books, reviews, wrap-up

Bookish Post – April Reading Wrap-Up

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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.

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books, reviews, short story

Book Review – Birthday Girl by Haruki Murakami

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So, as I’ve been pointing out far too often on my blog and Instagram lately, I’ve been ill for the past few days. I must have caught flu from somebody at work so have been achy, shivery, and pathetic since Friday. I’d hoped that I would spend the time in bed to get ahead with some reading but I’ve basically had no energy. The idea of picking up a book and trying to take it in was more than I could cope with. It meant that I was faced with another Wednesday without a review, which made me feel even more pathetic. But, thankfully, Haruki Murakami came to my rescue. In honour of his 70th birthday this year, Murakami’s short story Birthday Girl was released in its own adorable edition. The story focuses on the 20th birthday of a waitress so, I guess, it’s kind of fortuitous that today my Facebook memory was from 11 years ago: one month before my 20th birthday. I hate this long-term memories just remind me of how horribly pretentious I was. Highlighted by the fact that my status update was an Oscar Wilde quote. I mean, geez. So, god knows what would have happened if this story had happened to 20-year-old Laura. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

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books, rants

Bookish Post – YA? Ya ready for this rant?

For the first time in a really long time I haven’t got a new book to review. So, for the first time in a really long time I haven’t got any inspiration for my Wednesday post. It definitely doesn’t help that my current read is so bloody uninspiring. I don’t really know what possessed me to start reading To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, especially as I didn’t even like the film that much. I guess I thought it would be an easy read but I just can’t get into it. It’s fallen into so many awful YA traps and I genuinely hate reading parts of it. There is something about an adult writer trying to write the voice of a 16 year old that never quite works. I know that there is no way that I could write a convincing 16 year old yet, still, YA writers keep trying. It got super bad when she used the word “beotch” twice in quick succession. This was a book that was only written a few years ago. Who was still using the word “beotch”? It’s ridiculous. I’ve spent so much of this novel cringing. Which is why I’m being so bad at reading right now. I just don’t want to pick up this book.

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books, reviews

Book Review – Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

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I was less than halfway through this epic fantasy story before I went on holiday so I wasn’t entirely sure I would even finish it whilst I was away. Thankfully we had one incredibly rainy Sunday where we spent nearly the entire day inside reading. It meant that I was able to get quite a way through it and finish it in the middle of the trip. Of course, I hadn’t brought either of the other books in the trilogy so was unable to continue with the series but I was actually grateful for a break. It was a fairly long and intense book. And not necessarily what I expected. I’d heard a lot of people celebrating Brandon Sanderson on Instagram and the like so, during a book slump, I decided to pick up the first Sanderson book that I came across. It was simply luck of the draw that the book in question happened to be The Final Empire. I haven’t read much fantasy besides Tolkien and George RR Martin. I guess I’ve been put off by some of the overly silly stuff I read as a kid. But it felt like Sanderson was a good person to start with.

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books, reviews

Book Review – Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates

41an9958pyl-_sx322_bo1204203200_5_star_rating_system_4_stars1ย You may remember that last week I read a purposefully quick read in order to get another review posted. After starting the first book in the Mistborn trilogyย last week I knew I wasn’t going to get that finished in time. I mean it’s an epic fantasy novel that’s over 600 pages long. At this point in time I’m only about 1/6th of the way through. I’m being pretty slow at reading lately so even if I had forgone sleep every night I still wouldn’t have done it. And it really wouldn’t have been worth going through work being that tired. It’s been a rubbish few days as it is so I don’t need anymore problems! So, realising that there was no way I could write anything about Brandon Sanderson’s novel but wanting to continue my streak, I decided to pick a short novel to read. That ended up being this novella by Joyce Carol Oates.

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book review, books, review, reviews

Book Review – Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero

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We’re always told “don’t judge a book by its cover” but if I took that advice I’d probably never read any of the books I’ve come to love. The greatest and worst thing about being a part of the Bookstagram community is that you constantly get to hear about interesting sounding books but then, unfortunately, you want to buy every interesting book you hear about. And I don’t know about you but my TBR is already unmanageable so I don’t need any unnecessary hauls. As you will no doubt know if you read my weekly rundowns, however, I have no will power whatsoever. So as soon as I saw the cover to my last read on someone’s feed (I can’t remember too, sorry) I knew it was the kind of thing I wanted to read. The more I found out about it the more I had to have it. So it was super lucky that I won an Amazon gift card recently. Not only could I buy a copy without feeling guilty but I could pay extra for the cover I wanted. So far, everything had gone perfectly. It seemed like fate was telling me this was a reading experience I wouldn’t want to miss. So, would it be as good as I hoped?

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books, reading

Solid Goldfinch: Fear of a book only increases fear of reading itself

I’m writing this post ahead of time because on Wednesday night I’m going to the theatre. A guy I work with is starring in an amateur production ofย Sweet Charity and a load of us are going to watch him. As a huge fan of musical theatre I’m really excited but I will miss my usual Wednesday night routine. I normally have the house to myself so I can just do whatever I want. Plus, I had to start to think about this post way before I normally would. I mean is it really a Wednesday if I’m not madly typing a bookish post at about 32:46? It’s also an issue for another reason. By the time this post goes on the blog I will have finally finished a book. I know I know. It’s a fucking miracle and it’s only taken about 3 months to do it. This slump has killed me, man. But I should be able to finishย Frankenstein in Baghdadย this evening. If this had been a normal week then I could have cobbled together a book review this week but, thanks to my unusually busy schedule, that’ll have to wait until next Wednesday. So, it does beg the question of what I’m going to discuss tonight.

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books, rundown

Sunday Rundown – That’s What She Read

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I feel better writing this rundown than I have writing the past two. I spent a lovely day with my family and it’s been really good for me. I feel better to be starting the week than I have in a long time. Which is good because I reckon it’s going to be tough this week. But let’s not ruin this positive mental state. After all, I have a reason to celebrate tonight. I actually read a few chapters in the past 7 days. I’m still not up to my normal speed but I’ve managed to get some pre-bed reading in a few nights this week. I won’t be so bold as to say I’m out of my slump but I’m getting somewhere. I’m excited about my posts this week and will, hopefully, be able to keep ahead of myself. I’ve got to get through just over a week of work and I’ll be away for a few days. It’s my friend’s birthday so I’m going to see her. It’s going to be one of the few things that keeps me going this week.
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books, snow

Always winter but never Christmas: there’s snow other way I’d have it

dscn7513The idea for this post has been screaming around my head for a while. Ever since the end of February when, yet again, we found ourselves in the midst of another snow storm. Not that I minded about the actual snow. For one thing, I don’t drive so my commute is only affected when the trains go mental. For another, I’ve always loved snow. I’ve never understood why people hate it so much. I’ve always been annoyingly pale so the sun always makes me feel uncomfortable. Every year I see people rejoice when the sun comes out whilst I only wish for winter to return. Yet, whenever we are lucky enough for snow to fall I am expected to react as though it’s a massive inconvenience. It felt as is every day last month I was faced with someone panicking about potential snow. Getting updates every minute about tiny changes in the weather. I’m sick of it. Winter isn’t the bad guy here. It’s magical. You just need to look at the world of literature to see that.

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