Monthly Summary: August 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

August is drawing to an end and it’s been a varied reading month.

Opium and Absinthe featured a young woman in search of answers after her sister is killed. There are similarities between her death and events in the novel Dracula, and Tillie, determined to find out who or what killed her sister, goes to great lengths to seek out the truth.

Next, for something completely different… I picked up a short story, The Sleep Tight Motel. I don’t usually read short stories, but I just fancied a change, and something that I might actually finish in one sitting, so this was the right book at the right time. I loved the eerie atmosphere, the mystery surrounding the motel, and the way the story concluded. I only wish I’d saved it for a dark, rainy autumn afternoon, but there are more stories in the same collection so I might sample a few of those over the coming weeks.

I also ventured back to the comic, colourful, bizarre Discworld to find out if Rincewind and Twoflower did indeed meet their doom falling of the edge of the world, or whether they lived to enjoy another adventure. I’m going to carry on with Discworld, and for now I’ll probably stick with reading the books in order, although this may change at some point. Anyone seen the Luggage?!

I also wrote a post for Top Ten Tuesday featuring books that I would love to see made into shows or movies.

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

Book Reviews

           

Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang

The Sleep Tight Motel by Lisa Unger

The Light Fantastic (Discworld #2) by Terry Pratchett

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

August 2020

Top Ten Tuesday

Books that Should be Adapted into Shows/Movies

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

August Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: July 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

Another monthly summary already?! Okay, here goes…

July’s reading gave me a month of complete contrasts.
I finally finished Lonesome Dove, that vast and epic trek across the wilds from Texas to Montana in the company of the Hat Creek Cattle Company. What a marvellous cast of characters pitted against every manner of hardship out in the wilds. It took me such a long time to read because it’s a massive tome, but I was a little sad to finally finish that final page and have to bid farewell to the characters I’d spent so much time with.

And then for something completely different…

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill is certainly very different to my previous read, yet one thing it did have in common, some memorable characters to whom I warmed very quickly and wanted the best for them. Not necessarily going to happen in a book with monsters in the title, is it? The Turner family really didn’t have it easy throughout the novel, with real life torments and the actual monster lurking at the door.
Strange, surreal, weird in a good way, I enjoyed this book very much.

I am part way through Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang, so that book will no doubt receive further mention once I’ve finished it, and I’ve also picked up The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett.

The blog has been quite quiet this month, with only a couple of reviews appearing. Nevertheless, here’s an update of July on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

     

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

July 2020

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

July Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: June 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

Despite the fact that I didn’t post a single book review throughout June, or even finish a whole book, it’s not been a bad month of reading. Anyone who’s been following along recently may remember I’ve mentioned a certain book on more than one occasion. Yes, Lonesome Dove has been well and truly occupying my reading time, and I’m into the latter stages of the tale now. I’m braced for more upcoming character deaths, and can’t say I’m looking forward to that after following these guys for over 800 pages already.

As I knew I wouldn’t be posting much review-wise I decided to write a few Top Ten Tuesday posts, which I haven’t participated in for a while, and I enjoyed coming up with books for those. I’ve seen the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag appearing again too, so I decided I’d write a 2020 update for that tag.

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

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

June 2020

Top Ten Tuesday

Books I’ve Added to my TBR List

My Summer 2020 TBR List

Top Ten Top Tens

Book Tags

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

June Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: May 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

Another monthly summary already?! Okay, here goes…

I had my first experience reading Edgar Allan Poe in a short collection of stories and a poem called Darkness There. It contained The Tell-Tale Heart, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Raven, The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Pit and the Pendulum. I was surprised how much I enjoyed The Raven as I’ve never really been a great poetry fan, but that one had a lyrical quality that drew me in. Some of the Gothic elements of these short stories were absolutely brilliant, and the scene was always set to draw you straight into the short narrative. I’ll definitely check out more Poe.

I’ve also been continuing with my audio version of The Night Circus. I’m definitely doing better this time than I have with previous audio book attempts.

Also ongoing… Lonesome Dove. What a tale! I’ve read half of it now. There are so many great characters but my favourite at the moment is Gus and I always look forward to getting back to his viewpoint. Over another 400+ pages to go! I’m loving it, but I do think I’ll choose some shorter reads after this. I fancy some Fantasy having seen all the great Wyrd & Wonder posts around over the last month, and I have a large TBR list to choose from.

