Books · Currently Reading · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 17 February 2021

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WWW Wednesdays’ home is at Sam’s blog Taking On A World of Words. Check it out!

The three Ws are:

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

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What are you currently reading?

I am reading Girl With A Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. It has been on my shelf for ages and I have heard good things about it. I am about 100 pages and I am enjoying it so far.

I am listening to Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, which is ok so far. I am not blown away by it, but there are times when his turn of phrase is gorgeous. His overall manner of telling his story is not grabbing me though. Sean Penn is doing the narration. I wonder whether it is the narration I am not connecting with. I have the paperback, so I could pick that up instead… But I need an audio book…. Oh well…

What have I recently finished reading?

It’s been a good reading week quantity wise, not so much quality wise… I finished three books, which were A Bright Ray of Darkness by Ethan Hawke (5/7*), Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo (4/7*) and finally my audio book There Goes Gravity by Lisa Robinson (5/7*). I liked all of them, but did not love any of them, which is always disappointing. That has been pretty much been the trend this whole February.

What will I read next?

I will start reading Your Song Changed My Life by Bob Boilen (from NPR Tiny Desk Concerts) at some point this week as my next musical book, probably at the weekend. For my next physical book I want to pick one up from my 2021 TBR. I am thinking either Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell or Flames by Robbie Arnott. I need a book to love!

Books · Currently Reading · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 18 November 2020

I have really been enjoying reading again lately, partly helped by reading some books I absolutely adored.

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WWW Wednesdays’ home is at Sam’s blog Taking On A World of Words. Check it out!

The three Ws are:

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

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What am I currently reading?

I am just over a quarter into In Lucia’s Eyes by Arthur Japin. It’s a fiction book that follows Casanova’s first love Lucia. I like it so far, but I doubt it’s going to make more than 5 out of 7 stars for me. We’ll see.

I am also still listening to I Wanna Be Yours, poet John Cooper Clarke’s autobiography. I am really enjoying that one, but it’s a big book and is taking me a while!

What did I recently finish reading

I read two novels; Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman and The Power by Naomi Alderman. Call Me By Your Name was an enjoyable atmospheric read, which did not quite blow me away. Unfortunately I really did not enjoy The Power very much and that one will disappear from my shelves. I did not hate it, but it just did grab me.

I also read The Broken Wings ,a lyrical novella by Kahlil Gibran, a Lebanese writer, which was first published in Arabic in 1912. Only 44 pages, but it was one of the most gorgeous things I have ever read! It completely broke me though, leaving me in floods of tears. I can’t wait to read more of Gibran’s work.

Finally, I read Violet Bent Backwards Over The Grass by Lana Del Rey, which is a poetry book. I really enjoyed the experience of reading this. I loved the poems and the design of the book.

What will I be reading next?

I am not sure yet. I am just mood reading at the moment! I have a few books I would like to get to before the end of the year, so….

Books · Sunday Summary

Sunday Reading Summary: 8 November 2020

I have been feeling a bit off this last week and I dont really know why. Suffering from busy-brain-syndrome I think. I have been fine for six months, but right now I am feeling a little down in the dumps. Not quite sure what has changed. Hopefully I will start feeling a little better soon.

I read a nice light chick lit novel in Truly, Madly, Greekly by Mandy Baggot in the hope that it would hit the spot. It was ok and kind of did what it needed to do, but it was not quite as good as I had hoped.

I have been listening to John Cooper Clarke’s autobiography, I Wanna Be Yours, which has been a blast so far. I love listening to him tell his stories. I pre-ordered a signed hardback, which is fun to have, but I am glad I decided to listen to this one. He has such a distinctive voice and being a performance poet he knows his way around words and how to tell his life story out loud. I am over halfway.

Finally, I am halfway through The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak and I have to say, this book is perfect for me right now. It is thought provoking in a gentle way and I have a feeling I will have a lot of feelings about it in the end. It sort of harks back to a fascination for the Middle East that I have had since I was a child. I have always loved the sounds, such as the singing and the music and even the Arabic language itself. Then there is the beautiful architecture and the writing. So far I am really loving this novel. It tells the story of a housewife in the 2000s as well the the story of Sufi poet Rumi and dervish Shams in the 1200s. It is making me want to read some Rumi, which I have been meaning to do for too many years.

