Tag: R.F. Kuang

Sunday Summary – 20th November 2022

Hello, hello – welcome to this week’s Sunday Summary update post. I hope you have had a fantastic week because I’m really excited to tell you about this week’s progress. Personally, it has been a good and productive one!

At the beginning of the week, I shared my review of Warrior of Mercia by MJ Porter. It was a pleasure to take part in this blog tour, as I have done so for the first two books of the series as well! This book lived up to every single one of my expectations. If there are further books in the series, I will be jumping on the bandwagon very quickly!

Later in the week, I shared a First Lines Friday post. I will hold my hands up here and say I made a bit of a boo-boo. I forgot to schedule this post in advance. The post was sat in my notes and ready to be edited and scheduled, but I just hadn’t done that bit. As a result, I shared it on Friday night after I’d noticed my error. Apologies if you were looking out for it earlier in the day.

 

Books Read

Babel

This week I made fantastic reading progress with Babel by R.F. Kuang. Ironically, I was partly motivated to read this book because I was excited to pick up my next read… one that I ended up DNF’ing quite quickly. More on that one in a moment. In my last Sunday Summary update, I was 172 pages into Babel. 

It was good to finally pick up Babel and stick with it. Because I have been juggling commitments with blog tours of late, I have been picking up and putting this book down quite a bit. Now that I had no further commitments, I was able to dedicate the due time and attention Babel deserved – and boy, did it deserve it! The fact that I read the remaining 370 odd pages in just a handful of days testifies how much I enjoyed this read. It is the kind of book that has you thinking about it even when you’re not actively reading it.

What I found refreshing about Babel is that it doesn’t read that strongly as a fiction novel. It is quite academic in tone. As someone who was interested in language and linguistics growing up, I enjoyed the little translation references dotted throughout. This book also has a reference to the Manx language in it, which surprised me! Even locally, it is only thought that about 2% of the population of the island is fluent in it. I know some passing phrases such as good morning (moghrey mie) and good evening (fastyr mie), but that’s about all.

 

Malice

Next, I picked up the book I have been really excited to read – Malice by John Gwynne. I have shared details about this book on my blog of late, particularly commenting on how long it has been on my reading list, and that it is probably the oldest book on my TBR.

Not anymore. I spent about three days struggling through the first 40 pages. When you compare that with my reading average earlier in the week of nearly 100 pages a day, that’s dreadful. The introduction to this book just didn’t grab me at all. When I first picked up this book many moons ago (before I started my blog), I only made it to chapter three. My perception can’t have been much better, because I put it down then as well.

I’m enjoying a really good reading streak at the moment, and I fear that if I try to struggle with Malice, I will lose it. Instead, I decided to DNF this book for good and swiftly moved on to the next (and last physical) book on my November reading list.

 

Dear Child

I started Dear Child quite late this morning, and I’m already 10% through the book. The introduction captured my attention immediately. I’m interested to learn about the dynamic of the characters and how events have come to pass to date. There’s not much to say about this particular book at this time, because I have only spent around 30 to 40 minutes reading it so far. I look forward to sharing a further update with you next week!

 

Books Discovered

Once again, no news is good news! With the reading progress I’ve made, I have effectively ticked a couple off of my reading list, and there are no new additions. The list is going in the right direction for once!

 

Coming Up…

Early next week, I have decided to share another book review with you. As I have quite a long list of books I have read, but not yet reviewed, I decided to knock one of those off the list. The book I am featuring next week is Red Rising by Pierce Brown. If you enjoy the science-fiction and/or dystopia genres, I strongly recommend checking out my review on Tuesday!

Later in the week, it is the turn of my Shelf Control regular feature post. This week’s feature is a bit of a funny one. I decided to add this book to my reading list as a result of playing the original Assassin’s Creed game as a teenager – I wanted to learn more about the facts behind some of the characters. If you are intrigued, then stick around and check out my post on Friday.

As always, I will be back next Sunday evening to share my reading progress with you in my next Sunday Summary post!

Until next time, have a wonderful week!

 

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Sunday Summary – 13th November 2022

Good evening and welcome to another Sunday Summary update! This week I’ve been busy reading and preparing for yet another blog tour, at the same time as having a busy working week. I’ve also been fitting in more TV time than usual as I’m currently watching I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! I don’t normally tend to watch much television during the week, so I’ve had to make a conscious effort to fit this in. I didn’t watch the last two series set in the UK; I’m glad to see it finally back in Australia.

Aside from all that, I have shared my typical two blog posts with you this week.

On Tuesday, I decided to take part in the Top Ten Tuesday post of the week. For that post, we had the decision to feature our top ten books as part of a series we would like to begin, continue with, or finish. Given that I need absolutely no help in starting new series, I put the emphasis on those I would like to finish. The thought process here was that it will inspire me to pick up those that I am close to the end of. Therefore it would result in a reduction of my ‘ongoing list’. I feature some fantastic series in this post and already have some I’d like to read soon!

Later in the week, I shared my Shelf Control regular feature post. This month I seem to be featuring a lot of historical fiction novels, and this post is no exception. I will admit I made a bit of a gaff when I bought this book. I didn’t realise it was part of a series! That said, I’m still going to read the book anyway and I will base my decision of going backward based on whether I enjoy the last book or not! If you want to find out which book I’m talking about, you can find a link to that post above.

 

Books Read

In last week’s Sunday Summary post, I was up to page 154 of Babel by R.F. Kuang. I had to set the book aside the week prior in order to read another book ahead of a blog tour post. This week, I had a small window in which to make a little more progress, before I had to put this down once again for another commitment. On Sunday night I read another chapter of Babel, taking me up to chapter 10, 172 pages in.

My next commitment was reading Warrior of Mercia by M.J. Porter. If that name rings any bells with you, it may be because I read the first two books in her Eagle of Mercia series earlier this year. When I saw the advertisement for this tour, I knew I wanted to continue with the series and the unique perspective we get in these books.

And this book didn’t disappoint. The main character is unique in that he does not relish his role as a warrior. If given the choice, he is a man who chooses to heal rather than hurt. However, the progression we have seen in his books relates to his acknowledging that he has a part to play in both roles.

I’ve been reading Warrior of Mercia for most of this week, finishing the book last night. I enjoyed this every bit as much as I expected, and I can’t wait to share my imminent review with you!

I was hoping to have gone back to Babel again before the end of the week, however that hasn’t panned out. Now I have no more interruptions, so this will be my main read for next week. I’m keen to move on as I’m looking forward to picking up another book on my November TBR. I saw a TikTok video/review of this particular book yesterday. It suggests that Malice by John Gwynne is very like A Game of Thrones. It is also been on my reading list for a very long time, so I want to jump in and make a start. Rather than allowing myself to “pick up the two at once”, (I will not read both at the same time) I’m going to make myself finish Babel first.

What also hasn’t worked out this week is listening to more of Queen of Our Times by Robert Hardman. I’ve had the opportunity, I just haven’t taken it up. I need to make more of an effort to make this a habit, and that is my aim for next week.

 

Books Discovered

Would you believe I walked into a bookshop today and didn’t purchase anything for myself? I wish to be showered in praise for the mighty accomplishment of discipline. It’s not something I normally have.

Mostly when it comes to food, but also books!

 

Coming Up…

My first blog post next week is my blog tour review of Warrior of Mercia by M.J. Porter. Typically I will try and prepare my blog posts a week in advance. But for obvious reasons, I haven’t been able to do so completely. As my tour post goes live on Tuesday, I’ll be finishing this off on Monday night and getting this ready to go live!

Later in the week, I will be sharing another regular feature. This time, it is the turn of my First Lines Friday post. I have tried something different in terms of book selection this week, and I hope it pays off!

Lastly, I’ll be back again this time next week with another Sunday Summary update for you. As usual, I’ll be talking about the books I’ve read and any added to my reading list (although hopefully none). Lastly, I’ll share details of what posts you can expect on the blog next week.

Until next time, have a fabulous week ahead!

 

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Sunday Summary – 6th November 2022

Good evening readers and welcome to another regular Sunday Summary update!

Last week’s Sunday Summary post was a bit of a boring one – I had very little to report. I’m pleased to say that I have plenty more reading progress to share with you this week. Before we get into that though, let’s recap the blog posts I shared with you earlier this week.

On Tuesday, I shared my Monthly Wrap-Up post for October. Overall, I made a decent amount of reading progress. My first read of the month was the particularly chunky Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb. From there, I went on to pick up another couple of books in the month. If you want to find out what I read throughout October, you can do so with a link to my wrap-up post above.

On Thursday, I shared my Monthly TBR for November. In addition to that list, I’ve carried over my current read of Babel by R. F. Kuang. It is not the smallest of reading lists, but when are they ever? I’ve already made a solid start, and you’ll see why in just a moment! Again, if you want to check out that post, there’s a link above.

The reason I had to get a wriggle on with my first read of November because I shared my review of that book in yesterday’s blog tour post. Having had a bit of a slow month last month, I think it helped to have a deadline to get my first book read and done. I can only hope it has set the pace for the month! If you are a fan of historical fiction, and in particular, authors like Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden, my blog tour review for Warrior and Protector is something you should check out!

 

Books Read

Babel

In last week’s Sunday Summary post, I shared measly reading progress of Babel by R. F. Kuang. I didn’t really define that progress in my post because I was a bit disappointed with it if I’m entirely honest. I decided to pick up the book again on Sunday night for one last push before I put the book aside to read Warrior and Protector. By the end of Sunday night, I was up to page 154. Over the course of the week, that was just 120 pages read. 

 

Warrior and Protector

From there, I moved on to Warrior and Protector by Peter Gibbons. As you now know, this was because I was sharing my review of the book for the blog tour yesterday. I really enjoyed this relatively short, palate-cleansing read. Historical fiction is a genre I go back to time and again. I have a love of the particular setting of this book from reading/watching The Last Kingdom and other books by other authors I have toured with. I signed up for the tour relatively last minute, to replace another blogger.

I’m really glad I stepped up for this one. I started this book at the beginning of the week and finished it early Friday night. At just over 300 pages, it is quite a short and fast-paced read – at least for me! The book was full of action and a lot more in the way of character development than you might expect from our main character, Beornoth. I enjoyed some of the overlaps and references to well-known characters of the period. It helped ground the story in a setting. I was already familiar with but offers a new and unique perspective.

Going forward, my intention is to pick up a Babel again for a couple more days before I set aside again for a second blog tour commitment. That tour is for a similar genre and book, so I want to pick up Babel again to give myself some separation between the two books. As at drafting this post, I am yet to do that, but my intention is to make some progress with it again tonight.

 

Queen of Our Times

I also have an audiobook update for you this week. It has been a little while since I put my headphones in, but today I started listening to Queen of Our Times by Robert Hardman. This book was originally on my October TBR. However, having had some issues with ordering a physical copy of the book, I canceled that order and instead downloaded the audiobook. Because I made this decision quite late on in the month, I didn’t get a chance to start listening to Queen of our times in October.

That is why I have added it to this month’s TBR. It also contributes to my goal of trying to read more non-fiction books. It is not very often that I read or listen to biographies. However, Queen Elizabeth II is such a poignant figure and I wanted to fill in the gaps in my knowledge about her and the Royal family.

This audiobook is 25 and a half hours long. It is not a small one by any means, but I have already chipped away at an hour and a half of listening time this morning. Now that I’ve started it, I’ll try and listen to a little bit of it every day, as much as I can. Even if it is just whilst commuting to and from work – it all adds up! Fingers crossed I’ll have another update on this in next week’s Sunday Summary! 

 

Books Discovered

I confess that I have added a book to my TBR this week, and it is all my sister’s boyfriend’s fault. I can totally blame him, right? It’s not my lack of control or anything…

On a serious note, he is currently reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. When I spoke to them both on FaceTime this week, he recommended the book to me as he was really enjoying it. Having looked into it for myself, I can see this is something that I would enjoy as well.

It is a chunk of a book though. At just over 1000 pages, it is not a light addition to my reading list!

 

Coming Up…

Next week, I am back to my usual three-post schedule.

The first of those posts will be a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s theme is about book series. As somebody who has a lot of ongoing series at the moment, I have decided to share my list of series I would like to finish. I don’t need to talk myself into starting any more; I do a good enough job of that already! If you want to check out just a handful of the series I would like to finish, check out my post on Tuesday. And, as an additional note, if you would like me to share a separate post confessing all the ongoing series I have so you can laugh at my expense, let me know! 

Later in the week, I am back with a Shelf Control post. The feature of next week’s Shelf Control post is ironically also a series – although I didn’t realise this at the time I purchased a copy. I decided that I will pick up this historical fiction book anyway, then decide if I want to go back to the beginning based on my experience of that book. This is a new-to-me author, but the setting is one that I have read before.

As always, I will be back at the same time next week with another Sunday Summary post to share my reading progress with you. As has been the case this week, I will have a deadline that I’m working towards next week. So, I should have plenty to share with you in that post.

Tonight, my plans are to pick up Babel again briefly, before watching the first episode of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here before bed.

What are your plans?

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – October 2022

I cannot believe I am writing my monthly wrap-up post for October. We are now most of the way through the year, and I have no idea where it’s gone!

The one good bit of news is that in October, I completed my Goodreads goal of reading 40 books this year. It was also quite a special one, as it was from an author and series I have both discovered this year and come to love fiercely!

Before I go ahead and spoil anything for you, let’s just dive into the books I read in October, and share with you my reading progress!

 

Assassin’s Quest

Usually, I start the month with any ‘fixed reads’ on my reading list. This month I decided to change things up and pick up Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb first.

I had originally wanted to pick this up in September, but there was absolutely no way I was going to fit it into my Bookoplathon TBR. I’m glad I didn’t even try, as this month I spent the majority of my time reading Assassin’s Quest. Whilst extremely good, Robin Hobb’s fantasy is not something you can pick up and devour quickly. There is a lot of detail, world-building and character development that intertwine and make for a world that requires investment. Equally, you want to savour every moment.

I started Assassin’s Quest very early in the month, but even so, I didn’t finish this until around about the 20th of the month. Even then, I only managed to achieve this feat by reading over 400 pages during a week off work. Without that, I would probably have taken the whole month to read the book, and that is no exaggeration!

I’m really happy with the way the storyline panned out, and how poor Fitz is struggling to find his place. The ending was absolutely fantastic and everything I hoped for. It makes me look forward to revisiting these characters and places later on in the Realm of the Elderlings series.

 

Blink of the Sun

If I’m entirely honest, I’m glad I didn’t start this month with my ‘fixed read’, as it ended up being a bit of a flop. It is not a promising start to reading list, so thankfully I avoided that by not picking it up first!

I was hoping Blink of the Sun would be a captivating urban fantasy that was right up my street (excuse the pun). It has a lot of good elements, but it just wasn’t quite doing it for me. I gave it a good chance, as I was intending to read this book and review it for the author and to give the book some publicity. As it stands, I have given some private feedback to the author via the site I downloaded it from (BookSirens), and I will not be sharing a public review.

 

Babel

Moving onwards and upwards, I next picked up Babel by R. F. Kuang.

I was hoping I was going to make faster reading progress that I did at the start. I can’t say whether it is because I needed to take the time to properly set up the book and characters in my head, or whether it is because I also happened to catch the winter lurgy at the same time and it affected my attention span. Probably a combination of both, in all honesty.

As of the end of the month, I made it to just over 100 pages through this novel. It is a decent amount of progress, but nothing groundbreaking. I am really enjoying the book and the more academic content. As somebody who considered pursuing a career in languages (albeit the English language), I am enjoying the arguments and commentary about how English interacts with other languages.

 

Warrior and Protector

The last book I picked up this month wasn’t on my TBR at the beginning of October. This is because I have stepped in to assist Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources a bit last minute with providing a review for an upcoming blog tour.

Unfortunately, it came to light that somebody who was due to take part in this tour originally was plagiarising other people’s reviews. Big no-no, obviously, so Rachel was looking for an alternative reviewer. As somebody who really enjoys this genre and setting, I was keen to help out in a time of need.

I started this book on the very last day of the month and read a third of it in two sittings over the course of the day. Compared to Babel, this is a much lighter read, and so progress is a lot swifter. What I like about this book, and the setting of the novel, is that I am familiar with it to an extent already. Some of the characters referred to in this book are key figures from that period of history. As a result, I’ve already come across them through other the books. The particular character we are living this narrative through, however, is a new one. That keeps the narrative fresh, even if the setting and theme are known to me.

I am enjoying this particular book and I can’t wait to share my full thoughts with you in my blog tour post on Saturday.

 

I’m resisting the urge to close this monthly wrap-up post saying I haven’t made as much progress as I would like. The truth is, I have read a solid number of pages this month. The books I have picked up are just, in their nature, more dense. They take more time to read. Page count is not the point. I read for the enjoyment of it, and I cannot say that I haven’t achieved that this month!

That’s all for me in today’s monthly wrap-up post. Have you read any of the books on my October TBR? What have you been reading this month?

 

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Sunday Summary – 30th October 2022

Hello and welcome back to another Sunday Summary post. As always, I hope you have had a fabulous week, whatever you have been up to!

Personally, this week didn’t get off to the best of starts as I managed to catch some of the winter lurgy going around. Thankfully nothing too sinister, and it passed through quite quickly. Still, for a day or two, I wasn’t feeling too hot.

Regardless, life goes on. In terms of my blog, I shared two posts with you this week. The first of those posts was my Top Ten Tuesday Halloween-themed post. For that freebie, I decided to share my top recommendations for spooky reads this Halloween season.

Later in the week, I shared a First Lines Friday post with you. In that post, I took a spontaneous approach to choosing the book I featured. I decided to look at my Goodreads homepage until something caught my eye. I ended up featuring the first book of a series that is on my TBR. What makes this more exciting is that this second book is actually a follow-up to what was supposed to be a standalone novel. I really like the sound of this one, I can’t wait to get around to reading it!

 

Books Read

As of last week’s Sunday Summary post, I was 34 pages into Babel by R.F. Kuang.

Admittedly, I haven’t made a lot of progress with this one this week. I think it’s going to be a slow-burn book for me, based on what I’ve read so far. I am enjoying it, but it’s not a book that I can devour. To be fair, my experience may be coloured by the fact that I haven’t been feeling my best this week. If I’m not feeling great, I find my attention span is a lot shorter than usual. So, even though I have sat down and made attempts to read Babel several times over the course of the week, I didn’t get through much page count before I inevitably end up scrolling on social media.

I have also been working on some other bits and pieces this week. I’ve obviously been working on blog content, but I’ve also been enjoying some creative free time and working on some of my ongoing knitting projects. You’re an ideal world I might have listened to an audiobook at the same time. However, I was really in the mood for music… And so that’s what I listen to instead! 

All of this amounts to not much reading progress. it is perhaps a little disappointing, but I’m not going to be able to read lots all the time. I don’t feel too guilty, because Last week I read about 500 pages!

Going forward, I am going to make another attempt at further progress with Babel tonight before moving on to another book I am reading for a blog tour post next week. I’m hoping the change of pace and the deadline will help kick my butt into some action!

 

Books Discovered

No news is good news, so they say. I’ve been very good and haven’t added any new books to my reading list this week!

 

Coming Up…

Next week is going to be a fun one in terms of blog content. Somehow, we are already at the end of October. Inevitably, I will be sharing my month-end wrap-up on Tuesday. I haven’t made oodles of progress as yet this month, but I will be re-capping everything I have read, including further progress made today and tomorrow, in that post.

I am changing up the schedule slightly and sharing my November TBR on Thursday next week. As always, I am setting myself a slightly ambitious list, but it’s one I’m very excited to attempt to tackle. As in previous months, I have a smaller number of fixed reads on that list, together with some mood reads that I like the sound of now. However, I have the freedom to change those mood reads at a later date if I change my mind. I have found it a good balance in terms of managing reads I have to pick up, but also giving myself the flexibility to read other books on a whim. On November’s TBR, I have two fixed reads, and three mood reads.

The change of schedule is to accommodate a blog tour post that I will be sharing on Saturday. You’ll find out some more detail about the book in my November TBR on Thursday. By the time that post goes live, I hope to have made either significant reading progress or to have finished it. I bet it will be the former scenario, but I can hope for the latter. 

And lastly, I’ll be back at the same time next week with another Sunday Summary post. with any luck, I’ll be able to share a lot more reading progress in that Sunday Summary than I’ve been able to share in this one!

Now, I’m off to go and pick up Babel. What are you reading?

 

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Sunday Summary – 23rd October 2022

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

Let’s jump into this week’s updates!

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

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

 

Books Read

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

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

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

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

 

Books Discovered

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

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

 

Coming Up…

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

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

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

 

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

 

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