Thursday, 26 January 2023

More January 2023 Reading

I managed to do some more reading/audiobooking this month. Not as much as I liked, but I feel pleased over my reading so far in 2023. Will I be able to do more? Big "ha!" and "we shall see", but I did more reading (let's not mention how many books I bought/requested from publishers in the time in between...)

So, let me chat quickly about these two reads and I'll let you be on your way. Now, before I go further, I bought both of these but one of the titles (The Postscripts Murders by Elly Griffiths) was gifted to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review/reaction.

Tuesday, 17 January 2023

First Reads of 2023

I'm not going to review EVERYTHING I read this year, but I wanted to touch on a few things that I have read in 2023 as it feels weirdly out of my comfort zone and yet, feels perfectly normal (though am not sure why). 

I am reading collections of short stories. I don't feel like I see a lot of these in bookshops or online unless there are linked to a Brand (whether that be a successful author or a character/series) or if it's indie collection or for charity. Maybe am not looking in the right places, so if you know of an awesome collection of short stories, shout them at me as I always like to discover new authors and styles. 

So, at the time of writing this, I have read three and about to start a fourth (after that, I think I will be diving into novels - I am eyeing The Postscript Murders by Effy Griffiths and An Autobiography by Agatha Christie. I won't affiliate link them to Bookshop.org till I have read them). And I thought it would be nice to pop in, say hi, write these up SUPER quick and be on my merry way.

Sunday, 15 January 2023

2023 Reading Plans

HAPPY NEW YEAR! And yes, I am back from my little Christmas break (actually, on writing this on my last day of holidays before am back in the office, which I am feeling a little nervous about), but I wanted to ease self back into blogging with a little plan over my reading (aka what you're going to see on my socials and on here). 

Now, I'm not going to review EVERYTHING I read on here. I think that's lead to a huge burnout over the past few years and I want to get back into enjoying blogging and reading so, if I do go off the radar for a while, you know why. I will write a small review on Goodreads and on Twitter - and I might try to look into using Instagram and consider using other socials (such as TikTok, though that looks scary to use and I am sure that, if I do use that, I will watch/lurk). 

But my main reading plans is to get my To Be Read piles under control. All of them - bought, gifted from friends and family and then gifted by publisher in exchange for an honest review/reaction. It's getting a little out of hand, and I am a slow reader so I want to make attack some of those through the year (on all formats - physical, ebook, audiobook, etc). 

I, also, have a vague idea of trying to read 12 books that have been on my radar to read for quite some time but, for one excuse or another, I have held off. I have 10 titles in my head already, but this is a more flexible bookish idea. I would like to try and read most of these but, if not, it won't be the end of the world as my reading tastes have changed (am more a fantasy/crime reader of late, haven't I?) and I want to rediscover my joy of reading without worrying about the blog. 

I can show you some titles that might be on my "Read 12 Titles in 2023", if you like... In no order, of course...



One of these is a reread, FYI, and I still need to make a decision on my last 2 choices. And, as you can see, all of these are are titles I have bought in one format or another and I have every intention to read them. I am a mood reader, so I will need to plan my reading carefully.

But this year, I want to rediscover my joy of reading, my leisure in the genres I adore and take little risks. Basically, I want to entertain myself and we'll see where we go from there! 

Friday, 23 December 2022

Reindeer Readathon - Update The Second

This might be one of my last posts of 2022 as going to go on a short book blogger break and binge read without worrying about blogging my thoughts/reaction for a while. 

But I wanted to touch base with you all to explain what I have audiobooked/read since I last blog. So, I read two ebooks and DNFed an audiobook. (The DNF doesn't count, but I gave it good shot. 50%). 

So, the first ebook - ok, let's say short novella so I don't feel like I cheated (it's a short story. At least, I would consider it a short story, but I want the points) fits under the prompt Rudolph, which is a start a new series. Now, I have seven I could go towards, but what I read was A Loch of Grace and Greed by A.P. Beswick. A prequel short story/novella, this dark fantasy (tempted to say grimdark, but we shall see with the series) is inspired by Loch Ness and (maybe) the Lady of the Lake (with the first instalment a dark reimagining of Robin Hood so, I'm in!), and I flew through this. I needed something I could read quick and enjoyed self with. Plus, it gave me a taste for the world and the writing, and I am intrigued... 

The audiobook I DNFed was The Cat Who Caught A Killer by L.T. Shearer. I thought that this might fit Rudolph or Cupid (a book with a favourite troupe in - talking cats), but I got halfway through and, while I liked the start, I found it repetitive and I began to lose interest with it. There wasn't anything wrong with the book, but it wasn't hitting that sweet spot of cosy crime. But I will try this author again.

The book I did read for the prompt Dasher (Finish a series or a book you picked up but put down. If neither are an option, a short story/novella). And I've just realised I could have used A Loch of Grace and Greed on this. Instead, I finished (or, at least, am up-to-date) A Cast of Falcons by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett. This is the second book in the Nell Ward Mysteries (Oh, I got an eProof of this from the UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review - but when have I ever lied to you, dear reader?). Now, I was surprised how much I liked the first instalment so, of course, I wanted to read the second instalment. 

While I did like it, I didn't warm to the story as a whole, if I am being completely honest with self. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because it took me nearly the whole month to read it. I did enjoy this - mainly because of the characters and I did like the mystery, up to a point. But something kept holding me back and I can't figure out what it was. 

But I do love a good murder mystery this time of year so, of course, I have very high expectations. I going to change reading tack and read some Christmas queer romances and then going hard with murder mysteries (mainly collections of spooky short stories... Can't wait!)

Saturday, 10 December 2022

Reindeer Readathon - Update The First

I haven't done reviews for my Reindeer Readathon on here (or the one that I finished a few days into December, but I didn't think it would be fair to include that into this readathon as I audiobooked a good chunk of it in November). 

I have reviewed that on Goodreads, so you can go there and have a look, but am telling myself that it's ok to not review EVERYTHING I read/audiobook on here. But I like doing little write-ups on Goodreads and I do link them in my Review Listings tab so you can go snooping there (though I must state that I have been running this as a book blog since 2010 so be warned. Maybe I should do another tab to show reviews in Year Order. Thoughts?)

So, let me give you an update of where I am at this present moment of time in this readathon:

I have audiobooked two prompts: Donner and Vixen. Donner's prompt is "A Book You Want To Read But You Are Not A Fan Of The Cover" and Vixen's "A Book You Want To Read But Think It Might Be Overhyped"

Now, I had very different books in mind for both these prompts (For Vixen, I was going towards The House In The Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klume [an author I know am going to love, but everyone RAVES about this book and that worries me] or Scythe by Neal Shusterman (again, a book I think I am going to devour!). For Donner, there are a few on my TBR that I could lean towards...

But instead, I audiobooked two novellas. For Vixen, I audiobooked Killing The Dead by Marcus Sedgwick. This was a World Book Day novella and the "fifth" story in connection to his previous novel, The Ghosts of Heaven (I haven't read this and in two minds if I will... it doesn't grab me compared to his other novels which I'm going to try and read next year). The audiobook is only 2 hours long and yet, I listened to it in one sitting - I DEVOURED this and I loved it. I now "get" the cover, but I am still not a fan of it. 

For Donner, I audiobooked The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. It's, also, read by the author with music by Max Richter and Isobel Waller-Bridge. This was everywhere during the Covid Lockdowns in the UK, and it's turned into a Chritmas feature for BBC One's Christmas Day viewing. It's surprisingly a very gentle, calming read. A bit philosophic at times and that might rub some readers up the wrong way, but I got why the hype was there and I really liked it. 

Oh, and the book I read that I said doesn't count as a Reindeer Readathon read? A Taste of Poison by Neil Bradbury. A fascinating insight into poisons, but after a while, I felt it got bogged down with the science rather than the crime where the poisons were used. Plus, the crimes used were very USA and UK based, and I was hoping for more global used of crimes. 

So, that's where I am at the moment. I am a slow reader so will update when I have a few more reads under my belt. 

Monday, 5 December 2022

I Am not Raymond Wallace Extract

I have an extract for you guys! It's a little grown up, but I think you will like it!

I Am not Raymond Wallace by Samuel Kenyon (Inkandescent) follows Raymond Wallace in Manhattan, 1963, a few weeks before the shocking events of President Kennedy's assassination. Raymond joins the New York Times newsroom on a three month bursary from Cambridge University. But it's not easy because, soon, he finds out that his boss is being blackmail by his estranged wife and he finds himself getting involved in the straight-laced Dotty's assignment about the "explosion of overt homosexuality" in the city. 

While on an undercover assignment, Raymond discovers a world where he feels like he can be himself and stop pretending to be someone else. This is where he meets Joey. But both men are in a time where the choice facing them is conformity or courage, and Reymond's decision will have far reaching consequences for decades to come until, in 2003 Paris, Joey meets a young man named Joe whose life is deeply connected to Raymond's... 

I am thrilled to be involved in this online blog tour and I am honoured that Justin from Inkandescent asked if I wanted to be involved and share an extract. It's a tiny extract from Chapter Six where Raymond meets Joey for the first time. 

Now, before I share the extract with you, I want to thank Justin for asking me to be involved and if you want to say hi to Sam, you can via his website - samkenyon.com - or popping him a quick tweet (although the way Twitter is going the past few weeks, tweet while you can) at @ogleforth. If you want more info about I Am not Raymond Wallace, you can check out Inkandescent's website - inkandescent.co.uk

Now, ONTO THE EXTRACT!!! 

Thursday, 1 December 2022

December 2022's Reading Plan


HAPPY DECEMBER TO YOU ALL! We are so close to Christmas and I am panicking. Of course I am! But I wanted to chat about my reading plans for the last month of 2022 and what my blogging is going to be like because this is going to be an odd month so brace yourselves. 

I have signed up to do Reindeer Readathon. I did this a few years back (2020?) and I wanted to do this again. I didn't last year due to work/anxiety/reading slump. You know, the normal reasons. But this year, I feel in a mildly ok headspace to attempt this. I am on Team Candy Cane (I feel like I should apologise now as I will be taking December reading quite easy so am not going to go too hard) and, as you guessed, all the prompts are linked to Santa's reindeer! 

DASHER - 15 PTS 
Finish a series or pick up a book that you started and put down. If neither of these are options, a short story/novella. 
DANCER - 10 PTS 
A book with a cursive/flowy/elegant font on the cover. 
PRANCER - 20 PTS 
A book with your favorite season on the cover or the book cover has colors from your favorite season on it. 
VIXEN - 15 PTS
A book you want to read but think it might be overhyped. 
COMET - 25PTS
A book with an astronomical word in the title (sun, moon, star, sky etc.) 
CUPID - 15 PTS 
A book with a favorite trope in it. 
DONNER - 20 PTS 
A book that you want to read but are not a fan of the cover. 
BLITZEN - 20 PTS 
Use a random number generator to find a number between 0 and 9 and find a book that ends in that page number. 
RUDOLPH - 15 PTS 
Start a new series.

BONUS POINTS
Christmas Star (25 pts): A book over 500 pages. 
Christmas Lights (15pts): An ebook. 
Christmas Carols (20pts): An audiobook.
Sleighing It (50 pts): 
If you have completed all of your prompts and the Christmas Star, Christmas Lights and Christmas Carols bonus prompts, you can redo one prompt of your choice for extra points.

Like I said, this is going to be easy month for my reading and it's going to be the same with my blogging. I will be taking an Christmas/New Year break. Not sure when I will take it, but I want my reading for the next few weeks to be fun, merry and bright!

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

NetGalley November - Murder Most Royal

Ok, so my NetGalley November wasn't exactly as good as I would have liked, but I am trying to be a bit better in going "I'm not in the mood for this. Ok, will come back to that later and find something that I want to read and savour". And this was a surprise one as was going to save this for next month, in the run up for Christmas (plus, I did want to read a title that fit under indie publisher but ha-ho). 

Title and Author: Murder Most Royal by S.J. Bennett
Publisher: Zaffre
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof and Audiobook gifted by UK publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review/reaction
Buy From (Affiliate): Bookshop.org

December 2016. The Queen and Prince Philip arrive at Sandingham for their Christmas break, only to be told that a severed hand has been found, washed up on a beach near the estate. 

The Queen, who has a knack for solving crimes, vows not to get involved. It's Christmas and both she and Philip have terrible colds. But when she recognised the signet ring as old family friend, Edward St Cyr, the Queen realises that she might have to get involved after all. Plus, when she heard that a local woman has been a terrible victim of a hit and run, and a local man drowned while open water swimming, the Queen can't help but feel that these are all connected in some way...