Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: Thursday, 11 April 2019

09.13 – I haven’t done one of these in a while. Mainly because I have not been reading that much, but I want to cram quite a bit of reading time in today, so here we go.

I have taken my daughter to school and just had my morning coffee and breakfast. Now I can slot in 45 minutes of reading before I need to get my lazy arse off the sofa to do some work. I am reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater this morning. I am currently on page 164 and I will try and read as uch as I can until 10 o’clock.

190411 lily

09.57 – I will stop here, on page 218 as it is the beginning of a new chapter (28) and chapter 27 ended on a cliffhanger. Perfect!

To be honest, I have been having a rougher time than I expected with this book. It hasn’t been grabbing me like The Raven Boys and The Dream Thieves did. I am hoping the second half of the book will do better for me. So far, I would give it five out of seven stars, I think. I still love the characters, but it just feels like so far nothing much has happened. I feel quite removed from it.

Right, let me go and do some stuff I need to do and hopefully I will have a bit of time to read before I have to pick up my girl from school.

11.30 – Ok, took some time grooming Freda and grazing the ponies for a bit. Freda’s baby was moving about quite a bit. I wonder when she will foal. Could be this month, or next month. We don’t know. She turned out to be pregnant already when we got her. Surprise foal….

Anyway, I am supposed to ready the cottage for new Airbnb guests arriving tomorrow, but I am feeling just a tad lazy and wanted to read a bit more, so that’s what I did. I am now about to start chapter 31 on page 244. I have read about 80 pages so far this morning. That is ok going for me at the moment. I will try and make it 100 before I have to pick up Ro from school. So off I go!

12.30 – Did not quite manage 100 pages this morning. I stopped at page 260, the end of chapter 32. I have to go out in a bit (I am having lunch right now), and I won’t continue reading Blue Lily, Lily Blue until at least late afternoon. I am taking my Kindle on my walkabout, so I may have a chance to read some of Dutch Girl instead. I keep meaning to get on with that one, as it’s out on the 15th. I will keep you posted!

14.55 – I have read about 9% of Dutch Girl by Robert Matzen whilst out and having to wait for something. It’s an account of Audrey Hepburn’s life before and during WWII in The Netherlands. So far, I think it is very interesting. Audrey Hepburn is a fascinating icon. I remember seeing a TV interview with her on Dutch television. It must have been towards the end of her life and she was such an interesting person that when I saw this book on NetGalley, I immediately requested it. So far I am really glad I did. I never knew anything about her family background or the fact that her parents were nazi sympathisers that met Hitler in the 1930s. It also briefly goes over the German invasion of The Netherlands, which is a much needed refresher of the history of my country seen through the eyes of a foreigner.

I had a spare five minutes and read another chapter of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, which I am much more into now that I was when I started reading today.

18.00 – So I got to 27% in Dutch Girl. I am really enjoying that one so far. So much WWII details that I did not know about, that doesn’t centre on the usual themes. It makes for a really interesting read.

I read quite a bit today and I am trying to decide whether to continue with Blue Lily, Lily Blue or make some headway in Crossroads of Twilight by Robert Jordan… Decisions, decisions…

20.30 – I started reading a bit of Crossroads of Twilight. My aim is to read 50 pages of that, but somehow I doubt I will get there today! I keep getting distracted from that one, so maybe I should pick Blue Lily back up again instead. I already knew Crossroads of Twilight is not the strongest in this series, but it is the final weaker book, so it’s all go from here on out.

22.55 – So tired. Already in bed. Will try and read another chapter or two of Blue Lily, Lily Blue, but my eyes will soon fall shut, I fear!

Night night for now. It was a good reading day 💕

Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: Saturday, 16 February 2019

11.26 – Well, I did the things I NEEDED to do this morning. I did the grocery shopping, bought a present for my daughter’s friend, who is having a birthday party, and I even found time to pop into the charity shop. After a few fruitless trips lately, today I found a few books I actually wanted. The first books I bought this Feb! I am so impressed with myself!

