Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Under Hyped Reads Update/Wrap Up

So, as expected, I didn't get a whole lot of reading done for this readathon!  I did finish two books though, which I am pretty pleased with!  

First up was Bilgewater by Jane Gardam, which you can read a little bit about in this previous post.  At the time of reading this had 219 ratings on Goodreads. I really enjoyed this book and gave it 4 stars.  

At the time of reading this book had 25 ratings on Goodreads.  This was a quick read at around 200 pages.  The plot follows a private investigator as she investigates the case of a girl who went missing 20 or so years previously.  The action is non-stop in this short book and I really enjoyed the pace of the writing.  There was no waffle or pointless information, just a nicely succinct, intriguing mystery.  Another 4 star read and I would highly recommend this for anyone who likes mystery/thrillers.  This is part of a series, the 4th book I think, but I don't think it is necessary to read these in order.  (I have read the first in the series, but not the 2nd or 3rd, and I don't think I lost anything in the storyline).

After that I picked up The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring, which I was surprised to find only has 356 ratings on Goodreads, but I only got about 50 pages in.  We were down at my mother-in-law's in Bournemouth with lots of family visits and stuff, so unfortunately I didn't have much time for reading.  I was enjoying this book but I have put it down for now as I feel I need something a bit more summery!  I'll probably go back to this around Halloween.

I loved this idea for a readathon, and I was very happy to see RamblingOfAnElfpire's video today saying she will be running this again in January!  

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Under Hyped Readathon - Update

So yesterday was my day 1 in the Under Hyped Reads readathon ... as usual I was a bit late to the party, and I've just realised we're going to the in-law's at the weekend, so I won't get much reading done there, AND I will be distracted by the Commonwealth Games, so I really don't know how much reading I'll be getting done, but anyway ...

Yesterday I had to finish up the book I was reading before I discovered the readathon, and that was A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki.  More on this book in a later post!

I then picked up my first book for the readathon.  Bilgewater by Jane Gardam, first published in 1976 and having only 219 ratings on Goodreads (it now has 221 :))

My edition of this book had exactly 200 pages and was added to my Goodreads shelf in March 2010, though I think I've probably owned it for longer than that!

Bilgewater is the nickname of Marigold, a girl who lives with her father in a boarding school for boys.  It is a wonderful coming of age story with all the requisite eccentric English characters and adolescent angst.  It is the characters that take centre stage in this short novel - the plot offers no real surprises, although it does not suffer for this!  Jane Gardam's writing is perfect, and although this was written in the 70s I think it is just as relevant now.  I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking out for more of Gardam's work.  4 stars

Next up:  Stone Cold Red Hot by Cath Staincliffe (25 ratings on Goodreads).  I started reading this last night, but didn't get very far (page 10!)

Total pages read on my day 1: 210
Books finished:  1

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Ahem ...

So, that book tubing videoing thing went down well, huh?!  :)  I think I've decided to give that up ... as much as I love talking about books, I just can't do it on camera.  I still want somewhere to record my thoughts on books and films and stuff, so I've decided to resurrect the old blog (yes, again!)

No promises about regular updates coz we all know I won't keep them!

I still enjoy watching booktubers on YouTube, and recently came across Ramblingsofanelfpire's underhyped books readathon.  (Watch her explanatory video here).  I absolutely love this idea so I decided to join in, albeit a couple of days late!  Looking through my books on Goodreads, I actually have rather a lot of books that are underhyped (according to the rules of the readathon books must have less than 5000 ratings on Goodreads).  I have an embarrassing amount of choice so I really have no excuses!  These are the physical (not Kindle) books I own that are under 1000 ratings (yeah, not even 5000) and from which I will choose my readathon books:

As I've never actually completed a readathon before, I have no idea how many I will get through, and as I'm already 2 days late in starting I should probably get off of here and get reading!  I do need to finish A Tale for the Time Being first though (I have around 100 pages left ...)

Thursday, 6 March 2014

TBR: March 2014

And here I am ably assisted by my daughter in choosing the books I'll read in March!  Excuse the giggling and silliness ... I have no idea about any of the books I'll be reading this month!

Wrap Up: February 2014

And here's what I thought of them!

February 2014 TBR

Just to get this blog up to date, here's a video in which I talk awkwardly about the books on my February TBR pile!

Friday, 31 January 2014

January Wrap-Up

11 books and 2 novellas happened in January.  That's a lot of reading!  No more TV for me!

So first let's have a look at how I got on with the TBR Jar choices .... My kids had great pleasure in picking out these seven books and seeing my face fall, and they were very good at making me read the chosen books, even when I wasn't keen.  I did try to read all of them ... here's how I got on.

The Aunt Sally Team by Flick Merauld: I'm afraid I gave up on this one.  I just wasn't interested in any of the characters or the plot and I couldn't force myself to continue!

Stitch by Samantha Durante:  This was a Young Adult/supernatural/ghost story that I just couldn't get into at all.  Another one I gave up on I'm afraid!

The Grave Tattoo by Val McDermid:  Nope, couldn't get on with this one either.  The plot held no interest for me whatsoever.  One for the charity shop!

Don't worry, things get better from now on in!

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch:  This is a young adult novel.  It follows the story of two girls whose mother basically kidnaps them and abandons them in the woods while she goes off for days or weeks at a time to feed her drug habit.  It is a sad, touching tale, and I really enjoyed it.  A rare 5 stars!

Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi:  This is a novella that tells a different side of the story to Shatter Me.  It was interesting to read Warner's point of view, though I wasn't as taken with him as most others seem to be!  4 stars

The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman: (TBR Jar choice) This was a beautifully written, moving tale about a lighthouse keeper, his wife and a baby.  I absolutely loved this book and didn't want it to end!  5 stars, and one of my favourite reads ever!

House Rules by Jodi Picoult:  (TBR Jar choice) This was a book that has been on my shelf for a long time - since May 2010 according to my Goodreads!  I've read a few of Jodi Picoult's books; some I love and so I couldn't finish.  House Rules belongs to the former group, I'm pleased to say.  This tells the story of a teenager with Aspergers Syndrome, a murder and family loyalty.  At some points this book made me so angry and at other points I wanted to cry.  A solid 4 stars.

The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin:  I was given this book for Christmas, as part of the Man Booker Prize shortlist collection.  It is a really short book, a novella really, and gives Mary's viewpoint of the death of her son, Jesus.  As a non-religious person who went to a Catholic primary school, I found this book interesting and beautifully written.  3 stars.

Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert: (TBR Jar choice)  Another one from my dusty shelves!  This one has been gathering dust since November 2008!  I originally bought this book because the author is South African - I love reading books by South African authors or set in South Africa.  I was slightly concerned by the length of this, but once I was into the story I couldn't put it down and raced through it.  A very interesting concept, and a different view of witches.  4 stars.

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell:  I bought this for my daughter for Christmas, and she read and really enjoyed it, so I thought I'd give it a go.  I was a little shocked at the language (not for myself, but for my daughter! :D).  It is quite a sad story but told in a really cute way.  I loved all the references to music and the '80s.  Really enjoyed this and will definitely read some more of Ms Rowell's books!  4 stars.

This Is A Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl by Paul Brannigan:  (TBR Jar Choice) According to Goodreads, I bought this book in April 2013, so I was quite pleased to finally pick it up.   I am a huge Nirvana fan, a huge Foo Fighters fan, and a huge Dave Grohl fan, so I was really looking forward to learning more about him.  Unfortunately this book contained a lot of waffle about the general punk music/grunge music scene and not very much new about Dave.  There were some interesting snippets, but it seemed like it was mainly a summary of lots of different interviews that I'd already read elsewhere.  A disappointing 2 stars.

A musical interlude!  Behold the gorgeousness that is Dave Grohl!

The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver:  I picked this book up in Tescos January sale - I think it was £1.  I'd never read anything by this author before.  This book is the first in the Lincoln Rhyme series, and follows Lincoln through the investigation of a murder case ... the slight hitch being that Lincoln is paralysed from the neck down and hasn't left his bed for a very long time.  This is a really interesting premise, and I have found myself a new crime series to work through.  4 stars.

The Evolution of Inanimate Objects by Harry Karlinsky:  Here's an odd little book!  This is a novel about the fictitious youngest son of Charles Darwin, who becomes obsessed with cutlery.  It is odd because it is written like a non-fiction book, and I had to keep reminding myself that it was a work of fiction.  3 stars.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion:  Whenever I see a book proclaimed as 'laugh out loud funny' I shudder.  I don't think I have ever read a book that has had me laughing out loud.  I think I relate more to 'spoken' humour.  This book, however, did have me laughing out loud within the first few pages ... the rest of the book was amusing, enjoyable and readable, but I didn't 'laugh out loud' again.  Another story about Asperger Syndrome, I really enjoyed this.  4 stars.

Y by Marjorie Celona:  Now here is a bleak and depressing book.  This follows the story of a newborn baby abandoned on the steps of the YMCA.  It is told from two different viewpoints - the abandoned baby and the young mother who abandoned her.  A sad story that held my attention, I was hoping for a happy ending.  If you're after an uplifting tale, this is not it!  3 stars.

And finally ...

Wake by Anna Hope:  I received a copy of this from NetGalley for review ... which will be up in a separate post very soon!

Phew! That was a long post!  Next month I think I will do a mid-month wrap-up post to cut down on the length, and to get more regular posts going.  The TBR jars worked well this month and I will continue with that with a little change - as I have set my Goodreads Challenge to 72 books, I want to choose 6 books each month from the jars, but I have 7 jars.  So I have decided to smoosh two together into one, so have amalgamated the 'non-fiction' jar with the 'big 'uns/classics' to make 6 jars instead of 7.  I love the fact that this is making me read some books I've had on my shelf for years!  That makes me happy! :)

So what have you been reading in January?!