The Bookish Book Lover Tag

Book Tag time! I do like a good book tag. I wasn’t actually tagged for this one but I spotted it over at Cristina’s blog, My Tiny Obsessions, and thought I’d give it a try.
Here goes with… The Bookish Book Lover Tag.

What book are you currently reading?

Love this question because somehow I’ve ended up with more than one current read and I’m enjoying them all. So, there’s…

Feed by Mira Grant
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (LOVE THIS!)
I’ve also just started Fever by Deon Meyer. This last is a new-to-me author and so far it’s great.

What’s the last book you finished?

The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan.

Favourite book you read this year?

I’ve had quite a good reading year so far so it’s impossible to just choose one book…

Cell by Stephen King

The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey

The Trees by Ali Shaw

The Muse by Jessie Burton

The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan

All these deserve a mention.

What genre have you read most this year?

I’ve read quite a few Fantasy and Post-Apocalyptic themed books so far this year. I do like a bit of variety in my reading.

What genre have you read least this year?

Non-fiction, as in, I’ve read NO non-fiction at all. So far…

What genre do you want to read more of?

Maybe a little more Historical, and possibly some Non-fiction.

How many books have you read this year, and what’s your goal?

I set myself a really low Goodreads target this year, only 20 books. I can’t stop picking up absolutely MASSIVE books, so having a higher target just seems a bit impossible. I think I’ve read 17 books so far, so hopefully I’ll meet my very small target and even manage to read a few more books too.

What’s the last book you bought?

I think I bought Feed by Mira Grant and two of the Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson at the same time.

What book are you saving up to buy next?

I may buy a new copy of IT by Stephen King when they re-release it with the movie tie-in cover. Maybe. I do already have it on my e-reader and it’s such a massive book that the convenience of the e-reader is a great bonus, but sometimes you just have to have that book, don’t you?

How many books did you check out last library visit?

Ooo, don’t make me answer this one.
I’m a MASSIVE fan of the library – all those brilliant brand new books and because they have to be returned storage space isn’t a issue. Libraries are wonderful.
Being such a fan I’ll confess that right now I have well over 20 books checked out. It’s amazing that I manage to keep track of them all. I have no idea when I think I’m going to find time to read all these books and some of them will probably have to go back when other people request them, but I just can’t resist FREE BOOKS!

What’s a book you can’t wait to read?

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King. I saw the cover reveal for this not long ago and it’s such a gorgeous cover. Not that I’m judging the book by it’s cover; I’d already decided I would definitely be reading it well before I saw the cover.

What’s a series you’d recommend to everyone?

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, and of course Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling, but I guess most people have already read that one.

Who’s an author you’re hoping writes more?

Sarah Perry, Sarah Waters and Sarah Schmidt, and I promise it’s a total coincidence that this answer only contains authors called Sarah.

A few books your heart adores?

From my 2017 reads to date I’ve really enjoyed:

Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan
The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey
North and South by John Jakes
Harry Potter books 1 – 3

What series’ coming conclusion makes you sad?

I don’t know of anything coming up but certain events in The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan made me a little sad. It was a great series though.

What books are on your wish-list?

So many that I started a new Goodreads shelf dedicated to books being released in the near future so that I don’t forget any of them.


Did you enjoy the Bookish Book Lover Tag? 
Have you read any of the books I chose this time?
As always, if you’ve not done the tag and feel like trying it, then consider yourself tagged.
See you next time for another Book Tag!I 

 

Book Review: The Magicians’ Guild by Trudi Canavan

Name: The Magicians’ Guild
Author:
Trudi Canavan
Number of Pages:
470 (Paperback)
Published:
2010 by Orbit
Genre: Fantasy

Goodreads

The old magician paused. ‘If this young woman is a natural, we should expect her to be more powerful than our average novice, possibly even more powerful than the average magician.’
Each year, the magicians of Imardin gather together to purge the city streets of vagrants and miscreants. Masters of the disciplines of magic, they know that no ordinary lowlife can oppose them. But their protective shield is not as imprenetrable as they think.
Sonea, angry, frustrated and outraged by the treatment of her family and friends, throws a stone at the shield, putting all her rage behind it. She is amazed when it sails unrestricted through the barrier and knocks a magician unconscious.
The Guild’s worst fear has been realised. There is an untrained magician loose in Imardin who must be found before her uncontrolled powers can destroy herself and the city.     – from Goodreads

My Rating:

 My Thoughts:

I’ve just finished The Magician’s Guild and it turned out to be a really good read. I’m glad I persevered through a fairly slow beginning. I read on, hoping the story was going to get going, on the basis of a recommendation.
And I’m really glad I did.

In the first part of the tale we meet Sonea, a girl who suddenly finds herself the sole focus of the entire Magicians’ Guild after wielding power she never knew she had in a very public setting. To the casual onlooker, it may look as if she attacked a magician, and the punishment for that would be severe so she goes all out to avoid capture by the magicians who start to hunt for her.
However, it becomes imperative that she is found, because without training her powers will overtake her and destroy her.
The Guild searches in vain, as Sonea and her friends have found protection with the Thieves, who will shelter her until she controls her powers, with the implication that she will help them out later on.
This hiding and evasion section started to drag after a while. It established Sonea and Cery and their friendship, and the world in which they live, but I wish it had been shorter, because at times, if it hadn’t been for that recommendation, I was tempted to stop reading.
Things take a turn as Sonea starts to lose control of her powers. Destruction and danger mount, and Sonea clearly needs help, at this point, something really clicked for me. The stakes were raised, the magicians were closing in as Sonea’s magic made her detectable, and suddenly her whole world is changed.

Part 2 sees Sonea go to the Guild and under the guidance of Lord Rothen she begins to master her powers and gain Control. Learning about the Guild and the various powers the different magicians have was fascinating, and the rivalries and friendships between certain magicians made for great conflict.

Lord Rothen wants to become Sonea’s guardian, someone to look after her once she begins lessons in the Guild, but another magician, Fergun believes he has a counter-claim to this right, and to ensure Sonea herself will back up his claim he takes extra measures to guarantee her support. He has his own agenda in taking her under his wing, and there’s little doubt that it’s not really for her benefit at all.

I really enjoyed the growing respect and friendship between Sonea and Rothen.  Initially she has no love for the Magicians’ Guild, and certainly doesn’t trust magicians, but gradually she comes to believe that Rothen is a decent and honourable man, and someone she can trust, which makes Fergun’s scheming and meddling all the more interesting.
And then there’s the head of the Guild, the High Lord. I don’t want to give anything away but I think he may prove to be an intriguing character later on in this series and I can’t wait to find out more about him.

The last few chapters of the book contain enough revelations, schemes and secrets to have left me wanting to get on with book 2, The Novice, fairly quickly. I can’t wait to return to the Magicians’ Guild and see Sonea learning to use her powers. I’m definitely glad I stuck with this book.

On Reading… Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

On Reading… is a feature I created to accompany my book reviews. So often reading is much more of an experience than is captured within a book review. That’s where this post comes in… All those snippets/spoilers/a-ha moments, all the anticipation of looking forward to a good read, and guessing what lies in store, that’s what you will find in my On Reading… posts. It’s an observational/conversational/discussion type feature, so THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD. Please proceed with caution!

Before I Started

I thought about doing my first Harry Potter re-read for a while, and started writing a post before I started reading book 1, but I didn’t realise I’d have so much to say and it ended up becoming my introduction post for this re-read, you can read that post here.

I’m excited to return to Hogwarts for the very first time. I can’t wait to see how my reaction to the book changes so many years after my first read, and with some knowledge of what’s to come. Am also interested to rediscover all the little details I’ve no doubt forgotten as times gone on.

This post is no doubt absolutely FULL of spoilers. Thought I’d better mention that even though it seems like everyone has already read all these books at least once, possibly multiple times. But, you know, just in case… definite spoilers beyond this point… Continue reading

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

It’s that time again. Yes, here’s my latest Book Tag. Just entering July it seems a fitting time to have a go at a tag I’ve seen around a lot lately, so here’s The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag!

I’ve read so many good books this year that it’s good to have a chance to look back and remember everything I’ve enjoyed so far…

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017:

This is going to be TOUGH. How can I choose just one? I’m so torn between at least three different books. No, I can’t do it, so fave reads so far include…

The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey

Sins of Empire by Brian McClellan

The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan

2. Best sequel of 2017 so far:


I’ve only read one sequel, and I’ve already used The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan as at least one of my answers (it may appear even more), so am going to go with prequel instead and mention The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey. It’s one of my favourite recent reads, and revisits a world I loved first time around in The Girl with all the Gifts, so of course it had to make an appearance somewhere within this post.

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

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. I’ve seen so many great reviews for this book that I really must get on and read it soon.

4. Most anticipated release of the second half of 2017:

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King. This is mostly based on the author, I have to admit. I’ll always want to read the latest offering from Stephen King.

5. Biggest disappointment of 2017:

None of the books I’ve read have been a real disappointment so far this year – I’ve been lucky with my reading choices.  I haven’t even had anything I’ve been slightly tempted to DNF.

6. Biggest surprise:


The Muse
by Jessie Burton. I was really engrossed in the lives of those characters and finding out if and how the two timelines would come together in the end.

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


Sarah Schmidt. See What I Have Done was such an atmospheric read, the writing was great.


The Aeronaut’s Windlass
was my first Jim Butcher novel and I enjoyed that as well (may have had something to do with the talking cats!).

8. Newest fictional crush:

Some of the guys from North and South by John Jakes are pretty crush-worthy.

9. Newest favourite character:


Ben Styke from Sins of Empire is a great character. He reminds me a little of Jean Valjean from Les Miserables. I also liked Vlora from the same book. It was nice to have her as a main viewpoint after her appearance as a secondary character in the Powder Mage trilogy.

10. Book that made you cry:


The Autumn Republic
by Brian McClellan. It was the final book in the Powder Mage trilogy and I was sad to reach the end of the story for certain characters, having spent so long with them throughout previous books.

11. Book that made you happy:

I’ve just started my Harry Potter re-read and revisiting that series is going to make me pretty happy I would imagine, although I guess that can’t be said for later books. There’s just something comforting about going back to a series that you’ve read before though, and I’m only just realising that as I don’t re-read very often.

12. Favourite book to movie adaptation of 2017 you’ve seen:

I can’t think of anything that was released in 2017 but I did enjoy the movie version of The Girl with all the Gifts. I thought they did a good job in bringing a great story to life on the screen.

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year:

The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey

The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan (I told you this book might appear again during this tag!)

Cell by Stephen King

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

The cover of The Trees by Ali Smith is one of the most striking I’ve seen so far this year.

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

The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams. I’m still waiting for the library to get this in stock.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

There are so many other books I could mention here, including the rest of the Harry Potter series, but I’ll leave it at just the two or we’ll be here all day!

And that’s the end of The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag.


As always, if you’ve not already done this and you fancy reminiscing over all the amazing books you’ve read so far this year, feel free to consider yourself tagged.
If you’ve already done it, leave me a link to your post so I can check it out.
See you next time for another Book Tag!

 

Booking Ahead: July 2017

Booking Ahead is a feature here on Pages and Tea where I 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.

Welcome to another Booking Ahead. Time to raid the TBR pile once more and choose some new reads.

New Books

I think I may just have a month focusing on Backlist books, but you never know, that could all change as new books catch my eye and tempt me.

Books from the Backlist

The Magician’s Guild by Trudi Canavan – I’ve never read any Trudi Canavan so far, but this book came to my attention via an absolutely glowing recommendation. I knew I already had it in my pile somewhere, so sought it out based on the enthusiasm of someone who’s read it a few times over already.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling – I’m re-reading the whole Harry Potter series for the first time, slowly but surely. Chamber of Secrets will definitely be completed this month, and I might even carry straight on to book 3 too.

Feed by Mira Grant – I’ve already started this tale of zombies, bloggers and a presidential campaign.


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 2017

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea. And what a month. It’s been SO hot. Perfect reading for me is a rainy afternoon sitting with a warm drink and an excellent book, so I’m not a great fan of this hot weather, and was glad when it finally cooled down a bit!
Somehow I’ve ended up with more than one current read on the go, which I generally try to avoid, but sometimes these things just happen. Partly it’s down to wanting to start my Harry Potter series re-read around the actual date of the 20th anniversary (more about that below).
So, I feel like I’m having a fairly good reading month, but that hasn’t led to a mass of activity on the blog. Anyway, here’s the latest…

Book Reviews

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

June 2017

Top Ten Tuesday

TBR Additions – Fantasy/Sci Fi/ Post-Apocalyptic Style

Best Reads of 2017 So Far

Book Tags

The Goodreads Book Tag

Other New Posts

#HarryPotter20 – It’s Time for a Series Re-Read

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2017

June Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Reading Review: June 2017

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

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

The Boy on the Bridge by M. R. Carey

Total Library Books Read This Month: 2
Total Own Books Read This Month: 0
Overall Total Books Read This Month: 2

Total Library Books Read 2017: 14
Total Own Books Read 2017: 1
Overall Total Books Read 2017: 15

MY READ OF THE MONTH

Do I really have to pick between them? I guess I do, don’t I? Okay. The Boy on the Bridge. There, I chose. I love the world that Carey created in The Girl with all the Gifts and to have a chance to go back and experience it all over again with a new set of characters was perfect reading for me. And the ending!!! Not saying another word…

BEAT THE BACKLIST

My total for this challenge is currently 9 books read. So far I’ve read:

Cell by Stephen King
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford
The Trees by Ali Shaw
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler
The Muse by Jessie Burton
North and South by John Jakes
The Autumn Republic by Brian McClellan
The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher
Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty

GOODREADS

I’ve set myself a low target for this year of 20 books. So far I’ve read 15 books.

GOALS

I’ve finally started making an effort to read the books I already own, and will hopefully be adding more to my Beat the Backlist total over the next month.

I’m keeping up with most of my reviews and also my monthly reading updates.


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