To a February Flop and a Hopeful March

Also known as my wrap up and TBR.

Yes, February was a bit of a flop on the reading front in that I only managed one book. But that one book, which I DID finish in the end, was Les Misérables and I am so, so glad I finally read that! So I read a total of 1232 pages – which equated to 67 hours and several minutes of an audiobook and I will have a review up soon for that. Just with a long book, I want to do it justice. I’m over the disappointment of reading only one book because the book I did read was great, and so worth the hours put in to reading it! I also managed a couple of short stories from That Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche which I will be reading sporadically throughout March I think as I find I can’t really sink my teeth in to her work and the occasional story works a lot better!

In March I have 3 essays and my dissertation to finish. And I need to start revision for my exams. Final year has gone far too quickly for my liking! Hopefully though I will be getting a lot more reading done than I did this month, purely because I think I’m going to need a break. While I have a few books in mind for March, I think I’m going to leave it open and just enjoy reading for a little while and pick up what the mood dictates!

I’d love to hear what you’ve got on your TBR and intend to get to in the near future, if only for inspiration!

January Wrap-Up & February TBR

A wee bit late, mainly because the end of January crept up on me. How is it over already?! I was just starting to get in to the month and suddenly it was over and I wasn’t prepared at all! So happy February…

January Stats

January was a great reading month for me, while I didn’t manage many books I read a pretty impressive number of pages which is what I am focusing on this year!

I managed 5 books and while I didn’t complete my TBR for the month I got so engrossed in the Mistborn series I can’t care. I read a total of 3058 pages and my average rating was 3.6.

My favourite book was The Mill on the Floss but, if I take the Mistborn series as a whole I would say that was my favourite but as for individual books none of them quite matched up to The Mill on the Floss.

February TBR

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As I type this I have already started on my main goal of the month – Les Misérables. It’s a beast at over 1200 pages and so far I’m really enjoying it. I love an epic novel, I’ve definitely got more in to long books as I have started to enjoy audiobooks. I am also loving French classic literature as a whole. I’m now at the start of the second part as I write this and I really, really love this. It’s by no means a fast read, even as an audiobook on 3x speed!

All the other books are a bit of a mishmash. The Chimes is a new purchase but one I’m very excited about. Then I have two books that have actually been recommended for one of my modules this semester – The War of the Worlds and Brave New World – this module is about biology in society. Both of these books explore various aspects of science in fiction and I’m really excited about these, especially analysing them properly.

Finally we have The Crucible. Oddly this is one I’ve been in the mood to read lately. A lesser known fact about me is I love anything about the Salem witch trials and this is something I haven’t ever read. I don’t often read a play, so I’m looking forward to this!

So that’s my reading stack for the month! Anything you think I ought to get to sooner?

2015 Wrap-Up & January TBR

Happy 2016! I hope this coming year is going to be wonderful for you. I’m currently snowed under with coursework and still feel like death so this is going to be woefully brief I think!

2015 Reading Wrap-Up
I decided to do a wrap up of the entirety of 2015. I read a total of 35893 pages which is just incredible and I finished the year having read 97 books, I was aiming for 100 but had a slump in the last 10 days of December and read pretty much nothing! I was apparently quite generous this year as my average rating was 3.8*.

I’m not going to dwell on least favourite books but my favourite of the year was definitely The Count of Monte Cristo. Although, Orlando is the only book I have read twice in quick succession since I first read Harry Potter!

December Wrap Up
In December I read 9 books, albeit 5 were rereads of Harry Potter. I did really enjoy that and there is something special about rereading around Christmas time. I did two bulk reviews of those if anyone is interested.

Other books I read were equally as fantastic! Out of them the best has to be The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus but close second is probably du Maurier’s Don’t Look Now and other Stories.

Thanks to my reread, my average rating was 4.4 in December and I read a total of 4077 pages!

January TBR
Ah. A fresh new year. The next few months are going to be hideously stressful for me and as such, reading is probably going to slow down. But as for books I want to get through before it all becomes hideously stressful…

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Okay, I appreciate that is hideous photography on my part. I’ve already started The Mill on the Floss – I really enjoyed Silas Marner and was a bit indifferent about Middlemarch but I really love Eliot’s writing so I’m excited to get my teeth right in to this.

I want to start on the Mistborn trilogy. Have had them on my shelf for a long time now and it’s about time they were read. I haven’t really dipped my toe in to the realms of fantasy but I’m looking forward to reading this series.

The Hobbit is a book I’ve shamefully not read yet. I’m changing that this month.

Finally, The Making of a Marchioness. I absoloutely adore The Secret Garden and I really want to finally get around to reading this one. A beautiful Persephone edition helps.

November Wrap-Up & December TBR || Blogmas Day 1

November has had me back on my reading game! I managed an incredible 8 books this month which was somewhat unpredicted given the number of deadlines I’ve had and my declining heath. I think audiobooks have contributed significantly to my reading stats given that 5 of the 8 I listened to at least partly on audiobook!

November Stats
So, as I said, I read 8 books this month. Even split between male and female authors, my average rating was 3.8/5 with my ratings varying between 2 and 5 stars. I managed a total of 3061 pages which is way more than I was hoping to read this month! I read two classics, two memoirs and a smattering of literary fiction. My favourite book, rating wise, was Antigone by Ali Smith but I actually think for enjoyment it was one of the two memoirs I listened to – Fathomless Riches by Richard Coles or Back Story by David Mitchell. Though, I reread Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets which was all kinds of lovely.

December Goals
So December is here and that means a break from uni. I want to do a crazy amount of reading this December. I also want to do blogmas and blog every day between December 1st and Christmas Eve! There are a few tags I want to do, I may do some Christmas-y things. If there’s anything you’d like to see feel free to request!

20151130_202454859_iOSSo, the TBR looks a bit like this. I told you it’s insane and also, quite festive in some respects.

I want to finish the Harry Potter series, so that’s 5 books. Jen and Holly are hosting as readalong for Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy which I really want to get in on – I know I read the first book but I didn’t finish the second or even start the third so this will be a new venture for me.

I also have some festive books up the top there from the Penguin Christmas Classics selection – The Nutcracker and The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (probably the book I’m most excited about). Finally there’s a little twee murder mystery from the British Library Crime Classics which is completely out of my comfort zone but something I’m looking forward to.

And even with a total of 11 books on my ‘physical’ TBR, while I have them going I will probably have a couple of audiobooks going and I have a selection of them to choose from at present.

October Wrap-Up & November Goals

Happy November! Firstly I just have to say I love Autumn, October went far too quickly and I’m really not okay with it being November. It’s now only 24 days until I turn 22 and I’m not sure how I’m feeling about that, also, Christmas isn’t far away at all either – it’s terrifying but exciting all at once!

October Stats
Reading was more productive this month but, once again, a TBR went out of the window. I’ve been more emotional reading or reading what my mood takes me to. I’ve also been suffering with migraines this past month so I would probably have read more had I been able to – but as it stands I managed 6 books but, on page count, this was the worst month of the year for me! The 6 books totalled 1609 pages and averaged at 3.7*. There were 3 male and 3 female authors, one person of colour and a nice mix of genre. My favourite new book of the month was, obviously The House on the Strand by my beloved Daphne du Maurier however, I really think my favourite book was the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone but I feel picking that would be cheating!

November Goals
For November, I’m going to have goals rather than a TBR. I want to re-read the remainder of the Harry Potter series, I also want to read at least 5 books other than Harry Potter which is ambitious given my poor reading the last few months! I have 4 bits of coursework to write up this month so most of my time is going on to that but I need to relax some how!

One book I definitely want to read this month is The Public Library and Other Stories by Ali Smith which is published on Thursday and I have on pre-order!

I’ve already surpassed my GoodReads goal of 75 books for the year – I’d like to make it to 100 but I’m going to focus on page count rather than book numbers!

Anyway, if anyone has any recommendations for good books to get you out of a bit of a slump I’d love to hear them!

September Wrap Up & October TBR

On the whole, September was a really, really poor reading month for me. I read 4 books in full and still haven’t finished the fifth. On the whole, I have been in a bit of a reading slump and the fifth book I picked up has completely consumed me. A Little Life has rendered me rather incapable of being a book bigamist and has been the only book I can focus on, even if very little, for the better part of the month.

