Tag: books

Sunday Summary – 17th December 2023

Good evening all! It’s time for my Sunday Summary catch-up, and I have a great week to share with you! Before we get into the books I’ve been reading this week, let’s recap what I’ve shared on the blog.

The first post I published this week was a Top Ten Tuesday. The subject of this week’s post was my 2023/2024 Winter TBR. I’ve done iterations of this post throughout the seasons this year. Once again, I’ve enjoyed setting out my intentions for what to read in the next few months.

Later in the week, I shared my First Lines Friday post. For this week’s post, I set myself a challenge of featuring a book I do not yet own a copy of. If you like stories with a fairytale or theme park twist, how AI fits in such a setting and a murder to unravel, then I strongly suggest you check out this post!

 

Books Read

 

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

I had to look back to my Sunday Summary post published on the 3rd December in order to work out where I left off with this book. I hadn’t touched it all last week. There are reasons for that, and I talked about that in last week’s Sunday Summary update. Reading progress was generally abysmal that week.

I’ve made up for that this week though! I picked up The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes from chapter 13 onwards, which is a fraction over a third of the book. I read over the course of several days this week and reached the epic conclusion! Reading progress was slower than I expected, partly because of last week’s plans, but also because I knew what happened. A few weeks ago I went to watch the film in the cinema. It was interesting to see how each differed from the other. In some ways, they are very close… but there are differences. 

Had I not watched the film and known the ending, I might’ve been more compelled to read quicker. Despite watching/reading in the opposite way round to usual, I still really enjoyed both. I’m glad I’ve finally got into the prequel of The Hunger Games series, and I’m all the more excited to get back into the main one next year.

 

The Minders

Picking up from last week’s Sunday Summary, I listened to the remaining 40% of The Minders whilst cleaning and wrapping presents. I’m actively trying to utilise time where I can’t sit down and read more traditionally to pick up audio instead.

I enjoyed listening to The Minders and trying to work out what was going on in this conspiracy thriller. It may be my first John Marrs book, but it won’t be my last. The audio experience of this book was a good one. Whilst it wasn’t expansively cast, having a couple of different narrators made the narrative interesting and varied perspectives sufficiently to be able to work out who is who.

I listened to the majority of the audio yesterday morning; it was that compelling that I listened for approximately three hours!

 

The Success Code

The next physical read I picked up this week is The Success Code by John Lees. The Success Code is the first of two non-fiction books on December’s reading list. I’m aiming to read more than 15 non-fiction books before the end of the year. It’s also a very short book at just over 200 pages, which helps me stand a chance of completing this goal. 

In the last couple of days of the week after finishing The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, I have read just over 40 pages. In the 20% I have picked up so far, there are some interesting ideas in the book about how to get noticed, and debunking very common (and sometimes unhelpful advice) out there. It offers instead an alternative that will have more impact. I’ll be looking to take on some of this advice and I’m interested to see what else we explore in the book.

 

How to Win Friends and Influence People

The second and final non-fiction on my reading list for December is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It’s also the second audiobook of the week.

In actual fact, I started this book today. I’ve already made my way through the first three chapters, or 25% of the book.

Much like The Success Code, How to Win Friends and Influence People has some solid advice on how to persuade by appealing to others. So far, each concept has been explained fully and backed up by examples and experts in the field. Although some may believe it a relatively dry subject, the audio is narrated in a way that it prompts the reader to take an active listening role. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve listened to so far today, and I plan to make further progress with the audio over the next week.

 

Books Discovered

There are no new additions to the reading list this week! Got to save myself for Christmas you see 😉

 

Coming Up…

The first post I am going to be sharing this week is a book tag. I was tagged in Misty’s rendition of the End of Year Book Tag and invited to take part. It may be a bit late in the day to answer some of the questions, but it’s a bit of fun nonetheless!

On Friday I’m due to share a Well, I Didn’t Know That! post. I know some countries have Christmas traditions revolving around books. I think I’d like to explore that topic a little bit more and share the results with you!

Finally, next week’s Sunday Summary will be landing on this page at the same time… and it will be Christmas Eve!

Where has the time gone? Are you prepared for Christmas yet? Are you reading anything festive to get in the mood?

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – 2023/2024 Winter TBR

Over the course of 2023 I’ve been sharing Top Ten Tuesday seasonal TBR’s, (Spring, Summer and Autumn here) and today is no exception! In today’s post, I share the top 10 books I would like to prioritise reading in winter of 2023/2024.

I have a lot of books on my reading list and a rough idea of some of the goals I would like to set myself for reading in 2024. Some of them are a continuation of goals I set myself in 2023, and it’s with these in mind that I have put together this Top Ten Tuesday list.

Are you interested to see which books I intend to read in the next three months? Then, without further ado, let’s dive in:

 

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The first of the books on this list are ones that I am picking up throughout the month of December. It feels appropriate to feature them first, given that I will be physically getting to them first.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a book I have intended to read for a while, but chose to expedite and pick up as a mood read last month. I went and watched the film in the cinema and I loved the story. A combination of a busy festive period so far, and I suspect, knowing what happens in the book, has meant that reading progress is a little slower than usual. However, I am enjoying the content. Given that I’m getting into the meat of the book now, I’m hopeful to finish the book soon!

 

How to Win Friends and Influence People

The second book on this list is another I intend to pick up in December. Contributing towards my non-fiction reading goal, I’m looking to finish How to Win Friends and Influence People before the end of 2023.

A further motive I have for picking the book up sooner rather than later is because I feel the content will complement a workshop I attended at work recently. Like I did with a similar communication course, I decided to follow that up with a relevant book (Surrounded by Idiots) and that worked really well the first time. I found exploring the content again in more detail in audio, helped cement what I learned and practised in that workshop.

 

Gemina

The last book I feature in this Top Ten Tuesday post that is relevant towards my 2023 reading is Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. Technically this book does contribute towards a reading goal of picking up and carrying on with series. However, the main reason I want to pick the book up is because I enjoyed the first one earlier this year and I don’t want to leave it too long before picking up the sequel.

This series is also a fun one to read as the story is told in mixed media format. That is something I have discovered this year and I have really enjoyed it! I’ve tried the format in multiple genres (sci-fi and mystery) and it works really well in both cases. I have quite a few books that I intend to read in December, and although Gemina is one of the longer ones, it will also be one of the easiest to read. I’m looking forward to it for the enjoyment factor alone!

 

The Hunger Games

As I briefly mentioned above, I have intended to pick up The Hunger Games trilogy again since watching and enjoying the films on TV not long ago. At the time, I didn’t realise that the film for the prequel was about to be released and that’s why they were showing. Once I found out, I decided that I was going to read the prequel and the series again in full, together!

I am currently reading the prequel, so I don’t intend to leave it too long before I go back in to the main series. By my reckoning, it’s been about 10 years since I picked up this original series and I’m curious to see how the experience will differ from last time!

 

The Good Samaritan

The Good Samaritan by John Marrs has been on my reading list for a little while. I always intended it to be my first John Marrs book, but my TBR jar put paid to that plan when I pulled out The Minders.

Incidentally, this is my current audiobook listen as of drafting this post and my experience of both the book and the author is a great one. I’m always slower on audio, but that’s no reflection on the book. It’s just not my preferred format. I’ve been listening to the book for a few weeks now and I’m getting to the point in the story where events are really picking up. I anticipate listening to the audio more intently as I’m intrigued by the narrative, and also mindful that I have at least one other audio that I want to get through before the end of the year!

Based on my experience of The Minders, I’m looking forward to picking up The Good Samaritan. The plot itself is what caught my attention, but the writing style of The Minders makes me think that The Good Samaritan could be even better than I expect!

 

Unmasked

I’m undecided as to whether I’m going to set myself non-fiction goal next year, but I want to keep up with reading them all the same.

Unmasked is a book I discovered and added to my reading list in the last few months. I’m intrigued to pick up Unmasked as it explores what it is like to live with neurodivergence such as ADHD and autism. I have a friend who was recently diagnosed with autism as an adult and honestly, I’m intrigued to read this perspective! We are all different people, have different values and think differently. However, I’m curious to read and experience a neurodivergent perspective and understand better what that means and the impact it has. 

 

Undoctored

Along the lines of continuing with non-fiction reads, I want to pick up the third non-fiction book by Adam Kay on my Top Ten Tuesday Winter reading list, Undoctored.

I have already read This Is Going to Hurt and T’was the Nightshift Before Christmas and I loved both books. Incidentally, this author came up recently in a chat amongst my friends, and that reminded me that I still had this book on my reading list to pick up. Whereas the other books on this winter TBR are either more serious or detailed fantasy/sci-fi worlds, Undoctored will add a degree of comedy to my reading that I don’t include much otherwise.

 

The Auschwitz Photographer

The last non-fiction book on this Top Ten Tuesday list is one that caught my eye in The Works ages ago. Whilst I don’t yet own a copy, I will happily read or listen to this book in any format.

Don’t ask me what it is, because I can’t rightly tell you, but I love books set around or about World War II. In particular, I have read quite a few that centre around experiences of the concentration camps. Previously I’ve enjoyed fiction (inspired by real experiences) such as The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris. More recently, I’ve read more non-fiction on the topic, including The Diary of Anne Frank and just last month, The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz by Jeremy Dronfield.

It’s a topic that I can (and clearly do) read over and over again!

 

The Measure

These last two books on today’s Top Ten Tuesday post are books that don’t necessarily contribute to any reading goal, but I want to pick up because I like the sound of them!

I added The Measure to my reading list just over a year ago. The synopsis grabbed my attention, and it immediately popped into my mind when thinking about what mood reads I might want to read in the next few months.

Imagine waking up one day and receiving a parcel that would tell you just how long you had left to live. Imagine the whole neighbourhood gets one, and the consequences that would cause. That’s the concept of this book, and it has some great ratings on Goodreads. I can’t wait to see if The Measure meets expectations!

The Kingdom

The Kingdom is a standalone fantasy novel, which makes it unique on my TBR. I am typically a series reader, but I am excited to pick up this standalone. What also makes it a little different is that it has an element of romance, and then different again, between a robot and a human.

Combine fantasy and science fiction with murder mystery, and you’ve got the components of The Kingdom. Told through courtroom testimony, we explore the truth of what happens to Owen through his accused murderer’s case.

Truthfully, I added this to my reading list because it is an interesting concept and very unlike anything on my reading list to date. I picking this up for the variety it offers to my reading!

 

Summary

Those are the books I’m featuring in today’s Top Ten Tuesday – Winter TBR.

Have you read any of the books I featured in today’s Top Ten Tuesday list? Do you have any books you would like to recommend me to pick up in 2024?

As always, I’m really excited to hear from you, so please get in touch!

 

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Sunday Summary – 10th December 2023

Hey fellow readers – welcome back to another Sunday Summary weekly update post! As always, I hope you’ve had a great week?

What have I been up to? Well that’s a very good question! As well as blogging, there have been a lot of Christmassy things going on in my life this week, and that reflects in my reading. More on that later.

In terms of blog posts I shared earlier in the week, I featured my December TBR on Tuesday. If you’re interested in seeing what’s on my final reading list of the year, then that is the post to check out. That post is also a special one as in publishing it, I hit a milestone this week. That TBR was actually my thousandth post on the blog! Can you believe it?!

On Friday, I returned with a Shelf Control post. In that series, I take a look at upcoming books on my reading list and why I’m excited to pick them up. This week’s featured book is one of the older fantasy books on my reading list. I’m excited to pick it up as it had influence on one of my favourite authors of all time. If you’re intrigued, there’s a link to that post to check it out.

 

Books Read


The Minders

It’s rare that my audiobook progress is more significant than my physical reading, but that is the case this week! Even then, I probably only listened to about 10% of the audio of The Minders. 

I had a lot of Christmas related errands or events this week. From meeting our Christmas party DJ for a planning meeting on Monday to a team Christmas lunch and then the actual party night itself, I’ve had a lot less reading time than I would normally. Some of the time I had was dedicated to keeping the blog in content to post, so my reading ultimately suffered more.

It’s not the end of the world, and it won’t be the last time either. I still have some Christmassy meet-ups planned, and Christmas presents to wrap. It’s just a busy time of year, am I right?

 

Books Discovered

In this Sunday Summary, I have a book I added to my reading list this week to feature, and I can’t wait to share with you!

I listened to an episode of the Currently Reading podcast for the first time in quite a while, and so picked up a reading recommendation this week.

A similar book to one I read and loved, The Appeal, was featured on the podcast. Murder in the Family is a mixed media book in which the reader is tasked with solving a murder case. I really enjoyed the mixed media element to The Appeal, and the way we had to read into subtext in order to work out character relationships. Whilst I understand from the podcast that this book does have some curveballs to make solving the murder difficult to impossible, I’ll enjoy the experience of unpicking the narrative and events all the same. I’m here for the journey, not the conclusion!

 

Coming Up…

The first post I intend to share next week is a Top Ten Tuesday. If you are unfamiliar with the series, it is a weekly series where bloggers can share a top 10 listicle on a given topic. Next week’s topic is a variation of one I have been doing throughout the year; I’ll be sharing my top ten books to read throughout the winter of 2023-2024. I published similar posts for spring, summer, and autumn earlier this year, and I’m excited to share the books I would like to read in the next few months!

The next Friday feature coming up on my list is a First Lines Friday post. The last time I shared this feature, I kept my options open. However, for this week’s regular feature, I am going to set myself a challenge! When I draft these posts, I have a tendency to veer towards the books I physically own. So, for this week’s post, I am going to feature the opening lines of a book on my reading list that I don’t yet own a copy of.

Last, but certainly not least, I’ll be back at the same time next week with another Sunday Summary. With any luck, with more to say than I’ve had this week!

What have you been reading recently? Maybe you can recommend me a book you loved lately?

 

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Sunday Summary – 3rd December 2023

Good evening readers – I hope you’ve had a great week? I’ve enjoyed a nice week off work, and I’ve been using it to relax, get ready for Christmas… and read! Shall we dive into today’s Sunday Summary update?

On the blogging front, I shared a review of Ashes of Guilt by Isabella Steele on Wednesday. I needed to review the book before the end of the month, and so I shared my thoughts ahead of that time. If you enjoy short, compulsive thrillers, then I think you will enjoy this recent release.

On Friday, I shared my monthly wrap-up post for all the reading progress I made in November. I had a great reading month, completing my Goodreads challenge for the year and reading a wide variety of books in the process. If you missed that recap and would like to check it out, there’s a link above for you to do so.

 

Books Read

 

Ashes of Guilt

As of last week’s Sunday summary post, I was 66% into Ashes of Guilt. As you’ve probably gathered, finishing this book was my priority for the week as I wanted to review the book on Wednesday.

