New Books: April 2015

New Books - April #1

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

Guy Martin: My Autobiography by Guy Martin

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

I was lent all of these by a book loving, family friend. I have rather a soft spot for Guy Martin having watched and loved several of his TV shows on history, machines and speed so I hope I will also enjoy his autobiography. I have also recently enjoyed the two film adaptations of Veronica Roth’s Dystopian series so I am looking forward to reading these.

New Books - April #2

The Quarry by Iain Banks

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Blood on the Bayou by D J Donaldson

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Quarry and The Martian have been passed on to me now my father has read them. I sadly still haven’t read anything by Banks perhaps this could be my first and I’ve heard lots of good things about The Martian. Then I was lent The Miniaturist by my mother with glowing praise for how much she enjoyed it. And finally I received a copy of supernatural, crime Blood on the Bayou for my Kindle from the publishers

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

The Classics Club: Spin #9

The Classics Club #1

The 9th Classics Club Spin has arrived. 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 Jungle Book
  3. Villette
  4. This Side of Paradise
  5. The Valley of Fear
  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 Hound of the Baskervilles
  11. The Water-Babies
  12. Count of Monte Cristo
  13. This Side of Paradise
  14. The Sign of the Four
  15. Kidnapped
  16. Journey to the Center of the Earth
  17. War of the Worlds
  18. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  19. Little Dorrit
  20. David Copperfield

These are all books I already own a copy of to help get my to-be-read pile down. Most of this list is the same from the last spin with just a few additions and some repetitions to replace those I have read since then. Cheating perhaps slightly with the repetitions but this is a flexible event.

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 6th March 2015.

Are you taking part in the 9th Classics Club Spin?

Goodbye March, Hello April

March 2015

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are all well? March has just flown by me! It was a mixed month for weather; with some extreme days of rain and days of bright sunshine. I did spend a lovely weekend on the south coast to celebrate Mother’s day with my mom and family, and took my dad to a great show for his birthday. With all that going on here is what I managed to read:

Fiction: 3     Non-Fiction: 2     Poetry: 0

I started the month off by finishing urban fantasy The World Below by Mike Phillips. A fun and light adventure underground which was a soothing read for my over worked mind. To keep my reading easy I next read the short story collection The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, my 30th read off my Classics Club list. Sadly the final collection of interesting short adventures for me to discover. A slower and more detailed read for me was paranormal romance A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I am not a huge romance fan but I loved all the historical and magical references. This is also my first read for the Once Upon a Time IX event.

Alongside these fictions I also read two non-fictions. First Napoleon Bonaparte: A Very Brief History by Mark Black, a short and interesting read about the infamous French general. Then to round the month off Christian non-fiction Beautiful Attitudes by Scott Evans, full thoughts still to be posted.

Pick of the Month: The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

And those are just the books I finished. Through out the month I have been dipping in an out of epic historical non-fiction Rebellion by Peter Ackroyd. I’ve made good progress but still a long way to go. To continue my aim to always have a classic on the go after finishing Sherlock Holmes I picked up The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens. I am also very close to finishing historical fiction Red Rose, White Rose by Joanna Hickson.

In April I am looking forward to more good reading, celebrating Easter, and getting two weeks off work.

What did you do and read in March?

Meme: Top 10 Childhood Books

Blog Post #2

This week over at the Broke and Bookish the theme for Top Ten Tuesday is ‘Top 10 Books From My Childhood (Or teen years) That I Would Love To Revisit’ . I liked this topic and had to give it a go. Here are my choices:

1. The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton
While I read The Famous Five and some of The Secret Seven it was definitely this less well known fantasy series that caught my attention as a child.

2.The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

3. The Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks
My father has copies of these which are from Brooks’ Original Shannara trilogy. While I enjoyed them as a child I spent too much time comparing them to Lord of the Rings. I would like to see if I would enjoy them even more now, and perhaps want to read more of the Shannara series.

4. What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge
I remember in primary school dressing up as Katy Carr for World Book Day but other than snippets I don’t have the greatest memory of this novel and it’s sequels which so captured me.

5. Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling
An eccentric and delightful short story collection. I have found a real love for short stories recently so this could be a great re-read for me.

6. Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
I have fond memories of my favourite primary school teacher reading this delightful novel to my class.

7. Johnny Maxwell trilogy by Terry Pratchett
My love for Pratchett started young. I believe this was the first series by Pratchett I read which includes my favourite Johnny and the Bomb. I loved the mixture of family drama, fantasy, science fiction and history.

8. The Nome trilogy by Terry Pratchett
I loved the funny adventures of Truckers, Diggers and Wings. This is the series which most reminds me of Pratchett’s adult Discworld series. I borrowed both these trilogies from the library as a child. I would love to re-read and own my own copies of them now.

