Saturday, 28 January 2017

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult


BLURB
When a newborn baby dies after a routine hospital procedure, there is no doubt about who will be held responsible: the nurse who had been banned from looking after him by his father.

What the nurse, her lawyer and the father of the child cannot know is how this death will irrevocably change all of their lives, in ways both expected and not.

Small Great Things is about prejudice and power; it is about that which divides and unites us.

MY THOUGHTS
Unpopular opinion, but I didn't love this book...

In her latest release, Jodi Picoult tackles a very prevalent and timely social matter - racism and prejudice against people of colour. When labour and delivery nursery, Ruth, is removed from caring for a patient due to a request by the baby's white supremacist father, Turk, and his wife, she has no other option than to follow the orders of her higher up. Following these orders, baby Davis soon passes away whilst left under the eye of Ruth. Turk is quick to point the finger at Ruth being a part of his son's death, and the unfolding story sees Ruth's life entirely rocked by these allegations.

The story is told from three viewpoints - Ruth, Turk, and also Ruth's lawyer, Kennedy, and follows events all the way from Ruth being removed from the case, covering the trial that unfolds, and ends with a look at the lives of Ruth and Turk six years down the line.

I was so looking forward to reading Small Great Things. Jodi Picoult is an author whose books I've enjoyed for a very long time now, honestly I haven't loved them all, but I make a point of reading her newest release each year and tend to come away with some thought provoking thoughts. It is without a doubt that I've come away from this book with many thoughts, but I've also been left a little disappointed in the writing of this book.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is amazing that Picoult has tackled this issue that many would shy away from, and the fact that she has not only got many people talking about racism, but also acknowledging it. My issue lies in the execution of the story at hand... To begin with I was pulled into the story, getting to know Ruth, watching events unfold, but the further I got into the book, the more and more I disliked.

I didn't like any of the characters. Now, I don't need to like a character in order to enjoy a book, however I didn't like these characters as they all felt like stereotypes to me. Every single one of them.

The book dragged on a little in my opinion, with some scenes seeming to be there just for dramatic effect, as opposed to successfully getting a message across. I also thought there was some hypocrisy within the narrative that was never addressed.

When the case came to trial, the book really came alive for me. Whilst I wasn't keen on her as a character, I thought Kennedy really shone in the courtroom. I think perhaps this part of the book spoke to me most as the stories that heavily involve the courtroom (namely her earlier work) are the stories of Jodi Picoult's that I absolutely love and reread to this day.

I highly recommend reading the 'Author's Note' at the end this book, as it really gives you an insight into what Picoult was hoping to achieve with this novel of hers. As I've said above, I think it is amazing that many people are talking about and really thinking about racism having read this book and the message she is trying to put across quite a powerful one, but the story itself fell a little short for me.

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Saturday, 21 January 2017

BOOK TALK | Bookshop Bucket List


If you followed my Bout of Books updates earlier on in January then you'll know that I returned to one of my favourite bookish books: The Bookshop Book. I was looking to get lost in a book, in a story even, and cosy down after a long day; nothing was grabbing me until I decided to delve into many stories, the stories of hundreds of bookshops from around the world.

Author of The Bookshop Book, Jen Campbell, literally covers the world in this book with some very remote and unique booksellers all over, however it is the Europe and North America sections that interest me most. I love reading all the stories, especially those who have fought to keep selling books as they have such powerful messages, as do books themselves, however it is the Europe and North America sections that I connect with most as they include some of the bookshops I was already aware of and would love to visit someday.

Here in the UK, there are a good number of independent bookshops, however personally I've never visited any. I now live in a location where my nearest bookshop is a high street store, Waterstones, and takes over 30 minutes to get to on a bus, however I kick myself when I think about having lived in London for 21 years and never stepping foot in a single independent bookshop.

Today I wanted to share with you a few bookshops, that are featured in The Bookshop Book, and that I'd like to visit myself some time. I've put serious thought into this list, and I've compiled a list of places that are feasible and tangible destinations.

