It’s Monday… what are you reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!
Although I’m already reading two books, I’m actually planning on starting another one as well. I tend to only read two books at a time but this is one of the rare occasions I read more than two books at the same time. So the two books I’m currently reading are The Power by Naomi Alderman and The Big Four by Agatha Christie. Right now I’m about 130 pages into The Power and I’m a little conflicted about it. It’s an interesting concept but I’m not finding it the most engaging story so far. We’ll see how I feel once I’ve finished it. The other book is the fourth Poirot book I’ve read and I’m enjoying being back with this character. I’m reading it on my kindle and I’m currently about 9% through. The book I want to start is A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan. This book has been on my radar from quite a long time and I randomly felt like picking it up now, so that’s what I’m going to do. I’ll report back to you guys once I’ve finished it.
I have so many books on my TBR and it is always growing. I’m hoping that I’ll finish these three books by the end of the month. Have you guys read any of these books? What you are currently reading? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Artemis / Andy Weir

Title / Artemis
Author / Andy Weir
Publication Date / 2017
Page no. / 384
Series or standalone / Standalone
Overall Star Rating / 

 

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Goodreads synopsis: Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent. Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of Jazz’s problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself – and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even more unlikely than the first.

 

When I heard that Andy Weir was coming out with a new book, I was immediately interested. I thought this one was better than his previous book. First off, I thought Jazz was a great protagonist. She kind of sways between being likeable and unlikeable at times, but you become invested in her character anyway. I will say that I thought that her thinking seemed quite juvenile and immature alot of the time, even though she’s supposed to be 26 years old. I found this quite frustrating at times. Most of the characters had moments like this which detracted a little from the characters. For the most part though I did enjoy the characters and thought their progression through the book was good. It’s just that perhaps they could have had a little more depth and not been so immature. I will say that there are probably quite a few similarities between Jazz and Mark, in terms of their personalities and how they’ve been written. As with The Martian the writing is good and easy to get into. I will say that a lot of the scientific stuff kind of goes over my head, but it didn’t detract too much from my overall enjoyment. It does drag a little at times though, due to the scientific explanations. I have to admit skim reading some of those sections because I don’t really understand any of it. Despite this I still found this to be a compelling book. Once I started I just wanted to continue reading to find out what was going to happen next. Another strength of this book was definitely the world. I think Weir did a fantastic job of presenting us this world on the moon. It was easy to become immersed in the world while reading this book and I just thought that it was a very interesting one. I would love to see more of this moon city. This book is definitely not perfect but I still found it to be a fun, action packed and enjoyable read with a great world.

 

Overall I thought this was a very enjoyable read, although Jazz’s immaturity is a little frustrating at times.  Despite the flaws, I still thought it was great and I would definitely recommend checking it out. After some thought it’s probably more of a 3.5 star rating. If you enjoyed The Martian than I would say that there’s a good chance that you’ll enjoy this too.  Have you guys read it? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Words That Make Me Want To Pick Up A Book

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some key words that will immediately make me interested in a book. We all have certain things that make us what to read books and I have quite a few things that attract me towards books. Sorry for the long title but I couldn’t figure out a way of shortening it :). Now these don’t necessarily mean I will definitely pick up the book but these words will make me intrigued to check it out. Let’s get started.

 

General:
  • Hidden identities
  • Mythology
  • Strong group of friends
  • The author

 

Fantasy:
  • East Asia inspired
  • Animal companion
  • Strong female lead (especially if she’s good with a bow)
  • Great world building
  • Assassins

 

Historical fiction:
  • WW1 and WW2
  • Ancient China

 

Other things that may sway me to pick up a book include beautiful covers and/or a recommendation from someone I trust. I’m sure there are more but I can’t think of them right now :). What words or phrases make you want to pick up a book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Mini Series Reviews

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share some mini reviews of two series. One is an urban fantasy series and the other is a middle grade/young adult fantasy trilogy. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to review today, so I thought I’d review some series that I’ve read. Anyway let’s just get started.

