Tag: Sebastien de Castell

Monthly Wrap-Up – June 2022

Welcome to my monthly wrap-up post covering all the books I read in June. I came so, so close to finishing this month’s TBR on time; in the end, I finished my last book on the 1st of July. I’m really happy despite that though!

I knew at the beginning of this month that I wasn’t going to be reading quite so much towards the end, as I had an exam on the 29th of June to prepare for. Perhaps that is why I ended up reading so much at the beginning of the month. I also managed to squeeze in a couple of audiobooks too!

My TBR for June was a little bit different, as I couldn’t decide what to pick up and read. I had one commitment, which I ended up setting as my only ‘fixed’ book on my TBR. The rest, I pencilled in provisionally but allowed myself the option to change. Incidentally, I didn’t change any of the books, but it was nice that I have the flexibility if I wanted to. And I think I needed that. Clearly it has worked out very well for me as I’ve made very good progress this month. I’m very happy with where I’m at with my reading.

I’m considering taking this approach a bit more in future; but I’m certainly going to try it out again to see if it continues to work for me.

 

Books Read

Wolf of Mercia

Genre: Historical fiction

Pages: 346

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Boldwood Books

Publication Date: 7 Jun 2022

Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

My first priority of this month was to read my only ‘fixed’ book of the month, Wolf of Mercia by MJ Porter. I had agreed to take part in a blog tour for this sequel; the first book I read earlier this year. The thing I love the most about this series is that it offers a unique perspective in a period of history where violence is almost expected. Our protagonist Icel does not relish battle or even killing in his own defence, but in this sequel we got to see a new side of him – one that acknowledges his duty, but also sticks to his roots of healing people wherever he can.

If you enjoy books like Bernard Cornwell’s The Last Kingdom, then this is something I would recommend to you. I picked up this series initially because of my love of that, and it really works for me!

 

Norse Mythology

Genre: Mythology; short stories

Pages: 283

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: 6 Mar 2018

Stars:🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

After Wolf of Mercia, I swiftly moved on to Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman. I wanted to pick up this book, however, I will admit I was sceptical as to whether I would like it or not. I haven’t had the best experience with books written by Neil Gaiman overall. However, Norse Mythology really worked for me.

Perhaps it is because this book is his own retelling of classic norse stories that this ended up being really safe ground. I enjoyed how these were written. Given that the book is just a collection of short stories, it was a very quick read for me; I managed to read it in just a couple of days. I was pleasantly surprised!

 

Assassin’s Apprentice

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 392

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Harper Voyager UK

Publication Date: 27 Mar 2014

Stars:🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

I have been meaning to try Robin Hobb’s books for such a long time, but never quite gotten around to them. However, I finally did it and I am so glad I’ve taken the plunge! These books have come highly recommended in general, but also more specifically from friends of mine.

One of the main elements I look at with fantasy books is character and world-building. These boxes were well and truly ticked in Assassin’s Apprentice, and I really enjoyed the storyline that unfolded in this book. It had elements of magic that I really liked, but also hints at the wider storyline that I trust will unfold throughout Hobb’s ‘The Realm of the Elderlings’ books.

From very early on in the narrative, we as the reader are sympathetic towards Fitz. He is a royal bastard who is left with his father‘s man Burrich as a child. He does not fit in to life at court and so he remains largely unacknowledged… but when he is, it’s not really for the better either.

I really enjoyed this book and I’m going to be continuing with this series very, very soon!

 

The Appeal

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Pages: 428

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Viper

Publication Date: 14 Jan 2021

Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The biggest selling point for me about The Appeal is that the story is told through written communications between characters. If you are looking for something that is not traditional prose, then this format is one I’d recommend you try. I really liked this change of pace, and the storyline behind the emails/messages etc between the characters is engaging in and of its own right!

The beginning of the story is a bit of a slow burn. You go into it knowing that a murder has taken place, however it does not take place until a significant way through a narrative. I expected it to happen a little bit sooner, however it comes about that the context and events we see occur in the beginning are very much relevant to what happens in the end.

What is also clever about the way this is written is that you have to read into the subtext. These people meet in person and there are interactions that we don’t see in between, but can only speculate as to what occurs. As it turns out, there is a lot more going on under the surface and whilst there were some twists I did anticipate, there were others I did not at all! This was another fantastic read, and I cannot believe that this is a debut.

I will definitely be continuing with this author’s work!

 

Skyward

Genre: Science-fiction

Pages: 513

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Gollancz

Publication Date: 6 Nov 2018

Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

I started reading Skyward on or around the 20th June, so this is the book I read the slowest over the course of the month. However, as I mentioned above, this was expected with my exam. Just because it was read the slowest, it does not mean I did not enjoy it!

Skyward is quite different to all the other Brandon Sanderson books I have read to date. Where they have sat firmly in the fantasy genre, Skyward is (expectedly) very hard leaning into the science-fiction genre. It is also written for a young adult audience. Some people have said they felt the writing was dumbed down a little, but I didn’t pick up on this too much. The nature of our protagonist definitely appeals to a younger audience, and perhaps the plot line is a little bit less sophisticated than some of his other fantasy books. But, other than that, I felt this read just as well.

I already have a copy of the sequel, Starsight, on my bookshelves just begging to be read.

 

Knight’s Shadow

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 606 (20hrs 6mins audio)

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books

Publication Date: 5 Mar 2015

Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

During the month of June I started listening to Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell again. I had started this audiobook previously, but I go through phases with audiobooks and I will binge-listen for a while, then practically stop completely. It’s a cycle that comes and goes, and I’m finally back in the ‘listening’ phase.

Even though it had been a little minute since I first started this audiobook, I was able to pick it up again really easily. The storyline and what has happened previously is unique and so it was very easy to return to the world and remember what has gone before.

I really enjoy the storyline and the witty perspective of our protagonist. I had no idea how this particular book was going to play out, after the events of the first book in series. However, it was written very well and it was a pleasure to listen to. I feel a grander storyline coming into play in comparison to the first book. As a fan of epic fantasy, this obviously appeals to me!

 

Hell

Genre: Non-fiction; memoir 

Pages: 272 (7hrs 6mins audio)

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Pan Books

Publication Date: 24 Jul 2003

Stars: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

The second audiobook listened to this month was completed in full, although admittedly, it only weighs in at about seven hours of listening time. Honestly, if it hadn’t been recommended to me I probably wouldn’t have picked it up. However, I’m glad I did!

This is the first prison diary written by Jeffrey Archer, and it recounts his experience of being imprisoned in HMP Belmarsh. This was a bit of an eye-opener for me. It’s not the kind of non-fiction book you would expect to pick up. However, the author’s experience of being imprisoned here, for a charge far less severe than that of his inmates, goes to show the unfairness and inefficiencies of the British legal system.

There are further prison diaries that the author wrote during his time, and I will also be listening to these in the future.

 

That is a lot of books to feature in one monthly wrap-up post! I had originally planned to share my mid-year review at the same time as this post. However, it’s already long enough, so I’m going to split that back out again and share that in the next day or two.

What have you been reading this month? Have you got any good book recommendations? Have you read any of the books I’ve featured today? As always, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Sunday Summary – 19th June 2022

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update post! I hope all you amazing Dads out there have had a lovely Father’s Day and been spoilt!

I started off this week with sharing a discussion post, the topic being about getting out of your comfort zone when reading. It has been a little while since I drafted a post of this type and I enjoyed doing so. It ended up being quite a long post, in which I discussed ways you could push your boundaries, shared why that’s benefited me and how I plan to continue getting out of my comfort zone.

Later in the week, I returned to my usual Friday feature posts. This week, I shared a Shelf Control post and featured a book that has been on my TBR since 2018. It is a ‘new to me’ author, even though they are prominent in the genre. If you want to find out more, you can do so with the link above.

 

Books Read

As of my last Sunday Summary update I had just started The Appeal by Janice Hallett. I was approximately 25 pages in and really looking forward to diving into this book.

I read the book in its entirety in four days! The format of the story was fantastic! I love how it was told through correspondence between characters. As a reader, it makes you read between the lines and try to decipher the subtext. After all, we only see the online interactions and not what happens in person.

I also really enjoyed the complexity of the characters and the storyline. As far as the murder mystery goes, this kind of book shows you that it can be very obscure. Every character had a motive or a reason to be involved or not trusted. The story was very complex, but at the same time easy to follow and very intriguing! The way it has been written was very cleverly done and I personally enjoyed the change of pace!

I had a little break from reading for a few days, however I started my next and last ‘official’ book on my TBR today. For half an hour or so before going to visit my parents, I read the 36 pages of Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. It’s a solid introduction to this book so far and I can’t wait to see how the story progresses.

In the prologue and first three chapters, the history of the main character Spensa has been established, and from there I expect a wonderful story of what is apparently a very stubborn girl determined to fight against the prejudice she experiences. I can’t wait to dive into this one more and I’ll have more to tell you in next week’s update.

Lastly, I finished Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell this week. I have gone from listening to practically nothing to a complete switch around and managed to finish an audiobook! I really enjoyed this second instalment to the series. I had no idea how some of the complications the characters were having were going to resolve themselves, But I really enjoyed how this was done!

 

Books Discovered

I have added a couple of books to my TBR this week. Both are very different from each other, which only goes to show how different my reading taste is.

The first book is written by Margaret Atwood, called Alias Grace. I’ll admit that I hadn’t heard of this book before until I discovered it in a video by @schulerbooks on TikTok. Yes, I have joined TikTok for the bookish community there! I really like the description of the book and the video I found prompted me to find out more. Consequently, I added this to my reading list as I think I’ll really enjoy this one. I like the unreliable narrator trope, which is a prominent feature in this book.

After some consideration I have added The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake to my reading list. I’ve seen quite a few people talking about this book, but most prominently from one booktuber I follow who really enjoys the dark academia theme/genre. This book falls into that category and as she loves it so much, I’m willing to give it a go!

 

Coming Up…

I like the idea of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post, which is top ten bookish wishes. The idea is to share the top ten books you would like to own and if you set up a Wishlist on Amazon, provide a link to it so people can get a copy to you if they want to purchase it for you. I’m not going to do this; if I want a book I’ll buy it myself, or ask for a copy from family as a gift for an occasion. So, I won’t be adding the wish list, but I will be talking about the top ten books on my TBR that I want to own next!

On Friday I will be sharing a First Lines Friday post. The last few times I have done this type of post I have set myself a challenge. I don’t have anything in particular in mind and so this week I’m going to keep it open and decide which book to feature later in the week.

And last, but certainly not least, I’ll be back with a Sunday Summary post this time next week with all my fresh updates for you!

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary. What are you currently reading?

 

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Sunday Summary – 12th June 2022

I am back with another Sunday Summary update post for you today. First of all, I hope you’ve had a fabulous week!

I started off this week by sharing a book tag post with you. I wanted something that was a lighter topic and so I pulled a book tag out of my bank that I’ve been saving for the occasion. That post was my ‘The Last Book I…’ post, and if you haven’t seen that already you can find a link to this here.

The reason I chose that post earlier in the week is because I was taking part in a blog tour on Friday and sharing a review as part of that. On Friday I shared my thoughts on the Wolf of Mercia by MJ Porter. I signed up to this blog tour having read and loved the first book of the series, Son of Mercia, earlier this year. If you are a fan of historical fiction then I highly recommend this series. If you want to find out more, again, there is a link here to that post.

 

Books Read

When I drafted last week’s Sunday Summary update post I was just about to start Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb. As planned, after my post went live I started reading this and I have read the whole book this week! I really, really loved it! For me, it’s one of those scenarios where you regret not starting it sooner! I have seen very good ratings for this book and I’ve also had recommendations from friends. It’s been on my radar for a very long time and I’m glad I finally taken the plunge into Robin Hobb’s writing.

I’m really excited to delve further into the series, because Assassin’s Apprentice was a fantastic read. It is everything I hoped it could be and more besides! You cannot help but feel sorry for Fitz. He has been down on his luck all his life, and just to rub things in a little bit further, Robin Hobb is not gentle with her characters in this book. That is all I will say, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

I started my next book yesterday, which is The Appeal by Janice Hallett. I’ve only just started this book and I’m just over 25 pages in. The story is told through communications between characters (i.e. email, text messages etc). It’s a completely different style to what I’m used to, but it makes you think about the subtext and what is going a bit more than you would have to in traditional prose. I’m enjoying the book so far and this is the read I’ll be taking forward into next week. This is going to be an interesting one!

In my book tag earlier this week, I made a comment about having not listened to much in the way of audiobooks recently. I said it was one of those things that waxes and wanes, and that currently I was in the latter of those stages. Well, I may have jinxed that when I said it! At the beginning of the week I think I was around 25% through the audiobook Knight’s Shadow by Sebastien de Castell. I have listened to most of the book this week and I’m now 80% through it.

More often than not it depends on circumstance and what I’m doing as to whether I listen to them. I found myself getting more involved in crafty projects this week, and listening to an audiobook at the same time is the perfect companion. Previously I found myself physically reading more, but this week there has been more of a balance. I definitely want to finish Knight’s Shadow now that I’m this close to the end, and who knows… maybe this is my break back into an audiobooks phase!

 

Books Discovered

I’ve added a book to my reading list this week that I’d heard about previously, but didn’t really know what it was about. It was through a top 25 standalone fantasy books video on YouTube that I came to understand the plot of The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J Klune. I’d seen people talking about it, but never in enough detail to make me want to pick it up. Until that video. The book has themes of identity, belonging and family – which aren’t particularly common things for a fantasy book to revolve around.

I think this could be an interesting read. I also like the idea of it being a standalone fantasy as well. They are a lot less common than series, and if I go on to enjoy this book I think there are others written by the same author that I can then look at as well, that revolve around different, but just as important, topics.

 

Coming Up…

I’m conscious of the fact it has been a while since I’ve drafted a discussion post. I’ve had an idea this week that could be a fun post to write and also helpful to anybody if they are considering branching out with reading. I’ve previously written a discussion post about reading diversity in relation to picking up different genres. Along the same lines, I want to share a discussion post about why I think it is important to read outside of your comfort zone now and then… and recommend different ways that this can be achieved.

This week I will be resuming my regular Friday features, and this week it is the turn of a Shelf Control post. In case you aren’t familiar, in those posts I take a look at a book on my TBR, share the synopsis and details and why I’m still interested to read this. In doing these reviews, I have actually found books that I’ve changed my mind about and taken it off the list. It’s a good way to make myself keep this list up-to-date, and I hope that by featuring books I may just pique your interest at the same time.

And as always, I’ll be back with a Sunday Summary update at the end of the week, sharing my reading progress and recapping my news.

That’s all from me in today’s Sunday Summary update post. What are you reading?

 

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Sunday Summary – 2nd January 2022

Good evening everyone and welcome to my first Sunday Summary post of 2022. I have a lot of optimism and motivation for the year! It has been a couple of weeks since my last Sunday Summary post, and so I have a few updates for you!

After my last Sunday Summary post on the 19th December 2021, I announced that I was going to be taking a short break for the festive period. I had family over visiting and it was lovely to just chill out and enjoy spending a wonderful Christmas with everyone!

That’s not to say that nothing was going on in the background, however. After Christmas I started drafting some blog posts ready for the New Year. In particular, I drafted and shared an End of Year Review post for 2021 and shared that on Friday. In that post I looked back at my goals and resolutions for 2021 and discussed how I feel I got on with them. Ultimately, I achieved what I wanted to, which was to take a step back and give myself break whilst still enjoying my hobby. I’m happy that I managed to do this and I still read a decent number of books, so I’ll take that as a win!

I also drafted and another post which I shared with you yesterday. In that post I talked about my New Year Goals/Resolutions for 2022. The main highlight from that post is that I’m back in the game. I got the break I needed and I’m motivated to start setting myself some challenges again. I’m doing so in moderation because I know that I don’t want to burn out again. Not only that, but I have expanded on other hobbies and interests and I will be continuing with those as well. My aim for 2022 is to achieve balance. If you want to read more you can do so using the link provided above to yesterday‘s post!

 

Books Read

Despite it being two weeks since my last update, I’ll confess that all of my recent reading progress has taken place in the last week. As of my last Sunday Summary update I was around 25% of the way through The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. In the last few days I’ve been making a solid effort with this and I’m now 75% of the way through the book. If you needed proof that I am back and raring to go then take this as a sign! I love all the different facets to the story and the most recent plot developments are really intriguing. At this rate, I’m hoping to be telling you next week that I’ve finished this. It’s a shame I’ll have finished it a couple of weeks late to return this to my sister’s boyfriend Chris, but never mind!

In my last Sunday Summary post I was nearly finished with Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell; I only had around 30 minutes of audio left. I’m pleased to say that I finished listening to this one whilst commuting home from work one day this week. To be honest I didn’t think I wasn’t going to achieve this. It was only a little bit left and I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Sebastien de Castell is a new author to me and I really enjoyed this book! I am definitely continuing with this series (I’ve already purchased the audiobooks ready to go). I also discovered this week is that I’ve had my eye on another series written by him (Spellslinger), but I hadn’t realised that it was the same author. If I go on to love the rest of these books as I have the first then it’s safe to say I’ll be delving into the second series!

For now though, I’ve started listening to another audiobook. It’s a solid favourite and I can’t wait to get back into this series. I have already read the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series (a.k.a. A Game of Thrones) at least twice but I’m also now listening to the books. They are very long but audiobooks are an easy way to digest them. I’ve already listened to the first two in the series and so I have moved on to A Storm of Swords. This audiobook is over 47 hours long, so I have my work cut out for me to listen to it. My goal however is to make a habit of listening to it regularly. If I can achieve that then I think I can complete this by the end of January. Wish me luck!

 

Books Discovered

I have been very good and not added many books to my TBR for a good few weeks. But, you know, Christmas has been and gone and so that streak ends here.

I was very lucky to receive copies of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, The Appeal by Janice Hallett and The Promise by Damon Galgut for Christmas. I’m collecting clothbound classics and so the copy of Oliver Twist was very well received for that reason! I’m also really happy to have received the other two books. I hadn’t really read much about them up until I received them, however both books sound really interesting! They were also given to me by someone who has a similar reading taste, so I have every confidence that I’m going to enjoy them!

If that wasn’t enough, I’ve added a couple books to my TBR that I’ve come across as part of completing my CPD for work. I don’t tend to read much in the way of self-help, but I think I could benefit from these two books. The books I have added are Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. The crux of both titles is to help the reader develop ways in which to effectively communicate with others, particularly where differences of opinion occur. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I’m not the most diplomatic of people, so I am sure I have plenty to learn from these books!

And then last, but certainly not least, I watched The Imitation Game on New Year’s Eve. It was a fantastic film and all of the actors were brilliant! I don’t watch films very often but I really enjoyed this one. And obviously, we get to the end and I find out it’s based on a book called Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges. So of course, that’s now on the list as well!

It’s a good job I’ve found my reading motivation, right?!

 

Coming Up…

I already have a blog post scheduled for you that is going live tomorrow. If you’ve already read my New Year Goals/Resolutions for 2022 post then you will know that I am setting a monthly TBR for myself again. I’m doing so with a bit of a twist; I’m only setting a couple of books for the month and allowing myself time and space to pick up mood reads as and when those are done. I have shared my fixed list, as well as a couple of provisional titles that I might pick up. But, they may well change once I’ve read the fixed list. If you want to find out what I’m going to be reading in January then check out tomorrow’s post!

I will shortly be drafting the second post of the week, which is a Shelf Control post that will be going live on Friday. I’m working towards drafting my blog posts (with the exception of the Sunday Summary) at least a week in advance and I’m getting there. The book I will be featuring in Friday’s Shelf Control post is an interesting one, because if I remember correctly, my mum says that this is a series that my grandad enjoyed reading. The synopsis of this first book sounds really good, so even without that knowledge I would still be picking this up anyway. If I’ve piqued your interest then make sure to check out my blog on Friday!

And as always, last but not least, I’ll be back with you this time next week for another Sunday Summary update.

Until then, I hope you have a great week full of fantastic books and all the other fun stuff. What are you reading? Have you set yourself a reading goal for 2022?

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Sunday Summary – 19th December 2021

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update! I hope you’ve had a great week? I cannot believe that in a week’s time Christmas will be over – it seems to have flown again this year! Are you looking forward to it?

This week I have shared a couple of blog posts with you already. On Tuesday I took part in sharing my Top Ten books on my Winter TBR. As with every TBR list I’ve shared this year it is subject to change (depending on my mood), but it was also a fun way to have a think about the books I’ll be reading within the next few months.

Later in the week, I shared a First Lines Friday post. Given that we are on the approach to Christmas I set myself a challenge of featuring a book set it winter. I’m really happy with my choice. It didn’t occur to me straight away when I set myself the challenge, however, in hindsight it should have. It’s a book I read not that long ago and is an absolute classic; can you identify it from the introduction?

 

Books Read

Progress this week has seen me reading a little bit more of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. I read a little bit of this during my lunch hour this week for the first time in a long time. It may sound daft, but I am proud of myself for doing that. I’ve slipped into the habit of spending my lunch hour either going out, knitting or playing on my phone and not doing much productive. I definitely want to make an effort to read a little bit more at work; it’s a great way to unwind a little and make a habit of reading regularly.

I have also listened to a little bit more of Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. I am so close to the end now! I have around 30 minutes left to listen to and that is all. I have loved listening to this audiobook and it has been refreshing to be able to make quick progress with something and also get back into the habit of listening regularly. I will be finishing this audiobook very very very soon, so my next update you can expect to see this ticked off the list.

 

Books Discovered

Nothing to add here once again, I’m pleased to report!

 

Coming Up…

As I’ve already mentioned we are fast on the approach to Christmas. I have decided that I will be taking the next week and a half (just over) off to enjoy making final preparations and also spending time with family. I’m also going to be taking the time to reflect on what I have achieved this year and make some plans for the coming year.

So, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I will be back in the New Year!

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Sunday Summary – 12th December 2021

Hello and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary post. As always, I hope you’ve had a great week! If you are unfamiliar with my blog, my Sunday Summary posts are a chance to talk about what I’ve been doing and genuinely catch you up with what I’ve been reading and sharing on my blog over the last week.

Earlier this week I shared a book review that has been outstanding for some time. I read the book back in August of last year, so needless to say it was time to share my thoughts with you! I really enjoyed reading The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell, which is a historical fiction based on the Viking invasion of Britain. If you want to check out my full thoughts, I’ll provide a link to the review above.

Later in the week I shared a Shelf Control post. In these posts I review my TBR and take a look at the next book on the list – if I’m still interested I will feature it on my blog and share with you just why I can’t wait to read it! It is also a good opportunity to clear out my list of anything that I no longer want to read. Goodness knows it could do with a bit of trimming… writing this series has definitely enabled me to do this, but this week’s featured book was not going to be written off under any circumstances. In fact, I’m so confident that I’ll enjoy it I went ahead and bought myself a paperback copy in advance. If you know me, you know I only do that for books I love; I don’t have all the bookshelf space in the world so I tend to keep favourites in physical copy.

 

Books Read

I’ve concluded that I’m not in the right frame of mind to continue reading Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love his works, but I think this is just too big of a beast for me at the moment. I’ve been trying to read this for a number of weeks now and I’m just not making much progress with it. I’m not DNF’ing it per se, but I’ve decided I’m going to go back to it at a later date. Hopefully, I can get my reading mojo back and then take this 1000+ pages book on!

Instead I have chosen to pick up The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. This is actually a loan from my sister’s boyfriend and I’m hoping to return this to him when they come over for Christmas. So, I’d best get cracking! I’m currently only a couple of chapters in, but my decision to set aside Words of Radiance temporarily came very late on in the week. This book is still a solid read (probably around 500 pages) but it’s a lot shorter… and I set myself a deadline to get it read, so I’m sure I will!

I’ve also listened to a few more chapters of Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell this week. I’m now about 80% of the way through this audiobook, which is really good considering that I tend to listen to them on and off. I have definitely gotten better in recent week in terms of listening to audiobooks more regularly. All I can say is long may it continue!

 

Books Discovered

You are probably going to think me really boring with this addition, however I have added a book to my TBR this week that is kind of work-related. I don’t really talk about it much because that’s not what you’re here for, but I work in an investment based role. One of the books I’ve added this week is in relation to financial markets. I recently watched a program on television which was about the 2008 recession and it’s causes. I found it really interesting because I didn’t really know much about it; I was reasonably young when this happened. Along a similar vein I think I will enjoy The Asian Financial Crisis 1995-98: Birth of the Age of Debt by Russell Napier. It’s not something I really heard about until earlier this week when I read some articles about it. I appreciate that it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea so I’ll probably read it but won’t review it here. 

 

Coming Up…

I fancy taking part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday post. The topic is Books on My Winter 2021 To-read List. I like the idea of taking part because I think it might help with getting excited about reading again and give me a little burst of motivation that I think I need. Also, it’s a means of starting to plan into next year and get some ideas together about what my reading plans for 2022 are. I hope you can join me to find out what’s on my list!

Later in the week I will be back with a First Lines Friday post. I’m really looking forward to this post because I’m setting myself the challenge of featuring a book set in winter. I have absolutely no idea what I’m going to pick yet but that’s half the fun! I hope you can take a look and find out which book I choose to feature later in the week.

For now though that is all from me in today’s Sunday Summary update post. Have a great one and I’ll catch up with you this time next week.

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Sunday Summary – 5th December 2021

Good evening and welcome to tonight’s Sunday Summary update post. As always I hope you’ve had a really good week wherever you are!

It’s been a good one here, even if it didn’t quite go to plan. Mid-week I shared my monthly wrap-up post for November 2021. In that post I talked about the books I’ve been reading and listening to over the last month, in addition to recapping the posts I shared as well. If you haven’t checked out that post already you can find a link here and find out what I’ve been up to!

I was supposed to share a Shelf Control post on Friday, but as I’m sure you guessed that didn’t quite pan out the way I intended. I was out with friends on Friday night and I ended up being out later than I expected. And we went out to pottery painting, in case you’re interested. Anyway, I didn’t get back home until well past 10 o’clock; having not started the post yet I decided that I was going to postpone it instead. I’ve spent the weekend putting up my own Christmas decorations and helping out at my parents. So it’s been a busy one without even factoring in catching up.

 

Books Read

I promised this week that I be better on the reading front and pick up more of Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. However, I have a confession to make and that is that I didn’t really. I read a few more percent of the book but that’s about all. Some reading is better than none I suppose, but it’s definitely fair to say that I’m reading a lot less than I used to. That’s okay, because I enjoy it when I do it! I will try and make more of an effort to pick this up again next week though. I keep going at this pace I’ll still be reading it next Christmas!

I’ve also been listening to more of Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. I’ve gotten into the habit of listening to this whilst I’m doing Pilates exercises in the evening. It’s a good accompaniment to doing it because it’s a great distraction from what I’m doing and so I often find I’m doing more than necessary for each exercise. In my last Sunday summary update post I was about halfway through this audiobook; now I am approximately 2/3 of the way through. It’s something I’ve gotten into the habit of doing and so I’m sure I’ll have more progress to report on this very soon.

 

Books Discovered

Once again I’ve been good and I have no new additions to my reading list or my bookshelves this week!

 

Coming Up…

This week I plan to share a book review with you. It’s been a long time since I read this book and indeed carried on with the rest of the series by this author. However, I really enjoyed reading this one and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you. The book I’m featuring is The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell.

Later in the week I’ll be back with my postponed shelf control post on Friday, and then I’ll be rounding up the week with another Sunday summary update as usual.

Until then, I hope you have a great week and I’ll see you around.

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Sunday Summary – 28th November 2021

Hello and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary update! It only seems like five minutes since I was sitting here this time last week sharing my update with you then. Aren’t the weeks just flying by?

This week I shared a couple of blog posts with you. On Thursday I shared a discussion post; in that post, I talked about how I manage my blog and read as well as my everyday life. Testament to the fact that you can’t control everything, that post was supposed to go live on Wednesday. However, we had an incident locally which took out my electricity for a while and so I couldn’t share this with you as planned. It does just go to show that sometimes life gets in the way!

Then on Friday, I shared a First Lines Friday post with you. In that post, I featured a book that I am listening to at the moment. I loved the introduction and I hope you do too! This is turning out to be a great listen and I hope you can check out that post to find out more about it.

 

Books Read

I’ll be the first person to hold my hands up and say that my reading progress has been pretty abysmal this week. My current read is Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. Progress this week goes as far as reading just a few pages of the book on Wednesday night, surrounded only by candlelight. Fortunately I have a Kindle with a back light, so this was how I’d planned to spend my evening if the power hadn’t come back on. But, it did, so my usual plan to FaceTime my sister went ahead and took up the rest of my evening pretty much. Then, I didn’t pick it up for the rest of the week. Terrible I know – I’ll be better next week I promise.

I have however listened to a lot more of Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. I’m doing really well with this audiobook and it’s incredibly engaging! I have a bit of a stop/start relationship with audiobooks. I do really enjoy them, but I’m not in habit of listening to them all that much. That is, until I find one so great that I can’t stop listening to it. Traitor’s Blade is one of those books. I’m now about halfway through the audiobook and it’s a great listen. The author has done a fantastic job of juggling action in the narrative with context and backstory to the Greatcoats (the Order our main characters belong to). It’s fantastic and I can see myself progressing through this one very quickly.

 

Books Discovered

No news is good news, so they say… and I for one agree!

 

Coming Up…

Somehow we are hurtling towards the end of November, and that can only mean one thing. Later this week I will be sharing my Monthly Wrap Up for November and discuss the books I’ve read and the blog posts I’ve shared in the month.

On Friday I’ll return with a Shelf Control post. If you are unfamiliar with the series, it’s an opportunity for me to have a look at my TBR and feature the next book on my list. Not only is it a great way to get excited about the books on my list, but if I decide I’m no longer interested in a book, it comes off. 

Lastly, I’ll be sharing another Sunday Summary update for you this time next week.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s post, albeit there hasn’t been too much to report. Have you read Words of Radiance or Traitor’s Blade? Let me know in the comments!

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Sunday Summary – 21st November 2021

Good evening and welcome to my Sunday Summary update this week! As always, I hope you’ve had a good week? I’ve had a great one! Not only have I been off work and spending time with family, but I’ve also been doing a job I’ve been dreading in the garden – cutting down my second hedge to a reasonable height. I thought taking the first one down a couple of weeks ago was bad, but this second one was a whole different ballpark. But, never mind; it has gone now, which I’m a bit relieved about!

Aside from the mundane jobs around the house, and the significantly more exciting spending time with family, I have shared a couple of blog posts with you. My first post of the week was a Top Ten Tuesday post. This week’s subject was Top Ten Books to Read If You Like ‘X’; I chose fantasy as my subject. As I’ve read a lot of the genre I felt it was the most comfortable topic I could talk about. Not only that, but as there are a lot of fantasy books out there, I hope that featuring my favourites helps you find your next one!

On Friday I took part in a blog tour for The Warden by Jon Richter. This is a psychological thriller novel that I agreed to review as part of the tour. If you haven’t checked out my review you can find a handy link here – no spoilers in saying that I enjoyed the book! It is an interesting take on the pandemic and a potential future concept involving technology, and what could happen if we became highly dependent on it and it goes wrong. It was fantastic and I hope you can take a look at the book for yourself!

 

Books Read

As of the beginning of this week I had 25% of The Warden left to read before I could put my thoughts together for my review on Friday. I blitzed through this last hour’s worth of reading after publishing my Sunday Summary post last week. I don’t know how I can do that when I don’t plan to do it, but when I do plan to do it (as I did the week prior) I fail miserably. Never mind – it meant that I have plenty of time to get my thoughts together and draft my review.

I have since gone back to reading Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson. I put this on hold briefly in order to do my reading for the recent blog tours I’ve taken part in (Million Eyes II and The Warden). It only equates to having read 5% of the book this week, but it’s progress. It works out at just over 50 pages, in case you’re interested. 5% doesn’t sound like much; 50 pages sounds better!

I’ve also started listening to a new audiobook this week. Whilst I was knitting the other evening I decided to start listening to Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. I’m currently on chapter 2 and the introduction has been great. There is plenty of action to keep me interested but also enough history to get an idea of who our main characters are and their role in society as a whole. I can’t wait to keep listening to this and find out more! All in all, a fabulous start.

 

Books Discovered

No new additions again this week. You might find this report a little bit boring, but I personally am very happy about it. It means I can *pretend* my habit is in control.

 

Coming Up…

I’m all done for blog tours for now. I haven’t signed up to very many of them this year, and while I’ve enjoyed taking part in them, I’m also looking forward to being able to post in my own time.

I’ve been having a think about what I want to share with you and the plan is to share a discussion post with you early next week. The topic I have in mind is to talk about how I juggle writing content for my blog, as well as reading and also all the other bits I like to do. For anyone who doesn’t blog, it may give insight as to how much time it takes. And, for anyone who does, I may be able to offer some time management techniques that you may take away and try to implement yourself!

Later in the week I will be back with my regular Friday feature posts. This week I will be sharing a First Lines Friday post. I really enjoy sharing these and giving myself the opportunity to share a variety of books here on my blog. And for this week’s post I’m going to keep it open (as I set myself a challenge last time I shared this post). I hope you can join me and that you like the sound of the book I ultimately feature.

Then, last but not least, I’ll be back the same time next week with another Sunday Summary update for you.

In the meantime, I hope you have enjoyed today’s post. Have you read any of the books I’m reading? Do any of them appeal to you? Let me know in the comments!

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