Tag: books

Sunday Summary – 1st August 2021

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s weekly wrap-up Sunday Summary post. As always, I hope you’ve had a wonderful week wherever you are and whatever you have been doing!

This week I opted for a slightly lighter schedule, and I’m glad I did. I chose to do this as I have recently taken part in a couple of blog tours in reasonably quick succession. It also turned out to be beneficial as I started learning some new things at work this week – I’m in the middle of changing my job role and I have a lot to learn! Generally, I don’t take work home with me, but I will admit with learning the new stuff, it’s been on my mind a lot.

Despite this, I still managed to share the planned discussion post with you. In that post, I share the character types I feel are very underrepresented in books, particularly in the fantasy genre. If you haven’t checked that post out already, you can take a look with this handy link.

 

Books Read

Last week I started reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and as of last week’s Sunday summary update, I was around a third of the way through the book. I’m pleased to say I’ve made an equal amount of progress this week, putting me at 440 pages (roughly) through. I’m enjoying it so far and despite at length, there is no drag or difficulty with getting into it. Sometimes if books are a little bit longer and I’m not quite in the mood, I can get bored… but this is not the case here! I’d forgotten how much I loved these books. The difference between the first three and the Goblet of Fire in terms of content and tone is quite big. I’m loving this later book more and so I think I will be jumping into the rest of the series and finishing this quite quickly!

I also started a second book this week, which I wasn’t particularly planning on! I was having a browse through the e-books my library offers and I found something that loosely relates to my job. Without going into too much detail, my job is investment-related. I took a qualification that I completed in February this year and through that, I enjoyed reading around the subject.

The book that I picked up from my library is Stock Investing for Dummies by Paul Mladjenovic. I appreciate a lot of you probably find that quite a dry reading subject, but we all have different things that float our boat. I’m currently around 20% through this one and I will be continuing to read this over the next couple of weeks – at least I should be because that’s when my loan runs out!

 

Books Discovered

I have a small confession to make. I decided to go to my local bookstore at the beginning of this week. It’s recently been payday, and I was in the mood to have a browse. Needless to say, that resulted in my being in the mood to buy, and I treated myself to three new books.

My argument/justification is that this first book was already on my TBR. It’s also one of the older books on my TBR, so I’m likely going to be picking this up before long anyway. Those of you who read my blogs or follow what I’m reading will know that I am fascinated with World War II and the Holocaust. A weird subject, I know, given the unpleasantness surrounding it– however, I find the subject as interesting as it is harrowing. I’m confident that I’m going to love it and so I decided to pick this up in paperback.

The second book I picked up is a recommendation from my sister’s boyfriend Chris. We are both regular readers and judging by our bookshelves, we have a very similar reading taste. Chris has recently read both Barack Obama’s A Promised Land and Michelle Obama’s Becoming and recommended the latter to me as it’s less heavy on the political side. So, when I stumbled across this in the buy one get one half price section, I had to! I swear that section gets me every time.

The last book I picked up was also from the section, and it’s called Pandora’s Jar by Natalie Haynes. Having touched upon Greek myth in a couple of books I’ve read, it’s plain that women are portrayed as the lesser sex or just outright evil. This is the topic of Pandora’s Jar, and I’m interested to see what perspective it has to offer.

 

Coming Up…

Somehow it is August already, and so my priority for the week will be to share my wrap-up post for July. I’m feeling really good about sharing that post as I met my goal of spending more time reading than I have of late. I’ve read quite a few books (short stories and full-length novels) and I’m feeling really good about the habit I’m getting back into. But, more on that in my post next week.

Later in the week, I’m going to get back into my regular Friday feature. This week is the turn of a Shelf Control post… in that, I’ll be sharing the next book on my TBR and why I can’t wait to pick it up! as always, I hope you can join me for either of these posts.

And last, but not least, I’ll wrap up the week as usual with my next Sunday Summary update.

That is, however, all from me in today’s Sunday Summary update. What have you been reading? Have you treated yourself to any new books this week?

