All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

September Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 21
Fiction: 20
Non-Fiction: 1
Library Books: 3
Books On My TBR List: 3
Books in a Series: 10
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 9
Male/Female Authors: 6/15
Kindle Books: 4
Books I Owned or Bought: 8
Favourite Book(s): Once, Then After by Morris Gleitzman, The Long Call by Ann Cleeves.
Least Favourite Books: Sarong Party Girls by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 8

Well September was a good month! I actually equalled my best tally for the year, hitting 21books (which I only did once previously, in January) and there were plenty of days I didn’t read. I tried to really prioritise some reading in September to get some stuff done and stop my Goodreads challenge from chiding me. It was a good solid reading month – the total is buoyed a little by the fact that I’ve been reading a middle grade series with my son and I can literally read one of those books in about 50m. So on days when I didn’t think I’d have too much time to read, I’d pick up one of those and know I could get it done in a small window. It is a bonus that it’s just a really interesting series.

I read a lot of really good books last month, some solid 4-star reads and a couple of 5-stars. I also got through all of my September reading ARCs although I didn’t get time to squeeze in The Chain by Adrian McKinty so that rolls over to this month. The books poured in for October and as a result, this month’s pile…..it’s a big one.

As well as making my way through this pile, I will hopefully be continuing with The Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley (I’m up to book #4), continuing the middle grade series by Morris Gleitzman (up to #5 there) and there’s books I purchased within the month of September that I’m quite looking forward to as well. I bought a boxset of the Shadow & Bone trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. I read the first book about 5-6 years ago and then never finished the trilogy so I’m going to hopefully re-read the first book in October. I also picked up Favel Parrett’s new novel There Was Still LoveWe Hunt The Flame by Hafsah Faizal, I Am Change by Suzy Zail and Scrublands by Chris Hammer so October is going to be busy! I have no plans for October, we aren’t going away or doing anything – my kids start Term 4 of school next week and we are on the home stretch to the end of the year. Soon they will be prepping their final portfolio pieces and and finding out their classes next year.

In terms of the two challenges I am doing this year, the Australian Women Writers Challenge and the Reading Women Podcast Challenge…..with 3 months to go in the year, I have completed 63/80 books for the Australian Women Writers Challenge and 20/26 books for the Reading Podcast Challenge. There are 5 potential AWWC books on my October reading list here plus the Favel Parrett I plan to read. The RWPC is getting a little trickier as I am down to some prompts that are challenging and it’s getting a bit harder to slot books I have available into categories, or source them. I need to trawl the recommendations threads again, hopefully I can find a couple!

Hope you all had a wonderful reading September and if you’re on holidays right now, that you’re enjoying them! If you’ve read anything from my October TBR pile, do let me know in the comments.

 

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Top 10 Tuesday 30th July

Welcome back to another instalment of Top 10 Tuesday, hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. Today is a freebie topic where we can do anything we want. So I decided to go with –

Top 10 Chunksters I Tell Myself I Haven’t Got Time To Read

Years ago, before book blogging, before ARCs and NetGalley were a thing, when I was a poor university student who couldn’t afford food some weeks, let alone books, I enjoyed a chunkster. The more pages, the better. The longer I spent reading it, the more I felt it was worth my investment in it. I read a large number of books up to 1000p. But I’ve noticed a lot these days that I’ll reach for the the smallest book in my pile. That sometimes it’s become about just getting numbers of books read, because I receive a lot for review, because I buy more, my TBR pile is huge and sometimes it makes me feel a bit guilty looking at it. So I read those 300p books because I can knock them over in a few hours and move onto the next one. And the big ones languish on my shelf unread because aint nobody got time for that right now. So I’m going to shame myself into hopefully reading some of these by creating this post, because I’m sure they’re all going to be amazing books, I just have to let go of the idea that I don’t have time for them. I do.

