Tome Topple | Updates Post

Hi folks, this is my Updates Post for round 3 of Tome Topple. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, please do refer to my TBR post which has all the information. Basically, there’s a readathon happening for the next fortnight where you have to read tomes (i.e. books over 500 pages), and I’m going to try to not suck at it. This post will be updated at a regular intervals and is mainly my way of keeping myself accountable and hopefully reading more than I ordinarily would. Let’s see how that goes, shall we?

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Friday Reads | 31st March 2017

Well folks, the last Friday Reads I did I was saying that I couldn’t believe it was halfway through February and here we are at the end of March. Yep, that happened. So let’s just remain in a state of denial about the fact three whole months of 2017 have passed and focus instead on what books I’m currently reading and plan to read this weekend. Agreed? Agreed!

Smoke by Dan Vyleta

Imagine a world in which every bad thought you had was made visible. Where anger, hatred and envy appeared as a thick, infectious smoke pouring from your body, leaving soot on your skin. A society controlled by an elite who have learned to master their darkest desires. Thomas and Charlie are friends at a boarding school near Oxford, where the children of the rich and powerful are trained to be future leaders. Charlie is naturally good, but Thomas’s father was accused of a terrible crime, and Thomas fears that the same evil lies coiled inside him. Then, on a trip to London – a forbidden city shrouded in darkness – they learn all is not as it appears. So begins a quest to understand the truth about this world of smoke, soot and ash – and perhaps to change it. (source)

I have no idea what the hell is going on in this book… and I kind of love it for that. I was sold on it in the opening chapter when there was a posh boarding school full of repressed little school boys being “examined” by the prefect for their sins. If that sounds weird, it’s because it is. The academic in me is also super intrigued because it’s doing interesting things with corporeality and fluid bodies and basically the former MA student in me is clutching this book in delight. I’m sure that will continue today and into this weekend.

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

‘Facts alone are wanted in life’: the children at Mr Gradgrind’s school are sternly ordered to stifle their imaginations and pay attention only to cold, hard reality. They live in a smoky, troubled industrial town so entertainment is hard to come by and resentments run deep. The effects of Gradgrind’s teaching on his own children, Tom and Louisa, are particularly profound and leave them ill-equipped to deal with the unpredictable desires of the human heart. Luckily for them they have a friend in Sissy Jupe, the child of a circus clown, who retains her warm-hearted, compassionate nature despite the pressures around her. (source)

You know, I’m mildly surprised by how easy this is proving to be to read. I always find it’s more daunting to look at a Dickens book rather than just getting round to actually reading it. It helps that I picked the shortest Dickens book to read though, there’s no denying that fact. But the fact I can read this comfortably on a sometimes noisy train probably attests to how it isn’t too tricky to follow. I’m intrigued by this Dickens novel because I know very little about it, except for knowing Gradgrind as a character, and I’m being pleasantly surprised. The Northern industrial setting is also my bag… and Coketown is definitely Preston, right?

I’m likely to be doing a lot of reading today/this weekend since Liz is working this weekend and so I won’t be procrastinating by watching Friends with her. I’d also really like to get down to some good blogging and get caught up in all the reviews I need to write because that’s been playing on my mind for weeks now. In between that I’m sure I’ll find time to read, maybe even finish these two books? Is that too ambitious? Probably.

So, those are my likely reading plans for today and heading into the weekend ahead. Do you have any Friday Reads posts? Or perhaps just some fun plans for the weekend? Let me know in the comments!


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WWW Wednesday #2 | 22nd March 2017

Exactly a month after I did my last WWW Wednesday, I bring you another! (You have to admit: this is a sort of consistency… just not the regularity the meme originally suggests.) Whilst you can always find out what I’m reading via Goodreads (mainly because I update my page number obsessively in case my bookmark falls out of my book, true story) it’s nice to pause, mid-week, and reflect how the week is going and, mostly, what I’m reading at the moment. WWW Wednesday is currently hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words so do head over to her blog if you want to see more readers’ WWW Wednesday posts.

The Three Ws are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

 

thesongrising1. What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Samantha Shannon’s The Song Risingthe third book of seven in her Bone Season series. I’ve been anticipating this for so many months and I’m so glad that Samantha pushed back the release to make sure the story was as wonderful as it possibly could be because, boy, was it worth the wait. Attending YALC last year and getting to meet the author reignited my love for the first two books in this series so once the pre-order link came up, I knew I had to have it as soon as I could get my grubby little hands on it. I’m really enjoying this instalment in the series as the action is now moving away from Scion-controlled London and exploring other parts of the UK (such as Manchester and Edinburgh), which is completely my jam because dystopians that only focus on one city/place always leave me wondering how everyone else out there is faring – this is answering that query!

 

themimeorder

2. What did you recently finish reading?
Since I was planning to pick up The Song Rising, I made sure to re-read The Bone Season and The Mime Order first since it’s been a few months since I read them (ok, re-read them, I’m obsessed, what can I say?). I’m very grateful for that decision because it cemented in my head how much I love the second book, The Mime Order, and I definitely picked up on things in it that I must have just skimmed over when reading it for the first and second times. Third time’s a charm! If it wasn’t obvious… I completely recommend this series.

 

smoke3. What do you think you’ll read next?

If you saw my recent blog post about my TBR Jar project then you will have seen that I picked a book from there to read next, and that was Smoke by Dan Vyleta. I’ve been meaning to read it for months, the concept sounds super intriguing so, despite some not so favourable reviews, I’m going to give it a go asap. Because I’m incapable of just reading one thing at a time I’ll also probably be listening to the audiobook of either J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince or Clariel by Garth Nix. I’m feeling a little bit neglectful of my classics too so I may (and it’s a very big “may”) pick up something extra like Emma by Jane Austen or something Dickens (super specific, I know, but hey I have many to choose from!). I don’t do monogamous reading, as you might have realised.

Ok, that’s all the time we’ve got, folks  I hope you enjoyed this insight into my current reads. Do you have a WWW Wednesday post of your own? Please link it below if so (or answer in the comments), I’d love to hear your responses.
Have you read any of the books I mentioned – how did you like (or not like) them?
Until next time – happy reading!


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WWW Wednesday #1 | 22nd February 2017

Well I thought I’d mix things up a little here on The Terror of Knowing by bringing you a mid-week reading update (of sorts) in the form of WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words. This isn’t a new meme by any means but it is a meme that’s new to me and, having seen it a couple of times over at Cátia’s wonderful blog, I thought I’d join in since it’s simplicity greatly appeals to me!

The Three Ws are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?


1. What are you currently reading?

I’m currently doing a re-read of V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic to try to prepare myself for reading the third (and final) book in the trilogy (disclaimer: I will never be prepared). Likewise I’m re-reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix via listening to the audiobook as narrated by Stephen Fry on my train journeys to/from work every day. I’m allegedly also still reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy but as I’ve not actively read any of it (not a single word) for close to a month, I’m not sure how accurate it is to say I’m currently reading it.

2. What did you recently finish reading?

I recently finished reading Erika Johansen’s The Fate of the Tearling to round off my read of the Tearling trilogy. I adored the first book, loved the second, and had… mixed feelings about the third (whispers I kind of hated the ending), but I’m really glad I finally finished off this trilogy because on the whole I loved the concept and the characters Johansen created. Similarly, in terms of trilogies, I also recently finished re-reading the Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix (though I hear that’s a series now?) with Abhorsen, as narrated by Tim Curry. I would definitely recommend the Tim Curry audiobooks, they’re amazing, and he has a spot-on voice for Mogget! I’m planning to do trilogy reviews for both of these trilogies so, if you’re interested, definitely do keep an eye out for those coming soon on this blog.

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

As I’m currently re-reading A Darker Shade of Magic, it’s highly likely I will read (read: it’s nigh-on impossible I won’t read) the second book, A Gathering of Shadows next, and then move on to the new release – A Conjuring of Light. I’m not emotionally prepared for it to be over, but I also need to know what happens, it’s a difficult bind. Ha, bookworm problems, am I right?

Do you have a WWW Wednesday post? Please link it below if so (or just answer in the comments below), I’d love to hear your responses.
Have you read any of the books I mentioned – how did you like (or not like) them?
Until next time – happy reading!


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Friday Reads | 17th February 2017

It’s here again, folks, it’s another Friday. Yes, another week has gone by – scary, isn’t it? I just refuse to believe it is more than halfway through February, I simply refuse. The days/weeks are going by far too quickly for my own liking. But, still, the world rolls on and we too must roll with it, and on that very fine note…

abhorsenAs you may have seen in my last Friday Reads post, I was making my way through re-reading the Old Kingdom trilogy by Garth Nix via listening to the audiobooks on my commute. That’s been going really well so this Friday I will be listening to Garth Nix’s Abhorsen, the third book in the trilogy. I’m almost finished and all hell has well and truly broken loose in the kingdom – excellent! The books are still narrated by Tim Curry and they are still equally as amazing as Sabriel.

I have also thoroughly enjoyed this experience of conducting a re-read by getting hold of the audiobook version – I would definitely recommend that to my fellow re-readers if you have the facility to buy or, of course, to borrow audiobooks from your library. It particularly works for me because it means that I can still re-read books without having to feel guilty that I’m spending all of my reading time on nostalgic re-reading instead of trying new books; instead I simply confine the re-read to a different format (whether you would choose ebook or audiobook) so my “main” physical book is a new one and I read that one when I’m not standing cramped on the train or walking to work.

Speaking of re-reading, who else is still a little happy and overwhelmed that Goodreads have finally (finally) put their brains to good use and given us the re-reading function we asked for? It sounds like it’s such a flippant thing but I’m pretty sure anyone who does re-read understands the pain of trying to accurately track reading without such a function. But now we don’t need to add random editions of the book to trick the system into counting it – there is a function, yay! But, I digress, back to the actual books themselves…

warandpeacecoverCan I really say I’m still currently reading Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace? I’m not sure. I’ve stalled at 200 pages in because I read until the end of a “part” and then stopped – that was an amateur mistake. Much like how the NaNoWriMo forums advise you to finish a day’s writing mid-sentence so that you have somewhere to immediately pick your writing back up the next day, I should not have stopped at the end of a section of War and Peace and then picked up another book too.

I’m a polygamous reader as it is but I think it only really counts as polygamous reading if you are actually reading the multiple books, not just occasionally staring at one of them with a wistful sort of look as you remember that you haven’t read a word of it since last month. However, since I’m going home to visit my parents this weekend, I may try to force myself to kickstart reading this by only taking this book with me. I am sure this plan has some flaws but, hey, good intentions are all that counts in the end, right? Wish me luck? (I’ll certainly need it.)

So, those are my likely reading plans for today and heading into the weekend ahead. Do you have any Friday Reads posts? Or perhaps just some fun plans for the weekend? Let me know in the comments!


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Friday Reads | 27th January 2017

Another Friday, another Friday Reads. Another week has gone by, folks, and the world keeps on turning on…

warandpeacecoverAs you may have seen in last week’s Friday Reads post, I foolishly decided to try reading Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peacebecause I’m a masochist, apparently. If I’m being honest, when I decided to set one of my 2017 Resolutions as ‘read 4 classics’, I wasn’t really intending to tackle long classics, as I know this tends to burn me out. However, I had an odd urge to just get over the intimidating nature of War and Peace and give it a try, so here I am, a week or two later, and only 200ish pages into it, but feeling rather good about myself despite that poor progress! So, needless to say, I’m still reading War and Peace this Friday and this upcoming weekend (and for many more weekends to come I should imagine!) and I’m actually really enjoying the story. Admittedly I am enjoying the “peace” bits more than the “war” bits but I expected that and I think that’s mainly down to my own horrendous lack of knowledge of Russian history, let alone military history, so I can’t really blame Tolstoy for my own failings!

sabrielAside from War and Peace, I’ve got into the habit of having my audiobook on-the-go be a re-read, mainly so that I don’t feel like I’m procrastinating reading new books in favour of re-reading old ones. I don’t know quite how that works considering I’m still devoting quite a bit of time to it, regardless of whether I am physically reading it or listening to it, but on a psychological level it seems to be working for me. (Shhh, don’t question the faulty logic!) So, my current audiobook is Sabriel by Garth Nix. I was delighted to find my library had this on Overdrive and borrowed it immediately. It’s read by Tim Curry who has a fantastic voice for audiobooks, and his voice is especially fitting for the character of Mogget the cat who is funny and condescending but also sneaky and maybe evil under the surface… Tim Curry’s voice just oozes that so the audiobook is proving to be great so far.

audacityofhopeAnd, because having two mediums of reading in-progress simply isn’t enough, I’ve also got an ebook on-the-go, as of lunchtime today. Unsurprisingly, politics is frustrating me lately (two words – Brexit… Trump), and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. I frequently shake my head in despair at the news headlines I’m hearing every single day; I just surreptitiously turned off the reception area’s TV in my workplace because I couldn’t stand listening to it any more. And because I am incapable of letting go, I decided to start reading Barack Obama’s The Audacity of Hope – one, because Obama; two, because that is an amazing title; three, because he’s a very eloquent writer; and, four because I don’t read nearly enough non-fiction. That seems like plenty of reason to give this a read, finally.

As far as this weekend in general goes, I cannot wait to be done with work for the week, it’s just been strangely busy with lots of little bitty things to get done, and that hasn’t left that much time for anything else. I am looking forward to closing the office door this afternoon and not thinking about it for a couple of days. Myself and Liz are gym-ing this afternoon after work so we’ll see if I can truly close that door and not think… hopefully being so knackered from the gym will aid that utter lack of thought!

My weekends are low-key as a rule but since Liz is off too (yay) we have a couple of outings planned – this weekend should include a Tavern breakfast and a trip to the cinema to finally see La La Land, both of which will be amazing. I’m hoping to get caught up on blog posts and reviews I need to upload too, so hopefully I can productively use my weekend and do those. We’ll see, though, I am notorious for doing next to nothing, if given the chance – watch this space…

So, those are my likely reading plans for today and heading into the weekend ahead. Do you have any Friday Reads posts? Or perhaps just some fun plans for the weekend? Let me know in the comments!


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Friday Reads | 20th January 2017

Yes, I’m doing 2 Friday Reads posts in a row. Why? Well, to be honest, this week has been a bit just bitty… low level stuff has happened that made me not get the opportunity, or desire, to post. Also, mostly, I’m lazy. But here we are, another Friday, another weekend looming so let’s try and get life and blogging back on track, shall we?

In fact, whilst I’m here I’d like to mention a few very good things I’m excited about that happened this week.

Firstly… and let me take a breath to try not to scream in your face in excitement…

WE GOT HAMILTON TICKETS FOR THIS YEAR!

87fa8c29-3a5b-4098-9255-b28008789785Yes, my friends, I get to see Hamilton when it comes to the West End and I’m super excited that I can say I am officially seeing Hamilton in 2017. 2017 is already so much better than the shit show that was 2016. Needless to say, myself and Liz are now diligently memorising every single damn line. We’re tackling CD 2 and, let me tell you, CD 2 really teaches you political history, like relentlessly hits you in the face with it. But it also contains the room where it happens (the room where it happens… the room where it happens…) so, you know, we’re good.

The second good thing – Wicked is going on a UK tour again, so there’s a chance for me to finally see it, and it to not be a big trek to see it because, handily, it’s coming to Liverpool. I’ve never managed to see Wicked (not even illicitly on YouTube) but it’s a musical that I really want to see done, and done properly. I’m not really in a position to go to London to see it so the touring production will definitely do rather nicely. I haven’t managed to nab tickets yet since it’s only just been announced but I’m crossing my fingers and I am quietly hopeful.

So, yes, two very nice musical-related things have happened, which brightens up 2017. And now onto the present, and the very near future…

As Friday dawns I am wilfully ignoring The Event which is happening today, which is quite the feat given that rolling BBC News is constantly playing, right in my eye-line, at work. But I simply refuse to acknowledge it and instead will move onto better things – namely books.

You might have seen in my last Friday Reads post that I was reading Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds and listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on audiobook as a way of re-reading the series. The latter is still ongoing because that book is bloody huge. The former… well… let us just say me and The Darkest Minds did not get along. In fact, it was a DNF for me, and I did a review of it for Cuckoo Review which explains why I was so disappointed in this book. If you have any interest in that, you can read it over here, but be pre-warned, it is a critical review since I didn’t like the book.