 

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Discussion Post: Under Represented Characters in Books

There is a particular type of character I feel is seriously under represented in books, considering that the vast majority of people will probably relate to this type of person in one way or another.

I think this is most prevalent in fantasy books; I feel like I notice this more because it’s the genre I read the most of. That’s not to say that these characters are not present in other genres, because that’s definitely not the case either. So you are probably thinking, what character type am I thinking of exactly? Well, the simple answer, is realistic ones!

Let me explain it from the opposite end of the spectrum. Fantasy novels are full of altruistic protagonists. They may come from any background and any kind of advantage or disadvantage, but their prime motivator is doing right by other people. Risking their skin to save others. Sound familiar? If you read fantasy I should definitely hope so. But how many people realistically put others before themselves unconditionally? I wouldn’t say very many.

Don’t get me wrong, we can all pick our moments to do the right thing. Whether it’s baking for the charity cake sale or helping someone when in need, everybody has the capacity to consider other people and act in the other person’s interest from time to time. But when it really matters, when it’s fight or flight, human nature is to be selfish. It is to look after yourself above others, that’s just survival instinct. So why is our basic human nature so under represented in novels? As I say, for the fantasy genre particularly, it is littered – chockablock full of altruistic protagonists, but realistically, that doesn’t represent us at all.

That’s not to say that they all have their perfect protagonists though. There are a few authors in the genre that are not afraid to build their narrative around more complex and realistic characters. To name a few off the top of my head, Jorg Ancrath of Mark Lawrence’s The Broken Empire series, or Ryhalt in Ed Macdonald’s The Raven’s Mark series are standout examples. Why do they stand out? Because I loved them. I loved their flaws and how they still made great characters despite them. Ryhalt uses alcohol as a coping mechanism and runs away from his problems. The ghosts of his past haunt him and he lives with constant guilt. Does that make him a bad person? No!

Whilst I’m not saying that there are far more alcoholics or cowards than altruists in the world, I think it’s fair to say that flawed characters are far more relatable to us as readers. We all make mistakes – we can all be selfish, and there are even times where it’s not a bad thing to be so. Characters with these deep personality flaws are not only more realistic, but I also find them far more interesting. A lot of thought has gone into them; their history and motivations derive from a personal background that we may not know at the time, but the author has invested time to create and use these to build into the character’s development. It makes them more rounded people.

Now perhaps having very altruistic characters can be argued as promoting model behaviour to readers. I can, in a way, agree with that. Yet by having characters with diverse personality traits, good and bad, we can learn from their behaviour. Their inclusion isn’t necessarily promoting the bad stuff. I’d say there is a much similar argument about the media and body image. Yes, being thinner and healthy is recommended, but having images of extremely skinny people around us everywhere isn’t always healthy for people’s body image – it can be harmful too. The same could be said of promoting model behaviour; yes it is good to teach it, but flooding the market with it too much could lead to negative effects if people feel they have to live up to that expectation, and can’t.

As with everything, I think a healthy balance is the best approach, and so I would like to see more characters with less than honest/perfect intentions. Sometimes it’s okay to be selfish. Putting yourself first isn’t a bad thing. Saying no to someone doesn’t make you a bad person. We are not all people-pleasing ‘yes-men’ who’ll stick our necks out on the line for the benefit of others, and that’s okay. It’s perfectly okay to not be perfect. 

I’m not sure if this is just something that I think about as I really enjoy reading about characters with less than desirable habits or traits. Is there something you have noticed to? Or do you have a different opinion to me? If so, let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Summary – 25th July 2021

Good evening everyone and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary update post. I hope you’ve had a brilliant week wherever you are? It has been a good one here; we’ve had some gorgeous weather… and because my Internet was down on Thursday night, I took the opportunity to go out and sit in the garden after tea to read. And it was wonderful! 

