Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 24 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 an actual bookie book, an e-book and I am listening to an audio book at the moment.

The paperback is The City of Brass by S A Chakraborty. I bought this one on a whim last week. I am still in the mood for Middle Eastern inspired books, but I fancied something a bit different. This one has glowing reviews and I have heard good things, so despite the fact I should not be starting a new series (oops), I started this one. I am only a few pages in, so not much to tell yet.

My Kindle book is Your Song Changed My Life by Bob Boilen. I am reading this one for my music book club. I am a few chapters in and it is kind of eclectic and interesting. I hope I will end up liking it.

Finally, I am listening to Listening to the Animals by Noel Fitzpatrick, the Supervet. I love nature and animals and I have not been reading these types of books enough lately. My mother-in-law bought the hardback copy of this for me a couple of Christmasses ago, but I did not get round to reading it. It’s a memoir, so I thought the audio book read by the author would be the way to go. He is a bit dramatic reading it, but I I am liking it so far.

What did I recently finish reading?

I finished Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier, which I enjoyed plenty enough, but did not quite love (5 out of 7 stars). I finished an audio book, which was Chronicles by Bob Dylan. That one was kind of interesting, but simply did not excite me (4 out of 7 stars). Finally, I read Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell, which I absolutely fell in love with (7 big stars!). I am pretty sure that one will end up on my end of year list.

What will I be reading next?

I am not entirely sure yet. There are several books I want to pick up soon, but I have no definite reading plans.

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 · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 3 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 am I currently reading?

I am reading Paris by Starlight by Robert Dinsdale on my Kindle. I am about a third in and I am enjoying it. It is kind of wonderful, but at the same time I feel like it is missing something. I feel like I will either love it at the end, or be disappointed, because the idea of this is so beautifully magical.

I am listening to There Goes Gravity by legendary music journalist Lisa Robinson on audio. I am a few chapters in and she has talked about touring with The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin and she is now talking about Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop. It’s an interesting listen so far.

I was listening to Chronicles by Bob Dylan, but I will continue that one afterwards.

What have I finished reading?

Whereas I finished loads last week, this week has been a bit slower. I finished Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz, which was a great read (6*)! After that I read Blood and Bone by Paula Dombrowiak, which is a rockstar romance. It did not completely blow me away, but I did really enjoy it. The story itself was really interesting and deeper than I expected. (5*)

What will I read next?

I am not entirely sure. I am supposed to need a NetGalley ARC (the only one I have requested), but I am really not in the mood for it, so I may leave it and mood read instead. I am tempted to pick Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell from my shelves.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 27 January 2021

It is the last WWW of January 2021 already. I can see the bulbs are already starting to grow in the garden in a first glimpse that spring will be here in not too long. I can’t wait. It’s been a long wet winter already.

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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 only reading one book at the moment, which is Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz. It’s a Middle Eastern classic and the first book in the Cairo Trilogy. I am halfway through Palace Walk and I am enjoying it a lot. It feels quite sweeping and quite claustrophobic at the same time. It’s really well written and the translator seems to have done a very good job! The book was published in Arabic in the 1950s, but it is set in 1910s Cairo and centres around one family. So far, so good! I definitely want to pick up the other two books in this series.

What have I finished reading?

It has been a very productive week, readingwise!

First of all, I finished all three of last week’s reads. Things The Grandchildren Should Know, by Eels frontman E (Mark Oliver Everett), was a book about a tragic life with a good outcome, but I never warmed to the author. He came across a little bit aloof and not that likable. It is a good memoir though (5*).

I finished listening to Greenlights, another memoir of sorts, this time by actor Matthew McConaughey. This was a joy to listen to. It as a very dynamic memoir with lots of life advice and bumper sticker wisdom. (6*)

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke was a novel I picked up on my Kindle at random and I absolutely loved it! It was strange and mysterious and just absolutely lovely! (7*)

I also read a little book called How To Write One Song by Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy. It was an excellent guide on how to motivate yourself to be creative. This was specifically about songwriting, but really it could apply to any creative craft. It was really well written and thought out and it was a joy to read. (6*)

Finally, I read John Cooper Clarke’s poetry collection Ten Years in an Open Necked Shirt, which I really loved as well. I just really enjoy his poetry and its gritty wisdoms. His use of words is second to none.

What will I read next?

I have a single NetGalley book I should get to, which is Off The Charts by Kat Goldman. I hardly ever request books from NetGalley these days, but this one sounded right up my street!

I have been reading so many music books recently and I have been enjoying it a lot.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 20 January 2021

Can you believe we’re three weeks into 2021? Time seems to move so fast and yet so slow at the same time. We are in Lockdown still here and I am home schooling my daughter for at least another two weeks.

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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 listening to actor Matthew McConaughey’s memoir Greenlights. I am enjoying that one a lot. He is definitely an interesting guy with interesting views on life. This is a memoir/life advice book and feels quite unique. I decided to listen to this one because he has such a good voice to listen to and I had seen him talk about it somewhere. It sounded like a good read, and it is.

I am reading another memoir as well. Things The Grandchildren Should Know is the memoir of musician Mark Oliver Everett, also known as E of alternative band EELS. This is a guy that had a very turbulent life that I knew next to nothing about! I only picked this one up because of a book club. I am halfway. There are things about the writing I don’t particularly like, but his life story is sad, but kind of fascinating.

Finally, in desperate need of some fiction I have started Piranesi by Susanna Clarke on my Kindle last night. I am only a few pages in. It’s definitely intriguing!

What have I recently finished reading?

I have finished reading The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali, which is mostly historical fiction set in Tehran, Iran. It was a tearjerker for sure, but I loved it so so much! My first 7-star read of the year.

Unfortunately it was followed by a less impressive book, which was Greenmantle by Charles de Lint. I only gave that one 2 stars. This is a late 1980s fantasy book and though the characters were ok, it was rather sexist and the weird combination of mobsters and fantasy creatures really did not work for me.

I also read The Love Poems of Rumi, which is a collection of Rumi’s poems translated by Nader Khalili. I read this after Rumi was referred to in The Stationery Shop. It was the second book in a short while that touched on Rumi, and I felt I wanted to look into his work. This collection was not great, but it really felt like it was the translation that ruined the poems for me. I ordered a different work by him that is supposed to be a more faithful translation. I decided not to rate this one, mainly because I did not feel it was a good reflection of Rumi’s work.

What do I plan to read next?

I am not entirely sure. I am really enjoying stories set in the Middle East at the moment, so I may pick up something else set there. Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz is on my 2021 TBR, so I may decide to read that one. This one is set in early 20th century Egypt.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 13 January 2021

My first WWW of 2021! Wow! I did not end up doing last week’s for some reason.

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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 have just started reading The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali. It takes place Tehran, Iran. I am only 10 pages in and it has already made me cry… so this one may well break my heart!

I also started a new audio book yesterday. I went with actor Matthew McConaughey’s Greenlights. It’s kind of a guide to living, but he uses his own experiences to explain his theories. I love listening to this one. His voice is something else. I saw him talk about this book a while ago and it sounded like a good one. I am only 45 minutes in, but it’s such a fun one to listen to so far.

What have I recently finished reading?

I have finally read Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library. What can I say? I just love his writing. His stories feel so familiar somehow. I did not love it quite as much as How To Stop Time, but I still really liked it.

I also read The Duke And I, the first Bridgertons book, by Julia Quinn. I watched the series and thought I would give it a go, as it was only 99p for my Kindle. It was a fun romp, but was not that enamoured with the hero in the story. He was a little bit too problematic for me.

Finally, I listened to my first audio book of the year, which was Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein. It basically follows the creation and demise of the band Sleater-Kinney. I read it for a music book club. Sleater-Kinney is a band I know, but not one I particularly love. I really enjoyed the book though. particularly because it is about a band that is not hugely famous. It feels very honest and raw.

What will I be reading next?

No idea to be honest. I will decide when I finish my current reads.

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: 16 December 2020

A slower reading week than last week, but I am happy, even if I did not read any books I really loved this week. 🙂

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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 about to start The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly. It the is the final book on my 20 for 2020 TBR. I hope it’s good!

I am also still listening to Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga. I am learning a lot from that one. So far it has mainly dealt with the history of the slave trade in Britain in a lot of detail. It’s very interesting for sure. So much I did not know. I am over halfway.

What did I recently finish reading?

I finished reading One New York Christmas by Mandy Baggot this morning. I am not too enamoured with that one. It was very cringey, even if I liked the plot. That was the final one of the three chicklit Christmas books I wanted to read. I only liked one out of the three, so I did not do so well with those. I am just so picky with romance stories. Maybe it is just me. It must me, because both the books I did not like that much had over 4 stars on Goodreads, I think!

I did also finish To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. I am glad I finally read that one. It was a dense read and it took me a while, but I did like it! I found the way it was written very interesting in different. It’s a very introspective book and that is something I do like. I want to try more of Virginia Woolf’s books, so if anyone has any recommendations, I’d love to hear them!

What do I think I will read next?

I was supposed to have started They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib days ago for a book club, but the book did not arrive in time. It’s supposed to arrive today. It’s a collection of essays to do with music, and I am so excited to read it. I have until next Tuesday, so I will read a bit of it every day hopefully and get it finished before then.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 9 December 2020

I have had a stronger reading week than I have had for a while, mainly thanks to some easier type reads. Maybe that is what I need right now? But then, I did feel after a couple of fluffy reads, I needed something more challenging, so who knows!

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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 have finally started to read To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. It is my first book by this author and I am only 20 pages in. The font is small and the writing quite dense, which takes a bit of getting used to.

I am about a third into Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga. It’s a long audio book, but it is incredibly interesting.

Because To The Lighthouse is so dense, I did not really find it that great for bedtime reading, so I have picked up my third Christmas themed book of the year, which is One New York Christmas by Mandy Baggot.

Finally, I am proof reading a book my friend has written, which is about her experience with her gifted child in the existing school system. This one obviously takes priority this coming week.

What did I recently finish reading?

I finished Lab Girl, which was a good read, but not one that will stick around for very long. Apart from that I have read a couple of Christmas chick lits; Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin wasn’t great, but I did like Carole Matthews’ Christmas for Beginners. Those reviews will come after I have read my third Christmassy novel.

What do I think I will be reading next?

I have a few books I really want to read before the end of 2020, so I will prioritise those. From my 2020 TBR there is The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly and I would love to complete another series, in which case the most likely is Jay Kristoff’s Darkdawn.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 2 December 2020

Still reading at a pretty slow pace! I’s been months now… Oh wel… Bring on 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 am I currently reading?

I am currently reading Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. I had put it aside last week in favour of another book, but I have picked it back up. It’s a non-fiction read and so far it is pretty interesting!

I am listening to Black and British: a Forgotten History by David Olusoga, which is such an interesting and eye-opening listen. I am only about 20% in and since this is a 25-hour audio book this one will take me a while (probably all month).

What did I recently finish reading?

The only book I finished was The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss. I enjoyed that one, but I doubt it will stay with me very long. It was a fun time anyway.

What do I think I will read next?

I think I will read To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf next. I have never read any of her books and this one is on my 2020 TBR, so I really should read it!

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 25 November 2020

This reading week has been kind of slow, but I don’t think I mind too much.

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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 about halfway through The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss. I am reading quite slowly right now, but I am enjoying it. It’s a light read so far and it’s fun. I love that there are characters from all sorts of classic (monster) literature in there.

I have also started listening to Black and British by David Olusoga. I am a couple of chapters in and it’s so interesting. This is a long audio book (25 hours!) and it may be interrupted by something else, so I may be in it for the long haul. However, I really like it so far. So much information on a subject I sadly know too little about.

I did also pick up Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, but I have not read on yet, favouring fiction for actual reading right now. I will probably pick it back up in the coming week.

What have I recently finished reading?

I finished my previous audio book, which was I Wanna Be Yours by John Cooper Clarke. I loved that one. He is such good storyteller and his voice is so distinctive. I would highly recommend the audio book. I will be diving into some of his work soon.

I also finished In Lucia’s Eyes by Arthur Japin almost a week ago. It was an enjoyable read, but to be honest it did not really stick at all.

What will I be reading next?

I am really in the mood for some more poetry, so there may be some of that coming. Not sure what yet. I have a few poetry books that I could pick up.