Moving on… this week I decided, for no apparent reason, that as part of my Read More Damn Classics mission, I would tackle perhaps the most intimidating of classics first. Because that obviously makes complete logical sense for a girl who used to read such books at university but hasn’t really since as some kind of weird form of rebellion and liberation after graduating.

warandpeaceSo, I am currently reading (and I anticipate I will be for a long time) War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. No, I’m not sure what moment of madness lead to this. But it’s happening. And do you know what? It actually isn’t that difficult, so far. I mean, true, I’m only 160 pages in, and it has taken me a week to get to that point, but I’m quietly optimistic I will stick with this one. I’ve put together a character list and have given it a tracker page in my bullet journal and everything – I’m all prepared.

(PS- A post regarding bullet journalling is in the works, obviously, because a person can’t just bullet journal and not take photos of their page layouts. I’m fairly sure it’s the law so stay tuned for that.)

But that’s all folks, that behemoth of a book up there is all I plan to read. Undoubtedly, when I am hit with the enormity of how many words War and Peace actually consists of, I’ll seek immediate gratification and mix up my reading by also picking up something like the A Series of Unfortunate Events books (my review/discussion of the Netflix series is in the works too!). But, until that point, it’s me and Tolstoy, that is my Friday Reads.


So, those are my likely reading plans for today and heading into the weekend ahead. Do you have any Friday Reads posts?

Or perhaps just some fun plans for the weekend? Or a new film release? (I haven’t seen La La Land yet but it’s happening soon-ish hopefully!) Let me know in the comments!


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Friday Reads | 13th January 2017

Another week, another Friday, another Friday Reads. This one is a little special, however, since it’s my first of 2017. Happy 2017, here’s to (probably inevitably) more of the same… at least in terms of reading!

gofOn that note, I’m still reading/listening to the audiobook I was listening to in my previous Friday Reads back in December 2016 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling. This is making many a morning train ride bearable, but it’s also a bloody long book, so progress seems quite slow going (and it feels it at times, too!). I’m about 58% of the way through and I’ve just experienced the hilarity that is The Yule Ball chapter. (Ron and Hermione’s argument is my favourite thing ever, ngl.) So onwards and upwards into the trials and tribulations of The Triwizard Tournament and I’m actually really looking forward to the second half of the book because, although I watch the film quite a lot, I don’t very often re-read Goblet of Fire, for obvious length-based reasons.

darkestmindsI’m also reading The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I requested and was sent this to review for Cuckoo Review, a writing programme/website I’m part of (in my own small way), and my review is due on Monday so I really, really need to get cracking with finishing this book. I’m… enjoying it reasonably so far, I think. Actually, a lot of the reasons I’m not wholly invested in the story aren’t really the book’s fault so I’m not sure where I will stand on it in my review, to be honest – is it the book’s fault that I am kind of over the whole heroine-of-book’s POV in a dystopian world narrative? I’m not sure. And it’s going to make completing my review a little tricky but, hey, that’s sort of a challenge in and of itself. And it’s good to be challenged when reading/reviewing.

asouenetflixHaving said both of those things… I’m also very aware that today is the darkest of days – the day that Netflix drops A Series of Unfortunate Events! I haven’t been this excited for a TV show in a while (well, since the Gilmore Girls specials) and whilst it would be nice to sit here and pretend this weekend will be dedicated entirely to reading… I’d be lying through my teeth – I fully intend to carve out a large block of time to snuggle up and not move for (hopefully) hours whilst I watch ASOUE. Likewise, me and Liz keep putting off going outside after work in order to go to the cinema and see Assassin’s Creed, but it’s now showing at a small local cinema and its proximity and cheaper price makes it an appealing offer ahead of the Odeon in town, and we should be seeing it sometime this weekend. And that sounds like a pretty damn ideal weekend to me!


So, those are my likely reading plans for today and heading into the weekend ahead. Do you have any Friday Reads posts?

Or perhaps just some fun plans for the weekend? Are you excited for A Series of Unfortunate Events like I am? Or perhaps a new film release? Let me know in the comments!


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Bout of Books 18 | Daily Updates

As you might have seen from my sign-up post yesterday, I’m participating in this week’s Bout of Books readathon! If you’re at all interested in my TBR, you can find it in my sign-up post – otherwise, this post will be for my daily updates so I’ll be updating regularly with the daily challenges and my reading progress over the next few days.

Day One

9.00 am – Welp, it’s Monday, it’s a Bank Holiday (which means I’m not in work), so that seems like the perfect time to kick off the readathon for me! My parents kindly brought me back to Liverpool last night and they are leaving this morning so I’ve now got nothing else planned for my day other than unpacking, tidying, washing, and reading. Liz is at work today too so there’s no one else in the house – definitely all conducive to me getting wrapped in a blanket with a book and not moving for a good few hours. We’ll see though, since I slept terribly last night and I don’t know how long I’ll last before crashing tonight (especially since I’m back at work tomorrow and so not looking forward to that).

11.00am – I forgot to mention that, since I couldn’t sleep until like 5am, I did a little bit of reading in bed via the Kindle app on my phone. However, I’ve already deviated from my TBR (quelle surprise), as I’m reading Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Thorns and RosesI’ve heard this novel/series is better than the Throne of Glass series (I’ve got stuck on Heir of Fire twice now), although I’ve also watched/read a lot of reviews which have started to put me off her writing so I’m going into this a bit warily.

One thing that is bugging me is something that Paige from Enchantology pointed out during her reading of Empire of Storms (Disclaimer: please, I implore you, do not read ahead if you wish to continue to enjoy Maas’ writing happily, because once you notice this, you can’t not notice it, and it’s already affected my reading of it)

… Sarah J. Maas loves lists of three, to the point of her over-using them and the writing feels clunky and a tad sloppy, if I’m honest. Case in point:

“focus on surviving the week, the day, the hour ahead”
“strange folk spotted in the area, tall and eerie and deadly”
“border towns left in splinters and bones and ashes”
“shapes down on paper or canvas or cottage walls”
“those times were hungry and empty and sometimes cruel”
“most of them small and sickly and hidden”

All those examples are all within the first five pages of the book. I mean, editing is your friend, right? Is she being paid by the word? Because, really, I don’t think all of them are strictly necessary (and, yes, that’s rich coming from me). In fact, I also now see why her books are so unnecessarily long. Yeah, I said it. I’m trying to reserve judgement, though, since I’m only 35% of the way through, but that little quirk of her writing style is really starting to bug me.

The actual story itself though? It’s entertaining enough. I’m not the hugest fan of first-person narrators so… Feyre is starting to irritate me a little tiny bit, but I really do want to give this book a proper chance since so many people do love this series! I’ll report back…

3.00pm – Well, I’ve showered, got dressed, put on one load of laundry, blog hopped a little and read some. I’m at 43% of A Court of Thorns and Roses… but I’ve also started a list of bug bears I have with this book and it’s already one side of A4 and getting longer with each chapter I read. So… um… yeah, that might make for an interesting review once I finish it. Sorry/not sorry!

5.00pm – Whoops, I just fell into a booktube hole for like 2 hours and didn’t read a thing. But I was still thinking about books, which is half the battle… right? riGHT? Ugh, yes, I know, I’m going back to reading now, will sneak in an hour or two more before I think about what to cook for tea.

Daily Challenge: Introduce Yourself #insixwords

The challenge is simple: introduce yourself on Twitter, Instagram, or on this post using six words, no more, no less. Use the hashtags #boutofbooks and #insixwords so we can learn all about you.

BONUS: Share a picture of your smiling face or your bookshelves! (You can learn a lot about a person from their bookshelves!)

 Ravenclaw bibliophile. Coffee lover. Cynical romantic.

room(My bookshelves, when I first moved into this room – they’re a lot less tidy now!)


Day Two

2.00pm – First day back at work of 2017 and wow is it a struggle. Nothing is particularly busy but it’s just an adjustment after more than a week of blissful nothing-ness! As far as reading goes, I didn’t get up early as I had (foolishly) planned in my own head, and I didn’t read on the train so I have only been able to sneak in a quick 20 minutes at lunchtime whilst I gobbled down a sandwich and grapes. I managed a couple more chapters of A Court of Thorns and Roses in that time and, if I’m honest, I’m still having major problems with it. However, I’m at about 60% and I can’t believe it’s taken 60% of this book for the deed to be done between certain characters… I won’t say any more but I’m sure you know what I’m insinuating. I’m really hoping to read a little on the train journey home and then sneak in an hour or two before teatime tonight. We shall see!

5.00pm – I decided to listen to an audiobook I had checked out from my library via Overdrive so I’ve listened to a little of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on my walk to the train station and train home. Again, not a book on my TBR… I seem to be struggling to actually read books from my set stack – something I’m not surprised about tbh, it always happens.

5.30pm – Just arrived home and snapped my photo for the daily challenge. Now I know I should get straight to reading but a quick check of my emails turned up one from Netflix which told me the first episode of Shadowhunters season 2 is available now… no, bad Emma, bad, don’t watch the trash show, read your TBR instead! (spoiler alert: I’m probs gonna watch the trash show tonight)

8.30pm – Sooo I made bolognese and fell into another booktube hole whilst cooking it. It happens, ok. Come on Emma, read, read, don’t turn on Netflix. Do Not Do It. DO NOT.

11.30pm – I turned on Netflix.

Daily Challenge: 2017 in a Picture

Share your goals/plans/etc. for 2017 with your fellow #boutofbooks-ers. These could be book goals, life goals, or goals for ANYTHING you’re looking to tackle in 2017. Take a picture of the books you plan on reading this year! Share a vision board of what you’re trying to accomplish! Use the hashtags #BoB2017Goals and #boutofbooks and let us cheer you on!

Everything in this represents one of My 2017 Resolutions:
1. to blog more regularly (calendar)
2. to plan out reviews more thoughtfully (journal)
3. to read more classics (Brideshead Revisited/Hard Times)
4. to finish series I’ve started (The Raven King)
5. to continue series I love that have books to come this year (The Mime Order).

Day Three

9.00am – After once again not getting up early to read (who was I kidding thinking I might possibly do that?!) I managed to sneak in a chapter or so of Goblet of Fire via audiobook whilst I was getting dressed etc. this morning so I feel a little better knowing I’m heading to work with some (if not a lot) of reading done already. I’m at about 10% of it now which, considering what a behemoth this book is, isn’t too shabby at all.

1.45pm – Just got back from dinner and I got through a few more chapters of A Court of Thorns and Roses whilst I was eating. The big reveal (I presume) just happened, about the nature of the curse and what the deal is with Amarantha etc. etc. – I still find the pacing of stuff in this book a little odd, I don’t know if that’s my personal problem or something other people feel. Only time will tell, I guess, since I should really wait until I’ve finished the story to start criticising its pacing.

11.00pm – My bullet journal came this afternoon so clearly I’ve just accidentally spent hours looking up bullet journal blogs and designing what I need in mine. It happens, ok?!

Daily Challenge: Book to Movie

Have a book you think would make an excellent movie? Now’s your chance to share it! Go as big or as simple as you want. Share fanart, casting choices, or just a book or series you think would be OUTSTANDING on the big screen. Use the hashtags #BoBBookToMovie and #boutofbooks to share your picks!

Stravaganza: City of Masks by Mary Hoffman

adored this book as a pre-teen. It features the idea of ‘talismans’ which allow individuals to travel back to an alternate-universe 16th century Italy, called Talia. These individuals are often unhappy or unhealthy in their lives now. The first book in the series, City of Masks, sees a very ill teenage boy named Lucien be given a marbeled notebook as a gift, fall asleep holding it, and wake up in Bellezza, Talia’s equivalent of a Renaissance-era Venice, a city state ruled by a beautiful and imperious Duchessa. He is a Stravagante, a traveller between worlds, and to be one is a dangerous thing – there are some in Talia (cough the Medicis, I mean uh the di Chimicis) who would try to steal his talisman and power for themselves, to disastrous consequences for Lucien. Whenever a Stravagante is “awake” in this alternate world, they appear to be sleeping in our world, which is all well and good until Lucien’s parents find his seemingly comatose body and he is rushed into hospital, with him remaining blissfully unaware as he wanders the streets of Bellezza.

I think this book would make an amazing film, it’s so visually suggestive and the fantastical storyline at its heart makes for an exciting narrative. It has time travel and assassins and political intrigue and body doubles and a quasi-scientific magic system and all the good stuff that would make for such a thrilling film! It also has sequels so, you know, commercial potential for a franchise.

Whilst reading the book, I’d already fancast some of its principal characters. However, since I read it some 10 years ago, it’s possible quite a few of these actors are now too old to play these characters! But, for the sake of this challenge, I’m going to pretend am a time-traveller too (ha!) and just tell you my fancast for City of Masks’ principal characters (and, yes, some have a few options because I’m indecisive):

Rodolfo Rossi – Jeremy Irons (forever and always)
Silvia, Duchessa of Bellezza  – Kate Beckinsale/Sofia Vergara
Arianna Gasparini – Hayley Atwell
Lucien (I struggle with) – Andrew Garfield/Tom Sturridge, please and thanks
Guido – Eddie Redmayne (always)

Day Four

9.15am – I listened to about an hour of Goblet of Fire getting ready/on the way to work this morning, so that’s definitely some good audiobook progress. As previously, I plan to read a few more chapters of A Court of Thorns and Roses when I have my dinner break.

1.45pm – I’ve read a few more chapters of ACOTAR. One thing I will say, because I’m so frustrated with this book right now: if the answer to Amarantha’s riddle turns out to be what I instantly thought it was (a thing that Feyre can’t puzzle out despite the fact she’s fucking FEELING IT right now and thought about this very fact only moments before the riddle), this book is not even getting 3 stars, it’s getting 2, regardless of whether or not the last 25% of it manages to somehow redeem the first 75%.

Daily Challenge: Book Spine Poetry

A perennial favorite is back! Go hunting through your books and unleash your inner poet! Use the titles of your chosen books to create a poem. Snap a picture of your creation and share it with the hashtags #BookSpinePoetryBoB and #boutofbooks.

Falling kingdoms – vicious, soulless, heartless.
The madness underneath these vicious masks, the darkest minds.

Now is the time…

The girl who played with fire,
An ember in the ashes,
Daughter of smoke and bone,
The One. 

Day Five

As you can see… I didn’t do much today, to the point where it was pointless to update throughout the day. Basically, same story as yesterday, I listened to some Goblet of Fire during my train journey and whilst on the treadmill at the gym (yep, you read that right, the gym, ugh). I’m also still making my way through A Court of Thorns and Roses and I just can’t believe this last 25% is the last 25% – the pacing of this book is so off.

Daily Challenge: If You Like This, Try This

Since we all love recommending books, here’s your chance to share the love. Example: If you like paranormal romance with bloodthirsty vikings, try Shelly Laurenston’s Call of Crows series. Make sure you use the hashtags #BoBIfYouLikeThis and #boutofbooks on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, so we can see your recs.

Day Six

12.00pm – After a gorgeous breakfast at The Tavern I am now happy and full and planning to do nothing more than sit in the living room in a blanket and read. If I don’t finish A Court of Thorns and Roses soon I’m going to scream. I should also probably get a few blog posts written ready for next week because I sense it’s gonna be a busy one at work. Let’s do this.

2.30pm – Halle-fucking-lujah, I’ve finished A Court of Thorns and Roses. What I thought about it? Well, I think you might have guessed but, a quick review is thus:

I would have given this book one star, but Rhys and Lucien earned it another one. Great concept which was ruined completely by inconsistent and lazy writing.

Yep, I think that about covers it. Here’s to better books, let’s move on!


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Friday Reads | 23rd December

As you might have seen from the last time I did a Currently Reading sort of post back on 10th/11th December, I was reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and I’m happy to report that I have finally finished both those books! I’m especially pleased that I’ve finally completed All the Light We Cannot See as it’s a book that I’d spent way longer reading than I ordinarily would. However, given the content of the narrative and how beautiful the storytelling is, I am quite glad I took my time with it, especially since I went into the book with such high expectations and being told by practically everyone that it’s amazing. I’m glad that I can now say that I agree – All the Light We Cannot See is indeed beautiful and it has made me rethink my Best of 2016 list which I’d already compiled before I had finished it.

Now, enough of the past, let’s move on to the present and the future, namely what I’ll be reading today/this weekend. I’m sure it’s impossible to escape the knowledge that this weekend happens to contain Christmas Eve/Day. So, reading might be a little intermittent because Christmas and because Christmas films. Likewise, I’m at home visiting my parents so I don’t have any of my books with me (believe me, realising I should probably not pick out a book to bring home was torture) but I do have an Overdrive account, my phone, and my Kindle. So, really, I’m not at all bookless. With that in mind, I have a couple of books lined up…

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