If you want to check out my full thoughts on the book, then I’d recommend you go and visit my full review. In summary, Ashes of Guilt is a fast-paced thriller where not all is as it seems. The small-town setting adds to the sinister setting and plot. It’s an enjoyable read and would make a great palette cleanser or speed read for anyone looking for something different.

 

The Minders

Although I didn’t finish this audiobook in November (or indeed, I haven’t yet finished it as of this Sunday Summary, either), but I have made a further three hours progress this week.

Overall, this brings me to about 50% of the way through the book. I’m intrigued by the narrative and how the story is going to unfold. The Minders is a conspiracy thriller, so naturally, we don’t fully understand what is going on. I’m intrigued by the set up so far and I’m excited to make further progress with this audio.

Although I’m less than habit of listening to audiobooks when I’m back in my normal routine, I am going to be trying to fit this in more. I can’t think of a better audiobook to encourage me to do so!

 

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The last book I’ve made progress with this week is a mood read I picked up after watching the film at the cinema. I took the opportunity to do that whilst I was off work this week and it has been a while! Whilst I can’t say the seats have gotten any comfier, I did enjoy the experience and the storyline of this particular book/film.

Having just DNF’d another book on my TBR (more below), I decided to pick this up instead.

I’ve been threatening to read this book since watching the hunger games films on TV. Whilst I didn’t realise whilst they were showing at the time, it is now clear why they were on! I’ve just expedited picking this book up, and I have no regrets!

As of this Sunday Summary post, I am 36%, or 12 chapters through the e-book.

 

Books DNF’d

 

The Witches: Salem, 1692 – A History

I picked up The Witches earlier this week, and it was a quick and decisive flop. I talk more about why I didn’t get on with the book in my monthly wrap-up post, but in short, I didn’t get on with the writing style.

 

Books Discovered

All is quiet on the TBR front this week with no new additions to note.

 

Coming Up…

The first post I intend to share next week will be my final TBR of the year. I may have beaten my official Goodreads challenge goal, but I am unofficially pushing to complete a minimum of five books in December to get a completion total over 60. If I can achieve more than that, then great, but we’ll see! Find out which books I’ll be reading to get me there on Tuesday.

Friday’s post needs to be a relatively easy one, as I need to get it prepared ahead of schedule. Thankfully, this week’s regular feature is a Shelf Control post. If you are excited to see which book I feature from my TBR, then check out my blog on Friday.

Lastly, I’ll be back at the same time next week with another Sunday Summary update post. As always, I hope you can join me to find out what I’ve been reading over the last week.

Until next time, happy reading!

 

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Sunday Summary – 26th November 2023

Happy Sunday night (if ever there is such a thing?) and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary instalment. I’ve had a productive week of reading and listening to audiobooks, which I’ll get onto below!

Firstly, I like to take the opportunity to share the blog posts I’ve already prepared and published this week. My first post of the week was a book review of The Appeal by Janice Hallett. If you enjoy complex mysteries where you need to read between the lines, multi-perspectives and/or mixed media books, then I strongly suggest you check it out!

This week’s Friday feature was a Well, I Didn’t Know That! post. In that post, I revived a habit of listening to podcasts and featured Philippa Gregory’s Normal Women podcast. Philippa is publishing a book with the same name in February next year. If you want some insight into one of the topics of the podcast, or more generally, check out that post!

 

Books Read

 

The Boy Who Followed His Father to Auschwitz

In my last Sunday Summary update, I had about 100 pages left of this historical non-fiction book. That’s where I began reading this week.

The Boy Who Followed His Father to Auschwitz is every bit as good as I thought it would be! Although the tales of this book are harrowing, the narrative is intriguing and I was rooting for Fritz and his father Gustav to make it out the other side.

Although I have read multiple books in the genre, every time it shocks me how brutally mistreated people like Fritz and Gustav were. The book is a great (and well-researched account) of life in multiple concentration camps throughout the Second World War. Although a difficult subject, the book is compulsively readable as the writing and level of investment in the characters was great.

 

Ashes of Guilt

The next physical read I picked up this week, and is my current read as of this Sunday Summary, is Ashes of Guilt by Isabella Steele. I am reading this to review it before the end of the month. Needless to say, I am making all haste with this book!

As of today’s Sunday Summary post, I am exactly two thirds, or 66%, through the narrative. As a relatively short thriller, it is a very fast-paced read. Already, we have worked our way through the points in the synopsis, making me wonder what twists and turns I can expect later in the narrative. It’s a bit quicker-paced than I am used to, but I’m getting on with it reasonably well regardless. I’m looking to finish Ashes of Guilt in the next day or so, so watch this space for my thoughts.

 

The Flood

I finally pulled my finger out and finished The Flood by Rachel Bennett this week. If you’ve been reading my blogs, you’ll know that I’ve been chipping away at this audio for a little while. Back in 2019, I added The Flood to my reading list as the author is currently living locally. I wanted to pick up the book and support her. I pulled this book out of the TBR Jar last month to read. 

Overall, I enjoyed The Flood. Part of the reason it took me so long is that I’m not in the habit of listening to audiobooks that much. The vast majority of my reading is done either through physical books or e-books on my Kindle. I do enjoy audio though, and the narration of this book went a long way towards my enjoyment of it. The story is well told, and I enjoyed how the two timelines ultimately come together to give us the full picture at the end.

 

The Minders

Having finally finished The Flood, I moved on to my next audiobook whilst I was in full flow. The Minders is my first ever book by John Marrs. Although I’ve only listened to around an hour and a half of this audio as of this Sunday Summary post, I can say the experience so far is a good one.

I’m intrigued by the narrative and how the story is going to play out. As I’m not that far in, I haven’t got any ideas as to where the story is going to go. I’m looking forward to finding out though!

I’m going to try and keep up the momentum and continue listening to The Minders. Naturally, I want to try to finish the audiobook as close to the end of the month as I can. Fortunately, I have time off work next week, so I have every opportunity to listen to this audio. Let’s see how far I can get in the next week!

 

Books Discovered

There are no new books added to my reading list. Currently, the list sits at 199 still to work my way through. Just a few, eh?

Having floated at just over 200 for some time, I can thank the reading progress I’ve made this week in tipping this under. Let’s hope it stays that way!

 

Coming Up…

On Wednesday, I plan to share my review of Ashes of Guilt. The book launches on Thursday so I want to get it out there ahead of publication and hopefully build some excitement!

On Friday I’ll be parking the regular Friday feature in favour of my month-end review post for November. As always, I’ll be recapping my reading month and sharing all the books I’ve picked up in the prior 30 days.

Finally, I’ll be rounding up the week with a Sunday Summary post. Fingers crossed for a week just as productive as this one!

Have you read any of the books I featured today?

 

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Sunday Summary – 19th November 2023

Good evening everyone and welcome to another Sunday Summary post. If you’re off watching I’m A Celebrity, then I’ll understand! I’m watching it as I write, which is why this post is a bit shorter than normal!

So, what have I been up to this week? The first post I shared with you was a Top Ten Tuesday post, discussing which mainstream authors I have not (as yet) read any books by.

On Friday, I shared a First Lines Friday post. I kept my options open for this post, and in the end, I featured a book related to a series I read years ago and I’m looking forward to reading.

 

Books Read

 

Lost Solace

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post, I had only read the first chapter of Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

I really enjoyed this break and change of genre. Having read books in Karl’s Tales of Lost Solace series, I already had some knowledge and high expectations of the book.

It didn’t disappoint! I read Lost Solace very quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed it! There is plenty of action to keep us entertained, and just the right amount of detail/jargon so as not to overwhelm a non-techy reader.

 

The Boy Who Followed His Father to Auschwitz

After Lost Solace, I moved on to my current read, The Boy Who Followed His Father to Auschwitz.

It’s a difficult book to read for its topic, but it is compulsively readable in style. I’m really enjoying this book. It’s a harrowing topic, and awful to think that so many people lived through the horrors this book touches on! Even so, this is a fantastic book.

As of this Sunday Summary, I’m 240 pages into the book. Ignoring the appendices, that leaves me with another 100 pages to go. Already so much has happened in the narrative. A part of me wants to find out what happens to the titular Gustav and his son, Fritz – how their story ends.

 

Books Discovered

I’ve added one book to my reading list this week as a result of Friday’s post. I want to re-read the whole series again, this time including The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

 

Coming Up…

On Wednesday, I plan to share a book review with you. This week, I’m reviewing The Appeal by Janice Hallett.

On Friday I’ll be back with a Well, I Didn’t Know That! post! It’s been a while since I made a habit of listening to some podcasts, so I might try to incorporate that into this feature. Stay tuned to find out more!

Last, but not least, I’ll be returning with a Sunday Summary post. As always I hope to have plenty to catch you up on in that post.

In the meantime, that’s all for this Sunday Summary post!

What have you read recently?

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Mainstream Authors I Haven’t Read

In today’s Top Ten Tuesday post, I’m sharing a list of ten mainstream authors I have not yet read. Some of the authors in today’s post are ones I intend to read in future, but there are some that I don’t as well. Never say never though.

Let’s take a look at my list of authors!

 

Sarah J Maas

I’m of two minds whether to try Sarah J. Maas. As a fan of epic fantasy, I’m intrigued as to how these books sit in the genre. On the other hand, I’m not sure about the romance elements of the book.

I might try the first book and see how I get on from there.

 

Cassandra Clare

Cassandra Clare is another author I don’t have a particular plan to pick up as of writing this post. She is one I may try in future as an experiment though.

If I were to pick her books up, I feel like I’d start with what appears to be her core series, The Mortal Instruments. The rest seem to spin off in either direction from there, so that feels like the logical option.

 

John Grisham

I have 3 John Grisham books on my TBR as of writing this post – Rogue Lawyers, The Litigators and The Rainmaker. However, I’m yet to read to have read any.

I’ve featured some of these books on my blog via Friday features like Shelf Control and I’m excited to read them. If I go on to enjoy these, then John Grisham is an author I can go to town with reading more from. He has a lot of books!

 

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is a classic author, a defining voice in detective novels. However, I am yet to read any!

I don’t even have any on my TBR. Were I to try any of her books, I’d probably go with the one I’ve heard of the most… Murder on the Orient Express. Based on what I’ve read, I believe her books can be read reasonably standalone. If anyone has an alternative recommendation I’d be interested to hear it!

 

James Patterson

Although I don’t currently have any James Patterson books on my TBR, I don’t really know why not. I enjoy the genre he writes in, and he clearly does well for himself in terms of popularity.

Where would I even begin here? I honestly don’t know what book would be best, so any advice would be welcome here!

 

Patricia Cornwell

There is yet another crime fiction writer on this list. Seems like a trend at this point. Do I not read enough?

Post-mortem is probably the first book of hers I would read. The plot seems to have a forensic emphasis, which I would (morbidly) enjoy reading! I have a lot of appreciation for the discoveries that can be made as such a level. Is it a job I’d want? No. But, it’s compelling in fiction all the same.

 

Lee Child

My grandad was fond of the Jack Reacher books, and it’s for this reason that I have Killing Floor on my TBR. However, as of this Top Ten Tuesday post, I’m still yet to try this book and therefore this author!

If I go on to enjoy this book, it’s another expansive series to make my way through. Maybe it’s not want to start yet as I’m trying to reduce the number of series I have ongoing. But, I can pencil in for future!

 

Dan Brown

I’m familiar to some extent with The Da Vinci Code, and it’s the book that would immediately spring to mind if you asked me to name one written by Dan Brown. Although I think I would quite like the book, I haven’t as yet got any plans to pick up any books by this author.

In order to read The Da Vinci code, I’d have to read the first book in the series, Angels and Demons. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I don’t particularly have any burning desire to either.

Maybe it’s one, I’ll get two in future, or perhaps not. Only time will tell!

 

David Baldacci

David Baldacci is another author that you could end up down a rabbit hole of all the books he’s written. As of writing this post, I do intend to pick up this author, and in particular, Memory Man.

Again, as I’m not looking to start any new series just yet, this is one I will park for now and come back to you later. I’m excited by the prospect of having lots of books his to read over time if I enjoy the first one.

 

John Green

The last author I feature in this Top Ten Tuesday is John Green. He has written solo and co-authored a number of books in his career. If asked to name one off the top of my head, I would naturally come out with The Fault in Our Stars. It’s the book, he is really well known for and received such such a good reception of that it has been made into a film.

Based on the sound of the synopsis, I’m not sure it’s a book I would pick up. Then again, I read Me Before You by JoJo Moyes as it is in the same realm of topic. I suppose you can never say never, but we’ll see.

 

I hop you have enjoyed today’s Top Ten Tuesday feature!

Have you read any books by the authors I’ve shared in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post? Are any of them on your reading list?

 

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Sunday Summary – 12th November 2023

It’s the end of another weekend (boo!) so that can only mean one thing – it’s time for my Sunday Summary! I hope you’ve all had a great week?

Aside from the 9-5, I’ve spent mine reading and preparing/sharing blog posts. Oh, last night I watched the last Hunger Games film – I really want to re-read those books now! Anyway, let’s get into my recap of the week’s posts so far.

My first blog post of the week was my Norsevember feature – Vikings of Mann: Ancient History or Modern Enigma. I really enjoyed writing this post, although it felt like I poured a lot more effort into than my usual content! As a post with some special meaning for me, it was great to be able to share it, and to take part in a reading event I have seen on the blogosphere in recent years.

I waived my usual Friday feature, Well, I Didn’t Know that! as the Vikings of Mann post is very similar in nature. Given I knew I’d already committed to the first post, I didn’t want to overwhelm myself by completing this feature on top. Instead, I moved onto the next in the rota, being a Shelf Control. In these posts, I take a look at upcoming books on my reading list and share why I’m excited to read them. For this week’s feature, I shared the first omnibus in an expansive fantasy series by an author I’m yet to try. I’m not allowed to start it until I’ve wrapped up some more of my ongoing series though. If you’re curious, check out that post to see what it is!

 

Books Read

 

The Vikings in the Isle of Man

As of last week’s Sunday Summary, I was 10% into The Vikings in the Isle of Man. Given that I wanted to finish this book as part of Norsevember, but also to include any relevant content in my blog post that went live on Wednesday, this was my priority of the week. I had also borrowed this book from the library, and it was due back on Wednesday. There was no pressure at all to get this finished up…

The Vikings in the Isle of Man isn’t an overly long book, and it provided some useful content for the blog post and taught me some things I didn’t know. It also expanded on some of the topics I originally explored in The Viking’s of the Irish Sea (read last week), so it was an ideal book to pick up.

In the nick of time, I finished The Vikings in the Isle of Man on Tuesday evening. I’m glad I chose to pick up a local history book and learn something new about my home.

 

The Shining

The second read I had ongoing as of last week’s Sunday Summary post is The Shining. As of that post, I was around 50% through the book.

After concluding The Vikings in the Isle of Man, I reverted back to prioritising The Shining. It’s not unexpected at all, but I really enjoyed this King novel! It’s been awhile since I picked up one of his horrors, and picking this up as reminded me just why I like his writing. I love how his horror plays upon natural and relatable things as opposed to delving too far into the realms of the fantastical. It makes his books feel all the more real and at the same time, more harrowing.

I certainly won’t be leaving it so long before I pick up another, regardless of the season! I am glad I picked this up around Halloween though – it felt apt.

 

Lost Solace

The last book I have picked up physically this week is Lost Solace by Karl Drinkwater.

As of this Sunday Summary post, I’ve only read the first chapter of the book so far. However, already the book draws on characters I have met through Karl’s Tales of Lost Solace series, which is set in the same universe. The writing style is also very familiar and easy to pick up, so I’m already settled in and ready to see where Lost Solace takes us! Given I’m not that far into the book, there really isn’t a whole lot I can say at this point. I’ll give you more of an update next week.

 

The Flood

In addition to the physical reads I’ve picked up above, I also listened to about 40 mins of The Flood by Rachel Bennett when waiting for Tesco’s Christmas slots to open. Yes, I legitimately put this on at 5:30am on Tuesday morning to stop myself falling back asleep and missing out on my Christmas food shop! It worked though… 

I had hoped to listen to a little bit more of the audiobook this week, but it wasn’t meant to be. I will be making more of an effort to listen to the last few hours this week.

 

Books Discovered

No news is good news once again this week – the reading list is still heading in the right direction.

 

Coming Up…

On Tuesday, I’m looking forward to sharing my top ten list of mainstream popular authors I haven’t read yet. There are some very popular authors I haven’t read books by, and you may be surprised. Or not, it depends how well you know me I guess!

On Friday I’ll be back with a First Lines Friday post! The last few times I have done this feature. I have set myself a challenge. I’m in the mood for keeping things open this time, so you’ll have to tune in on Friday to see which book I feature and why.

This time next week I’ll be returning with my Sunday Summary and all my bookish updates for the week. I hope you can return to check that post out too!

That’s all for this Sunday Summary though!

What are you reading?

 

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Sunday Summary – 5th November 2023

Happy Sunday folks and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary! Before we get into my reads for the week, let’s take a look at the posts I’ve shared so far.

Firstly, I shared my book review for Cinderella’s Crimes on Tuesday. That was the deadline for this review, and I was excited to finally get my thoughts together for you to read. Cinderella’s Crimes is a re-publication of a book initially published in the name of Pretty Deadly. As a dark fairytale reimagining, I feel this new title is more apt.

Secondly, I published my review of October’s reading in my monthly wrap-up post. October was a good month overall. I had quite a few review obligations, but I managed to make my way through those and pick up all my mood reads before the end of the month. I carried over my last two ongoing books to finish in November.

The final post on the agenda for this week (aside from this Sunday Summary) was my November Monthly TBR. It’s quite the list when you look at it at face value. However, it’s made to look more onerous than it is by the number of titles. When you compare page count to other months, it’s not far off!

 

Books Read

 

Killing For Company: The Case of Dennis Nilsen

As of my last Sunday Summary update, I had just 15% of this ebook to finish. I was hoping to get it all read by the end of Sunday night, but I ended up finishing it on Monday.

If you want a more comprehensive summary of the book, check out last week’s post. I’m not going to go too much into detail here given that this update constitutes about 45 minutes of reading time this week. In short, it is an interesting and intimate biography of one of the most notorious serial killers of modern times. It’s brutally honest in its capture of events and the state of mind of Dennis.

 

Vikings of the Irish Sea

I didn’t mention Vikings of the Irish Sea as a current read last week, as I was keeping it up my sleeve for an upcoming post. As of drafting my Sunday Summary last week, I was approaching halfway through the book.

I finished the book this week as it is forming the foundation for a post I will be sharing for Norsevember. Additionally, I’m reading a second book that focuses on Vikings in the Isle of Man (see below). However, for a more rounded research approach, I wanted to pick up Vikings of the Irish Sea to compare findings on the island versus the likes of Dublin, England and Wales as a comparison.

Vikings of the Irish Sea isn’t a particularly long book, but it provided good insight for my post and taught me quite a few things about Vikings that I didn’t know from local knowledge.

 

The Vikings in the Isle of Man

Here is that second book I mentioned above! In addition to Vikings of the Irish Sea, I’ve read the first 20 pages of The Vikings in the Isle of Man.

I appreciate that doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider, the book is only 140 odd pages in total in its entirety, it’s enough of a dent to have made a solid start. As I will be sharing my November post in just a few days, I am going to look to make considerably more progress in this book in the next day or two.

 

The Shining

The main book I have been reading over the course of the week is The Shining by Stephen King. After years of owning my copy and not picking it up during spooky season, I decided 2023 was the year. And, it’s been a little while since I picked up a horror novel.

I confess, for such an iconic story, I didn’t know much about The Shining before going into this book. I think that has worked well for me though. I’ve not had any preconceptions or been spoiled for the story, and I am enjoying watching it unravel.