1902 book haul charity

I bought four books. The first one I picked up was Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier. I have three Daphne du Maurier books now, including a short story collection, so it is about time I read one of her books. Don’t you think?

I bought a couple of mass market paperback Dick Francis books. I used to really enjoy his books as quick fun reads and since these were only €0.25 per book I decided to get them.

Finally, I saw The Secret History by Donna Tartt sitting on the shelf. I have heard so many good things about that book. That one was €1.

So I spent €2 on four books. Not too bad.

1902 Bardugo Siege and StormI have just read a couple of chapters of Siege and Storm, which I am STILL reading. My reading has been pretty slow lately – I have had too much going on in my life! It took me a while to get into the Grishaverse again. I am on page 244 now, just about to start chapter 16 and I do like it. I just find it hard to concentrate on it for some reason.

I have not read Centaur for a few days, but I am sure I will continue soon. I have read just over a third of that one.

MacKinnon, Skye - Winter PrincessBecause I found it hard to concentrate on Siege and Storm I started a light read on my Kindle, which is Winter Princess by Skye MacKinnon. This is a so-called ‘reverse harem’ book, which basically means it is about a girl with a number of love interests. How racey! It is a bit smutty, but I don’t mind that. The writing is not that great, but it is a fun time and light enough that it reads away pretty easily. It does not take itself too seriously either, I don’t think. I hardly ever read books like this, so it makes a fun change for sure. When you are on the slumpy side, this kind of book does help. I am just over halfway.

I have been writing a bit lately, which also eats into my reading time. I go through phases with my writing. I love it when I go through a creative spell, but now, with lots going in life, it’s not the best time!

(My mum just rang. They are coming around this afternoon to do some chores. There goes my reading time 😉 )

Fingers crossed I will finish at least one book this weekend!

The weather is absolutely beautiful  –  I do love beautiful sunny winter days. It is not cold either. I think it’s going to go up to 12 or 13 degrees today, which is pretty warm for the time of year. I am not complaining!

19.25 – Well, it’s been a minute! Despite slaving away outside for most of the afternoon, I did get a decent amount of reading done since I got in. I finally really got into Siege and Storm and I only have about 60 pages to go now. I may finish today – you never know! I certainly did not expect to, but it is in the realm of possibility.

It’s all go on the equine front here. I have a couple of people interested in buying my colt foal Moon. I know he needs to go, but it makes me feel sad as well. We are looking at a shetland pony tomorrow to keep my pregnant Irish Cob mare company and to be my daughter’s best friend.

23.30 – I am about to go to bed. After my optimism earlier, I did not get any more reading done. Hopefully I will be able to finish Siege and Storm tomorrow.

I am off to bed now. Goodnight! xx


Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: Monday, 11 February 2019

08.46 – Good morning! I promise I will try and be a bit better blogging this week, plus I really want to catch up with all of your posts as well. Apologies for not really being present lately!

Anyway, I thought I would do a reading blog this Monday. I am 84% into The Hating Game by Sally Thorne on my Kindle. I have to say, so far I am slightly disappointed. Everybody has been raving about this book and it’s good, but not that great! I clearly went in with too high expectations. I do like a good chick lit book, I do like the hate-to-love trope every now and then and overall it is done pretty well, but I just cannot quite get behind these characters for some reason. I simply do not understand why they do what they do sometimes!

I expect to finish The Hating Game this morning. I am also reading Centaur as my non-fiction book. I am about 90 pages into that one. It’s really quite interesting, from a sports and a personal point of view, but it’s a pretty niche book. Declan Murphy was a top jumps jockey in England and broke his skull in a dozen places when he took a fall and a horse behind him ran over him. He was at death’s door, but he survived to ride again. The book is actually written by Ami Rao from Declan’s point of view. So far it is a pretty good read. Declan’s voice is pretty cocky, but nice about it!

Thorne, Sally - The Hating GameAnyway, back to The Hating Game!

12.43 – Well, I finished The Hating Game this morning and posted my thoughts on it. Basically, it was a good read, but I did not think there was anything extraordinary about it. I gave it 5 out of 7 stars in the end. I don’t think it is a book I would read again.

Bardugo, Leigh - Siege and StormThen I pottered about for a bit, cleaned the stables and picked my daughter up from school for lunch. I have just picked up Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo from the shelf to start later. I think I am ready to dive back into that world.

21.04 – I did not read as much I would have liked this afternooon. I read 10 pages of Centaur and 20 pages of Siege and Storm so far, which is pretty disappointing. Oh well! I read Shadow and Bone quite a while ago and it took me a few pages to remember what happened in that one. It is slowly coming back to me as I read though. I hope I will enjoy it.

22.50 – Watched the final episode of The Haunting of Hill House tonight with the hubster. It was weird! Not sure what I thought of that series as a whole. Some episodes were pretty good and others not so much.

I will post this now, before I suddenly go to bed and fall asleep and have it sitting in my drafts to finally be deleted, like so many of my reading diaries before today.

Goodnight, you lovely bookish people!

Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: 28 & 29 January 2019

Monday, 28 January 2019

09.02 – I thought it was about time to do a reading diary again, since I am planning to spend quite a bit of time reading today. Just a disclaimer that I can’t promise it wil be interesting! I can promise quite a bit of waffling though!

I am reading Winter’s Heart at the moment. This is the ninth book in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, which is also being turned into a TV series with filming planned to start at the end of 2019. I have been re-reading this 14-book series over the past year and a bit, which I am really enjoying.

I am about halfway and if I am to finish this 700-page book before the end of January I better get a move on today!

10.35 – I read about 25 pages so far today. Not that much, but I have already cleaned the stables and stuff, so I am free the rest of the day to read and potter about.

I am planning on clearing out my make-up/beauty products drawer today as it’s very cluttered. I kept a lot of empty tubes and jars as I planned to do an empties post, so I may well get a start on that later.

At the moment I am picking a book from my shelf quite randomly and chucking it onto Instagram. I am having fun with that one! I already did my Instagram post for today (Moby Dick!). Check my Instagram feed on the side of my blog page. Give me a follow if you feel so inclined.

Anyways, on with the most epic of fantasies…

13.09 – Where does the time go!

I have just made and eaten a smoked salmon, mozzarella and black olive toastie. It was sooooo nice! And as the cherry on top, I treated myself to a glass of cola – yum!

I watched a few YouTube videos whilst having lunch, but back to the book now!

14.07  – Ok, I read 80 pages so far today. Pretty happy with that. I am enjoying this book for sure, especially now it is concentrating on Mat and the Seanchan. I love Tuon’s character quite a bit. For a book series that has been scathed for its portrayal of women, there are a hell of a lot of strong women in it. I am on page 442, just about to start chapter 22. My ideal would be to get to page 500 today.

I am going to put the book down for a moment and I will go and do some ‘stuff’.

21.08 – Aha! I did end up clearing out my vanity drawer! Well done me! Ended up throwing quite a bit out, and I actually I have a tiny bit of space to play with now, so result!

I am on page 473, so I may get close to page 500 tonight, if not quite there probably, as I am about to watch some telly with the hubster.

Not sure what my plans are for tomorrow. It depends whether my parents will be coming over, as they often do on Tuesdays. When they do, there is no way I can sit and read!

On a side note, in the last week or so I have noticed snowdrop leaves are starting to peak above the soil, which is always a great moment. Spring may not be here, but there are things growing again, which just makes me so happy!

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

12.26 – I did not end up posting this yesterday (I forgot!) and neither did I get to 500 pages. My eyes were falling shut on page 485.

I read a few pages this morning, but then I mucked out the stables and my parents turned up, so I doubt I will get any reading in until this evening.

