Tis the season for these sort of stories

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is:

Holiday Reads

I’ve gone for wintery reads, classics, murder mystery, fairy tale retellings and a bit of gothic haunting.  Here are my suggestions:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – a tale of redemption for the holiday season and surprisingly, given that Dickens isn’t particularly well known for his briefness a quick and fast paced story. I love this book and have read it a good few times.

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The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley – a murder mystery that takes part up in a remote and expensive retreat in the Scottish Highlands where the main party become snow bound on New Year’s Eve.  Tempers fray and, well, it wouldn’t be a murder mystery without a dead body and a whole bunch of suspects.

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Mistletoe by Alison Littlewood – gothic and haunting.  A Christmas story with mistletoe and a malevolent ghost.

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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey – a beautiful story of a lonely couple who long for a child. Set in Alaska this is breathtakingly atmospheric, a fairy tale retelling that is a perfect seasonal read.

TheSnowChild

The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross – a retelling of Beauty and the Beast – no shortage of these retellings and I simply can’t resist, but this is a retelling with a difference – it brings to us the Beast’s perspective. I really enjoyed this and the cold wintry feel of parts of the story make it a great holiday read.

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The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis I don’t need to explain this one do I?  The story of a young girl who climbs into a wardrobe and finds a land where winter never ends, a cruel witch – and Mr Tumnus.

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White Fang by Jack London – This is the story of a wild animal, part dog/part wolf, based in Canada during the Gold Rush period.  Harsh living, freezing temperatures and a dog trying to survive.

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Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett – one of the Tiffany Aching books.  I love this character and this is a perfect seasonal read.

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The Act of Roger Murgatroyd, Gilbert Adair – ‘Boxing Day circa 1935. A snowed-in manor on the very edge of Dartmoor. A Christmas house-party. And overhead, in the attic, the dead body of Raymond Gentry’.  Written in Agatha Christie/whodunnit style this really is a seasonal mystery

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I’ve left the tenth spot free for your suggestions please?

Ring in the changes

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is:

Changes In My Reading Life

The topic this week is relatively easy I think.  To be honest I think it’s quite natural that your reading habits will change over time – you change yourself as you get older and so it feels only natural that your habits, not just in terms of reading, will change too.  However, I would say that a number of my changes are probably more related to blogging.  Enough chat, here we go:

  1. In the last few years my reading has focused much more on speculative fiction.  I’ve always read SFF but I’d say that I read far less historical, contemporary or classic books now than I used to do.  Although, I do still try and throw a little of those books into the mix every now and again.  This isn’t something I regret, I feel like I’ve honed my own tastes in a way and that I have a much better understanding of what type of fiction I enjoy.
  2. I still read quite a lot – usually, slightly over 100 books during the course of the year – but I don’t read quite as much as I used to and this is obviously as a result of more time spent blogging and chatting with other bloggers.  Again, I have no regrets in this respect.  Chatting with other bloggers gives me a way to release my passion about books with other people who share similar tastes.  Blogging has also led me to authors I would never have heard of.  I love books/I love bloggers – I should get that on a t-shirt!
  3. I read far less of my own books now.  This is something that I would like to achieve a little more balance with.  Although, again, I can’t really grumble.  I receive an incredible amount of review books each year and I have absolutely no complaints.  My own books are very patient and they’re not going anyway, I’ll reach them eventually.
  4. I take part in more reading events.  In fact dare I mention that I’m currently taking part in an event that is all about raising awareness for the second book in the Tarot Sequence books – The Hanged Man by KD Edwards (due for release in December) and as part of that event there’s all sorts of things going on, quests, giveaways and a readalong for the first book in the series – The Last Sun (which I highly recommend).  Another event that I take part in is the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off which is a competition.  We start off with 300 self-published books and by a process of elimination end of up with one winner – There Can Be Only One.
  5. Related directly to the point above.  I read more self published books now than I did previously.  I have to admit that the above named competition has been an eye opener for me in that respect and really does demonstrate just how many excellent self published books are available.
  6. I very rarely use the library any more.  I love the library and I’ve always used it but I seem to have an increasing TBR of my own that I need to work on and so don’t as often feel the need to log on and check out books.  This is a shame really because I like to support the library – I think libraries are an absolute must.
  7. I’ve started to listen to audio books which I’ve never done before.  I wouldn’t say that this accounts for a lot of my yearly books, maybe only 10-12 per year but I’m actually enjoying this a lot more than I ever thought I would.  I think my initial reservations boiled down to me thinking that my mind would wander if I wasn’t focusing on the writing on the page so it’s been a very pleasant surprise for me to find that this isn’t the case.  And this means I can undertake easy chores and listen to a book at the same time.  Colour me happy.
  8. I mainly receive gift tokens for presents.  This is something I love and I admit that I’ve cajoled and pressured everyone into giving me vouchers instead of other gifts – although they do sometimes rebel and go their own way.   What can I say, receiving a gift voucher where I can spend on books, guilt free, well, it’s just something that gives me all the warm fuzzies.
  9. I confess that my green eyed monster, the one that used to live deep inside, usually sleeping with soothing music playing to keep it lulled and tamed into submission, well, it’s become a little bit out of control.  Yes, I admit it! I see all the books that everyone else has and I want them.  I want them all.  Is that bad?  Am I bad??
  10. I actually buy very few physical books now.  In fact I prefer ebooks.  Don’t get me wrong, I love books.  I always have, and there is something different about reading a physical copy, but these days I’m much more practical or pragmatic or something.  I can carry hundreds of books around on my kindle, I don’t have stacks all over the house and I like reading this way.  My books are always backlit so I can read when I’m out and about, even if it is dark.  It’s easy to search through my library, I have a dictionary that’s easily to hand and notes and highlights page.  It’s just easy and convenient.  And it means I can be very selective about the physical books that I collect.

That’s it for me – how have your reading habits changed???  Curious minds, etc, etc.

 

Top Ten Tuesday : Autumn Vibes

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is:

Books That Give Off Autumn Vibes

This week’s topic is anything that reminds you of Autumn, books that are seasonal, colours, covers, etc.  Nice and easy for me this week I’ve gone with a collection of covers that give me Autumn feelings, I may have exceeded ten – but….

TTT : One potato, two potato, three potato..

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is:

Book Titles with Numbers In Them

I’ve read all but one of these, Ninth House is one of my forthcoming reads.  I’ve gone for a straightforward 1-10.  Here’s my list:

Ready Player One

ReadyPlayer

The Two Towers

The Two Towers

The Three Musketeers

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I Am Number Four

IamNo4

The Five People you Meet in Heaven

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Six of Crows

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The Secret Seven and the Mystery of the Empty House

Secret Seven

VIII by HM Castor

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Ninth House

Ninth

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

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TTT : Books On My Fall/Autumn 2019 TBR

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is:

 Books On My Fall/Autumn 2019 TBR

This is a nice easy topic this week – although it did make me a little bit scared when I looked at my reading schedule!  Still, a good topic – I’ve picked 10 of my forthcoming reads:

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky – taken from GRs  ‘Christopher is seven years old. Christopher is the new kid in town. Christopher has an imaginary friend. The epic work of literary horror from the #1 bestselling author of THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER’ – oh yes, this is the month for a little horror after all methinks

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The Girl with No Face by M.H. Boroson – I don’t think I can possibly convey just how much I loved The Girl With Ghost Eyes which has made this book one of my most highly anticipated reads of the year.  ‘The adventures of Li-lin, a Daoist priestess with the unique ability to see the spirit world, continue in the thrilling follow-up to the critically-acclaimed historical urban fantasy The Girl with Ghost Eyes.’

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The Black Hawks by David Wragg – ‘Dark, thrilling, and hilarious, The Black Hawks is an epic adventure perfect for fans of Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch.’  those are some big boots to fill but if the author pulls it off this could be a fantastic read – I am excitement.

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The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh.  Did somebody say vampires?  ‘a sumptuous, sultry and romantic new series set in 19th century New Orleans where vampires hide in plain sight’ – just read that description *read it I tell you*  Sumptuous, sultry, New Orleans, Vampires, – colour me happy. To say I am very hyped for this would be an under exaggeration – I will be gutted if this isn’t as good as it sounds (or should that be exsanguinated?)

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Mistletoe by Alison Littlewood – the description for this one practically had me drooling (yes, very attractive indeed but we’re talking books here, drooling and grabby hands are all part of the territory).  I really enjoyed The Crow Garden so I’m so happy to have a copy of this.  Ghosts – malevolent  ones too, not friendly Casper types.

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Dark Pattern by Andrew Mayne – Professor Cray has to be one of my favourite fictional characters ( I pray to Frith that he’s only fictional that is!).  I am loving this series.  Positively loving it and I’m giddy about the next instalment.

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Ivory Apples by Lisa Goldstein – I have heard such good things about this book already – here’s a tiny snippet from the description to pull you in: ‘Ivy and her sisters have a secret: their reclusive Great-Aunt is actually Adela Martin, inspired author of the fantasy classic, Ivory Apples. Generations of obsessive fans have searched for Adela, poring over her letters, sharing their theories online, and gathering at book conventions. It is just a matter of time before one fan gets too close.’

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Angel Mage by Garth Nix – another little snippet to whet your appetite ‘More than a century has passed since Liliath crept into the empty sarcophagus of Saint Marguerite, fleeing the Fall of Ystara. But she emerges from her magical sleep still beautiful, looking no more than nineteen, and once again renews her single-minded quest to be united with her lover, Palleniel, the archangel of Ystara’ – the write up for this one sounds so good.  There is more drooling.

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Ghoster by Jason Arnopp.  This is an author that I’ve not yet read – this one sounds really creepy, realistically creepy even ‘ a razor-sharp thriller for a social-media obsessed world. Prepare to never look at your phone the same way again . . ‘

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Survivors by G X Todd – I love this series and Survivors is the final instalment.  I am so excited – if you’re not reading this series I highly recommend you do so.  ‘Survivors is the highly anticipated third instalment in the acclaimed Voices series, following the spectacular novels Defender and Hunted. Good and Evil are closer than ever before in a world where the voices in your head can save or slaughter you.’

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