Tag: Realm of the Elderlings

Sunday Summary – 20th August 2023

Don’t Sunday evenings roll around so quickly? You know the day, and you know the time, so you know that we are back with another Sunday Summary update!

I’ve enjoyed this week off work! It’s been great to spend some time catching up on jobs around the house, as well as taking time for reading and other hobbies. I’ll get into what I’ve been reading very shortly. First, let’s recap what’s been going on with the blog this week.

My first post of the week was a review of the first book of a series I started last year. I read this book as it was recommended to me. Although it isn’t something I read a lot of, I enjoyed it very much. If you want to check out my thoughts on Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club, you can find a link to that post here.

On Friday, I shared the next instalment in my regular First Lines Friday feature. In last week’s Sunday Summary post, I challenged myself to pick this week’s feature from my physical TBR. If you want to check out which book I ultimately featured, there is a link to that post above as well.

 

Books Read

 

Ship of Destiny

I left off in last week’s Sunday Summary update having read just over a third of Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb. As I shared in that post, I was a little bit behind as of that point. However, I was optimistic I’d catch that back up in my week off.

I mostly did; I made steady progress with the book throughout this week, although I did end up speeding up at the end of the book. I expected this would happen! I’m the kind of person who can’t leave the ending. If I’m watching a series, I can’t leave the last episode for another sitting. It’s become a bit of a joke in my family. The same can be said for Ship of Destiny.

At the point of just 100 pages left in the book, all the events of the trilogy come together to the final conclusion. There was absolutely no way I wasn’t binge reading it! I’d already read almost all my daily allocation by the time I got to that point. I carried on regardless! It was a fantastic ending to a long and well built-up trilogy – I’m not surprised that it became an easy, five star rating!

I finished Ship of Destiny just one day behind schedule, and even then, I was only about 70 pages behind target.

 

A Brief History of Time

The next book I picked up this week is a complete change of pace. In an effort to read more non-fiction this year, I have finally picked up this interesting yet very science-based book. Just a little bit of a change from a large fantastical work of fiction…

As of this update, I am a quarter of the way through A Brief History of Time. If I’m honest, I’ve dropped the ball in the last day or so. I didn’t read any of the book yesterday and so far, I haven’t read any today either. I will be looking to pick this up again before I go to bed for the night to recover some of that gap though.

My experience of this book so far is that generally speaking, I am able to follow it. There are some very scientific elements to the book already. I’m trying to understand it only on a basic level and then move on as opposed to digging into the science. I don’t have a science brain, and I’m not going to try! There are some basic principles which I’m able to follow (such as the Doppler effect etc). But, when you start to get into quantum mechanics, you might as well be talking a different language!

I’m undecided as to where this book is going to go in terms of complexity in the later chapters. I have a feeling that we might end up being a little bit more technical later, but I’ll deal with that then.

 

Books Discovered

Given that I’ve spent the week mostly at home and enjoying the books I have, I haven’t discovered anything new this week!

 

Coming Up…

I’ll be starting off the week with an uncommon but opportunistic post on my blog. However, as one of my jobs whilst I’m off work is to go through my bookshelves and clear out any books I no longer want, I’ve decided to share which books I’m unhauling with you and why!

On Friday, I’ll be back with another Well, I Didn’t Know That! feature post. One of the things I want to look at from a personal perspective is social media marketing. I want to do that for myself as I am trying to get more involved with Instagram and posting on social media more generally. It’s not something that’s natural to me, and it’s something I have to make a very deliberate effort to do. As I want to try and make the most of those efforts, I’m going to try and bolster my skills. With this in mind, I may group this into this regular feature post and teach you some of the techniques I learn over the course of the week!

The final post I will share at the end of next week is the one and only Sunday Summary! I’ll be back with even more reading progress to share with you, as well as details of any books, I’ve discovered over the course of the week, and of course, what are you can expect on the blog the week after!

That draws to a close for this week’s Sunday Summary update!   

What was your last five star read?

 

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Sunday Summary – 13th August 2023

We’re back at the end of another week, and that can only mean it’s time for another Sunday Summary update!

This week has been busy; outside of the blog, I’ve been wrapping up at work for a two week period of leave. As well, I had friends round one evening this week. All this as well as the reading and blogging makes for a busy schedule.

That said, I managed it all pretty well! In terms of the blogging schedule, I got both my Top Ten Tuesday post and Shelf Control posts out when I said I would (Tuesday and Friday respectively). This week’s Top Ten Tuesday featured books I want to read as a result of their featuring in prior TTT posts. Friday’s Shelf Control featured the start of a historical fiction series about one of my favourite periods – the Tudors. If you’re interested in either of those posts, I’ve linked them above as usual.

 

Books Read

 

Spike: The Virus vs The People

I left off in my last Sunday Summary post with 29% progress into Spike: The Virus vs The People.

I wanted to read Spike as a means of insight into the early days of the pandemic and how it was handled. This is largely written from the perspective of the UK as opposed to the whole world, although this is touched on in places in the book. It’s strange to think that I have lived through a significant part of history that will be talked about for years to come. Although it is still relatively early days in terms of the pandemic and the consequences, Spike has already given me some ideas as to how we have suffered beyond the virus.

On the one hand, I’m shocked to have read how unprepared both the UK government and the world were for such a mass event. Equally, am I surprised that the UK Prime Minister wasn’t attending key meetings just weeks before lockdown was announced? No, not really.

Spike gave me the insight I was looking for and made for an interesting non-fiction read. I’ve enjoyed the analysis on actions taken and what we know now – most importantly, what we should have done sooner.

 

Ship of Destiny

Next, I moved on to my current read, Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb. This is the final book in the Liveship Traders trilogy, and the sixth book in the wider Realm of the Elderlings series.

I’m already a huge fan of Robin Hobb based on the books I’ve read so far. As of this Sunday Summary update, I’m 307 pages into Ship of Destiny and loving it! With previous books, I found it takes me a little bit of time to get into them. I’ve eased into Ship of Destiny quite quickly in comparison. Events of the prior book in the series left us in such a place where I want to find out what happens next. So far, the book hasn’t disappointed!

Admittedly, I should be on around page 550 (I need fo read 107 pages a day to get through my reading list by the end of the month). However, as I had friends round on Thursday, I didn’t really get any significant reading done that day, and I’ve been playing catch up ever since. Having said that, I read a little bit more than needed yesterday to start catching up and it was hardly any effort at all. With previous books, I have felt I’ve had to power on a little bit as the narrative can be quite dense and therefore is a bit slower reading. I’ve not really found that yet.

Clearly, Ship of Destiny is really working for me right now. Fortunately, I now have two weeks off work and so I will be making use of some of that time to catch up and then continue with my reading!

 

Books Discovered

One of the ladies I work with (from another branch, but who I talk to quite a lot) is responsible for all three additions to my reading list this week. She is also a big reader and recommended me some fantasy books she enjoyed, as well as a non-fiction/work related book I could pick up for a bit of self development.

The fantasy additions to my TBR are The Prison Healer and The Stardust Thief.

The non-fiction add is Tranquility by Tuesday. If I enjoy this or find it useful then the author has plenty more books I can pick up. Claire has already found a couple of them useful and has added two more to her reading list by this author. You can’t really get a recommendation better than that!

 

Coming Up…

Although I’m off work, I’m sticking to my usual schedule next week. I will be enjoying some downtime, but I do also have a list of self imposed jobs to do too.

My first post of the week will be a book review. As you all know by now, I have quite the list of books outstanding review and so I’ll be checking one off the list. Next week, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.

On Friday, I’ll be sharing a First Lines Friday post. For this week’s post, I challenge myself to feature a book from my physical TBR. That still leaves me with a good deal of choice, so I have plenty to choose from!

As always, I’ll be back at the same time next week to share all my reading updates with you!

However, that’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary! What are you reading currently?

 

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Monthly TBR – August 2023

Hello readers – welcome to my monthly TBR post for August!

You would think having not completed a few month’s lists by now that I would slow down the pace. You would be wrong! I will be setting myself a list as ambitious as ever. On the plus side, I do have some annual leave coming up at work… so you know what I’m going to be doing with it, right?!

I have two goals for this month’s reading – the first is to get around to some of the books I’ve not made it to in previous monthly TBR’s. Secondly, I need to up my non-fiction game. In my mid-year review of my goals, identified that I was a bit behind on reading non-fiction in order to achieve my goal of reading more than 15 non-fiction books by the end of the year.

As a result, this monthly TBR is a little unusual. I have seven books on the reading list. Four of those are under 300 pages, which is very short for me. I have two books that are knocking on 900 pages, which is far more like what I usually pick up. Lastly, I have one solitary book in the no man’s land between… and that’s the book I’ve started the month with. It’s going to be an odd experience flitting between the two extremes!

 

Fixed Reads

This month’s set of fixed reads of the non-fiction books that I need to read to get back on track with my reading goal, plus the book that I drew out of my TBR Jar!

 

A Brief History of Time

I had every intention to get round to A Brief History of Time last month, but it wasn’t meant to be. So, I’m making it a priority read for this month. I’m of two minds as to which way this book is going to go. It’s under 300 pages, so it could be a relatively quick read. However, I understand that it can be a bit dense and mathematical. If I don’t get myself too bogged down in that, it shouldn’t be too bad. To be honest, I don’t think I will because I’m not too interested in that. There is absolutely no chance I’ll be able to follow the numbers anyway, so what’s the point?!

 

Spike: The Virus vs. The People

The second non-fiction I am looking to pick up this month is a reasonably topical read. If it’s still too early for you to be reading or talking about the pandemic, then maybe this book isn’t for you. However, I’m intrigued by the synopsis of the book. I’m willing to dive into our recent history to learn a little bit more about an event that quite literally changed our lives overnight.

 

Leadership and Culture

My final non-fiction read of the month revolves around personal development. I haven’t read any books in this vein recently, so when I saw this available for download on NetGalley, I decided to pick it up.

Whilst I am not a manager, it is a role I hope to be considered for in future. Not only that, but I’m sure the skills outlined in this book can start helping me within the workplace, even from a non-leadership perspective. Already, I am a senior member of my team and I am a regular point of contact with other departments. Aside from my day-to-day job, I also head up a newly established sustainability committee in our local office. I also drive the social committee. I’m looking to use these avenues to develop my skills and demonstrate my abilities in the long run. The tips in this book can only help me in this!

 

The City of a Thousand Faces

This month’s TBR Jar pick is The City of a Thousand Faces by Walker Dryden. I actually received a copy of this book to review from the publisher Orion. I confess it’s taken me a little while to get around to the book, but now I’ve picked it up, I am invested.

The City of a Thousand Faces is a historical fantasy that evidently has a lot of political machinations throughout. There is plenty of conflict from the get go in this narrative! As of drafting this monthly TBR post, I’m 120 pages in and I’m intrigued by the events so far. This book has made a solid impression from its introduction and I can’t wait to read more!

 

Mood Reads

 

Wizard and Glass

After reading and devouring The Waste Lands earlier this year, I knew it wasn’t going to be long before I picked up the series once again. Keen to avoid another four-year long hiatus, I’m jumping back in this month with the fourth book, Wizard and Glass.

It’s hard to say what to expect from a series like this, but I definitely didn’t expect the events of the last book. However, that worked out really well. I have absolutely no idea what could possibly happen next, but I’m all for finding out!

It’s great to get back into a series that allowed me to explore Stephen King’s writing whilst still sticking to my fantasy roots. I have since gone on to read several other books by him, but this was really the series that sold him to me. That and The Green Mile.

 

Ship of Destiny

I have been hoping to start Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb for the last couple of months, but not quite gotten there. This is a series I also want to make sure I keep progressing with. Not only does that work considering my goal of reading sequels for the year; but, it also means that I stay on top of what has happened before and I am still familiar with events when I pick up the next book.

The books, the series, and the world they are set in are grand. In order to appreciate them fully, you can’t leave it too long in between. It suits me because I have really enjoyed keeping up with this series. Robin Hobb is an author who was recommended to me by my friend Rachael. I am so glad she did! Robin Hobb has fast become one of my favourite authors, and for a very good reason!

 

Lost Solace

The last book I’m picking up in August is a science-fiction novel that I have been wanting to get round to for the longest time!

I have already read a number of books by Karl Drinkwater. Those were short stories set in the same universe as Lost Solace. Now, I’m finally getting around to the main series. Whilst I’ve been trying to stick to continuing ongoing series as opposed to starting new ones, I do want to make a start on this one. Karl has been very kind in providing me copies of several books from this series for the purpose of providing a review. Naturally, I don’t want to keep him waiting forever for me to start!

Lost Solace is the shortest fiction novel on my August TBR. By the time I get round to it, having such a short fiction novel may prove to be solace… in every sense of the word.

I’ll see myself out… 

 

Stretch Goal

Sometimes I like to set myself a stretch goal! However, since I’ll need to read about 107 pages a day as it is, I’m deliberately not setting one here. If I do (by some way of a miracle) get through this TBR, then I’ll decide whether and what I pick up there and then. I’ll either read on a whim, or if I want a break, take it guilt free. 

 

Summary

As you can see, I have a wide variety of books on my August monthly TBR. Have you read any of the books I’ve featured on today’s monthly TBR list? Are they already on your reading list, or have I inspired you to add them?

Let’s chat!

 

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Monthly TBR – July 2023

Happy Friday and welcome to my monthly TBR post for July!

We’re now over half way through the year and I’ve already made some great reading progress towards my goal of 50 books (15 of which non-fiction, as well as completing series). I’m going to share a mid-year review post soon, but for now, let’s share how I plan to kick off the beginning of the second half of the year!

 

Fixed Reads

I’m starting off this month’s fixed reading list with a few books I need to read for blog tour obligations. Whilst I’m not strictly touring for all of the books, I do need to catch up with one as it’s a second instalment of the series in order to be able to read the third book – which is for a blog tour!

In addition, I am also reading the book club pick over at Ezeekat’s book club this month.

 

Death at the Caravan Park – Susan Willis

The first book I am touring for this month is Death at the Caravan Park by Susan Willis. That blog tour post will be coming to you in just over a week. Naturally, I’ve already made a start with this book and as of drafting this post, I am a third of the way through it.

So far, Death at the Caravan Park is proving a relatively easy read. We have a good set up of characters and we now understand the baseline for the story. I’m interested to see how it progresses.

If you are interested and want to check out my thoughts on this book, I’ll be publishing my review on the 15th of July.

 

Storm of War – Peter Gibbons

This next book I’m picking up isn’t strictly for a blog tour. Rather, I need to read it in order to get up-to-date with the series before starting the third book. I will be providing a review as part of the upcoming blog tour for that book early next month.

I must have inadvertently missed reading this second book in the series when it went on tour itself. Fortunately, I’ve been able to download a copy via Kindle Unlimited, so I can read it before picking up the third book in the series.

I read and enjoyed the first book, Warrior and Protector, towards the end of last year; if you want to find out about that book, here is a link to my review.

 

Brothers of the Sword – Peter Gibbons

As I mentioned above, I will be taking part in the blog tour for Brothers of the Sword, but not until early next month.

That gives me a bit of leeway to read this instalment. And, it’s so happens, I also need the time to read the second book first!

There’s not really much more to say in this monthly TBR post, other than letting you know that my review date for Brothers of the Sword is 4th August.

 

To Shape A Dragon’s Breath – Moniquill Blackgoose

To Shape a Dragon’s Breath is the book club selection over at Ezeekat’s book club on Fable. I didn’t read last month’s pick, so I definitely want to try and make the effort to read this one.

I am intrigued by the synopsis of this book. And, who doesn’t love a fantasy that contains dragons?! I also like the idea of having minority representation in this book. I am under no illusion that the English have, shall we say, put their stamp on the world in the past. The events of this book heavily imply conflict between culture of indigenous people and the “Anglish”. I’m interested to see how this fantasy take on modern events plays out.

 

Mood Reads

 

I already have a number of fixed read on this monthly TBR, but I’m still hoping to pick up some mood reads this month as well.

 

A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking

Something I am looking forward to, and equally expect to challenge me this month, is reading A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. It is a book that I have wanted to get to for quite some time. As a non-fiction, it also goes towards my goal of reading more non-fiction throughout 2023.

Having read around about this book, I suspect it could get quite mathematical and/or scientific. If it is, I’ll hold my hands up and admit that’s not an element I’m going to get too invested in. I get no desire out of understanding the maths behind this sort of stuff. But, that’s not to say I’m not interested in the science or the history of our world as we know it.

At just over 250 pages, I’m not sure how this book is going to play out. It could be quite a quick read if I don’t get too invested or bogged down in the science. Equally, as it’s out of my comfort zone, it could take me longer to read. Only time will tell.

 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Last month, I picked another book out of my TBR jar. For those of you uninitiated, I have a jar I have on my bookshelf that’s full of titles I have not yet read. In order to add some randomisation to my reading, I try and pull one out to read every month. Last month, I’ve pulled out Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.

After borrowing a copy from the library just this afternoon, I started this book at lunch. I’m only a couple of chapters in so far, but it’s made a decent impression already. I’m not really sure where the narrative is going to go, but I’m along for the ride to find out.

 

Cytonic – Brandon Sanderson

When going to the library, I also wanted to have a browse for a second book to borrow. I deliberately didn’t set myself a particular book to take out as my second loan. I wanted to see what caught my eye when I got there.

Whilst looking for a book to pick up, I found that my library had a copy of Cytonic by Brandon Sanderson. This is the last instalment of a YA sci-fi series I want to finish, so I thought this would be perfect to take out and read. Not only do I get to pick up a fantastic book again, but once I’ve read it, I get to tick that series off my list as complete. That’s another goal I’ve set myself for this year!

 

Stretch Goal

 

Ship of Destiny – Robin Hobb

On the off-chance that I manage to get through all of the reading list I’ve set myself for July, I would like to start Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb. You may recall that Ship of Destiny was on my June TBR. However, I didn’t get around to reading it, given my experience and some difficulty with one of my books last month.

At 903 pages, there is absolutely no way on this earth that I’m going to finish it in July. However, if I could even make a start on it, I’ll consider that a win!

 

So, those the books on my monthly TBR that I’m going to be picking up very, very soon! Have you read any of the books on this monthly TBR post?

 

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Monthly TBR – June 2023

Happy Friday and welcome to my monthly TBR post for June 2023.

Summer is here, and we’ve had a glorious stretch of weather for over a week now. So far, it looks set to continue! For motorbike fans, this is also good news as it means the TT is set to have a good run this year. I’m not one for bikes, but I’m not going to complain about the sunshine. I plan to enjoy some of it tonight whilst sitting out in the garden reading.

Speaking of which, how about we jump into the books I plan to read over the course of June?

 

Fixed Reads

I only have two fixed reads on my June TBR. Normally, I would have a minimum of two fixed books on a monthly TBR. However, I am not reading along with Ezeekat’s book club this month, as the particular book chosen is not my taste at all. I have no qualms with pushing boundaries, as I did last month even. However, this book has been chosen with Pride Month in mind. It’s a YA romance… which is just not my thing at all. I’ll keep an eye on the selection for next month and hopefully I’ll be back with the club soon.

Instead, my other fixed reads of the month hav only been put into this category as I have pulled them from myy TBR Jar or borrowed the book from the library. As it has a deadline to go back, I want to prioritise it.

 

The House in the Cerulean Sea

The first fixed read I will be picking up this month is The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune. I have seen a lot of press and good reviews about this book… this author, in fact!

I am yet to try any of his books. It is the synopsis of The House in the Cerulean Sea that has appealed to me the most. That’s why I’d like to start my journey with this author by trying this book. I added this to my TBR last year, and as a result, it has come up as this month’s TBR Jar selection.

 

The Lost Metal

As I mentioned above, I have borrowed a copy of The Lost Metal by Brandon Sanderson from my local library. Judging by the return card in the front of the book, this has been a popular one to take out!

I have read and enjoyed all of the Mistborn novels in the series so far. in particular, I really enjoy how the series has been split into two separate eras, and that there has been a lot of change between the two. Of the two series, I would say that the second era is my favourite. Naturally, I’m looking forward to continuing that era in picking up this fourth book.

I’ll be honest and say that until I read the synopsis of this book when I took out the loan, I didn’t really know much about what this story entailed. I’m reading this book as its continuing a series I already know I love!

 

Mood Reads

 

A Clash of Kings

My first mood read of the month also happens to be my current read. This year, I am setting out to re-read the Song of Ice and Fire series as we are expecting the publication of the sixth book in the series before too long. Naturally, I wanted to bring myself back up to date and with a refresh of the series.

A Clash of Kings is one of the two chunky reads on my June TBR. This one is no less than 873 pages, and as of this post, I am just about 100 in. I really enjoyed the introduction I’ve had so far, and I’m hoping to be able to make more progress quickly!

 

Ship of Destiny

The second chunky read on my June TBR is Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb. Regular readers on my blog will know that I have been reading books from the Realm of the Elderlings series since June last year.

Ship of Destiny is the sixth book in the overall series, and the final book of The Liveship Traders trilogy. I have been reading the books from the series at a reasonable pace. I’ve been able to keep on top of what is going on and who the characters are, but I’ve not sacrificed all reading in favour of these books alone. It’s a pace that I hope to continue, and I’m looking forward to seeing how events in The Liveship Traders trilogy so far, conclude.

As I said, Ship of Destiny is the second chunky book on this TBR. Weighing in at just over 900 pages, it’s safe to say I could double this up as a weapon and knock somebody out with it if required…

 

Children of Dune

Another series that makes it onto this monthly TBR is Dune by Frank Herbert.

Children of Dune is the third book of the Dune series. I confess it has been a little bit longer since I read Dune Messiah, but I’m confident that I will get right back into it as soon as I pick this up. With having multiple fantasy books on this TBR, I’m looking forward to picking up a science-fiction novel for a change of genre. This book selection also goes towards my overarching goal for 2023 of continuing ongoing series as opposed to picking up new books.

 

The Midnight Library

The last book on my monthly TBR I’m hoping to read in June is The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. This is another book that I have heard rave reviews about, and significant praise for the author across multiple books. When I purchased my copy of this book, it came highly recommended by the bookseller. He said that this book changed his outlook on life. If I wasn’t intrigued already, and you can be sure that captured my interest even more.

The Midnight Library is the shortest book on my June TBR, at just under 290 pages. I don’t think it will surprise you when I say that I will be looking forward to a shorter read at some point this month… considering the epics I already have on this list!

 

That is my monthly TBR for June – wish me luck! In order to get through this months reading list, I need to average reading 113 pages a day. Am I confident I’ll do it? No. Am I willing to push myself and rise to the challenge? Yes!

Have you read any of the books I feature in my June TBR?

 

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Monthly TBR – April 2023

It’s the Easter weekend and I’m excited to share my monthly TBR post for April 2023!

March was a bit of an unusual one in that I read lots, and had a very successful month that way. The reads I picked up weren’t as highly rated as those I picked up earlier in the year. However, I’m really happy with the overall experience.

This month, I’m aiming for a repeat of that… albeit if I rate these books higher than those I did in March, that’s a bonus. I have a very different selection of books to pick up, but I’m looking forward to them all!

Enough waffle – let’s dive into this monthly TBR!

 

Fixed Reads

 

The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi

I am back to taking part in the online book club run by Ezeekat. This month’s featured book is a relatively new publication – The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi. I really like the sound of this new fantasy novel. It sounds like a little bit of an epic fantasy in setting, but with strong piracy themes. It’s a little bit different to the sort of fantasy book. I will pick up under normal circumstances, and that’s why I would like to give it a try!

 

Thanks for Sharing

As of writing this post, I’ve already read and reviewed Thanks for Sharing for a blog tour.

I wanted to pick up the book as a means of getting some inspiration for ways we can live a more sustainable lifestyle. It was an interesting read all about the various ways we can adopt a sharing economy for goods that are infrequently used, or by goods with expiry dates coming up.

If you want to check my review, you can find that here.

 

Eagle of Mercia

Another book I’m reading for an upcoming blog tour is Eagle of Mercia by M.J. Porter.

So far, I’ve already read the first three books in this series, Son of Merica, Wolf of Mercia and Warrior of Mercia. I’ve really enjoyed reading and reviewing the series so far, and I’m looking forward to continuing the series.

I’ll be sharing my review for the upcoming blog tour on 3rd May, so I’ll be reading this in April ahead of that date.

 

Wolf of Wessex

Once a month I pull a book out of my TBR Jar (aka an owl mug sat on my bookshelves). This month, I pulled Wolf of Wessex by Matthew Harffy.

It’s pure coincidence that I’ve ended up with two historical fiction novels in a similar time period on my TBR this month. Based on the synopsis, the setting of Wolf of Wessex is slightly different. The narrative doesn’t deliberately allude to conflict between Saxons, but that may well presented self in the narrative. The book is very highly rated, and as this is a period of history that I clearly enjoy as I read it a lot, I’m looking forward to seeing how the narrative unfolds and whether I wish to pick up more books by this author.

 

Mood Reads

 

The Mad Ship

A bit like last month, I’m not really reading my books in the typical order. In previous months, I have prioritised my fixed reading list, and then move onto my mood reads later.

This month, I started the month with 120 pages of progress into The Mad Ship. Starting this book was my stretch goal outlined in March’s monthly TBR post. I then had to put this down temporarily in order to prioritise Thanks For Sharing for the blog tour. Now that obligation is complete, I am back with continuing with The Mad Ship.

Hardly unexpected, but I’m really enjoying this book so far. The first book does a lot of the ground work in the setting of this new trilogy. Now that is all set out, we can dive into the narrative and further the storylines quite quickly. I am already a third of the way through the book and enjoying it completely.

 

Stolen Focus

I wanted to read another non-fiction book this month. Looking through my TBR, I decided to get my hands on a copy of Stolen Focus by Johann Hari.

Some days, I am really good at setting myself goals and achieving what I set out to do. Other days, I can be really distracted. I am the type of person who will do multiple things at once in the name of multitasking, but really, am I achieving much? No, most often.

One of the things I’m working on is trying to pinpoint where the distractions come from so then I can limit them. I’m hoping this book can help with some insight as to why this happens, what circumstances may cause this in order to work on it.

 

Stretch Goal

 

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

As I did last month, I am setting myself a stretch goal of starting The Hunchback of Notre Dame before the end of the month.The average page count per day required this month is slightly higher. As of writing this post, I’m also slightly behind on my daily target. With that in mind, I might not get there. But, it is a goal to aim towards.

Another reason for doing this is that splitting down larger books intentionally over a couple of months makes them a little bit more manageable. The Hunchback of Notre Dame is quite a hefty book. Don’t get me wrong, I can read chunky books over the course of a month. I did it last month, and I’ll be doing it this month as well. However, with this being a classic as opposed to a book from my favourite genre, I will find this more approachable to read if I’m splitting over the two months.

Even if I can just start the book, I’ll be happy bunny!

 

Those are the books on my monthly TBR for April. 

Are you reading anything over the Easter weekend?

 

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Monthly TBR – March 2023

Happy Friday everybody and welcome to my Monthly TBR post for March 2023!

February was an ambitious month for me. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t get through the multitude of books I set out to. However, I read a really diverse range of books, and I’m really happy with the reading progress I made.

This month I am going to be a little less ambitious. Last month I proved that I can read a decent amount, but a target of just over 107 pages a day isn’t quite achievable for me. This month I’ll need to read an average of 70 pages a day. A much more manageable target. 

This month I am setting myself a mixture of ‘fixed’ and ‘mood reads’ as normal. I’m also setting myself a ‘stretch’ goal. This is and isn’t different from my usual reading list. Let me explain.

When I set myself a monthly reading list, I generally have an expectation that I might only start the last book on the list before the end of the month. This hasn’t changed for me, however, I’m being more transparent about that. Rather than having everybody think that I’m looking to complete this list by the end of the month, in reality, I’m hoping to get to and be on the last book. I’m especially declaring that intention this month as the last book on my list is over 900 pages long! There is no way I’m going to finish it this month. 

 

Fixed Reads

 

A Game of Thrones

The first book am I reading this month is a re-read of A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. You may ask why I am reading this book yet again. If you haven’t heard already, the next book in the series, The Winds of Winter, is due out later this year.

You know that I want to be in a position to be able to pick that up as soon as it comes out. So, I am starting a re-read of the series! Whilst I don’t strictly have to start it right now, I really enjoyed reading The Rise of the Dragon last month. I’ve got the itch and if I’m entirely honest, I’ve been looking for a reason to re-read this series anyway. Now I’ve got it!

 

Soul Identity

The next book I am picking up this month is the book I pulled out of my TBR Jar – Soul Identity by Dennis Batchelder.

I’m looking forward to picking up this book as something a little bit different. The premise caught my eye and I’m willing to give it a shot based on that. I also discussed this book with my dad and he seemed to think it would be something I would enjoy as well! I can’t wait to give it a try and let you know.

 

Mood Reads

 

The Book Eaters

I didn’t quite get around to reading The Book Eaters by Sunyi Dean last month. As I shared in my monthly wrap-up for February earlier this week, I was a bit disappointed I didn’t get to it.

However, I really do want to read it sometime soon. With that in mind, it is the first book on my mood read list of the month. At just under 300 pages, this is a nice short book and is a complete change from the other books and genres I have on this monthly TBR.

 

Feet of Clay

I cannot remember the last time I picked up a Terry Pratchett Discworld novel. I’m going to go back and have a look, but I would say it’s probably been about a year since I read Maskerade.

(editing Rebecca here – in fact, I’ve not picked up a Discworld novel since 2019! Whoops!)

With this year’s aim being to work on ongoing series I have started, this definitely fits the bill. By no means am I going to finish the Discworld books this year. Even after reading Feet of Clay, which is the 19th book in the series, I won’t quite be half way through.

I really enjoyed the Discworld novels for their light and satirical nature. It has been far too long since I picked one up, and I hope that going back to the series now will kickstart me to pick it up more regularly in future.

 

Death of Kings

Another series I haven’t picked up for a while is Bernard Cornwell’s the Saxon Stories series. In March, I will be picking up the sixth book in this series – Death of Kings. I am already familiar with the story in this book from watching the TV series. However, I’m still excited to read it. Whilst both the book and the show are very good in their own right, they don’t spoil each other for me. They are both enjoyable for their own reasons.

I love Uhtred’s character and the perspective we get in these books. He is arrogant and not somebody I would ever choose to befriend. However, he makes for an interesting protagonist and I can’t wait to see how the events of history are portrayed in Uhtred’s perspective.

 

Stretch Goal

 

The Mad Ship

If I managed to make it through the five books already listed in this monthly TBR post, then I’m hoping to start The Mad Ship. I’m not even going to try and finish it. This book is the longest in the Liveship Trader series at just over 900 pages. Going for completion of this book as well would change my reading count from around 70 pages a day to 100. That’s obviously quite a big jump, and not all that realistic based on my performance last month. 

I love Robin Hobb and the Realm of the Elderlings books. However, I would be lying to you if I told you that they weren’t books you had to invest your time in. There is a lot of detail; they are not the quickest of reads. Even if I’m trying my hardest, I can’t binge read these books very well. Instead, I am going to take the slow and steady approach and aim to start this book before the end of the month and include/complete it as part of my next monthly TBR. We’ll see though. It’s still a beast, however I choose to tackle it. Wish me luck!

 

So, those are the books I am going to be reading as part of my Monthly TBR for March.

Have you read any of the books on this list? Is there anything on here that caught your eye as something you would like to try?

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – December 2022

Today begins the start of a very busy week, catching up with my month and year-end reviews for 2022, as well as introducing my 2023 goals and reading list! Today’s post is my monthly wrap-up for December 2022. As usual, I’ll be recapping the books I read throughout the month.

Whilst I was hoping to have read around five books in December, it didn’t pan out that way. I should’ve known when I put a Robin Hobb on my TBR that it was not going to be a quick read. I always underestimate how long these are going to take!

Let’s dive into my monthly wrap-up in earnest and check out which books I read in December.

 

Books Read

Daughter of the Moon Goddess – Sue Lynn Tan

The first book I read in December was Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan. I read this as part of Ezeekat’s online book club hosted via Fable. I had been considering joining one for some time as I want to stretch my reading and start picking up books I wouldn’t necessarily choose myself. Having followed his Instagram for a while, there are plenty of overlaps with the books I read, but also enough variety that I get the stretch I’m looking for.

As it happens, this month’s pick – Daughter of the Moon Goddess – was already on my radar. It wasn’t on my TBR as yet, but I think it would’ve ended up being on it.

I’m glad I picked this up! I read a lot of fantasy, however, it tends to be very westernised fantasy. Daughter of the Moon Goddess is entirely different in that the fantastical world behind the events are based around Chinese mythology. It was a completely different setting that I was used to, and a lot of the characters and their development was very different. It was a refreshing change to read a book from a completely different setting and it’s something that I am going to try and do again!

 

Ship of Magic – Robin Hobb

The next and last book I completed in full in December was Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. I really enjoyed this first instalment of The Liveship Traders trilogy. Having read and enjoyed the Farseer trilogy earlier this year, I knew I wanted to keep up the pace with reading the Realm of the Elderlings series.

But, as with all Hobb books I have read to date, they are quite the marathon. They are not small books in any case, but they are also very dense. There is a lot going on, and you cannot race through them. With every single book so far, I have underestimated the amount of time it was going to take me to read. Ship of Magic is 880 pages long, and in the average week I was reading somewhere between 200 and 300 pages. I think the only reason I succeeded in completing this book before the end of the year is because I had the week off work prior to Christmas. In that week, I read the last 360 odd pages – quite substantial! In context, I could be reading that number of pages as a whole book in itself!

 

The Secret Library – Oliver Tearle

The last book I started in December was very late to the party. I started this on the evening of the 31st of December, more because I was in the mood to pick it up more than anything. I knew I wasn’t going to be finishing the book for my December wrap-up or have it count towards my end-of-year reading total. But, that doesn’t matter. I only read a small amount of this book as a means of introduction to it – the first chapter, or approximately 10%.

So far, it’s an interesting little book. If you, like me, or a fan of books and are interested to learn a little bit about literature itself, then I’d recommend this book to you already. It’s one of those books that will be a very quick read, but there’s still plenty to learn from it!

 

So, that’s the end of my monthly wrap-up post – you’re up to date with my December reading! Have you read any of the books on this list? Let me know in the comments. I’ll be back again tomorrow with another blog post all about my 2023 resolutions – I hope you can join me for that!

Until then, happy reading!

 

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Sunday Summary – 1st January 2023

Happy New Year friends! Welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update post. I hope you’ve had a lovely Christmas and New Year as I did.

In previous years, I have taken the time off between Christmas and New Year from blogging. However, I decided not to do that this year as I didn’t feel like I needed it. So, business was very much as usual.

On Thursday (slightly later than the planned date of Wednesday), I shared my review of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling. As I said, I was hoping to get this out on Wednesday. However, by Wednesday evening I felt the review needed a little bit more work and polish before it went live. In the grand scheme of things, I thought it was more important to allow the extra day for that to happen. If you’re interested in my review and haven’t checked it out, there’s a link above for your convenience.

On Friday, I shared a First Lines Friday post. I featured the sequel to a young adult fantasy series I started in 2018. The motivation behind this post was to get excited to pick up this sequel later this year. Having read the opening lines and the synopsis, that is definitely the plan! If you want to check out what that feature was, you can find a link to that post here.

 

Books Read

Despite having family over a couple of days after Christmas, and then going back to work, I’ve still made really good reading progress. Last week I was just over 500 pages through Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. For the most part, progress with this book has been slow but steady. In my opinion, these aren’t books that you can ingest at high speed. They are dense, and there is a sizable page count to go with that.

This week, I had just over 360 pages to the end of this book, and I read every single one of them! It’s the most progress I’ve made on this book in any one week since I picked it up; I’m really happy with myself for that. Overall I really enjoyed the book. If I had one comment, I would say that it doesn’t need to be 880 pages long.

Then, yesterday, I started The Secret Library by Oliver Tearle. I already knew that I wasn’t going to be finishing this book in 2022. Although it is relatively short at 250 odd pages, that’s too much to read in one evening. Not impossible, but not likely either. Nevertheless, I decided to start it anyway as I was in the mood.

As of this Sunday Summary, I am one chapter in, equating to 11% and I am enjoying it so far. It’s full of interesting tidbits of knowledge related to literature, and I’m intrigued as to what I will learn from the rest of the book. Given that I managed to read this small section in a relatively short amount of time, this will be a quick read. Compared to Ship of Magic, it will be a very quick read! And, my first read of 2023!

 

Books Discovered

I was a very lucky girl and received a book voucher for Christmas from my mum and dad.

Needless to say, I was down at the bookshop at (almost) the earliest opportunity to spend it. As I was coming to the end of Ship of Magic by this point, I knew I wanted to try and get my hands on the next books in the series – The Mad Ship and Ship of Destiny. Thankfully, Waterstones had both of these books in stock for the first time since I started looking for them. Needless to say, I promptly whisked them both off the shelf.

On my way down from a browse of the self-help section upstairs, I came across a few sale items they had left. One book in that section caught my eye. It’s a contemporary novel, which as you know, isn’t really the sort of thing I pick up on a regular basis. It was the title that grasped my attention; In Every Mirror She’s Black by Lola Akinmade Åkerström. After picking it up and reading the synopsis, I knew I wanted to give this a try.

 

Coming Up…

The first week of January is always manic for a blogger like me, and this week coming is no exception!

Tomorrow, I will be posting my monthly wrap-up for December 2022. As usual, I will recap the books I read throughout the month and share links to the blog posts drafted and published in that period.

On Tuesday I am back with another post – I will be sharing my reading resolutions for 2023. With the exception of reading, I’m not one for setting resolutions. However, I prepared a list of things I would like to achieve in my 2023 reading about a month ago and I haven’t changed my mind on any of them. So, those are going to be my reading goals and I look forward to sharing them with you on Tuesday.

Thursday’s post will be my January 2023 TBR. We are already a few days into the month at that point and I may well have finished my first book at the time I share this post. However, I have a number of fantastic books on the reading list and I’m excited to share them with you!

On Friday, I will be publishing my review of 2022. In that post, I’ll be talking about the reading goals I set for myself this time last year and how I feel I completed them. I will also be talking about what worked and what didn’t so well so that I can take that feedback on board for a better reading year in 2023.

And as if that’s not enough already, I’ll be back at the same time next week with my Sunday Summary update! I’m hoping to make some reading progress amongst all the blogging, but we’ll have to see. Join me next week to find out!

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary.

What are you currently reading? Have you set yourself any reading goals for 2023?

 

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Sunday Summary – 25th December 2022

Good evening everybody – I hope you have had a lovely Christmas if you celebrate it, and a lovely day otherwise if not!

Whilst this post is intended to go live on Sunday, I do confess to drafting this week’s ‘reading progress’ as of Saturday night. If I’m honest, I’m not expecting to make any real reading progress on Sunday that will materially impact this post as I’m hosting our family Christmas celebrations this year!

Before we jump into this week’s reading progress, let’s quickly recap the posts shared with you this week! On Friday (admittedly a little later than initially planned), I shared my take on the 20 Questions Book Tag. I thought this post would be a fun way to share something of myself, but also it would be a nice and easy post to draft ahead of Christmas. Because I’ve been off work, my routine was off and that contributed to the lateness of this post. This also meant that my planned regular Friday feature post didn’t happen.

Then yesterday, I shared a short and sweet festive post. I just wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge the festive season and how fortunate we are to be together at this time.

 

Books Read

My primary focus this week has been to make further progress with reading Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb. As of my last Sunday Summary update, I was around 270 pages into the book. This week, I’ve squeezed in a good deal more reading and I am now a healthier 519 pages in! I’ve been doing a lot of preparations this week for Christmas, so I’m happy with the amount I’ve read. These books are chunky and quite dense, so there’s a lot to take in from what I’ve already read. In terms of managing my own expectations on reading pace, I need to learn these aren’t books you can read quickly. 

 

Books Discovered

I’ve been very lucky to receive some bookish gifts today. I received two books for Christmas this year (in addition to a book token that will very gratefully be spent sometime soon no doubt!)

Both books received are already on my TBR, so thankfully, my reading list isn’t getting longer. I received both Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

 

Coming Up…

Next week is the last week of 2022. In previous years I have taken a break from blogging between Christmas and New Year. However, I’ve decided not to this year. Instead, I’m going to be posting as normal.

On Wednesday, I’ll be sharing my last book review of 2022. In that post, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling. Having concluded my re-read of the book series earlier this year, it’s about time I got on with my reviews of it!

Later in the week I’ll be back with my usual Friday feature. This week’s post ended up getting missed, so I’ll be posting it next week instead.

As always, I’ll conclude the week with my first Sunday Summary of 2023!

Have you had a good Christmas?

 

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