September 2017 | Wrap Up

All in all, September has been a bit of a mixed bag. At the start of the month I went to my very first (and hopefully not last) trip to the US. Rather optimistically I took a couple of books with me and a Kindle loaded up with many ARCs that I really ought to get to. Surprise, surprise, I was having such a good time in DC that I kind of forgot about reading, apart from on one rather sunny day when I read a book in the shadow of the Washington Monument which was all kinds of surreal for me, the girl who hasn’t travelled any further than Spain or Greece before this. I also managed to squeeze in a little reading on the train from DC to New York but aside from that I didn’t really think about it. (Side note: I thought I’d read on the train home from London but, guess what, jet lag and not sleeping on the plane home is a bitch and I don’t do well with it.)

However, once I was back in England I tried to get to a few books I’d been meaning to finish off in order to start clearing that growing ‘currently reading’ shelf. It’s been a mostly successful month, in that sense, though I still haven’t finished You Know What, but I’m hopeful that next month will be the month I do. I’m also still in the midst of my His Dark Materials read-through as I’m listening to the audiobook for Northern Lights so it’s taken me a little longer to get through. That shouldn’t take too long to finish though and then I’ll move on to the second and third books in the trilogy. Anyhow let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s see what I did finish reading in this past month…

In September, I read a total of 7 books – 5 fiction and 2 non-fiction, amounting to 2000 pages in total, and, of these, 0 books were re-reads* – go me!

In terms of format: 5 were paperback, 1 was hardback, and was an ebook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were fantasy, 2 were non-fiction, 1 was magical realism, and 1 was contemporary/romance.

Onto the books themselves…

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August 2017 | Wrap Up

How on earth is it already September?! This year is going far too quickly for my liking, and I can’t believe we’re two thirds of the way through 2017. I smashed my Goodreads goal already but I’m still trying to complete the Book Riot and Around the Year challenges and I’m not running out of steam yet. There are also some great readathons and readalongs happening lately so, all in all, I’m feeling pretty damn good about how my reading is going this year. Let’s take a look at how August went, shall we?

In August, I read a total of 8 books – 7 fiction and 1 non-fiction, amounting to 2223 pages in total, and, of these, 3 books were re-reads*.

In terms of format: 6 were paperback and 2 were audiobooks.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, 1 book was young-adult/historical, 1 was action/adventure, 1 was mystery, 1 was historical/fantasy, 1 was non-fiction/memoir, 3 were sci-fi/graphic novels.

Onto the books themselves…

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July 2017 | Wrap Up

Where has July gone, am I right? (I seem to be saying that for every single month of this year but seriously, I mean it this time.) How is it August? Where did the first half of the year go?! Enough incredulous questions, let’s just get onto what we’re all here to do, and that is to take a peek at what I read in this past month, ignoring the fact that we’re almost a week into August… cough… let’s just move on…

In July, I read a total of 6 books – 5 fiction and 1 non-fiction, amounting to 2009 pages in total, and, of these, 4 books were re-reads.

In terms of format: 1 was paperback, 2 were hardback, 1 was an e-book, and 2 were audiobook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were fantasy, 1 was non-fiction/memoir, 1 was comic-book/superheroes.

Onto the books themselves…

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24in48 Readathon | Wrap Up

As you may or may not have seen from my sign-up post, this past weekend I took part in the 24in48 Readathon and I had a blast. Well, tradition requires me to wrap-up my weekend of reading like a good book blogger and let you know how I did generally, as well as what I thought of the books I read during that time. I’ll try to keep it as short as I can!

Let’s start off with the Big One – did I read for 24 hours? Nope. Not even close, to be honest. But I did get closer to 24 hours than I managed the last time I participated in this readathon back in January so I’m calling that a success. I read for 16 hours which is way more than I anticipated and I’m very happy with that! I’ve come to realise that for me, a person who likes sleep and WILL NOT sacrifice that unless it’s for a very, very good cause on her weekends off, I simply don’t prioritise reading enough to make myself sleep deprived. I also like to do sensible things like take a long shower and get dressed. So I don’t full commit enough to really squeeze every moment of reading out of the 48 hour period – so it’s no wonder I don’t make it to the 24 hour target but, you know what? I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m proud of my 16 hours.

Let’s take a look at what I intended to read:

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer [audiobook/PB]
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee [audiobook]

And what I actually read was the following:

106 pages of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
315 pages of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
78 pages/23% of The Art of Asking [audiobook] by Amanda Palmer
224 pages, Stardust by Neil Gaiman
120 pages, Ms Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona

= 843 pages

Not too shabby at all! All in all, I’d say that’s a success. I was very aware going into this readathon that I needed to make sure not to burn out during it because I’m currently participating in a War and Peace Newbies Readalong which, whilst only having a low page count to read each day, does require you to read every single day. I didn’t want to burn out and then end up falling behind with War and Peace because I’d over-read books during the weekend. But I think I’m good! This past weekend helped me to realise that I can read ahead with the W&P schedule and use my freed-up time to read some other books too, so that I don’t feel too disheartened with not having completed many books this month. Definitely something I’ll do more often during this readalong.

