Monthly Summary: May 2019

Welcome back to another Monthly Summary here on Pages and Tea.

Here’s a surprise – I only finished two books during the last month. I thought I’d read more than that, but apparently not.
What I did read though was very good. First I went adventuring with M. Poirot again and discovered just who murdered the unfortunate Roger Ackroyd. Talk about the unexpected! Definitely a twist to remember, and I’ll watch out for future books delivering such a great surprise.
Next my reading became post-apocalyptic as I witnessed a journey across a desolate land inspired by the theft of a much-loved family pet. A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World was just brilliant. I savoured each and every page, and didn’t want to reach the end, even though I found it heard to tear myself away from reading just one more chapter.

When I wasn’t reading, I finally posted my take on the Spring Cleaning Book Tag, and I thought about books I would love to see given the big screen/tv series treatment for Top Ten Tuesday.
There was also another instalment of the Bout of Books read-a-thon, which gave me the opportunity to make daily updates to the blog, even though I didn’t end up reading a massive amount during the event.

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

Book Reviews

     

The Murder of Roger Acyrokd (Poirot #4) by Agatha Christie

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

May 2019

Book Tags

The Spring Cleaning Book Tag

Top Ten Tuesday

From Page to Screen

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2019

May Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Read-A-Thon Updates

Bout of Books May 2019 Sign Up
Bout of Books May 2019 Progress
Bout of Book Final Summary

Events

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon

Monthly Summary: April 2019

Welcome back to another Monthly Summary here on Pages and Tea.

April sent some interesting reads my way. I ventured into the post-apocalyptic setting of Last Ones Left Alive and witnessed young Orpen discovering more of a world in which zombie-like skrake are a constant threat to life.
Next I meandered along a stretch of the Thames and discovered life amongst the storytelling locals when a mysterious girl is rescued and returns to life almost before their eyes in Diane Setterfield’s latest book.
From the leisurely pace of Once Upon a River I was thrown into the tense, page-turning world of Sleep by C. L. Taylor, as Anna, who has taken up a job in a hotel on a remote island comes to realise that someone wants her dead. The storm sets in, the island is cut off, and there’s every chance that she won’t make it out alive.

When I wasn’t reading I found time to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, writing about books I’d savour on a rainy day (which is perfect reading time, I think), and a few of the things that may encourage me to pick up a book (like I really need an excuse to do that!).

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

Book Reviews

       

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Last Ones Left Alive by Sarah Davis-Goff

Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield

Sleep by C. L. Taylor

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

April 2019

Top Ten Tuesday

Things That Make Me Pick Up A Book

Rainy Day Reads

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2019

April Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: March 2019

Welcome back to another Monthly Summary here on Pages and Tea.

Hello, and welcome to the latest post where I take a look back over the past month.
I don’t actually have that much to report this month because while I’ve been reading (a LOT), it’s been mostly taken up with 800+ wonderful pages of The Priory of the Orange Tree.
My only other reading adventure this month took me to the post-apocalyptic world of The Last, in which a nuclear attack has destroyed much of regular life and a group of people try to survive in a Swiss hotel out in the wilderness.

When I wasn’t lost within the pages of the Priory, I found time to give some attention to my endless TBR list/pile via Top Ten Tuesday. As intimidating as my book stack is at times I do love an opportunity to have a glance through and pick out some of the books that I really want to read.

I also kept up with what has become something of a tradition here on Pages and Tea and posted my 2019 edition of The Spring Has Sprung Book Tag.

Here’s what’s been happening on my blog during March…

Book Reviews

     

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

The Last by Hanna Jameson

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

March 2019

Book Tags

The Spring Has Sprung Book Tag – 2019 Edition

Top Ten Tuesday

Books on my Spring 2019 TBR

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2019

March Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: February 2019

Welcome back to another Monthly Summary here on Pages and Tea.

So, what happened on my blog over the last month?
I finally came to the end of the wonderful Winternight trilogy. I know the story of Vasya and Morozko, and it was everything I hoped for. I don’t tend to re-read, but this series is certainly one that I would love to experience again.
I was also back in the company of M. Poirot, which is always a pleasure, although he didn’t really make an appearance in Taken at the Flood until at least half way through!
And then I ventured to the Scottish Highlands in another murder mystery tale with a difference – you don’t find out who has been killed until almost the end of the story. I can’t remember the last time I came across so many unlikeable characters as appear in The Hunting Party, but that didn’t diminish my reading enjoyment.
I also read The Familiars by Stacey Halls, which is a book I’d been looking forward to for a while.

I took part in Top Ten Tuesday, looking at books I’ve enjoyed which have less than 2000 ratings on Goodreads. This is something I haven’t really paid that much attention to in the past; I look at the average rating, and I’ll read reviews, but not so much the number of ratings. I was quite surprised that some of the books I’ve enjoyed and seen mentioned on quite a few blogs ended up making an appearance in my post.

Here’s a summary of February on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

          

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

February 2019

Top Ten Tuesday

Books I Loved With Fewer Than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2019

February Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: January 2019

Hello and welcome to my first Monthly Summary of 2019.

Is this new year of reading off to a good start for you?
I spent the first days of the new year in the company of M. Poirot as he enjoyed a traditional family Christmas whilst also solving the mystery of a missing previous stone. Reading The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding also provided me with a passing encounter with Miss Marple, who featured in the short story Greenshaw’s Folly.
After that things took a rather gothic turn in The Stranger Diaries. Murder, mysteries, a possible haunted house, and strange writing appearing in a diary? It certainly made for thrilling reading, and gave me my first 5 star read of 2019.
Next I went time travelling, but not in any way I’ve read about before, for in The Psychology of Time Travel it was actually possible for several versions of the same character to be in the same place, at the same time, interacting with each other. Add a touch of romance, and a murder mystery, and this was another novel I really enjoyed.
And what winter month would be complete without a winter read? In my case… The Girl in the Tower, the second book of the Winternight trilogy. I loved it, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the final book, even though I’m feeing torn because I want to know what happens, but I don’t want the series to end.

I also participated in the latest Bout of Books read-a-thon, and spent a week documenting my reading progress. Then came Top Ten Tuesday. I’m always ready to talk about the books I meant to read, and the books I still want to read, so I joined in on a couple of the topics this month. Here’s a round up of what happened on Pages and Tea during January…

Book Reviews

            

The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan

The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding (Poirot #35) by Agatha Christie

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths

The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

Featured Posts

Top Ten Tuesday

Books I Hoped to Read in 2018… But Didn’t!

Recent TBR Additions

Other New Posts

2018 End of Year Survey

Beat the Backlist 2019 Challenge

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2019

January Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Read-A-Thon Updates

Bout of Books January 2019 Sign Up
Bout of Books January 2019 Progress
Bout of Book Final Summary

Events

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon

2018: The Year-End Book Survey

This Year End Survey is hosted by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner.

I love this opportunity to look back over the last year of reading.
Going through my list of what I’ve read usually makes me smile as I remember some of the great stories and characters I’ve encountered over the last 12 months.

2018 Reading Stats

Number of books you read:  42

Re-Reads:  0

Most Popular Genre:  It’s all been a great mixture this year!

Best in Books

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?
(If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2018 release vs. backlist)

           

               

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan
Transcription by Kate Atkinson
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Someone Like Me by M. R Carey

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Pisces by Melissa Broder and The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton, although I do know someone who absolutely loved the latter.

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

Someone Like Me by M. R Carey had many unexpected twists. I really enjoyed it.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. I wouldn’t say they did, but the intent was definitely there!

5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

     

A Time of Dread by John Gwynne was the first book in a new series, Of Blood and Bone, and my first book by this author.

The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams is the second book in the Winnowing Flame series. It’s really good (and has talking dragons!).

I’m not sure I’ve finished a series this year.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

     

Stuart Turton. The plot to Seven Deaths… is so complex and detailed, it must have taken a lot of time and attention to detail to get it all sorted, and the writing was really good. I can’t wait to see what he writes next.

And an honourable mention to Agatha Christie. I know she’s not a new author, but she’s new-to-me and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Adrift by Rob Boffard. I haven’t read much sci-fi so far, but I really enjoyed this book, describe it, so I’ll try more.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan. It’s the second book in the Gods of Blood and Powder series and continued the story begun in Sins of Empire really well. Can’t wait for the next book!

9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I don’t re-read very often at all. There are so many new books and backlist books and library books that I want to read that my TBR pile seems endless.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?

           

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

            

Hercule Poirot. I can’t believe I’d never come across this detective in my reading life before.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower

13. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read?

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I also can’t believe that I saw the new movie version without a clue as to whodunit.

