Tag: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Books on my Winter 2021 To-Read List

In today’s Top Ten Tuesday post I am going through the books on my winter TBR. Whilst the title does state it is my Winter 2021 TBR, we are already in mid-December and that doesn’t give me very much time until the end of the year. Even with the best will in the world, I couldn’t read 10 books by the end of the year. So, naturally, this list will span into 2022. 

I wanted to take part in today’s post because it’s allowing me to think of the books I want to read in the immediate future, but also those leading into the beginning of 2022 and any goals I have in mind to set myself. This year I have been flying by the seat of my pants are not planning ahead of time. Even when I have made loose plans, I haven’t stuck to them rigidly. I’ve been giving myself the chance to be a mood reader, so as with previous lists set this year it is not concrete, but certainly something I will aim towards over the coming months.

So, want to check out what books are coming up on my winter TBR?


The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

With Christmas just around the corner, winter has certainly started. Therefore, I think it’s important to include my current read as the starting point for this list. I have just picked up The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. It is a historical fiction novel, and I’m excited to read this because it’s unlike anything I have read before. It was a recommendation to me by my sister’s boyfriend Chris. The copy I’m reading right now belongs to him – he’s loaned it to me and I’m hoping to return it before he goes home after Christmas. So, there is no time like the present in reading this book!

 

Traitor’s Blade

Along the same lines as above, I think I should also include my current audiobook lesson on this list. I’m most of the way through it now, but I’m currently listening to Traitor’s Blade by Sebastien de Castell. This is a completely new book, series and author for me but I have had a great time listening to it so far. I can’t wait to reach the conclusion of this book and go on to listen to the rest of the series! Based on what I have listened to so far I have high hopes for enjoying this one.

 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince & Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I had the idea in my mind that I wanted to re-read the Harry Potter series during 2021. We are fast approaching the end of the year and so it goes without saying that finishing this series will continue on into next year. However, the idea was a loose one and I’m not upset that I haven’t met the goal of reading it by the end of the year. In fact, I have really enjoyed reading the previous books at the pace I have. There is absolutely no rush and the point of re-reading these books is to enjoy them again. It’s not a race and I I know that I will love these two books as I did in the past!

 

Red Sister

I haven’t read a Mark Lawrence book for a very long time and so I’m hoping to rectify this issue within the next few months. I can’t lie, I was tempted to go back and pick up The Broken Empire series again. However, I have been re-reading a few books this year and given that this author has plenty more to offer, I’m going to try his other works before I go backwards. Red Sister has been on my reading list for quite some time now. It will be good to finally get this underway.

 

Dune

Another book that has been on my reading list for a very long time is Dune by Frank Herbert. I have casually started this book a couple of times before. It was more an experiment really; I wanted to get a feel for the book. At the times I picked this up I wasn’t ready to commit fully but this is a classic that I do want to take the time to sit down and read in full properly soon. I’ve been reading a lot more science fiction of light, so I’m in the best place to finally give this a go.

 

The Feedback Loop

One of the themes of this list is that I want to chip away at some of the oldest books on my TBR. Like in the case of Dune, The Feedback Loop has been on my list for a long time and as another example of a science fiction book that I want to read, it’s about time I got around to this one. The Feedback Loop isn’t quite as long as some of the other books on this list, so I think I might reserve this for a time when I’m either in a bit of a slump or just feel like I need the boost of a shorter book.

 

The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

Several years ago I requested a copy of Grimm’s original fairytales for my birthday. You may think I’m a bit old to read these, but these are the original stories that modern day fairytales have stemmed from. They are not all fairies and happy ever after is. I wanted to read these original tales to see how they compare with the modern day versions. My understanding is that these are typically a lot darker, but that remains to be seen. The copy I have on my bookshelf waiting is also beautifully illustrated. It’s not the sort of thing I pick up very often so I’m looking forward to reading this for a bit of a change.

 

A Clash of Kings (audiobook)

I plan to listen to more audiobooks within the next few months. I’ve been doing really well with audiobooks of light and I wish to continue that trend. If you read my blog or listen to my rambling enough you will know that I love love love the A Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin. I have read the books at least twice and now I am making my way through the audiobooks. So far I’ve only listened to the first one, but I hope to change that in the next two months. A Clash of Kings is next on my list to listen to and given but I am now listening more regularly, this shouldn’t take as long as the first one.

 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

I have been making a conscious effort to read more in the way of classics over recent years. One of those on my TBR pile that is definitely coming up due for a read is this book. I really like the sound of the synopsis and so it makes sense to pick this up shortly and tick it off the TBR. It’s also the only classic on this list and having the diversity in the books I choose to pick up can only be a good thing. 

 

I hope you have enjoyed today’s Top Ten Tuesday post and that you like the sound of the books coming up (fingers crossed) within the next few months. Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your list to read at any point? As always, I’d love to hear from you!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Books to Read If You Love… Fantasy!

I wanted to take part in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post as I have extensive knowledge and experience in reading fantasy novels. If you read my blog you’ll know I absolutely love fantasy and I have ever since I was a teenager.

I have significantly diversified since my teenage years (partly because I read that much fantasy I got bored of the same thing over again), but it’s a genre I always go back to. It’s like a comfort blanket to me; it’s always there for me to go back to and I do so regularly.

Naturally, having read a lot of fantasy books, I have distinct favourites from genre. And today, I’m sharing those favourites with you and why they make the cut.

 

Game of Thrones series – George R. R. Martin

There shouldn’t be any surprises that this is on my list… and of course it’s on the top of my list! There are so many reasons that I think this is fantastic and if you read my blog already you’ve heard it a million times before. The narrative is great, the writing is fabulous and the characters are so tangible that it doesn’t feel like you’re reading a book. Honestly, it’s amazing, and I won’t bore you with telling you why I think so all over again

 

Mistborn series – Brandon Sanderson

This was the first series I read by Brandon Sanderson and I stand by the fact that it’s my favourite. I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who has yet to try any of Brandon Sanderson‘s writing. It is a series, but it’s a very approachable one. If, like me, you love the idea of a magic system having a basis of science then this is definitely one for you!

 

The Kingkiller Chronicle series – Patrick Rothfuss

It has been so long since I picked any of these books up, and I’m still waiting for the last of the series, but I’ll never forget the impression this made on me as a teenager. For the reasons I love a Game of Thrones, I love this series as well. The characters are so detailed and know one of them perfect and they acknowledge this. The world building is also spectacular. The narrative style is also unique as the book is written as if the main character is telling the tale in recollection after the event. At the time I read this series, this was the first time I’d come across this technique. I think it really works!

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone series – Laini Taylor

The reason the series is on the list is because I loved it, despite it having so many elements that I should have enjoyed. I’m not a big fan of romance, and typically YA is not my style (with a few exceptions) but I love this series so much that I read it in a matter of months. That’s unheard-of for me! Are usually drag them out for so long but I had to binge read this – it was that good!

 

The Raven’s Mark series – Ed McDonald

Blackwing

After I finished the last book of the series, Crowfall, I cried because it was over. How sad is that?! It will become apparent to you that a lot of the books on this list are designated so because the character development is far more than superficial. There’s character development, and then this character development and these books take them one step further. Ryhalt Galharrow is the kind of character you don’t want to like… but you can’t help it! Somehow addressing his faults makes him endearing to us as the reader. He is entirely human in his mistakes. He kills people, and has own selfish reasons for doing the things he does. But we also see the other human side of him – The part of him that is scarred emotionally and how he reacts to events in the book certainly demonstrates that.

Just go and read it, okay? And try not to cry like a baby like I did.

 

Gentlemen Bastards series – Scott Lynch

It’s hard to believe from reading the series that it is Scott Lynch‘s debut. The narrative is absolutely amazing and and I loved the crassness of it. It’s clever and witty and a fun read… Especially if you like characters of a less than honest nature!

Again, please go and read this. However-a word of advice: if you take offence to the swearing in the title, definitely don’t read this book. It doesn’t get any better!

 

The Broken Empire series – Mark Lawrence

I really liked The Broken Empire because again, it has a main character who from the beginning you don’t want to like but end up doing so anyway. This was the first series I read by Mark Lawrence and it’s inspired me to continue to read his works. I really liked the narrative and my teenage self really enjoyed these books. It’s series that I plan to go back and read again and that should tell you everything.

 

The Relic Guild series – Edward Cox

The narrative of The Relic Guild was so out there, and the series went on in a direction I completely didn’t anticipate from the beginning. That’s what I really enjoyed about this series. It was also very cleverly thought out and very easy to read considering the sophisticated magic and plot twists involved.

 

Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling

The Harry Potter series is one of those eat you could pick up at any age. I first started reading these in my teenage years and you may know that I have picked these up again this year. I read the first five books so far. Even going back to the beginning, I found them really easy to read, but without being babyish. The plot and themes of the box get a lot darker for further on you go, so there is stark contrast to my last experience of the series versus restarting it. However, I really enjoyed going back and experiencing this again. It has been a long time since I picked these books up (I think I last read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows over eight years ago), But I’m loving taking the time to read them. It’s a classic series that is great for everyone!

 

Discworld series – Terry Pratchett

I love the Discworld series because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. But, at the same time, Terry Pratchett is able to include some quite serious themes, including gender equality, death, fame etc in a fun way. I would never have said that I would be a huge fan of satire, however the Discworld is a bit of this and I think it’s great. Put it this way – I have read 18 books from the series so far. That reminds me, I haven’t picked one up for quite some time. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about the next one!

 

Have you read any of the books listed in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post? Let me know in the comments! Or, do you have another favourite but I haven’t listed?

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Online Resources for Book Lovers

I hope that today’s Top Ten Tuesday post is as informative for one of my readers as I know it would have been for me as a fledgling reader/book blogger. I like today’s subject matter, as not only is it a good way to highlight potentially useful resources to you that you don’t know about, but it is a good way to compare how other people manage their reading hobby!


Goodreads

Whilst I feel that this is an obvious place to start in today’s top ten Tuesday post, it is one of the main online resources I use.

If, on the off chance, you aren’t aware of what this site offers, it is essentially a huge database online in which you can not only discover new books, read (and leave) thousands of reviews, but you could also sort books into lists and record those you have read, want to read and are reading right now using some of their preset options. Your shelves are completely customisable however so you don’t just have to sort them by these criteria. I know people who have shelves set by genre or record it down as the year they read them… The options are endless!

Goodreads also hosts an annual reading challenge. So if you need some motivation, it can be a good way to push you to your next reading goal.

 

Audible

If you are the kind of person who doesn’t have time to sit down and commit to a book, it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy one anyway. I subscribed to Audible a couple of years ago and I haven’t looked back! It’s not my main way of consuming books, however they are great for times when you can’t necessarily sit down and pick up a book in the conventional way.

I personally enjoy listening to audiobooks while knitting or crocheting, but they are also a great companion when doing household chores, decorating (I can attest from experience) or any physical activity. I have a friend who listens to audiobooks whilst she is out looking after horses. There really are no rules and I enjoy the change in medium from time to time.

 

Spreadsheet

The resources used don’t necessarily have to be anything fancy, and this is one of those. I use Goodreads to manage my reading list, however the CEO at my work uses a spreadsheet to mange his list!

I use them for more blog orientated things, such as recording the books I have yet to review and keeping a calendar of any blog tour dates. I appreciate these don’t apply to every reader, but as mentioned above they can be used by anyone. Ultimately, the most important thing is to use resources that work for you.

 

Notes app

It’s no secret that I enjoy sharing my thoughts on the books I read of love. You don’t have to be a blogger to do this as there are plenty of available places to share your thoughts on a book without hosting your own site. Be it Goodreads, Amazon, or any known bookstore, there are plenty of sites in which you can review or recommend a book to others.

I like to jot ideas down for a post before I write it. It helps give me a little bit of structure, and if you’re writing a review then you’ll probably want somewhere to write that down. Again, going back to the fact that it doesn’t have to be fancy, any note taking app on your phone will do. I say this because most people probably have a smart phone nowadays and it’s the kind of device you’ll have on you at all times. It’s accessible and easy to use and it’s what I use to plan and draft my book reviews (and blog posts in general).

 

Netgalley

Books cost money, and not everyone can afford to read as much as they physically want to. The good news is there are plenty of free books out there, but there are also sites that will provide you with a copy of the book in exchange for a review.

Netgalley is probably one of the biggest of these and most well-known to bloggers certainly. It’s great if you are of a mind to provide a review anyway. But if that’s not your bag then this isn’t for you. Whilst you can get away with not reviewing the odd book, the idea behind giving you one is that you do share your thoughts. Even then you can’t access anything and everything. Certain publishers will put books out there for review without any particular stipulation on who can get a copy. However, books by household authors or larger names in general do have criteria you’ll have to meet in order to stand a chance of getting a copy, so keeping that feedback ratio up is crucial.

 

Blogs

Obviously I’m a little biased when I say this, but blogs are a great resource. Not only can they provide you with book reviews and recommendations… but they can even provide useful resource posts like this one!

 

Social Media

Social media is a great resource. It is “THE” place to share your opinion on the internet and you won’t find many other sites that give you access to so many different opinions in one place.

The different platforms also allow you to do you bookish material in different ways. Let’s be honest, we do judge a book by its cover, so social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are great as they’re very photo-content orientated. Twitter on the other hand is traditionally more word-based so it’s a good place to get more in the way of opinions.

Don’t get me wrong, social media has its downsides too. Whether you choose to use it or not is entirely up to you. Generally if you want to avoid any potential drama that goes with sharing your opinion online, I suggest you stick to the likes of Goodreads.

 

Kindle app

I typically read either a physical book or on my kindle, however the kindle app has come in useful. Sometimes I end up reading somewhere unexpected, or on a tablet as my kindle has run out of battery. Whatever the reason, the accessibility of being able to have a book on your phone or tablet is great! Although, I have the habit of starting or sampling a book on it and never quite getting round to actually reading the whole thing…

But that’s just me! There are plenty of people out there who read exclusively using the kindle app and that’s fine too!

 

Libby/OneDrive

Both of these apps are great. A lot of libraries (and my local included) may use either of these sites, or equally an alternative, to host their e-book library. I’ve used these apps in order to access books I’m borrowing rather than buying for myself and they are very user-friendly. Using Libby as an example, I know they can host both audiobook and e-book, so if you like having both of those in one place then it may just be worth seeing what your library has to offer.

 

Local Library!

And of course, at last but not least, check out what your local library has online! Even if you like physical books rather than an e-book library (as above), your library may have a database online of what they have available and whether it’s on loan or not currently. I know mine certainly does, and if ours can do it then I’d be very surprised if yours doesn’t!

You may have a lot more services than I do so it’s hard to tell you to use something when I don’t know it’s available. The best thing you can do if you are unsure is to have a go and look for it. You’ll never discover anything new unless you try!

 

I hope today’s Top Ten Tuesday post has been useful for you and perhaps you’ve discovered a new resource that you’d like to try. Do use any of the resources I’ve mentioned today? Let me know in the comments, and if you have any alternative recommendations please share them here so we can all learn something new!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Books/Series Everyone Has Read But Me

Hello and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post!

This week’s choice of topic is a freebie and I’ve been looking back at previous weekly topics that I haven’t yet covered. The first one that caught my eye is the topic of today’s post. I may read a lot, but there’s also so much more that I haven’t read, or haven’t read yet!

So, here is my top 10 list of books/series I think that everyone has read but me!

 

Twilight series – Stephanie Meyer

Whilst there are a few exceptions to the rule, I’m not really a ‘vampire’ person. I never really understood the hype as a teenager, and if I’m perfectly honest I still don’t now. This is a series that a lot of people have obviously read, but I don’t feel inclined to try at all.

