It’s Monday: What are you reading?

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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!

 

So I am currently reading three books, which is a bit weird for me. Normally I like to concentrate on one books, or two at most but not this week apparently. The one I am concentrating most on right now is Vanguard by Jack Campbell. I’m currently about 50% through on my kindle and so far I am enjoying it, although it took a little time to get fully into it. Hopefully I’ll finish that in the next few days as it’s quite a quick read. The other book I’m reading is Words of Radiance: Part 1 by Brandon Sanderson. I’m currently only about 100 pages and it’s about 650 pages long. Finally the book that I hope to start today is The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino. I read Out by her last year (I think) and while it is pretty dark I did enjoy it so I was interested in trying out more from her.
Once I’ve finished Vanguard, I’ll just concentrate more on the other two books. I know I enjoy Sanderson’s books but I’m interested to see what I think of The Goddess Chronicle. Have you guys read any of these books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

All Of My Unread Books

Hi guys, to be honest I wasn’t sure what to post today so I thought I’d share all of my unread books. These are all the books I own that I haven’t read yet – I currently have exactly 30 of them. I definitely want to get this down and hopefully read a lot of these before buying any more books :).

 

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  • Little Women / Louisa May Alcott
  • The Blind Assassin / Margaret Atwood
  • Accusations / Bandi
  • Greenmantle / John Buchan

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  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy / John le Carre
  • Call for the Dead / John le Carre
  • Little Dorrit / Charles Dickens
  • Crime and Punishment /  ‎Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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  • The Man in the Iron Mask / Alexandre Dumas
  • Birdcage Walk / Helen Dunmore
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles / Thomas Hardy

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  • Dragon Haven / Robin Hobb
  • A Pale View of Hills / Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Hunting of Eagles / Ben Kane
  • All for Nothing / Walter Kempowski

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  • The Good People / Hannah Kent
  • The Wake / Paul Kingsnorth
  • The Poisonwood Bible / Barbara Kingsolver

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  • The Jungle Book / Rudyard Kipling
  • The Goddess Chronicles / Natsuo Kirino
  • Son of the Shadows / Juliet Marillier
  • The Sound of Waves / Yukio Mishima

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  • The Refugees / Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four / George Orwell
  • A Tale for the Time Being / Ruth Ozeki

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  • Words of Radiance: Part 1 / Brandon Sanderson
  • The Makioka Sisters / Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

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  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn / Mark Twain
  • Germinal / Emile Zola
  • I am the Messenger / Markus Zusak

 

There are so many more books I want to read, but these are the ones that I currently own and have not read yet. I do also have some on my kindle but I thought I’d stick with the physical books today. I don’t think 30 books is too bad, but I would like to get it down a bit. Have you guys read any of these? I’d love to know any thoughts you have on them. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

Series I Want To Finish in 2017

Hi guys, I am you are all well. Today I thought I would share some series I want to finish this year or probably more realistically for some make some progress in reading these series. I’ve marked the books I haven’t yet read with an asterisks for you guys.
  • Raven Shadow’s trilogy / Blood SongTower Lord and Queen of Fire* / Anthony Ryan
  • Rain Wild Chronicles / Dragon KeeperDragon Haven*City of Dragons* and Blood of Dragons* / Robin Hobb
  • Commonwealth: Chronicle of the Fallers / The Abyss Beyond Dreams and A Night Without Stars* / Peter F. Hamilton
  • Eagles of Rome trilogy / Eagles At WarHunting the Eagle* and Eagle in the Storm* / Ben Kane
  • Poldark series / Ross Poldark, Demelza, Jeremy Poldark, Warleggan, The Black Moon, The Four Swans, The Angry Tide, The Stranger from the Sea, The Miller’s Dance, The Loving Cup, The Twisted Sword* and Bella Poldark* / Winston Graham
  • Shardlake series / Dissolution, Dark Fire*, Sovereign*, Revelation*, Heartstone* and Lamentation* / C. J. Sansom
I think I’ll also quickly mention some series I want to continue/finish that are currently unfinished, so basically not all the books are out yet. I will complete these series when all the books are out though. These series include the Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon, Echoes of the Fall series by Adrian Tchaikovsky, Gods of Blood and Powder series by Brian McClellan, the Winnowing Flame trilogy by Jen Williams, the Book of Ancestor series by Mark Lawrance, the Draconis Memoria series by Anthony Ryan, the Gentleman Bastard sequence by Scott Lynch and the Legends of the First Empire series by Michael J. Sullivan… I could go on but I think I’ll leave it at that :).
There are so many series out there, it is a little overwhelming really. These are series that I am definitely interested in finishing and I’m excited to see how they all progress. Let me know if you’ve read any of these series and what you thought. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

Big Books on my TBR

Hi guys, how are you? I can’t quite believe we are now in May – this year seems to be going pretty quickly. Anyway it’s time for another blog post and today I thought I would share all of the big books on my tbr. I don’t tend to be intimidated by the size of a book, unless it’s around or over a thousand pages, and I have quite a few big books on my TBR. The ones I am sharing today are all over 500 pages long. So let’s get started.

 

  • Little Dorrit / Charles Dicken
  • Words of Radiance Part 1 / Brandon Sanderson
  • Dragon Haven / Robin Hobb
  • The Poisonwood Bible / Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Blind Assassin / Margaret Atwood
  • Sons of Shadow / Juliet Maurillier
  • Little Women / Louisa May Alcott
  • The Makioka Sisters / Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

 

These are all the big books that I currently own but haven’t got around to reading yet. There are many more that I don’t own yet but I figured I’d start by sharing the ones I own :). Have you guys read any of these? Also I’d be interested to know if you guys are intimidated to the size of books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

April Wrap Up and May TBR

Hi guys, it’s time for another monthly wrap up. I had an alright reading month, although I would have preferred to have done more… but I got distracted by Horizon: Zero Dawn, which is awesome by the way. So I’ve been on the PlayStation a bit more this month. I did still manage to read 5 books so I’m pretty happy with that. Anyway let’s get onto the wrap up.

 

Guns of Dawn / Adrian Tchaikovsky / ★★  
I’m sad to say that I was a little disappointed with this one. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you may be aware of my love for 3 other books by this author but this one just didn’t work for me. I don’t really know why. I found it really quite slow, the pacing was abit off and the characters were only alright, in my opinion. The characters were quite cliched and a bit one dimensional. It definitely had potential, but something about it just didn’t quite work for me. I had to really push myself to finish this. Maybe it wasn’t the right time to read it, as I think this is still a good book – it just didn’t work for me. This one really confused me as I thought I was going to really enjoy it.

 

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Crooked Kingdom / Leigh Bardugo / ★★★ 
While I did enjoy this conclusion overall, I didn’t love it. This is a good duology, but part of me was a little disappointed with it as I had heard so many good things. Having said that I did still enjoy it. I liked the ambiguous moral compass of the characters and the plot is generally engaging. There are also quite a few interesting characters within these two books – Inej is definitely a favourite of mine. The world was an interesting, the action is well done and overall I thought the plot progression was good. So I enjoyed this duology, but I think I was hoping for something more.

 

Tower Lord / Anthony Ryan / ★★★ 
This is the second book in the Raven Shadows trilogy. I have to say I was a little disappointed with this one, especially initially, but I found it did get better. I think the main issue I had was the switch of perspectives. In the first book we follow Vaelin as a solo narrative, but in this book we have four points of view throughout. This threw me a little bit, as I expected it to only follow Vaelin. I found that I didn’t fully connect with some of the characters, specifically Reva. I felt that her development was perhaps a little quick, especially in terms of her fighting ability. You know those super smart characters that seem to pick up fighting, whether its swords or archery, in a day or something – she’s a bit like that. Generally the character arcs were pretty well done. Although it took me a little while to get into it, the plot was generally engaging and the writing is easy to get into. I think Ryan is a great fantasy writer. Overall it was good, but I definitely preferred the first book. I am excited to see how things conclude in the next book.

 

Certainty / Madeleine Thien / ★★★.5
You guys may be aware that I read and loved Do Not Say We Have Nothing (also by Thien) at the start of the year, so I was interested to read her debut novel. It definitely hasn’t match my love for her latest book, but it was still a very good book. I think my main issue with this were the changes in perspective. For me it meant a bit of a lack of connection with the characters and it was a little hard to follow at times. It is also told mostly in flashback and I am not the biggest fan of that writing style. The characters are still interesting and I think Thien’s writing is fantastic. Overall this was a good book and I’m excited to try out her other book.

 

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With Blood Upon the Sand / Bradley Beaulieu / ★★★★ 
I have to admit I was both excited and sceptical when I first started this book, as I struggled a bit with the first book, but I thought this was a great continuation. I think because the world is already established it was easier to get into the flow of things. The plot progression was great and I was hooked from early on. The character development was done very well. There are quite a few interesting characters and it was great to be back with them. Another massive strength of this book is the world – it is so intricate and unique. It is definitely one of my favourites at the moment.

 

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The Woman in White / Wilkie Collins / ★★★★ 
I have this on my tbr for a while now and I am so glad I’ve finally read it. I didn’t really know what to expect going into this, but I ended up loving it. It did take me a little while to get into, but as this was a new author to me I kind of expected that. However I was pretty intrigued about the progression of the plot early on – I wasn’t sure how things were going to unfold. This has a fantastic twisting plot, with characters to both root for and despise. It is quite dense and long, so if you are not a fan of Victorian writing and mutilate perspective narrative then this may not be the book for you. Otherwise I would recommend this to everyone. I really enjoyed this book.

 

Since I mostly ignored my TBR for last month, I think I’m not really going to set myself one for this month and just see what happens. Having said that, I obviously want to get to a classic. I’m currently torn between Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell and Germinal by Emile Zola, but there are a few others I can choose from too. Other than that I am just going to pick up what I feel like at the time. What was your favourite book you read in April? I hope you are all having a fantastic day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

 

March Wrap Up and April TBR

Hi guys, I hope you are all well. It’s the end of the month so it’s time to talk about the books I’ve read. I had a pretty good reading month, both in terms of quality and quantity. I read a total of 10 books this month, 5 of which were four star reads. I did have one quite disappointing read but we’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s get started.

 

Luna: New Moon / Ian McDonald / ★★
Unfortunately this one wasn’t for me. I think this had a lot of potential and I love the concept of this book, but it just didn’t work for me. The idea of powerful, warring families and the politics between them is something that I enjoy, but with this one I wasn’t invested. I will say I thought the world building was very well done and is definitely one of the strengths of this book. The characters are also pretty well written but as I’ve mentioned I didn’t really care about any of them. I also thought the amount of sex/sexual scenes was a bit excessive. I know sex happens and I don’t mind sex scenes but I don’t really want to know that Ariel only has sex with herself and have a whole scene about it, especially because it bears no relevance to the plot. The constant changes in perspectives and tense was jarring and took me out of the story. It was also a little confusing, as there are so many characters to keep track of. I think this is still worth a read, especially if you enjoy science fiction books, but personally I found it a little disappointing. In theory the premise is amazing, but in practice it just didn’t work.

 

Lady Audley’s Secret / Mary Elizabeth Braddon / ★★★
I didn’t really now much about this one but I ended up enjoying it. I found the writing relatively easy to get into, although it did take me a little while to get into and I have to admit I didn’t love it. I think the main issue I had with this book was the characters. For me they lacked depth and I just didn’t care about them. I found the plot a bit slow at times but it was generally engaging. Overall this was a good book, but I didn’t love it.

 

The Diamond Throne / David Eddings / ★★★.5
Book 1 in the Elenium trilogy. This was a solid first book in this fantasy trilogy. It’s definitely quite traditional in terms of the fantasy genre (specifically high fantasy) but it’s still a very enjoyable and fun read.  I enjoyed getting to know all of the characters and the writing is easy to get into. For me personally there was something missing but I can’t really say what. I think the dialogue could have used some work at certain points and the writing was a little clunky at times. Overall this was a fun read and I would recommend it, especially if you are a big fan of fantasy. If you are getting a little bored of conventional fantasy though I wouldn’t recommend. I will be checking out the next book in the series.

 

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Etched in Bone / Anne Bishop / ★★★.5
*I received a digital copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This is the fifth book in the Others series. These books are a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, as it’s not something I’d usually gravitate towards. I thought this was a great continuation of the series and I think it was a satisfying ending to Meg’s story. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think the next book focuses on entirely new characters. Anyway I liked the progression of the plot and the development of the story, but I did feel like there wasn’t so much tension/suspense in this one. The threat, although nasty, never truly felt like a threat to me. The cast of characters are great and I love the world it’s set in- I personally think it is very interesting. I did enjoy this book and would recommend checking this out.

 

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The Song of the Stork / Stephan Collishaw / ★★★.5
*I received a digital copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
I thought this was a great book, but it definitely has a few issues.  I read this book in one sitting. The writing was great and I found it easy to get into, even though this was a new author for me. It really created an atmosphere of suspense. Even though there isn’t a lot happening in some sections the writing and character development really pull it through. The first half was definitely stronger than the second half, in my opinion. I was a little disappointed that an intriguing character I liked during the first half was never heard from again in the second half – we don’t get any idea of what happened to him. I also felt that the ending is quite abrupt and so I felt a little unsatisfied with that. Overall I think this is a good historical fiction and I would recommend it. Side note: the cover is stunning.

 

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Rivers of London / Ben Aaronovitch / ★★★★ 
This is the first book in the Peter Grant series. I’ve had this on my radar for a while now as my sister has really enjoyed this series so far and so I finally decided to pick it up. I ended up really enjoying it. I liked the mix of mystery/crime and fantasy – the mix of genre worked very well. It was easy to get into, the plot was engaging and the writing was good. Overall this was a quick, fun and entertaining book and I look forward to reading the next book in the series. I would definitely recommend it, especially if you are a fan of urban fantasy.

 

Dragon Keeper / Robin Hobb / ★★★★ 
This is the first book in the Rain Wild Chronicles. It’s by Robin Hobb so of course it was fantastic, although I’m currently unsure whether I’m going to love this series as much as some of her other books. In this book we are introduced to some new characters, but some familiar characters also make an appearance. I enjoyed the plot and the writing was fantastic. I will definitely be checking out the next book and I’m excited to see where this series goes.

 

Dissolution / C. J. Sansom / ★★★★ 
This was fantastic. I’ve had this on my radar for a while now as my mum loves this series, and I recently found out an internet friend of mine also loves it, so I had quite high expectations. I really enjoyed this book. The time period it is set in (1500s) is an interesting one. I thought the crime element was done so well and I was constantly wondering over the mystery – the atmosphere Sansom creates really makes for a great reading experience. The characters are well written and interesting. My one complaint was that it did drag at times and got a little repetitive at times, but it’s only a minor complaint. I very much enjoyed this book and I will be continuing on with this series.

 

The Ninth Rain / Jen Williams / ★★★★
*I was sent a physical copy from Bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review*
Book 1 in the Winnowing trilogy. I have a full review for this one, so I am going to keep this short – basically I loved this book. One of the main things I loved about this book was the world. The world building was so well done and I found it really interesting. The cast of characters is fantastic and the plot was engaging throughout. If you enjoy fantasy, I highly recommend checking this series out. You can check out my full review here.

 

Sins of Empire / Brian McClellan / ★★★★ 
I don’t really know how but it somehow completely passed me by that this is related to the Powder Mage trilogy. So it was a nice surprise to see some familiar characters. This was a fantastic book. The writing is easy to get into and I was quickly immersed in the world. I love the magic system – it is probably one of my favourites and it consists of around four different sections (Privileged, Knacked, Powder mage and blood magic). The cast of characters are fantastic and as I’ve mentioned it was great to be back with some from the Powder mage trilogy. The plot was engaging throughout. Overall I loved this and I highly recommend it, although I would definitely recommend reading the Powder Mage trilogy before starting this one.

 

In terms of my April tbr, I think I’m going to keep it pretty simple. Once again I want to read The Snack Thief by Andrea Camilleri as that has been on my tbr for about two months now. My classic pick for the month is going to be The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, but I would also quite like to get to The Cossacks and Hadji Murad by Leo Tolstoy. Other books I’d like to read soon include Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan, The Moon in the Palace by Weina dai Randal, The Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley, The Murder of Peter Ackroyd by Agatha Christie and Guns of Dawn by Adrian Tchaikovsky. There are so many books I want to read but hopefully I’ll have a good reading month and get to all these books. I’m hoping to read a good portion of my tbr as April is my birthday months so I’ll definitely be getting some new books :). So my question to you guys is, what was your favourite book you read in March? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa

 

 

TTT: Spring TBR

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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 top ten books on my spring tbr. Basically books you want to read in the next few months. I have so many books I want to read but I do have an idea of the books I want to read soon. So let’s get started.
  • The Woman in White / Wilkie Collins
  • The Cossacks and Hadji Murad / Leo Tolstoy
  • A Tale for the Time Being / Ruth Ozeki
  • Crooked Kingdom / Leigh Bardugo
  • Guns of Dawn / Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • Sins of Empire / Brian McClellan
  • Shardik / Richard Adams
  • The Loving Cup / Winston Graham
  • The Night Circus / Erin Morgensten
  • The Moon in the Palace / Weina dai Randal
As I said I have so many books I want to read, but these are 10 I want to get to soon. I own most of these books (physical copy or ebook format) so there is really no excuse for me not reading any of them. I am very excited to get to all of them, especially because some of them have been on my tbr for quite some time now :). Have you read any of these books? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.

 

Pippa