On blog related matters, I have shared a couple of posts with you so far this week. My first post was a Top Ten Tuesday post, and the subject was Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time). I did have to stretch that definition a little bit, as I quickly ran out of short stories that I’d finished in one sitting (genuinely). I opened it out to books I’d read within a 24-hour period, and this enabled me to finish my list!

My second blog post of the week was another blog tour review for Karl Drinkwater. Last week I took part in the blog tour for the third book in his Lost Tales of Solace series; this week’s post was for book four, Ruabon. If you really enjoy science fiction, or are just interested in giving it a go, and please check out any of my reviews for this series so far-I hope they encourage you to give them a go!

 

Books Read

After finishing The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor last week, I wanted to pick up a longer book than I have read recently. But, I also worried that the book choice had to be the right one to make sure I keep up momentum. At first I had an inkling to try and restart reading The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. I picked this up and made a very good attempt at it previously, but ultimately I DNF’d this book at 70% because I was struggling with it. My friend absolutely loves the series and I was kind of gutted that it wasn’t working for me when I picked it up.

I had quite a serious urge to give this a go again, so much so that I read the first couple of chapters. However, I will admit that I think the timing of trying to pick this up again might not be right. As I said, I don’t want to lose momentum and I’ve just started reading more regularly! With that in mind, I put this down again for now and instead I have picked up Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling. I am re-reading the Harry Potter series this year, and given that this book weighs in at just over 600 pages, I felt it was the right book to pick up next. So far, it’s really working for me. I’m currently around 220 pages in and I’m absolutely loving it! I’m also planning on reading some more tonight before I go to bed, so that figure will technically go up after this post. 

 

Books Discovered

I’ve been really good again this week and I haven’t added any new books to my To Be Read pile.

 

Coming Up…

Having taken part in a couple of blog tours recently, I’m planning on a two-post schedule on my blog next week. Because I’ve been sharing reviews, I think I’m going to share a discussion post mid-week, and follow-up later with my usual Sunday Summary update for variety.

For my discussion post, I want to talk about the types of characters I want to see in books more. I have one definite idea in mind at the moment, but I’m going to have a think about this over the next few days and share all my thoughts with you about characters I would like to see more of in that post.

That is all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post however! What have you been reading? If you have any ideas for my discussion post, what characters would you like to see more of in books?

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Sunday Summary – 18th July 2021

Good evening everyone – you know what time it is! I’m back with another Sunday Summary update post and I can’t wait to share everything I’ve been up to this week! It’s been a really good one for me. You’ll know that I’ve been taking a significantly slower pace this year, however this week I have felt more like my old self.

As I was taking part in a blog tour later this week, I decided to opt for a three-post schedule and shared my first post around midweek. That was a discussion post in which I shared my opinion on blog stats… and whether they really matter. If you haven’t checked out that post I’ll be really interested to hear your thoughts!

Then, it was the time of my blog tour post on Saturday. I haven’t generally been taking part in reviews for blog tours this year, however, I have enjoyed Karl Drinkwater’s Lost Tales of Solace series to date. I had an invite for this particular book, Clarissa, a little while ago and I signed up immediately! If you’re a fan of sci-fi, or even if you would like to give the genre a try, these books are a great way to give it a go as they are approachable to everyone.

 

Books Read

I’ve made quite a lot of reading progress this week; in this respect I feel a lot more like my old self as well.

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update I have just finished reading Ruabon by Karl Drinkwater. From there I went on to pick it up yet another short story. This one was completely different to the usual type of stuff I read. It was recommended to me by the CEO of my company, who is also an avid reader. The Cockroach by Ian McEwan is a political satire regarding the subject of Brexit. It’s something we all have an opinion on and I really enjoyed reading this author’s witty take on the matter.

I’ve picked it up a couple of times casually earlier in the year, however as I hadn’t deliberately set aside the time to read it I found I just wasn’t finishing it or picking it up for a while afterwards; consequently I was having to restart. I’m glad I set aside the time this week to get through it because it was an entertaining read and it was good to get out of my comfort zone!

