Monthly Summary: February 2021

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

February has been a quiet month on the blog, but it has included some very good books…

I finally picked up NOS4A2 by Joe Hill. I’ve enjoyed previous reads by Hill and have had a copy for this for so long but never picked it up until now. What a mistake. I loved the tale of good and evil played out between Vic McQueen and Charlie Manx, two characters who couldn’t be more different but who both have unique talents and that allow them to enter inscapes, worlds of imagination. Vic can find lost things via a magical covered bridge, while Manx has created his own playground in the form of Christmasland.

I’ve mentioned many times before that I’d like to reread The Dark Tower series by Stephen King and this month I found myself in the mood for a Western, or more specifically, a Weird West type tale, and so I finally decided the time had arrived to begin this much-spoken-of reread and picked up my copy of The Gunslinger, the first book in the series. It’s going to be an ongoing read, and one there’s no real plan for. I’ll just dip back in whenever the mood takes me. Can’t wait to discover new things and see what I missed first time around. I rarely reread because there are so many books that I can’t wait to start, so this is a new experience for me.

Next, a police procedural, more new territory as I don’t visit this genre at all usually but I fancied something a bit different. An Eye for an Eye is the first book featuring DI Kate Young, faced with a potential serial killer whilst dealing with traumatic events in her own past.

And last but not least, I’ve started reading Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. No doubt I’ll be mentioning this one again but for now I’ve only just started reading. I think it’s going to be a good one.

So, a varied month of reading, and somehow time has flown by and I haven’t had chance to post my reviews for a couple of this month’s reads, but I did write about The Ten Thousand Doors of January, a book I very much enjoyed last month, and also participated in a cover-centric edition of Top Ten Tuesday based around the colours of Mardi Gras.

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

Book Reviews

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

February 2021

Top Ten Tuesday

The Colours of Mardi Gras

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2021

February Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: January 2021

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

Hello and welcome to my first Monthly Summary of 2021.
A new year of reading has begun, and my first read of the year was The Ten Thousand Doors of January. It’s a book I’ve wanted to read for a while, and I thought it would be a nice choice for my first book of the year. Turns out I was right, I loved every moment of it. I hope many of the books I read this year are as enjoyable as this was. I love it when I find my next 5 star read.

From magical to horror as my next read was NOS4A2. This is another book I’ve meant to read for a long time, and I’ve always thought I’d read it during autumn, but the whole Christmasland theme tempted me to pick it up now even though the festive season is just behind us now. It’s a long book, but one I think I’m going to enjoy. It reminds me a little of It by Stephen King. No doubt I’ll have more to say about it once I’ve finished.

Then came Top Ten Tuesday, which offered up perfect opportunities to look back at some of the books I meant to read during 2020 but didn’t have time for, and to remember some of the new-to-me authors I discovered over the reading year.

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

Book Reviews

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1) by Genevieve Cogman

Midwinter Murder: Fireside Mysteries from the Queen of Crime by Agatha Christie

Featured Posts

Top Ten Tuesday

Books I Meant to Read in 2020 But Didn’t Get To

The New-to-Me Authors of 2020

Other New Posts

2020 End of Year Survey

Beat the Backlist 2021 Challenge

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2021

January Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: November 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

November turned out to be a great month of reading variety.
It started with the magic and romance of Shades of Milk and Honey, a Regency era Austen-esque tale of two sisters and their various acquaintances. It’s the first in the Glamourist Histories series and if the rest are as entertaining I think it’s a series I will continue reading.

From magical romance I moved into the territory of Gothic horror with Mexican Gothic. Such a contrast. I became engrossed in the tale of High Place and the ghastly goings-on at this old ancestral home of the Doyle family as a young socialite is called upon to investigate whether her recently married cousin is safe with her new family.

And from High Place I ventured next to the Invisible Library. Looks like I’ve discovered a new series to read. I won’t say more about this one at the moment as it’s my current ongoing read.

The End of the Year Book Tag made an appearance on the blog this month. I’ve completed this tag in previous years and thought it would be nice to revisit it now.

