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?

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