  1. Obsidio by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. 615p. loved the first two books in this series – and I read them for a challenge which I think really pushed me to finally read them (I was pretty late to the party). I bought this when it came out but I still haven’t actually read it yet. Part of it is the size but part of it is because I’m not sure I’m ready for what’s going to happen.
  2. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. 832p. I bought this when it won the Man Booker. I have this love hate relationship with prize winners. I want to like them but I so rarely do. Anyway, this is huge…..I actually picked it up one day, read the first page and went ‘haha, nope’ and put it away again. But I’m determined to get to it one day, to tackle these books that intimidate me.
  3. The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. 673p. I have a beautiful hard cover version of this book that I actually picked up in a second hand bookstore about four years ago now. It’s so pretty to look at and I’ve read several other Kate Morton books and I absolutely adore them. She writes such beautifully evocative books, with rich settings and generally quite large cast of characters. I have 2 books of hers I haven’t read yet (and there’s many more I haven’t read and don’t own) and I just need to incorporate them into my challenges so they get my attention!
  4. War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy. 1456p. Okay so I’ve read relatively little Russian literature in my life, but what I’ve read, I’ve enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would. Particularly Anna Karenina. It’s always been my plan to also read this absolute monstrosity and I know there are challenges that run every year that revolve around reading a chapter a day or something. This is on my ‘reading bucket list’ and it’s challenging and intimidating for a lot of reasons. But I still want to do it!
  5. The Seven Sisters The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley. 628 688p. I was sent a copy of the second book for review and then shortly after, the first was free on one of the eBook platforms so I snatched it up. They’re now up to book 5 or so of these 7, so I’m way behind but I’ve heard some really good things about this series and it seems right up my alley with elements of romance and mystery and perhaps a bit of interwoven historical? But because there’s quite a few now, this becomes an even larger investment, time-wise!
  6. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. 720p. I bought this one forever ago now. I’ve heard amazing things about it but people also seem to find it somewhat psychologically traumatising as well, which makes me nervous. Books like that I need to be in the mood for, so not only is it intimidatingly large but it’s also potentially a difficult read emotionally. I want to conquer it though!
  7. Kingdom Of Ash by Sarah J. Maas. 984p. I want to read this, I just have to keep plowing through Tower Of Dawn first because I’m still yet to finish that thing. It’s also large enough to be included on this list but I have actually started it. I made the mistake of reading about 200p just before we moved house. Then we moved and I never picked it up again. I wish I’d just gotten it out of the way.
  8. Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver. 600p. Okay, interesting thing – I have never read a Barbara Kingsolver novel. We own maybe a half dozen and all have been on my ‘really must read these and soon!’ pile for years. Especially The Poisonwood Bible. But yet, I’ve never actually got around to picking any of them up. It’s a travesty.
  9. The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett. 973p. I own a bind-up of the first 2 books (in eBook form, so it’s only 2000p electronically, which is a lot less intimidating than a print copy!) but I’ve never read this series, or even this author actually. They seem quite universally enjoyed and actually I’m not sure how I didn’t read these during my ‘bigger is better’ reading period!
  10. Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton. 635p. I really like Hillary Clinton and I thought What Happened was excellent. It really made me want to read her other books. I am sure she has a team of people helping her, but the voice in that book was really engaging and frank and actually made me like her even more than before. She has this book and also one from being First Lady I think, and I’d like to read them both at some stage. I own this one but not Living History yet. Also interestingly, there are so many books on Goodreads about Hillary Clinton that spell her name wrong. I know this because I accidentally spelled it wrong looking up the third book and ended up with nothing by her in the search but a bunch of books on her. How do you write and publish a book about someone and then spell their name wrong in the title? I find it interesting that she’s such a divisive figure – the people that hate her, really hate her and she seems far more controversial than even someone like Donald Trump. I have a lot of thoughts on this but probably best not to get into them in this post!

These are just some of the big chunky books I have on my shelves, demanding my attention. There are many others, over 500p making up the TBR pile! These are just the ones that I really feel like I should be making time for, to stop telling myself, hey you don’t have time to read them, you could read 2-3 books in the time it takes you to read that one book. It shouldn’t be about the numbers of books I can get read, but the sort of books I want to read. I try to keep telling myself that, but sometimes I succumb to the pressure.

I’d be interested to know if I’m alone here or if others feel the same way. Let me know!

 

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Top 10 Tuesday July 16th

Welcome back to another edition of Top 10 Tuesday! Originally created and hosted by The Broke & the Bookish, Top 10 Tuesday now resides with Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. It features a different literary topic each week and this time we are talking………

Top 10 Autobuy Authors

I think this is going to be quite difficult because I buy a lot of books and I have a lot of authors that I consider it a must to own everything they produce. But I’ll see if I can narrow it down to my top 10 of the moment.

  1. Melina Marchetta. This one is a no brainer for me. I’ve been reading Melina Marchetta for decades. I think I read Looking For Alibrandi when I was still in school 20+ years ago. Since then she’s released a plethora of books, including more YA fiction like Saving Francesca as well as revisiting those SF characters as adults in The Piper’s Son and The Place On Dalhousie. She’s also written a fantasy trilogy as well as an adult crime novel. And On The Jellicoe Road is one of my favourite books of all time.
  2. Sally Hepworth. I’ve read all of Sally’s books except one. I own it, I just can’t bring myself to read it yet, it deals with a topic I am going to have to steel myself for. I love her take on domestic fiction and the way that she examines all types of relationships. Her books are readable as heck.
  3. Sarah J. Maas. Pure entertainment and escapism. I’ve always found the first in each series not the best but I end up fully invested by the time I’ve finished the second book. These have heaps of criticism and I can understand where some of that comes from but to be honest, I just enjoy reading them. They are addictive like sugar……good as a treat but I wouldn’t want a diet of just them.
  4. Jane Harper. Jane has written 3 books now – 2 in a series featuring a fraud detective (the first of which is now being made into a movie with Eric Bana in the lead role) and a third stand-alone novel surrounding a death in far outback QLD. Every one of them is intricate and interesting, especially The Lost Man, which is her 3rd book and the stand alone one. I cannot wait to see what she releases next.
  5. Mhairi McFarlane. I’ve read all her books and although I haven’t loved all of them with the fire of a thousand suns, the ones that I have loved are enough to make sure that I keep buying her books because I know how much they can tick my boxes.
  6. Jenn Bennett. Her last 2-3 books have definitely put her on my autobuy list.
  7. Danielle Hawkins. A New Zealand author who writes rural romance, I’m 4/4 loving her books.
  8. Nicola Moriarty. My personal favourite of the Moriarty writing trio of Liane, Jaclyn and Nicola. I love all her books and the last few especially have been really, really good.
  9. “Robert Galbraith”. Fun fact: I actually have only read the first Harry Potter book and never went on with the series. So my experience with JK Rowling is her writing as Robert Galbraith and the Cormoran Strike series, which I really, really enjoy. I’m so keen for the next book after the events of the fourth book, Lethal White.
  10. Susanna Kearsley. Dual timeline epic romances rich with historical detail. And sometimes, fun things like telepathy. I have really liked all her books and most of them have firm places on my faves shelf.

And for fun – potential future autobuy authors that so far have only had 1-2 releases: Gail Honeyman, Christian White, Delia Owens, Dervla McTiernan, Beth O’Leary, Sally Thorne, Michelle Obama & Helen Hoang. All could easily make it onto this same list a year or 2 into the future!

Do we have any in common? Let me know in the comments!

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May Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 19
Fiction: 16
Non-Fiction: 3
Library Books: 0
Books On My TBR List: 4
Books in a Series: 4
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 8
Male/Female Authors: 5/14
Kindle Books: 2
Books I Owned or Bought: 7
Favourite Book(s): The Island Of Sea Women by Lisa See
Least Favourite Books: 
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 6

May was a really solid reading month! A lot of really enjoyable books, not a huge amount of brilliant standouts but just really decent reads. I read 19 books but 3 of them were cookbooks. I own about a dozen cookbooks that I bought (or won), glanced at and then promptly ignored. So recently I’ve started going through them, trying to find a few new ‘staple’ dinners. I’m getting a little bored of the things I’ve been eating regularly for the last little while and I’m also trying to change up my eating habits a bit with less reliance on processed foods and including more fresh and from-scratch stuff. Also trying to eat a few more vegetarian meals as well. I have managed to find a few interesting looking meals to try (or to get my personal chef aka the husband to try). My eating habits are changing a lot, I’ve noticed. What I’m interested in eating is changing. I remember throughout my 20s, it was difficult to resist the lure of fast food and stuff like that. Well into my 30s, it couldn’t interest me any less. If I go out to eat, it’s to a local cafe – there are so many good ones! After all, we can’t buy houses anymore because we are a nation addicted to smashed avo.

If you remember May’s TBR, it was a relatively small pile but unfortunately, I didn’t finish it! I didn’t get to The Butterfly Room by Lucinda Riley and I can’t even blame the size of it because I did finally read Fire And Blood by George R.R. Martin to coincide with the Game of Thrones TV show finishing up. I quite enjoyed Fire And Blood although it’s not for casual fans. It’s written in the way of a non-fiction text within the world of A Song Of Ice And Fire, set a few hundred years before the events that start A Game Of Thrones. It’s very interesting but it’s also very dense in places too. I’m planning a lazy re-read of the books from ASoIaF at some stage and I just really hope he finishes the series. I want to see what his vision is for the conclusion.

This month……well, here’s the TBR pile:

It’s pretty big – however, I’ve actually already read five of these, given my pile was much smaller last month, which enabled me to get a bit of a head start on June. That’s the Lucinda Riley sitting there beside it, which I hope to fit in this month, given I have gotten that early jump! I’m excited for lots of these books, especially some great Australian female authors here, some of whom are my favourites! New Wendy James, Nicola Moriarty, Kayte Nunn and Sarah Barrie. I’ve read Armando Lucas Correa before so I’m quite looking forward to that. Recursion looks interesting too. Of the ones I’ve read – there’s some pretty good ones in there, reviews will be coming pretty soon for Love Song, The Cinema At Starlight Creek, A Good Enough Mother, Wildflower Ridge and Little Stones. I’m still quite behind on writing reviews, which is something I have on my priority list for the next week or two. I also plan to do a post on the cookbooks I’ve been reading at some stage and how I’m going to be changing how I eat a bit and hopefully maybe post some results, be they successes or failures, of dishes we’ve tried. I’m also going to be adding to the cookbook tally this month as I still have quite a few to choose from still on my shelf and I’m always looking out for new ones. I find cookbooks (and cooking shows) very soothing. Sometimes my husband and I talk about getting rid of Foxtel (our rip-off cable-equivalent provider) but two of the reasons we don’t are the live sports and the cooking channel.

I hope everyone had a great reading month of May! If you’ve read something from my June TBR pile then be sure to let me know in the comments.

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April Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 15
Fiction: 15
Non-Fiction: 0
Library Books: 0
Books On My TBR List: 6
Books in a Series: 5
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 6
Male/Female Authors: 14.5/0.5 (one book was co-written by a female/male pairing)
Kindle Books: 5
Books I Owned or Bought: 7
Favourite Book(s): The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth, The Place On Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta, Don’t You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane, Dear Banjo by Sasha Wasley and The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary.
Least Favourite Books: Didn’t rate anything below a 3/5 on Goodreads this month
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 8

I’m just going to take a minute to be freaked out that we are a third of the way through this year. It feels so weird to be saying that.

April was a bit of a mixed month. I didn’t get to read as much as I would’ve liked due to some circumstances beyond my control. I had to go interstate alone at the beginning of the month – first time I’ve been away from my kids for years and actually ended up being the longest time I’ve ever spent away from them (4 nights haha). It was both good and bad – I got to spend some time with my family, including my brother and my nieces, who I only really get to see maybe once a year and haven’t seen for ages, but it was for very sad reasons, the passing of my grandmother. Also my kids and I got a chance to miss each other, which we don’t often get to do and I think that feeling is kind of important too. I didn’t get a lot of reading done and actually one of the few books I did manage to read, I can’t count because it was a beta read.

The overall number might not have been as high as I’d like, but April was a good reading month! Lots of books that I really enjoyed. If I had to pick one, it would be The Place On Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta. I love this core group of friends she has created so much and I’ve read through them in year 11 of high school, their early 20s and now their mid 20s. They keep coming back to each other and I am here for it.

