I saw this book in a bookshop a month ago and immediately wanted to read it. But, considering my TBR list is so huge, I decided against it. Until a few weeks later when I couldn’t resist anymore and bought a cheap copy. I couldn’t wait to start reading it. As soon as I’d done with Love, Nina I did it. And, if I hadn’t already passed my GoodReads challenge score, it would have been a perfect read. I finished it in 3 days, which for me is kind of miraculous. Does it help that I’m on holiday this week? Certainly but let’s not take away from my achievements.
I’m an avid listener of the Adam Buxton podcast. I love hearing his rambly chats with people and, I’ve found, that it’s a pretty good thing to listen to at work. A few weeks ago, Adam was talking to author Nina Stibbe. Before that point, I’d never read anything by Stibbe but I knew of her. She seemed like such a lovely person that I picked up a copy of her book Love Nina. I had meant to watch the BBC adaptation a while ago but, because I never watch normal TV, I never got round to it. It’s something I definitely want to watch now that I’ve finished the book. I do have to admit that, thanks to my knowledge of the show, I kept imagining Mary-Kay as Helena Bonham Carter and Nina as Faye Marsay.
It’s been a while since I read and reviewed Above the Star the first in Alexis Marie Chute’s Young Adult fantasy trilogy. In an ideal world, I would have reread it before reading the second but, unfortunately, I didn’t have it on me. I’ve been forcing everyone I know to read it because I absolutely loved it. I’m always a bit scared of recommending books that I love to people because, well, what do you do if they hate them? You either have to reevaluate your literary choices or your friend choices. And, let’s be honest, books are going to win every time. But I do make an exception when I think a book is good enough. And I definitely thought that Above the Star was good enough. It was one of my favourite reads of last year and I’ve been eagerly awaiting news of the second book’s release. Luckily for me, Alexis Marie Chute offered to send me an ARC copy so I didn’t even have to wait for the actual release date in October this year. I already had about 3 books on the go when this arrived but I knew I had to start it immediately. And I was hooked from the start. If it hadn’t been for my inconsiderate niece deciding to be born early, I would have finished and reviewed it weeks ago.
The first time that I saw the trailer for Detective Pikachu I thought it was a joke. I mean Ryan Reynolds voicing a Pikachu wearing a deerstalker? It was the stuff you normally find on that weird part of the internet. But it was real. And despite being utterly convinced that it would suck, I was kind of excited to see it. When I did, I wasn’t sure what to think. I reviewed it here but couldn’t quite get my point across. I liked it but I knew it wasn’t good. But it wasn’t even bad in a funny way. It was kind of confusing. So, when I found this novelisation, I wanted to find out if the added benefit of detail and description would add something to the story. I was hoping it would help us get closer to the characters and maybe make things a little clearer. Of course, I was also aware that this was a book recommended for children so I wasn’t expecting much.
So, it’s that time again. That time of the month where I cover up the fact that I don’t have a book to review yet by discussing the books I read last month. It’s the perfect crime. And I don’t think I did too bad a job in May. I thought I’d done really badly but I forgot about a few quick reads early on. When I say early on, I mean May 1st. I got a couple of NetGalley books done and dusted on the first night of the month and promptly forgot about them. It safe to say my great start didn’t continue all month. I did pretty well until about halfway through when I slowed down. I haven’t had a lull that bad all year. But I got through it. And I’m determined to catch up this month. Unfortunately, my first read of June looks like it’s going to be a slow one so I’ve already paused that and moved on to something else!
I didn’t know anything about this book before my friend sent me a copy. She works for Vintage publishing and is always trying to give me cheap books from work. I know I know. First world problems. So, when I asked for a copy of Machines Like Me I wasn’t expecting a whole package of fun stuff. And by fun stuff, I mean a copy of Rosie Price’s book and some marketing material relating to it. Including a tote bag that my mother was extremely excited about. God knows why. I have more than my fair share of free tote bags. Don’t all women, particularly bookish women, have more tote bags than they could ever need? But do I ever have one with me when I need one? Of course I bloody don’t. That would require too much forward-thinking. But I digress. I decided that I would give this book a go once I’d finished the Ian McEwan. It sounded like an interesting read. About a horrible topic, obviously, but an interesting read. And Price’s debut had been receiving a lot of attention.
One of my best friends works for Vintage books so she is constantly offering to pick up cheap books for me. I know I know. I’m making it sound like a bad thing when it’s not. The only problem is that I never remember to ask her. I buy the book myself and then have to put up her with telling me she could have got it for me. So, when I heard about Ian McEwan’s latest book dealing with AI, I knew this was one of the times I should take her up on it. I was a massive fan of Ian McEwan as a teenager but I’ve lost my way over the last few years. Basically, everything after On Chesil Beach has remained unread on my shelf. And I’ve been okay with that. Sweet Tooth and Solar I wasn’t that interested in but I did really want to read The Children Act and Nutshell. Honestly, I did. I just never got round to it. But this one sounded interesting. An alternate reality 1980s where AI technology exists. Part of me was worried, though. AI has become a bit of a thing in literature recently and I wasn’t sure that McEwan was the best to add to the conversation. But, I couldn’t let my friend down again.
My last read was one of the books I bought in my post-Endgame book trip. I had needed something to cheer me up and nothing cheers me up quite like looking at books. I’d been attracted to this cover for ages because I’m a sucker for anything yellow these days. But I had also been wanting to pick this up for a while. I’ve seen it around quite a bit and heard good things about it. So many people bring up Agatha Christie when talking about it that I felt I had to give it a try. I’ve been a Christie fan for years and admit that she is one of the few crime writers I never get bored of. I’ve never been a big crime fiction reader. I always find them underwhelming. The twists are too obvious and I guess them from the start. I know it’s probably not in the spirit of the book but if it’s staring me right in the face what am I meant to do? Maybe there just are no crimes to write about anymore? Has every possible murder been committed in literature? I kind of feel like it has because I get such a sense of deja vu whenever I read the next big crime novel. But, that also doesn’t stop me trying so I’ve got nobody to blame but myself.
At the end of March I posted my first ever monthly wrap-up. It was mostly because I’d managed to read 8 books that month and felt that it needed recording somewhere. I haven’t done quite as well this month because I started my new job. For the first few weeks I wasn’t reading quite as quickly as normal. Still, I managed a fairly commendable 5. Again, this might not seem like a lot to some of you but, for me, this is outstanding. Especially when compared to last year. My 2018 reading target was 30 books and I managed to get 4 books over. This year I set myself the same target and I’m basically already there. Only 6 to go and we’re only in the 5th month. So, this shows you just how much better I’ve been with reading this year. Let’s hope it continues for the rest of the year and into 2020.
As you know, I’ve been trying to get my way through all of the NetGalley books I’ve had waiting on my shelf for months. I always feel really guilty when I go on a requesting binge and then buy a load of new books to read. Plus, I have my ratio to think about. I requested Campusland because it sounded fun. It’s almost impossible to not think about Animal House in this situation. Which is both a good and a bad thing I guess. When you’ve already been lucky enough to watch the best college-based comedy we’re ever likely to see, it means nothing else will compare. But it also means you’re willing to try and find the next one. So, when I saw Campusland on NetGalley I couldn’t resist giving it a go. I should have known better. I really should have known better. It’s what I go through with psychological thrillers every time. I expect something new and different but just end up angry and full of regret. Shame I’ve got nobody but myself to blame.