HAY-ON-WYE, Wales
At the top of my bookshop bucket list is actually a bookshop town - Hay-on-Wye. Not only is this little town at the top of my list because there is an abundance of bookshops, but because Hay-on-Wye is the National Bookshop Town of Wales (and in case you didn't know, I now live in Wales). The town itself is a small market village, and along with the books being a draw, there appears to be some lovely landscape and walking routes within the town. Given that we're less than 50 miles away from Hay-on-Wye, and that it seems quite easily accessible without a car (neither me nor my partner drive), I think we'll be sure to take a little break here in the future.

EDINBURGH, Scotland
Edinburgh is a city I've wanted to visit for a good while now, and it is definitely on our travel bucket list as a family. Something I'm sure we'll do when we visit is wile away some time in the many bookshops dotted in and around the city, especially seen as collectively we are a book loving family. Featured in The Bookshop Book is The Edinburgh Bookshop, however there are many other bookish gems to be found also.

FOYLES
In the world of books and bookshops, Foyles is an iconic independent bookstore with an extensive but interesting backstory. Starting out as the one shop on Charing Cross Road, London, Foyles now has seven shops across the UK and is known as being a progressive company within the book industry. If, and when, I get round to visiting a Foyles store it'll likely be in London or Birmingham.

SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY, Paris
I feel like Shakespeare and Company is a bookstore that needs no introduction really. The independent bookstore, based in Paris, is renowned within the bookish community and I'm sure on the bookshop bucket list of many fellow bookworms. Paris is also high on our travel bucket list, and so I think this a feasible addition to my list. As well as Shakespeare and Company, Paris is known for a great number of bookstores and a thriving literary community - I imagine it would be an amazing atmosphere to be enveloped in.

POWELL'S, Portland
Across the pond from me, over in the US, is Powell's - an independent bookstore predominantly based in Portland, Oregon. There are a number of large cities across the US that I'm keen to visit in my lifetime, and Portland is high up there (not just because of Powell's). Regarding Powell's, the famous flagship store, Powell's City of Books, is the store I have my heart set on visiting.

I'd love to know what books would feature on your own bookshop bucket list, as well as any independent bookshops you think others should know about.

LINKS TO THE BOOKSHOP BOOK
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Thursday, 19 January 2017

BOOK HAUL | Library Edition


I recently stopped by the library, browsed, and left with four books in my bag - I thought I'd share those titles with you today.

MONSTERS BY EMERALD FENNELL (this is actually a title I reserved near the end of summer last year and it just came in)
A blackly comic tale about two children you would never want to meet.

Set in the Cornish town of Fowey, all is not as idyllic as the beautiful seaside town might seem. The body of a young woman is discovered in the nets of a fishing boat. It is established that the woman was murdered. Most are shocked and horrified. But there is somebody who is not - a twelve-year-old girl. She is delighted; she loves murders. Soon she is questioning the inhabitants of the town in her own personal investigation. But it is a bit boring on her own. Then Miles Giffard, a similarly odd twelve-year-old boy, arrives in Fowey with his mother, and they start investigating together. Oh, and also playing games that re-enact the murders. Just for fun, you understand...

A book about two twelve-year-olds that is definitely not for kids.

In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it...

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.

She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.

It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?

With heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, The Passenger is an amazing psychological thriller about defining yourself while you pursue your path to survival. One thing is certain: the ride will leave you breathless.

What if you learn something as an adult that makes you question your entire childhood?

This is the scenario the Rockwell sisters are faced with.

Esme: eldest child, control-freak, perfect wife and mother. In fact, her husband has run off with his dentist and their teenage daughter is live-tweeting the entire mess to her 3,000 followers.

Liv: middle child, fianc stealer, squatter. Holed up in her ex-husband's apartment with her acupuncturist and a bottle of whiskey.

