Tag: books

Sunday Summary – 3rd May 2020

Hey guys and welcome back to another Sunday Summary post! This week’s post is actually going to be a pretty short one, so let’s just jump right into it!

I only published one blog post this week (aside from this Sunday Summary post), and that was a review of Magical Intelligence by M K Wiseman. This was a blog tour post that I signed up for a little while back. I was one of the first bloggers to take part in the tour as it started on the 30th April. If you have read my post and want to check out more, the tour runs until the 6th May and there are plenty of other bloggers taking part!

 

Books Read

 

The best way to describe my reading progress this week is negligible. I have picked up both The Women’s Room and Boom Time this week, but probably for no more than 30 minutes each. I’ve been really distracted lately and my reading motivation was already suffering thanks to current circumstances. What free time I have had, I’ve spent doing some other more engaging hobbies. I’m particularly enjoying making all kinds of crochet squares that will come together to make a throw once they’re finished. Learning new patterns has been fun! Aside from that, I’ve bee getting out where I can for walks to get outside. Isn’t funny how you enjoy it so much more when you are restricted?

Not only that, but I have been spending a lot of time this week (and weekend) packing and cleaning the place up. It was my last weekend here to tackle the big jobs in getting ready to move. Needless to say, reading has almost gone out of the window at the moment. I’m in a pretty good headspace now so once this post goes live I’m going to sit and read for a bit. I can’t really say how much I am going to get done in the next week or so.

 

Books Discovered

 

There are no new additions here again this week – I think we’ve already clarified that I’ve been a little busy with other things!

 

Coming Up…

I already had in the back of my head that next week is going to be mental for me. With that in mind, I have already drafted a post for tomorrow. Typically I share a reading list post at the beginning of the month, but this one is a little different.

I’m also going to draft and schedule a Shelf Control post for Friday. They are a regular feature here and really easy to write, so I can prepare this in good time and get on with everything else I need to.

I’m also planning on catching up with you all next week in another Sunday Summary post. I’m really sorry I can’t promise much, but hopefully I can have a bit of a bookish update for you.

That’s all from me today! I hope you have made better reading progress than I have. What are you reading right now?

 

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Sunday Summary – 26th April 2020

Hey everyone! You know what time it is – time for another Sunday Summary post! Another week has absolutely flown by!

I decided this time last week that I wanted to draft up two reviews this week. With that in mind, I started the week with an audiobook review for Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I have recently listened to the sequel, Crooked Kingdom, so I figured now was the right time to get my thoughts together on the first book. My second review of the week was for Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I adored this book when I read it in October last year – so much so, I binge-read the rest of the trilogy before the end of the year! I cannot recommend the books enough, I honestly can’t!

On Friday I shared another First Lines Friday post. This week I decided to change things up and featured a book that is still on my TBR at the moment. I really like the sound of this historical fiction novel and have read other similar ones by other authors. I’m sure it’ll be just as good as the others I have read.

 

Books Read

This week has been a bit of a weird one. I left off last week’s Sunday Summary post haveing just started Boom Time by Michelle Lowe. I continued with this one for a little while, but I wasn’t really feeling it. It’s not that I’m not enjoying it, I just think I need a break from the genre. I’ve read a few fantasy novels back-to-back lately and so a change was welcome!

With that in mind, I decided to pick up The Women’s Room by Marilyn French. It was definitely the right decision to switch as I am getting on quite well with that. I’m currently 26% through this one, which is about 130 pages.

Some of you may be thinking that this is nowhere near the reading pace I set myself, and you’re right. My stall in reading has partly been down to choice, and in other ways by necessity. I tend to read a lot during the evenings, but this week I decided to set that aside most of my reading time on Monday-Thursday evening in favour of watching the Rocky films on ITV4. I like them, but I don’t think I have ever watched them in full. I really wanted to and figured its okay to take a little break from the regular routine here and there. Now I have watched them, except number 5. I have it on good authority (my mum) that one isn’t as good as the rest and so I didn’t watch this one. I read on Friday night.

I also haven’t had a lot of time to read this weekend. My postponed house move is back on and due to take place shortly, so I’ve spent the weekend packing up and getting ready for it!

 

Books Discovered

I think it’s safe to say I’ve been a little too busy to be book browsing this week! Nothing to add here!

 

Coming Up…

I’m scaling back my posts this week so that I have some time on my hands to carry on packing, but also to try draft up some posts to keep my blog ticking over during my house move. It’s not going to happen overnight and it’ll take me a good while to get sorted on the other side, so I might still end up taking a brief break from blogging. I’m talking a week, two tops.

We’re not there yet though, so let’s talk about what I am sharing next week! I won’t be sharing a post for a few days at the beginning of next week, so my first post will be going live on Thursday. I am taking part in a blog tour for Magical Intelligence by M. K. Wiseman. You may recall I read this earlier on in the month. I’m glad I did now! I’d hate to be trying to rush reading it now.

Then, as usual, I’ll be rounding up the week with another Sunday Summary post. I’m not sure how much reading I’ll get done next week… but I’ll do my best!

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary update. What are you reading?

 

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First Lines Friday – 24/04/2020

Welcome back to another First Lines Friday post! In today’s post I am changing things up a bit. I have been featuring some older reads in the last few First Lines Friday posts, however this week I am featuring something on my TBR, or To Be Read pile, instead.

I’ve selected this book completely at random. I basically did a quick scroll through the list without looking and picked the one I stopped on. Sometimes it’s nice to do things a little random.So, without further adieu, here is this week’s book. Can you guess the book from the introduction?

The Nazi officers are dressed in black. They look at death with the indifference of a gravedigger. In Auschwitz, human life has so little value that no one is shot anymore; a bullet is more valuable than a human being. In Auschwitz there are communal chambers where they administer Zyklon gas. It’s cost-effective, killing hundreds of people with just one tank. Death has become an industry that is profitable only if it’s done wholesale.

The officers have no idea that in the family camp in Auschwitz, on top of the dark mud into which everything sinks, Alfred Hirsch has established a school. They don’t know it, and it’s essential that they should not know it. Some inmates didn’t believe it was possible. They though Hirsch was crazy or naive,: How could you teach children in this brutal extermination camp where everything is forbidden? But Hirsch would smile. He was always smiling enigmatically, as if he knew something that no one else did. ‘It doesn’t matter how many schools the Nazis close, he would say to them. ‘Each time someone stops to tell a story and children listen, a school has been established.’

Shall we find out what it is?

The Librarian of Auschwitz – Antonio Iturbe

Goodreads – The Librarian of Auschwitz

Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.

Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.

Goodreads

Purchase links:  Amazon UK      Amazon US     Waterstones

I have read and listened to a number of books from this time period and setting already. The conditions people had to suffer were horrendous. It’s awful, but I honestly believe that education about it is the way to prevent history from repeating itself.

I’m really looking forward to reading this novel and take on life in concentration camps from a new author. The main character is all about preserving books, so she has won me over already!

Have you read The Librarian of Auschwitz?

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***Please note this post contains affiliate links, meaning that I will earn a small commission on purchases made through them. If you like what you read and are interested in purchasing a copy of the book(s) featured in this post, please consider using these links and supporting a book blogger!

Thank you!***

Sunday Summary – 19th April 2020

I feel really good about today’s Sunday Summary post and the updates I have for you all this week. I hope you have all had a good one?

I began the week with a fun Top Ten Tuesday post. I don’t know about you, but in light of the current situation, I find myself thinking a lot about the books I could dive into to forget all the madness. If you do but are looking for some inspiration on what to pick up, then my top ten books for a little escapism might be of interest to you. Even if you already know your books of choice, you’re welcome to come and have a nosy at my recommendations too!

On Friday I shared another Shelf Control post. It’s unusual of me to have a collection of short stories on the TBR – I tend to read longer novels. There are a few exceptions to the rule, however. I received a beautiful copy of this week’s book from my aunt for my birthday three years ago.

 

Books Read

My main read over the course of this week has been The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson. I did briefly start this last week to change up what I was reading midweek. I had read the first few chapters, taking me to 13%. As expected, I loved this book! I’ve really enjoyed reading the 2nd era Mistborn books over the last few months. I just have to wait for the last one, due out next year!

I’ve also made a start on my next read, Boom Time by Michelle Lowe. The intro is quite wacky, so I’m interested to see where the rest of the book goes. If it lives up to the blurb, I think it’ll be a good one!

