Thursday, 14 January 2021

What I Read Over Christmas & New Year (Part One)

HAPPY 2021! Please, for the love of everything, can this year be better than last year!

Well, I hope you had a lovely Whatever-You-Celebrated last month and are ready for 2021. The Pewter Wolf Reads has had a tiny changes here and there. You might have noticed. You might not have. But the big thing is I have got rid of all my affiliate links and closed my accounts. Mix of reasons, in case you are wondering. Lack of traffic, Brexit, time and effect to use/create and, the big one, one less thing to worry about if/when I decide to call it a day with book blogging. 

But not yet. Nope. You are stuck with me for a little while longer. Though I might change how I blog for the next few weeks/months, so watch here and most of my socials...

So, what have you guys been reading over the past few weeks? Rather than write long reviews/write-ups on each of these, I thought I would briefly touch on each of the reads so you know briefly what I have read and, hopefully, will be up to speed. Also, just in case you are wondering, you can stay up to date with my reading via my Twitter (@PewterWolf) and my Goodreads (goodreads.com/pewterwolf) as I MIGHT - I stress this as am not sure on this plan as of yet - not review everything on the Pewter Wolf in the next few weeks...

Just 
before I go any further, these three books/audiobooks were used as prompt for Reindeer Readathon and I bought all of these (though I did have an eProof copy of the first book am review, but I forgot I had this and only remembered I had when I was halfway through me reading my physical copy. But, to cover myself. All these opinions are mine and not influenced by outside forces...).

Title And Author: The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett

Publisher: Zaffre

Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Book

Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought but eProof gifted by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/write-up

Length: 320 Pages


The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett is the first book in a new cosy murder mystery series starring Queen Elizabeth II. Yep, imagine The Crown meets Miss Marple with a twist of humour and you get the vague idea of what you’re walking into. After a dinner party, the Queen and her staff discover news that one of the guest staying at Windsor has been found strangled. With the Police thinking one of the Queen’s staff is a sleeper agent for Russia, the Queen decides to quietly investigate for the true.

Well, this was a fun read. I kinda expected it to be as I have been wanting to read this since I first heard of this. This sounded like something you would watch on TV on a Sunday evening. Similar to Call The Midwife, All Creatures Great and Small or Midsommer Murders. I understand that some of you won’t like this – it can be a tad too cosy, and with some cosy murder mysteries, you have to just go with it as the resolution can be a little left-field (plus some of you have strong opinions of the Royals). But I have a soft spot for cosy murder mysteries (have you not noticed?), plus this was funny. There were several moments I read this and I snorted with laughter. This is a charming cosy murder mystery and I am intrigued to see where this series is going to go…

Title And Author: Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen by Greg Jenner

Publisher: W&N

Physical, eBook or Audiobook: Audiobook

Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought 

Length: 400 Pages or 12 Hours 47 Minutes


Let’s change gears in the that scary genre of non-fiction (I don’t normally do non-fiction. It’s rare, I know!) and let’s audiobook Dead Famous: An Unexpected History of Celebrity from Bronze Age to Silver Screen by Greg Jenner. In this, Greg explores celebrity and wonders just how modern our obsession with celebrities is…

Like I just said, non-fiction isn’t a genre I normally go for, so this is me totally outside my comfort zone and, for the most part, this was really insightful, fascinating and with an edge of humour. But I had the same feeling I had when I audiobook (via NetGalley) Toksvig’s Almanac 2021 by Sandi Toksvig. I really liked it and I found it fascinating but I wish I had read the book as there were multiply times, a name or a story came up that I would want to research but found I couldn’t because I couldn’t check spelling, dates, etc. So, while I did like this, kinda wish I had the book.

Oh, quick side-note, I would hugely recommend Greg Jenner’s podcast for BBC Radio 4, You’re Dead to Me. Each episode focuses on one historical subject with a historian and comedian. You can listen to the Radio Edit (30 Mins or less) or the Podcast Edit (50-odd minutes), both make fascinating listening [though I think the Podcast Edit is much funny, though there is swearing]. Also, Greg does another history podcast, Homeschool History, to help kids learn during lockdown. Most episodes for this are around 15 minutes.

Title And Author: Outcast by Michelle Paver

Publisher: Orion's Children Books

Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook

Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: Bought 

Length: 272 Pages


Another gear change now as we go Outcast by Michelle Pave. The fourth book in the Chronicles of the Ancient Darkness, this book follows Torak after the dark instalment of Soul Eater. When people discover he’s been branded as a Soul Eater, the clans banish him and now he’s on the run. As soul-sickness begins to claim him and without friends and his beloved pack-brother Wolf, he’s slowly walking into a grip of a greater menace…

I’m planning (or am trying to) read all this series before the eighth instalment, Skin Taker, is released this April (might have bitten off more than I can chew, but we’ll see!) so hoping a book a month. Fingers crossed. And it took me a while to actually deciding to read Outcast as Soul Eater, the third in the series, was really dark. And for me to say that is something! And while I did like this and I flew through this (I read this really fast [for me] – a week?), this isn’t my fave in the series. I think this is because, after Soul Eater, I didn’t know where Michelle was going to take the series so the fact this book took a direction I wasn’t expecting and so early in the book. But once I found my footing, I flew through this. I am really enjoying this series and am really surprised not many people seem to be talking about this more!

And I think I will leave this post here for the time being! I think I will do a second post similar to this in the next day or two, hope that's ok. In the meantime, tell me, what were you guys reading Christmas 2020? Would you recommend any to me? Leave a comment and will have a snoop in a while! 

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