It’s Friday and that can only mean one thing; it’s time for my Shelf Control post!
Shelf Control is a regular feature on my blog. It’s a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies… a celebration of the unread books on our shelves! The idea is to pick a book you own but haven’t read and write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!
If you want to read more about the Shelf Control feature, check out Lisa’s introductory post.
Today’s book is a historical fiction novel set in one of my favourite periods of history. It is tumultuous and full of strife, but it is a part of history that fascinates many. Myself included. I have already read books on the topic (including The Lady of the Rivers and Songbird), but it is one that I will never get sick of!
Set against the intrigue and pageantry of the sixteenth-century English court, Evelyn Anthony’s novel tells the love story of Henry Tudor and Anne Boleyn, who would become his wife, his queen, and the mother of one of Britain’s greatest monarchs.
On a lovely midsummer afternoon, Henry Tudor rides to Hever Castle. There, he feasts his eyes on Anne Boleyn, who caught his roving attention at court a few months earlier. Anne is in no mood to receive her king. He has torn from her the one man she loved: Harry Percy, who was forced to marry another. But King Henry VIII is not a man who gives up—the thrill of the chase only excites him more. Yet the woman he desires so passionately is no fool. Educated at the French court, Anne vows that she will not share the fate of her naïve younger sister, Mary, who after bearing Henry a bastard son was cast away and married off to a country squire. No, Anne will settle for nothing less than the crown of England, even if Henry has to break with Rome in order to marry her.
History comes thrillingly alive in a novel that features a teeming canvas of iconic real-life characters: Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, the enemy Anne vows to destroy; Henry’s first wife, the proud and pious Queen Catherine of Aragon; and Thomas Cromwell, who engineers Anne’s downfall. From the halcyon early days of courtship to her imprisonment in the palace tower for treason, this is a tale of love, ambition, and the tragic destiny of Anne of the Thousand Days.
Described as the love story of Anne Boleyn and Henry Tudor, this book is set during one of my favourite periods of history.
The infamous Henry VIII and his multitude of wives (and their various fates) leaves plenty for readers to pore through. I enjoy reading about this complex period of history, and I can’t wait to learn more about Anne Boleyn specifically from this book.From the early days to her tragic end, Anne is a centrepiece in English history. In order to become Henry the eighth’s Queen and second wife, vast political and religious shifts must occur.
Anne Boleyn is often conveyed as an ambitious and conniving individual. She is often demonised as the reason for a lot of the reforms in England during the period, as well as being unable to provide the King with a son. Eventually, this led to her downfall just a few short years after she married Henry.
I’m interested to see if this particular book heralds the same tone, or if we get to see a different take on who she was as a political figure, but also a woman. The synopsis of this book suggests it is more of a romance. Whether this is just a different take on their story, or whether the whole saga is romanticised remains to be seen.
That is all from me in today’s Shelf Control post! Have you read this book… or any other books on the Tudor period that you would recommend?
Good evening everyone and welcome to another bookish update in today’s Sunday Summary post.
Earlier this week I shared a couple of blog posts with you. I started off the week with a Discussion Post on why reading diversity matters. I am always trying to branch out and read new things, but there are still plenty of books, authors, and topics that I am still yet to explore. In that post, I made a pledge that I am going to try and pick up more of these books in the future!
Later in the week, it was the turn of my regular Friday feature, Shelf Control. In that post, I talked about a book that has been on my reading list for a number of years. Having recently re-read the synopsis, it has reminded me just why I can’t wait to pick it up.
As of last week’s Sunday Summary post, I was halfway through Silverthorn by Raymond E Feist. I enjoyed the book overall, but if I’m entirely honest, not as much as the first book. Whilst I could follow the events from the first book, Magician, it seemed to have a different feel about it. On the one hand, this was good because it was easy to pick up, but at the same time, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting either. In the end, I gave it a three-star rating.
Next, I started my current read, Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. I’ve had high hopes for Red Sister as I previously read and enjoyed The Broken Empire trilogy by the same author.
If I’m honest, Red Sister hasn’t grabbed me as much as I hoped it would either. It’s a tough one. I don’t know if I’m going to carry on with it or not. It’s not that I hate it because I don’t. I don’t love it either though. I’m currently 20% of the way through Red Sister and I’m going to continue a little longer. If it still hasn’t grabbed me by about a third of the way through, then I will set it aside. There are still elements in the book to be explained that we haven’t come to yet. Maybe once I’ve got a bit more of the foundation down I will be able to get into it.
I’m going to pick up Red Sister after this post goes live with a view to getting to a third of the way through the book tonight. That way, I have decided whether I’ll carry on or not and that determines what my reading week looks like next week. I will let you know in next week’s Sunday Summary post how I get on.
I have officially decided to stop listening to The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn. I’ve just had enough of it and I’m not really inclined to finish it. So, I’m not going to force myself to. Instead, I might pick up another book on September‘s TBR in audio format instead.
The CEO of the company I work for is as much an avid reader as I am. On Friday, he gave me a couple of reading recommendations.
The first of those recommendations is Treacle Walker by Alan Garner. This is quite a short book, and I like the sound of it based on what he told me of it. It is the first I had heard of this particular book, and given that I am trying to branch out with my reading, I have added this book to my reading list.
He also gave me a second recommendation, which is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. When I read about this recommendation, I got really excited. It is set in one of my favourite periods of history, and the synopsis in my opinion is really interesting.
I can’t wait to pick this up and have a discussion with him about it!
Next week, I plan to start the week by sharing a book review with you.
I’ve decided to share quite a topical review, particularly if you are a fan of George R.R. Martin and the A Song of Ice and Fire series (a.k.a. a Game of Thrones). You may or may not be familiar with the fact that the prequel show (House of the Dragon) is currently airing. This in fact covers some of the narrative and history of the Targaryen’s in his book, Fire and Blood. I read this book last year, and given its hot topic at the moment, I’ve decided to share my review on that.
I will be back on Friday with another regular feature post. Next week’s post will be a First Lines Friday, and I really like the sound of the book I have chosen. The opening lines set the book in motion immediately. I also read a book earlier this year in a similar setting and time period. It has also been all that I have a read number of books by, and enjoyed. I for one can’t wait to pick up his book myself– but if you’re interested to find out what that book is, don’t forget to check out my blog on Friday.
As always, You can find out all the latest updates in my Sunday Summary post next week.
For now, that’s all folks! What have you been reading?
Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary update post! I hope you have had a great week!
I have had a good one myself. It has been an exciting week, as I’ve had the opportunity to talk about my reading progress in August in my Monthly Wrap-Up post. Not only that, but I have also shared my humongous TBR for September. Having taken part in the ‘spring semester’ of Magical Readathon recently, I decided I really enjoyed taking part in it.
I saw that Becca is hosting her Bookoplathon readathon for September, and so I decided to take part. The board did not treat me kindly, and I have to read no less than eight books this month! If you haven’t checked out either my August wrap-up or my September TBR yet, you can find the links above to do so.
In my last Sunday Summary update post, I was most of the way through Golden Son, I was part-way through The Silence of the Girls as a break from Golden Son, and in terms of audiobook progress, I had stalled a little with The Viscount Who Loved Me.
The Silence of the Girls
I decided my first priority of the week was to continue reading The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. I was really enjoying this particular book, and it was just the break I needed from Golden Son. Needless to say, I made very quick progress with this book and finished it very early on in the week! I really enjoyed the contrasting perspective it offers to books around war.
It is not often we think of the lives of those living in the war camp, especially those who are not there by choice. I really enjoyed this one, and if you like Greek mythology I would strongly recommend you pick this book up to!
Having had a sufficient break, I went back to finish Golden Son by Pierce Brown. I’m glad I stuck with it in the end, as the ending picked up. It’s not that the book was boring or that there was nothing going on; in fact, the problem was quite the opposite. There was a lot going on. Maybe too much! It barely felt like we had gotten over one event before the next occurred, and the pace was a bit much for me. While this didn’t really change towards the end, I think a break allowed me time to process what has happened before and I like how the book has been left in terms of a cliffhanger.
From there I have moved on to my first read on my September TBR – Silverthorn by Raymond E Feist.
I read the first book of the series, Magician, initially as a teenager, but then again back in 2017. My intention then was to read the book to bring me back up-to-date with events so I could continue with the series. This didn’t quite pan out as I thought. However, the addition of the book I have on kindle has an excellent summary of what has gone before in the beginning. I don’t feel like I have suffered for having not picked up the second book in a while.
I am currently around halfway through Silverthorn, and I’m really enjoying the narrative so far. In all, it is quite different from what I remember of Magician. Events have moved on significantly since that first book, although we are seeing some malign forces returning to the narrative. I hope to be able to make further progress with this read quite quickly. It is easy to pick up and follow what is going on. Since I haven’t picked up this series for a long time, this is no mean feat!
The Viscount Who Loved Me
I have made some further progress with The Viscount Who Loved Me, albeit marginal. I have managed to get around the cringey bee sting scene by skipping what was left all together. I’ve obviously missed one of the most significant events in the book, but it wasn’t exactly surprising given that I watched the Netflix series. It’s been easy to work around and I have listened to this a little bit more, although not much.
I have deliberately not been looking at books out there at the moment, because I can’t really afford to add anything to my TBR. I have added a number of books of late, and I’m trying to keep the number down. My efforts don’t seem to be working!
Early next week I am sharing a discussion post with you, talking about why it is important to pick up books from diverse authors. It’s not lost on me that I’m going to be sharing this at a time when I am reading a book by a cis white male. I cannot help the bias shown in the publishing industry historically.
As much as it is important to read books by diverse authors, it is also not fair to exclude authors from your reading list based on their background. That is the point of my post, but that also includes not ruling out majority authors either.
On Friday, I will be sharing a Shelf Control post with you. The book I am featuring in that post is one I purchased a physical copy of a number of years ago. It is sat on my bookshelf waiting to be picked up, and having reminded myself of the synopsis, I can’t wait to get around to it!
As always, I’ll be back with you this time next week for my Sunday Summary update. I’m hoping to share a lot of reading progress with you, as I have a lot to read this month.
That concludes today’s Sunday Summary update. What have you been reading?
I can’t believe I’m drafting my end of August wrap-up already. This year seems to be absolutely flying by, as they always seem to do!
This month I took part in a readathon for the very first time. It has been a great way of setting myself a challenge. For the last year or so I have been gradually stepping up my reading again, after stepping back from a ridiculous personal best. I have enjoyed having the challenge – although it has been a challenge! Not only did I have an ample reading list for the readathon, but I also wanted to pick up an additional book for a personal goal I have set myself – reading more non-fiction.
Let’s dive into what I have been reading this month!
The first book I picked up this month was The First Binding by R.R.Virdi. This book came with its own challenge of itself, as I had to read the book and publish my review in just over two weeks. It meant I had a lot of reading to do as it’s a chunky book – at least 70 pages a day – to be able to complete this goal. I’m pleased to say I was able to keep relatively on track, and just pipped my goal at the end. It was a pleasure to read, although it might have been just a little bit nicer if I hadn’t had the time pressure. Still, I’m really glad to have taken part in the publication blog tour.
If you haven’t checked out that post already, here is a link for you to do so!
Next, I decided to read Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. This is the non-fiction read that I decided to pick up in addition to magical readathon.
It didn’t fit any of the prompts in any way, shape, or form. But, I was meant to read this last month and I ended up swapping it out last minute on a whim. I’m really glad I picked this book up anyway. It was a fantastic and enlightening read, even if some of the subjects really made my blood boil.
And that they did! What this book is really good at doing is highlighting the ways in which we think gender is treated equally, when in fact, that is far from the case! If that sounds like something you’re interested in then I would strongly recommend picking up this book.
This book fit the prompt of a book set in the future, although how far in the future isn’t really quantified. We know it is set in the future as it is set in a time when the human race has colonised space. The first book is set on Mars, and is a very interesting dystopian science fiction. Having read and enjoyed that book last year, I couldn’t wait to pick up sequel. That it fit this reading prompt was the perfect opportunity to pick it up.
I started off quite well with this book, although I will admit I hit a bit of a wall at around 70%. I did manage to finish this book on the very last day of the month, and it did improve at the end. My problem with it was there was an awful lot going on. By the time we got to 70%, the thrill of the action had worn off.
We’d been on the throttle for the majority of the book and I lost a bit of steam with it. To combat that, I ended up taking a short break from it to read another book, and going back to it was absolutely fine.
To break up Golden Son, I decided to pick up The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. This was already on my TBR, however, I needed a change of setting and pace.
The book is also a quick read at 325 pages. I first picked this up on the last Saturday of the month, and I read it within about four days.
I really enjoyed the change of perspective. If you are not familiar with The Silence of the Girls, it is a Greek mythology book set during the Trojan war. What sets it apart from other narratives, however, is that it focuses on the lives of women in the war camp as opposed to the men. Instead of brave, fearless warriors, the men are talked about as husbands, brothers and sons. In a way, it de-glamorises war and hits home the devastation that it causes.
The lives of women in war are often overlooked, but The Silence of the Girls does its bit to change that. The lives the women have are harrowing. Briseis and the other women’s experiences are not made out to be tragic, exceptional circumstances – it’s commonplace. Rather, all women in the camp experience the same thing, if not worse.
Despite the subject matter and the treatment of the characters, I really enjoyed this book. It was a great palate cleanser and it was just what I needed. I’m glad I finally got to it!
This month I decided to listen to The Viscount Who Loved Me. I read the first Bridgerton book, the Duke and I, back in May this year. It ended up being a fairly average read. However, I am really interested in the character stories for Eloise and Penelope.
As we are some time away in the Netflix series (at least Eloise), I wanted to try to continue with the books. A way of compromising between my enjoyment of the Netflix series, but my reservation about the books was to try it in audiobook format. This turns out to have worked pretty well overall.
If I’m honest, I’m not a huge fan of the ‘hate-to-love’ trope present in this book. I don’t understand it. For me, it is a very extreme thing to hate somebody. If you get so far as to hate somebody, then nothing they can do will redeem themselves. Maybe that says more about me. In my opinion, this isn’t a ‘hate-to-love’ relationship – it is at best ‘dislike-to-love’.
I also had to skip a very cringey scene because I just couldn’t listen to it. However, I have been able to continue with it and I am still listening to it now. I have just a few hours left.
Whilst I still have my gripes about the series in general (for example the inequality in behaviour between men and women, the romanticising of men behaving badly to name just a couple of examples), it is a lot more palatable in audio format. I was finding with reading the books that I sometimes struggled to get past sections of the narrative that I had serious gripes with. However, instead of re-reading and rolling my eyes into the back of my head, I had to let that frustration go and keep my attention on the narrative, otherwise I would get lost. As a result of fewer interruptions, I’ve been able to get on with this a lot better.
It still isn’t going to be my favourite series in the whole wide world. It never was. But, I think I can continue with the series to at least get out of it what I want.
Unfortunately, I didn’t quite get to Assassin’s Quest in August.
I had an ambitious TBR, even though it was only five books; two of the books are over 800 pages (Assassin‘s Quest being one of them). I also suffered a little bit with hitting a brick wall with Golden Son. Even so, I wouldn’t have finished Assassin‘s Quest in any case.
Given that I have a manic TBR for September (check out tomorrow’s post to see why!), I’ve decided to postpone picking up Assassin‘s Quest. I won’t be doing myself any favours picking this up now, even though I want to.
Instead, I think I will leave it until October to try and read.
That’s it for my monthly wrap-up. Have you read any of the books in today’s monthly wrap-up post? What have you been reading? I’d love to know in the comments!
Good evening everyone and welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary post! I have lots of updates for you; I can’t wait to share with you what I have been reading this week.
Before we jump into that, let’s recap the posts I’ve shared on my blog this week. On Tuesday, I shared a book review for a non-fiction book I read earlier this year. It was not the easiest of books to read because of the subject matter. But, I think it’s very important that everybody gives it a go at least once. That book is The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.
On Friday I shared the opening lines of a newly released book I received a copy of very recently. I already cannot wait to pick this particular book up. The synopsis sounds really interesting, and the opening lines had me hooked! If you haven’t checked out that post already, you can find a link to my First Lines Friday post here!
In last week’s Sunday Summary post, I was around a third of the way through Golden Son by Pierce Brown. I really enjoyed the first book of the series, Red Rising, last year. I’ve made a solid amount of progress with this book this week; I am now around 80% of my way through it.
However, I will admit that I have lost steam with this one. In my last Sunday Summary post, I mentioned that it was fast-paced, and that hasn’t changed. In fact, I think there’s too much action and too much going on if I’m completely honest. We’ve been on the throttle for most of the book, and now it is coming to the conclusion, I’m a bit bored. It’s lost the thrill of excitement.
This puts me in a bit of a dilemma because I’ve obviously invested a lot of time into getting to this stage of the book. A part of me wants to put this down, but another part of me doesn’t. For the sake of pushing through for an hour or so to get to the end, it may be worth it to persevere. It may even redeem itself. However, I’ve been lacking the drive to do so in the past couple of days. My plan is to try and push on to complete the read, but I’ll let you know what happens in next week’s Sunday Summary update.
Yesterday, in a bid to give myself a break from Golden Son, I picked up The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. This is a nice concise read, and in a very short space of time, I’ve nearly read 100 pages of the book. Coming in at just over 300 pages, that’s a good amount of progress! It is also a lot easier to read, so I think I will fly through this one.
I’m also really enjoying the perspective. Instead of featuring the usual tales of men and the glory of war in Greek mythology, it speaks about war and conquest from the perspective of the women it affects. It discusses the men who die in battle not as glorious warriors, but as brothers, husbands, and sons. Women are taken captive and enslaved in every way you can imagine. Despite the horror, this is done relatively stoically, as if it is expected by the women. It is a shocking perspective.
Switching up my current read to this book has definitely been the right move, and I think I will finish this one before going back to Golden Son.
I have made a tad more progress with The Viscount Who Loved Me on audiobook this week, but not as much as in previous weeks. I’ve only listened to it a couple of days whilst commuting, so consequently, I’ve only made about 10% progress through the audiobook.
If I’m entirely honest, I’ve gotten to the bee sting scene and just… yeah. It made me cringe so hard I couldn’t listen to it! I’m sure most people would think it an interesting and ‘spicy’ scene, but that just doesn’t work for me! I think I’ll just skip the scene and continue around it because I cannot listen to it otherwise.
