Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

June 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

This has been a pretty good reading month. It was a pretty hectic month, with my daughter back at school and one of my ponies having some health issues that we still have not gotten to the bottom of.

I think what worked really well for me this month is to simply not read much on days when I was busy or feeling especially anxious. I did not force myself to read, which made me much more energized to read quite a lot on other days.

I accepted a few requests from authors for the first time in a while and I actually enjoyed all the books I was sent, with one that particularly stole my heart. I am always meaning to do a post on self-published and indie-published books that I have really enjoyed since I have started my blog. I will try and do that post during July.

Back to the books I read in June. I read 14, but to be honest none of them were particularly long books (the shortest being just 36 pages!) and two were carried over from May.

THE BOOKS

 

  1. Cherry Beats (Vicki James) ★★★★☆☆☆
  2. How To Stop Time (Matt Haig) ★★★★★★★
  3. The Selection (Kiera Cass) ★★★★★☆☆
  4. In the Dark, Soft Earth (Frank Watson) ★★★★★☆☆
  5. Saving Ruby King (Catherine Adel West) ★★★★★★☆
  6. Drift (Clare Littlemore) ★★★★★☆☆
  7. Wild Beauty (Anna-Marie McLemore) ★★★★★★☆
  8. English Animals (Laura Kaye) ★★★★★☆☆
  9. Born To Run (Bruce Springsteen) ★★★★★★☆
  10. Among The Boat People (Nhi Manh Chung) ★★★★★★☆
  11. Witch’s Jewel (Kater Cheek) ★★★★★☆☆
  12. Dear Martin (Nic Stone) ★★★★★★☆
  13. The Reclaiming of Ivy Leavold (Sierra Simone) ★★☆☆☆☆☆
  14. Wild Stallion Whispering (Dawn Westcott) ★★★★★☆☆

I read six physical books, seven e-books and one audio book. I really enjoyed the variety of books I read this month. The three non-fiction books I really enjoyed. Bruce Springsteen’s Born To Run was a great listen on audio book and I would thoroughly recommend it, even if, like me, you’re not a huge fan. Among The Boat People was a book I absolutely adored. It shows that sometimes telling a story in your own voice means a thousand times more than having it heavily edited or ghostwritten. The poetry of In The Dark, Soft Earth made a nice change. I did not always quite ‘get’ the poems, but I enjoyed it anyway. Both Saving Ruby King and Dear Martin felt very apt right now. I loved them both. Wild Beauty was wonderfully whimsical and both The Selection and Drift took me to a dystopian world, but were very different. when I felt like reading something different I picked up The Reclaiming of Ivy Leavold, which is rather raunchy historical adult romance. It was only 36 pages and sort of an epilogue to the Markham Hall series. I did not care for it really. At least it’s another book off my Kindle. Witch’s Jewel was a fun urban fantasy that was plenty enjoyable. English Animals was an interesting contemporary with a f/f romance, but was a bit disappointing in the end. Finally, Wild Stallion Whispering was a horsey non-fiction book that was very interesting to me, but would not be for anyone non-horsey.

Which leaves…

Haig, Matt - How To Stop Time

 

BOOK OF THE MONTH

I found a new favourite book, which is How To Stop Time by Matt Haig. I absolutely loved this book. It is a rather quiet book about the exciting subject of people who live for hundreds of years. The more books I read by Matt Haig, the more I love him. I will treasure this book for all eternity!

 

JULY READING PLANS:

Not really setting a TBR, though I will try to tick off some books from my 20 Books of Summer list. I will probably also participate in The Reading Rush readathon, which takes place 20-26 July.

Books that I am already reading that I will carry into July are:

  • Mo’ Meta Blues (Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson & Ben Greenman) e-book
  • A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson) – audio
  • Wolf Hall (Hilary Mantel) paperback
  • The Flatshare (Beth O’Leary) e-book

 

 

Books · Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

(Musical) May 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

It’s been an interesting month. I had some really fantastic reads, even some new favourites, and some average ones, but thankfully nothing that truly sucked! At the beginning of May there seemed to be a musical theme to what I was reading so I spontaneously decided to take that and run with it. I only read books with some sort of musical element from there on out. I had a blast!

I read ten books in the end. I had hoped to read more, but life got in the way, like it does sometimes! Still, nothing to be sniffed at!

  1. Sweet Thing (Renee Carlino) ★★★★☆☆☆
  2. Face It (Debbie Harry) ★★★★☆☆☆ (audio)
  3. The Promised Neverland  ★★★★★☆☆
  4. On The Come Up (Angie Thomas) ★★★★★★☆
  5. Mix Tape (Jane Sanderson) ★★★★★★★
  6.  Wilding (Isabella Tree) ★★★★★★★
  7. High Fidelity (Nick Hornby) ★★★★★☆☆ (audio)
  8. This Savage Song (V E Schwab) ★★★★★☆☆
  9. Heavy Vinyl: Riot on the Radio ★★★★★☆☆
  10. Meet Me In The Bathroom (LIzzy Goodman) ★★★★★★☆

Face It, Wilding and High Fidelity were audio books and I read two graphic novels this month, which is unusual for me, but I enjoyed it! Sweet Thing and Mix Tape were e-books, but I will definitely be buying a paper copy of the latter!  The only books without a musical theme were The Promised Neverland and Wilding. Wilding and Meet Me In The Bathroom were on my 20 for 2020 list, so I am right on schedule for that one!

BOOK OF THE MONTH:

Sanderson, Jane - Mix TapeI read four books I really loved, but two of those I adored, which were Wilding by Isabella Tree and Mix Tape by Jane Sanderson. I think my choice will have to be Mix Tape, as I did not expect to love that one as much as I did, whereas I always kind of expected to love Wilding.

Mix Tape spoke to me in so many ways. I loved that is a book about middle aged people, but not written as if they are old, if you know what I mean. They still felt like vibrant characters that had hopes and dreams. I loved that about it. It felt like it was written for me. I truly adored it!

 

Books · Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

April 2020 Reading Wrap-Up & May Plans

April Wrap-Up

It was a so-so reading month for me. I read 10 books, which is very good for me, but though I read some excellent books, I also read too many average books.

I also had one DNF, which was Come Away With Me by Kristen Proby. Not good, even for a smutty romance. I read about a hundred pages of that one before my eye muscles were fed up with making my eyes roll.

I have not posted my thoughts on The Punishment of Ivy Leavold yet, but I think I will do that one in some sort of smutty book mash-up in the future. That could be fun.

At the end of the month I am able to tick off 5 Kindle e-books and 5 physical books from my TBR, though I listened to one of the latter on audio. I am pretty happy with that.

001a Stiefvater, Maggie - All The Crooked SaintsBOOK OF THE MONTH:

Not sure which one to pick here. I read four 6-star books, of which two were re-reads. Luckily they both held up. I may have to go with All The Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater, because it was so weird and wonderful.

May Reading Plans

I have no fixed TBR for May, but I would like to prioritise my 2020 TBR and on the books I have purchased this year. I am currently listening to Face It, which is Debbie Harry’s autobiography, and I am reading Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino on my Kindle. After that I will probably pick up On The Come Up by Angie Thomas, which is a book I picked up earlier this year. There is also a good chance that I will pick up Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman from my 2020 list and I will read at least one of my series in progress books.

Books · Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

March 2020 Reading Wrap-Up & April Plans

March was an odd month for all of us, I think. I had my birthday at the beginning of the month and then everything went crazy as the corona virus went pandemic.

It was a pretty good reading month overall, especially the first half.

 

 

 

I read 14 books in total. In a way it was quantity over quality, but I did not hate any of the books.  There were a number of books under 200 pages, so it is not as impressive as it looks! I also read one graphic novel/picture book. I listened to two audio books and read a few books that had been on my TBR for ages. I took a foray into adult romance with mediocre results. If you have some recommendations for really good adult romance books, I would love to hear them!

200303 Mackesy, Charlie - The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse1BOOK OF THE MONTH:

The only graphic novel (more of a picture book) I read so far this year, turned out to be my favourite thing in the whole wide world. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy had me in floods of heartwarming tears.

I absolutely loved it and would recommend it wholeheartedly to everyone! It is absolutely precious and so sweet and poignant at the same time. My heart swells just thinking about it!

 

April Reading Plans:

I am currently reading Esmond in India by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. I am also still listening to The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy on audio (narrated by Alan Rickman). I am about halfway through both of those. I started Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine. If I like it, I may read Killman Creek as well. I have been advised to leave it there, rather than read the rest in the series. I will be reading A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, the final book of The Wheel of Time series. It will be weird to have finished it again. Reading a book every two months has been such a staple.

Apart from that, I will read a couple of books from my 20 for 20 list, but I have no fixed reading plans. Instead I will continue to mood read.

What will you be reading?

 

Books · Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

February 2020 Reading Wrap-Up (& March Plans)

February was such a good reading month for me. I simply felt really motivated and to be honest, the weather has been so bad, that all my outside jobs have been put on hold and I have been curling up on the sofa with a ‘good book’ far more often.

I ended up completing 11 books, which is pretty amazing considering February had only 29 days (the extra day did help)!

The standard was pretty high and I read no books under 4 (out of 7) stars. I read 3 books for the Contemporary-a-thon. I did help myself by choosing shorter books (under 300 pages) and it paid off. On the flip-side Towers of Midnight and Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix were both over 900 pages. Both were really good reads though!

I read 8 physical books from my shelves and one other (H is for Hawk) on audio, but which I also have a physical copy of. That makes me very happy indeed! All of those will be remaining on my shelves.

BOOK OF THE MONTH:

Althought I had two 7-star reads I am going with The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. I also adore Callanish, but that’s an old favourite and was a re-read.

Poet X

I loved the format in which The Poet X is written. It was such a clever way of telling this particular story, which maybe would have been far less interesting in a conventional format.

***

March Reading Plans: MOOD MARCH!

Jackson, Mary Cecilia - SparrowI am planning to do a ton of mood-reading in March.

I have a single NetGalley Arc  I need to read, which is Sparrow by Mary Cecilia Jackson (out on 17 March), which sounds like a hardhitting contemporary centered on a young ballerina. Apart from that, I have free play this month! Yay!

So I have decided to base the rest of my reads, one at a time, on my Random Book Game, which has 40 quite broad book prompts to then choose a book for. It is basically structured mood reading! It saves me from dawdling too long in front of my bookcases! Complete free choice scares me 😉

Random Book Game

Lunde, Maja - The History of BeesRossi, Veronica - Riders #2 SeekerI use a random number generator to choose the category. My first number was 9, so I had to pick a book from my black shelf. I chose The History of Bees by Maja Lunde. It is a book I tried to read before, but I could not get into it and put it back down again. I am 50 pages in and I am enjoying it much more this time. This is a gorgeous hardback and I prefer to read a paperback or my Kindle in bed in the evening, so I have generated another number for that. This time I got 27, which is ‘Series Sequel’. Perfect! I would like to complete a series so I will go with Seeker by Veronica Rossi. I read the first book, Riders, but did not like it that much, but since I have the second book in this duology I might as well read it!

We will see how the rest of the month goes!

Have a great reading month, lovely people 🙂

 

Books · Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

January 2020 Wrap-Up

I finished 9 books last month, which is simply amazing to me, since I had a few very slow reading months at the end of next year and even into January. I am especially pleased that I read three non-fiction books, which were all really good!

Jordan, Robert - The Wheel of Time 12 The Gathering Storm (with Brandon Sanderson)BOOK OF THE MONTH:

It is a tricky one this month, because I loved all three of my six-star books. I think I will go with The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. I love how you can feel the tension building in this book with two books of 14 still to go.

Books · Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

November 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

November was a terrible month for me readingwise. I just could not get myself motivated to read at all. It’s beyond a slump! Anyway, I’m going with it, but if you’re wondering why I have been a bit quiet, that’s why! There is not much to talk about and I guess I have been slacking on the blogging as well. Overall, I just feel a little uninspired.

Hopefully things will change soon!

I did read a grand total of three books in November so here goes:

1. Born A Crime (Trevor Noah ) ★★★★★★☆
2. Dream (Natalia Jaster) ★★★★☆☆☆
3. Knots & Crosses (Ian Rankin) ★★★★★☆☆

I honestly hope I will have a better month this month, but it is not looking like it yet! How was your reading month?

BOOK OF THE MONTH:
Easily Born A Crime by Trevor Noah – it was a wonderful listen!

Books · Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

October 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

My month of reading started ok, but I read hardly anything in the latter part of the month. The long and the short of it is that I only read 5 books over October, but with one of them being Homer’s The Iliad, it still feels like an achievement. I have been listening to a lot of music and writing instead of reading and blogging in October. That trend is still going on a bit, so things may still be a bit quiet for a little while longer on my end. I am sure it will change again, but for now, I am just going with the flow and not worrying too much about it.

It was definitely quality over quantity in October and I am ok with that. I was able to strike two books I have been meaning to read forever off my TBR (The Iliad and The Handmaid’s Tale), which I am really happy about. I did not really read any of my Halloween reads that I had planned, but c’est la vie I guess.

Fingers crossed that my reading will pick up in November (it hasn’t yet!). I am not setting a TBR for November at all, so we will see how it goes.

Atwood, Margaret - The Handmaid's TaleBOOK OF THE MONTH

The Handmaid’s Tale is easily one of the best books I have read and I am so glad I finally got to it. Definitely one I want to read again in the future.

Books · Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

September 2019 Reading Wrap-Up

September was a month of two halves. I managed to read loads in the first half, but then life happened and my reading time dropped right off.

I still managed to finish 10 books in September and that is definitely not to be sniffed at! It was also the first time this year I finised an audio book and I finished two!

1. Crazy Rich Asians (Kevin Kwan) ★★★★★☆☆

2. Walking Home (Clare Balding) ★★★★★★☆

3. A Polar Affair (Lloyd Spencer Davies) ★★★★★★☆

4. Tin Man (Sarah Winman) ★★★★★☆☆

5. A Long Way Down (Nick Hornby) ★★★☆☆☆☆

6. Sleep (C L Taylor) ★★★★★☆☆

7. Becoming (Michelle Obama) ★★★★★★☆

8. Ramona Blue (Julie Murphy) ★★★★★★☆

9. Knife of Dreams (Robert Jordan) ★★★★★☆☆

10. Never Greener (Ruth Jones) ★★★★☆☆☆

***

Four 6-star reads is pretty good going. Interestingly enough  I read 3 non-fiction books and all of those were 6 stars! Two of those (Becoming and Walking Home) were audio books.

The fiction was a bit more iffy with only one 6-star read, three 5-star reads, one 4-star book and a 3-star book. I did also have one novel I DNFd at 15% as it was becoming clear to me it simply was not for me.

Obama, Michelle - BecomingBOOK OF THE MONTH

This has to be Becoming by Michelle Obama. I was very impressed by the way she expresses herself and how inspiring she is. It was a pleasure to listen to her narrating it on audio book.

 

Books · Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

August 2019 Reading Wrap-Up: A Bit Meh…

August was not my best reading month when it came to the quality of the books. I read 10 books in total, which I am pretty satisfied with, but only two of those were six star-books.

1. Feed (M T Anderson) ★★★★☆☆☆

2. Lie (Natalia Jaster) ★★★★☆☆☆

3. This Adventure Ends (Emma Mills) ★★★★★☆☆

4. Treading the Uneven Road (L M Brown) ★★★★★★☆

5. Summer: an Anthology for the Changing Seasons ★★★★★☆☆

6. Godsgrave (Jay Kristoff) ★★★★☆☆☆

7. Seducing Charlotte (Diana Quincy) ★★★★☆☆☆

8. The Summer of Impossible Things (Rowan Coleman) ★★★★★★☆

9. Riders (Veronica Rossi) ★★★☆☆☆☆

10. Eucalyptus (Murray Bail) ★★★★★☆☆

***

When half of the books you read rate 4 stars or lower, you know you did not choose the right books. I had hoped to finish another book, but I did not have much time for reading the last couple of days of August.

I was especially disappointed with Godsgrave. I loved Nevernight so so much, but much of what I loved about it was the witty writing and that was sorely missing in Godsgrave.

My biggest surprise was Treading the Uneven Road, which is a set of interlinked short stories set in Ireland. I loved them a ton.

I also really loved Eucalyptus, which was oddly wonderful. but I can see how it is a very polarizing book. It is definitely a love or hate kind of situation.

Overall though, too many ‘meh’ books in August. Onwards and upwards!

Coleman, Rowan - The Summer of Impossible Things

 

BOOK OF THE MONTH:

Without a shadow of a doubt this was The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman. It was not a perfect book, but I loved it so so much. It is a book that feature time travel and I simply adored the characters, the setting and the story. It was predictable, but I really did not mind that. A lot of love for this new favourite.