Tag: C J Tudor

Monthly TBR – June 2024

Good afternoon fellow readers and welcome to one of my favourite posts of the month – my monthly TBR. It’s a post of future plans and looking ahead at exciting books coming up on my immediate reading list!

This month I have a few carryovers (current reads and ones I didn’t get to in May) but also some new titles to feature.

So, shall we get into the details of my monthly TBR?

 

Mood Reads


The Long Earth

The first book I feature on this reading list is actually one I finished last night.

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter was a carryover from May as I hadn’t quite finished the book by the end of the month. Ironically, I have just finished it. So whilst I did technically read some of it in June, I’ll only be talking about it in this week’s Sunday Summary post.

I enjoyed this introduction to the series and I’m curious to see where the later books pick up from this first novel. I’ve gathered the scope gets quite a bit bigger just on the titles alone. I have those books in e-book format so I can pick them up whenever I’m ready!


Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes 

My second carryover from May that is working progress is Terry Pratchett’s biography, A Life With Footnotes.

At the moment I am around 50% through this audiobook, so I’m well on the way to completing this before the end of June. I’ve already enjoyed the first half of this audio, looking at Terry‘s early life, career and establishing himself as an author. We will inevitably move onto the less pleasant side of his later years, his Alzheimer’s diagnosis and ultimate passing, soon. I’m still looking forward to listening to this despite the difficult topic.

I admit I’m curious to see if Terry’s Alzheimer’s affected him in ways that are familiar to me through a family member suffering with the disease also. I’m also interested to see what impact it had on his career. I know in the end he was dictating his books to Rob, but also what other potential impacts there were that we haven’t talked about yet.


Master of Sorrows

I have a couple more carryovers from my May TBR, but these are books I did not get to start.

Are you surprised that once again, Master of Sorrows has been kicked down the line? Well, not anymore! It’s the first physical book I am going to pick up in June now that I’ve finished The Long Earth and nothing. will. stop. me. I have been trying to read this book since February – I’ve waited long enough!


Obsidio

The final carryover from my May TBR is Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.

Obsidio is the last book in the Illuminae files trilogy. I want to get to it to both finish the series, but also see how the two storylines we’ve enjoyed so far intertwine.

I anticipate Obsidio will be a relatively short read. Although it’s a good few hundred pages, the book is written in mixed media format. It has a lot of imagery so whilst there are some pages of solid text, there are plenty where there are not. I’ve really enjoyed into the world of mixed media from a variety of genres, but I do particularly like it in the science-fiction young adult series. It makes it very approachable to all readers and especially so to those who may be picking it up for the first time.


The Other People

Mum has been making her way through books written by C.J. Tudor after I introduced her to The Chalk Man and The Taking of Annie Thorne. She has recommended The Other People to me as her favourite book so far. Naturally, I want to see what it’s about!

Especially as I’ve not dabbled in the genre for a little while, I’m looking forward to seeing this book is about. This synopsis sounds as good as ever and I trust my mum’s judgement that I will really enjoy this one as she did!


Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots

Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots

In an effort to keep up with my non-fiction reading this year, I’ll be picking up the e-book Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots. This has been on my reading list since 2017 so is long overdue a read. At under 300 pages, this is also really achievable for me to pick up and make light work of.

I’ve already started this e-book as it was a convenient one to pick up after finishing a physical read of The Long Earth. I want to read on my Kindle for a bit! Aside from audiobooks, I’ve picked up a lot of physical read lately.

In just the half hour I started this last night, I am already well into the first chapter and intrigued as to where this book will take us.

If you are unfamiliar, this is a non-fiction book about how treatment for individuals in the UK and Ireland with mental health issues has changed in the last 200 or so years. By all accounts, we start this book with a lot to be desired in terms of treating people humanely and with dignity.


You Coach You

The last book on this monthly TBR is also a non-fiction and a book I intend to pick up via audio after finishing Terry Pratchett’s biography. The book is You Coach You.

I want to pick up this book for a couple of reasons. The first of these is that coaching is a skill I’m working on personally this year. I totally understand that not everyone is interested in personal development, but I’m still young and haven’t lost interest yet at the very least. On a serious note, I’m the kind of person who believes there is always more to learn. I can always improve.

So, coaching is a skill I want to work on. The other reason I want to pick up You Coach You in particular is because I listen to Helen and Sarah‘s podcast, Squiggly Careers. I already love their content and their style, so picking up their book makes infinite sense! They also narrate the audiobook, so I know exactly what I’m getting into when I start listening to this.

I can’t wait!


Summary

With a few shorter books on my monthly TBR, and a plan to pick up Master of Sorrows as a priority, I have confidence that June is going to be a productive reading month!

That’s all for my Monthly TBR post.

What are you reading?

 

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Book Review: The Taking of Annie Thorne – C. J. Tudor

In today’s post, I am sharing my book review for The Taking of Annie Thorne by C. J. Tudor. I read this book just over a year ago, so it’s well due its five minutes of fame on my blog.

I really enjoyed The Taking of Annie Thorne. Previously, I had read and loved The Chalk Man, also by the same author. It’s for this reason that I wanted to pick this latest book up, and I’m glad I did. This time last year I wasn’t reading anywhere near as much as usual. However, I read this book a lot quicker than I had been managing other books of similar length.

I think that speaks volumes for itself, but in today’s post, I share plenty more reasons why you should read this book for yourself!

 

The Taking of Annie Thorne – C. J. Tudor

Genre: Thriller/Mystery

Pages: 346

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 21 Feb 2019

Rating: *****

 

Goodreads – The Taking of Annie Thorne

One night, Annie went missing. Disappeared from her own bed. There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst. And then, miraculously, after forty-eight hours, she came back. But she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, say what had happened to her. Something happened to my sister. I can’t explain what. I just know that when she came back, she wasn’t the same. She wasn’t my Annie. I didn’t want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.

 

My Thoughts…

With any mystery or thriller, one of the greatest aspects of this kind of narrative is the characters and their backstory. The Taking of Annie Thorne is told in a dual timeline; we learn the history of the characters and what happened in the past, and we see some of those same characters back as adults. If you like this kind of idea, and in particular, if you liked the timeline in the likes of Stephen King’s book, IT, this is very similar.

Given that we are juggling two timelines interspersed within each other, the pacing of the book works really well. Nothing is revealed too early, keeping us on our toes as to what happens – in both timelines! If you are concerned that juggling both at the same time is confusing, I can assure you, I didn’t find this to be the case at all. Each is clearly set out at the beginning of the chapter as to which timeline we are in. The chapters are also not too long, so nothing too chunky happens all at once and we then forget the events of the other timeline.

I particularly liked the characters of Annie and Joe. The story is told from Joe‘s perspective. As Annie’s brother, he is close to the event when she goes missing, and in the subsequent action. I liked both of these characters for different reasons. Annie, after she comes back, is creepy. She definitely has a sinister vibe that defines this mystery novel for me, but adds elements of horror. She is characterised perfectly.

I like Joe for different reasons. He turns out to be a very complex character with very distinct character development between these two timelines. Also, I enjoyed how this was kept consistent throughout the book; at no point did his personalities or perspective merge. It made the reading of each timeline easier to follow, and was very interesting to observe how he has changed outside of the book. Joe turns out to be a character with varying shades of grey when it comes to morality. I really enjoy this element of a book. I like reading a narrative and having to consider whether whatever has happened is true, or whether the perspective is biased or not. Having Joe as a morally grey character really added to the mystery that was already here and present in the book, and I’m all for it!

As I said in my introduction above, I read this book a lot quicker than I was reading other books of a similar length. I was deliberately not taking on anything too ambitious last year, as I experienced a little bit of burnout. Yet, I managed to devour this book in a handful of days at a time when that wasn’t really the norm for me. At about 350 pages, I think this is a book that anybody could pick up at any given time. It’s not too heavy (and I don’t just mean in the literal sense) – it’s a very easy narrative to consume. It is engaging with its interesting mystery with a creepy twist, so this can appeal to a lot of readers.

As a fan of The Chalk Man, I wasn’t disappointed by The Taking of Annie Thorne. I got the narrative style and characterisation of a calibre I was expecting, with a plot twist that I couldn’t anticipate; this was one of my better reads of last year when you consider the five-star rating I gave it, and how quickly I read it!

What are your thoughts on The Taking of Annie Thorne? As always, I would love to hear from you!

 

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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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Book Review: The Chalk Man – C. J. Tudor

Hi guys and welcome back to another book review post! Today I am sharing my thoughts with you about The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor. I actually read this at the end of July this year, so I had to pull my copy out to refresh myself on some of the details.

I have plenty to say though about this read, so shall we jump into my review?

 

The Chalk Man – C. J. Tudor

Goodreads – The Chalk Man

 

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.

That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

 

My Thoughts…

First and foremost, how does this book only have 3.7 stars on Goodreads?! I demand to know because EVERY SINGLE blogger review I have read has raved about this book. And I get that too, I loved it! I think it’s a fantastic read! That I read this from cover to cover in three days is a testament to that fact. I’m pretty sure I had a good go at enthusiastically ranting about it to my parents too.

C . J. Tudor does a brilliant job of drawing you into the book from the very beginning. The dramatic events in the prologue and an accident at the fair in 1986 occur within the first 20 pages. From there, the story unravels in two timelines; continuing on from the fair in 1986 and the second thirty years on in 2016.

I really enjoy dual-timeline structured narratives. When written well, as The Chalk Man is, they interweave and spur you on to read the next chapter, and the next to see what more you can uncover. It also serves well to keep the narrative fresh. It works as a second perspective, even when you are using the same pool of characters to tell the story. I did not want to put this book down. I was captivated by the story and the unnerving events that haunt Eddie, Fat Gav, Mickey, Hoppo and Nicky from their childhood.

The re-emergence of the chalk men after thirty years is a mystery begging to be solved, especially when the murders begin. It’s a race against time to find the killer. The conclusion of the novel is brilliant and was totally unexpected! I have a bit of a gripe with thriller novels that claim I won’t see the epic plot twist. If you tell me that, I’m going to expect one! Half the fun is trying to follow the clues and make your own mind up without knowing ANYTHING about the ending. If I try to deduce the killer and I‘m wrong, or come up short, then even better! You know you succeeded in your plot twist. The Chalk Man makes no such claim so I had no idea what to expect!

The Chalk Man is definitely up there in my top reads of the year. I’ll be recommending it to anyone in the market for horror/thriller/mystery book recommendations!

 

If you haven’t read it already, seriously, please do! If you have, tell me what you thought of the book! I would love to hear from you!!

 

 

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