It’s been a week since I last published a post, which was last week’s Sunday Summary post! I’ve actually really enjoyed the break over the festive period. I have spent a lot of time with family this week – so much so they must think I have moved in by now!
Have you enjoyed Christmas? Did anyone get any nice gifts? I was very, VERY fortunate to have been gifted a new Kindle as I was looking to upgrade (THANK YOU AGAIN!!!). Also, I received Amazon vouchers to go towards books and a Waterstones voucher too.
I received plenty of non-bookish presents too! From kitchen appliances (I have been eyeing up my parents’ stuff for months) to personal gifts, I have done very well! Thank you to everyone! Of course, presents aside, the best part of Christmas was being able to spend it together!
I’m glad I chose to take a break from blogging over Christmas because honestly, I wouldn’t really have had time for it anyway. As it stands, I only did a cursory bit of reading in the evenings it wasn’t too late by the time I got home.
My main area of progress was in finishing Sixty Minutes by Tony Salter, which I read here and there over the course of the week. I only finished this yesterday evening, having gotten within five minutes of the end at the hairdressers earlier in the day. Typical!
On Christmas Eve I started reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I had forgotten how different Charles Dickens’ narrative style is compared to a lot of modern works. Some time ago now I tried a sample of A Tale of Two Cities and didn’t get on with it. I think knowing the story will help me along with it. I’m looking to finish this particular story in this book before the end of the month. I did read one of the other shorter works also included in this book as a curiosity, but that’s not the goal.
This morning I started reading Million Eyes by C. R. Berry. I’m only a few percent into the book but it’s going to be my main focus for the next few days. I have a blog tour post for the book coming up next month, so I should get my skates on!
It’s been so long since I listened to Cilka’s Journey (five days) that I very nearly forgot to add it to this week’s summary! I’ve only listened to about an hour of this; I only commuted back from work a couple of days this week. Not much progress, but it still counts!
I may have been away from my computer screen blog-wise, but I’ve still been browsing social media and picking up emails. As a result, I have seen and added two books to my To Be Read list this week.
The other day I picked up an email with a deal for The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. I’ve bought this book as I don’t read much in the way of self-help, yet I think this is one such book I’ll get on with. Well. Very well, in fact.
The second book of this week was actually added today. I saw a promo post for The Choice by Claire Wade and fell in love with the synopsis of the book immediately. I haven’t purchased this one yet but I’ll get it nearer the time I choose to read it.
It’s 2020 in a matter of days, which means I have plenty of ideas for blog post material! I have quite a few blog tours planned for later on in January, so for the first couple of weeks, I’ll be taking the opportunity to fit them in.
Kicking off on Wednesday 1st January, I’ll be posting about my 2020 Reading Goals/Challenges for the year ahead. On Friday I’ll be taking a brief break from my regular First Lines Friday/Shelf Control posts so I can review how I fared in my reading challenges for 2019 and discuss my final book stats.
And last, but not least, I’ll be wrapping up the week with my Sunday Summary post next Sunday!
Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s Sunday Summary – I hope you have all had a really good week? Mine has been really busy in the run-up to Christmas and I imagine a lot of folks are in the same boat! I can’t believe it’s next week… Before we jump into the excitement of next week, let’s take a look and re-cap the week just gone!
Considering the number of things I have had on outside of blogging, I’ve managed to fit in quite a few blog posts. My blogging week began with a Top Ten Tuesday post. It’s the first I have drafted for about two months now and I really enjoyed a more casual post. I also took the opportunity to look back at my blogging journey by discussing the Top Ten Bookish Changes in my Life since my blog began in 2017.
After looking at my backlog of reviews, I found an outstanding audiobook review for Scythe by Neal Shusterman, which has been outstanding since April. Yes, friends, April – you read that right! I have just finished listening to the sequel, Thunderhead, so it was the opportune time to revisit my thoughts on the first book of the series.
Friday’s Shelf Control post explored an unusual classic feminist fiction novel on my To Be Read list. It’s not generally the sort of material I am in the habit of picking up, however as it explores the history of the Feminist movement I would like to read it!
I feel like I have taken a bit of a break from reading this week. With appointments, Christmas lunches, family coming home for Christmas and other festive plans, as well as the blogging, I’ve been a busy bee! That’s not to say I haven’t had time, because I have. I think with cramming in a lot of reading last week, I just wanted to do some other things. I don’t even feel guilty about it either. I’ve enjoyed adopting a more relaxed pace with it.
In terms of physical reading, I have only read about 20% of Tony Salter’s Sixty Minutes this week. Mostly today, in fact. I do plan to read more of this before going to bed tonight, now I am back in a reading mood. It’s not a very long book and very easy to read, so I’ll have it finished nice and quickly I imagine.
I have made more progress on Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris, though. More than usual. I had some extra commute time on Monday with an impromptu appointment, and my car share buddy was off work on Friday. It may not seem like much, but it equates to an extra hour and a half of the audiobook listened to. That means I am over halfway through the audiobook now and it feels like I have only just started it. I am really enjoying it. I loved The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Cilka’s Journey is living up to the standard of that book!
So, I have a confession to make.
I got very lucky this week. For Christmas, my company donated 6 x £25 vouchers to a prize draw in which all employees were put into. I won one of those vouchers on Thursday. It never happens to me, but yes, I won! Well, it’s not that I never win anything… I won our Christmas Jumper competition on Wednesday as well! It’s just rare!
I had that voucher spent in about three hours, no word of a lie. That lunchtime I went to my local Waterstones and had a field day! A lot of books I liked the sound off were on offer too, so in all I put about £4 towards this lot!
There are a couple of books by authors I love in here. Stephen King’s Outsider is a reasonably new addition to the TBR, but the premise of the novel sounds great. Some of you may recall that Brandon Sanderson’s novel Starsight has not long been published with Gollancz. I really liked the sound of it, so I picked up its predecessor Skyward to start the series for myself.
There are a couple of new authors here too, because I do like to try new things. I picked up The Silence of the Girls as I enjoyed reading a similar book, Circe, earlier this year. To this day I don’t understand the hype of Circe, but it was still a reasonably good read.
I have never heard of The Ember Blade or its author, Chris Wooding. The synopsis sounds interesting though, and you can’t go far wrong with fantasy novels in my book! I didn’t look at the time, but this book has good reviews on Goodreads. A couple of authors I love, Ed McDonald and Edward Cox have rated it 5* as well, so I have every confidence I’ll enjoy it! It will be nice to try something new.
I don’t think I need to tell you, but it’s Christmas next week! I have a lot of time planned with family, so I have taken the decision to take a brief blogging break for the festive season.
I’ll still be reading and publishing my weekly Sunday Summary next Sunday. I’m going to take the time to chill with the family, recharge my batteries and have a think about some of my plans ahead of the New Year.
That’s all from me in today’s post. I hope you have enjoyed this week’s Sunday Summary post!
What have you been reading this week?
Good afternoon readers! It’s the last month of 2019, so this is my last Reading List of the year… Wow. Where did that go?
I am really impressed with the number of books I have read this year! My all-time record of 60 books has already been beaten, set when the reading and blogging adventures began in 2017. I initially set myself a reading target of 50 books because that was how many I read in 2018. Now, I am aiming for 70. I only have 3 books left to hit that target!
By the time I include the rest of December’s TBR and my audiobook, I think I’ll have read 74 books. A part of me considered trying to push to 75, but I think that’s too ambitious. I’m happy where I am anyway, so no point pushing myself too hard.
Which books are closing out the reading journey this year?
After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks – Nancy Jardine
Brennus of Garrigill—Bran—monitors Roman activity across Brigantia. Stability prevails till AD 78 when Agricola, Governor of Britannia, orders complete conquest of all barbarians. Brennus heads north, seeking the Caledon who will lead the northern tribes against Rome.
Ineda treks northwards with her master, Tribune Valerius – supplies officer for Agricola’s Britannia campaigns. At Pinnata Castra, she escapes and seeks fellow Brigantes congregating for battle in the north.
The Legions of the Roman Empire and the Caledon allies clash at Beinn na Ciche in AD 84, but where are Brennus and Ineda?
The adventures of the Garrigill Clan continue…
I am reading Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour series and reviewing the books as part of the organised blog tours. I picked up these books as they have given me the chance to read historical fiction in a completely new time period. I’m really enjoying reading about the Roman conquest of Britain – so much so, I have started learning a little Latin!
I am already 40% of the way through this book and as I have no plans for the rest of the day, I’m hoping to finish this one soon!
Two worlds are poised on the brink of a vicious war. By way of a staggering deception, Karou has taken control of the chimaera’s rebellion and is intent on steering its course away from dead-end vengeance. The future rests on her.
When the brutal angel emperor brings his army to the human world, Karou and Akiva are finally reunited – not in love, but in a tentative alliance against their common enemy. It is a twisted version of their long-ago dream, and they begin to hope that it might forge a way forward for their people. And, perhaps, for themselves.
But with even bigger threats on the horizon, are Karou and Akiva strong enough to stand among the gods and monsters?
The New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy comes to a stunning conclusion as – from the streets of Rome to the caves of the Kirin and beyond – humans, chimaera, and seraphim strive, love, and die in an epic theater that transcends good and evil, right and wrong, friend and enemy.
I have to finish this before the end of the year! I was completely and utterly captivated by Daughter of Smoke and Bone on holiday in October. So much so, I read Days of Blood and Starlight last month. It’s rare that I devour a series as quickly as this, but what can I say? I’ve come to love Laini Taylor’s books that much that it has to be done!
Five different people. Five separate lives. Sixty minutes to bind them for ever.
Hassan, Jim, Shuna, Dan and Nadia come from very different worlds. If life were straightforward, their paths would never cross. But our lives are rarely that simple and, as the clock ticks away the minutes of a single hour on a July morning, fate draws all five together in a headlong rush towards disaster.
Who are the heroes and who are the villains? Tony Salter’s latest novel leaves us guessing right up to the last page.
When I received the email inviting me to the blog tour of Sixty Minutes, I was immediately drawn in by the synopsis. It is very vague on the circumstances but has a lot of intrigue: who are these people and what has drawn them together?
What if we’re living in an alternate timeline? What if the car crash that killed Princess Diana, the disappearance of the Princes in the Tower, and the shooting of King William II weren’t supposed to happen? Ex-history teacher Gregory Ferro finds evidence that a cabal of time travellers is responsible for several key events in our history. These events all seem to hinge on a dry textbook published in 1995, referenced in a history book written in 1977 and mentioned in a letter to King Edward III in 1348. Ferro teams up with down-on-her-luck graduate Jennifer Larson to get to the truth and discover the relevance of a book that seems to defy the arrow of time. But the time travellers are watching closely. Soon the duo are targeted by assassins willing to rewrite history to bury them. Million Eyes is a fast-paced conspiracy thriller about power, corruption and destiny.
Million Eyes sticks with the science-fiction vibe I have been feeling lately. I’m also looking forward to the thriller element of the novel and finding out why the time-travelling assassins are set on re-writing history. Could the alternative be worse?
I am taking part in the upcoming blog tour for this novel next year – yes, next year, but that’s not that far away!
Wisp is a pyromancer: a magician who draws energy from fires to make his own flames. He’s also a criminal, one job away from retirement. And it can’t come bloody soon enough.
Leading his misfit crew, Wisp ventures into a charred and barren forest to find a relic that could change the realm forever. But they aren’t the only ones on the hunt, and the forest isn’t as barren as it seems …
A jaded gang leader longing for retirement
A bloodthirsty magician with a lust for power
A brutish fighter who’s smarter than he looks
A young thief desperate to prove herself
A cowardly navigator with secrets that won’t stay buried
Together, they must survive fights, fires, and folk tales that prove disturbingly real – if they don’t kill each other first.
I saw this novella on a website called BookSirens, which is a lot like Netgalley if you haven’t come across it before. The concept of a non-altruistic main character in a fantasy genre novel is one I love already and I have read a good few books like it already. With this being a novella, this should be really quick to pick up and review before the deadline next year!
‘If I had my way, every idiot who goes around with Merry Christmas on his lips, would be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. Merry Christmas? Bah humbug!’
Introduction and Afterword by Joe Wheeler
To bitter, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas is just another day. But all that changes when the ghost of his long-dead business partner appears, warning Scrooge to change his ways before it’s too late.
Part of the Focus on the Family Great Stories collection, this edition features an in-depth introduction and discussion questions by Joe Wheeler to provide greater understanding for today’s reader. “A Christmas Carol” captures the heart of the holidays like no other novel.
I made a real effort to seasonally read in October, but it’s not so straightforward in December. Sure, there are plenty of books to choose from, but they are all women’s fiction. It’s the same with Christmas movies – city girl comes home to country routes for Christmas, reunites with old flame, falls in love, is “torn” between going back to old life but you just KNOW that it’s going to end happily ever after *sigh*
Will someone please pass me a puke bucket?
As with Christmas films, there are only a select few Christmas themed books that really appeal to me. This month, in addition to watching Miracle on 34th Street (the edition with Richard Attenborough), I will be reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. As a classic, I can’t really turn my nose up at this one. At least, I hope not or you will be calling me Scrooge.
For the record, I love Christmas… just not all the cheesiness that goes with it. Sorry, not sorry.
That’s my reading list for December! What are you reading this month? Did you set any reading goals and are you likely to achieve them?