January Reading and TBR

It’s January which means it’s a new year and we are all getting that new start feeling, by now of course some resolutions are starting to fall by the wayside and some of us are slipping back in to our old ways.

But not me, this year I have lots of plans and that includes reading, my reading slowed a little bit last year and as I was having a good (and overdue) sort out of my bookshelves I noticed how many books I’d started but not actually finished. While assessing my 2017 reading year I realised there had been so many times when books just hadn’t grabbed me. One of my favourite things about reading is being taken in to that world, captivated and not being let go to the very last page like some sort of literary prisoner.

Some how, maybe it was me or perhaps I made some bad reading choices but that didn’t happening for me very often in 2017 so I am trying to start this year off on a high.

January TBR

I’m currently reading the Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Cambell, Jen is a YouTuber and Vlogger who I have watched for awhile. She has lots say on the subject of fairy tales a subject which I actually wrote my dissertation on so I am always keen to hear her perspective and was equally keen to read her short story collection which from what I have read so for is dealing with the darker side of fairy tales and going back to their more gruesome roots.

I am also planning on reading Ali Smith’s Autumn, The White Queen by Philippa Gregory, Howards End by E.M Forster and Little Women, all of which have adaptions apart from Autumn so I am keen to get my teeth into those as well.

In 2018 I also I have plans to pick up on previous reading challenges that I have started and never completed three in particular created for this blog. One was The Shakespeare Challenge, two The Austen Challenge and thirdly and mostly importantly I started re-reading The Chronicles of Narnia for The Problem with Susan, always a Queen of Narnia? to find out more click the link above.

I think it is important to finish the things I’ve started and plan on getting back on track with with this blog. So just wanted to say hi again, happy new year and let the games begin.

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TBR Book Tag

Hi guys I’m back with another tag and this time it’s the TBR Book Tag! Thanks to Nicolette over at A Little Bookish, A Little Writerly who tagged me. I do love a list and this tag really plays on my need to list everything and a Bookworm actually managing to organize her TBR, well that’s the holy grail!

So lets get started shall we…

hrh

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Errm, I have several ways that I try, I repeat TRY to keep track with my TBR, I use Goodreads, I have a physical books TBR shelf at home, I have a Amazon wish list as well which I use almost the same way as I use Goodreads it’s just on Amazon. I also have a lot of E-Arcs and Netgalley requests all on my Kindle so really my TBR is a mess!

 


Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

More print but I have my fair share of eBooks as well.

 


How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I’m a real mood reader and my mood can really dictate what I’m reading. Check out my Confessions of a Mood Reader Post for my info.

 


A book that has been on your TBR the longest?

Possession by A.S Byatt it’s not that I’m never going to read it it’s just that I haven’t felt the will to pick up Possession since I bought it (which is about 2+ years now)

 


A book you recently added to your TBR

I recently added War and Peace to my TBR I was inspired by the brilliant BBC adaptation which has been showing on BBC1 staring Lily James and James Norton. It also fits nicely with my 2016 challenge which is to make an effort to read more classics!

war and peace

 


A book that’s on your TBR strictly because of the cover

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick I have to admit I only added this book to my TBR because the cover is so gorgeous I don’t really have much interest in reading the book itself (sorry/not sorry)

Hush hush book


A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading

I never like to say never.

 


An unpublished book on your TBR that you are excited for?

The Winds of Winter by George RR Martin  it’s a real shame this won’t be published before the next series of Game of Thrones. I am still so excited for this book A Song of Fire and Ice is such an epic fantasy saga and it has such amazing scope. Plus we all want to know does L+R = J DOES IT?!

got dany

 


A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you

This is criminal but it has to be the last two books in the Shatter Me series I have been meaning to get to them for a while especially as I loved book 1. Finishing up this series is definitely on TBR for 2016!

 


A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

I don’t actually get alot of book recommendations it’s usually me doing the recommending. But I have a close friend who is a reader (not a blogger though) and he recently suggested I read The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

 


A book on your TBR that you are dying to read?

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr  is one of the next books I’m planning on reading I’m also really excited to read Passenger by Alexandra Bracken and a play called Rainmaker by  Richard N.Nash.

all the light we cannot see

 


How many books are on your Goodreads TBR?

There are 598 books on my Goodreads TBR and it’s and ever growing problem.

My Tags

Percy Reads

Alyssa Is Reading

Muggle Boooks

Fictionophile

Bargin Books Bliss

Bookahontas

A Strangers Guide to Novels

I hope you enjoyed my TBR Tag Happy reading everyone!

Lou and Will

 

 

Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth – A review

Having recently read Kate Mosse’s novel Labyrinth, I couldn’t wait to get a hold of a copy of the (2012) television adaptation starring Sebastian Stan, Vanessa Kirby and John Hurt.

The novel and Channel 4 adaptation are based upon the lives of two woman, PHD graduate Dr. Alice Tanner and seventeen year old Alaïs Pelletier Du Mas. Alice come to France as a volunteer on a archaeology dig with her friend Sheila after finding out she is to inherit something from her  Aunt who  lived and died France. When Alice walks into a cave on the site of the dig her life is changed forever when, she finds a mysterious ring and begins to have visions of Alaïs who lived 800 years previously.

Dr Alice Tanner and  Alaïs Pelletier

Dr Alice Tanner and Alaïs Pelletier Du Mas

The story is told from both Alice and Alaïs’s perceptive, Alaïs’s was a  young married woman who had an older sister Oriane Congost who was having an affair with her husband, but to Oriane it had nothing to do with love or affection it was all about power and manipulation. Oriane soon found out that their father was not her’s biologically and her attitude soon changed toward her family. Alaïs’s father confesses that he is the keeper of one of three books that can locate the grail, not the Holy grail of Christian mythology but something far more special and secret.

Sisters - Alais Pelletier Du Mas and  Oriane Congost

Sisters – Alais Pelletier Du Mas and Oriane Congost

Mean while in the present day Alice’s visions are becoming more intense and, as her friend Sheila has gone missing she goes looking for her and stumbles across Will Franklyn and his dangerous older lover Marie Cecile. Marie Cecile is a member of a cult like organization desperate to find the ring and the books so, they can find the grail, ultimately prolonging her life something she desperately craves.

Looking for the grail is all that Marie Cecile cares about and is not afraid to kill if it gets her what she wants, to her all men are her play things, the grail is all that matters.

Lovers - Karen and Will

Lovers – Marie Cecile and Will

Alice met Will in the hope of finding Sheila but to no avail and although she is unsuccessful there is a clear  attraction between the two, there relationship develops further when it becomes apparent Marie Cecile is not all that she seems and might know more than she is letting on about Sheila’s disappearance.

When looking round her Aunt’s house Alice finds a letter from a mysterious man who seems too know something about her visions. The mysterious man played by John Hurt takes Alice back to where it all began, the caves. He explains how she and Alaïs  are connected and what her visions of the past really mean.

John Hurt and Vanessa Kirby talk visions

John Hurt and Vanessa Kirby talk visions

Labyrinth is a well thought out well executed drama that did well not to get tangled in it’s own complications, each of the two episodes where  two hours long and were real treat that I would recommend watching. It was really enjoyable watching how the past and present intertwined together as well as learning about past histories of the Cather people and their ultimate down fall as well as what religion meant to people of that time compared with today.

At War - Tom Felton

At War – Tom Felton

The cast was really excellent  which included John Hurt (Merlin), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abby) and Katie McGrath (Merlin) just to name a few. This story has twists and turns and in the end doesn’t go where you think it will, it kept me hooked for a grand total of four hours.

Dr Alice Tanner

Dr Alice Tanner

It’s a great adaptation of a novel I really enjoyed, the woman are kickass and don’t wait for men to rescue them, the go out and save themselves. I have often heard this book compared this book compared to the Di Vinci Code in my opinion they are nothing alike because the story and characters fly off in completely different directions.

Would recommend reading before watching.

Down To You by M.Leighton (Bad Boys Series Book 1) Review

Down To You (Bad Boys Series Book 1)

Down to you is about identical twin brothers Cash and Nash and before you laugh hysterically at the god awful names and move on I should say I loved this book!

I binged read Down to you in one day, the first in the Bad boys trilogy, and I have to say it was not a waste of time. Both Cash and Nash Davenport fall for the same girl Olivia Townsend a student who is a struggling financially. Cash meets her at hen do at his bar and before long she is working for him and juggling both brothers, even though Nash is her bitchy cousin’s boyfriend, what a brazen hussy.

It is a  hilarious twin juggling romp and at its very heart the boys are hiding a dark secret which threatens their relationship with Olivia and with each other, all the while Olivia is trying to choose between the identical twins which such opposite personalities.

Down to You (The Bad Boys, #1)

I will just tweak your imagination by saying the twins father is in prison for murder and has left behind him a whole heap of trouble.

It’s written from two different POV’s which makes for interesting reading and I could really hear the different character’s voices and made for a pleasurable reading experience. My only criticism is that it makes for a bit of a sloppy read with a few spelling errors that crop up here and there, but all in all I really enjoyed with book. None of this stopped me downloading book two straight to my kindle and I have to say it was another cracker (I’m currently making my way through book three)

All in all it’s a massive thumbs up for Down to you book one in the bad boys series. It’s fluff but it very readable fluff with characters that have had me lost in their world, a world which I’m not quite ready to leave.

Halo by Alexandra Adornetta Review

Halo is the first in the Halo trilogy by Alexandra Adornetta followed by Hades and Heaven, the series follows three angels, now lets just *pause* and sigh for originality…okay done.

Halo cover

Halo cover

The angels, Beth, Gabriel and Ivy were sent to modern day earth to make it a better place (or whatever) really, they mooch about shopping, brooding and snogging the humans so really what ‘the angels’ are doing on earth in the first place is a bit of a moot point from the word go.

Now before I just go ahead and slate Halo I should say the author was eighteen years old when she wrote book one and this isn’t even her first novel so, I feel there is a moment needed just for, well the f*c* done. My eighteen year old brain was far to preoccupied with what eighteen boys where doing to think about writing my course work let alone novels but…

Hades cover

Hades cover

Halo is drivel, but it’s my favourite kind of drivel, the kind of drivel where we, the reader knows from page 1 that Beth and random,  insert boy character here – (who in this case happens to be the wet blanket that is Xavier)  who woos, and broods and pouts and pines until declaring his undying if somewhat predictable love for Beth.

Look I blame myself, look at the cover, it basically says if you open this book it’s going to be gooey and sickly sweet.

Sick Vomit animated GIF

If you open this book you are going to laugh and not in the good way, the cover was my warning light but, being the massive cover slut that I am I opened up that bad boy and fell into the gooey sticky mess.

In general I am a big supporter of YA novels but for me Halo took the genre one step to far, not just because of it’s predictability but because in the moments that where suppose to be tender and romantic it was just funny, really, very funny.

Heaven cover

Heaven cover

The good points

This is well written and easy read and I flew through it  in two days and, despite my review I have purchased (the kindle edition) of Hades (don’t judge me)  because, in a sort of tortuous way I have to know what happens to Beth and Xavier, and, dare I say it, will they ever be together? (Sheds fake tear for affect)

The best way I can describe this book is, it’s like a contortionist, you can’t help but look.

Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick – Ladies of Lantern Street (Book 1) Review

So, in my attempt at shaking up my reading list a little bit I purchased Crystal Gardens – A Ladies of Lantern Street Novel by Amanda Quick the first in the trilogy.

Crystal Gardens By Amanda Quick

Crystal Gardens By Amanda Quick

I had never read any Jayne- Ann Krentz novels before and was intrigued to learn she regularly writes under the pseudonyms Amanda Quick and Jane Castle depending on the genre of her writing, Crystal Gardens is paranormal fiction and my first real taste of the genre. I am a regular reader of fantasy novels and thought this would be an easy transition.

Crystal Gardens is set in Victorian England; the main character of the novel is Evangeline Ames a paid companion, with ‘special talents’. Evangeline is a young woman past the age of marriage for her time with no other way to support herself finical she joins the companion agency who, it turns out only take on woman with special physic ‘gifts’ with these gifts the agency goes about solving cases for its clients, mostly regarding extra marital affairs. Evangeline is paid well, a lot higher than the usual companion rate as are all the girls because the risks they take, It is during one of these cases that a threat is made on Evangeline’s life and is she and her friends decide it is a good idea for her to get away for a while to the small town of Little Dixby. While there another attempt is made on Evangeline’s life and, in an attempt to escape Evangeline runs to the nearest and largest and coincidentally the most supernatural house in the area Crystal Gardens.

She is saved by the mysterious Lucas Sebastian who immediately takes an interest in her, and her abilities, of course Lucas and Crystal Gardens have their own secrets which Evangeline is just dying to discover.

All in all Crystal Gardens is all right, it was a very easy ready but personally I didn’t think the paranormal side to the book was done particularly well. The romance between Lucas Sebastian and Evangeline Ames was the only thing that I really liked about the book; I guess I found it all a bit predictable.

This was the first  Jayne- Ann Krentz novel I have ever read and, I have read reviews from  long-time fans saying her other books are much better than Crystal Gardens so I haven’t been put off I’m all for second chances but I won’t be buying the rest of the trilogy any time soon!

Tyringham Park by Rosemary McLoughlin Review

So, I have become a little addicted to the book haul videos on BookTube recently and watching Booktubers haul their books made be in the mood to do a little book haul of my own. I have a kindle but, really it just makes me pine for the feeling of a novel between my finger so, I had a booky date with Amazon (don’t judge me) where I purchased Tyringham Park by Rosemary McLoughlin.

pb1

Now, as an avid Downton Abbey fan I think I was bamboozled into buying this book mainly by the big house on the cover and the Amazon quotes that stated if you love Downton Abbey you will love this, I can’t stress enough how this is nothing like Downton Abbey.

 

Annoyed Downton Abbey animated GIF

There is no glamour in this book what so ever and no really protagonist, the main character how ever is Charlotte Blackshaw who’s father is the Lord at Tyringham park. Her mother shows very little interest in her or her little sister Victoria and, one afternoon her Ladyship for some unknown reason decides she will have an hour with little Victoria which is completely out of usual character. During this hour the child disappears, it is believed by most that Victoria fell into the river and drowned when her Ladyship was not looking but, Lady Edwina believes she has been abducted.

Charlotte’s tale really is a sad one, abused by her nanny and hated by her mother as she grows up through the novel the consequences of such a horrific emotional neglect play out and affect Charlotte as an adult and she struggles to believe that she is worth more than nothing. As the reader we are supposed to feel for Charlotte in her darkest hours but it is hard to feel for a character that is so self destructive.

Eventually I lost interest in the out come of her character, It is also hard to read a book when there is no one to root for, we follow Charlotte’s story but I’m not sure if I wanted her to win in the end, as a reader she tested my patience. For me Lady Blackshaw is the most interesting Character because she is such an appalling mother and, human being.

All in all, Tyingham Park is written okay but there is know real flare, I would recommend it to people who don’t mind not falling in love with the characters they are reading about or at the very least liking them, most of the characters in this novel are highly despicable and I’m sure that was the point but, for me it was all a bit like hard work.