Sunday, 14 May 2017

Round up for Bout of Books

Whew, made it to the end! So, I didn't manage the challenges on most days :( Disappointed by that. BUT I did manage to read quite a few galleys from NetGalley and some reviews, which is what I really needed/wanted to do. It was a good kick up the butt - I need to keep on top of them!

So, the weekend was my no wi-fi away time at a really nice Safari Tent from Canopy and Stars in Devon. (That's not an affiliate link by the way.) I've never done 'Glamping' before and rather scorned people who do, but this weekend it was pretty necessary - FREEZING. We had a gorgeous log burner (and oven) which heated the tent up, but it rained a lot, so we spent most of the time in playing board games and reading. Which was nice. Pretty views. But it really isn't camping. So, sort of disappointing, but it wasn't my choice, it was a consensus. And camping in the weather we had would've been GRIM, so I guess it worked out.

Anyway, that's not what you're here for - it's books! So, while I was away I read: Ink by Alice Broadway, The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertelli and Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan (which was a Galley my sister in law picked up from me - but a paper one. BLISS.) Haven't had time to write any more reviews which is a shame...

So, half of Friday, Saturday and Sunday:
Books read: 3
Galleys read: 1
Reviews written: 0 :(
Pages read: 1052

Today is a free challenge, so I thought I'd do a collage of all the books everyone in the tent was reading over the weekend for a bit of fun. There were five of us, and I'm sure I missed some books, but this'll do :)

Anyway here comes the GRAND ROUND UP:
Books read: 8 (one I'd already started - War and Peace)
Reviews written: 5
Pages read: 2056

Pretty pleased with that. I would've liked to have seen 7 reviews, but with being away for the weekend it wasn't that likely. And 5 galleys is good progress :) Overall, not a bad week for reading! I have no idea how many pages I'd read in an 'average' week; that sounds like quite a lot, so probably not that much!

I hope everyone else has enjoyed themselves, and thank you to BOUT OF BOOKS for hosting! I may be back in August, depending what's going on that week.

In the meantime, happy reading!

Friday, 12 May 2017

Bout of Books: Day Five

Well, I didn't think I'd manage to do a post today but I'll do a half post as there's still most of the day to come. After finishing Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine,' I immediately started on the next of my NetGalley reads: 'A Tragic Kind of Wonderful' by Eric Lindstrom. And I finished it by accidentally staying up half the night, AND I've managed two reviews (well, a review and a mini review)! All before lunch! Not too shabby, if I say so myself.

I jumped on 'A Tragic Kind of Wonderful' because I'd read Lindstrom's debut novel 'Not If I See You First' which I found suprisingly moving. Her second book is... something else. It's very, very well written but for younger readers, I would perhaps approach it with caution. Or readers with mental health problems. It may hit a little too close to home.

Once I'd started it, I just couldn't stop, and I wish I had actually. I wish I'd drawn it out a little more because it deserved that rather than being swallowed in one gulp. There's just so much packed into this book (it comes out later this month I think) and I feel I, as a reader, did not do it justice. To see my full review click here.

Today, so far:
Books read: one
Galleys read: one
Reviews: two
Pages read: 288

I've decided not to bring my Kindle at all to our wifi free weekend, so no gadgets at all (apart from my camera.) So, back to lovely lovely pages. Although it means I won't have read that many Galley books as I intended to. It just fell on the wrong week. Still, I'm not disappointed in myself and that's what's important.

AND I've managed to squeeze in the challenge for today! Wow, I surprise myself. But I really need to get going now - leaving very soon and there's a small chance I haven't packed...

Rainbow Spine

All Brilliant books you should read (well, the blue one isn't brilliant, but it's still a laugh):
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Finding Cassie Crazy by Jaclyn Moriarty
One by Sarah Crossan
The Archon by Catherine Fisher
The Extraordinary Journal of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe by Roman Puerolas
Bloomability by Sharon Creech
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green

I'll be back Sunday! Happy reading everyone!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Bout of Books: Day Four

Well, I knew I wouldn't have much reading time today and so it's come to past. The first day I've only been reading one book! And no review :( Not doing well...

'Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine' was an enjoyable read. Well, enjoying is always a funny word when it comes to hard books. The first half was plain old enjoyable, but knowing there was a very nasty undercurrent. When everything comes out it's visceral in pain and sheer boldness. And a twist I didn't see coming. It's a brave debut novel. I'll be looking out for more on Gail Honeyman.

Books read: 1
Galleys read: 1
Reviews written: NONE
Pages read: 228

Now, I'm going away from Friday to Sunday to on off-grid, no wi-fi place. So, no more updates and I'll probably be able to read one (short) galley book before my iPad will run out of juice. So, this is my last post until Sunday with the wrap-up! I've enjoyed taking part, although I wish I'd had more time to catch up on what everyone else is reading. I'll probably spend some time reading through what other people have been reading next week, so expect some late comments!

Too late to do today's challenge - and it was a pretty hard one too! I'm sure I'll spend the sleepless parts of tonight thinking about it, but it's certainly an interesting one.

And I'll write a review of 'EO is Completely Fine' when I find the time. Looking forward to being off-grid, reading by candle-light etc, just wish it hadn't coincided with this week. Maybe I won't bring my iPad at all... Just read real paper books. After reading 3 e-books in a row, I'm rather desperate for the feel of pages.

So, I'll do my round-up post on Sunday! Happy reading everyone.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Bout of Books: Day Three

Books read: 1 (One of us is Lying)
Galley books read: 1
Reviews written: 2 :)
Pages Read: 367

Quite a full day's reading today, which is good because I know I'll have hardly any time tomorrow. I finished 'One of Us is Lying' which comes out soon. Right. Put it on order. It's that good. Loved it. You can read my review here or see for yourselves... (Don't worry, no proper spoilers, only things you find out in the first 50-60 pages)

And I wrote another review for a NetGalley book I read a while ago: 'Flight of a Starling.' Review here. So pretty pleased with myself today. Started on 'Eleanor Elephant is Not Fine' which comes out later this month; when I requested it from NetGalley, I didn't realise what a big release this was going to be! So far, very intriguing, but I'm annoyed I won't be able to have much time tomorrow.

How's everyone else doing? Remember, it's not a competition - I'm more proud of actually catching up on reviews than the reading!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Bout of Books: Day Two

How are all you other readers doing? Come drop me a call if you like - it'd be nice to know I'm not alone (although I can see you all, it's nice to have some interaction.)

So, today's challenge is 'Not a Font.' I thought this would be a fun one, and fairly easy too, but it was really hard to find something that couldn't be considered a font for the title page! Lots of weird and wacky fonts, but at the end of the day, they're still fonts. Here's what I managed to come up with - not great!

Books read: 1 (New Girl by Tracey Chevallier, absolutely amazing)
Galleys read: 1
Reviews written: 1
Pages read: 299

Hope everyone's still going strong!

New Boy by Tracey Chevallier

Everyone knows Othello, right? If you haven’t, go away and read a summary online somewhere.

Are you back?

Okay. Picture this. All the characters are eleven and it’s America in the seventies. Othello’s the new boy on the playground and, worse for him, he’s black. Desdemona is one of the popular girls and generally considered to be the prettiest girl, and she’s ace at holding the ropes for ‘jump-rope.’ Cassio’s the popular guy, the jock, and Emilia is the best at jumping rope in the school. Iago’s not that popular, but he sure has a lot of power. He gets other kids’ lunch money off them, and his sidekick, Rod, who’s not the sharpest tool in the box, is at his beck and call. Brebantio is one of the teachers. Add in a few extras. Oh, and the handkerchief is a pink pencil case with strawberries on it.

You picturing it? Sounds mad, right?

But. It. Works.

Click here to read the full review on GoodReads.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Bout of Books: Day One

Now, I've been perusing around to see how people format this, and it's so variable that I'll have to go with the flow... a tall order for me! I quite like things being planned out.

So, there's a challenge each day, and today is introduce yourself in six words:


Or, a more literal one:

I am twenty six years old. 

Take your pick!

Today was finishing off The Grand Novel: War and Peace. Did you know that the working title was 'All's Well That Ends Well'? I think I like Tolstoy's final choice!
Well, it was easier than I expected until I reached the epilogue, which wasn't a story; it was Tolstoy's opinions on the way that history 'works' and the roles that individuals actually play in it. I have to admit to skimming some of that, but the rest of the book was great and I wasn't too challenged, which was a pleasant surprise. I did struggle somewhat with remembering all the names and who was who, but I made myself a bit of a list and it got easier and easier as the book went on.

So, I conquered Tolstoy! I know that most real readers will have read War and Peace much earlier in their lives, but I feel a sort of sense of achievement.

Tolstoy's own notes!

On the subject of my goals... well, no Galleys read OR reviewed. But hopefully I'll be able to get started on that tomorrow.

Books read: one
Pages read: 352 (although I'm not really worried about pages read)
Galleys read: none
Galleys reviewed: none

See you tomorrow! Off to look at some more blogs! Well done for getting this far :)

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Bout of Books 19

Wow! Is this really the first post of 2017? I believe it is! Well, this little blog never really had much of a life anyway, and it's just slowing wasting away... never mind!

I've decided to take part in 'Bout of Books' this time round. It's something I've thought about before, but never really got round to it/committed to it. I'm still not entirely sure about how it works, but there you go!

It's a week where you push yourself to read a little more than you usually do, and share it with other bloggers and Network it as much as you can! There's no competition between readers, everyone works at their own pace. It's just for fun. (Slightly wondering why I'm doing this, as I read every week anyway, but I think it'll be fun to link up with other people as well.)

There's a schedule for the week, which I don't quite understand, but here it is (it starts on 8th May) -

MONDAY - Introduce yourself insixwords
TUESDAY - Not a Font (??)
WEDNESDAY - Share your selfie
THURSDAY - Character dating profile (?)
FRIDAY - Rainbow book spine
SATURDAY - Seasons of Books

I suppose I will find out in due course what some of these means.

People tend to set their own goals, and my key one is to READ MY GALLEY COPIES. I keep getting galleys from NetGalley and then I get distracted and read something else instead. So this means reading AND reviewing them, which means I'll get slightly less reading time, but it's something I desperately need to catch up on. So, there we are! See what happens!

Slight problem is I'll be away Friday-Saturday-Sunday, so I suppose I'll do scheduled posts for those, and then a round-up post when I get back (I think that's how it works!).

Wish me luck, to anyone who might stumble across this!

Oh, and thank you to the hosts for arranging this, it should be fun. (I think...)

UPDATED TO ADD: things have gone a little awry with a few much busier days than I expected so I'm still left with my last book to finish before reading all the Galleys... and it's War and Peace. I'm about 1000 pages in, but I still think it'll take me 2 days to read that, as you really need to concentrate! So, I'll get less of my galleys read but still up for the challenge!