 

Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices series) – Cassandra Clare

A couple of years ago there was huge hype for Cassandra Clare. Personally, her books never appealed to me. I suppose I’ve always felt that they were aimed at a slightly younger audience. Either way, I’m not particularly inclined to pick these up and give them a try based on what I’ve read. I just don’t think it’s my cup of tea.

 

Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen

Jane Austen is probably a bit too romance-y for me. At least, that’s how I perceive the book based on what I know of it. I love historical fiction and I am trying to read more in the way of classics, but this one is a bit of a tough one. It’s the kind of book where you feel like you probably shouldn’t judge it until you tried it, but I do have a lot of trepidation. I just don’t think I’d like it!

 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

I never read this book as a child and following through to adulthood this hasn’t changed as yet. I did recently read and enjoy The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, so maybe I don’t have to be young to appreciate this one either. Never say never, but I don’t currently have any plans to read this.

 

Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

This is such a well known book, but as yet I haven’t read it. Based on the synopsis I think this is something I would really enjoy.

Perhaps I will change this in future. But not now. My TBR is long enough!

 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

I think my grandad bought this series for my mum years and years ago, but she wasn’t fussed on them. I’ve trusted her judgement on that and stayed away.

 

Bridget Jones Diary – Helen Fielding

I’m not really a chick flick kind of person, but I have watched part of a Bridget Jones movie before. It was actually okay! There is the odd chick-lit book that I will pick up, but they are few and far between. As I didn’t hate the film I’d be inclined to give the first book a go – at least to test the water.

But again not now!

 

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

This particular book is actually on my TBR. I’m a huge fan of historical based novels, fiction and non-fiction. I don’t tend to read biographies very often, but the ones I have picked up in the past I’ve enjoyed. Obviously, the subject matter of Anne Frank‘s is more harrowing than most. But, that doesn’t put me off in the slightest and I can’t wait to pick this particular book up!

 

A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking

I am by no means a science geek, but I’m curious to see what this book is like. I think it will be really interesting and appeal to the part of me that enjoys learning new things. I only hope is that it isn’t too science-speak, because that might make it a little bit difficult for me to read. However, since it’s such a popular book and it’s been read by many I’m sure it will be fine!

 

The Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan

the eye of the world

I really want to read of love this series. However, to date, I picked up the first book and read about 60% before I had put it down. It was quite heavy going and I don’t know if the timing was just wrong, or it wasn’t working for me. My friend Rachael absolutely loves and advocates the series and so I want to feel the same way. I will definitely give this a go again because it has the potential to be a brilliant series.

 

So, those are my top ten books/series that everyone has read but me! Have you read any of these books? Are they on your list to read as well? Let me know in the comments!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Favourite Places to Read

Hello and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post!

I’ve had my eye on taking part in this post for a couple of weeks. When I saw this week‘s topic I knew I wanted to share my top ten places to read. It’s one of those really personal things so not only does it give you the opportunity to learn a little about me, but also I would like to hear what your favourite places are and see how we differ!

Shall we jump into the list?


Home – The Living Room

This is by far my favourite place to read. Sat on my sofa on a cosy evening, cup of tea in hand, candles lit and curtains drawn. Maybe even wrapped in a blanket. This is my ideal reading spot. I don’t know why, but reading always appeals to me more as the nights are drawing in earlier, so September-November is the ideal time of year for me.


Home – In Bed

My second favourite place to read is in bed just before settling down for the night. This is actually where I got back into reading on a regular basis several years ago. It was cold, it was January and with being out for most of the day at that time, I was coming home to a cold flat. As such, I decided rather than putting the heating on for half an hour or so before turning in, I’d just go straight to tucking myself up in bed instead. I wasn’t in the mood to watch anything on TV as I was tired. However, picking up a book could be as much or as little as you wish… And well, the rest is history!

Someone who loves to read before bed, I don’t read in the mornings. For me it’s a ‘before bed’ thing and that’s it.


Home – The Garden

Since moving into my new place I’ve enjoyed going and sitting out on the decking with a book. It’s probably happened more last year with lockdown (ironically when I didn’t have a garden furniture to go and sit out on!) But I still do go and take the opportunity when I feel like it. Over here it’s also severely weather permitting too… And most of the time it isn’t!

This does come with the caveat that as long as I’m not surrounded by bees or wasps I’m comfortable. I have been known on several occasions to put headphones in just to make it a little bit easier to ignore the things. I absolutely hate them!

 

At Work – Lunchtime Reading

One of the ways I like to wind down at lunchtime is to pick up a book. If I want to switch off it’s a good way to distract my mind and enjoy some downtime, even for a short while. And I was reading is more than enough for me. I’m not a marathon reader by any stretch of the imagination and I don’t need to sit for long sessions. So, this suits me to a T.

 

Commuting

A hobby such as reading is great when you have to commute. I must admit I drive most of the time, but I have been known to listen to an audiobook whilst I’m driving.

Reading on buses (or trains for those who have access to them) can be a great way to pass the time. I would only ever do it on a very familiar route however, because I would easily get too engrossed, lose my bearings and inevitably miss my stop. I was born blonde and though looks maybe deceiving, I haven’t lost that trait! The best place for me to commute and read is on the plane – because you really can’t miss your stop!

 

On Holiday

Whenever I go on holiday I can guarantee that my kindle is one of the first things I think to pack. Since getting an e-reader I tend to stick to taking that on holiday, but that’s not strictly the case. Last time I went on holiday (all that time ago…) I took a couple of paperbacks with me as well, because they weren’t too big.

I’m not one for getting in the pool too much, but sitting next to it with a book in hand is one of the most relaxing things that I will do on holiday. And with all that time to do nothing at all, there’s plenty of opportunity to bury my nose and indulge. I go on holiday with my family and whilst others may not read as much as me, we all read on holiday. So, it suits us all.

 

Coffee Shops

If I’m in the right frame of mind, sitting in a coffee shop is a great way to enjoy your book. I say in the right frame of mind because sometimes background noise can be distracting for me. Equally, sometimes it doesn’t bother me at all. I can’t say I frequent coffee shops very often alone (and I won’t read whilst in company), but I do enjoy doing it when I am on my own. I think the last time I visited a coffee shop with a book in hand was around a year ago. I think I was out Christmas shopping if that tells you anything about how long ago it was!

 

Bookshops

There’s something about being in the company of others who appreciate books that makes for a lovely atmosphere in a bookshop. I wouldn’t say I’m a big reader in this sense, but you always have to try but before you buy right? The last time I read in public (as above), was in a café in a coffee shop. Win-win if you ask me!

 

Libraries

If the noise of a coffee shop is offputting then the library is the next best alternative. I like the ability to choose anything to read. It’s a great place to try something new and if you really want the peace and quiet to take your time with it, it’s a great place to go.

 

Airports

Airports are by far not my favourite place to be, but with all that waiting around they are perfect venues for picking up a book. Again, like commuting, I’m very wary about doing this. I’m paranoid about missing my flight so whilst I have been known to read whilst waiting, I am checking the board frequently and listening to every tannoy going. Do you get the vibe I don’t trust myself?

 

So, those are my top ten places to read, and I would love to hear yours! Please let me know in the comments!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time)

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Today’s topic features Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time). Now, I’ll be the first person to admit that I don’t have the patience to read a full book in one sitting. It’s not for a lack of time. I just don’t have the attention span.

By and large, I don’t read many short stories, however, you will find most of them on this list just because they are easier to get through by nature. There are a couple of longer books that will feature on this list because I’m expanding the definition to include books read within 24 hours. It’s not quite the same, but it’s close as I can get to give you a full list of ten!

Shall we jump into the list?

 

Making Magic – Allan Walsh

At just over 30 pages, this has to be the shortest book I have ever read since I started my blog. Needless to say, I definitely read this in one sitting. It would be pretty embarrassing if I hadn’t, wouldn’t it?

 

The Lynmouth Stories

This collection of short stories was also read in one sitting. I found the variety of tales within the book engaging enough to keep me sat down for longer. Normally I would have put a book of this length down at least once, even if it was just to make a cup of tea or have a very quick break.

 

Game of Crones – Jay Raven

As with the Lynmouth stories, the variety of tales within the short narrative kept me engaged throughout and so this also was completed in one sitting. The chilling and spooky tales also keep you on the edge of your seat, questioning what you think you know and what is going to happen.

 

Lost Tales of Solace 1-4 – Karl Drinkwater

From these four books and the rest afterwards, the definition stretches to within 24 hours. I think I read a couple of these books in one day, but at least a couple of them also stretched over into the next but still in 24 hours. They are nice and short but equally engaging and so we are very easy to keep picking up and reading just a little bit more… and then a little bit more.

 

The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient is unlike some of the other books on this list, because it is definitely not a short story! At around 325 pages this is one of the exceptions to the rule when it comes to my attention span. I’ve been able to read this quickly because it was absolutely fantastic! For me, I need to get the right combination of opportunity and motivation and the stars must have aligned perfectly when I picked this up.

 

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

It’s rare that I’m a sucker for a YA book, but I absolutely devoured this one! I’m pretty sure I’ve binge-read it over a weekend… and what probably makes it *worse* is that it wasn’t my intended read at the time! I picked it up because for whatever reason, I wasn’t feeling my current read at the time. So, I was just casually reading the first chapter to try it out and before I know it I’d read over a third. Needless to say, I was invested at that point and the rest is history.

 

Fires of the Dead – Jed Herne

I don’t know whether to describe this as a short story really. It’s kind of that midway length between a full novel and a short story. The tale is just less than 200 pages long, so no mean feat. However, I also went on to read this within 24 hours because the characters were hilarious, the plot was action-packed, engaging and exciting – and I had to know what happened next.

 

So, these are my top ten books I have read in one sitting (ish), featuring in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post. I would love to find out yours! Please let me know in the comments!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Reasons Why I Love Reading

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Today’s topic is ten reasons why I love reading and honestly, you could let me ramble all day and I guarantee you I’ll have more than ten reasons. However, I will narrow it down to my favourites to stick to the post rules (but also not to bore you to death!) I feel like this is probably something I have discussed before in one way or another. But, this is a fun post topic and as everyone has their own reasons, it’s a good way to find out a bit about me.

So, enough rambling – let’s get into it!

 

Escapism

Reading is escapism from our daily, mundane lives. It gives us the opportunity to sweep your day‘s troubles under the carpet and forget about them. Becoming immersed in a completely new world or a new character helps us to separate ourselves, even if just for a little while, from the boringness that life can sometimes be. It is probably one of the main reasons why I read. That’s not to say my life is terrible, because it absolutely isn’t. None of us can deny that life can be monotonous at times – and it is at these times where reading plays a huge role for me.

 

Relaxing

I personally find reading very relaxing. Sitting down on my sofa with a cup of tea and my nose in a book is my ideal ‘me time’. I love it because I can focus all my attention on one thing. Usually my mind is going ten to the dozen with things I have done, things I need to do, things are probably forgotten to do and much more besides. Picking up a book and focusing on what I’m reading sweeps those thoughts away. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you… but I enjoy the respite!

 

To learn

I’m always trying to read either new genres, or taking historical fiction as an example, new time periods. I may have left school a few years ago now, but every day is still a school day and there is plenty that I don’t know. I enjoy learning new things and so branching out in topics I’m interested in already is one of my favourite ways to read.

 

Spark imagination

In a world where any information we want is just a few clicks away, I really enjoy the thought process that goes into Reading. Google any book characters name and you could probably find images of the actor who is played the film version of the character. Just by looking at that image, your perception that that character is formed by their physical appearance.

I personally think there is a magic to taking the words written on a page and constructing your own version of the character based on them. I firmly believe that everyone reads a book differently and will come to very different conclusions based on the information provided. More and more I see a distinct lack of people thinking for themselves, but this is something that is definitely required when reading.

 

To experience living in another’s shoes

There are billions of people on this planet and yet without the ability to walk in somebody else’s shoes, we only have a very limited perspective on life. Reading books gives people the opportunity to see through someone else’s eyes. In my opinion, reading offers an intimate way of getting to know a character. Not only do we experience their completely different lives, but we also  get an insight into the way they think and perceive the world themselves.

I don’t think this is ever something we could really do without the written word, and so I’m grateful that I can experience somebody else’s life, even for a short while, thanks to books.

 

Challenge ideals/perception

This really goes hand in hand with the point above. Unless we are prompted to think about our ideals and our perception of people/events etc, we are never going to change our minds. Reading definitely gives you the opportunity to do this-by putting yourself in another person choose and seeing it from another point of view!

 

Invest time

It’s apparent that I am the kind of person who likes to invest their time. Whether it is reading or my crafting hobbies (knitting and crochet), I get a lot not just from the end product, but also from the ‘doing’ part. I find characters a lot more relatable if I’ve taken the time to read their story, feel their emotions and experience it with them, rather than watch a film narrating it. It personally isn’t long or in-depth enough for me. Everyone is different, but this is just my perspective.

 

Improve my writing

There has definitely been an improvement in my writing skills since I’ve started reading more. I don’t think it matters what medium you use, but exposing yourself to language and literature will ultimately influence your own style. I have the advantage that I read a wide variety of books and I think each has played their part in shaping my own narrative voice. It’s something we use everyday  (even without having a blog or a hobby that involves writing), so everyone can benefit!

 

It’s a reasonably accessible hobby

With a lot of places having access to libraries, and even a plethora of free or discounted literature online, most have the potential to access a book. Given that there are so many great things that reading can teach us, the accessibility means that there is no reason that someone couldn’t expose themselves to these benefits. For the most part.

Of course there are exceptions. I am writing this as someone who had access to education and can borrow books from the library, download them from the Internet or even walk into one of many local bookshops nearby. Not everybody will have these things. Even so, where there may not be a range of books available I feel sure that at least something will be available to a lot of people.

 

You can read anywhere!

Okay, so it’s probably unacceptable to read a chapter during a team meeting at work or such like. But, you don’t have to wait until the following evening to watch the next episode of that series your bingeing. Books are so portable and they can be read pretty much anywhere. At home, at work or travelling. The birth of e-readers has made reading even more flexible. I remember the times when I used to take three or four physical books on holiday in my suitcase for a week or ten days. In my later teenage years I was able to read George R. R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons on holiday without exceeding my luggage allowance; thanks to the birth of the e-reader! My entire downloaded library was in my hand at any given time. I had so much freedom and access to what I wanted to read that I didn’t particularly have to plan in advance what I was taking with me.

Reading doesn’t have to be done in blocks of time; if it suits you you could easily read 10 or 15 minutes at once. Turn on a regular basis and you could easily get through a book. If snatching that time works best in your lunch hour or whilst you’re on the go then you can absolutely do that.

These are just my top ten reasons why I love reading, and I would love to hear yours! Please let me know in the comments!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Books on my Summer TBR

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Today’s subject is all about my Summer TBR. For those of you who read my blog regularly, you will know that I have taken a bit of a step back with reading this year. I don’t particularly anticipate getting through ten reads throughout summer, but I will certainly do the best I can!

Therefore, this list is going to be the books that I will choose my TBR from, rather than a definitive list of ALL the books I’m going to read in summer.

Does that make sense? I certainly hope so… But without further ado let’s get into the books on my list!

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling

I’ve been re-reading the Harry Potter series this year and this is the next instalment on my list. I recently finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I really enjoyed that one, and I love that the books are starting to get a bit chunkier! I love a big book and I’m excited that some of the grittier aspects of Harry Potter are going to start creeping in soon. I can’t wait to pick this up!

 

Clarissa – Karl Drinkwater

This book is definitely going to be read very shortly as I am reviewing it for an upcoming blog tour next month. These are only short stories in a universe I’m already familiar with, having read other shorts in the series. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one compares and I have no doubt that I will enjoy it!

 

Ruabon – Karl Drinkwater

As with Clarissa, I am also reviewing the second short story around a week later than the first one. So, again, I will be reading this very very soon!

 

Dune – Frank Herbert

I intended to pick up Dune earlier this year, however, for one reason or another, it didn’t come to pass. I am determined to pick this up properly though, and so I imagine this will be among the next few books I decide to read.

 

Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

It has been several years since I read a book by Mark Lawrence, however, I really enjoyed his Broken Empire series when I was a teenager! So, as I’m sure you can imagine, I’m really looking forward to trying something new of his and seeing if it lives up to my recollection of The Broken Empire trilogy.

 

The Talisman – Stephen King & Peter Straub

I haven’t picked up a Stephen King book for a little while, and this is the oldest one on my TBR. It’s my mission to get through some of the oldest books on my list this year and so this one is definitely in scope. I’m reading The Dark Tower series at the moment and I love how Stephen King dabbles in a little bit of fantasy. This is completely different, to the best of my knowledge, but I’m willing to give anything a go…

 

The Feedback Loop – Harmon Cooper

The Feedback Loop is another reasonably old item on my TBR. Given that I’m really enjoying more in the way of science fiction at the moment, this is definitely one to consider picking up soon. I think it’s quite a short one compared to my typical average, so it shouldn’t take too long to read once I do pick it up.

 

The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan

The Keeper of Lost Things is a lot more contemporary than I typically pick up, however, I love the premise. As a sentimental person, I can see the appeal of the book and the narrative! With this one I was wanting to push my boundaries and try to read something new… so I hope I can get round to this before too long!

 

Hild- Nicola Griffith

It feels like an absolute age since I read a historical fiction novel. I’d say it’s my go-to genre that I haven’t picked up the longest. I’ve definitely been reading more in the way of science fiction and fantasy instead. With that in mind, I’m looking forward to getting back into historical fiction as it is one of my favourite genres. Having taken the break, I think reading Hild will be refreshing.

 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson

A summer TBR isn’t complete without a dash of humour, and this is what I expect and more from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I read a similar book recently, which blended psychology and humour. This also dabbles in a bit of self-help, which isn’t something I read much of, but I think this appeals to me for a lot of reasons!

Not giving a **** sounds like a plan to me!

So, there you have my Summer TBR (or at least the books I will be choosing my Summer TBR from). Have you read any of these books? Do you have any recommendations? Please let me know in the comments!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Humorous Book Quotes

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post!

In my Sunday Summary post last week I told you that I was planning on sharing this particular post, but that I hadn’t chosen a theme. I’ve looked at a plethora of quotes saved on my goodreads account and on my kindle and I’ve decided to share my top ten humorous quotes with you.

There is a definite weighting to a particular author I have read a lot of books by. He is very funny and the book series these come from is satirical, so it’s unsurprising so many have come from it. Yet a lot of them have a ring of truth, which to my mind makes me even funnier!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and the quotes I share below – here are the quotes and the books they belong to: –

 

People ought to think for themselves, Captain Vimes says. The problem is, people only think for themselves if you tell them to.

Men At Arms – Terry Pratchett

 

 

 

 

“I told Lord Harms I’d return Steris to him. And I will. That is that.”

“Then I will remain and help,” Marasi said. “That is that.”

“And I could really use some food,” Wayne added. “Fat is fat.”

The Alloy of Law – Brandon Sanderson

 

 

Granny Weatherwax made a great play of her independence and self-reliance. But the point about that kind of stuff was that you needed someone around to be proudly independent and self-reliant at. People who didn’t need people needed people around to know that they were the kind of people who didn’t need people.

Maskerade – Terry Pratchett

 

 

Never throw the first punch. If you have to throw the second, try to make sure they don’t get up for a third.

Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

 

 

 

 

You are not so smartThe research shows that groups of friends who allow members to disagree and still be friends are more likely to come to better decisions. So the next time you are in a group of people trying to reach consensus, be the asshole. Every group needs one, and it might as well be you.

You Are Not So Smart – David McRaney

 

 

It was clearly the room of a woman, but one who had cheerfully and without any silly moping been getting on with her life while all that soppy romance stuff had been happening to other people somewhere else, and been jolly grateful that she had her health.

Guards Guards – Terry Pratchett

 

 

The thing about the path less travelled is that it is often less travelled for a good reason.

King of Thorns

 

 

 

 

 

The conversation of human beings seldom interested him, but it crossed his mind that the males and females always got along best when neither actually listened fully to what the other one was saying. 

Pyramids – Terry Pratchett 

 

 

 

There were some things on which even they were united. No more policy statements, no more consultative documents, no more morale-boosting messages to all staff. This was Hell, but you had to draw the line somewhere.

Eric – Terry Pratchett

 

 

 

Listen,’ said Granny Weatherwax. ‘She’s well out of it, d’you hear? She’ll be a lot happier as a queen!’

‘I never said nothing,’ said Nanny Ogg mildly. ‘

I know you never! I could hear you not saying anything! You’ve got the loudest silences I ever did hear from anyone who wasn’t dead!’

Lords and Ladies – Terry Pratchett

 

That’s my Top Ten Tuesday post! Which of these quotes did you find the funniest? Let me know in the comments!

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday – Places in Books I’d Love to Live

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.

In today’s Top Ten Tuesday post, I am featuring my top ten places in books I’d love to live. I really liked the idea of this topic – which is why I’m taking part in it! Having said that, I did struggle to come up with ten. It’s not that I have a lack of books to choose from, but rather the events that take place in the book are more often than not unpleasant and consequently I wouldn’t want to live there!

For example, Westeros and Essos, the two main landmasses famous in the Game of Thrones series are notably not on here. If any of you follow the series I’m sure it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to wonder why…

But, alas, I did come up with ten in the end. Some of them still have caveats that I wouldn’t want to live that in the circumstances of the book necessarily, but they are all lovely places but I think I could live in in more pleasant climes.

So, shall we jump into the list?

 

The Shire: Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J. R. R. Tolkien 

The Shire has to be the top entry on today’s Top Ten Tuesday list. Maybe it is because of Tolkien’s beautiful descriptions, or perhaps it has more to do with the fact that The Shire is similar enough to where I actually live. I live in probably one of the smaller villages on the island. Whilst I certainly don’t live in a hobbit-hole, I do have the benefit of a small community and country views, just as hobbits do. For context as to just how small the villages, we have one convenience shop and one pub – you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve at least got our priorities right!

 

Prague: Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

It would be a very far cry to describe myself as a city girl. In fact, the thought is ridiculous – I just not a fan of being around people! However, the descriptions of the city of Prague are absolutely beautiful in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. So, I concede that I would be willing to give it a go. Even if I only survived living there a day, it still counts, right?

 

Deserted Island: Circe – Madeline Miller

This may seem like a strange addition, but I have my reasons. In Circe, the title character is banished to a deserted island. No spoilers as to why, but sometimes there is a great appeal to just have my own space. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete social recluse, but on a Friday evening after a full week at work, there is nothing I love more than locking my front door and just shutting the world out! I’m a very independent person and I benefit from being by myself to recharge my batteries. So, perhaps you can see the appeal of being left to one’s own devices sometimes!

 

The Labyrinth: The Relic Guild – Edward Cox

I can’t wholly put my finger on it, but there is something about the Labyrinth that appeals to me. Aside from the danger of magic and the quest of a small guild to save the inhabitants, there is something I like about the idea of living in a secluded area (as we’ve already covered!). For context, there is only one gateway into the Labyrinth; none who live there can leave. I hear you ask – why does that appeal? Well I suppose it’s again much like where I live. Obviously I can leave… unless you lived on the Isle of Man you won’t understand. The island is very static; the town that I grew up in hasn’t changed since my mum was a child. In some aspects I suppose there is a reassuring element to that which does not change, however equally progressive change is also somewhat lacking. Swings and roundabouts, but the concept of the Labyrinth does remind me of home. There may be a boat in the morning here yessir, but that entirely depends on the weather. 

 

Weep: Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

Weep is a legendary city in Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer duology. For this particular entry, my preference would be to visit the city before the events of the books. Cataclysmic events render the city of Weep destroyed before the books begin. However, the descriptions of its beauty even afterwards are in themselves legendary and on those alone, I would like to live in and admire the fabled city before its disaster.

 

The Misery: The Raven’s Mark Trilogy – Ed Macdonald

Of all the places to appeal to me in the Raven’s Mark series, it is the wasted, warping desert known as the Misery that strangely appeals. It goes to show that a fantastic description of a setting can go along way to influencing your perception. In the books it is an awful place; it is ravaged by monsters and there are no fixed landmarks as magic warps the landscape constantly. It is easy to get lost. If I remember rightly there is just one location/residence in the Misery that remains a fixed point. I’d have to make my base there… but at least I would wake up to new scenery every day!

 

London: Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch

I don’t profess to be an expert on modern-day London; the fact is I’ve only visited twice in my life. I visited once with my grandparents as a child and once again more recently, albeit for the more mundane reason of a training exercise for work. Still, there is a sense of excitement and appeal to the idea of there being more behind a modern-day setting. The unknown and the magical living on your doorstep is utterly fantastical and yet my whimsical brain loves the idea! If it could happen in London it could happen anywhere. I suppose we have our kind of ‘magical inhabitants‘ here on Island if you want to call them that. If you don’t say good morning or good afternoon to the fairies when you go over the Fairy Bridge, you can expect to be asking for trouble!

If anybody reading this thinks that the last sentence was a joke… It wasn’t entirely. It is tradition to bid the fairies good day when crossing the bridge. As to whether any ill-fortune becomes of you if you don’t is entirely speculative… But who wants to be taking that chance?

 

Elendel: Alloy of Law – Brandon Sanderson

The Alloy of Law is a rather steampunk setting and so living in this book would be a step backwards technologically. That would be a huge adjustment, however, the industrial revolution-esque advancements the city is gradually undergoing means that it wouldn’t be uninhabitable. And as a bonus, the city has its magical protector by the name of Waxillium – I can think of far worse choices for places to live!

 

The Emporium: The Toymakers – Robert Dinsdale

Do I even have to elaborate on this one much? Who wouldn’t want to live and work in a magical toy shop… especially when it only opens its doors for the festive season? It’s all the fun and none of the customer service lark for most of the year. Where do I sign up?

 

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling

Living at a school teaching magic is a huge appeal, ignoring the whole ‘he who must not be named‘ situation. Obviously I wouldn’t particularly want to live there during the event of the series, however as a lover of learning and magic in books this is definitely one of my top places to live on this Top Ten Tuesday list.

So, there you have it! Here are my top ten places in books I would love to live in! Do you agree with any of my choices? Or, do you have any alternative destinations? Let me know in the comments!

 

Attachment.pngAttachment_1.png

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads