2018, Reading Challenge, TBR

2018 Beat the Backlist

OK, so I think we probably all have a bit of a TBR and I am no different!  I am really bad for buying bilks and never getting around to them.  There are several Book Challenges that take place throughout the year that help to cut your TBR’s down and I am taking part in a couple of them, including this one.

 

 

I thought I would use this one to cut down on the amount of ‘should have read this by now’ and ‘next in series’ books I have on my list.  I have initially selected 13 – one ‘new’ book for each month and a re-read.  I am not sure of the rules so will double check but may add more to this lust as the year goes on as I am pretty sure that I have forgotten some and also by reading these books, some will trigger another series book to add as well!

The books I have on my list at this time are:

  1. “Along Came a Spider” by James Patterson – this is a re-read as I try to catch up with the author!
  2. “Shadow of Night” by Deborah Harkness – I started this a while ago – too long ago to remember it is will start it again. If I finish it, the third of the series will be added to this list!
  3. “Sepulchre” by Kate Moss – I read the first in the series when it first came out and LOVED it but never got around to reading the second – again I also have the third to add to this list!
  4. “Northern Lights” by Philip Pullman – I know this is the first in the series but I added this as it is abut time I read it!  I currently don’t have the other books in the series.
  5. “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins – OK not a series but a books that I should have read by now, especially as it’s exactly the right kind of book for me!
  6. “Lifeblood” by Gena Showalter – I tried this series out on a whim and loved it and have been meaning to pick up the second, but just never got around to it!
  7. “Fantastic Beasts and where to find them: Screenplay” by J.K Rowling – I know .. I call myself a Harry Potter fan and I haven’t read this yet. Ugh.
  8. “The Slaughter Man” by Tony Parsons – Discovered this series last year and loved the first book so immediately bought the second … and did nothing with it!
  9. “Moon Over Soho” by Ben Aaronovitch – I read the first book a while ago now and the author has since released quite a few more. Can’t decide if I need to re-read the first ..
  10. “Angelopolis” by Danielle Trussoni – I ADORED the first in the series and bought the second immediately and never read it. I think I probably will read the first book again, mostly as I know I loved it and probably need to remind myself anyway!
  11. “Running Blind” by Lee Child – I have read quite a few Jack Reacher books but this is one that I never read so it’s about time I read it, especially as I am working my way through them all again!
  12. “Sins of the Father” by Jeffrey Archer – I’ve always liked him as an author but only discovered this series in 2017 when I heard the first one in Audible with the wonderful Roger Allam. Looking forward to reading this one!
  13. “Crocodile Tears” by Anthony Horowitz – I made real headway in the series in 2017 and so want to keep the momentum going and get towards the end of the series!

If you are reading this at some point int he future, you may want to take a look at my ‘Beat the Backlist’ Good Reads list to see how different it it ..!

Have you got a massive TBR list that need attention? What theme would you give it or would you just read the ones that have been on there the longest?

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2018, Reading Challenge, TBR

Les Misérables Chapter-a-Day Read-along

So one thing that you will quickly learn about me is that I love a challenge!  I cannot promise that I will complete them all in the time that I am meant to but as I mostly use them as a way to chose my next book, stretch my habits or just to read along with other people, I don’t think it matters too much!

I have never seen the Les Misérables show and got abut 40 mins into the most recent film before turning it off. Following that, I wondered if I could like the book and when I saw it on Radio 4 Extra as a Drama over a few hours, I gave it a go… and loved it!

So with that in mind, I wanted to give this challenge a go.  I found it whilst randomly looking for new and exciting reading challenges for 2018 and loved the idea of it – the chance to pace myself over the year as well as read it along with others seemed a great idea to me and so I immediately downloaded the reading schedule and bought the most recent translation of the book on my kindle .. and so am ready to get going!

I think that I will update my progress on a monthly basis – it may end up in my monthly roundup posts unless I decide something different!

I am really looking forward to seeing if I enjoy this and if it makes me want to give the film a second go .. and to see the stage show!

Have you ever read Les Misérables? What about reading a book a chapter a day for a whole year? Any tips?!

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TBR

November TBR

I’m not sure if I am a planner or a mood reader but as I am enjoying joining in a few challenges, I think there will beba certain amount of both!  This month my TBR pile is pretty big and I am not expecting to read them all, but I like a challenge!

There may be some more – I am planning on joining in with #TomeTopple and #TBRTakedown too but haven’t made a decision about what I will pick up yet .. I will update as and when decisions are made!

Have you read any of the books I am planning on getting to this month?

What’s on your TBR? Are you taking part in the challenges above?

Audiobook, Book, Review

Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Rating: 3.5

Date Started: 19 Oct 2017

Date Finished: 28 Oct 2017

Amazon Link (I am NOT an affilliate)

Where I got it from: Audiobooks.com

Cost: FREE (30 Day Free Trial)

Blurb: For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

My Review: I wanted to read this as I had heard so many good things about it and it was likened to “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline which is a favourite of mine. It was like it, but it wasn’t as good in my opinion, albeit it is aimed at a slightly younger reader I think.

The storyline was good – I like that we spent a good amount of time with the MC before the action started (not normally something I like but this time it felt right). The twist was unexpected and not something that I had guessed and then the minor twist at the end when the ‘baddie’ was unmasked was also good, although I had guessed it once the twist was revealed.

The characters were likeable, but not loveable. We really only got to know the 2 MC’s in any depth and it would have been nice to know the others a little more, especially the MC’s team mates in the Warcross Games.

I listened to the Audiobook so wanted to mention that the narrator, Nancy Wu, is good. She reads with a decent pace (although there were a few parts when she could have sped up a bit) and her voice fits the characters well.

(Also posted on GoodReads)

Audiobook, Book, Review

Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

 

Rating: 5

Date Started: 23 Oct 2017

Date Finished: 24 Oct 2017

Amazon Link (I am NOT an affilliate)

Where I got it from: Audible

Cost: 1 Credit (£5.83)

Blurb: Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

My Review: I listened to the Audiobook of this in less than 24hrs so that should tell you how much I LOVED this book! The writing is descriptive and hilarious, the characters easy to fall in love with and the story is great too!

I was gripped right from the off – the whole idea of the grand tour is one that fascinated me and the ‘will they, won’t they’ aspect throughout the book is also well handled.

I love the LGBTQ side to the book and I was rooting for the MC right from the start, and I loved that the main female, Felicity, was made to be such a badass in a time when that was frowned upon.

A special word about the narrator, Christian Coulson too as he is really very very good!!

I will be recommending this book to anyone that will listen and highly recommend they listen to the Audiobook version too!

(Also posted on GoodReads)

Book, Paperback, Review

Review: Killer Game by Kirsty McKay

Rating: 1.5

Date Started: 22 Oct 2017

Date Finished: DNF (100 Pages)

Amazon Link (I am NOT an affilliate)

Where I got it from: Charity Shop

Cost: £1.29

Blurb: At Cate’s isolated boarding school, Killer Game is a tradition. Only a select few are invited to play. They must avoid being killed by a series of thrilling pranks, and identify the murderer. But this time, it’s different: the game stops feeling fake and starts getting dangerous and Cate’s the next target. Can they find the culprit … before it’s too late?

My Review: The premis of this book is so good – as someone who went to boarding school in the UK and a lover of ‘secret societies’ I was excited to read the book, but only got 100 pages through before giving up. I realise that this book is aimed at a younger audience and so the thing that let it down for me might not be something that the target audience notice / are worried about.

I liked that you start by being ‘thrown in’ to the story – you don’t have to wait for pages and pages to pass by with lots of backstory.

Speaking as an ex-boarding school pupil, the fact that they are allowed to wonder around free as a bird (including being able to gain access to the shower rooms and dormitory’s of the other sex) is beyond my comprehension .. maybe my place was just really strict, but this was not allowed in any way when I was at school!

I also found that there wasn’t enough explanation as to WHY the MC would want to be in the Guild – there was no explanation as to what this thing is, how long it had been going / why it was started .. I realise this could have come later in the book but it is something I think that should have been covered within the first 100 pages.

Overall I feel that this had great potential but lacked character building and certainly need to grip me more to want to continue.

(Also posted on GoodReads)

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