Tag: reading

Sunday Summary – 11th March 2018

Happy Mother’s Day to all you wonderful women out there! I hope you have some lovely plans for today!
I’m off to spend the day with my mum a little later, but for now, here is how my week has gone in all things bookish!
So I kept things reasonably quiet in terms of blog posts as I knew I wanted to get a fair bit of reading done this week. For the first time ever I reviewed an audiobook, The Stand by Stephen King. I have really taken to audiobooks; they are so convenient to listen to if you are up and about doing other things… and that way you still get everything done and the benefit of “reading” at the same time! Win!
 

Books Read


 
I’m actually quite pleased at how much I have managed to read this week. Unfortunately, due to running over in finishing up my last February read, I am a little behind schedule and fingers crossed I can make that time up!
Living on A Rainbow was my last February read, which I finished on Monday. It covers a number of sensitive topics including mental illness, so be warned, but I have to say it is beautifully done. Not only that, watching the MC slowly decline only goes to show that it really can happen to anyone!
On Tuesday I began my March TBR in earnest, with Copper Sky by Milana Marsenich and again, what a beautiful book. It highlights the struggles of living in Butte, a mining town in Montana in 1917. Whilst it also includes the dangers men faced in working in such conditions they did and disasters experienced in the town, it predominantly focuses on the struggles of two women, Kaly and Marika. Kaly is a prostitute who finds herself pregnant and doubting the future of both her and her baby. Marika aspires to be a doctor and fights against her father and the arranged marriage he has planned for her. Without saying too much, I finished this book yesterday I really can’t wait to share my thoughts with you all about it!
I’ve also been listening to An Almond for a Parrot now for the past few weeks and it is so laugh out loud funny, I daren’t listen to it in public in fear of people thinking I am stark raving mad! It’s brilliant! It’s a little more risqué than I would normally “read”, but it is portrayed from a perspective of near innocence (which is funny, since our MC is a “lady of pleasure” to put it politely). You cannot help but laugh!
So, you may have noticed “Strange The Dreamer” up there and thought… what the? That’s not an ARC!! And you would be right – it isn’t. Yesterday, this book was really calling me. It’s been sat on my bookshelf for nearly a year and I keep picking it up, flicking through a few pages and then put it down again, vowing to read it next month. Or the month after. It hasn’t happened so far.
So yesterday, temptation got the better of me. I told myself if I had a productive day and finished reading Copper Sky I would read the first chapter. Naturally, this spurred me on, I got all my housework done and finished Copper Sky in the early evening. After a short break, I made myself a cup of tea and read the first chapter. Then the second, third, fourth… you get it. I ended up reading all of part one, which is about 80 pages worth.
 
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So yes, you could say that I fell off the bandwagon in a way. That being said, if I find a book that I love so wholeheartedly that I cannot put it down, I’m not going to deny myself that! That is what we readers look and secretly hope for.
I’m still going to be fulfilling my ARC reads, but no doubt I’ll be reading this on the side too. I will not wait until next month to pick it up again.. I can tell you that now!
 

Books Discovered


 
I’ve heard many a good thing about John Grisham’s writing, so when I saw this book discounted last Sunday, I knew had to try one of his books for myself!
Likewise with The Fourteenth Letter by Claire Evans, the murder mystery element of the book intrigued me, especially since it is set in London 1881, and historic fiction IS one of my favourite genres after all!
 

Coming Up…

This week, I am going to be reviewing my recent read of Living On A Rainbow by Calvin Wade. I touched above on how well the book tackles difficult themes, so if you are interested to know more, please stay tuned for my review on Wednesday!
Again, this week I am keeping it reasonably QT in the hopes of catching up with my reading, but the following week I will be sharing a number of different posts with you!
Keep reading!
Rebecca mono

Reading List: March 2018 – aka March of the Arcs!

I cannot believe it is March already!!
Spring is just around the corner, although if the weather is anything to go by you wouldn’t know it!! In an ideal world, it would be the kind of weather to stay at home in and snuggle up with a book – wouldn’t you agree?!
Unfortunately, living in your own Fantasy world doesn’t pay the bills, so I have to dig out every single pair of gloves I own and wear them simultaneously to venture into the frozen wastes to earn my keep *sigh*
We all have to have something to look forward to when the day is done though. I’ve spoken recently about the mini reading slump I have found myself in lately, and I have been trying to come up with some ideas for how to beat it. I have decided a change of routine is probably a good start, so I came up with an idea called March of the Arcs! I have a few (plenty of) arc’s due for review, so not only is this the change of routine I think I need, I hope the boost to my rating on Netgalley should also lift my spirits!! Fingers crossed I’ll also get introduced to some lovely new books too!
 
