Posted in Weekly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up #14

March was a pretty decent month, in comparison to others. We’re still in lockdown here in Scotland, but I started a new job and I’m settling in, which is nice.

It’s also a bonus that it’s so easy to leave everything there and not be worrying about what my next shift will be like- which I realise now is all I did in my old job.

Another highlight of March was that we finally got some answers in the finale of WandaVision, and the first two episodes of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier.

I won’t say much about either because I don’t want to spoil them for anyone, but I now have a new love for Wanda and Vision as characters, and I am so happy Bucky and Sam are finally get some screen time and the first episode delivered on that by showing us how they’re faring in the new world after the snap.


March Reads

The Damage Done by James Oswald

The sixth Inspector McLean novel was a little different to its predecessors- because halfway through McLean gets moved over to a new cold case unit.

I really liked where the story was heading when it ended, so I have my fingers crossed Book 7 continues with some of those ideas.

Four stars.

Get A Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

This was a recommendation after a readalong I took part in, and for the most part I enjoyed the story.

What kept me from enjoying it completely was all the swearing (which I felt was a bit too frequent, but maybe that’s just me)- though I adored the relationship that developed between Chloe and Red.

Three and a half stars.

Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

Despite this book being way outside my usual reading material, I liked it.

The main character, Kenzie, didn’t have much going for her, so I was indifferent to her for most of the story, but there were plenty of supporting characters to invest in, and I think I might enjoy the rest of the series a little more since there should be less time spent on world-building.

Three stars.

One Of Us Is Next by Karen McManus

I loved One Of Us Is Lying, so I was excited to start the sequel- and it delivered.

While set in Bayview like its predecessor, One Of Us Is Next revolves around a deadly game of Truth or Dare instead of a murder, and at the same time develops further some of the supporting characters from OOUIL.

Getting to know those characters better made this book even more enjoyable for me, and I’d happily read a whole series set in Bayview since there never seems to be a dull moment.

Four stars.

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

This was a good book in that it covered a lot of big themes and really got me thinking about them, but what kept from loving it is that I didn’t feel like the main character, Emira, was developed much.

She never seemed to react to much, including during the main event of the story which takes place just a few chapters in, or even at the end when she makes a big decision about her life.

Three and a half stars.

Currently Reading

The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1)

Reading Challenges Update

Out Of your comfort zone challenge

Contemporary – Complete

  • Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

Sci Fi – Complete

  • Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

Posted in Weekly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up 13

So that’s two months gone of 2021, which feels quite surreal.

I’m still making good progress with my tbr, though, which I’m happy with. The book-buying ban, on the other hand, isn’t going so well, but I’m justifying it because I got an interview and a job offer in the same week- which means from March I’ll have some kind of routine back in my life again, and venturing out of the house.

Somehow I’ve made it through another month without writing a single book review, so I’m going to share my thoughts on my February reads here in my wrap-up.

I’ve also changed the layout of this post so instead of book covers, I’ve just put the title of the books I read and linked them to Goodreads. I don’t know if this layout will stick. We shall see.


February Reads

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Adorable. Heart-warming.

Five stars.

Slay by Brittney Morris

Thought-provoking. Immersive.

Five stars.

Cream Buns and Crime by Robin Stevens

I didn’t realise this was a collection of short stories until I started reading it, but I liked that we got to see the Junior Pinkertons in action, and some mini cases that were set between the main stories.

Four stars.

Titanic and Other Ships by Commander Lightoller

Fascinating and detailed. Reading about the Commander’s travels and adventures around the world was the perfect escapism right now, and his account of the Titanic’s collision and sinking was so vivid and tragic.

Four stars. (Would have been five but there were a ton of technical terms which meant I had to keep putting the book down to look them up in a dictionary- plus the super outdated language and opinions which is offensive.)

The Holiday by T.M. Logan

Aside from the synopsis being misleading, this was an addictive story. It was easy to get caught up in Kate’s suspicions of her friends and I did not expect it to end the way it did.

Four stars.

The Less Dead by Denise Mina

Made for some grim reading, but it was a good story and had a good resolution.

Four stars.

If I Can’t Have You by Charlotte Levin

Dark. Twisted. Addictive.

I did not want to put this down.

Five stars.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

This was a reread for me but I think I enjoyed it a little bit more than I did the first time.

I wouldn’t say it was fast-paced (despite the bulk of the story occurring during the space of a few hours) but it was addictive and shocking, and had several different subplots going on in the background so there was plenty going on.

Four stars.

Instinct by James Patterson and Howard Roughan

I enjoyed the TV series adaptation (which I watched first) and surprisingly found the book to be pretty similiar, with one or two minor changes.

I didn’t like that when Dylan learned something the chapter would end and we didn’t find out what it was until a few chapters later, or that he didn’t do much analysing of the serial killer the NYPD wanted him to help them find, but it was still a good story.

Three and a half stars.

The Rules For Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

Although this book went in a different direction from what I’d expected, the premise was interesting and the solution at the end was surprising.

Three and a half stars.

Currently Reading

Uncommon Type

Reading Challenges Update

When Are You Reading
  • 2000- Present- Complete

(2020) The Switch

Out Of Your Comfort Zone Challenge

Romance- Complete

  • The Switch

Historical Fiction- Complete

  • Cream Buns and Crime

Posted in Weekly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up 12

Considering how quickly January disappeared, my wrap-up is surprisingly busier than I expected it to be.

I’d intended to take this month a little slower to avoid burning out, but I ended up bingeing Die Trying and Legendborn to get them finished in the same month that I started them in, so now I’m just embracing it and reading whenever I have the time.

I’ve made progress with both reading challenges I signed up for (When Are You Reading & Out Of Your Comfort Zone) and I’ve completed 3 categories in all, which I think is a good start.

Another bonus is that I loved all the books I read in January, and now I get to look forward to the sixth Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children novel and the sequel to Legendborn.


January Reads
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Windsor Knot
The Conference of the Birds (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #5)
Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)
Legendborn (Legendborn, #1)

Currently Reading

I’ve finally finished Volume One of War and Peace, which I’m really pleased about. After I finish The Switch, I’m going to be starting Volume Two.

War and Peace
The Switch

Reading Challenges Update

When Are You Reading
  • 1800-1899 Complete

(1800-1899) The Adventure Of Sherlock Holmes:

  • The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor
  • The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet
  • The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
  • The Boscombe Valley Mystery
  • The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
  • The Adventure of the Speckled Band
  • The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb
  • 1980-1999- Complete

(1998) Die Trying (Jack Reacher 2)

Out Of Your Comfort Zone Challenge

Fantasy- Complete

  • Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children: The Conference Of The Birds

Posted in Weekly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up 10

My reading slowed a little this month between The Testaments and A Dark So Deadly– which I loved and can’t recommend enough for fans of crime and mystery novels.

I’ve started thinking about my plans for 2021, and while I’m reluctant to make anything fixed, I’ve decided I’m going to try and finish any abandoned novels by Christmas so I can start the new year from scratch, and get started on all the amazing books I’ve bought and haven’t got round to yet.

Some of them I’ve included below. Let me know if you’re read them and what you thought.

November Reads
To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)
Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)
A Dark So Deadly
What I’m Currently Reading

I’m still working my way through War and Peace, a handful of chapters at a time. I’d really love to get it crossed off my tbr because it’s one of the classics I’ve wanted to read for a while and it’s sooo long finishing it would be an achievement in itself.

War and Peace

Book Mail

I’ve seen this book everywhere over the past few weeks and heard lots of positive things so naturally I had to see what all the fuss was about.

Firewatching (Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler #1)

I also treated myself to a copy of the second Jack Reacher book, using my birthday at the end of the month as an excuse- along with the first two Robert Langdon books, Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code.

Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)

What I’m Watching

After watching the available seven episodes of Take Two, I started the reboot of Magnum PI, which I found myself enjoying more than I expected to.

Maybe that it’s set in Hawaii had something to do with it, and the references to the Hawaii Five-O reboot, which I also loved.

Posted in Weekly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up #9

So it’s safe to say that I’ve surpassed last year’s total of 47 books read; I’m currently sitting at 57, which also beats 2018’s total of 50.

It goes without saying this wouldn’t have happened if 2020 had been like any other year, though I’m pleased by how much reading I’ve managed to get done.

I finally got round to reading The Handmaid’s Tale, which although frightening, was really interesting and I enjoyed it. I’ve got a copy of The Testaments so I’ll be reading that soon, to find out what happened next.

And I also managed to read The Thursday Murder Club, which is a book I’ve wanted to read ever since I started seeing reviews of it on my feed back in September- and I loved it, so I’m looking forward to the second in the series.


October Reads
Prayer for the Dead (Inspector McLean, #5)
Camino Winds (Camino Island #2)
First Class Murder (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #3)
The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1)
A Dark Matter
The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1)

What I’m Currently Reading:

I’ve read A LOT of murder mysteries this year so I thought it was about time I tried something different. I loved I am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes, so I decided to give the Jack Reacher series a go since they sound vaguely similar.

Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, #1)

Posted in Bookmail, Weekly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up #8

So September’s over with, and we’re into October as of tomorrow.

It still amazes me how long this year has felt but how quickly it’s gone in. I’m also amazed by how many books I’ve managed to read, despite a lack of focus.

I think some of them will need to be reread again at a later date, when there isn’t a global pandemic going on, but I have loads of new favourite authors and books, so that’s at least something positive to come out of 2020.

September Reads
Conviction

Quichotte

The Stranger

The Art of Dying (Raven, Fisher, and Simpson, #2)

Good Girls Die First

What I’m Currently Reading:
Save the Date

Book Mail:

This book haul was the result of this year’s Bloody Scotland, which not only introduced to me so many amazing authors, but also provided me with a discount to get money off their books.

How could I pass up an opportunity like that?

The Thursday Murder Club (Thursday Murder Club, #1)
The Polish Detective (Dania Gorska, #1)
The Less Dead
Hold Your Tongue (DI Eve Hunter, #1)
A Dark Matter
Posted in Weekly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up #7

Another month is gone, and there’s only 100 plus days left until Christmas, which somehow feels more surreal than the fact that it seems like March was just last week.

That we’re now in September is madness, but I’m pleased with how many books I’ve managed to read so far (over 40), and have loads of new favourites.

I’ve also stopped feeling so burnt out, which is a relief. Without my books, lockdown would have dragged by even slower, so it’s nice to be enjoying reading again.

August Reads
Bring Up the Bodies
Murder Most Unladylike (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #1)
Fair Warning (Jack McEvoy #3)
The Flatshare
What I’m Currently Reading:

I started Antigone before I started The Flatshare, so it was abandoned quite quickly as I started falling for Leon and Tiffy’s adorable awkwardness, but I’m going to alternate between Antigone and Arsenic For Tea, which is the second book in the Murder Most Unladylike series.

Also abandoned is Milkman, which I mentioned in last month’s wrap up I’ve been kind of struggling with. It hasn’t been dnf’d yet, but while I’m tempted to do so, I’m reluctant to give up. I haven’t dnf’d anything this year, even Eight Detectives, which I didn’t enjoy, so we’ll see how it goes.

Antigone
Arsenic for Tea (Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, #2)
What I’m Watching:

I found loads of DVDs for sale through World Of Books, and bought Hustle and Life On Mars, so both will be getting rewatched at some point during the next month.

Still to finish is Shakespeare and Hathaway: Private Investigators, which is easy to watch as each episode is self-contained and the stories are simple to follow.

Posted in Weekly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up #6

July Reads

Domina (Maestra #2)
Lost Girls (D.I. Kim Stone, #3)
Eight Detectives
Dead Men's Bones (Inspector McLean, #4)

What I’m Currently Reading:

I started Bring Up The Bodies at the end of June, but somehow it’s been tougher to get into than Wolf Hall, so I’ve sort of abandoned it for the moment.

Ditto The Milkman, which has an interesting story line but a very unique narrative style which I’m finding impossible to follow.

Bring Up the Bodies
Milkman

What I’m Watching:

After deciding at the end of last month to ease up on the reading, I started watching Scott & Bailey, which was back on the TV from series 1, Cranford (most episodes were on earlier this month) and State Of Play, which I’ve had the DVD of for a while but never got round to watching.

State of Play Poster
Posted in Bookmail, Weekly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up #5

I’ve been a little absent from this blog over the past couple of weeks, aside from a few pre-scheduled posts. My reading has also taken a bit of a hit, due to a lack of concentration which is a result of burn-out, so I’ve decided to take a break until I’m ready to carry on with my tbr list.

I still have some reviews planned to upload, but those are going to spaced out until I’m back, and hopefully that won’t be too long an absence.

Anyway, below are my June reads, my picks for July, and some bookmail. As usual, the book covers contain a link to Goodreads.

June Reads:

Wolf Hall (Thomas Cromwell, #1)
Dead Simple
The Chain
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)
My Dark Vanessa
The Way of All Flesh (Raven, Fisher, and Simpson, #1)
Maestra (Maestra #1)

Audio Books Finished:

This was the very first audio book I’d ever listened to, and it was an abridged adaption. Surprisingly, after the initial hesitation over how to spend my time while listening to it, I found myself enjoying it.

It was narrated by Philip Glenister (Life On Mars, Ashes to Ashes, Mad Dogs) and I didn’t find the different voices he did for each character who spoke cringey, which I’ve found in the past with some audio books and the reason why I was so reluctant to try another.

Nineteen Eighty-Four

What I’m Currently Reading:

I was impatient to return to the Tudor court with Bring Up The Bodies, and I’m already about a quarter of the way through. Its page count is slightly less daunting than Wolf Hall, but I don’t think that would have stopped me, anyway.

I started reading Domina, the sequel to Maestra, for something a bit less serious in tone, though if it’s anything like its predecessor it will be just as shocking and twisted.

Bring Up the Bodies
Domina (Maestra #2)

Book Mail:

Antigone
The Odyssey
Sense and Sensibility
The To All the Boys I've Loved Before Collection

What I’m Watching:

Series 11 and 12 of the BBC’s police drama New Tricks were back on TV in June, so I finally got round to watching it. It follows a team of detectives brought out of retirement to work on unsolved cases, and ran from 2003 to 2015 with Amanda Redman, Dennis Waterman, James Bolam and Alun Armstrong starring from the beginning.

Also started was Hidden, a TV mini-series from 2011, whose cast includes Philip Glenister, Anna Chancellor, Thekla Reuten and David Suchet.

New Tricks (2003)
Philip Glenister, Thekla Reuten, and David Suchet in Hidden (2011)