Tag: Robin Hobb

Monthly TBR – February 2024

I have a great reading list line up for February, and today, I’m sharing that with you in this monthly TBR post!

I had a great start to the year in terms of reading progress in January. I recapped this in Thursday’s post, if you’re interested in checking that out. Trying to keep momentum, I’m setting myself another good size list as that seems to be motivating me at the moment. I have a re-read, some non-fiction and a conclusion to a series on the list. All these go towards my reading goals of 2024!

Shall we take a look at the list?

 

Fixed Reads

 

January Insta Poll – The Atlas Six

I might as well kick off this monthly TBR post by starting with my one carryover from January. I started listening to The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake at the end of the month, and to date, I’m just over 10% through.

So far, I am only really just in the introduction of the book, but I am enjoying it so far. I’m looking forward to listening to more of this audio as I’m enjoying the casting and overall production of it so far. The story definitely has interesting elements to learn about and I’m looking forward to exploring this more.

 

Insta Poll – The Queen’s Gambit

The runner-up to the Insta Poll I ran in January was The Queen’s Gambit. I like to try and read one a month, although The Atlas Six has bled over into February.

I watched the Netflix series years ago, so I am somewhat familiar with the story. However, it’s not so fresh in my mind, that reading the book will feel too much like repetition. I did really enjoy that series, so I have high hopes for this book.

It’s a shorter than I expected considering the length of the series, but I’m sure it will be good nonetheless.

 

The Icepick Surgeon

I discovered the The Icepick Surgeon via a fellow book blogger I follow on Instagram. Bibliobeth shared her intention to pick The Icepick Surgeon up in March this year. I like the sound of the book so much that I intend to pick it up now. Naturally, I want to keep up momentum with reading non-fiction as that is a reading goal this year.

I like the sound of this one as it covers, to an extent, subjects I enjoyed in psychology. You may call me morbid if you wish, but I found it both fascinating and horrifying. If you’re squeamish, then it may not want to go into too much detail. I’m ready for it though, and I’m looking forward to picking it up.

 

Heart of the Sun Warrior

Heart of the Sun Warrior is the sequel in the Daughter of the Moon Goddess duology. I read daughter of the moon goddess just over a year ago now so it feels like the right time to conclude the series. As you are probably aware, wrapping up series is one of my goals for this year. As I have just one book to read to complete, it’s an easy win… and what I’m looking forward to in any case.

What I liked about this first book is the Asian influence on fantasy as opposed to Western. I read a lot of westernised fantasy and I’m deliberately trying to branch out.

 

TBR Jar – Master of Sorrows

I’m not consciously trying to start new series, particularly this year, but the TBR jar has forced my hand. This time I pulled out Master of Sorrows by Justin Call.

I have a good few friends on Goodreads to have picked this up and really enjoyed the book. More specifically, though, it was the thoughts of Ashleigh that persuaded me to add the book to my reading list in June 2022.

Full of magic, a villain origin story arch and disability representation, it is a fantasy that offers some different elements to those I read normally.

 

Mood Reads

 

Hogfather

If I’d realised that Hogfather was the next Discworld book I needed to pick up, I would have been more proactive and read it in December. However, I didn’t, and I’m not waiting a whole year to keep going with the series!

I’m especially looking forward to reading Hogfather, as it is the fourth book in the death mini-series. If you are unfamiliar, the various books in the Discworld universe follow different types of characters. My favourite is The Witches series so far, but it is closely followed by Death.

I also love these books because they are satirical. It’s not a genre I read Emma, but I do enjoy the humorous plot, which is usually laced with a serious underlying topic or message underneath.

 

Fool’s Errand

It’s been a few months since I’ve picked up a book in the Realm of the Elderlings series. I wrapped up The Liveship Traders series in August last year and so it’s time to return.

With the next book, Fool’s Errand, we journey back to familiar characters from the first trilogy. I’m looking forward to revisiting those characters and seeing what happens next. I believe events jump forward in time from the first trilogy, so I have some catching up to do on what happened in between.

 

Empire of the Vampire

The last book to feature on this monthly TBR is a reread of a book I read in 2022. If you are unaware, the sequel to Empire of the Vampire is due out at the end of this month. With this in mind, I’m looking to pick up this first book in the series as a refresher, so then I can go onto to read Empire of the Damned – hopefully in March.

Whilst I could have just read a recap, I have since been gifted a special addition, copy of the book, and it will be rude not to appreciate it, right?!

 

Summary

I may only have eight books on February‘s reading list, as opposed to the 10 I featured in January’s monthly TBR. However, I read just under eight books in January, and some of these are longer than those I picked up last month too.

There is enough on this list to be a stretch without being too overzealous either. I’m looking forward to each of every book on this list, and I hope you can stick around for my thoughts and my reading progress.

For now though, that’s all from me in today’s monthly TBR post. Have you read any of the books on this list?

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up: August 2023

Pinch, punch, first of the month! Hello everyone and welcome to my monthly wrap-up post! It’s the beginning of a new month, so I’m excited to recap what I’ve been reading with you.

At the beginning of next week I’ll be sharing my September reading list with you. I hope you can join me for that on Monday. In the meantime, let’s take a look at my reading progress compared to last month’s TBR! I had high hopes of completing this TBR even though I put more on it in anticipation of reading more in my time off work. I did read more, but I had a good number of books on the list… and a few chunky ones as that.

Let’s recap my reading progress throughout August!

 

Books Read

 

The City of a Thousand Faces

August’s TBR was a mix of genres, mediums and book lengths. I started the month with my ‘fixed read’ that fell in middle ground in terms of length.

The City of a Thousand Faces is not your typical fantasy in terms of setting. We explore a city in a fantasy setting that reminded me very much of real life cities like Istanbul. Think arid landscapes, powerful sultans etc.

At 560 pages, this fantasy made for good exploration of a new world. The book can only be titled The City of a Thousand Faces as each character seems to have at least two – metaphorically of course! The characters and the plot are political in nature, and there was an awful lot of backstabbing!

The City of a Thousand Faces made for an okay read. It wasn’t my favourite book of the month, but I was interested to see how events concluded. It’s the most neutral review in this monthly wrap-up; the experience got better from here on out. 

 

Spike

The first a non-fiction book I picked up throughout August was Spike. If you think it is a little early to pick up and read books about the pandemic, then maybe hold off this one for a little while. If you do decide to pick it up, then I hope, like me, you find this an interesting and insightful read.

The book offers insight into the handling of the pandemic. We start looking at events from a global scale before narrowing its focus to the UK’s handling of the pandemic from the point at which it landed on our shores. There were insights in this book that are both shocking and in equal measure unsurprising. That may sound contradictory… but hear me out. What is shocking is how lackadaisical some of the approaches were when the pandemic was in its early phases. In ways, it is unsurprising based on who those individuals are!

I quite enjoyed this read, even when you take into consideration the topic and the consequences of this event has had our lives as we know it. The pandemic has impacted us for a number of years already and will continue to do so. This book only touches on a relatively short period of time and there may well be more to add to this at a later date. Should such a book come out, I would definitely read this one as well.

 

Ship of Destiny

The longest book on my August TBR that we’ll talk about in this monthly wrap-up was Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb. I’ve been looking forward to this conclusion to The Liveship Trader trilogy – and for very good reason! These books are very quirky in their fantasy set up, and at last we see the events over the prior 1800 odd pages lead characters into their destinies.

With prior Hobb books, I have on occasion felt the length and depth of the storylines. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed them. However, I am very conscious of the fact I’m reading them, and that I’m having to read quite a lot in order to get through the page count. That wasn’t the case with Ship of Destiny at all. I was so invested in the narrative that the pages flew by, despite the dense storyline and events to take in. I’d go so far to say that I think Ship of Destiny is my favourite Hobb book so far!

 

A Brief History of Time

My second non-fiction read of the month was A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. This book pushed me out of my comfort zone because it is quite technical (and I am not). I enjoyed the concept of science and space despite not being so versed in complex, physical and mathematical equations and concepts. This book has those in abundance, although Stephen Hawking does do his best to explain these in simplified and practical examples.

Even though I’m not technically minded, I was able to read A Brief History of Time on a relatively superficial level and still find it interesting. I’m sure there is plenty more that other readers could get out of the book. However, I will save that for them. Although it is a science book, you don’t have to be too scientifically minded to understand the theories, principles, and discussion points that Stephen Hawking brings up throughout.

 

Leadership and Culture

Non-fiction isn’t a genre I read a whole lot of, although you know by now that I am trying to read more it. My third and last non-fiction on my August TBR and for inclusion in this monthly wrap-up is Leadership and Culture. I read this book whilst I was off work and managed to read it quite quickly. As someone who is invested in improving office culture and would be interested in a management position in future, I wanted to read this book ahead of that time to effectively set myself up.

This book has a lot of practical examples of do’s and don’t’s when it comes to management versus leadership. These are all examples I have seen in the workplace and felt their effects as well. I’m sure everyone has! For anyone who currently is in a management position and wishes to make improvements, the book is full of practical tips in order to identify or work on sticking points. Although I’m not necessarily in a position to adopt any of these now, I am in a position to encourage the healthy habits that some of these tips try to adopt. I can help encourage others to speak out by speaking out for myself, for example.

 

Wizard and Glass

The last book to feature in today’s monthly wrap-up is my final read of August, Wizard and Glass by Stephen King. I was determined not to leave it another four years before I returned to The Dark Tower series. It’s not even been four months… I’m sure you’re proud of me! On a serious note, I really enjoyed going back to the series and exploring the narrative and history of the world in a little bit of a different way. Whereas previous books hint at prior events and leave a lot to the imagination, this book seems to have more of a focus on building up that backstory.

It’s no wonder I didn’t get to the end of this before the end of the month, all things considered. This book is nearly 900 pages in itself as well! 

 

Summary

Unfortunately, I didn’t quite get to Lost Solace. It was ambitious to try and tack this onto the end of what is already an extensive reading list. It’s not going away though. As I didn’t get to it in August, expect this to feature on September’s TBR coming out on Monday next week.

Over the course of August I read in excess of 2,500 pages. That’s an average of 80 pages a day, so not insignificant at all. I needed to read 107 pages a day in order to get through my reading list. That was quite an ambitious target! If I had no other plans for my time off work, this may have been a possibility. The fact is, I did use that time off for other things as well. I still made fantastic reading progress and I’m pleased with what I’ve achieved!

That concludes this monthly wrap-up post. What books have you been reading recently? Do you have any recommendations for me?

 

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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 Wrap-Up – April 2023

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap-up for April 2023! If you’re UK based, I hope you’ve had a lovely long weekend? If you’ve spent it with a book, then that’s time well spent if you ask me.

This month started off as a parody of last month. I spent a while working through my ‘first’ read of the month (as it was a chunky read). Then, things sped up from there. I vary this month in that things started to slow down again…

 

Books Read

 

The Mad Ship

As of last month’s monthly wrap-up post, I was 120 pages into The Mad Ship. If you are unfamiliar with this book, it is an epic 906 pages total.

That left me with a lot of reading to do at the beginning of the month. I actually set this aside for a couple of days in order to read the next book on this list ahead of the blog tour I took part in. However, as soon as I finished, I jumped straight back into this one.

Much like last month, I was reading this book for a good chunk of the month. It’s obviously very long, but not only that, Robin Hobb’s narrative is dense. In my experience, they are not books that you can read very quickly, even if you try.

 

Thanks For Sharing

As I briefly mentioned above, Thanks for Sharing at the beginning of the month in order to read it in time to provide my review for the recent blog tour.

This was a complete change from The Mad Ship, and it was nice to pick up something different. I wanted to pick up this book as I have recently been appointed to a sustainability committee at work. My intentions were to read the book to get some ideas and general information about sustainability and the environment.

I got that from this book, and so much more! The book recounts the author’s experience of trying more sustainable lifestyle over the course of about a year. That might not sound thrilling to some, but this was relayed in a funny way. We get to experience the ups and downs of trying to incorporate change into family life. There is a lot of humour throughout this book, and that really helped make the reading experience that little bit more enjoyable!

 

Eagle of Mercia

I read a second book in April for a blog tour obligation, although that tour post isn’t coming until Wednesday this week.

Eagle of Mercia is the fourth book in the Eagle of Mercia Chronicles, written by M.J. Porter. So far, I have read and reviewed each of the books for a blog tour post. I have enjoyed every single one! Eagle of Mercia was no exception.

The standout element for me in these books is the perspective from which these books are written. I really like Icel, our protagonist. His is a perspective we don’t necessarily expect from this time period. He is a youth that does not long to be a warrior, although increasingly, he steps up to his obligations to protect his own. Instead, Icel would rather be healing the wounded. That is how he spent his youth, and he longs for peace in times of political turbulence.

The narrative and storyline we get to enjoy in this fourth book is quite unlike the others we have seen to date. We see our characters move far beyond their own pastures for a rescue mission.

If you’re intrigued by the sound of this book and want to find out more, check out my blog tour post on Wednesday!

 

Stolen Focus

Next, I picked up Stolen Focus by Johann Hari. This is the second non-fiction book I picked up in the month, and I found this both informative and interesting.

For part of the book, the author recounts a journey he undertook in order to separate himself from external forces stealing his focus, and invests his time into the things he wanted to do. It shouldn’t surprise you that writing was one of his main goals. What is refreshing about this book is that it doesn’t point the finger… at least, not exclusively at individuals.

Based on this author’s experience, a lot of self-help books of this nature apportion blame on individuals for their lack of focus. However, the author has researched extensively why there are a large number of external factors that are increasingly stealing our focus. He briefly touches upon a Netflix docu-film that I watched a little while ago, and I would recommend watching this as an alternative way of learning about some of the concepts in this book. It’s called The Social Dilemma.

This isn’t just a book heavy on research. If you do genuinely want some advice on little things you can do to help improve your focus, this is included in the book. However, it makes it very clear that there’s only so far you can go when you are surrounded by many external factors (technology, environment etc) that all contribute to reduced focus, so that you are forearmed with that information and don’t get disappointed if you still struggle. 

 

The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi

The last book I have been reading throughout the month of April is The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi. This was the April book club read for Ezeekat’s book club on Fable.

I’m too late to input my thoughts on the book to the group, as I am still reading this as of the 1st of May. I had hoped this was going to be a little bit of a quicker read. It is quite whimsical and fantastical in nature, yet it is still quite a substantial read. As of this monthly wrap-up, I made it to just over halfway through the book.

Although the going is a little slower than I had hoped, I am still enjoying this one. In short, the story line is set around a group of former pirates, led by an infamous woman, who are reuniting for one last adventure/mission. The setting of the book is Middle Eastern, which is unusual for fantasy. I’m also enjoying how the book touches on what it is to be Muslim and some of the religious customs that I’m not overly familiar with. It’s a perspective that I don’t see very often, but it’s one I’m enjoying!

 

Summary

In all, I read just under 2000 pages in April. That’s about 1000 less than reported in last month’s monthly wrap-up, which goes to show just how much of a roll I was on! I’m still happy with the reading progress I made, and most importantly, the books I picked up over the course of the month.

That’s you all caught up now that we’re through my monthly wrap-up post!

Have you read any of the books I’ve featured today? Are they on your reading list?

 

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Sunday Summary – 16th April 2023

Good evening and welcome back to another Sunday Summary update post. As always, I’m looking forward to sharing all my bookish updates with you in this post! Before we dive into the books I’ve been reading this week, let’s take a quick recap of the blog posts I have shared with you.

I began the week with a discussion post, which I shared on Tuesday. In that post, I share the benefits I have enjoyed by joining an online book club. I also talk about why I think anyone can also benefit from joining a similar group… whether online or in person. 

Next was the turn of my First Lines Friday feature post. For this particular feature, I shared a historical fiction novel sat on my bookshelf and begging to be picked up. A word of warning that it is an introduction from a book set in the Auschwitz-Birkenau, concentration camp during the Second World War. Naturally, it very quickly establishes the way in which those interred were treated (which is to say, abysmally) very early on. If that’s the sort of thing you’re not comfortable with reading, then by all means skip this post. However, if you’re intrigued by books in this setting as I am, there is a link for you to check out that post above!

 

Books Read

 

The Mad Ship

I didn’t appreciate how much of a push I’ve made with this book until I took a look at where my progress was this time last week! As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was around 350 pages into this book. That alone is the length of some of the other books on my April TBR all by themselves. However, these books are incredibly chunky. The Mad Ship weighs in at 906 pages… and I finished the remaining 550 odd pages over the course of this week!

I only finished The Mad Ship last night, so it is taking me most of the week to do that. But, that’s crazy progress! It’s a significant page count, but it’s also a very dense storyline. It’s not something you can read that quickly. Well, it’s not something that I can read that quickly. Needless to say, I am both really happy and a little bit amazed that I’ve been able to make such progress and finish this book. Not that it’s been any effort – in fact, it’s been quite the opposite. The narrative got to a point where I really got into it and I’ve wanted to pick it up and see what happens next!

 

Eagle of Mercia

Since I have a couple of books with a similar setting on April’s TBR, I decided to pick the first of these two books next. My logic behind this is that I can separate the two books with another genre in between so I don’t mix them up on my head. I’ve also picked this first one in particular as I have to have this read by the beginning of May to review for the upcoming blog tour. I have only read the first chapter so far, but it is a start.

I’m hoping this will prove an easy and relatively short read in comparison to The Mad Ship. If that proves to be the case, then I may find myself in a similar situation last month. I spent a good deal of time reading A Game of Thrones, but then whipped through several shorter books in the latter half of the month. That may yet happen again this month. 

 

Books Discovered

On the book acquisition front, it has been a quiet week! Well, technically I did have a book turn up on my doorstep earlier this week, but it wasn’t for me so it doesn’t count!

 

Coming Up…

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is a non-bookish freebie. That means I have free rein on the topic, and I plan to use that post to tell you a little bit more about me. I’m not going to reveal any more than that at the moment in case I decide to change the angle in which I tackle this post. 

On Friday, I plan to share another Well, I Didn’t Know That! post. In a previous post in the series, I took a look at the Goodreads website and talked about some of the lesser explored features. For this post, I am going to be doing a similar take, but this time with StoryGraph. I am relatively new to StoryGraph, so I’m sure there is plenty I am yet to have discovered about the site!

You know the drill by now. My final post of the week will be at the same time, because it’s my Sunday Summary update.

 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Sunday Summary post and have had a fabulous week.

Are you reading anything at the moment? Do you have any book recommendations for me?

 

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Sunday Summary – 9th April 2023

Happy Easter everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary, regardless of whether you are religious or not! I hope you’re having a lovely weekend, however you are spending it.

In an ideal world, I’d have loved to have spent my whole weekend plonked on my backside and reading a book. However, household jobs get in the way, as always. I had to make the most of good weather on Friday to get out and tidy the garden. Thankfully I managed to get it all finished before the rain has come in. It wouldn’t be a British bank holiday without a bit of rain now, would it?

Onwards and upwards. This week I’ve had a busy one as I had to flit back to a four post schedule. Not only did I need to catch up and share my monthly wrap-up post for March, but I also had an obligation to review a book for a blog tour (Thanks For Sharing), and keep you up-to-date with my April TBR.

As always, I’ll provide a link to each of those posts above, if you want to go back and take a look at them.

 

Books Read

 

Thanks for Sharing

Due to the rapidly upcoming blog tour, in last week’s Sunday Summary post I shared that I was temporarily setting aside The Mad Ship in order to progress with Thanks For Sharing. As of that last Sunday Summary post, I had read the first chapter of the book, which was about 15% progress.

As my review was going live on the blog on Thursday, I had to get a shift on with this book. This was a really easy book to pick up. I was interested in the subject matter as I have recently been appointed a sustainability champion at work. I’ve also recently started recycling at home. I wanted to pick up Thanks For Sharing as a way of exploring other ways we can live a more sustainable lifestyle. Some of those are discussed in my review post on Thursday. If you want to check out more detail, I suggest you go back to that review.

Even though this book had an informative tilt, the narrative was really well written. Eleanor Tucker, embeds humour and plenty of real life anecdotes to bring us in to the family fold and her experiences of a sharing economy. I laughed out loud throughout reading this book. So, if you have any reservations about the subject matter being on the dry side, I can assure you, that is not the case!

 

The Mad Ship

With Thanks For Sharing now complete, I moved back to continuing progress with The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb.

I haven’t made any showstopping progress with this book – I read around 170 pages in the latter half of this week. I’ve had a busier blogging schedule this week, as well as jobs around the house and garden to do. It’s not surprising that my reading progress is less than I have enjoyed in the last couple of weeks. But, I’m still happy with the progress I’ve made and I’m looking forward to continuing this epic fantasy to see where we end up next.

 

Books Discovered

Recently, I started listening to a careers based podcast. I can’t exactly remember how I stumbled upon it. I must have been looking for a specific topic or episode, and from there, I started listening on a weekly basis. If you’re interested, the podcast is called the squiggly careers podcast.

After listening and enjoying more episodes featuring various topics that Sarah and Helen discuss, I discovered that they published a book in 2020 with a similar name to the podcast. That’s not the book I’ve added to my reading list. When looking into that first book, I discovered You Coach You, which they published in 2022.

Although a slightly different medium, I expect the same kind of narrative voice and feedback to come through from the book. As I’m trying to read more non-fiction this year, and I’ve already established a connection with these two authors, I imagine I will enjoy and find this book useful!

 

Coming Up…

I’m stepping back to a three post schedule next week. It is definitely a lot more manageable and sustainable in terms of my time, and also allows me to get more reading done. And let’s face it, that’s what I’m here for!

On Tuesday, I plan to share a discussion post with you. If you have been reading my blog in the last few months, you’ll know that I have started reading books as part of an online book club. In that post, I’m going to talk about the benefits I think there are to joining a book club and reading books out of your comfort zone.

On Friday, I’ll be back with a First Lines Friday feature post. As always, I’ll be taking a look for a book with an exciting introduction, and I’m telling you all about it!

My last post of the week will of course be my usual Sunday Summary update.

Now that you are all caught up, I am going to cosy in on this rainy Sunday evening and make more reading progress with The Mad Ship… and maybe tucking into Easter egg. Who am I kidding, there’s no maybe about it!

 

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