After a fairly disappointing reading month in February, things picked up again in March.
I finally got around to reading Wrath by John Gwynne, the final book in the Faithful and the Fallen series – which was on my list of 8 books that I’m definitely going to read in 2018. So far this is the only book I’ve read from this list – so I’m not doing well! I’m going to aim to get through a couple more this month though.
Wrath was actually a great read and such a satisfying end to an epic series. If you like fantasy, I’d definitely recommend giving these books a try if you haven’t already!
Another book I really loved this month was Ready Player One. I’ve had this on my shelf for about a year, and I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to get to it. I devoured it in just one evening – it was action packed and I couldn’t put it down! I’m looking forward to seeing the film adaptation of this to see if they did it justice. If anyone has seen it already – let me know what you think!
I was fairly disappointed with one read this month though. I’ve been reading DS Aector McAvoy series by David Mark – a crime/thriller series that I raved about a couple of months ago. It took me over a month to get through the seventh book in the series, and I really struggled to get along with the story. Usually I race through this type of book, but I found this one quite confusing and hard to follow. I’ve been finding this with a few book series recently, which have seemed to interest me less and less with each book, and it got me thinking about what writers need to do to keep a series fresh and interesting. Maybe one for a longer post another time!
One thing I’m still way behind on blog-wise at the moment is reviewing books, especially ARCs, so I need to try and pick this up in April!
- Scorched Earth DS Aector McAvoy #7), David Mark
- Wrath, John Gwynne
- Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
- Dragonfly in Amber, Diana Gabaldon
- Everless, Sara Holland
Blog posts published:
Goodreads Challenge 2018 progress: 20/80
What were some of your favourite reads last month? What books are on your TBR for April?
Compared to January, which was a really good reading month for me, February was definitely a bad month! I managed to read just three new books.
One of these was the latest book in the Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch. I was really looking forward to reading this one as I loved the first few in the series, but even though I did enjoy this one, I feel like after six books the series is getting a little repetitive and might need a bit of something different to give it life again.
I’m blaming this on the fact that February was a shorter month, and the days just seemed to fly by. I had a lot on at weekends in February as well, so my reading time was eaten into. I’m also struggling at the moment to find a really good book to get into. I’m finding myself reading the news or browsing social media instead of picking up a book on my commute – which is usually prime reading time for me – so that might have something to do with my lack of productivity!
As well as the new books that I managed to read though, I did re-read the first five books in the Throne of Glass series, as I’d completely forgotten what happened and wanted to catch up before reading the latest one. If you count these into my stats, February actually wasn’t that bad. But in general, I don’t include re-reads in my Goodreads totals.
I feel like other people might have different views on this though – does anyone else include rereads? I don’t reread books that often and when I do, I tend to read them faster and skim read sections that don’t interest me, so they don’t feel like ‘proper’ reads.
- Nameless, T. C. Edge
- The Witchfinder’s Sister, Beth Underdown
- The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
Blog posts published:
Goodreads Challenge 2018 progress: 15/80
I hope everyone else had a great February! What were some of your favourite reads last month? Any plans for March?
January was a really good reading month for me. The month felt like it went on forever – and the amount I managed to read reflects this. In total in January I read 12 books – mostly ebooks but I also managed to fit in 3 audiobooks and two paperbacks that I already owned.
I finally got around to reading A Conjuring of Light and I don’t know why I waited so long – it was great! I also got to the latest in The Invisible Library series – which in case you haven’t read it, is a brilliant adult fantasy series based around a secret library that connects worlds, book loving librarians and all sorts of other fun stuff like dragons.
This month I also binge read most of a UK crime series that I’d somehow missed out on but is rapidly becoming one of my favourites. If you like crime novels and haven’t read any David Mark, I’d suggest checking his books out.
Reading more physical books at home is one of my goals for the year, as over the years I’ve managed built up quite a collection of unread books that I really want to start making a dent on. Earlier this year I published a blog post on the books I really wanted to read in 2018 – I haven’t managed any of these yet, but most as physical books that I do really want to get to sometime soon.
My blogging schedule over the past few months has slowed down quite a bit, as various other commitments have been taking priority and I just don’t have so much time to dedicate to post writing. This year I’m going to try and take it as it comes, write about what I’m interested in and not put too much pressure on myself to post at set times – I hope you all bear with me! Continue reading
I missed my wrap up post for September thanks to an unplanned break from blogging, so this month I’m combining both September and October into one big post.
Books read: 14
I’ve managed to read some really great books over the last couple of months. In particular, City of Circles, The Ninth Rain and American War all stand out as favourites.
- City of Circles, Jess Richards
- Three Days and a Life, Pierre Lemaitre
- The Last Tudor, Philippa Gregory
- The Ninth Rain, Jen Williams
- American War, Omar El Akkad
- Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld
- Mercy, Jussi Adler-Olsen
- The Children Act, Ian McEwan
- The Break, Marian Keyes
- Elizabeth is Missing, Emma Healey
- The Thousandth Floor, Katherine McGee
- Artemis, Andy Weir
- Death is a Welcome Guest, Louise Welsh
- The Burning Page, Genevieve Cogman
Books acquired: 18
Over the past couple of months I’ve been on a tighter budget for book buying, so all of the books I’ve acquired have been ebooks on sale on Amazon (£2 or less), found in second hand shops or got through my Audible membership. Continue reading
Books read: 5
This month I read fewer books than usual, but those that I did read were longer and quite intense (4 3 2 1 was just under 900 pages while The Ministry of Utmost Happiness tackled some really complex social and political issues and was definitely not a quick book to read). I really enjoyed The Word is Murder – which was a really unique take on the classic detective novel.
- The Good Daughter, Karin Slaughter
- The Word is Murder, Anthony Horowitz
- The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Arundhati Roy
- The Readymade Thief, Augustus Rose
- 4 3 2 1, Paul Auster
Books acquired: 7
I was much more reserved this month than I was last month – acquiring just 7 books compared to last month’s 24. I’m really looking forward to reading City of Circles and American War, both of which have been on my wishlist for a while. Continue reading
As book bloggers, writing book reviews is a core part of what we do. However, I’ve heard from lots of people who say that review writing is the most challenging or least fun part of blogging.
I’ve written posts in the past that set out some of the reasons that I personally find writing reviews difficult. There are a lot of times where I’ve gone to write a review but put it off – sometimes I can’t seem to get the thoughts in my head down on the page in a way that makes sense or think of the right phrasing, or sometimes just I draw a blank and can’t think of anything interesting to say.
Assuming that at least some other people out there also suffer from the same issues – I thought I’d share some of my experiences, processes and tips for writing book reviews.
I know that everyone writes their reviews differently and I’m by no means an expert! If you’ve been blogging for a while and already have your own style for review writing, this post might not be so useful for you!
However, if you are at all interested in hearing my thoughts and top tips for writing book reviews, please read on! Continue reading
Books read: 7
In July I finally got around to reading A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson – which might just be my favourite read so far this year. I don’t know why I waited so long to read it, but it definitely lived up to expectations. I also really enjoyed The Heart Goes Last. I wasn’t at all sure about The Butcher’s Hook though.
- A God in Ruins, Kate Atkinson
- The Owl Always Hunts at Night, Samuel Bjork
- The Butchers Hook, Janet Ellis
- Frostblood, Elly Blake
- The Heart Goes Last, Margaret Atwood
- The Good Daughter, Karin Slaughter
- The Diabolic, S. J. Kincaid
Books acquired: 24
This month I made the mistake of looking through the Kindle books selection on Amazon, and there far too many deals on books that I wanted to read. I also received a number of ARCs that I’m looking forward to reading this summer and took some out of the library – which given how many books I’ve acquired this month wasn’t a very sensible idea! Continue reading
Books read: 8
I started off so well this month but hit a bit of a reading slump towards the end of the month – I’ve been trying to read an arc of a new fantasy novel for a couple of weeks as I know it needs a review soon, but I just can’t get into it. My favourite read this month was The Wise Man’s Fear, but I was really disappointed by The Sense of an Ending. The Power by Naomi Alderman was also a really interesting read and this month won the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.
- The Shadow Sister, Lucinda Riley
- The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss
- The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
- The Power, Naomi Alderman
- House of Names, Colm Tobin
- Outlander, Diana Gabaldon
- He Said/She Said, Erin Kelly
- The Roanoke Girls, Amy Engel
Books acquired: 4
After last month’s buying spree, this month I was a lot more reserved. I only acquired four new books, all of which I’m really looking forward to reading. Continue reading
Books read: 8
I really enjoyed a lot of the books I read this month, which was great as it’s been a while since I had a 5 star read. My favourites were The White Road and And the Rest is History. The book I was most excited about reading this month was A Court of Wings and Ruin, and although I did enjoy it, it didn’t quite come up to the high standards of ACOMAF in my opinion.
- A Court of Wings and Ruin, Sarah J Maas
- The Taming of the Shrew, William Shakespeare
- The Green Road, Anne Enright
- Into the Water, Paula Hawkins
- And the Rest is History, Jodi Taylor
- The White Road, Sarah Lotz
- The Hundredth Queen, Emily King
- The Ice, Laline Paull
Books acquired: 20
Whoops. This list is quite long. Only two are review copies and only two are library books, which means that my book shopping got a little out of control this month. Four were bought using up credits that had built up on my Audible account, but even taking these out I still bought too many books! Continue reading
Books read: 6
Compared to usual, I haven’t had a great month for reading. Of the books I did read, my favourite was probably Flame in the Mist, followed by Magpie Murders and How to Stop Time.
Books acquired: 5
I spent less on books this month than usual. Three of these books were reduced on Amazon and I got a couple of ARCs from Netgalley. I also put in a couple of pre-orders for May but I haven’t received them yet.
- Flame in the Mist – Renee Ahdieh
- How to Stop Time – Matt Haig
- The Roanoke Girls – Amy Engel
- Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
- Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
Blog posts published: 9
April was actually my second best month for blogging in terms of visitor stats since I first began blogging in January 2013 – so thanks everyone for reading my posts and chatting to me! Unsurprisingly, my giveaway of A Court of Wings and Ruin was the most popular post. Other top posts were my discussion post looking at what makes fan fiction and a review of Hannah Tinti’s The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley.
TBR for May:
Realistically I don’t think I’ll get around to reading the last one on this list, as it’s been on my TBR list since January. But you never know, May might be the month I finally get to it. I’m already part way through The Green Road, so hopefully should finish this one off quite quickly.
- A Court of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J Maas
- The Green Road – Anne Enright
- House of Names – Colm Tobin
- The Ice – Laline Paull
- Into the Water – Paula Hawkins
- The Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss
Goodreads Challenge: My Goodreads reading goal is to read 50 books this year. I’ve now completed 27 books – meaning that I’m currently ahead of schedule by 11 books. (27/50)
Beat the Backlist Challenge: The Beat the Backlist challenge is all about knocking off titles that have been on your TBR for a while. Books need to have been published prior to 2017, and I’m only including books that I actually bought before 2017 and that have been sitting around waiting for me to read them – so no new purchases or library reads.
This month, none of my reads qualified, so my total remains at just two books towards a goal of twelve. (2/12)
How was your April? Did you read anything great? What do you have planned to read in May?