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ton of technical terms which meant I had to keep putting the book down to look them up in a dictionary- plus the super outdated language and opinions which is offensive.)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 WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday #15

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, and to take part, all you need to do is answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

IMG_1384-0

What are you currently reading?

Slay is described as Black Panther meets Ready player One, which made me want to pick it up immediately.

I haven’t seen a lot of reviews, but those I have read are filled with praise, and I have to say I’m really liking it so far.

Slay

What did you recently finish reading?

I finally finished Volume One of War and Peace, which feels amazing.

I’d planned to start The Less Dead, but I was seeing a lot of Legendborn on my Instagram timeline so I reshuffled my tbr, and read it and The Switch.

Legendborn (Legendborn, #1)

The Switch

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m planning to choose between Two Can Keep A Secret, and The Less Dead.

The Less Dead

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 WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday #14

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, and to take part, all you need to do is answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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What are you currently reading?

I’m this close to finishing Volume One of War and Peace, which is nice since it feels like it’s taken forever.

I also started Die Trying on Monday, the second Jack Reacher book, which will complete another prompt for the When Are You Reading Challenge.

Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2)

What did you recently finish reading?

It’s taken me a year to get back to the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series, but I’m so glad that I did because I loved The Conference Of The Birds.

The Conference of the Birds (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #5)

What do you think you’ll read next?

My choices are The Switch, Two Can Keep A Secret, or The Less Dead, but this might change.

The Less Dead

Posted in Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 Anticipated Books of 2021

I took a break from reading at the start of the month so I didn’t burn myself out, so I’m really excited to get back to it and looking forward to all these books.


Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Meeghan Reads.


The Switch by beth o’leary
The Switch

Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but  is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?


The Devil and The Dark Water by stuart turton
The Devil and the Dark Water

A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist.

It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.

But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.

And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.

Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.


Halfhead by Stuart Macbride
Halfhead by [Stuart B. MacBride]

Glasgow, not too far in the future.

A new punishment has been devised for the perpetrators of serious crimes. The process is known as halfheading: the offender’s lower jaw is removed & they are lobotomised. They are then put to work as cleaners in municipal areas like hospitals, where they serve as a warning to all that crime doesn’t pay.


What Will Burn by James Oswald
What Will Burn (The Inspector McLean Series) by [James Oswald]

The charred remains of an elderly woman are discovered in a burned-out game-keepers cottage, hidden away in woodland to the west of Edinburgh. Clearly no accidental fire, Detective Inspector Tony McLean suspects that neither is this simply a grim arson attack. There is far more to the victim than her humble surroundings might suggest, and something ritualistic to her horrific murder.

Nor will it be the only case of death by fire that Tony and his team will be faced with. This is only the beginning, and with such evil clouding the air, Tony begins to wonder what else will burn…


Fire Watching by Russ Thomas
Firewatching (Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler #1)

When financier Gerald Cartwright disappeared from his home six years ago, it was assumed he’d gone on the run from his creditors. But then a skeleton is found bricked up in the cellar of Cartwright’s burned-out mansion, and it becomes clear Gerald never left alive.

As the sole representative of South Yorkshire’s Cold Case Review Unit, Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler is not expected to get results, but he knows this is the case that might finally kick start his floundering career. Luckily, he already has a suspect. Unluckily, that suspect is Cartwright’s son, the man Tyler slept with the night before.

Keeping his possible conflict-of-interest under wraps, Tyler digs into the case alongside Amina Rabbani, an ambitious young Muslim constable and a fellow outsider seeking to prove herself on the force. Soon their investigation will come up against close-lipped townsfolk, an elderly woman with dementia who’s receiving mysterious threats referencing a past she can’t remember, and an escalating series of conflagrations set by a troubled soul intent on watching the world burn . . .


Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday #13

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, and to take part, all you need to do is answer three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

IMG_1384-0

What are you currently reading?

I’m a little over 100 pages into War and Peace, and also working my way through The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett, which was an impulse buy.

I don’t know why the premise of the Queen secretly solving crimes works, but it just does.

The Windsor Knot

What did you recently finish reading?

Karen McManus’ fourth book was every bit as addictive and brilliant as its predecessors.

The Cousins

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m going to be starting either The Switch, Two Can Keep A Secret (which would be a reread, but after finishing The Cousins, I really want to go back to Karen McManus’ previous books), or The Less Dead.

The Less Dead

Posted in Out Of Comfort Zone Challenge

Out Of Your Comfort Zone Reading Challenge- Sign Up Post

I took part in my first ever reading challenge this year, and I had so much fun that I wanted to try another one.

The Out Of Your Comfort Zone reading challenge was started by Caro @ bookcheshirecat and I love the idea behind it of trying to read more books that are out of your comfort zone.

You can sign up to take part over on the blog which I’ve linked above and in the header image below, and there are loads of pretty graphics that you can use in your posts, too. (Aside from the pink one with the cat below, the blue ones after that are mine.)

Out of my comfort zone 2021

2021 #outofcomfortzonechallenge TBR

I’ve read contemporary novels in the past without realising that’s what they were considered, but it’s not a genre I’ve actively sought out. (mostly because I’m not entirely sure what contemporary means.)

My list of contemporary novels is pretty short, but it might grow if I can find more books to add to it.

  1. Girl, Woman, Other- Bernardine Evaristo

Science Fiction is another genre I don’t read a lot of, even by accident. But Stuart MacBride is one of my favourite authors and this book of his is considered sci-fi, so I’m going to give it a try.

  1. Halfhead- Stuart MacBride

It turns out I own quite a number of historical novels, so this list was by far the easiest.

  1. The Other Boleyn Girl- Philippa Gregory
  2. Washington Black- Esi Edugyan
  3. Parade’s End- Ford Maddox Fod
  4. Vanity Fair- William Makepeace Thackeray

Another teeny list…

  1. The Switch- Beth O’Leary

And another.

  1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell- Susanna Clarke


What’s on your 2021 tbr list?

Posted in Book Tags

The End Of The Year Book Tag

I found this tag over on Stephanie’s blog at Adventures of a Bibliophile and I really wanted to take part because I thought it would be fun to have a look over the reading I’ve managed to get done this year, and consider plans for 2021.


Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

I’d like to finish War and Peace before January, but I doubt that’s going to happen since there are over 1000 pages and I don’t think I’ve reach the 100 mark yet. I haven’t abandoned it, though, but progress is slow-going because for some reason I got myself a physical copy of the book instead of getting it on my Kindle, and it weighs a ton.

I still have the second Outlander book, Dragonfly In Amber, on my Goodreads Currently Reading shelf, which I started either earlier this year or last year and never went back to, so that’s another one I’d like to finish.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

No, but I do have a collection of short stories called Twelve Days Of Winter by Stuart MacBride, which is the closest I’m going to get.

Twelve Days of Winter: Crime at Christmas
Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Karen McManus’ latest book, The Cousins, which is due for release at the beginning of December.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

I’ve been thinking about rereading Stephen King’s Mr Mercedes trilogy, but I’d also really like to get round to Beth O’Leary’s The Switch soon, and the sixth Inspector McLean book.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

I’ve had a pretty decent year of reading so far, mostly because I’ve only been reading books I want to read and abandoning those I haven’t been interested in, so I don’t think there are any wild cards on my shelves- but I think A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride is probably going to be my favourite book of the year.

It already is, but there’s still a month of 2020 left so it’s still possible it might get knocked off the top spot.

A Dark So Deadly
Have you already started making reading plans for 2021?

I didn’t make any for 2020 other than to try and read more than I did last year. My Goodreads goal was set at 20, and I’m currently at 74, so I don’t think I’m going to beat that if next year returns us to normal life.

So far, all I’m planning for 2021 is to work through all the books I hauled this year, and get my tbr down to double figures.