Tag: science fiction

Monthly TBR – February 2023

We’ve made it through the first month of 2023, and I’m back today to share my monthly TBR for February! Even though it is a short month, I am setting myself an ambitious list. If I want to make it through this TBR by the end of the month, I have to read the equivalent of just over 100 pages a day!

I’m not going to be mad if I don’t get through this list in its entirety. I know I am pushing myself in this monthly TBR. Being honest, if I am reading the last book at the end of the month, I will take that as an achievement.

I have quite the list of exciting books to read in February’s monthly TBR. Whilst I’m not normally one for themed reading, I have decided to pick up certain books on the basis that it is Black History Month. One of my book club reads was chosen around this theme, and it gave me the idea to choose some other books on my bookshelves as they also fit the bill.

Let’s dive into the books on today’s monthly TBR I plan to read in February!

 

Fixed Reads

 

The House of Fortune

The House of Fortune by Jessie Burton was an intended read in the month of January. However, it escaped mention in my January wrap-up as I didn’t quite get around to this one before the end of the month. When out in town last week, I decided to try and loan this book from my local library – fortunately, they had a copy!

So, I have moved it to my February TBR, and as I’m writing this post, it is my current read. I am already a third of the way through this book. If I am to be on track, I need to make some significant progress tonight – and that is the plan!

I have read mixed reviews about this book. That’s why I wanted to try and borrow a copy of this book rather than get my own. Especially as the book is only out in hardback at the moment, and the e-book is still quite high in price, I didn’t want to take the risk of not enjoying it. So far, that is not the case. Whilst I’m not a huge fan of the main character, I am enjoying the overall narrative. It is definitely reminiscent of its predecessor, The Miniaturist. It also fits nicely into this month’s theme, although I didn’t know that at the time of adding this to my February TBR.

 

Africa Risen

 

Africa Risen is Ezeekat’s book club pick on Fable for February. It is a little different from my usual reading in that it is an anthology. The stories within are from the science-fiction and fantasy genres – ones I read a lot of and love already. It emphasises minority voices and perspectives, which is why it makes for perfect reading during Black History Month.

I feel like the book being made up of short stories will make this easy to read. Although the book in its entirety is over 500 pages, the fact that it is broken up into 32 distinct stories should make this one fly by – it averages out at just 16 pages per story!

 

Becoming

I have had a copy of Becoming by Michelle Obama sat on my bookshelf for several months. Considering I am trying to read more non-fiction, and based on the author’s heritage, I felt this would be a great read for February.

I am not into politics, however, I still feel like I will enjoy this book. I’m looking forward to seeing what both Michelle and Barack are like behind the curtain, so to speak. We have seen so much of their public life since Barack became the first African-American president. Becoming could offer a completely different insight into who they are. I certainly hope so!

 

Illuminae

The last fixed read on my February TBR is Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

Last year, I set up a TBR jar and popped in a piece of paper for each of the books that were on my reading list. The idea behind having this jar is that by selecting a book at random from it, I get little bit of randomness to my reading. It’s also to help me get through some of the books that I might not necessarily pick for myself in a given moment. However, I’m really excited that Illuminae came out for this month!

Last year, I read The Appeal by Janice Hallett, and my understanding is that the book is written in multimedia in the same way that book is. It is not a small book at just over 600 pages. However, with the way in which the story is told, the book is clearly not 600 pages of solid prose. This is what I’m used to reading; the format difference should make Illuminae a much quicker read.

 

Mood Reads

 

The Book Eaters

This next book on my reading list is one and I’ve been hoping to pick up for a couple of months. I recently received a copy of this as part of the Illumicrate subscription. I really like the sound of this book, but I just haven’t squeezed it in yet.

At just under 300 pages, this is the shortest book in my February reading list. It is also quite different in tone and genre. If nothing else, I’m hoping I can read this as a good palate cleanser.

 

The Rise of the Dragon

I was very lucky to receive a copy of The Rise of the Dragon as an early birthday present from mum and dad last month. You know me – I am huge Game of Thrones fan! It is only fitting that this is on my February reading list, as I want to read it in my birthday month!

I have read a significantly more detailed Targaryen history from Fire and Blood previously. I’m excited to see how the illustrated version compares to that book. I’m imagining that it is going to be much more digestible! As much as I enjoyed fire and blood, it is dense!

 

In Every Mirror She’s Black

I’m hoping to squeeze one more minority voice book into my February reading list. I purchased a copy of In Every Mirror She’s Black, having seen a copy on sale in Waterstones after Christmas. It was completely on a whim, but I like the sound of the story and the message I believe it intends to put across.

In Every Mirror She’s Black is more of a contemporary fiction than I would typically pick up. However, I am intrigued by the lives of the three women portrayed, and I’m always trying to read new things!

 

So, those are the books on my monthly TBR that I’m hoping to pick up throughout the month of February. Wish me luck!

What are you going to be reading?

 

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Well, I Didn’t Know That! #3

In today’s Well, I Didn’t Know That! post, I feature an article which introduced me to a book I have added to my TBR that I haven’t seen elsewhere, and frankly, would have had no idea it even existed!

As a blogger and part of an online community, I see a lot of books floating around in that circle. As we all read similar things, I often find that the same books come up time and again. That’s not a bad thing, because it’s books I am interested in for the most part. However, I wanted to branch out a little and decided to take a look at the bookish pages of some of the biggest news providers to see what they were sharing!

Naturally, some very different books came up.

For this post, the article in particular I feature is The Guardian’s list of five best science-fiction and fantasy books of 2022. If you are interested in other genres of book, they have articles sharing their top five for each of the big genres.

 

What’s different?

Immediately, this article had my attention because they listed one of my favourite reads of 2022 – Babel by R.F. Kuang. Clearly, the curator of this article has taste! Even though we have this particular book in common, the rest of the listings in this article are the books that I am not familiar with from my blogging circles.

Most of the books featured in this article are very science-fiction heavy as opposed to leaning towards fantasy; in that respect, Babel is the exception! I enjoyed reading each of the little reviews and synopses of what these books are about. For a listicle style post, it strikes the balance of detail whilst maintaining readability very well.

 

What caught my eye?

It is the first book on this list that caught my eye. It was winner of the 2022 Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction Book of the Year and is the first full-length book to be written in its minority language for over 50 years.

The book is written in Orcadian Scots, a dialect spoken in the Orkney Islands. Combine that with its science-fiction setting, and that it is written in verse, and you get a very unusual combination!

I have a good grasp of English, but other than that, I am not great with languages. At a push, I might be able to read a children’s book in German. Certainly, no more than that.

Having read a sample of Deep Wheel Orcadia, I like that it is written in a dialect of English that I’m not too familiar with. There are words that you can identify quite easily based on the spelling, or sometimes they are best interpreted phonetically. I am sure some of it will come with context as well. However, there is enough variation from English to make you think about what you’re reading. If you’re not overly interested in the language element, this book does have a parallel translation to English. You can’t get stuck reading this book because it does the hard work for you.

 

Summary

Whilst I have read books such as A Clockwork Orange in the past (and hats off to any other readers out there who also managed to get through this one!), Deep Wheel Orcadia is a completely different type of book. I wouldn’t have discovered it in the blogosphere I’m part of. 

It just goes to show why it pays to reach out and discover something new from time to time!

 

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Shelf Control #60 – 27/01/2023

Happy Friday and welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! If you are looking for a fun, short sci-fi crime thriller, then stay tuned to check out today’s featured book.

Before I share the details on that book, here is a recap of what Shelf Control is all about.

Shelf Control is a regular feature on my blog. It’s a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies… a celebration of the unread books on our shelves! The idea is to pick a book you own but haven’t read and write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

If you want to read more about the Shelf Control feature, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

Now, let’s dive into today’s featured book!

 

Punishment – Scott Holliday

 

Genre: Sci-fi / Crime 

Pages: 240

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: 31 Jul 2018

 

 

Goodreads – Punishment

 

Do you want to know what it’s like to die, to kill, to really fear for your life? Then get hooked…

Detroit-based homicide detective John Barnes has seen it all—literally. Thanks to a technologically advanced machine, detectives have access to the memories of the living, the dying, and the recently dead. But extracting victims’ experiences firsthand and personally reliving everything up to the final, brutal moments of their lives—the sights, the sounds, the scents, the pain—is also the punishment reserved for the criminals themselves.

Barnes has had enough. Enough of the memories that aren’t his. Enough of the horror. Enough of the voices inside his head that were never meant to take root…until a masked serial killer known as Calavera strikes a little too close to home.

Now, with Calavera on the loose, Barnes is ready to reconnect, risking his life—and his sanity. Because in the mind of this serial killer, there is one secret even Barnes has yet to see…

 

My Thoughts

I can’t remember exactly how I discovered this book when I added it to my reading list back in 2018. However, now, I love the idea of the synopsis!

Punishment is a very short book at just 240 pages. I imagine it would be the kind of book that would be great for crime or mystery readers who want to try a cross-over of science fiction for a change. Having read other books about virtual reality, and seeing/experiencing things from alternate perspectives relating to crime (Ctrl+S and Dark Matter are good examples), I’m excited to see how this comes to play in the narrative.

with the inevitable psychological element to the plot (and the impact witnessing such events would have on detectives investigating such crimes), there is a lot of potential for character development and future exploration of the impact using this technology has on people. As a former student of psychology, I would like to see some of this introduced in this short book.

I’m not entirely sure how graphic the book will be in its descriptions, but I’m not intimidated by that. There is very little I will shy away from in a book. Once I read this one, I’ll be sure to let you know.

It seems to me that there is a lot to fit in to the narrative with such a small page count. I’m hoping for a fast paced, crime thriller, full of action and with an interesting sci-fi twist!

 

That is all from me in today’s Shelf Control post.

Have you read Punishment by Scott Holliday? Have you read any other books like it?

 

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First Lines Friday – 09/12/2022

Hello all welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post!

In today’s post, I wanted to feature a book that caught my attention recently. I heard about it and added it to my TBR as a result of listening to the Currently Reading Podcast. I really love the introduction as much as I do the premise. If you like dystopian or speculative fiction, then this book will certainly appeal to you.

Here is today’s First Lines Friday introduction!

 

It was difficult to imagine a time before them, a world in which they hadn’t come.

But when they appeared, in March, nobody had any idea what to do with them, these strange little boxes that came with the spring.

Every other box, at every stage in people’s lives, had a clear meaning, a set course of action. The shoebox holding a tiny new pair to be worn on the first day of school. The holiday present crowned with a looped red ribbon, skilfully curled on a scissor’s edge. The tiny box with the long-dreamt-of diamond inside, and the large cardboard packages, sealed with tape and labelled by hand, loaded into the back of a moving truck. Even that final box, resting under the Earth, whose lid, once shut, would never be opened.

Every other box felt familiar, understandable, expected even. Every other box had a purpose, and a place, sitting comfortably within the course of a typical life.

But these boxes were different.

 

 

 

The Measure – Nikki Erlick

Genre: Dystopian fiction

Pages: 368

Audience: Adult

Publisher: William Morrow & Comapny

Publication Date: 28 Jun 2022

 

 

Goodreads – The Measure

Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice.

It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out.

But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.

From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?

As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?

The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined, pen pals finding refuge in the unknown, a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush, a doctor who cannot save himself, and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimately changes everything.

 

My Thoughts…

When I heard about this book on the Currently Reading Podcast, I knew I wanted to read it straight away! I am a huge fan of the dystopian genre, and having elements of speculative fiction and the way in which the narrative explores the effect of this event on society intrigues me.

I like the idea of exploring how such an event would come to pass. As it stands, I have absolutely no idea how something so world-shattering would even be feasible to pull off overnight. I’m interested to see how this comes about.

Another reason this kind of book appeals to me is because it makes me ask questions of myself. Would I want to know? Would I open the box?

Would you?

 

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Book Review: Red Rising – Pierce Brown

In today’s post, I am really looking forward to sharing my review of Red Rising by Pierce Brown with you. Having added the book to my reading list in July 2017, I finally got around to reading this first installment in the Red Rising series back in October last year.

I’m glad I took the plunge to start this series, as this first book was absolutely fantastic. I am a huge fan of dystopia and the fantasy/science-fiction genres, so this book was a natural fit. What I didn’t expect, was how bloodydamn good it was!

 

Red Rising – Pierce Brown

Genre: Dystopia / Science-fiction

Pages: 382

Audience: Young Adult

Publisher: Del Ray

Publication Date: 28 Jan 2014

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

Goodreads – Red Rising

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free,” she says. “That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.”

“I live for you,” I say sadly.

Eo kisses my cheek. “Then you must live for more.”

Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

 

My Thoughts…

I love dystopian fiction, so it’s no surprise that Red Rising was a massive hit for me. Darrow and his people have been lied to their whole lives. They work, believing they are sacrificing themselves for a future society. However, soon in the narrative, it comes to light that civilisation began on Mars long ago, and yet the labour of the Reds has continued with them kept in the dark, and for little reward.

Eo, a young woman living in Red society, dreams for more. She sacrifices herself and in doing so, begins a revolution. Darrow is, under normal circumstances, quite a placid young man. However, when the society he slaves for kills his wife for daring to speak up against them, it inspires a hatred that lives up to his caste – deep and red and raging.

Reading the synopsis of this book is one thing, but I didn’t expect the narrative of this book to pan out the way it did. I really enjoyed it and it is refreshing to have a synopsis hinting as to what is going to happen, but is vague enough that it’s not obvious at the time.

I really enjoyed Darrow’s character development arc in this book. At the beginning, he is just a man who slaves away to eke out a small existence. But his life quickly turns to tragedy, and rather than lying down in the dirt, he digs deep within himself to have the courage to try and drive change. Darrow finds himself in a world he didn’t even know existed.

I also really enjoyed the combination of dystopia and science-fiction. These two genres work very well together, and for good reason. The technological advances that benefit the gold society are far beyond those we see in the modern world today. In comparison, the Reds live far worse than we do. The contrast between these two societies is stark – perhaps even exaggerated to an extent.

If you enjoy a lot of action in your novels, then red rising has plenty of that on offer. The passing of the book makes it a quick read, as there is plenty going on at any given moment.

Even so, the action doesn’t detract from the world-building and character development that also takes place in this book.

There is a great balance of both, making for a good, or rounded, introduction to a dystopian science-fiction series that I want to read more of. At the point of writing this review, I have already read the second book, Golden Son. It didn’t quite live up to the same expectations after this introduction. However, I’m going to continue with it for at least one more book to see if it picks up again.

Have you read Red Rising or any other books in the series? Let me know in the comments.

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – October 2022

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

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

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

 

Assassin’s Quest

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

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

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

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

 

Blink of the Sun

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

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

 

Babel

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

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

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

 

Warrior and Protector

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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First Lines Friday – 28/10/2022

Hello all welcome to today’s First Lines Friday post! I hope you are having a lovely day to conclude the working week?

In today’s First Lines Friday post, I wanted to do something different in terms of my book selection. Sometimes I set myself a challenge for these posts, and today’s selection was along those lines. Rather than picking a book that I’ve been thinking about of late, I decided to let an element of randomisation in.

Instead, I decided to go to my Goodreads homepage and look through the books on my feed until something caught my eye. It didn’t take very long, as the fourth book I found is the sequel to another that I know is on my TBR. I decided to check out that first book rather than skipping it and going for the second (the book I actually saw), and then took a look at it for First Lines Friday potential. It did not disappoint.

Let’s check out today’s introduction!

 

There is so much blood.

Roger didn’t know there was this much blood in the human body. It seems impossible, ridiculous, a profligate waste of something that should be precious and rare — and most importantly, contained. This blood belongs inside the body where it began, and yet here it is, and here he is, and everything is going so wrong.

Dodger isn’t dead yet, despite the blood, despite everything. Her chest rises and falls in tiny hitches, barely visible to the eye. Each breath is a clear struggle, but she keeps fighting for the next one. She’s still breathing. She’s still bleeding.

 

 

Middlegame – Seanan McGuire

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 492

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Tor

Publication Date: 07 May 2019

 

 

Goodreads – Middlegame

New York Times bestselling and Alex, Nebula, and Hugo-Award-winning author Seanan McGuire introduces readers to a world of amoral alchemy, shadowy organizations, and impossible cities in this standalone fantasy.

Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.

Meet Dodger, his twin. Numbers are her world, her obsession, her everything. All she understands, she does so through the power of math.

Roger and Dodger aren’t exactly human, though they don’t realise it. They aren’t exactly gods, either. Not entirely. Not yet.

Meet Reed, skilled in the alchemical arts like his progenitor before him. Reed created Dodger and her brother. He’s not their father. Not quite. But he has a plan: to raise the twins to the highest power, to ascend with them and claim their authority as his own.

Godhood is attainable. Pray it isn’t attained.

 

My Thoughts…

As you know, I am a big fan of fantasy. I’ve also been reading a lot more in the way of science fiction in recent years. One of the things that excites me about this book is that it seems to combine the two genres very well.

Middlegame has been on my TBR since May 2019 – pretty much since its publication. However, I haven’t gotten around to reading it as yet because my reading list is huge!

I can’t wait to finally get around to reading this one. Whilst the synopsis indicates it was originally published as a standalone novel, a second novel has since been published, which revolves around different characters. As to whether that book makes it to my TV or remains to be seen – I will see how I like middle game first. Based on the synopsis and the reviews I have read, I am pretty sure this is one I will enjoy!

Have you read Middlegame, or any other books by this author?

 

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Sunday Summary – 2nd October 2022

Hello, and welcome to another Sunday Summary update post! It is the end of yet another week, and the autumnal vibes are really kicking in. The tree in my front garden has turned a vibrant shade of red. The nights are starting to draw in earlier and I’ve been cosying in with candles lit everywhere. Can you tell this is my favourite time of year?

This week I’ve been a busy bee. In terms of blog posts, I shared a book review for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Tuesday, and my Monthly Wrap-Up post for September, yesterday.

I had been meaning to continue reviewing my re-read of the Harry Potter series for some time. I knew I wanted to share another review before we got into the swing of the month-end and then posting the following month’s TBR. If you haven’t checked out that review already, I’ve provided a link above, so you can go and take a look.

Typically I post on a Friday, however, with that being the end of the month I decided to push my usual Friday post out to Saturday. That meant I could provide you with a full monthly wrap-up for the whole month. I didn’t get anywhere near finishing my September TBR, but, I expected it. That said, I still enjoyed most of the reads I picked up in the month. Again, if you haven’t checked out that post yet, there is a link above.

 

Books Read

This week I have been continuing with Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. As of my last Sunday Summary update, I was only 20% through this book. I was already enjoying it from what I had read so far, and I’m pleased to say that the book only gets better from there!

It is every bit the science-fiction thriller I was promised. I really enjoyed the twisty narrative and how the ending came together. If you enjoy stories that deal with parallel universes, this is something you will enjoy! I have been making progress with this book for most of the week and I finished it this morning. It is the last book on my September TBR that I got to. It’s good that it hasn’t taken me long to finish, because it means I can move on to my October TBR in earnest.

I have also been listening to more of Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfiefer this week. If I’m honest, I had expected to finish this audiobook this week. Whilst I didn’t quite get there, I only have 45 minutes of listening time to go. I’m going to make every effort to finish this tomorrow. This is another book that I have really enjoyed reading (or listening to in this case). It is naturally a difficult subject, but it has taught me things about that awful event that I didn’t know until now.

 

Books Discovered

I haven’t added any new books to my TV off for two weeks in a row now – I think that deserves a pat on the back!

 

Coming Up…

Next week’s posting schedule is exciting because I am sharing October’s TBR with you on Tuesday. This month’s TBR is going to be considerably shorter than the last – and it needs to be! One of the books on September’s TBR (that I didn’t get to) also makes a reappearance. Can you guess which one?

Later in the week, I am back with a First Lines Friday post. In that post, I share a book that I originally picked up on a whim, not realising it was part of a series. The good thing is, these books aren’t interlinked in a way that means you have to read them in order (they just have a certain character in common). My mum has already started on these books. I introduced them to her through my blog and still I haven’t read any of them yet! But, as preparing that post reminded me, I can’t wait to try them.

So, that’s all the gossip from me in today’s Sunday Summary post. What have you been reading? Have you read any of the books discussed in this post? As always, I would love to hear from you below.

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – September 2022

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s monthly wrap-up post!

I typically post on a Friday, however, with that being the very last day of September, I decided to share this post today.

September’s TBR, which was put together as part of Bookoplathon, was ridiculous. I got really unlucky with my game and ended up with three more books to my TBR than I initially planned. If you want to check out what my full TBR was, and how the game was played, I’ve linked that post above.

I knew I wasn’t going to get through this TBR. Although I had tried to pick shorter books, there was still a lot on the list and if I’m honest, I felt over-faced before I even began. That said, I made a solid attempt without dropping everything else to do it. I made a good amount of progress, but I inevitably didn’t finish it.

Let’s take a look at the books I did manage to read in September! 

 

Books Read

Silverthorn

The first book of the month I read was Silverthorn by Raymond E. Feist. I have read the first book, Magician, twice. However, it has been some time since I picked up that first book – the latest being over five years ago!

Thankfully, there are enough reminders in Silverthorn for you to be able to pick it up. Quite conveniently, the edition of the book I have gives a very nice summary of what has happened before at the beginning. I was expecting to have to do some research online to catch myself up, however, this section did the job.

I really enjoyed the first book Magician, however, Silverthorn didn’t quite live up to my expectation. It was a perfectly adequate read, and it was nice to recap to some of the magical features and characters that I really enjoyed from the first book. However, it was just a little bit flat. I didn’t dislike it by any stretch of the imagination, however, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I was going to either. Being solid, three-star read – not the best start to Bookoplathon.

 

In Case You Missed It

In Case You Missed It was the one book on my TBR that I didn’t know what to expect from. It is not the kind of book I would have picked up of my own volition. I read this as my mum had accidentally purchased two copies of this book for herself, and she gave one to me as a recommendation because she really enjoys Lindsey Kelk books. I didn’t know what to expect, but I think I needed to change from my usual reading habits.

In Case You Missed It was a five-star read. I enjoyed that it was a light-hearted topic, and the humour in the narrative and between the characters is fantastic! This particular book was a pleasant surprise!

 

Treacle Walker

Treacle Walker was not on September’s TBR. It was a book that was introduced to me by the CEO of my employer, and he loaned me his copy to read. I know he was planning to loan it out again to others after me, so I wanted to read this quite quickly.

I already knew I wasn’t getting through my TBR at this point, so I decided to read it anyway. It is a very short read, so it didn’t take long in any case. It was trippy and a very strange narrative, but an enjoyable read.

 

Ordinary Heroes

I had been listening to Ordinary Heroes at the end of September – at the end of the month, I had just a couple of hours left. I wanted to pick this up as a non-fiction read (I’m trying to read at least one a month at the moment). It also conveniently fit one of my Bookoplathon prompts – the highest-rated book on my TBR.

I can see why! This is both an emotionally charged and informative read. I was only young when the twin towers fell, however, it is an event that unites the vast majority of people today.

It is often sad that people know where they were when it happened. It was obviously the most harrowing of events in modern history, and it was insightful to learn the perspective of the first fire chief on the scene. There are things I didn’t know about this book, that could be upsetting for someone to read, so I won’t mention them here. I’ll talk about them in my review of the book and fully disclose the topic in that post, so people can choose whether to read or not.

I’ve really enjoyed this listen so far. Despite the difficult topic, it is a book I would recommend anybody read or listen to. It is a nice short, one in any case, so definitely approachable for anyone to pick up!

 

Dark Matter

My last read of the month is Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Dark Matter is a science-fiction, thriller in which we very quickly are starting to doubt our perspective and our sense of belonging.

It is a fast-paced, read, and with its subject matter being very different from the other books on my TBR, this has been a hit! It has been a little while since I’ve read anything like a thriller, and its combination with science fiction has gelled really well.

As of the end of the month, I made it 73% through the book. According to the calculated reading time on my Kindle, I will only take about an hour to read what is left of the book. So, I nearly finished this in September, but not quite. Still, it won’t eat into too much time in October to finish.

 

DNF’d

Red Sister

Unfortunately, I DNF’d my second read of the month – Red Sister by Mark Lawrence.

It is disappointing really because I really enjoyed a previous series by Mark Lawrence as a teenager. However, this book just wasn’t doing it for me. I didn’t outright hate it, but it wasn’t really holding my attention either.

It took several days to make it to just a third of the way through the book, and I was bored. I had grappled with myself as to whether to DNF the book earlier, but I set myself a target to get a third of the way through before making a decision. Maybe I should have stuck with my gut because I didn’t end up carrying on anyway.

However, it can’t be said that I didn’t give it a good try.

 

So, those are the books I picked up in September. Have you read any of these books? Do any of them appeal to you?

 

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Sunday Summary – 25th September 2022

Good evening everyone! It’s the end of yet another week and here we are with another Sunday Summary update post. I don’t know about you, but things are starting to feel very autumnal now. It’s coming towards my favourite time of year – I can justify cozying in with a good cup of tea, a slice of cake, and a book. Not that I needed any excuse before like…

The changing of the season has come just in time. On Tuesday, I shared a Top Ten Tuesday post, in which I featured my top ten books to read in autumn. On that list, I have a number of books I have been meaning to read for some time, together with a couple of new ones. If you haven’t checked out that post already, there is a handy link above.

Later in the week, it was the turn of my Shelf Control regular feature. In that post, I featured a book that is on my September TBR. When I drafted the post, I hadn’t started the book as yet. However, I suspected that by the time it went live, I would be reading it – and I was right!

 

Books Read

I’m actually really pleased with this week’s reading progress. I’m going to be honest with you and say that when I shared my September TBR, I already felt defeated before I started. If you have seen that TBR post, you’ll know that I’m taking part in Bookoplathon. It is a game based on Monopoly, and I ended up really unlucky in my game. I ended up with three extra rolls, which means three extra books on my reading list this month. I had anticipated maybe one extra, but reading eight books in a month isn’t really achievable for me. That said, I have read quite a lot this week alone.

 

In Case You Missed It

As of last week’s Sunday Summary update, I was on my third book of the month, and coincidentally about a third of the way through it. I had DNF’d my previous read, and my first book was nothing special either. In Case You Missed It is not the type of book that I would’ve picked up without recommendation. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to think of it, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

As you are probably aware, Monday was a bank holiday here as it was the Queen’s funeral. I ended up watching quite a bit of the funeral, but also made time for reading. I ended up finishing In Case You Missed It on Monday. I read about 250 pages alone that day! What can I say, I really got into the book. The writing style is easy to digest and the events and characters are hilarious. It was exactly what I needed and I’m really glad I picked this up – so thanks for the recommendation Mum!

 

Treacle Walker

Next, I read a very short book that was not on my September TBR. I had been loaned this book by the CEO of the company I work for. He had enjoyed reading it and he wanted to know what I thought of it. Treacle Walker is only about 150 pages, and it was a very trippy, quick read. I really enjoyed it, even though I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on all of the time. I wanted to read this quite quickly as I know that this book was going to be passed on to somebody else after me.

 

Dark Matter

Next, I moved on to the next book on my TBR, and now my current read, Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. This is a bit of a twisty narrative, and I have no idea what is going on, albeit for different reasons to Treacle Walker! However, I am also really enjoying this one. There is a lot to unpick and it is going to take a while for me to work out what is what.

As of this post, I am exactly 20% through Dark Matter. I cannot wait to continue reading and update you in next week’s Sunday Summary post with more of my thoughts and progress!

 

Ordinary Heroes

Lastly, I started listening to Ordinary Heroes by Joseph Pfeifer. If you are unfamiliar with this book, it is the story of the first FDNY Chief on the scene of the 9/11 terrorist attack. I only started listening to this yesterday and I’m just a fraction off being halfway through already. I’m absolutely rattling through this one as it’s a really interesting read.

I quite enjoy listening to non-fiction – I find it easier to take the information in sometimes. Ordinary Heroes is a very easy listen. It is also quite a harrowing tale (but that goes with the subject). I have already learned things about the incident that I didn’t know from media coverage. As I am making very quick progress with it, I’m hoping to finish this within the next couple of days.

 

Books Discovered

No news is good news here this week. I haven’t added any books to the reading list, and I’ve actually just picked a couple off the list that I have changed my mind over. Nothing exciting to report here…

 

Coming Up…

On Tuesday, I am sharing my book review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling. Before we get into the month-end wrap-up and reading list for October, I wanted to share another review with you.

I have quite a back-list, and it was good to pin my thoughts down on this second book of the series. I decided to re-read these books as an adult to see how they differed from my initial impression of reading them as a teenager. If you want to find out my thoughts, check out that post on Tuesday!

On Saturday, I will be sharing my month and wrap-up post. Normally I would post on a Friday, but as Friday is the very last day of the month, I could make further reading progress. So, to make sure I cover the whole month in my wrap-up, I will be sharing this post on Saturday instead.

That’s everything from me in today’s Sunday Summary post!

What have you been reading this week?

 

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