Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Wishlist Wants!

Just take a look at this gorgeous new Hardback Deluxe box set edition of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, due to be released (in the UK) on the 24th of October by Harper Collins. They are so beautiful!

I actually need these for my bookshelf! 


Continuing with the fantasy theme Harper Voyager are releasing (just in time for Christmas) a book about my favourite character in the Song of Ice and Fire series, Tyrion Lannister. 

Anyone that has read George R.R.Martin's epic fantasy series will know that Tyrion gets ALL the best lines. In this Hardback edition they illustrate some of his infamous quotes.

"My sister has mistaken me for a mushroom. She keeps me in the dark and feeds me shit."

This book is released in the UK on the 7th of November

What books are you looking forward to being released? Leave me a comment with your linky and I will come and take a look!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Top Ten Books I was Forced to Read

This meme was created and is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

I can't say I have ever been forced to read anything, although obviously school required me to read during English Lit classes. Here are 3 I loathed and 7 that I liked or loved.

LOATHED *but might like now*


The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Brecht - A play we studied that I strongly disliked
The Canterbury Tales - I understand its historical importance but at 14 I found the language confusing
Beowulf - An epic poem that I couldn't be bothered with at the time 

LIKED *should re-read*

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller - Great atmosphere in this book
Dubliners - Obsessed with all things Irish as a teen
The Tempest - The first Shakespeare play I "got"
Selected Poems of Tennyson - I went to the same school as Tennyson and a lot of the inspiration for his writing came from the area where I live, I related!
Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas - I was amazed by this book

LOVED *influenced my reading*


Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy - I found a love of 19th century lit from reading this. Hardy is not a favourite now, however
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood - A great book to read in high school, I also loved her writing style.

 Drop me a comment and your TTT link and I will come and check it out!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Historical fiction tbr toppler

This week I am taking part in a week long challenge where participants are encouraged to read some historical fiction titles that have been on their TBR lists for a while. This is a Goodreads challenge taking place at "You'll love this one and more"

For the purposes of this challenge it was pretty difficult to nail down exactly what historical fiction IS. I am going with the criteria that the books were NOT contemporary fiction at the time they were written and have a strong sense of the time period.

MY TBR list that I have decided to chose from this week.

DAY ONE - started with The Song of Achilles, late in the evening early hours of day two. Read 100 pages

Week in Review

6th - 12th October 2013

Films I saw this week 
Carlito's Way (1993)

Awesome film, I know I am about 20 years late to this party, but I loved it, loved it. Pacino before his voice went all shouty and despite the beard and platform boots he was actually ok to look at. A LOT of dancing involved in this film too. Also, a lot of shooting and blood. Sidenote: Sean Penn was brilliant.


TV I Saw this week

Downton Abbey S04E03 
aka The One Where Things Go Badly For Anna

I can't say anything for fear of giving something away, but Downton Abbey got REAL last weekend. To say I was shocked is an understatement. 

The baby saw it too


Breaking Bad Season 3 on Netflix, yo.
Mr White earns his Reservoir Dogs name. Total winner, taking it steady because I don't want it to ever end. But it does. CRY.

Tension? Yes.

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Showcase Sunday #1

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by booksbiscuitsandtea where we all get to show off what books  we have purchased, acquired or have been given over the course of the week. I love seeing what new books people have got so check it out over at Vicky's blog.

This week (it wasn't technically this week but who cares) I have bought three physical books - The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters and The Twelve by Justin Cronin

and one ebook - Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood

All of these books are high on my TBR list. And how good is that Vintage classic cover of Goodbye to Berlin?! Gorgeous.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Dewey's Read-a-thon Update Post

Time for another 24 Hours read-a-thon, this time hosted by in memory of Dewey.

The Opening Meme - HOUR ONE

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I am Lancashire in the UK, it's cold here today, perfect day to stay in and read.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? 
I have been reading The Passage by Justin Cronin, and I have about 300 pages left to go, so I really want to see what happens, I am loving it!

3) What snack are you most looking forward to? I have a little bag of peanuts and some dried fruit. I don't really like reading while eating, and actually I tend to forget about eating sometimes, which is fine by me as it keeps the kgs away.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself. 
My cute ginger dog will be keeping me company during the readathon, and will more than likely join in with eating the snacks. I also have a fluffy brown cosy blanket and a large auburn coloured cushion that I am currently snuggled up with. Altogether we are a Vision in Brown.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon what is one thing you would do differently today? If it's your first what are you most looking forward to?
This is my first read-a-thon. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone is doing on Twitter, but also getting a reason to use my blog. I hardly ever update it and I really want to start. I am interested in seeing what everyone is reading, and taking part in the challenges too. When will I do any reading?!?!

Hour one progress: Started with The Passage, managed to read about 15 pages, not a great start!


HOUR TWO: Book Tunes hosted by rivercityreading

Choose a song that best suits the book you are reading so far, and explain why.

I am reading The Passage by Justin Cronin and I chose Muse "Starlight" as the song that best fits the story so far. Without giving too much away, the community in this book NEED to keep all the lights on at all times, so the people that can remember the time when they didn't need to do this really miss seeing the stars in the sky. The mood of the song is also very fitting and some of the words also really fit the plot too. "I don't know if it's worth it anymore" "Let's conspire to ignite all the souls that would die just to feel alive". If you've read this book, you will know what I am talking about!

Muse "Starlight"

HOUR 4: Book spine poetry hosted by capriciousreader

Select a number of books and make a poem out of them. I really enjoyed this task. All pretty cool books as well, might I add :)  My poem:

1984 The Year of the Flood,
The remains of the day,
After you'd gone.



Hour 12: Mid-event survey 

1. How are you feeling? Sleepy?
It's 12.20am where I am and I am in bed. I hope to read some more but today has been very long, particularly in my personal life. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

2. What have you finished reading?
Nothing! I am reading a huge book so if I manage to just finish that by the time the challenge is over I will be happy

3. What is your favourite read so far? 
I have only been reading The Passage so far, but I have just opened The Song of Achilles and that looks really good. I am trying not to care that I haven't finished anything yet!

4. What about your favourite snacks?
Peanuts, dry roasted! I only got a small bag, I wish I had got a bigger one, they were lovely.

5. Have you found any new blogs?
No but i've found some new Twitter users @marenfuga @momsnotall I am going to scout out more blogs tomorrow.


HOUR 13. Best of your Reading Year hosted by lisasworldofbooks



This book was such fun to read, I couldn't put it down once I had started. I really loved how you could imagine this actually happening, and how in some respects it could already be starting. I have recommended this book to several people over the course of this year and everyone I know has raved about it afterwards. A winner.



This year I have read all of Eugenides work; Middlesex (in my top three books of all time), The Virgin Suicides, The Marriage Plot and an anthology he edited called My Mistresses Sparrow is Dead. I have really liked his writing style and he always tackles some difficult topics with enormous grace and understanding. I have really enjoyed watching some interviews on youtube, he seems like a very thoughtful and inspiring person. 



This book was a revelation to me. Rothfuss really concentrated on character development and did a cracking job with Kvothe, the main character. A story within a story, this book keeps your turning thorough all 1000 pages quickly! I am currently reading the second in the series, The Wise Man's Fear, but I am taking a break because I don't want it to end, and the next book has no release date yet!


READING UPDATE - The Passage is proving to be a LONG read, I don't seem to be getting anywhere. I read 120 pages of it and felt like I was reading all day. Needed to take a break (sleep) but before I did I read 103 pages of The Song of Achilles. I am going to finish that book today. 


HOUR 19 - SHOW IT OFF hosted by deadbookdarling

Show a book from your library that you are extremely proud of - I chose to show my Penguin Clothbound edition of Pride and Prejudice. This book stirs up emotions because my daughter chose to buy me this with her first pay from a saturday job when she was 15. I was so proud of her, firstly for having a job and still getting great grades and secondly for being selfless and choosing to spend her money on me. Also, Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourites and these clothbound editions are just gorgeous.


HOUR 24 - Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? I actually struggled with this readathon. It seemed like every time I sat down to read I needed to get up and go and do something else. Hour  was difficult because it was saturday night and all my tv shows are on!

2. Can you name a few high interest books that could keep a Reader engaged for next year? It depends what kind of fiction you like, but some page turners that I recommend are Wool by Hugh Howey, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.

3. Do you have any suggestions of how to improve the read-a-thon for next year? When the challenges are about "guess the book from the picture" I think comments should be hidden until the end of the challenge, too much temptation to cheat, I didn't take part in one challenge because of seeing a lot of the answers.

4. What did you think worked really well? I was so impressed with the organisation! I loved that the challenges were posted promptly, you could really tell how much work had gone into the hourly posts, a massive pat on the back to everyone concerned!

5. How many books did you read? NONE! I managed to get through 200 pages of The Passage, which was good going for me, and I read 120 pages of The Song of Achilles. So, I guess that would be an average sized book normally. Can you tell I am feeling defensive? Some people have read A LOT of books!

6. What were the names of the books you read? The Passage by Justin Cronin and The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

7. Which book did you enjoy most? The Passage is a huge book so I have already invested a lot of time, so I am going to say that, because the story is just mind blowing. I can tell I am going to like both of them though.

8. Which did you enjoy least? I am enjoying them both, don't make me choose!

9. Do you have any advice for next year's cheerleaders? No, they did a great job, and were a lovely touch. Also very helpful when I needed some advice. Thanks!

10. Will you participate again? YES! This was so much fun! I think I would take part again as a reader, although you never know (I am not a confident blogger yet)

Sunday, 18 August 2013

The Classics Spin #3

We are taking part in the Classics Spin #3 in August/September. For this challenge you have to chose 20 Classics and randomly assign each one a number. On Monday 19th The Classics Club blog will announce which number has been chosen, and that's the book you have to read! No cheating!

  1. The Trial
2. Swanns Way
3. Wuthering Heights 
4. North and South winner!
5. A Prayer for Owen Meany
6. The Three Musketeers 
7. The Age of Innocence
8. Macbeth
9. Brave New World
10. One Flew Over the cuckoos nest
11. Little Women
12. Fahrenheit 451
13. The Master and Margarita
14. The Waves
15. A Room of one's own
16. A Room with a view
17. The Stepford Wives
18. Cat's Cradle
19. The Catcher in the Rye
20. East of Eden

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Darkhouse (An Experiment in Terror #1)

pub 2011, Metal Blonde Books
323 pgs

I've seen Karina Halle's name mentioned several times by some of my Goodreads friends, especially regarding her new series "Sins and Needles", so when I saw this ebook by her for FREE at Amazon it was a no brainer, because I don't like to be left out.

Firstly, I don't really do ghost stories, they scare me (shock) and I am useless at being scared, so I really thought I would only read a couple of pages before throwing my kindle to the other side of the room and running off in a panic. WRONG! I read it all in one day, and was very brave and I even read the creepy parts.

Karina Halle has created such a brilliant character in the unforgettably named Perry Palomino, a young woman in her early 20's, who is instantly like-able. You just want her to do well, but most of all you don't want her to die a creepy death, because she is funny, she has lumps and bumps in the wrong (right?) places, and has had a couple of mental health issues that she has got over. Overall she is a winning character, even if she thinks she is pretty useless in comparison to her  irrepressible younger sister. 

Perry begins to have what she believes are visions, and worries that her mental health issues are returning. One night, during a family visit to her uncle's house who lives on the coast of Canada, Perry explores a derelict lighthouse and gets a lot more than bargains for. She meets the mysterious Dex Foray (awesome name again!) who has also gone on a reccy of the lighthouse at the same time. Co-incidence? I don't think so! *cackle*
After uploading a video she has salvaged on her trip to the creepy-as-hell-lighthouse, she is inundated with requests for more, and, after an offer from Dex to make a more professional job of the video, they decide to make a return visit. Moral of that story? Never read comments under YouTube videos.

What follows is a really great story, told with really great characters. It's not going to blow your mind in a literary sense, but it's fun and I really needed something light to read. Dex is a very odd man by the way. Of course there is a spark between the two of them, but luckily there is no insta-love, because that is so unbelievable (but the ghost stuff, yep that's o.k). I downloaded the next in the series - Red Fox - and I had to spend all of 77p! Bargains galore. If you are into this kind of read - paranormal romance with ghosts and weird old ladies with maniacal grins, then do read this because I think you will love it.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A restart (and collab with Charlotte)

After being silent for what seems like an eternity, and then desperately messaging a dear friend for my log in details (Thank you, Andy, you are an absolute star), I've decided to re-start this blog.

Since the last post I think I've read about 70 books, so it's not that I've stopped reading, I stopped writing about what I was reading; which doesn't much help when this is supposed to be a book blog.

In other very important news, my lovely 17 year old daughter has decided that she would like to join in and write reviews of her own here; a collaboration, if you will.

As ever I will be giving my opinion rather than full reviews, because a) I am not clever enough and, b) I don't think anyone wants to watch me pretend to be.
Charlotte likes to read a lot of YA, but is branching out into adult fiction (and I am not even forcing her) and I like to read pretty much anything going.

Enough of all the blah blahhhing. Send on the clowns.

Esta & Charlotte