 

The Others series / Anne Bishop / ★★★.5
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.  Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

 

This isn’t the type of book that I usually go for, but this series is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. I’m not normally a huge fan of books with werewolves, vampires etc and I tend to avoid them. This series is an exception. There’s something about the characters and their relationship that I really enjoyed reading about. I feel like they definitely could do with more depth and development through the five books, but you still become invested in them or at least I did. I thought that the plot was pretty compelling throughout, as well being quite different to what I usually pick up. Having said that it can be a bit of a slow burn. It’s not a full on, action packed urban fantasy, so if that’s what you’re looking for then this isn’t it. However if you’re looking for a more world and character based urban fantasy then you may want to check this out. I think the world is quite vividly drawn, as well as being one you want to know more about. The writing is easy to get into and I found the books to be quite addictive. Overall I think this is a great series, although a little slow at times and perhaps lacking a bit in character depth. I would still recommend checking it out, especially if you are a fan of urban fantasy. Trigger warning for self harm. Side note, I really dislike these covers.

 

 

Inkworld trilogy / Cornelia Funke / ★★★
Goodreads synopsis of book 1: Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can “read” fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service. Characters from books literally leap off the page in this engrossing fantasy. Meggie has had her father to herself since her mother went away when she was young. Mo taught her to read when she was five, and the two share a mutual love of books. He can “read” characters out of books. When she was three, he read aloud from a book called Inkheart and released characters into the real world. At the same time, Meggie’s mother disappeared into the story. This “story within a story” will delight not just fantasy fans, but all readers who like an exciting plot with larger-than-life characters.

 

This is originally written in German. Firstly I love the concept of this trilogy – that some people can read characters to life. I think that’s quite a interesting idea and I really enjoyed the story. I will say that although I think it can be enjoyed by a variety of ages, I think it is most suited to it’s younger target audience. The characters are all well written, although I wasn’t the biggest fan of some of the character progression (particularly Meggie), but generally the characters are great. The plot is unlike anything I’ve come across. I will say that although I did enjoy this trilogy overall I did think that the first book was the strongest and that it got progressively weaker. It is still a good story though. I think the writing is great in this trilogy and it really immerses you in this world. There are some good plot twists throughout the trilogy too. I haven’t read anything else by this author but I can see why she is a popular writer of children’s fiction. Overall this is a good trilogy, although I personally felt that the books got progressively weaker. I would recommend this if you are a big fan of the author or enjoy a lot of middle grade/young adult.

 

That is all I have for you guys today. Have you read either of these series? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

 

Fantasy Bucket List Book Tag

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. I figured it’s been a while since I’ve done a tag post so that’s what I’ll be doing today. A tag all about the fantasy genre seemed like a good tag to do, but I can’t seem to find who came up with this, so sorry for not tagging the creator. Let’s get started.
 
Q1: A fictional world that you would like to tour
There are so many possible answers for this one but I think I’m going to go for Middle-Earth. It’s such a vast place that I think I would be touring for quite some time :). I would especially love to explore the elven cities.

 

Q2: A specific place that you would like to visit
In the theme of my previous answer, I would go for Rivendell and Lothlórien, but I’ll also give a different answer too. Another place I would like to visit is the Clayr’s Glacier and/or the Abhorsen’s House from the Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix. Both places would be interesting to visit – I’ve express my love for this series quite a few times now :).

 

Q3: A character that you would like to meet
I would love to meet Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I think that would be pretty awesome – just to have a chat with him.

 

Q4: An event you would like to witness
I actually had a hard time coming up with an answer for this one but the events of the Rain Wild Chronicles would be pretty awesome to witness. Seeing dragons returning to the land and learning about them would be interesting. That’s all I could come up with.

 

Q5: A sport/activity you would like to try
The only thing that is coming to mind right now is Quidditch and I already know that I wouldn’t be good at that as I’m not great with heights so… I don’t really have an answer for this one.

 

Q6: A weapon you would like to wield
I’m probably going with quite a dull answer as it’s not a magical weapon, but I would go with the bow. I have always loved characters that wield the bow and I would love to be able to do it. I did actually do some archery at school but it didn’t last very long.

 

Q7: An item you would like to use
Definitely the alethiometer from His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. I probably wouldn’t be able to read it but I like to think that I could slowly learn to :). I think it is such an interesting machine so it would be amazing to be able to study it.

 

So that’s it for this tag post. Consider yourself tagged, if you want to answer these questions too. I love talking about fantasy so this was a good tag for me. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

5 Books To Read Before The End Of The Year

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. I have to admit that I’ve been running a little low on post ideas at the moment… so I thought I would share 5 books I want to read by the end of the year. I was going to do 10 but based on how much I’ve been reading I thought 5 would be more realistic for me to accomplish. These are basically some books that have been sitting on my shelves unread for quite some time now or books that I just really want to read soon. Let’s get started.

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Fool’s Assassin / Robin Hobb
Goodreads synopsis: Tom Badgerlock has been living peaceably in the manor house at Withywoods with his beloved wife Molly these many years, the estate a reward to his family for loyal service to the crown. But behind the facade of respectable middle-age lies a turbulent and violent past. For Tom Badgerlock is actually FitzChivalry Farseer, bastard scion of the Farseer line, convicted user of Beast-magic, and assassin. A man who has risked much for his king and lost more… On a shelf in his den sits a triptych carved in memory stone of a man, a wolf and a fool. Once, these three were inseparable friends: Fitz, Nighteyes and the Fool. But one is long dead, and one long-missing. Then one Winterfest night a messenger arrives to seek out Fitz, but mysteriously disappears, leaving nothing but a blood-trail. What was the message? Who was the sender? And what has happened to the messenger?

 

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The Good People / Hannah Kent
Goodreads synopsis: Based on true events in nineteenth century Ireland, Hannah Kent’s startling new novel tells the story of three women, drawn together to rescue child from a superstitious community. Nora, bereft after the death of her husband, finds herself alone and caring for her grandson Micheál, who can neither speak nor walk. A handmaid, Mary, arrives to help Nóra just as rumours begin to spread that Micheál is a changeling child who is bringing bad luck to the valley. Determined to banish evil, Nora and Mary enlist the help of Nance, an elderly wanderer who understands the magic of the old ways. Set in a lost world bound by its own laws, THE GOOD PEOPLE is Hannah Kent’s startling new novel about absolute belief and devoted love. Terrifying, thrilling and moving in equal measure, this follow-up to Burial Rites shows an author at the height of her powers.

 

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The Power / Naomi Alderman
Goodreads synopsis: Suddenly – tomorrow or the day after – teenage girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonising pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman’s extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed.

 

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The Makioka Sisters / Jun’ichirō Tanizaki
Goodreads synopsis: Tanizaki’s masterpiece is the story of four sisters, and the declining fortunes of a traditional Japanese family. It is a loving and nostalgic recreation of the sumptuous, intricate upper-class life of Osaka immediately before World War II. With surgical precision, Tanizaki lays bare the sinews of pride, and brings a vanished era to vibrant life.

 

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The Girl in the Tower / Katharine Arden / ARC copy
Goodreads synopsis: Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorising the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realises his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

 

Thinking about it I probably won’t be able to get to all of these but hopefully I’ll read a few of them. What books do you want to get to by the end of the year? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

5 Reasons to Read The Hobbit

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s Friday so it’s time for another review and I thought I would do another 5 reasons to read style review. I wasn’t sure what book to talk about so I decided on a classic, The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien. I actually didn’t read it until a couple of years ago (I think). I definitely saw why it is considered a classic. Let’s get started.

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  1. It can be enjoyed by a variety of ages. Originally written for Tolkien’s children, this classic can be loved by children or adults. It is just so good.
  2. The world is vividly drawn with fantastic characters. Middle-Earth is such a wonderful fantasy world and you will become fully invested in the characters.
  3. I think this is a great place to start if you are new to the fantasy genre or if you want to try some of Tolkien’s writing. LOTR is quite dense, so I think reading The Hobbit first is a good idea as it will give you a taste of Tolkien’s writing and it’s not as dense.
  4. Although a little slow to start, the plot is compelling and is so enjoyable to read. I think the atmosphere is also great throughout the book.
  5. If you are a big fantasy genre fan then I think this is well worth a read. It’s fantastic.

 

Basically I think it’s a really great book and I would definitely recommend reading it :). Have you read it? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa