Posted in Books, Haul

Christmas Book Haul

Another Christmas over and done with and these are the books Father Christmas brought me…

The Hamiltome (or Hamilton:The Revolution) by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter

26200563Hamilton is a Tony award winning Broadway musical, from Lin-Manuel Miranda, about the life of founding father and America’s first treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton. The soundtrack is absolutely fantastic as it is very heavily inspired by hip-hop and rap, not something you usually hear in musical theatre. This non-fiction book, offers a unique look at both the history of Hamilton the man and the musical, and I, for once cannot get enough of anything Hamilton so this is a must-read! Not to mention that the hardback is epic, despite on being a couple hundred pages with beautiful deckled edged pages giving it a gorgeously vintage feel.

Continue reading “Christmas Book Haul”

Posted in Books, Tag, Uncategorized

Book Tag: Jingle Bells

I love a book tag, and after seeing Reading With Rendz do this one, I knew that I had to do it too. After all, who doesn’t love the festive season?

You can see her picks HERE!

❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️❄️

All I Want For Christmas Is You…

What book do you want to see under the Christmas Tree?

I have aske for a reasonable amount of books for Christmas but the one I am most excited about it the one and the only HAMILTOME, or Hamilton: The Revolution. In case you were unaware this is a companion book to the crazy popular Broadway, and soon to be West End musical, Hamilton: An American Revolution. Written and composed by the God of music himself, better know as Lin-Manuel Miranda, this follows the life of one of America’s founding fathers, and first Treasury Secretary, Alexander Hamilton. I really can’t express my love for this musical enough and even the idea of a book to go with it, is almost too much. I just hope that Father Christmas was able to get his hands on a copy.

 

Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time…

What book that you have read this year have you enjoyed the most?

Continue reading “Book Tag: Jingle Bells”

Posted in Haul

December Book Haul

December is my favourite time of the year, and here are the books that I bought for myself this month.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

29415084.jpgTechnically bought in November, it was just a tad too late to get onto my last haul, so I figured it would do for this month. Morgan Matson, has written some great summery YA contemporaries, like Amy and Roger’s epic Detour and Since You’ve Been Gone, and that is exactly what this one is. This follows Andie, an A-star student who is thrown off her pedestal by some sort of scandal. As a result her summer plans have disappeared, and the is left with all this free time and nothing to do with it, a foreign concept for such type-A personality. Since there’s usually a cute romance, I will be expecting one, and I’ll probably wait till Summer to read all about it.

Nocturnal Animals (or Tony and Susan) by Austin Wright

32930916After seeing the trailer for the Tom Ford directed film adaptation, with Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhall, I was really eager to see it. But, as per, I ended up not finding the time and bought the book instead. Previously published as Tony and SusanNocturnal Animas is a thriller, following Susan, now a doctor’s wife, as she receives a package from her ex-husband, containing the manuscript for a novel that he’s written and in the process of publishing. From her on in the narrative is split into three, Susan reading the book (the present), the story within the story (the manuscript), and also a look back at her relationship with her ex-husband Edward (the past). I’m looking forward to seeing how these three narratives intersect, and always love a story within a story.

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

18392459In a YA contemporary, that ventures into the world of sci-fi, the world is about to be destroyed by an asteroid, Tommy Wallach asks us, what we would do if we knew the world was coming to an end. Two months are all four teenagers have left, and even I am wondering how this is going to play out. Despite the asteroid I get the feeling that this is going to lean more toward the coming-of-age type of story, and I can only hope it has the same sort of impact as my favourite coming-of-age, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. This is all you get from the blurb, so hopefully, since this seems character driven, the characters will be vivid and fleshed out.

Beautiful Player (Beautiful Bastard #3) by Christina Lauren

17831614This is a new-adult contemporary romance, emphasis on the new-adult, and definitely not suitable for younger readers. Despite technically being a part of a series, each book follows a different couple, so in Beautiful Player we get two fresh faces in Hanna and Will. Hanna is a grad student, who’s a bit of a bookworm looking to get out of her comfort zone, when she meets her brother’s friend, Will, a playboy venture capitalist. Yes, these books can be predictable, full of cheesy moments and happy endings but I love them. They’re super quick, definitely addictive and I am all over anything that I can ship. These books aren’t going to will an Pultizer anytime soon, but they’re really we-written for what they are, and I love them.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

18161930.jpgFrom my experience, Neil Gaiman has his own unique brand of fantasy, but this does make the set-up a little complicated. Out protagonist is a man called Shadow, recently released from prison in an urban-fantasy setting, that leans heavier on the fantasy side. After meeting another man, Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a god, the two set off on a road trip across the USA, as Shadow makes his way home, while the supernatural surrounds them. Honestly, this sounds epic, but I do feel like it’s the sort of book you have to throw yourself wholeheartedly into the concept. I love the idea of Neil Gaiman, and I love both the film adaptation and original book of Stardust, so I’m hoping I’m going to love this just as much.

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

17727802Do you like superheroes? Because this is a sci-fi book about just that. From the author of the epic-fantasy, Mistborn trilogy, Brandon Sanderson introduces us to a word where after a certain event it becomes possible for men and women to possess superpowers. These people are called Epics, and are revered by the muggles of the world, but it seems that the Epics aren’t as nice as they seem. As luck would have it there is a band of rebels, the Reckoners, who are willing to take on the Epics. As a huge fan of both Marvel, and DC (judge me if you must) I am all over the superhero craze at the moment and am super excited to see Sanderson’s take on the genre.

Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #2 & #3) by Cassandra Clare

infernal-devicesCassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter world is one that I can never get enough of and, even though I already own these books in paperback, when I saw that the Kindle editions were a daily deal I jumped at the chance. This YA historical-fantasy series takes place in Victorian England, where an American girl with the ability to shape shift falls in with a group of Nephilim (Humans, with Ange blood) whose purpose in life is to hunt down and kill the demos that slip between dimensions. Since I have already read these, a couple of times, you can check out my SPOILER FREE series review HERE.

Keep an eye out for a special Christmas Book Haul and, as always, thanks for Reading!

Posted in Uncategorized

The Blogger Recognition Award

blogger-award

So, as a blogging novice, I hope I’ve got the right end of the stick here, but not, just roll with it. I was nominated by the fantastic Reading With Rendz, , who’s posts I always love seeing in my inbox.

Here are the guidelines everyone has to follow:

  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice for new bloggers.
  • Select up to 15 other blogs you want to give the award to

Thank You!

As I already said, my nomination comes courtesy of Reading With Rendz, who’s blog you should definitely check out, since her posts are always brilliant, and come like clockwork. You can check out what I’m talking about HERE, and you’d be missing out if you don’t!

The Story of Carton-Manette-Darnay

The Name:

If I told you that the names Carton-Manette-Darnay are derived from the names of Sydney Carton, Lucy Manette and Charles Darney come from a nineteenth century english novel, would you be able to guess which one? Yes? No? These are the main characters from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, a book which I read partly because it’s Dickens, and partly because of The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare (If you’ve read them, you’ll know why), and I absolutely adored!

That Blog:

I started this blog as a sort of companion to my tumblr blog of the same name which is a reading journal through quotes. What that means is for every book I read I post my favourite quotes on that blog, and you’re more than welcome to take a look HERE if you would like.

This Blog:

On this word-press blog I post everything else, from wrap ups to TBR’s, to book reviews. It’s super new, as you can see, so I do think that I am just finding my feet at the moment, but I’m having a ball doing so!

Advice

1.Schedule your posts

I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m a final year university student, which means that free time is like gold dust, so the ability to schedule my posts is a godsend. I try to have a post up every Tuesday and Thursday, but the fact that I can have pretty much everything except my Wrap-Up done and dusted before then means that

2. Don’t stress

This probably contradicts my first point, but the world will not end if you don’t post this week. If you’re like me, and what I assume to be 99% of people, you’re not gaining anything from blogging it, but you’re doing it because you enjoy it. So, just try not to have a meltdown just because you have nothing to post this week.

Nominees!

Since I’m so new here, I don’t follow an awful lot of blogs, but I do have one that I would like to nominate…

The Dragon Reader

Thanks for the nomination, and thank you so much for everyone who reads!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Christmas Recommendations

I’ve got my fairy lights turned on, my yankee candles lit and I’m drinking a glass of mulled cider, and I bring you a couple of my favourite holiday reads.

Great Expectation by Charles Dickens

13641547.jpgMaybe it’s just me but there is something about Charles Dickens that I think is just so Christmassy, and while this is no A Christmas Carol, it is one of my favourites for the season. In case you have managed to avoid this so far, Great Expectation follows Phillip Pirrip, or Pip, a young blacksmith’s nephew as he finds himself bankrolled my a mysterious benefactor. Beginning with an encounter with an escaped criminal, that has a profound effect on Pip’s life from there on out, I quite like a chubby Victorian novel to settle down with and this is one I always come back to.

Let it Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson

18272314Since this is on my TBR for the month I have already spoken about this, but to recap it is three short stories that take place on or around christmas. Although they’re not directly connected they sort of brush up on each other, but can be read as individual stories. They all stem from the same framework, that being, that it’s Christmas eve and a storm forces a train to halt. From then on we have on girls determination to get home in time for Christmas, a trip to get some waffles, and teacup pigs. I really enjoyed all three of these stories and the way in which they sort of interact but stand alone t the same time.

My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

22914373Since sort stories seem to be the trend for the festive season, here come twelve of them from popular YA authors, and edited by Stephanie Perkins. It you’re into short story collections then you probably know that you never like every one of them, but as far as I can remember there was only one or two that I really didn’t like. however, they are short stories so  its not like it’s a huge time investment and you can dip in and out of this book as you please. The majority of these are just cute contemporary Christmas romances, what more too you want?

Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

16349.jpgFinally, and probably the one I’ve read the most is my favourite Hercule Poirot mystery, that revolves around a family gathered together for Christmas. The patriarch of the family was a diamond miner and happens to like keeping some handout diamonds at hand, oh, and he hates pretty much everyone in his family, so there’s that. Agatha Christie books are cosy murder mysteries that are perfect for this time of the year. I also love the Tv adaptation with David Suchet, so it you don’t have time for the book, that is definitely worth a watch. After all, what is Christmas without a little bit of murder?

What is your favourite Christmas read? Do you agree with my picks?

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Posted in Books, TBR

December TBR

It’s here, I’m finally posting this super late TBR. But it’s actually here!

Audible:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling

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Narrated by Stephen Fry this will finish off my year long re-read of the Harry Potter books on Audible. I might keep over in shock if you didn’t know that this is the final book in the Harry Potter series, and that Harry is off on the hunt for Horcruxes. There is no one on the earth that has a better voice to read Harry Potter to me than Stephen Fry does, somehow he brings these books to life all over again and I cannot wait until I hear that All was well.

 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Look who’s back. Back again. I still haven’t finished this but I 28095737promise I will do it by the end of the year. To be fair I am about halfway through so I just need to power through those last 5 hours of Rosamund Pike’s voice. Pride and Prejudice must be one of the most famous books in the English language, but isn’t something many people have actually read, al least from my experience. So I am ready to finally read/listen for myself at how exactly Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet overcome their pride and predudice.

 

Kindle:

Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

18272314

This is one of my favourite Christmas themed books, and is actually three short stories (One each per author) that aren’t directly related but sort of brush up against one another. Beginning on Christmas Eve during a snow storm with a girl trying to get home, and stems from there, with some teacup pigs and an interesting trip to get some waffles. This is one of those really cute contemporary stories that just make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, and easy to dip in and out if you haven’t got time for the whole thing.

 

 

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

22819449.jpgYou knew I had to get Leigh Bardugo in here somehow, didn’t you? So I will be  re-reading this YA fantasy because I finally have all three books in the trilogy and I want to get through them. You know I love everything about Leigh Bardugo and even though this is a completely different story (Alina surprises everyone when she discovers she is a sun-summoner) with completely different characters (Alina, Mal and The Darkling) it is set in the same world. This series is also more concentrated on the magic system, which took a bit more of a backseat in the Six of Crows duology.

 

Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

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This was on last months TBR and i stupidly decided to start reading it on November 30th, so I obviously haven’t quite finished it. It’s a Poirot murder mystery investigated a young girl who is drowned in an apple-bobbing bucket hours after claiming to have see a murder. It’s classic Christie and perfect for all who love a cosy fireside murder mystery.

 

 

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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What is more festive that a bit of Charles Dickens? Originally I planned to read Great Expectations, then I changed my mind to A Tale of Two Cities, both of which I’ve read before and I love, but this turned out to be the book of the month in a bookclub that I’m a part of. In David Copperfield we have your standard bildungsroman of said character and his adventures. We start off with David’s birth, after the death of his father an follow him through the following ups and downs of his life. It’s a monster of a book, but I’m going to do my best, and hopefully Dickens’ writing will pull me through.

 

Hardcopy:

Varney the Vampyre or The Feast of Blood by James Malcolm Rymer

7689323This is actually some reading for my dissertation that I haven’t quite finished (to be fair it over 1000 pages) but I’m putting it on here for motivation. This is a vampire story (obviously) that was originally published as a penny dreadful in the latter half of the 19th century. If you like melodrama, and have plenty of time on your hands, this would definitely be right up your alley, and really quite like it. It’s also the first instance f a sympathetic vampire, which is really interesting, a sit is so early. I’m around 600 pages in, so only the second half of the book to go. Wish me luck!

 

The Tresspaser by Tana French

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Another one that I have started and I’m sorry to say that this is actually an ARC sent to me for review in September and I haven’t finished it. I do wasn’t to finished this murder mystery, it’s much darker and grittier than Agatha Christie, and I have read other books in this series before so I just know that the ending will be brilliant.In this case we follow Detective Antoinette Conway as she investigates the death of a woman beaten to death in the midst of what appears to be a date at her own home. Even though I had to temporarily DNF this book I am eager to find out who the killer is, so long as it doesn’t get to conspiracy-y.

 

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Final865293ly, I’m almost halfway through this high fantasy novel about a
bunch of confidence
tricksters in a fantasy city that sounds kind of like Venice. I love anything involving, thieves, heists of con-men (Hello, Six of Crows
duology), so I adore this little band of merry men. Like, I said, I am almost halfway through and there is some more magic based involvement, but there had been a lot of underworld politics at play too, and I love political intrigue especially within a criminal underworld.

 

So, there you have it. A lot of these book I really love, but I just haven’t had the time to finish them. As you can tell for the most part this is a mad dash to wrap things up ready for the new year, so I can begin 2017 with a clear TBR, or clear-ish.

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading in December?

Thanks for reading!

 

Posted in Books, Wrap-Up

November Wrap Up

Ah, so the month on Novemeber had draw to an end and we can breathe a sigh of relief as we delve into the greatest month of the year. Considering how much I had to do this month, I’m pretty chuffed with how much reading I did get through.

25716704The first book I finished in the month of November was a lovely ARC of A Torch Against The Night by Sabba Tahir, courtesy of the lovely people at Harper Collins and Goodreads. This is the second book in a YA fantasy series and I absolutely loved it, giving it a very easy 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟[5 stars]. The story developed really nicely from the first book in the series, and I needed up enjoying it even more than I did it’s predecessor. I have full review here, if your interested in some more in-depth and SPOILER FREE thoughts.

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Next, on my kindle I read a mystery/thriller called Night Film by Marisha Pessel which also got an instant 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟[5 stars]. This follows a reporter as he investigates the mysterious suicide of the daughter of a reclusive horror director. It also incorporates a lot of mixed media, so photos, web pages and supposedly an app that will give you even more information, Unfortunately, I’m not sure if this was a failure on my part or because I’m from the UK I couldn’t find this app, which is a real shame. However, you don’t need that extra content to be able to follow the story and I absolutely devoured this book that was balanced on the perfect knife edge between horror and thriller. I’m thinking of doing a full review, partly so I can read it again and partly because I keep thinking about it.

25262299After that things went downhill briefly with the epic-fantasy Prince of Fools by Mark Lawerence. I have also written a full review for this, even though it only got 🌟🌟[2 stars] and I really didn’t enjoy t vey much at all. There were a lot of propels with certain characters and by the end just the writing style in general and I’m sorry to say that it is not a series that I will be continuing with. If you want to know more about my feelings you can read my full SPOILER FREE review here.

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My next book was a super quick read at it was the graphic novel Bucky Barnes; The Winter Soldier Vol. 1: The Man on the Wall by Ales Kot and a whole load of illustrators. This was actually a collection of comics, issues 1-5, in this story line, which is not something that I’m aware of reading before. I really enjoyed the story, even though I have no background knowledge, and thought it had Marvel written all over it. However, I struggled with the illustration. I am not an art expert, I’m not even well versed in graphic novel art, but it was so obvious when the illustrators changed over, to go from these stunning full colour, almost acrylic paintings to line drawings on the next, during the same comic, was just really disappointing. It’s such a shame because this was well on the way to a 5 star rating if only the illustrations had been consistent, so I ended up giving it 🌟🌟🌟 [3 stars].

30030950Also, another quick one was the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Screenplay by J.K Rowling. I loved the film and ended up buying this hours after I came out of the cinema and I wasn’t disappointed. I relished the chance to visit the film, almost like a close analysis of the whole thing, where there were bits and pieces, certain lines, that in my excitement, I missed the first time around. Needless, to say I couldn’t find any reason not to give it 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟[5 stars].

23403402Next I read a YA urban fantasy by an author I only start reading this year but is right up there amongst my all time favourites, and that is A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E Schwab. After reading both Vicious and This Savage Song this year, I thought that there was no way this could be as good as those two, but I was so wrong. A Darker Shade of Magic revolves around the concept that there are found different Londons, parallel universes if you will, Grey London, Red London, White London and Black London, or as Lila puts it, Boring London, Kell’s London, Scary London and Dead London. We primarily follow Kell, an Antari, one of the very few who have the ability to travel between them. I loved everything about this book, from the characters to the setting, to the magic system, and was really surprised by a lot of plot points, twists and turns. Luckily I have the second ready to go, because I gave this book 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟[5 stars].

For one of my university modules I had to read Mrs Warren’s Profession  a play by George Bernard Shaw, which I did quite enjoy and ended up giving 🌟🌟🌟🌟[4 stars]. I don’t really have anything to say, it’s just that I’m counting it toward my reading goal.

And that’s all folks. I ended up reading 7 books which I’m pretty impressed with considering all the other things I also got done. It’s pretty obvious what my least favourite book was, and I’ve even got a full review to explain why, and I think my favourite was  A Darker Shade of Magic.

What was your favourite book you read this month? Do you have a least favourite of the month?

Thanks for reading!

Posted in writing

NaNoWriMo Wrap Up 2016

I’m half sorry and half relieved that NaNoWriMo is over this year. I’ve had so much fun this year and I actually won! Yes, that’s right, I hit 50,000 words, exceeding my personal goal of 30,000, making this my best NaNoWriMo ever but I’m not going to lie it has been exhausting.

My Story

Well, technically I should say my stories because things definitely did not go to plan. Originally I intended to write a high fantasy novel, but having only recently gotten into the genre I just was not prepared enough to carry it through. I was struggling to write those 1,667 words a day to the point where I just really didn’t want to do it and would put it off until 10 or 11 pm and then panic write so I could get the words in before 12.I’m sort of repeating what I wrote in my update post  but I’m going to say it again.

I took the initiative and said you know what I have this and I’m going to write something else, anything else. So that’s what I did. I didn’t have a plan, or any characters or anything that I would usually have before I started writing, but I made it through. As I went I wrote down a handful of one sentence prompts for those days when I was a bit stuck and it worked. Yes, in the end probably 99% of my writing is probably classed as fan fiction but I had fun writing it and isn’t that what NaNoWriMo is all about.

A Lesson Learnt

If anything this year has reminded me that I can write, and that’s not something everyone can do. I learnt that, when I need to, I can write pretty damn fast and get those words done. Like I said, while this was my first time actually winning, it was also my most stressful year, and I was really struggling in that final week. But I made it. I won.

And That’s All Folks

And that, as they say, is that. Did you compete this year? Are you happy with how much you wrote?

Thanks for reading!