Booking Ahead: April 2019

Booking Ahead is a feature 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.

Off I go through the TBR archives once more! Time to pick some potential reads for the month. Given that last month was mostly taken up with my reading of The Priory of the Orange Tree, I have a feeling that some of the other books I mentioned last time may well make a return appearance here.
Here are a few of the books I hope to read over the coming month…

New Books

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff – I cannot keep away from a new post-apocalyptic novel, and this one is receiving such positive reviews and feedback that I’m really looking forward to cracking open the book.

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker – People are succumbing to an endless sleep in which they experience life-altering dreams. Sounds intriguing to me!

Books from the Backlist

I seem to have unintentionally neglected my Beat the Backlist challenge lately. I blame the library for sending through so many of the new books I’ve requested all at the same time! This month I’ll try to add at least a couple more to my (small) total.

The Rose and the Yew Tree by Agatha Christie writing as Mary Westmacott – After my latest epic fantasy read of 800+ pages I feel like I would like something shorter in the coming weeks, before I move on to another long novel, and it’s been a while since I indulged my newfound enjoyment of Agatha Christie. This is a change from her usual crime novels though, so I’m going into it with an open mind.

The Passage by Justin Cronin – I just finished watching the new tv series, so now I want to pick this up for a re-read even more because there is so much that I cannot remember about it. I want to see how it compares to the show, and I also want to carry on with the rest of the books.


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.

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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!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Spring 2019 TBR

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 weeks theme is:  Books on my Spring 2019 TBR


I love it when Top Ten Tuesday gives me the opportunity to have a proper look through my TBR list/pile because sometimes that pile seems so huge and ominous that a quick side-glance as I pick up my next book is all I dare risk. So, here are some of the books, both old and new, that I’m hoping I’ll get around to reading over the next few months.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – I’m already reading this one, and at over 800 pages I feel I probably will be for a while. When I collected it from the library I was amazed at how massive and how heavy it is, and said straight away that if it wasn’t great then it was going back.
400+ pages in and I don’t even mind having to lug this huge fantasy novel around because it’s very very good.

A Time of Blood by John Gwynne – Second of the Of Blood and Bone series. I can’t wait to get back into this story and find out what happens next.

The Passage by Justin Cronin – I’ve been watching the new tv series based on this novel and it’s made me want to start the trilogy again. I read the first book a long time ago, but I can’t remember that much about it, it seems quite different from the tv show, so I’d like to start at the beginning and then carry on with the rest of the books.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James – Another very striking cover, and another fantasy novel that I hope I’ll lose myself in soon.

The Rose and the Yew Tree by Agatha Christie writing as Mary Westmacott – Here’s something completely different in more ways than one. A break from the fantasy/post-apocalyptic themes that I love so much, and also a break from Christie as a crime writer.

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff – Sounds a little bit post-apocalyptic, and may contain zombies. Sounds like my sort of tale.

Circe by Madeline Miller – I saw some quotes from this novel online a while ago and if the rest of the writing is so good then I think it should be a treat to read. I can’t believe that I’ve had this one on my TBR pile for so long already.

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker – People are falling asleep and not waking up, and their dreams are becoming increasingly vivid. The set up sounds intriguing, and I can’t wait to read this.

This Savage Song by V. E. Schwab – I think I’ll let the summary speak for itself on this one – Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

A Different Kind of Evil by Andrew Wilson – And for something a little different I might try to pick up the next in the Agatha Christie books as I enjoyed A Talent for Murder. This tale follows Christie on her travels to the Canary Islands to investigate the death of a British agent.


Have you read any of the books that made my list this week? Which should I give a place at the very top of my TBR pile, and what are you hoping to read over the next few months?

Booking Ahead: March 2019

Booking Ahead is a feature 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.

New Books

The Last by Hanna Jameson – When a book has the comment in the inside cover that it’s a mix of Stephen King and Agatha Christie you know I’m going to be excited at the prospect. Let’s see if this post-apocalyptic murder mystery is as good as I hope it will be.

The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker – People are succumbing to an endless sleep in which they experience life-altering dreams. Sounds intriguing to me!

Books from the Backlist

The Rose and the Yew Tree by Agatha Christie writing as Mary Westmacott – I want to read more Christie this year, and as part of the Read Christie reading challenge one of the items is to read a Mary Westmacott novel. I saw this one at the library and it was a lovely brand new book, and the cover caught my eye, so I’ll give it a go.

Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker – I’m in the mood for something a little horror/fantasy-based and while there are many books on my pile, this one keeps almost reaching the top, so hopefully this time I’ll actually pick it up and read it!


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.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

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 weeks theme is:   Books I Loved with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads


I must admit that number of ratings on GoodReads is something I don’t very often pay attention to. I’ll look at the average rating, and read reviews, but the number of ratings? Not so much. So, I was really surprised to find out that so many of the books I’ve really enjoyed over recently months have less than 2000 ratings at the time I wrote this post.

Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey – 1312 Ratings – The Girl With all the Gifts started my enjoyment of M. R. Carey’s novels, and I always look out for the latest. This was really good, and I still really like Fran and Jinx. They’ve stayed in my mind since I finished the novel.

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas – 1344 Ratings – An enjoyable time-travel murder-mystery with a lovely romance and some good characters.

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths – 1171 Ratings – I love the mix of gothic, ghostly, and murder mystery in this.

The Corset by Laura Purcell – 1239 Ratings – Picked up after loving The Silent Companions, I enjoyed this story too. It was very different from her first novel, which remains one of my favourite recent(ish) reads.

Adrift by Rob Boffard – 400 Ratings – I haven’t read much Sci-Fi until now, but this story of a group of space tourists trapped on a ship after their station is attacked left me wanting to check out more from this genre!

A Time of Dread by John Gwynne – 1323 Ratings – The first book in the Of Blood and Bone series (the new book is out soon!) and my very first John Gwynne novel.

The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams – 958 Ratings – The first Winnowing Flame series book introduces Tor, Vintage and Noon, three characters I really took to straight away as they went off on their fantastical adventures.

The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams – 405 Ratings – Sequel to the above novel, and equally as good as the first. I can’t wait for the final instalment of this trilogy, out later this year.

The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan – 686 Ratings – I always find myself with the latest Karen Swan on my TBR list around Christmas-time, and this one was no exception. They’re very different from my usual reading choices and I like them for that.

A Talent for Murder by Andrew Wilson – 1137 Ratings – An imagining of what happened during those days of Agatha Christie’s unexplained disappearance.


Have you read any of these? Which books were you surprised to discover have fewer than 2000 ratings?

Booking Ahead: February 2019

Booking Ahead is a feature 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 the first Booking Ahead of 2019.

I’ve signed up for Beat the Backlist again, so I’ll stick with my usual Booking Ahead format where I select a mixture of older and newer books to read over the coming month. Top Ten Tuesday gave me the perfect opportunity to write about at least ten books that I really want to read soon, so where this list provides a narrower section of potential reads, feel free to check out my Recent TBR Additions.

On to the books…

New Books

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden – The final book of the Winternight trilogy, and I can’t wait to read of Vasya’s adventures and what’s going to happen to her next. Am hoping for another appearance from Morozko as well. What a shame it’s the final book though!

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley – A remote hunting lodge. In winter. A murder among friends. It sounds like something Agatha Christe may have written, which sounds good to me.

The Last by Hanna Jameson – Post-apocalyptic murder mystery in a hotel as the world is ending. A murder mystery AND a post-apocalyptic scenario? Can this one really be as good as it seems? I can’t wait to find out.

Books from the Backlist

Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie – Old book, new edition spied upon a visit to the library. I think I’m the first person to loan this one out, so I have that new-book pleasure to look forward to, and it’s Poirot!! I definitely need more Poirot in my reading life!

The Passage by Justin Cronin – I read The Passage years ago, and bought the other two books in the trilogy, but I never found the opportunity to read them. My interest was reawakened when I found out that book 1 has been given the tv series treatment. Of course it’s something I want to watch, and it’s made me want to read the books, but as it’s such a long time since I read the first one I can’t recall that much about it, so I want to read the whole lot starting from the beginning.


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.

Top Ten Tuesday: Recent TBR Additions

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 weeks theme is:   Recent TBR Additions



The Passage, The Twelve, The City of Mirrors – all by Justin Cronin

I read The Passage a few years ago and I must have enjoyed it because I bought the rest of the series but somehow never got around to reading them. Now there’s a new tv series based on the book all of a sudden it’s caught my attention again and I really want to get back into the books. I think I’ll start at the beginning because I can’t really remember a great deal about the first book, and now the series is complete I could read them back to back if I fancied that.

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff – Give me new post-apocalyptic tales and I’ll be one happy reader. I love all things along this line, and throw in a few zombies and you’ve got a place right at the top of my TBR mountain.

The Last by Hanna Jameson – Sticking with the post-apocalyptic theme here for a murder mystery in a hotel as the world is ending. This really does sound intriguing.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley – If something is compared to an Agatha Christie story then chances are I’m going to want to check it out. I’m in the mood for a good murder mystery or two.

A Time of Blood by John Gwynne – A Time of Dread was my first John Gwynne novel and I want to find out what happens next!

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden – I recently finished The Girl in the Tower and I definitely won’t be leaving it too long before I pick up the concluding book of the Winternight trilogy. I really don’t want it to end, but I can’t wait to start reading either.

Sea of Rust by C. Robert Cargill – Robots? Really? Never thought I’d pick up this sort of book but the cover caught my attention in the library and reading the opening left me very curious.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – I want to read more fantasy this year and the gorgeous cover of this book caught my eye. I’ve not read anything else by this author, but am looking forward to checking this out.

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James – Another fantasy novel making the list. A comparison to Game of Thrones has been made, so I have high hopes, and another very striking cover.

Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker – Can you ever have enough stories featuring vampires/Dracula? I don’t think so.


So, have you read any of these books already? If so, which should I be putting straight to the top of my ever-expanding TBR Mountain, and what are you hoping to read over the coming weeks?