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 month is a Rewind month, so you can use any topic that you may have missed or just fancy doing. For this week I have chosen the topic of recent additions to my TBR, which was originally used back in July 2016. These are all books that I’ve recently added to my to read shelf on Goodreads. Let’s get started.
Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit / Nahoko Uehashi / Moribito Book 1
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hi guys, I hope you are all well. About 4 months ago I posted about all of my unread books so I thought it was about time to do a bit of an update. If I’m being completely honest with you guys I’m feeling a bit uninspired and this was the best I could come up with. These are all the unread physical books on my bookshelf. Before I start I just want to apologise for the lighting in some of these photos – I use natural lighting so I can’t always get the same lighting in each picture. It really bugs me but there’s not much I can do about it at the moment. I’ll definitely be looking into some good photo editors so hopefully that will improve my photos. Anyway let’s get onto all of my unread books.
That means I currently have 29 unread books on my bookshelves. There are quite a few books still on my TBR from the last post, so I think they’ll be top of my TBR from now on. Hopefully I can get a good chunk of these read by the end of the year. What books do you want to read by the end of the year? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
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.
Sovereign/ C. J. Sansom / Shardlake series – book 3
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.
Hi guys, it’s time for my monthly wrap up. We are now going into a new year and I hope it will start out well for you all. I am actually quite looking forward to what this year has in store – 2016 was an alright year for me but I hope the year ahead is better. I had a pretty good reading month. I read nine books, none of which were under a three star rating.
*I received a copy of this from bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review*
This was a quick, easy, and entertaining read but it was a lot more chick lit than I expected – I have to admit this meant I was a little disappointed with it. Although the story was pretty implausible and predictable, it was still enjoyable to read. The romance was fine, if a little cheesy and I really liked the setting. It is a decent debut novel, but it is definitely not perfect. If you like Lara Croft, Indianna Jones and are looking for a light and entertaining book, then check this out
This was a solid first book in this trilogy – I didn’t know a lot about it before reading it but I ended up quite enjoying it. For the most part, it is pretty predictable and it is nothing new in terms of the fantasy genre, however I still found it to be an engaging and enjoyable read. So if you are looking for new and unique fantasy books, then this probably isn’t for you, especially if you are bored of the traditional fantasy tropes etc. It was an easy and quick read that has a magic system that I liked. There could have been more character development but perhaps that will happen more in the next two books. The women especially, I wanted more depth from them. The romance was entirely predictable and kind of frustrating, but I suspected that would be the case going into it. Overall I liked it, but it wasn’t perfect – I am interested in continuing with this trilogy though
This was a beautifully written and illustrated novella about one of my favourite characters in the Kingkiller Chronicles – Auri. Not alot really happens as it is literally about a week in her life, but if you find her character interesting then this is well worth a read. I don’t have alot more to say, other than that I enjoyed it.
This was my second book by Agatha Christie and I will definitely be reading more. I really enjoy the way it is written – the reader is given accounts and evidence throughout and it’s up to you to see if you work out who did it. I wasn’t right in the end with this one, as there were quite a few red herrings. I like Poirot as a character – it is enjoyable to see his work process. The writing is easy to get into and the plot is engaging throughout. Overall I really enjoyed this book.
I requested this from Ebury publishing and they very kindly sent a copy my way, so thank you to Ebury. I very much enjoyed this book – I think this is a great winter read, where you can just get cosy in front of a fire and read. Although I don’t know a lot about Russian folklore, I imagine that Katharine Arden did a lot of research to create such a perfectly intricate and well written world. The atmosphere feels so true and genuine. The plot is engaging and enjoyable throughout, although it is a little slow at times. To be honest, I haven’t read a lot of fairy tale books but I loved that aspect of this book. If you love fairy tale books then you need to check this book out. The characters are all well written and I loved the main character, Vasya. Overall I loved this book, however I am a little disappointed now that I have learnt that this is the first book in a trilogy – I think this made a wonderful standalone and I was wonder why everything has to be made into a trilogy now. Having said that, I will continue on with this trilogy as I did love this book.
This was a fantastic sequel to Grace of Kings. The intricacies and detail in this world is amazing, however this also means that it is quite a slow read, as a lot of information is given. The pacing was also abit uneven at times. The politics were interesting, although some may find that these sections drag. The excessive use of flashbacks was a little jarring at times, as it disrupted the flow of the story. Personally I am not a fan of flashbacks anyway, so they rarely work for me. It was wonderful to be back with these characters, although it did take me a little while to understand who was who again. If you are not a fan of books with a lot of characters, then this series is not for you. The character development was well done, although I do question some of their decisions. I am a little heartbroken at what happens to some of the characters. The ending was good, but I don’t fully understand it. Overall this was an amazing continuation for this series and I look forward to the next book whenever that is released
I have been putting off this book for quite some time now, as it is huge, but last month I finally decided to pick it up and I managed to finish it this month. It was a wonderful read. I definitely think it is quite dense and you need to take you time with it, but it is well worth a read. I am hoping to rewatch the BBC adaptation again and see what I think now I have read the book.
Wow, this was a fantastic continuation of this series. It is one of my favourite series at the moment and this book did not disappoint. I am so lucky to be a Bone Season Advocate as I received an early copy to read – it is not being released until March. If you love this series, then you will love this book. If you haven’t read it then you should definitely check it out. I will have a full review closer to its release day.
In terms of my January TBR, I think I am going to keep it pretty simple and just read what I feel like at the time. Hopefully this will mean I get quite a few of my books read as I want to make sure to read all the books I have on my shelves now at the start of the year by the end of the year. There are three books that I am currently thinking I would like to get to – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeline Thien and Breath of Earth by Beth Cato, but this may change. I have included a picture of most of my tbr books so you guys can see what I am dealing with :). Before I go I just wanted to quickly mention that I am going to be trying out different ways to take photos so please bear with me and let me know what you think. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
Hi guys, it is day 17 of blogmas – this time next week will be Christmas eve :). For this post I thought I would do some more bookish content. There are so many great series out right now, so today I am sharing 5 that I want to start next year. You guys know that I read primarily fantasy but I have included some non fantasy series as well :).
Breath of Earth series / Beth Cato – the premise of this sounds really interesting and something that I would enjoy. It is set in an alternate 1906 – Goodreads page
Millennium trilogy / Stieg Larsson – I have been meaning to read this trilogy for ages, so hopefully 2017 will be the year I start it. I have heard so many good things – Goodreads page
I could probably choose more, but five seems like an achievable number. These are five series that sound really appealing to me, however I currently don’t own any of them. My sister owns the Tale of Otori series and my mum owns the Millennium trilogy so I’ll just have to borrow them :). Hopefully I’ll get my hands on the other books at some point too. If you’ve read any of these series I’d love to know your thoughts on them. Also what series do you want to start in 2017? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.
It’s the end of the month and so time for another wrap up. Once again I had a pretty good reading month. I didn’t read as much as previous month, but I still read quite a bit and I have two five star books to share with you guys. However I didn’t start the month very well – the first book I picked up I ended up not finishing. That book was The Red Knight by Miles Cameron – I got about 3oo pages in but I decided to give this book a break. There are many perspectives and it is constantly shifting, which just didn’t work for me. I found it confusing and I couldn’t get fully into it. I may come back to this at some point, but for now this is a DNF. Onto the books that I have finished this month.
The Dream Thieves / Maggie Stiefvater ★★★
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with this. I think part of the reason I didn’t love it is that it wasn’t the right time to read it – I haven’t been in a big YA reading mood this month and I think that probably affected my enjoyment. It was quite mixed for me. I found the first half of the book really quite slow and I was more aware of the teenage angst in this book than I was with the first book. Adam was infuriating in this book – I mean seriously dude, get over yourself. The massive chip on his shoulder seemed to be his defining characteristic and I found it incredibly annoying. The focus also shifts more to Ronan in this book, with the other characters kind of being pushed to the back burner – I mean Noah doesn’t really make an appearance, he’s just there occassionally. I am not a huge fan of Ronan, but that is just my opinion – in my opinion he’s a bit of an arsehole. The new ship (Pynch) didn’t quite work for me – to me it seemed to be created mainly due to convenience and the proximity of the two characters, rather than anything else such as genuine feelings. The second half definitely picked up and I sped through it compared to the first half. Overall it was OK and I will continue on with the series at some point.
Unicorn Tracks / Julia Embers ★★★.5
The author was kind enough to send me a digital copy in exchange for an honest review, so thank you Julia Embers for sending me her book. This was a good YA fantasy with a lesbian romance. I really enjoyed the setting of this fantasy safari land with an abundance of mythical creatures – I loved the presence of these mythical creatures. The writing and plot were enjoyable. My one main issue is that it is so short – it is less than 200 pages. For me, this means less development and leads to an inevitable bit of insta love. I think the author did the best she could with the romance, but there is only so much that can be done – with less than 200 pages there is going to be a bit of insta love.Overall I enjoyed it and I would recommend it, especially if you like fantasy and/or unicorns.
Villette / Charlotte Bronte ★★★.5
I have to admit that this one was abit of an odd one for me. It was my classic pick of this month and I have been meaning to read it for years. You cannot deny that Charlotte Bronte is a great writer, but something about this just didn’t quite work for me and I can’t quite put my finger on it. It is quite dense and slow moving, but nothing you can’t get used to after a couple of chapters. Lucy Snowe was quite an intriguing character, but I didn’t really care about any of them. It felt abit inconsistent – which is quite interesting really because this book was based around her own experiences, so perhaps she had difficulty melding fiction with reality. I don’t know, but I also found it a bit confusing at times and it took me quite some time to get into. Overall I liked it, but I didn’t love it like I love Jane Eyre.
Exposure / Helen Dunmore ★★★★
This is a historical fiction set in the 1960’s during the Cold War. I have been meaning to read more by Helen Dunmore, after reading The Siege by her and absolutely loving it. This is another great book by Dunmore. The characters are extremely well written, intriguing and complex – they are the main driving force of the book. It is very much a character driven book. The plot, although quite slow moving, is engaging. The elements of mystery were pretty predictable but it doesn’t really take up much of the book. Overall I really enjoyed it and I will definitely be checking out more by this author.
Children of Time / Adrian Tchaikovsky ★★★★
A great and immensely imaginative standalone science fiction book. For this I am not going to go into too much detail, because I think this is the type of book where you want to go into without knowing a whole lot. It did take me a little while to get into this book, partly due to the switches in perspective and partly due to the changes in time, but after a few chapters you get into the flow of the writing and story. The epic scale of the book was really enjoyable – it literally takes place across thousands of years and I think this really lends itself to show how vast and lonely space must be. The character development was very well done and it was great to see how they all progressed. I definitely recommend this book.
Knights of the Borrowed Dark / Dave Rudden ★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for and honest review*
This was a very enjoyable, quick read. I really liked the creepiness of the story and I enjoyed the suspense of it. The characters were all great – I liked that they were complex, flawed and abit messed up. The plot was very enjoyable and although some plot points were pretty predictable it was still enjoyable to see it all play out. The world is excellently constructed and I loved the humorous undertone of the writing. Overall this was a fantastic book that can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages and readers. I highly recommend it.
The Sorcerer in the North / John Flanagan★★★★
This is the fifth book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. In hindsight, this is probably the weakest one so far in terms of the plot, but I still really enjoyed it – it was a bit slow and the outcome of the mystery was quite predictable. I love the characters, although I kind of missed Halt in this one. I just find these books quick and easy reads that are very enjoyable.
The Shadow of the Wind / Carlos Ruiz Zafon ★★★★
I have been meaning to read this for years and I am happy to say I have finally read it. I really enjoyed this but didn’t love it as much as others seem to. I found the writing and plot occasionally dragged – some sections were a bit tedious in my opinion. It took me awhile to be fully absorbed with the story and the slow pacing meant it was quite a slow read for me, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The characters were also a bit flat for me – I would have liked more depth + development. I really enjoyed seeing how the mystery unfolds and I loved the idea of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Overall I very much enjoyed this, although I think this may be a bit of a marmite type book – you either love it or you just don’t get it.
Machinations / Hayley Stone★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I really enjoyed this! I liked that it threw you in at the deep end with a load of action. The setting was a interesting one and I hope in the next book(s) we get more knowledge of the world as a whole. I loved the characters – especially the sarcastic Rhona. Although I would have preferred a purely platonic relationship between certain characters, I thought the hint of a love triangle was done quite well and I loved that the majority of the time they are honest about their feelings. It could have been less romance focused but that is a minor complaint – while reading I enjoyed every second. I thought the author created suspense throughout the book really well and the action was also done very well. I have definitely become attached to these characters and I am excited to continue with this series.
The Hunted Assassin / Paul B. Kohler ★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was a fantastic science fiction thriller/mystery book. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going in but I loved the mix of science fiction and mystery. I really enjoyed the characters and the plot was engaging throughout. I sped through this pretty fast because I needed to know what was happening. I had no issues with the writing and found it easy to get into the flow of the plot and the writing. Some of the plot points were a bit predictable but it was still enjoyable to watch it all unfold. Overall I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it. Although I think it is a standalone, I will definitely be keeping an eye on anything else this author writes.
To the Sky Kingdom / Tang Qi ★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I very much enjoyed this book. The characters are all written well and are intriguing. I liked the structure of the writing – the narrator will go off on tangents as the story progresses. It added depth and a greater understanding to the events of the book. I loved the epic scale of the book – there is alot of information about the immortals (for example their etiquette, hierarchy etc.) but I never felt overwhelmed by it. It was all relevant and interesting. It is quite different to anything I’ve read recently and so I found it quite refreshing. The plot was engaging throughout – the plot never dragged. Overall I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it.
Emperor of the Eight Islands / Lian Hearn ★★★★★
This was fantastic. First off, the setting is what really drew me to this book and it didn’t disappoint. It is set in a mythical, medieval Japan and like I said I loved it. The plot was engaging and unlike anything I’ve read recently. The characters are all intriguing, as well as being well written. This book definitely pulls no punches – bad things happen to some good people and good people do some questionable things. The ending was just… I am still recovering. Well that’s being a bit dramatic but the ending definitely messed me up a bit. Excellent storytelling – I will be trying out Lian Hearn’s other books and I will be eagerly waiting for the next books in this tale. I highly recommend this, especially if you like fantasy with elements of Japanese folklore.
Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews★★★★★
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This was an incredible book. It is definitely not an easy read, as it focuses on ‘comfort woman’. Basically women were forced to be sex slaves for Japanese soldiers during WWII. This book follows one woman’s story. I think this is such an important book and it is so important to be aware of these things – to be aware to the atrocities the human race is capable of. While alot of it is very hard to read, Ja-hee’s strength is incredible to read about. It is written very well and it is also extremely accessible – I know very little of Korea’s history but I was never confused. I was very interesting – it has definitely made me want to know more about Koreas history. This book only has 414 ratings on Goodreads! Please go read it. I highly recommend reading this book. Full review here.
In terms of my August tbr, I definitely want to read four books – Passage to India by E. M. Forster, Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, Flamecaster by Cinda Williams Chima and The Miller’s Dance by Winston Graham.Other than that I am just going to read what I feel like reading at the time – I’ve included a picture of some of the books on my tbr I’d liked to get to soon. I will probably begin a short story collection (sent by the publisher in exchange for an honest review) in August as well – Strange Medicine by Mike Russell. Currently I am reading The Night Manager by John le Carré, which I am really enjoying it so far – I am about 150 pages in right now. Hopefully I will continue to have a good reading month and I hope you get plenty of reading done as well. I hope you are all having a wonderful and I will see you next time.