Tag: fantasy

Sunday Summary – 17th May 2020

Hey guys – it’s Sunday evening again and time for another weekly update from me! I’ve had a busy week finishing up unpacking from my house move and buying supplies to start doing it up! I’m not rushing into that just yet though! I managed to get finished in enough time to have a couple of days off before I’m back at work tomorrow! Things are really getting back to normal for me now. Well, in present circumstances at least…

I hope you are all keeping well?

In between unpacking and everything I made some time to draft a couple of blog posts. The first of those two was a Top Ten Tuesday post, in which I talk about the Last Ten Books I Abandoned. My second post of the week was a First Lines Friday post, in which I featured the intro to a new publication I received this week – I am excited to read it!

 

Books Read

In the last few days, I’ve had more time than I have recently to start picking up books again. I have been reading a little in the evenings here and there, but nothing like my usual pace. I almost took a bit of a step back from it as I knew I wouldn’t have the time or concentration for a lot of reading.

That said, I have managed to finish a book I started a few weeks ago and made decent headway on another. I have been reading C. S. Quinn’s The Thief Taker casually both before and throughout the move. I had hoped to finish this on Friday evening, but it did actually just run over into Saturday before I got to the end of the book.

After I finished that I deliberated on what to pick up next. I looked at a few books on my bookshelves before deciding on Vox by Christina Dalcher, and I definitely made the right decision! I didn’t want anything too heavy whilst I am ‘getting back into reading’ because I was worried about losing interest if I dived in too deep. I picked this up yesterday evening and I’ve already read 40% of it. I had to tell myself to put it down and go to bed gone 1am last night. I love this book so far and I’ll be reading more before bed again tonight! Can’t be a late one though…

 

Books Discovered

This is a bit of an odd book to feature, but this is more of a re-discovery than anything.

Since quarantine, I picked up an old hobby of mine – crochet – and I am currently making a blanket out of a patchwork of squares of different colours and patterns. I unpacked all my books the other day and found a crochet patterns book I had forgotten I owned! I’ve been using patterns online but after finding this, I’ve had a go at some of these to add into the mix!

 

Coming Up…

My first post next week is going to be a book review. It feels like it’s been a little while since I have written one, and that is what my blog is about after all! The book I have chosen to review is Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. I actually received a digital copy of this in exchange for review from the publisher. I started to read this epic thriller novel at the end of my holiday last year… so it’s been a while!

On Friday I’ll be taking another look at the next book on my TBR in another Shelf Control post. This week’s featured novel is a classic novel that I didn’t get to read in school but I think I’ll really enjoy now I’m a little older. I won’t have to micro-analyse every sentence of the damn thing… always a bonus!

That’s all from me in today’s update! Fingers crossed my blog and reading activity will start to pick up again soon! What have you been reading?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 10th May 2020

Hey guys! Welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary post! I hope you are all well? Apologies, this post is also going to be a little light on book content – as I was last week. In last week’s Sunday Summary post I told you guys that I was supposed to be moving house this week. There was always a degree of uncertainty over whether it would happen in the current circumstances, but it did! I moved out of my flat and into my new house on Thursday!

It was stressful; some parts of the move went really well but others not so much. My poor parents delivered a takeaway to me that evening and had to stand on my doorstep unable to do anything as I had a bit of a meltdown over it all. I’m good now though! I just let a load of stupid niggles and the stress of the day overwhelm me a bit. Having slept on it, I woke up on Friday with a better attitude towards it all and I’m in a good frame of mind to get what I can sorted.

Three days on and I’m nearly halfway unpacked! The kitchen was by far the biggest job and I finished scrubbing it to within an inch of its life and putting everything away today. I should be done in the next couple of days if I can keep this pace up! My back and legs ache and I have some bruises to show for my efforts… but it will all be worth it in the end!

Anyway, let’s get onto the bit you are actually here for – books! I managed to line-up a couple of blog posts for this week as I knew I was going to be busy. On Monday I shared my Reading List post for May and on Friday I scheduled a Shelf Control post for you guys.

 

Books Read

As you’ve probably gathered, books haven’t really been the focus of my attention this week. That said, I have picked up The Thief Taker by C. S. Quinn some evenings to wind down after busy days. I’m still reading The Women’s Room but needed something lighter to read than that. I was on strict orders to on Thursday night after my little… ahem… moment in front of mum and dad! I have also been catching up with Westworld before it drops off NowTV as well, so I haven’t made a whole lot of progress. I’ve read 33% of the book to date.

 

 

Books Discovered

Source: Giphy

 

Coming Up…

I’m not planning on much blogging or reading next week either. I may be halfway done unpacking, but once that is finished there is a decent list of DIY jobs that need doing around here. I’m not going to start anything too major just yet, but I might as well start with some of the smaller jobs whilst I’m off work and free to do them.

I am hoping for a bit more free time now the most intensive jobs are done – I’ll certainly have the evenings to myself if nothing else! With that in mind, I’d like to try and schedule two blog posts this week.

On Tuesday I am planning on sharing a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s topic is the Last Ten Books I Abandoned, which I actually quite like. I have abandoned a few lately, so it’s a good chance to talk about those properly! Then on Friday, I’ll be selecting another book and sharing the opening lines with you in my First Lines Friday post!

That’s a wrap for us in today’s Sunday Summary post guys! Thanks for being patient with me whilst I’m taking a brief step back from reading. In my absence, what are you reading?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 3rd May 2020

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

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

 

Books Read

 

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

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

 

Books Discovered

 

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

 

Coming Up…

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

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

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

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

 

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Blog Tour Book Review: Magical Intelligence – M. K. Wiseman

I’m really excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Magical Intelligence by M K Wiseman. Today kickstarts the blog tour for Magical Intelligence, which will be running up until its publication next week! As a huge fan of fantasy, magic and the concept of wizard spies, I have been looking forward to reading this book and sharing my thoughts with you about it.

Before I start these posts I always like to take the time to thank both Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the tour and to the author for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review!

Would you like to find out a little about Magical Intelligence before we jump into my thoughts of the book?

 

Magical Intelligence – M K Wiseman

Goodreads – Magical Intelligence

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

And now hunted by one of their own.

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

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

 

Purchase Links –   Amazon UK     Amazon US

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-LocPwqQiU

 

My Thoughts…

The first thing that caught my attention about the book was the plotline. I love how it revolves around magic and how scientific discovery (electricity) has a negative impact on wizardry. Those of you that read my other reviews may remember that one of my favourite things about fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson is that his magic systems have a physical element or limitation to them. I love when magic interacts with the world we know and love. It lends a sense of realism to what is going on; it has rules and that way it can’t be used to make a plothole problem disappear randomly. For this reason, I really enjoyed the concept behind this story.

Myra is an Empath. She has the ability to experience other’s emotions as well as manipulate them. I really liked this power in our protagonist. I would say I am quite an empathetic person so even though she is a teenage girl, we have common ground and that makes her relatable. As I am sure all women can tell you, handling emotions as a teenage girl is no walk in the park. It’s a confusing, ever-changing mess – just like Myra’s emotions for a good portion of the book. But again, this all adds to her being an overall relatable character.

The age and circumstance are perfect for allowing Myra to mature and really show off her development as a person and with her powers. Having grown up being misunderstood, Myra finds a sense of belonging amongst a ‘family’ she never knew existed. I’m looking forward to seeing how she grows throughout the rest of the series, as well as find out more about her past. There are a few little hints, but a lot of mystery as to how she ended up on her own. Hopefully, all will be revealed!

The Violectric Dampening also serves to build and differentiate a number of characters within M.I. Some of the wizards within the group are more prone to it than others. As Myra quite literally lands herself in the action from one of her visions, she is chucked in the deep end. We are introduced to a number of different wizards and magical abilities that, up until now, have served them in serving the Crown. Now working in an unofficial capacity to protect their magic from one threatening it, they train Myra to control her abilities as well as teach her about their own to aid them in their difficult mission.

Magical Intelligence is a fun read for fans of fantasy, magic and action-packed adventure! I really enjoyed the unique storyline, the setting and how well this whole package comes together. Thanks again to the author for the opportunity to read and review the book!

 

Author Bio

M. K. Wiseman has degrees in animation/video and library science – both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, her office is a clutter of storyboards and half-catalogued collections of too, too many books. (But, really, is there such a thing as too many books?) When she’s not mucking about with stories, she’s off playing brač or lying in a hammock in the backyard of her Cedarburg home that she shares with her endlessly patient husband.

 

Social Media Links –

Website: http://mkwisemanauthor.com/

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

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/FaublesFables

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7073540.M_K_Wiseman

Sunday Summary – 26th April 2020

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

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

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

 

Books Discovered

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

 

Coming Up…

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

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

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

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

 

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Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

Hey guys and welcome back to another review post! I’ve already reviewed one book (audiobook) this week and I’m back again in an effort to catch up with the number of reviews I need to write! Today’s review is going to be a joy to write because I absolutely loved this book! In fact, I loved the whole series! I wouldn’t describe myself as a binge reader particularly, but I read this series really quickly by my standards. I read this on holiday in October last year and I read the remaining two books in November and December respectively. I can tell you now that it’s one I will be picking up time and again.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

Goodreads – Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Goodreads

Purchase Links:  Amazon UK    Amazon US     Waterstones

My Thoughts…

If I haven’t already made it clear from the intro, let me say this one thing first. Ahem. I LOVED THIS BOOK! I was already a huge fan of Laini Taylor’s based on her Strange the Dreamer duology. She really has a way with words, beautiful descriptions and great characters/storylines. If you are a huge fantasy fan, please, please read at least one of her books. Whilst they are marketed at a young adult audience, I didn’t overly perceive them that way. I don’t typically read YA but I’m glad I did on this occasion!

In Daughter of Smoke and Bone Laini Taylor reinvents the classic angels vs demons conflict. Where typical stories have clear cut good and evil sides, Daughter of Smoke and Bone is riddled with moral ambiguity and grey areas on both sides. It makes the conflict element of the storyline really interesting. What makes it even better is that our main character Karou is largely ignorant of what is going on within this conflict for most of the book. To us readers, she begins as a mostly normal young woman studying art in Prague. However, as Karou accidently learns that there is more to her existence than she first realises, we readers are thrown into a whole new world where enemies appear as friends, and friends as enemies. Who is Karou really, and who can she trust?

I really enjoy how well Laini Taylor gives her female characters plenty of sass! If you want an example, I shared a great opening quote from one of the later books in a First Lines Friday post. It’s just one of many brilliantly funny moments that had me laughing out loud. I’m pretty sure I had a few quizzical looks whilst reading this, not least from my sister!

As someone that isn’t a huge advocate of romances in novels, I wasn’t sure what I was going to make of the Karou/Akiva relationship alluded to in the synopsis. I was pleasantly surprised though. It is quite a significant part of the narrative, but it isn’t awkward, forced or uncomfortable to read. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I just get awkward reading romances when they’re overly sexualised. It just makes me cringe. Karou and Akiva’s spark isn’t like that at all – it’s born of longing, a half-remembered past. A re-kindling. That’s all I can say without spoiling anything, but the one thing it is not is sexual. Works for me!

I’m glad I bought Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the rest of the series later, in paperback. I will definitely be revisiting this series again – that’s how much I loved it. Now that I know what happens, I also want to read it again to see what I missed the first time.  

Have you read Daughter of Smoke and Bone or any other books by Laini Taylor? Let me know in the comments!

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Audiobook Review: Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

Today I am sharing an audiobook review for Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I listened to this audiobook last year and finished it in September. It’s been a little while since I finished this, however, I have listened to its sequel Crooked Kingdom more recently.

I really enjoyed listening to Six of Crows and today’s post is all about sharing what I loved about it! Before that though, here are the details of the book: –

 

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads – Six of Crows

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager

A runaway with a privileged past

A spy known as the Wraith

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

 

Purchase Links – Amazon UK     Amazon US     Waterstones

 

My Thoughts

My favourite thing about this particular book, and series, is the depth and detail of the world that has been created. Whilst I have only listened to this duology from Leigh Bardugo, my understanding is that it ties in with another series she has written (The Shadow and Bone series). It really shows in the detail. Those that read my reviews regularly will know that I talk about the setting and history of a novel a lot. It’s a big factor on whether I enjoy fantasy stories such as these or not. It worked really well for me, and I think I will be reading or listening to her other series based on what I have enjoyed listening to already.

As I listened to the audiobook version of Six of Crows, I got the benefit of a variety of narrators to add to the overall diversity in characterisation. I really liked that the story was split into several perspectives, but not so many that it becomes difficult to understand who our perspective is narrated by and what is going on. Each perspective is distinct, unique and adds to the storyline.

The daring, impossible criminal heist element of the storyline really drew me in and I’m glad I picked up Six of Crows. This was the first book I have read by Leigh Bardugo and I’ll be reading more of her books based on this one. It’s nail-biting and exciting. I agree with some of the reviews offering criticism about how events play out – it does seem a little unrealistic given the circumstances. However, I didn’t really think about it at the time – it was still enjoyable all the same!

Have you read or listened to Six of Crows? What do you think of it?

 

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

Thank you!***

Sunday Summary – 19th April 2020

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

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

 

Books Discovered

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

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

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

 

Coming Up…

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books for a little escapism

Welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! I really like writing these posts and decided it was time for another. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

I quite often go it alone with topics rather than following the set topics for the week. Sometimes the prescribed topics just don’t fit my blog at all! Instead, I have been having a think about an alternative topic for this week. I don’t know about you, but I read for a bit of escapism. I like to break away from the mundane routine. Well, normally. Fact is, the normal mundane routine has been ripped up and tossed out the window. It’s not a very nice situation we are in right now and more than ever I am looking for escapism. I’m sure others are too… and that’s what gave me the idea for this post.

I thought I might struggle to put this list together, but I had the opposite problem! I’ve had to cut it down quite a lot. I’ve excluded a lot of larger names that I would love to feature here because they’re well-known enough to recommend themselves. J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones and J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings are great books – but you probably know about them already. In today’s post, I wanted to talk about books and authors that aren’t as well-known – although they deserve to be!

 

The Mistborn Series – Brandon Sanderson

It would be pretty sacrilegious not to include my current read on this list. I’ve devoured the last three books of this series with fervour over the past few months. The books published to date are split into two timelines. I loved the first trilogy years ago but recently, the later books set in the fictional city of Elendel have reiterated why I love Brandon Sanderson’s writing. The depth of history of the magic, the characters… it’s all fantastic.

I get lost in these books! They’re the kind you promise yourself ‘just one more chapter’ before bed and before you know it, it’s WAY past your bedtime. I don’t regret it either.

 

Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch

This is also a recent discovery. I think the fact that I listened to all of Rivers of London and a third of Moon over Soho in the past couple of weeks alone says it all! If it doesn’t, I don’t know what will!

I’ve been listening to these as audiobooks whilst crocheting. It’s nice to break up the format of ‘reading’ – but I have to praise the narrator Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. He manages to take the author’s already interesting and diverse characters and breathe life into them. The book also balances action, character development and sensory descriptions really well. If you like magical and supernatural mysteries or think you might, I would definitely recommend these books as a starting point! I suspect I’ll continue to binge-listen to these!

 

The Last Kingdom – Bernard Cornwell

Something for historical fiction fans here! I’m not even halfway through this series yet but I love it so much! It was recommended to me by a work colleague and friend. She is Danish, and it prompted some interesting conversation about the historical period. For those that don’t know, it’s set at the time the Vikings invaded Britain. The main character Uhtred is an Englishman, but living in the North, his village was raided when he was a boy and he was subsequently raised by Danes. His personal conflict between both sides runs throughout the books I have read so far and it makes for a really interesting perspective on the period!

 

Simon Says – Jo Wesley

If standalone books are more your thing, then Simon Says might be of interest to you. I’m going to be upfront and say that the storyline is based on the sensitive topic of rape, and the consequences of it. That might put some people off, and that’s fine! This book isn’t for you in that case. Considering the nature of it, I think that it is handled really well. I was really impressed with this book – so much so it made it on my top reads of 2019 list!

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone – Laini Taylor

This book (and series) also qualified for the top reads of 2019 list! I love Laini Taylor’s style of writing and I’ve really enjoyed her Strange the Dreamer duology previously. The Angels vs Demons (monsters) baseline is plot is great because she breaks down the stereotypes of good and evil and tosses them out of the window.

 

Blackwing – Ed McDonald

Blackwing

If, like me, you love fantasy series with epic fantasy worlds with plenty of lore in a post-apocalyptic setting, then the Raven’s Mark series could be for you! Magic ravaged the world in a cataclysmic event and razed the landscape now known as the Misery. If that’s not interesting enough for you, then how does a plotline indicating that a similar event with even more catastrophic consequences sound?

It was a winner for me and I really, REALLY recommend this one to any and all fantasy fans!

 

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

Nevernight

The Nevernight Chronicles is another great fantasy series for those that love fantasy novels with lots of history to them. Throw in a young girl who has had her family ripped apart since childhood, rare magic power and a terrible grudge… and you get an amazing, murderous and vengeful trilogy. Determined to bring down the institution that tried to have her murdered as a child, Mia Corvere is a force to be reckoned with. I also quite enjoy Jay Kristoff’s parallels between himself and Mercurio – that’ll make sense if you read the books.

 

The Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss

It has been a long time since I read these books, but they have definitely made a lasting impression! The first thing I love is the narration style. The tale is told from an older (and hopefully wiser) Kvothe, our main character. He is very candid over the past mistakes of his youth, which we learn about as he retells the tale.

Again, this is a series with a lot of development into the world and characters, so those of you that love that and all the action of the narrative should get on with this very well.

 

The Chalk Man – C.J. Tudor

Here is another standalone for those of you that don’t have the commitment for a series. The Chalk Man is a mystery thriller novel with a chilling premise and plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes! In their youth, Eddie and the gang drew chalk men as a means of communicating with each other secretly around town. However, twenty years on they reunite, and the chalk men have made a mysterious reappearance…

 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

The last book on my list is another standalone mystery. The premise of the novel is like a traditional murder mystery, only its groundhog day. The protagonist has seven days to relive the day in the bodies of each guest and then name the murderer.

I really liked this one – I thought it was really unique. It’s also very cleverly-written too!

Hopefully, you have found some inspiration from this Top Ten Tuesday list, if that’s what you’re looking for! If not, well I hope you enjoyed this post! Do you agree with any of my recommendations?

 

 

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Sunday Summary – 12th April 2020

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

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

 

Books Discovered

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

 

Coming Up…

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

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

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

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

 

 

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