Ru: youngest child, writer, runaway. Hopes to find inspiration for her second novel by studying the behaviour of elephants - and fleeing her fiance.

One-by-one the siblings return to the family home, where an even bigger drama unfolds. A box of old letters is delivered to the house containing the answer to the mystery they have all lived with, until now: who was their father, and why the hell did he disappear?

A BOY MADE OF BLOCKS BY KEITH STUART
Meet thirtysomething dad, Alex
He loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son Sam, but doesn't understand him. Something has to change. And he needs to start with himself.

Meet eight-year-old Sam
Beautiful, surprising, autistic. To him the world is a puzzle he can't solve on his own.

When Sam starts to play Minecraft, it opens up a place where Alex and Sam begin to rediscover both themselves and each other . . . When life starts to tear one family apart, can they put themselves back together, one piece at a time?

A Boy Made of Blocks is a beautiful, funny and heartwarming story of family and love inspired by the author's own experiences with his son.
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I'm sure you'll be seeing more of these titles in the coming weeks.
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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

TUESDAY INTROS | Small Great Things

I'm currently in the middle of two books at the moment, but today I thought I'd share the intro of my main read - Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. I know a lot of people within the book blogging community have already read this title, and found it to be a powerful read. I'm currently just about half way through the book and so far, I definitely see why so much hype surrounded this title when it was released late last year.


FIRST LINES
RUTH
The miracle happened on West 74th Street, in the home where Mama worked. It was a big brownstone encircled by a wrought-iron fence, and overlooking either side of the ornate door were gargoyles, their granite faces carved from my nightmares. They terrified me, so I didn't mind the fact that we always entered through the less-impressive side door, whose keys Mama kept on a ribbon in her purse.

WOULD YOU CONTINUE READING?
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Friday, 13 January 2017

BOOK TALK | Five Ways To Spend Less On Books


I think it's fair to say that we're all bookworms here, and being bookworms we know that books can be costly. Whilst I'm sure we all love supporting our favourite authors, as well as up and coming newbie writers, it can be a bit much on our bank balance. Today I wanted to share a couple of ideas that can help you spend less money on books but still enjoy those titles on your wishlist.

USING THE LIBRARY
Books. For free. Need I say more?!

Borrowing books from the library shows there is an interest in a given author or title, but also many writers make a small royalty fee from you borrowing their titles.

BOOK SWAPPING
Whether you have a circle of bookish friends, swap with fellow bloggers, or sign up to one of the many book swapping websites out there, trading books with other bookworms is a great way to read new titles without spending a lot of money.

BOOK BUYING LIMIT
If you're still keen on buying books, but are looking to rein in your spending, then setting yourself a book buying limit can be really helpful with keeping costs down. Last year I set myself a book buying limit of just four books a month, and found it to be a really effective method in helping me spend less but also changing my perspective on excessive book buying.

SALE + SECOND HAND BOOKS
Another way in which to spend less on books is to not buy any books at full price. Both high street and independent bookstores often have seasonal deals on, and there is always the option to buy predominantly second hand books - giving unwanted books a new home.

£1 A BOOK
A fellow book blogger - Aoife of Pretty Purple Polka Dots - shared on Twitter her plans to put a £1 in a jar for every completed book of the year. I love this idea! Expanding on it though, you could use the money saved as your book budget for the following year - 50 books read, then £50 to spend on books in the next year. Not only is it a good way to create a book budget, but it gives you more motivation to read, read, read.
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Thursday, 12 January 2017

Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos

| I received my copy of Life in a Fishbowl via Netgalley for review purposes |

BLURB
Fifteen-year-old Jackie Stone is a prisoner in her own house. Everything she says and does 24/7 is being taped and broadcast to every television in America. Why? Because her dad is dying of a brain tumor and he has auctioned his life on eBay to the highest bidder: a ruthless TV reality show executive at ATN.

Gone is her mom's attention and cooking and parent-teacher conferences. Gone is her sister's trust ever since she's been dazzled by the cameras and new-found infamy. Gone is her privacy. Gone is the whole family's dignity as ATN twists their words and makes a public mockery of their lives on Life and Death. But most of all, Jackie fears that one day very soon her father will just be . . . gone. Armed only with her ingenuity and the power of the internet, Jackie is determined to end the show and reclaim all of their lives, even in death.

MY THOUGHTS
When Jared Stone finds out the devastating news that he has terminal cancer, his thoughts automatically turn to his family - wife, Deirdre, and teenage daughters, Jackie and Megan. Wanting to provide for them financially after he is gone, he decides to auction off his life on eBay to the highest bidder. Ultimately, the Stone family end up being the subject of a reality TV show. Soon their family home is overrun with cameras and crew, with every move they make being recorded and edited in to an hour long show being run each evening to much success.

Being someone who loves reality TV, the blurb really piqued my interest and I was keen to see the story unfold. Unfortunately, the story of Jackie and the Stone family didn't feel that well executed to me.

The blurb of the book alludes to Jackie being a very central character, and whilst she is in many respects, she is far from the main character. In fact the story is told from multiple viewpoints, and that in itself led me to feel disconnected from the cast of Life in a Fishbowl.

There were too many stories going on at the one time, and had their been more focus on the one central story - the Stone family and the grieve that comes with a terminally ill family member, I think I would have rated this book higher than three stars.

As I mentioned above, there are a vast number of characters in Life in a Fishbowl, all playing central roles.

There is the Stone family themselves; Jackie's online friend, Max; a crazed millionaire who wants to kill Jared, Sherman; a nun, Sister Benedict; teenage World of Warcraft player, Hazel; reality TV producer, Ethan; and also the brain tumour itself, Glio. If you kept up with that list, you'll know that's ten characters. I don't know about you, but for me, that's a lot to keep up with.

I wasn't able to connect with the characters in Life in a Fishbowl, mostly because of how many there were, but also because I didn't find them all to be entirely believable. Actions from certain characters felt rather unreal to me, and I also felt like we only scratched the surface level of the Stone family.

Now it may sound like I really wasn't keen on the characters as a whole in this book, however, the one character element I really did enjoy was giving the brain tumour its own viewpoint and place within the book. I thought that a clever writing tactic, and felt like the character, Glio, really added to the overall story.

Although a slow starter for me, I read the last half of Life in a Fishbowl pretty quickly as the story really picked up then - I think of the first half being character introduction and the last half being the unfolding plot.

One thing I would like to note about the writing style is the fact that I was a little confused at points... Life in a Fishbowl is marketed as a YA adult book, but at times I questioned whether it was actually young adult or adult fiction. Had the story been told from just the view point of Jackie, as the blurb alludes, I think it would have been more YA friendly.

I love the concept of this book, and for that reason I would be intrigued by other works of Len Vlahos, however Life in a Fishbowl didn't come together as I had imagined.

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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

TUESDAY INTROS | A Snow Garden

I'm starting this week with a collection of short stories, and so that doesn't make it particularly easy to share my 'First Chapter, First Paragraph', however last week I missed out on taking part in this linky that I love due to being busy with Bout of Books fun, and so I was determined to make my return and take part this week.

So, cheating ever so slightly, I'm sharing with you the first paragraph of a short story within the collection. I'm currently reading A Snow Garden & Other Stories by Rachel Joyce, and from the collection I'm sharing the start of the title story: A Snow Garden.


FIRST LINES
The boys kept asking if there would be snow at the new flat. 'Yes,' he told them. It began as a joke but then it got serious. 'Yes, Yes, YES!' 'I don't know why you keep promising there will be snow,' his sister said when she rang. 'It only happens in films and that bloody advert.' 'Because it's what everyone wants,' Henry told her. 'They want snow. It's traditional. It makes Christmas - you know.'

As the extract shows, this collection of short stories does surround Christmas and the winter season, and although I'm a little late on the Christmas front, I knew I wanted to delve into this collection of stories whilst winter is still very much here, as I know I wouldn't be able to wait until next Christmas to read this book.

WOULD YOU CONTINUE READING?
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Sunday, 8 January 2017

Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern


BLURB
Life is in two parts: who you were before you met her, and who you are after.

A documentary crew discover a mysterious young women living alone in the mountains of West Cork. Strikingly beautiful she has an extraordinary talent for mimicry, like the famous Australian Lyrebird. The crew, fascinated, make her the subject of her story, and bestow the nickname upon her.

When they leave, they take Lyrebird with them back to the city. But as she leaves behind her peaceful life to learn about a new world, is she also leaving behind a part of herself? For her new friend Solomon the answer isn’t clear. When you find a rare and precious thing, should you share it – or protect it…

MY THOUGHTS
When three friends, and documentary makers, find Laura living in an isolated part of woods on her own, their next documentary topic shows itself - Laura isn't like me or you; Laura has a unique and amazing talent, an ability she shares with the lyrebird: Laura can mimic sounds, any sound, to a tee. Along with this ability of hers, Laura also has a fascinating story and one Bo, Solomon and Rachel are keen to share with the world.

'Not only has she a personal life that is ripe for storytelling but a unique characteristic which is visually splendid.'

Something happened in that woodlands when Laura was found however - she met Solomon. Laura and Solomon connected on a deep level... A bond and chemistry that is spine tingling to watch unfold, however Solomon already has a girlfriend - head documentary maker, Bo.

Whilst I loved the overall plot of Lyrebird - the story of Laura as well as the blossoming relationship between her and Solomon - I wasn't so keen on the sub plot.

As a way of garnering attention, and finance, for the documentary, Bo thinks it a good idea for Laura to enter a national reality talent show. I really wasn't keen on this aspect of the story personally, however I can see how it works together in concluding the overall plot.

The plot was something that excited me - I was keen to know more about Laura, her backstory etc, however ultimately I felt like the talent show element took away from that a little.

I would say that I did enjoy the story, especially the way in which Ahern weaved Laura and lyrebirds together, however I didn't entirely live up to my expectations.

I can't fault Cecelia Ahern when it comes to characters. Once again she has created a cast of colourful characters, with flaws and imperfections, relatable to any of us.

Solomon, a sound man on documentaries, plays a big part in the story and I really liked how fleshed out he was. Not only him, but his entire family too. There are scenes where Solomon returns home for a family gathering and the dynamics between the family members was really well written and felt true to life.

Being the title character Laura (aka Lyrebird) obviously has to have a great depth to her and that is definitely the case. The story is very much a rollercoaster for her, and the way in which emotions were portrayed felt really raw and there was always that hint of vulnerability to Laura, which you'd imagine her to have given all that she is going through.

I finished Lyrebird at such a rapid rate... The story is a page turner, but not as a thriller or mystery would be, but because you're absorbed into the lives of these people.

Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite storytellers - she has a way of writing these magical stories from the every day, and creating characters who stay with you a lifetime. Lyrebird is a character I'll not forget any time soon.

LINKS
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Friday, 6 January 2017

BOOK TALK | Five Books I Hope To Read This Quarter


Being very much a mood reader, TBR's don't always work out for me... I love compiling them, but am terrible at completing them! This is a TBR of sorts, of course, however unlike a traditional monthly TBR, I have a longer period of time in which to get to these books. Five titles in three months is pretty reachable - I hope I'm reading a lot more than that in that time frame!

So, without further ado, here are five books I hope to read in the first quarter of the year.

Chances are, at the time of you reading this, I'll have finished reading Lyrebird and will be sharing my thoughts very soon, as I've picked Cecelia Ahern's latest release as my first book of the year. I love the premise of this title, the cover artwork is visually stunning, and I was lucky enough to get a signed edition!