14.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

    

The shortest, at 213 pages is Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie.

The Longest, at 639 pages is Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan.

15. Book That Shocked You The Most?

            

Almost any of the Agatha Christie books I’ve picked up leave me shocked because even though I concentrate and try and pick out the clues, I’m usually wrong and it takes the great Poirot to sort it all out in the end.

16. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)?

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik featured Miryem and the Staryk. I loved that dislike and resistance and a great battle of wills eventually led to mutual respect and affection.

17. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year?

Fran and Jinx from Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey. There MAY have been a tear or two at their final exchange. Maybe.

18. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously?

The Outsider by Stephen King.

19. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure?

The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse seemed to be everywhere at one point earlier this year.

20. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

Count Rostov from A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.

21. Best 2018 debut you read? 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. I had a feeling this book would make several appearances during this year-end survey.

22. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

The toyshop in The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale was pretty magical and vivid.

23. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Sounds strange but I loved reading Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I’d seen the new movie, and know whodunnit, but reading Poirot for the first time was memorable.

24. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I’d not read anything by this author before, but I really enjoyed the tale of Count Rostov.

25. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

Have a guess? No ideas? It’s The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. I’ve named this one as I’ve been looking for something similar to read because I enjoyed it so much but I haven’t found anything that has that unique twist to it so far.

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favorite book blog/Bookstagram/Youtube channel you discovered in 2018?

I’ve followed quite a few new blogs this year, and they’re all great. I enjoy reading about all the great new books out there, but my TBR list is NOT thanking me at all.

2. Favorite reviews that you wrote in 2018?

            

               

       

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey
The Corset by Laura Purcell
Adrift by Rob Boffard
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower
The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah
The Outsider by Stephen King
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

If it’s not book reviews then my favourite posts to write are Top Ten Tuesday topics. I enjoy the chance to think back about books I’ve read, and make lists about books I’ve still to read. I also like engaging with other readers about the things they’ve read, and TTT gives the opportunity to do this. Here are some of my recent favourite Top Ten Tuesday posts…

Falling Into Fall
Hidden or Not-So-Hidden Gems
Poolside Reads AKA My Summer TBR List

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

As always… Bout of Books. I love a readathon.  I also enjoy Readers Imbibing Peril, it’s the sign that Autumn is coming!
If there’s one thing I would like, it would be to know about readathons before they start so I have time to plan and participate. They’re great fun.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2018?

Taking part in readathons.

6. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My Falling into Fall Top Ten Tuesday post.

7. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

Any review posts.

8. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Unbound Worlds. This site is devoted to all things Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I can’t believe I’d not come across it until very recently after I saw it mentioned in a blog post.

9. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I completed my Goodreads challenge, but I did set a fairly low target.
I participated in Beat the Backlist and read 14 books, which was more than I was expecting.

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

This list could be endless. I’ll just mention a few of the first titles that come to mind, but this really is only the beginning…

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
Circe by Madeline Miller
Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker
Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

I’m always on the look out for something new by Stephen King.
I believe John Gwynne also has a new book, A Time of Blood, which I’d like to read.

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Can The Binding by Bridget Collins count? From what I read this is the author’s first adult novel, so it’s sort of a debut but not really.

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden. I really want to read The Girl in the Tower as soon as I can, but I’m already looking forward to this next book too!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

I think my answer for this is the first as last year.  I’d like to read some books I already own. I think I may sign up for Beat the Backlist again, and give myself an incentive to pick up the books I’ve been neglecting.


So concludes this year-end survey, Congratulations if you made it all the way through to the end! What have you been reading this year? And what are you looking forward to reading next?

Monthly Summary: November 2018

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

Another enjoyable month of reading for me. It started off all mysterious as I ventured to Blackwater Abbey and discovered A House of Ghosts.
After that I was space-bound, cast Adrift with the passengers of tour ship The Red Panda. I haven’t read much sci-fi but I enjoyed this book so much that I’m on the lookout for something similar.
Time’s Convert took me back to the world of the All Souls trilogy, but added in some great historical fiction too as Marcus’s back-story was revealed.

I wrote a post for The Sunshine Blogger Award, which was something I’ve never done before. Here’s what happened on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

            

A House of Ghosts by W. C. Ryan

Adrift by Rob Boffard

Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

November 2018

Book Tags

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2018

November Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress