Tag: books

Sunday Summary – 23rd January 2022

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update post to round off this week. As always, I hope you’ve had a great week?

I began this week by sharing a book tag post with you all. The Bookaholics Anonymous Book Tag was really fun to get involved in and to share my answers for. I like these posts because they’re quite casual, but also give you the chance to learn a little bit about me. If you haven’t checked out that post yet you can do so using the link above, and if you’d like to take part I’d love for you to link to me so I can see your answers!

My Friday feature post this week was a Shelf Control post. This week’s featured book is one from a genre I don’t read much of. That said, this author is also a bit of a go-to for me and I won’t hesitate to read any of his books even if they’re not normally my cup of tea. He’s a household name and I’m sure if you haven’t read the book yourself, you’ve probably watched a film based on it!

 

Books Read

I don’t know what happened this week, but the amount of reading I’ve done compared to recent weeks is off the charts!

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post I was just over 200 pages into Dune by Frank Herbert, which equates to 38%. I finished the book on Wednesday! I must’ve just hit a point in the narrative where it clicked for me. It was perhaps a little bit slow to start, or at least, there was a lot of groundwork needed before the action began. My progress up until this week was getting through that, but once the action started I was in and hooked! I enjoyed reading this book – it’s been on my shelf for five years nearly and I can finally tick it off the list!

In addition, I have been reading a further two books side-by-side this week. I started with reading The Original Folk and Fairytales of the Brother’s Grimm,  translated by Jack Zipes. This is a collection of the original versions of folk and fairytales collated by the brothers and published in 1812. Even from the few I’ve read so far, the tales have changed dramatically since they were originally published. The majority of these tales were previously passed down orally, which is apparent from the way they’ve been documented. Originally, the brothers aimed to maintain as much fidelity to the oral tales as possible. They lack polish, some of them are incomplete or have alternative endings and there are some significant changes from the fairytales we know today. I like how the book includes well-known fairytales, such as Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel, but equally, there are so many other stories that we don’t know. As of this update post, I’m 79 pages into this book.

I’m finding that it’s a book to pick up in short bursts, however. With that in mind, I have also started reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling. It’s nice to have a blend of short stories that I can pick up and put down very easily, and also a longer story that is easy to take in. This particular book is a re-read so I’m fully familiar with the story, but I’m still enjoying all the same! That is obvious by my progress; I’m 124 pages into this book already.

I have listened to a very small amount of A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin this week. It’s almost not worth mentioning because it’s probably only a couple of chapters, but it’s better than nothing right?!

 

Books Discovered

 

I’ve made two additions to my TBR list this week.

The first book I’ve added is The First Binding by R. R. Virdi. It is due to be published in August this year and I like the sound of the narrative based on the synopsis. To me, the narrative sounds like it could be very reminiscent of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles books. We shall see on that front, but I’m always open to new authors and this sounds like it could be a great fantasy series!

The second addition to my TBR is Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert, the sequel to Dune. There are quite a few books in the series and it’s one that I would like to continue with and chip away at over time.

 

Coming Up…

I have prepared a book review to share with you next week. I’ve been looking back through my list of books read and decided that I’m going to share a review of Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham. I don’t read much in the way of non-fiction, but I really liked how this book balanced the entertainment of reading element, but also managed to inform and educate me as a reader. I went into this book with very little knowledge of the disaster, but that didn’t matter. If you want to check out that post, that will be going live on Tuesday.

My regular Friday feature is a First Lines Friday post this week. For this post, I’m setting myself the challenge of featuring a book I read as a teenager in my pre-blog days. I’ve read so many great ones and there are several that I would like to go back to again. I feel like this post is probably going to encourage me to do this even more! You’ll have to check out my post on Friday to see which book I’ve chosen to feature.

And last but not least, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary update.

What have you been reading this week? Do you have any recommendations for me?

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The Bookaholics Anonymous Book Tag

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

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

 

What do you like about buying books?

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

 

How often do you buy books?

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

 

Bookstore or online book shopping – which do you prefer?

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

 

Do you have a favourite bookshop?

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

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

 

Do you pre-order books?

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

Do you have a monthly book buying limit?

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

 

How big is your wishlist?

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

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

 

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

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Sunday Summary – 16th January 2022

Good evening and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary update post. As always, I hope you’ve had a fantastic week whatever you have been up to?

I have been keeping busy this week. I’ve been doing quite well in working towards getting blog posts written a little bit more in advance compared to last year. I have managed to get myself organised nicely so this will be continuing going forward. It’s a little bit more work in the short term, but in the long term, I will be drafting posts in the same kind of frequency, just a week in advance!

The post I shared at the beginning of this week was a book review for Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It’s one of those books that you start to review and honestly question whether you can do it justice! I enjoyed this book and I hope that comes across in my review; if there is anyone who dismisses reading classics because they read them at school or they think they’re boring and stuffy then I’d ask you to please give them a chance. Of all the books I’ve read, I would say Brave New World is a great one to try. It is easy to follow and it’s a relatively short read as well!

My Friday feature post this week was a First Lines Friday post. In that post, I set myself the challenge of featuring a non-fiction novel. This week’s excerpt is deliberately short because the scene depicted gets a little bit graphic after the opening paragraph. In the interest of not upsetting anyone I’ve excluded it, but the first paragraph gives you an idea of the content of the book. I am personally excited to read this one!

 

Books Read

As of last week‘s Sunday Summary update I was 62 pages into Dune by Frank Herbert. Dune has been my main area of progress this week, with a further 140 pages read.

I’m really enjoying the storyline, however in terms of what is going on and the writing style I find it quite dense. It’s the sort of book that is good to read, but is best picked up little and often. I usually find I get about 30 odd pages through before I have to put it down again to digest what I’ve read. It doesn’t detract from the story or anything at all; I am really enjoying it. I just can’t read it in large quantities! Having said that, the last time I picked up the book I think I managed to get around 40 or 50 pages through before I had to put it down. Maybe I’m getting used to it, or maybe it was just an exceptionally good part. I am looking forward to picking this up tonight once this post has gone live and continuing this over the next week!

As well as reading Dune, I’ve also been continuing to listen to A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin this week. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I haven’t listen to as much of this audiobook this week as I wanted to, or should have. That’s okay though! The important thing is to read and listen at a pace I’m happy with and what I have listened to has been really good.

 

Books Discovered

For the first time in a few weeks I can happily say that I haven’t added anything else to my reading list this week!

 

Coming Up…

Early next week I am sharing a book tag on my blog. It’s one that I saw completed by another blogger and I thought it would be fun to take part in! It’s been a little while since I’ve done anything like that. I really enjoy reading these posts because you get to learn a little bit about the person behind the blog. But also, they’re fun to write. This particular tag is called The Bookaholics Anonymous Book Tag and I hope you can check that out in the coming days.

My regular feature on Friday is going to be a Shelf Control post. This week’s featured book is a good one and slightly different from the usual content of my blog. There’s only one author I would read without hesitation who frequents the horror genre – Stephen King. I’m excited to be featuring one of his books later this week – but you’ll have to check my post out on Friday if you want to find out which book I’m talking about!

And as always, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary post.

Until then, I hope you have a great week! Are you currently reading or listening to any interesting books?

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First Lines Friday – 14/01/2022

Hello and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular series in which I take the opportunity to share the opening paragraph from a variety of books. These may be books I’ve already read, are looking to read, or am even just a little bit intrigued about! Sometimes I set myself a challenge for these posts, but other times I leave it open to feature whatever catches my eye. 

For today’s post, I set myself the challenge of featuring a non-fiction book. At first, I was going through my list of non-fiction books on my TBR to find one to feature, however, today’s book is one I discovered in Goodread’s lists or recommendations whilst I was browsing around.

Can you guess what today’s featured book is?

 

There would be plenty of time for questions later.

For now, the nurses and security were intent upon breaking the lethal nine-hour barricade inside the little corner of hell that resident murderer Robert ‘Bob’ Maudsley had created. Bob and his companion, David Cheeseman, had sealed themselves inside with a third patient, David Francis, a known paedophile. He had apparently riled Bob and David Cheeseman by conducting a homosexual attack on one of their friends. Inside sources had a reason to believe, though, that their preference if opportunity had presented was to ‘go for a member of staff’.

 

 

Inside Broadmoor – Jonathan Levi & Emma French

Goodreads – Inside Broadmoor

Broadmoor. Few place names in the world have such chilling resonance. For over 150 years, it has contained the UK’s most violent, dangerous and psychopathic.

Since opening as an asylum for the criminally insane in 1863 it has housed the perpetrators of many of the most shocking crimes in history; including Jack the Ripper suspect James Kelly, serial killers Peter Sutcliffe (the Yorkshire Ripper), John Straffen and Kenneth Erskine, armed robber Charles Bronson, gangster Ronnie Kray, and cannibal Peter Bryan.

The truth about what goes on behind the Victorian walls of the high security hospital has largely remained a mystery, but now with unprecedented access TV journalist Jonathan Levi and cultural historian Emma French paint a vivid picture of life at Broadmoor, after nearly a decade observing and speaking to those on the inside.

Including interviews with the staff, its experts and the patients themselves, Inside Broadmoor is the most comprehensive study of the institution to-date.

Published at the dawn of a new era for the hospital, this is the full story of Broadmoor’s past, present and future.

 

My Thoughts…

Doesn’t that extract draw you in straightaway? Now, I appreciate that today’s snippet is quite short, however that is deliberate. Something unpleasant happens to David Francis next, and in the interest of keeping my block neutral and not risking upsetting anyone with graphic scenes, I’ve left the rest out. So there is a warning to you – if you’re not squeamish and you want to find out what happens next then you’ll have to pick this up for yourself!

Obviously I have read it and although it’s unpleasant i’m not sensitive to things like this. Naturally growing up you’ve heard of Broadmoor. When studying performing arts in high school one of our plays involved a child who had links to Broadmoor. That said, I wouldn’t say I know that much about the institution or about the people incarcerated there. The thing I like about non-fiction is that it gives you the opportunity to learn something new, and I have much to learn here. As a former student of psychology as well I am interested in the people involved from that perspective as well. Every day is a school day, so they say!

Have you read Inside Broadmoor, or anything like it? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Review: Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Since it has been about a month since I last shared a book review I’ve decided it’s time to get my thinking cap on and share my thoughts with you on a previous read. When perusing through the list of books I’ve read I discovered that I hadn’t yet reviewed Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I confess that my first thought was along the lines of ‘where do I even begin reviewing this?’. But, I’m going to do my best to do the book justice!

Since classic novels are typically taught in school I think a lot of people have the misconception that they’re going to be dry, dull or that no one in a million years would want to spend their free time reading them. After I left school I said the same thing. I have a whole host of opinions on how the education system doesn’t promote reading, but that’s for another day. However, they do need to be given their due. Classic novels can be great reads. I’ve even gone back to books that I read and hated at school and I enjoyed them. I wish they were given more of a chance, and if I were to suggest you pick up any, Brave New World is a great one to start with!

And, if you’re not sure, there is a TV series based on the book on Now TV. You could always give that a try first? Although it’s not 100% true to the book (but covers the main topics and concepts well), I still enjoyed it regardless!

 

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

Goodreads – Brave New World

Brave New World is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley, written in 1931 and published in 1932. Largely set in a futuristic World State, inhabited by genetically modified citizens and an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society that is challenged by only a single individual: the story’s protagonist.

 

My Thoughts…

Not only is the plot of Brave New World interesting, but it’s one of the shorter classic books I’ve read at just over 260 pages. This is why I think it’s a great place to start; it’s not intimidating and it has plenty to offer despite the reduced page count.

Some of the undoubtedly futuristic elements in Brave New World (considering it was published in 1932) are not so wild in the present day. One of the groundbreaking elements of the book is that humans are not born traditionally, but are genetically modified for desirable qualities, fertilised in vitro and are effectively incubated until birth. Whilst we don’t exactly have a designer baby thing going on, treatments such as IVF are now available and can involve an element of this.

Equally, the clinical aspect of birth control was in its infancy in the 1930s. Yes, for thousands of years there have been home remedies and techniques to prevent it. Even giving birth control advice was only allowed in Britain in 1930. It’s strange to consider because prescriptions for it now are so commonplace.

I find it fascinating to compare the ideas that authors had decades ago as to what was futuristic to them at the time and what similar theories we as a society have now about the next few decades. What I wonder the most about is whether the ideas written by these authors have given birth to the reality, or whether they did have an inkling of human capabilities and technological advancements that were within reach of mankind. Kind of like the chicken and egg argument.

There may be similarities between the societies of Brave New World and the modern-day, but there are also very distinct differences. For example, Brave New World has a completely different social class system, based on intelligence, to the one we used to. Citizens are effectively controlled by the use of ‘feel-good’ drugs and activities. There is no such thing as sadness or lack of purpose. Everybody has their role and they fulfil it to the best of their ability. They don’t have to think, they just have to do as they’re told. On the surface that might sound good, but I think it would be hell.

I’ve read plenty of other reviews that suggest this is a good read for anyone who has or has suffered from depression. It emphasises the point that feeling good all the time isn’t where it’s at. To appreciate the highs, sometimes you need to take the lows that go with it. And I can see that. It makes sense. If you always had the same thing you have nothing to compare it against.

Have you ever read Brave New World? Would you recommend it or would you be prepared to read it based on recommendation? As always, you can let me know in the comments or via social media.

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Sunday Summary – 9th January 2022

Good evening everyone and welcome to my weekly Sunday Summary update. It’s been a busy week since my last post! Not only have I been working towards my goal of preparing blog posts a little bit earlier, but I’ve also been reading a lot more than I have been for several months.

At the beginning of this week, I shared my Monthly TBR post. Yes, I’m back to sharing reading lists, but with a little more flexibility than before. Instead of giving myself a completely fixed list for the month, I’ve decided on a compromise and I’m only setting myself a couple of books on each TBR. That allows me some time and space to pick up any other book(s) I want to read once those are done. This way I think I get the best of both worlds. I get the structure of having a couple of fixed ones, but also the flexibility to be able to pick up anything on a whim!

Later in the week, I shared a Shelf Control post with you. This week’s featured book is one that I’m excited to pick up. From what my mum has told me this is the start of the series that my grandad used to enjoy reading. I’m looking forward to picking it up and seeing if we have a commonality in enjoying this particular series. And it sounds good and I trust his judgement so I’m sure I will!

 

Books Read

As of last week‘s Sunday Summary update post I was 75% through reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. I had every confidence that I was going to be telling you I had finished this book this week and I’m pleased to tell you that is the case! I finished this reasonably quickly after sharing my last update with you! The narrative has a lot of different elements and I loved how it brought them together. It was a real mix of genres and I enjoyed how they were blended together.

Next, I decided to pick up The Feedback Loop by Harmon Cooper. This particular book is only a couple of hundred pages long and I wanted to capitalise on my newfound motivation. I’m glad I made this decision because I managed to finish The Feedback Loop within a couple of evenings. It was really easy to read, full of action and there’s plenty of plotline to keep the reader invested for those couple of hundred pages. From my experience of the first book I’m not sure I’ll go on to read the rest of the series, but it was a perfectly adequate standalone novel to pick up for a quick read!

And then last, but not least, I have made a start reading Dune by Frank Herbert. Given that there’s been a film released recently I’ve seen a lot of people getting copies of this book or even reading it as well. I had actually intended to read this earlier, but last year was a bit of a strange one for me and I didn’t have motivation to pick it up in earnest. However, that is not the case now! I’m currently 62 pages in so I’ve made a solid start. I’ve gotten further than I ever have before into giving this ago and I can’t wait to see how the plot unfolds. It seems like it’s an interesting science-fiction that’s going to have an underpinning element of politics between the characters. I i’ve really enjoyed these kind of elements in previous books (Game of Thrones being the obvious example) and so I can’t wait to see how this works within a science fiction!

Speaking of A Game of Thrones, I have also been listening to my audiobook, A Storm of Swords, as well. One of my plans to help get through this particular audiobook was to listen to it (at least) during my morning and evening commute to work. I didn’t quite do that every day, however I did it for most and I also managed to sneak in an extra hour or two here and there throughout the week. I’m pleased with how far I am through at the moment and I think I’m on track to be close to finishing this by the end of the month.

 

Books Discovered

I added a good few books to my TBR recently. In last week’s Sunday Summary update I shared a fair old list. Whilst I would love to say that I haven’t added any more because frankly I already have enough, I’d be lying. I decided to go for a look in our local Waterstones on Friday (as I had some vouchers that were obviously burning a hole in my pocket), and well, you probably know what’s coming. I bought myself a couple. Shock!

Now technically, only one of the books I bought is a new addition to my TBR. After the release of Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff, I promptly added this to my list to be read. I have really come to love he’s never night series and I knew straightaway that I wanted to pick this up. Having seen a gorgeous hardcover copy in Waterstones, I had to. I just had to!

The second book I purchased is Starsight by Brandon Sanderson. It’s the second book of the Skyward series; I already have the first book upstairs. Brandon Sanderson is a go-to author for me. I absolutely love his works and the variety between them and so this was a no-brainer to pick up. I was, however, surprised to see that although I had a copy of Skyward upstairs already, I hadn’t added this first book to my TBR. A slight oversight on my part, but now both Skyward and Starsight are safely on the list to be read.

At some point.

 

Coming Up…

Early next week I will be sharing a book review with you all! It has been about a month since my last one and so I felt it time to start sharing them again. If I’m going to be reading more than before I’m going to have to step up the number of reviews I’m sharing. I also have a bit of a backlog, so you can expect to see more of these soon. For this week’s feature, I am sharing my thoughts on Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I really enjoyed reading this classic novel and given that it’s a reasonably short one I think it’s a great one for anyone to pick up.

Later in the week I’ll be back with a First Lines Friday feature. Whilst I haven’t christened the particular book I’m going to be featuring yet (and I will be deciding and preparing this post imminently) I have decided that I’m going to set myself a challenge of featuring a non-fiction book. I hope you can join me on Friday to check out what this week’s featured book is!

And as always, I’ll be rounding off the week with another Sunday Summary update and sharing with you all my reading news.

 

Until then, I hope you have a great week! Are you currently reading or listening to any interesting books?

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Sunday Summary – 2nd January 2022

Good evening everyone and welcome to my first Sunday Summary post of 2022. I have a lot of optimism and motivation for the year! It has been a couple of weeks since my last Sunday Summary post, and so I have a few updates for you!

After my last Sunday Summary post on the 19th December 2021, I announced that I was going to be taking a short break for the festive period. I had family over visiting and it was lovely to just chill out and enjoy spending a wonderful Christmas with everyone!

That’s not to say that nothing was going on in the background, however. After Christmas I started drafting some blog posts ready for the New Year. In particular, I drafted and shared an End of Year Review post for 2021 and shared that on Friday. In that post I looked back at my goals and resolutions for 2021 and discussed how I feel I got on with them. Ultimately, I achieved what I wanted to, which was to take a step back and give myself break whilst still enjoying my hobby. I’m happy that I managed to do this and I still read a decent number of books, so I’ll take that as a win!

I also drafted and another post which I shared with you yesterday. In that post I talked about my New Year Goals/Resolutions for 2022. The main highlight from that post is that I’m back in the game. I got the break I needed and I’m motivated to start setting myself some challenges again. I’m doing so in moderation because I know that I don’t want to burn out again. Not only that, but I have expanded on other hobbies and interests and I will be continuing with those as well. My aim for 2022 is to achieve balance. If you want to read more you can do so using the link provided above to yesterday‘s post!

 

Books Read

Despite it being two weeks since my last update, I’ll confess that all of my recent reading progress has taken place in the last week. As of my last Sunday Summary update I was around 25% of the way through The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. In the last few days I’ve been making a solid effort with this and I’m now 75% of the way through the book. If you needed proof that I am back and raring to go then take this as a sign! I love all the different facets to the story and the most recent plot developments are really intriguing. At this rate, I’m hoping to be telling you next week that I’ve finished this. It’s a shame I’ll have finished it a couple of weeks late to return this to my sister’s boyfriend Chris, but never mind!

In my last Sunday Summary post I was nearly finished with Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell; I only had around 30 minutes of audio left. I’m pleased to say that I finished listening to this one whilst commuting home from work one day this week. To be honest I didn’t think I wasn’t going to achieve this. It was only a little bit left and I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Sebastien de Castell is a new author to me and I really enjoyed this book! I am definitely continuing with this series (I’ve already purchased the audiobooks ready to go). I also discovered this week is that I’ve had my eye on another series written by him (Spellslinger), but I hadn’t realised that it was the same author. If I go on to love the rest of these books as I have the first then it’s safe to say I’ll be delving into the second series!

For now though, I’ve started listening to another audiobook. It’s a solid favourite and I can’t wait to get back into this series. I have already read the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series (a.k.a. A Game of Thrones) at least twice but I’m also now listening to the books. They are very long but audiobooks are an easy way to digest them. I’ve already listened to the first two in the series and so I have moved on to A Storm of Swords. This audiobook is over 47 hours long, so I have my work cut out for me to listen to it. My goal however is to make a habit of listening to it regularly. If I can achieve that then I think I can complete this by the end of January. Wish me luck!

 

Books Discovered

I have been very good and not added many books to my TBR for a good few weeks. But, you know, Christmas has been and gone and so that streak ends here.

I was very lucky to receive copies of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, The Appeal by Janice Hallett and The Promise by Damon Galgut for Christmas. I’m collecting clothbound classics and so the copy of Oliver Twist was very well received for that reason! I’m also really happy to have received the other two books. I hadn’t really read much about them up until I received them, however both books sound really interesting! They were also given to me by someone who has a similar reading taste, so I have every confidence that I’m going to enjoy them!

If that wasn’t enough, I’ve added a couple books to my TBR that I’ve come across as part of completing my CPD for work. I don’t tend to read much in the way of self-help, but I think I could benefit from these two books. The books I have added are Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. The crux of both titles is to help the reader develop ways in which to effectively communicate with others, particularly where differences of opinion occur. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I’m not the most diplomatic of people, so I am sure I have plenty to learn from these books!

And then last, but certainly not least, I watched The Imitation Game on New Year’s Eve. It was a fantastic film and all of the actors were brilliant! I don’t watch films very often but I really enjoyed this one. And obviously, we get to the end and I find out it’s based on a book called Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. So of course, that’s now on the list as well!

It’s a good job I’ve found my reading motivation, right?!

 

Coming Up…

I already have a blog post scheduled for you that is going live tomorrow. If you’ve already read my New Year Goals/Resolutions for 2022 post then you will know that I am setting a monthly TBR for myself again. I’m doing so with a bit of a twist; I’m only setting a couple of books for the month and allowing myself time and space to pick up mood reads as and when those are done. I have shared my fixed list, as well as a couple of provisional titles that I might pick up. But, they may well change once I’ve read the fixed list. If you want to find out what I’m going to be reading in January then check out tomorrow’s post!

I will shortly be drafting the second post of the week, which is a Shelf Control post that will be going live on Friday. I’m working towards drafting my blog posts (with the exception of the Sunday Summary) at least a week in advance and I’m getting there. The book I will be featuring in Friday’s Shelf Control post is an interesting one, because if I remember correctly, my mum says that this is a series that my grandad enjoyed reading. The synopsis of this first book sounds really good, so even without that knowledge I would still be picking this up anyway. If I’ve piqued your interest then make sure to check out my blog on Friday!

And as always, last but not least, I’ll be back with you this time next week for another Sunday Summary update.

Until then, I hope you have a great week full of fantastic books and all the other fun stuff. What are you reading? Have you set yourself a reading goal for 2022?

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Sunday Summary – 19th December 2021

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update! I hope you’ve had a great week? I cannot believe that in a week’s time Christmas will be over – it seems to have flown again this year! Are you looking forward to it?

This week I have shared a couple of blog posts with you already. On Tuesday I took part in sharing my Top Ten books on my Winter TBR. As with every TBR list I’ve shared this year it is subject to change (depending on my mood), but it was also a fun way to have a think about the books I’ll be reading within the next few months.

Later in the week, I shared a First Lines Friday post. Given that we are on the approach to Christmas I set myself a challenge of featuring a book set it winter. I’m really happy with my choice. It didn’t occur to me straight away when I set myself the challenge, however, in hindsight it should have. It’s a book I read not that long ago and is an absolute classic; can you identify it from the introduction?

 

Books Read

Progress this week has seen me reading a little bit more of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. I read a little bit of this during my lunch hour this week for the first time in a long time. It may sound daft, but I am proud of myself for doing that. I’ve slipped into the habit of spending my lunch hour either going out, knitting or playing on my phone and not doing much productive. I definitely want to make an effort to read a little bit more at work; it’s a great way to unwind a little and make a habit of reading regularly.

I have also listened to a little bit more of Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. I am so close to the end now! I have around 30 minutes left to listen to and that is all. I have loved listening to this audiobook and it has been refreshing to be able to make quick progress with something and also get back into the habit of listening regularly. I will be finishing this audiobook very very very soon, so my next update you can expect to see this ticked off the list.

 

Books Discovered

Nothing to add here once again, I’m pleased to report!

 

Coming Up…

As I’ve already mentioned we are fast on the approach to Christmas. I have decided that I will be taking the next week and a half (just over) off to enjoy making final preparations and also spending time with family. I’m also going to be taking the time to reflect on what I have achieved this year and make some plans for the coming year.

So, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I will be back in the New Year!

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First Lines Friday – 17/12/2021

Hello and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular series in which I take the opportunity to share the opening introductions of a multitude of books. These may be books I’ve already read, are looking to read, or am even just a little bit intrigued about.

For today’s post, I set myself the challenge of featuring a book set in winter. I must admit at first I was wracking my brains trying to think of one interesting enough to share. It’s a bit of a bizarre topic to go hunting for books around, but having gone back to the subject it almost hit me at once. It was not a hard choice and if I think it’s one that you have a good chance of identifying straight away from the introduction.

Can you guess what today’s featured book is?

 

Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from London during the war because of the air-raids. They were sent to the house of an old professor who lived in the heart of the country, 10 miles from the nearest railway station and 2 miles from the nearest post office. He had no wife and he lived in a very large house with a housekeeper called Mrs Macready and three servants. (Their names were Ivy, Margaret and Betty, but they do not come into the story much.) He himself was a very old man with shaggy white hair which grew over most of his face as well as on his head, and they liked him almost at once; but on the first evening when he came out to meet them at the front door he was so odd-looking that Lucy (who was the youngest) was a little afraid of him, and Edmund (who was the next youngest) wanted to laugh and had to keep on pretending he was blowing his nose to hide it.

 

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis

Goodreads – The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

Narnia… the land beyond the wardrobe door, a secret place frozen in eternal winter, a magical country waiting to be set free.

Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor’s mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don’t believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch. When they meet the Lion Aslan, they realize they’ve been called to a great adventure and bravely join the battle to free Narnia from the Witch’s sinister spell.

 

My Thoughts…

Why it didn’t occur to me to feature this book for today’s First Lines Friday post when I set myself a challenge last Sunday is beyond me. I read this book fairly recently (and in one sitting too) so it should have popped into my head straight away! Granted, it doesn’t all take place in winter… however Narnia is iconic for its wintery setting and so I felt it an obvious choice for today’s post.

I really enjoyed this short story. It’s probably more targeted and suited to a younger audience, however since I didn’t actually read it in my childhood (insofar as I can remember anyway) I wanted to rectify that now that I’m older. It was nice to read because it was a little bit simpler and shorter. It made a break from the usual reads I pick up and it was a refreshing change.

Were you able to identify today’s featured book from the introduction? Have you read this book and any others in the series? Let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Summary – 12th December 2021

Hello and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. As always, I hope you’ve had a great week! If you are unfamiliar with my blog, my Sunday Summary posts are a chance to talk about what I’ve been doing and genuinely catch you up with what I’ve been reading and sharing on my blog over the last week.

Earlier this week I shared a book review that has been outstanding for some time. I read the book back in August of last year, so needless to say it was time to share my thoughts with you! I really enjoyed reading The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell, which is a historical fiction based on the Viking invasion of Britain. If you want to check out my full thoughts, I’ll provide a link to the review above.

Later in the week I shared a Shelf Control post. In these posts I review my TBR and take a look at the next book on the list – if I’m still interested I will feature it on my blog and share with you just why I can’t wait to read it! It is also a good opportunity to clear out my list of anything that I no longer want to read. Goodness knows it could do with a bit of trimming… writing this series has definitely enabled me to do this, but this week’s featured book was not going to be written off under any circumstances. In fact, I’m so confident that I’ll enjoy it I went ahead and bought myself a paperback copy in advance. If you know me, you know I only do that for books I love; I don’t have all the bookshelf space in the world so I tend to keep favourites in physical copy.

 

Books Read

I’ve concluded that I’m not in the right frame of mind to continue reading Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love his works, but I think this is just too big of a beast for me at the moment. I’ve been trying to read this for a number of weeks now and I’m just not making much progress with it. I’m not DNF’ing it per se, but I’ve decided I’m going to go back to it at a later date. Hopefully, I can get my reading mojo back and then take this 1000+ pages book on!

Instead I have chosen to pick up The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. This is actually a loan from my sister’s boyfriend and I’m hoping to return this to him when they come over for Christmas. So, I’d best get cracking! I’m currently only a couple of chapters in, but my decision to set aside Words of Radiance temporarily came very late on in the week. This book is still a solid read (probably around 500 pages) but it’s a lot shorter… and I set myself a deadline to get it read, so I’m sure I will!

I’ve also listened to a few more chapters of Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell this week. I’m now about 80% of the way through this audiobook, which is really good considering that I tend to listen to them on and off. I have definitely gotten better in recent week in terms of listening to audiobooks more regularly. All I can say is long may it continue!

 

Books Discovered

You are probably going to think me really boring with this addition, however I have added a book to my TBR this week that is kind of work-related. I don’t really talk about it much because that’s not what you’re here for, but I work in an investment based role. One of the books I’ve added this week is in relation to financial markets. I recently watched a program on television which was about the 2008 recession and it’s causes. I found it really interesting because I didn’t really know much about it; I was reasonably young when this happened. Along a similar vein I think I will enjoy The Asian Financial Crisis 1995-98: Birth of the Age of Debt by Russell Napier. It’s not something I really heard about until earlier this week when I read some articles about it. I appreciate that it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea so I’ll probably read it but won’t review it here. 

 

Coming Up…

I fancy taking part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post. The topic is Books on My Winter 2021 To-read List. I like the idea of taking part because I think it might help with getting excited about reading again and give me a little burst of motivation that I think I need. Also, it’s a means of starting to plan into next year and get some ideas together about what my reading plans for 2022 are. I hope you can join me to find out what’s on my list!

Later in the week I will be back with a First Lines Friday post. I’m really looking forward to this post because I’m setting myself the challenge of featuring a book set in winter. I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to pick yet but that’s half the fun! I hope you can take a look and find out which book I choose to feature later in the week.

For now though that is all from me in today’s Sunday Summary update post. Have a great one and I’ll catch up with you this time next week.

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