Friday, 21 December 2018

Books I took to Iceland!

I took a trip to Iceland after stressful couple months of revising for some pretty important exams (which I recently found out I passed!). I was sure I was going to get a lot of relaxing and reading done, but my body had other ideas and decided it was time to get poorly. C'est la vie! I took some great books though...



Dominion by Jennifer Ridyard & John Connolly*
I did it! I finally read this gosh darn book and it was as fantastic as I knew it would be. I shut it and was immediately overtaken with a bone-deep need for more that I know will never come. Heartbreaking! But a true YA masterpiece.

Magisterium: The Iron Trial*, The Copper Gauntlet*, The Bronze KeyThe Silver Mask and The Golden Tower by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
I originally planned to take these, then changed my mind. But, as always happens, I ignored my own plans. Two minutes before walking out the door to catch my flight and you could find me shoving these into my, until then, reasonably full backpack. I did get around to starting my re-read of this series though so I don't feel too bad.

Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner*
I've been looking into reading more female-written fantasy after some big disappointments from male writers and Ellen Kushner is one of the heavy-hitters. This was first released in 1986 and then rereleased in 2016 and I really want to get to it soon. But new fantasy worlds are not a friend when you're not feeling well!

Weight by Jeanette Winterson*
One of the books I need to read for my next term of university is a Jeanette Winterson so in true Imogen-fashion, I didn't bring that, but brought another one of her books. This is a retelling of theAtlas story and my mum actually nabbed it off me on this trip and loved it.

A Hero Born by Jin Yong*
Everyone and their mother seems to rave about these books. There have been unofficial translations for years and I was super stoked when I heard of the official translations finally being put out. Again, new fantasy worlds are not for reading when you're poorly but I'm desperate to start this soon.

The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams*
I loved The Ninth Rain so much. So much! But I decided after a couple chapters to leave this to next year when the third and final book in the trilogy is coming out. I don't have the best memory so I'm thinking a good 1000+ page binge of the end of this series is for the best. I can't wait.

Have you read any of these?

Friday, 7 December 2018

Written by the Elves!

Santas Elves spend their year making the presents for all the good girls and boys, but what about the very good girls and boys? Could they, perhaps, request that the elves whose toy production has been outsourced to factories all over the world, write a book personalised to the receiver. So, here are the elements that would feature in my dream book...



Urban Fantasy and Cosy Crime
These are my absolute favourite genres and I'd love to see them mixed together to make a cosy crime investigation in an urban fantasy world. I'm thinking a spree of vampire murders or werewolf bank heists solved by a main character that knits or volunteers at her local library. Heck, maybe she stumbles upon a skull while picking herbs for her witchy tinctures.

Remote Locations
Give me a small town in the middle of nowhere and I'm happy. Cosy crime needs a little bit of distance from big city policing and areas where everyone knows everyone are both claustrophobic and comforting.

Radio Hosts/ Pawn Shop Owners/ Motel Staff
There are some professions that I'm always interested in reading for some reason. I don't know if it's the influence of Frasier as a child but radio hosts are a must. Whereas pawn shop owners and small time motel staff probably have the most interesting stories from interacting with a random selection of the public that they rarely see again.

LGBTQ+ Romances
Sometimes I just want a cute lil romance with queer characters without having to read homophobia or transphobia. There's enough of that in real life. Give me a chill relationship development that isn't the focus of the story, but is treated like all the Hallmark-style straight romances.

What would your ideal book be?


Thursday, 6 December 2018

Books I Want to Buy and Why #15: 2019 Releases!

2019 is lining up to be a great year in book releases with a couple debuts, some final books in series and more that I can't wait to get my little paws on. I've read all the 2018 releases I was interested in, and ended up being released. These posts seem to be my good luck charm when it comes to follow-through. So, in order of release date...



The Coldest Blood by J.S. Law
This is the final in the Lieutenant Danielle Lewis trilogy that started with Tenacity (now called The Dark Beneath) which I loved. I didn't like the second book, The Fear Within, as much. But I have high hopes for the final book and I'm really excited to find out how the story ends.
Release date: 24th January

A Bond Undone by Jin Yong
I'll admit, I haven't got very far into the first book in this series; A Hero Born, but the little bit I have read and the fame of this series has me convinced I will enjoy it enough to want the second book. They're releasing one book a year of this twelve book series as they translate which is torturous though, I'll be 36 by the conclusion!
Release date: 24th January

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
I went to a publishing event in Summer and was absolutely in love with how Candice Carty-Williams described Queenie. It sounds absolutely fantastic, and different from what I generally read since I'm not much of a contemporary person unless there's been a murder.
Release date: 11th April

Six Tudor Queens: Anna of Kleve, Queen of Secrets by Alison Weir
Y'all know I adore this series and have done since the first book! I'm so so excited about the Anna of Kleve instalment as she's one of the few who went on after Henry VIII to live- and live a life that I know almost nothing about.
Release date: 2nd May

The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver
Jeffery Deaver is my favourite crime writer. And finding out that he was starting a new series with a new main character? I need it. He's a 'reward-seeker', rather than a detective and it focuses in on the video-gaming industry. The whole thing just sounds like it's going to be a good read.
Although I'd love another Kathryn Dance book...
Release date: 16th May

The Poison Song by Jen Williams
If there's one author whose work I fell in love with in 2018, it's Jen Williams. The Ninth Rain was incredible. The Poison Song is the final book in the Winnowing Flame trilogy and I'm waiting as long as I can to read the second book so that the wait isn't so terrible!
Release date: 16th May

These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
If there's a combination I've never been more interested in, it's witches and LGBTQ+ characters. This is a debut, part-mystery, part-romance, that I can't wait to get in my hands.
Release date: 28th May

Missing Person by Sarah Lotz
This was originally going to be released in March 2018 and I was really excited for it earlier this year. Almost 12 months hasn't dimmed that excitement, Sarah Lotz writes some great books like The Three and I'm looking forward to what she does next.
Release date: 25th July

What books are you looking forward to in 2019?


Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Audiobooks for the Sleigh!

Through the magic of Christmas cheer and children's wishes, Santa somehow delivers presents to all the good little boys and girls in one night (although Popular Science did some maths and we're looking at relativity clouds and six 'Santa months'). Personally, I love listening to audiobooks when I'm driving, or wrapping, or doing literally anything so these are my recommendations for Father Christmas himself to keep his night/months interesting.



Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle
Clocking in at almost 72 hours and read by Stephen Fry, I feel like this is a must for any long-haul journey. The stories are rarely predictable, plus, Santa is a bit of a detective himself! He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows if you've been bad or good. I feel like he'd appreciate a fellow investigators methods.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Since Santa is a bit of a pilot, and he has 16 hours to kill, I think he's really like Catch-22. I loved it. It's funny and amazingly plotted, I wanted to start it over as soon as I finished and Santa actually has the time!

It by Stephen King
At 44 hours long, if Santa decides to go a bit more contemporary, then It is a good pick. It'll keep him awake from fear at the very least! I read it in August and I wish I had been in a sleigh, way above ground and away from any clowns when I read it. Although, I definitely wouldn't want to visit anyone's house after this and that is Santas main gig.

Something Fresh by P.G. Wodehouse
When the night starts winding down and Santa is ready for bed, nothing will help him relax more than the slow drama of a Wodehouse book. I started P.G. Wodehouse's Blandings Castle series back in January and have since listened to six because they're perfect for easy bedtime listening. Let a posh English accent lull him to sleep after the busiest night of the year!

What do you think Santa would listen to on the big night?


Tuesday, 4 December 2018

My Holiday Season TBR!

I don't tend to get a lot of reading done around the holiday season- it's busy! There's cleaning, cooking, decorating and general panicked shopping to be done while family is swarms the house. Plus, I'm a themed reader. I want my reads to have that vibe about how I generally feel about the holidays. I also don't want anything to dark and heavy since SAD is in full effect these days. So these are the few books that pass the test...



I recently read And Then There Were None and now I really want to get to Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie. I find that cosy crime is better for the colder months and more realistic crime are Summer holiday reads. Plus, I got this for Christmas last year so it's about time I get to it!

From my 18 books I wanted to read in 2018 list, there are a few left that I'd like to get around to as the year winds down. I have Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy and Mansfield Park by Jane Austen in audiobook format which is super convenient for making cleaning/ decorating/ wrapping much less boring.

I also have my two non-fiction picks; Coming Out Under Fire by Allan Bérubé and Please Take Me Home: The Story of the Rescue Cat by Clare Campbell. I don't think I'll get both finished because I read non-fiction very slowly but I've started both and should be able to get a good chunk read. They're fascinating!



And lastly, The Faber Book of Christmas is a gorgeous anthology I'll probably dip in and out of for a Christmassy boost when I need it. I love having a collection that I can read bits from in the quiet moments of the festivities.

What will you be reading this Holiday Season?

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Five Years of Imogen's Typewriter. 

This blog is now half a decade old. That's wild to me. I can't believe it's been so long since I sat down and typed in my little domain into Blogger. And four-hundred and twenty-three posts later, here we are. If my blog was a child, it would be going to school by now in a tiny little uniform!



The past year has been a strange one in regards to blogging, I know a lot of people feel lost on occasion and I've been struggling to fit in blogging with my degree work as that ramps up year-by-year. I love blogging though and I've written some posts I'm really proud of this year.

I've written full book reviews on Catch-22 by Joseph HellerAnne Boleyn: A King's Obsession by Alison WeirOblivion by Jennifer L. ArmentroutThe Haunting of Mount Cod by Nicky StrattonThe Ninth Rain by Jen Williams and Christmas with the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry. And mini reviews in my wrap-up posts!

I've been fostering kittens and cats throughout the year and started blogging about my experiences with The Kittens of Wildfell Hall and Slug & Hedgehog. These posts have been so much fun to write and I'm really hoping to catch up in my sixth year of blogging, since I'm adopting out my 20th cat today!

I'll be taking part in Bookending Winter this December so make sure to keep a lookout for that! I'm hosting from the 4th to the 7th and you can read all about it and the prompts here and here. There's even a Twitter. So I'm starting my sixth year of blogging on a good note.

Don't forget to check out my little blog birthday giveaway on Twitter! And thank you for reading!

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Books I Read in August and September!

I had a slow couple of reading months in August and September due to my exams and the general panic that surrounds revision! So I thought I'd combine the two into a much more pleasing pile o' books. Although I actually read 4/5 of these by listening to the audiobook- 2018 has definitely been the year of the audiobook for me...



It by Stephen King
I flew through this- well, as fast as you can fly though a 44 hour audiobook of a 1200+ page novel. In reality it was about ten days that It consumed me. Stephen King is a really complicated writer for me to pin down because at some times I was scared to death, literally hiding under my blankets and flinching at every sound... But at other times I was wondering how long there was left and when it was going to switch to a more interesting point of view. King writes amazing stories, but he never quite lands the ending for me. I definitely need to get around to my teenage favourite; Carrie, soon.
And yeah, about that scene? It made sense in the context of what was happening. Probably wouldn't get published now but, as Bill says; "-politics always change, stories never do."


Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
It's been three years since I read the first book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Although I also read it as a teen so this might be my third or fourth re-read. I listened to the audiobook which wasn't great, but I was feeling so nostalgic for this universe that at the time, it'd do! When I next decide to visit Bon Temps, I'll just pick up my physical copies.
"My mind scrabbled around like a squirrel trying to get out of a cage. It couldn't light on anything or be comfortable anywhere."


The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
During my exam season I was super super stressed and needed an audiobook that would be easy listening. The Hobbit was perfect for that. I've read it before, the narrator is so calming, and it's pretty short. I started reading it physically in 2015 and didn't enjoy it that much so I think audiobook is definitely the way to go with Tolkien!
“Go back?" he thought. "No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!"


The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
I'm writing a full review on this because I have a lot of feelings.


Empire by Jennifer Ridyard and John Connolly*
I did it! I finally re-read Empire after wanting to for two years. And it was just as good as I remembered it, I completely agree with my original review and had an absolute blast revisiting one of my favourite series.
No knowledge could really be described as useless; there was simply knowledge that could be applied, and knowledge that had not yet found its application.


What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of these?

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Fostering: Slug and Hedgehog!

After fostering Gilbert and Esther, I took a bit of a break from fostering as there wasn't any to take in for a while, and I was doing some travelling. However, a week before my birthday I got the best present- cats to look after! Enter these two who were a painfully shy mother and daughter duo that needed socialisation while we found the perfect home for them.



Initially, I called them Selina and Helena after Catwoman and The Huntress because I thought their markings looked like the masks that comic book heroes wear! But eventually that turned into Slug and Hedgehog because Slug looked like a slug with her sleek dark fur when she settled on your lap, and Hedgehog was always a little prickly.



Being younger, Slug was much easier to socialise and would eventually lay on my lap for hours. But Hedgehog didn't have such a drastic improvement. They weren't feral, they didn't attack and hadn't been brought in from an outside colony. They had just hadn't had the most interactive experience with humans which can be tough to 'fix' after they hit that 6 month mark. She had a habit of pulling the blanket that I keep on my desk chair, onto the ground in a heap and burrowing into it.



In the end, they were adopted together, a little over a month after I first got them. I got to drop them off at their new home, with their new human who was in love with them the minute they arrived and was prepared to be patient when it came to interaction. After Gilbert and Esther ending up in an adoption centre for weeks, which gave me a lot of anxiety even though Cats Protection adoption centres are wonderful, it was a great experience to take these two to their new home and say goodbye!

And five days later I had my next three fosters! But I'll leave that for another post.

Have you ever seen such beautiful cats in your life? 

Monday, 5 November 2018

Book Review: Christmas with the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry!

The 'Saga' genre isn't featured very much in my reading, despite the appeal of the covers with their pretty distinctive style and quantity of them at my local library. So, when I was offered a book in the genre that also focused on two of my big interests in fiction; Christmas and WWII, I was ready to read Christmas with the East End Angels*!



It's the most wonderful time of the year - and the East End Angels are working hard to keep Londoners safe.

Frankie is trying hard to keep everything together. She can count on the support of the East End Angels, even in the face of family trouble.
Winnie's beloved husband, Mac, is putting himself at risk every day in the bomb disposal unit and she's finding it hard while he's away.
Bella is growing in confidence and happiness. Her friendship with Winnie's brother, James, is getting closer all the time.

Christmas on the Home Front is a hard time with loved ones far away - but the women of the Auxiliary Ambulance service are making do and mending.

The books I lean towards are very suspenseful and action-packed so this was a change. It focuses on London post-Blitz and feels very calm and away from the action of war, despite their readiness! With this came a focus on character and feeling that, despite not reading the previous two books in the series, meant that I was emotionally invested. It was so relatable that I felt their grief and even found myself getting a little teary eyed!

It was also quite cheesy. It's definitely part of the charm of this genre but the dialogue isn't always super realistic with everyone saying every little positive thing they think out loud. There are lots of declarations about doing what they need to do for the war and keeping calm and carrying on!

This is balanced out by the amount of research and background knowledge that Rosie Hendry obviously has on the time period. It isn't overdone as some historical fiction is, where the authors are trying to shove every bit of information they have in. Hendry writes like people living at the time with her characters revealing interesting tidbits: like the lack of rationing on sprouts!, in a realistic way that I really appreciated.

Since it is Christmas of the East End Angels, the book covers two Christmases and the year in between. This is a nice way to ease you into the season since I know not everyone is as keen as I am to get their decorations up as soon as the last trick-or-treater has taken their candy. Personally, I would've preferred a bit more of a festive vibe, but I have been singing carols since September so I'm not sure I can be trusted...

Are you a fan of the Saga genre? Have you started reading your Christmas themed books yet?

Monday, 29 October 2018

Books I Read in July!

Think back to July. It was blazing hot. Every corner shop was running out of ice, air conditioners were sold out on Amazon, Twitter was aflush with gifs of things melting, and I was reading these books. Now I look out the window and it's raining, so it's about time I post this, huh?!



Kitty Rocks the House by Carrie Vaughn
Something I really appreciate about this series is how often the characters talks out their problems rather than resorting to violence, especially for a bunch of werewolves and vampires. Urban fantasy can get super violent but Vaughn has a level-headed main character that can be in some tough situations without spilling blood.
One thing I will say about this, and the last Kitty Norville book that I read in June, is that the writing has got a little boring. I didn't find a single quote in either that stuck out to me as beautiful or powerful and that's kind of disappointing to me. I haven't picked up the next book yet but hopefully this series can get back to when my books were covered in sticky notes.


Full Moon by P.G. Wodehouse
I love these books and the antics of various characters. However, this one took a bit of a turn. I've never been so uncomfortable reading a book, I literally cringed. It wasn't violence, smut or slurs but a character Veronica refusing to give up an accidental switch-up present. Much like a five-year-old throwing a tantrum but it's a grown woman and my soul left my body listening to the audiobook.
The rest was wonderful though, and this series is so nice to stick on while cleaning or trying to sleep.
"I wouldn't say a word against Aunt Dora, so I won't call her England's leading snob."


A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
I've had this on my TBR for a couple of years and was really excited when I finally picked it up because this felt like my dream urban fantasy for about a third of the book.  I loved the main character, Diana, who is a professor, because she spent a lot of time in libraries and doing research things- I just really enjoy reading about this stuff!
Then it veered off on a strange path. Soon after meeting the handsome vampire, her personality disappears. Instead replaced by a lot of talk of obeying and protecting her, plus some literal kidnapping. I'm tired of vampires who don't understand that breaking into a woman's bedroom is creepy and I'm tired of Stockholm Syndrome-style romances.
I really enjoy the Urban Fantasy genre but I demand a heroine that actually has some common sense.


What did you read in July?

Saturday, 20 October 2018

My Hallowreadathon 5 TBR!

It's getting close to the best day of the year: Halloween! I still need to stock up on chocolate but considering we didn't get any trick-or-treaters last year and I have an assignment due on the second day of my own dang readathon... it's mostly for me. You can learn more about the Hallowreadathon and the challenges here, and here's the pile of books I'll be picking from!



So what are my choices for the challenges?



1. Read a book with a Magic World!
Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell was a big part of my childhood and I find the world so lovely and, dare I say, magical that I had to add it to the list.
I'm currently re-reading the Magisterium series and will hopefully be up to the fifth and final book: The Golden Tower by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare by Halloween!
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine is an almost complete mystery to me beyond the fact that I really enjoy Rachel Caine, this is a fantasy series with a book/ library theme and it's currently £1 on Amazon. I had to!



2. Read a book with Green on the cover!
Finding books with green on the cover is surprisingly hard! You'd think with grass, and trees, and just the fact that it's the best colour (totally not bias) that there'd be a lot more green covers. But what did I manage to find?
A Christmas Return by Anne Perry* dropped through my letterbox and it has so many things going for it: it's short, it's very green and the readathon lasts until the day after Halloween = Christmas.
Bodacious: The Shepherd Cat by Suzanna Crampton* has to be on the list because not only is grass green, but this kitty has the prettiest green eyes! Curling up with whatever foster cat I'll have at the time and reading about cats seems like spoopy goals.
Persuasion by Jane Austen is also on the list because I'm a huge audiobook fan and since the audiobook is 9 hours, I can totally do that in one day! Plus, I've been in a real Austen mood lately.

Are you joining the readathon? What are your picks for the challenges?

Sunday, 16 September 2018

#Hallowreadathon 5!

It's that time of year again!



I'm going to be hosting my annual halloween readathon again this year! It'll run from the 31st of October to the 1st of November and it's a pretty chill readathon. There's no sprints, no failure, just a couple people spending halloween with their nose in a book or two! The challenges, just to spice up your TBR, are:

1. Read a book with a magic world!
From Hogwarts to Narnia, Middle Earth to the Magisterium, this Halloween I'm going to be picking up a book that'll take me into a world where magic exists and away from the reality of trick-or-treaters making my chocolate supply dwindle!

2. Read a book with Green on the cover!
I actually picked this years colour before dying my hair bright green but if you can't tell- green is my favourite colour, and I'm excited to get some of my green covered books down from my shelf!

3. Read two books!
I believe in us! We can do this.

As for the giveaways! You can enter to win the Hallowreadathon Prep box, with two books fitting the readathon challenges and everything you need for two days of spooky reading, by going to this tweet and RTing!
And anyone who uses the #Hallowreadathon hashtag during the readathon will be automatically entered into a random draw for a Christmassy themed box of goodies that will be picked when the readathon ends!

Will you be joining the Hallowreadathon?

Friday, 14 September 2018

Book Unhaul #5

This unhaul has a theme of just questionable content. Not only do I not want these books on my shelf, I feel weird about taking them to the charity shop where I normally unhaul books. While everybody has the right to read what they want and I believe that no book is for everyone and people have different experiences with reading, these books are where I struggle with that.



Marked, Betrayed, Chosen, Untamed, Hunted, Tempted and Destined by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast
Oh boy. I read at least a few of these as a teen, and way back in 2014 I actually hauled one of these! But in June I decided to get the audiobook of Marked from my library and ended up listening to the whole thing (in 2.5x speed) with a grimace on my face. I went into it in my June wrap-up but I have no interest in reading these.

Mercury Striking by Rebecca Zanetti*
I was pretty excited about this because a post-apocalyptic romance? Heck yes! However, the fact that sexual assault is sandwiched between repeated claims that nothing will happen without the main character's consent and some other bogus gaslighting just made me close this book with no intention of picking it up again.

How to be a Woman and How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
I'm a Feminist, and I like reading about Feminism and I know other feminists who have read and enjoyed these books. But I have trouble with feminism that includes ableism, transphobia, xenophobia, or the exclusion of POC. I just have no intention of spending my time reading them when my TBR is at 432.

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

Friday, 7 September 2018

Books I Read in June!

June was such a strange reading month. I'm still catching up on my reading wrap-ups and looking at this pile of books three months later, most of my thoughts are how there was no pattern to my reading in June. After May I was determined to not hate-read, but I did that again! As well as continuing two series and starting another!



Marked by P.C. and Kristen Cast
I truly believe that all books that I don't like, have an audience that I'm not a part of and that's fine. I liked this book as a teen and it has an unbelievable sales record. But here's the thing, everything you don't want a teenage girl thinking is in that book: Racism, fat-shaming, joking about eating disorders, homophobia, slurs (everyone is called a r*tard or a f*g), weird references to "ancient Cherokee magic", Slut-shaming. And just the oddest comments on sex. I had to pause and read aloud to several friends, the paragraph about "the blow job issue", where the MC tells us that: "those of us with functioning brains that it is not cool to be used like that"... I have no idea how to even start to unpack that.
I don't think a book has to have a likeable MC, or even an unproblematic MC, but damn. I wouldn't want a teenage girl reading this. I feel bad for past!Imogen for reading this and thinking badly about herself and others because of the narrative.
Spoiler Alert for my next unhaul: all the books I own from this series.


Kitty Steals the Show by Carrie Vaughn
It's been two years since I last read a Kitty Norville book but returning to this series felt like coming home, especially since this one was set in London! I love this world and these characters so much. 
It is different from past books, with the different setting meaning little interaction with the pack and the radio show that I love so much, but I liked the change- there's 9 previous books chocked full of that. Seeing Kitty gain status through the radio show, enough to be invited to a conference of  paranormal studies, shows the world adapting to the news that werewolves and vampires are real. And I'm always interested in that kind of thing.
✮✮

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
After reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in May, I thought I was going to love this entire series but this is such an odd sequel. I enjoyed the book just fine when I was listening to the audiobook, although Martin Freeman isn't as good as Stephen Fry when it comes to narrating. But by the end I couldn't tell you what happened in those eight hours!


The Haunting of Mount Cod by Nicky Stratton
You can find my full review for this here!


What have you been reading lately?

Friday, 31 August 2018

5 Books I Want to Re-Read!

I'm not a re-reader. I was when I was a kid and it used to irritate everyone that I would read the same ten books on rotation. But now, I guess I'm just more aware that new books are coming out every week! So in the last four years of book blogging, I've re-read a bunch of books from my childhood but only five books have been read twice within that time. So I thought I'd make a list of the five books I want to re-read next!



Lolita by Vladamir Nabokov
I read Lolita in April of last year, it was even one of my favourite books of 2017, and I've had a review in my drafts since then. But I've never finished it, because along with reading a book this challenging is that a lot of my views were challenged- like how books can be about bad people and still be good books, and that a book with a 'problematic' main character can have value. So I'd like to re-read it, and think more about my opinions before I talk about them.
Plus, the language is beautiful and I want to experience Nabakovs mastery of the English language again.

Real Murders by Charlaine Harris
I really want to re-read the Aurora Teagarden series since I get desperately nostalgic for the world for days at a time. However, even though they're short, 10 books is quite an undertaking! There's a new Charlaine Harris book coming out in October (An Easy Death) but when I'm back in a Charlaine Harris drought, I'm going back to Lawrenceton, Georgia!

Empire by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard*
I bet if I collected up all the time I've spent talking about wanting to re-read this book on my blog, I could've actually re-read it! I loved Empire but I have that eternal fear of ending a series you love. I know, I know, I need to just bite the bullet. I've just invest in the audiobook so I'll hopefully get to this soon!

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
As soon as I finished this, I wanted to start it again. Finishing up the review in February has only increased this need to read Catch-22 knowing exactly how the structure works and how everything is interwoven. Then, maybe, I'll get to the less-liked sequel: Closing Time.

The Three by Sarah Lotz*
This was the first book since I started reading again that I lost myself in. I was completely taken in, to the point where I lost time and stayed up way too late to finish it. I don't experience that very often and since it's been four years since I read it, I'm hoping that I don't remember enough to experience that again. I've read three other Sarah Lotz books since then and enjoyed them, but none have some close to The Three.

Are you a re-reader? What books are your favourite to re-read?

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Book Review: The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams!

I don't know if I had ever read adult fantasy written by a woman before this but I never want to go back. All of the problems I have with adult fantasy written by men; token female characters, rape as a plot point, self-inserts and self-congratulatory writing- Jen Williams has none of that. Instead, you get fantasy that feels real, and accessible, and just bloody great.


The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces - talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.

When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza 'Vintage' de Grazon, offers him employment, he sees an easy way out. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch with a tendency to set things on fire, the prospect of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts is preferable to the abomination he left behind.

But not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. For the Jure'lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall...


If you like quests for knowledge, daring escapes, dusty castles and monster corpses, have I got a book for you!

The Ninth Rain* doesn't take itself too seriously. Jen Williams realises the narrative doesn't have to be doom and gloom all of the time and you don't have to study up on a thousand years of family trees and maps spanning entire worlds to know what's going on. She welcomes you in with arms wide open and you're there for the ride.

Don't get me wrong though, this is a complex world. There's dreamwalking, fire-witches, a sea-cult, a race of former immortals that are now dying out, and a vast history with different cities and regions. But it's written in a way that eases you into it and doesn't require a cheat-sheet to keep everything straight. You're in the world and everything you need to know is explained in time. It took me a little while to visualise it, because it had been a while since I had read fantasy, but Ebora is my new fictional home.

The cast of characters is so wonderfully diverse and I love all of them. Queer people, POC, older characters that aren't cast in the 'wise elder' role- you could play diversity bingo with this book but it never feels forced. It's never shoved in there for the purpose of ticking a box. It's as natural as, oh I don't know, living in the real world.

I forced myself to not read the sequel, The Bitter Twins, until I published this review. So if you're reading this anytime within the week of its posting, I'm probably back in Ebora and wishing away my life for the publication of the third book. I try to keep my reviews balanced but this is a complete rave. Jen Williams skyrocketed to my favourite authors in one book and I regret nothing.

"There is, it seems to me, a certain type of man who is terrified of the idea of a woman weilding power, of any sort; the type of man who is willing to dress up his terror in any sory of trappings to legitimise it."


Have you read The Ninth Rain?

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Books I Read in May!

My laptop is finally fixed so here is my May reading wrap-up, soon to be followed by June and July! May was the month of my last essay for this term of university so I didn't get as much reading done as I wanted. That, and I was hate-reading for the first time in a long time. I'm a big fan of putting a book down if you're not enjoying it, so why I decided a 800-page monster needed to be finished, I'll never know. But hey, here are the books I loved and loathed in May.



The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Y'all, I hated this book. People I know have similar tastes to me kept saying it was great and a slow-burn. So I listened to the whole 32-hour audiobook and y'know what? Hated it.
I understand that this story is from the point-of-view of the main character many years later, and therefore he can be the strongest, handsomest, best-at-everything kind of guy and it's a narrative choice- but boy, male wish-fulfilment is so boring. So boring.
I also have no interest in a book with such low regard for women. 1/10 of the students at the magic university are women, literally no reason is given for this. Sex workers are "whores" but you should call them ladies because "their lives are hard enough". A female student is asked to cross her legs by a professor who: "Now the gates of hell are closed" can begin his lecture. This was prompted by her being a few minutes late and nobody says anything.
This was the highest rated book on my Goodreads TBR. What the heck did I miss?!


The Emigrants by W.G. Sebald
I read this for an essay I was writing and it was one of those required reads that I want to come back to in the future because it was a good book, but I couldn't enjoy it as much as I think I will when I'm not reading under pressure. The language was truly beautiful.
The pine forests were black on the mountainsides, the windows gleamed like lead, and the sky was so low and dark, one expected ink to run out of it at any moment.


The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Finally reading The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is like showing up to a party late and deciding to just go with it. Everyone else is having fun, jump in and enjoy it. Would I have enjoyed it as much if I didn't love the movie so much? Who knows. But I saw a lot of comparisons online to the Terry Pratchett-style humour which I didn't really enjoy, so was glad that the audiobook had me laughing out loud several times.
The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don't.


The Empty Chair by Jeffery Deaver
Lincoln Rhyme leaves his New York apartment in this book which I felt was a really interesting choice; the case they investigated was very not-Manhattan and really changed up the feel of the book. Sometimes crime series can get a bit same-y, but not here. Especially because he and Amelia Sachs went to the South, where I have a few friends and therefore find super interesting.
This was also the first time I've seen "able-bodied" used in a book, and this came out in 2000. I really like the fact that one main character is a quadriplegic and one has terrible arthritis and chronic pain because it's really relatable to me as a disabled reader. This book also deals with Rhyme wanting a surgery that could make things better, but more likely not, or worse, or kill him. The way this is dealt with shows both sides of the coin when it comes to treatment and disability; either risking making it worse, or acceptance.
However, a very 2000's thing was one of the characters being afraid to catch HIV from a gay man who had been shot so... swings and roundabouts?
The best criminalists [...] were like talented novelists, who imagined themselves as their characters- and could disappear into someone else's world.



Can you remember what you read all the way back in May?

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

18 Books I Want to Read in 2018: 180 Days Left!

I had to do some maths to figure out when there was 180 days left of 2018 and I'm still not completely convinced I'm right. But I love matching numbers so I tried. At the beginning of the year, I wrote a list of 18 books that were a priority for me this year and it seems like a good enough time for a check-in on how that's going!



Starting with the ones I haven't read (yet); Sense and SensibilityMansfield ParkNorthanger Abbey and Persuasion by Jane AustenI read Emma and Pride and Prejudice in 2017, and was in such an Austen mood at the beginning of the year. I started both Sense and Sensibility, and Mansfield Park but didn't get very far at all though. 

Same with Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. My audiobook listens have been more lighthearted lately but I'm not writing any of them off yet!

I'm actually really feeling like reading Empire and Dominion by Jennifer Ridyard and John Connolly as I write this, its so easy to forget about books with the constant flow of new releases but my YA craving will hopefully mean these are on my read shelf soon.

I can't believe I didn't read Coming Out Under Fire by Allan Bérubé during Pride month! I must get to this soon!

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin and Never Greener by Ruth Jones are those kind of books that I picked up then put down again because I know in the future, I'll be really in the mood for a specific type of story and they will be incredible reads.

I'm actually currently reading Please Take Me Home: The Story of the Rescue Cat by Clare Campbell on-and-off-again whenever I can get my current foster kittens to sit still long enough on my lap, but 8-week-olds very rarely sit still so I'm not very far in! I can already tell its going to break my heart though.

Despite now owning the Folio Society copy of the sequel, and the fact that I literally named three kittens I fostered in March after the characters- I didn't re-read Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome while I had them! It's a very Summer-y book though, so maybe this will distract me from this horrible heatwave we're having.



And the ones I've read, like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsI listened to the first book in May and continued with the second book in June so really I'm overachieving with this one. I did feel the pressure of hype with this one a little and it did have a bit of an effect on my enjoyment but these books are great and I'm glad I've finally started this series!

The Fear Within by J.S. Law was the first book on this list that I picked up but it took me a long time to finish! Despite loving the first book in this series; Tenacity (now called The Dark Beneath), it really was a bit of a letdown which you can read a bit more about here

I was a little let down by The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements too. Probably because I loved Katherine Clements debut; The Crimson Ribbon and her second book The Silvered Heart. But this one just wasn't for me. I liked it, but I really wanted to love it.

I was dreading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling when I added them to the list after having such an awful time with the fifth book, but these were both pleasant surprises and I had them ticked off by the middle of February. I don't think I'll re-read the Harry Potter series again for a long time though.



And the one I won't be reading; Villette by Charlotte BrontëI started this and got a good way in but I really don't like Charlotte Brontë's writing so I'm giving myself a pass on this one. Maybe in a few years but I can't see myself getting to it in the next 180 days.

What books do you want to read in the second half of 2018?

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