Tag: bookworm

Blog Tour Review: Ruabon – Karl Drinkwater

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour review of Ruabon by Karl Drinkwater! This is my second blog tour review for this author in the space of a week! If you haven’t read my previous review of Clarissa, shared last Saturday, here’s a handy link so you can take a look. Don’t forget to check out my reviews of the earlier books in the series, Helene and Grubane too!

Today’s review is for the fourth short story in the Lost Tales of Solace series. As I said in my blog tour for Clarissa, I haven’t actually read the main series these books originate from. So, my perspective is from not having read them (yet!).

Before I share my review, I always like to take a moment to say thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and to the author, Karl, for organising the tour and giving me the opportunity to take part!

 

Ruabon – Karl Drinkwater

Goodreads – Ruabon

Welcome to Tecant.

Nothing ever happens here.

Until today.

Ruabon Nadarl is just another low-ranking member of the scan crew, slaving away for the UFS which “liberated” his homeworld. To help pass the time during long shifts he builds secret personalities into the robots he controls. Despite his ingenuity, the UFS offers few opportunities for a better life.

Then Ruabon detects an intruder on the surface of a vital communications tower.

He could just report it and let the deadly UFS commandos take over, while Ruabon returns to obscurity.

Or he could break UFS laws and try to capture the intruder himself. For the UFS, only the outcome matters, not the method. If his custom-programmed drones can save the day, he’ll be a hero.

And if he fails, he’ll be dead.

 

Purchase Linkhttps://books2read.com/b/Ruabon

 

Lost Tales of Solace Kickstarter Campaign

The Kickstarter has an option for someone to get EVERY Lost Solace book as an e-book; but also to get the new paperbacks that will be designed, if they prefer print.

 

My Thoughts…

I literally read Ruabon in a day.

I started reading the stories last Sunday morning, before visiting my parents for the day and finished it later that night after I came back. As all the other Lost Tales of Solace books, it is a very approachable read and is equally easy to binge or pick up and put down at leisure, whatever your preference.

Having read Clarissa recently, I was amazed to see the diversity between the different stories that stem from the same universe. It goes to show just how much thought and world-building has gone into the series overall (including the main one). Although they all interlink, the books could easily be completely different stories and so read independently. That said, there are some names that will make more sense if you have read some of the other books. It’s not a big deal, but I like the subtle inclusion of information from other books as well. They’re the sort of books that you can take from them what you will; you can read them independently and enjoy them that way, or you can read them all and read between the lines… so to speak!

I love how well written the different robot personalities are. They in themselves are extremely different and were really fun to read. I imagine getting across vastly different personalities with only the written word and a limited amount of space in the book to do so is a challenge. However, I think this was done brilliantly! I personally enjoyed each individual little drone and their unique personality. Not only that, but their own existence says a lot about our main character and supplement the main storyline and character building very well.

Ruabon is a story that tells how some people can bloom under pressure. What is supposed to be the equivalent of a quiet day in the office turns out to be anything but, and quiet, unassuming Ruabon steps up to the challenge in the time of need. The fact that he even sticks his neck out on the line shows that he is not the quiet timid man people think he is. It shows a degree of calculation and understanding of when it matters most to make a stand and take a risk. His intentions aren’t necessarily altruistic, however they are very relatable. Ultimately, he wants to make his family proud and respect his heritage as opposed to pleasing his new ‘overlords’.

Ruabon is packed full of action and if you enjoy a fast-paced narrative, this is definitely for you. Again, in a condensed storyline, the unravelling of the plot and the tension of events played out in a way that is very easy to read and keep the reader hooked. I literally only put this down because I was due to go out somewhere-if I haven’t been, I am pretty sure I would have read this all in one sitting.

 

Author Bio

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Social Media Links –

Website https://karldrinkwater.uk

Twitter http://twitter.com/karldrinkwater

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/karlzdrinkwater

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authorkdrinkwater/

Newsletter http://bit.ly/newsletterkd

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time)

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Today’s topic features Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time). Now, I’ll be the first person to admit that I don’t have the patience to read a full book in one sitting. It’s not for a lack of time. I just don’t have the attention span.

By and large, I don’t read many short stories, however, you will find most of them on this list just because they are easier to get through by nature. There are a couple of longer books that will feature on this list because I’m expanding the definition to include books read within 24 hours. It’s not quite the same, but it’s close as I can get to give you a full list of ten!

Shall we jump into the list?

 

Making Magic – Allan Walsh

At just over 30 pages, this has to be the shortest book I have ever read since I started my blog. Needless to say, I definitely read this in one sitting. It would be pretty embarrassing if I hadn’t, wouldn’t it?