What have you been reading? And how have you been feeling during this still trying times?

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 12 July 2020

Hey fellow bookish peeps!

How has your week/weekend been?

Reading

This has been a slow reading week. Actually the first two weeks of July have been pretty slow. This is partly because I am just distracted and partly because I am reading Wolf Hall. It takes a lot of reading for some reason. I am enjoying it, but it’s simply slow going. Where I would normally read books at about 100 a day, if I get to 30 a day on this one I am doing well. I think it’s just the writing style. It feels dense and slow. That does not mean it’s not good though. It is a very impressive piece of writing, so I am ok with the fact it is taking me a while.

Because of that I decided to listen to a lighter audio book and because of a book club i follow was reading this I chose Uncommon People: The Rise and Fall of the Rock Stars by David Hepworth (who also narrates the audio book). It basically gives you a very concise biography of one rock star per year from 1955 to 1994. At the same time it gives snap shots of moments of time. It’s very cleverly done and I am really enjoying listening to it. I love the tone in which he tells about all these people. I am on the David Bowie chapter at the moment.

I have also been reading Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab at about a pace of a chapter a day (when I go to bed). I am enjoying it a lot and I think once I finish Wolf Hall, I will likely speed through it. I just know if I start favouring it over reading Wolf Hall, I will stop reading Wolf Hall.

However, I have set time aside to day to actually to get through as much of Wolf Hall as I can, since I have about 150 pages to go. I hope to have finished it in a day or two.

TV & Film

We have been making a concious effort to watch more movies with my husband in the evenigs, which of course is also eating into my reading.  We have started a project, which is to watch every Johnny Depp movie we can find. Mainly because every movie Johnny Depp has been in is interesting, even if they are not very good. We have watched three JD movies this week, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (three times because my 8-year-old daughter loves it so much), Once Upon A Time in Mexico and Black Mass, all courtesy of Netflix. Our theory so far has held up. Even if the latter two were not my favourite kind of movies, they were definitely interesting! We still have Donnie Brasco and Public Enemies to go on Netflix, after which we have to find them elsewhere. In the meantime for fun we also watched Grease (which I hadn’t seen for 20 years and its so bad and ridiculous it’s kind of fun) and yesterday we watched Spider-Man: Far From Home, which was entertaining enough, even if it was not very good.

We also finished up watching White Lines on Netflix this week.

Other

I have been enjoying writing a bit – just for fun. A bit of poetry, a bit of randomness, whatever I felt like. It is something I enjoy quite a bit.

I had obstacle training with my yearling colt yesterday, which was a lot of fun. He’s a pretty cool cucumber when it comes to things like umbrellas, flags and tarps and stuff. He’s a little superstar. I am so grateful that the place I am boarding him whilst he is growing up organises these sort of events.

Today we went for a nice walk on the roads with the two ponies I keep at home. My Shetland pony has had some health problems and we have not been able to do much with him, but he is finally doing ok again, so fingers crossed. I am having a mobile vet clinic out soon to take some x-rays of his hips and feet to see if there is anything obviously wrong with him.

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That is about it for my life at the moment. Not very exciting I know!

What have you been up to? Has anything exciting happened in your life?

 

 

Currently Reading

Currently Reading & Reading Plans

CURRENTLY READING…

I am still only 150 pages into A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, the final book in The Wheel of Time series. For some reason I am finding it hard to concentrate on this one at the moment. It just needs a bit more brain power than I have at the moment. Between home educating my daughter whilst the schools are closed and the nice weather, I feel like I need easier reads at the moment. But… when I do read a few pages, I do enjoy it, so I will just continue and nevermind the slow pace.

I am also still listening to Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy. I am enjoying the listen, but I have it at normal pace as I enjoy listening to Alan Rickman reading the story more than the actual story. I just want to give every character in this book a good slap. Hardy’s descriptions of the heath are gorgeous though…

I just finished The Punishment of Ivy Leavold (Markham Hall #3) by Sierra Simone, which is a rather smutty book. It was ok. I ended up giving it 4 out of 7 stars. I will do a mash-up review at some point. It was ok with some really excellent writing here and there, but completely over the top smutty!

READING PLANS

I was just thinking about what my strategy is going to be for my future reading. I have been very good at buying books (both digital and physical) in the last couple of years, but my book acquiring greatly outpaced my reading! These days my book buying has slowed down significantly, but I am still buying – oops!

