Monday, 7 May 2018

Last Week's Shenanigans (30th April - 6th May)...

We're already in May?! Whaaaat?! Well I for one am VERY happy because May is my birthday month, and so my favourite month of the year! The weather is starting to get really nice too. I'm much happier when it's sunny and bright than I am in the cold! May is going to be a really exciting month too because I have a fair amount of time off and exciting plans to fill it with! I'm looking forward to it!

I Read...


I Received...

- 'Spinning Silver' by Naomi Novik: Netgalley (01/05/18)
- 'Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race' by Reni Eddo-Lodge: Netgalley (02/05/18)
- 'The Hatch' by Joe Fletcher: Netgalley (02/05/18)


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Fight A Bear Underwater To Get Early

I Posted...

April Wrap-Up
Planned Reads For May

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books I'd Fight A Bear Underwater To Get Early'.

Okay, so I changed up the title a little bit after repeating Todrick Hall's album Straight Outta Oz repeatedly these last few days (see the track 'Lions & Tigers & Bears' for the reference). But the intent is the same! I would seriously kill for these titles...seriously...

1) 'Floored' by Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne et al.

As soon as I saw the announcement for this one I was straight onto begging for a place on the mailing list. The proofs look so beautiful and I'm 100% on board with anything that Sara Barnard has had a hand in!

2) 'King Of Scars' by Leigh Bardugo.

This only recently came on my radar, but I need it. My baby Nikolai is the central character?! It's going to have a 'Six Of Crows' POV character?! HAVE YOU SEEN THE BOOK TRAILER?! HIEWHNNCLDSNC! Sign me up!

3) 'The Winter Of The Witch' by Katherine Arden.

The third and final installment to one of my favourite fantasy series is coming out this year. I am here for anything related to this book because it looks like it's going to be everything I've ever wanted! So exciting!

4) 'Sea Witch' by Sarah Henning.

I am so desperate for a copy of this book! There really aren't enough Sea Witch (of 'The Little Mermaid' fame) origin stories/retellings and I'm getting really good vibes from this one! I love that it references the Hans Christian Andersen version too, rather than Disney's Ursula!

5) 'Pride' by Ibi Zoboi.

I'm really surprised that I haven't seen this book floating around the blogosphere more, but a contemporary retelling of 'Pride & Prejudice' that is borne from POC culture and heritage is always going to go to the top of my priority list! I'm honestly so excited about this book!

6) 'The Winds Of Winter' by George R.R. Martin.

Many will think me a fool for listing this one, as it's probably not going to be released in my lifetime, even if Martin does outlive me! That being said, what I would give to be able to do a Miranda Priestly and secure a manuscript copy while everyone else waits!

7) 'Spinning Silver' by Naomi Novik.

This looks so pretty, first off! Just look at the stunning cover! I'm a big fan of the tale of Rumpelstiltskin so I'm intrigued by this retelling of the story because I haven't seen many of them.

8) 'Notes On A Nervous Planet' by Matt Haig.

'Reasons To Stay Alive' was a life-changing read for me, and now all of Matt Haig's titles catch my eye. Especially this one because it's (a) non-fiction, and (b) a lot more focused on anxiety which is something I would like to understand better so that I can understand myself better.

9) 'And The Ocean Was Our Sky' by Patrick Ness.

Ness never fails to grab me with his eye-catching, original story-telling and this book looks particularly stunning! I love the cover, and the promise of beautiful illustrations from Rovina Cai. I would love to get an ARC of this one!

10) 'The Curses' by Laure Eve.

I remember adoring 'The Graces' which was a little unexpected as I only expected to like it. My thoughts still go back to it a lot, especially it's fantastic use of an unreliable narrator, and I'm looking forward to seeing what it's sequel can bring to the table!

Planned Reads For May.

May is the month of my birthday and, as a result, I always save books that I'm super excited to read for it! Yay!

I'm currently reading Naomi Alderman's 'The Power' and I have to say, a lot of controversy surrounds this book. Some hail it as being super feminist while others claim it to be a step backwards? I'm really interested to see what my own thoughts will be for this one.

