It’s been a while!


Hello everyone! I’ve fallen off the face of WordPress for a while now; things got so drab and dreary over winter that I had zero motivation to take book review photos and now I’m about 40 books behind in reviewing! I’m hoping to get back in to the swing of things this week so I can share all of the wonderful books I’ve read since… November? I’ve also had the London Bookshop Crawl (haul above) to talk about which I really need to do because it was such a good day.

Bye for now, but hopefully I’ll see you soon!

Re-Readathon Five


I’m taking part in another rereadathon! 

I’ve been thinking recently about the kind of YA books I’ve enjoyed reading recently and how I missed out in a lot of YA books as a teen because I moved on to adult fiction so young. The thing is… as much as there are some YA books that I do love, they’re not written for me. I’m twenty five, I can’t and shouldn’t judge them as their intended readership. So, I made a list of the books I enjoyed aged 10-13, found the ones that I still own and there’s my TBR for this week! I’m going mega old school, back to 2002!

My list for the week is:

The Raging Quiet by Sheryl Jordan

Almost Perfect by James Pope

The Misfits by James Howe

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

If I can find them and have the time I’d also quite like to reread Another Life by Frank McGinty, Doll by Nicky Singer and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor.

Here’s to a busy week with old favourites!

If you’d like to join in, check out Bex’s post!

Discworldathon: Colour of Magic read-a-long!


Hello! I’m hosting this month’s theme for Discworldathon: Wizards! A quick poll chose The Colour of Magic as our book for the month and it makes sense to start with the very beginning!

Fortunately The Colour of Magic is, against all tradition with Discworld novels, split in to four handy parts… one for every week in February! I know we’re two days in already but if we fal a few pages behind it’s no big deal. 

So, the month is going to be set up like this, with discussions going on on Twitter/Instagram under the hashtag #discworldathon, the readalong goodreads thread and/or here if people fancy it (wherever you like really!):

Week 1: The Colour of Magic

Week 2: The Sending of Eight

Week 3: The Lure of the Wyrm 

Week 4: Close to the Edge

The last weekend (25/26th) I’ll also be hosting a mini readalong of The Last Hero- the graphic short story about wizards trying to stop an old man from killing the gods.

I’ll mainly be posting on Goodreads and Twitter to save people’s timelines on here!

Finally, I’m also hosting a giveaway on twitter if you would like the chance to win a Discworld novel of your choice!

The Diverse-A-Thon 2017

The Diverse-A-Thon starts again this week and I’m really excited to see what everyone on Twitter, Bookstagram and Booktube are reading! I joined in last time and I think ended up reading about four books. This time round I’ve chosen only three books for my TBR; partly because I wanted to not stress about reading lots and instead enjoy actually reading and partly because one of the books I’ve chosen is a 1,000+ page Japanese epic.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

I’ve been planning on reading Norwegian Wood for my Read the World Project but I’ve been loathe to use the same books for more than one ‘project’ because that seems like cheating (I’m also taking part in Diversity Bingo 2017 and trying not to have any crossover). So, this seems like a perfect opportunity to read another of Haruki Murakami’s books that has been recommended to me by a few friends now. This may well end up being the only book I finish this week (although I tend to have more than on on the go) because it’s so long, but I’ll never turn down the opportunity to read a 1000 word dystopia!


If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

This one has been recommended by so many people on Twitter that I just had to include it in my TBR this week. I have actually read the first two pages already a few weeks ago, but only because I got carried away when I bought it. This YA story is about a trans girl who starts at a new school.


Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

Sometimes I am really in the mood for a romantic comedy book. Not always, but when the mood strikes I love them. Sofia Khan looks perfect (and the first page has already made me laugh); about a woman whose boss asks her to write an expose on dating as a Muslim woman.

Update:


Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

I have to add this one because I’ve just realised that it comes out this Tuesday. I’ve heard a lot of great things from people who were sent the ARC and I’ve been looking forward to it for months now!

What is on everyone’s TBR this week?

(Top image found on @diverseathon Twitter and used with permission)

I started Booktubing

image

So, I decided on a whim to start a booktube channel. It’s nothing fancy because I have no knowledge about video editing (I assume I’ll get better with practice) and my first video was a bit of a learning curve, but I’m rambling on about some of my favourite books that I read between… 2004 and 2015ish!

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara


I was warned by several people that this book would break me over the course of 700+ pages and they were absolutely right. A Little Life is a gut-wrenching epic that doesn’t let up the misery for even a second. I, of course, loved it because I love miserable books.

Note: it’s difficult to talk about this one without a certain degree of spoilers. I’ve not mentioned specifics or character names in relation to things that happen, but this review will give you an overall idea of some of the events that take place. Also TW for mention of child abuse and abusive relationships throughout this whole review (and book)

The story takes place over seven decades and largely focuses on four friends; Jude, Willem, Malcolm and JB. It’s a diverse group, in terms of ethnicity, sexuality and experience. Jude remains pretty much unknown to the others for most of the story but the narrative weaves in details about the horrific abuse he suffered as a child. We see the four of them meet at college and grow up to achieve their dreams- or not in some cases- whilst navigating the difficulties of a friendship with someone who is so clearly hurting, and remains the core of the group, but refuses to left anyone in.

I read somewhere that someone had described A Little Life as the ‘great gay novel’ and it’s true that queer relationships of many kinds are represented on page (some healthily, others not) but I think it would be a disservice to imply that people can come here looking for a happy ending. There are pretty much none. There are some beautiful moments, and I don’t want to give away any more than I need to, but the overall tone of the novel is not for people who love a bit of light fluff. I should point out that neither the book, nor this review, are #ownvoices on this subject so obviously take my opinions with the scepticism they deserve; but I felt the topics of coming out in the public eye were dealt with critically and well and a breadth of different ‘healthiness’ of relationships was represented. Perhaps we’re falling in to the territory of the ‘kill your gays’ trope but as the majority of the characters are queer and no death is designed to further the story of a straight character it feels like it fits within the tone of the narrative. (Seriously no happy endings here. Even misery-loving me was yelling at the page)

I did have one glaring issue with the book that I was unable to forgive though and it kind of tainted the experience for me. I understand that the book, whilst being predominantly in third person, embodies the point of view and inner monologues of each of the characters, mainly Jude and Willem, I thought it was completely irresponsible of the author to refer to a sexual act between a nine-twelve year old boy and a middle aged man as ‘sex’. It’s rape, either call it that or don’t name it. It actually made me really angry to see it put down on a page as ‘they had sex’ because I feel like that’s a gross misuse of a writers power to challenge these things. That word shouldn’t have been anywhere near that situation, for a writer as clearly talented as Hanya Yanagihara it should have been possible to write around calling it sex. It left a bad taste in my mouth and it kind of tipped the balance in to some parts being almost like trauma porn.

Still, it is an extraordinary book and I’m not surprised it’s such a bestseller, despite the length of it and how harrowing it is. It covers everything from abusive relationships to self harm to suicide to child abuse to child prostitution to sexually transmitted diseases to friendships to gay relationships (spoiler alert: not one gay or bisexual character contracts or dies from an STI which is a welcome break from a harmful stereotype there). It’s one that I would say needs to be experienced if the subject matter appeals- it would be triggering to a lot of people and like I said before this is not one for people who value happy endings. I loved it, but I am a depressing-narrative-enthusiast.

Blog Tour: The Dry by Jane Harper

‘I just can’t understand how someone like him could do something like that.’

Amid the worst drought to ravage Australia in a century, it hasn’t rained in small country town Kiewarra for two years. Tensions in the community become unbearable when three members of the Hadler family are brutally murdered. Everyone things Luke Hadler, who committed suicide after slaughtering his wife and six-year-old son, is guilty.

Policeman Aaron Falk returns to the town of his youth for the funeral of his childhood best friend, and is unwillingly drawn into the investigation. As questions mount and suspicion spreads through the town, Falk is forced to confront the community that rejected him twenty years earlier. Because Falk and Luke Hadler shared a secret, one which Luke’s death threatens to unearth. And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, secrets from his past and why he left home bubble to the surface as he questions the truth of his friend’s crime.

The Dry is one of those books that grips you from the very beginning; throwing us straight in to the funeral of a young family that was, on the surface, a murder suicide as a result of economic depression within a small town. Returning home for the first time in year is Falk, who harbours a secret about his shared past with the friend everyone assumes killed his wife and child.

I found the setting of this one particularly interesting. The only way I can describe it is claustrophobic; Falk had got out but is drawn back in to the whispers and secrets of his small town home. The writing is beautiful and really draws you in to this crime mystery, without being sensational. It embodies small town drama whilst also being sensitive to the tragedy at the centre of the story.

I love a good crime thriller so I really enjoyed this one. It felt like an Australian Gillian Flynn novel; a gripping crime at the centre of something distinctly outback.