Tag: grimdark

Monthly Wrap-Up – May 2022

Welcome to today’s Monthly Wrap-Up for May 2022. Another month has just flown by, and it’s time to talk about the books I have read recently.

I set myself a TBR with slightly fewer books this month, purely because one of them was a large one. It’s also the read I enjoyed the most this month! If you’re interested to find out what that is, and you can check out what I’ve been reading below:-

 

Books Read

Crowfall

The beginning of this month I concluded a re-read of a trilogy that I dived back into this year. Around the end of February, I decided to pick up Blackwing by Ed McDonald as a means of escapism. I really loved picking that up again for the first time in several years, and at that point I committed to a full re-read. Given that I had not long finished my Harry Potter re-read, I had no other commitments in that sense. I read the second book of the trilogy, Ravencry, right at the end of April. I immediately picked up Crowfall as I was so invested, and nothing could hold me back!

I read Crowfall in just a handful of days… even quicker this time than the first (which took less than a week even then!) I’m glad I decided to pick up this series on a whim, and even more so that I have read the rest in quick succession. It really gave me the opportunity to delve a little bit deeper into the books. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I could appreciate the writing style and characterisation all the more!

 

The Duke & I

The next two books I read this month were almost read in tandem. I read approximately 70% of The Duke & I by Julia Quinn before going on holiday. I took my kindle with me, but I decided to pick up the physical book designated as my ‘holiday read’ whilst I was away and so The Duke & I was put slightly on the back burner. However, I picked this up again once I came back from holiday and finished the remainder of the book in one sitting.

The Duke & I is a bit of a strange choice for me. I picked it up because I’ve enjoyed the Bridgeton series on Netflix (against all odds). I knew I would go into this book and probably not love it, and I was right. I have niggles with it and I didn’t necessarily enjoy every aspect, but I didn’t hate it either. Obviously, I managed to finish the book, but I won’t be reading any more of the series either. I decided to read The Duke and I as a means of branching out and to explore whether my taste on the genre has changed. It hasn’t. The reading of it has served its purpose and I can say I’ve given it a go.

 

Empire of the Vampire

As I said in the above section, I ended up putting down The Duke & I to read my ‘holiday read’. Most people would probably go for something quite lighthearted and maybe even summery as a holiday read. I chose a big, thick Gothic fantasy. If that doesn’t tell you a lot about me, then I don’t know what does. I’m not normal to say the least!

Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff was also a slight branching-out for me. I don’t normally read books based around vampires as characters. I don’t know why, it’s just not something I gravitate towards. However, my love of the Nevernight trilogy, also by Jay Kristoff, was the motivating factor behind me getting this book anyway. I trusted that even though it was out of my comfort zone a little, his writing was going to help me bridge the gap. I’m glad in my resounding faith, because it paid off entirely!

I didn’t read as much of this as I intended to on holiday. I was away with my family and I ended up spending more time generally socialising with them and enjoying other hobbies. I was one of the youngest people there but I’m sure plenty found it funny that I took my knitting on holiday with me. No shame. Anyway, I read around about 300 pages (40%) before returning from holiday and I read the rest of the book the week after (after finishing The Duke & I).

Empire of the Vampire was a resounding five star read, and I can safely say that it has been my favourite read of 2022 so far! Sometimes stretching out of your comfort zone really does pay off!

 

Dune Messiah

The last book I picked up this month was Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert. I was hoping to get this finished just before month end, however, I didn’t quite achieve that despite my best efforts. Dune Messiah may be short, but it’s not light reading either. I’m glad it’s not longer to be honest!

I managed to read 245 pages out of 292, so I’m very close to the end. I expect to finish this today (1st June). Although I will technically be reading a portion of it in June I’m not going to include it on my monthly TBR – it’s only 40 odd pages!

 

All in all, May has been a good month of reading. I’m glad I didn’t include quite so much on my list this month as Empire of the Vampire was a large read. I’m really happy with my reading progress and my motivation to pick up a book hasn’t been greater. I’m exactly where I want to be with my reading and I’m looking forward to picking up some fantastic books next month!

What have you been reading this month? Have you got any good book recommendations? As always, I’d love to hear from you!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 8th May 2022

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update for this week. It’s time to share what I have been reading and blogging about over the last week, as well as any books I’ve added to the TBR and finally, what blog posts you can expect on the blog over the next two weeks! Yes, two!

As this week was the beginning of May, I have taken the opportunity to share my Monthly Wrap-Up for April 2022, as well as my Monthly TBR for May on my blog this week. It was fun to look back at the books I’ve read over the course of the month, and as I didn’t get through all of my reading list, you’ll see that some have been carried forward to this month as well as added some new ones. One of those I’ve even read already, so progress is looking good!

If you haven’t checked out either of those posts, I provided links above so you can go and check them out.

 

Books Read

This has to to be one of the most random book combinations, ever.

When I left you in last week’s Sunday Summary update, I had only read the first 30 pages or so of Crowfall by Ed McDonald. I had just finished the previous book in the series, Ravencry, and I was really looking forward to delving into this final instalment of the trilogy. I fully expected this would be a quick read. Not only was I really into it having just finished the second book of the series, but I remember loving and devouring it the first time. And I’ve done it again!

When I last read Crowfall nearly three years ago, I read all 450 pages of the book in six days. This time, I read it in five! By no means was I trying to beat that record, but having looked back to see exactly how quickly I read it the first time, it’s clear that I loved the book both times!

I’m really happy that I decided to re-read this trilogy. Picking up the first book of the series, Blackwing, again was completely on a whim, but it was a good decision. And it’s been great for my reading motivation.

Next, I moved on to my current read, which is The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. Against all the odds, I really enjoyed watching Bridgerton on Netflix, and so I’ve decided to step out of my comfort zone and try the book. When I decided to add this to my TBR I wasn’t sure if this was something I was going to enjoy or not, but I was willing to give it a go. I’m currently 15% through the book and so far, it’s perfectly readable. I’m not going to say I haven’t rolled my eyes once or twice, because that would be a lie, but I’m willing to stick for now and see how it goes.

Last night I went to bed early with a cup of tea and I decided to sample the first few pages of my next read, which is Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. I bought this book purely for my love of the Nevernight series. Vampire stories aren’t typically something that I read much. However, again, I’m willing to go out of my comfort zone. Before I delve into the 700 page epic properly, I wanted to make sure that I thought I’ll like it. I’ve only read the first 20 odd pages as a sample, but it’s looking very good! I can already see in the little bit I’ve read that it definitely has a ‘Name of the Wind’ vibe in its narration style. I can’t wait to pick this up properly!

 

Books Discovered

I went to my local Waterstones this week with the aim of finding myself a new bookmark. Naturally, I walked out with said bookmark and also two books as well.

I noticed that they had stock of the second and third book in the Dune series by Frank Herbert, and so I decided to pick those up. I read and loved the first book of the series earlier this year, and even watched the film recently. Given that I have a paperback copy of the first book of the series anyway, I’m naturally going to continue to read the series this way. Thankfully, these books combined make up the rough length of the first book, so they’re not quite so big. I can’t wait to read these either!

 

Coming Up…

This week I’m taking part in a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s theme is ‘Bookish Characters’. Although I’ve read a lot of books, I’ve struggled a little bit to come up with a full list of ten. There aren’t many books I’ve read with characters as devout to reading! Nevertheless, I have just about come up with ten for the list and I can’t wait to share that with you on Tuesday!

This week there was a temporary hold on my usual Friday feature post, however, I am back next week and it is the turn of my Shelf Control feature post. I’ll be taking a look at the next book on my TBR, deciding if I want to read it still, and sharing the details with you!

Normally I’d be telling you that I’ll be back next week with a Sunday Summary update post, however I will not be sharing Sunday Summary posts for the next couple of weeks. With that in mind, I’m also going to share with you what posts are going live on my blog the following week as well, so you know exactly what to expect!

The following week I’m taking part in another Top Ten Tuesday post. The theme for the 17th of May is ‘Books I Was SO EXCITED to Get, but I Still Haven’t Read’. I didn’t struggle with this list; I have so many books on my TBR and my bookshelves that I have plenty of inspiration to choose from. I’m embarrassed to say that the first book on my list is over six years old! Even that’s an estimate because I can’t exactly date when I purchased my copy.

Unexpectedly, I’ll be back with a First Lines Friday post as my next Friday feature. Last time I did this post I set myself the challenge of featuring a book I read before I started my blog. I am going to set myself a challenge again, but not this one. Instead, I am going to feature a book on my TBR that I plan to read sometime this year. This is a new challenge, and one that gives me the chance to consider what my future reading plans are and give you a little bit of insight into them!

That’s all for me in today’s Sunday Summary update post. I hope you have a great week ahead and I’ll see you in the next post!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Monthly TBR – May 2022

Hello and welcome to my Monthly TBR for May! It’s the beginning of yet another month and so it’s time to share what I plan to read over the next few weeks with you! I have some great books on the list and as always, I’m going to try and give myself time to fit in a couple of mood reads. Even just one would be nice. I haven’t managed to get to any over the last couple of months, so I’m setting myself a slightly reduced fixed list in the hope that I can get there this month!

 

Fixed Reads

Crowfall

It feels kind of weird to feature this book in a way, because not only has it been on my last few TBR’s, but also because I am over two thirds through the book as of writing this post. I picked up Crowfall right at the beginning of this month after just finishing Ravencry, its predecessor. We are now a few days into May and I’ve been flying through this book – so much so that I’m hoping to finish this one very very soon!

So yes, it feels a bit strange, because I’m featuring it at a time when I’m about to finish it!

 

The Duke and I

The Duke and I was on my ‘mood read list’ last month, but as you know, I didn’t get round to it. That’s not the end of the world, because what I’ve taken to doing (if I can) is bump my mood reads up onto my fixed list if I still want to read them the following month. And I really do want to give this ago!

I’m still not 100% sure if this will be my cup of tea as it’s more of a romance than I’m used to reading. But, I do enjoy historical fiction and so I’m willing to give it a go for that reason. I have also really enjoyed The Netflix TV shows based on these books, so I’m hopeful that this will be an exception to the rule instead of a DNF! Having not long taken part in a contradictions book tag, that post has reminded me that sometimes we can be surprised by what we like when we don’t expect to, but also vice versa!

 

Empire of the Vampire

Another reason why I am setting a slightly smaller reading list this month is because I am picking up this chunk of a book.

At over 700 pages in its own right, this is going to be a substantial read. Maybe not quite enough to equate to 2 books of average length (for me), but it’s still plenty to be sinking my teeth into. The pun was fully intended!

As a general rule, I’m not big on vampire stories either, but that’s not to say I can’t enjoy them. I have enjoyed elements of them in the past, and frankly, I’m willing to overlook the fact because this is written by Jay Kristoff. I loved his Nevernight series and I autobought this book on that basis – that’s how much I loved them! I’ve also seen reviews that it has a very Patrick Rothfuss-y ‘The Name of the Wind’ vibe about its narration, and I’m all for that too!

 

Mood Reads

Dune Messiah

I just bought myself a copy of Dune Messiah at my local Waterstones the other day (not a spoiler because I’ve already shared it on my Instagram) and I want to read it – soon!

I saw this on a whim, but as I have the first book in paperback, I decided to pick this up, as well as the third book of the series (Children of Dune), with some vouchers I had. Not only have I watched the new film recently, but I did also read that first book of the series earlier this year. And I really enjoyed it, so whilst it’s fresh in my mind I’m thinking this might be my next good book to read. It’s also comparatively short at around 300 pages, so quite digestible. It will be a good one to pick up if I want something more concise.

 

Death of Kings

I’ve started watching the fourth series of The Last Kingdom in the last week, and it’s reminded me that I have the next book in the series yet to pick up. Technically the events in this book cover what occurred at the end of the last series, but I really don’t mind! I want to keep going with the series because I’m really loving the setting, the characters and the overall conflict that keeps rearing its head. As a fan of historical fiction it ticks a lot of boxes for me. And, it’s been awhile since I picked the last one up… so it’s about time I got stuck back in!

 

I may have pencilled in what I think my mood reads are going to be, they are precisely that – mood reads. That means that whilst these are books I want to pick up now, I might change my mind when it comes to it. If I want to pick up something totally different then that’s okay. I find giving myself the time to pick up something on a whim suits me. It keeps my reading motivation up and keeps it fun. It’s only my hobby, after all!

Have you read any of the books on my TBR? What are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Monthly Wrap-Up – April 2022

Welcome to today’s Monthly Wrap-Up for April 2022! We are already a third of the way through the year and honestly, time is flying once again! In today’s post I want to talk about the books I’ve been reading throughout the month of April, as well as provide a little commentary on where I’m up to with my 2022 Goodreads Challenge.

Get yourself a cuppa and make yourself comfortable!

 

Books Read

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

My first read of the month, carried forward from March, was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. This is the longest read on my list so far this year; even having started and read a couple of hundred pages in March, I still had around five hundred to go to get to the end of this epic! And epic this story is! I’m glad that I’ve completed my reread of the Harry Potter series; it’s one that I loved as a teenager as I grew up with them. I’m pleased to say that even reading them through the perspective of somebody little bit older, they still have all the appeal they did when I read them first.

 

The Thursday Murder Club

Next, I moved on to something a lot more lighthearted, and a book that I was recommended to read. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman was a completely different ballpark, but I loved every second of this one as well! I say this one was lighthearted, but there was one section in the story really took me by surprise. There are a couple of chapters in the book that take a very sudden turn, and whilst their inclusion in such a generally lighthearted book meant that the chapters had more impact, they made me cry.

This was another fantastic read overall. I loved the characters and the story in general, because I had me questioning everybody and their motive to see if I could get to the bottom of the story before the end of the book. The writing had me questioning pretty much everybody had some point, so it was really good in that respect! I’m definitely going to continue to read more of these books. If you like the idea of a whodunnit, but with a private investigation being led by more geriatric members of society, then you’ll enjoy this one as much as I did.

 

Ravencry

Ravencry

Lastly, I read Ravencry by Ed McDonald in the month of April. Having read and loved Blackwing at the end of February/early March, I knew I wanted to continue the trilogy in full. I read these books originally over 3 years ago now and loved them – so much so that I’ve gone on to gift two copies of this trilogy to friends.

Picking this up again has been great for me. I have enjoyed having the confidence in knowing that I’m going to enjoy a book, especially at a time where things aren’t exactly all that great in the world, and a guaranteed pick me up is a blessing. You have probably gathered that my overall reading speed isn’t the same as it was a couple of years ago either, and whilst I’m certainly not trying to break any records or push myself too hard, I would like to be reading a little bit more than I am.

Picking up books by fantastic authors such as Ed McDonald really help motivate me to do so!

 

Ideally, I would’ve liked to have picked up Crowfall, the last book on my ‘set list’ before the end of the month. I set myself another ambitious list last month with the aim of trying to pick up my books. But, the beauty of having mood reads is that it doesn’t matter so much if I don’t get round to them. Naturally, I would like to get to a point where I have a little bit of freedom of choice with my reading (because that’s the format I’m setting myself this year – a fixed reading list and then potentially a couple where I have flexibility if I complete the set list).

At the same time, I’m not beating myself up about it either. You may not know, but I am currently studying for an exam that I’m sitting at the end of June. Whilst it’s not a large one by any means, I’ve been working through the content nice and early so I’ve got plenty of time to iron out the kinks and work out what I need to work on a little bit more. I’ve put in a lot of hours this month towards studying. In reality, if I had put that time into reading instead I would have completed my reading list very early this month. But, priorities are priorities. The fact that I’ve achieved both, as well as continuing to blog, is something I’m proud of!

 

Goodreads Challenge Update

In my monthly wrap-up posts, I am yet to comment on where am I with regards to my Goodreads Challenge for this year. I’ve therefore decided to add this review to this post, and I will also be looking at my progress in my August month-end review, and finally again at the end of the year.

As I say above, I’ve not been reading as much as I have historically, but the great news is I am perfectly on track with my Goodreads Challenge. As of drafting this post I am neither ahead nor behind. At this stage it’s a great confidence booster, because it means I don’t have to put any pressure on myself to catch up, but equally I’ve not set myself a challenge that is too easy. There have been a couple of years where I have set myself challenges and then up to them at a later date as I underestimated my capabilities. So far, it doesn’t look like I have to do that this year.

For a quick recap, here is a list of books I have read so far this year: –

  1. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
  2. The Feedback loop
  3. Dune
  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  5. Clockwork Magpies
  6. Son of Mercia
  7. The Diary of a Young Girl
  8. Blackwing
  9. Keep You Safe
  10. Lean In
  11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  12. The Thursday Murder Club
  13. Ravencry

What I hope this list also demonstrates is that I am picking up a variety of books. There is fantasy and science fiction, mystery and thrillers, as well as historical fiction and even a couple of non-fiction books. For someone who doesn’t read a lot of non-fiction generally, I’m really happy that I’ve managed to squeeze two into such a short list!

So there you have it – my monthly wrap-up post for April 2022! I hope you enjoyed today’s post and you are looking forward to finding out what I’m going to be reading in May. If you are, keep your eyes peeled for a post going live in the next couple of days!

What have you been reading? Have you got any good book recommendations? As always, I’d love to hear from you!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 1st May 2022

Hello and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update. As always, I’m back at the end of the week to update you on the books I’ve been reading and the blog posts I’ve been sharing. I also have a TBR addition to let you know about, as well as what’s coming up on my blog next week!

Firstly, let’s go through what I’ve been sharing on my blog. I decided to take part in a Contradictions Book Tag at the beginning of this week. In that post, I shared various books I have read that don’t necessarily live up to my usual reading habits. For example, one of the questions is to name a book I enjoyed from the genre I don’t normally read, and so on. I had great fun with this post, because it gave me the opportunity to talk about books in a slightly different way. It has both positives and negatives, so I trust it will make a fun read for everybody!

On Friday I shared a First Lines Friday feature. As the posts I’ve written over the last month haven’t featured a challenge, I decided to bring this back for this week’s post. This week’s challenge was to feature a book that I read before I started my blog. Admittedly I have done this one before, but there are plenty of books I could choose from. I’m really happy with the feature I went with. If you want to find out which book I chose, you could find a link to the post above to take a look for yourself!

 

Books Read

In last week’s Sunday Summary update post, I had around 80 pages left of The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman to read. My plan was to read and finish that book last Sunday night, and I’m pleased to say I did! I really enjoyed how this story ended and it was refreshing to read something relatively lighthearted! I’ll definitely go on to continue with his books, because this was a really fun one to read!

In last week’s update I also shared that I had started Ravencry by Ed McDonald. I had started this on a whim as I fancied a change from The Thursday Murder Club, so I made this my ‘bedtime reading’ book. As I finished The Thursday Murder Club nice and quickly, Ravencry became my current read in earnest and it’s the book I’ve been reading for most of the week. I actually finished this one last night, and I loved it as much as I did the first time I read it! These books never fail to impress in their epicness, the range of characters, and the overall entertainment value from them. As I’m sure you’ve gathered, I absolutely love these, and I’m glad I’ve gone back to them to enjoy them all over again!

Speaking of which, the next book on my reading list for the week is Crowfall, the third and final instalment in The Raven’s Mark trilogy. As I only finished Ravencry last night, I’m only about 30 pages into Crowfall at the moment. However, being in full swing having just read Ravencry, I’m hoping that this isn’t going to take long to read at all. I distinctly remember devouring this the last time I read it, so I have every confidence it will be the exact same this time round!

 

Books Discovered

Having heard fabulous reviews for an indie book on the Currently Reading podcast, (something I have gotten into listening to recently), I have added Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots to my TBR this week.

I love the sound of this book because it’s completely different from books I would typically read. I’m not ‘into’ superheroes, but I do enjoy an element of it now and then. In fact, my first read of the year, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, had an element of it in; the main characters in that book write comic books about superheroes. I enjoyed this particular aspect in the book because it’s not something I read a lot of. I’m hoping I think the same of Hench.

The story is a little bit different though. From what I have gathered from the discussion Meredith and Kaytee had on the Currently Reading podcast, the main character is somebody whose life has been negatively impacted by a superhero… and even despite her injures, she is deemed one of the lucky ones. Anna is living proof that not all of their deeds are for the good of all, and she makes it her mission to exact revenge. She takes up employment for the worst kind of villiains that can be expected in any superhero story. She is just a data cruncher, a small cog in a very big machine, but knowing how to use the data against them and to her advantage, she becomes a force to be reckoned with in her own right.

 

Coming Up…

Somehow it is the first week of May next week. Whilst that’s a good thing because it means it’s a lovely long bank holiday weekend, it means that time is absolutely flying by! Needless to say, it’s time for me to share my Monthly Wrap-Up for April 2022. I’m looking forward to sharing the books I’ve been reading over the course of the month with you, and provide an update on where I am up to with my Goodreads challenge!

Naturally, the next matter on the agenda is to share what I’m planning on reading throughout the month of May. I have some really good books on this month’s list, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

I’m fairly sure you know what’s coming next. I’ll be back this time next week with another Sunday Summary update for you all! Until then, I hope you enjoy this lovely bank holiday weekend and have a great week ahead!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 24th April 2022

Good evening everyone! I’m back with today’s Sunday Summary update to conclude another busy week. As always, I trust you’ve had a good one?

Before we jump into what I’ve been up to this week, I have a fun little update to share with you. My blog has been on the Internet for five years! I’m just celebrating the anniversary and honestly, I can’t believe it! As someone who has lots of ideas but very rarely follows through with them, I’m proud of myself for having stuck with my blog. It’s a lot of time and effort, but I really love having this space to share my thoughts and feelings with you! Here’s to the next 5 years!

My first post of the week was a book review of Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Having read and loved Six of Crows, I wanted to pick up this series. However, I expedited this after watching the Netflix series that amalgamated these two together. I wasn’t too keen on this, but that’s besides the point. It was great to dive into my opinions on why I enjoyed this first instalment to the series!

On Friday I shared my Shelf Control fortnightly feature. In this week‘s post, I shared details of the next book on my TBR – Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham. It sounds like a really interesting thriller novel and if I go on to enjoy this, it’s going to be the start of a fabulous series; it’s quite a long one. You can find out all my thoughts on this book, as well as details of the book itself in my Shelf Control post.

 

Books Read

In last week’s Sunday Summary update I was about a third of the way through The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. I am pleased to report a significant amount of progress this week!

I am really enjoying this mystery story. As the mystery and thriller genre goes, this is on the very lighthearted side of things. For the most part. There is a lot of humour in it, and I’m really enjoying this aspect! I will say there are a couple of chapters that really took me by surprise though. As I say, it’s very funny and lighthearted, but without spoilers, a tragic event in a couple of the later chapters really punched me in the gut – so much so made me cry. The fact that they were included in the way they were means that it had a greater impact. Thankfully I was able to mop up the tears and carry on!

I’m hoping to finish The Thursday Murder Club tonight after this post goes live. I am currently 80% of the way through the book, with just under 80 pages or so to go until the end.

I’ve also started reading a second book this week. I fancied a change from The Thursday Murder Club for some bedtime reading. Probably conscious that I have several books still on my TBR and not a lot of the month left in which to read them, I decided to pick up Ravencry by Ed McDonald. This is strictly bedtime reading for now, so that way I can make progress with both. I’m already around 80 pages into Ravencry, and having read Blackwing (the first book of the trilogy) recently as well it helps that I am following up in a timely manner! Although the events of this book occur four years after the first book, the context makes a lot more sense. Ravencry is proving a very easy read and once I’ve finished The Thursday Murder Club, I’ll be moving onto this one in earnest!

 

Books Discovered

I have absolutely no updates for you on the TBR front this week, other than to confirm that I haven’t added anything to it once again (thankfully!)

 

Coming Up…

I’ve seen a fun book tag post, in which the idea is to share bookish likes and dislikes that go against your norms. It’s called the Contradictions Book Tag, and I can’t wait to really dig into the different topics and share books that I’ve liked and ‘shouldn’t have’, and equally those that I wanted to and didn’t!

On Friday I will be sharing a First Lines Friday post. As I haven’t set myself a challenge for the last couple of iterations of this post, I will be setting myself a challenge for next week. My challenge, you ask? The featured book has to be one I read as a teenager, and pre-dates my blogging days. I have done this particular challenge before, but as I read so much when I was younger there’s still plenty of scope to feature something new and share the love for something that I haven’t shared as yet!

As always, I will be back this time next week with another Sunday Summary post, containing all my latest updates of books read etc.

I hope you can join me for these posts, but in the meantime I hope you have a fabulous week and I’ll see you around!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Monthly TBR – April 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to my monthly TBR for April. I’m really excited to be sharing the books I plan to pick up within the next few weeks! 

I didn’t get through all of my reading list for March. I did set myself an ambitious list and so I’m neither surprised nor disappointed by this fact. I knew when I prepared the list it was very likely I was going to carry some forward through to April – so most of the books on this month’s list have already been shared on last month’s TBR! 

Let’s see what I’m going to be reading very soon!

 

Fixed Reads

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows

I will be opening the month with my current read carried over from March, being Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling. I’m currently around halfway through this book and I’m excited to complete my reread of the series! I last read this book around nine years ago now, so I am keen to read this book again and experience it from a more mature perspective!

 

The Thursday Murder Club

I have been loaned a copy of The Thursday Murder Club by my sister’s boyfriend, Chris, to read. I didn’t quite get round to this one last month, but I still cannot wait to pick this up! I’ve heard great things about this book, in particular the characters and the humour!

 

Ravencry & Crowfall

I added Ravencry and Crowfall to my ‘mood read list’ last month, but since I didn’t get round to them I’ve decided I’m adding them to my fixed list for April! I have a couple of other ‘mood reads’ in mind that I’d like to pick up, and so the progression onto my fixed reading list felt natural!

Having recently re-read Blackwing, the first book in the series, I got really excited for the series again. So naturally, I wanted to read it all again as opposed to just the first book! I re-read Blackwing in just a matter of days, and I fully expect Ravencry and Crowfall to be much the same in terms of experience!

 

Mood Reads

The Duke & I

This addition to my TBR is experimental. I’m not sure if it’s a book I’m going to enjoy, however having recently enjoyed watching the second season of the Netflix TV show, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t.

If I do enjoy The Duke and I then I will continue with the book series. However, don’t expect me to suddenly start reading romance all the time; my enjoyment of these books, if indeed I do enjoy them, will be the exception instead of the rule.

What I can say, is having featured this book in a very recent First Lines Friday post, the introduction made a good impression on me! Let’s see how the rest of the book pans out, shall we?

 

The Bone Collector

I’ve also been watching the TV series, Lincoln Rhyme, on Now TV recently. I have a copy of The Bone Collector sat upstairs on my bookshelf, and now feels like the right time to pick this up for myself. I believe my sister has read at least some of this book and enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see how it compares!

 

As in previous months, my indicated mood reads are provisional and I might choose to pick up something else at the time! Last month I didn’t even get round to my mood reads, which is perfectly okay too. I feel like this reading list is a little bit less ambitious, though still plentiful enough to give myself a challenge!

Have you read any of the books on my TBR? What are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

 

signature

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

First Lines Friday – 18/03/2022

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! First Lines Friday is a regular series on my blog. It’s a fun way to share books I love, those I am interested in and/or on my TBR or even just to experiment with something new!

For today’s post I set myself the challenge to feature a book I’ve added to my TBR this month. I made the decision last week in an attempt to get my reading motivation back after a small slump and a DNF at the beginning of this month.

I’m really excited for today’s featured book. Having looked at almost all the books left on my TBR to date, the book I was going to feature it was a clear winner. I think it has the best introduction and has the best chance of grabbing your attention.

Shall we jump into it?

 

Levan Ost’s note insisted I come alone.

The clocks were poised to strike four as I approached the meeting point. The night carried a purpleish cast, Rioque and Clada both waxing, unobscured by clouds. I stepped briskly through the winter cold. Hooded. Armed. Alert. The last time I’d met Levan Ost, he tried to shank me with a broken bottle. But that had been a long time ago and, truth be told, I’d probably deserved it.

The smell of the canal met me three streets before it came into view. The waterway was blacker than oil, the streets around it mostly deserted. Nobody wanted to live near that stench. Valengrad’s canals had never been fit for swimming in, but after the Siege, we’d tossed all the dead drudge into the canals to rot. Bad magic isn’t so easily washed away though, and the pollutants had stained even the water. Four years later, it still bore the memory.

 

Ravencry – Ed McDonald

Ravencry

Goodreads – Ravencry

Four years have passed since Nall’s Engine drove the Deep Kings back across the Misery, but as they hurl fire from the sky, darker forces plots against the republic.

A new power is rising: a ghost in the light known only as the Bright Lady manifests in visions across the city, and the cult that worship her grasp for power even as the city burns around them.

When Crowfoot’s arcane vault is breached, an object of terrible power is stolen, and Galharrow and his Blackwings must once find out which of Valengrad’s enemies is responsible before they have a chance to use it.

To save Valengrad, Galharrow, Nenn and Tnota must venture to a darker, more twisted and more dangerous place than any they’ve walked before: the very heart of the Misery.

RAVENCRY is the second book in the Raven’s Mark series, continuing the story that began with the award winning epic fantasy BLACKWING.

 

My Thoughts…

I loved reading Blackwing last month and I cannot wait to continue with the rest of the trilogy. Ravencry throws us back into yet more action, four years after the events of the first book.

The thing I love the most about these books is that no character is a hero, or even tries to be. Everybody is out for themselves and is by no means an altruist, but that makes it feel all the more real. That is definitely encapsulated in today’s introduction and if you really liked it, then these books will be great for you because it’s consistent throughout!

I love the magic and the setting of these books. There is a lot of thought that has got into the world building and the lore and there’s so much to love! Even though it is a fantasy world it is very easy to imagine and immerse yourself in. When I read Blackwing last month, it was the escapism I needed. I found it very easy to sit and read and read and read a bit more – it was effortless!

If you need any further testament to how great this series is, I gifted a copy of this trilogy to my sister’s boyfriend for Christmas. He’d read the lot by about the third week in January!

Have you read Ravencry or any other books in the trilogy? Does today’s First Lines Friday feature make you want to pick it up for yourself? 

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Sunday Summary – 6th March 2022

Hello and welcome to my Sunday summary post!

It’s been a busy week here on the blog! I originally intended to share one post combining my monthly wrap-up for February and my TBR for March. However, when I started drafting that post I quickly realised that this format wasn’t really working for me. Whilst it does make sense to an extent, the post was becoming really long and I didn’t get the opportunity to include all the content I wanted. So, I decided to split these back out. So, my Monthly Wrap-up for February was posted on Tuesday and my Monthly TBR for March was shared on Thursday.

I also shared a First Lines Friday post to wrap-up the working week. In that post, I challenged myself to feature a book I’ve added to my TBR in the last three months. Let’s face it, I’ve added quite a few books in that time period and so I had plenty of scope to choose from. I’m really pleased with the book I selected and I hope you enjoyed the introduction as much as I did!

 

Books Read

When I left you in last week’s Sunday Summary post I was 60% through Blackwing by Ed McDonald. This was the book I picked up at the end of February, having swapped it from One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest.

I am glad I made the switch. I absolutely devoured reading Blackwing and the escapism fantasy books offer was exactly what I needed! I read this book in a matter of days and I’ve since decided that I’m going to continue with re-reading the trilogy.

Because I still want to read One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest, I added this to my March TBR and as of this post I am 40% through the book. I’m now doubly glad I made the switch last month because this book isn’t quite what I expected. In all honesty, I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s perfectly readable but at the same time it’s not grabbing me in the same way either. It’s just something I feel very neutral about.

I decided to pick up a second book this week to give myself a break from it. I have picked up the next book on my TBR, Keep You Safe by Rona Halsall. This is going a lot better! I am enjoying reading this one and I managed to read 75 pages in one sitting yesterday. I expected to go into this book fully rooting for the main character. However, protagonist Natalie is a lot more complex than the synopsis lets on and I’m not sure who I’m rooting for at this point! For anyone like me who loves characters with moral shades of grey, I think it’ll be a good one for you.

I haven’t given up on One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest just yet. I’m going to continue with this next week and see how I get on. However, if it doesn’t pick up soon then I think this might be my first DNF of the year. We’ll see.

In better news, I started listening to my audiobook of A Storm of Swords again this week! It’s been a few weeks since I last put this on, however I was in the mood and I’ve managed to work my way through a few more chapters! Progress is progress!

 

Books Discovered

No new additions to the TBR for the first time in a few weeks, which is good! I’ve added enough lately, so I’ll have to give it a break if I want to delude myself that I’ll catch up at some point.

Haha, funny right?

 

Coming Up…

Next week I’ll be going back to my regular three post schedule.

It’s been a little while since I shared a Top Ten Tuesday post, and I like the sound of this week’s topic. The topic is Books With Your Favorite Trope/Theme. There are a lot of themes or tropes that could be looked at as a part of this post, so content on the blogosphere is going to be quite varied. My favourite theme for this post is going to be based around my love of fantasy books, and feature books which contain prophecies! It’s a very common thing in fantasy and it’s one of the tropes I don’t hate even though it’s a bit overused.

On Friday it’s the turn of my regular Shelf Control post. I’ll be taking another look at my TBR and sharing with you the next book on my list. I’ll share some details of the book, go into some detail as to why I added it to my list and why I still want to read it now.

Last, but not least, I’ll be back the same time next week for another Sunday Summary update!

Until then, I hope you have a good week and I’ll see you in the next post!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Monthly TBR – March 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to my Monthly TBR for March. Somehow we are in the third month of the year already and I honestly have no idea where it’s gone!

Last month I decided to combine my wrap-up post for January and my February TBR. And it does make sense, to a degree. However, I thought the post was too long and I didn’t get the chance to include all the content I wanted. So, I’m experimenting with splitting these back out and if you have any feedback on which you prefer I’d love to hear it!

I’m really pleased with last month’s reading progress and I’m keen to keep the momentum going. Therefore, I’ve decided to avoid all historical fiction and non-fiction reads that I’ve had on my radar, mainly because they focus around war. It’s not a particularly pleasant topic at the moment in light of current events, so I’m putting these on hold for a little bit in favour of picking up some alternative topics. I have also chosen books of varying lengths. As some of these reads are a bit shorter, I have more titles on the list this month. 

So, shall we dive into what I am going to be reading?

 

Fixed Reads

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest

This book was on my mood read list for February, however I decided to swap it out in favour of a fantasy book at the end of the month in order to experience some escapism. It’s for this exact reason that I make time for mood reads now; I’m glad I made the change!

However, I do still want to read this book and as of writing this post I’m currently around 20% through. I’m interested to see where this book is going to take me. Where I am at the moment, I am feeling pretty neutral about it. It’s perfectly readable, but equally it hasn’t grabbed a hold of me in the same way that some of my recent reads have. I’ll continue reading to give it a chance in the hopes it picks up; even still, if it stays the way it is it’s probably going to be a three star read.

 

Keep You Safe

I’ve had this book on my radar for a few years now. Not only does it sound great in its own right, but I also want to read it as it is written by a local author! I am intrigued by the mystery behind the synopsis and the potential for there to be an unreliable narrator, which I think is hinted at. What I also like is that it’s a very approachable length – it’s long enough to invest into but also not so long that I risk getting bogged down in a detailed and convoluted story. Sometimes that’s fine too, but lighter reads are my preference right now. 

I can’t wait to read this and share my thoughts with you!

 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I want to conclude my re-read of the Harry Potter series this month. I’ve been enjoying making progress with the latter books in the series and I am looking forward to picking this last instalment up again.

I last read this book 8-10 years ago now. That’s a scary thought for me! I loved it then and I have every confidence that I will again. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this is a ‘lighter’ read, as it’s fairly chunky and the subject matter quite dark for a YA fantasy, but I’m looking forward to it all the same! I still find these books engrossing!

 

Lean In

I want to try and read some non-fiction this month, and my sister recently loaned me a copy of this book. It was recommended to her through one of her more senior work colleagues for the purposes of development and I would also like to take something from this. I find myself in the middle in that I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as a career woman, but I definitely care about my job. I don’t just turn up to get paid.

I’m sure this book has plenty of content and something that I can take away from it in order to develop myself and maybe even progress further!

 

The Thursday Murder Club

As well as Lean In, I’ve also been loaned a book by my sister’s boyfriend Chris. Not only did The Thursday Murder Club get a great review from him, but I’ve also been hearing great things about it in the wider community and it was already on my radar to add to my TBR and read.

I’m looking forward to picking this up because the protagonists are not from the generation you would expect to be sleuthing. I’ve also heard it’s incredibly funny and I hope it will be as intriguing and lighthearted as I’m expecting it to be.

 

The Original Folk and Fairytales of the Brother’s Grimm

I am also carrying over The Original Folk and Fairytales of the Brothers Grimm again. Whilst I did pick this book up a couple of times in February, I didn’t really make that much progress with it. I stand by my decision to chip away at this one again this month, but I need to find more balance between my current reads and also picking this one up regularly. I will continue to read this into March and even if I don’t finish it, I hope to make a lot more progress with it this month.

 

Mood Reads

Ravencry & Crowfall

I started reading Blackwing, the first book of The Raven’s Mark trilogy, on the 26th February. This was the book I decided to swap with One Flew Over the Cuckoo‘s Nest. Three days later, I’d read all 370ish pages. I devoured this book. It was exactly what I needed at the time; an epic fantasy that I could throw myself into and love all over again.

I read this book back in June 2018, so it’s been a while. Given that I loved it so much, I’ve decided that I want to re-read the rest of the trilogy again. Therefore, these are my mood reads for March! It’s not very often I’ll binge read a series like this – but if it’s good enough, I can engage and I’ll love every second of it!

 

As in previous months, my indicated mood reads aren’t set in stone and like last month, so I might choose to pick up something else at the time! Unlikely, given how much I loved Blackwing in February… but never say never!

Have you read any of the books on my monthly TBR? What are you reading this month? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads