2018, Reading Challenge

It’s Sherlock Holmes Day!

Today is Sherlock Holmes Day; According to this source, today is the 5th Sherlock Holmes Day after the event was created as a mini event run by Gaia Online, a forum and gaming site celebrating the wonderful Air Arthur Conan Doyle’s birth date.

Sherlock Holmes by Josh Hood

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the man himself, said that the character was originally based on a real man, Mr Joseph Bell, who was a surgeon at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh and for whom he had worked for as an assistant. He, like Holmes, was able to draw complex and surprising conclusions based solely on minute observations which made excellent reading, along with the relationship between his friend and confident, Dr Watson and arch nemesis, Moriarty.

The first Holmes book was published in 1887 and continued until the authors death nearly 40 years later.  A complete list of the books (and stories) is below – how many have you read?

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

  • “A Scandal in Bohemia”
  • “The Red-Headed League”
  • “A Case of Identity”
  • “The Boscombe Valley Mystery”
  • “The Five Orange Pips”
  • “The Man with the Twisted Lip”
  • “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle”
  • “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”
  • “The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb”
  • “The Adventure of the Noble Bachelor”
  • “The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet”
  • “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”

 

The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

  • “Silver Blaze”
  • “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”
  • “The Adventure of the Yellow Face”
  • “The Adventure of the Stockbroker’s Clerk”
  • “The Adventure of the Gloria Scott”
  • “The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual”
  • “The Adventure of the Reigate Puzzle”
  • “The Adventure of the Crooked Man”
  • “The Adventure of the Resident Patient”
  • “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter”
  • “The Adventure of the Naval Treaty”
  • “The Adventure of the Final Problem”

 

The Return of Sherlock Holmes

  • “The Adventure of the Empty House”
  • “The Adventure of the Norwood Builder”
  • “The Adventure of the Dancing Men”
  • “The Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist”
  • “The Adventure of the Priory School”
  • “The Adventure of Black Peter”
  • “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton”
  • “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons”
  • “The Adventure of the Three Students”
  • “The Adventure of the Golden Pince-Nez”
  • “The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter”
  • “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange”
  • “The Adventure of the Second Stain”

 

His Last Bow (a.k.a The Reminiscence of Sherlock Holmes)

  • “The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge”
  • “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box”
  • “The Adventure of the Red Circle”
  • “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans”
  • “The Adventure of the Dying Detective”
  • “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax”
  • “The Adventure of the Devil’s Foot”
  • “His Last Bow”

 

The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes

  • “The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone”
  • “The Problem of Thor Bridge”
  • “The Adventure of the Creeping Man”
  • “The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire”
  • “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs”
  • “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client”
  • “The Adventure of the Three Gables”
  • “The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier”
  • “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane”
  • “The Adventure of the Retired Colourman”
  • “The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger”
  • “The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place”

 

Sherlock Holmes Novels

 

As yo know, I love me a bit of a challenge and so I thought I would do a mid-year one to celebrate this wonderful character who also happens to be one of my Dad’s favourites!  I am going to read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories between now and next ‘Sherlock Holmes Day’ .. Wednesday 22nd May 2019 – care to join me?

I have already got 3 books on my shelves (The Adventures, The Return and The Memoirs) and I’m pretty sure my dad has 2 different copies of a complete compendium so will be snaffling that when I can too. I also recently downloaded the new-ish Stephen Fry Audiobook – its 72hrs long but has absolutely everything so will be a useful thing to have in my back pocket!

**Some links may contain affiliate links**

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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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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?

Monthly Roundup

October Wrap Up

I started this post a million and one times… OK maybe not *quite* that many but I feel like it was!  I had so many questions going round in my head ..

Do my readers REALLY want to know about ALL the free books I got a hold of regardless of whether I actually read them this month?

Do I really want to show that I spent over £100 on books bearing in mind my blog is meant to be about reading on a budget? (in my defence I got a PPI repayment so I figure that spending a mere 5% of it on books is fair enough?)

Can I really be bothered to write out ALL of the books I got and link them to Goodreads?

And so on .. you get the picture!

I thought I would just give you the crib notes ..

Total Spent: £116.30

Number of Incoming Books: 128

Average cost per book: 90p

Number of Books I Read: 

  • 5* – The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee – My Review
  • 5* – Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by J K Rowling
  • 4.5% – Conclave by Roger Harris
  • 4* – Murder Games by James Patterson
  • 4* – Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  • 3.5* – Tripwire by Lee Child
  • 3.5% – Strange Magic by Sid Moore
  • 3.5% – Warcross by Marie Lu – My Review
  • 2* – Saltwater Witch by Chris Howard (Graphic Novel)
  • DNF – Killer Game by Kirsty McKay – My Review

As you will know, this is my first month of ‘getting back to reading’ and tracking what I am doing and it has made me thug really hard about my habits…

  1. I need to STOP grabbing books just because they’re free!  I need to actually read the blurb (!!) but another step would be to check it out on GR too; I should say that I don’t discount books just because they have a slating from other people but reading other people’s reviews often cements my decisions!
  2. I need to start reading the books I get!  This is a no-brainer really and has had me thinking about how to do this; one Idea I have is to do the ‘Try a Chapter’ thing – I can say to myself that I will do that with 2 books a day (or possibly more) to try and weed out the books I know I don’t want to continue with and those that are OK can remain on my TBR. I may make this into a monthly post or may just include it in my monthly stats post – watch this space.
  3. I need to start making sure that I am not buying the ‘nth‘ book in a series if I have not read, or at least got, the previous books. This is especially true of books I am buying physically as the space I have to keep these ‘coming up soon’ books is extremely limited!
  4. (This is immaterial really as now that the chunk of money I had is gone, I will not really have any more money for books until Christmas Day, but ..) I NEED TO STOP BUYING BOOKS AND READ THE ONES I HAVE.

So there we have it My first monthly roundup – there will be more to come and Aim sure that the format will change!

How did you do this month?

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)