Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.This weeks topic is books on my Spring TBR. I have more than ten books on my TBR at the moment but these are the ones I want to read soon. Let’s get started.
In a perfect world I will read all of these but the likelihood is that I’ll be distracted by new book releases and/or other things. Hopefully I’ll get to most on them though, because some of them have been on my bookshelf for quite some time now. What books do you hope to read soon? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some more favourite first lines in books. I did a post like this towards the end of last year so I thought it was about time to do another one. You can check out the first one here, if you want to. First lines can be such a fantastic way to hook the reader in from the very beginning. I’ve got five first lines to share with you, so let’s get started.
“A white bird hung still in the clear western sky and flapped its wings sporadically.” A Grace of Kingsby Ken Liu
“History has failed us, but no matter.” Pachinkoby Min Jin Lee
“He came one late, wet spring, and brought the wide world back to my doorstep.” Fool’s Errandby Robin Hobb
“I am the princess Harueme, daughter of Fujiwara no Enyu and the emperor we now call Go-Sanjo. More to the point, I am old and I am dying.” Fudokiby Kij Johnson
As I’ve already mentioned, I have done a post like this before so if you think any are missing they may be in the first post. What are some of your favourite first lines? I need to start noting these done when I first see them, because for this post I had to go back and search through my books for them. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Series or standalone / The Helga Finnsdottir Book 1
Star rating / ★★★.5
Goodreads synopsis: He can deny it all he likes, but everyone knows Viking warlord Unnthor Reginsson brought home a great chest of gold when he retired from the longboats and settled down with Hildigunnur in a remote valley. Now, in the summer of 970, adopted daughter Helga is awaiting the arrival of her unknown siblings: dark, dangerous Karl, lithe, clever Jorunn, gentle Aslak, henpecked by his shrewish wife, and the giant Bjorn, made bitter by Volund, his idiot son. And they’re coming with darkness in their hearts. The siblings gather, bad blood simmers and old feuds resurface as Unnthor’s heirs make their moves on the old man’s treasure – until one morning Helga is awakened by screams. Blood has been shed: kin has been slain. No one confesses, but all the clues point to one person – who cannot possibly be the murderer, at least in Helga’s eyes. But if she’s going to save the innocent from the axe and prevent more bloodshed, she’s got to solve the mystery – fast…
This is a murder mystery/crime story with Vikings, a dysfunctional family and an element of Norse mythology. I didn’t know too much about this book but I am glad that I gave it a go. From the very beginning I was intrigued by the family we follow in this story. It is clear that not all is as it seems and there are a lot of secrets with the house of this family. This added to the overall sense of unease and suspense that builds throughout the book. I think this was one of the main strengths of this book. The atmosphere builds throughout and keeps you engaged even when the pacing is a bit slow. Speaking of the pacing, the flow of the story was good. The beginning is a bit slow but that’s just due to introducing the world and it doesn’t impact on the overall reading experience. After a couple of chapters you settle into the flow of the story and the pacing picks up. Once I’d started reading, I didn’t want to put the book down. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Moving onto the world. I think the author did a great job at transporting the reader to the world of this Viking family but I kind of wanted more of the world as a whole. In this book we get a very insular look into the family and I understand why as it introduces us to the main character of the series (Helga) and the murder happens with the family household, but I wanted more context. Where is this family in relation to the wider world? I am hopeful that there will be more world building in the future books of this series. This is only a small issue as I still think the author has done a good job at creating this world. I really enjoyed the inclusion of Norse mythology, as mythology is something that has always interested me.
In terms of characters, I thought it was quite good cast, although some were lacking depth. It was initially a little tricky remembering names but after a couple of chapters it becomes easier to identify the different personalities. Helga is a great female protagonist and this was a fantastic introduction to her character. Her adopted parents are both intriguing and I really liked the way the author cloaked them in mystery. The siblings are all well written, however I couldn’t help but feel that they were a little superficial. I did think that some of the dialogue was perhaps a little modern at times, which can be quite jarring considering it is supposed to be set in 970. For the most part the dialogue is good, but at times a character would say something that just didn’t seem to fit into the time period. The relationships between these family members was really interesting as they are definitely a dysfunctional family. You never really know what the characters think of each other and some of the family interactions are quite tense, which lends itself to the level of unease once the murder takes place. I think it was clever to have Helga as an adopted daughter as she is more objective in her reasoning, despite her love for her adopted parents.