 

The Lynmouth Stories

This collection of short stories was also read in one sitting. I found the variety of tales within the book engaging enough to keep me sat down for longer. Normally I would have put a book of this length down at least once, even if it was just to make a cup of tea or have a very quick break.

 

Game of Crones – Jay Raven

As with the Lynmouth stories, the variety of tales within the short narrative kept me engaged throughout and so this also was completed in one sitting. The chilling and spooky tales also keep you on the edge of your seat, questioning what you think you know and what is going to happen.

 

Lost Tales of Solace 1-4 – Karl Drinkwater

From these four books and the rest afterwards, the definition stretches to within 24 hours. I think I read a couple of these books in one day, but at least a couple of them also stretched over into the next but still in 24 hours. They are nice and short but equally engaging and so we are very easy to keep picking up and reading just a little bit more… and then a little bit more.

 

The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient is unlike some of the other books on this list, because it is definitely not a short story! At around 325 pages this is one of the exceptions to the rule when it comes to my attention span. I’ve been able to read this quickly because it was absolutely fantastic! For me, I need to get the right combination of opportunity and motivation and the stars must have aligned perfectly when I picked this up.

 

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

It’s rare that I’m a sucker for a YA book, but I absolutely devoured this one! I’m pretty sure I’ve binge-read it over a weekend… and what probably makes it *worse* is that it wasn’t my intended read at the time! I picked it up because for whatever reason, I wasn’t feeling my current read at the time. So, I was just casually reading the first chapter to try it out and before I know it I’d read over a third. Needless to say, I was invested at that point and the rest is history.

 

Fires of the Dead – Jed Herne

I don’t know whether to describe this as a short story really. It’s kind of that midway length between a full novel and a short story. The tale is just less than 200 pages long, so no mean feat. However, I also went on to read this within 24 hours because the characters were hilarious, the plot was action-packed, engaging and exciting – and I had to know what happened next.

 

So, these are my top ten books I have read in one sitting (ish), featuring in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post. I would love to find out yours! Please let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Summary – 18th July 2021

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

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Books Discovered

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

 

Coming Up…

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

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

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

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

 

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Blog Tour Review: Clarissa – Karl Drinkwater

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s blog tour review of Clarissa by Karl Drinkwater! It has been a little while since I shared a book review for blog tour. For the most part, I have stepped back from doing these a little this year as I’m focussing on reading books currently on my TBR. I have been doing promo posts for books that I really like the sound of. However, at the outset of this year I said to myself that I would still take part in tours for authors I have read before and come to love, and Karl Drinkwater is one of those!

Today’s review is for his third short story in the Lost Tales of Solace series. Whilst it may be helpful to read the main series, my review is actually coming to you from the perspective of not having read them (yet!). I do have the books to read and my reviews will most certainly follow, but today’s review comes to you unbiased – and you can rest assured that even if you have not read them, it doesn’t matter; you can still pick up these books and enjoy them as I have.

Before I jump into sharing my thoughts, I always like to take a moment to say thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and to the author, Karl, for organising the tour and giving me the opportunity to take part! I really appreciate it and having enjoyed the first two books of the Lost Tales to date, I was really excited to see how Clarissa compared! 

 

Clarissa – Karl Drinkwater

Goodreads – Clarissa

If you’re reading this: HELP! I’ve been kidnapped.

Me and my big sister stayed together after our parents died. We weren’t bothering anybody. But some mean government agents came anyway, and split us up.

Now I’m a prisoner on this space ship. The agents won’t even say where we’re going.

I hate them.

And things have started to get a bit weird. Nullspace is supposed to be empty, but when I look out of the skywindows I can see … something. Out there. And I think it wants to get in here. With us.

My name is Clarissa. I am ten years old.

And they will all be sorry when my big sister comes to rescue me.

Purchase Linkhttps://books2read.com/b/Clarissa

 

My Thoughts…

I find myself reading more and more science-fiction, and the more I read, the more I come to love it! The books I have picked up to date prove that science-fiction doesn’t have to be too technical. I think when I was younger I always had this concern that as a not particularly science-y minded person, I just wasn’t going to understand it. That’s not true at all! I’m sure there are books out there that will float your boat if this is the sort of thing you enjoy, but equally science-fiction can be very approachable. Karl Drinkwater’s Lost Tales of Solace series definitely falls into this latter category.

Clarissa is the third book of the series. I have already read and reviewed the previous two books, Helene and Grubane. If you’d like to check out my thoughts on both of these books, I’ve provided a handy link to each of these. That’s not to say that the events of Clarissa depend on you having read these two books (or my reviews), because that’s not the case at all! It can be read standalone. Some of the characters or places might make a little bit more sense, but it’s definitely not required. I personally really like this. Adding to the ‘non-complexity’ point above, just being able to pick up a standalone is a great way of trying the genre without the commitment of a dense narrative and storyline.

As short stories, each of the Lost Tales of Solace books have been really easy to pick up. Clarissa is no exception. I managed to read this in no more than two sittings. I’ve actually been reading a lot less than normal, but was still able to read this book very quickly despite my reduced reading time. It is the perfect length to be able to enjoy a full narrative, but not too long either.

The thing I loved the most about Clarissa is that it is written from the perspective of a 10-year-old child. Children’s perspectives are very under-represented in literature. There aren’t many books I have read that have them, but almost all that I have, I’ve loved! I think there is a misconception that a narrative from a child’s perspective won’t be detailed or comprehensive enough, but children are very clever. They may not understand the subtleties of some of the things going on around them, but as adults, we can still interpret that from the clues left by the author. Clarissa in particular is very clever, so the telling of her story in the universe, and the strange goings on, does not leave us readers left wanting.

Fun, approachable and a pleasure to read, Clarissa is a fantastic way of delving into science-fiction for anyone of any age. The story is engaging whilst fitting into the wider Lost Tales of Solace narrative. I think I’ve made it abundantly clear, I really enjoyed reading this short story and I hope I can convince you to pick it up for yourself!

If you want to find out more about the book, or check out some other reader’s opinions, please make sure to check out the other stops in the blog tour. I’ll provide a full list of the names of blogs and date they are touring (or have toured) below!

Finally, if you want to find out more on the series, I’m taking part in the blog tour for the fourth book of the series next week. Again, I am providing a review so stay tuned for it!

 

Author Bio

Karl Drinkwater writes thrilling SF, suspenseful horror, and contemporary literary fiction. Whichever you pick you’ll find interesting and authentic characters, clever and compelling plots, and believable worlds.

Karl has lived in many places but now calls Scotland his home. He’s an ex-librarian with degrees in English, Classics, and Information Science. He also studied astrophysics for a year at university, surprising himself by winning a prize for “Outstanding Performance”.

When he isn’t writing he loves guitars, exercise, computer and board games, nature, and vegan cake. Not necessarily in that order.

Social Media Links –

Website https://karldrinkwater.uk

Twitter http://twitter.com/karldrinkwater

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/karlzdrinkwater

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/authorkdrinkwater/

Newsletter http://bit.ly/newsletterkd

Discussion Post – Do Blog Stats Matter?

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

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

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

Absolutely not!

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

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

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

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

For me, the answer is most definitely, no. 

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

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

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

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

 

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Sunday Summary – 11th July 2021

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

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

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

 

Books Discovered

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

 

Coming Up…

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

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

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

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First Lines Friday – 09/07/2021

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

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

Do you recognise this opening at all?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

99 Red Balloons – Elisabeth Carpenter

99 Red Balloons  – Goodreads

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

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

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

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

 

My Thoughts…

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

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

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

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Monthly Wrap Up – June 2021

When I drafted my half-year review post last week, it hadn’t even occurred to me that it would make sense to post my June wrap up first. Still, here I am at last. It should be quite a quick one since June was a relatively quiet month for me. In addition to doing some other things this year, my sister also came to visit this month and so everything was pretty much put on hold for that. Was lovely to see her for the first time in 16 months and I can’t wait to be able to see her again!


Books Read

As I said above, this month’s progress has been reasonably quiet. In terms of reading, I have managed to read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. As of last month’s wrap-up post, I had actually just started to read this and I finished this book in the last day of the month. It’s not a lot of progress, I will admit. However, as much as I enjoy reading, I don’t live for it and I’ve done plenty of other things with my time instead.

I’ve enjoyed the more relaxed pace of reading so far, but I’m definitely looking to start picking up more books over the next six months.

More audiobook progress has been made, however I am still (just) working through A Clash of Kings by George R. R.Martin. I only have a few hours left to listen to and I expect in next month’s update, I’ll be telling you that I finally got to the end of this one! Don’t get me wrong, I am really, really enjoying it – but it’s a long one! I think for my next one, I’m going to pick up something smaller.


Blog Posts

Thankfully, I’ve been a bit more active blogging that I have reading this month. So, I have plenty of posts to share with you and give you the opportunity to catch up if you have missed any: –

 

I hope you have enjoyed this month’s rather quick wrap-up post! As always, I really enjoy getting your feedback and I would love to hear about what you have been reading recently!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Reasons Why I Love Reading

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Today’s topic is ten reasons why I love reading and honestly, you could let me ramble all day and I guarantee you I’ll have more than ten reasons. However, I will narrow it down to my favourites to stick to the post rules (but also not to bore you to death!) I feel like this is probably something I have discussed before in one way or another. But, this is a fun post topic and as everyone has their own reasons, it’s a good way to find out a bit about me.

So, enough rambling – let’s get into it!