Copper Sky
Copper Sky
I was kindly asked to review this title by the author, who had seen a couple of my other reviews for OpenBooks… so thanks for asking me! So far I have read the first chapter and  I can’t wait to get stuck in to the rest!
 
StoneKing
StoneKing
Finally I get to read the much anticipated third book of this series!! I have been DEVOURING the previous books in order to catch up and participate in the current blog tour. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you all on the 19th March!
 
Beowulf
Beowulf
I think this was one of my first downloads from Netgalley and I really want to give it a try. Admittedly, it isn’t the sort of book I would read normally – poetry isn’t really my bag, but since it is such an iconic piece of literature I feel I have to have a go! If nothing else, I am sticking to the brief of trying something new and breaking routine!
 
Ekata: Fall of Darkness
Ekata
This is also a Netgalley download that I have sat on for a few months and really need to read. It’s a kind of dystopian fantasy, as I recall… and both of these are genres I enjoy.
 
The Mansions of Murder
Mansions of Murder
This is my most recent Netgalley “Read Now” download, and it’s a historical fiction/murder mystery. I can’t say I have read anything like it before and I hope, if I enjoy it, I’ll be picking up more books in the genre. I am currently toying with the idea of trying Agatha Christie’s works, so this is my way of dipping my toes into the water, so to speak.
 
I hope you don’t mind that this list isn’t particularly detailed – it’s been a busy week for me here. If you have any questions or want to know more, please drop me a comment below!
For now though, have a wonderful Friday and a lovely weekend!!
Rebecca mono

Sunday Summary – 25th February 2018

I’m glad to report a comparatively more successful week this week.
It feels like I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately… so I’ve been trying my best to work out a way to get out of it. Admittedly, I am still working on a couple of ideas, but hopefully this motivational lull doesn’t last too long.
I kept things reasonably quiet on the blog this week, with just of couple of posts shared. The first post, and the only one I had planned to publish was my review of Kinglet by Donna Migliaccio. I have been reading the series in the run up to the Blog Tour of StoneKing, which I am really looking forward to!
I also published an additional post last night, which I hadn’t really anticipated to share at all when I first wrote it last month. I had written it as a way to vent some frustration and it has been playing on my mind ever since. I must have been feeling particularly salty last night, because I finally decided to share my opinion (be it wanted or not). If you want to take a look at my heated ramblings and perhaps have a giggle or two, take a look at my Unpopular Advice for Authors post here.
 

Books Read

I started off this week finishing Fiskur by Donna Migliaccio. As I mentioned above, I am making my way through The Gemeta Stone series in readiness for the third instalment, which has just been published!
Next I moved onto The Torcian Chronicles by P. J. Reed, and I am going to be perfectly honest and say that I ended up skim-reading this as I am reviewing it for a Blog Tour next week. I don’t want to say too much prematurely, so if you are interested in what I have to say on this, check out my upcoming review.
Lastly, I have started reading Living on A Rainbow by Calvin Wade. I downloaded this book a few months ago when you could access it for free and I am currently about 30% through at the moment.
 

Books Discovered


 
Before this week I had never heard of Don Quixote. I only came across it when I was watching a fellow bloggers YouTube channel and she was discussing reading it for her university studies!
I then read up a little more about this mammoth of a book and decided I wanted to add it to my list of classics I wanted to collect.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is a book I distinctly remember borrowing from the school library years ago. I don’t ever remember ACTUALLY reading it though…
I used to do that a lot.
I’ve decided that I should also pick up this iconic book at least once in my lifetime.
 

Coming Up…

 
Next week is going to be a busier one on the blog!
I am taking part in a cover reveal tomorrow for Breachers by Anthony Thomas, a science fiction novel being published later this year. Also going to state my intentions here and say that it sounds like it’s right up my street. I hope there is a blog tour for it later on this year, as I would love to take part!
I have two reviews to share this week – on Wednesday, I’ll be sharing my thoughts with you on Fiskur, the second book of The Gemeta Series and on Thursday I am reviewing The Torican Chronicles. I hope you can join me for those!
We are also welcoming in a new month this week, so I will be sharing my reading list with you all on Friday!!
What books are you looking forward to reading?
Rebecca mono

Book Review: Kinglet by Donna Migliaccio

I first discovered this series when I took part in a Blog Tour back in November for Fiskur, organised by Fiery Seas Publishing. This is the second book in the series and I was gutted that I hadn’t discovered it earlier. If I’d had the time to catch up with the first book and read second for the Blog Tour, I would have done!

