Tag: non-fiction

Top Ten Tuesday – Debut Novels I Enjoyed!

In today’s Top Ten Tuesday post I have the pleasure of sharing my list of ten debut novels I enjoyed and would love to pass on to my fellow readers. If you’ve landed on my blog, hopefully you have some overlap in reading tastes to me so some of these recommendations appeal!

I’ve broken down the recommendations by genre, which I hope helps you find the type of book you are looking for. Unsurprisingly, I have most in the fantasy genre, but also a few mysteries and non-fictions as well.

Let’s take a look!


Fantasy

The First Binding – R.R. Virdi

I have only read one book by R.R. Virdi so far, but I will be following his future releases.

I discovered The First Binding through taking part in a blog tour with Gollancz. If you love epic fantasy novels but want something a little different to the traditional Western style, then I can’t recommend The First Binding enough!

The First Binding has a traditionally more Eastern, Silk Road type setting. Combine that with a story structure like other favourites in the fantasy genre (Patrick Rothfuss’ the Name of the Wind and Jay Kristoff’s Empire of the Vampire), you can see why I’m a fan.

 

Elantris – Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is one of my favourite all-time authors, so I’m ecstatic to be able to share his debut novel I enjoyed immensely! 

Elantris isn’t the first book of his I read – far from it in fact. I started with his Mistborn series and delved into other works from there. Although Elantris was written earlier, I don’t think that shows too much. It’s a fantastic stand-alone novel, although I do believe there may be a sequel in the pipeline…


Blackwing – Ed McDonald

Blackwing

I also discovered Ed McDonald because of a publisher-driven blog tour. I’ve featured the latter two books of this series (Ravencry and Crowfall) on the blog and I’ve even re-read them once already.

The grittiness of the world and the magical elements to the story appeal to me. The main character, Ryhalt, is far from admirable. He’s a bitter alcoholic, yet in a curmudgeonly way that we can’t help but let him grow on us readers.

Although a trilogy, there is plenty of detail in the stories to get stuck into. It’s an approachable and immersive read. Although I haven’t picked them up yet, I’m looking forward to trying his latest series, The Redwinter Chronicles, soon!

 

The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch

I read this series as a teenager and loved it! As it happens, I want to pick up this trilogy again. There are a real mix of dates online for a release of a fourth book in the series. However, as the new release may be early next year, I want to pick this up again ready for that. It’s been far too long for me to pick it up without a recap!

 

Mystery/Thriller

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

The premise of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a unique one. We witness the murder of the titular character from the bodies/perspective of a new individual every day. Aidan can only move on once he’s identified the killer.

I thought the execution of each character perspective (how they are written – there’s only one murder here!) was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I hope you do too!


The Chalk Man – C. J. Tudor

I’ve recommended The Chalk Man to quite a few people by now. If you haven’t read my review of the book, you can find that here.

I’m pleased to feature C.J. Tudor in this post as she is an author I have gone back to several times since reading her debut. In fact, I am currently listening to a book of hers, The Other People, right now.

If you enjoy books in the mystery or psychological thriller genre with dual timelines and plenty of 11th hour twists, The Chalk Man is a book I would strongly recommend for you!


The Appeal – Janice Hallett

The Appeal introduced me to books written in mixed media format. I absolutely loved it in this book, and I’ve gone onto read several others in the same style since!

If it’s something you haven’t read before I strongly recommend giving it a go. It’s unique – and the ever-changing format keeps your brain engaged whilst making the reading experience a little different. What I particularly enjoyed about The Appeal and this reading format is that you end up reading just as much between the lines. It’s a book I was thinking about even when I wasn’t reading it. If that’s not a compliment, I don’t know what it is!


Historical Fiction

As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow – Zoulfa Katouh

I picked up As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow as part of a book club online. Honestly, I went into this book without too much in the way of expectation as it wasn’t something I would’ve picked up otherwise. How wrong I was! I’m glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone because this was one of my favourite reads of 2023.

The book is very cleverly written and I love the perspective it gives. The love of the characters for their home country Syria shines through. It’s not a perspective I read very often, but it’s one I look forward to picking up again!


Non-Fiction

Unmasked – Ellie Middleton

Unmasked is a great practical guide to understanding neurodivergence and how everyone can be a little more accommodating for those who think differently.

Not only that, but it’s a great insight into author Ellie and her life and experiences. She offers the advice she has collected over the years through experience and trial and error. Not everybody should have to struggle, and it is for that reason Ellie wants to try to help those who currently receive little support from the world.