Next, I decided to pick up something a little bit longer. I’ve read a few short stories in quick succession and so whilst I had the reading bug, I wanted to take a step up. I scanned my bookshelves and settled on The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor. I previously read and loved her first book, The Chalk Man, and so I felt picking up her second novel was a safe bet to keep the momentum going.

And I was right. I managed to finish this particular book as well! It’s not the longest, at around 350 odd pages, but it’s the quickest I’ve read a book of that length for quite some time. I loved the premise and the execution of drawing out the narrative. The characters are also fantastic – honestly, this is a serious recommendation!

I’ve done reasonably well with audiobooks this week too. I had only a few hours of A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin left to listen to and I got through those quite early on this week. I love the book, but I’m glad to finally got to the end so I can listen to something different for a change. The audiobooks are around 30 odd hours each. I’m sure you can understand why I’m looking forward to a change!

Speaking of which, I’ve actually picked of started listening to my next audiobook as well. I’m now listening to A Suitable Lie by Michael J. Malone. I can’t remember off the top of my head how I discovered this particular book, but it’s a psychological thriller. From what I have listened to so far, it seems to revolve around the subject of domestic abuse. Some people may not like that, however I’m reasonably pragmatic about it. Whilst unpleasant, these things do happen and I’m not averse to reading (or hearing) about it.

 

Books Discovered

Again, I have absolutely no updates for you here. This week my TBR went down one rather than up, so it’s going in the right direction for a change!

 

Coming Up…

I’m planning on beginning the week with a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s theme is Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time). I can’t say there are many books I have read in one sitting, but there are a few – and there are plenty more that I would have done given the opportunity.

On Friday I’m taking part in another blog tour and providing another review for Karl Drinkwater. In yesterday‘s post I reviewed the third book of the series, Clarissa, and I’m continuing next week with a review of the fourth book, Ruabon. This particular book lived up to my expectations and so you can expect a glowing review! I hope you can check that post out!

Then, as always, I’ll round off the week with another Sunday Summary update!

In the meantime, however, that is all from me in today’s Sunday Summary. I hope you have a fabulous week wherever you are and I will catch you in the next one!

 

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Discussion Post – Do Blog Stats Matter?

Hello everyone! Today’s blog post is potentially a bit of a controversial topic, because I want to talk about blog stats, and how much they matter.

Obviously they matter to a certain extent. Here on Reviewsfeed I take part in blog tours, as well as share book reviews and other bookish content. Particularly for the review side of things, it’s beneficial for the authors of the books I feature to actually reach an audience… so in that sense it matters.

From what I have seen, bloggers tend to be polar opposites on their stance on stats. They either monitor excessively… or not at all. I confess I fall into the latter category; I hardly ever look at them to be perfectly honest with you. That’s not to say things go unnoticed, however. If I get a notification to say someone has liked my post, or followed my blog, then yes I get a little excited. But do I continuously monitor each blog post’s page views and compare them to each other? Am I filled with self doubt if post doesn’t get as much ‘love’ as I think it should?

Absolutely not!

That’s fundamentally not what I blog for. When I started my blog, it was to have a place to share my thoughts on the books I read. I had in my head the idea that if I could inspire even just one person to pick up a book, then I would be happy. In the grand scheme of things, that is a very low target, but that’s all I wanted to do. I would like to hope that I achieved it by now, but at the same time it’s not the end of the world if I haven’t either. I’ve had fun along the way – that’s what counts!

When you first start out, you definitely have to make a lot more effort into your blog’s growth. Your blog doesn’t come up in searches so easily, so you have to go out there and get the attention for yourself. Of course I did this in the beginning. But I don’t now, and granted, I haven’t really have much in the way of ‘growth’ lately. I don’t necessarily gain any followers, but I do get page views with no effort at all.

