March & April Reading Wrap Up

Hi all!

I didn’t do a wrap up last month so am combining it with this one into a two month wrap up of a mighty 14 books!

So admittedly, these are mostly audiobooks but I still count it and am really happy to have gotten through so many. March started off with the Yearathon which I posted about here and where I started reading Winter by Marissa Meyer which I’m still reading now, and finished 2 Harry Potter books; The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire.

The next three weeks were then spent traveling about Ireland with my boyfriend and during these long drives we listened to the last Harry Potter books; The Order of the Pheonix, The Half-Blood Prince, and The Deathly Hallows. I loved this whole re-read through and will be sure to do it again sometime. The only physical book that I finished was the Berlitz Dublin Pocket Guide, which was perfect for what I wanted as it had lots of great place recommendations and also a few bits of info on each place so that I could pester my boyfriend with cool facts about everywhere we went in Dublin. We began Sylvain Neuvel’s Themis Files series, finishing both Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods. I hadn’t previously heard of this series or author but absolutely loved both books. Sadly the third book was then only released on the 1st of May so I’m excited to read that this month! I then listened to The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella which was pretty good, and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon which I have mixed feelings about but am planning to continue with the series at some point.

This then marked the end of our driving through Ireland, but had reignited my love for audiobooks so I began working through some of the unread titles in my library; The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rob Dobelli and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I found The Art of Thinking Clearly boring and repetitive, while How to Win Friends and Influence People was better. I then took a break from the non-fiction with Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland which was great, all about books, families, and relationships. Lastly, I went for The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg which I found fascinating although again was a little repetitive.

I doubt I’ll read anywhere near as many books in May but will hopefully get through a couple at least, tell me in the comments if you’ve read any of these and what you thought! See you next time 🙂

March #AYearAThon Wrap Up

Hi all!

I took part in the yearathon again this month.

The theme was retellings for which I started reading Winter by Marissa Meyer, the last book in the Luner Chronicles series. I’m enjoying this so far but am getting through it slowly so am still not very far.

However, for the challenge of marathoning a series I continued with listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks, finishing both The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire. I’m loving this rereading and am listening to these as much as possible, enthralled once more in the wizarding world.

The April Yearathon is from the 2nd to the 8th and has the theme of books that have been sitting on your shelf for a while, with the challenge of one-word titles. I think have quite a lot of books that will fit both of these categories so will hopefully get a lot of reading done and clear my tbr shelves a little!

See y’all at my monthly wrap-up!

February Wrap Up

Hi all!

Hope you’ve had a good February! I’ve got a bunch of reading done so am really pleased with that, kicking off the month with the #AYearAThon readathon which I posted about here, in which I finished reading Tom McCarthy’s Remainder and Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories. I also started reading Teju Cole’s Open City which I haven’t finished, and Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling and which I did finish. I have since also finished The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz which was good but very strange, and Descender Vol.2.

Other than Descender, these were all audiobooks which is how I was able to read so much this month but I’ve enjoyed my reading this month and am currently reading Zadie Smith’s NW and JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

How did your reading go this month and did any of you read any good books?

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?

Exam Period Reading Wrap Up

ReaThis is just going to be a wrap up of my opinions on the books I read through the couple months of exams and revision, so I’m not going to go into a load of detail or give proper reviews but just random thoughts about each book.

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling (Audiobook – Stephen Fry Edition)

The Harry Potter series has always been a part of my life pretty much, but over the last couple years has become a really large part of it. I have met a lot of friends through the fandom and had a lot of fun because of it all. The Stephen Fry audiobook versions finally became available on Audible so I thought it would be a great way of being able to reread the series. I think that I last reread the series before reading the Deathly Hallows for the first time, which must have been about 7 years ago now, and there is just so much that I had forgotten and really appreciate now. The narration by Stephen Fry is amazing and I’m going to continue with listening to the series as I have some spare audible points saved up.

Everyman by Anonymous

So this is just a play that I had to read for university and it is basically just an old morality play where a character called Everyman is told that he is going to die and so has to go around and find evidence that he’s a good guy before he is then judged by God. I found this pretty hard to read because although the story is really simple, the language is hard to get through and the iBooks edition that I was reading wasn’t always clear about who was speaking.

Light in August by William Faulkner

This was another university book and I read it through the audiobook, and although I think that this is a good book, and has some really interesting messages, I did not like reading it. Basically, parts of it just made me uncomfortable, which I understand is kind of the point, but still just means it’s not fun to read, although I would still say it’s worth reading, just be aware of this.

Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

Another university book, but I really like Shakespeare so it was fine, my only problem was that I had to revise both this and his other play The Merchant of Venice at the same time and so kept getting confused between the two. However, Measure for Measure is a comedy about a law forbidding sex outside of marriage, and so Isabella’s brother is going to be executed and she has to go prevent, it which basically means a bad time for her. It’s a pretty short play and I quite liked it, but I do prefer Shakespeare’s tragedies to his comedies.

The Book of the Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione

So this book was yet another university book and consists of 4 sub-books: book 1 is about what makes a great courtier in general, book 2 is about humour, book 3 is about what makes a good court lady (and stories of women being brave etc), then book 4 is what makes a good ruler and good politics. My favorite was book 3 which is strange because it also made me the most annoyed as some of the statements in this one from certain characters are pretty misogynistic, but then that just made it interesting in comparison to the rest of the book which I thought was mostly really dull.

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Claire, Maureen Johnson & Sarah Rees Brennan

I loved this book! Obviously, this one is not for my university course but was just for fun, as it is a collection of short stories so was quite nice to read over a long time while revision was going on. Cassandra Claire has quickly become one of my favourite authors as I read the mortal instruments and infernal devices series, along with watching the film and first series of the TV show (which I am obsessed with and cannot wait for the next season). I thought this book was just great as it gave some brief background to Magnus’s life and I liked the later stories especially, but don’t want to really say any more about that here because of spoilers about the mortal instruments series. Basically to avoid spoilers in any of Cassandra Claire’s books make sure you read them in the order that she wrote them because the series all overlap, which is a lot of reading but so worth it!

The Faerie Queene (Books 1&2) by Edmund Spenser

Back to university books I had to read the first two books of this, and so due to the language being so tricky I had the audiobook on while I read the physical book which worked pretty okay. Shmoop has amazing summaries for each canto if you need to study this, but I really didn’t like this book. It’s meant to be a great English epic about knights and quests etc. but I feel like a lot of the plot is repetitive and then, in the end a lot just comes down to fate/chance.

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

So this one is really similar to The Book of the Courtier as they can be seen as handbooks for how to be a good prince/courtier. Again, I’d say this was pretty dull, but was good to use in comparison with Castiglione in an exam.

Update Post

I have been so busy but hopefully I will be able to get back into doing regular blog posts now and thought I’d start it off with a little update post.

I had my A-level exams which were literally taking up ALL of my time as I was cramming in facts, reading through textbooks, making revision cards etc. Hopefully all the hard work paid off but I have to wait another week to get the results which I am really nervous about as they decide where I am going to university next month. Since exams I’ve basically just been relaxing, enjoying the fact that I don’t have tons of work to do! Instead I’ve been meeting up with my friends and seeing my boyfriend and it’s just been great. I went to America, storming through the Disney parks as well as Seaworld where I got to feed dolphins which is just amazing, and then Universal Studios. The new Harry Potter part of Universal Studios is absolutely amazing! We went to ‘Escape from Gringotts’ first thing in the morning which meant getting on after an hour while the queue was four hours long when we got off of it! The ride was a total favourite of mine but sadly due to the queues I only got to ride it once.

I also went away for a few days with my boyfriend and his family doing lots of swimming, biking, badminton and other sporty things which was really nice. During July I took part in Camp NaNoWriMo, completing a 10,000 word count despite not finishing the story so hopefully I will be able to keep working on that because I just think it is really fun to do little creative projects like that. This time my novel is a fantasy following a girl who lives on a dying planet upon which a war rages between magic and science. I don’t really like my writing, I know how I want it to sound but I can never seem to get it how I want it to be which is why nobody has ever read anything I’ve written for NaNo. The point for me though is that it’s fun and I like having projects like that to focus on.

Anyway, I think that is it for my updates so I’ll catch you in a couple days with a new post. See you then!