Booking Ahead: July 2020

Booking Ahead is an opportunity to glance through my never-ending TBR list/pile and select a few potential reads for the coming month. If I’m not reading books I love talking about books I’d like to read, so this post is a perfect excuse to do just that.

Time to select a few potential reads for the coming month. After all the time spent reading Lonesome Dove I think I fancy something a little bit Fantasy-themed this month, and so I‘ve chosen the following. I doubt I’ll manage to read all these this month, but they do all sound amazing; the only decision is which to pick first? It will probably be Ten Thousand Doors as I’ve wanted to read that one for quite a while now.

Here are a few of the books I’d like to read throughout July…

New Books

Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang – New York City, 1899. Tillie Pembroke’s sister lies dead, her body drained of blood and with two puncture wounds on her neck. Bram Stoker’s new novel, Dracula, has just been published, and Tillie’s imagination leaps to the impossible: the murderer is a vampire. But it can’t be—can it?

Books from the Backlist

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – This may finally be the month that I start reading this book. I’m really looking forward to it. A sprawling mansion, books, secret doors, other worlds? Can’t wait.

City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty – Eighteenth century Cairo, tales of djinn and spirits, enchantment and magic, and Nahri, who wishes to one day leave Cairo. Sounds like the start of an exciting trilogy, and the last book is already out so if I enjoy it I could just carry on reading.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – My final choice of potential reads for this month. Southern Mexico, someone dreaming of a different life, a meeting with a Mayan god of death, and the offer of a deal. Sounds intriguing.


What are you hoping to read this month? Have you read of my picks, and if so what did you think?
See you again next month for another Booking Ahead.

Monthly Summary: June 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

Despite the fact that I didn’t post a single book review throughout June, or even finish a whole book, it’s not been a bad month of reading. Anyone who’s been following along recently may remember I’ve mentioned a certain book on more than one occasion. Yes, Lonesome Dove has been well and truly occupying my reading time, and I’m into the latter stages of the tale now. I’m braced for more upcoming character deaths, and can’t say I’m looking forward to that after following these guys for over 800 pages already.

As I knew I wouldn’t be posting much review-wise I decided to write a few Top Ten Tuesday posts, which I haven’t participated in for a while, and I enjoyed coming up with books for those. I’ve seen the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag appearing again too, so I decided I’d write a 2020 update for that tag.

Here’s what happened in June on Pages and Tea…

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

June 2020

Top Ten Tuesday

Books I’ve Added to my TBR List

My Summer 2020 TBR List

Top Ten Top Tens

Book Tags

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

June Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Reading Review: June 2020

Welcome to my Monthly Reading Review.
This post is my attempt to keep track of how I’m doing with my reading challenges and resolutions.

BOOKS I’VE READ

I’ve read plenty of pages this month but haven’t actually finished anything!

Total Library Books Read This Month: 0
Total Own Books Read This Month: 0
Overall Total Books Read This Month: 0

Total Library Books Read 2020: 11
Total Own Books Read 2020: 1
Overall Total Books Read 2020: 12

MY READ OF THE MONTH

I’ve been reading Lonesome Dove by Larry McMutry most of this month, so even though I haven’t finished the book yet it should probably have a mention here.

BEAT THE BACKLIST

My total for this challenge is currently 10 books read.   So far I’ve read:

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
The Six by Luca Veste
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Poirot #20) by Agatha Christie
Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi
The Poison Song (The Winnowing Flame #3) by Jen Williams
The Colour of Magic (Discworld #1) by Terry Pratchett
Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker
The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
A Different Kind of Evil (Agatha Christie #2) by Andrew Wilson
Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

Beat the Backlist Bingo is making another appearance this year. I have no idea how many categories I’ll manage to complete but it’s a little extra to add to my challenge.

           

              

       

Borrowed it for the cover – The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I wanted to read this from the moment I first heard about it, but I’m using it for this category because I never got tired of looking at the cover. I also think this may be a contender for the category of a top 10 read of the year.

Released in the 2010’s – The Six by Luca Veste

Written before 2010 – Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Poirot #20) by Agatha Christie

Wish you had read it sooner – Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

Book you never finished before – The Colour of Magic (Discworld #1) by Terry Pratchett

One word title – Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker

Genre you never/rarely read – The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Book with less than 200 pages – Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

GOODREADS

I’ve read 12 books so far this year.

GOALS

  • My Beat the Backlist challenge is ongoing. So far I’ve read 10 books. Hopefully I’ll be able to add at least a couple more to this total.
  • I’m continuing my monthly update posts to record my reading and any challenge progress I’ve made.

So concludes June’s Reading Review. See you again next month.

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag: 2020 Edition

It’s Book Tag time.

It’s that time of year; I’ve spotted this tag around quite often recently so yes, the Mid-Year period is here again.
I’ve enjoyed many of my recent reads, so here’s to remembering a few of them in the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020:

I can’t possibly just choose one book for this as I’ve read so many great ones already this year. I must mention…

           

Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker
Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
The Poison Song by Jen Williams

2. Best sequel of 2020 so far:


The Poison Song by Jen Williams. It’s the final book in the Winnowing Flame trilogy and such a great end to that series. The only sad thing about it is that there won’t be any further adventures with Vintage, Tor and Noon.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to:

If It Bleeds by Stephen King. There’s not chance I’m not going to want to read the new Stephen King, and this one contains four stories, one of them featuring Holly Gibney, last seen in The Outsider.

4. Most anticipated release of the second half of 2020:

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik
The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton

5. Biggest disappointment of 2020:

That I have so many books I want to be reading right now and my reading pace cannot keep up. Bookwise I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read so far this year so couldn’t really put a title for this answer.

6. Biggest surprise:

I was surprised how much I enjoyed reading The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe. It was included in the collection Darkness There and it made a nice change. I don’t tend to read poetry but I loved the lyrical tone and the gothic picture it painted. Not sure I’d read more poetry, you never know, but I’d definitely read more Poe.

7. Favourite new author (debut or new to you):

I really enjoyed Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi.

8. Newest fictional crush:

Why do I never manage to come up with anything for this answer? I must be missing out.

9. Newest favourite character:

Augustus McCrae from Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. I can’t remember the last time I liked a character as much as I liked Gus.

10. Book that made you cry:

I know I’ve already mentioned both of these but The Poison Song by Jen Williams definitely had a moment or two, and I have a feeling there may be some upcoming scenes as I reach the final part of Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry too.

11. Book that made you happy:

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern provided some great escapism.

12. Favourite book to movie adaptation of 2020 you’ve seen:

I’m not sure I’ve seen one? Okay, does it count that I watched Locke and Key even though I’ve yet to read the graphic novel? That’s about all I can come up with at the moment.

13. Favourite Post/review you’ve written this year:

     

Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker, and Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi were both enjoyable to write about, and to read.
My Top Ten Tuesday wander through the TBR pile and Covers edition were quite fun to write too.

14. Most beautiful book you bought or received this year:

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern has a lovely cover and the story was whimsical and magical.

15. Books you need to read by the end of this year:

A small selection, because my TBR list/pile could fill a whole new post…

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
If It Bleeds by Stephen King
NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

So concludes my 2020 edition of The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag.


As always, if you’ve not already done this and you fancy reminiscing over the amazing books you’ve read so far this year, feel free to consider yourself tagged.
See you next time for another Book Tag!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Top Tens

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Click on the link for more info and to find out about future topics.

This week’s theme is:  Top Ten Tuesday Turns 10!


Top Ten Tuesday turns 10, so this week I’ve decided to look at previous top ten lists I’ve written…

Book Hangovers – The book hangover, for me it’s that feeling of finishing a great book and just not quite being ready to leave the world and the characters behind. It was fun to think back on some of the stories that I couldn’t quite leave behind, and looking over the post again brought back fond memories of book such as The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher and books from the Powder Mage world by Brian McClellan

5-Star Reads? – An opportunity to ponder on whether upcoming reads would become 5-star reads. I enjoyed looking back over this post even though I still haven’t read some of the books I mentioned at the time. I can confirm that Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker and The Poison Song by Jen Williams in indeed become 5-star reads for me.

From Page to Screen… – Occasionally I’ll read a great book and it strikes me that it would be perfect for either a big screen or tv series adaptation. This post featured books I would like to see become a movie/tv show. As yet only NOS4A2 by Joe Hill has made it to the screen, but I still think The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton would be great, and the Winternight trilogy by Katherine Arden could also make a great series.

Books With Single-Word Titles – When I first saw this topic I thought it would be really tough and for a while I couldn’t think of many at all but in the end I was surprised how many came to me and could have added a few more to the post.

Love Freebie – I showcased book covers in this Top Ten Tuesday ‘Love Freebie.’ Sometimes, browsing bookshop/library shelves, a really striking cover is the very first thing to catch my attention and make me want to find out more about a book.

Rainy Day Reads – There’s a real pleasure in having the opportunity to sit and read on a rainy day. It’s quiet and cosy, and every so often it’s great to pause and watch the rain trailing down the windows. Give me a mug of tea and a great book and I’ll be a happy reader. So, what would I possibly pick up on one of these occasions?

Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book – There are so many reasons I might choose to pick up a particular book and this post looked into a few of them.

Hidden or Not-So-Hidden Gems – I think most of the gems featured in this post were actually ‘not so hidden’ in the end.

Books I Loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads – This was an interesting post to revisit, seeing titles by Jen Williams and M. R. Carey and thinking how much I enjoyed those books. I’m surprised all over again that the books mentioned in this post didn’t have over 2,000 ratings on Goodreads at the time.

Freebie AKA All The Library Books I was Reluctant to Return – Library books are great but, of course, they have to be returned. That’s okay, until you come across one of those books that you really love.
It’s a beautiful book to look at, the story has been amazing, you’ve lived that tale with those characters and you can’t imagine not having that book in your possession any more. This post was devoted to library books I was reluctant to part with.


So, what did you write about this week?
See you again next time for another Top Ten Tuesday.

Top Ten Tuesday: My Summer 2020 TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Click on the link for more info and to find out about future topics.

This week’s theme is:  Books on my Summer 2020 TBR List


Last week I featured books I’ve recently added to my TBR list, and some of those may end up on my Summer TBR pile too, but for now, here are ten more books I hope I’ll manage to read over the coming months…

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – I’ve wanted to read this for a while now, I think it might be the one I start next once I’ve finished…

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry – My ongoing reading project. It’s still in progress so not technically a TBR book but one that’s taking up a fair bit of my reading time at the moment so it has to have a mention.

Sanctuary by V. V. James – A death deemed a tragic accident, but rumours of witchcraft mean there could be more to it. A supernatural thriller that I hope to get around to reading soon.

Guards! Guards! By Terry Pratchett – I’m still a little undecided about whether to read the Discworld books in order or go at random but this one keeps drawing my attention so I might end up taking the at random approach.

The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty – The final book in this trilogy has just been released and I have the first two books already, so what better time to make a start?

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman – I’ve mentioned this series before. I love the sound of the adventures of a librarian spy.

Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang – In 1899 New York Tillie Pembroke’s sister has been found dead. Dracula has just been published, and Tillie can’t help but wonder whether a vampire may have been involved in her sister’s death.

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Gracia – The Jazz Age, Mexican folklore, an ancient Mayan God. Sounds like a good pick for summer reading I think.

Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver – Billed as a darkly gothic thriller, I like the sound of this, and might save it for the latter part of summer.

? – What else should I add to my TBR list?


So, have you read any of the books that made my list this week?  If so, what did you think of them? See you again next time for another Top Ten Tuesday.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Added to my TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Click on the link for more info and to find out about future topics.

This week’s theme is:  Books Added to my TBR List


This week’s topic is Books I’ve Added to my TBR and Forgotten Why.
I have added many new books to my TBR list recently so I’m going in a slightly different direction with the prompt this and featuring some of the books that have caught my eye lately. So, here are ten books I’ve recently added to my TBR list, some already out there, some yet to be published…

If It Bleeds by Stephen King – The new Stephen King book couldn’t not feature on this list really, could it?

The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant – Billed as a Les Misérables reimagining, there’s little chance this wouldn’t have ended up on my list. I’ve never read Les Misérables but I’ve seen various versions over time and look forward to a reimagining.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix – Vampires and book clubs sound an interesting combination to me. Definitely not one I’ve come across before!

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik – I’ve read a few books by Naomi Novik and found them all enjoyable so this latest release definitely gets a place on my TBR list. A school of magic and new student with dark powers? Yes please.

The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence – A new-to-me author. I already have Red Sister and the following books on my e-reader (unread as yet), but I really like the sound of this new book too so onto the TBR list it goes.

Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen – Fantasy, folklore, the supernatural, the Old West. Everything about this makes it a book that warrants a place on my TBR list. I came across it whilst reading about Lonesome Dove. The West but with added Fantasy.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke – I’ve added this as I remember enjoying Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell so I’m excited to see what this new tale has to offer.

The Book of Koli by M. R. Carey – Another author whose previous works I’ve always enjoyed. This sounds really different from his previous books and is the first in a series.

The Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison – Alternate 1880s London, angels, vampires and werewolves. Need I say more?

? – What have I missed that should be on my massive TBR list?


So, have you read any of the books that made my list this week?  If so, what did you think of them? See you again next time for another Top Ten Tuesday.

Booking Ahead: June 2020

Booking Ahead is an opportunity to glance through my never-ending TBR list/pile and select a few potential reads for the coming month. If I’m not reading books I love talking about books I’d like to read, so this post is a perfect excuse to do just that.

I had another fairly slow paced reading month last month and at my current pace I’ll be lucky to reach the end of Lonesome Dove by the end of this month!
That said, if I do finish it I really fancy reading some Fantasy next and there are a few titles that spring to mind, so, here’s what may end up in my reading pile in June…

Books from the Backlist

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry – I’ve read over half of this now. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it this month.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – I’ve wanted to read this for a while and I’ve seen so many good reviews. Am really looking forward to finally discovering this book for myself.

And, some series beginnings that I like the sound of…

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman – The adventures of a librarian spy, beginning with a visit to an alterative London? Sounds good to me!

Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal – A Regency-era tale with added magic.

Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor – ‘Follows a group of tea-soaked disaster magnets as they hurtle their way around History’. That description certainly grabs my attention for this first book in The Chronicles of St. Mary’s.


What are you hoping to read this month? Have you read of my picks, and if so what did you think?
See you again next month for another Booking Ahead.

Monthly Summary: May 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

Another monthly summary already?! Okay, here goes…

I had my first experience reading Edgar Allan Poe in a short collection of stories and a poem called Darkness There. It contained The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Raven, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Pit and the Pendulum. I was surprised how much I enjoyed The Raven as I’ve never really been a great poetry fan, but that one had a lyrical quality that drew me in. Some of the Gothic elements of these short stories were absolutely brilliant, and the scene was always set to draw you straight into the short narrative. I’ll definitely check out more Poe.

I’ve also been continuing with my audio version of The Night Circus. I’m definitely doing better this time than I have with previous audio book attempts.

Also ongoing… Lonesome Dove. What a tale! I’ve read half of it now. There are so many great characters but my favourite at the moment is Gus and I always look forward to getting back to his viewpoint. Over another 400+ pages to go! I’m loving it, but I do think I’ll choose some shorter reads after this. I fancy some Fantasy having seen all the great Wyrd & Wonder posts around over the last month, and I have a large TBR list to choose from.

Here’s what happened in May on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

Darkness There:  Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

May 2020

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

May Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Reading Review: May 2020

Welcome to my Monthly Reading Review.
This post is my attempt to keep track of how I’m doing with my reading challenges and resolutions.

BOOKS I’VE READ

Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

Total Library Books Read This Month: 0
Total Own Books Read This Month: 1
Overall Total Books Read This Month: 1

Total Library Books Read 2020: 11
Total Own Books Read 2020: 1
Overall Total Books Read 2020: 12

MY READ OF THE MONTH

I only finished one book this month! I enjoyed Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe, so it definitely deserves a mention here anyway.

BEAT THE BACKLIST

My total for this challenge is currently 10 books read.   So far I’ve read:

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
The Six by Luca Veste
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Poirot #20) by Agatha Christie
Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi
The Poison Song (The Winnowing Flame #3) by Jen Williams
The Colour of Magic (Discworld #1) by Terry Pratchett
Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker
The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg
A Different Kind of Evil (Agatha Christie #2) by Andrew Wilson
Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

Beat the Backlist Bingo is making another appearance this year. I have no idea how many categories I’ll manage to complete but it’s a little extra to add to my challenge.

           

              

       

Borrowed it for the cover – The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I wanted to read this from the moment I first heard about it, but I’m using it for this category because I never got tired of looking at the cover. I also think this may be a contender for the category of a top 10 read of the year.

Released in the 2010’s – The Six by Luca Veste

Written before 2010 – Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Poirot #20) by Agatha Christie

Wish you had read it sooner – Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

Book you never finished before – The Colour of Magic (Discworld #1) by Terry Pratchett

One word title – Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker

Genre you never/rarely read – The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Book with less than 200 pages – Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

GOODREADS

I’ve read 12 books so far this year.

GOALS

  • My Beat the Backlist challenge is ongoing. So far I’ve read 10 books. Hopefully I’ll be able to add at least a couple more to this total.
  • I’m continuing my monthly update posts to record my reading and any challenge progress I’ve made.

So concludes May’s Reading Review. See you again next month.