In addition to physical reads, I’ve also made further progress with Moon Over Soho this week. I’ve slowed down a little compared to the progress I have been making in the last couple of weeks, but I’ve still managed to listen to about half of this. That takes me to about 75% of the way through, so fingers crossed I’ll have this finished shortly.

 

Books Discovered

As with last week’s Sunday Summary post, I’ve been very good again! I’ve been keeping myself distracted with the books I have and finishing my crochet project, so there are no new books on the TBR this week. Here’s my finished crochet baby blanket, which I am really proud of! My friend really liked it and it’s had a lot of love on Instagram as well, which is a bonus!

View this post on Instagram

About 5 years ago I taught myself how to crochet 🧶 using online resources (YouTube etc). I haven’t picked it up in a long while, but I decided it would be a great way to pass the time during isolation. My friend has also had a baby very recently, so I wanted to make a gift for her little one 👶🏼 . This is the end result! I found the pattern online (Daisy Farm Crafts) and I love it! I’m really happy with how it’s turned out! . What hobbies are getting you through social distancing at the moment? . #bookworm #bookblogger #happy #books #bookaddict #amreading #asongoficeandfire #georgerrmartin #adancewithdragons #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #booksofinsta #booklove #daisyfarmcrafts #crochet #crafting #blanket

A post shared by Rebecca @ Reviewsfeed (@reviewsfeed) on

 

Coming Up…

I want to try and work on some of the reviews I have outstanding next week. With that in mind, I am planning on posting my thoughts on two books. The first is going to be an audiobook review for Six of Crows by Leight Bardugo. I listened to this a little while ago now, however, the book and characters are still fresh in my mind from listening to the second part of the duology recently.

The second review of the week will be for the start of a series I devoured last year. I was a fan of Laini Taylor’s even before reading her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Now, I am even more so! You can find out why in that review!

This Friday I’ll be sharing another First Lines Friday post. The past few posts have featured books that I read some time ago, so this week I’m changing it up. I’ll feature a book that is currently on my TBR instead (and probably torment myself over how good it is and subsequently want to read it). That’s the life of a reader… what can I say?

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary post! I hope you have enjoyed catching up with me! What are you currently reading?

 

 

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Shelf Control #18 – 17/04/2020

Today’s Friday feature post is all about Shelf Control – or in my case, lack of it (and deluding myself that I have it by way of these posts)! Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, 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!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

Shelf Control gives me the chance to look in more depth at the books I have added to my TBR. It’s a great chance to talk about why I want to keep the featured book; it also acts as a second sweep to my Down the TBR Hole posts for anything that I may have changed my mind about. I have actually deleted a few books doing this sweep. I don’t necessarily own all the books (yet), but I will have a reasonable number of them. I’ve also gone on to read a couple of the earliest books on the list, so this mini-series is proving useful!

In today’s post, I am featuring a collection of short stories. I don’t have many of these on my reading list, but I wanted a physical copy of these specifically. They are stories that most people know, in some form.

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm – Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

Goodreads – The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

When Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm published their Children’s and Household Tales in 1812, followed by a second volume in 1815, they had no idea that such stories as “Rapunzel,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “Cinderella” would become the most celebrated in the world. Yet few people today are familiar with the majority of tales from the two early volumes, since in the next four decades the Grimms would publish six other editions, each extensively revised in content and style. For the very first time, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm makes available in English all 156 stories from the 1812 and 1815 editions. These narrative gems, newly translated and brought together in one beautiful book, are accompanied by sumptuous new illustrations from award-winning artist Andrea Dezso.

From “The Frog King” to “The Golden Key,” wondrous worlds unfold–heroes and heroines are rewarded, weaker animals triumph over the strong, and simple bumpkins prove themselves not so simple after all. Esteemed fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes offers accessible translations that retain the spare description and engaging storytelling style of the originals. Indeed, this is what makes the tales from the 1812 and 1815 editions unique–they reflect diverse voices, rooted in oral traditions, that are absent from the Grimms’ later, more embellished collections of tales. Zipes’s introduction gives important historical context, and the book includes the Grimms’ prefaces and notes.

A delight to read, The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm presents these peerless stories to a whole new generation of readers.

 

Purchase LinksAmazon UK     Amazon US     Waterstones

 

My Thoughts…

You may be thinking, why would I want to read what are now children’s stories? The answer, simply, is this. The original tales written by the Brothers Grimm are not the fairytale stories we know today. The stories that we all know and loved as children are heavily revised and sanitised versions of these original tales.