As far as the books I read during 24in48 went, I thoroughly enjoyed everything I read. I suspected that I’d deviate from my TBR and I did – I know myself well! I blame The Art of Asking entirely for that because I was listening to Amanda Palmer and she mentioned her husband and then that got me thinking that I really wanted to read something Neil Gaiman soon – a few minutes later and I’d picked up Stardust. The other outlier, in the form of Ms Marvel was  picked up due to necessity – I was out of the house at a BBQ on Sunday afternoon but I downloaded Ms Marvel Vol. 1 onto my phone via Amazon’s Prime Reading service so I read that in fits and starts during the afternoon. How’s that for maximising your reading time? All in all, a resounding success, huzzah!

(I am yet to find a situation I cannot illustrate with a Parks and Rec gif. Sorry/not sorry.)

Did you participate in the 24 in 48 Readathon? How did you do?
Comment below or link progress posts if you have them – I would love to hear about your weekend’s reading.


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June 2017 | Wrap Up

Well, here we are in July and can I just join the chorus of people saying that they have no idea how the heck it’s July already? Because it does not feel like 6 months have passed of in 2017. Although that does mean we’re closer to Christmas than we are away from it – yay!

In terms of reading and all things books, June went pretty well. I managed (somehow) to read quite a lot of books (for me) though I’m under no illusions that this wasn’t because of the fact that I read some shorter things as it was getting to the end of the month, mostly to bulk up the number of things I’d read and also because I suspect July will be a much slower reading month and I don’t want to get behind on the various reading challenges I’m doing. That being said, whatever the reason, I had a decent reading month – I read some wonderful things and some not so wonderful things but the month ended on a high so let’s just jump on in and get right down to wrapping up June.

In June, I read a total of 10 books – 10 fiction and 0 non-fiction, amounting to 3348 pages in total, and, of these, 3 books were re-reads.

In terms of format: 5 were paperback, 1 was a hardback, 3 were e-arcs, and 1 was an audiobook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were fantasy, 3 books were dystopian, 3 were classics, 2 were contemporaries.

Onto the books themselves…

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May 2017 | Wrap Up

As a month, May has been a pleasant surprise. I settled (well am settling, it’s an ongoing process) into my new job and I’m starting to find my feet so that’s been lovely. Also, the benefits of now working full-time are that I have a longer lunch break that I used to – now I have a blissful hour and, let me tell you, after being used to quickly scoffing down a sandwich within 20 minutes, when you suddenly have 60 minutes, I don’t eat any slower, I just get to read more. That has been a revelation. Also, with my office being the only one on the ground floor of the building, I’m mostly on my own unless people pop by to check their pigeonholes or come to say hello. This means that I can listen to music, podcasts (yeah, so I now get podcasts), or audiobooks. When I realised at the latter half of the month that a good chunk of audiobook-listening could be done whilst I was inputting data, well, guys, I don’t want to jinx it but I think it may revolutionise my reading… ok, maybe that’s a bit far, but it will help me squeeze all that potential reading time out of every working day. Let’s see if I keep that up in the coming weeks and months though…

In May, I read a total of 6 books – 6 fiction and 0 non-fiction, amounting to 2670 pages in total, and, of these, 2 books were re-reads.

In terms of format: 4 were paperback, 1 was a hardback, and 1 was an audiobook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were fantasy, 1 book was dystopian/sci-fi, book was historical fiction, and 1 book was a classic.

Onto the books themselves…

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Bout of Books 19 | Wrap Up

This past week saw round 19 of Bout of Books readathon happen and I am really, really glad to have taken part in my own very low-key way. At the start of the week I devised a TBR/intentions post and I think I ended up doing pretty well, even if I didn’t get to the books I mentioned in that post (I very rarely do stick to readathon TBRs, tbh). I didn’t get around to doing any of the official challenges owing to wanting to focus my free time on an evening to reading itself, but I still had a jolly good time all the same. I did manage to participate in the Saturday Twitter chat (I can never make the weekday one because it’s much too late in England) and I really enjoyed that too.There is nothing quite like interacting and flailing with other readers.

Now, I can’t deny that the fact that my friend and housemate Liz (aka Travel in Retrospect) has been away on a work trip probably lead to me reading so much for this readathon – that’s not to say that I can’t, or don’t, read when she’s home, it’s just that we often watch TV or a film together on an evening rather than picking up a book. I mostly read on train journeys or just before I go to sleep which means I grab 20 minutes of reading here and there but I don’t tend to regularly sit down for long periods of time to read unless I happen to be in the house alone.

But I really made a concerted effort to make reading a priority this week, and made sure to read on my train journey to/from work Monday through to Friday and I even spent most of my lunch hours with my nose in a book too. It helps that I am in my own office and people only come in to check their pigeonholes and occasionally pop their head in, so I had a very quiet environment in which to read at my desk.

I still managed to fit in some TV so I didn’t feel too deprived of that; when I wasn’t reading I was watching Bluestone 42, a BBC comedy show about a bomb disposal squad in Afghanistan which doesn’t sound like a barrel of laughs but trust me, it’s brilliant. (It also has an army-ified Matthew Lewis, if that floats your boat at all.)

But that’s not what we’re here to discuss – we’re here to round up or wrap up how I did at Bout of Books. This round, rather than updating a blog post periodically (which I always fall out of the habit of doing somewhere around day 4), I chose to do low-key updates via Twitter – you can check out my Twitter thread of updates to see what I got up to this past week. (I know I have a few more hours left of the readathon but I don’t anticipate reading much more of my current book, Soulless, so I’m calling it now.)

The TL;DR version of how I did is this…

Finished 3 books:

from pg 345 – end/295 pages of American Gods by Neil Gaiman (5 stars)
237 pages of A Room with a View by E.M. Forster (3.5 stars)
400 pages of The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill (5 stars)
Total: 932 pages

Summary: not too shabby at all! I hereby deem my taking part in this round of Bout of Books a success! I just want to take this opportunity to say thank you to the ever-lovely hosts, Amanda and Kelly, and to everyone who commented or tweeted me during the readathon. I always love Bout of Books for these kind of interactions, they are truly what makes the readathon so great to participate in and keep me coming back for more.
I’ll see you all next round and, until then, happy reading!

Did you participate in this round of Bout of Books? Comment below if so, I’d love to hear how you did this past week, what you were reading, and how you liked it.


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April 2017 | Wrap Up

Well, well, well, yet another month has passed – does anyone actually remember April happening? Because I sure as hell don’t know how it’s May already (cough it’s gonna be May cough) and yet here we are. I think a large part of that is due to the fortnight-long readathon that I took part in in the middle of April. The Tome Topple readathon meant that I focused more on getting through some hunkers of books rather than the amount of books read this month… which is my way of saying I didn’t read many books so there’s my excuse. Plus, with finishing up at my job, this month has seen me be a little bit preoccupied with one thing or another – that will change as we head into May and I (hopefully) get settled into my new work place with no huge problems. Mostly though, I am glad I got round to a couple of books that I was really long overdue to finish and I hope to continue this kind of finishing spirit into next month as I still have some A Song of Ice and Fire to catch up with. But, for now, let’s look back at how April’s reading went…

In April, I read a total of 4 books – 4 fiction and 0 non-fiction, amounting to 2036 pages in total, and, of these, 1 book was a re-read.

In terms of format: 2 were paperback, 1 was an e-ARC, and 1 was an audiobook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were fantasy and 1 was a classic.

Onto the books themselves…

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March 2017 | Wrap Up

As far as months go, March was pretty much a non-entity. Or, at least, that’s what it feels like now I’m looking back on it… which is ridiculous because two films I was highly anticipated were released, I saw them, and loved both. (Beauty and the Beast and Kong: Skull Island, for what it’s worth) Me and Liz also ventured to the Tavern a couple of times (always a good time) and I even got to experience dinner at the Tavern which is… well… let’s just say the phrase “I think I’ve ate too much” becomes redundant after the tenth time of saying it. It was SO good though. Some personal/professional changes may also be happening in the very near future (I don’t want to say it too soon and jinx it) so that’s made the end of March very interesting, to say the least. I’m sure it will also affect April and my reading habits but we’ll see. For now, let’s look back at how March’s reading went…

In March, I read a total of 5 books – 5 fiction and 0 non-fiction, amounting to 2247 pages in total, and, of these, 3 books were re-reads. 

In terms of format: 4 were hardcover and was paperback.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were fantasy – no one is surprised that I’m still on that fantasy kick. Sorry/not sorry, as always.

Onto the books themselves…

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February 2017 | Wrap Up

Well, February has been an interesting month. It’s gone much too quickly, it’s astounding how a month having 2/3 less days than others makes such a huge difference but it really does. As far as life in general, February is a big month of “meh”, I can’t particularly remember any part of it so that doesn’t really bode well, does it? Nothing terrible happened, nothing amazing did either, just a middling month all around. I got to go home for a little trip which was nice and Sarah, a lovely friend from university, made it up to Liverpool for a night so it was lovely to see her face again. Unfortunately, I’m now sick with a really annoying cough that I would like to go away asap so this will be a relatively brief wrap-up post with very little chit chat.

In February, I read a total of 9 books – 9 fiction and 0 non-fiction, amounting to 3890 pages in total, and, of these, 6 books were re-reads. 

In terms of format: were e-books, 1 was hardcover, 3 were paperback, and 3 were audiobooks. 

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were fantasy and 1 was short-story mythological retellings. Yeah, I’m on something of a fantasy kick right now – sorry/not sorry.

Onto the books themselves…

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