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Reading my Collection

2017 – WHOLE year without buying books

For those of you that didn’t know…I’m soft!

My spontaneous confession isn’t just giving you new information about me, it is in fact about a book. On my unexpected day off I got to read an entire book, in one afternoon for the first time in ages. I sat down with a fresh beautifully brewed coffee, ate crepes and was transported to Italy.

‘Call me by your name’ by Andre Aciman is beautiful coming of age story that I thought I knew the plot for. I thought it was going to a be a typical boy meets boy, they fall in love, one dies, the other spends his life mourning that loss etc. Was I wrong? well not completely but this story is beautifully tragic. I cried. Yes, for the people that know me this isn’t a big deal, I am soft. I cry A LOT. However, that doesn’t take anything away from the emotional journey this story took me one.

This wasn’t a book I couldn’t put down, it was a book I didn’t want to put down. I found Elio a wonderful relateable character, full of life and just enough geek to keep him interesting. Oliver, on the other hand, was wise beyond his years, a bit of a Romeo and fun, so very fun. I am writing this about the book, I haven’t seen the film and after reading this I’m not sure I can bare it being corrupted by the big screen treatment. Although that being said I do have the book with the movie cover, not this one.

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I thought it was amazing, I thought it was honest, real and filled my mind with all the emotions I had as a teen worrying about my own sexuality. I never juggled with 2 people at the same time, but Elio’s innocence in this is very endearing, albeit a little bit wrong.

I have so many books, and yet so few that I would happily read again. This book sits firmly on that shelf. Oliver believes in love so strongly, Elio believes in Oliver wholeheartedly and it is magical. It is a story that will hold up, I will read it in 20 years and it will still feel fresh, raw and no doubt make me cry all over again.

If you have read it, there are obvious reasons I will not be recommending this book to my mother, but it is a book for anyone that believes in love. In fact, it is a book for anyone, especially those that don’t believe in love, as it is enough to convince them otherwise.

Happy reading.

The unexpected day off!

BOOK FEELINGS: Just a quick one, today I turned up for a course that actually starts tomorrow. So I’m having today off and wandering around the fine city of Nottingham. I started today with 1 book in my suitcase (a rookie error I know) but I wasn’t expected much time to read.

I’m finishing today with 4 books in my suitcase, two of which I have read. That’s right, I finished the book I brought with me and one of the ones I bought this afternoon. I have started a 3rd one too! The last time I read an entire book in one sitting I was on holiday, well I was off work at least. It just shows that having a job gets in the way of reading.

Talking of which, I am trying to get my job home based, which although would mean fewer audiobooks due to fewer bus journeys, it would mean more time to read and review books!!

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So ‘Traitor Queen’ by Trudi Canavan is complete, review to come and I started and finished ‘ Call me by your name’ by Andre Aciman this afternoon. ‘Tainted Love’ by Anna Chilvers has an intriguing beginning and I have been wanting to read the first in Laura Lam’s trilogy, ever since listing to her guest slot on ‘Breaking the glass slipper’.

I’m going to grab some dinner and get reviewing.

Happy Reading.

A missing record, a missing person and long standing msytery.

The vinyl detective is back! This book I preordered last New Years Eve and it was sent back because it was delivered to the wrong address, so I have had to wait over a year to read this. I read the first one and immediately wanted this…and then had to wait, and wait, and wait. It was not ok.

The Vinyl detective is back with the whole crew, Nevada, Clean Head, good ol’ Tinkler and of course Fanny and Turk. We start with the recovery of a very rare record, as we’d expect but the journey has only just begun.

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Pause for cat cuddles… and the cat just ran across the keyboard, just like fanny and Turk. The vinyl detective still remains nameless, and baring in mind he was nearly killed this time it would have been a very odd tombstone.

That’s right, this story is about the missing son of a sixties legend. In the search for him, we meet massive strong Americans, a dodgy shrink and the cats have learnt to be sneaky! In some ways, this story isn’t as exciting as the first… I think it is because this is about a missing person, not a missing record.

The change in dynamics is interesting, it is a partnership rather than a lone wolf on the hunt. It is the Scooby gang facing up to dangers like poisoned tea, grave-robbing and random trips to Morrocco.

This flowed as well as the first book, and I am enjoying the change so the series doesn’t become formulaic but i’d like book three to be back on the record trail.

Happy Reading!!

The boy on the other side of the creek and his missing father.

BOOK FEELINGS:

I got a book for Christmas, I got a book for Christmas, I got a book for Christmas, I got a book for Christmas, I got a book for Christmas, I got a book for Christmas!! Yeah, that’s right this book was one of my Christmas presents. christmas-book

I have read about this book online and how it helped John Green understand his own mental health, so I was really keen to get started. Ignoring that this review is coming out in ermmmm….march, I started reading this on Boxing Day!

