Tag: brandon sanderson

Monthly Wrap-Up – June 2022

Welcome to my monthly wrap-up post covering all the books I read in June. I came so, so close to finishing this month’s TBR on time; in the end, I finished my last book on the 1st of July. I’m really happy despite that though!

I knew at the beginning of this month that I wasn’t going to be reading quite so much towards the end, as I had an exam on the 29th of June to prepare for. Perhaps that is why I ended up reading so much at the beginning of the month. I also managed to squeeze in a couple of audiobooks too!

My TBR for June was a little bit different, as I couldn’t decide what to pick up and read. I had one commitment, which I ended up setting as my only ‘fixed’ book on my TBR. The rest, I pencilled in provisionally but allowed myself the option to change. Incidentally, I didn’t change any of the books, but it was nice that I have the flexibility if I wanted to. And I think I needed that. Clearly it has worked out very well for me as I’ve made very good progress this month. I’m very happy with where I’m at with my reading.

I’m considering taking this approach a bit more in future; but I’m certainly going to try it out again to see if it continues to work for me.

 

Books Read

Wolf of Mercia

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 346

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Publication Date: 7 Jun 2022

Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

My first priority of this month was to read my only ‘fixed’ book of the month, Wolf of Mercia by MJ Porter. I had agreed to take part in a blog tour for this sequel; the first book I read earlier this year. The thing I love the most about this series is that it offers a unique perspective in a period of history where violence is almost expected. Our protagonist Icel does not relish battle or even killing in his own defence, but in this sequel we got to see a new side of him – one that acknowledges his duty, but also sticks to his roots of healing people wherever he can.

If you enjoy books like Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom, then this is something I would recommend to you. I picked up this series initially because of my love of that, and it really works for me!

 

Norse Mythology

Genre: Mythology; short stories

Pages: 283

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: 6 Mar 2018

Stars:🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

After Wolf of Mercia, I swiftly moved on to Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. I wanted to pick up this book, however, I will admit I was sceptical as to whether I would like it or not. I haven’t had the best experience with books written by Neil Gaiman overall. However, Norse Mythology really worked for me.

Perhaps it is because this book is his own retelling of classic norse stories that this ended up being really safe ground. I enjoyed how these were written. Given that the book is just a collection of short stories, it was a very quick read for me; I managed to read it in just a couple of days. I was pleasantly surprised!

 

Assassin’s Apprentice

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 392

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager UK

Publication Date: 27 Mar 2014

Stars:🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

I have been meaning to try Robin Hobb’s books for such a long time, but never quite gotten around to them. However, I finally did it and I am so glad I’ve taken the plunge! These books have come highly recommended in general, but also more specifically from friends of mine.

One of the main elements I look at with fantasy books is character and world-building. These boxes were well and truly ticked in Assassin’s Apprentice, and I really enjoyed the storyline that unfolded in this book. It had elements of magic that I really liked, but also hints at the wider storyline that I trust will unfold throughout Hobb’s ‘The Realm of the Elderlings’ books.

From very early on in the narrative, we as the reader are sympathetic towards Fitz. He is a royal bastard who is left with his father‘s man Burrich as a child. He does not fit in to life at court and so he remains largely unacknowledged… but when he is, it’s not really for the better either.

I really enjoyed this book and I’m going to be continuing with this series very, very soon!

 

The Appeal

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Pages: 428

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Viper

Publication Date: 14 Jan 2021

Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The biggest selling point for me about The Appeal is that the story is told through written communications between characters. If you are looking for something that is not traditional prose, then this format is one I’d recommend you try. I really liked this change of pace, and the storyline behind the emails/messages etc between the characters is engaging in and of its own right!

The beginning of the story is a bit of a slow burn. You go into it knowing that a murder has taken place, however it does not take place until a significant way through a narrative. I expected it to happen a little bit sooner, however it comes about that the context and events we see occur in the beginning are very much relevant to what happens in the end.

What is also clever about the way this is written is that you have to read into the subtext. These people meet in person and there are interactions that we don’t see in between, but can only speculate as to what occurs. As it turns out, there is a lot more going on under the surface and whilst there were some twists I did anticipate, there were others I did not at all! This was another fantastic read, and I cannot believe that this is a debut.

I will definitely be continuing with this author’s work!

 

Skyward

Genre: Science-fiction

Pages: 513

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Gollancz

Publication Date: 6 Nov 2018

Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

I started reading Skyward on or around the 20th June, so this is the book I read the slowest over the course of the month. However, as I mentioned above, this was expected with my exam. Just because it was read the slowest, it does not mean I did not enjoy it!

Skyward is quite different to all the other Brandon Sanderson books I have read to date. Where they have sat firmly in the fantasy genre, Skyward is (expectedly) very hard leaning into the science-fiction genre. It is also written for a young adult audience. Some people have said they felt the writing was dumbed down a little, but I didn’t pick up on this too much. The nature of our protagonist definitely appeals to a younger audience, and perhaps the plot line is a little bit less sophisticated than some of his other fantasy books. But, other than that, I felt this read just as well.

I already have a copy of the sequel, Starsight, on my bookshelves just begging to be read.

 

Knight’s Shadow

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 606 (20hrs 6mins audio)

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books

Publication Date: 5 Mar 2015

Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

During the month of June I started listening to Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell again. I had started this audiobook previously, but I go through phases with audiobooks and I will binge-listen for a while, then practically stop completely. It’s a cycle that comes and goes, and I’m finally back in the ‘listening’ phase.

Even though it had been a little minute since I first started this audiobook, I was able to pick it up again really easily. The storyline and what has happened previously is unique and so it was very easy to return to the world and remember what has gone before.

I really enjoy the storyline and the witty perspective of our protagonist. I had no idea how this particular book was going to play out, after the events of the first book in series. However, it was written very well and it was a pleasure to listen to. I feel a grander storyline coming into play in comparison to the first book. As a fan of epic fantasy, this obviously appeals to me!

 

Hell

Genre: Non-fiction; memoir 

Pages: 272 (7hrs 6mins audio)

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Pan Books

Publication Date: 24 Jul 2003

Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The second audiobook listened to this month was completed in full, although admittedly, it only weighs in at about seven hours of listening time. Honestly, if it hadn’t been recommended to me I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. However, I’m glad I did!

This is the first prison diary written by Jeffrey Archer, and it recounts his experience of being imprisoned in HMP Belmarsh. This was a bit of an eye-opener for me. It’s not the kind of non-fiction book you would expect to pick up. However, the author’s experience of being imprisoned here, for a charge far less severe than that of his inmates, goes to show the unfairness and inefficiencies of the British legal system.

There are further prison diaries that the author wrote during his time, and I will also be listening to these in the future.

 

That is a lot of books to feature in one monthly wrap-up post! I had originally planned to share my mid-year review at the same time as this post. However, it’s already long enough, so I’m going to split that back out again and share that in the next day or two.

What have you been reading this month? Have you got any good book recommendations? Have you read any of the books I’ve featured today? As always, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Sunday Summary – 3rd July 2022

Good evening everyone – it is the end of yet another week and so it’s time for my Sunday Summary update! This week’s blogging schedule didn’t quite go to plan, for reasons I’ll explain below. However, all-in-all, it has been a very good week and I have some good personal news to share!

I sat an exam for a professional qualification on Wednesday this week, which I’m pleased to say I passed! Naturally, this meant that last-minute revision was my focus for the first couple of days of the week. Consequently, that means I haven’t gotten as much reading done as I normally do, but also, it threw off my blogging schedule a little.

I originally planned to share a book review at the beginning of the week, and a mid-year review later on in the week. In the end, my book review for Dune by Frank Herbert went out on Thursday, later than scheduled. This is purely because I ended up putting in some more revision time last minute, and then after I had sat the exam I wanted to give myself a bit of a well-earned break. As a result, my mid-year review has not been shared, but you can expect this very, very soon.

 

Books Read

For reasons explained above, I haven’t read as much as I would in a typical week. I am pleased to report though that I finished reading Skyward by Brandon Sanderson last night.

I really liked this book as it is very different from the other books I have read by this author. A lot of his other works have a lot of magic/fantastical elements interwoven into them. But where Skyward differs is that it leans very hard into the science-fiction genre rather than fantasy. That made it a completely different experience for me. You could also tell through the writing style that it is targeting a young adult audience, rather than an adult one. However, I really enjoyed this. I feel like a lot of young teenagers could really get on Spensa’s angsty teenager wavelength and relate to her as our protagonist.

Yet another five-star rating for a Brandon Sanderson novel!