Unsurprisingly, I am really enjoying the book. As of this Sunday Summary, I am 250 pages in, which is approximately 50%. I will be reading this in tandem with The Vikings in the Isle of Man, and I hope to finish the book very soon.

 

Books Discovered

Since adding Unmasked last week, there have been no new additions to the reading list!

 

Coming Up…

My first post of next week will be my contribution to Norsevember… a reading event hosted by Alex at Blogs and Spells for several years now. It’s the first time I’ve taken part in contributing a themed post. I contacted Alex as I wanted to write a post about Viking influence and history in the Isle of Man. This will be going live on Wednesday, and I’m really excited to be writing a different style of post.

This week would normally be the turn of my Well, I Didn’t Know That! feature post. However, as these are a little bit more involved and I don’t want preparation for this to clash with my Norsevember feature, I’m going to skip this one and instead share a Shelf Control. In my Shelf Control posts, I feature an upcoming read on my TBR and why I’m looking forward to picking it up. They’re a lot easier to prepare and post and given my commitment for earlier in the week, I think this is the better option! I’ll do a Well, I Didn’t Know That! feature next time.

Last, but not least, I will be back with another Sunday Summary post to round off the week. Fingers crossed I’ll have plenty of reading updates to share.

What have you read recently?

 

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Sunday Summary – 29th October 2023

Good evening from a rainy and dreary island! But that’s okay – as I’m inside, cosy with a cup of coffee and ready to dive into publishing this week’s Sunday Summary! As always, let’s take a look at the posts I published earlier in the week.

My first post this week was a Top Ten Tuesday feature. This week’s theme was ‘atmospheric reads’, and I had several different genres and bookish vibes to share as part of the post. If you haven’t checked it out already and are looking for reading inspiration, look no further.

On Thursday, I shared my review as part of the recent blog tour for Warrior Prince. I enjoyed this historical fiction novel which features Vikings in an Eastern European setting, as opposed to the English variants. It’s a fun, action-filled adventure, and if you want to find out more, my review is here.

 

Books Read

 

Killing For Company: The Case of Dennis Nilsen

I left off last week’s Sunday Summary post having concluded my ‘current reads’ at that time (I mentioned in that post that I had about 20 minutes of Surrounded by Idiots left to finish, which I did. I didn’t feel like that warranted a section in this Sunday Summary post.)

So, I picked up my next read on the TBR, Killing For Company by Brian Masters. You would like to think that based on the title and subject matter, it would be obvious that this book isn’t for the fainthearted or those with a sensitive stomach. However, in case that’s not clear, let me emphasise that now. This book isn’t for the fainthearted or those with a sensitive stomach. 

In this book, we explore the life, history and grisly murders Nilsen fully admits to committing between 1978 and his arrest in 1983. In the latter stages of the book, we start to address some of the psychological elements and potential diagnosis for Dennis as a means of explaining his actions… both the murders he did commit and for those he failed and/or chose not to go through with.

It has been a really interesting book, although I am sure it is not for everybody. As of this post, I have read 85% of the book and I have an estimated reading time of one hour to complete it. I’m hoping to get that done tonight!

 

The Flood

I have been off work this week – something I haven’t mentioned before now I don’t think. I have been busy though. In addition to catching up with jobs in the house, I have been out and tidying up the garden ready for winter. Whilst I’ve been doing these jobs, I have taken the opportunity to make progress with my second audiobook of the month.

The Flood is actually written by a local author, and it is for this reason I added it to my reading list. It is also the book I pulled out of my TBR jar this month, and I’m enjoying the story so far. There’s definitely a lot more going on under the surface of this narrative that I am yet to discover, and I’m looking forward to unravelling it all. The audio is also very good, so I can recommend the format!

As of this Sunday Summary update, I am coming up to 50% of the way through this audiobook. I may be back at work from next week, but I will be finding any opportunity I can to continue listening. 

 

Books Discovered

I have added a book called Unmasked by Ellie Middleton to my reading list this week. One of my LinkedIn connections has liked content by Ellie on a few occasions, and as a result, I have seen it too.

I’m interested in picking up Unmasked as it looks at ADHD and other forms of neurodivergence. I have a friend who was diagnosed with autism only when she was an adult (not surprising for girls given the ‘official’ symptoms or flags are those typically exhibited in boys and take no account of girls learning to mask them). As somebody who is interested to understand more about neurodivergence in general, I’d like to take a look at this book.

 

Coming Up…

With the end of October and the beginning of November falling into next week, you can expect my usual busy schedule.

My first post of the week though will be a review for Cinderella’s Crimes by Kelsey Josund. I have a deadline to share my review on Tuesday, so that’s when you can expect my thoughts on this fairytale reimagining that I read last week.

After that post has gone live, I will be kicking into gear with my usual monthly wrap-up post, and then my monthly TBR for November. mMy intention is for the wrap-up to go live on Thursday and my TBR on Saturday. I hope you can join me for both of those!

And, as always, I will be back at the same time next week with another Sunday Summary update post.

Now, I don’t know about you, but my plan is to take a cup of tea to bed and finish my current read.

What are your plans for this evening?

 

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