October AYearAThon

I took part in the AYearAThon for the first time last month and posted about it here. I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it again as I didn’t know if I’d be able to stick to the themes but was tweeted by the AYearAThon twitter account after my last post saying that themes are optional so here I am again! I did try to fit my reading into the theme (mental health), just loosely, and then hardly got around to reading anything anyway as I was busy with the start of the university year.

I was still reading George Orwell’s 1984 when the readathon started and so first off I finished that which was okay, but not great. I was disappointed with it really; it just wasn’t my sort of thing, it was just too depressing, I didn’t connect with the main character on any level, and just never got gripped into the story. It picked up slightly nearer the ending but ultimately just felt like it was a bit of a letdown and lacked any sort of moral or message that interested me.

Finally finished reading 1984! 😃📚

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I then had to read the first chapter of Regeneration Through Violence by Richard Slotkin for one of my classes which took me a lot longer than I wanted it to because I dislike reading theory and am just really slow at getting through that sort of thing. It was kind of interesting; talking about the creation and continuation of myths, but as it is still the start of term I am unsure how it will be fitting into my course and be useful.

It was only then that I started on my mental health themed books, and didn’t even get close to finishing them. I just read 2 chapters of my anxiety book, and 2 of The Ego and the Id by Sigmund Freud, which is for my dissertation and which was better than I thought, I felt like it was a little clearer than his writing normally is, although I’m not very far in and I may just be getting used to the way he writes rather than him getting clearer.

So I didn’t really get far in this readathon but felt like it was still worth posting about because I still got more done than I would have otherwise just because I was so busy and not really interested in what I was reading.

Here is the link to the AYearAThon Goodreads group.

And then my next post will probably be a wrap up for one of my next readathons this month; Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon which you can find here, or the Duodecathon which is here. Subscribe if you want to see my posts on those, and comment below if you’ve read 1984 and if you agree or disagree with me 🙂

September Book Wrap Up & October TBR

September Book Haul

I just ordered some books for uni this month so I’m not really excited about them but I ordered 7 in total and they are:

  • The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
  • Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  • Ladybird Tales: Little Red Riding Hood by Vera Southgate (a children’s version for my dissertation which will be a nice easy read)
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter (I’ve read this before and it’s great but am using it for my dissertation so needed to buy a copy in order to read it again as I borrowed it from a library last time)
  • The Ego and the Id by Sigmund Freud
  • Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

September Reading Wrap Up

I started off with the AYearAThon for which I read:

  • A small poetry book from my university’s writing society
  • Samplers for Ink by Alice Broadway, Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe, This Raging Light by Estelle Laure, Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven, All Fall Down by Ally Carter, Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt, and Broken Sky by L.A. Weatherly.
  • Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
  • Beyond the Pleasure Principle by Sigmund Freud
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

My post for the AYearAThon is here. And I have a separate post on We We Liars here.

I then read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater which I loved and have a post on here.

Next, I finished Calm by Michael Acton Smith, which was lent to me by a friend and was pretty nice. I liked the whole theme and the pacing with all of the pictures and different sections on different aspects of life (e.g. food, sleep, and work), but wasn’t into the idea of all the activities. Overall it was helpful and nice to read so I’d recommend it to practically anyone, especially if stressed out or going through a bad time.

I then went back to George Orwell’s 1984 which I had read a few chapters of months before then put down. I’ve still not finished it and it also meant that I didn’t take part in the Duodecathon this month but I’ll hopefully do that readathon again next month anyway.

October TBR

First off I’ll finish 1984, then the AYearAThon is at the start of the month with the theme of mental health so I thought I could read a book I have about anxiety, the Freud book that I got this month (as psychology is kind of menatl health related? Close enough!), and then if I have time for another one just another psychology book for uni probably.

I’d then like to do some more dissertation reading so Ladybird Tales: Little Red Riding Hood, Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, and The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. Then classes start for me this month so I need to read Blood Meridian and The Naked and the Dead along with probably about 4 other books although I haven’t been told what these are yet.

After the AYearAThon I also want to take part in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and the October Duodecathon so hopefully those will help me get through these books!

Here are the links to the different readathons: AYearAThonDewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, and Duodecathon.

 

How was your September reading? What are you planning on reading in October? and are you going to take part in any of the October readathons that I mentioned? Comment below and subscribe if you want to see more – My next post will probably be a wrap up post for the AYearAThon 🙂

 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I’d wanted to start this series for a long time, and had read some of the Shiver series by Maggie Stiefvater years ago and liked that, but only recently did I finally get around to buying The Raven Boys as I picked it up at Yalc and got it signed (Post including Yalc wrap up).

I thought the whole mystic aspect was really interesting especially as the main characters are only really on the edge of it, so I feel like there is so much more about this to come in the following books which I’m excited about. I’d also like to find out more about certain characters in the next books as I’m intrigued by all of Blue’s family, although I felt like this one gave quite a good amount of info etc on the characters. I really liked the way that it was written in 3rd person and then flicked the focus between different characters and scenes as it just made the story feel more in-depth.

I’m a big fan of romance in novels and really liked how it was done here as an undertone to the main story. Without giving any major spoilers, Blue develops a relationship throughout the novel but then there are hints towards a different romance for her too. I felt like this was really interesting because it’s almost a love triangle but without there actually being one – it is just a hint that she will be with somebody else later on. This is completely ambiguous however as it is kept unclear whether it is going to happen or just a possibility. I really like both of the love interests but am more interested in the ‘possible’ one rather than the actual one in this novel so am so excited to see how that all pans out and why.

There’s also a really amazing plot twist with one character that I completely wasn’t expecting but that I can now see was foreshadowed, I really hope that this character is included in, and maybe expanded upon, in the following novels although I think how it ended could also mean that this storyline is finished. I was actually just really confused and kind of disappointed by the ending as I thought that they were only halfway through the last climactic scene when it suddenly seemed like everything was fine again and so I don’t really understand what happened.

I really do now want to read rest of series, as this one was well written and there is just so many things that I want to be tied up and explained in the other books. Have you read The Raven Boys? Agree or disagree with my opinions? Comment below! And my next post shall either be a Duodecathon wrap up or my wrap up for the month, so subscribe if you’re interested in reading either of those 🙂

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

I first heard about this book when it was shown on the Hot Key Books Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/HotKeyBooks) and then saw it on a lot of different booktube channels after that. Everyone seemed to be giving it great reviews, and it sounded interesting, but I already had a load of books that I wanted to read and so didn’t get around to it until recently when I bought the Zoella book bundle, and then read it for the September AYearAThon (which I posted about here: https://emlinian.wordpress.com/2016/09/17/ayearathon-september-2016/).

In addition to just having other books to read, I also didn’t really like the sound of the way that it was written as although it was said to be written beautifully, it was also described a lot as ‘poetic’ which I took to mean that it was going to be written well, but also, hard to read, like lots of the ‘poetic’ books that I read for uni. However, I was completely wrong on this, as the writing style was really easy, captivating, and had an amazing flow to it.

Another thing that caught me by surprise was the ‘lying’ aspect to the novel; I found that wasn’t really ‘lies’ at first but a lot of metaphors, and then it was more like everyone was lying to Cadence rather than her, as the narrator, lying to us, which was what I expected. The novel actually follows Cadence on her first trip back to her family’s summer island after she has lost her memory surrounding the summer 2 years previously, and so while I was under the impression that you’d always be trying to figure out what Cadence was lying to you about, it was more like going on a journey with her to find out how her own memory is lying to her. Although, ‘Liars’ is also just a name for her group of friends which I felt was never actually explained.

I absolutely loved Cadence though! I felt like she was sweet and just really relatable in some aspects too. Something that I felt really stood out with her as a character and made her so relatable and tragic was the repetition of the idea that she feels like she has to be normal and has to pull herself together constantly. It was aspects such as this that I think just made the whole novel have this feel of being so very realistic and sad, yet there is also a theme of moving on from tragedy, and from yourself in a sense, and so in this aspect I actually found the novel quite uplifting as well as being so sad.