Review:

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Aza is different. She worries and panics and frets about a cut on her thumb. She struggles with life and a break from routine and she thinks she has a heart of gold.  Aza and her best friend Daisy want a real-life adventure.

Daisy’s world is mainly Star Wars fan-fic, her way of escaping feeling poor, feeling neglected and a having a best friend that is very hard work. Daisy and Aza use coupons to have dinner at the diner whilst doing homework and it is there, they discovered the local billionaire has gone missing!

The $100,000 reward catches Daisy’s attention and they are off, rowing the creek, searching for hidden cameras and reuniting with old friends. This tale involves lizards, Doctors and proper high school romances, add Aza’s ever-tightening spiral of thoughts and Davis’s star-gazing, we have the making of a true John Green classic.

I laughed and fell in love and gasped along with the characters, I worried about my own issues with things having a set place but most of all I was so pleased that it was a classic whodunnit with a teenage twist.

For the first book and review of the year, this made me remember why I love reading.

Happy reading!

A gender bending circus detective… what more could you want?

AR_TheBulletCatchersDaughter Good afternoon Dear Reader,

Its the funny bit between Christmas and New Year so what is the best thing to do…Read obviously. This year I got 2 books for Christmas, and its enough to keep me going until I can buy them again and I might have got my Amazon basket ready for New Year’s day.

I haven’t been sleeping very well as an old shoulder injury is making it difficult so instead I put my headphones on and listened to the end of my book.  Don’t get me wrong the gender-bending in this is simply a plot device and has nothing to do with a trans* character but I think some of the research for the characterisation has been amazing.

So what on earth am I talking about? Well, Elizabeth Barnabus lives on a houseboat ‘with her brother’, or does she? In fact, she lives alone and cross-dresses to become her brother a renowned private detective. She was raised in the circus as a bullet-catcher, an escape artist and pure illusionist. They are hired by a local aristocrat to find her missing brother, the twist is he is on the other side of the border.

This story set in the alternative history of the Luddite Rebellion means the Patent Office has a strict border and Elizabeth has the get through to infiltrate a travelling circus like the one she grew up in, to try and find the missing man. This wonderful steampunk AU is full of mystery, intrigue and best of all the start of a series. I have already got the next two lined up for when I got back to my silly commute. Evanna-Lynch

The best bits for me include the extracts from the ‘The bullet catchers handbook’ at the beginning of each chapter, the fact the Rod Duncan is very funny and that this book is a very good detective novel. This is a great book, easy to read and full of cunning wordplay. Happy New Year all, so let’s keep reading in 2018!

Christmas Eve and 7 days left!

Dear Reader, it has been a long year.

I’m not going to write a summary because I have 7 days left to finish my books and maybe even read a bit more. I am going to get another book in before the year is out and hopefully one more review. However, I am going to let you know that I am going to carry on the blog. I have paid for another year, although I am going to allow myself to buy books I will be careful.

This year has been a bit learning curve, not just because I have read a lot of books I wouldn’t have done if I was allowed to stay in my comfort zone but I have had a chance to talk to engage with online communities about them. I have learnt to love steampunk, I have seen the joys of small independent books that no one has heard of and I have really enjoyed talking about books with my friends and family.

Due to this resolution, I have been given books as presents, by members of my workbook club and sent recommendations by strangers. This blog has been an outlet and I thank you for your patience in my lack of posts. I am going to try and be better, I know I have said that in every post ever but ‘making time’ is my new year’s resolution. More time for me, more time for my partner and more time for life. I always say ‘I don’t have time for that’ but the truth is I DO. I have time I just have to use it better.

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After Christmas, I will tell you I how have planned some time with Carol, (it’s a Christmas present so… no spoilers) but I am going to use my travel time better. I am going to use my weekends better and I am going plan time with my friends. This time last year I made a resolution I wasn’t sure I could keep and yet this year I am doing the same thing.

It’s Christmas eve and I have time so I’m off to read. Merry Christmas and happy reading!

I’m still reading!

Sorry its been so long, I am still reading, but in the 2 months since my last blog I have moved house, been away from home far too many days, not had the internet and then to top it all off. WE GOT A CAT!

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So I do apologise for the lack of posts, however, I still haven’t bought a book. I am 10 and a half months in and am only reading books that I own or have been bought for me. I’m super impressed with myself.

I have updated my ‘story so far‘ page with the books i have read or listened to in the last couple of months. If I can I will write retrospective reviews but I want to get back on top things first.

So my next review will be “A Natural History of Dragons; A memoir by Lady Trent’ by Marie Brennan or ‘The Word is Murder’ by Anthony Horowitz as I finished that audiobook on the train yesterday.

French engineers, Spotted custard and a lioness.

BOOK FEELINGS: I love Gail Carriger’s books. I have tried to read other things but this steampunk extravaganza is in fact addictive, I currently have several books on the go, which I don’t like doing but they keep calling me back.

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So I have had this book since very early this year, but i have had the sequel for over a year, and i have finally got round to reading it. After all the Parasol books, I took a break with other books, a few of the audio variety and few with real pages. The recent beautiful weekends have been helping, sitting in the garden with sun beating down and a cold one (to be honest normally a cup of Redbush) and a good book. Feet up, eyes down and lost in another world.

Life has been very busy, I have in fact bought a house. Not alone, but I will soon be moving to a house with a garden, a desk (so I can work from home) and most importantly with all my books! This is an amazing but terrifying prospect but equally i can’t wait to live with Carol.

download (3)REVIEW:  This book is ridiculous, wonderful and fantastic. This series revolves around the adventures of Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama, or Rue to her friends. The metanatural is going on an adventure, with Queen Ivy’s daughter Primrose and son Percival and Madame Lafoux’s adoptive son, engineer Quesnal. The purpose of this adventure… well obviously it is for the greatest treasure in the world. Tea.

Having loved the ‘Parasol’ series, I had great expectations but was equally wary. I made the mistake of reading the comments, and there were a few people that were not too impressed by this series. I think the critics are wrong. I loved the journey to India on ‘The Spotted Custard’, I mean what a great name for an airship, did I mention it was decorated like a giant ladybird. prudence-fan-art

In India, Rue is frivolous with Prim’s reputation, daring with her wardrobe and finds more supernaturals to transform into outside the standard werewolf and vampire. Percy and Quesnal fight over everything, Prim can’t handle anything but tea and Spoo is the wonderful boy that isn’t, well a boy that is.

I didn’t like putting this down, or putting it aside and when I did the most catastrophic thing happened… I BROKE THE SPINE. I took this to mean, that I shouldn’t put it down until I finished it.

It was a delight reading the adventures of the grown up children of characters I came to love. The limited touches of Alexia, Paw and Dama added a hint of the old days, the unexpected joy of reading that Uncle Lyall was also in India was wonderful and made me smile far too much. That is enough for any protectorate lover to read this book, but if need more there is were-monkeys, a lioness, and of course Tea.

Can the nation’s newest Sundowner follow in her parents footsteps? Is it even possible for her to cause more trouble then her mother? My dearest readers, I have even started the sequel.

So for now… Happy Reading!

Hard Magic!

So I found this audiobook in the recommendations after listening to the Glass and Steele series and the Parasol protectorate and sure enough the algorithm was right. I loved this book.

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Jake Sullivan is a ‘Heavy’ unless you ask him, then he is a gravity spiker. Faye is a traveller and Heinrich is a fade. Dan is a mouth and Lance, well he is cog. You need to find out how these 5 take on the Imperium.

It is a book full of quotes and alternative history.

  • the Titanic did not sink, it was saved by an Active.
  • When he was elected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was not in a wheelchair, having been cured of polio by a Mender as a child.
  • Dirigibles/Blimps are common air carriers.
  • National Socialism (Nazism) never rose in Germany, as Hitler was shot by a firing squad long before he developed any kind of following before the events in the books take place.
  • In the Great War, the Kaiser’s forces employed magic that turned all of the battlefield dead into zombies. At the end of the war, the remaining zombies were herded into Berlin and surrounded by a big wall to keep them in. They are still there to this day, and it is now referred to as “Dead City”.
  • The Great War was ended by the invention of the Peace Ray, a weapon invented by Nikolai Tesla (a Cog) capable of hitting any target with a 300-mile line-of-sight range and utterly destroy it. Now, all countries have Peace Ray installations, and out-and-out war is a thing of the past.

J Edgar Hoover is in charger of the BI and trades Jake’s jail time for his service in hunting down dangerous actives. During his pursuits he is reunited with Delilah and meet the rest of the Grimnoir. Upon meeting him, Faye tries to kill Jake thinking he is his brother Maddy, one Jane heals them both and together they go after the Chairman.

The flow is a little stunted sometimes, there will be chapters where no very much happens and others where you are overwhelmed with the progress but it seems to work. This book is funny, strange and very well written. I liked the narrator and how the thoughts of the characters were said in their voice, the writing echoed this.

Happy reading!!

 

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