In part, I want to read this to see how wildly different the stories are to the commonly told versions of it… but not just that. These editions of the stories are old. They were written between 1812 and 1815. The language and tone are going to be very different to that how, so I guess I also have an interest in the age and history of the writing too!

The edition I was gifted for my birthday a couple of years ago has beautiful illustrations in as well!

Have you read these original tales? Would you recommend them? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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***Please note this post contains affiliate links, meaning that I will earn a small commission on purchases made through them. If you like what you read and are interested in purchasing a copy of the book(s) featured in this post, please consider using these links and supporting a book blogger!

Thank you!***

 

Sunday Summary – 12th April 2020

Hey guys and welcome back to this week’s Sunday Summary post! Yes, I’m back to normal scheduling this week! How have you been? What have you been doing to entertain yourselves in these strange times? In normal circumstances, I would have been spending the day with my parents. I do every Sunday generally, but I would have spent today with them especially as it’s my dad’s birthday! I am gutted that I couldn’t get to spend the day with him (and my mum) to celebrate, but I did see them briefly to drop off some birthday presents and a takeaway of his choice since we couldn’t go out!

What have I been up to earlier in the week? Well, aside from working from home, I’ve been reading, continuing with my baby blanket crochet project and blogging of course! My first blog post of the week was a review of Circe by Madeline Miller. I actually enjoyed sharing my mixed feelings about the book… and found that I am not the only one that felt the same way about it!

On Friday I shared the opening lines to a book and series I started years ago. I also discovered that book 4 of the series is due out next year, so I might just have to re-read the first three books. It’s been a LONG time since I picked these up. I’m going to need a refresh.

 

Books Read

In last week’s Sunday Summary post, I shared that my current read was Magical Intelligence by M. K. Wiseman. This has been the case most of the week. It’s not the smallest book – 426 pages according to Goodreads, and I had just started it that day last week. I could have read it faster, but I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I didn’t. I’m finding staying at home has made me quite restless and it’s affecting my attention span. That’s where the crocheting has come in handy really – it’s a break and change of activity!

For a break, I did also start reading The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson one night this week. I managed 13% of this one before falling asleep – so a respectable start! Since I have started it, this is the book I’ll be continuing on with next. I’ve loved reading The Alloy of Law and Shadows of Self in the past couple of months, so I’m hoping I might find some improved concentration on this one!

If not, it’s not the end of the world. As I said, I’ve also been working on my baby blanket. Just because I am crocheting though, it doesn’t mean I’m not consuming books too! This week I managed to finish Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London and I’m about a quarter of the way through the sequel, Moon Over Soho. I’m so glad I chose to ‘read’ these as audiobooks! The narrator really brings all the characters to life.

 

Books Discovered

I have absolutely nothing to report here this week – I haven’t even so much as added a book to the TBR!
It’s a rare occasion, so let’s enjoy it while it lasts!

 

Coming Up…

I want to write something fun next week, so I’m lining up a Top Ten Tuesday post to fit the bill. A lot of people read as a form of escapism… I certainly do! So, I’ve decided my Top Ten Tuesday post is going to be recommendations for anyone looking for escapism in these uncertain (and unpleasant) times.

On Friday it’s the turn of my Shelf Control regular feature. This week’s featured ‘book’ is actually the first edition of a large collection of stories. These stories aren’t necessarily as we know them today; however, a lot of modern stories will have their roots with these early translations. I’m not giving you any more clues than that – it’s a big one as it is!

As always, my trusty update Sunday Summary post will round up the week!

Now that’s this week round up complete, I’m off to make myself another cuppa and crack on with my reading! What have you been reading this week?

 

 

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First Lines Friday – 10/04/2020

Welcome back to another First Lines Friday post! Have you any plans for this long weekend? There’s not much we can do exactly, but let’s try and make the most of it right?

In today’s post, I am featuring another book I read and loved many years ago as a teenager. I’m not sure I have ever mentioned having read this book or the rest of the series in fact. Today’s the day we change that!

Can you guess the book from the introduction?

 

At the height of the long wet summer of the Seventy-Seventh Year of Sendovani, the Thiefmaker of Camorr paid a sudden and unannounced visit to the Eyeless Priest at the Temple of Perelandro, desperately hoping to sell him the Lamora boy.

‘Have I got a deal for you!’ the Thiefmaker began, perhaps inauspiciously.

‘Another deal like Calo and Galdo, maybe?’ said the Eyeless Priest. ‘I’ve still got my hands full training those giggling idiots out of every bad habit they picked up from you and replacing them with the bad habits I need.’

‘Now, Chains.’ The Thiefmaker shrugged. ‘I told you they were shit-flinging little monkeys when we made the deal, and it was good enough for you at the-‘

‘Or maybe another deal like Sabetha?’ The Priest’s richer, deeper voice chased the Thiefmaker’s objection right back down his throat.

 

Shall we find out what it is?

 

The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch

Goodreads – The Lies of Locke Lamora

In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence tricksters. Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part “Robin Hood”, one part Ocean’s Eleven, and entirely enthralling…

An orphan’s life is harsh — and often short — in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains — a man who is neither blind nor a priest.

A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans — a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting.

Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld’s most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful — and more ambitious — than Locke has yet imagined.

Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi’s most trusted men — and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr’s underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game — or die trying…

 

Purchase links: Amazon UK     Amazon US     Waterstones

 

If you like roguish, non-altruistic characters in a detailed fantasy world setting then I think this is a series that you will enjoy. The Gentleman Bastards series is really entertaining to read. So far, only the first three books have been published. The fourth, The Thorn of Emberlain, is scheduled for publication in August next year. It has been a long time since I picked these up, so I think I will have to refresh myself with a re-read before picking up this next instalment!

Have you read The Lies of Locke Lamora or the series? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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***Please note this post contains affiliate links, meaning that I will earn a small commission on purchases made through them. If you like what you read and are interested in purchasing a copy of the book(s) featured in this post, please consider using these links and supporting a book blogger!

Thank you!***

 

Sunday Summary – 5th April 2020

Good evening readers and welcome back to my weekly update post, Sunday Summary. I hope you have all been able to make the most of the weekend in? I’ve been spending mine cleaning, doing washing, reading, listening to audiobooks and working more on my crochet baby blanket project!

It’s been a busy week too, not just the weekend. I had quite a few posts lined up, so I’ve spent a lot of time working on blog content as well! My first blog post of the week was a review for a book I read at the beginning of the year. I received a copy of These Are Not the Trinity Papers from the author Vale Zalecki and it was finally time to put my thoughts together into a review.

The next post I had lined up was my reading list for April. I can’t believe we are a quarter of the way through the year already… but here we are! In that post, I took the opportunity to review my challenges, as well as set myself an ambitious reading list. I don’t even have to make excuses to stay in to read at the moment… it’s great!

Friday’s Shelf Control post featured a historical fiction novel that I am keen to read. It is part of my Beat the Backlist challenge, so I’ll be reading it a little later in the year with any luck! It’s a completely new period of history to me, although I am hoping from the sound of it that it is reminiscent in tone to the likes of Bernard Conwell’s Saxon Stories (The Last Kingdom) series.

And finally, on Sunday I shared my blog tour review of iRemember by S. V. Bekvalac. Fans of science fiction and/or dystopian fiction should really check out this review (and the book)! I think you’ll really enjoy it. You may have noticed that this Sunday Summary is coming to you a little late – well, this is why!

 

Books Read

Picking up from where I left off in last week’s Sunday Summary post, I did finish The God Game as promised. I blitzed the last part of the book before I went to bed and I am glad I did! It felt good to finish it after having a bit of a slow week otherwise.

The next book I picked up was iRemember, in anticipation of the blog tour I have just taken part in. I spent most of the week reading this and finished reading it on Saturday, just in time to start drafting my review. I really enjoyed the book, but I have been quite distracted and found myself picking it up and putting it down a lot. Not a fault of the book at all – I think it’s cabin fever! As much as I joke about not having to make excuses to stay in and read… I do miss going out.

I started my next read quite late on today and I’ll be reading it before going to bed tonight. Since I am taking part in a blog tour for Magical Intelligence later on this month, I wanted to get prepared. So, I’m reading it nice and early. I’ve only read the first couple of chapters so far, but I’m already hooked on the storyline and can’t wait to see what happens next!

Now normally I report a small amount of progress with the latest audiobook I am listening to, but that’s not the case at all this week! I only typically listen to a couple of hours or so a week, but I have really excelled this week! It’s in part because I am working from home and have been doing some fairly basic and repetitive tasks. I’ve also found them good to listen to when working on my crochet project too – they help pass the time.

This week, I listened to John Scalzi’s Head On in its entirety and around two-thirds of Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. That’s over 15 hours of audio!

 

 

Books Discovered

I read a great review this week for an interesting sounding thriller, due to be published next month. Dear Child’s synopsis caught my eye, and Drew’s review over on The Tattooed Book Geek was so good that I decided to pre-order a Kindle copy. It’s not out until next month, but hey, it’s not like I don’t have plenty of books to keep me occupied in the meantime…

 

Coming Up…

I want to start next week by reviewing a book that I read on holiday in October last year. Doesn’t that feel a long time ago? I doubt there will be any holidays in the near future too, sadly. Anyway, Circe was one of the first books I picked up on the week-long trip. I’ve seen lots of reviews on the book and I’m looking forward to sharing my opinion of it too!

This week I’ll be sharing a First Lines Friday post. I don’t normally have a particular book in mind so early on. However, there is a particular book I read years ago that I loved and want to share with you all now. I hope you’ll enjoy the introduction as much as I did!

Next week my Sunday Summary post will be coming to you on the prescribed day. It’s just as I was taking part in a blog tour this week that it’s a little late.

That’s all for now folks! Enjoy the rest of the week, stay safe, and most importantly… keep reading! Just kidding, stay in and stay safe friends!

 

 

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Shelf Control #17 – 03/04/2020

Hi everyone and welcome back to another Shelf Control post! Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, 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!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

Shelf Control posts allow me to look in more depth at the books I have added to my TBR. It’s a great chance to talk about why I want to keep the featured book; it also acts as a second sweep for anything that I may have changed my mind about. I have actually deleted a few books doing this sweep. I don’t necessarily own all the books (yet), but I will have a reasonable number of them. I’ve also gone on to read a couple of the earliest books on the list, so this mini-series is proving useful!

In today’s post, I am featuring a historical fiction novel with what appears to be a strong female lead character in a male-dominated world. When I first started reading historical fiction, I was sticking to our more modern history. However, I find myself reading novels set in increasingly “older” time periods. It’s completely different from the courts and political history I am used to!

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

Hild – Nicola Griffith

Goodreads – Hild

Hild is born into a world in transition. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, usually violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods’ priests are worrying. Edwin of Northumbria plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief.

Hild is the king’s youngest niece. She has the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world—of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing human nature and predicting what will happen next—that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her. She establishes herself as the king’s seer. And she is indispensable—until she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, her family, her loved ones, and the increasing numbers who seek the protection of the strange girl who can read the world and see the future.

Hild is a young woman at the heart of the violence, subtlety, and mysticism of the early medieval age—all of it brilliantly and accurately evoked by Nicola Griffith’s luminous prose. Recalling such feats of historical fiction as Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter, Hild brings a beautiful, brutal world—and one of its most fascinating, pivotal figures, the girl who would become St. Hilda of Whitby—to vivid, absorbing life.

Purchase Links – Amazon UK     Amazon US     Waterstones

 

My Thoughts…

Hild will be the first book that I read in this particular time period. The only historical fiction novels I have read that are based in England and pre-date this are Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour novels. These are based around 71AD onwards. On the other side of the timeline, I have been reading Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Stories series, better known as The Last Kingdom. These are set quite a bit later in the 9th and 10th century.

I always like to try something new. Reading the same or similar things can get boring over time. This is especially true for historical fiction. By nature, they are based on fixed events that happened already. It must be difficult to write about certain subjects already covered as there is a lot less flexibility in putting your own stamp on it. That said, I have read several stories set in the Tudor period and not gotten bored yet. I don’t read them all the time though – so that’s probably why!

I am hoping and imagining that Hild will be more like The Last Kingdom in vibe… minus the invading Vikings of course! From the sounds of the synopsis, the conflict around religion is there and there is an element of supernatural and superstition too. These are things that I really love about Bernard Cornwell’s series, so I am optimistic that Hild will be a hit for me too!

Have you read Hild, or any other books by Nicola Griffith? Would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Reading List – April 2020

I can’t believe it’s the beginning of April already! It doesn’t seem like three months ago I was setting myself targets for this year – but it is! I don’t feel like I am doing too great with one of those either, so I’m hoping to address that in this month’s reading list!

At the beginning of the year, I set myself a couple of challenges – the Goodreads Reading Challenge (as I do every year) and new this year, the Beat the Backlist Challenge. I also said I wanted to borrow from my local library more too.

The Goodreads Challenge is going well – I’m on track for my target of 80 books by the end of the year. It’s the other two challenges I’ve fallen behind in… not for a lack of trying! I’ve picked up 5 Beat the Backlist books, but I’ve had to DNF two of them. So, I’ve only read 3 out of my target 25 books. I suppose the aim is to clear 25 items off this list, but counting DNF’s feels like cheating so I’m not counting them. I have also tried to borrow from my local library electronically for some of the books I am reading, but they just don’t have the ones I am after in their library. Obviously, with everything going on right now the actual library is closed, so my options are limited with this right now.

So, this month I am going to be working a little harder on the Beat the Backlist Challenge, because that I can do! I’ve kept my blog tour schedule nice and light for other reasons – I was supposed to be moving house soon. Clearly, that’s also not happening right now! However, I would be daft not to take the opportunity to catch up with some of the older items on my TBR.

So, what am I planning to read this month?

 

iRemember – S. V. Bekvalac

Goodreads – iRemember

The city of iRemember shimmers in the desert haze, watched over by the Bureau, a government agency that maintains control through memory surveillance and little pink pills made from the narcotic plant Tranquelle.

It looks like an oasis under its geodesic dome, but the city is under siege. ‘Off-Gridder’ insurgents are fighting to be forgotten.

Bureau Inspector Icara Swansong is on a mission to neutralise the threat. Her investigation leads her into iRemember’s secret underbelly, where she finds herself a fugitive from the very system she had vowed to protect. She has to learn new rules: trust no one. Behind every purple Tranquelle stalk lurk double-agents.

A sci-fi noir with a psychedelic twist, iRemember explores the power the past holds over us and the fragility of everything: what is, what once was, and what will be.

 

I actually finished March’s TBR a little early (since I DNF’d Good Omens at 47%) so I have actually made a healthy start on this book already. I am getting the two blog tour reads done first, just in case things do ease off here and the move is possible. I’m not holding my breath, but I don’t want to count on it and then get myself in trouble as a result of being ill-prepared.

As it happens, my blog tour post for this book is due on Sunday, so naturally, this book is the first on my list. I’m really enjoying it so far, and you’ll be able to get my full thoughts on it on Sunday!

 

Magical Intelligence – M. K. Wiseman

Goodreads – Magical Intelligence

When you are a member of Britain’s first team of wizard spies, every mission might be your last. But as the dawning of the 20th century draws ever nearer, magic grows weak. Violectric Dampening, the clash of man-made electricity with the Gifts of magekind, threatens M.I.’s existence. And if that isn’t enough, they’ve now been discharged from their own government. Obsolete. Distrusted.

And now hunted by one of their own.

Myra Wetherby has always feared her so-called fits, strange visions of people and places that she cannot explain. It is the emotional manipulation, however, a strange empathic connection to those around her, which threatens her very sanity. A danger to her family, Myra runs away, falling straight into the hands of the newly ousted Magical Intelligence team. Who just so happen to need an ability like hers.

Which makes Myra one of them . . . whether she likes it or not.

 

This is my second and last blog tour of the month. My post for this book isn’t going live until the end of the month, but I’m still reading it nice and early.

The synopsis sounds really good – and quite unusual! That’s why I wanted to read it and share a review for the tour coming up later this month. It sounds like it blends fantasy with mystery, two genres I really enjoy reading.

 

Boom Time – Michelle Lowe

Goodreads – Boom Time

Bootleggers, coppers, and no good, dirty gangsters! During Prohibition, the parties were wild, the alcohol was flowing, and danger was never far away. Pierce Landcross has been brought to the fast-paced future of New York City, 1926. His abductor, the Trickster, claims he’s hiding Pierce for his own protection, but cutthroats and femme fatales lurk around every corner. Lost in a strange land, Pierce vows to keep his nose clean, but that doesn’t last long when he falls into the bootlegging racket. Pierce has to quickly adapt to a world full of diesel-fueled machines, airships, moving picture shows, and clashes with rival gangs. At the same time, he has to elude a hunter from his own time sent to kill him!