The vet is coming out this afternoon to check whether my tinker (Irish Cob) mare is pregnant. We have always known it was a possibilty, as we know very little of her history. We got her in October with her six-month old foal. The previous owners imported her from England (presumably bought at Appleby) in June or July, so technically it is possible she was covered in May or June. She does have a big tummy and her ribs are showing slightly. She could be! We are hoping she is not pregnant, but it is not the end of the world if she is. If she is in foal she would be due in April or May, so I would rather know now, so I can up her calorie intake in time and get prepared..

Now is the time to be sure, so we know whether our current plan to geld Moon (Fre’s current foal) in March is still ok. If she is pregnant, he will get gelded earlier and moved to a friend’s care in spring. He will get sent away for the summer anyway to break the mother/foal bond, but we are not in so much of a rush if there’s no baby.

I am surprisingly nervous!

18.51 – I am in absolute shock. Turns out my mare IS in foal and she is having a baby in April/May. There goes my planning! Unfortunately Moon is not ready to be gelded yet and does not look like he will be anytime soon, so we need to find a solution for him.

I look at her now and I think – how could I not know! Then, I see her every day, so…

All that excitement means I have not been reading a single letter since this morning.

Maybe this evening once my little girl has gone to bed. If I can stop Googling feeding advice for pregnant mares…

22.23 – After all the excitement of today, I am gonna call it a day. I read another 20 pages or so. I will try and read a bit more now.

Apologies for the waffling – I did warn you!

Goodnight! xx

Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: 3-4 January 2019 (White Stag)

Thursday, 3 January

Barbieri, Kara - White Stag13.13 – I have been reading White Stag a bit at a time between chores this morning.  I like it so far, even if I don’t love it yet. The writing feels a bit clumsy at times and I do not really understand the world at all yet, but hopefully it will get there. I am about 19% in now and definitely hope to get close to halfway today if I can.

I promised Ro I would bake a cake with her this afternoon, so I guess I better go and do that soon. I just finished the cottage for our final guests for a while. Saturday a friend of mine is moving into the cottage with her family whilst their house is being renovated. They will be staying until the end of February.

Our own house needs some seruous tidying (ie stuff sorting out), so I need to make time for that in the next couple of months. We have too much stuff, too much clutter. I think last year I threw out about six bin bags full of clothes into the charity bins and I did tidy some of the drawers, but then my tidying spell stalled. Maybe not having guests for a couple of months is a good opportunity to continue?!

I bought a few books from Book Depository  today, nothing too extravant. I will show them when they arrive later in the month!

Talking about buying books, I should do a January 2018 Book Haul review (tomorrow’s me did it!)! I like looking back at the books I bought the year before and seeing which ones (if any) I have read. Maybe next week….

Anyway, back to the book!

18.32 – We did bake that cake and I have not read an awful lot – not as much as I planned for sure! I am 24% in and just about to start chapter six of White Stag. I am actually enjoying this one quite a bit, but there is an almost constant nag that it could have been better. Too often our main character Janneke’s thoughts and feelings in relation to Soren make no sense, considering they have lived together (platonically) for a century. It just does… not… make sense! The writing is lacking every now and then. However, I have faith that though there are definitely flaws, I will end up liking this book quite a bit. I doubt I will rate it higher than 5 out of 7 stars, but it could be a 5-star read. It just depends where the story goes from here. I will keep you posted!

22.38 – I am at 32% now, so I don’t think I will quite get to the 50% I was aiming for. As before, I am liking the story, but the writing leaves a bit to be desired.

An example: it is written in first person, but there are sentences like “A shadow of doubt flitted across my face”. That sentence makes no sense in a first-person narrative, as the person opposite would observe that, not you yourself.

Honestly though, it is a pretty decent read so far.

Friday, 4 January

9.55 – I haven’t read yet today and I doubt there will be much reading today. I am taking my daughter swimming and seeing her nieces today.

18.08 – Yep, that was pretty much my day. The first time I turned on my Kindle it was almost five! I did manage to read another 10% or so. I am on the fence about this one still. The story has quite a bit of potential and I find it quite interesting, but the execution feels a bit lacking. It just feels like it could have done with a good editor, who could have ironed the bits out that do not really make any sense. It seems a shame. Anyway, I am just over halfway, so let’s see what the second half of the book brings.

22.14 – I am 64% in and it’s in 4 out of 7 star territory at the moment. It is not bad at all but it is starting to drag a bit, which is odd as there is plenty of action and deaths. I guess after a while you just get desensitized a bit and that I guess that is what I am experiencing right now. Having said that, there is a lot I like about our main character and I applaud the author for her having disfigurements (due to violence done to her). I also like the setting. Depending where the author decided to take this story, it could still go back up to 5 out of 7 stars. But right now, a 4 seems about right.

I am hoping to get to about 75% tonight, but that may be a tad ambitious. I hope to finish it tomorrow.

23.01  – I haven’t read on yet (we watched the New Year’s Eve episode of The Last Leg instead), but I am about to go to bed and I hope to get another 10% done before going to sleep. It’s the weekend tomorrow (yay!). Hopefully it won’t be too crazy busy.

I need to go and visit my grandma. I meant to visit on New Year’s Day, but the wing she is in in the care home was closed to evil norovirus. Apparently it was still closed today. If it opens we will visit her on Sunday. Tomorrow my friend is moving into the cottage next door and I have to do my shopping! I WILL finish White Stag tomorrow as well! I am determined! 😂

Bon nuit! xx





Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: 1-2 January 2019

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

18.38 – First of all, Happy New Year!!!

Rowling, J K - Harry Potter 4 and the Goblet of FireI am finally back from visiting a host of relatives to wish them a happy new year, as is our family tradition. I have just put a few buns in the oven, as everyone has already eaten too much to want a full meal.

I just read chapter 29 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Just over 130 pages to go. I am enjoying this one. Maybe not as much as Prisoner of Azkaban, but it’s a pretty good time.

This past week has been a rather poor reading week, what with Christmas and stuff and my husband being off. You would think that would mean I would have lots of reading time, but nope, the opposite. Family time was the priority, so we played lots of games and stuff. It has been so nice!

But… hubby’s back to work tomorrow and some sort of routine will return soon, which will make me a better reader,

Anyway, I will try and get a couple of pages in before the buns are ready to come out of the oven…

22.16 – Ok, I did not read a lot today. Too many distractions!

I did buy a couple of mystery thrillers in the Amazon Kindle sale; One of Us Is Lying (Karen M McManus) and Watching You (Lisa Jewell). The first one has been on my Goodreads TBR for a while.

Jewell, Lisa - Watching You   McManus, Karen M - One of Us is Lying

So basically I have been wasting my time browsing books and YouTube. The frivolity!

Wednesday, 2 January 2018

08.24 – Ok, so I really hardly read yesterday, but I have high hopes that I will finish reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire today. My husband has gone back to work and I have new guests coming into our guest cottage tomorrow, so I need to sort that, but apart from that, fingers crossed I will manage! That is my aim anyway.

I am having breakfast watching some BookTube 2019 stats videos, which reminds me I should continue writing my stats post as well. I have to make some graphs first. I will try and do that today, but I want to concentrate on Harry Potter first.

11.16 – Managed to do some reading this morning inbetween chores. I am on chapter 35 with about 50 pages to go. I am pretty confident I will finish today.

21.19 – I did finish Harry Potter’s Fiery Goblet earlier. My review will go up in the morning. Spoiler: I liked it!

Seasons proofs.inddSo now I have gone and started two new books! On an impulse I picked up Winter: An athology for the Changing Seasons, edited by Melissa Harrison. That one is on my Winter Project TBR. I am not in a rush to finish that one, but will try and enjoy a few stories every day.  I read a few today, one of which was an extract from Foxes Unearthed by Lucy Jones, which I read the autumn. I think it will be a good way to discover some new interesting authors! I did just order Rain by Melissa Harrison herself, which is a little non-fiction Barbieri, Kara - White Stagbook about walking in the rain. It sounds right up my street!

The other one is my only e-ARC this month, which is White Stag by Kara Barbieri. The cover for that one is STUNNING! In fact both of these covers are gorgeous.

I have just read the first chapter of White Stag and I am not sure yet what to make of it. I need more context!

Right, we’re going to watch an episode of The Haunting of Hill House now!

22.37 – It’s pretty much bedtime, so I will read a bit more White Stag before going to sleep.



Books · Reading Diary

Reading Diary: Winter Solstice 2018

09.24 – I can’t believe the shortest day is here already. Actually, today is so miserable! It’s been rain rain rain. I kept the ponies in this morning – normally they go out at about 8, but it’s so miserable, I am waiting a bit and they are munching their hay in their stable. It looks like it may be a bit dryer later, so I will chuck them out then.

Anyways, very appropriately I am reading Midwinter by Fiona Melrose. I am just about to start chapter 10 on page 135. I am just over halfway in the book and I am really enjoying it. It’s very character driven and beautifully written. It is about a father and a son, Landyn and Vale Midwinter, and their relationship and it feels very raw and real. It’s not a fun book to read, but it is really good and I am so glad I am reading it.

I will read a bit and then go and groom the ponies before turning them out for a few hours onto the swamp that is their paddock.

13.03 – I have only read about 30 pages so far today. Nowhere near as many as I planned. The ponies went out around 10.15 and it has not been raining too much, but it is pretty blustery out there, so they are looking pretty miserable! Tough! It’s the only chance they have to be out today, so they are just going to have to deal 😉 To be honest, I am sure they would rather be out there than in their stables. I am getting them back in at 15.00 as my little girl has swimming lessons and it will be dark by the time we get back.

I should get some reading time in later, but I don’t think I will be finishing the book today. It’s not a quick read. You know how you have some books that you can easily read 150 pages a day from, usually YA, thrillers or chick lit. This is not one of those… It takes quite a bit of reading, but I do not necessarily think that’s a bad thing. I just feel like I want to let every sentence sink in. The relationship between the father and son in this book is so tense and well explored. I am really impressed with the book in that respect. Does much happen? No, not really. It’s not that kind of book. This is definitely not for people who like their plot-based books with some pace to it, but great for people who like character-based books.

18.40 – I did not manage to read much more, Time ran away with me, as it does usually.

But… Christmas holidays have started, so no school runs for two weeks. Also, the hubster is off until the New Year, so lots of family time ahead. Also lots of chores though… The house needs a proper tidy from top to bottom. I will definitely try and make an effort to do that.

Man, the wind is still wild out there. The weather warning is gone, but it actually sounds the windiest it has all day at the moment. Fingers crossed it will calm down before it’s bedtime.

20.26 – I shopped the sales a bit this week. I tried to shop more sustainable brands and got some stuff from Thought (on of my favourites) and Armedangels. Their stuff is usually a bit above my budget, but sale prices make them just about affordable. I like what those brands stand for. I always have the bamboo tights from Thought. They are not to expensive and so comfortable! They are opaque and look great with sweaterdresses and the like. Anyway, the stuff just arrived. Time to try them on!

*these are the website pictures, not me! 😉

23.25 – Time for bed. I only got to page 190 of Midwinter, but I will have a bit more of a read in bed, though I am tired, so will probably fall asleep soon.

I am keeping all of the above clothes – it all fitted and the fabrics are so nice!

Can’t believe the shortest day is over (yay!). Let’s slowly work our way to spring. The weekend is supposed to be rainy, but Christmas week looks ok-ish. Absolutely no chance in heck for a white Christmas unfortunately.

Anyway, thank you for letting you bore you with my impromptu reading diary (if you made it this far!).

Have a great weekend!