So with the four books I completed, two of which by John Burnside, The Dumb House was the best of the books I read. Middlemarch was a bit of a disappointment in the grand scheme of things – there is no denying Eliot is a fantastic writer but it just wasn’t really what I was hoping for. My average rating was 3.5 for the month, nothing really blew me away aside from The Dumb House which feels like I read it ages ago now.

20151003_144401297_iOSOctober I’m hoping will be a little more promising. I’ve been feeling that urge to just disappear in a book for a few days. I’m hoping I can get A Little Life finished in the next few days so I can finally pick something else up. I have a few books that I feel are good for October sitting there – some Wilkie Collins and a selection of Poe’s short stories and a bit of Sherlock Holmes. I also would like to read some more of the Man Booker shortlist even though the winner is announced in the not so distant future! The books I selected for the month are very classic heavy so I’m not entirely certain I will be able to manage them all but I can try!

A slightly different goal is that I want to make a bit more dedication to blogging this month as last month it fell by the wayside. So as I’ve slowed my reading I will be filling space with some different things; tags, academic, life… it’ll all be thrown in there!

Have a lovely October!

August Wrap-Up & September TBR (or not, as it happens)

I love doing wrap-ups, while it is the end of yet another month I do love seeing my month wrapped up in reading. I’m in denial that it’s already September and that I start my final year of my degree this month, albeit at the end of the month but I do have 3 full weeks of reading to enjoy before I have to get back to that!

August has been an interesting month, and a momentous one, I successfully read no book from the TBR I created at the start of the month! I was looking forward to all of the books I picked and then I just got sidetracked with other books, I don’t regret it whatsoever and by the last week or two of the month I decided that a fully unread TBR is better than a half read one so ignored it.

August Stats

I read 10 books in August totalling 3568 pages and an average of 357. 9 out of 10 of the books were written by women, the only one that wasn’t was All My Friends are Superheroes by Andrew Kaufman. There has been a real range in ratings too, from 1* to 5* with an average of 3.4*.

Oddly this month has had few stand out books for me, the one I think I can talk most fondly of is probably Flush by Virginia Woolf which is the only book I gave 5* this month. Honourable mentions to both Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and Skin both of which I enjoyed every minute I was reading, but just lacked a little something for me to give 5*

September TBR

As August was an epic fail on the sticking to a TBR account this month I’m going to read whatever tickles my pickle. As it stands I’ve picked up Middlemarch already from last months TBR. Instead I’m going to give myself some “goals” because that still allows me some flexibility. I want to read one Persephone book. I also want to read more fantasy – I’ve been on a bit of a binge in August and can’t seem to get enough of it! I have several audiobooks to listen to so I want to break up staring at a book with listening to an audiobook and playing copious amounts of solitaire!

I think they’re doable goals. If anyone has any bookish recommendations on the fantasy front I’d love to hear them!

Until next time.

July Wrap-Up & August TBR

As with the start of every wrap-up ever, HOW IS IT THE END OF ANOTHER MONTH?! July is at a close and I really don’t understand how we’re only 147(?) sleeps until Christmas. It’s actually insane.

However, July has been a fantastic month for me – reading and otherwise. I’m thinking I might do a blog post or two in the future discussing some of the things that I’ve seen and done in July. There were theatre trips, visits to London, exam results (which weren’t so good but the fall out has been quite positive) and lots of other general life goods. But that’s for another post or two, as I said.

So, bookish goodness time.

July Stats

July has been a very well varied month. I read a total of 11 books which totalled 4576 pages. There was a split of 5:6 male to female authors. I read very similarly to how I did last month in that I read a lot of different genres – there was young adult, classics, light-fantasy, biography, popular science, children’s fiction and a short story collection.

My average rating this month is, again, 4/5. Towards the start of the month there were 3 or 4 books I gave 5 stars to, then I read The Count of Monte Cristo which just blew them all to pieces and I wanted to change their ratings but I couldn’t bring myself to. I gave them 5* for a reason and I stuck with it! My average page count was 416, which was considerably raised by the help of the 1200+ page epic in the shape of The Count of Monte Cristo.

I read most of my TBR, but Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche escaped me again. I picked it up once or twice but as I was suffering with a migraine towards the end of the month, when recovering small writing wasn’t really what I needed! Not sure when I will get around to Half of A Yellow Sun but I do want to read it.

Though I have several 5* books and some 4* books that I really enjoyed, my favourite of the month has to be Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. That book was fabulous, I loved it and it left me in a book hangover for a while. While other books this month have been easier reads, or even more enjoyable to read (Jeremy and Amy came close second) this book has just shaped me. Definitely my favourite book of the year so far!

August TBR

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So August is a weird month for me as I’m planning to start my research project towards the middle to end of the month so will be in labs. But that generally doesn’t stop me reading with an hour commute each way!

Anyway, this is a very weird TBR as they’re books that I’ve wanted to read for a long while on the most part.

From the bottom. Middlemarch by George Eliot is going to be my classic for the month. I’ve wanted to read this for ages and actually put it aside for the Summer! Next is Creation by Adam Rutherford which is a cool non-fiction book that has two halves and you can work back to middle or front to middle… I’ve not read one of those books since I was a kid!

Murakami is featured here too. Been a little while since I read some of his books so Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman found it’s way in to my August TBR because it is just so very pretty. More non-fiction is fourth from Emmeline Pankhurst’s My Own Story. With Suffragette coming out in October(?) I really wanted to read this and I picked it up a few months ago and just haven’t made the time. I’m making the time in August. Then there is Philip Pullman’s addition to the Cannongate Myths series, The Good Man Jesus and The Scoundrel Christ which I’ve heard a lot of good things about.

Finally we have a Persephone book that I picked up in the Persephone shop when I was in London. The Montana Stories by Katherine Mansfield. Now I believe she is a New Zealand author and that’s something that is desperately lacking in my reading life! I’ve heard wonderful things about her so I’m really looking forward to this book.

So. That’s it for the month. I’m hoping to read 11 or so books again this month, I managed it in both June and July so I think it’s doable again.

Anyway, until next time!

June Wrap-Up & July TBR

So June is over and it was a lovely month all around, really – good weather, a nice holiday and most of all, a tonne of reading! It’s pretty crazy that it’s already July – over half way through the year, closer to next Christmas than last Christmas – it’s just crazy!

As for reading in June, it’s been pretty damn good! The lowest rating I gave a book was 3/5 and I’m really, really happy with the level of variety in my reading. I may not have conquered every book on my rather minute TBR but I did manage 11 books in total – I just wasn’t in the mood for MaddAddam (which I will remedy next month!) but yeah, it’s been a whirlwind of a month!

Also, in June I reached 100 subscribers (which is infinitesimal I know, but I am so happy!) and 500 likes – which is quite a feat in just under a year of actively blogging! So I really just want to thank you all for giving me the warm fuzzies!

Now, on to the stats.

June Stats:

So, as I said I read 11 books in June. It came to a total of 3936 pages with a split of 5 male authors and 6 females. I really read a lot of variety in genre, there was classics, modern classics, literary fiction, light fantasy… it’s been wonderful! I’ve loved the variety and want to make the conscious effort to do that more because I feel I’ve appreciated and enjoyed each book more because of it. I also read two books by PoC – although they were well known authors (Haruki Murakami and Kazuo Ishiguro)

So, my average rating this month was 4/5 – there were a couple of 3s and one 5 but it averaged out nicely at 4! I also averaged 358 pages per book – which is for some reason a statistic I’ve failed to mention previously!

My only 5* book this month was To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf but honestly, there were other books that I enjoyed just as much on the whole. I loved The Shadow of the Wind, I loved The Bone Clocks, I loved The Remains of the Day and The Paying Guests. There were just so many good books that I can honestly say have gone on my favourites this month and… it’s really reignited my love of reading, before I was feeling a little slumpy but now I feel good about it!

July TBR:

I was going to not even bother with a TBR for this month, however I feel I do like to have a few ideas of books to read and there are a lot of books I would like to get to over the Summer so I’ve decided to put something together. Now the photo is shocking as the lighting was abysmal but here’s a brief overview of my TBR for July

As you can see it’s quite varied. There’s only one classic this month & that’s The Count of Monte Cristo as it is a beast and I want to take my time with it. The same goes for Sapiens which is a beast of a non-fiction book. All the Light We Cannot See was my pick for the book group I’m part of and I have already started and, so far, I’m liking it. Half of a Yellow Sun is one that has been on my TBR for a long time and, after reading Americanah in January, I have wanted to explore more of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s work; I’ve heard this is her best (there is also a movie which I’m quite interested to check out. So let me know if you’ve read the book and/or watched the movie and what you thought.) Finally, there are two from my most recent haul – Dorothy Must Die and The Honours both of which I actually really can’t wait to get around to so naturally they’ve both jumped a considerable number of books to join this months TBR – which is unusual as I believe both of them are YA which is really not my usual fare (as is All the Light We Cannot See, actually)!

I’m unaware of any read-a-thons this month (if you know of any, do tell!) but I’m going to try and tackle as much of my pile of books to read as possible over the next couple of months. I’ve had a considerable number of additions to my collection lately so I’m going to aim to read a fair number of them! I may compile a spreadsheet or something of books I own in order to see how many I have read/haven’t read and share it with you so you can make suggestions!

Anyway, as always, thanks for reading, liking and subscribing! Every like, comment or subscription makes me happy so thank you!

May Wrap-Up & June TBR

Exams are over, I am finally free. I am (hopefully) no longer a second year. That is a scary thought! But I don’t know how I am going to top May in terms of reading! I’m sorry that there has been post after post this weekend, I’ve bee catching up on all what I have to say!

This month has been really, really awesome. In spite of having 5 exams I’ve somehow managed to read 8 books and all of them have been… great. I feel like I seriously hit the jackpot with the content of the books I read this month because not one of them was downright awful, The Buried Giant wasn’t great but it wasn’t the worst book ever written. It really looks like I’m shying away from a bad review but this is honest. I cannot remember a month in which I’ve read this many books and they’ve all been THIS GOOD. It’s crazy.

May Stats:

So, I got through the TBR I set last month and some, reading 8 books. I’ve managed some good variety in there too, a couple of classics, some literary fiction with overlap in to the sci-fi/fantasy/dystopia realms, some children’s literature – it’s been a really good month. From the 8 books I managed a total of 2614 pages, and it was a 3:5 split between male and female authors. I read one book by a PoC, which was The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro.

My favourite book of this month is a hard one – my average rating of the month was 4.1 which is really saying something. Of the books I read, I think I have to put The Year of the Flood at the top but it was a very hard decision. It’s saying something when my least favourite book of the month was probably The Buried Giant which is saying something given that I didn’t loathe it – it just wasn’t mindblowing!

I am so, so happy with what I’ve managed to read this month. I thought I was being ambitious with the TBR I set but the fact I managed to whiz through it and get some additional books read was pretty impressive!

June TBR:

Having finished with exams and hitting the Summer break, I’m being ambitious this month. I want to read at least 10 books. As I managed 8 in May, I feel this is attainable. However, as I’ve finished uni for the year, I’m probably going to pick up books as and when – TBRs tend to work during term time as they mean I just don’t have to think about what I’m going to read next! Though as it’s now Summer I can pick up what I want, when I want and it will be rather fun.

So, it’s a small TBR as these are the books I want to get to immediately this month. Every other book I read will be spur of the moment! It’s a luxury that I’m looking forward to.

MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood is self explanatory. Final part of the MaddAddam trilogy and having absolutely loved The Year of the Flood I want to get around to this ASAP. I need to know what happens, it’s as simple as that! I also don’t want to make the mistake I did between Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood and leave it nearly 6 months before I read the next, and final, instalment

The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan is one I’ve heard recommended by several people in May and I absolutely cannot wait to start on this. I know very little about it, all I know is I’m very excited about it and cannot wait to get sucked in. I trust Jen to recommend books to me and this comes in top of her list at the moment so… I’ve got big expectations of this!

Finally, we have a second or third appearance of The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell on my TBR. I’ve wanted to read this since I bought it in September and, after Tracy from Ketts Books (my favourite bookshop, in case you’re new) said that she loved it, she instructed me to come back once I had read it so we could talk about it; this has catapulted it back to the top of my TBR.

Aside from that, what I read is anyone’s guess. I’d like to read some classics this month; I have so many sat there that I want to read now it’s very hard to choose some to put on a TBR! Also, I have stacks of non-fiction which I am excited to read so that’s a definite to get around to for the Summer. Maybe a general “Summer TBR” would be a good thing to do sometime…

Feel free to recommend away to me if you think there’s something I ought to read soon. I’d love to have some suggestions on what to read! Until next month!