Sunday 31 January 2016

Stacking the Shelves.

Stacking the Shelves exists to help us share the books we are adding to our to-read piles. This includes books brought in physical stores or online, books borrowed from friends or the library, review books, eBooks, and gifts. In short, if you have got your hands on a book then share.

My list this week is, unfortunately, extremely short. My shelf is overflowing, again, and I’m trying to work through them before I start lengthening the list once more. It’s unlikely, but a girl can try.

I got a couple of books from NetGalley this week:

I also downloaded a single E-book:

As I said, it’s not much but I’m trying to work through by overloaded bookshelf and overflowing advance reads on my Kindle.

Make It A Monthly Thing.

I know, I’ve done it again. It is Sunday, not Saturday. Saturday is such a busy day, therefore I’m debating making this a monthly thing instead. After all, my reading varies massively week by week. We have some weeks where I read one or two books and then other weeks where I read multiple. This week is one of the later. They’re mostly from one series of books… but oh well.

Anyway, a roundup of the books I read this week:
·         Virtually Dead. Whilst it is not my favourite Peter May book, it was certainly an interesting read. It was something completely different compared to what I’m used to reading by the male, and I certainly enjoyed it.
·          Poison Study. I’d been eyeing up this series for a very long time. It is such a wonderful read. It wasn’t at all what I expected – I expected more of the magic, if I’m honest – yet I adored it anyway.
·          Magic Study. I enjoyed the first book so much that I started the second straight away. It did not disappoint. The story continues, helping the world to build beyond what we saw in the fire.
·          Assassin Study. A short story linked in with the Study series. It wasn’t overly magical, but it was interesting enough. It was nice to see more of one of the main characters.
·          Welcome. Honestly, I didn’t find this all that interesting. It was one of those things that you can read, only to forget about it shortly after finishing it.
·          Protect the Children. It was an interesting idea, but it wasn’t really fleshed out as well as it could have been. Again, it’s one where you can read it and forget after a short time period.
·          E-Time. As with the aforementioned, it is nothing overly amazing. It is fun at the time, yet it doesn’t really do much.
·          Fire Study. Another wonderful addition to the Study series. Continuing in the direction that the first two took us, this one is a great book for giving us answers for many of the questions we had.
·          Power Study. A fun story containing characters we want to read more of. In all honesty, I’d be happy with more short stories about these characters.
·          Ice Study. Another fun short story, adding more to the series. It was a fun read, although it is not a necessity to read (although it would be beneficial). Still, if you enjoy the series and plan to continue on with the rest of the books, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this.
·          Storm Glass. Whilst I did not enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed my foray into the Study series, this is another wonderful book in the same universe. It carries the story forward, whilst giving us an entirely new cast to follow.
·          Sea Glass. Whilst I did enjoy this one a lot, I feel as though this series has too much focus upon the romantic life of the main character. It is still enjoyable, but I wish there was less of a focus.
·          Spy Glass. A fun end to the Glass series. The romance part of the story took some turns I did not particularly enjoy, but as I was never really all that engrossed by that aspect of the story it didn’t bother me much. Plus, we get to see more of characters from the Study series, with the characters being better-rounded in my opinion.
·         Playing with Fire. This was so much fun. I admit that I didn’t completely agree with the ending, but as a whole it was a wonderful read. Tess Gerritsen never fails to entertain!

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Strange the Dreamer.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking the Spine. The idea behind it is to share upcoming releases you cannot wait to get your hands on.

My pick for this week has limited information and is without a cover – but do not let such a thing deter you. It is Laini Taylor’s next release, meaning you know it is going to be good. The author easily made it into my favourite author list when I started her Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. Since finishing the series I have read her short stories, and now I know what is coming next and I cannot wait.

Strange the Dreamer is the first in the duology. It sounds as wonderful as ever!

“Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep.”

Out September, I cannot wait to see what she has given us this time!

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Cannot Believe I Have Yet To Read.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature that can be found at The Broke and The Bookish. This week is a freebie week – meaning I get to pick my own topic. I had a few ideas, but in the end I opted for one of the past top ten picks I missed out on. Therefore, my top ten this week is the books I cannot believe I have yet to read. They are all on my to-read list – but the fact they are sitting there worries me. I really need to hurry up and read these books.