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

Book Reviews

Darkness There:  Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

May 2020

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

May Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: April 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

My reading has really slowed down recently. I only managed to finish one book over the course of this month, A Different Kind of Evil by Andrew Wilson. This is the second book in the Agatha Christie series, and takes elements of fact then weaves a murder mystery narrative around them. I’ve enjoyed both books I’ve read in this series so far.

I also took the plunge with my first audio book, something I’ve been saying I would like to try for a while. I picked The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, read by Jim Dale. I read this book a long time ago and it’s one I’ve said before I’d like to revisit so this seemed like a good opportunity. I’ve attempted audio books before and not had much success, I don’t seem to absorb the details in the way I do reading words from the page, if that makes sense, so I decided I’d go for a story I already had some experience of and so far I’m enjoying listening. It’s an ongoing project at the moment, so I can’t really comment too much about whether I’ll be getting more into audio in the future.

My other read of the month is also ongoing… Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry. I actually have the e-book version of this so I had no idea when I started just how long it is! It’s massive, and should keep me occupied for quite a while given that my reading pace has slowed so much at the moment. I love it so far – the setting, the characters, the humour. I’ve managed to mostly avoid spoilers but I would imagine there’s some heartbreak ahead as well. It’s a book I definitely don’t want to rush.

I managed to catch up on a couple of reviews for books I read last month, including the excellent Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker. I’m still thinking about how good this book was, and the urge to read Dracula again still hasn’t entirely left, even though I have so many other books to read as well.

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

Book Reviews

           

Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

A Different Kind of Evil (Agatha Christie #2) by Andrew Wilson

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

April 2020

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

April Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: March 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

Hello, and welcome to another monthly summary. What a strange month it has been. I’ve seen many people mention that they’re finding it harder to concentrate on reading than usual, and I’ve found this myself at the moment.
That said I did really enjoy Dracul. It was a real page-turner, and one of those books I didn’t want to end whilst also not being able to put it down.
I also visited The Kingdom, which was a very different kind of a read for me, and I enjoyed that too.

Top Ten Tuesday gave me the chance to recall some books with single word titles, which I thought I’d struggle with at first so I was surprised how many I remembered, and also how many more I’d missed when I was reading other lists.

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

Book Reviews

     

The Other People by C. J. Tudor

The Colour of Magic (Discworld #1) by Terry Pratchett

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

March 2020

Top Ten Tuesday

Books With Single-Word Titles

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

March Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: February 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

I’ve had a really good month of reading, and have enjoyed yet more 5 star reads which has been wonderful.

I read Highfire by Eoin Colfer, which is the first time I’ve read anything by this author.
From there I read the concluding volume of the Winnowing Flame trilogy by Jen Williams. What a read! It was one of those books where I didn’t want to keep going because I knew it would be the final time I’d be experiencing adventures with characters I’ve followed for three long books, but at the same time I couldn’t put the book down because there was so much going on and so much peril for these great heroes and their war-beasts.
After the epic saga of the Winnowing Flame I moved on to another new-to-me author and read The Other People by C. J. Tudor. This was a thriller with a slightly supernatural/fantastical element and it was another engrossing read.
I also finally made a foray into the Discworld. After much deliberation I decided I’d start at the beginning and went adventuring with Rincewind and Twoflower, the wizard and the tourist.

A varied and exciting month of reading but the end of the month has flown in so quickly that I haven‘t had chance to post my reviews for many of the books I‘ve been enjoying. In fact, the only reviews I did manage to post included one of last month’s excellent reads, Stoker’s Wilde, and The Poison Song.

I think this month may be a new record for the number of Top Ten Tuesday entries I wrote covering all manner of topics including books I hope will be 5 star reads, some gorgeous cover art, and some great reads that left me feeling rather book-hungover.

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

Book Reviews

   

Stoker’s Wilde by Steven Hopstaken and Melissa Prusi

The Poison Song (The Winnowing Flame #3) by Jen Williams

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

February 2020

Top Ten Tuesday

5-Star Reads?

