Bookish Post – April Reading Wrap-Up

books, wrap-up
Teacup on top of vintage books.

Boy, April was a complete washout for me. I’ve still managed to finish 6 books but there’s definitely been a dip in energy during the pas 30 days. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’ve had my second Covid vaccine and gone back to working in the office. These two things have caused nothing but exhaustion. Hopefully, a 3 day weekend is going to get me back in line.

Number of books read: 6
Number of rereads
: 0
Number of physical books: 4
Number of ebooks: 0
Number of audiobooks: 1

Number of 5* reviews: 1
Number of 4.5* reviews: 0
Number of 4* reviews: 2

Book Review – The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

books, reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As much as I enjoyed Klara and the Sun last month, it did leave me with a great desire to reread this beauty. I read a fair few reviews that described the ending of Ishiguro’s latest novel was the most heartbreaking of his career. Yes, it was sad but the most devastating ending? He’s an author who doesn’t think twice about leaving you on the edge of an emotional precipice but I found Klara quite tame in comparison to his earlier work. Particularly this one. I honestly believe that The Remains of the Day has one of the saddest endings I’ve ever read. Yet, it’s a sad ending with hopefulness. This really is quite a book and it was definitely about time that I reread it.

Bookish Post – March Reading Wrap-Up

books, reviews, wrap-up
Teacup on top of vintage books.

I always knew that I could never maintain my pace of reading 10 books each month but I didn’t expect things to turn around so abruptly. It took me ages to get into the books I was reading this month. Even the ones I was most excited about. I was worried about finishing my monthly reading challenge but, thankfully, I got there. Hopefully, April will be a bit less of a struggle.

Number of books read: 7
Number of rereads
: 0
Number of physical books: 2
Number of ebooks: 1
Number of audiobooks: 4

Number of 5* reviews: 2
Number of 4.5* reviews: 1
Number of 4* reviews: 2

Bookish Post – February Reading Wrap-Up

books, wrap-up
Teacup on top of vintage books.

After having a slight reading slump this month, I wasn’t sure that I’d manage to make it through a lot of books. I had set myself a TBR list but, inevitably, had to change that around to finish my monthly challenge. The plan is to finish what I didn’t read in February in March. At least there’s only 5 letters to cross off.

Number of books read: 10
Number of rereads
: 0
Number of physical books: 6
Number of ebooks: 0
Number of audiobooks: 4

Bookish Post – December Reading Wrap-Up

books, wrap-up
Teacup on top of vintage books.

That’s it. 2020 is over and we’re staring a new year. It feels good that it’s all behind us but I can’t pretend that 2021 is magically going to be better. After all, the virus is still raging and it’ll be a while before the vaccine is really rolled out. Then there’s Brexit which has the potential to fuck everything up. It might cause problems for food and shopping. There’s also the chance it will create issues with the vaccine. So, who knows where we’ll be this time next year. I’m hoping that the Leave voters were right and we’ll be fine. However, I can’t see it being that rosy. Anyway, enough about the future. We’re hear to look back. I’ve already posted my 2020 review post but I still wanted to breakdown the books I read in December.

Number of books read: 10
Number of rereads
: 1
Number of physical books: 10
Number of ebooks: 0
Number of audiobooks: 0

Bookish Post – Jingle Bell Book Tag

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If all had gone to plan today, I would have been writing my review of Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory. Of course, things haven’t gone to plan at all. I just haven’t got round to reading enough this week and I’m still waiting to finish it. I’ll be honest, I’m not enjoying it as much as I thought I would but I do think it’s a great book. Maybe I’m just not in the mood for non-fiction? I’ve got a load of cosy crime waiting for my and I think I’m just waiting to get onto that. Knowing what I’ve got waiting for me is only making the task of getting through this book even harder. Hopefully, I’ll be ready to move on tomorrow. For now, I’ve picked a random book tag to entertain you.

Book Review – The Invisible Child and The Fir Tree by Tove Jansson

books, reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The recent lockdown has caused a major disruption to my usual Christmas themed Instagram. Under normal circumstances, I’d have been able to pick up a cheap box of crackers on my lunchbreak at work. Since all shops have been closed and I’m, once again, staying inside as much as possible, it’s been harder tracking them down. Or, at least, tracking them down for a price that is cheap enough considering I’m going to destroy them. Thankfully, I found a box on Oxfam and decided that the additional charitable donation would somehow offset my intentions. While I was browsing the site, I got a bit sidetracked by all of their Moomin related items. I put a whole bunch of stuff in my basket but, after a lot of thought, got rid of all but a few things. One of them was this delightful book containing two stories by Tove Jansson. It seemed like a must for any real Moomins fan.

Bookish Post – November Reading Wrap-Up

books, wrap-up
Teacup on top of vintage books.

So, 2020 is almost at an end and it’s not exactly been the year that any of us expected. In terms of general life, it’s been pretty sucky but, in terms of reading, it could not have gone better. I surpassed all expectations this month despite it being quite a nothing month. Second lockdown wasn’t good in most ways but I did get more reading done. Thanks to a late night on Monday, I actually managed to finish one final book in November. It’s such a recent read that it wasn’t even included on my Instagram warp-up post. These are exciting times indeed. So, what were my November stats?

Number of books read: 11
Number of rereads
: 1
Number of physical books: 5
Number of ebooks: 2
Number of audiobooks: 4

Bookish Post: The First Line Test

books
Teacup and saucer being held above a pile of open books.

What is the first line of your favourite book?

I sometimes think that a memorable first line is a bit of a curse. I know that might sound crazy. After all, authors go through a lot to try and find the perfect opening to draw people in. Surely it must be on the major keys to success? But think about it. What if you have a really great opening but the rest of the novel can’t live up? Every time I see rundowns of books with the best first lines, I see plenty of books that I don’t really care about. Pride and Prejudice? The opening is iconic, certainly, but I find the rest of it rather bland. 1984? The opening promises so much that the repetitive and long novel can’t fully deliver. So, a great opening line doesn’t always indicate a 5 star read. But what about my favourite reads? Do they all have attention grabbing first lines? Do they pass the first line test? Let’s find out.

Book Review – Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Café by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

books, reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I was incredibly excited the moment that I found out that there was going to be a sequel to Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s Before the Coffee Gets Cold. It was one of my favourite books of 2019. In fact it was number 2. Only beaten by the exquisite comedy of Richard Ayoade‘s examination of the film View From the Top. The first book, adapted from Kawaguchi’s play of the same name, was such an unusual but engaging book. I had never read anything quite like it, so getting the chance to revisit his work was most welcome. It was released at an great moment and really helped pull me out of my reading slump. After taking a week or so to finish The Thursday Murder Club, it only took me a couple of nights to get through this. Hopefully, this means I’m back to normal. Definitely a good thing because my non-review bookish posts ideas aren’t exactly inspiring.