It's time to get round to the final book in the Malediction Trilogy, 'Warrior Witch' by Danielle L. Jensen. I have waited way too long to finish this series and it's time I did so! Especially as I enjoyed the books so far so much!

It's time for some more reading from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Complete Sherlock Holmes', this time I'm reading 'The Hound Of The Baskervilles'! This is probably the most famous of the Sherlock Holmes stories and I'm looking forward to finding out why, especially as I've enjoyed the other Sherlock Holmes stories so much!

I'm still looking forward to this 'The Belles' by Dhonielle Clayton! I know it doesn't seem like it because I haven't got round to it in the last couple of months but this is one of my most anticipated reads of the year! That cover is playing a big part in that.

Another book that I've been dying to get round to is Leigh Bardugo's 'Wonder Woman: Warbringer'! That's actually pretty surprising considering the fact that I don't usually like to read comic book retellings, so I'm really hoping that this is done well because I adored the Wonder Woman film!

'The Astonishing Colour Of After' by Emily X.R. Pan is the last one I'm bringing over from last month's TBR pile! I can't resist the cover, or the lure of reading about a totally new culture! I'm so excited about this book!

It's time. I'm having serious withdrawal symptoms from George R.R. Martin's world and I really want to read 'A Dance With Dragons: Dreams & Dust' which is the next in the series that I haven't read yet! I've put this off for long enough!

This book is so stunning and I adored the predecessor to Erin Bowman's 'Retribution Rails' so much that I need to read this ASAP! I can't wait to get stuck into another YA wild west adventure with badass characters and (hopefully) a sizzling romance.

Monday, 30 April 2018

April Wrap-Up.

I fee like I'm falling into a bit of a rut. Especially when it comes to sticking to planned reads! Maybe I'm being too harsh on myself... Anyway, I managed four reads, which I'm not all that happy about. I need to get back into a reading routine!

  1. 'Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them' by Newt Scamander. I really wanted to fit this one in before reading anything else, and I'm glad I did! Anyone expecting the story from the films will be disappointed but I found that this fictional non-fiction really helped to expand the lore of the Harry Potter universe and I particularly enjoyed the essay on beast vs. being classification. I also felt that Scamander's personality shone through in his writing. 4/5 Stars.
  2. 'Milk & Honey' by Rupi Kaur. Another dive away from the original planned reads, I was in the mood for some poetry and I borrowed this from a friend to read! I've seen some great reviews for this book and I can see why: the subject matter and presentation was very emotionally impactful. I loved the illustrations too! 4/5 Stars.
  3. 'They Both Die At The End' by Adam Silvera. I was really excited by the prospect of this LGBT book, and I loved that it contained so much diversity and representation in it's pages. I also adored the world-building! I have to say though, I expected a much bigger emotional impact than I actually got. I also didn't really connect with the characters in the way I hoped I would.
  4. 'The Magician's Nephew' by C.S. Lewis. I tried to read this as a child and remember putting it down then, but don't remember why. I decided to give it a second chance because I find the world of Narnia so fascinating, and while I liked elements of this story, I found everything too simplistic. The characters had no dimension which was a real shame, but it did answer some questions on the origins of Narnia!

This month I read four books for the Beat The Backlist Challenge, making my yearly total so far thirteen.

- Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them
- Milk & Honey
- They Both Die At The End
- The Magician's Nephew

This month I read zero books for the Finishing The Series Challenge, making my yearly total so far zero.

I read zero books for the New Release Challenge, making my yearly total so far four.

I read one book for the Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, making my yearly total so far ten.

- They Both Die At The End

Here is the end result for Pretty Deadly Blog's Bookish Bingo card.

Part Of A Series: The Novice; Taran Matharu
Spring Release: Children Of Blood & Bone; Tomi Adeyemi
New To Me Author: Milk & Honey; Rupi Kaur
Freebie: --
Intersectional Diversity: bone; Yrsa Daley-Ward
Animal On Cover: Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them; J.K. Rowling
Family: Spectacle; Megan Rose Gedris
LGBT+: They Both Die At The End; Adam Silvera
Second Chance: The Magician's Nephew; C.S. Lewis

Last Week's Shenanigans (23rd April - 29th April)...

A couple of things to report this week that I enjoyed, mostly because they allowed me to be a little bit cultured! For the first time in forever Mat and I took a trip to the Theatre to watch The Grinning Man! I'm so glad I got to catch it before it disappeared from the West End because I really enjoyed it! While the plot was a little bizarre and disjointed at times, the characters were amazingly vibrant and I adored most of the songs! I adored Julian Bleach as Barkilphedro the clown in particular, a truly natural comedian if ever I saw one!

Mat and I also went to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron a film that I had been both desperate to see and absolutely dreading for months. We went to the midnight showing which made it even more special, and I have to say it lived up to all my excitement and fears. I won't spoil it any more for those that still haven't seen it, but I only urge that you do!

I Read...

I Received...

- 'The Power' by Naomi Alderman: Borrowed

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Book Review: The Magician's Nephew; C.S. Lewis.

Well, April hasn't been such a successful reading month for me and I was a bit disappointed with this one to be totally honest. I remember vividly watching The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe numerous times when I was younger and loving it! I honestly thought that the first in the series that the movie was based on would be right up my alley but sadly not.

SOURCE: Borrowed
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: The Magician's Nephew
AUTHOR: C.S. Lewis
SERIES: Chronicles Of Narnia (#1)
PAGES: 171
GENRE: Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Classic

RATING: 2.5/5 Stars


Where the woods are thick and cold, where Talking Beasts are called to life...

A new world where the adventure begins.

Digory and Polly meet and become friends one cold, wet summer in London. Their lives burst into adventure when Digory's Uncle Andrew, who thinks he is a magician, sends them hurtling to...somewhere else. They find their way to Narnia, newborn from the Lion's song, and encounter the evil sorceress Jadis before they finally return home.

What I Liked:
  • The thing I liked most about this book was actually what I'd hoped to get out of it - answers to some of the questions about Narnia. How was it formed? Who is the White Witch? And of course, some backstory on the mysterious professor Digory and his magical wardrobe. I was thankful that C.S. Lewis did answer those questions for me, and the story included a few symbolic additions which was nice.
What I Disliked:
  • There was really no depth to this story, and that isn't just because it's aimed at children. The plot was pretty random, very short, and served only to expand upon the world we know and love rather than create it's own. There were so many missed opportunities for this prequel. Yes, it answered questions but it also created many more.
  • I did not connect with these characters, and found them pretty one-dimensional. The two main characters, Digory and Polly were precocious children which made it almost impossible to care about them in any way. Especially Digory. Uncle Andrew had absolutely no backstory behind his disagreeable nature either. My biggest disappointment came from Jadis, later to become the White Witch. I wanted her to be so much more than the solely evil for absolutely no reason villain that she ended up being. Aslan had a just as disappointing God-like purity and I found it such a shame.
Overall Conclusion:
This book was a bit of a dud for me. It was nice to have a story hinting the origins of Narnia, both creation and Royal family alike (though I really found it a bit random too). I'd have liked more detail, plot development and character creation involved. Some of the character decisions were questionable too and though I liked the theological symbolism, it was all a bit too obvious for me. I haven't given up on this series though, and I'd at least like to read 'The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe' before completely making up my mind. Especially as these books are so short and considered children's classics!

Monday, 23 April 2018

Last Week's Shenanigans (16th April - 22nd April)...

I worked so much this week, mostly as penance for my time off last week! It's meant that I didn't do an awful lot. I've massively fallen behind on reading and writing this week! In fact, this month has been a little slow in that respect for me! I have managed to do a few bits though, and I've especially managed to catch up on some TV shows! Mat and I have been watching Jessica Jones Season 2 (and loving it) and rewatching the Marvel universe films in preparation for Avengers: Infinity War which I'm equally as excited about as I am dreading it!

I Read...

I Received...