1.     1984 by George Orwell.
2.     The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.
3.     Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.
4.     Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
5.     A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.
6.     Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
7.     Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.
8.     Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
9.     War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
10.  Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.

It’s a pretty scare list, actually, realising I have yet to pick these up. I really need to get to it.

Sunday 24 January 2016

Stacking the Shelves.

Stacking the Shelves exists to help us share the books we are adding to our to-read piles. This includes books brought in physical stores or online, books borrowed from friends or the library, review books, eBooks, and gifts. In short, if you have got your hands on a book then share.

The majority of books on my list this week come through having borrowed books from a friend. I did grab a couple, but overall I did not go all that mad this week.

The physical books I got my hands on this week are:
·          Never Say Die by Tess Gerritsen.
·          Fluke by James Herbert.

The eBooks I got my hands on this week are:
·          The Gifting by K. E. Ganshert
·          Skip by Perrin Briar.

The books I borrowed this week are:
·          Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.
·          Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder.
·          Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder.
·          Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder.
·          Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder.
·          Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder.

Saturday 23 January 2016

A Week In Retrospect.

Okay, so I’m back to posting this rambling update on a weekly basis now that the busiest time of the year is out of the way. Unfortunately, however, I am currently without a laptop. Acer has finally decided that the repairs require them to take a look at it – as I’d been saying from the start. Thus, I’ll be keeping this rather short.

Whilst my timetable is not as crazy as it could be (although it is bad enough) the constant early starts are killing me after spending so long being lazy over the Christmas period. It doesn’t help that I have a migraine building up to kill me – seriously, the eye twitch warning has been so bad the last few days I look as though I have a serious eye issue. Due to this I have not done all that much reading this week.

There were three books (one of them taking far too long due to a lack of real enjoyment), but I hope to get back into the swing of things soon. We have:
·          Life or Death. I’d been meaning to read this for quite some time, and having finally worked my way around to it I can say it wasn’t quite what I had hoped for. It was a good read, yet I had wanted something more based upon the reviews.
·         Marry Your Billionaire. I’ll start by saying I’m not the biggest of romance fans. I dabble in romance. I like it as an understory. Sometimes, however, romance books really pull me in. Such was the case with this one. Marry Your Billionaire was highly entertaining, and more than worth the read. I can assure you, if you enjoy romance you will enjoy this.
·         Night Film. This is the book that took me forever to finish. I could not get into it. I have heard so many good things about this book, yet in the end I found it to be rather drab. In short, it was a massive disappointment.

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: Hidden Bodies.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking the Spine. The idea behind it is to share upcoming releases you cannot wait to get your hands on.

It has been a while since I participated – due to being so busy over the Christmas period, and then being off in Iceland – and upon my return I have opted for a book that is out soon… or is already out depending upon where you look. Either way, my OCD says I have to wait until it is paperback as that is what I have the first book in. Thus, I’m going to pretend the February release date is the correct one (so sue me if it did come out in the last week in some countries).

Anyway, this week I have chosen Hidden Bodies as the book I’m excited for. I cannot wait to see what comes next. Having picked up the first book – You – by chance, only to love it, I need my fix of an antihero who captured my heart.

“Charmingly murderous anti-hero Joe Goldberg continues his twisted quest for the perfect love in this thrilling follow up to the “deeply dark yet mesmerizing” You. When Joe follows the woman he wants to marry to the West Coast, he never imagines that his obsession will lead him to such tragedy.”

Here is to hoping book number two is as wonderful as book one!

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've Recently Added To My To-Read Pile.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature that can be found at The Broke and The Bookish. The topic for this week is my top ten recently added books to my to-read list. It is a bit like the Stacking the Shelves I participated in on Sunday, but things have changed since then. I have read a couple of the books, and there has been new additions. Thus, the following is the ten most recent books I have yet to read.

Working backward (so the most recent first) we have:
1.     Keeping Mum: Long Weekend by Perrin Briar.
2.     Runaway by Peter May.
3.     Derailed Conscience by Eliza Green.
4.     Lovestruck by Siobhan Davis.
5.     Pretty Broken Girl by Jeana E. Mann.
6.     City of Blaze by H. O. Charles.
7.     Becoming Human by Eliza Green.
8.     Devil’s Peak by Deon Meyer.
9.     True Calling by Siobhan Davis.
10.  Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor.

I own the first nine, and should read at some point in the foreseeable future, yet the last one is a release I’m waiting on.

Sunday 17 January 2016

Stacking The Shelves.

I have been promising to start up a new feature since just before Christmas, and now with the busy period out of the way it is time for me to start said feature.

Stacking the Shelves exists to help us share the books we are adding to our to-read piles. This includes books brought in physical stores or online, books borrowed from friends or the library, review books, eBooks, and gifts. In short, if you have got your hands on a book then share.

I’d originally planned to share everything from the last month (from the time when I decided I was going to participate in this feature); yet to do such a thing would give you a scary long list. I really did go overboard in buying books after Christmas. Ergo, we have the books I picked up in the last week. After all, just because I was in Iceland it does not mean I stopped picking up books.

The physical books I managed to get my hands on this week are:
·          Runaway by Peter May.
·          Faithless by Karin Slaughter.

The eBooks I managed to get my hands on this week are:
·          Six of Hearts by L.H. Cosway.
·          True Calling by Siobhan Davis.
·          Devil’s Peak by Deon Meyer.
·          Becoming Human by Eliza Green.
·          City of Blaze by H.O. Charles.
·          Lovestruck by Siobhan Davis.

I also managed to get my hands on one advance read copy this week:

Saturday 16 January 2016

A Month In Retrospect.

My first official ramble post of the year. Oh my, where is the time going? So much time has gone by since I last wrote up one of these.

I’ll try to keep it short, though. Despite how there is a lot to say. That being said, however, I wouldn’t quote me on the whole ‘short’ thing. We all know things never go as planned. After all, I did promise quite a few things. I guess it will be a list-like post.

I’ll start off with the non-book related stuff.

Iceland was wonderful. It is such a beautiful country. Snow. Mountains. Waterfalls. Aurora borealis. Everything you could wish for in a beautiful country. It was well and truly worth the visit. I could bombard you with pictures (I have around six hundred, I believe) but I won’t. Just know it was lovely.

Also on the non-book topic, classes start up again on Monday. We’ll see how much time university cuts out of my reading this semester. We’ll know how many books a week to expect of me soon.

Now, with that out of the way, the book stuff.

I’ll begin with last year. I completed my reading challenge. I upped it far too many times and ended up with a challenge of two hundred books. I admit to reading quite a few short stories, but they made up a rather small percentage of my reads. If you are interested here is my year in books. Two hundred and nine books. Over seventy-three thousand pages. Quite a list.

Following on from that, I really need to get up to date with my reviewing. I’m pretty sure I have around thirty reviews to write up, as I put reviewing on hold during exam period and over Christmas. This means the links at the end of this post may not contain actual reviews for a couple of days. I’m going to work through them, but I’m not quite sure when they will all be up. I plan to be done by the end of the week, though.

One thing you will not have to wait for (well, you will, but not in the same way), is the weekly features. I’m starting back up again this week. Expect me to start a new feature tomorrow, and for the usual Tuesday and Wednesday posts to start up again this week.

Up next, we have my reading challenges for the year. I have set the Goodreads reading challenge at one hundred and eighty. There will be no increase this year. Hopefully. I’m participating in this here genre challenge. I’ve also spliced together a couple of other random challenges to create a challenge of my own. It was hard to find a single challenge that appealed to me (a lot of them made references to things I read anyway, and I wanted an actual challenge) hence the splicing. My crazy challenge goes as follows.

1.     A book becoming a movie this year.
2.     A book more than seven hundred pages long.
3.     A book published this year.
4.     A book released the year you were born.
5.     A book written by an author sharing your first name.
6.     A book written by an author sharing your initials.
7.     A trilogy.
8.     A book with a blue cover.
9.     A book published the month of your birthday (any year).
10.  A book originally published in another language.
11.  The first book in a series you have never read.
12.  A novel that won the Pulitzer Prize.
13.  A book currently on the New York Times list of bestsellers.
14.  A book with a one-word title.
15.  A book with alliteration in the title.
16.  A debut book.
17.  A book by your favourite author that you have yet to read.
18.  A book with an ugly cover.
19.  A book banned at some point.
20.  A book picked solely because of the cover.
21.  A book by an author you have never read before.
22.  A book with a colour in the title.
23.  A book more than two hundred years old.
24.  A classic romance.
25.  A book with a number in the title.
26.  A popular author’s first book.
27.  A book turned into a TV show.
28.  A book with food on the cover.
29.  A book with a place in the title.
30.  A book set in your city.
31.  A book with a two peoples names in the title.
32.  A book written by two authors.
33.  A book mentioned in another book you’ve read.
34.  A book written under a pseudonym.
35.  A book set on a different continent.
36.  A popular book from last year that you did not read.
37.  A book written by an author who has published less than ten books.
38.  A book that has someone’s first and last name in the title.
39.  A book with your favourite colour cover.
40.  A book a family member enjoyed.
41.  A book published the decade your father was born.
42.  A book with a country in the title.
43.  A book with a musical instrument on the cover.
44.  A book with a watch, clock, or timepiece on the cover.
45.  A book with birds on the cover.
46.  A book with all the vowels in the title.
47.  A book with ‘good’ in the title.
48.  A book with ‘bad’ in the title.
49.  A book rated 4.5 or higher on Goodreads.
50.  A book with a family relationship word in the title.
51.  A book you never read at school.
52.  A book written by a woman that features a male protagonist.
53.  A book with an orange cover.
54.  An independently published book.
55.  A book ‘everyone’ has read but you.
56.  A book you have owned for over a year but have not read.
57.  A book you borrowed from a friend.
58.  A book with five or more words in the title.
59.  A book you won.
60.  A book that was cheap to buy.
61.  A science fiction book that is not dystopian.
62.  A book featuring a crime other than murder.
63.  Read a book published under more than one title.
64.  A book with a time, day, or month in the title.
65.  A book by an author who has died in the last ten years.
66.  A book by your mother’s favourite author.
67.  Read a book after seeing the movie.
68.  A book you have seen someone reading in public in the last three months.
69.  A book you received as a gift.
70.  A book with an element in the title.
71.  A book with the letter ‘x’ in the title.
72.  A book with a fruit on the cover.
73.  A book with an animal in the title.
74.  A book with a non-human main character.
75.  A book you got for free.

Finally, we have another lengthy list. The list of what I have read since my last update. It isn’t as long as it could have been (I have skipped the education related books) but there are still a few books to be mentioned.

·          Curtsies & Conspiracies. As with the first one, I really enjoyed this book. It is a great steampunk read, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys the genre.
·          Blowback. Not the best book in the series (I’m going to be honest, there were quite a few inconsistencies) but it was another fun read for the series. I really hope it continues on at some point in the future, as I’d love to know how it all ends.
·          It’s a Punderful Life. Truthfully, the puns were a bit of a let down. I giggled a couple of times, but it was not the amusing book I had hoped it would be.
·          Waistcoats & Weaponry. As you work through the series, the books seem to mature more – allowing you to enjoy them more and more. To put it simply: I loved it.
·          Manners & Mutiny. Overall, I loved the entire series. It is well worth a read and I want to go on to read the other work by the author.
·          Fighting Dirty. I was rather disappointed with this one. I wanted more story than we were given. It seemed too forced for my liking.
·          Fighting Dirty Too. I found this one to be much better than the first. There was much more storyline to it. It felt like a real story, rather than a mere collision of characters for a short period of time.
·          Kitty and the Midnight Hour. One of those books where I’m left sitting on the bench. I didn’t hate it, yet at the same time I didn’t love it either. It simply exists in my world.
·          Lima Oscar Victor Echo and The Truth About Everything. Another disappointing quick read. It was far too much of a teenage angst read. A book of clich├ęs that failed to excite.
·          Kitty Goes to Washington. Whilst better than the first book, this one failed to leave me with any real lasting emotions. It is another book that simply exists.
·          The Philosophy of Furniture. Not at all what I was expecting of Poe. It was interesting, but it is not what he is known for.
·          A Tale of Jerusalem. Another surprise from Poe – and not the good kind. I’m planning to work my way through all of his works, unfortunately it seems as though the least entertaining is at the start of the collection.
·          Kitty Takes a Holiday. I’m not sure I like where the series is going. It seems to be going in an interesting direction… yet everything seems too forced. I’m not getting enough answers. Things are being combined that shouldn’t be. I doubt I’ll go out of my way to complete the series.
·          The Shunned House. An interesting short story from Lovecraft. It was my first dealing with the author and it has certainly left me willing to go back for more.
·          IT. Yes, I finally made it to this one. It is a wonderful story, although it is not my favourite King book. Honestly, it is quite slow at stages. It drags. There is a lot more to the book that to the movie… but some of it could have been cut and it would have been just as good. I wish it had been more terrifying, though.
·          Solomon Creed. Whilst not as good as his other series, this first book has me interested to see where the story will go. I’m glad I managed to win a copy of this (I should mention at this point, the copy I won is a beautiful black stained pages edition) and I will be carrying on to find out where we head next!
·          Ashley Bell. I was so excited for this one. I won a copy of my favourite author’s book. I’m sure you all remember my excited post from a couple of months ago. Whilst it was not my favourite Koontz book, it certainly packed a punch. It is the Inception of books. In fact, this book has the impact Inception was supposed to leave me with.
·          A Witch in Winter. This is your typical teenage fantasy book. The supernatural. The romance. The yawn factor. It is enough to keep you reading, but mainly so you can see how it pans out. You want to know if it is going to go in a different direction to the rest of the books in the category.
·          The Girl With No Past. This one sat on my Kindle waiting to be read for so long. I’m not sure why I kept procrastinating on it… but whatever the reason, it was not what I expected it to be. I was expecting so much more from this one. It was all rather boring. Characters I could not relate to and predictable plot moments.
·          A Witch in Love. This was much the same as the first. It is what you expect of the teenage books in the genre. Whilst slightly more enjoyable than the first, it wasn’t anything to write home about.
·          A Witch Alone. As a whole, the entire series focused too much upon the love factor for me. It has all been done before and I merely went along with it. I’ve finished it, and that’s about it.
·          Everything, Everything. I had been so excited for this one. After winning it (and having a lot of trouble getting it to arrive at the house) I wanted to jump straight in. When I finally got around to reading it, I failed to understand the hype. It was nothing new. It seemed to be trying too hard. It was an okay read, but I cannot understand the hype.
·          Six of Hearts. This one really surprised me. I needed something to read on the flight home and this was what I needed. Iceland to Scotland isn’t that long of a journey (it takes about two hours), add in coach journeys to the city centres of the two locations I flew between and you have the length of time it took me to read this book – all in all, a very short time period. I was so engaged. It was hilarious. It wasn’t what I was expecting – it was more of a romance than the thriller the description on the Apple store had me believing – but I loved it. It is more than worth the read. 

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday:Top Ten Resolutions We Have For 2016.

It’s my first post of twenty-sixteen, oh my! Sorry for not posting sooner, I meant to but you know how things are. I’m off to Iceland the weekend but when I’m back I promise a nice and lengthy post. Recap of my recent reads, getting up to date on features I have missed, sharing my twenty-fifteen in books, and so on.

I know you don’t care about that right now, though. Therefore, we will move onto the good stuff.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature found over at TheBroke and the Bookish. The top ten Tuesday this week is our resolutions for the year. I’m not really one for resolutions, but I always try to have something book related. So, without further ado, here are some book related resolutions:

1.     Read more classics. I planned this last year, and, whilst it worked, I didn’t read as many as I had hoped. This year I plan to read more.
2.     Get up to date with series. I have a large number of series I have yet to complete, that I’m halfway through, and I plan to get up to date.
3.     Work harder on the book club I’ve started at work. It has been slow going, but I will be working harder on it this year.

I know it’s only three resolutions, but I don’t wish to overburden myself. I’m already planning a couple of book challenges (which I will share in my big post when I’m back from Iceland) and so this is just a more general thing.

Whatever your book related resolutions, I wish you the best of luck!