Overall I thought this was an enjoyable read with a good sense of suspense and an intriguing backdrop. This was my first book by this author but I am definitely interested in trying out more of his books as well as checking out the next book in this series. Have you read this book? What did you think? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Hi guys, I hope you are all well. I figured I hadn’t done a more personal post in a while so that is what I am doing today. I saw this over on Jenny in Neverland and thought that I would give it a go. From what I understand you come up with something that is important to you or something that you like for each letter of the alphabet. In other news, I passed my driving test this morning and I am so happy about it :). Let’s get started.
A is for animals – I have always been an animal lover and would love to work with them in the future. My favourite animal is probably a wolf but I have a few other favourites as well. I’ve had dogs’ in my life since I was 4 years old and we currently have 2 border collies.
B is for Brighton – I was actually born in Brighton, but we moved to Devon when I was four years old. Unfortunately I don’t remember much but I still love Brighton.
C is for cynical – I would say that I have quite a cynical view of things.
D is for dyslexia – I was told when I was 8 years old that I have dyslexia with elements of dyspraxia and have been dealing with it ever since then. The main way it affects me is my processing speeds so it takes me a little longer to process things.
E is for eating – I love food, although I am a bit of a picky eater. Some of my favourite food includes pasta, sushi and Chinese food.
F is for family – I am very close to my immediate family and they are my support centre, so of course they are important to me.
G is for Ghibli (Studio Ghibli) – to be honest I couldn’t really think of anything else for this one but Studio Ghibli have produced some of my favourite films and I always look forward to any new releases from them. Two of my favourites are Howl’s Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke.
H is for history – my favourite subject at school and the subject I would study if I choose to try University again. I have always loved this subject and I had some great teachers at my secondary school.
I is for introvert – I definitely identify more as an introvert. I am quite a quiet person, unless I am completely comfortable around you. I much prefer staying home to going out and I need to recharge after being in most social situations.
J is for Japan – one country that I would love to visit.
K is for kindness – because it’s good to show kindness to each other
L is for little – Not only am I a short person (5’2), I also have small hands and feet.
M is for mental health – I’ve had issues with my mental health for years now and I think it is such an important issue to be vocal about. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression since I was 12 and I was recently told that I am on the Asperger’s Syndrome scale.
N is for Netflix – because I like it and I couldn’t think of anything else for this letter.
O is for organised – I am quite an organised person and I actually really enjoy organising things.
P is for Philippa – which is my full first name, but most people call me Pippa.
Q is for quiet – As I’ve mentioned I am quite a quiet person and I don’t like loud noises. To this day I have to cover my ears if I go to a fireworks display.
R is for reading – no surprise that I love reading. I didn’t actually start loving reading until my mid to late teens but now I love it. Obviously my favourite genre is fantasy but I like to read other books from different genres too.
S is for sarcasm – my sister and me are quite sarcastic people.
T is for travelling – I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit over the years. Some of my favourite places I’ve been are Prague (Czech Republic), Italy, New York (USA) and Hong Kong.
U is for the UK – the country I was born in… I couldn’t think of anything else for u.
V is for video games – I love play video games, either on the Playstation or my Nintendo 3DS. Some of my favourite games include Horizon: Zero Dawn, Tomb Raider, Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, Uncharted and Assassins Creed.
W is for Winter – my favourite season, although I do also love autumn.
X is for X-ray – once again I couldn’t think of anything else and I’ve had a few X-rays… I’ve also had two MRIs which were kind of traumatic.
Y is for Year of the Birth – 1994 which is the Year of the Dog in Chinese Zodiac. I find this quite fitting since I love dogs.
Z is for zzz – because I love sleep.
It was actually quite tricky coming up with all of these… but I got there in the end :). I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Hi guys, I hope you are all well. I thought I would do a 2018 releases edition of US vs UK book covers. I really like checking out different covers of the same books and different illustrators vision of a cover of the same book. Maybe I’ll do another of these posts but include a load of different covers from different countries. In this post the UK covers are on the left and the US covers are on the right. Let’s get started.
A Veil of Spears/ book 3 in the Shattered Sands series / Bradley Beaulieu / Release date: March 22nd
This one definitely goes to the UK. I just prefer the UK covers for this series… although I’m not a big fan of the colour purple I think it actually works quite well for this cover.
Again this one goes to the UK cover, although the US cover may be more relevant in terms of the book itself. I love the colour of the UK cover and I like the font of it better than the US one. Both of these covers are great though.
Head On/ book 2 of the Lock In series / John Scalzi / Release date: April 19th
I prefer the US cover for this one. I really like the simplicity of it and the monochrome with the red book title.
Release date: 19/04/18
Circe/ Madeleine Miller / Release date: April 19th
I like both of these covers, but my favourite is the UK cover. It just looks so pretty. I think the US cover is more applicable to the story though.
Grey Sister/ book 2 in the Book of the Ancestor series / Mark Lawrence / Release date: May 17th
What have they done to the UK covers? The UK cover for the first book was so good and now they’ve changed covers for the second book. Although I’m not a fan of people on the cover I definitely prefer the US cover.
What do you guys think? Do you tend to prefer the UK or US covers? I love doing these posts as there are some great book covers out there and the illustrators are amazing. These are also book releases that I am looking forward to, so it’s interesting to see there different covers. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Series or standalone / book 2 of the Winnowing Flame trilogy
Page no./ 320
Overall Star Rating / ★★★★
This is the second book in the Winnowing Flame trilogy and continues soon after the end of the first book, The Ninth Rain. Since this is a sequel I will not be going into details of the plot, but I will say that this sequel maintains the fantastic standard of the first book.This is one of my most anticipated book releases of this year and I am happy to report that it does not disappoint. As I mentioned earlier, this sequel picks up right where we left off in the first book. The pacing does start out quite slow, but after a couple of chapters I had settled into the flow of the story. I attribute some of the this to the fact that I didn’t refresh my memory by rereading the first book, so I was a little hazy on the details. Despite the slow pacing, it was easy to slip back into this world as Williams does a fantastic job at making these books immersive. It was great to be back in this world and with these characters. The world is explored more in this book and you can clearly see the effort Williams has put into this world. The world building in this book, as well as the first, is fantastic. There are so many layers to it and I loved that we got to explore new areas in this sequel. The city of Ebora is so intriguing and it is one of my favourite things about this book, as well as the first book. If you enjoy good world building, then you will not be disappointed with this book.
In terms of the plot, this book is just as compelling as the first book. There are twists and turns throughout which will keep you guessing until the very end. Whether it’s a big battle scene or some quiet exploration of relationships, Williams does a wonderful job at keeping you engaged and glued to the page. Once I’d started reading this book, I didn’t want to put it down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Each chapter is from a different view point, so if you are not a fan of multiple perspectives then it is something to be aware of going in. I personally felt that it gives you a wider look into the events of the book and it worked well with the story. All the characters have distinctive voices so there is no issue of differentiating the character perspective and Williams manages to keep each chapter as compelling as the last. As with the first book, the writing is great, and it is easy to settle into the flow of her writing style. Through her writing, Williams creates a sense of unease in this book that really lends itself to the story and makes you worry about the larger threat that the characters must face.
One of the main strengths of this trilogy are the characters. It was so great to be back with these characters and their development in this sequel was fantastic. Relationships play quite an important role in this book and I loved how these relationships were explored. Both the romantic and platonic relationships are so well written and there is some great dialogue between the characters. The interactions between the characters feel so natural and realistic. There is such a diverse and complex range of characters that are all so well written. The development in this sequel was wonderful to see and you find that you’ve really come to care for these characters. Noon is one of my favourites, but I love all of the characters. We also get to see more of the enemy in this book, but I loved that they still remain a mystery in many ways. I think it adds a sense of suspense and unease, when the enemy remains largely a mystery to the reader – I guess it’s the fear of the unknown. Williams does a great job at introducing this enemy a bit more in this book and I am very much looking forward to seeing how things progress in the next book.
Overall this was a fantastic sequel and a good example of how to write a second book in a series. It has brilliantly built on from what came in the first book and it was a great reading experience. This trilogy is fast becoming one of my favourites and I cannot wait for the third and final book to be released. So far there is no title or release date for the third book, but I will be keeping an eye for it. The world building is fantastic, the characters are complex and flawed, and the plot is compelling. I cannot say enough good things about this trilogy. If you are looking for a new fantasy trilogy to try, then I would highly recommend checking this one out. Have you read this book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time to share some exciting book releases coming out in March. Now I’ve probably missed some, but I have four books that I am definitely interested in checking out. One of these books I have already read and loved but I wanted to share it with out guys anyway. Now these are the release dates for the UK, so I don’t know releases dates for other countries. Let’s get started.
I’m looking forward to checking all these books out, and continuing on with the Song of the Shattered Sea series. Are there any releases you’re waiting for in March? There are two movies I want to see that come out in March too – Tomb Raider and Ready Player One. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.