I wasn’t planning on adding any books to my reading list this week. However, I discovered that an author I have started to read has released further books in a series that I’ve started – that being Christopher Ruocchio and his Sun Eater series. I have read the first book and started the second, however, there are a further two out already, and the fifth book is out in December this year.
I’ve added them to my reading list so they aren’t forgotten!
Next week I have both my monthly wrap-up post, and my September Monthly TBR to share with you! It’s always an exciting week when it comes to re-capping what I’ve been reading in one month, and discussing what I’m reading in the next.
With the end of the month not falling until Wednesday, I’ll be sharing my first post of the week on Thursday the 1st September. That way, you have the very latest updates from me in my monthly wrap-up post. I already have a good chunk of this post drafted, so I’ll just be adding the last bits to it on Wednesday before it goes live on Thursday.
Next month’s TBR is extremely ambitious to the point that I don’t think I’ll complete it. However, I’m going to have a very, very good go. You’ll find out why it’s ended up that way in my post on Friday.
And, as always, I’ll be back with another Sunday Summary update this time next week. Hopefully, I will be able to continue and finish both The Silence of the Girls and Golden Son. I also want to have made decent progress with my next breed, assassins quest. I’m not going to finish this in August, but I’m hoping I can at least make a start at this point.
That’s all from me for today’s Sunday Summary update though. What have you been reading?
Good evening everyone! It is the end of yet another week, and so it’s time to share all my updates in today’s Sunday Summary post. As always, I hope you’ve had a good week, whatever you have been up to!
It has been a fairly run-of-the-mill week here. My first blog post of the week was shared on Monday, and that was my blog tour review of The First Binding by R.R. Virdi. It was a pleasure to take part in the publication blog tour and I hope I have convinced somebody to pick up the book for themselves! If you haven’t heard about this epic fantasy yet, or you’re interested in my thoughts, you can check out my review with the link above.
Later in the week, it was the turn of my regular Shelf Control feature. This post went live on Friday (as usual), and this week’s feature is co-authored by father and son. Having read and enjoyed several books by Stephen King in the past, I can’t wait to see how his collaboration with his son compares. Maybe that’s enough for you to work out what book I have featured; if not and you’re curious, again, the link is above!
In last week’s Sunday Summary post, I left off reading Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. I was just about halfway through this particular book.
As expected, it didn’t take me long to finish. I ended up finishing this on Tuesday and I’m really glad I read it. I would be lying if I said it didn’t inspire a lot of feminist rage. The whole point of the book is to highlight the ways in which women are inadvertently discriminated against/disadvantaged. It’s done more out of ignorance than malice, although I would say in some circumstances it is done knowingly; in some cases, the consequences of excluding women are unknown or not considered. Some of the points this book raised shocked me.
For example, car manufacturers don’t test female test dummies in the driver’s seat. Consequently, 47% of women are more likely to be seriously injured or die in a car accident. That’s just ridiculous, and something that could be very easily remedied.
This book covers a lot of topics, from medicine to the workplace, product design, and home life. It was really interesting to read, and I’m glad I picked it up!
Next, I decided to pick up Golden Son by Pierce Brown. I read his first book of the series, Red Rising, last year. I really enjoyed the blend of science-fiction and dystopian fiction, which carries through into the second book. The story has moved on quite significantly since its humble beginning. However, there are plenty of reminders throughout the narrative to refresh your memory.
It is also proving quite fast-paced. I only started this book on Thursday; in three days (excluding today as I haven’t read anything yet), I’m already over a third of the way in. There is lots of action to keep us engaged, and in this book, there is more emphasis on some political aspects in the book, which I’m enjoying. Also seeing a lot of the familiar characters slot into place, and I can’t wait to see how this narrative progresses.
I have also been good with keeping up with listening to The Viscount Who Loved Me this week. I can be a little bit hit and miss with audiobooks, but I’ve been making the habit of listening to them when commuting to and from work. In my last Sunday Summary update, I was around a quarter of the way through this audiobook. I have been consistent with pacing as I’m now about halfway through.
Personally, I slightly prefer listening to these books rather than reading them. They are not my favourite genre, but I wanted to read them to give myself the opportunity to branch out a little, and because I want to read Penelope’s and Eloise’s stories. These come later in the series, so I have to read the earlier books first.
If all continues as well as things are going so far, then I am of a mind to continue with the series. Maybe even beyond the character’s I’m interested in, but, we’ll see.
This week, no news is good news. I’ve been adding more than enough books to my reading list of late. Thankfully, I haven’t found anything new that really catches my eye. Maybe this week I will be able to tick off more books from my reading list than I put on!
Next week I have some very good posts lined up for you! On Tuesday, I’m going to be sharing yet another book review with you.
I have quite a lot of books that I have not yet reviewed, and with that in mind, I’ve put my thoughts together on The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I read this book earlier this year – in fact, I finished it the day Russia invaded Ukraine. The book is already about a difficult topic, but this made it all the more real. I can’t wait for that post to go live and tell you exactly what I thought about it!
Later in the week, my Friday feature is a First Lines Friday post. I am really happy with the book I will feature this week. It’s a book I have just received a copy of, and it’s a beautiful edition! Not only that, but I am excited about the topic and setting of this particular book. A BookTuber I follow really loved this book herself. I trust her opinion, so I am optimistic that I will love it just as much as she did!
That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary update! What are you reading this week? Do you have any recommendations for me? As always, I will be grateful to hear them!
Happy Sunday evening everybody! If you are in the UK or British Isles, I hope you’ve been able to enjoy the lovely weather this weekend. It has been very warm even here, so I sympathise with everybody who’s had it hotter this weekend!
This week has been a good, productive one. I’ve been sticking to my goal of scheduling blog posts in advance, which I’m pleased about. I’ve finally managed to nail down a routine and a way of getting myself organised so I know exactly what I’m doing and when. And all it has taken is a week-to-week planner.
This week I have shared two posts with you. On Tuesday, I shared my 2022 New Releases I’m Excited About post. In the post, I talk about six books published in 2022 that I’m keen to pick up for myself. One of those books I’ve been reading this week. If you are interested or looking for something new to pick up for yourself, check out this post.
On Friday it was the turn of my regular First Lines Friday feature. In that post, I decided to feature this week‘s current read, and a book I feel passionately about. So much so the weekend isn’t even over yet and I’ve read half the book already!
As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was just over halfway through The First Binding by R.R. Virdi. If you follow my blog or have been following my recent posts, you will know that I have an upcoming blog tour post to share. In this post, I’ll be sharing my review of this book. Naturally, finishing reading it has been my number one priority for the week!
I’m pleased to say that I finished this epic fantasy on Friday night. I immediately started making some notes for my post, as this is going live tomorrow. The First Binding is one of my favourite reads of this year so far. Very epic in scope, the book is strongly reminiscent of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind series.
I personally really enjoyed this as a teenager, and the narrative style of The First Binding is very like it. The thing that excites me the most, however, is that The First Binding is just the beginning of Ari‘s story. I already can’t wait to pick up the sequel and the first book isn’t even technically out yet!
This weekend, I have been reading Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. I originally wanted to read this book last month, however I swapped in favour of Pandora’s Jar instead. As glad as I am that did that, I’m also happy that I have now picked up this book. I’ve only been reading it for a couple of days, and I’m already 170 pages in. I also plan to be making more progress with the book tonight, so I expect to finish this shortly.
What this book is very good at doing is exposing ways in which women are unwittingly disadvantaged. You would naturally think decisions are made based on gender-neutral data. More often than not, that is not the case. Any women who have used voice recognition technology have probably encountered difficulties using it. Men, on the other hand, experience significantly fewer problems.
You would think that all the background data used to build the technology would be neutral. But, data suggests that samples the technology learns from are biased 70% in favour of male voices compared to women. This is just one example, (and one that affects me every time I write a blog post, as I dictate them). There are many more examples in this book, and far more serious as opposed to just inconvenient.
I’ve really enjoyed the first half of this book so far and I’m looking forward to reading the rest imminently.
Lastly, I started listening to The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn this week. I didn’t overly love reading the Duke and I, so I’ve decided to try this second book in audiobook format to see if it’s any easier.
I have already listened to just under 25% of the book this week. Whilst it still has its moments that induce serious eye-rolling on my part, I’m finding it easier to get through because I don’t have time to dwell on the parts that make me cringe. It is definitely working out more palatable so far, so I hope to make further progress with this book next week!
I confess I have added one book to my reading list this week. I re-tweeted a post with a number of book recommendations that another reader has put together, as I really liked the idea.
One of those recommendations, based on the love of mythology, is The Witch’s Heart by Genevieve Gornichec. Again, if you have been reading my blog of late, you will know that I have picked up Norse Mythology recently. I’ve had a bit of a rocky relationship with Neil Gaiman, but that’s a topic for another day. Despite this, I really enjoyed Norse Mythology and the snippets of stories included, with its vast array of characters.
One of the best known is the trickster Loki, and The Witch’s Heart is based significantly around the characters Angrboda and Loki, and their monstrous children.
I’m obviously really enjoying mythology at the moment, as I’ve also been picking up Greek mythology of late.
Tomorrow I have my blog tour review of The First Binding by R.R. Virdi going live. I’ve been putting in a lot of effort into reading a book ahead of schedule, and I spent a good deal of time putting my thoughts together for that post. I really hope you can check it out and if you like the sound of the book, that it encourages you to get a copy for yourself. It was a really enjoyable read, and I can’t wait to pick up the sequel!
Later in the week, I am back with another Shelf Control feature on Friday. The next book on my TBR, featured in that post, is a book cowritten by a well-known author of his genre (horror), together with his son.
It also falls into a little bit of feminism, which is something I’ve been reading a bit around lately (I’m even reading about it now!). If you have heard of, or already read this book, you may have an idea of what I’m talking about. Otherwise, please check out that post on Friday so you can discover what it is!
And, as always, I’ll be back next Sunday with another Sunday Summary update post. I’ll discuss the books I’ve been reading, any I’ve added to my reading list, and lastly, let you know what’s coming up in the next week.
That’s all from me in Sunday Summary post. I’ve tried to get this drafted and live as soon as possible this evening. We have a slim chance of thunderstorms tonight. Whilst I would like to say I’m been noble in making sure you’re not missing out on my post, the truth is if we do get storms, I want to watch! My plan is to get more reading of Invisible Women done tonight, but if there are storms then productivity is going out of the window!
What have you read lately? Do you have any book recommendations to share?
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:-
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!
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!
Hello everyone and welcome to my Sunday Summary update, which is now back to usual scheduling!
As I just came back from holiday at the beginning of this week (and already it feels like longer!), I shared a Belated Sunday Summary post on Tuesday this week. In that post, I caught you up with all my reading news from the past couple of weeks… including what reading I took on holiday with me. In that post I also shared a bit of personal news – that I had come back from holiday with Covid. I’m pleased to report I am now officially negative and doing well!
Later this week I decided to break my usual posting pattern and share a book review with you rather than one of my typical Friday features. It was well overdue, and I really wanted to champion something by a local author. There’s something about going on holiday that makes you appreciate home all the more, and this was the inspiration behind sharing this review. The book I featured was Keep You Safe by Rona Halsall, and if you haven’t checked out that review already you can do so with this link. If you love mysteries or thrillers, or are interested in books set on the Isle of Man, then this is definitely for you!
I thought I would read quite a lot whilst I was on holiday, but the truth is, I’ve read more now that I’ve come back!
As of my last Sunday Summary update, I was 72% through The Duke and I by Julia Quinn. I knew I wanted to finish reading this one, and with only approximately an hour’s reading time left this was a goal that was fairly easy to achieve. Whilst it was fresh in my mind from talking about my progress in my Belated Sunday Summary post, I decided to pick this up on Tuesday evening and I finished it in one sitting! Overall, it turned out to be an okay read. My impression from my last update hasn’t changed – I neither love it or hate it. I’m firm in my decision not to continue the series.
Next, I moved on to continuing my read of Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. If you are familiar with the book then you know it’s a bit of a chonker at just over 700 pages. As of my Belated Sunday Summary update, I was just under 300 pages into this book. This has been my main read over the course of this week, and I finished reading this one last night. Despite its size, this book was very easy to sink your teeth into (pun intended)! It’s all too easy to be daunted by a book’s size, but I’m glad I didn’t let this stop me.
I didn’t expect this to 100% be my cup of tea because I don’t really read books about vampires. I gave it a chance because it was written by Jay Kristoff and I am so glad I did. It was a very easy five star rating from me and is my favourite read of 2022 so far!
But my reading progress doesn’t quite stop there. I’ve picked up one further book this week, being Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert. This is quite a different read compared to Empire of the Vampire. Whilst I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is a light read, it is in contrast, short. At under 300 pages, it gives you gratification in terms of feeling like you make quick progress. I just picked this up today and I am already on page 73 of the book.
I haven’t added any books to the TBR this week, and as I’ve ticked a couple off reading wise, the list is going in the right direction!
Makes a change…
Next week I will be sharing both my Monthly Wrap-Up for May, as well as a TBR for June. I don’t quite know where time is going if I’m honest! I’m really pleased with this month’s reading progress, so I’m looking forward to recapping the books I’ve picked up and telling you what I thought, in summary, about them.
If I’m honest, I have very little idea as to what I am planning to read during the month of June. I’m taking part in one blog tour, so that book will be on my reading list, but other than that I haven’t christened anything. However, I’ll sit down and have a think and I’ll be bringing that list to you towards the end of next week.
As always, I’ll be back next Sunday to share all my reading updates with you and recap my week in the usual format.
That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary update post – I hope you’ve enjoyed catching up with me. What have you been reading this week? Do you have any good book recommendations?
Hello everyone and welcome to a belated Sunday Summary update post.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I last updated you on my reading progress, and that’s because I’ve been on holiday. I didn’t want to advertise that I was going away ahead of time, especially online. I had a great time away with my family for what was supposed to be our family holiday in 2020, which was cancelled for obvious reasons. That’s not to say it wasn’t without its dampener; I tested positive for Covid whilst we were away. It’s typical, but we didn’t let it spoil the holiday. I’ve managed to dodge it for the last two years, and I’m not too bad with it. I am on the road to recovery now and I’m hoping to be clear of it very soon!
Whilst I was away I scheduled a number of blog posts to tide you over. That first post, which went live not long before I went away, was a Top Ten Tuesday post featuring my top ten bookish characters. That was an interesting post to put together and I actually struggled a little. Surprisingly, there aren’t that many famously bookish characters. That said, I did manage to find enough for this list!
Later that week, I shared a Shelf Control post. In that post I featured The IncendiumPlot by A. D. Swanston. I added this book to my TBR because it gives me the opportunity to read about British history – a subject I felt my education lacked. If you want to find out more details about the book and why I wanted to read it, you could find a link to that post above.
The second week I’ve been away, I shared another Top Ten Tuesday post. This one featured my top ten books I was excited to get, but haven’t read yet. This post has reminded me that I have plenty reading to be getting on with, including one book that I’ve had on my TBR for far longer than I would like to admit! If you want to check out the full list, the link is above.
Last Friday, my First Lines Friday scheduled post went live. In that post, I set myself a challenge that was designed to give you some insight into my reading plans; I decided that I wanted to feature a book that I wanted to pick up and read later this year. I am really excited to pick up this book. I have a friend who really loves this author and has recommended her to me in the past. I’ve also sampled this particular book before, but never just quite got round to reading it. That’s going to change. If you want to find out what this book is, you know what to do.
When I last left you in my previous Sunday Summary update post of the 8th May, I was 15% of the way through The Duke & I by Julia Quinn. I’ve decided to pick up this book based on my enjoyment of the Bridgerton Netflix series. It’s not my usual cup of tea, but I was willing to give it a try in to broaden my horizons. Since that Sunday Summary update I have continued with the book and I’m now 72% of the way through. In terms of reading time left, my Kindle suggests that it’s about an hour’s worth of reading time left.
I’m glad I’ve decided to read it and give it a go, but I’ve already made my mind up that I’m not going to read the rest of the series. I’ve picked it up and given it a try. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. I can’t lie – I have rolled my eyes plenty of times whilst reading this book. I have a real gripe with the male characters being described as roguish, rakish etc in a charming and endearing way, whilst the female characters cannot be anything but proper. Even a kiss is scandalous and ruinous for her. I just can’t deal with the inequality of it all. So, I’ll finish it off and tick my box and say I’ve read it, but I’m not going to subject myself to any more of it either.
In my last Sunday Summary update I confided in you that I had taken another book to bed one evening to sample, that being Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. I couldn’t admit it to you at the time, but I was doing this to make sure I was going to get on with the book as it was my planned holiday reading! I took it away with me but admittedly, I didn’t read half as much as I expected to.
When I last went on holiday with my sister I read the equivalent of Empire of the Vampire, and a bit more. However, as I went away with more people, naturally there was more chatter and socialising going on and so I didn’t read as much! I have read just under 300 pages of the book, which is 40% of the narrative. It’s still a respectable amount to have read, and I’m going to continue to read this one now that I’m back.
I’m loving the story so far and I’m glad that I picked this up even though vampire stories aren’t really my thing. There is so much more to this book and it’s fantastic… to be expected from Jay Kristoff really. I bought this book based on my love of the Nevernight series and I’m not disappointed.
In the time I’ve been away I have added a book to my TBR, and if memory serves, it is a recommendation I’ve taken from the Currently Reading podcast. I really loved the sound of the story behind this book. I’m huge fan of fantasy and the way it’s blended with sci-fi and includes difficult topics such as racism and misogyny, I want to pick this up and give it a go!
Naturally the section is going to be a little bit shorter than usual, as this Sunday Summary update is a belated one.
I will be sharing one other post with you later this week. I’m feeling in the mood to share a review with you, especially seeing as how I’ve been sharing other content with you recently. With that in mind, I would like to take the opportunity to review a book by a local author. I recently read Keep You Safe by Rona Halsall… and it was a surreal experience reading a book set where I live. Having the events of a narrative take place in towns and streets you know like the back of your hand is a very strange experience, but it was a refreshing one. In my review later this week I want to set down exactly why I think you should give this book a read as well!
Naturally, my next Sunday Summary update will return to normal schedule and I will be rounding up my reading progress from the week for you.
That’s all for me in today’s belated Sunday Summary update post – thanks for persevering with today’s very long update and I’ll see you in the next one!