 

This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

This is Going to Hurt is about demonstrating the dire straits in which the NHS finds itself. However, that is not all. It is a book that will have you in stitches one moment and crying the next. It’s a heart wrencher!

If you enjoy narratives that dig deep to combine both humour and sensitive topics, Adam Kay strikes up the perfect balance. I have since gone on to read his seasonal sequel, T’was the Nightshift Before Christmas. It’s just as good!


Summary

These are some of my favourite debut novels I enjoyed. Now I ask you – what is yours?

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Sunday Summary – 14th July 2024

It’s been a couple of weeks since I checked in with you for a Sunday Summary update, as I was on holiday last weekend. I hope you haven’t missed me too much! In reality, I only took a week or so I was break from blogging and I was back to the usual schedule this week. Let’s recap what I’ve shared since my last Sunday Summary update.

Before my holiday last week, I shared my Monthly Wrap-Up post recapping progress made in June. I read more than I thought I did last month, so I’m not disappointed with progress. I hadn’t taken into account progressing with carryovers from May. So in the end, I did reasonably well.

My first post of the week this week was my Mid Year Check In post. In this post, I took a look at the resolutions and reading goals I set myself in January and updated you on my progress. I have some action steps to take to try and meet some of my goals before the end of the year. I don’t expect to complete my Goodreads Challenge this year, but I will try to get as close as I can!

Next, I shared my Monthly TBR for July on Friday. That reading list includes the books I’m carrying over from June, with just a couple of new ones to give myself a chance to catch up. If you’re interested to see what I’m going to be reading in the next few weeks, that is the post to take a look at.

 

Books Read

 

Obsidio

In my Sunday Summary post a fortnight ago, I shared that I had started Obsidio and that I was only around 50 pages in. I took this book with me when we went to Liverpool mainly so I had something to read on the boat. I didn’t expect to read too much whilst I was away so there was no pressure from my side to do so.

I’ve continued with this book this week as it’s a nice and easy one to pick up. At work, quarter end is quite a big deal and it’s one of my busiest periods. Being able to pick up an easy read with multiple media formats has kept my brain interested. It’s also a lot more approachable to pick up and read in short bursts, as that’s the time I’ve had available.

As of this post, I have read a further 350 pages since my last update. I’m now down to just 200 until the books conclusion. I’ll be pushing on with this in the next couple of days and I’m looking forward to the end of the series (mostly!). I will be sad when it’s done though!

 

You Coach You

In this Sunday Summary update I get to share completion of my audiobook listen of You Coach You by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis.

I really enjoyed this audiobook, so much so that I followed through with my promise to get a physical copy. It’s definitely a resource I’m going to go back to again and again, and I might even keep it at work handy.

If you’re interested in self development and career progression, I cannot recommend this book enough! Not only that, but Helen and Sarah also publish lots of free material via their podcast and worksheets. There’s no financial commitment to benefit from their insight! If you want to try them material before investing in a book like this, I would definitely point you to their podcast, The Squiggly Career.

 

Books Discovered

I am here to confess my sins, and this section could potentially be quite a long one. When shopping in Liverpool last week I had the pleasure of a Waterstones store 3X bigger than at home, and only a stones throw away from our hotel room. You can guess what’s coming right? A book haul!

I bought no less than 11 books in that store alone, as well as one in The Works, and one in Tesco for my mum. Then, I grabbed myself a couple off Amazon and finally I picked up one in Tesco for me when I was back home!

I’m not going to beat myself up too much because I saved for that shopping trip and I might as well buy something I love! I may have to lay off buying books for a while a year though…

I picked up anything and everything… from Fantasy to non-fiction, with a good deal of historical (fiction and not) thrown in. It’s fair to say I picked up a variety.

 

Coming Up…

With being back home and the majority of my work commitments now covered, I will be back to my usual level of commitment when it comes to both blogging and reading next week.

My first post of the week will be a discussion post. With the subject of how many books I’ve acquired recently on my mind, I ask the question, how many is too many?

On Friday, I’ll be back with a regular Friday feature. This week, that’s a Shelf Control post. In that post, I’ll feature an upcoming read on my TBR, why I added it to my list and why I’m looking forward to reading it.

Last, but certainly not least, I’ll be back with another Sunday Summary update at the end of the week. Fingers crossed, I’ll have fewer no new books added to the list… 

Have you bought any new books recently?

