What I’ve Been Reading This Week

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week

All That She Could See by Carrie Hope Fletcher

This was a brilliant book.  It had a magical feel that kind of reminded me of Chocolat by Joanne Harris and had just enough fantasy to satisfy my “I don’t read fantasy but…” side.  It was a lot more than I expected it to be – in a very good way!

What I’ve been reading

I thought it might be nice to start posting a semi regular blog about what I’ve been reading again. And to post it on a Monday so I can link it up with the It’s Monday! What are you reading? meme over on The Book Date.

This will be a longer list because it’s what I’ve been reading over the last several weeks. And for some reason most of these are audiobooks. I hope that will change to more actual reading soon.

And One Last Thing by Molly Harper

I’ve had the audiobook on my TBR for years and I’m trying to tackle my audio TBR rather than by new ones right now. It was OK. I did like it and it made me laugh but it was stupid in places and pretty antifeminist. I would not recommend it as I think there are much better books with the same premise out there.

Little Liar by Clare Boyd

I read this to review for Tenants Times, I thought a thriller would be good for the wider audience over there. I won’t say too much as I’ve written a full review. But I was reminded how much I like a thriller and impressed by how skillfully the tension ramped up having recently been to a workshop on plotting in fiction that talked about that.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

I won’t mention each book separately but in the past week or so I’ve relistened to the audiobooks of The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, and Prince Caspian. I’m currently listening to The Voyage of The Dawn Treader. My enjoyment of these books is different this time. I am seeing more problems with the way certain characters are treated, particularly women and have been thinking a lot about the so-called problem of Susan. I have enjoyed the books that don’t focus on the four Pevensies more than those that do. With the exception of The Last Battle the reverse has always been true when I’ve read them previously.

A Match Made In Devon Part Two: The Hen Party by Cathy Bramley

The second part of this new serialised novel was just as good as the first. I’m really enjoying it just like I have her previous books. Kinda wishing I’d waited for the whole novel though!

Reading Down My TBR Pile – Weeks Three and Four

I didn’t write an entry about what I’d been reading last week because I didn’t finish a single book the week before.  I have finished some books since then so I’m back updating this week.

I may also have bought three books and received a review book last week (and received another review book the week before) but we won’t talk about that!

The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake by Pippa James

This was a fun book and I enjoyed it a lot.  I took part in the blog tour for it and my full review can be read here.

Our Tiny Useless Hearts by Toni Jordan

Before Christmas I requested another book to review and when it came I found a copy of Our Tiny Useless Hearts had been included in the parcel too.  It was a nice surprise especially because it was a book I hadn’t heard of and on the face of it, it appeared to be a book that I’d really enjoy.

Unfortunately it fell somewhat short for me and I felt like it wasn’t holding my attention well.  I did like several of the characters and would definitely like to read more about the MC, Janice.  And her two nieces were brilliant, kid characters can be hard to write but I thought these were done well.

There were a few funny moments that I liked but in other places it just felt ridiculous.  It’s not a bad book, it just wasn’t for me – I think I would have enjoyed it more if it hadn’t been so many characters with all their complex interactions going on at the same time. If I lived in that house I’d have to move out!

White Lies and Wishes by Cathy Bramley

I don’t have a favourite author as such but Cathy Bramley is definitely one of my favourites. I would highly recommend checking out her books if you haven’t read them yet as I’ve enjoyed them all.

Several of her books have come out in installments and having read two of those as whole books and two of those in installments I’d say definitely wait for the whole book to come out rather than installments. I think I enjoyed those a lot more but it’s really hard to resist the installments as they come out!  So for that reason I was glad that White Lies and Wishes was just released as one whole book. I read it in two long sittings over three days and it was just brilliant to lose myself in it.

White Lies and Wishes was fab. I loved seeing the characters grow and change through it. And I especially liked the unusual beginning and unexpected moments that were scattered throughout.

Reading Down My TBR Pile – week 2

A good reading week this week. I finished a book I started last week and I read another book cover to cover.  I also bought two books (I don’t know why I keep saying I won’t buy books in January, it never works).

The Olive Tree by Lucinda Riley

This was an audiobook I’ve had for a while (I don’t intend to listen to an audiobook a week, it’s just how things have worked out) and I enjoyed it.  Almost wished I’d got to it sooner.  It was easy but intriguing at the same time and kept me hooked. Will definitely be looking out for more by Lucinda Riley.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave.

This was one of the two books I bought this week. I’ve been wanting it since I saw the hardback in the summer – I saw the paperback in the supermarket on publication day and didn’t buy it which I immediately regretted so went back the next day to buy it.

It was absolutely amazing and a compelling read. Relatively complex but not confusing and I just really can’t do this book justice in a few sentences.  I’ve read other books by Chris Cleave and all of them have kept me hooked big style (I thought the Olive Tree kept me hooked and then I read this – I was so much more hooked with this if that makes sense?) I can’t recommend this highly enough.

Reading Down My TBR Pile

I’d like to rename these posts but haven’t thought of a good name so they will stay as Reading Down My TBR Pile for now.

So far this year I’ve read three books and I’m part way through an audiobook. I also think this is the best Bout of Books I’ve had.  I managed to successfully not buy any books this week too – I’ve decided not to buy any in January but that resolve was sorely tested when several bookish people were sharing some amazing deals on twitter for books I thought I’d like.  All in all a successful week.

Here’s what I’ve read

Secrets At The Little Village School by Gervase Phinn

I bought the first Little Village School book on a whim when I saw it for cheap in Sainsburys several years ago. And I’ve been hooked on this series ever since.  This 5th installment didn’t disappoint, it was just as good as the earlier books. They are enjoyable, gentle reads with a real feel good factor and I think I’ve read each one in a day. Judging by the ending I suspect this is the last in the series but I really hope it’s not.

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes

Historical fiction with intrigue and twists (one of which I caught only one page before it was revealed). This reminded me of Downton in that it had all the good aspects and none of the ridiculousness that eventually put me off the series. I was very satisfied with this book and especially with how it ended.

The Hairy Bikers Blood Sweat and Tyres: The Autobiography by Si King and Dave Myers

First audiobook of the year. There’s just something about a memoir on audiobook when it’s read by the authors that I love. This was funny and interesting and made me hanker to read more memoirs. And hearing them read their story bought back happy memories of when I saw them do their live show.

Books, Books and More Books!

Last year I took part in Read Your Own Damn Books – a “you do you” challenge hosted by Andi of Estella’s Revenge with the idea of reading more of the books you already owned.

It’s fair to say I didn’t do very well with it.  My reading dropped off drastically last year compared to previous ones and I pretty much forgot about the challenge in the later months.  I think I ended the year at least 40 books behind what I’d normally read – which is fine, I made the decision not to push myself to read when I wasn’t feeling it and it was the right one.  And looking back through my goodreads list of what I read last year I did read several books I already owned (prior to the start of the year) but most of them were rereads.

However this year I would like to read more and make it a priority.  I’d also like to dive into those books I’ve had waiting for a long time.  A friend wrote on her blog recently that (I’m probably paraphrasing) if you enjoyed buying something and it wasn’t a lot of money it’s served it’s purpose before you read it.  And my Mum often tells me if having a book (or a DVD I guess) makes me happy that’s what matters.  But I do want to read some of the damn things.

I have two bookcases in my lounge (next to each other), one in the hall opposite my powerchair and one in the bedroom at the end of my bed.  On each of those there is a book that always catches my eye when I look at the bookcase.

I will consider my Read My Own Damn Books challenge successful this year if I read those 4 books – two of which I’ve had since a blogger event in 2012, one I got in 2015 and the last I can’t remember when I got it but I’ve had it years.

To try to kickstart my reading this year I read an entire book yesterday – Secrets at the Little Village School by Gervase Phinn – which was excellent (and if memory serves I’ve read each of the books in the series in a day).

And I’m going to take part in Bout of Books this week.  It’s a readathon that I’ve tried several times and never got on with (I think shorter ones work better for me) but there’s a first time for everything!

If you’ve not heard of Bout of Books here’s how they describe it:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

My goals are simple: start an audiobook to listen to whilst working on my crocheted blanket (I have some unheard and some unused credits so not sure which), read the book I got on New Years Eve (Belgravia by Julian Fellowes) and start one of those 4 books I mentioned about.

Reading Down My TBR Pile

I’ve read two books this week (well, one was an audiobook but I always count that as reading).

I’m on “staycation” for the next week (although I’ve actually not been to CAB this week due to an issue with the new powerchair) with lots of chill time and fun things that involve train trips planned so I suspect next week’s list will be a lot longer!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwoood.

I first read this years ago when it came up in conversation with one of my CAB colleagues and she lent it to me.  It was both my first Atwood and my first dystopia.  I’ve gone on to read many of both. Recently someone on Twitter posted about reading this and I was inspired to reread it. As I had an audible credit waiting to be used I got the audiobook at that was definitely the right decision, it’s brilliant in audio.

This really stood up to the reread and I think I took different things from it this time.  If you’ve not read this you should. If you’ve never read anything by Atwood you really really should.

High Tide by Veronica Henry

This is a summery fun book.  An enjoyable escapist read and the complete opposite to The Handmaid’s Tale.  I do enjoy a Veronica Henry book now and then but they always leave me hankering to go to the seaside!


Reading Down My TBR Pile

I’ve decided that I’d like to start keeping a weekly record of what I read again (more than on Goodreads I mean).  I’ve missed doing so.   I’m not sure if I’m going to stick with the reading down my TBR pile title or not because lets be honest it’s hardly making an impact in the pile.

Here’s what I’ve read in the last ten days or so.

Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage by Milly Johnson

I’ve read a lot of Milly Johnson books and enjoyed them.  But I had taken a break after getting very annoyed about the ending of the last one I read (it was a bit inappropriate, disability wise and made me want to throw the book across the room.)  Then I won a copy of Sunshine Over Wildflower Cottage so I gave it a go.

It was a fun read that I read cover to cover in one day, sitting in the garden (I’ve been doing a lot of that lately).  It’s not taxing and I always know what to expect but it is enjoyable and very relaxing

Song of The Skylark by Erica James

My first Erica James book and it definitely won’t be my last (I’ve had another of hers on my shelf for years following a twitter giveaway and will be reading it soon). Partially set during the Second World War this was chicklit with substance and I loved it.

A Year of Doing Good by Judith O’Reilly

This was a really irritating book.  I wrote more about that here.

Lost Lake by Sarah Addision Allen

I had forgotten just how much I like Sarah Addison Allen’s books.  This is the only one I own as all the rest were borrowed from friends or the library.  I need to have them on my bookshelves though!  I blew through this in one sitting (with just a two minutes break to turn the oven on when I realised how late it had got and was really hungry) and was disappointed when it ended.

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne.

This was not as good as a Harry Potter book but I did enjoy reading it.  It’s super quick.  I suspect the plays are a million times better than reading the script and I’m really keen to see how they stage it.

Reading Down My TBR Pile (2016 Edition) – Week Eight

There is actually very little to say about reading this week but I don’t want to get out of the habit of writing these posts.  I’ve read part of a book – Bone by Bone by Sandija Kay – but I’ve not finished any books.  I plan to finish reading that either tonight (or more likely tomorrow).

In terms of Reading Down My TBR Pile that’s basically a failure for February. I’ve read seven books/short stories/novellas this month. And I’m currently four or so books behind on my Goodreads challenge.

I’ve bought three books and read none of them.

I downloaded a free short story and read that.

And over the weekend I used all but one of my remaining audible credits (I bought a one year pack – 12 credits at a reduced price- in December) to finish my collection of Swallows and Amazons audiobooks. I haven’t listened to any of them. It doesn’t feel like that’s added to my TBR though because I’ve read them before.

That’s clearly bollocks though because buying them and not listening to them is pointless.

For March I’m wondering about having another go at 15 in 31. I’ve not managed it both times I tried before but I have several long train journeys coming up so that should make it much easier.

Here’s to better news next month!

Reading Down My TBR Pile (2016 Edition) – Week Seven

A mixed week for reading.

I binge read The Cake Shop In The Garden by Carole Matthews over two days and read the first 300 or so pages in pretty much one sitting.  I’d been wanting to read that for ages (borrowed it from a friend) and it was a fun read.  It was the sort of chick lit I really like – frothy and fun but still with a point to it and substance. I’ve been missing reading that sort of chicklit, so much of what I’ve read in that genre has felt like there was nothing to it.

And I finished listening to the audiobook of Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood.  She’s definitely becoming a favourite author of mine and I think I want to reread The Handmaid’s Tale which was the first of hers I read.  As for Lady Oracle – there were a few moments where the MC said stuff that really resonated with me and it was an interesting listen.  But as I got to the last few minutes I was struck with the thought that there was a point to it or a moral in the tale that I’d missed.