When you tell someone how many followers you have, your first reaction would be “Wow!”… or “Well done!”. But what if I told you it stands for very little? I have hovered at just over 1000 followers for quite some time. Sounds like a reasonable following, right? What if I told you that my average page views per day in 2021 was just 11-12? That is nowhere near as impressive, is it. But that is the reality. Just because somebody ‘follows’ my blog, it doesn’t necessarily mean they read or interact with it at all. So that number becomes hollow; it doesn’t mean anything. If anything, it is the page views that are most likely to matter.

But even a page view count isn’t a true reflection. What if someone clicked on your blog by accident? They immediately click the back button take them back to wherever they were before. You have a page view, but the person didn’t actually read what you’ve shared! Equally, what if someone clicked on your post and just skim-read it? Have they actually taken any of your content in? Even if we assume a best case scenario; that everyone who has read your blog has done so on purpose and taken as much as they can out of your content – then great… but what now? There is a small sense of achievement to gain from that, but what impact does that have on your life ultimately? Do you continue to chase for the extra view, that extra push? Is it worth making your entire identity about who you are online?

For me, the answer is most definitely, no. 

Personally, I just don’t get the hype and obsession with counting stats. If I’m entirely honest with myself, comparing myself to some of the other bloggers out there by following or number of views is unrealistic. I don’t read the types of books that target the current majority of the book blogging demographic (YA, I’m looking at you) so my content doesn’t appeal either. And you know what? That’s okay. I’m not going to change my reading tastes to try and appeal to the mass market.

What I say next might not sit well with some. I am a twenty-something-year-old woman and I despair at how many people in my generation (and the younger ones) rely on social media and the Internet in general for validation and self-worth. It’s sad that people think they are defined by their online presence. You’re not. The Internet is a fickle place, and whether you find a place within it or not, it will move on without you. What matters is whether you let that bother you or not.

It may sound hypocritical of me to be talking to you about this, given that my entire hobby is based around posting content on the Internet. I’ve been doing so for the last four years. However, I hope I’ve made it very clear that my ‘place’ on the web, and how much traffic I get, matters very little to me. I love my blog, and I love sharing my thoughts on it. As to how many people see it or take anything from it, anything goes. I set up my blog for me and that has been my objective from day one.

So, I’ve made my opinion very clear. Do you agree with me or do you disagree? I’d like to hear your views on the subject, so let me know in the comments!

 

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Sunday Summary – 11th July 2021

Hello everyone! I’m glad to be back with you for another Sunday Summary update. I hope you’ve had a great week wherever you are? I have certainly enjoyed this one – Monday was a local bank holiday here on the Isle of Man and so I got to enjoy an extra-long weekend! Not only that, but I’ve been enjoying spending my time on some fun reading and projects as well.

This week’s blogging schedule was a little busier than of late. My typical schedule is three posts a week, however, this Sunday Summary update is my fourth post of the week. I started on Tuesday with a Top Ten Tuesday post, sharing the reasons why I love reading. Honestly, I could’ve gone on forever. But, to keep it concise, I managed to categorise it down to ten; if you haven’t checked out that post already please do!

Later in the week, I shared my Monthly Wrap Up for June. When I shared my 2021 Half Year Review post last week it hadn’t occurred to me that it would make sense to post a June wrap up first. Never mind – it is what it is!

Then, on Friday, I shared another First Lines Friday post. This week’s book selection was very random but I think I got lucky as the intro is very interesting, and will appeal to fans of mystery novels.

 

Books Read

After my last Sunday Summary update, I went on to read the rest of Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater. As of last week’s post I was just over halfway through the book; I finished this last Sunday night after my post went live.

I have just finished reading Ruabon by Karl Drinkwater. I will admit that I only just started reading this short story this morning. However, it was really interesting to read and I’ve managed to read it all today with ease and I loved it! I’m taking part in blog tours for both Clarissa and Ruabon, coming up in the next week or so, and I really can’t wait to share my thoughts with you about them!

I’ve also listened to a few hours of A Clash of Kings this week. As of this post I have 2 hours and 46 minutes left to go. I was hoping to get this finished this week, however I didn’t (although I still have listened to a good chunk so I can’t complain). I am reasonably sure that I will get this finished next week though! It will feel good to finally get to the end.

 

Books Discovered

Since last week, I have absolutely no updates for you here!

 

Coming Up…

Given that I’m going to be sharing a book review later in the week, I think it will be fun to have a more light-hearted discussion post mid-week. Having considered a variety of different topics, I think it would be fun to talk about my approach to blogging, and my opinion on blog stats. I want to do this topic because it relates to a conversation I’ve had with my mum and dad very recently. I’m sure it’s something everybody has an opinion and I would very much like to hear what your take is!

On Saturday, I am taking part in the blog tour for Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater, sharing my review of this short story. I really enjoyed this one, as I have with the rest of the series I’ve read to date. I really hope you can check out that post!

Then, as always, I’ll round off the week with another Sunday Summary update!

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First Lines Friday – 09/07/2021

Hi guys and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post!

Today’s featured book is another book on my TBR. Before I started drafting today’s post, I had absolutely no idea which book I was going to feature. I’ll admit that today’s selection was a random scroll and finger-point on my TBR list; I think I landed on a good one too! I really like the sound of the opening lines below as an introduction to the novel.

Do you recognise this opening at all?

 

I squint at him. The Sun is in my eyes and he looks like a shadow monster.

‘I can’t’, I tell him. ‘I’ve got to get home. I’m only meant to be getting sweets from the paper shop, then straight back.’

He crouches in front of me. He is wearing a woolly hat, which is funny as it’s really warm today.

‘But your mum asked me to fetch you.’ His eyes crinkle at the corners as he smiles.

I fold my arms. When I told my head, his face blocks out the Sun.

‘You might be lying,’ I say. ‘Mummy warned me about men with sweets and puppies.’

The man laughs like Gramps does when he’s Father Christmas.

‘I know’, he says. ‘What’s she like? She is such a worrywart.’

He’s right: she is. I drop my arms to my sides.

 

 

99 Red Balloons – Elisabeth Carpenter

99 Red Balloons  – Goodreads

Two girls go missing, decades apart. What would you do if one was your daughter?

When eight-year-old Grace goes missing from a sweetshop on the way home from school, her mother Emma is plunged into a nightmare. Her family rallies around, but as the police hunt begins, cracks begin to emerge.

What are the secret emails sent between Emma’s husband and her sister? Why does her mother take so long to join the search? And is Emma really as innocent as she seems?

Meanwhile, ageing widow Maggie Taylor sees Grace’s picture in the newspaper. It’s a photograph that jolts her from the pain of her existence into a spiralling obsession with another girl – the first girl who disappeared…

 

My Thoughts…

I love the sound of this book! I enjoy a good mystery and what makes it all more harrowing is that it involves children. For some that might not be an easy subject to read, however it doesn’t bother me at all. From the synopsis, there seems to be a lot to this story to sink my teeth into. I like these types of books because you’re forever guessing and second-guessing everyone’s actions and motives. It’s the kind of story that keeps your brain going long after you close the cover.

I haven’t read a book like this for quite some time, so I’m definitely looking forward to it! The last type of story I read like this was a complete hit with me and made it to my Top Reads of 2020 list. I really hope 99 Red Balloons lives up to the same expectations!

As always, I hope you have enjoyed today’s First Lines Friday post! Have you read the book, or is it on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Summary – 4th July 2021

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. This is my first in a couple of weeks because my sister was finally able to come and visit us back home for the first time in 16 months due to the pandemic. She went home last Sunday, however as I had been spending the week with her and the rest of my family, I didn’t get anything done in the way of reading at all! I didn’t feel that warranted a Sunday summary update, both for me in terms of writing it and also for you reading it. However, I’m back now and I have plenty to share with you from this week!

This week has been back to normal, and so I’ve shared two posts with you so far. My first post went live on Wednesday and I shared my 2021 Half-Year Review, looking at my current reading progress as well as my goals for the next six months. Then on Friday, I shared my next Shelf Control post. This week’s featured book is one I am looking forward to trying. It’s been on my list for quite some time and it has a unique premise.

 

Books Read

In my 2021 Half Year Review post, I told you that I was setting myself a goal of getting back into reading a bit more regularly. You’ll probably know that I haven’t set myself any particular reading goals this year. That’s because I wanted to give myself a bit of a break and some breathing space to catch up with some books on my TBR, but without burning out. Last year was a very busy year for me and I felt like the break was needed. However, having enjoyed the last six months I feel it’s now time to start building the frequency I pick up reading back up.

This week has been no exception; there is no time like the present after all. At the beginning of the week, I finished reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I didn’t have very long left at all (around about an hour’s worth of reading time if I remember correctly) and I enjoyed concluding this book. Having watched the series, I knew how it ended. It didn’t impact my enjoyment at all and I will be continuing the series.

I also picked up reading for a second time this week today. This morning I started to read Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater and already I am over halfway through this short story. It’s part of the ‘Lost Tales of Solace’ series and I’m taking part in a blog tour for this book later this month. For the most part, I’m not signing up for too many tours this year. However, having read a couple of other short stories in this series already, and also having been given copies of the main series in exchange for honest reviews (to follow), I was interested in featuring this particular author again. I am a huge fan of this series so far. My kindle reading time says I only have around 40 minutes of reading left to finish this book. I’m hoping to do that within the next day or so.

In addition to reading, I’ve also made a lot of progress listening to A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin this week. If memory serves as to where I was up to, I think I’ve listened to around 4 to 5 hours this week alone! I haven’t made that much progress for quite a while. I’ve taken to listening to it whilst working on a jumper I’m knitting at the moment; the pattern is quite straightforward right now so I can focus on both at the same time. As of the time of writing this Sunday Summary update, I only have around seven hours of the audiobook left. With the end in sight, I’m hoping to keep up progress and that I can get to the end shortly.

 

Books Discovered

I received a recommendation in the last couple of days from one of my friends at work. Her sister is quite an avid reader from what I have gathered, and she recommended to my friend a book called the Lido by Libby Page. I quite liked the sound of the book and I have looked into it on Goodreads. I’m interested in giving it a go. I think it’s a bit more lighthearted and contemporary than I would necessarily go for, but given that my friend’s sister doesn’t recommend books very often, and my friend takes note when she does… so do I, because I trust her opinion entirely!

 

Coming Up…

I really like this week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme, Which is Reasons I Love Reading. I’m fairly sure I can come up with more than ten, so I think I have plenty to share with you in this post!

When I planned to do a half-year review last week, I didn’t really cross my mind that I hadn’t done a monthly wrap up for June yet. I’m also going to make good on that error this week!

I will also be sharing a First Lines Friday post at the end of this working week and then last, but not least, I’ll round off the week with another Sunday summary update post.

That is plenty to look forward to over the next coming week! That’s all from me for today however, so have a great week and I look forward to seeing you in the next one!

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Sunday Summary – 20th June 2021

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. I hope you’ve had a very good week, as I have! I also have a week off work to look forward to, so I am a very happy bunny right now. Not only that, but my sister is on island visiting for the first time in 16 months – nothing can pop my happy bubble right now!

My first blog post of the week was a Top Ten Tuesday post; the subject of that post is all about my Summer 2021 TBR. As I am taking a bit more of a relaxed pace with reading this year, that top ten list was the books that I will be picking my Summer TBR from, rather than my reading the whole list, if that makes sense.

Then, yesterday I took part in a blog tour for The Five Things by Beth Merwood. For the tour I shared an extract from the book. If you haven’t checked that out already I would really appreciate if you could go and do so!

 

Books Read

I picked up and read some of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo earlier this week, but I confess I haven’t picked it up since. When I drafted last week’s Sunday Summary post I mentally set myself a goal to finish this one this week. That hasn’t come to pass, however I am now 80% through the book and the remaining 20% will only take me around an hour to finish (according to my kindle reading time). Depending on when I pack up to go to bed tonight, I might take this with me and try to finish it. If not I certainly intend to finish it early next week!

 

Books Discovered

When it comes to my TBR, no news is good news! I haven’t added anything new this week!

 

Coming Up…

With my sister being over for the next week, I’m actually going to take a short break from blogging, with the exception of next week’s Sunday Summary post. Thankfully I’m all caught up with blog tours for the moment, so That all worked out nicely. I will be back though for next week’s Sunday Summary and then as usual the following week!

I’ll see you in the next one!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books on my Summer TBR

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Today’s subject is all about my Summer TBR. For those of you who read my blog regularly, you will know that I have taken a bit of a step back with reading this year. I don’t particularly anticipate getting through ten reads throughout summer, but I will certainly do the best I can!

Therefore, this list is going to be the books that I will choose my TBR from, rather than a definitive list of ALL the books I’m going to read in summer.

Does that make sense? I certainly hope so… But without further ado let’s get into the books on my list!

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling

I’ve been re-reading the Harry Potter series this year and this is the next instalment on my list. I recently finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I really enjoyed that one, and I love that the books are starting to get a bit chunkier! I love a big book and I’m excited that some of the grittier aspects of Harry Potter are going to start creeping in soon. I can’t wait to pick this up!

 

Clarissa – Karl Drinkwater

This book is definitely going to be read very shortly as I am reviewing it for an upcoming blog tour next month. These are only short stories in a universe I’m already familiar with, having read other shorts in the series. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one compares and I have no doubt that I will enjoy it!

 

Ruabon – Karl Drinkwater

As with Clarissa, I am also reviewing the second short story around a week later than the first one. So, again, I will be reading this very very soon!

 

Dune – Frank Herbert

I intended to pick up Dune earlier this year, however, for one reason or another, it didn’t come to pass. I am determined to pick this up properly though, and so I imagine this will be among the next few books I decide to read.

 

Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

It has been several years since I read a book by Mark Lawrence, however, I really enjoyed his Broken Empire series when I was a teenager! So, as I’m sure you can imagine, I’m really looking forward to trying something new of his and seeing if it lives up to my recollection of The Broken Empire trilogy.

 

The Talisman – Stephen King & Peter Straub

I haven’t picked up a Stephen King book for a little while, and this is the oldest one on my TBR. It’s my mission to get through some of the oldest books on my list this year and so this one is definitely in scope. I’m reading The Dark Tower series at the moment and I love how Stephen King dabbles in a little bit of fantasy. This is completely different, to the best of my knowledge, but I’m willing to give anything a go…

 

The Feedback Loop – Harmon Cooper

The Feedback Loop is another reasonably old item on my TBR. Given that I’m really enjoying more in the way of science fiction at the moment, this is definitely one to consider picking up soon. I think it’s quite a short one compared to my typical average, so it shouldn’t take too long to read once I do pick it up.

 

The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan

The Keeper of Lost Things is a lot more contemporary than I typically pick up, however, I love the premise. As a sentimental person, I can see the appeal of the book and the narrative! With this one I was wanting to push my boundaries and try to read something new… so I hope I can get round to this before too long!

 

Hild- Nicola Griffith

It feels like an absolute age since I read a historical fiction novel. I’d say it’s my go-to genre that I haven’t picked up the longest. I’ve definitely been reading more in the way of science fiction and fantasy instead. With that in mind, I’m looking forward to getting back into historical fiction as it is one of my favourite genres. Having taken the break, I think reading Hild will be refreshing.

 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson

A summer TBR isn’t complete without a dash of humour, and this is what I expect and more from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I read a similar book recently, which blended psychology and humour. This also dabbles in a bit of self-help, which isn’t something I read much of, but I think this appeals to me for a lot of reasons!

Not giving a **** sounds like a plan to me!

So, there you have my Summer TBR (or at least the books I will be choosing my Summer TBR from). Have you read any of these books? Do you have any recommendations? Please let me know in the comments!

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