R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril XI

eleven
The days are growing cooler and the nights are beginning the draw in, which can mean only one thing – Autumn is on its way! I love this time of year, so what better way to mark the changing seasons than by participating in a suitably eerie Readathon?

This event is hosted over at Stainless Steel Droppings and you can find complete details by clicking the link. The readathon runs from September 1st to October 31st.  (Banner created by Abigail Larson).

During this readathon the aim is to read books with any of the following themes:

Mystery
Suspense
Thriller
Gothic
Horror
Dark Fantasy

There are several levels of peril to aim for.  I’ve opted for the same choices I went for last year, as for some reason I seem drawn to MASSIVELY long books lately, so I doubt I’ll manage to read much more .  So, i’m hoping to do…

ripnineperilsecond

Simply halve the requirement of Peril the First. If you choose to take on this Peril, read two books of your choosing that you feel fit the various R.I.P. categories.

ripnineperilscreen

Scary stories don’t just come in book-shaped packages, they also exist in the television and film format. Why not embrace that peril as well? If you watch any particularly creepy, suspenseful, mysterious thrillers during R.I.P., be sure to share those with us as well.


PROGRESS

 

Booking Ahead: September 2016

Booking Ahead is a new 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.

The beginning of a new month can only mean one thing.. It’s time to talk once again about the books I have my eye on and hope to read during the coming month.
I’m only setting my sights on two books this month, because both of my choices are pretty long and I STILL haven’t managed to start reading The Fireman yet – every time it makes it to the top of my TBR pile I get another email telling me that some other really popular book I requested from the library has arrived so I have to read that first.
This month’s choices include…

To the Bright Edge of the World by Eowyn Ivey – A historical novel following an expedition up the Wolverine River into Alaska. I saw this book in the store and had a quick look, it seems to be written in the form of documents and journal entries, which I usually really enjoy, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Mount! by Jilly Cooper – It must be years since I read anything by Jilly Cooper. I remember enjoying Riders, and apparently Rupert Campbell-Black makes an appearance in this story. This will be a real change from all my recent reading so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on it for that reason alone.

Hopefully I’ll find time to read more than two books. I might even finally get around to picking up The Fireman by Joe Hill.


What are you planning to read this month?
Have you read any of my choices and if so which would you recommend?

Monthly Summary: August 2016

And so ends another month of reading and blogging. I feel like I’ve had a really active month, mainly due to Bout of Books. I always enjoy this readathon, and the chance to make daily progress updates on my blog. I’ve also finished three books this month, which is an improvement on previous months.

Book Reviews

Finders Keepers by Stephen King

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

August 2016

Reading Resolutions

Reading Resolutions Introduction

August Progress

Flights of Fantasy Progress

Read-A-Thon Updates

Bout of Books August 2016 Sign Up

Bout of Books August 2016 Progress

Bout of Books August 2016 Final Summary

Events

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon August 22nd – August 28th

Reading Resolutions Revisited: August 2016

Welcome back to another installment of my new Monthly Reading Resolutions updates. I decided I wouldn’t participate in many official challenges this year; instead I created some Reading Resolutions. This post is my attempt to keep track of how I’m getting on with reading and blogging.

I participated in the latest Bout of Books readathon last week, so I feel as if I’ve read quite a lot this month. I managed to finish 3 books, which is quite good. I think I picked a few shorter reads this month than I have recently. I can’t seem to help choosing really long books! Anyway, here’s the latest…

Books I’ve Read

End of Watch by Stephen King
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne

Total Library Books Read This Month: 3
Total Own Books Read This Month: 0
Overall Total Books Read This Month: 3

Total Library Books Read 2016: 18
Total Own Books Read 2016: 0
Overall Total Books Read 2016: 18

Flights of Fantasy

I think Harry Potter counts towards this challenge.
Am wondering whether End of Watch counts as well? There were definitely some fantasy-like elements involved even though it wasn’t all out fantasy. Hm.
No, I think I’ll just count Harry Potter, so my new total is now 7 books read.

Goodreads

So far I’ve read 18 books so far this year, and my target is 25 books.

Goals

I participated in Bout of Books.

Am still trying to keep up with writing reviews quite soon after completing the book.

I’m also keeping up with writing these monthly progress updates.


So concludes August’s Monthly Reading Resolutions update.
Have you signed up for any challenges this year, or are you taking a more general approach to reading?
See you again next month!

Bout of Books 17 (August 2016) – Final Summary

Bout of Books

 I can’t believe Bout of Books 17 is over already.

I had quite a decent final day of reading. I managed to finish Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but didn’t get around to starting anything new.

As always writing daily progress updates has been fun. So, here’s my grand total…

Number of pages I’ve read today: 150

Total number of pages I’ve read: 735

 

Thanks to everyone who visited my blog. Hope you all had a great Bout of Books!

The Week’s Progress Revisited…

Continue reading

Bout of Books 17 (August 2016) Goals and Daily Progress Updates

Bout of Books

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 22nd and runs through Sunday, August 28th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 17 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team


It’s time for Bout of Books 17!  I had no idea this event was happening until just recently, so I’m glad I haven’t missed out because I love a good readathon, and Bout of Books is one of my favourites.  As always I’ll be using this blog for the majority of my updates during the read-a-thon, but you can also find me on Twitter (link in the sidebar).

Time Devoted to Reading

Half an hour minimum each day, but hopefully a lot more.

My Goals

  • To finish reading The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
  • To read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
  • To start The Fireman by Joe Hill
  • To keep track of my reading progress via daily blog updates
  • To visit other blogs and comment regularly

Books to Read

  • The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J. K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
  • The Fireman by Joe Hill

UPDATES

MONDAY

Here we go… Bout of Books time again!  I know exactly what my first read is going to be, The Essex Serpent, as it was the book I’d already started before the readathon began.  I’ve loved what I’ve read so far, so it’s definitely my book of choice for the start of this event.

TUESDAY (MONDAY’S PROGRESS)

I don’t know why but when Bout of Books comes around I usually manage to pick myself a great read.  It’s happened again.  The Essex Serpent is turning into one of those books that I don’t want to put down but I don’t want to read it too fast either.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens in this story.

Number of pages I’ve read today:  50
Total number of pages I’ve read:  50

WEDNESDAY (TUESDAY’S PROGRESS)

Received an email from the library today and another book has arrived for me. I can see I’ll have to change my reading plans a little to try and fit that one in too, because last time I checked there were quite a number of requests on it. I’ll go and collect it later this week and maybe start reading it during Bout of Books.

Today I read more Essex Serpent and I’m still really enjoying it. I love both of the main characters and the setting of the story. I’ve read more than I expected today, so might have a change tomorrow, so that this book lasts longer…

Number of pages I’ve read today:  85
Total number of pages I’ve read:  135

THURSDAY (WEDNESDAY’S PROGRESS)

What a poor day for reading.  I didn’t manage a single page.  Hopefully I’ll be able to read plenty tomorrow.

Number of pages I’ve read today:  0
Total number of pages I’ve read:  135

FRIDAY (THURSDAY’S PROGRESS)

Isn’t this week flying by? I can’t believe we’re closer to the end of Bout of Books than the beginning!
Happy to say I managed to read much more today. I’m still really enjoying The Essex Serpent, and will definitely finish it now before the end of the readathon.
I also started Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Number of pages I’ve read today:  150
Total number of pages I’ve read:  285

SATURDAY (FRIDAY’S PROGRESS)

I finished The Essex Serpent. I was sad to reach the end, but what a great read, and one I would recommend.
I read some more Harry Potter too, and hopefully I’ll get that finished before Bout of Books ends.
How is everyone doing with their reading so far?

Number of pages I’ve read today:  200
Total number of pages I’ve read:  485

SUNDAY (SATURDAY’S PROGRESS)

I think I’ll finish Harry Potter today and still have time to move on to another book.
I was going to start The Fireman (I’ve been saying that since the book first came out), but then another library book arrived and of course it has a big request list, so that’s going to have to come first.
Can’t believe the readathon is almost over.

Number of pages I’ve read today:  100
Total number of pages I’ve read:  585

MONDAY (SUNDAY’S PROGRESS AND FINAL THOUGHTS)

Posted HERE.

Book Review: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

Name:  The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
Author:  
Natasha Pulley
Number of Pages:
  336 (Hardback)
Published:  
2nd July 2015 by Bloomsbury Circus
Genre:  Fantasy, Steampunk

Goodreads

1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.     – from Goodreads

My Rating:

5diamonds

My Thoughts:

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is definitely one of my favourite recent reads. Sometimes everything just seems ‘right’ for you as a reader – the characters, tone, setting and story all come together in the perfect way. That’s what happened for me reading this book.

From the very first tea-scented opening paragraph I was immersed in the wonderful world created by Natasha Pulley. I love Victorian London anyway, but add a touch of the exotic by way of a beautiful oriental show village, and the mysterious in the form of intriguing lead characters, and I’m hooked. There’s also an element of fantasy to the story which absolutely made it for me.

The main characters are wonderful, but I can’t go into detail about them without first giving honourable mention to probably my favourite of them all – Katsu the clockwork octopus. I want one, I need one… please? Katsu and his life-like antics were real scene-stealers (especially the idea of him breaking free when Thaniel shut him in).
On to the other characters…

There’s Thaniel, trying to do right by his widowed sister and her family, earning money as a telegraphist, whose world is utterly changed by the unexpected arrival of a beautiful pocket watch which, several months later, saves his life and throws him into the path of the watchmaker, Keita Mori.
Mori is fascinating, an enigma. He apparently has some sort of clairvoyant powers, although it’s a bit different than that – he sees what is possible, and forgets what becomes impossible. His back-story in Japan and his history as a nobleman weaves seamlessly with the current London storyline, and was beautifully written. I felt as though I was almost at the castle with Mori.
Grace is a woman beyond her time, sneaking into the university library dressed as a man because otherwise she wouldn’t be allowed in without a chaperone. She is a scientist, and wants so much more than the marriage her father so longs to arrange for her. She is brave and determined, which becomes apparent early on but even more so towards the end of the story, as she doesn’t believe all is as it seems with Mori, of whom she has grown fearful. It makes for interesting reading, seeing how she changes as the story plays out.

At the heart of this sprawling, mysterious, intriguing plot is the new and developing friendship between Thaniel, the young Foreign Office clerk and Keita Mori, the Japanese watchmaker of the title. Thaniel ends up renting a room from Mori, and watching the pair become accustomed to each other, and learn from each other, and experiencing their day to day life in Mori’s shop (which sounds amazing) is truly heart-warming, and it’s almost a shame that events and people will inevitably come between these two characters.

Events unfold at a leisurely pace as Thaniel moves in with Mori, but as the plot develops the pace quickens and even though I wanted to draw out my reading of this book for as long as possible towards the end I just couldn’t put it down. I just had to know how it would end as I was really invested in the characters and wanted something of a happy ending for them.

Great read.