Challenge check in! I completed 8 books that qualify for challenges this month and all of them were for the Australian Women Writers Challenge, which is one of just two challenges that I am doing this year. The other is the Reading Women Podcast Challenge and oops, I have fallen down a bit there! I’ve completed 8/26 of the prompts so I need to make a bit more of an effort there. And for the Australian Women Writers Challenge I have read 32/80 books which has me well on track so far.

Here is my May TBR:

Not too overwhelming a pile, which should leave some room for other books too. I’m pretty excited about the Paige Toon – I read my first book by her last year and really loved it. I also am looking forward to The Beekeeper Of Aleppo which I think should be very interesting.

From my April TBR pile, I finished all of the books except one, so I may roll that unfinished one (The Island of Sea Women, by Lisa See) into this pile.

I am almost 10 reviews behind, so I really need to get to sorting that out!

I hope you all had a great reading month for April – if you’ve read something from my May TBR pile, drop me a comment and let me know if you enjoyed it!

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Top 10 Tuesday 16th April

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly bookish event created and hosted by The Broke & the Bookish and now hosted with Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. It features a different book-related theme each week and this week…..well, given we are still experiencing summer and temps of over 80 here in the Land Down Under, it’s a bit of a challenge. I’m not even sure I remember what rain is. But here we go……

Top 10 Rainy Day Reads!

  1. The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. To be honest, probably any Susanna Kearsley novel fits the bill here but this is the one I read first and it’s set in Scotland by the sea in the ruins of a castle and there’s plenty of stormy seas and Scottish weather. Doesn’t it rain 300 days of the year there or something?
  2. The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. These are some pretty solid reads, a good size to settle down with under a blanket on a rainy day. I think the idea of being stuck inside would contribute to the isolation of the settings (space station, spaceship) and they’re such engrossing reads that you’ll forget the weather is miserable.
  3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I actually hate this book – it bothers me a lot. But I can’t deny the atmosphere in it, with all sorts wandering around misty and rainy moors lamenting bad decisions and lost loves. If you can deal with a cast of people that make you want to murder them for being such self-involved and moronic twits who somehow all have combinations of the same three names, then you’ll probably dig this.
  4. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman. This is set on a remote island some distance off the coast of Australia (I think WA, but I can’t remember now) where a supply boat comes once a season and the weather is unforgiving for most of the year – the Roaring Forties, weather off Antarctica, the works. This is a movie now too, so you can curl up and watch that when you’re done with the book!
  5. The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. This is a reminder it can always be worse! It’s set in Leningrad/St Petersburg during WWII when the city is slowly starving and freezing to death. It’s a compelling love story and a really atmospheric portrayal of what it must’ve been like living in that city as war and famine slowly (and in some cases, not so slowly) encroached during a harsh winter.
  6. A Song Of Ice And Fire by George R.R. Martin. Like the Illuminae Files, these are some chunky-ass books and they’re just so engrossing that you can lose entire days reading them. Yeah, it’s frustrating that he hasn’t finished the series but what’s there is still really good. I live in hope *sigh*
  7. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Trilogy by Jenny Han. I actually did read the 2nd and 3rd of these in one day, in bed when it was raining. I’d already read the first one (and watched the Netflix film). These are just so sweet and feel good and wonderful that they’re the perfect way to pass a day tucked up inside.
  8. The Midnight Watch by David Dyer. Based on the story of the SS Californian, which is the ship that saw the distress flairs from the Titanic, but didn’t actually do anything. I really enjoyed this!
  9. The Seven Sisters Series by Lucinda Riley. I haven’t read these yet – I own a couple though and they’re on my list of things to get to, that mythical ‘one day’. But when I think about books for a rainy day, I think about chunky stories that keep me occupied for the entire day and I also really enjoy a good series’. These look like decent sizes and I’ve heard good things about them.
  10. Anything You Want. To be 100% honest, I don’t generally pick books for if I think they’ll be good on a rainy day, or good summer beach reads, or whatever. I just read whatever interests me at the time. So pick up anything that intrigues you on any day and sit back and enjoy it!

Happy Tuesday! Hope you find something that interests you, for whatever weather you’re having.

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March Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 14
Fiction: 13
Non-Fiction: 1
Library Books: 2
Books On My TBR List: 3
Books in a Series: 2
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 8
Male/Female Authors: 3/11
Kindle Books: 1
Books I Owned or Bought: 2
Favourite Book(s): Deadly Politics by LynDee Walker
Least Favourite Books: The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone by Felicity McLean
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 8

*dusts off blog*

So it’s been a while! This is my first post since the 14th of March! I am super behind with writing reviews and stuff like that. My parents arrived on the 18th of March for what was supposed to be a two week visit with us (they live interstate, about 14hrs drive away) but for unfortunate reasons, they had to leave early a little over halfway into their stay and rush home for a family emergency. My family also went away for a couple of days, to Phillip Island which has been on my Wishlist for soooo many years, so that adds up to basically not a lot of reading in the month of March. In fact I’m actually surprised the total was still 14 books. I thought I’d struggle to get to double figures. I must’ve got quite a lot done in the first half of the month.

I actually read every book on my March TBR, which almost never happens – including the monster The Priory Of The Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, which was nearly 900p and which I buddy read with Theresa Smith Writes. I think it’s been a while since I read something so huge!

Moving on to April! It’s been weird here, until the last couple of days or so, it’s still been very warm, temps in the high 20s and it didn’t feel like summer had left. Now it’s grey and overcast and feels more like winter than autumn but it’s not going to last – temps are back up into the high 20s by the end of the week. It’s good reading weather at the moment, I spent yesterday on the couch under a blanket with a book.

Here’s my April TBR:

Because I got done with my whole March pile pretty early, I’ve actually already read a couple of these, so reviews for A Life Of Her Own, The Gift Of Life and The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone will be up in the coming week or so.

Hope you all had a great reading month for March! If you’ve read anything from my April TBR let me know….or mention something you’re excited about reading this month.

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November Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 11*
Fiction: 10
Non-Fiction: 1
Library Books: 3
Books On My TBR List: 4
Books in a Series: 3
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 5
Male/Female Authors: 2/9 (I’ve counted a title written under a male pseudonym in my female tally)
Kindle Books: 1
Books I Owned or Bought: 4
Favourite Book(s): The Lost Man by Jane Harper, Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, The Summer Of Secrets by Barbara Hannay & Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore.
Least Favourite Books: Milkman by Anna Burns. Honestly it might be the worst title I’ve read all year.
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 0 – because this is the year of no challenges!

* – Goodreads counts one DNF title towards my tally, which makes this month’s effort 11 books but in reality I DNF’d it after 30 odd pages so it’s more like only 10 books read for the month.

So. November was an interesting month…..

In terms of reading, it was, I think, easily my worst in terms of numbers for 2018. I’m not quite sure why I struggled so much this month….or well I am, in some ways. Firstly, the first book I tried to read this month was the Man Booker winner, Milkman by Anna Burns. And wow, it’s the first book I’ve actually officially DNF’d this year. The way it was written – I just couldn’t get into it at all. And it gave me a bit of a hangover, I was really reluctant to pick something else up and the book I did finally choose wasn’t a good choice for me. I’m not sure if it’s heading towards that end of the year and getting fatigued, but I spent many more days not reading than actually reading this month. In fact I wiped out pretty much all my November TBR pile – I think I only read one of them. And I didn’t like it much. The rest of them…..when I investigated further, 3 of them were sequels or connected to other books, which I hadn’t read. And I decided instead to just find things that interested me. I read Lethal White by Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling, which had been one of my goals and it was sooo good. I might’ve only read 10 books this month, but 4 of them were 5-star reads for sure. I went to see Jane Harper at an event at the Sun Theatre in Yarraville, in Melbourne’s west, which was a fantastic event. Jane Harper is a star. Her two Aaron Falk books are great (the first one, The Dry is to be a movie with Eric Bana playing the lead, which is pretty impressive) but her third book, The Lost Man is fantastic. Absolutely brilliant.

I also picked up a couple of books that had been on my TBR pile for a long time – in the case of A Discovery Of Witches it’s been about 6 years! I also got around to finally reading Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore, the third in the Graceling trilogy. I’d read and loved the first two books last year and I’d started Bitterblue twice only to put it down after less than a dozen pages and move onto something else instead. But I picked it up and was finally able to give it the attention it deserved.

Given this month’s effort, my December pile is deliberately modest:

I’ve actually already read 2 of these but I still have reviews to write for them, hopefully both will be up later this week.

Last week I had the entire week off blogging – in fact I don’t even think I looked at my blog once. Sometimes I just need to take that little break and refresh myself a bit or the whole idea of sitting down and writing blog posts becomes a bit overwhelming. It worked really well and now hopefully I can finish out the year on a positive note!

Happy reading!

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October Reading Wrap Up

Total Books Read: 17
Fiction: 16
Non-Fiction: 1
Library Books: 3
Books On My TBR List: 2
Books in a Series: 0
Authors I’d Never Read Before: 15
Male/Female Authors: 3.5/13.5
Kindle Books: 1
Books I Owned or Bought: 1
Favourite Book(s): The Girl On The Page by John Purcell, Lost Without You by Rachael Johns.
Least Favourite Books: Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
Books That Qualify For Challenges: 0 – because this is the year of no challenges!

October was a solid reading month. It sort of feels like some of these books were a long time ago but at the same time, October just seem to fly by in the blink of an eye. I don’t like how fast this year is going, I feel as though it should still be about June but instead it’s 60 days until the end of the year.

I got through 17 books this month which would be close to what I would call my “average”. I only rated 2 books five stars with almost everything else getting a 3 or a 4 so it was a pretty decent month. I have been back into my local library, utilising it in order to complete my goal to read the Man Booker Shortlist and I read half of it in October. I’ve posted 2 reviews already with another to come tomorrow. They are sort of my “Friday specials” at the moment. I have two more books here from the list (including the winner) and I’m still waiting on the final one to come in.

You might notice I read only 1 eBook this month, which is quite unusual for me. However it’s probably going to be my highest total for a few months because in October my iPad died. Like, fully died. Just one day it was working perfectly fine and the next day it was giving me the dead battery screen, even though it had been plugged in all night. I gave it a hard reboot and it did start up with 100% battery but as soon as I put my code in, it died again. Dead battery screen. Repeat x a million. Now it won’t even hard boot. It’s four years old and has only had what I would describe as light to medium use. I mainly use it for reading at night or watching stuff in bed for an hour or two. I do have a kindle somewhere but it’s 8 years old (it does still actually work though, so credit to it for that I guess) and it’s super slow and I find it hinders my natural reading speed which is a bit annoying. I don’t think I’ll be using it much. I do intend to replace the iPad, just not right away. Have got Xmas and stuff to get through first and I’m still undecided about what model I want to get. I suppose it’s all going to depend on how much I actually want to spend. Sigh.

Onto November. I’m not sure if it’s the time of year or whatever, but my pile is undeniably little (for me) this month. These are my books for review:

One of these (the bottom one) is a series book and I don’t really like reading a book in a series if I’ve not read the others. I’ve got it in the pile but I’ll just see how I go. I’m not sure if it’s the sort of series where they work okay as stand alone or if lots of things build over each instalment. Hopefully the small pile will give me some time to finish these:

These are some chunky books. I’ve had Tower Of Dawn since it was released and I did start it way back in May before we moved house. I only got 140p in though because I find Chaol really annoying and this entire book basically revolves around him and his pity party of one. I do want to read it before Kingdom Of Ash though. And I want to get to Lethal White to find out what Cormoran and Robin are up to now that she’s {redacted}.

So I expect November to have a low-ish total for books read but hopefully I’ve finally managed to get through some of these books that I’ve had and wanted to read and haven’t been able to squeeze in. Until now!

Happy reading!

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Top 10 Tuesday 9th October

Welcome back to another edition of Top 10 Tuesday! Originally created and hosted by The Broke & the Bookish, Top 10 Tuesday now has a new home with Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. Featuring a different bookish related theme each week, this week we are talking…..

Top 10 Longest Books I’ve Ever Read

For the purposes of this, I’m only going to include individual books – not bind ups (such as the LotR series in 1 volume or the box set of the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, which Goodreads lists as the longest book I’ve ever read!). I’m also going to include the books from A Song Of Ice & Fire as one entry otherwise they’d be basically half this entire list. I’m also relying on Goodreads’ page count to be accurate, because I’m not hunting down all these books to check!

  1. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. My version is apparently 1232p – actually it’s a beautiful version. One of those clothbound hardbacks, they’re all so gorgeous. I read this a few years ago in a read-a-long with another blogger friend and I was surprised just how much I enjoyed it. There’s no denying that it is indeed, quite wordy and Hugo loves a tangent to be sure. But it’s quite a good read.
  2. A Song Of Ice & Fire: A Game Of Thrones, A Clash Of Kings, A Storm Of Swords, A Feast For Crows & A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin. These range from 837p (A Game Of Thrones) to 1184p (A Dance With Dragons) so that puts Dance as my second longest book. It’s actually my least favourite of the series – bit long and rambly and contains several of my least favourite plots, whereas 4 is a much better book. But the series as a whole – still fabulous. Hurry up and bloody finish it George.
  3. The Red Queen by Isobelle Carmody. The final book in the Obernewtyn series if you’re in Australia. I get heaps of people telling me it’s not the last one, but they’re American and the series is numbered differently over there as they kept splitting the big books in two. The Red Queen is a pretty whopping 1120p. And so concludes one of my favourite ever series’ and definitely the series I spent the longest amount of time reading.
  4. Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell. I was 12 when I read this and you know, I’m not sure I’ve ever re-read it. I’ve seen the movie a few times though, most recently a couple of years ago. It’s just a book that has never really left me although I should re-read it and see if it holds up to how 12yo me felt. Actually I remember that when I was 12, Rhett Butler didn’t interest me much. However when I re-watched the movie a few years ago, 30-something me was super into Rhett!
  5. Riders by Jilly Cooper. 919p. Haha, The Rutshire Chronicles. I was obsessed with these in the 90s. All that sex and horse racing! Jilly Cooper does know how to write a terrific bonkbuster. It’s been a while since I read some of these but this one, Rivals, The Man Who Made Husband’s Jealous, Appassionata, Score, Pandora etc were such good fun.
  6. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. 850p. Look, to be honest, the less said on this one the better. I wasn’t a huge fan and I know I’m in the minority but I had a lot of issues with this book and I don’t like Jamie. There, I said it!
  7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. 837p. Another surprisingly enjoyable read! I actually was expecting this to be a bit of a slog but it was really good. Tolstoy is prone to the odd tangent, much like Hugo but the storyline was very compelling. Weirdly like the week before I read this, I read a book that spoiled the ending for me!
  8. The Passage by Justin Cronin. 766p. Seeing this here just reminds me that I am still yet to read City Of Mirrors despite buying it when it came out a couple of years ago. Also I saw Justin Cronin at the Melbourne Writers Festival and he is hilarious.
  9. Temple by Matthew Reilly. 763p. Hmm, I think this is the one set in Peru. Matthew Reilly books are all very very fast paced with a lot of action and things that are exploding. Think of the movie you’ve seen with the most explosions and then make about 200 more things explode and you’re probably getting close.
  10. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer. 756p. Really? Okay, I didn’t realise this book was that big. *shrug* I’ve only read it once and it was…..weird. I didn’t actually mind some of these when I read them. I could see the issues, but they were strangely compelling and are probably the books that actually got me reading YA again but this one…….yeah, it’s quite weird. Even when I was enjoying the rest of them, I thought this one in particular was badly written, plotted and full of terrible ideas. Also…. Renesmee will never not be the worst thing ever. The end.

So there’s my top 10 longest books read, ignoring bind ups and box-sets. There was a time when I sought out the biggest chunksters I could find, wanting bang for my buck. Now with a lot of books to get through, sometimes I’ll actually deliberately avoid something that’s ginormous! But there’s nothing like sinking into a big, meaty story and knowing that you can live in that world for a long time!

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