Showing posts with label Reading Slump. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reading Slump. Show all posts

Saturday, 29 August 2020

Best Reads/Audiobooks Of The Past Two Months...

As you probably noted, I haven't really talked about what I read/audiobooked via the past few months. July was a surprise blog break and then, to ease self back into blogging this month, I took on a bunch of blog tours (which were fun as this made look into books and series, some of which I wouldn't have noticed till I was asked and now am going "I need to put this on my radar, if I have time/space on my TBR") to help me ease back into blogging.

But that didn't mean I have stopped reading. Oh no. I have still been reading. And, for the most part, I have been reviewing them on my Goodreads ( But there were a few I wanted to reference on here as they were SO GOOD, that I wanted to share with you guys. I hope you don't mind...

Friday, 10 August 2018

eBook Review - Hard Truths

  • Title And Author: Hard Truth by Alex Whitehall
  • Publisher: Riptide Publishing
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook 
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Gifted by publisher via NetGalley
  • Length: 212 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository

Like I said in my write-up of Mysterious Mr Quin, I went through a bit of a spell with the blog, real life and reading in general. So, I decided that I wanted to read something fast, fluffy and something that didn’t involve much thinking. 

Sometimes, we all need a candy-floss, beach read. 

It was going to be one of two NetGalley eProofs: either this or Tight Quarters by Annabeth Albert. I  leaned this way more as I believe this is shorter out of the two stories. 

Isaac didn’t expect to fancy his sister’s date at the Christmas dinner at his parents. But when her date hits on him, Isaac decides to tell her what happened at once - only to find out that her date is a fake date. They aren’t dating and that Logan is gay as well, and wants to see him again. 

As the two begin to date, Isaac has to find a way to come out to his “unworldly” parents. Coming out to them could mean losing his family. Unfortunately, he can’t see his real family who are right beside him and, if Isaac isn’t carefully, he could lose everyone around him… 

Ok, where do I start with this adult gay romance? 

Monday, 6 August 2018

Book Review - The Mysterious Mr Quin

  • Title And Author: The Mysterious Mr Quin by Agatha Christie
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Physical 
  • Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Borrowed from Library
  • Length: 336 Pages
  • Buy From: Book Depository - Foyles - Audible

Well… that was unexpected. 

Ok, in the words of Craig David, re-e-wind

Sorry, no idea why I wrote that but anyway, back story. As you might remember from a blog post from months back when I chatted about Agatha Christie, this was one of the titles I’ve wanted to read for a while. Ever since I heard of the general bases of this, I wanted to read this. I mean, a mysterious man (who appears as if by magic. A bit like the shop keeper from Mr Benn! Anyone remember that?) who solves crimes. Sold! But I didn’t know when I was going to read this. Plus, I wasn’t sure if this was best place to start with reading Agatha Christie. 

Then I went “Sod it!”, requested it at my library (this was at the height of my last reading slump and real life drama of buying a house, trying to get a handle on work and general “Am I good enough to continue book blogging? Or should I quit?” - you know, the good stuff in life) and, before I had time to get myself ready, my library said “We got it and the other two books you requested for you!” (the other two books were Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs and Want to Play? by PJ Tracy [and why I haven’t read them will be made clear in the coming paragraphs]) so I decided to read this. 

The Mysterious Mr Quin is a collection of twelve short stories that follow Mr Satterthwaite as he gets himself involved in mysteries - some from the past, some present - and his mysterious acquaintance, Mr Quin, who seems to be the catalyst for the truth to come to light… 

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Audiobook Review - Forever And A Day

A few years back, I listened to the audiobook of Anthony Horowitz's Trigger Mortis (write-up for that is here!) and I wrote "I hope Anthony Horowitz writes another Bond book". Well, the Fleming estate decided that they did want him to write another and, finding material Ian Fleming for a possible idea of turning James Bond into a TV serial (this was before the film rights were bought, to my knowledge), they give him the material and let him run with it.

007 is dead. He was shot in the French Rivera and MI5 wants to find out who and why he was killed. They promote a new recruit to the number and send him out to find out the truth. The new recruit's name? James Bond.

That's right, this is a "prequel" of Bond's first mission. And oooh... ooooh, I had problems. So many problems.

Ok, before I sink my teeth into the problems and issues I had, let's get into the positives. There are a few that I can talk about. Now, I have never read a Bond book, so bear with me, but the second half of the story had really good pacing. It moved faster. Plus, some of you guys will like reading this as this is Bond's first mission so you get to see what happened to make him tick.

My biggest positive is the "Bond Girl" (I loathe that term!) - the character of Sixteen. I found her fascinating, and she was, possibly, the only character I felt was fleshed out. She had a history, motivations, character traits and flaws. I wanted to read more about her. Possible spinoff prequel, anyone?

Now, onto the problems and issues. I have a long list! I didn't like the narrator for a good chunk of the audiobook (sorry!) , the first half of the story was slow in pace and it was a struggle to get to the heart of the story, not much was fleshed out, the idea of another prequel story coming out (I'm intrigued over Solo: A Star Wars Story but I know a lot of you don't want it). But the main thing that happened was, for the good amount of the audiobook, I frankly didn't care.

I know I am going through a bit of a reading slump, but I didn't care for the story. I never felt any true moment of danger for Bond and, because of that, I didn't care what happened because I thought "He'll be fine...". I just didn't really care about the story until the very end.

Now, I'm not sure if I feel like this because I'm in a weird reading slump, and I've only begun to crawl out of my reading slump but... yeah... this wasn't for me. I wonder if I had read a collection of James Bond stories, each story written by a different author, if my opinion was have been more favourable.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Two eNovella Reviews

After reading Noah Could Never (write-up for that is here), I fell into a bit of a reading slump. For several days, I kept picking books up, reading a chapter or two, then putting it down and going "Nope". So, when Katharine Corr (co-author of the Witch's Kiss trilogy) suggested I try reading a novella or flash fiction or a reread (something I am currently doing now as real life is going to get a little nuts for next few weeks), I went "I do have one or two I could try..."

And I read them both. It was a slow trek - a week prior novella, which is bad for me as I could usually hammer a novella or flash fiction out in a day or two. But I think I need the time to break the water's surface, so to speak, with my reading of late.

One novella is The Cat Who Walked A Thousand Miles by Kij Johnson and the other was Bottled Goods by Sophie van Llewyn. The prior I bought several years back and the other I was given for review via NetGalley a week or two back and both are very different from each other.

The Cat Who Walked A Thousand Miles is set in Ancient Japan and follows Small Cat, who after her garden burns in a fire and the colony scatters, decides to find the home of her ancestor, the Cat from the North, and try and make a name for herself along the way...

Whereas Bottled Goods is set in communist Romania in the 1970s, and it follows Alina who, after her brother-in-law defects to the West, she and her new husband become people of interest to the secret services. As this strain takes root in their marriage, Alina turns to her aunt for support, not her mother...

So why, I hear you ask, have I decided to put these two very different novellas together in one review? Is it because I am a lazy so&so? Is it because I am going through a slump with reading and blogging? Is it because real life, like I have previous mentioned, is going to go crazy the next few weeks? Is it because both stories have very similar pros and cons? You decide...

Both stories held my attention, even though am going through a reading funk. I really liked the writing styles in both, which is the main reason why I kept reading (though I do have faults with both). In Bottled Goods, each chapter's writing style is different from the previous - first person, third person, diary entry, list, first person of one chapter, first person of a second chapter, third person. Both stories, also, always had something happening. Each chapter ended with a cliffhanger of sorts so, of course, I had to keep clicking on my kindle to find out what happened next.

Plus, the chapter art of The Cat is wonderful. Shame my kindle is black and white, as I'm intrigued to see these in colour.

But because am in this reading funk, I did have problems. Problems I would normally get over very quickly, but in this mindset, all I could see were these problems. As I mentioned earlier on, the writing styles of both novellas were good, but both had problems. At times, The Cat Who Walked A Thousand Miles felt... off. I can't really explain it. There was something that held me back from being full invested within the story. This is the same with Bottled Goods, but with this, I do think it's the style of writing, how each chapter changed how it was written. I liked this, but it does take a little while for you to get use to. Plus, when there were two chapters told in first person but from two different chapter and you have no indicator of who it is in the chapter title, it's throws you out a little bit.

Plus, both have an element of magic, but I kinda wanted more. With Cat, the animals do speak to each other but I wanted something more. As for Bottled Goods, the magic element comes quite late in the story, and with the story's blurb hinting that it's there from the start, it got annoying waiting for it to come and, when it did, it was a side step. I do wonder on if the magical element was completely removed from Bottled Goods, if the story would have still worked (barring one element, I think it might have).

I did like both of these, don't get me wrong, I did. But because of my reading frame-of-mind at the moment, am super nit-picky. Maybe if I reread these in the future, these won't bother me so much, but it was nice to read something not over 300 pages long and yet still packed a punch, which both still did.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Genre Reading Slump

You know that plan I had at the start of the month? The one where you guys would pick my next read via polls on Twitter and other social media sites. Well... that kinda hasn't happened.

I know, I know, I do this all the time. I have a really cool idea for the blog and a interesting way to interact with you guys and then it all falls flat! Why, I hear you ask. Well... I seem to have hit a reading slump.

But not any reading slump. Oh no, dear reader. It's waste than a reading slump where I don't want to pick up any book. No. I'm in a reading slump against one genre. I can happily read other genres bar this one and this one genre is my bread and butter reading. If you look at my TBR (both physical and Kindle), you'll see that this genre is a huge part of my reading so hitting this reading wall is painful and really problematic for me!

That genre is fantasy.

I love fantasy. I adore it and I have plans to widen my reading scope of fantasy, going to more adult and more longer in length - You guys saw I audiobooked The Discovery of Witches trilogy and I read The Queen of the Tearling trilogy last year - so I'm ready for this challenge. Am ready to try and reread Eragon by Christopher Paolini, and try new fantasy books such as Trudi Canavan, the Earthsea series by Ursula K Le Guin, more Discworld by Terry Pratchett and get round to Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman.

But it looks like I need to take a read or two (or seven - who knows?!) away from fantasy and read different genres. No idea what I will read (The Book Thief? Americanah? The Clan of the Cave Bear? Who knows?!) but bear with me while I run a little loopy on "What's on my TBR that isn't fantasy?" blitz. Normal reading schedules will return hopefully soon, but hopefully, trying new things is going to be fun! ... right?

Maybe it is a good thing that I'm planning a tiny blog break over Easter... Hopefully, this is will get my reading back on track!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Reading Slumps Are a *****!

It's happened. I fear this would happen for quite some time, but it's happened. I have fallen into a reading slump...

I don't know how this happened, dear readers to my blog. One day a few weeks ago, I was fine. I was reading. I was happy. I was like this, dear readers. 

And then, it hit. I was trying to avoid it, but not this time. Not this time... 

I have tried several things over the past few weeks. I have taken this as a book holiday. I have tried to read books that call to me. I have tried to read sample chapters from NetGalley. I have even tried reading Harry Potter. And all of them aren't working! 

So... not exactly sure when am going to recover from this horror! I apologise in advance if my blog goes quiet the next few weeks. I am planning a small blog break over Christmas and New Year but I was going to keep blogging till just before. But now... now not so sure what the plan of action is. 

But, dear readers, I hopefully will kick this reading slump up the rear and will back in my swing in the next few weeks. If not, the New Year. I am plotting stuff.

I am taking time my reading slump break to scare that thing in the corner of the room that is called a television, that red thing called a 3DS and my blue iPod that use to hold my audiobooks but not anymore (and those things called a partner, family and a kitten!). But soon, I will return to the beauty of books. Because, dear readers...