The End Of The Year Book Tag

It’s Book Tag time again!
I’ve seen this one around quite a lot recently and thought it would be fun to give it a try. So, let’s talk books…

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

I’m just about to start a new read, which will no doubt be one of those mentioned in ‘three books you want to read before the end of the year’ further on in this tag, probably Angel Mage by Garth Nix, so hopefully I’ll finish that by the end of the year. I’d also like to read The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Not so much autumn into year-end, but I do usually pick up the latest Karen Swan novel around Christmas time. They’re something totally different to my usual reading choices and a nice way to wind down a year of reading.

Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Blood of Empire by Brian McClellan. It’s the final book in his latest trilogy and I really enjoyed the first two. I can’t wait to see what happens in the final chapter. The book is out at the beginning of December.

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Angel Mage by Garth Nix
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
I’m not sure about a third choice, possibly something a little festive?

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favourite book of the year?

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. It probably wouldn’t be a shock if I enjoy it as I loved The Night Circus so I was excited to hear about this book a few months ago. Having looked forward to reading it for that long I hope there are good things in store!

Have you already started making reading plans for 2020?

I haven’t at the moment. I read so many library books that my plans are often thrown when a few requested books all arrive at the same time and have to go straight to the top of my TBR pile.
I’ll probably set a GoodReads challenge goal, although based on the number of books I’ve read this year that will have to be quite low to start with.


Are there any books you’re really hoping to read before the end of this year? As always, feel free to consider yourself tagged if you fancy having a go at this one.

The Finally Fall Book Tag: 2019 Edition

Its Book Tag time. What better way to enjoy my favourite season than with an autumn themed tag? It’s Finally Fall! This tag was created by Alina on her booktube channel Tall Tales.

I completed this tag last year, but thought I’d revisit it now. I’m going to try and give answers only from books that I’ve read in the last year or so, even though it’s always so tempting to fall back on old favourites and give them yet another mention. I probably won’t be able to resist doing that at least once, but let’s see how I get on…

In fall, the air is crisp and clear: Name a book with a vivid setting.

       

The Winternight trilogy by Katherine Arden. I really enjoyed the story of Vasya and Morozko.

Nature is beautiful… but also dying: Name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher begins with the theft and loss of a beloved family pet and also touches on the absence of a sibling and being away from family. It’s a great story set in a bleak, broken world but it still has a hopeful tone.

Fall is back to school season: Share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

I don’t think I’ve read any non-fiction so far this year!

In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: Name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

I would love a day with Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, preferably not during the almost-apocalypse but just a regular day.

The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground: Show us a pile of fall-colored spines!

I’m still such an avid library user that I don’t have enough suitable books to show for this prompt, but it’s a great excuse to flash the wonderfully striking cover of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. Yellow’s definitely a colour for Autumn, right?!

Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: Share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie is narrated by the local doctor, who recounts the story of meeting the great Poirot when he becomes involved in another murder mystery.

The nights are getting darker: Share a dark, creepy read.

The only one I’ve read so far this year is A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay. It has a building sense of creepiness as the story of sisters Merry and Marjorie and the latter’s possible possession/illness goes on.

The days are getting colder: Name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

I can’t remember the last time I read anything short so I’ll have to go for the same title I chose last time for this one and say Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling.

Fall returns every year: Name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.

     

I’m going in a slightly different direction with this one as I so rarely re-read books. I discovered the Charlie Parker series by John Connolly earlier this year. I’ve read the two latest books, The Woman in the Woods and A Book of Bones.  It’s definitely a series that I’d love to return to soon, and there are plenty of titles to check out.

Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: Share your favorite cozy reading “accessories”!

A MASSIVE mug of tea and maybe a biscuit or two.
Comfortable cozy clothing and chunky socks.
A bookmark or two so I don’t end up folding page corners when I want to remember something I’ve just read (!)

Spread the autumn appreciation and tag some people!

As always, if you’ve not had chance to do this tag yet, or are now seeing it for the first time and fancying giving it a go please consider yourself tagged.

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag: 2019 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 2019:

I can’t choose just one, but I’ll try not to be excessive and just go for these three…

           

The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly
A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

2. Best sequel of 2019 so far:


The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden. What a wonderful conclusion to the Winternight trilogy. I could read the whole series again if I was a re-reader because I enjoyed it so much.

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

The Poison Song by Jen Williams is the final book in the Winnowing Flame trilogy. I can’t not find out how it ends having enjoyed the two previous book so much.

4. Most anticipated release of the second half of 2019:

The Institute by Stephen King. I’ll always pick up the latest from Stephen King.

5. Biggest disappointment of 2019:

I’d rather call it books that in the end just weren’t for me and I’d go for The Furies by Katie Lowe.

6. Biggest surprise:

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. Did you see that twist coming? No, neither did I. It was so surprising that I don’t think I’ll forget it.

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

John Connolly. I joined the Charlie Parker series very late (book 16 actually!). I have no idea how this series has passed me by for so long, and I’m really looking forward to discovering older books from the series.

8. Newest fictional crush:

I’m obviously missing out on something here because sit and think as I might I’m drawing a blank on this answer. Help!

9. Newest favourite character:

Charlie Parker and Louis made a great team in The Woman in the Woods by John Connolly.

10. Book that made you cry:

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden may have caused a tear or two.

11. Book that made you happy:

I really enjoyed the whole Winternight trilogy by Katherine Arden.

12. Favourite book to movie adaptation of 2019 you’ve seen:

I have to say Good Omens even though it doesn’t quite fit the category as I’ve not actually read the book yet. The tv series has made me request the book from the library and I can’t wait to read it. It’s just so different.

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

My Top Ten Tuesday From Page to Screen post, thinking about books I’d love to see adapted. Also the Things That Make Me Pick Up A Book post.
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon was fun to write about, as was The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie, because it was so hard not to just give all the secrets away!

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

     

I would say this one is a tie between The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden and The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, which features a pretty fierce dragon on the cover.

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

If I listed everything I’d like to read soon this tag would never end, so here’s just a small selection…

More  from the Charlie Parker series by John Connolly
The Institute by Stephen King
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

And so concludes my 2019 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!

 

The Spring Cleaning Book Tag

It’s time for another Book Tag.
Thanks to Kelsey of There’s Something About KM for tagging me for this one.

It’s taken me a while to write my answers, and I wanted to get this posted before Spring departs for another year, so here we go…

THE STRUGGLE OF GETTING STARTED: A BOOK OR SERIES YOU STRUGGLE TO BEGIN BECAUSE OF ITS SIZE

The most recent read that comes to mind is The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. Anyone who’s read my blog recently may have noted my amazement when I collected this book from the library. I had no idea how huge it was when I ordered it, and it was so heavy that I knew it would have to be good to warrant carrying it around for as long as it would take to read. I’m so very glad that I didn’t hesitate too long, because once I started I was totally hooked. Such a brilliant story.

CLEANING OUT THE CLOSET: A BOOK OR SERIES YOU WANT TO UNHAUL

Unhaul? Get rid of books unread? I really need to master the art of this, especially when it comes to library books because my pile is absolutely massive.

OPENING WINDOWS AND LETTING FRESH AIR IN: A BOOK THAT WAS REFRESHING

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie. I still can’t believe that twist! I won’t say too much more for fear of spoiling anything for someone who has yet to read the book, because once you know, I think it’s one you’ll always remember, and that’s definitely refreshing.

WASHING OUT THE SHEETS: A BOOK WITH A SCENE YOU WISH YOU COULD REWRITE

Without giving anything away, I remember thinking I maybe would have switched the order of the final two chapters of Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey, so not rewritten, just re-placed.

THROWING OUT UNNECESSARY KNICKKNACKS: A BOOK IN A SERIES YOU DIDN’T THINK WAS NECESSARY

This is a tough one. I don’t actually think I’ve read enough complete series to offer an answer. I’m reading A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, and I’ve enjoyed everything so far, and the same goes for The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.

POLISHING DOORKNOBS: A BOOK THAT HAD A CLEAN FINISH

I’ll say The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, as it was a whole one-volume epic fantasy tale of fierce ladies and talking dragons. That’s not to say I’m happy with just the one volume – I would absolutely love a return to that world and those characters.

REACHING TO DUST THE FAN: A BOOK THAT TRIED TOO HARD TO RELAY A CERTAIN MESSAGE

I’m honestly not sure. I must admit if I see a number of reviews that mention this sort of thing it may be enough to put me off picking up the book in the first place, it depends on my mood at the time.

THE TIRING YET SATISFYING FINISH OF SPRING CLEANING: A BOOK SERIES THAT WAS TIRING BUT SATISFYING TO GET THROUGH

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. It was tiring in that it literally kept me up because I just HAD to read one more chapter (of course!), and also tiring emotionally because over a long series of long books you can’t help but become attached to the characters and when things don’t go well for them it’s just not good. I really must re-read this series sometime.


So concludes the Spring Cleaning Book Tag.
As always, if you fancy having a go, or in this case can’t face the thought of any actual real life s
pring cleaning, consider yourself tagged – spending time amongst your books is much more fun anyway!

The Spring Has Sprung Book Tag – 2019 Edition

It’s Book Tag time!
Spring has arrived, so, you guessed it – it’s time for me to bring out the Spring Has Sprung Book Tag for a 2019 update!…
I know I was tagged for this one a couple of years back, and from that point it has become something of a little tradition to update my answers each year. On to the books…

1. FLOWERS: LOOK ON YOUR BOOKSHELVES. WHAT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK BOTH INSIDE AND OUT?

   

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. Have you SEEN that cover?! It’s embossed, and it has the most fierce looking dragon, and the colours are gorgeous. You may get the impression that I like it, and you’d be right.
And the story? Well, the book is so huge that I said when it arrived at the library it had better be good or it would be going back, because I couldn’t see myself lugging something so massive around if it wasn’t great.
I couldn’t put it down!

I also have to mention The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden. Loved the story, loved the cover, loved the whole series!

2. GRASS: WHAT IS A BOOK THAT YOU FIND THAT OTHERS LIKE WAY MORE THAN YOU DO?

Tough question – I don’t seem to encounter many people who read the same sort of books that I like. I’ll have to give this one some thought…

3. RAIN: WHAT’S A GREAT BOOK THAT LIFTS YOUR SPIRITS WHEN YOU’RE DOWN?

P. G. Wodehouse novels are usually good for a moment of humour.

4. DEW: WHAT’S A BOOK THAT MADE YOU FEEL ALIVE?

I loved Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan. All the Powder Mage books have been really good, and this latest addition to that world continued in the same way. I think there’s another book out later this year, so that’s something to look out for.

5. STORMS: WHAT’S A BOOK THAT YOU FOUND UNPREDICTABLE?

Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey. It was such a different read, and such a strange situation for some of the characters that I had no idea which way the story would go, and that made it exciting.

6. RAINBOW: WHAT WAS A BOOK THAT YOU STRUGGLED WITH, ONLY TO BE HAPPY THAT YOU READ IT IN THE END?

I sat here and gave this some thought, but then realised it’s going to have to be a similar answer to last year. My TBR pile is almost as tall as me so I don’t really like to sit struggling through a book I’m not enjoying. I’m even trying to get a little bit better at DNF-ing quicker these days, although I do still find it hard to put a book aside once I’ve started reading it.

7. CHILLY WEATHER: WHAT’S A BOOK THAT YOU COULDN’T FINISH OR DIDN’T ENJOY?

The Binding by Bridget Collins. I just couldn’t seem to get into it, but passed it on to someone else and she loved it, so maybe it was just me at the time?

8. WARM WEATHER: WHAT’S A BOOK THAT YOU LOVED AND WANTED MORE OF?

         

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden, or actually, the whole Winternight trilogy! Yes, there are three whole books, but I feel like I could read about Vasya and Morozko for at least another three books.

9. GREEN: WHAT’S A BOOK THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT REALLY WANT TO?

Circe by Madeline Miller. Scrolling online the other day I came across a quote from the book, and it was so lyrical. If the rest of the book is written in the same way then I really do need to give it a place at the top of my TBR pile.

10. PINK: WHAT’S A BOOK IN WHICH YOU FELT A STRONG CONNECTION TO THE CHARACTERS?

I love the three main characters in The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. They’re all very different, but all have their strengths and their trials. Sometimes I find myself longing to get back to a certain character’s perspective when I‘m reading a long novel, but in this I found I enjoyed them all equally.

11. PURPLE: WHAT’S A BOOK THAT WHEN YOU READ IT, YOU FEEL SAFE?

Last year I mentioned my Harry Potter series re-read, and it’s something that I really want to carry on with, because I still think there’s something comforting about reading a well-loved and well-known series for the second time, even when you know what lies in store for some of the characters, because you now how it turns out in the end.

12. ORANGE: WHAT BOOK DO YOU FEEL IS INTELLIGENTLY WRITTEN?

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. That book must have been so intricately planned because there are so many threads going back and forth that you really have to pay attention to keep up. It was probably my favourite read of last year, and I would love to read it again in the future.

13. YELLOW: WHAT BOOK PUTS A SMILE ON YOUR FACE?

       

I am really enjoying Agatha Christie at the moment. I love the Poirot novels, and the ones with Hastings narrating usually have something a little comic in the way he relates events.


So, there’s my latest edition of Spring Has Sprung.
As always, if you want to have a go at the tag then consider yourself tagged. Enjoy!

The Sunshine Blogger Award

I’ve been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by Kelsey from There’s Something About KM – thank you very much! You can check out Kelsey’s answers here.
I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but here goes…

First, the rules:
Thank the blogger who nominated you by linking their blog.
Answer the questions.
Nominate 11 blogs with 11 questions.
List the rules as well as display the award logo on your post.

I’m going to bend the rules just a little and not tag anyone, but if you do fancy it, then feel free to have a go. On to my answers…

1) What is something you’re obsessed with right now?

I’ve been watching The Haunting of Hill House and it’s pretty addictive. I’m trying to space out episodes so I don’t end up binging the whole thing. I actually would have enjoyed a whole series just set in the house timeline, because that’s one creepy old house with so many ghosts lurking (I’ve also been trying to spot as many of the background/hidden ghosts as I can, but I’m pretty sure I’ve missed quite a few!).

2) Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?

Not really. I sometimes make notes of passages from books that caught my attention, usually something lyrical/funny/striking.

3) What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My capacity to get lost in whatever book I’ve chosen to pick up at the time. A bit of escapism is always good.

4) If you could travel anywhere (fictional or non-fictional) right now, where would you go?

Non-fictional (but based on my fictional readings) – I’d love to travel on the Orient Express.

Fictional – Totally random but I fancy a visit to the Chocolate Factory from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Just thinking about it is making me hungry!

5) What book would you take with you, and why?

A travel guide relevant to wherever the Orient Express happened to be going. I don’t tend to read when I’m away, so hopefully a travel guide would be a useful compromise.  Or…


Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie of course!

6) Which book do you find yourself always recommending?


At the moment it’s The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. I enjoyed this book so much that I had to buy a copy when it came out in paperback even though I’ve already read it. It’s just so different.

7) Have you discovered any now-favorite books by reading about them on a book (or general) blog?


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I read somewhere online that there’s going to be an adaptation of this book and it sounded like a great story so I got a copy and sure enough, it’s a new favourite and one that I would read again.

8) What is the last book or magazine or movie or item you checked out from the library?

The last book was Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker and I really hope I get around to starting it soon.

The last movie I put a request in for was Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

9) What is the last object you used for a bookmark (can be an actual bookmark)?

Through the course of my last read I used a variety, one of which was an actual real bookmark. I also had a little paper bookmark and even a paperclip at one point!

10) Do you keep track of all the books you own (in a spreadsheet, notebook, etc.)?

I use GoodReads to keep track of my reading.  I can refer back to it if there’s a sequel due and a long wait before publication.

11) What is your favorite reading weather?

I love a cool, grey autumn afternoon with gentle rain pattering down the windows. I’ll sit and read and occasionally look outside to watch the world go by as I enjoy a lovely mug of tea. Fantastic!


Thanks again to Kelsey for nominating me for this, I enjoyed answering your questions. As always, if you’ve enjoyed reading this and haven’t done it yourself then consider yourself tagged!

The Finally Fall Book Tag

I’ts Book Tag time again, and what better way to enjoy my favourite season than with an autumn themed tag?

This tag was created by Alina on her booktube channel Tall Tales, and you can watch her video here.  I was tagged by Kelsey (thank you!) and you can check out her answers here.
Let’s begin…

In fall, the air is crisp and clear: Name a book with a vivid setting.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I really want to re-read this. I remember the black and white tents of the circus, the fact that it appears without warning, and the magic contained within the story as being very striking. It could make a really good movie or tv series.

Nature is beautiful… but also dying: Name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

Christmas under the Stars by Karen Swan deals with loss and the aftermath. I thought this story was based on a great original idea and I enjoyed it a lot.

Fall is back to school season: Share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

I still haven’t managed to read enough non-fiction to be able to answer this question. I keep saying I’m going to try and give it a go, but then all these beautiful looking/sounding works of fiction keep dragging my attention away.

In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: Name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

I would love to be part of Roland Deschain’s ka-tet in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Not quite sure how that would work out when faced with all manner of monsters/demons/strangeness, but I’d have the group to help out, wouldn’t I?

Also, I’d like to join the Weasley family from the Harry Potter series. Or possibly become a member of the Order of the Phoenix. Something in the wizarding world anyway.

And I’ve come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t mind being Hercule Poirot’s sidekick, although of course I’d leave the crime solving to him while I documented the adventures.

The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground: Show us a pile of fall-colored spines!

This is the drawback to being an avid library user – I DON’T HAVE A PILE OF PRETTY BOOKS for this prompt.

Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: Share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It’s years since I read this for the first time, but I remember it being enjoyable and I’m very much looking forward to Diane Setterfield’s next book.

The nights are getting darker: Share a dark, creepy read.

One I’ve read – The Shining by Stephen King. There were a couple of really creepy scenes in this book. Room 217 anyone?

One I want to read and have been informed it’s creepy – NOS4R2 by Joe Hill. This is one I’ve meant to read for a while now, so hopefully this will be the season I finally pick it up.

The days are getting colder: Name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling. It’s a short read, and there’s something magical about that first realisation that Harry is actually a wizard and a wonderful home and family awaits him at Hogwarts. Yes, things may take a darker turn as the series goes on, but I love the innocence and discovery in the first novel.

Fall returns every year: Name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.

It’s not an old favourite but new one – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. The paperback version has recently been published which is the perfect excuse for a re-read.

I also think I’ll end up re-reading Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, because I really enjoyed that. I might even try the audio version for a change.

Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: Share your favorite cozy reading “accessories”!

First and most important – the biggest mug of tea that I can possibly hold in one hand whilst holding my book in the other! And maybe some biscuits or something sweet to savour while I’m reading.
Thick fluffy socks.
Cozy clothing.

Spread the autumn appreciation and tag some people!

As always, if you’ve not had chance to do this tag yet, or are now seeing it for the first time and fancying giving it a go please consider yourself tagged.