February #AYearAThon Wrap Up

Hi all!

I took part in the #AYearAThon this month, although wasn’t planning on sticking to the theme, although I didn’t realise that the theme was ‘New to you authors’ which applies to both books that I finished.

I finished listening to the audiobook of Tom McCarthy’s Remainder and also listened to Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories. I loved both books as I found Remainder intriguing, thought the main character was really well written, and the ending had me gripped. The Jungle Book stories were then very sweet, although different to how I expected them to be, very enjoyable though while each story is nice and short and the voices for each character are great.

I have also started reading Open City by Teju Cole, another author that is new to me, so fits with the theme, and then am listening to Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, so will hopefully finish both of those in the rest of this month.

I’ll do another post at the end of the month as a monthy wrap up for the rest of my uni reading, Harry Potter, and some graphic novels that I hope to read, and will hopefully take part in the March #AYearAThon which is going to be on the 5th-11th with the theme of retellings and the challenge of marathoning a series.

Anyone else taken part in the February #AYearAThon and read any good books?

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January Wrap Up

Hi all!

Happy New Year!

I’ve started my new Goodreads Challenge for the year and am doing well with having read 3 books of my 20 book goal for the year.

I started off the year with Turtles All the Way Down by John Green which was great, even better than I expected and the main character is so beautifully written.

I next read Lumberjanes Vol.2, a graphic novel about girl scouts who get involved in a whole bunch of mysteries and magic shenanagans. These are so simple and easy to read I’m loving them as a break from ‘real’ reading.

Last off I read Descender Vol.2, another graphic novel series, and I’m obsessed with this one, so excited to find out what happens next!

I’m currently now listening to the audiobook of Remainder by Tom McCarthy for university which is pretty good although I didn’t think I would like it. So for the month of February I’m planning on finishing Remainder, reading a lot more uni books and probably the next couple volumes of Descender!

What are your reading goals for the year? Any good reads in January?

– Emma

Yearathon Wrap Up (+ Altered October TBR)

I sadly didn’t have a very productive October Yearathon as I have been ill with freshers flu but uni is now underway and so I did get a little reading done.

Firstly I just read 1 chapter of Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, which I’m really enjoying but am getting through really slowly. I have read this book before but only vaguely remember it.

Then there were some changes in the reading for one of my university modules so I read some things which weren’t in my Yearathon TBR but that I needed to read this week:

  • “Nutting” by William Wordsworth
  • “Kubla Khan: Or a Vision in a Dream. A Fragment” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • “Darkness” by Lord Byron
  • “I am” by John Clare
  • An extract from A Defence of Poetry by Percy Shelley
  • An article about the ethics of zoos

So I didn’t read very much as the first four are just individual poems and then the extract and article were small, but hopefully, I’ll be reading more in next month’s Yearathon.

Due to the changes in my course reading my TBR for October as a whole has changed quite a bit too and so my new list is:

  • Extracts from Personal Narrative of Travels of the New Continent During the Years 1799-1804 by Alexander Von Humboldt
  • “The Trouble With Wilderness: Getting Back to the Wrong Nature” by William Cronon
  • Findings by Kathleen Jamie
  • Travels in Alaska by John Muir
  • Extracts from Wildwood: A Journey Through Trees by Roger Deakin
  • Extracts from Notes From Walnut Tree Farm by Roger Deakin, Alison Hastie, and Terence Blacker
  • At the Yeoman’s House by Ronald Blythe
  • The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau
  • Some poems by Robinson Jeffers, Gary Snider, and Judith Wright
  • Extracts of The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert Macfarlane
  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  • Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

Thanks for reading and see you next time, comment if you also took part in the Yearathon and if you did more reading in it than me!

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 🙂

Tome Topple Readathon Wrap Up (June 2016)

I took part in another readathon for 2 weeks, the Tome Topple Readathon which focuses on reading tomes (books over 500 pages) and was really fun. I loved how active their twitter account was and the challenges so would love to do this one again sometime.

Wrap Up

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Claire

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

Batman: Arkham Asylum (15th Anniversary Edition) by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean – I had already started this so only read 48 Pages but isn’t a tome anyway, just my book for the graphic novel challenge

Gone by Michael Grant

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Challenges

I completed all of the challenges which is awesome so here’s the list and which of my books counted:

Read more than one tome (500+ pages)  – I ended up reading 3 tomes

Take a graphic novel break (doesn’t need to be over 500 pages!) – For this I read the Batman graphic novel

Read a tome that is part of a series – All 3 of my tomes are actually the first book in their series

Read over 500 pages in one week – I read Lady Midnight in 3 days, The Cuckoo’s Calling in 4 days, and Gone in 4 days so I completed this challenge will all 3 tomes too

Read an adult novel – I read The Cuckoo’s Calling for this one

Links

Here’s the link to the main post for Tome Topple including the YouTube video:

Tome Topple Readathon Sign-Up | Readathon + Giveaway

And here is where I find out about readathons:

http://www.littlebookowl.com/p/read-thon-calendar.html

My next readathon will be the June Duodecathon which I will do a wrap up post for too.

May Book Wrap Up & June TBR

May Reading Wrap Up

I’m actually not going to go into detail about the books that I’ve read this month because I’ve already talked about most of them in my exam reading wrap up and May Duodecathon wrap up:

https://emlinian.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/exam-period-reading-wrap-up/

https://emlinian.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/may-duodecathon-readathon/

But here are all of the books that I finished in May:

  • The Faerie Queene Book 2 by Edmund Spenser
  • The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  • The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Claire, Maureen Johnson & Sarah Rees Brennan
  • The Duchess of Malfi by John Webster
  • Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

May Book Haul

After my exams were finished I went and bought Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen and Lady Midnight by Cassandra Claire, then just read Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy as an ebook, but I’m not really counting that because I don’t want it as an ebook, so will buy the physical copy when that finally comes out.

June TBR

This is my first TBR post but just means ‘to be read’ and so here is what I am planning to read in June (although June has already started so I have already read/started some).

For the Tome Topple Readathon (6th-19th) I want to read Lady Midnight by Cassandra Claire, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling), and then I’d like to finish Batman: Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison & illustrated by Dave McKean.

I then want to read Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen before the June Duodecathon begins.

Finally, for the Duodecathon (24th-30th) I want to finish Emma by Jane Austen and then complete the spell out your name in books challenge by reading 2 books beginning with M and 1 beginning with A, but I’m not sure which ones yet as I want them to be quite short and I don’t really have any that are, so may just find some random cheap ebooks for those.

 

I’m not sure if I will keep doing posts like these, or if I want to do them differently, I just wanted to try it out as I think it’s fun, but my next post will probably be a wrap up for the Tome Topple Readathon, or a discussion post for one of the Cassandra Claire books.