 

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Monthly TBR – July 2024

Given we’re about a third of the way into July, I’m overdue sharing my monthly TBR, no?

In today’s post I have a great range of books to share that I plan for read in the next few weeks. You’ll have seen a good few of them before as they are carryovers. At the same time, I have a few new faces too, so let’s get stuck in!

 

Fixed Reads


You Coach You

My last current read and carryover is You Coach You by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis.

As of this monthly TBR I have actually just finished this audiobook this morning. However, I spent at least a couple of hours this month getting to that point so it’s going on this TBR to mark that progress effort.

I’ve enjoyed this audio so much and see the value in its content that I’ve just ordered a paperback copy to refer back to and re-read in future!


Master of Sorrows


Master of Sorrows is on yet another monthly TBR… but not as a non-starter this time!

I’ve been trying to read the book since February and I finally started it last month. It is, however, a current read so it makes it onto July’s monthly TBR as a carryover. Can I say, may it please be the last?!

I’m about halfway through the book, so there’s no reason I won’t be completing this soon!


Obsidio

Another carryover from my June TBR is Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.

I started this last book in the Illuminae files trilogy last month after accidentally leaving Master of Sorrows at work. It’s been a refreshing change to read a mixed media book again! It’ll also be even better to be able to mark this series as complete once I’ve finished it. I’ll be sad to see it end, but there is another sci-fi series they’ve co-written I could pick up…

As of this post, I’m around a third of the way into the book. It’s a quick read, so again, I expect to finish it before long.


Mood Reads


The Other People

The only book on my June TBR I didn’t get to is The Other People by C.J. Tudor. It’s mum’s favourite book of hers so far, so I’m really looking forward to reading it this month instead.

I haven’t picked up a mystery novel at all this year, so it will make a refreshing change! I’ve enjoyed two of C.J. Tudor’s books already, so I have high hopes for this one!


Defiant

With my Mid Year Check In and Summer TBR posts still fresh in my mind, I’m adding a book to this monthly TBR that will earn me another series completion.

Defiant is the last book in Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward series. Honestly, I’ll be sad to get to the end of it, but I also want to see how Spensa’s story ends. For a series to which I’m not the target demographic, I’m getting on with it really well. Equally, I haven’t met a Sanderson book I’ve disliked…

Let’s hope I’ve met jinxed it!


The Power of Habit

Another selection with my 2024 reading goals in mind is a recent acquisition. The Power of Habit is both a non-fiction book and will, with any luck, help towards my blogging goal of using social media more!

In theory this is a win-win read, but we’ll see how that works out in practice.


Summary

July’s monthly TBR reflects a reading month in which I plan to catch up with ongoing reads. However, there are also a couple of new books I’m introducing here. I’m not planning a long list that I think is unachievable, so here’s to a productive month! 

 

Have you read any of the books on this monthly TBR? Do you have any tips on how I can get better at making social media a habit?

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Monthly Wrap-Up – June 2024

It’s scary how we’re back for another monthly wrap-up post already. Not only that, but we’re now halfway through the year! I’m curious to see how my half year stats and progress look compared to my reading goals. If you are too, I’ll be posting that update next week. Stay tuned.

For now though, we’re limiting scope to my reading progress against my June TBR. I don’t feel I’ve done that well this month as reading has been slow, but let’s see…

Books Read

Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes

When I left off in last month’s monthly wrap-up post, I had just under 50% of the audiobook to go. It was more than I remembered, so I don’t feel so hard on myself for reading progress any more!

I loved this audio, although naturally the content at the end of the book was very sad. Still, I’m glad I read it! I really admire Terry and now I know more about his life beyond the documentary I’ve watched. That was interesting too, but this audio was far more intimate and knowledgeable over a longer stretch of time.

The Long Earth

Another Terry Pratchett book I carried over into June is The Long Earth. As of my last monthly wrap-up I was 65% into this book.

I enjoyed this jaunt into science-fiction with Terry and Stephen Baxter and I’m interested to see where the rest of the series takes us. From where we left off in The Long Earth, the series could really go anywhere. I’m interested to see where that is!

The talents of both authors shine through in this book as the lighthearted humour contributed by Terry blends well with the science-fiction elements that can only come from Stephen.

Master of Sorrows

I have intended to get to Master of Sorrows since February this year. June is finally the month I started the book. It’s been a long time coming, and so far I’m really enjoying the story.

As of this monthly wrap-up post, I’m just over 200 pages, or 45%, into this book. I’m so glad I’m now reading it and that I picked up the sequel a couple of weeks ago. That can be risky business, but fellow bloggers I follow have raved about these books so I was always confident I’d enjoy it!

I can’t wait to share more as I make further progress.

You Coach You

After finishing my listen of Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes, I started You Coach You by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis.

I love these pair! I listen to a podcast they run called Squiggly Careers. If you ever want a resource for developing skills personally or at work, this is where I would point anyone. I’ve obviously paid for the audiobook, but they share a lot of free content as well. It’s approachable and engaging to all!

I’m 60% through the audio at the end of June. I love the formatting of the book and how it’s come together. I’ve already decided I want a copy in physical format to refer back to again in future as and when I need it! The audiobook also comes with a lot of supplementary content. Admittedly I’ve not looked at it all yet – that’s for after listening 😊

So far it’s proving a good resource and an engaging listen!

Obsidio

I always intended to pick up Obsidio this month… however not in the circumstances I did.

There were a couple of days last week when I had left Master of Sorrows on my desk at work. As a result, I couldn’t read it during the evening. So, instead I picked up Obsidio. It’s a nice light read, a conclusion of a series I’m part-way through and it was on my TBR already. Win-win!

As of this monthly wrap-up post to the end of June I’m 95 pages in and looking forward to reading more very soon!

Summary

Admittedly I’ve read more than I thought. On my June TBR I haven’t made a whole bunch of progress. However, I wasn’t taking into consideration the books I carried over from my last update.

What have you read this last month? Do you have any recommendations?

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Sunday Summary – 30th June 2024

Good evening friends and welcome to this Sunday Summary catch up! It’s the end of another week and honestly, they are absolutely flying by. We’re at the end of June already! Next week is going to be hectic with work as it’s quarter end, but I do have a little holiday to look forward to.

With that said, check out the coming up section in today’s Sunday Summary below as I’ll let you know about changes to my blogging schedule there. For now though, let’s get into what I shared this week:-

My first post of the week was a book review for Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. I really enjoyed this non-fiction book (with an obvious feminism slant) and it was a real eye-opener in terms of the variety of ways in which women are disadvantaged in today’s society. If you’re interested in this kind of book, above is a link to my review so you can take a look for yourself.

On Friday I shared the next instalment in my First Lines Friday series with the opening lines to the last instalment of a young adult sci-fi series I am currently reading. The author is also one of my favourites of all time. If you’re a regular reader, you may be able to guess who this is. If not, go check out that post here!

 

Books Read


Master of Sorrows

I confess that I haven’t read much this week. Reading has been pretty much limited to my lunch hours, and even then I ran errands on a couple of those days.

Progress in Master of Sorrows this week amounts to only 70 odd pages. However, in the 70 pages also I have read I feel like the story has progressed quite a bit and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in Annev’s final test.

I would have read more of this book this week, but for the fact that I accidentally left it at work twice. I couldn’t pick it up in the evening like I intended twice! Instead, I ended up picking up a second book to read at home…


Obsidio

Obsidio was on my June TBR anyway, so I picked this up on both occasions when I left Master of Sorrows at work.

As such, I’ve read just shy of the first 50 pages of this last instalment in The Illuminae files series. I’m also enjoying this one already. We have some new faces to the story and I hope all the characters we’ve met to date come together for an epic conclusion.

I have the advantage of Obsidio and Master of Sorrows being very different from each other. Where Master of Sorrows is a traditionally written adult fantasy novel, Obsidio is a young adult science-fiction written in mixed media format. Both have been very easy to keep track of in tandem. My intention is to prioritise Master of Sorrows as that was always my original read. However, if I do fancy a change there will be no problem whatsoever in picking up Obsidio in between.


You Coach You

Progress in You Coach You amounts to another hour’s listening time this week.

It’s not a lot of progress, but at least I did pick it up a bit. In some senses, I feel like this book isn’t the type you want to rush through anyway. If you really want to make the most of the content, you have to take the time to go through it and reflect on each chapter rather than just jumping into the next one.

Once I’ve listened to this book, I plan to download the extra content that comes with it and have a go at the exercises in areas I think I would benefit from. I may even end up purchasing myself a copy of this book so I can refer back to it again. It’s that kind of resource book you want to keep hold of!


Books Discovered

I was little naughty and bought myself one book this week, which isn’t too bad. However, I was also gifted three in a series. At the same time, this was already on my reading list so it saves me purchasing a copy later. I’ll justify it anyhow 😁

The book I bought was The Tw*t Files by Dawn French. I bought it on a whim on the basis that it sounded hilarious, but it will also be a good read in terms of building self-confidence. It seems we all muck up from time to time. If someone famous can do it, then so can I!

The series I was gifted is Thomas Harris‘s Hannibal Lector trilogy. I already had Red Dragon on my reading list to pick up at some point in the future. Naturally, enjoying this book would go onto purchasing the rest of the series. My work friend Brita previously owned these books. Rather than taking them to a charity shop, she offered them to me first in case I was interested.. .and I was!


Coming Up…

Next week, due to work commitments and then a long weekend away, I only plan to share one post with you. As it’s the beginning of July, I will conclude June by sharing my monthly wrap-up post. After that, it feels like a good place to stop and enjoy my short break. I honestly don’t know how well I would be able to juggle blogging on the holiday in any case.

Instead, I will be back with you a week later with my monthly TBR for July, a half yearly review of progress in 2024 so far, and finally a Sunday Summary. That will all be in the week commencing the 8th of July. After that, we should be back to usual scheduling!


That’s all from me though in this Sunday Summary post. Thanks for reading! 

What books are you reading/listening to?

 

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Book Review: Invisible Women – Caroline Criado Perez

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez is a book that will naturally gravitate to more of a female audience. However, I would stress the importance of everybody reading this book. There is a lot of content in here that puts into perspective the female experience and why we are on the back foot of society.

From women in poorer countries being afraid to use the communal bathroom at night for fear of assault, to female crash test dummies not being regularly used when developing safety features in cars, there’s a lot to unpack!


Invisible Women – Caroline Criado Perez

Genre: Non-fiction

Pages: 411

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Portfolio

Publication Date: 12 Mar 2019

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟


Goodreads –  Invisible Women

 

Discover the shocking gender bias that affects our everyday lives.

HELL YES. This is one of those books that has the potential to change things – a monumental piece of research’ Caitlin Moran

Imagine a world where…

· Your phone is too big for your hand

· Your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body

· In a car accident you are 47% more likely to be injured.

If any of that sounds familiar, chances are you’re a woman.

From government policy and medical research, to technology, workplaces, and the media. Invisible Women reveals how in a world built for and by men we are systematically ignoring half of the population, often with disastrous consequences. Caroline Criado Perez brings together for the first time an impressive range of case studies, stories and new research from across the world that illustrate the hidden ways in which women are forgotten, and the profound impact this has on us all.


My Thoughts

If you feel women are under represented in society, then Invisible Women will reinforce that belief. The book focuses on data bias and how women are pushed to the background by an absence of data.

If you’ve ever wondered why speech recognition software picks up and understands the male voice better than a woman’s, it is because the data provided to the software in development is skewed by data bias. Sample data used features the male voice compared to female representation.

In the same example of vehicles above, car safety standards do not account for female differences in bone density and anatomical differences. In the past, women have been represented in tests with a scaled down male dummy. And even then, only until recently, in the passenger seat only…

It is these examples and more beside that should make readers angry. Although a non-fiction book, I found Invisible Women interesting and provocative in the right way. It made me want to advocate for my rights as a woman and for all the others out there who are currently not treated fairly.

The book covers a wide range of topics. From  personal to the workplace, and far more besides. There is something we can all relate to in this book. It goes a long way to stress that the problem is not limited to a small subset of the population. It affects all women.


Summary

I have gone on to recommend Invisible Women to a few people now, and it is out on loan at the moment to a friend of mine. Here I recommend it to you. Although it will naturally gravitate more towards women in the audience it attracts, I stress it’s important for everyone to read this book.


Have you read Invisible Women? Does it grab your attention and make you want to read it?

 

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Sunday Summary – 23rd June 2024

It’s the end of yet another week, so I’m back with my next Sunday Summary update to tell you what I’ve been up to this week.

At the beginning of the week I shared a Top Ten Tuesday post. The subject of that post was my Summer 2024 TBR. I quite enjoyed writing these themed posts in 2023, and so I’ve decided to bring them back in 2024! If you want to find out what I plan to read over the next few months, that’s the post to take a sneaky look at…

On Friday, I posted another Shelf Control regular feature. In this week’s post, I featured a Stephen King novel that I’m looking forward to picking up. I want to make my way through his books anyway, but the synopsis of this one particularly caught my eye.


Books Read


Master of Sorrows

In last week’s Sunday Summary update, I shared that I had just started Master of Sorrows by Justin Call. It’s been a long time coming, but I’m glad I’ve finally picked up this book!

As of today’s Sunday Summary, I am 136 pages, or 30%, into the story so far. What I have read so far has made for an interesting introduction and I’m curious to see where events in the book are going to take us.


You Coach You

Audiobook progress has also been a little slower this week, but also an enjoyable pace. I’ve listened to just over another hour of You Coach You by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis. I’ve just finished chapter 3 and ready to move onto the self-belief chapter.

I like the format that this book is taking so far. The book is well structured and gives plenty of examples and opportunities for readers to coach themselves, and teach themselves how to coach themselves going forward in different circumstances.

I’m looking forward to listening to more of this book in the coming weeks.


Books Discovered

After last week’s deluge of books, I am on a strict buying ban. I haven’t added anything new to my reading list without purchasing them either, so it’s a quiet week!


Coming Up…

My first post of next week is going to be a book review of Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. I already had some idea of the content covered in this book when I picked it up. But, reading this really made me appreciate how much the world isn’t really designed for women. We’ll go into some of that, and more besides in my review in the next few days.

Later this week, I’ll be back with another regular Friday feature. This time, it’ll be the turn of First Lines Friday. Once again, I’m going to keep the post unthemed and not set myself any kind of challenge towards this week’s selection. I hope you enjoy it when that post goes live!

Hardly surprising I know, but my last post of the week will be my Sunday Summary weekly update.

That’s all from me in this week’s instalment though! What are you reading right now?

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Summer 2024 TBR

In today’s Top Ten Tuesday, I’ll be making plans for my Summer 2024 TBR and sharing the top ten books I plan to read this summer season.

Some of the books on this Top Ten Tuesday list carried over from my Winter 2023 TBR. This is the last time I did a post of this type, and given I enjoyed it so much last year, I’m bringing it back. I also want to keep myself accountable to these reading lists, so before publishing the next one I’ll be doing a check-in of what I have actually read from the list I’ve set.

Now, with that out of the way, shall we get into today’s Top Ten Tuesday list?

Summer 2024 TBR


Obsidio

Having nearly concluded The Illuminae Files trilogy, I’m keen to pick up this last book and to be able to mark the trilogy as complete. But, this is more than a tick box exercise. I have really enjoyed reading this young adult sci-fi series and seeing how the storylines come together.

I plan to pick up Obsidio later this month, so watch this space!

 

Wolves of the Calla

Another series I want to progress with him the near future is Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Wolves of the Calla is a chunky instalment in the series, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.

Book in the series, Wizard and Glass, did not carry on the present-day storyline like I expected. Instead, it takes us back to the history of events to date and explains a lot about what’s been hinted at in the books. I’m hoping for a jump back to the present day so we can pick up the storyline again.


The Good Samaritan

I enjoyed listening to The Minders by John Marrs towards the end of last year. Having finished that book, I knew I wanted to pick up another of his soon.

The Good Samaritan has been on my reading list for a good while, so that is the book I want to pick up next. I’m also really intrigued by the synopsis and the conflict that I expect in this book.


Undoctored

I love Adam Kay’s writing style for his humour. As of today, I’ve already enjoyed reading both This is Going to Hurt, and his festive themed book,T’was the Nightshift Before Christmas.

I’m looking forward to going back to his non-Christmas themed writing. His books are full of humour, even though they discuss important and very thought-provoking, emotional topics.

 

The Kingdom

I added The Kingdom to my Winter 2023 TBR but never got to it. I’ve decided to carry it forward as I like the sound of the synopsis.

As fiction goes, it’s a little different to what I typically pick up. I was taken with the synopsis after hearing about the book on the Currently Reading podcast. Given it’s been an intention of mine to read the book for a while, I’ll try to include it on July’s TBR.


Jingo

If you follow my blog you’ll know that in the last couple of weeks, I’ve read two books written by, or about, Terry Pratchett. Neither of them were Discworld, but the autobiography has inspired me to continue with the next Discworld book and keep momentum going with the series.


Fool’s Errand

Another series I’m keen to keep progressing with is Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series.

Fool’s Errand is the start of a new mini-series within the wider Realm of the Elderlings collection. It also goes back to a set of characters that we have seen previously in the first miniseries, the Farseer trilogy. I’m excited to see how these characters have moved on since those first books!


Breathtaking

I recently featured Breathtaking in a First Lines Friday post. Honestly, that introduction caught my attention so hard that I really want to read this book. I’ve also recently watched the TV documentary based on it, so it’s a topic that I want to explore more of.

I appreciate not everybody wants to deal with such a topic, but I think it’s important we as a society highlight what went wrong. Why were we were so unprepared, and how can we try and prevent the same mistakes being made in future?


Defiant

Another series I want to catch up on over the course of the summer is Brandon Sanderson‘s Skyward series. Last year I read Cytonic, which at the time was the last book published. However, a couple of short months later, this next instalment, Defiant, was published.

Now that I am reasonably on track with the series, I want to keep up with these as and when they come out. I’m a little late in starting Defiant as this came out in around November last year. But, reading this will mean I am back on track with the series and I can give myself a good old tick against my series goal!


Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon

The last book on this Top Ten Tuesday list is another non-fiction. With the next series of House of the Dragon coming out imminently, I want to read my copy of Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon.

If you are unfamiliar, this book is about the main Game of Thrones series. I honestly love it so much that I can read that, any spin off books and any books about the whole process and not get bored. It’s fat to say I am a little obsessed…


Have you read any of the books featured in my Top Ten Tuesday? Have any of them caught your eye and made you want to read them for yourself?

 

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Sunday Summary – 16th June 2024

Good evening friends! In today’s Sunday Summary post I have the usual catch ups to share with you – books read, a small haul I’ve acquired this week, and lastly, what’s coming up next week.

Before that though, firstly I will say happy Father’s Day both to any dads out there, but especially my own. He really is the best! Yes I’m biased, but I pay for this little corner on the Internet so I’m allowed to be…

Now, onto my usual updates. My first post of this week was my review of Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfeifer. I initially intended this review to go out a little earlier than it did. However, to get in a place I was happy with it, I postponed posting until Thursday once the tweaks had been made.

Last week’s missed First Lines Friday became this week’s content instead. In Friday’s feature, I share he opening lines of a post-apocalyptic fantasy I’m looking forward to reading. I’ve recently read other works by the author, and this complete change of genre has piqued my interest.


Books Read


Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes

When I spoke to you in last week’s Sunday Summary update, I shared that I was 75% through Terry Pratchett: A Life With Footnotes. I also expressed my intention to push on with this audiobook over the course of this week as I was close to finishing it.

The good news friends is that I did indeed finish this audiobook. In fact, I finished it on Saturday morning and honestly, I’m glad I was at home for the final chapters. I would be lying if I said I didn’t get teary on several occasions. That’s not unexpected given the circumstances and my family history Alzheimer’s.

I really enjoyed this audiobook and I would recommend it to any Pratchett fan to get some insight on the man behind the Discworld novels.


Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots: A History of Insanity in Nineteenth Century Britain and Ireland

Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots

I didn’t pick up or read any books for the first few days this week. I confess that is because whenever I thought about this current read, I decided to do something else instead.

It became clear by the middle of the week that I didn’t have much in the way of motivation to pick up this book. If you remember my previous Sunday Summary post, you’ll recall that I found the style of the book a little dry.

Given that I have less time to read now than I did at beginning of the year, I decided that there was no point in struggling on with this book. I don’t want to kill whatever reading motivation I have. So, Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots is a DNF at about 25%.


Master of Sorrows

This Sunday Summary post commemorates a milestone. I have been attempting to read Master of Sorrows since February, no less. As of this summary post, I have officially started the book!

Admittedly, I’m only so far as completely the prologue and partway through reading chapter 1. However, it is the start that I have been unable to make with the last four months. Naturally, I’ll be able to give you more of an update next week.


You Coach You

Last, but not least, I started my listen of You Coach You  by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis. I knew I wanted to listen to this on audio as non-fiction works really well for me in this format.

Not only that, but I enjoy listening to a podcast that Helen and Sarah put together, Squiggly Careers. It’s because of that podcast that I’m picking up this book at all. I already know I really get on with their content in audio format, so it made sense to me to pick up this book in audio too.

As of this Sunday Summary update, I am an hour and a quarter into the audio and looking forward to getting stuck in properly.

It’s fair to say that audiobook progress has been significantly better this week than physical. I’ve listened to over four hours this week, which has to be up there near the records.


Books Discovered

This week I have been bad. And I mean BAD!

I’ve picked up no less than nine physical books this week. In my defence, I purchased six of them for less than £3 each, meaning that I haven’t forked out a huge amount of money.

Both myself and my mum want to pick up books by Steve Cavanagh, and on Monday I found five I didn’t already own. As well as those five, I also picked up Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig for the same price.

On Saturday, my boyfriend made the mistake of encouraging me to go into Waterstones. In my defence, I was only going to look in the window. Instead, I stumbled across buy one get one half price tables, as well as the sequel to my current read, Master Artificer. At least I had some credit on my Waterstones card…


Coming Up…

I’ll be back with a Top Ten Tuesday post to kick off the new week. This week’s feature is upcoming books on my Summer 2024 TBR. I quite enjoy writing these posts as I get to look ahead at what direction I want my reading to take and get excited about future books… and then making time for them!

Next Friday, I’ll be back with a Shelf Control post feature. I’ll take a look at the next upcoming book on my reading list, share some details with you about it and most importantly, why I’m excited to read it. I hope you can join me for that.

My last post of the week, as always, will be another Sunday Summary update. In that post, I will share the books I’ve read over the course of the week, as well as any I’ve acquired and finally, what’s coming up on the blog.

I hope you can tune into those, but until then, that’s all for me and this Sunday Summary update.

What have you been reading of late?

 

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Audiobook Review: Ordinary Heroes – Joseph Pfeifer

Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfeifer is a harrowing read for its subject matter. The 9/11 terror attack at the World Trade Centre is an event even I can just about recall seeing on TV. I wasn’t yet old enough to understand what terrorism was, but the significance of the event still shapes our lives today.

 

Ordinary Heroes – Joseph Pfeifer

Genre: Non-fiction /memoir

Pages: 256

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Portfolio

Publication Date: 07 Sept 2021

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


Goodreads –  Ordinary Heroes

From the first FDNY chief to respond to the 9/11 attacks, an intimate memoir and a tribute to those who died that others might live

When Chief Joe Pfeifer led his firefighters to investigate an odor of gas in downtown Manhattan on the morning of 9/11, he had no idea that his life was about to change forever. A few moments later, he watched as the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center. Pfeifer, the closest FDNY chief to the scene, spearheaded rescue efforts on one of the darkest days in American history.

Ordinary Heroes is the unforgettable and intimate account of what Chief Pfeifer witnessed at Ground Zero, on that day and the days that followed. Through his eyes, we see the horror of the attack and the courage of the firefighters who ran into the burning towers to save others. We see him send his own brother up the stairs of the North Tower, never to return. And we walk with him and his fellow firefighters through weeks of rescue efforts and months of numbing grief, as they wrestle with the real meaning of heroism and leadership.

This gripping narrative gives way to resiliency and a determination that permanently reshapes Pfeifer, his fellow firefighters, NYC, and America. Ordinary Heroes takes us on a journey that turns traumatic memories into hope, so we can make good on our promise to never forget 9/11.

 

My Thoughts

If you are looking for a detailed and personal account of one of the chief firefighters on the ground during 9/11 then Ordinary Heroes is the perfect book to pick up. Starting from the beginning of that fateful day, Joe recounts his perspective of the disaster unfolding and the fallout of the terror attack.

Ordinary Heroes is just one perspective in a huge event in recent history. However, it is a prominent perspective and very personal and insightful. I have watched several documentaries about the event but never have I come across this kind of perspective before. Admittedly, I had also never really realised how long the aftermath of the event was felt by New York more locally, but also the world. I was only a young child when this happened. As an adult I have taken an interest in the subject from time to time, but there is still much I do not know. I have no doubt that there is much that will never be known about that day and the lives of the people affected.

Ordinary Heroes honours those who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It also proudly gives thanks to the innumerable service men and women in every emergency services department who sacrificed and in some cases lost their lives trying to protect others. I already have a lot of respect for people like Joe who put themselves in the firing line and risk their lives. After reading Ordinary Heroes, that’s even more the case.


Summary

If you’re looking for a non-fiction book that memorialises a prominent period of history in a respectful manner, together with unique insight, Ordinary Heroes is a book I strongly recommend. I thoroughly enjoyed the perspective and I learned a lot that I didn’t know previously.

It’s not the easiest of reads (or listen if you go for the audio as I did), but it’s worth it!

 

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