Books

Paperback Vs Hardback

Now everyone has their preferences, from hardback to paperback, and then nowadays you also have audiobooks and e-books; each have their negatives and positives, and it is really just a matter of what works best for you.

Personally, my favourite is really rather clear; you just cannot beat a nice new hardback book. I read a real mix of paperback, hardback and e-books, but every single time I will prefer a hardback. There is just something so satisfying about siting on the sofa with your legs up, and big hardback book sitting on your legs; holding itself open so that you can enjoy your cuppa tea while staying immersed in the story.

Now I can appreciate the practicality of an eBook. The ability to carry around 100s if not more books, with just the weight of one small portable tablet is just perfect for anyone who travels a lot, or even just if you only have a small home and want to have access to many books whenever it may strike your mood to read them. However, I have quite a major issue with eBooks. Not only do you not get the same reading experience, but you also have the problem of that they can run out of battery. Up until my recent move I lived somewhere where I would quite often find myself having a power cut, which of course makes it not possible to charge up an ereader. You never have that problem with a good old physical book. I am bad enough as it is at remembering to charge up my phone and laptop- things I use every day- let alone trying to remember to charge up my book.

Audiobooks have simple disadvantages to eBooks really, they require an item of electronics that will need regular charging; but I also have one other issue with audiobooks. It is one that I really do want to get over, as I want 2019 to be a year where I start listening to more audiobooks. My main issue with audiobooks is that I struggle to follow them, I will think that I am paying attention, but then when I stop, I will be unable to remember a thing that had gone on in the book I’d just listened to. Since a child, I have always had an issue with remember things that I had heard, I have much more of a photographic memory than I do an audio memory; I need to improve this somehow, advice is very welcome?

So that rules out the electronic versions of reading, leaving paperback or softcover, and hardback books. Now both have their positives, and you know my easy favourite, but I’ve not said what I have against paperbacks. Well the truth is, I don’t have anything against them, they are light weight, generally cheaper, and more compact for transporting around. The truth is, I just like the excitement that I get from a new hardback book, knowing that its a new book, looking at the maps and knowing that this book will be epic.

That’s my brief thoughts on which format of book I prefer, what are your thoughts?

Books

Most Anticipated Fantasy Releases of 2019

Its time for another post about some of my most anticipated releases of the new year, and todays genre is Fantasy, one of my all time favourite genres to read. Now most of the fantasy that I read does end up being more Young Adult based fantasy, so there may be a few overlaps, but I do also read a fair amount of fantasy generally as well. I truly can not wait for these books, especially the first Im going to mention, so very jealous of all the people I have been seeing who are receiving early copies.

So lets get into it, the first book I am going to mention is the much anticipated book that everyone is shouting about and that is Samantha Shannon’s The Priory of the Orange Tree. Now if Im completely honest, I am not a hundred percent sure what this is about, all I know is it is a high fantasy novel that involves dragons. I have my pre order in place and I will most likely pick it up the moment that it arrives.29774026

I have had the honour of reading a preview of this next book, and it truly does seem as though it is going to be one amazing creepy book. The book I am talking about, is from the lovely Titan Books, Christine Lynn Herman’s The Devouring Gray. You really do need to check this one out (this isn’t an ad, its my genuine feeling), as it looks like it will be an edge of your seat creepy fantasy thriller. 36535913

Now I mentioned this next one in my Young Adult releases, but typically, the day after the final title got released so I thought I may as well include it here as well. The Night Country, the second book in Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood. You can read what I said about it previously here, but I seriously loved the first book, and I can not wait to see what happens next. I hope that this turns out to be a trilogy, if anyone knows then can you please let me know?

The other sequel on this list is going to be no surprise to anyone that has heard about what I read last year. 2018 was the year that I discovered my love for Mary E Pearson’s writing, and Vow of Thieves is going to be no different. I was so happy to jump back into that world in the Dance of Thieves, and I am already getting withdrawal from them again. There is just something so special about this world that grips me and doesn’t want to let me go.

I am pretty certain that this next one will be in many, many peoples highly anticipated releases as I know that her first novel was absolutely adored by many people. Sadly I am yet to read her first one, but even still I am excited to get my hands on The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. Hopefully in the next couple of months I will get round to reading the Night Circus before this comes out, and that will then just reinforce my excitement, but we will see.

So those are the top fantasy novels that I am really looking forward to being released this year; think this will be a year of excellent fantasy novels.

What books are you most looking forward to getting your hands on this year?

Books

Most Anticipated History Releases of 2019

Its now time for my second most anticipated new release books post, and this time the genre is all about historical fiction releases. I really do love historical fiction, but sadly I don’t read enough of it; it seems to always to be less of a priority compared to thrillers and fantasy. But this year, I want to take the opportunity to dive back in some of my favourite historical fiction periods, with some of my all time favourite authors, and maybe even find a few new ones.

Pam Jenoff is an author that I discovered through being gifted a book by Netgallry, and it turned out to be amazing- you can see my full review of her first book here. So it really is no surprise that I am excited if this author has it in her for me to love her next novel as well. Normally I am not the biggest fan of World War based historical fiction, but I loved Orphans Tale, and I am prepared to give The Lost Girls of Paris a chance, as I have a feeling I am going to love it.39816076

The next two are both by authors that I have never read any work from before, but the synopsis of both of these have really got me intrigued. These books are The Serpents Mark by SW Perry and The Familiars by Stacey Halls. Both appear to be based within the Elizabethan era, which is a period of history that I love both in history and historical fiction. If anyone knows whether it’ll be best to read The Angels Mark by SW Perry before I read The Serpents Mark though, please let me know down below?39835415
Now onto my tried and tested authors, ones who I already have each of their new releases pre-ordered, and have done since they were announced. This are authors that I will read basically anything that they bring out, though sadly I do have a lot of catching up to do.

The sequel to the twitter poll winner this month is by far one of my most anticipated reads of the year. The Falling Sword is the second book to A Clash of Empires by Ben Kane, and I can not wait to dive back into the ancient worlds that he portrays. I adored the Eagles of Rome series, loving every single chapter in each book, but I do still need to catch up with his The Forgotten Legion series. The first book in that series was by far my favourite book he has written so far, so I know I am going to love the rest of the series.

Another not surprising one, is Alison Weir’s new release, The Princess in the Portrait, the fourth book in the Six Tudor Queens series. Again, I do need to catch up on the rest of this series before this one is released, probably be worth doing a marathon of the series. I have faith that this one, based on Anne of Cleves is going to live up to what I have come to expect and love of Alison Weir’s writing. index_383_1512909570

Finally, I have the first book of a new venture for author Philippa Gregory. I adored her Cousins War and Tudor court books, and was said to hear that they are now coming to a close, but I have to trust and have faith that she will delight me in her new series of novels. I am truly excited to see what happens in her new books to come.

So those are my top most anticipated historical fiction releases for this year. Do you like historical fiction? If so, what would you recommend?

Books

Most Anticipated YA Releases of 2019

One of the most exciting things about each new year is finding out all the amazing new books that are waiting to come out. Although I have been in a horrible reading slump, I really cant wait to get back to my books this year; after all there are some really amazing books coming out this year that I just cant wait to get my hands on. Will have to be clever with how I do that with trying to save money this year though.

This year I am splitting this post into three (possibly more…), each one focusing on a different genre; it would just be way too long or I’d have to cut some out otherwise. So here are my most anticipated Young Adult books that are being released this year.

All but one of these books are by authors I have already read and loved. The only one that isn’t is Romanov by Nadine Brandes, which I cant wait for because of the plot and what its focused around. Anyone that has known me for anytime will know that I have a love and fascination with Russian history and especially the Romanovs and the last Tsar. Although slightly fantastical I am not sure whether it is a fantasy or a magical realism, but I love the idea of Anastasia Romanov as a leading character, and cant wait to read some fiction in this setting. Would love any other recommendations to books, young adult or adult, that are based in Russia, especially 1900’s Russia. 40590407

One of my favourite books of 2018 was Hazel Wood by Melissa Wood, a magical realism about a girl who end up in a fairy tale nightmare world, it really is rather chilling. In 2019, the next book in the series is coming out. Got to admit I don’t know whether it is going to be a series or a duology, but I just cant wait for the second book. Its one of those novels that has you feeling unsettled and wanting to keep a light one, but its amazing. You can read my review of Hazel Wood here.

Leigh Bardugo is another of those authors that I have been late to discover, but I have now read the first two books in the Grisha verse, and I own the last one as well as the Crooked Kingdom duology. Even though, I can not wait for her new book in the same world, King of Scars. So this year I am going to have to get through the rest of her books that I own so that I can then pick King of Scars straight up, I set myself that challenge. 36307634
One of my childhood favourite series was the Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. When I was a child I didn’t really understand the ethical importance, and just how much it portrayed real life situations. Only now that I am older and think back to the books I realise just how much of a message they portray. But back to the blog, I am incredibly excited for her next book in the same world and I believe to be a new book in the series, Crossfire. From what I have read, it is the same world but with more of an up to date message in terms of what has been happening in the real world over the past few years.

Now a new series, but a tried and tested author partnership, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, the authors of the Illuminae series. Although I haven’t read anything by either of these authors separately, they are really amazing when they come together in their books. So its no surprise that I am excited for their next venture in novel writing together which is Aurora Rising, the first in a new Sci-fi series I believe. Although once again I really need to read Obsidio which is the final book in their Illuminae series, I have started it once but that was during a reading slump so me putting it down was not anything to do with the book itself.

Finally, and a repeat author here, I have Dev1at3 by Jay Kristoff. Now I haven’t actually gotten round to reading Lifel1k3 yet which is the first book in this series, but I have been looking forward to it so much that I wanted to wait for the second book to come out so that I can marathon through the two. Think I will have to start it as soon the second one it out.
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So they are my top Young Adult novels that I am looking forward to being released this year, what 2019 books are you looking forward to?

 

Books

Reading Goals 2019

After such a failure of 2018 in terms of my reading, I am determined to make an improvement with the up coming year, I wont push myself too much, but I definitely need to do better. Have a look back at what goals I set myself last year, and how I actually got on, and you will see the benchmark of where I need to improve.

My biggest plan is to just get back to reading what I really enjoy, more thrillers and fantasy and historical fiction. I sometimes get myself so set in trying to achieve things that I lose the enjoyment in it, so from now on I am going to stick to what I love and I know that I will enjoy reading. Still may try and find new authors, but stick more to things that sound like I am going to love rather than feeling like I should ‘give it a go’.

Same as last year I really want to work on getting through some of the many books that are still on my shelves from ages ago. I have a terrible habit of buying many many books, thinking that I will at some point get to them, but I end up not getting to them for months, if not years. As I am trying to save money for moving this year, I will not be buying as many books, limiting myself to my new release pre-orders and any vouchers I may get. So this leaves me in the perfect situation this year to focus on reading lots of the book I have got stored up.

Finally there is one more plan, and that is to once again focus on dedicating the time to reading some of the many big tomes that I own. I love big fantasy novels, I love to get really into a world, and feel fully emerged and forget about the world. But for some reason I always put it off, I get nervous about the making the commitment that I always go for the smaller books.

So that’s all my reading goals for 2019, I am so looking forward to the coming year and cant wait to see what I end up reading.  What are you hoping to read this year?

Books

2018 Reading Wrap Up

2018 wasn’t my greatest year for reading. It started off so strong, but as the year went on life really did take over and got in the way. That being said I did read some really amazing books, and some that really have stuck to my memory. Look back over the goals I set myself with my reading this year.

I had set my Goodreads goal at 75, but I only actually managed to read 30 books in the end- I know, this is an embarrassment for a book blogger like myself. I think its probably my worse reading year since I was a little child, though actually I probably read more even then.

Over the past few years I have been working on a list of 100 books to read before you die. I didn’t exactly do well with it in 2017, but I did even worse when it comes to 2018. I read a total of 0 books on the list. I don’t think I even picked up or looked at the list once this year, who knows how in the world Im going to achieve the list if I’m not even going to remember about it other than when I do my yearly wrap ups.

Another of my goals was to read more from some of my favourite authors. I only managed two of these and they were The True Queen by Alison Weir and Dark Tracks by Philippa Gregory. The True Queen was as amazing as I was expecting it to be, I don’t know why I haven’t jumped back into the next book in the series; but Order of Darkness was rather average, I’m kind of glad the series is finished. However in 2018 I did actually discover a new favourite author, Mary E Pearson. At the start of the year I flew through the entirety of her Remnant Chronicles, and then adored her new novel Dance of Thieves later this year. I can not wait or what more is to come of this new series, or to be fair anything more that Mary E Pearson comes out with.

Im quite proud of my progress on my ‘read some tomes’ challenge that I set myself. I could of done a lot better but I did manage to read two books that would fit into this category; Beauty of Darkness by Mary E Pearson and The True Queen by Alison Weir. I really do need to get to some of the others already on my shelf, maybe a plan for next year.

As with every year, I like to try to finish off some of the many series I have started otherwise I just end up starting one after another; this year I managed to finish off four series which I am pretty proud of. As I stated last year, I really wanted to finish the graphic novel series Deathnote that I started quite a while back, and I managed to achieve this! YAY me! Other than that I finished the Order of Darkness series by Philippa Gregory, The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson and Themis Files by Sylvian Neuvel.  

Although I didn’t read too many books this year, I had some clear favourites. I adored the entirety of the Remnant Chronicles and what I read of the Falling Kingdoms series. But as a single favourite book, I have two, and both are very different. Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan was an amazing fantasy novel that I adored; I seriously hope that there is more books in this world coming soon, I miss this world already. And secondly The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, a truly harrowing, heart felt historical fiction novel.

What did you read in 2018? Did you have any favourites you’d recommend?

 

 

Books

January ’19 TBR

Normally my TBR posts are a joint piece combining what I want to read in the coming month as well as what I read in the month before; but like much of 2018, I didn’t manage to read anything, and you have to actually read to write a wrap up. So we are starting the year with hopefully the only pure TBR post of the year, and that is what I am hoping to read in January.

After so many awful months of barely reading at all, I am not going to try and not aim to high to begin with. I much prefer the idea of setting the bar low, and being pleasantly surprised if I happen to get around to more books than planned. I think that two and my poll book will be a good base to start with, I feel like I should hopefully be easily able to read three books within a month.

The first book of the year that I am planning on, and hopefully sticking to, is The Lost Man by Jane Harper. I adored The Dry by Jane Harper, and quite enjoyed The Force of Nature; I am so excited for this one and have the honour of doing my review for it on the 4th of Feb, so keep your eyes open.

One I started back in November, and was actually really enjoying is the next one that I will picking up; that book would be Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. A fairytale retelling, this is set to be an amazing novel, that I am really excited to jump back into; still so unknowing as to why I even put it down. The hope is that I can fly through this one.

That leads us onto the twitter poll for this month. Some point today it will be going live, and your book options for the first poll of the year are…

Fantastic Beasts; The Crimes of Grindelwald by JK Rowling. I got this for Christmas and not too sure why I haven’t already picked this up, I was so excited for the movie but I haven’t managed to see it yet, so that gives me the perfect situation to read the playscript first.

Clash of Empires by Ben Kane. One of my all time favourite historical fiction authors, I have had this book since the day it came out and I really can not wait to pick it up.

Shiang by CF Iggulden. Another historical author, but this is the sequel to his first fantasy novel; I loved the first, and although I started this one, I put it down. No idea why, as I really should love it.

So that’s it, you can choose which of the three I add to my TBR. What are you planning on reading this month?