I’ve also made some further progress with listening to Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. Most of my progress in this audiobook was made on Thursday and Friday this week. I have been doing some other bits and pieces after my exam and listening to this audiobook fit in nicely with that. I am now approximately halfway through this audiobook. It’s not a long one, so progress is going to be quite quick. I may not get it all listened to in the next week, but perhaps the following one.

The feelings I shared about this audiobook have not changed since last week. The casting of characters for this one just doesn’t see it with me, and Lyra’s voice actor is very frustrating to listen to. I’ve also seen a review of this audiobook in which somebody else says the exact same thing, so I’m not the only one!

 

Books Discovered

I’ve added one book to my reading list this week, having heard about it from Kaytee on the Currently Reading podcast. She has read this book recently, and her set-up of what the book was about really appealed to me! The book is set in Thailand and aimed at a middle-grade audience, but it has elements of magical realism (which appeals to my fantasy-loving self) and is loosely based on the story of Les Miserables. I thought that was a really unique combination, and the plot itself has drawn me in. I can’t wait to pick this one up for myself, as it’s very different from some of the other books I would usually read!

 

Coming Up…

Early this week I will be sharing my mid-year review post as originally planned last week. However, due to timing constraints, I’ve decided to combine this with my typical month-end wrap-up as well! The format will be much like my end-of-April review, in which I did my usual wrap-up and then inserted a commentary about my progress with my Goodreads challenge etc.

With it being the beginning of a new month I also have a Reading List to share with you. Now that my exam is over I am keen to dive into more books; I have quite a varied list to share with you this month, and I can’t wait for you to see it!

Next Sunday I will be back with my usual Sunday Summary wrap-up, talking about the books I’ve been reading/listening to and all my bookish updates.

For now, though, that’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary. Have you been reading anything interesting lately?

 

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Sunday Summary – 26th June 2022

Hello and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary post. I’m looking forward to sharing all my bookish updates with you from this week! I hope you have had a good one as well?

My first blog post of the week was a Top Ten Tuesday post. In that post, I talked about my top ten bookish wishes, or books that I have my eye on acquiring next. I really enjoyed writing about the books I have in mind, and also to set down how I want to acquire a copy of each book as well. It stops me buying them willy-nilly and in the wrong format.

Later in the week I shared a First Lines Friday post. I didn’t set myself a challenge for this week’s feature, but I enjoyed that. I had free rein to choose whatever I liked, and this week’s feature is one that also happened to feature in my top ten bookish wishes post. I’m also very particular on getting a physical copy of this book, as it’s not written in prose. It’s a compilation of various different types of documents, so there’s a lot more visuality to it. Can you guess the book from the opening lines?

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update I had just started Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. I was a humble 36 pages in and already hooked by protagonist Spensa‘s history and upcoming struggles.

My reading progress has slowed down a little bit this week, but I expected that. I have an exam coming up next week and I’ve been prioritising my revision for that. Even so, I’ve still managed to read a respectable 280 pages. That’s over half of the book, so I’m really happy with my progress. I’m hoping that I’ll still manage to get this finished before the end of the month, meaning that I will finish my first monthly TBR this year. We’ll see if that pans out though – I won’t be mad if I don’t quite get there. 

I have also made very good progress with audiobooks this week. I’ve talked about my hit and miss relationship with audiobooks, but I’m definitely in a phase of listening to them. This week I have been listening to a book that I wouldn’t have picked up if it had not been recommended to me. A colleague at work recommended Jeffrey Archer’s prison diaries to me. They were free to download from Audible at the time.

This week I’ve listened to the first book, Hell, in its entirety. Listening to this book really worked out for me. I am conscious of the fact I don’t read much non-fiction, and I’m trying to change that. Even then, I read or listen to any kind of biography even less often. I couldn’t tell you the last time I picked up a biography or autobiography. So, this gave me a great opportunity to break that habit. I’ll admit I didn’t have much prior knowledge of the events that happened in this book and so it was an eye-opener for me. It’s also a reasonably short listen (7 hours or so), which is why I managed to get through it in just one week.

I’ve also started a second audiobook this week, albeit a very different subject. Falling back into semi-familiar territory, I have started listening to Philip Pullman‘s Northern Lights, the first book of the ‘His Dark Materials’ series. I’m approximately 20% through this one as of this update post. I’m liking the story so far, although I have a couple of small gripes.

The book is predominantly narrated by Philip Pullman himself, but any character’s speech is narrated by somebody else (each character is separately cast). I would personally prefer for the audiobook not to have a full cast and to be narrated by just one person. Some people like audiobooks with a full cast as it helps distinguish between characters. However, it’s not working for me here. Not only that, but the person who is a voice actor for Lyra has a voice that really grates on me! I won’t let it deter me from the rest of the book though!

 

Books Discovered

I’m cursing myself once again for not making a note of where I’ve discovered this week’s addition to my TBR. I was convinced I had seen it on an email, but I’ve not been able to find my source again. Regardless, I added Against All Gods by Miles Cameron as I really like the sound of it! The synopsis of the book reminds me of Terry Pratchett, and I’ll explain why.

In the Discworld series, there is a bit of a parody with gods moving human beings like pieces on a chess board. If you read the synopsis of against all gods, then you’ll see why it reminded me of this: –

The gods play their games, looking down on the mortal realm and moving men as pawns. Sacrificing lives, towns, even civilisations as they make moves against each other, oblivious to and uncaring of the suffering it causes.

They are above it all: worshipped, emulated and admired.

Yet there is one among them who exists to sow chaos, to challenge the way of things, and to stir up trouble. One who sees the gods growing indolent and contented and selfish . . . and who is ready to meddle in the world of men. Not as part of the immortal game, but because they believe it’s possible for men to challenge . . . and even topple . . . the gods themselves.

An epic which draws on the Greek mythology of gods and heroes, this new trilogy is a must read for fans of Dan Simmons and Madeline Miller alike.

So, I am sure you can see why this appeals.

It’s an epic fantasy book that has just been released, and I also like that the gods draw on Greek mythology. I have read some other books based on Greek mythology before, so I do have a foundation of who the characters are. I’m looking forward to see how all these different elements mash together!

 

Coming Up…

I’d like to start off this week by sharing a book review with you; I have plenty of books that I am still yet to review. However, to make my life easier (because of the upcoming exam), I’m going to be reviewing something I’ve read this year. That way, my thoughts are fresh in my mind, but also I’ve been writing down my thoughts shortly after reading books. Therefore, I’ve got most of review already written and ready to go.

This week, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on Dune by Frank Herbert. My choice of reviewing this book is also because I have since gone on to read additional books in the series. I don’t want to get so far behind as I have with other series that I’m having to go back too far.

Friday is the 1st of July, and we will be over halfway through 2022! With that in mind, later this week I’d like to take a look at my reading progress throughout the year so far, review my reading goals and have a chat about my upcoming plans for the second half of the year.

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

I hope you have enjoyed today’s update! What have you been reading?

 

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Sunday Summary – 19th June 2022

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update post! I hope all you amazing Dads out there have had a lovely Father’s Day and been spoilt!

I started off this week with sharing a discussion post, the topic being about getting out of your comfort zone when reading. It has been a little while since I drafted a post of this type and I enjoyed doing so. It ended up being quite a long post, in which I discussed ways you could push your boundaries, shared why that’s benefited me and how I plan to continue getting out of my comfort zone.

Later in the week, I returned to my usual Friday feature posts. This week, I shared a Shelf Control post and featured a book that has been on my TBR since 2018. It is a ‘new to me’ author, even though they are prominent in the genre. If you want to find out more, you can do so with the link above.

 

Books Read

As of my last Sunday Summary update I had just started The Appeal by Janice Hallett. I was approximately 25 pages in and really looking forward to diving into this book.

I read the book in its entirety in four days! The format of the story was fantastic! I love how it was told through correspondence between characters. As a reader, it makes you read between the lines and try to decipher the subtext. After all, we only see the online interactions and not what happens in person.

I also really enjoyed the complexity of the characters and the storyline. As far as the murder mystery goes, this kind of book shows you that it can be very obscure. Every character had a motive or a reason to be involved or not trusted. The story was very complex, but at the same time easy to follow and very intriguing! The way it has been written was very cleverly done and I personally enjoyed the change of pace!

I had a little break from reading for a few days, however I started my next and last ‘official’ book on my TBR today. For half an hour or so before going to visit my parents, I read the 36 pages of Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. It’s a solid introduction to this book so far and I can’t wait to see how the story progresses.

In the prologue and first three chapters, the history of the main character Spensa has been established, and from there I expect a wonderful story of what is apparently a very stubborn girl determined to fight against the prejudice she experiences. I can’t wait to dive into this one more and I’ll have more to tell you in next week’s update.

Lastly, I finished Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell this week. I have gone from listening to practically nothing to a complete switch around and managed to finish an audiobook! I really enjoyed this second instalment to the series. I had no idea how some of the complications the characters were having were going to resolve themselves, But I really enjoyed how this was done!

 

Books Discovered

I have added a couple of books to my TBR this week. Both are very different from each other, which only goes to show how different my reading taste is.

The first book is written by Margaret Atwood, called Alias Grace. I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard of this book before until I discovered it in a video by @schulerbooks on TikTok. Yes, I have joined TikTok for the bookish community there! I really like the description of the book and the video I found prompted me to find out more. Consequently, I added this to my reading list as I think I’ll really enjoy this one. I like the unreliable narrator trope, which is a prominent feature in this book.

After some consideration I have added The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake to my reading list. I’ve seen quite a few people talking about this book, but most prominently from one booktuber I follow who really enjoys the dark academia theme/genre. This book falls into that category and as she loves it so much, I’m willing to give it a go!

 

Coming Up…

I like the idea of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post, which is top ten bookish wishes. The idea is to share the top ten books you would like to own and if you set up a Wishlist on Amazon, provide a link to it so people can get a copy to you if they want to purchase it for you. I’m not going to do this; if I want a book I’ll buy it myself, or ask for a copy from family as a gift for an occasion. So, I won’t be adding the wish list, but I will be talking about the top ten books on my TBR that I want to own next!

On Friday I will be sharing a First Lines Friday post. The last few times I have done this type of post I have set myself a challenge. I don’t have anything in particular in mind and so this week I’m going to keep it open and decide which book to feature later in the week.

And last, but certainly not least, I’ll be back with a Sunday Summary post this time next week with all my fresh updates for you!

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

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I’d LOVE to Re-Read!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday post is a freebie with the general theme of ‘love’. Now you know me, I am not interested in anything remotely romance-y. Obviously I wasn’t going to be sharing the post along those lines!

When trying to think about how I could make this topic work for me, I came to the answer quite easily. As I’ve been drafting blog posts of late, and featuring books I’ve read before, I’m frequently saying to myself that I would love to re-read them. And it’s true – I fully intend to do so! This wasn’t too far away from the forefront of my mind, so making a topic of them in today’s post seemed logical. It also means I have a record of the books I want to re-read as of now so I can always go back to it if I need to refer to it!

Half of the books on this list are ones I read prior to starting my blog and so it has been a good while since I read them. I’m interested in going back to them to see what I make of them now my reading taste has matured. Those books are: –

 

The Name of the Wind

The Mistborn Trilogy

The Gentlemen Bastards series

Blood Song

Night Angel series

 

In addition, there are books I have read within the last few years that I want to go back to again just because I thought they were brilliant! They’re the kind of books I could go back to you again and again (and again) and never get bored of them. These are the books I will shout from the rooftops about, because I think they’re bloody fantastic!

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy

Strange the Dreamer series

Raven’s Mark series

Code Name Verity

 

There is one final book on my list that I would like to re-read again, because I didn’t actually finish it properly first time round.

The Eye of the World

the eye of the world

After a very good attempt, I DNF’d first book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I was enjoying it, however it was also quite heavy. At the time I tried to read this book I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind. I started to struggle and ultimately made the decision to put this down because I wasn’t getting on with it.

I really want to go back to it because my friend Rachael absolutely loves the series and I trust her judgement entirely. I was the problem, I think… or at least the timing of it was. If I could go back to this in a better frame of mind, I’ll sail through it. A time when I’m really motivated to read and not intimidated by the length, because it is a chunky one… and only the first book of many! If all else fails I can get an audiobook copy – they are nice and easy to digest compared to physical books! 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Have you read any of these books? Do you have any books you would love to re-read?

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Sunday Summary – 12th December 2021

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

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

 

Books Discovered

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

 

Coming Up…

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

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

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

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Sunday Summary – 5th December 2021

Good evening and welcome to tonight’s Sunday Summary update post. As always I hope you’ve had a really good week wherever you are!

It’s been a good one here, even if it didn’t quite go to plan. Mid-week I shared my monthly wrap-up post for November 2021. In that post I talked about the books I’ve been reading and listening to over the last month, in addition to recapping the posts I shared as well. If you haven’t checked out that post already you can find a link here and find out what I’ve been up to!

I was supposed to share a Shelf Control post on Friday, but as I’m sure you guessed that didn’t quite pan out the way I intended. I was out with friends on Friday night and I ended up being out later than I expected. And we went out to pottery painting, in case you’re interested. Anyway, I didn’t get back home until well past 10 o’clock; having not started the post yet I decided that I was going to postpone it instead. I’ve spent the weekend putting up my own Christmas decorations and helping out at my parents. So it’s been a busy one without even factoring in catching up.

 

Books Read

I promised this week that I be better on the reading front and pick up more of Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. However, I have a confession to make and that is that I didn’t really. I read a few more percent of the book but that’s about all. Some reading is better than none I suppose, but it’s definitely fair to say that I’m reading a lot less than I used to. That’s okay, because I enjoy it when I do it! I will try and make more of an effort to pick this up again next week though. I keep going at this pace I’ll still be reading it next Christmas!

I’ve also been listening to more of Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to this whilst I’m doing Pilates exercises in the evening. It’s a good accompaniment to doing it because it’s a great distraction from what I’m doing and so I often find I’m doing more than necessary for each exercise. In my last Sunday summary update post I was about halfway through this audiobook; now I am approximately 2/3 of the way through. It’s something I’ve gotten into the habit of doing and so I’m sure I’ll have more progress to report on this very soon.

 

Books Discovered

Once again I’ve been good and I have no new additions to my reading list or my bookshelves this week!

 

Coming Up…

This week I plan to share a book review with you. It’s been a long time since I read this book and indeed carried on with the rest of the series by this author. However, I really enjoyed reading this one and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you. The book I’m featuring is The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell.

Later in the week I’ll be back with my postponed shelf control post on Friday, and then I’ll be rounding up the week with another Sunday summary update as usual.

Until then, I hope you have a great week and I’ll see you around.

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Sunday Summary – 28th November 2021

Hello and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update! It only seems like five minutes since I was sitting here this time last week sharing my update with you then. Aren’t the weeks just flying by?

This week I shared a couple of blog posts with you. On Thursday I shared a discussion post; in that post, I talked about how I manage my blog and read as well as my everyday life. Testament to the fact that you can’t control everything, that post was supposed to go live on Wednesday. However, we had an incident locally which took out my electricity for a while and so I couldn’t share this with you as planned. It does just go to show that sometimes life gets in the way!

Then on Friday, I shared a First Lines Friday post with you. In that post, I featured a book that I am listening to at the moment. I loved the introduction and I hope you do too! This is turning out to be a great listen and I hope you can check out that post to find out more about it.

 

Books Read

I’ll be the first person to hold my hands up and say that my reading progress has been pretty abysmal this week. My current read is Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. Progress this week goes as far as reading just a few pages of the book on Wednesday night, surrounded only by candlelight. Fortunately I have a Kindle with a back light, so this was how I’d planned to spend my evening if the power hadn’t come back on. But, it did, so my usual plan to FaceTime my sister went ahead and took up the rest of my evening pretty much. Then, I didn’t pick it up for the rest of the week. Terrible I know – I’ll be better next week I promise.

I have however listened to a lot more of Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. I’m doing really well with this audiobook and it’s incredibly engaging! I have a bit of a stop/start relationship with audiobooks. I do really enjoy them, but I’m not in habit of listening to them all that much. That is, until I find one so great that I can’t stop listening to it. Traitor’s Blade is one of those books. I’m now about halfway through the audiobook and it’s a great listen. The author has done a fantastic job of juggling action in the narrative with context and backstory to the Greatcoats (the Order our main characters belong to). It’s fantastic and I can see myself progressing through this one very quickly.

 

Books Discovered

No news is good news, so they say… and I for one agree!

 

Coming Up…

Somehow we are hurtling towards the end of November, and that can only mean one thing. Later this week I will be sharing my Monthly Wrap Up for November and discuss the books I’ve read and the blog posts I’ve shared in the month.

