Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10… Books on My Autumn TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Books On My Autumn 2018 TBR

There are many wonderful books awaiting me on my bookshelf and Kindle, however here are ten books, ordered alphabetically, I am looking forward to reading this autumn, with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril reading event in mind:

  1. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan – This classic Christian allegory is my November read for my church’s book club.
  2. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins – I look forward to continuing my re-read of this thrilling YA trilogy.
  3. Lives of Notorious Cooks by Brendan Connell – This set of fictional biographies of famous chefs through the ages sounds fascinating.
  4. Theatre Royal by Michael Coren – After loving another theatre history from this publisher, I have high hopes for this one too.
  5. Zombie edited by Christopher Golden – A horror, short story collection that will be perfect for my What’s in a Name 2018 reading challenge.
  6. The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory – After loving The Red Queen, I look forward to continuing Gregory’s popular Cousins’ War series.
  7. A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King – I think it is high time to read more from King’s Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mystery series.
  8. Kin by Snorri Kristjansson – A dark, intense and compelling Viking murder mystery which I am super excited about reading.
  9. A Gathering of Ghosts by Karen Maitland – After reading The Plague Charmer, I am looking forward to Maitland’s newest dark historical fiction.
  10. The Dragon’s Blade: Veiled Intentions by Michael R. Miller – After reading The Reborn King, I look forward to continuing Miller’s fantasy trilogy.

Have you read any of my choices? What books are on your autumn TBR? Also, please link in the comments below if you have taken part in this week’s TTT topic too.

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Challenge: 10 Books of Summer 2018 (End)

Monday, 3rd September, saw Cathy’s 20 Books of Summer 2018 reading challenge (with the option of 15 or 10 levels too) coming to an end. Here in the UK, we have been treated to a rare and gloriously hot summer, which has allowed me to regularly read in the sun. However, as usual, I think I blinked and missed it! I made a list of 10 books, so let’s have a look at which of them I actually managed to read:

  1. The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier
  2. Eleanor of Aquitaine by Christopher Nicole
  3. Sourcery by Terry Pratchett
  4. Hannah’s Moon by John A. Heldt
  5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins [Re-Read]
  6. Seven Sovereign Queens by Geoffrey Trease
  7. Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir
  8. But Is It Real? by Amy Orr-Ewing

Those I didn’t finish/get round to were:

  • Cauldstane by Linda Gillard (currently reading)
  • Lives of Notorious Cooks by Brendan Connell

Altogether that is eight of my ten books read – one down on last year – but I am actually really relieved with my result this year; as by the end of July I had only read three books! So to have read another five more by the end of August I think is pretty monumental. The only thing I am disappointed with is how behind I am with my reviews!

Have you read any of these books? Did you take part in this challenge?

Goodbye August, Hello September 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are well? The last month of summer has been a more peaceful one for me. Where I have enjoyed a good rest, caught up with friends, had a good clean out and visited my mum down south, which included a trip to The Hobbit Pub in Southampton. During this time here is what I managed to read:

Fiction: 4          Non-Fiction: 2

First, I finished reading the time travelling romance, Hannah’s Moon by John A. Heldt, which took me back to Chattanooga, Tennessee 1945. An easy read and a satisfying conclusion to Heldt’s American Journey series. Next, I time travelled forward with a re-read of the gritty, dystopian The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, the first book in Collins’ bestselling young adult trilogy. After enjoying the films, it was great to go back and refresh myself on the book’s extra details. I whipped through this in just three days!

Then it was back in time again, as I completely lost myself in the scandal and danger of the tumultuous Tudor Court in Anne Boleyn, A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir, the second book in Weir’ epic Six Tudor Queens series. Finally, nearing the end of the month, I finished reading the charming children’s classic, The Enchanted Castle by E Nesbit, the fourth of Nesbit’s juvenile novels I have now read and another title ticked off my new Classics Club list.

Alongside these fictions, I also read two non-fictions in August. First, I read another quick and interesting history, Seven Sovereign Queens by Geoffrey Trease, who was one of my favourite new authors of last year. Then, on the very last day of the month, I finished reading the interesting Christian non-fiction, But is it Real? by Amy Orr-Ewing for my church’s book club, which will be meeting next week.

Pick of the Month: The Hunger Games

Altogether that is six books finished, which is a great amount! However I am so behind on writing reviews! So my full thoughts on all of these are still to be posted about. As it is the end of summer too, I will soon be doing a round-up post for my 10 Books of Summer 2018 reading challenge.

In September, I am excited/nervous to start my new job in a special needs secondary school. I am also looking forward to going to see historian Lucy Worsley do a talk on Queen Victoria and starting my autumnal reading with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XIII reading event.

What did you do and read in August? What are your plans for September?

Goodbye July, Hello August 2018

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are well? I am sorry it has been so quiet on here recently – I have just had little to no time to write or read posts with the crazy-busy end of term at school and the bitter-sweet goodbye to a wonderful year group and school. Then almost immediately I jetted off for an absolutely amazing holiday in stunning Norway. With all that going on, here is what I managed to read:

Fiction: 3          Non-Fiction: 2

First in July, I read the gripping and rather racy historical fiction, Eleanor of Aquitaine by Christopher Nicole, the first book in a series about this infamous lady. I have the second book, Queen of Love, ready and waiting on my Kindle. For a complete change, I then read Sourcery by Terry Pratchett, the fifth magic, weird, fun instalment in Pratchett’s fantastical Discworld series. I can’t believe I waited so long to read another one of these! Finally, during my holiday, I lost myself in the Italian classic, Sandokan, The Pirates of Malaysia by Emilio Salgari, his second swashbuckling adventure I have enjoyed.

Alongside these fictions, I also read two non-fictions in July. First the Christian non-fiction, The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri J.M. Nouwen for my church’s book club. Then right at the end of the month, I finally finished the hefty biography of Charles II by John Miller, which I have had on the go since March! However I am so behind on writing reviews that all five of these are still waiting to be posted about. Hopefully I will catch up over the rest of the summer holidays.

Pick of the Month: Sourcery and Sandokan

Altogether that is five books finished which includes twos book off my 10 Books of Summer list; one book off my new Classics Club list and another book towards my What’s in a Name 2018 reading challenge. So I think July was a very good reading month. Also, at the end of the month, I started reading time travelling romance Hannah’s Moon by John A. Heldt, the fifth book in Heldt’s American Journey series.

In August, I look forward to a good rest, visiting my mum and more great reading. I also hope to catch up with my reviews and reading your posts too!

What did you do and read in July? What are your plans for August?

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top 10… Novellas & Short Stories

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Favourite Novellas/Short Stories

Now and again, I think we all crave a novella we can finish in one sitting or a short story collection that we can easily dip in and out of when time is tight. So here are ten of my favourite novellas and/or short stories:

  1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – The timeless, warm-hearted tale of the ghostly and redemptive journey one-night of the infamous miser Ebenezer Scrooge.
  2. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle – A gothic, atmospheric Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson mystery out on the foggy, lonely moors, in search of a diabolical hound.
  3. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell – A touching and charming tale that follows the lives of the women of Cranford, a small rural town in Victorian England.
  4. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James – The classic, gothic horror that follows a governess as she desperately fears the house is haunted or that she might be losing her mind!
  5. A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle – The first Sherlock Holmes short story, from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes collection, which also introduces the infamous Irene Adler,
  6. Best Left in the Shadows by Mark Gelineau and Joe King – A gripping, kick-ass opener to Gelineau’s and King’s crime noir thread of their epic fantasy series, Echo of the Ascended.
  7. The Birds by Daphne du Maurier – The atmospheric, gothic horror novelette about birds attacking humans, that went on to inspire Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film.
  8. High House by Rosy Thornton – One of my favourites from the sixteen short stories in Thornton’s gentle and magical Sandlands collection, that focuses on the creatures and people of the Suffolk landscape.
  9. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys – A short, modern masterpiece which introduces us to Antoinette Cosway, who will fatefully go on to be the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
  10. Even in the Cannon’s Mouth by Adrian Tchaikovsky – My favourite from the five Shakespearian-inspired short stories in the fantastic Monstrous Little Voices collection, edited by David Thomas Moore.

What do you think of my choices? What are your favourite novellas and short stories? Also, please link in your post in the comments below if you have taken part in this week’s TTT topic too.

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top 10… Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far)

I have been fortunate to be blessed, although in lower numbers, with some quality reading thus far this year. Here are ten books I have enjoyed the most:

  1. The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier – A gripping, gothic suspense, which had me time-travelling back to the wild, dangerous Cornwall of the 1300s.
  2. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi – An eye-opening look at Islam and an inspiring tale of finding the peace in Jesus.
  3. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë – A beautifully written classic, with engaging characters, that cleverly explores the societal troubles, strifes and wrongs of the time.
  4. God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew – An inspiring and thrilling tale of one man’s truly awesome faith and mission, which also made for a wonderful discussion point at my book club meeting.
  5. Super Food Family Classics by Jamie Oliver – A collection of great new and traditional recipes for all the family with a super food twist.
  6. Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen by Alison Weir – A powerful tale of a courageous woman, that completely immersed me into tumultuous Tudor England.
  7. The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory – Another brilliantly written and researched piece of historical fiction, which, while it lacked the romance and magic I loved from The White Queen, it did grip me from beginning to end!
  8. The Hairy Dieters (5) Go Veggie by Si King & Dave Myers – A great collection of vegetarian recipes. I look forward to trying them.
  9. Queen of Hearts, Volume 3: War of the Cards by Colleen Oakes –  A fitting and very satisfying ending to this clever and refreshing re-imagining of Wonderland.
  10. A Monstrous Regiment of Women by Laurie R. King – Another nostalgic and thrilling mystery. I look forward to reading more from this series.

Have you read any of my choices? What have been your favourite books so far this year? Also, please link in the comments below if you have taken part in this week’s TTT topic too.

Meme: Six in Six 2018

With us saying goodbye to June on Sunday it means we are now half way through 2018 and it is time for the seventh Six in Six meme, the brain child of Jo at The Book Jotter. Which I think is a great way to reflect back on our reading so far. So here are my six authors/books in six different categories from the last six months:

Six new authors to me:

  1. Nabeel Qureshi, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus
  2. Lee Strobel, The Case for Grace
  3. Michael R. Miller, The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King
  4. Mingmei Yip, Peach Blossom Pavilion
  5. Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  6. Peter Bartram, Headline Murder

Six authors I have read before:

  1. Karen Maitland, The Plague Charmer
  2. Laurie R. King, A Monstrous Regiment of Women
  3. Geoffrey Trease, Seven Kings of England
  4. Alison Weir, Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen
  5. Philippa Gregory, The Red Queen
  6. Colleen Oakes, War of the Cards

Six series of books read, continued or started:

  1. A Very Brief History series, Mark Black
  2. Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes mysteries, Laurie R. King
  3. The Dragon’s Blade trilogy, Michael R. Miller
  4. Six Tudor Queens series, Alison Weir
  5. Cousins’ War series, Philippa Gregory
  6. Queen of Hearts trilogy, Colleen Oakes

Six non-fictions I have read:

  1. Super Food Family Classics, Jamie Oliver
  2. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Nabeel Qureshi
  3. The Hairy Dieters (5) Go Veggie, Si King & Dave Myers
  4. Seven Kings of England, Geoffrey Trease
  5. God’s Smuggler, Brother Andrew
  6. Vanishing Grace, Philip Yancey

Six fictions I have read:

  1. The Amber Spyglass, Philip Pullman [Re-Read]
  2. Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen, Alison Weir
  3. This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  4. Hazard of Shadows, Mike Phillips
  5. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Brontë
  6. The House on the Strand, Daphne du Maurier

Six authors I read last year – but not so far this year:

  1. Joanna Hickson, First of the Tudors
  2. Susanna Kearsley, Season of Storms
  3. Terry Pratchett, Pyramids
  4. Jodi Taylor, Just One Damned Thing After Another
  5. M C Beaton, Agatha Raisin and the Murderous Marriage
  6. John A. Heldt, Indiana Belle

What books and authors have you enjoyed so far this year? Please let me know if you have taken part in this meme too.