Here’s what happened on Pages and Tea during November…

Book Reviews

             

Hallowe’en Party (Poirot #39) by Agatha Christie

Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

November 2020

Book Tags

The End Of The Year Book Tag

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

November Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Monthly Summary: October 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

October has been a good month of reading. I’ve mostly focussed on books for Readers Imbibing Peril as that event ran throughout the month and I enjoy participating. So, it was pretty much a month of spooky-ish reads.

That said, it started out with Endless Night by Agatha Christie, which didn’t turn out to be what I was expecting at all. It wasn’t a bad read, but I don’t think it will become one of my favourite books by Christie. I wrote more of my thoughts on this here.

My next reading adventure saw me arrive at The Sun Down Motel. What a book! Right book, right time. A haunted motel, one particularly angry ghost, and two determined women separated by 35 years but apparently on the same route to finding out just what has been going on at this strange, isolated motel.

From one ghostly story to another, I finally decided to read The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. I picked this one up as I’d watched The Turning and more recently I’ve started watching The Haunting of Bly Manor. I was curious about the original story both of these were adapted from and it was another book that suited Readers Imbibing Peril.

And then Poirot made an appearance. I haven’t read a Poirot novel in a while now, and what better time to pick up the aptly named Hallowe’en Party? It’s a book that has probably made my TBR list during more than one past October, so I was glad to finally pick it up.

Away from the books I indulged my liking for autumn with the Finally Fall Book Tag. It’s one I’ve done before but I decided I’d revisit it again this year.

Top Ten Tuesday gave an opportunity to get colourful with autumn-themed book covers and I also attempted a post of Super Long Book Titles. I discovered through other posts that week that there are some incredibly long-titled books in the world of non-fiction, which is something that I don’t tend to read very often at all.

Here’s what happened on Pages and Tea during October…

Book Reviews

            

Endless Night by Agatha Christie

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

October 2020

Book Tags

Finally Fall Book Tag: 2020 Edition

Top Ten Tuesday

Book Covers – Colours of Autumn

Super Long Book Titles

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

October Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Read-A-Thon Updates

#RIPXV – Readers Imbibing Peril XV – Sign Up and Progress Post

Events

#RIPXV – Readers Imbibing Peril XV

Monthly Summary: September 2020

Welcome to another Monthly Summary on Pages and Tea.

Autumn is here, Readers Imbibing Peril is happening now and throughout October, and my first month of Peril reading has been pretty exciting…

I discovered the secret of Wayward Pines in the trilogy of the same name by Blake Crouch. What a time I had. I can’t remember the last time I sped through a trilogy so quickly. I just couldn’t put these books down, and always wanted to read one more chapter, find out one more twist or secret, and how it would all turn out in the end. I was sad to reach the end of the trilogy, but there are more books by Blake Crouch so I’ll definitely be adding at least one to my future TBR lists.

From Pines, I ventured next to Wakenhyrst, and the atmospheric home of Maud Stearne, Wake’s End. Maud’s father committed a terrible crime, but what drove him to it? Was there really something out there in the wilds surrounding this isolated house, and did it really have anything to do with a demon in a painting? The darker nights drawing in was the perfect time to pick up this novel and discover what happened to Maud and her family years ago.

Endless Night by Agatha Christie was my next read and I’ll say more about this sometime soon – it wasn’t what I was expecting.

Top Ten Tuesday provided me with the perfect opportunity to pick out some book covers and this time I went for darker coloured covers. I’d initially decided on the colours of autumn, but that’s an upcoming topic.
Another post provided a chance to glance ahead and pick out some potential reads for my favourite season. As I’m still participating in Readers Imbibing Peril it gave me a chance to update my reading list for the ongoing challenge and add a couple of titles that I missed when I first wrote my sign up post.

Here’s what happened on Pages and Tea…

Book Reviews

           

Pines (Wayward Pines #1) by Blake Crouch

Wayward (Wayward Pines #2) by Blake Crouch

The Last Town (Wayward Pines #3) by Blake Crouch

Wakenhyrst by Michelle Paver

Featured Posts

Booking Ahead

September 2020

Top Ten Tuesday

Cover Freebie

My Fall 2020 TBR List

Reading Review

Reading Resolutions 2020

September Progress

Beat the Backlist Challenge Progress

Read-A-Thon Updates

#RIPXV – Readers Imbibing Peril XV – Sign Up and Progress Post

Events

#RIPXV – Readers Imbibing Peril XV

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