I don’t want to really say much more in case of spoilers but I just felt like this novel was so amazing, I loved so much about it, and it definitely a new favourite as one of the best books that I have ever read. I think most people would like this book, but especially if you’ve read and enjoyed Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen which is another of my favourites and shares some themes with this one.

Comment below if you’ve also read We Were Liars, what you thought of it, and if it was what you expected. My next post will probably be on The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater which I also loved so subscribe if you want to see that too 🙂

AYearAThon – September 2016

I think this is my first time taking part in AYearAThon despite having been in the Goodreads group for quite a while (which you can find here: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/123987-ayearathon). The theme for this month was small books, specifically under 200 pages, which was quite nice as it made me feel like I was doing a lot more reading than I actually was just because I was getting through the books so quickly (although half of these aren’t really books I guess).

I started off with a small poetry book from my university’s writing society that I got early this year, then went into the the samplers that I got from Yalc in July (which I talked about a little in this post: https://emlinian.wordpress.com/2016/09/07/july-august-book-wrap-up-september-tbr/).

The first sampler was for Ink by Alice Broadway which I thought was amazing and just had such an interesting concept as it’s based in a world where once somebody dies their skin is stretched out and made into a book about their life based on the tattoos everyone is given for certain events in their life. I would say that this was my favourite sampler and would love to read the full book.

My second one was then Girl Hearts Girl by Lucy Sutcliffe which is about a girl going to see her girlfriend for the first time since they met online. It was a really cute story, yet I feel like the teaser was a short story on its own, and so although I liked it I don’t think I’ll pick up the whole book.

Next up was This Raging Light by Estelle Laure which was is about a girl whose parents have left her alone with her younger sister and so she’s trying to look after her sister while pretending that her mum is still there and that everything is okay. It was actually my least favourite sampler, mainly because I felt like it was aimed at a younger audience than me so I couldn’t connect with it so much. I’ve still added it to my to-read shelf on Goodreads though so I may still get around to read the whole book.

I then moved onto Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven which I really liked, and is a dual-perspective novel between a boy and a girl as she starts at his school. I like dual-perspective books and I loved the voice of Jack and the concept of a character who can’t recognise the faces of the people around him just because it’s such a foreign idea to me. Another one that I’d really like to read the whole book for.

Next up was All Fall Down by Ally Carter, the first book in the Embassy Row Series, which I feel like I still can’t describe after reading the sampler but I’ve really enjoyed the Gallagher Girls and Heist Society Series’ and even considered picking up this book before so although the sampler was just fine rather than amazing it is still a book that I want to read and will probably get around to.

The last sampler was a book that contained 2 stories; Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt, and Broken Sky by L.A. Weatherly. I started with Unconventional and was a bit disappointed as I’d loved the cover but the story wasn’t what I’d thought that it would be, but it still seemed promising so I’d like to read it and found her other novel The Last Summer of Us on Goodreads which I think sounds even better. Broken Sky is then the first in the series and about a girl on the run which seems like it’ll be really action packed, the same sort of feel as lots of Sophie McKenzie’s books which I love. One that I definitely would like to read the rest of.

I then read Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell, which I thought was a sampler but actually just a short story, focused on a girl who goes to wait in a line for a few days before a Star Wars premier. Not being a fan of Star Wars, and having never been to, let alone waiting in line for, a movie premier, I didn’t really get into the book in that aspect, but the general story was okay, just not amazing.

I then finished Beyond the Pleasure Principle by Sigmund Freud which I had already started before the readathon. This was just a book I needed to read for uni, and frankly, I hated it because I always find it hard to follow Freud’s writing and so it was just really tedious to read and I’m going to have to look at some summaries and notes online to check I didn’t miss any important points.

Lastly, I read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, which is technically over 200 pages, but not by much so I decided that I was going to count it. I am so glad that I read this book because I had wanted to for ages but never got around to it, then I got the Zoella book bundle which included it and thought that I’d read it for the readathon, and it was seriously one of the best books that I’ve ever read. I want to do a whole post just on this book though so that’ll be up later on.

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I’d love to do the AYearAThon again but it depends, on what the themes are as I’m going to have to read a lot more uni books from now and so will be more restricted on what themes I could do, and I’d rather read the books that I own but haven’t read than spend money on new books to fit with the themes.

July & August Book Wrap Up & September TBR

Book Haul

In July I received copies of Cruel Broken Heart by Emma Haughton and These Shallow Graves from a friend, and then went to Yalc (The Young Adult Literature Convention in London) where I bought:

  • How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss
  • Lies by Michael Grant (pre-signed)
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (pre-signed)
  • The Manifesto on How to be Interesting by Holly Bourne (which I got signed)
  • The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood (which I got signed)
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (which I got signed)

Here are a couple photos from Yalc, one of a wall of books, and one from a panel that I went to:

And here are photos of all the books and other things that I got from there:

In August I bought Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and got Beyond the Pleasure Principle by Sigmund Freud as an ebook on the Kindle app.

Reading Wrap Up

In July I read:

  • Binge by Tyler Oakley
  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
  • The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling.

In August I read:

  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
  • We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen
  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Here’s a photo of all those books (other than Binge because I read that as an audiobook):

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I really loved all of the books that I read over these 2 months which was amazing, and I don’t think I can really pick a favourite but if I had to maybe Fangirl, just because it was the perfect time to read it around going to Yalc, as it was the book I read on the train there and back, and just fitted so well into how excited I was about it all.

September TBR

I’m going back to uni this September so I need to get through quite a lot of uni books but there’s also some readathons I want to take part in and non-uni books that I want to read.

There’s a YearAThon for books under 200 pages that I think I’m going to use to get through the samplers that I got from Yalc, a small poetry book, We Were Liars by E.Lockhart, and to finish Beyond the Pleasure Principle by Freud (a uni book). Then there’s a Duodecathon at the end of the month where I’d like to do the 1200 pages challenge and the favourite colour on a cover challenge but I’m not sure what books this will be with. One that I want to re-read at some point because I’m using it for my dissertation at uni is Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.

I’ll do wrap up posts for both of those readathons and maybe a couple review posts soon, so see you there 🙂 Comment below if you’ve read any of these books or about what you read in these months!

The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling

I won this book in a competition run by Maximumpopbooks (https://twitter.com/maximumpopbooks) and despite not having heard of the book or author before the competition I absolutely loved it.

Also, I just really like the name of the book, it suits the whole story so well, and the cover that I have is just so beautiful!

The setting was really interesting, based on a spaceship that is traveling from Earth to follow some sort of sound beacon coming from a far away planet, and so the characters are all of a generation who were born on the spaceship but are also never going to see the place that the signal is coming from. This was great because of the way that this linked into the mindsets of certain characters and made what I thought was just going to be a love story into something that questions the point of life, relationships, and societal norms.

The ship has a ton of rules and laws, but the one that I’d consider being the main law is that love is banned. In this respect the novel is a lot like Lauren Oliver’s Delirium which I also loved, yet the 2 novels are quite different overall, and something that I felt really set The Loneliness of Distant Beings apart was actually the mindsets of the characters. There are so many points throughout the novel where it all seems helpless and like there is no purpose for the lives of these characters, whereas the books that I normally like tend to be quite optimistic, yet rather than this difference making the book just really bleak, it kept me in suspense the entire time that I was reading.

Then the characters were all so interesting too; the main character, Seren, was really authentic and likeable, even when I didn’t agree with her viewpoints or actions, and Dom was so intriguing as I felt like I was always trying to figure his character out and whether he could be trusted. The whole novel really gave a full view of the characters as flawed, and gave a great insight into their viewpoints on major issues such as their purpose in life, rather than just being hero and villain figures like in other dystopian novels.

Overall I thought this was an amazing book that ended up offering a lot more to think about than I thought it would and has left me wanting to read more by Kate Ling. I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone as it combines a lot of different ideas and themes, kept me on the edge of my seat, and can be seen as both a great plot and something that makes the reader question certain things both within the novel and their own lives.