads as a good indicator of when I had purchased copies of books and added them to my TBR for this post. However, I ended up resorting to my Sunday summary update posts to find out when I purchased Skyward, because I forgot to add this onto my TBR at the time.

It turns out I bought my copy of Skyward in December 2019. When you see that date you probably automatically assume that I got it for Christmas, however I purchased it a few days beforehand with a book voucher I had one for my competition at work. I joked in that post that it was a rare occasion, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t won anything like it since.

I can’t grumble though; last year we were all given vouchers as a thank you for our work rather than a competition. They are good eggs.

 

The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz – 01/2020

We are down to the last four books on this list and in terms of recency, we just about make it into the 20s.

I added this book to my TBR back in January 2020. I recalled that at the time I had read or listened to another Auschwitz themed book around the same time, and having looked back, I had finished listening to Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris. Whilst a morbid subject, I love books with this setting. Clearly I wanted to continue to pursue the genre further, and to date I still do!

In fact, I’ve gone onto purchase even more Auschwitz themed books in paperback since then. Strangely, this is almost a bit of a comfort read. But not really, you know what I mean!

 

Invisible Women – 03/2020

This next book on my list is a little bit different, however having read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg recently, this is one that I’m going to make sure I end up reading this year.

Up until a couple of months ago I would not have described myself as a feminist. There are a lot of reasons why that is the case, mostly being the negative connotation that comes with the word. However, Lean In reminded me that just because people associate the word in the wrong way, that doesn’t mean that I am not a feminist. I do want equality, for women in the workplace and for men in their personal lives.

I really liked that Lean In covered both sides of the story, because men are just as pushed out of primary parental roles as women are in the workplace. It’ll be interesting to see if Invisible Women takes the same route, or if it really just focuses on women and the injustices we live day-to-day.

 

Nevernight – 02/2021

Nevernight

I really loved the Nevernight trilogy as audiobooks, and so after I finished listening to Darkdawn I decided to buy the whole trilogy to read in paperback. I must admit I thought I had bought them a little more recently than February last year, but that’s still not too long you have been sat on myself waiting to be picked up!

 

The Witches – Salem 1962, A History – 10/2021

This is the most recent book on this list. I only purchased my copy of this around about six months ago, and I’ll admit I purchased it on a whim. I happened to see it in the bookstore and I really think it’s an interesting topic.

For that reason, I will can’t wait to give this a read. However, with all the older books on my list yet to be picked up, this one might take a while to get to!

 

So, those are my top ten books I was so exited to get, but still haven’t read… yet! Have you read any of the books featured in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post? Have you now added any to your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Shelf Control #48 – 13/05/2022

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

If you want to read more about the Shelf Control feature, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

 

The Incendium Plot – A. D. Swanston

Goodreads – The Incendium Plot

England in 1572 is a powder keg of rumour, fanaticism, treachery and dissent. All it would take is a single spark . . .

In the England of Elizabeth I, the fear of plague and invasion, and the threat of insurrection are constant. As the Earl of Leicester’s chief intelligencer, lawyer Dr Christopher Radcliff is tasked with investigating rumours of treachery at home and the papist threat from abroad. And with heresy and religious unrest simmering beneath the surface of a country on the brink, Radcliff is under pressure to get results.

Then two brutal and seemingly motiveless killings point alert Radcliff to the whisper of a new plot against the queen. There are few clues, and all he and his network of agents have to go on is a single word: incendium. But what does it mean – and who lies behind it? Christopher Radcliff must find out before it’s too late . . .

 

My Thoughts…

I love the idea of reading this book because it will allow me to read more about British history. Whilst I am familiar with the gunpowder plot, in general, I think my education when it comes to British history is lacking… especially considering I am British!

The Incendium Plot (first published just under the name Incendium), based on the tags on Goodreads, looks to be like a combination of historical fiction and mystery/thriller genres. These are separate genres that I enjoy independently of each other, so I’m really excited to see how they come together! What I also really like about this book is that it’s set in the Tudor period. It’s one of my favourite periods of British history – it’s one of the subjects I do have some knowledge of as a result.

It was the cover that caught my eye, of all things. We say never judge a book by its cover, but sometimes, the cover can be the swaying factor to make you look at something. That was definitely the case with The Incendium Plot, and I am glad I saw it and added it to my TBR. What is also nice about this book is that it’s long enough to be able to explore the subject with a reasonable enough amount of detail, but not too long either. At just over 400 pages, I don’t find this to be an intimidating length.

Have you read The Incendium Plot? If so, what did you think, or have you added it to your reading list? I’d love to hear from you!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Characters

In today’s Top Ten Tuesday post, I’m featuring my top ten bookish characters. I’ll admit that I actually struggled to put this list together a little bit. Despite having read so many books, I don’t typically read anything with bookworms for characters. That being said, I have just about managed to scrape together a list; if you love your bookish characters as well, then check out my list below and which books they are from so you can check them out for yourself!

 

Hermione Granger

This one is a fairly obvious start, but as I’ve just finished re-reading the Harry Potter series, this was the first name that popped into my head. Hermione is very intelligent, and can always be found with a book in hand. It suits her personality very well and she is one of the most likable characters… even if she can be a little bit of a snotty goody-two-shoes sometimes!

 

Liesel Meminger

Readers of The Book Thief will be familiar with Liesel, and the book title tells you everything you need to know! Liesel loves books so much that she will go out of her way to steal them. What is also very endearing is that reading is something she does with her foster father and it is a bonding activity for them. Readers can really empathise with Liesel, because a lot of the time she reads to escape her reality – Germany in the middle of the Second World War.

 

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion is one of my favourite characters in the Game of Thrones series. Not only does he have his head screwed on the most, but he is also an avid bookworm. From history tomes to books about dragons, nothing is off-limits for Tyrion. He also reads for some personal solace; as a dwarf, he is ridiculed by almost everybody, despite his birth. Especially by his father. From birth he was never destined to follow his brother in prowess as a knight, but instead he made use of what he had – the thirst for knowledge and the patience to learn.

 

Samwell Tarly

Samwell Tarly is another Game of Thrones character who would never have made it as a warrior if not for being thrown into the Night’s Watch. He is well suited as a steward, not only for his kind and gentle manner, but also for his love of study and reading. It’s for this reason that he ends up on the wall in the first place; Sam is a disappointment to his father as he does not follow in his footsteps. He does not wish him to be the family heir and so he is sent to Castle Black as a means of disinheriting him in favour of his younger and more pliable brother.

 

Lazlo Strange

If ever asked how his nose got broken, you’d expect Lazlo to regale you with a story of some kind of brawl or fight. But the truth is, Lazlo Strange breaks his nose when a book falls off a bookshelf and hits him in the face.

Lazlo loves the adventure in books, little knowing that he’s going to end up undertaking an adventure of his own. Aptly titled, events in Strange the Dreamer take this wide-eyed, naive young man on a journey to find a city lost to legend, Weep. Little does he know that his dreams of a blue-skinned goddess are tied to that place as well.

 

Bilbo Baggins

Bilbo Baggins of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy enjoys both reading books, but also writing them. After his adventures in The Hobbit, he is determined to make a record of his journey and this is referenced in the Lord of the Rings series. The life of a hobbit is, for the most part, a quiet one… and a bookish nature is far from strange. However, we get to see the exception to the rule in the form of the protagonists of these books.

 

Dantry Tanza

Blackwing

Dantry Tanza is a character that features throughout The Raven’s Mark series. He is very scholarly by nature, but he is emotionally driven to his studies in order to help save his sister Ezabeth.

Dantry is quite endearing because he is one of those people who is very, very intelligent, but also quite lacking in terms of experience and common sense. He is naive, but he really blooms throughout the books!

 

King Alfred

In a slightly different way, King Alfred of the Saxon stories series is also bookish. But more in a chronicler’s sense. He is determined to unite a fractured England, and he attempts to record the history of his efforts to unite England as we know it today.

In a way, we probably owe a lot to him for this as it’s where a lot of our knowledge of history in the period came from.

 

Scout Finch

Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird is undoubtedly a very bookish character. She is taught by Atticus Finch in a way that allows her to develop her mind from a very young age. She’s even said to have learnt to read before starting at school, which is very young indeed!

 

Guy Montag

I didn’t expect to feature a Classic on this list, but Guy Montag from Fahrenheit 451 is the epitome of bookish characters.

In a world where books are banned, his job as a fireman is to burn books. But, curiosity gets the better of him and ultimately, he becomes the kind of person that is being rooted out of their censored society. There’s something about the forbidden that lures you in, and Guy Montag falls for books and their sacred, secret knowledge hard.

 

That’s all from me in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post. Have you read any of the books on today’s list? Do you like any of these bookish characters? Let me know in the comments!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 8th May 2022

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

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Books Discovered

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

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

 

Coming Up…

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Monthly TBR – May 2022

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

 

Fixed Reads

Crowfall

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

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

 

The Duke and I

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

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

 

Empire of the Vampire

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

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

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

 

Mood Reads

Dune Messiah

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

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

 

Death of Kings

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

 

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

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

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Monthly Wrap-Up – April 2022

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

Get yourself a cuppa and make yourself comfortable!

 

Books Read

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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

 

The Thursday Murder Club

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

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

 

Ravencry

Ravencry

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Goodreads Challenge Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 1st May 2022

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

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

 

Books Discovered

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

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

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

 

Coming Up…

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

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

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

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

First Lines Friday – 29/04/2022

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular series on my blog. It’s a fun way to share books I love, those I am interested in and/or are on my TBR… or even just to experiment with something new!

For today’s post I have set myself another challenge. My last couple of posts have been challenge-free, and so to keep the content fresh I wanted to bring this back. I am, however, bringing back a challenge I have done before, purely because I have so much content I can cover on it that it makes sense to use it. And what is that challenge you ask? To feature a book I read before I started my blog over 5 years ago now.

Shall we check out today’s intro? Can you guess which book it’s from?

 

When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.

My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course she did. This is the day of the reaping.

I prop myself up on one elbow. There’s enough light in the bedroom to see them. My little sister, Prim, curled up on her side, cocooned in my mother’s body, their cheeks pressed together. In sleep, my mother looks younger, still worn but not so beaten-down. Prim’s face is as fresh as a raindrop, as lovely as the primrose for which she was named. My mother was very beautiful once, too. Or so they tell me.

 


The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Goodreads – The Hunger Games

Could you survive on your own in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.


My Thoughts…

The Hunger Games is a fantastic trilogy for anyone who likes fantasy, dystopian fiction, or most importantly, a bit of both! As a huge fantasy reader, this really appealed to me as it was slightly different from the plethora of other fantasy books I was reading at the time.

The Hunger Games and the characters within offer a little bit of everything. Fantastic character development really starts with this book and blossoms throughout the trilogy. It’s the kind of book that shows you what humankind is capable of at its worst, but also can bring out the best in people as well.

I’m glad I read this trilogy. It’s a book series I really appreciate. I also really like the films made based on these books! I think it’s one of the few exceptions to the rule where the film has done the books justice.

If, like me, you have found yourself in a bit of a fantasy rut and are desperate to try and find something a little bit different in the overcrowded genre, then give this one a go! I read this at a time where I had gotten a little bit bored of fantasy because I read that much of it. The Hunger Games offers something a little bit different, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

I hope you have enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday feature! Have you read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, or any of the other books in the series? I’d love to know what you thought!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads