Tag: fantasy

First Lines Friday – 28/10/2022

Hello all welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! I hope you are having a lovely day to conclude the working week?

In today’s First Lines Friday post, I wanted to do something different in terms of my book selection. Sometimes I set myself a challenge for these posts, and today’s selection was along those lines. Rather than picking a book that I’ve been thinking about of late, I decided to let an element of randomisation in.

Instead, I decided to go to my Goodreads homepage and look through the books on my feed until something caught my eye. It didn’t take very long, as the fourth book I found is the sequel to another that I know is on my TBR. I decided to check out that first book rather than skipping it and going for the second (the book I actually saw), and then took a look at it for First Lines Friday potential. It did not disappoint.

Let’s check out today’s introduction!

 

There is so much blood.

Roger didn’t know there was this much blood in the human body. It seems impossible, ridiculous, a profligate waste of something that should be precious and rare — and most importantly, contained. This blood belongs inside the body where it began, and yet here it is, and here he is, and everything is going so wrong.

Dodger isn’t dead yet, despite the blood, despite everything. Her chest rises and falls in tiny hitches, barely visible to the eye. Each breath is a clear struggle, but she keeps fighting for the next one. She’s still breathing. She’s still bleeding.

 

 

Middlegame – Seanan McGuire

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 492

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Tor

Publication Date: 07 May 2019

 

 

Goodreads – Middlegame

New York Times bestselling and Alex, Nebula, and Hugo-Award-winning author Seanan McGuire introduces readers to a world of amoral alchemy, shadowy organizations, and impossible cities in this standalone fantasy.

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.

 

My Thoughts…

As you know, I am a big fan of fantasy. I’ve also been reading a lot more in the way of science fiction in recent years. One of the things that excites me about this book is that it seems to combine the two genres very well.

Middlegame has been on my TBR since May 2019 – pretty much since its publication. However, I haven’t gotten around to reading it as yet because my reading list is huge!

I can’t wait to finally get around to reading this one. Whilst the synopsis indicates it was originally published as a standalone novel, a second novel has since been published, which revolves around different characters. As to whether that book makes it to my TV or remains to be seen – I will see how I like middle game first. Based on the synopsis and the reviews I have read, I am pretty sure this is one I will enjoy!

Have you read Middlegame, or any other books by this author?

 

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Sunday Summary – 23rd October 2022

Good evening and welcome, as always, to my Sunday Summary update post. If you are new here, this is a weekly post in which I talk about the books I have been sharing and reading, and those acquired during the week! At the end of the post, I will also talk about what you can expect on my blog next week.

Let’s jump into this week’s updates!

I have been enjoying a week of work this week. It has been a really good one in terms of reading progress. On the blog, things have been very run-of-the-mill. On Tuesday, I shared a book review for a read I thoroughly enjoyed last year – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. This was an emotional five-star read, and I really enjoyed the unusual perspective. If you’re interested in my thoughts on this book, you can find a link to this post here.

Later in the week, I returned with a Shelf Control post. In this regular feature, I take a look at the books on my TBR to determine if they are still relevant. I feature one book at a time and talk specifically about why I am looking forward to reading it. This week’s book, much like my review on Tuesday, was a historical fiction novel. However, the similarities end there. Focusing on a completely different time period and continent, my shelf control feature is set in one of my favourite periods of history. If you haven’t read that post yet, there is a link here for that one!

 

Books Read

In my last Sunday Summary update post, I was 466 pages into Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb. I also shared that I was optimistic that I could finish this book this week, whilst I was off work.

I am pleased to say I did in fact finish this book! If you have ever read Robin Hobb for yourself, you will know that these are not easy books to read. There is a lot going on; the depth of world-building and detail means you cannot consume them quickly, however hard you try. I chipped away at the remaining half of this book across several sittings and finished the book on Thursday. As I expected, this was an absolutely phenomenal read. I really enjoyed how this book concluded. Most importantly, I can’t wait to see how the characters in these books come back later on in the series.

Next, I picked up my fixed read of the month, Blink of the Sun by Ross Kingston However, this didn’t go as well. In the end, I read just over 50 pages before I decided it wasn’t for me. It’s a shame because this was a book I really liked the sound of and had requested to read and review for the author. If you have never been in the situation before, sites such as BookSirens (via whom I downloaded this book) help you to provide feedback to the author. It isn’t a nice position to be in, but the one thing I pride myself on is being honest. It wasn’t for me, and if I had read and reviewed the book it would have reflected in my review.

After the unfortunate conclusion to Blink of the Sun, I decided to pick up Babel by R.F. Kuang. After receiving my copy of this book a couple of months ago, I’ve been dying to dive in. Admittedly, I’ve only really just started this book – I’m whole 34 pages in! A start is a start though, and one I want to build on. Naturally, I’ll update you next week’s Sunday Summary post with how I get on!

 

Books Discovered

I have one addition to my TBR this week, which is a little unusual in that it isn’t a genre I normally choose.

Kerry Tucker Learns to Live strikes me as a contemporary novel, but the synopsis indicates that there is something more going on. Having looked into the author, Louise also writes psychological thrillers. I’m hoping that an element of this comes into Kerry Tucker Learns to Live. Even if it doesn’t, I really enjoyed reading In Case You Missed It by Lindsey Kelk recently. Sometimes it’s good to have a change or palette cleanser, and that is my aim with reading this book. 

 

Coming Up…

Next week I have a fun and seasonal post to share with you on Tuesday. That particular post is part of the Top Ten Tuesday family. The topic is a freebie, provided it is Halloween-themed. With that in mind, I have decided to share my top ten Halloween reading recommendations for the spooky season!

Later in the week, I was supposed to be sharing my review of Blink of the Sun with you. However, as I am not reading and reviewing that book anymore, I will instead be sharing a First Lines Friday feature post with you. As of yet, that post has not been drafted. However, I’ll be getting onto this tomorrow night. So, I can’t even give you any spoilers as to what my featured book will be, as I haven’t decided yet! If you have any ideas of books you would like to see, or a challenge you would like me to take part in when selecting the book, let me know in the comments!

As always, I will be rounding up the week with another Sunday summary update post, at the same time next week.

 

That will do it for today though folks! Don’t forget to let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see in my First Lines Friday post; otherwise, I look forward to seeing you in the next one.

 

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Sunday Summary – 16th October 2022

Good evening – welcome back to another Sunday Summary update!

This week has been considerably better than last week. However, as a consequence of my working overtime last week, I’ve only shared one blog post with you this week. It isn’t the end of the world, but it is a deviation from my usual blogging schedule. I hope you can understand and that you enjoyed my light-hearted book tag post – The Cozy Autumn Book Tag.

 

Books Read

Thankfully, I have also had a lot more reading time this week. As of my last Sunday Summary update, I was 183 pages into Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb. Don’t get me wrong, 183 pages is reasonable progress. However, when you take into account this book is nearly 840 pages long, it’s not as much as you think.

This week I have done considerably better. I am now 466 pages into the book (which is just over halfway) and I’m really excited about where the plot is leading at the moment! A lot has already happened so far, but I feel like we’re finally getting into the main action of the story. 

I was avidly reading this book earlier this morning and I can’t wait to jump back into it soon as this post goes live! Fortunately, I have a lot more free time next week as I am on annual leave from my job. I’m going to be making a real push to finish Assassin’s Quest next week – wish me luck!

 

Books Discovered

Good news is I haven’t added any new books to my reading list this week! I have been fluctuating at roughly the same number of books on my reading list for quite some time. Whilst it’s good but it’s not growing, I would like to try and whittle it down some!

 

Coming Up…

You’ll be glad to know that I will be back to my usual schedule of sharing two posts midweek, and a Sunday Summary to wrap up events at the end of the week.

My first post of next week is a book review of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I really enjoyed my read of this historical-fiction novel. Whereas we normally read narratives of World War II from the perspective of British or American characters, I found the book me refreshing in as it focused on the lives of German and Jewish individuals. The Book Thief was a very easy five-star read for me, and if you want to find out why, check out my post on Tuesday.

Later in the week, I will be back with a Shelf Control. In that post, I am featuring another historical-fiction novel; this one is from a very different, but equally loved time period. If you like reading and learning about the Tudors, I recommend you check out my post on Friday!

As always, we will round off the week with another Sunday Summary update. How much reading can I do during a week off work? Let’s find out!

 

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The Cozy Autumn Book Tag!

Hello everybody, and welcome to today’s book tag post! I saw this post over on Kristin Kraves Books. As I was looking for an easy post to draft at short notice, I thought this would be perfect. It’s also a great little seasonal read. I hope you enjoy today’s post and that you can learn a little bit more about me in the process!

Let’s jump into it!

 

What book always reminds you of fall/autumn?

Naturally, one of the first things I think about when considering autumn is the start of the school academic year. It has been a large part of my life for a very long time. Although I am no longer at school, I frequently enjoyed the start of the school year (maybe not the early starts, or other students at times). I enjoyed throwing myself back into studies.

So, one of the biggest book series that immediately comes to mind with this is the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. All of these books begin with summer coming to a close and the new school year approaching. Before too long, the leaves are coming off the trees and the main characters Harry, Ron, and Hermione are embroiling themselves in mischief. Mischief is always managed.

 

What is your favourite autumnal book cover?

I love the cover of IT by Stephen King. There is a beautiful mix of moody and vibrant shades of orange that adorn my copy of this book. It reminds me of the turning of leaves during the transition from summer into winter. Not only that, but Stephen King is a classic author to pick up at this time of year.

Maybe it is because I read IT in October 2017 that it has an additional autumnal connotation in my eyes. This is a brilliant, spooky read, so if you’re looking for something to pick up around Halloween, I would recommend this book!

 

What is your favourite autumnal drink to read with?

Tea or coffee? Coffee or tea?

That is a very difficult question for somebody who enjoys both! You can keep your hot chocolate and all the sweet stuff. Even putting syrup in coffee is a cardinal sin in my house!

Really, I suppose it depends on the time of day and the mood I am in. I can’t pick one over the other.

 

Do you prefer to read late at night or early in the morning?

Early in the morning is not a phrase in my vocabulary. I will hold my hands up and openly admit that I am the kind of person who will get out of bed last minute as much as possible.

I am a night owl and most productive in the evening. That is why it is my time to work on my blog, but also to read. I am also a fan of reading as a means of winding down after the day (be that a working day or the weekend, in which I’m inevitably catching up on household jobs).

I will sometimes read in the morning at the weekend – but you can guarantee it’s late morning at best!

 

Halloween is coming! What is your favourite spooky read?

Whilst I do enjoy a Stephen King novel around Halloween, I have read some other brilliant, spooky reads! In 2019 I read Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky. This was a brilliant read, even though I read a good portion of it on holiday, in 20+ degree weather.

I am not so much a paranormal reader, but I do enjoy a good mystery or thriller. These are the kind of genres I look for at this time of year!

 

What is the ultimate comfort read for you?

The genre I always go back to is fantasy. I have been reading fantasy heavily since I was a teenager. I love the depth of world-building and the escapism these books offer me. They can also be quite chunky.

They are perfect companions for a chilly night, wrapped up in a blanket burrito, surrounded by candles, and with all the hot drinks you can manage.

 

What is your favourite autumnal reading snack?

All of them?! 😂

What is your favourite autumnal candle to burn whilst reading?

I don’t so much have a favourite scent specific to autumn. Rather, I like having multiple tealights burning in lanterns across my mantelpiece. I enjoy the candle-light, and the suggestion of warmth and coziness it offers.

 

When you’re not reading, what is your favourite autumnal activity?

I enjoy making things. I have self-taught a number of crafts over the years, but one that I go back to more than most is knitting. I enjoy knitting clothes. In particular, I like making jumpers and cardigans. Perfect apparel for this time of year, and not projects for the faint of heart.

I currently have a jumper on one set of needles and a cardigan on another. Both are very different projects – the first is a colour-work piece, the second being a textured Aran.

 

What is on your autumn/fall reading list?

This year, I have a classic Stephen King novel on my TBR, Carrie. I’m not even that well versed on the plot, despite the story being made into a movie. I’m looking forward to reading this and seeing what it is all about!

In October, I also have Babel by R. F Kuang on my list. This is a relatively new release that I have heard excellent things about.

I’m looking forward to picking up my copy of this book as well!

So, that concludes The Cozy Autumn Book Tag! If you have enjoyed today’s post, and would like to share your answers to these questions, I would love to read them! Be sure to tag me in that post, so I can take a look at your answers.

Until next time, happy reading!

 

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Sunday Summary – 9th October 2022

Hello everybody and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. I don’t know about you, but it is a very dreary evening here. It is the kind where you just want to snuggle in with blankets, candles and all the cosy things about you. I have done just that.

This week… has been a long week. I can’t say it particularly went to plan. In terms of my blog, this week’s posts went out as usual. On Monday, I shared my reading list for October 2022. This list is considerably more manageable than last month’s TBR! I’ve deliberately kept the number of books on the list towards the shorter end. Whilst I may be reading fewer books, the ones I am picking up are also on the chunky side! If you want to find out what I’m reading and haven’t taken a look at that post yet, there is a link above as always.

On Friday I shared a First Lines Friday post. In that post, I feature a book that I purchased a copy of originally… not realising it was part of a wider series. This particular book caught my mum‘s eye on my blog, and she has gone on to read some of these books even before I have touched any of them! She has really enjoyed them so far, and I can’t wait to try them for myself.

As for the rest of the week, well, it ended up being busy in every aspect that I didn’t expect. Long story short, I ended up doing overtime on a project for work. As a result, my usual blog post scheduling, and a lot of my reading, just didn’t happen. I’ll leave it at that. The good news is, we got the project done. However, I was working some fairly long days towards the end of this week.

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I had just finished reading Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. That was the last book on my September TBR that I managed to pick up.

This week, I started my October TBR, but not with my one ‘fixed read’ of the month. I decided to pick up one of my mood reads. It was one that I had wanted to pick up sooner, however, I couldn’t justify picking it up in September as I had a large quantity of books to try and read. I have been really enjoying the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb, and so I have picked up Assassin’s Quest, the final book of that trilogy.

As I mentioned above, I ended up working a lot this week and so this limited the amount I was able to read. However, as of this Sunday Summary update, I am 183 pages into this 800-and-something epic. I am really enjoying where this book is going so far, and so I’m optimistic that I will be able to make a good amount of progress next week! I am very heavily invested already, meaning I want to pick it up at every opportunity I’m given!

One of my ongoing reads from my previous Sunday Summary post was Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfeifer. As of that last post, I only had 45 minutes of listening time left of my audiobook. I will admit that I only picked up and finished this audiobook this morning. However, I’m really glad I did. I have mentioned quite a few times that this is a really interesting book, albeit sad. I have really enjoyed this listen and I have learned things about the events of 9/11 that I didn’t know before. This book will work really well to read (in print or kindle) or as an audiobook. The narrative flows really well, and I think I would have flown through this in either case!

 

Books Discovered

I suppose I have technically added a book to my TBR this week, although it was always going to be on there. As I am enjoying my current read of Assassin’s Quest, I decided to pick up the next book in the Realm of the Elderlings series – the first book of The Liveship Traders series.

Ship of Magic is every bit as chunky as the rest of the series has proven to be so far. This excites me; this book/series shifts its focus from the main character we have seen so far, FitzChivalry Farseer, into the wider realm. It’s an opportunity for me to dig into world-building from a different perspective.

 

Coming Up…

Normally I would have next week’s post already lined up for you. However, this week I don’t as yet.

I have been trying to work out a plan of attack and I have decided that this week I will be reducing my posting schedule from three posts (Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday) to two posts. Instead, I am going to share my take of The Cozy Autumn Book Tag on Wednesday this week.

I’ve taken that decision because I am already going to have my usual full ‘blog workload’ in drafting and scheduling posts for the week after next. I didn’t want to put myself in a position where I effectively doubled my workload, at a time when I’m just recovering from having an increased workload! So, I hope the change of schedule and the slightly lighter topic isn’t too much bother for anybody, and I’ll be back to my usual posting days from the week after.

In addition to my post on Wednesday, I will of course be back for another Sunday Summary update at the end of the week. Naturally, I’m hoping for a lot more progress in terms of reading – but I will let you know next week’s Sunday Summary.

That’s all from me folks! There isn’t too much in the way of updates from me this week, but I hope you can understand why.

What have you been reading?

 

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Monthly TBR – October 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to my monthly TBR for October! How are we in the final quarter of the year? Already, this year is absolutely flying by, and before we know it I’ll be talking about the books I read in 2022 in total! But, enough of that now. Today’s post is all about the books I intend to read during October. This month I am toning things back down and not taking part in any readathons. Instead, I have gone back to my previous model of setting a small number of fixed books to read in the month, but the rest being mood reads that I can chop and change at will.

So, let’s dive into my October TBR!

 

Fixed Reads

Blink of the Sun

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 488

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Lunar Triumvirate

Publication Date: 30 Jun 2022

 

 

Goodreads – Blink of the Sun

My one and only fixed record of the month is Blink of the Sun. I have agreed to review this book on BookSirens, and the review is due towards the end of this month. This particular fantasy caught my eye, and as I’m always trying to explore new authors (especially indie authors), I fancied giving it a go. I can’t wait to see you how it compares with a number of other fantasy books I’ve read, and what makes it stand out if anything.

 

Mood Reads

Assassin’s Quest

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 838

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: 27 Mar 2014

 

 

Goodreads – Assassin’s Quest

I have been wanting to pick up this third book in the Farseer trilogy for the last couple of months. Unfortunately, there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to read this as part of a monthly TBR in September with the way Bookoplathon went. However, I have every intention to pick this up this month whilst the events of the first two books are fresh in my mind. I am also really enjoying this series, but I’m partly kicking myself that I didn’t try it earlier. Better late than never though, as they say.

 

Carrie

Genre: Horror

Pages: 322

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Anchor

Publication Date: 24 Jun 2008

 

 

Goodreads – Carrie

I didn’t get chance to read Carrie in September. This was a poll pick as part of Bookoplathon, but as it was one of the last rolls in the game, I just didn’t get to it. However, October is a perfect month to pick up a book like this! It would be rude not to have a Stephen King novel as a Halloween read, and whilst I already had this one on a TBR, I figured it made sense to carry it forward. This is a mood read, however, and I have plenty of other Stephen King books on my bookshelf. I could always change my mind and pick up The Shining, or Outsider, or even Sleeping Beauties if I fancy a change.

 

Babel

Genre: Fantasy / Dark Academia

Pages: 545

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Publication Date: 23 Aug 2022

 

 

Goodreads – Babel

I received my copy of this book just over a month ago now, and I have been looking forward to reading it ever since! I haven’t really read much in the way of dark academia to date, however, I feel like this is a perfect seasonal read. This book begins with a child in a plague-ridden house. A sinister setting if ever we saw one. From there the story really comes into its own. I’m also really interested to see the take on language and translation that is an integral part of the plot. I can be a little bit of a nerd when it comes to language… particularly English. This isn’t a usual plot device or theme of a book, so I want to see how this works.

 

Queen of Our Times

Genre: Non-fiction

Pages: 690

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Publication Date: 05 Apr 2022

 

 

Goodreads – Queen of Our Times

With the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II last month, I have been inspired to pick up a book about her life. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that she reigned for over 70 years as the British monarch. Most people don’t work for that long in their lives. I have to say, when it comes to the British monarchy, I am fairly in the dark. I can’t say I know very much about it, and it is for this reason that I want to pick up Queen of Our Times. I want to fill that gap, and in reading this book, honour the woman who gave her life to her job, to her duty.

 

That is my monthly TBR for October 2022! Compared to last month, it is not remotely adventurous, but that’s a good thing! Last month’s reading list ended up being far too long, but that wasn’t really my fault. It was just bad luck. This month I’m aiming for a smaller list but with good quality books that I’m really going to enjoy.

Have you read any of the books on my October Monthly TBR? Have any of them caught your eye? Let’s have a chat in the comments! 

 

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Sunday Summary – 2nd October 2022

Hello, and welcome to another Sunday Summary update post! It is the end of yet another week, and the autumnal vibes are really kicking in. The tree in my front garden has turned a vibrant shade of red. The nights are starting to draw in earlier and I’ve been cosying in with candles lit everywhere. Can you tell this is my favourite time of year?

This week I’ve been a busy bee. In terms of blog posts, I shared a book review for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Tuesday, and my Monthly Wrap-Up post for September, yesterday.

I had been meaning to continue reviewing my re-read of the Harry Potter series for some time. I knew I wanted to share another review before we got into the swing of the month-end and then posting the following month’s TBR. If you haven’t checked out that review already, I’ve provided a link above, so you can go and take a look.

Typically I post on a Friday, however, with that being the end of the month I decided to push my usual Friday post out to Saturday. That meant I could provide you with a full monthly wrap-up for the whole month. I didn’t get anywhere near finishing my September TBR, but, I expected it. That said, I still enjoyed most of the reads I picked up in the month. Again, if you haven’t checked out that post yet, there is a link above.

 

Books Read

This week I have been continuing with Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. As of my last Sunday Summary update, I was only 20% through this book. I was already enjoying it from what I had read so far, and I’m pleased to say that the book only gets better from there!

It is every bit the science-fiction thriller I was promised. I really enjoyed the twisty narrative and how the ending came together. If you enjoy stories that deal with parallel universes, this is something you will enjoy! I have been making progress with this book for most of the week and I finished it this morning. It is the last book on my September TBR that I got to. It’s good that it hasn’t taken me long to finish, because it means I can move on to my October TBR in earnest.

I have also been listening to more of Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfiefer this week. If I’m honest, I had expected to finish this audiobook this week. Whilst I didn’t quite get there, I only have 45 minutes of listening time to go. I’m going to make every effort to finish this tomorrow. This is another book that I have really enjoyed reading (or listening to in this case). It is naturally a difficult subject, but it has taught me things about that awful event that I didn’t know until now.

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added any new books to my TV off for two weeks in a row now – I think that deserves a pat on the back!

 

Coming Up…

Next week’s posting schedule is exciting because I am sharing October’s TBR with you on Tuesday. This month’s TBR is going to be considerably shorter than the last – and it needs to be! One of the books on September’s TBR (that I didn’t get to) also makes a reappearance. Can you guess which one?

Later in the week, I am back with a First Lines Friday post. In that post, I share a book that I originally picked up on a whim, not realising it was part of a series. The good thing is, these books aren’t interlinked in a way that means you have to read them in order (they just have a certain character in common). My mum has already started on these books. I introduced them to her through my blog and still I haven’t read any of them yet! But, as preparing that post reminded me, I can’t wait to try them.

So, that’s all the gossip from me in today’s Sunday Summary post. What have you been reading? Have you read any of the books discussed in this post? As always, I would love to hear from you below.

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – September 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s monthly wrap-up post!

I typically post on a Friday, however, with that being the very last day of September, I decided to share this post today.

September’s TBR, which was put together as part of Bookoplathon, was ridiculous. I got really unlucky with my game and ended up with three more books to my TBR than I initially planned. If you want to check out what my full TBR was, and how the game was played, I’ve linked that post above.

I knew I wasn’t going to get through this TBR. Although I had tried to pick shorter books, there was still a lot on the list and if I’m honest, I felt over-faced before I even began. That said, I made a solid attempt without dropping everything else to do it. I made a good amount of progress, but I inevitably didn’t finish it.

Let’s take a look at the books I did manage to read in September! 

 

Books Read

Silverthorn

The first book of the month I read was Silverthorn by Raymond E. Feist. I have read the first book, Magician, twice. However, it has been some time since I picked up that first book – the latest being over five years ago!

Thankfully, there are enough reminders in Silverthorn for you to be able to pick it up. Quite conveniently, the edition of the book I have gives a very nice summary of what has happened before at the beginning. I was expecting to have to do some research online to catch myself up, however, this section did the job.

I really enjoyed the first book Magician, however, Silverthorn didn’t quite live up to my expectation. It was a perfectly adequate read, and it was nice to recap to some of the magical features and characters that I really enjoyed from the first book. However, it was just a little bit flat. I didn’t dislike it by any stretch of the imagination, however, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I was going to either. Being solid, three-star read – not the best start to Bookoplathon.

 

In Case You Missed It

In Case You Missed It was the one book on my TBR that I didn’t know what to expect from. It is not the kind of book I would have picked up of my own volition. I read this as my mum had accidentally purchased two copies of this book for herself, and she gave one to me as a recommendation because she really enjoys Lindsey Kelk books. I didn’t know what to expect, but I think I needed to change from my usual reading habits.

In Case You Missed It was a five-star read. I enjoyed that it was a light-hearted topic, and the humour in the narrative and between the characters is fantastic! This particular book was a pleasant surprise!

 

Treacle Walker

Treacle Walker was not on September’s TBR. It was a book that was introduced to me by the CEO of my employer, and he loaned me his copy to read. I know he was planning to loan it out again to others after me, so I wanted to read this quite quickly.

I already knew I wasn’t getting through my TBR at this point, so I decided to read it anyway. It is a very short read, so it didn’t take long in any case. It was trippy and a very strange narrative, but an enjoyable read.

 

Ordinary Heroes

I had been listening to Ordinary Heroes at the end of September – at the end of the month, I had just a couple of hours left. I wanted to pick this up as a non-fiction read (I’m trying to read at least one a month at the moment). It also conveniently fit one of my Bookoplathon prompts – the highest-rated book on my TBR.

I can see why! This is both an emotionally charged and informative read. I was only young when the twin towers fell, however, it is an event that unites the vast majority of people today.

It is often sad that people know where they were when it happened. It was obviously the most harrowing of events in modern history, and it was insightful to learn the perspective of the first fire chief on the scene. There are things I didn’t know about this book, that could be upsetting for someone to read, so I won’t mention them here. I’ll talk about them in my review of the book and fully disclose the topic in that post, so people can choose whether to read or not.

I’ve really enjoyed this listen so far. Despite the difficult topic, it is a book I would recommend anybody read or listen to. It is a nice short, one in any case, so definitely approachable for anyone to pick up!

 

Dark Matter

My last read of the month is Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Dark Matter is a science-fiction, thriller in which we very quickly are starting to doubt our perspective and our sense of belonging.

It is a fast-paced, read, and with its subject matter being very different from the other books on my TBR, this has been a hit! It has been a little while since I’ve read anything like a thriller, and its combination with science fiction has gelled really well.

As of the end of the month, I made it 73% through the book. According to the calculated reading time on my Kindle, I will only take about an hour to read what is left of the book. So, I nearly finished this in September, but not quite. Still, it won’t eat into too much time in October to finish.

 

DNF’d

Red Sister

Unfortunately, I DNF’d my second read of the month – Red Sister by Mark Lawrence.

It is disappointing really because I really enjoyed a previous series by Mark Lawrence as a teenager. However, this book just wasn’t doing it for me. I didn’t outright hate it, but it wasn’t really holding my attention either.

It took several days to make it to just a third of the way through the book, and I was bored. I had grappled with myself as to whether to DNF the book earlier, but I set myself a target to get a third of the way through before making a decision. Maybe I should have stuck with my gut because I didn’t end up carrying on anyway.

However, it can’t be said that I didn’t give it a good try.

 

So, those are the books I picked up in September. Have you read any of these books? Do any of them appeal to you?

 

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Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, together with the rest of the series, holds a very special place in my heart. Firstly, I grew up with these books. I read them starting as a teenager through until becoming a newly minted adult and I loved these books! I enjoy how the story and complexity scales throughout the series. That worked really well with how I read them initially, and also how I ‘aged’ with them.

I wanted to re-read these books as an adult. Mainly, I wanted to see if my experience of the books differed now that I was reading them from a more mature perspective. For the most part, I can’t say that they did; I enjoyed them just as much as I did back then!

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 251

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: 02 Jul 1998

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Goodreads – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Ever since Harry Potter had come home for the summer, the Dursleys had been so mean and hideous that all Harry wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange impish creature who says that if Harry returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor and a spirit who haunts the girls’ bathroom. But then the real trouble begins – someone is turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects… Harry Potter himself!

 

My Thoughts…

After the magic and drama of his first year at Hogwarts, you would think that going home for the summer would be a break for Harry. However, his aunt and uncle, and their son, treat him so awfully that he cannot wait to go back. Thankfully for us, it doesn’t take too long in the narrative and we get to dive into the magic and nostalgia of going to school very quickly.

This year is a little bit different, as they are no longer the newbies. However, the events that take place at the school or even stranger than the last. Students (and Mr Filch’s cat, Mrs Norris) are found petrified in school corridors. Tension rises and speculation begins on what is happening to them. Harry himself falls under suspicion. But, as we can only expect from these books, Harry ends up getting to the bottom of the matter. Not only that, but he finds himself in danger once again.

As with the first book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a very quick read. I enjoyed the pacing of the book. It is full of action to keep the narrative moving along, but at the same time, we still get to see world-building and character development. I prefer the books towards the end of the series because I enjoy depth and complexity in my fantasy books. However, the fact that this book doesn’t necessarily fit into this category didn’t matter at all. The fact is, I knew going into it that these early books set a lot of foundation for the later books.

Whilst we don’t necessarily realise that at the time, significant events in this book or the introduction to a wider storyline come into play later on. When I think about where these events begin, it is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that immediately comes to mind. 

Whilst there is a lot of controversy around J. K. Rowling, I would recommend these books to anyone wanting to start out with reading fantasy, or anyone wanting to read a series without too much mental commitment. These books are really easy to digest. They are the kind of books that you could always get more out of with the next re-read. Equally, you can take them as you read them first time. They have a lot to give, and it is a series that I will go back and read again and again throughout my lifetime, I am sure! I know one of my friends re-reads these books regularly!

Have you read the Harry Potter series? Have you not read them? Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

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Sunday Summary – 25th September 2022

Good evening everyone! It’s the end of yet another week and here we are with another Sunday Summary update post. I don’t know about you, but things are starting to feel very autumnal now. It’s coming towards my favourite time of year – I can justify cozying in with a good cup of tea, a slice of cake, and a book. Not that I needed any excuse before like…

The changing of the season has come just in time. On Tuesday, I shared a Top Ten Tuesday post, in which I featured my top ten books to read in autumn. On that list, I have a number of books I have been meaning to read for some time, together with a couple of new ones. If you haven’t checked out that post already, there is a handy link above.

Later in the week, it was the turn of my Shelf Control regular feature. In that post, I featured a book that is on my September TBR. When I drafted the post, I hadn’t started the book as yet. However, I suspected that by the time it went live, I would be reading it – and I was right!

 

Books Read

I’m actually really pleased with this week’s reading progress. I’m going to be honest with you and say that when I shared my September TBR, I already felt defeated before I started. If you have seen that TBR post, you’ll know that I’m taking part in Bookoplathon. It is a game based on Monopoly, and I ended up really unlucky in my game. I ended up with three extra rolls, which means three extra books on my reading list this month. I had anticipated maybe one extra, but reading eight books in a month isn’t really achievable for me. That said, I have read quite a lot this week alone.

 

In Case You Missed It

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was on my third book of the month, and coincidentally about a third of the way through it. I had DNF’d my previous read, and my first book was nothing special either. In Case You Missed It is not the type of book that I would’ve picked up without recommendation. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to think of it, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

As you are probably aware, Monday was a bank holiday here as it was the Queen’s funeral. I ended up watching quite a bit of the funeral, but also made time for reading. I ended up finishing In Case You Missed It on Monday. I read about 250 pages alone that day! What can I say, I really got into the book. The writing style is easy to digest and the events and characters are hilarious. It was exactly what I needed and I’m really glad I picked this up – so thanks for the recommendation Mum!

 

Treacle Walker

Next, I read a very short book that was not on my September TBR. I had been loaned this book by the CEO of the company I work for. He had enjoyed reading it and he wanted to know what I thought of it. Treacle Walker is only about 150 pages, and it was a very trippy, quick read. I really enjoyed it, even though I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on all of the time. I wanted to read this quite quickly as I know that this book was going to be passed on to somebody else after me.

 

Dark Matter

Next, I moved on to the next book on my TBR, and now my current read, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This is a bit of a twisty narrative, and I have no idea what is going on, albeit for different reasons to Treacle Walker! However, I am also really enjoying this one. There is a lot to unpick and it is going to take a while for me to work out what is what.

As of this post, I am exactly 20% through Dark Matter. I cannot wait to continue reading and update you in next week’s Sunday Summary post with more of my thoughts and progress!

 

Ordinary Heroes

Lastly, I started listening to Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfeifer. If you are unfamiliar with this book, it is the story of the first FDNY Chief on the scene of the 9/11 terrorist attack. I only started listening to this yesterday and I’m just a fraction off being halfway through already. I’m absolutely rattling through this one as it’s a really interesting read.

I quite enjoy listening to non-fiction – I find it easier to take the information in sometimes. Ordinary Heroes is a very easy listen. It is also quite a harrowing tale (but that goes with the subject). I have already learned things about the incident that I didn’t know from media coverage. As I am making very quick progress with it, I’m hoping to finish this within the next couple of days.

 

Books Discovered

No news is good news here this week. I haven’t added any books to the reading list, and I’ve actually just picked a couple off the list that I have changed my mind over. Nothing exciting to report here…

 

Coming Up…

On Tuesday, I am sharing my book review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling. Before we get into the month-end wrap-up and reading list for October, I wanted to share another review with you.

I have quite a back-list, and it was good to pin my thoughts down on this second book of the series. I decided to re-read these books as an adult to see how they differed from my initial impression of reading them as a teenager. If you want to find out my thoughts, check out that post on Tuesday!

On Saturday, I will be sharing my month and wrap-up post. Normally I would post on a Friday, but as Friday is the very last day of the month, I could make further reading progress. So, to make sure I cover the whole month in my wrap-up, I will be sharing this post on Saturday instead.

That’s everything from me in today’s Sunday Summary post!

What have you been reading this week?

 

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