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

20160204_233552837_iOS

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…

20160102_164019332_iOS

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.

Readathon: Bout-of-Books 14.0

Bout of Books
I love a good read-a-thon so I’ve decided to take part in Bout of Books 14.0 next week! If you don’t know what Bout of Books is:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team
So, I’m really excited because I really want to get a good chunk of reading done over the next week and also, read-a-thons mean TBRs and I love making TBRs! So, below are the books I want to get around to or at least have the pick of over the next week! I doubt I will read them all but I’d like to get some of them started and/or finished. Without further ado, a TBR pile:
20150816_095437345_iOS
Two of these books I am currently reading (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Skin) but the other four are books that I just want to read sooner rather than later. I always like to throw some du Maurier in to a readathon TBR so, while Hungry Hill is the next to read chronologically, I picked The Parasites because it is considerably shorter. Then we have two off of me August TBR The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ and also The Montana Stories. Topping it off we have another Persephone book and some Virginia Woolf to boot in Flush: A Biography.
So that’s my TBR for the week. I doubt I’ll get through all of these books but I’m aiming to complete 3, maybe 4, and make headway in to the others. I know I won’t finish Strange & Norrell this week but I’m 200 pages in and haven’t picked it up since the start of the month so just want to make a further dent in to it!
I’m really excited to be taking part in this and I shall update with reviews over the course of the week and my wrap up at the end. But YAY! Read-a-thon!

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

2015-07-29 13.34.10

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!

Readathon: Rainbow Read-a-Thon

Ahhh! Another read-a-thon. Yes, I am crazy. Yes, I did only just finish my previous read-a-thon TBR but what can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment! But I couldn’t, absolutely could not, pass up the chance to make a pretty rainbow TBR.

So, the premise of this is to create a rainbow for your TBR – 6 books with rainbow spines (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple), I could have done the alternate 4 books (two of which contain two of the requisite colours) but I’m crazy. The original video can be found here which contains all the information! Now, I think 6 books in a week is a bit ambitious and pretty much impossible how I am reading right now, however I’d like to get a bulk of them read at the very least and then take the remainder with me on holiday next week!

2015-06-13 22.57.37

So I think this is a very pretty rainbow. I could have made loads of bookish rainbows. It would have kept me occupied for hours. Now, on to the books.

Starting from the top we have the red book, Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami. This is one I’ve wanted to read for a while and actually started once or twice but never actually got more than 10 pages in. It’s not too long at 229 pages so I feel it’s an achievable one!

Orange is an author I’ve heard a lot about recently – just mentions here and there, but enough to pique my interest to the point I bought The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I know very little about this book, I picked it up for the author alone, so I’m hoping to be blown away!

Yellow is another by Kazuo Ishiguro, and it’s the one I’ve heard the best things about. The Remains of the Day is apparently his best work, at least that’s what I’ve heard from most people I respect the opinions of.

Green is one I’ve actually already read today! Heidi is a children’s book by Johanna Spyri and I absolutely adored it (and the beautiful Puffin in Bloom edition of it!) It was a quick read, I devoured it in only a couple of hours and was just what I needed to get going in this readathon!

Blue is Surfacing by Margaret Atwood. Again, this is one I picked up because of the author rather than the plot of the book. It’s not too long and I’m actually looking forward to getting in to this one.

Finally, we have the book I’m most looking forward to but probably going to put off to last and that is The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters. I love Sarah Waters and this came out in paperback last week and I genuinely cannot wait to read it (I put off buying in order to have matching editions of her books). But I’m going to be patient as I think this might be a good one to take on holiday with me Friday!

So that’s my ambitious TBR for the week (15th-21st!) As I said, it’s unlikely I’ll finish all of these this week but I’m good with that. I just wanted to make a pretty rainbow, truth be known! Let me know if you have read any of the above books or if you’re taking part!

Thanks for reading!