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.

 

33958230

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.

 

28288002

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.

 

25901561

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.

 

16316

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

 

 

Totally Should’ve Book Tag

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. I figured I haven’t done a book tag in a while so that’s what I’m doing today. I’m feeling abit uninspired at the moment and feeling like what I’m producing isn’t as good as I want it to be. I don’t know… I’m just having one of those times where I’m a bit unmotivated. If you have any post requests or advice on how to improve than I would love to know. Anyway, as you can tell from the title I am going to be doing the totally should’ve book tag, which was created by emmmabooks. Let’s get started.

 

Q1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel
The first book that comes to mind is Fudoki by Kij Johnson. Part of me would love to see more of Kagaya-hime but the other part wonders whether it should just be left a standalone… I don’t know. I do love this book so it would be amazing to have more of this world.

 

Q2. Totally should’ve had a spin off series
I have two answers for this one – the Echoes of the Fall series by Adrian Tchaikovsky and the Queens of Renthia trilogy by Sarah Beth Durst. I know both of these series are unfinished right now but I would love to see more from both of these worlds.

 

Q3. An author who totally should write more books
I would love to see more books coming from Robin Hobb. The huge Realm of the Elderlings series has just been concluded and so I would love to see a brand new world from her. I still have the last trilogy to read but after that I definitely hope to see new books from her. Otherwise I’ll just have to continually reread all her books :).

 

Q4. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else
To be honest, I don’t think I really have an answer for this one.

 

5. Totally should’ve ended differently
For this I didn’t exactly want it to end differently I just wanted more time to be spent with the ending and that is Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. There’s quite a big build up in this book and the ending felt quite rushed, which was a little disappointing. It’s still a good ending but it could have been done a bit better.

 

6. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise
The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon would make a fantastic movie franchise. I would definitely go and see that film, so I have my fingers crossed that it will happen :). Hopefully it would be done well.

 

7. Totally should’ve had a TV show
Maybe the Riyria Revelations series by Michael J. Sullivan. I think that could be a really fun TV show and I would love to see the relationship between Royce and Hadrian come to life. I would definitely watch that show. Also I think the Shardlake series by C. J. Sansom would make quite a good TV show.

 

8. Totally should’ve had only one point of view
The first thing that comes to mind is Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan, which is the second book in the Raven Shadow trilogy. The first book there is only one perspective but in the second there are multiple perspectives. I loved the first book but found the second a little disappointed and I can’t help but wonder whether it was due to this change. Having said that, it does give a wider look into the world so I don’t know if it would have worked as just one perspective.

 

9. Totally should have a cover change
Well I’m not the biggest fan of covers of the Other series by Anne Bishop. Typically I don’t like people on the cover and they all have a woman on the cover, so I definitely think they could do with a cover change.

 

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers
I don’t really have an answer for this one, but I would definitely say that the Penguin English Library editions should have stayed with the rubberised editions. They were so much nicer than the current finish of the editions.

 

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one
Again, I don’t have an answer for this one… Sorry.

 

That’s it for this tag. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

T5W: Favourite Creepy Settings

Top 5 Wednesday was originally created and run by Lainey aka gingerreadslainey (Youtube channel) but it is now being run by Sam aka Thoughts on tomes (Youtube channel). Each week there is a different topic. You can check out the groups Goodreads page here for any more information and the future topics. This week’s topic is favourite creepy settings. I only have four books to share today, because I clearly don’t read that many creepy books :). The four that I’ve chosen though have done creepy settings/atmospheres very well.Let’s get started.
Although I’m not one for horror, I do enjoy a good creepy setting. Maybe not to read at night though :). Do you guys have any favourite creepy settings? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

It’s Monday… What are you reading?

 

badge
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!

 

I have to admit that I haven’t read alot at all so far this month. I think partly because I’m not in the best head space right now so I don’t have the motivation to read. I have started two books though and I hope to get into a reading mood soon. The two books I’m currently reading are 1984 by George Orwell and Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny, which is the third and final book in the Empire trilogy. I am so excited to see how this trilogy concludes and I’ve been meaning to read 1984 for a while now.

 

I’m sorry that this is such a short post but I don’t have a lot to say really. I hope that’s okay with you guys – I don’t want to disappoint anyone with my blog. Anyway what are you guys currently reading? I’d love to know. I hope you are all having wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

September Wrap Up and October TBR

Hi guys it’s time to wrap up another month of reading. I thought I hadn’t read much this month but it turns out I still managed to read 5 books so I’m pretty happy with that. At one point I thought it was only going to be two books. Anyway I’ve read some great books this month – none of the books are rated under 3 stars. I’ve just not had a huge amount of motivation to read so I’m super happy with the 5 books I’ve read. Let’s get started with my mini reviews.

 

Queen of Fire / Raven Shadow trilogy – book 3 / Anthony Ryan / 
This was a good conclusion to this trilogy, but I have to admit that the second and third book were a little disappointing when compared with the first book. This one was definitely an improvement from the second book though. Although overall I thought this was a compelling read, there were definitely times it dragged. I think the trilogy as a whole could probably have been shortened a bit. It was great to be back with these characters though. Overall I enjoyed this trilogy but for me the first book was the strongest. I can’t say for sure why the other books weren’t quite as compelling. I would still recommend checking these books out.

 

 

25181955 (1)

Spellslinger / Spellslinger series – book 1 / Sebastien de Castell / ★.5
I thought this was a great introduction to this series. I definitely didn’t love it quite as much as the first book in his other series but it was still really good. The world of this book is an interesting and it’s well thought out too, as is the magic system. It’s also quite funny at times. The characters are fleshed out, the plot is compelling and the writing is easy to get into. I will definitely be checking out the second book in this series.

 

Blood of Dragons / Robin Hobb / 
It’s a Robin Hobb book so of course this was great. I thought this was such a good conclusion to this series and I think that each character thread was really well done. I was completely invested in the characters and we get to learn even more about the world too. Basically these are fantastic books and I highly recommend checking them out. I would say that this is probably the weakest of the Realm of the Elderling series so far but it is still great.

 

35097384

Artemis / Andy Weir / 
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
While I enjoyed Weir’s other book, I definitely didn’t love it quite as much as everyone else seemed to so I was interested to see he was releasing a new book. I thought this was such a great read.  This book is set to be released November 14th and I will have more to say closer to that release date.

 

Tess of the D’Ubervilles / Thomas Hardy / 
This was my classic pick of the month and it was pretty heartbreaking. As with the two other Hardy books I’ve read this was very well written and does a great job of transporting you into the landscape. It is also quite interesting as it really showcases the place women had in society at that time and the rigid morals applied to them. In that sense it is quite a frustrating read because we can’t understand why Tess does certain things but it was a very different time back then. It is a pretty depressing story, which will definitely not be to everyone’s tastes. This isn’t really a book you enjoy as it is a tragic tale but I think it is worth a read nonetheless.

 

I am also almost finished with The Loving Cup by Winston Graham, which is the 10th book in the Poldark series. In terms of my October TBR I’ve set myself a few books that I hope to get to. My classic pick for October is 1984 by George Orwell but I would also quite like to get to The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. The other books I would like to get to are Mistress of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts, The Power by Naomi Alderman, the Good People by Hannah Kent, Sovereign by C. J. Sansom and maybe The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin. I probably won’t get to all of those but I’m hoping it will happen anyway :). What was your favourite book this month? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

TTT: Books on my Fall TBR

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 on your fall TBR. Personally I say autumn but you get the idea :). I have quite a few books I want to read this autumn, as well as winter, so I can really just talk about all the books on my bookshelves. I don’t think I’ll be able to read all of them though. So let’s get started.

 

Hopefully I will get to all of these books this autumn or at least by the end of the year. So far this month I haven’t done a lot of reading but I’m hoping to get back into reading a lot soon. There are quite a few other books on my TBR but I think I want to get to these ones most of all at the moment. What books are on your autumn/fall TBR? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

August Wrap Up and September TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s the end of the month so it’s time to talk about all the books I’ve read. I am pretty happy that it’s now going into the autumn months as autumn/winter are my favourite seasons :). Anyway I read 6 books this month, which isn’t that much compared to previous months. I didn’t have a lot of motivation to read this month, so I’m pretty happy that I still read 6 books.  As always I have linked each book to Wordery using my affiliate link, so you can get yourself a copy of any of these books if you want to. Let’s get started with my mini reviews.

 

26064257

Stranger of Tempest / Tom Lloyd / ★★
This was very much a case of it’s not you, it’s me. It had a lot of potential but I personally felt it fell a little flat. My only small complaint was that the characters lacked some depth and the pacing wasn’t quite right. The plot felt a little aimless at times and the pacing suffered a little bit. Apart from that, this was a good book, but I just never got invested in it. If you like fantasy and the synopsis interests you I would still recommend checking it out. I have a full review of this coming soon.

 

876014

Child of the Prophecy / Juliet Marillier / ★★★
Of course the writing was fantastic. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I discovered Marillier this year and I think her writing is great. I do think that this was the weakest of the Sevenwaters trilogy so far. To be entirely honest I wasn’t a huge fan of the main character, Fainine – I found her quite frustrating a lot of the time. In my opinion there were also a few holes in the plot and I just didn’t find it as compelling as the previous two. Overall still a good book but definitely not my favourite.

 

A Pale View of Hills / Kazuo Ishiguro / ★★★
I’m a big fan of this author and I’ve been meaning to check out his debut book for a while now. As with his other books, memory plays a part in this book and there is an unreliable narrator. I found this to be a very intriguing story. This is definitely one of those books you will pick up more from rereading it. I will say that this is quite a vague book in some ways, so if you are a fan of straightforward plots and neatly solved mysteries than this may not be for you. You are given the bare bones of plot and it is up to you interpret the events of the book. Of course the writing is great and the characters are well written. I have enjoyed everything I’ve read from Ishiguro, so I would definitely recommend checking him out.

 

Germinal / Emile Zola / ★★★★
This is definitely not an easy read, in terms of the conditions of the characters during a miners’ strike – there is a lot of suffering and hardship in this book. It is a very interesting read, but it is very grim. The writing is fantastic, although there are quite a lot of long descriptions. It did take me some time to read it but it is quite dense and long (not in a bad way though). It did also take me some time to get used to all of the characters and to remember who’s who. I don’t have alot more to say about this. I would highly recommend reading it.

 

Empress of Bright Moon / Weina dai Randal / ★★★★
This is the second and final book in the Empress of Bright Moon duology. I thought this was a fantastic conclusion and it has definitely made me want to check out more historical fiction set in Ancient China. I found these books so easy to get into and as they are compelling they are quite quick reads. Basically I really enjoyed this book and the duology as a whole. I highly recommend checking this out, especially if you enjoy historical fiction.

 

Servant of the Empire / Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts / ★★★★
This is the second book in the Empire trilogy. I’m going to start this review by saying that this trilogy is fast becoming a new favourite of mine. As with the first book, this was very compelling.  Even though my copy was around 820 pages I flew through this book because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Once again the politics and intrigue were a highlight of this book. This is not an action packed fantasy book, but if you enjoy intrigue than you need to check out this trilogy. It is so good. I am very excited to read the third and final book. Clearly I would highly recommend this book, especially if you like your fantasy books filled with intrigue.

 

I’ve decided I’m not going to set myself a TBR for September. I’m just going to read what I want to at the time. I am currently reading Artemis by Andy Weir, which I am liking so far.  Other than that I’m not really sure – I have quite a few books on my TBR :). What was your favourite book in August? Mine was definitely Servant of the Empire. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa