Meme: A Year in First Lines

Blog 2014

Hello my fellow bookworms, I can’t believe it is the last month of the year! I have had an enjoyable year of reading but also blogging:

Take the first line of each month’s post over the past year and see what it tells you about your blogging year.”

This idea was started by The Indextrious Reader. When I spotted this idea, which I’ve never seen before, being done by Jane @ Fleur in her World I thought what an interesting way to look back on my reading and blogging over the year.

January

“Happy New Year!”

From Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

February

“I absolutely love adaptations.”

From Adaptations: January 2014

March

“One of my continuing aims in 2014 is to continue to read more non-fiction.”

From New Read: Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

April

“I am a relatively new Christian having come to faith in my late teens.”

From New Read: Why Your Weirdness is Wonderful

May

“For a lighter tone after The Beautiful and Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald I picked another American classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum off my Classics Club list.”

From The Classics Club: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

June

“May was a busy month for me with college coursework and my placement at college, and when the rain and storms returned to the UK all I wanted to do in the evening was tuck myself in bed with a fantasy read that would transport me somewhere else.”

From New Read: A World Apart

July

“This meme is the brain child of Jo @ The Book Jotter and I am joining in again as I think it is a fun and easy way to reflect on my reading half way through the year.”

From Meme: Six in Six

August

“After a busy June and first half of July I was so very grateful when my college course finished, the schools broke up for the Summer holiday and the sun came out.”

From New Read: Sisters of Treason

September

“At the end of July looking forward to my two week holiday in France I picked up Zaremba, or Love and the Rule of Law by Michelle Granas as something a little bit different.”

From New Read: Zaremba, or Love and the Rule of Law

October

“I am a relatively new Christian having come to faith in my late teens.”

From New Read: A Place of Healing

November

“The eighth Classics Club Spin has arrived.”

From The Classics Club: Spin #8

December

“As you probably know 2014 has been the centenary of the start of World War I.”

From New Read: Some Desperate Glory

I had to tweak the rules a little in this post because if I had literally quoted the first line of the first post of every month…you would have got the same line twelve times! That is because I always start the month with a monthly reflection post on the previous month’s reading. I thought you’d find that rather boring so I opted for the first post after my reflection post.

Even after doing that I can see that I still love a bit of reflection either on books read in the previous month or through memes and adaptation posts. Leaving me with time to read at the beginning of the month. I am also pleased with the diversity of subjects and books this has shown me.

How has your blogging and posting gone this year?

Meme: Reading Habits

Hello my fellow bookworms. I spotted this fun and short meme being done by Cheryl @ Tales of the Marvelous and thought I’d give it a go.

1) Do you have a certain place for reading at home?

I tend to read in bed before I go to sleep and also lazy afternoons I like to prop myself up on my bed as well. In my second home at my mother’s there is an arm chair in the conservatory I love to curl up in. If cold then both on bed and arm chair require a hot drink and a blanket too.

2) Do you use a bookmark or a random piece of paper?

I always use a bookmark. I have an extensive collection of bookmarks; all of which I couldn’t possibly use at once. I have to switch them round on a sort of rota.

3) Can you just stop reading or does it need to be at the end of a chapter or a certain number of pages?

I could just stop reading if I have too but I prefer to get to the end of a chapter. It all feels so much neater.

4) Do you eat or drink while reading?

I pretty much always have a drink when I read; usually a nice cup of tea or a hot chocolate. I might have a biscuit too but on the whole I don’t eat while I’m reading. Not really mastered the knack.

5) Do you read one book at a time or several at once?

Several at once which tends to be one fiction, one non-fiction and one collection of poetry or short stories.

6) Do you read out loud or silently in your head?

I generally read silently in my head. I have been known to read out loud a particularly funny or fond part of a book to myself though.

7) Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?

I never skip pages but I have been known to read ahead before when I just couldn’t stand the tension anymore! It is very rare I do though.

8) Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

I apologise now to all those cringing or grimacing at the thought but I have to confess I am a spine breaker. No two ways about it I love to read a book that is open dead flat. I also love to see the breaks on the spine of a well loved book. They almost tell you a story themselves.

9) Do you write in your books?

Never! Even when I was studying books I would write on post-its and stick them in. If forced I would write in pencil so I could rub it out again.

10) What are you currently reading?

I have several books on the go at the moment. My main read though would have to be the epic Shirley by Charlotte Brontë my result from The Classics Club Spin #8.

What about you? Also let me know if you have done/or do this meme on your blog.

Monthly Reflection: November 2014

November 2014

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are happy and well? November has been a mixed month; starting rather barmy for Autumn but the last week or so has seen the temperature plummet. It is finally time for hot drinks, blankets and putting the fire on. Work is going well for me, and so is my dance classes and my puppet group. Even though some evenings I don’t want to go out for either. Instead I would like to curl up in my pyjamas with a good book. Here’s what I’ve managed to finish this month:

Fiction: 2          Non-Fiction: 1          Poetry: 1

At the beginning of the month I finished the fantasy Queen of Hearts, Volume 2 by Colleen Oakes a much anticipated book for me as I read volume 1 earlier this year. Queen of Hearts is a clever and refreshing reimagining of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. I am really enjoying this trilogy so far. I am looking forward to the release of volume 3. Being in a similar mood I next picked up the fantasy comedy Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett the third book in Pratchett’s epic Discworld series. After enjoying two Discworld re-reads I was ready for a new adventure. Equal Rites is wonderfully fun, colourful and thought provoking adventure. I am again looking forward to reading more from this series.

During the month I also finished two non-fiction books which is great for my goal of continuing to read more non-fiction in 2014. At the end of October I picked up Christian non-fiction Choose Love by Stormie Omartian. The third work by Omartian I have read this year. A detailed and thought-provoking look into how choosing to love can change our lives. Also throughout the month I dipped in and out of the WWI poetry and history collection Some Desperate Glory by Max Egremont. A detailed and extremely well researched look at the events, poets and poems of World War I. Perfect for those well acquainted with World War I poetry but a little overwhelming for me. (My full thoughts still to be posted).

Pick of the Month: Equal Rites

And those are just the books I finished during November. This month has seen me with a taste for a variety which means I have had several books on the go. While I have read just as much with my time spread between more books sadly I finished less but that’s life. During the month I have been dipping in and out of faith non-fiction Seeing Through the Fog by Ed Dobson, fiction The Mine by John A Heldt, and comforting re-read The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien. I have also started and made good progress through the epic Shirley by Charlotte Brontë my result from The Classics Club Spin #8.

What did you read in November?

The Classics Club: Survey 2014

The Classics Club #1

Hello fellow bookworms I spotted this fun 50 Question Survey over at The Classics Club website. I was daunted by 50 questions though so I picked 10 questions I liked and suited me the most. Here are my questions and answers:

1) When did you join The Classics Club?

19th March 2012

2) How many classics have you read off your list so far?

26

3) What are you currently reading?

Shirley by Charlotte Brontë

4) What did you finish last?

His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle

5) What would you like to read next?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

6) Best classics you’ve read off your list so far?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

7) Author you’ve read the most by off your list?

Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens

8) Longest classic you’ve read off your list?

Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales
Grimm’s Fairy Tales

9) Oldest classic you’ve read off your list?

Aesop’s Fables

10) List fellow clubbers whose blogs you visit regularly:

Gudrun’s Tights
LindyLit
Lynn’s Book Blog
My Book Strings
She Reads Novels

What classics have you been reading?

New Books: November 2014

New Books - November 2014

Hello my fellow bookworms, here’s what goodies I have managed to add to my bookshelf and Kindle recently:

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (complete) by L Frank Baum

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

Red Rose, White Rose by Joanna Hickson

The King’s Sister by Anne O’Brien

Four new fictions for me this month. I received review copies of historical fictions Red Rose, White Rose and The King’s Sister from Netgalley both I which I am excited to read. I have loved everything I have read by Daphne du Maurier so when I saw Jamaica Inn in my favourite charity book shop I had to pick it up. While I picked up a free copy of fantasy classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz set from Amazon UK.

Clean Food Diet by Jonathan Vine

The Praying Woman’s Devotional by Stormie Omartian

Only two new non-fictions for me this month.  I received a review copy of faith non-fiction The Praying Woman’s Devotional from Netgalley. I read several of Omartian’s work this year and enjoyed them all. Looking forward to reading more. While I picked up a free copy of Clean Food Diet from Amazon UK.

I am pleased I managed to keep my new acquisitions down to a small amount. I am not sure where I’ll start first because I am excited to read all of them.

Have you read any of these? What new books are you excited about?

Challenge: R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX Wrap Up

RIP IX

(Art used for banners is the property of Abigail Larson)

Autumn doesn’t have long left now here in the UK and Winter is creeping up on us which sadly means its time to say goodbye to The R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event hosted by  Carl V @ Stainless Steal Droppings . This is an event where participants are encouraged to read books and watch films that cover the broad categories of Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror and Supernatural. Perfect genres for the season.

I signed up for Peril the Third level which means I was aiming to read at least one book for the event. Here’s what I managed to read:

1) His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle
2) The Gabriel Hounds by Mary Stewart
3) Just After Sunset by Stephen King
4) The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan

I usually sign up for the Peril the Third level which means I only need to read one because even though I usually end up reading more I like the flexibility this level offers. I am really pleased to have finished four books for this event and I liked all of them, although I think my last read was weaker than the previous three. (Click on the links in the titles above to view my full thoughts on each read). During the event I also watched the new fantasy, horror TV series Penny Dreadful (2014) which was inspired by characters from classic horror novels.

I will now have to wait till next year for the return of Carl V’s Once Upon a Time and The R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril events.

Did you take part in R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX? What did you read?

The Classics Club: Spin #8

The Classics Club #1

The eighth Classics Club Spin has arrived. Sadly I missed the last spin as I was away on my holidays since then I have really been hoping another spin would come round soon. Now my wish has come true. Previous spins have gone really well for me so here’s hoping this spin goes just as well this time with a random selection from this list:

My Spin List:

  1. The Hound of the Baskervilles
  2. The Pickwick Papers
  3. Villette
  4. This Side of Paradise
  5. Tender is the Night
  6. A Tale of Two Cities
  7. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  8. The Time Machine
  9. The Tenant of Wildfel Hall
  10. The Secret Garden
  11. The Water-Babies
  12. Count of Monte Cristo
  13. Shirley
  14. The Sign of the Four
  15. Kidnapped
  16. Journey to the Center of the Earth
  17. War of the Worlds
  18. The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes
  19. Little Dorrit
  20. David Copperfield

I simply made this list by searching my to-be-read shelf and folder on my kindle and listing the classics as I spotted them. These are all classics off my list I already own a copy of which should help get my mounting to-be-read down. Most of this list is the same from the last spin with just a few additions to replace those I have read since.

I am as always rather nervous and excited about which book I will end up reading! Wish me luck! I will post an update with my result when the spin number is announced on Monday 10th November 2014.

Are you taking part in the spin?