 

I downloaded a copy of Boom Time from BookSirens as I really like the sound of the synopsis. I really enjoyed learning about the Roaring 20’s in history, and this sounds like it takes a lot of inspiration from it! Okay, it’s a very exaggerated version, but why the heck not?

My love of fantasy novels is really shining through in this TBR, and I don’t feel ashamed of the fact either!

 

The Bands of Mourning – Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads – The Bands of Mourning

Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.

The Bands of Mourning are the mythical metal minds owned by the Lord Ruler, said to grant anyone who wears them the powers that the Lord Ruler had at his command. Hardly anyone thinks they really exist. A kandra researcher has returned to Elendel with images that seem to depict the Bands, as well as writings in a language that no one can read. Waxillium Ladrian is recruited to travel south to the city of New Seran to investigate. Along the way he discovers hints that point to the true goals of his uncle Edwarn and the shadowy organization known as The Set.

 

My first book contributing to my Beat the Backlist Challenge is The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson. You may recall that I have been reading the earlier books in this second half of the series over the last few months. I bought my copy of this book last month knowing I would get to it shortly. It makes sense to pick this up whilst the rest of the series is fresh in my mind!

 

The Thief Taker – C. S. Quinn

Goodreads – The Thief Taker

The year is 1665. Black Death ravages London. A killer stalks the streets in a plague doctor’s hood and mask…

When a girl is gruesomely murdered, thief taker Charlie Tuesday reluctantly agrees to take on the case. But the horrific remains tell him this is no isolated death. The killer’s mad appetites are part of a master plan that could destroy London and reveal the dark secrets of Charlie’s own past.

Now the thief taker must find this murderous mastermind before the plague obliterates the evidence street by street. This terrifying pursuit will take Charlie deep into the black underbelly of old London, where alchemy, witchcraft and blood-spells collide.

In a city drowned in darkness, death could be the most powerful magic of all.

 

The Thief Taker is my second BtB entry. I really debated with picking this up in light of its inclusion of plague and current events. I decided to stick with it though because I do quite fancy the sound of it. It’s not like the Black Death is anything like our current epidemic.

I featured this book not that long ago in my Shelf Control series and I have been thinking about picking it up soon anyway. I have a lot of Brandon Sanderson novels on the oldest part of my list for the challenge so I am trying to break them up.

 

The Women’s Room – Marilyn French

Goodreads – The Women’s Room

The bestselling feminist novel that awakened both women and men, The Women’s Room follows the transformation of Mira Ward and her circle as the women’s movement begins to have an impact on their lives. A biting social commentary on an emotional world gone silently haywire, The Women’s Room is a modern classic that offers piercing insight into the social norms accepted so blindly and revered so completely. Marilyn French questions those accepted norms and poignantly portrays the hopeful believers looking for new truths.

 

I have a lot of fantasy on this month’s list, so I have decided to pick up The Women’s Room as a change of genre. This is my third and final book contributing to my Beat the Backlist challenge. It is definitely quite a bit different from the books I pick up generally. We’ll see what I make of it!

 

A Dance with Dragons pt 2 – George R. R. Martin

Goodreads – A Dance with Dragons pt 2

The fifth volume, part two of A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. Now a major Sky Atlantic TV series from HBO, featuring a stellar cast.

The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance.

In King’s Landing the Queen Regent, Cersei Lannister, awaits trial, abandoned by all those she trusted; while in the eastern city of Yunkai her brother Tyrion has been sold as a slave. From the Wall, having left his wife and the Red Priestess Melisandre under the protection of Jon Snow, Stannis Baratheon marches south to confront the Boltons at Winterfell. But beyond the Wall the wildling armies are massing for an assault…

On all sides bitter conflicts are reigniting, played out by a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves. The tides of destiny will inevitably lead to the greatest dance of all.

 

The second part of A Dance with Dragons is an ambitious addition to the TBR. It’s here as an “if I get through the rest I’ll start this next” book. I don’t expect to get this finished this month as well as all the above. If I get to make a start on it though, I’ll be happy.

It’s the last book of the series (that’s been published so far), so when I finish this I’ll have completed my re-read of the series!

That’s my list for the month! Have you read any of these books? What are you reading this month?

 

 

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