Love Freebie

Book Hangovers

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

February Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: January 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

A new year of reading has begun, and it’s had great variety for me.
I spent the first days of the year enjoying another of M. Poirot’s Christmas adventures in which he was confronted with a locked room murder mystery and a whole house full of potential suspects.
I also ventured into the strange, surreal and wonderful land of The Starless Sea, a book of books and stories all tied together within the main story of Zachary Ezra Rawlins. There was so much to savour in this novel that it became my first 5 star read of the year.
Thriller time next as I started The Six, and witnessed the lives of a group of friends come under threat after an incident from their past comes back to haunt the present.
Next up… my second 5 star read of the year so far! Can you believe that?! Stoker’s Wilde blends horror, gothic, humour, adventure together in a wonderfully entertaining tale in which Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde reluctantly find themselves teaming up to stop the Black Bishop, an unknown villain who seeks to unleash vampires and who knows what upon the world.

I also participated in the latest Bout of Books read-a-thon, and spent the week documenting my reading progress, finishing one book and making progress on another. Then came Top Ten Tuesday, which offers a perfect opportunity to talk about upcoming reads or books I‘ve already enjoyed, and to show off some colourful book covers.

Here’s a round up of what happened on Pages and Tea during January…

Book Reviews

           

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

The Six by Luca Veste

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (Poirot #20) by Agatha Christie

Featured Posts

Top Ten Tuesday

Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf

Cover Version

Other New Posts

2019 End of the Year Book Survey

Beat the Backlist 2020 Challenge

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

January Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Read-A-Thon Updates

Bout of Books January 2020 Sign Up
Bout of Books January 2020 Progress
Bout of Book Final Summary

Events

Bout of Books Read-A-Thon

Monthly Summary: November 2019

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

November sent some good reads my way. I finally ventured to Hill House, having intended to read that book for at least a year or two. Definitely one for the long dark nights of autumn and winter.
Continuing with the seasonal theme (although read these books at any time if you haven’t already!) I picked up Bone China, the latest from Laura Purcell. Gothic, mysterious, atmospheric, I really enjoyed it.
Next I ventured into the realm of the short story, which is something I don’t do often at all but I’d enjoyed the last two books that I read by Joe Hill so much that I thought I’d give Full Throttle a try and it didn’t disappoint. There are some amazing stories in this book and I loved the variety it provided and the novelty of being able to read a whole story in one sitting. That doesn’t happen with the massive tomes I tend to read.

I even had time for the End Of The Year Book Tag.
Here’s what happened on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

           

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Bone China by Laura Purcell

Full Throttle by Joe Hill

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

November 2019

Book Tags

The End Of The Year Book Tag

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2019

November Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: October 2019

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

It’s been a great month of reading, but for some reason I seem to be reading very slowly.
My first read of October was The Institute by Stephen King. I always look forward to a new King novel, and this tale of a group of unique children kidnapped and housed at the mysterious Institute was totally engrossing.

Fantasy featured in my reading this month with A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie.  So good! I haven’t read any of the First Law books but I was totally taken by the cover for this new book, and finding it was the beginning of a new series, well, I couldn’t resist. For the most part I didn’t mind it being my introduction to this world, but there were times when past characters/events were mentioned and I found myself wondering whether these things had happened on-page or were just passing references. Still, I can always go back and start at the beginning, can’t I?

I finished two books this month (like I said, I’ve been reading so slowly!), which brings me to my ongoing read…

I finally picked up a Shirley Jackson novel, which is a first for me. I chose The Haunting of Hill House, having watched the recent tv series and wanting to discover the original tale. They’re very different, and the book is very atmospheric and tense.

I love autumn, and it’s arrival was the perfect excuse to revisit The Finally Fall Book Tag.
Reader’s Imbibing Peril also continued for the duration of October, and that’s been enjoyable – I ended up watching more perilous fare than reading it, but everything counts in this event.
Here’s what happened on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

   

The Institute by Stephen King

A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness #1) by Joe Abercrombie

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

October 2019

Book Tags

Finally Fall Book Tag: 2019 Edition

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2019

October Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Read-A-Thon Updates

#RIPXIV – Readers Imbibing Peril XIII – Sign Up and Progress Post

Events

#RIPXIV – Readers Imbibing Peril XIV