books

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week. This week the topic is all about those key words or phrases that will make me want to read a book. I feel like the following ten words and phrases will give you a great look into my tastes. So, in no particular order off we go!

Heists/Cons
I love stories about heists. I love the planning of them and then the reveal of how it’s all done and I definitely love all the types of characters you get when it comes to heists. There the grifter, the hacker, the distraction, the money guy, the patsy, the driver, the inside man and many, many more. I love it when characters fit neatly into these tropes and when the subvert them.

Spies
I love the intrigue that goes with spies, figuring out who’s telling the truth and all the gadgets and skillsets that comes with following a spy character. Like with heists, I love all the tropes that come with stories about spies, the gadgets, mission control. It’s just the best.

Family of Choice
This is my favourite trope in any type of media. Maybe my love for it comes from the fact I have a very small biological family and my friends are closer to me than some of my family members. I just love the idea of finding and choosing the people you consider to be family, those you’d do anything for and love unconditionally. (more…)

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Books of 2017

Here are all the books I’ve read this year. My reading goals for this year are to read 50 books, review at least half of what I read and start on the Read the World Project. You can find out more about what I’m reading on my Twitter or Goodreads (which I am getting better at updating).

So without further ado, here’s what I’m reading in 2017! Titles with an asterisks are rereads and those with links go to their reviews.

January:
– Green Tea – Sheridan Le Fanu
– March Book One – John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
– March Book Two – John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell
– March Book Three – John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

February:
Old Rosa – Reinaldo Arenas

March:
Hiding in Plain Sight – Nuruddin Farah
How I Came to Know Fish – Ota Pavel
– The Fix Vol. 1: Where Beagles Dare – Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Ryan Hill and Nic J Shaw
– Mockingbird Vol. 1: I Can Explain – Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk and Ibrahim Moustafa
Letters to Eloise – Emily Williams
Men Explain Things to Me and Other Essays – Rebecca Solnit

April:
Dubai Tales – Mohammad al Murr
Nineveh – Henrietta Rose-Innes
The Keeper of Lost Causes – Jussi Adler-Olsen
Poe Dameron Vol. 1: Black Squadron – Charles Soule and Phil Noto
Monstress Vol. One: Awakening – Majorie Liu and Sana Takeda
A-Force Vol. 0: Warzones! – G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Molina
– Descender Vol. 1: Tin Stars – Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

May:
– The Language of Dying – Sarah Pinsborough
The Accusation: Forbidden Stories From Inside North Korea – Bandi
Looking for Trouble – Roque Dalton

June:
A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle
Eliza and Her Monsters – Francesca Zappia
Metro 2033 – Dmitry Glukhovsky
The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena

July:
The Bollywood Bride – Sonali Dev
The Book of Memory – Petina Gappah
Even This Page is White – Vivek Shraya
– Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay
– Kaptara Vol. 1: Fear Not, Tiny Alien – Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod
Sirius – Jonathan Crown
The Fat Years – Chan Koonchung
The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson
Gurkha: Better to Die than Live a Coward – Colour Sergeant Kailash Limbu
– Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill

August:
The Gunslinger – Stephen King
Electric Souk – Rose McGinty
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue – Mackenzi Lee
Pachinko – Min Jin Lee
Death Going Down – Maria Angelica Bosco
– The Punisher Vol. 3: Last Days – Nathan Edmondson, Mitch Gerads, Moritat and Brent Schoonover
– Black Widow Vol. 3: Last Days – Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto
Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo

September:
– Bubblegum – Sari Taurez
Let Them Eat Chaos – Kate Tempest
Frangipani – Célestine Hitiura Vaite
Mexico 20: New Voices, Old Traditions – Multiple Authors

October:
Papi – Rita Indiana
– Every Heart a Doorway – Seanan McGuire
– Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic – Alison Bechdel
– Power Man and Iron Fist Vol. 1: The Boys are Back in Town – David Walker, Sanford Greene and Flaviano

Currently reading:
– Filmish: A Graphic Journey Through Film – Edward Ross

Books Read: 52/50
Books Reviewed: 37/25

My Reading in 2016 and Goals for 2017

So this is kind of a little late compared to when I normally post this sort of thing but it’s still the first week of January so let’s go with it.

My reading in 2016 was a bit of a mixed bag. I started very strong, reading 4-6 books each month but towards the end of the year I couldn’t really get into any book I was picking up and I started a new job so I had to figure out my new day-to-day work/life balance.

Still, I read some great books in 2016 and you can check out my ten favourite books here.

I had some reading goals for 2016, some I completed and some I didn’t. I surpassed my target of reading 40 books and I in fact read 58 so I was very happy with that and I reviewed 34 of those books, beating my target of 26 reviews.

I signed up to the Bookish Bingo Challenge hosted by The Girly Geek at the start of the year and while I enjoyed the challenge I only completed 24 of the 35 squares. That’s still over half and to be honest, I didn’t really base my reading around the challenge, I read what I liked and then had a look at the bingo card every now and then to see if anything fit on a square. I don’t think I’ll be signing up for any challenges like that this year, but I will be starting the Read the World Project – a wonderful challenge you can find more about here.

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Why I Love… the Ninja Book Swap

It’s autumn so not only does that mean it’s getting a bit colder and the leaves are starting to turn brown but it also means that signups for Ninja Book Swap are open!

autumn-swap

The Ninja Book Swap is a lovely thing where you can send and receive bookish goodies to people. This Autumn there’s the regular swap where you send one book (or more if you wish) and some goodies to someone and get the same in return from someone completely different, and there’s the Trick or Treat Swap where you can send someone a book from a genre they’d like to read more of. For more info on both swaps, check out the Ninja Book Swap blog.

I’ve signed up for the Ninja Book Swap about three times now, this Autumn Swap will be my fourth, and I’ve loved putting together gifts for people and then the surprise of getting something in the post in return is wonderful. It’s really interesting looking through someone’s book wish-list, as well as spending ages picking out some books to send to them, I nearly always discover new books and genres that sound great and then I add them to my own wish-list.

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My first ever Ninja Book Swap package I received from an awesome buddy in Germany

Probably the hardest thing about the Ninja Book Swap is finding the goodies to send to who you’ve been given. It does depend from person to person, but it really does help if when you sign up for the swap you give a good list of the things you like and don’t like. Even if it’s broad thing like saying you love Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, it gives the person who’s got you more scope to find some cool things to send you. I know in previous swaps I’ve only listed like four things I like and this time when I signed up for the swap I tried to list as many things as possible, just to (I hope) give the person who ends up partnered with me an easier time in finding goodies. Also you can totally get crafty and make some goodies to send – I have little to no crafting skills so that’s something I’ve yet to do but I’d definitely love to receive something that someone has spent some time and effort on, it makes it all just a little bit more special.

I personally often kinda suck at the community aspect of blogging (I am so sorry about how it usually takes me days to respond to a comment) and sometimes find it hard to find, follow and interact with new blogs so Ninja Book Swap is definitely a great way to meet new people and find some great new blogs or Twitter accounts to follow. It’s always nice to have people who you can gush about books to and the Ninja Book Swap is all about spreading the love and joy of books.

I really would recommend signing up for Ninja Book Swap. If you like books, have a presence on any social media whether that’s a blog, Twitter or Instagram, and say hi to the creator Bex (just so she knows you’re a real person) then you can sign up and share the love of books and meet new likeminded people. It’s a fun thing to do and it’s always great wrapping up presents, and receiving a parcel that you have no idea what’s in it is always a nice surprise.

Sign-ups close at midnight on Sunday 2nd October so you’ve got to get in there quick! For all the info you need, check out the FAQ and if you think it sounds as awesome as it is, then do sign up – you never know, I could be the one sending you a parcel and if I am then I apologise in advance for my love of sellotape!

The Liebster Award – Take 4

Last month (wow I’m late at getting this posted) I was nominated by Markus from The Marcko Guy for the Liebster Award. Thanks so much dude and I can’t quite believe it’s the fourth one of these that I’ve been nominated for. Still, it’s a good way for you guys to get to know me (if you’re interested) and to shine a light on some great blogs.

liebster-blog-award

So the rules are simple. Answer the questions given to you by the person who nominated you (and don’t forget to thank them), nominate some other people and give them some more questions and share the love.

So without further ado, here’s my answers to the questions Markus gave me:

1.Is there a movie remake that you actually think is good?
I’ve seen very few remakes and originals if that makes sense. I do love The Magnificent Seven (1960) and think it’s great which is obviously a remake of Seven Samurai (which I haven’t seen). I hope the new Magnificent Seven film which is out later this month is good because I pretty much love the entire cast and I love the director.

2. You’re gonna be stuck in a prison cell for a long time, name three books that you’d bring with you to pass the time.
– The Martian by Andy Weir because it’s my new favourite book and it’d make me laugh.
The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin because it’s the last book in an epic trilogy that I love but I haven’t got around to reading the last book yet.
The Last Man Standing by David Baldaci because this book has been on my shelves for a good ten years and it’s long so being locked up in a cell for ages would give the perfect opportunity to read it. (more…)

The Liebster Award 3.0

I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Ola from OlaReadsBooks – thank you so much for the nomination! I’ve been nominated before (you can check out my answers and discover more awesome blogs here and here) but I liked Ola’s questions a lot and I like shining a light on some great blogs, so without further ado, on to the award!

liebster-blog-award

The Rules:
Post the award on your blog.
Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you.
Answer the questions assigned to you.
Nominate 11 deserving bloggers for the award.
Ask 11 questions to your nominees.

Ola’s Questions:

What is the last sentence from the book you’re currently reading that you read?
“It’s not an easy thing, deciding how much to sacrifice.”
From United as One by Pittacus Lore. Even though this book is super fast-paced and full of action, I’m trying to read it slowly because I don’t want this series to end.

What is the funniest book you’ve ever read?
The first that comes to mind is The Martian by Andy Weir. It is definitely laugh out loud funny, mainly because the protagonists voice is so vivid and his personality shines through.

What is your book buying habits? Do you research a book before buying or just buy it on a whim?
The only research I do when it comes to buying books is reading the blurb. I might be more aware of a book before buying it because I’ve seen it’s popular in the book blogosphere but I never look at its Goodreads rating or read any reviews before buying a book. (more…)

How I Read Tag

I saw that Joy from JoyIsabella had done this tag and I loved the questions and her answers so I had to give it a go.

How do you find out about new books to read?
While I’m always a bit slow to read new releases (I’ve got too many books that have been sitting on my shelves for years) I usually hear about new books from the people I follow on Twitter. If I keep seeing people I know and whose opinions I often agree with talking about a book I’m more likely to remember it. Plus when I have a wander around a bookstore that’s where I find what’s new on the shelves.

How did you get into reading?
I’ve always been a reader from a very young age. My mum used to read to me every night (my favourite book was a big collection of Meg and Mog stories) and then I’d always read when there was a spare moment in school and I’d read before I went to bed at night.

How has your taste in books changed as you’ve got older?
When I was really young all I would read was the Animal Ark books by Lucy Daniels, slowly I started reading other books starting with the Puppy Patrol series by Jenny Dale (can you see the animal theme yet?!) but by the time I turned about 10 I was reading a lot of different stuff. The Princess Diaries and Eragon both helped me discover and love new genres and now I’m a very much an eclectic reader. Fantasy, chick-lit, sci-fi, contemporary, adventure – I’ll give it all a go.

How often do you buy books?
I go through stages of not buying any books for months and then buying like seven in the space of a week. If I don’t go in a bookshop for ages then I’m OK, it’s as soon as I walk into a bookshop and see all the 2 for 1 offers and stuff like that, I become weak and my purse becomes empty.

How do you react when you don’t like the ending of a book?
If struggled with the whole book I’ll probably be a bit annoyed if the endings not worth the struggle. If I’ve liked the book and then the ending is completely out of left field (think The Death Cure) or I didn’t like the ending for whatever reason I’ll be a bit peeved. Depending on how much I liked the book/series I might be annoyed for a bit and then just forget about it or otherwise I’ll be annoyed and bitter for a long time.

How often do you take a sneaky peak at the last page to see if there’s a happy ending?
I very rarely do that. Sometimes I like reading the last sentence which is a bit weird but otherwise I don’t skip ahead.

So that was the How I Read Tag. Like Joy, I tag anyone who wants to do this tag!