5 books to read by the end of the year

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. Today I thought I would share five books I want to read by the end of the year. I don’t know whether I’ll actually stick to this list but hopefully it’ll motivate me. I’ve been meaning to read each of these books for a while now so it’s about time that I actually read them. Let’s get started.

 

 

I definitely have more than five books on my TBR but these are high up on my priority list. Hopefully I’ll at least get to a few of these before the year ends. What books do you want to read before the year ends? I hope you are all having wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

 

Pippa

 

 

 

 

It’s Monday… What are you reading?

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. As the title of the post suggests, I am going to be sharing what I am currently reading and mention some books I want to get to soon. I have to admit that I haven’t been in the best reading mood at the moment; basically I don’t have a lot of motivation to read but I’m hoping it will pass soon. Anyway let’s talk about some books.
I’ve just started Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and I am planning on starting Fool’s Quest by Robin Hobb. I really enjoyed The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins so I’m excited to read another of his books. Moonstone is known by many to be the first detective novel, which makes me even more excited to pick it up. As I said, I’ve only just started it so I’m not very far in and so I can’t comment on the book yet. I haven’t started Fool’s Quest yet but I plan to start it. Of course I fully expect to love it as it’s written by Robin Hobb. It is the second book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy; I loved the first book so I’m looking forward to seeing how things progress in this sequel. I can only really read two books at a time so that’s all that I’m reading right now. Other books I’d quite like to get to soon include Jade City by Fonda Lee, Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed and Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore.

 

 

What are you guys currently reading? Have you read any of these books? There are also a few new releases (e.g. Circe by Madeleine Miller) I’m interested in so I might get distracted by them. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Kin / Snorri Kristjansson

Title/ Kin
Author/ Snorri Kristjansson
Page no. / 320
Publication date/ March 8th 2018
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.

 

Pippa

 

 

February Wrap Up and March TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It is the end of the month which means its time for another reading wrap up. I’ve read 4 books this month and I stopped reading one book. Other than reading, I have been loving watching the Winter Olympics. Anyway, let’s get started.

 

The Fifth Season / book 1 of the Broken Earth trilogy / N. K. Jemisin / DNF
Unfortunately, this book just didn’t work for me, so I stopped reading after roughly 120 pages. The main issue I had was with the writing. I really like the concept of this book and the world building I read was great, but I struggled with the writing. I just couldn’t get into the flow of the story. This one wasn’t for me, but don’t let that put you off as it’s got a lot of great reviews. I seem to be in the minority here.

 

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Shroud of Eternity / book 2 in the Nicci Chronicles / Terry Goodkind / ★★★
To be honest, I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first book, but I still thought it was a good book. I don’t know why but I found myself more aware of the writing while reading this sequel and the repetitive nature of the writing annoyed me a little bit. The plot had potential but I felt it was a little lacking and there wasn’t enough character development. Despite this I did still enjoy reading this book and I’ve also learnt that this isn’t a duology as I thought. I have more thoughts for this book so a full review will be up soon.

 

Elysium Fire / book 2 of the Prefect Dreyfus Emergency series / Alastair Reynolds / ★★★.5
* I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I had no idea that this was part of a series when I requested it, but I still ended up enjoying this book. I think I would have benefited from reading the first book, however it’s not completely necessary – some things may have just gone over my head a bit. I thought the plot was compelling, the characters are well written and it was easy to settle into the flow of the writing. I find that I really enjoy sci-fi crime stories so this was an enjoyable read for me. Reynold’s does a great job of creating tension that builds throughout the book. Overall I thought this was a great read and I am definitely interested in checking out other books by this author.

 

Jade Dragon Mountain / book 1 of the Li Du Novels / Elsa Hart / ★★★.5
I really enjoyed this book. The setting was what drew me to this book in the first place and it didn’t disappoint. The mystery was well written and I liked that it’s left to the reader to try and figure things out until it’s resolved at the end. I like mystery books that allow the reader to come to their own conclusions. One thing that did frustrate me though, was the villain in the ending. He basically admits everything and doesn’t seem at all bothered that he’s been caught… to me that doesn’t make sense. I never quite understand villains who confess to everything and tells everyone their evil plan, but maybe that’s just me. I still really enjoyed this book and I am interested in reading it’s sequel.

 

The Good People / Hannah Kent / ★★★.5
This is a historical fiction book set in Ireland in 1825.  I thought the plot was compelling, the writing was great and the characters were complex and flawed. This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I have to say she writes very atmospheric books. In this book Kent does a great job at creating an atmosphere of unease that grows toward the end of the book. It is quite a bleak story and the pacing is quite slow, because we are more focused on the characters and their development. Overall I thought this was a great book and would definitely recommend, especially if you enjoy historical fiction. If you enjoyed her other book, Burial Rites, then I think you will enjoy this book too.

 

Sovereign / book 3 of the Cromwell series / C. J. Sansom / ★★★★
This was a fantastic instalment to this series and it was great to be back with these characters. Sansom has once again written a compelling story and a mystery that will keep you guessing until the end. The character development through this book was great to see and I can’t wait to see how things progress in the next books. Basically this book was just as fantastic as the first two and I am excited to get to the three other books in this series.

 

The Initiate Brother and Gatherer of Clouds / Initiate Brother duology / Sean Russell / ★★★★
This was a fantastic fantasy duology with great characters, a compelling plot and an intriguing world. One of my favourite things about this duology is the political intrigue. Personally I love fantasy with political intrigue and this book does it so well. It is so interesting to see the inner workings of this world and how each of the characters interact with each other. Russell has done a great job at creating intricate story-lines and threading them all together. The world is wonderfully realised and it was so interesting to see the different cultures and beliefs. Overall I thought this was a fantastic duology and I would highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy political intrigue alongside fantasy.

 

I am currently reading Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb, which is the first book in the Fitz and the Fool trilogy. In terms of my TBR for March, I think I’ll continue on with the Shardlake series by C. J. Sansom and I want to read Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. Other than that I’ll just see what I feel like reading at the time. I may try to get some rereading done in March, because there are quite a few books that I want to revisit. What was your favourite book you read in February? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

2018 Book Releases

Hi guys, so it’s the start of the new year which means it’s time to talk about all the forthcoming book releases. Now there are a lot of books being released so these are just the ones I am aware of – I may have missed some. Most, if not all, of these books are fantasy as that is the genre I gravitate towards. Anyway let’s just get started.

 

January:
Shroud of Eternity / book 2 in the Nicci Chronicles / Terry Goodkind / 9th
Iron Gold / book 1 in the Iron Gold series / Pierce Brown / 16th
The Girl in the Tower / book 2 in the Bear and the Nightingale series / Katharine Arden / 25th

 

February/March:
Tempests and Slaughter / book 1 in the Numair Chronicles / Tamora Pierce / Feb 6th
The Dragon Queen / William Andrews / March 6th
The Bitter Twins / book 2 in the Winnowing Flame trilogy / Jen Williams / March 8th
 Wrath of Empire / book 2 in the Gods of Blood and Powder / Brian McClellan / March 8th
Charmcaster / book 3 in the Spellslinger series / Sebastien de Castell / March 17th
A Veil of Spears / book 3 in the Song of the Shattered Sea series / Bradley P. Beaulieu / March 22nd
April:
The Hyena and the Hawk / book 3 in the Echoes of the Fall trilogy / Adrian Tchaikovsky / 5th
Age of War / book 3 in the Legends of the First Empire series / Michael J. Sullivan / 17th
Circe / Madeleine Miller / 19th
The Grey Sister / book 2 in the Book of the Ancestors series / Mark Lawrence / 19th
King of Ashes / book 1 in the Firemane series / Raymond E. Feist / 26th

 

June – August:
Starless / Jacqueline Carey / June 12th
The Queen of Sorrow / book 3 in the Queens of Renthia trilogy / Sarah Beth Durst / June 28th
City of Lies / book 1 in the Poison Wars series / Sam Hawke / July 3rd
The Empire of Ashes / book 3 in the Draconis Memoria series / Anthony Ryan / July 5th
Bloody Rose / book 2 in the Band series / Nicholas Eames / July 12th
The Light Of All That Falls / book 3 in the Licanius trilogy / James Islington / August 7th
The Winter of the Witch / book 3 in the Winternight trilogy / Katherine Arden / August 14th

 

TBA:
The Thorn of Emberlain / book 4 in the Gentleman’s Bastard sequence / Scott Lynch
Doors of Stone / book 3 in the Kingkiller chronicles / Patrick Rothfuss
Untitled / book 3 in the Dandelion Dynasty trilogy / Ken Liu

 

Books I’m waiting for the paperback editions to come out:
An Echo Of Things To Come / book 2 in the Licanius trilogy / James Islington / January 18th
The Legion of Flame / book 2 in the Draconis Memoria series / Anthony Ryan / February 1st
Red Sister / book 1 in the Book of the Ancestors series / Mark Lawrence / February 22nd
Strange the Dreamer / Laini Taylor / March 8th
As you can see there are a lot of exciting book releases coming this year and I’ve probably missed some. It can be tricky to keep track of it all. Like last year I’ll do an updated post later in the year of all the releases for the second half of the year. What book(s) are you anticipating the most? Have I missed any? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

TTT: Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018

toptentuesday

It is that time of the week for another Top Ten Tuesday. It is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This weeks topic is books I’m looking forward to in 2018. The way I’m doing this topic is books I’m looking forward to reading in 2018, not anticipated books of 2018. Some of these books have been on my bookshelf for a while so it’s about time that I read them.

 

There are many more books on my TBR but these are 10 that I definitely hope to read soon. Some of my having been sitting on my bookshelf for a while now. What books do you want to read in 2018? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

November Wrap Up & December TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s time for another monthly wrap up. I had a pretty good reading month in terms of quantity and quality – I read eight books. I’m glad to be back in a reading mood again. Let’s get started.

 

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Forest of a Thousand Lanterns / Julie C. Dao / ★★
This book just didn’t work for me. I’m always up for trying East Asian inspired fantasy books but unfortunately I didn’t like this one. The main issue I had was the main character, Xifeng. I found her to be quite inconsistent at times and kind of frustrating. I know that you’re not really supposed to like her anyway but I just really wasn’t a fan and the girl on girl hate is a pet peeve of mine. The story was alright, although it seemed a little to neat and easy for the main character to get what she wants. The writing is good but it doesn’t really make up for the fact that I didn’t find the story very compelling. Overall this was a disappointment for me. It reinforces the fact that I’m not the biggest fan of YA fantasy at the moment.

 

Age of Assassin / R. J. Barker / ★★★
While I did enjoy this one, I didn’t love it. Probably somewhere between a 2.5 and 3 star rating. I thought the writing was good and it flowed nicely, but I found the plot to be a little lacking. To me it didn’t fully translate into a compelling story and there were a few times it dragged a little bit. It was still good for the most part. The characters are good, if a little lacking in depth and development. I don’t really know what else to say other than this one didn’t fully work for me. I probably won’t be continuing on with this series.

 

The Power / Naomi Alderman / ★★★
This one is quite a tricky one to rate. I think the concept of the book is great but it never translated into a compelling story to me. I can’t quite put my finger on why that is but that’s what I thought once I’d finished. The writing is good and this book is definitely full of interesting ideas, but there were times that I felt it was a little underdeveloped in some ways. I have mixed feelings on this book and I don’t really know what else to say. I would still recommend reading this but I definitely didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.

 

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The Book of Atrix Wolfe / Patricia A. McKillip / ★★★
I’ve been meaning to read more from this author since reading and loving Forgotten Beasts of Eld, so I decided to pick this one up on a bit of a whim. Her writing is great; I find it so easy to become immersed in her worlds and stories. This book was not an exception, although I didn’t love the plot as much as the previous book I’ve read by her. That’s not to say that the plot of this book wasn’t good though – I did still enjoy it. Overall I thought this was a great book and I’m definitely interested in reading more from this author.

 

The Black Tides of Heaven  and The Red Threads of Fortune / JY Yang / ★★★
I have a full review of this, so I’m not going to go into too much detail. I thought that both of these novellas were great, although lacking a little bit in the world building. The writing is good, the characters are well written and the world is an interesting one. If you’re a fan of fantasy then I would recommend checking these out if you’re interested by them.

 

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To Capture What We Cannot Keep / Beatrice Colin / ★★★.5
This is definitely quite a romance heavy historical fiction but I actually quite enjoyed it. The main thing I enjoyed about this book is that it is set during the construction of the Eiffel Tower – I think this is a great setting. Although it is quite romance heavy, I thought it was done well and it was an enjoyable story to read. I found this to be a quick and easy read, although it is quite a slow burner. If you’re looking for some new historical fiction to try out then I’d recommend checking this out.

 

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The Big Four / Agatha Christie / ★★★.5
It’s kind of funny that this is my fourth Christie book I’ve read considering the title. Anyway this was another great Poirot story with a compelling mystery. I’ve not been reading them in any kind of order but I haven’t been having any trouble reading them like that. Each has a separate mystery. I really enjoyed the story of this one and I find these Poirot mysteries to be so enjoyable to read. I don’t really have anything else to say about these – I’ve enjoyed all the Poirot books I’ve read so far.

 

The Book of Dust / Philip Pullman / ★★★★
This was probably my most anticipated book of this year and it did not disappoint. I was both nervous and excited about the possibility of this book, but it was great to be back in this world. It is quite a slow burning story, however I was never bored or felt that it dragged in any way. Basically I loved it and I’m very excited for the next book in this trilogy.

 

In terms of my December TBR I’m going to keep to simple and not pick a load of books to read as I haven’t really been sticking my TBRs recently. I would love to get to The Makioka Sister by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki – I said I’d pick it up in November but that didn’t happen. Other than that I’m just going to read what I want at the time. 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