On Friday I’ll return with a Shelf Control post. If you are unfamiliar with the series, it’s an opportunity for me to have a look at my TBR and feature the next book on my list. Not only is it a great way to get excited about the books on my list, but if I decide I’m no longer interested in a book, it comes off. 

Lastly, I’ll be sharing another Sunday Summary update for you this time next week.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post, albeit there hasn’t been too much to report. Have you read Words of Radiance or Traitor’s Blade? Let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Summary – 21st November 2021

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update this week! As always, I hope you’ve had a good week? I’ve had a great one! Not only have I been off work and spending time with family, but I’ve also been doing a job I’ve been dreading in the garden – cutting down my second hedge to a reasonable height. I thought taking the first one down a couple of weeks ago was bad, but this second one was a whole different ballpark. But, never mind; it has gone now, which I’m a bit relieved about!

Aside from the mundane jobs around the house, and the significantly more exciting spending time with family, I have shared a couple of blog posts with you. My first post of the week was a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s subject was Top Ten Books to Read If You Like ‘X’; I chose fantasy as my subject. As I’ve read a lot of the genre I felt it was the most comfortable topic I could talk about. Not only that, but as there are a lot of fantasy books out there, I hope that featuring my favourites helps you find your next one!

On Friday I took part in a blog tour for The Warden by Jon Richter. This is a psychological thriller novel that I agreed to review as part of the tour. If you haven’t checked out my review you can find a handy link here – no spoilers in saying that I enjoyed the book! It is an interesting take on the pandemic and a potential future concept involving technology, and what could happen if we became highly dependent on it and it goes wrong. It was fantastic and I hope you can take a look at the book for yourself!

 

Books Read

As of the beginning of this week I had 25% of The Warden left to read before I could put my thoughts together for my review on Friday. I blitzed through this last hour’s worth of reading after publishing my Sunday Summary post last week. I don’t know how I can do that when I don’t plan to do it, but when I do plan to do it (as I did the week prior) I fail miserably. Never mind – it meant that I have plenty of time to get my thoughts together and draft my review.

I have since gone back to reading Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. I put this on hold briefly in order to do my reading for the recent blog tours I’ve taken part in (Million Eyes II and The Warden). It only equates to having read 5% of the book this week, but it’s progress. It works out at just over 50 pages, in case you’re interested. 5% doesn’t sound like much; 50 pages sounds better!

I’ve also started listening to a new audiobook this week. Whilst I was knitting the other evening I decided to start listening to Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. I’m currently on chapter 2 and the introduction has been great. There is plenty of action to keep me interested but also enough history to get an idea of who our main characters are and their role in society as a whole. I can’t wait to keep listening to this and find out more! All in all, a fabulous start.

 

Books Discovered

No new additions again this week. You might find this report a little bit boring, but I personally am very happy about it. It means I can *pretend* my habit is in control.

 

Coming Up…

I’m all done for blog tours for now. I haven’t signed up to very many of them this year, and while I’ve enjoyed taking part in them, I’m also looking forward to being able to post in my own time.

I’ve been having a think about what I want to share with you and the plan is to share a discussion post with you early next week. The topic I have in mind is to talk about how I juggle writing content for my blog, as well as reading and also all the other bits I like to do. For anyone who doesn’t blog, it may give insight as to how much time it takes. And, for anyone who does, I may be able to offer some time management techniques that you may take away and try to implement yourself!

Later in the week I will be back with my regular Friday feature posts. This week I will be sharing a First Lines Friday post. I really enjoy sharing these and giving myself the opportunity to share a variety of books here on my blog. And for this week’s post I’m going to keep it open (as I set myself a challenge last time I shared this post). I hope you can join me and that you like the sound of the book I ultimately feature.

Then, last but not least, I’ll be back the same time next week with another Sunday Summary update for you.

In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Have you read any of the books I’m reading? Do any of them appeal to you? Let me know in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books to Read If You Love… Fantasy!

I wanted to take part in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post as I have extensive knowledge and experience in reading fantasy novels. If you read my blog you’ll know I absolutely love fantasy and I have ever since I was a teenager.

I have significantly diversified since my teenage years (partly because I read that much fantasy I got bored of the same thing over again), but it’s a genre I always go back to. It’s like a comfort blanket to me; it’s always there for me to go back to and I do so regularly.

Naturally, having read a lot of fantasy books, I have distinct favourites from genre. And today, I’m sharing those favourites with you and why they make the cut.

 

Game of Thrones series – George R. R. Martin

There shouldn’t be any surprises that this is on my list… and of course it’s on the top of my list! There are so many reasons that I think this is fantastic and if you read my blog already you’ve heard it a million times before. The narrative is great, the writing is fabulous and the characters are so tangible that it doesn’t feel like you’re reading a book. Honestly, it’s amazing, and I won’t bore you with telling you why I think so all over again

 

Mistborn series – Brandon Sanderson

This was the first series I read by Brandon Sanderson and I stand by the fact that it’s my favourite. I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who has yet to try any of Brandon Sanderson‘s writing. It is a series, but it’s a very approachable one. If, like me, you love the idea of a magic system having a basis of science then this is definitely one for you!

 

The Kingkiller Chronicle series – Patrick Rothfuss

It has been so long since I picked any of these books up, and I’m still waiting for the last of the series, but I’ll never forget the impression this made on me as a teenager. For the reasons I love a Game of Thrones, I love this series as well. The characters are so detailed and know one of them perfect and they acknowledge this. The world building is also spectacular. The narrative style is also unique as the book is written as if the main character is telling the tale in recollection after the event. At the time I read this series, this was the first time I’d come across this technique. I think it really works!

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone series – Laini Taylor

The reason the series is on the list is because I loved it, despite it having so many elements that I should have enjoyed. I’m not a big fan of romance, and typically YA is not my style (with a few exceptions) but I love this series so much that I read it in a matter of months. That’s unheard-of for me! Are usually drag them out for so long but I had to binge read this – it was that good!

 

The Raven’s Mark series – Ed McDonald

Blackwing

After I finished the last book of the series, Crowfall, I cried because it was over. How sad is that?! It will become apparent to you that a lot of the books on this list are designated so because the character development is far more than superficial. There’s character development, and then this character development and these books take them one step further. Ryhalt Galharrow is the kind of character you don’t want to like… but you can’t help it! Somehow addressing his faults makes him endearing to us as the reader. He is entirely human in his mistakes. He kills people, and has own selfish reasons for doing the things he does. But we also see the other human side of him – The part of him that is scarred emotionally and how he reacts to events in the book certainly demonstrates that.

Just go and read it, okay? And try not to cry like a baby like I did.

 

Gentlemen Bastards series – Scott Lynch

It’s hard to believe from reading the series that it is Scott Lynch‘s debut. The narrative is absolutely amazing and and I loved the crassness of it. It’s clever and witty and a fun read… Especially if you like characters of a less than honest nature!

Again, please go and read this. However-a word of advice: if you take offence to the swearing in the title, definitely don’t read this book. It doesn’t get any better!

 

The Broken Empire series – Mark Lawrence

I really liked The Broken Empire because again, it has a main character who from the beginning you don’t want to like but end up doing so anyway. This was the first series I read by Mark Lawrence and it’s inspired me to continue to read his works. I really liked the narrative and my teenage self really enjoyed these books. It’s series that I plan to go back and read again and that should tell you everything.

 

The Relic Guild series – Edward Cox

The narrative of The Relic Guild was so out there, and the series went on in a direction I completely didn’t anticipate from the beginning. That’s what I really enjoyed about this series. It was also very cleverly thought out and very easy to read considering the sophisticated magic and plot twists involved.

 

Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling

The Harry Potter series is one of those eat you could pick up at any age. I first started reading these in my teenage years and you may know that I have picked these up again this year. I read the first five books so far. Even going back to the beginning, I found them really easy to read, but without being babyish. The plot and themes of the box get a lot darker for further on you go, so there is stark contrast to my last experience of the series versus restarting it. However, I really enjoyed going back and experiencing this again. It has been a long time since I picked these books up (I think I last read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows over eight years ago), But I’m loving taking the time to read them. It’s a classic series that is great for everyone!

 

Discworld series – Terry Pratchett

I love the Discworld series because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. But, at the same time, Terry Pratchett is able to include some quite serious themes, including gender equality, death, fame etc in a fun way. I would never have said that I would be a huge fan of satire, however the Discworld is a bit of this and I think it’s great. Put it this way – I have read 18 books from the series so far. That reminds me, I haven’t picked one up for quite some time. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about the next one!

 

Have you read any of the books listed in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post? Let me know in the comments! Or, do you have another favourite but I haven’t listed?

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