Alas, I didn’t. Sometimes, it isn’t meant to be.

My stroke of luck finally came in January, when I contacted Fiery Seas Publishing to express interest in beginning the series. My review request schedule had freed up considerably, so it was the perfect time to enquire. Catherine, an absolute hard-working gem, very kindly sent me both Kinglet and Fiskur to read and review in time for the publishing of the THIRD book of the series (which celebrated it’s publishing date yesterday!)

To have even one book published is a huge accomplishment, so to see the third book of a series published must be absolutely amazing!! Congratulations Donna!!

Go, get you GIF.gif

I have the privilege of reading StoneKing as part of the current blog tour. I’ll be using the penultimate slot of the tour, on the 19th March, to share a review with you… I hope you can join me for that!

Today though, I’m talking about where it all begins:-

***I was very kindly provided with a free copy of this book by Fiery Seas Publishing in exchange for an honest review. All the opinions stated below are my own ***

kinglet

Goodreads – Kinglet

Kristan Gemeta has lost everything: his crown, his kingdom, his courage – even his name.

In the vast wilderness of the Exilwald, he’s known to the other outcasts as Kinglet. As long as Kristan stays hidden, he can elude the bounty hunters, brutal soldiers and terrifying spells of Daazna, the Wichelord who killed his father and destroyed his life.

But when a new band of pursuers comes looking for him, Kristan’s wariness gives way to intrigue. For bounty hunters they’re oddly inept, and a young woman in their company is leaving enigmatic drawings wherever they go. As they plunge deeper into the Exilwald, Kristan follows. He discovers the drawings symbolize the Gemeta Stone, an ancient family talisman seized by Daazna but now in the little band’s possession.

With the Stone’s protection, Kristan might stand a chance against Daazna. He could regain his birthright and his honor. But to obtain the Stone, he must reveal his true identity and risk the one thing he has left…his life.

If asked what my favourite genre is, I would tell you that Fantasy is by far the most entertaining read for me. I have been busy enjoying some different genres for a while, so to come back to a favourite, written so well as this… what can I say? I fell in love straight away!

That being said, I’m not a huge fan of all the tropes in Fantasy. If I’m honest, I think the orphaned child is one that is used time again – I’d go so far as to say a little overused for my taste, but some people like that. There are some other stereotypical elements to Kristan’s character – he is kind, noble and forgiving…. way too forgiving! Oh, he’s handsome too. Did I forget to mention that?! Again, these are typical traits that are very common among our Fantasy leads.

The only author I can think that has completely flipped these traits on their head with their protagonist is Mark Lawrence, in his The Broken Empire series. The protagonist’s character is extremely well developed; his most defining features are his flaws… and believe me, there are many! I found his unique character a refreshing change; there were times I loved to hate him, and then others I couldn’t help but pity him. He stands out from the crowd of fantasy protagonists by stepping away from the norm, which I really appreciated.

As much as Kristan’s character encapsulates a lot of the favourable and stereotypical traits one might expect and we commonly see, that isn’t to say I didn’t like him. I felt an affinity to him from the start, even from his brief spell at the beginning as a youth, always under pressure to adhere to high expectations and trying to understand the world and its workings from an early age. Not to put this across as a negative point (I’m more in favour of calling it a constructive one), I would have liked to see a little more originality to Kristan’s personality.

I really enjoyed the magical element being introduced straight away. We are thrown into the action first and gradually our understanding of the motive is built upon later. With world building in Fantasy, it is very easy to try and ‘info dump’ a lot of background before anything even happens. This is far from the case, and rightly so, because that can ruin a book for me. Bogging a reader down in details is a turn off, but gradually integrating ideas, clues and other information is the best way to move narrative in the right direction. Donna achieves this effortlessly.

Two years after the Gemeta’s flight from his home, his father’s death and the powerful mage responsible for it, a group of rebels leave Fandrall equipped with the magical stone that has been in the Gemeta’s possession for generations. They travel into the unknown Exilwald, his rumoured hiding place and home to a number of unsavoury characters.

The dynamic of our adventurers attempting to find the exiled King changes frequently. Family ties and friendships are tested, as would be expected from a group forced out of their homes with merely the clothes on their back.

hilst not the most companionable character of the group, I actually came to like Colin an awful lot. As head of the group, his predominantly negative attitude stems from his feeling of responsibility to protect.  In a lot of ways he comes across as an antagonist, but truthfully he is a man very much grounded in reality. He’s grumpy, miserable and completely pessimistic about the slim chances of completing the task at hand – a bit like me before my first coffee of the day really…

There are many things I could talk about that I really enjoyed, but to summarise, I’ll say this – it has a fantastic plot and an approachable narrative with a wonderful twist of many elements that make up a classic fantasy.

Rather than reading my positive ramblings, you could be reading this for yourself! Thank you to Donna and Fiery Seas Publishing for the chance to pick up this wonderful start to a new series! I cannot wait to read the next one!

Oh wait, I don’t have to!
Rebecca mono


Amazon  ~  Barnes & NobleKobo  ~  iBooks

About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa& The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.  

Social Media:                    Website        Facebook        Twitter        Pinterest

Book Review: The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

I can only apologise if you were expecting a review out of me yesterday.
I had every intention of writing this on Monday night – I was home early and had plenty of time on my hands… but WordPress had no plans to do ANYTHING for me. Reluctantly, I signed off.
I knew I wasn’t going to get anything written on Tuesday, and that is why in my Sunday Summary I commented that I may be late posting this. Why? It was my birthday! I had plans to be out for the evening – and I enjoyed every minute of it!
 
The Miniaturist
Goodreads – The Miniaturist

Set in seventeenth century Amsterdam–a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion–a masterful debut steeped in atmosphere and shimmering with mystery, in the tradition of Emma Donoghue, Sarah Waters, and Sarah Dunant.
“There is nothing hidden that will not be revealed . . .”
On a brisk autumn day in 1686, eighteen-year-old Nella Oortman arrives in Amsterdam to begin a new life as the wife of illustrious merchant trader Johannes Brandt. But her new home, while splendorous, is not welcoming. Johannes is kind yet distant, always locked in his study or at his warehouse office–leaving Nella alone with his sister, the sharp-tongued and forbidding Marin.
But Nella’s world changes when Johannes presents her with an extraordinary wedding gift: a cabinet-sized replica of their home. To furnish her gift, Nella engages the services of a miniaturist–an elusive and enigmatic artist whose tiny creations mirror their real-life counterparts in eerie and unexpected ways . . .
Johannes’ gift helps Nella to pierce the closed world of the Brandt household. But as she uncovers its unusual secrets, she begins to understand–and fear–the escalating dangers that await them all. In this repressively pious society where gold is worshipped second only to God, to be different is a threat to the moral fabric of society, and not even a man as rich as Johannes is safe. Only one person seems to see the fate that awaits them. Is the miniaturist the key to their salvation . . . or the architect of their destruction?

I feel like I have spoken about this book a lot – and to my mind it deserves all the attention it gets.
I added this book to the TBR last year – but after watching the recent TV adaptation between Christmas and New Year… I knew I had to read this sooner rather than later. I love books and TV shows set in historic time periods, along with the social issues and differences to modern day life that come along with that.
Nella marries a rich merchant and travels to Amsterdam to start her new life in a position of power. The atmosphere of Amsterdam is extremely oppressive in comparison to today’s standards, with the oppression coming from the church and religion itself. Power is a double sided coin though – and there are many that would like to see her new husband Johannes Brandt fall from grace.
The dynamic of the city and the relationship Nella has with Johannes’ sister, Marin, go hand in hand with each other. Marin is distant and untrusting of Nella, but as the narrative, the lies and deceit gradually unfold, these two women have to join forces to withstand the storm. Marin would have many believe she paupers herself in humility to God, but she is far from virtuous in reality, which Nella soon discovers.
But within this city built on lies and corruption, resides the Miniaturist, who has a startling ability to see the details many would love to keep hidden…
Nella, and the perspective of the story from this naïve, young woman is written in an extraordinary way. Throughout we see how Nella develops from the innocent young girl, who thinks longingly of marriage and children, to a woman who is able to deal with hardship and finally take her role and accompanying responsibilities as Johannes Brandt’s wife. Whilst she always retains a glimmer of hope, something I attribute to her youth, her understanding of her new world and the corruption rife within it blossoms.
The characters and relationships are complex yet consistent, built within the web of society laced with prejudice and discrimination, a lack of gender rights and racial inequality. All of these issues are touched on beautifully, in such a way as to make you sympathise with each character and the difficulties they face in this oppressive life they lead.
I completely loved this book, and I cannot recommend this highly enough to anyone! Even if you cannot bear to read the book – watch the TV adaptation, please.
You won’t regret it.
Rebecca mono

Sunday Summary – 4th February 2018

I’ve really enjoyed this week, even if I do say so myself.
It’s been a productive week on the blog for starters, and I’ve enjoyed investing the time into both writing my posts and exploring other blogs. I forget to do that sometimes, and it is awful of me.
I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch, so I’m going to keep some good news I have close to my chest… at least until next week! All will be revealed, I promise!
As I mentioned above, this week was a good one on the blog – again, it’s a four posts week! Not only did I share both my review and author interview in relation to A Mentor and Her Muse, by Susan Sage, I also shared my reading list for February on Friday. If you want to check out which books I am reading, you can either check out this post or alternatively, they can be found on Goodreads in my Currently Reading section.
 

Books Read


 
I finished reading The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton at the beginning of this week, leaving me a couple of days before getting a kick-start on February’s list. I’m glad I heard about this book last year and bumped it up the list having watched the TV adaptation, otherwise I’d have been missing out on enjoying a great read for a lot longer.
I’ve also started Kinglet, the first book of the Gemeta Stone series.  I can tell it is going to be an enjoyable one for me. It’s been a little while since I read Fantasy like this, and that probably helps me appreciate it more! When I say I’ve made a start, so far I have read 27% of the book, but hardly feels like I’ve “put time into it”. It sucks you in straight away.
 
The Stand
 
On a separate note, I also finished listening to The Stand by Stephen King via Audible at about 11pm last night. It cannot be called anything but an epic, at just over 47 hrs worth of audio, but I’ve loved every second of it! I’m going to review this as well, if anyone is interested, and I feel more than sure that further down the line I’ll be reading a copy of this myself and experiencing it all over again.
 

Books Discovered


 
I have added some exciting books to the TBR this week!!
Year and years ago I watched Luther on TV, (you know, Idris Elba? Please tell me you watched this too) and I’ve only just discovered BOOKS ABOUT LUTHER!!!! So they aren’t the same stories, but the one I have added is like a prequel to those.
I also watched my first BookTube, hosted by a blogger I have followed and loved for some time. If you want to watch the video, you can find it here. She also blogs at A Frolic Through Fiction and her twitter is @frolic_fiction. In case you hadn’t guessed, this is a MAJOR PLUG – go and check her out!
The point I am getting to is this – in her wrap up she talked about reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, and she has inspired me to pick the book up. I’m not 100% sure it is my thing, but I began this blog to broaden my horizons, and I won’t know if I like it or not until I try. So thank you Ashleigh!!
Lastly, I added India Black yesterday and I thought it sounded really intriguing – for no reason other than that! And why not?
 
Punishment
 
This is the only book I bought this week – but again, the combination of crime and sci-fi intrigued me! From what I gather, the detectives use a machine in order to help catch criminals and understand motives etc, but this leaves some kind of mental scarring. It sounds like an unusual and exciting read to me anyway, so I have added this one to the TBR too!
 

Coming Up…

As I hinted at earlier, I may have some news to share with you all next week, so please be patient on that front.
In the meantime, I will be reviewing one of my Netgalley reads on Wednesday, Former.ly by Dane Cobain. At the same time I am going to write a brief review for Netgalley only on ReWired by S. R. Johannes, in order to fulfil the obligation, but I wont be reviewing it here.
Until next time, I hope you have an exciting weekend and a lovely week ahead!
Rebecca mono

Sunday Summary – 28th January 2018

Good morning everyone!!
I think this week could definitely be called a productive one, as this is the fourth blog post I am bringing to you this week! At the beginning of the year I announced that I was reducing my regular posts down from three to two – and it’s taken the pressure off me a bit. I’ve enjoyed having a more intense week though, as I have had some exciting things to talk about!
On Tuesday, I brought to you an Author Interview with Steve Campitelli, in which he talks to us about his first book of a future series, The Fall, set in post-apocalyptic Australia. I followed up with my Book Review on Wednesday!
Last week I was nominated for the Liebster Award – my first nomination for the blog. I won’t lie, I was a little excited! It’s nice to get some appreciation for your blog once in a while, especially given how much time and effort we all pour into them.
 

Books Read


 
I began the week by making a start on ReWired by S R Johannes, with high hopes. I downloaded this book from Netgalley, but unfortunately, I just didn’t like it. This is my first DNF for the year. On the whole the writing was pretty good, but I struggled to relate to the main character. The straw that broke the camel’s back came about 10% into the book, in which the story was so clearly rushed to move things along, and it was done badly. After that, I knew I wasn’t going to enjoy it.
I’ll have to get something together for a review on Netgalley, but I am not going to bother to review it here. I don’t think it’s really fair to review a book you only read a small portion of.
After that, I moved onto the book I have been looking forward to picking up all this month – The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. I saw the book for the first time last year and added it to the TBR; months later around Christmas, I saw a two-part TV adaptation and recorded it.
I actually watched the TV adaptation first, on New Years Eve, and I knew I had to read the book ASAP. I loved it!! So far, I am 67% through the book, and on track to finish by the end of the month.
 

Books Discovered


 
I added The Potato Factory after seeing a fellow bloggers post talking about it. I’ve just had a look to see if I can find the post again, but unfortunately I can’t. I need to make notes when I see posts like these, so I can link them here.
In essence, the post talked about the blogger’s mum being a great lover of Bryce Courtenay, and for a long time [blogger] didn’t pick up any of his books. Now she has – and she loves them! If I ever come across that post again I am going to link it here, because it deserves recognition.
 
I bought a physical copy of The Necronomicon by H. P. Lovecraft this week, and I absolutely LOVE IT!! It’s hardback and smells amazing; it has a leather cover, is ridiculously heavy… and did I mention it smells amazing? I will confess that I love the smell of new books and I am not ashamed.
When I brought it back to work, having bought it in my lunch hour, I ended up having a pretty long conversation with a colleague about H. P. Lovecraft and the book itself; which stories he really liked etc. It was a lovely conversation – I don’t actually get to have many of those, as there are very few people in my life as fanatical about books as I am…
Admittedly, I don’t usually spend as much on any one book as I did with that one, but it’s worth it to me; he’s an influential writer, there are lots and lots of stories in there, and what the hell – it’s my birthday in a couple of weeks! That can be my present from myself.
 

Coming Up…

Next week is also going to be a busy one on the blog, and I am looking forward to it! I get a couple of days respite before things get underway with a review of A Mentor and Her Muse by Susan Sage on Wednesday.
Following on from that, Susan kindly spent some time in order to get an interview post put together, so look out for that on Thursday!
On Friday, it’s time to share my Reading List for February, as the new month will be upon us!!
I hope you will be able to join me in the week ahead for more things bookish!
Rebecca mono

The Liebster Award!

Hi everybody!!
So this is the first nomination I have ever received for my blog, so thank you very much to Larissa over at Book Bosomed Blonde for nominating me. I’ve been following her blog for some time now, and if you haven’t already, it would be lovely if you could go and take a look at her latest posts!
Here are the questions I have been nominated to answer:-
 

Story behind your blog name?

So, I played around with the name a bit recently. I originally set up my blog as Readers Online, and after the sudden realisation it sounded a bit TOO similar to something else (i.e. Writers Online, the website associated with Writing Magazine), I felt the need to change it… FAST! I toyed around with a few names, but opted for ReviewsFeed in the end.
Why? Well, it is a play on words really, based around the medium of blogging and posts being almost like a newsfeed. Book reviews, newsfeed… Reviewsfeed!
It was the most witty and intelligent thing I could come up with, but as to how successful the attempt was … I guess that is up to you!
 

What is one of your favourite blogs? Share the love!

I enjoy reading a lot of blogs… but if I had to pick one to mention, I would have to mention this one because I love how his reviews aren’t about what is current, and aren’t chasing the latest trend. It’s not that this is a bad thing at all, I enjoy reading these too! My point is that there are far more blogs gushing about current bestsellers and a lot of YA books, but Erik’s blog stands out for doing the exact opposite.
For anyone interested, you can find Erik’s blog here: The Past Due Review
 

Would you like to become an author, if so what genre would you write about?

I would probably bite my own arm off for the chance!
Well maybe not quite literally, but I need to do something to make me sit down for five minutes to actually commit some of the ideas I have to paper. I think my greatest problem is thinking on too large a scale and overwhelming myself into giving up.
Lately, I have started writing short stories and entering some competitions hosted by Writing Magazine – starting anywhere is an improvement from all the abandoned projects I have had over the years, and there are many…
 

A book you’re most excited to FINALLY get to this year.

Making a book lover choose just ONE book? What kind of devilry is this?!
Truth is, I have a lot of amazing books to read so this has been a difficult question. If I have to commit to one book, I’ll have to say The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. I know this book will make me sad and no doubt I’ll cry – but if this subject doesn’t move you, then I call you out as inhuman.
 

If you could choose one book being released in 2018 to get for free, what would it be?

I don’t know of many books that are being published in 2018 – but the one book I hope I get to review as part of a Blog Tour is StoneKing Donna Migliaccio, the third book of the Gemeta Stone series.
 

What book world would you most like to be transported to?

In the world that comes to mind, I don’t think I have anything to look forward to… but I would risk death by Whitewalkers or dragon fire, or alternatively more mundane and far likelier, poisoning, stabbing or being trampled on by a horse. Anything could happen, right?
Jack Sparrow Run
 

Only kidding, I don’t run…

 

Favourite female character?

I chose this character from The Rag Nymph by Catherine Cookson, for her hilarious, no-nonsense attitude. She isn’t perfect – far from being a princess sat atop her high castle and waiting for her handsome prince. She is Raggy Aggie – never wanting anything out of life other than to get by and provide for her family. Aggie takes in Millie, a young, well-learned child, after her mother is arrested and disappears.
Aggie is poor and barely has two pennies to rub together, but she always does her best to protect young Millie, from her own innocence and from those who would sell her for her beauty into the oldest profession there is. Aggie is down to earth and frequently administers some tough love, but she always does her best by the girl.
In terms of her character if not her circumstances, she reminds me of my mum, and her mum before her. It must be the Yorkshire influence!
 

Favourite male character?

Without a shadow of a doubt, John Coffey – like the drink, only spelled different. He truly is a victim of timing, circumstance, and racial injustice. His compulsion to help those in need with his gifts lands him awaiting death by electrocution.
You’ve probably guessed that I am talking about The Green Mile by Stephen King, and if you haven’t, I politely enquire as to which rock you have been hiding under!
He is so misunderstood and good at heart, and one his quotes has stuck with me since reading the book:-

“I’m rightly tired of the pain I hear and feel, boss. I’m tired of bein on the road, lonely as a robin in the rain. Not ever havin no buddy to go on with or tell me where we’s comin or goin to or why. I’m tired of people bein ugly to each other. It feels like pieces of glass in my head. I’m tired of all the times I’ve wanted to help and couldn’t. I’m tired of bein in the dark. Mostly it’s the pain. There’s too much. If I could end it, I would. But I can’t.”
~ John Coffey

 

Short term goal for the year?

There is a short story competition, for which entry closes mid next month. I was hoping to enter it, but I’ll admit I am struggling at the moment. I have idea solidly in my mind, but I’m struggling to get it written down and I don’t have long left.
It’s quite a peculiar brief in that the short story (1,500-1,700 words) can be dialogue ONLY. It’s quite difficult, and realistically I wanted it finished weeks ago so I had the chance to revise and edit, but now all I can hope for is to kick myself and get it prepared and submitted before the closing date.
 

Long term goal?

I’ve set myself a lesser reading goal this year of 40 books, as I want to commit more time to my blog this year. I want to improve my content and get better at putting myself out there. I’m even thinking of going self-hosted once my plan runs out, but that is months away yet! I have time to work out what I am doing before then.
 

One weird thing about you.

Again, just one?! Aha! There are many, many, many…
Um, okay, so as a book blogger, I obviously love books, language and all that jazz. Would you then expect me to have a job that I enjoy but revolves heavily around numbers? If not, then the surprise is on you, because I do! It makes for a nice balance actually…
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So – there are my answers! I hope you enjoyed reading them and getting to know a little more about me!
Here are the questions I would like to ask some fellow bloggers:-

  1. Why did you decide to start your blog?
  2. Name your favourite movie adaptation of a book.
  3. How do you pick yourself up out of a reading slump?
  4. Are you an epic multi-tasker – can you listen to music and read at the same time?
  5. Share your most popular blog post so far!
  6. What goal you would like to achieve by the end of the year?
  7. On a scale of 1-10, how creative would you rate yourself, and why?
  8. Share a #shelfie
  9. Are you a meticulous planner, or do you tend to go with the flow?
  10. What are your favourite book genres?
  11. If you were given the opportunity to meet only one of your favourite authors, who would you choose?

 
So… drumroll – it’s nomination time!!!
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I nominate the following people to participate in the tag:-
Erik @ Past Due Review
Hollie @ Hollieblog
Drew @ The Tattooed Book Geek
Sarah @ Dragons and Zombies
Ashleigh @ A Frolic through fiction
The Orangutan Librarian
Vivian @ Passionately Perusing
Kate @ Reading Through Infinity
Beth @ Bibliobeth
Amy @ Persuit of Wonderland
 
I hope you can all take part – and I would love to see your answers!
Rebecca mono

Sunday Summary – 21st January 2018

Yes folks, it is THAT time of the week again!
I quite enjoy writing my little Sunday summary posts, and I think it is good to have a regular feature on your blog. Mine also happens to keep me organised and thinking about the week ahead, so it’s a win-win situation!
What do you guys think? Is this something you like to read on my blog? Do you think these posts could be better? I really want to know what you think, so please leave some feedback for me if you can! Thank you!
 

Books Read


When I posted last week I had just started reading A Mentor & Her Muse by Susan Sage, my third and final review request of the month. I am pleased to say that I really enjoyed reading about Maggie and Tae’s road trip, with all its peaks and pot-holes, so keep an eye out for a review in due course!
I also managed to finish a book I downloaded from Netgalley months and months and MONTHS ago, which I have been putting to the bottom of the pile a lot. No wonder my Netgalley rating isn’ t great…
Anyway, I pretty much read the remainder of this book, (and we are talking about 80%) in one day – pretty good going for me! I’ll have to get my review up and posted so my name in the world of Netgalley isn’t trodden in the mud quite so much…
 

Books Discovered


So, I added this first book to the reading list last Sunday, after my regular post. I saw this book on the daily email I get from Bookbub… and who am I to resist a fantasy book from an established author?
The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century – I think I saw this book on Goodreads. I thought it would be interesting to learn a little of the differences between England then and now… being the little history geek I am!
 

Coming Up…

Next week I have three posts planned for you guys, and I am super excited!
On Tuesday, I am posting an interview with Steve Campitelli, author of The Fall about his book and the inspirations behind it… and I’ll be following this up on Wednesday with my review of the book.
I was also kindly nominated for the Liebster award this week, so on Friday I will be taking part in the tag, and who knows… maybe, I’ll tag you!
Lastly, I advised you all that I was going to be putting some work into my Goodreads account this week, in order to get my reading list all in one place, and I can happily announce that it is now live! Want to see what books I plan on reading this year? If so, so and check out my Reading List shelf on Goodreads! If you’d like, whilst you’re there, add me as a friend!
Rebecca mono
 

Sunday Summary – 14th January 2018

Today’s Sunday Summary comes with a very grim view out of the window next to me. The Sun is trying its best to make an appearance, but it isn’t succeeding.
It has been a wet, dank and dreary week, and sadly the weekend so far has been no better. There’s also potential snow forecast here for next week – and whilst I am sure school children everywhere will be delighted… I for one don’t fancy the frozen fingers and carnage of trying to drive to work in it on barely gritted roads. Again.
We don’t cope with snow at all. I envy places like Canada that deal with it as a minor inconvenience. If one single snowflake settles on lower ground here, we grind to a halt. Maybe a slight exaggeration, but not much.
 

Books Read

This week I’ve made a lot of progress on reading the second review request I received, being The Fall by Steve Campitelli. When I published my Summary last week, I had read about a quarter of the book. I actually finished reading it last night, so watch this space for an upcoming review.
Having finished The Fall, I made a small start on A Mentor and Her Muse by Susan Sage, but only a small one so far. This is the third and final request I have taken on this month, so I am looking forward to seeing where this book takes us on its literary journey. I don’t normally take on more than two requests – I believe my review policy even says as much. Given that my first request was a children’s book, I felt I could make the exception.
Not so much “reading” per say, but I have also been listening to a few more hours of the audiobook, The Stand by Stephen King. I am working on a DIY paint-it-yourself canvas for my living room, and audiobooks are perfect to listen to when you are doing this! I’ll have to share a photo once it is complete.
 

Books Discovered


 
I have added a few books to the TBR this week. I added The Litigators after seeing it was the deal of the week with O2 Priority. Based on the blurb, I think this is going to be humorous and enjoyable for a number of reasons, but it will also be my first encounter with John Grisham as an author.
I was of two minds about adding The Tattooist of Auschwitz, because it centres around characters that fall in love and build a new life following atrocities of the Holocaust. I am hoping the book focuses more on the historical struggles, because basically I am an unromantic soul and reading about peoples soppy feelings just makes me uncomfortable. There, I said it.
I saw a review for The City of Brass at Hollie Blog and fell in love with the book from there. This also a fantastically written review, so please check it out guys!
 

Coming Up…

On Wednesday I am going to be writing a review of Snobbity Snowman, written by Quiet Riley over at Quiet Blogster, and I can’t wait to share that with you. I am also in the process of working to see if either an interview or guest post is an option to accompany this, so watch this space.
Those of you that follow my blog know that the Sunday Summary is a weekly gig, so I am going to stop writing that I do it in this section. It’s a given.
I am also hoping to take some time to work on my Goodreads account this week, as I am going to set up a shelf to show my actual TBR as opposed to books I have added as they look interesting. That way, you guys get an idea of what is coming up when and then I don’t have to manage my list with several apps!! Win win!
Also, I have just gotten by behind into gear and I am doing my best to get into #bookstagram . I have linked my account to my blog, it can also been found here – so a follow would be appreciated!! I’m still very new to it – particularly with how people who read on kindles or other e-readers manage, so any inspiration is welcome!!
 
I think that is all from me for this week, so until Wednesday, adieu!
Rebecca mono