I am making a conscious effort to read books more quickly, so at the moment I am prioritising recent acquisitions. For example, of the 20 Kindle books I have bought so far this year (most at the bargain price of 99p), I have read 5, and of the 10 physical books I have bought, I have read 4.  which is not too bad. I definitely want to keep concentrating on those and buy less. I keep reminding myself that I do not need more books!

The second thing I want to do is concentrate on my 20 for 20 list and my Series in Progress list.  I haven’t ticked any off yet this month!

Also, I haven’t read a non-fiction book in a while, so that will be a priority. I will probably choose a non-fiction book as my next listen.

Books · Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 15 March 2020

It’s been a sort of week, that’s for sure. With Corona virus restrictions firmly in place now everything seems to have slowed down somehow. My husband is working from home for the forseeable future and I have been having a cold, so I have to try and restrict my contact with others, even though I am pretty sure it’s NOT the freaking virus! I have also just been told my daughter’s school is closing for the next three weeks and there will be some sort of home education. We will see what happens.

Luckily, my local supermarket was still pretty well stocked and people around here do not seem to be hamstering’ much. I only noticed there was a distinct lack of eggs and tissues. Surprising, the toiletpaper situation seemed to be fine

The endless rain seems to have finally given way to a drier spell. which I am soooo happy about. Now, if only we would have a few sunny days to help dry out the land – that would be awesome!

READING

I have been mood reading via prompts this month, but the quality of my chosen reads has been very patchy. I may forgo using prompts for the rest of the month and just mood read, concentrating on more recent purchases. I am not quite sure yet.

Also, I finished a series, so I can start a new one! I have been thinking about which one to start. I want to hold off on the Mistborn series for another couple of months, so I have narrowed it down to either the Hyddenworld series by William Horwood, the Raven Son series by Nicholas Kotar, the Lockwood & Co series by Jonathan Stroud or The Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch. I have the first books in the latter two series and I own the complete Hyddenworld series because I love William Horwood! I have the first two books of the Raven Son series on my Kindle as well. I am really excited about all of these. so which one to start? I will decide after finishing my current reads.

 

I am about 50 pages into Life After Life by Kate Atkinson and so far I am into it! It gives me a headache to be fair, but I am so curious to see where this story is going to take me.

I have also tentatively started A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole, which is another adult romance that I have heard lots of good things about. I started it on a whim on my Kindle and I am only a few pages in.  I hope I will like it!

I think I will be finishing Educated by Tara Westover in the next day or two, which I have been listening to on audio. It’s been an good listen, even if it has not been quite as interesting as I expected.

OTHER

 

 

Books · Currently Reading

Reading Update: Friday, 28 February 2020

I had kind of an odd week. It has pretty much been raining all week  (all month??) and man, am I fed up with it! My daffodils are out, but they certainly have not seen a lot sunshine this year… I am so ready for spring to bring some sun to warm my face!

My daughter is on her half term holidays and obviously I spent lots of time with her and less… well, reading! Plus, for most of the week I simply was not in the mood for reading and if I learned one thing from my recent slump, is just to take a few days to not read so much and get back to it when you feel a bit more energized.

Rowling, J K - Harry Potter 5 and the Order of the PhoenixSo that is what I did, but because I am a bit OCD at times I prefer to finish physical books by the end of the month. I am reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the moment, which is a 900+-page book and I had about half the book to go when I woke up this morning. So, with about 500 pages still unread. I figured I had little or no hope of finishing it by the end of tomorrow. If I read 150 pages in one day, it’s good going for me.

For once my daughter, who is 7, was busy doing her own thing. She has been copying the pictures in The Cat In The Hat, which still is one of her favourite books. I am actually impressed with how well she was able top copy those drawings!

Anyway, her being busy with that, meant I could try and get lots of reading done today. I actually exceeded my own expectations and read about 300 pages today, which is a ridiculous amount for me! It has actually been a joy to read again. I only read it once before not long after it came out, so I think it’s safe to say that it has been ‘some’ years. 

If I am able to read a bit more tonight, I have a small hope to finish it tomorrow. I would like a nice clean slate to go into March, so that’s a good incentive. The extra day helps!

Rubenhold, Hallie - The FiveHowever, I am not planning on finishing my audio book before then. I am listening to The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack The Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold. I have four hours left on that and I tend to listen to it whilst doing chores only and I am not planning on doing masses of chores tomorrow. I am really enjoying the listen though.  It is such a fascinating listen. The actual murders are actually only briefly touched upon. Instead it focuses on the victims and their lives. It is a very interesting insight into the lives of poor women in the Victorian era. Let me tell you it certainly was not a walk in the park. 

Throughout March I have only two books on my TBR. The rest of it I will be mood reading, probably using a game to choose my next reads. I have decided to call it Mood March! 🙂

 

Books · Currently Reading · Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 26 January 2020

How has your week been? I have my reading mojo back! Wooohoooo!

READING

Kay, Adam - This Is Going To HurtI finished my audio book yesterday (The Gathering Storm), so I picked a new one. Instead of going for something new, I decided to choose one of the non-fiction books already on my shelves and I went for This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay, narrated by the author. I much prefer non-fiction to fiction on audio. I think this is because I usually listen to audio books whilst I am doing chores, like tidying or mucking out the stables. Non-fiction tends to be less complicated to listen to somehow. Lighter fiction would work, but I prefer to read them. This particular book sounds perfect to listen to and I am enjoying it so far, though I am not in very far! When I lived in England I worked in the NHS, so it’s close to my heart!

Keith, Katherine - Epic SolitudeI am reading Epic Solitude by Katherine Keith on my Kindle. It is one of the few NetGalley ARCs I requested. It lured me because of its bill as ‘A Story of Survival and a Quest for Meaning in the Far North’. I am about 30% in and that is exactly what it is. It talks about survival in so many different ways, physically and emotionally. Although I am finding the author’s life story pretty powerful and hard hitting, I am not quite sure about the way it is written.

LIFE

My reading slump appears to be over, so that is good. However, in general I am in winter hibernation mode. I am not in the mood for doing much of anything. I am feeling sluggish and unmotivated. I always am this time of year. I can’t wait for spring to start. I need blue skies and sunshine. I would be even be happy if it was frosty and cold – it’s just this dull weather I can’t stand. This greyness is taking over my soul! I don’t think we have even see one snowflake this winter. There is still time, I guess. I do like a bit of snow.

On the upside, all my ponies are finally fit and healthy. I went to visit my seven-month old foal Archie, who is stabled elsewhere now (an hour from my home), to grow and have fun with peers. Me and a friend took him and his year-older brother, Moon, (who I sold to her) for a walk. They were very well behaved for such youngsters.

I am trying to work and bond with my shetland pony and my gypsy mare a bit more and I suddenly feel very inexperienced! We will get there. I will ask some friends for assistance I think.

A couple of days ago we had a bit of drama with our dog Flo, who is a labrador/alsation cross.  She ate a hedgehog! I only realised because she threw bits of it back up, including guts and lots of spines! It was disgusting. I was worried about her still having spines inside her, as she threw up blood as well, so I took her to the vet, He checked her over and gave some advice. She seems ok now, luckily! Stupid dog…

Me and my husband are going to see some live music tonight, which should be fun. The week ahead is pretty busy, but I hope I will find a decent amount of time to read. It is the first time in a few months that I am actually excited about planning my reading for the month ahead! Bring on Feb!

HAVE A GREAT (READING) WEEK!

 

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 22 September 2019

Well, hasn’t this been a peculiar week? As summer has rolled into autumn, I feel weird and a little bit unsettled. Good stuff happened this week and yet it ended on a sad low and I am not quite sure how to feel at the moment.

READING

Yes, let’s start there. I haven’t done that much this week. I did finish my audio book, which was Becoming by Michelle Obama. My respect for that lady has only grown. She is an icon. I have also finised Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy, which was wonderful as well.

I am still reading Knife of Dreams by Robert Jordan. I have about 250 pages to, so I will likely finish that in a few days. I have also started reading Never Greener by Ruth Jones. I am not that far in and I am not quite sure what to think of it yet. The writing is ok so far, but it does have some themes I am not that fond of, so we will see… I guess it depends what the author does with them. I have also tentatively started The Iliad on audio book. I am not even past the introduction and it’s 22 hours long, so that one will definitely go into October!

TV

We have watched the first episode of Carnival Row, which was kind of interesting. I did keep wondering throughout why Orlando Bloom sounds like Johnny Depp doing an accent? Bizarre. Not really watched anything else.

MUSIC

Me and the husband had a datenight and we went for a Pokebowl and some live music. We saw Cassia, which is a young band that had their debut album out this year. It sounds a little like Vampire Weekend in that it is indie music with exotic influences. Lots of interesting percussion. I will drop a video below, which is not the gig I went too, but it will give you an idea what they sound like! They were really awesome and a lot of fun. Check them out!

Autumn has rolled in and thus I ended up listening to Sigur Ros today for the first time in ages.

LIFE

It’s been a busy and messy week that ended with the awful news that my uncle’s battle with cancer is coming to an end. I spend some time with my family today trying to come to terms with that. There were lots of tears, but luckily also laughter. Life throws us good times, bad times and curve balls. Luckily we cannot see what is ahead. It just reiterates the fact that we should enjoy every single day on this earth, because you never know what is around the corner. My uncle was told last year he had weeks. He lasted another year…. Now I just hope the end comes swiftly and without too much suffering. He unlikely to last the week, so there are more tears ahead…

Books · Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary: 8 September 2019

It’s been a strange week somehow. It has been really autumnal whilst I was hoping for an Indian summer, so I am a bit bummed. Winter always seems to last forever when September is cold and rainy. Hopefully it warm up a bit soon for a last blast of summer.

READING

My reading has been really up and down. I have been listening to audio books, which is something I have not really done all year, so that is pretty awesome. I always prefer to listen to autobiographies read by the author. I find I can’t concentrate on audio fiction, though if you have really good recommendations I would love to hear them! I finished Walking Home by Clare Balding, which I really enjoyed, and I have started Becoming by Michelle Obama, wich I am loving so far. Very different women, but both very inspiring to me.

Balding, Clare - Walking Home  Obama, Michelle - Becoming

The first book I finished reading was Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. That was such a fun read. It is a bit like reading a soap opera, but sometimes you need a good light read. That was exactly what it was. A fun time.

Kwan, Kevin - Crazy Rich Asians   Spencer Davis, Lloyd - A Polar Affair

Finally I finished A Polar Affair by Lloyd Spencer Davis, which was such a fascinating non-fiction book about the race for the South Pole as well as the lives of Antarctic penguins. It was very well done and I liked that it had these dual subjects and how they were related.

I am currently reading book 11 of The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, which is Knife of Dreams. As more and more information is released about the upcoming Amazon adaptation I am getting more and more excited about it as well. The casting is looking so good!

Winman, Sarah - Tin Man   Jordan, Robert - The Wheel of Time 11 Knife of Dreams

I have also started reading Tin Man by Sarah Winman, which I plan to read a good chunk of today. It is one of the books I am reading for my 2019 TBR. I have been reading bitesized chunks of it, but I would really like to get my teeth into it today.

TV

I have watched very little TV this week. We watched a couple of the earliest episodes of The Big Bang Theory for the first time in ages and that was kind of fun!

OTHER

It was my daughter’s first week back at school and it feels like we are right back into the swing of things. We have always opened our Airbnb cottage again, after being closed for the month of August, and we have been having guests in it again.

It was my grandma’s 93rd birthday. She has early stages of dementia and can be a very tricky lady. She finds it hard to know which memories are real and which she has made up along the way. Everything is real to her, which leads to very difficult situations. More of my family is travelling down today to see her, so I am bringing some cake and we are having a small celebration for her.

We have some sort of creatures in our roof making a racket at night. We are trying to figure out what it could be, but we are not sure. First we thought woodboring beetles, but it is a proper gnawing sound, which sounds more like mice, but that too seems odd, so we are not quite sure. I might ring pest control tomorrow and discuss it with them, as it is so annoying!.

COMING UP

I am hoping it will be a quiet week, but I always hope that and it usually isn’t. I usually end up running around like a headless chicken and then at the end of the week I have no idea what I did to make it so busy.

My daughter’s tennis lessons are starting up again, as is my football (soccer) training, which I do just to keep fit. No actual competitions for me!

Apart from that, we will wing it this week and see where it goes. At least it looks like the weather will be slightly better.

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What have you been up to? What have you been reading? Watching? Doing? And what are you planning for the coming week?