Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: Fri, 17 August 2018

08.22 – Lots to do today, so reading may be sporadic!

Let me see, I have got my in-laws coming today for the weekend. (Luckily) they don’t arrive until dinnertime, so I have some time, but I do still need to vaccuum the rooms and make the beds. I should have done it yesterday, but I admit I was too lazy!

I have decided to just get a stack of frozen pizzas, garlic bread and some salad for dinner, so I need to go and pick up those. I also need to think about what to have for dinner the rest of the weekend…. I will need to cook for 8, which I am not used to! I guess I will stick to the basics, ie pasta or chili con carne or some such…. Any advice people?

I also need to go and see my grandmother in the old folks’ home. I will combine that with a quick supermarket trip (I will do my big supermarket trip tomorrow early morning). I want to do my FIVE on FRIDAY post this morning as well if I can. The subject today is Happy Places – yay!

I will try and do that one now, before I forget!

Taylor, Laini - Daughter of Smoke and Bone 2 Days of Blood and Starlight10.09 – Just read 40 pages of Days of Blood and Starlight. Stopping reading now to get read to go to my grandmother’s and the supermarket. Hopefully I will have some time to read after lunch. I would like to finish Days of Blood and Starlight before our visitors arrive. I think I will be able to. I have already made the beds! Yay for me.

I feel like buying something yummy for lunch. I will see what they have in the supermarkt. What’s your favourite (indulgent?) thing to have for lunch?

14.05 – Well my grandmother had gone to some thing in the Home, so we did not disturb her. We popped to the supermarket and came home. We had sausage rolls for lunch in the end, as that was what little madam fancied. Oh well…

We were home a bit earlier than planned, so I did get the chance to read and guess what! I have finished Days of Blood and Starlight on my Kindle. I gave it 4 stars in the end. It was fine, but there were elements I was not a fan of. Read my thoughts here. I won’t be continuing this series. I do not like not finishing a series, but sometimes you gotta. It is not that I do not like the series. It simply is not for me. I will be doing an unhaul in September and unfortunately that will include my physical copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

I will take the dog and my daughter outside for a while and then hopefully I will have a bit more time to read Assassin’s Quest this afternoon.

I have three more books on this month’s TBR, though I am considering carrying Things We Never Said (Nick Alexander) over to the beginning of next month and reading some fluffy summer romance novel instead. I will probably pick up The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender tonight or one of those fluffy summery romance novels. I haven’t read any of those yet this summer and I so meant to! And here we are, swiftly running towards September. I have a few options on my shelf…

15.27 – I feel  like I have been reading Assassin’s Quest for ages! And yet I have only gone twenty pages. 🙂 It has nothing to do with not liking the story, it’s the fact that I do. I don’t want to miss a word. I love Hobb’s writing. I know I will be sad when I finish this series and grateful that there are many others to sink my teeth into.

16.53 – When I wrote my FIVE on FRIDAY this morning on Happy Places I looked for some pictures to go with it and I found some that I took in the New Forest, one of my favourite places in the world. I thought I would share one of the pictures.


About an hour till I am picking up my in-laws (father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and my niece and nephew). That will be the start of a weekend of chaos (in a good way!). My daughter is very excited. All the in-laws live abroad in either England or California, so she does not get to see them a ton. She and her nephew were born only three days apart and when they were little we lived only about an hour away from each other.

21.48 – It is evening. The in-laws (or shall I call them out-laws?) have arrived and the house is full! My husband is upstairs with his sister trying to get the children to bed. My daughter is overtired and overstimulated, which means she is an absolute nightmare!

I will attempt to do some reading now!

00.07 – Ok, so technically, it is 18 August… Off to bed now and taking The Strange ad Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton with me. Such a gorgeous cover and I figured I would use one of my feather bookmarks for the occasion! I am looking forward to starting it, even if it is 2 or 3 pages…

Night night! x

Books · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Days of Blood and Starlight (Laini Taylor)

Taylor, Laini - Daughter of Smoke and Bone 2 Days of Blood and Starlight


Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2 – Days of Blood and Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor   Pages: 516
Genre: Fiction / Young Adult / Fantasy
First published: 2012
Edition: Kindle e-book

When I read Daughter of Smoke and Bone a year ago I liked it, but did not feel the urge to pick up the sequel right away. Now I finally did and although in the end I kind of liked it well enough, I have decided this series is not for me.

I really struggled getting into this second book of the series. At first I thought it was just because it had been too long since I read the first book, but I soon remembered what had happened.

In the end I am simply not a fan of the writing. The plot itself is pretty good and I like the chimaera vs angels angle. However, for some reasonI did not really like the way Karou’s human friends were written . It is very clear they are supposed to be the lighter note in an otherwise quite dark tale, but their presence really did not work for me. There was something about the attempts at humour every now and then that did not sit well with me.

This is by no means a bad book and I am aware a lot of people adore Taylor’s writing. It simply is not for me and unfortunately I will not be continuing the series.

4 out of 7 stars


FIVE on FRIDAY: Happy Places

TODAY: (Random) Happy places – places I have been that made me feel happy

24 August: (Movies) Movies I would recommend
31 August: (Books) Underhyped books that should be read more


Today’s subject is Happy Places. We all have those places where we have been that make us ridiculously happy. Just being surrounded by the vibe or the landscape lifts your spirirt.

These are my happy places (in the order they are coming into my head):

1. New Forest – I always feel happy in the New Forest. We tend to stop there if we go somewhere along the English coast. Really, because I just want to stroke the ponies! I just love it there! I hope we can spend a bit more time again there next year.

180817 FIVE

2. Richmond/Twickenham area (SW London) – I lived in this area for five years and I absolutely loved it. The riverside is beautiful. Church Street in Twickenham and the Riverside in Richmond are just beautiful. I still return regularly and it always makes me smile.

3. Tasmania – When we travelled Australia in the early 2000s, Tasmania was a place I really wanted to visit. I really enjoyed the island. Hobart is a lovely city. If it wasn’t so far away from everything, I could happily live there!

4. Provence, France – I love this area. The food is lovely, the people are very friendly and the landscape is just beautiful.

5. Epsom Downs Racecourse – I love my horse racing and it used to be a yearly tradition to go to the Derby on the first Saturday in June. It is something I really miss. We used to go and stand along the course (not in the stands), and walk along to see the horses go to the start or see the start, take a picnic etc.. I loved the atmosphere, and the fact that you could do all that for free. It is a pretty beautiful spot as well to spend the afternoon.


Show me your happy places!

Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: Thu, 16 August 2018

8.35 – How are you this morning?

Can’t believe we are in the second half of August already. The summer is flying by. Just another two weeks and my girl will be back at school. I will miss spending lots of time with her. Summer holidays are so precious!

But, she stayed over at my mum’s overnight, so I have the morning to myself, which has not happened for four weeks, so I fully intend to make the most of it. Not sure how yet, but I will!

Taylor, Laini - Daughter of Smoke and Bone 2 Days of Blood and StarlightI read a couple of chapters of Days of Blood and Starlight before I got up this morning, so I will continue with that one for a bit now. I got through just over 90 pages of it yesterday. I hate the fact that I still have trouble getting into this book. I know so many people love Laini Taylor’s writing, but I think it may not be for me, which is a shame. I am finding I am just not a fan of her writing style. I will see how I go. I might still change my mind, but if I don’t start caring about this book more, I am unlikely to finish this series. I will finish this book though! It is definitely not a bad book – it just may not be for me.

9.54 – Just past 50% of Days of Blood and Starlight. It is reading easier now and I am sort of into it, but the writing still bothers me for some reason. Every now and then it tries to be funny and the jokes simply do not work for me. But I am confident that I will finish this book in the next couple of days (hopefully tomorrow).

My in-laws are coming to stay for the weekend, so the weekend will be pretty reading-poor I expect, so I would like to at least get this book read by then. I have over 300 pages to in Assassin’s Quest, so I do not think I will get that one done yet, but I may be able to finish it by the end of the weekend.

12.41 – Yes, I am a bit more into Days of Blood and Starlight now. It took me half the book, but I actually sort of care what happens now. I am on chapter 60, page 349, or 66% in. I Hobb, Robin - Farseer 3 Assassin's Questreckon I will finish it tomorrow.

I will probably switch to Assassin’s Quest for the rest of the day.

17.29 – I did not get to reach much more this afternoon as we did some gardening instead, and I am about to start cooking, but I did read a chapter in Assassin’s Quest. I will continue later! 🙂

22.40 – Nope, not much reading this evening. Me and hubby were watching random Youtube stuff and then I was just not in the mood and ended up watching some Booktube videos (which made me add too many books to my Goodreads TBR) and did some work on spreadsheet stuff. Surprisingly relaxing!

Anyway, almost time for bed. Apologies for a less than exciting day. C’est la vie! 🙂

Until tomorrow – au revoir!

Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: Wed, 15 August 2018

8.35 – Had my coffee, the painter has arrived, so the windows are open and it is pretty chilly!Caraval (Caraval, #1)

Saw Caraval on sale on Kindle books for 99p just now, so bought it on a whim. I have not read it yet and I have seen lots of mixed reviews. which always makes me curious. I don’t think these 99p Kindle books are making me poor yet… But at the rate I read Kindle books it might be taking me a five years to get to all of them! To be honest,  I have stopped requesting lots of NetGalley books, so my Kindle books will be getting more love from now on.

I read a couple more chapters of Days of Blood and Starlight yesterday. I am getting into that one now. Which to read, Assassin’s Quest and Days of Blood and Starlight. I won’t be reading much this morning because of the painter. I feel uncomfortable just sitting and reading when someone else is working! I will type instead…

My daughter is going to stay at her grandparents’ house tonight. My mum is picking her up just after lunch, so if the painter is done by then I will be able to get loads of reading done (now see me NOT read!).

I think I will go and do my WWW Wednesday post now.

13.37 – I did do my WWW Wednesday post this morning. I spent some time tidying and boring stuff like that and then did some work on my reading stats spread sheet, which I started building yesterday (and forgot to mention). I have come across some interesting stats for my reading year so far, that I will probably do a post on at some point soon.

I did read a little more of Days of Blood and Starlight. I am about 100 pages in and I am liking it, but not loving it so far. At the moment I just don’t find the story believable enough. The writing is not grabbing me at the moment. I will read a bit more of it in a moment, before moving on to Assassin’s Quest for a time.

A book arrived in the post today that I almost forgot I had ordered! I felt like I needed more Australian books and got a couple of secondhand ones off Amazon Marketplace. The one that came today was The Secret River by Kate Glenville.

I also have the urge to rearrange my bookshelves soon. At the moment I have read and unread mixed together. I am not sure I will be keeping it that way or whether I will change that. All genres are mixed together as well. Should I change that? At the moment, all series are upstairs on the office bookshelves. Downstairs in the livingroom there are mainly standalones or series I only have one book of. There is also a number of non-fiction shelves downstairs. Hmmm, there is a lot to think about there. Arranging books on bookshelves is a serious business that needs much consideration!

16.04 – Just read a bit of both books. My mind is not really settled enough to focus on either. Annoying! Especially because I have the afternoon to myself with my daughter as my mum and dad’s. I am giving myself a break from reading to watch an episode of Project Runway, because why not? I will work on my reading stats spreadsheet while doing so.

20.10 –  Read a bit of both books. I am really having trouble getting into Days of Blood and Starlight. I am about 130 pages in.  There are some characters that could be interesting that have just been introduced, so hopefully it will pick up!

I am loving Assassin’s Quest, but because I don’t want to miss one word, it seems to be taking me ages to get through the pages. I love Hobb’s writing, the way it is neither too descriptive nor too sparse, and the way you really feel like you’re getting to know the Fitz’s character so well, but everyone else is a bit of a mystery.

22.59 – We ended up watching a movie (Shakespeare in Love – it was ok), so did not read much more this evening. I am childless for most of tomorrow morning, so fingers crossed I will be able to make some headway then.

Off to bed soon!

Goodnight 🙂

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: 15 August 2018


WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam over at Taking on a World of Words.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you will read next?

So…Let’s see what’s happening in my reading life…

What am I currently reading?


I am halfway through Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb, the final book in the Farseer Trilogy, and I am 70 pages into Days of Blood and Starlight, the sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. I am loving the fierst and I am starting to get into the latter as well after having a bit of a trouble what happened in the first book in the beginning.

What did I recently finish reading?


The last books I finished were A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (6 happy stars) and The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick (4 positive stars).

What do I think I will read next?


The books left on my TBR for this month are The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, The Artisan Heart by Dean Mayes and The Things We Never Said by Nick Alexander. The last one I might carry into early September, but I am looking forward to all of these. I have been reading a lot of historical fiction and fantasy, so these will make a nice change! The Artisan Heart is set in Australia! Yay!


Reading Diary: Tue, 14 August 2018

10.00 – Just having a coffee and a cupcake. I think our self raising flour had been open too long, as they didn’t really rise, but they are tasty!

Just read a chapter of Assassin’s Quest. I am on page 348. I am so glad about a certain reunion!

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)Yesterday evening when I went to bed I read the first chapter of Days of Blood and Starlight, the second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor. I am a bit hazy on what’s going on. mainly because I read the first book in August last year. I liked that book, but did not feel compelled to read on at the time. However, I got Days of Blood and Starlight on my Kindle for 99p a while back and I figured if I don’t read it now, I never will. It was an impulse choice to read it, but I saw a buddy read for it and thought, why not? Indeed, why not?!

My Austrian guests gave us a gift bag this morning with some wine and some Austrian biscuits. How nice is that!

14.05 – Had a wonderful lunch of fried mushrooms & cheese on toast – so bad, but soooo good!

Just before lunch we took flow for a nice walk. The weather is nice. Sort of windy, but sunny-ish. Pleasant T-shirt weather.

I tucked into Assassin’s Quest a bit more. Just finished chapter 18 and I am just over 400 pages in (almost halfway). If you have not read the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb yet, do! These are pretty awesome!

17.29 – Just baked some biscuits. They are tasty but rockhard. We are not doing well in the baking department! Our cupcakes yesterday and last week did not rise properly and now we have biscuits you could use as ammunition…

I read up to page 439 of Assassin’s Quest and have just read a few chapters of Days of Blood and Starlight. My memory is slowly coming back and I sort of know what is going on… maybe… At least I recognise the characters and I half remember what happened to them at the end of the last book. Yay for my mind!

20.55 –I bought 3 Kindle books today and I thought I would share. They are all historical fiction, but of a very different kind!

I bought book 1 and 2 in the Matthew Shardlake series by C J Sansom. I was just going to buy Dissolution (book 1), as it was on sale for £1.89, but then I noticed the sequel Dark Fire was on sale too for £0.98, so I thought I may as well! I do love books set in England in that time period (1500/1600s). These sound right up my street!

I had seen the regency romance books by Tessa Dare recommende and. I noticed one of them was on cheap for £0.99. It is called The Duchess Deal and it sounds terribly cheesy, but hey, a girl needs a bit of trashy romance novel in her life every now and then. I have not really read any ages, so I am ready for one! 😉

Have you read any of these or other books by those authors?

Midnight – Off to bed. Will read a bit more of Days of Blood and Starlight before going off to dreamland.

Bon nuit! xx