SMALL GREAT THINGS BY JODI PICOULT
Once upon a time I read and devoured Jodi Picoult's novels as soon as they were released, however over the years I've found her style of story telling to have changed a little and I've not been that impressed with her novels... However, I have such high hopes for Small Great Things! Picoult's novels always have powerful plotlines with timely stories, and that is definitely the case with her newest title. Small Great Things also happens to be the January pick for a book club I take part in on Twitter (#BookClub140).

SWIMMING LESSONS BY CLAIRE FULLER
I was super excited when I got approved for Swimming Lessons on Netgalley! I'm going to be delving into my copy of the book very soon, and will hopefully have a review up in the next week or so. The book itself is published here in the UK at the end of January. I really enjoyed Our Endless Numbered Days by the author and am keen to see how her second novel pans out.

PUBLIC LIBRARY AND OTHER STORIES BY ALI SMITH
Ali Smith is an author I've been wanting to pick up for a while now... There has been a lot of positive talk about her writing, particularly in the UK blogging community, however I never really knew where to begin. A month or so ago now, when returning books for my son at the library, I spied 'Public Library' and made a mental note to look into the book a bit more as I wasn't able to borrow it there and then. At the end of last year, Lindsey of Literary Lindsey shared a mini review of the book and I knew I'd be borrowing it some time in the new year. I think a short story collection is a good way to go when exploring a new to you author also.

Lastly, I hope to start reading 'The Cousins' War' series by Philipa Gregory - an author I'm keen to discover for the first time this year. Although the first book published in this series was The White Queen, it is said that The Lady of the Rivers is the book to start with if you're wanting to read in chronological order. In instances like this, I tend to read in chronological order as opposed to publication order; I did the same thing when reading The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time.

ARE THERE ANY BOOKS YOU'RE KEEN TO READ IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE YEAR?
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Thursday, 5 January 2017

BOOK TALK | My Unread Shelf (2017)


Something I like to do at the start of each new year is take stock of the unread books still sitting on my bookshelves.

I have just the one shelf for unread books, and the reason being is that it helps me keep my unread books to a minimum - I do not put unread books in my actual book collection until I've read them. Although I have just the one shelf, I will say that I make good use of all that space on the shelf - I pretty much play tetris with my unread books!

This year, I'm going into 2017 with a total of 34 books on my unread shelf. In 2016, one of my goals was to end the year with just 15 books on my unread shelf, and whilst clearly that goal hasn't been achieved, I'm very happy with where I am with my unread shelf - I think it is manageable, with a variety of books to suit pretty much any mood of mine. I recently shared about how my perspective on books and reading has shifted over the past year or so, and in doing so, I see myself ending 2017 with a lot less than 34 books on my unread shelf.

MY UNREAD SHELF (2017)
Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern (First Book of the Year)

In previous years whilst completing this inventory task I've left out books sitting on my Kindle, however this year I'm adding them in. They were left out before as I read so few ebooks in comparison to physical books, however I'm keen to make more use of my Kindle this year and there are a reasonable number of unread titles on there.

MY UNREAD KINDLE BOOKS (2017)

If you're keen on decreasing your own stack of unread books this year, then I'd highly recommend taking stock of the titles you have. One of the reasons I do this task routinely is to have a clear knowledge of exactly what I own, and from there being able to focus on a plan of action. In years prior, I have also decluttered my shelves at the same time, however I felt no need to do that this year.

Wishing you all a wonderful year of reading!
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Monday, 2 January 2017

BOUT OF BOOKS 18 | Master Post


Today marks the first day of Bout of Books 18 - a week long read-a-thon here within the book community. There are a number of elements to Bout of Books, including competitions and prizes, however I usually just focus on the act of reading as much as possible (an interaction) within the week long time frame. This is my third time taking part in Bout of Books, having signed up for the first time during Bout of Books 16 and joining each one since.

My plans for updating during the read-a-thon are to update here and on Twitter, with more regular updates being on Twitter (@ReadingJade).

Regarding a TBR for the read-a-thon, I hope to finish reading Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern, as well as finish a review book: Life in a Fishbowl, and maybe even pick up my January reread pick.

To anyone else taking part in Bout of Books - I wish you the best of luck, but most importantly, enjoy reading!

MONDAY
I'm kicking off the read-a-thon on page 210 of Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern.

6.30pm - Finished reading Lyrebird. Whilst I enjoyed the story, I wasn't entirely blown away with the book like some other Ahern novels. I'll likely have a full review up next week.

10.00pm - Wrapping up the evening having finished my second book of the read-a-thon. I opted for Tuesdays with Morrie (my January reread), and at less than 200 pages, I devoured it in a 2 hour sitting. Although a melancholy read of sorts, there is a wealth of knowledge and positivity packed within the memoir and it's a title I recommend all read, at least just the once.

TUESDAY + WEDNESDAY
I started Tuesday thinking I'd move on over to my Kindle for reading, however by the time it came to me actually sitting down with a books it turns out I had other plans. I ended up delving into another reread - The Bookshop Book. I was looking for something to unwind with after a long day; you know one of those books you can just cosy down with for the evening, and my book choice was perfect. I read 70 pages before calling it a night.

Wednesday wasn't the best of reading days for me - the day itself was super long with a lot packed into it and I kind of just wanted to veg at the end of it. I managed to fit in reading an extra 40 pages of The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell.

THURSDAY + FRIDAY
Over the past couple of days I've still just been reading The Bookshop Book, having finished it on Friday evening.

In total, I've now read 2 full books and completed the remainder of my first book of the year.

Remainder of Lyrebird: 206 pages
Tuesdays with Morrie: 209 pages
The Bookshop Book: 261 pages

Total pages read during Bout of Books so far: 646 pages.

My goal for the remainder of the read-a-thon is to finish reading a review book I have on my Kindle; I'm currently half way through it.

SATURDAY + SUNDAY
On Saturday I didn't get a single bit of reading done... This surprised me as Monday was my best reading day, thanks to my partner being at home and being able to entertain our son. Monday was a bank holiday here in the UK, and then on the weekend he doesn't work so I imagined those to be my most well read days. Ah well... I did give my books and book shelves a much needed dust down! It took me a good couple of hours - and I don't have that big of a book collection!

Sunday was a much better reading day. I finished my review book, that I mentioned above, as well as started a collection of short stories I'm currently reading.

Remainder of review book (Life in a Fishbowl): 162 pages
Short story: 29 pages

WRAP UP
I'm ending Bout of Books having read a total of 837 pages - that includes half of two separate books as well as two non fiction rereads.

However much you read during the read-a-thon, I hope you had a lot of fun!
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Sunday, 1 January 2017

CURRENTLY READING | 016 (First Book of the Year)

I've always been someone who puts quite a bit of thought in to my first book choice of the year, and that's one of the reasons I love The First Book of the Year linky hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.


Last year, I explained how I feel like the book I enter the new year with leads a precedent for the rest of my reading choices throughout the year, and I know this thought process may seem a little kooky to some, but it makes perfect sense to me.

I started 2016 reading The Marble Collector by Cecelia Ahern, which I loved, and I ended up having such a successful reading year - my average book rating (as informed by Goodreads) was 4.3. It seems that I'm starting a tradition of sorts now, as I'm starting 2017 with a Cecelia Ahern novel also.

Cecelia Ahern is one of my all time favourite authors - I own all of her books and she is very much a tried and true writer for me. I guess in many ways I'm playing it very safe by entering the new year with her newest release - Lyrebird - however I'm keen to delve into her latest offering and get enveloped in Ahern's story telling.

You never know... There is always next year to step outside my comfort zone with the first book of the year.

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU STARTING 2017 WITH?
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