 

Escapism

Reading is escapism from our daily, mundane lives. It gives us the opportunity to sweep your day‘s troubles under the carpet and forget about them. Becoming immersed in a completely new world or a new character helps us to separate ourselves, even if just for a little while, from the boringness that life can sometimes be. It is probably one of the main reasons why I read. That’s not to say my life is terrible, because it absolutely isn’t. None of us can deny that life can be monotonous at times – and it is at these times where reading plays a huge role for me.

 

Relaxing

I personally find reading very relaxing. Sitting down on my sofa with a cup of tea and my nose in a book is my ideal ‘me time’. I love it because I can focus all my attention on one thing. Usually my mind is going ten to the dozen with things I have done, things I need to do, things are probably forgotten to do and much more besides. Picking up a book and focusing on what I’m reading sweeps those thoughts away. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you… but I enjoy the respite!

 

To learn

I’m always trying to read either new genres, or taking historical fiction as an example, new time periods. I may have left school a few years ago now, but every day is still a school day and there is plenty that I don’t know. I enjoy learning new things and so branching out in topics I’m interested in already is one of my favourite ways to read.

 

Spark imagination

In a world where any information we want is just a few clicks away, I really enjoy the thought process that goes into Reading. Google any book characters name and you could probably find images of the actor who is played the film version of the character. Just by looking at that image, your perception that that character is formed by their physical appearance.

I personally think there is a magic to taking the words written on a page and constructing your own version of the character based on them. I firmly believe that everyone reads a book differently and will come to very different conclusions based on the information provided. More and more I see a distinct lack of people thinking for themselves, but this is something that is definitely required when reading.

 

To experience living in another’s shoes

There are billions of people on this planet and yet without the ability to walk in somebody else’s shoes, we only have a very limited perspective on life. Reading books gives people the opportunity to see through someone else’s eyes. In my opinion, reading offers an intimate way of getting to know a character. Not only do we experience their completely different lives, but we also  get an insight into the way they think and perceive the world themselves.

I don’t think this is ever something we could really do without the written word, and so I’m grateful that I can experience somebody else’s life, even for a short while, thanks to books.

 

Challenge ideals/perception

This really goes hand in hand with the point above. Unless we are prompted to think about our ideals and our perception of people/events etc, we are never going to change our minds. Reading definitely gives you the opportunity to do this-by putting yourself in another person choose and seeing it from another point of view!

 

Invest time

It’s apparent that I am the kind of person who likes to invest their time. Whether it is reading or my crafting hobbies (knitting and crochet), I get a lot not just from the end product, but also from the ‘doing’ part. I find characters a lot more relatable if I’ve taken the time to read their story, feel their emotions and experience it with them, rather than watch a film narrating it. It personally isn’t long or in-depth enough for me. Everyone is different, but this is just my perspective.

 

Improve my writing

There has definitely been an improvement in my writing skills since I’ve started reading more. I don’t think it matters what medium you use, but exposing yourself to language and literature will ultimately influence your own style. I have the advantage that I read a wide variety of books and I think each has played their part in shaping my own narrative voice. It’s something we use everyday  (even without having a blog or a hobby that involves writing), so everyone can benefit!

 

It’s a reasonably accessible hobby

With a lot of places having access to libraries, and even a plethora of free or discounted literature online, most have the potential to access a book. Given that there are so many great things that reading can teach us, the accessibility means that there is no reason that someone couldn’t expose themselves to these benefits. For the most part.

Of course there are exceptions. I am writing this as someone who had access to education and can borrow books from the library, download them from the Internet or even walk into one of many local bookshops nearby. Not everybody will have these things. Even so, where there may not be a range of books available I feel sure that at least something will be available to a lot of people.

 

You can read anywhere!

Okay, so it’s probably unacceptable to read a chapter during a team meeting at work or such like. But, you don’t have to wait until the following evening to watch the next episode of that series your bingeing. Books are so portable and they can be read pretty much anywhere. At home, at work or travelling. The birth of e-readers has made reading even more flexible. I remember the times when I used to take three or four physical books on holiday in my suitcase for a week or ten days. In my later teenage years I was able to read George R. R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons on holiday without exceeding my luggage allowance; thanks to the birth of the e-reader! My entire downloaded library was in my hand at any given time. I had so much freedom and access to what I wanted to read that I didn’t particularly have to plan in advance what I was taking with me.

Reading doesn’t have to be done in blocks of time; if it suits you you could easily read 10 or 15 minutes at once. Turn on a regular basis and you could easily get through a book. If snatching that time works best in your lunch hour or whilst you’re on the go then you can absolutely do that.

These are just my top ten reasons why I love reading, and I would love to hear yours! Please let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Summary – 4th July 2021

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

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

 

Books Discovered

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

 

Coming Up…

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

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

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

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

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