9. Village School by Miss Read
I have fond memories of my mother reading this to me at bedtime. A simple and detailed tale of day-to-day life which was wonderfully comforting before bed. I have read other novels from this series as an adult but I haven’t revisited this one.

10. Harry Potter series by J K Rowling
I have read all the instalments of this series as they came out, and while I have watched the films many times and even listened to some of the audiobooks I haven’t re-read any of the novels. I think this is because I adore the stories and characters but didn’t love Rowling’s writing style. I definitely will re-read them perhaps just need a bit more time.

Honourable mentions must go to The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis, and The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien. I loved all of these as a child but I have also regularly re-read them as an adult too.

Do you love some of my choices too? What childhood favourite would you like to revisit?

Challenge: Once Upon a Time IX

Once Upon a Time 9

(Art by Kimberly Kincaid. Used with Permission)

Hello my fellow bookworms I am pleased to announce the return of the Once Upon a Time event which is hosted by Carl V @ Stainless Steal Droppings. Participants in this event are encouraged to read books and watch films that cover the broad categories of  Fairy Tale, Folklore, Fantasy and Mythology, including the seemingly countless sub-genres and blending of genres that fall within this spectrum. I always look forward to this event as the genres listed above are some of my favourites!

Books I could choose off my bookshelf:

All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness
A Discovery of Witches (currently reading)
Shadow of Night

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin
A Feast For Crows
A Dance with Dragons: Dreams and Dust
A Dance with Dragons: After the Feast

Books I could choose off my Kindle:

The Curse Keepers Collection by Denise Grover Swank
The Curse Keepers
The Curse Breakers
The Curse Defiers

All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness
The Book of Life

The Wanderers by Cheryl Mahoney
The Storyteller and Her Sister by Cheryl Mahoney
The Raven’s Head by Karen Maitland
The Amethyst Fairy Book by Michelle McLaughlin
The Diamond Fairy Book by Michelle McLaughlin
The Emerald Fairy Book by Michelle McLaughlin
Victorian Fairy Tales edited by Michael Newton

Once Upon a Time IX officially runs from 21st March to 21st June 2015. I have signed up for The Journey level which means I am aiming to read at least one book for the event. I usually end up reading more than one book but I like the freedom this level gives me especially with how much work I have on at the minute. I am look forward to seeing what I will end up reading.

Are you taking part in Once Upon a Time IX?

The Classics Club: Three Years Gone

The Classics Club #1

Start Date: 19th March 2012

End Date: 19th March 2017

I joined The Classics Club back in March 2012 which means three years have gone by! Here’s what I have read off my list in the last year:

1. The Beautiful and Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum
3. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
4. Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales
5. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
6. His Last Bow by Arthur Conan Doyle
7. Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
8. Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald
9. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
10. The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

(click on the titles to see my full thoughts)

Read: 30/50

I am so pleased with my progress so far. 10 books is the average I need to read each year to keep on track to read 50 books altogether. A list of books/links though isn’t that interesting so I decided to use these meme questions to reflect on what classics I have been reading:

Most Anticipated: The Three Musketeers
Most Beautifully Written: The Secret Garden
Most Surprising (In A Good Way!): Shirley
Most Memorable Character/s: Sherlock Holmes and Athos (Musketeer)
Most Recommended-to-Others: The Three Musketeers and The Secret Garden
Favourite New Authors Discovered: Alexandre Dumas and Frances Hodgson Burnett
Multiple Reads of an Author: Arthur Conan Doyle (2) and F Scott Fitzgerald (2)

Ambitions for 2014/2015: Pretty much to continue as I am. I have been impressed with the amount I have read over the last three years. I am looking forward to reading more by Doyle, Dumas and Hodgson Burnett, also I must get back to Austen and Dickens too. Plus who knows what new authors I will fall in love with. Wish me luck!

What classics have you enjoyed over the last year?

New Books: March 2015

New Books - March 2015 #1

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

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

I picked up these lovely copies of these classics in a recent trip to my favourite charity bookshop. I have read Little Women and A Study in Scarlet before, and I am looking forward to reading The Hound of the Baskervilles for The Classics Club.

New Books - March #2

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness

Bringing Narnia Home by Devin Brown

The Rise of Thomas Cromwell by Michael Everett

I received paranormal fiction The Book of Life, non-fiction Bringing Narnia Home and historical non-fiction The Rise of Thomas Cromwell for my Kindle from Netgalley. I am really looking forward to all three. Especially the latter as I have not long finished watching the BBC’s Wolf Hall series which has wetted my appetite to find out more about Thomas Cromwell.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J K Rowling

Then last but certainly not least I picked up this Harry Potter first edition with original cover art from another antique shop. I just couldn’t believe my luck when I spotted it. I now have a full set of the series with the original cover art, sadly not all first editions but they do look great on my bookshelf.

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