May Wrap-Up post!

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May has been another quiet month for me. My pain medication change is ongoing at the moment and will be affecting me on and off for the next few weeks. I’m really pleased that it’s happening, even though it’s really hard.

I’ve managed to have a post up on my blog most days in May. I’ve been much more organised in writing posts on my better days and getting them scheduled on here, and for links to be posted on twitter and Facebook so that my blog is still running when I’m not around as much.

On Tuesday I was thrilled to get a notification telling me that my blog had had it’s most ever views in one day. I’m not obsessive about my blog stats but it’s always lovely when these notifications come through that show my blog is still interesting to people and is still growing.

 

Here are the 24 books I read this month:

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

The Elephant in the Room by Jon Ronson

The Heroes Welcome by Louisa Young

The Way Back Home by Freya North

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

Fairytale Interrupted by RoseMarie Terenzio

The Zero by Jess Walter

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

Becky by Darren Galsworthy

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor by Jason Gurley

Making Space by Sarah Tierney

Letting Go by Alex Hanscombe

Wishbones by Virginia MacGregor

Know My Name by C.J. Cooke

How We Met by Katy Regan

After Anna by Alex Lake

How to Survive a Plague by David France

 

May Blog Posts & Reviews:

May has been a good month on my blog. I’ve been much better at writing posts in advance and scheduling them. I’ve not been around as much due to not being well but I like that my blog still has regular posts, it gives me some sense of achievement. I managed to review eleven books this month, which I’m really pleased about. My aim was to post at least three reviews a week to try and catch up on my reviewing back log (I’m reading faster than I’ve been reviewing) so I’m glad to be on target. I still have some reviews to catch up on but I am closer to being caught up now.

Here are my reviews from May:

Block 46 by Johana Gustawsson (Blog Tour)

Little Deaths by Emma Flint

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr 

The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

The Power by Naomi Alderman

Final Girls by Riley Sager

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

Making Space by Sarah Tierney (Blog Tour)

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

 

Here are my blog posts from May:

I wrote my regular posts each week, which are my WWW Wednesday posts, my Stacking the Shelves posts, and my Weekly Wrap-Up posts. Then I also wrote and shared the following posts:

April Wrap-Up post where I shared all my reviews, blog posts, the state of my TBR and my news from April.

Guest post about the evolution of Claymore Stryker by Paul Hardisty for theReconciliation for the Dead blog tour

My 20 Books of Summer TBR post where I finally made my mind up which of my own books I would like to challenge myself to read between June and September.

 

 

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The state of my TBR:

When it comes to the state of my TBR the honest truth is that it is in actual fact in a state! I started the year owning 1885 unread books and now have 1954 unread books. I am finding it interesting to track my book buying and reading on a spreadsheet though and it is helping me to focus a bit more than I used to on whether I should buy a book or not.

I’ve now read 114 books this year so far, and 49 of those were books that I owned before 31 December 2016 so I’m really happy with how my Mount TBR challenge on Goodreads is going (I challenged myself to read 100 books from my TBR this year). So, I’m really pleased with the balance between reading new books (20), older TBR books (49) and review books (45).

I’m listening to more audio books than I’ve done in a long time and I’m really enjoying that. I often read a bit and then listen to a bit and then go back to the book, and it works for me that way. My disability is such that I wouldn’t be reading half as much as I am if I could only read print or kindle books so I’m very grateful that audio books are so widely available now.

 

All-in-all it’s been a good month of reading. I’ve had to take it easy a lot more during May but I feel like I’ve been really productive with my blog, and I’ve read some amazing books. 🙂

 

How was your May? I hope you all had a good month and that you read good books. Did you read many books? What was your favourite book of the month? Please tell me in the comments, I’d love to know. Also, if you have a blog please feel free to leave a link to your month’s wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to read and comment back. 🙂

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Weekly Wrap-Up (21 May)

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This week has been a strange week. I was meant to switch my pain meds last weekend but the NHS cyber attack last week has held that up. I’m hoping to be able to get started on this in the couple of days or so though. So, as I said last week, I may be around less in the coming days, so please bear with me if I miss replying to any comments, or sharing posts etc.

I also had an appointment at home with my lovely neuro-physio and we’ve been talking about changing to a less-cumbersome leg brace now that my foot is holding a better position. I will need to wear my old one some of the time but it’s really fab to think that I might be able to change to something more comfortable.

 

This week I’ve finished reading six books:

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

This book has taken me longer to read than I thought it would and I’m not sure why because I really loved it. I think it was just a bad time for me to pick it up. It’s a brilliant read though, I recommend it.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

I adored this book – it’s such a beautiful novel and one that will really stay with me for a long time to come. I reviewed it on my blog yesterday so you can read that here if you’d like to.

Becky by Darren Galsworthy

I saw this on my audio book site this week and decided to listen to it. It was such a moving read. I’m sure many people remember the news when teenager Becky Watts went missing a couple of years ago and it turned out her step-brother had murdered her. Her dad is so open in this book and I really admire his strength and openness.

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

This book has been on my TBR for ages and if I’m to be honest I have no idea when or why I bought it. I’m trying to read through some of my TBR this year so decided to give this a go. It was actually a good read, but because I’m older then the target audience I don’t think I got as much out of it as others may do.

Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

I really enjoyed reading this memoir. Stephen Westaby is an esteemed heart-surgeon in this book he shares some of his most memorable surgeries and patients. I’ll be reviewing this book soon but I highly recommend it.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

This is yet another book that has been languishing on my TBR. I actually bought this the day it was released and then never got around to reading it. I’m kicking myself about that now though as very much enjoyed this book and now am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series which is out soon.

 

This week I’ve blogged seven times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up

Monday: Review of The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Tuesday: Review of The Power by Naomi Alderman

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday post

Thursday: Review of Final Girls by Riley Sager

Friday: Review of The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves post

This is what I’m currently reading:

Making Space by Sarah Tierney

I’m almost finished reading this book and have really enjoyed reading it. I’m on the blog tour for this book later this week so look out for my review on Thursday (25th May).

Eleanor by Jason Gurley

I spotted this on my TBR this week and decided to make it my next read. I have to be honest and say that sci-fi isn’t really my thing these days so I’m enjoying the parts of this book set in the present reality more than the other parts but it is a really engaging read so I’ll keep going with this.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I’m enjoying this book so much – I’m trying to savour it because I know I’ll feel bereft when I get to the end of Eleanor’s story. It’s such an excellent novel.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I haven’t read much more of this week but I will be getting back to it as soon as I can. It’s such a powerful book.

 

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Update on my TBR: 

TBR at the start of January 2017: 1885 (see my State of the TBR post)

TBR in last week’s Wrap-Up: 1932

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts: 9

Subtractions:

 

TBR Books culled this week: 0

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1941

Oops! My TBR has increased this week after two weeks of keeping it fairly stable… ah well!


 

I’m linking this post up to Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Blog Share.  It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


 

How has your week been? What have you been reading? Please share in the comments below. If you write a wrap-up on your blog please feel free to share the link. 🙂

 

WWW Wednesday (17 May) What are you reading today?

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WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

What I’m reading now:

Becky by Darren Galsworthy

I saw this on my audio book subscription yesterday and decided to make it my next listen. It’s a really sad book by the father of Becky Watts. It’s a very open and honest book, but very emotional to read.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

This book isn’t what I thought it was going to be but it has me hooked. It’s a really heartfelt, emotional read with some intrigue mixed in so I’m keen to know where this book is going.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

This is such a great read. I’m so intrigued by Eleanor and am looking forward to reading more of this book and finding out more about her.

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

This book is a brilliant read – it’s one of those books that grabs you from the first page and keeps you gripped. I don’t know who to trust and am so keen to find out what’s going on!

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I’m still finding this book a fascinating read. I need to be in the right headspace to read this so it’s taking me a while but it is an excellent book and I recommend it.

 

What I recently finished reading:

Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff

I’ve had this on my TBR for ages so when I spotted it on my audio subscription yesterday I decided to listen to it. It’s an enjoyable enough book and I’m glad I finally read it.

Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

This memoir of one of our top heart surgeon’s was an incredible read. I’m trying to write my review of it now and hope to get that finished and posted soon but I can definitely recommend it.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

This book has been on my TBR since it was published over a year ago and I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner because I really enjoyed it. At least reading it now means I’m ready for the sequel coming out soon. I’ll definitely be buying that and will read it soon.

The Zero by Jess Walter

I’ve had this book on my TBR for a long time but it finally caught my eye last week so I started reading and found it very hard to put down again. It’s a novel based around the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and it follows a police officer who is working at Ground Zero. He begins to have lapses in memory and is increasingly confused so the novel jumps around a lot and gradually the pieces come together for the reader and it all falls into place. I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it.

 

What I plan on reading next:

I Know My Name by CJ Cooke

I was sent a copy of this book by the author and have been excited to read it ever since it arrived. I can’t wait any longer to read it so am planning to pick it up this week.

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

I was pre-approved to read this on NetGalley a couple of weeks ago and have been very much looking forward to it. I really hope I can finally get to read it this week.

 

What are you reading at the moment? Have you finished any good books recently? Any books you’re looking forward to reading soon? Please feel free to join in with this meme and share your link below, or if you don’t have a blog please share in the comments below.

 

Weekly Wrap-Up (14 May)

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In happy news this week… I managed to have an hour out with my husband. The gorgeous weather coincided with his day off earlier this week so we went and sat in a lovely pub beer garden and had lunch outside. It was bliss to feel the sun on my skin and to just be outside for a little while. And it was wonderful to have time out with my husband and to just feel normal for a while. It’s been months since I’ve spent time outside and it made me so happy. This was our view 🙂

This week has been quite positive on the medical front but it means tough times ahead in the short term but will be worth it in the longer run. I’ve now managed to reduce my pain meds enough that I can switch to different meds, which will give me more control. In the short term this means my condition will be much worse due to sudden withdrawal and an increase in pain while my body adjusts. I’m trying to focus on the longer term when I will hopefully be better able to control my pain without feeling drugged up all the time. I’m only sharing this here as once the med change happens (it’s due to be in the next couple of days but it will depend on the NHS being back up and running) I will probably be around less for a little while. I may miss replying to comments here, or commenting and sharing your posts so please bear with me, I will be around as and when I can be.

I did have a productive couple of days at the start of last week and managed to write quite a few reviews and posts so I’ve got those scheduled. It means there will still be posts from me but I might not necessarily be around when the posts appear and links are tweeted.

This week I’ve finished reading four books:

The Zero by Jess Walter

This was my audio book for this week and I very much enjoyed listening to it. It’s a novel set around the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York but the main character is losing chunks of time and is increasingly confused so the story is told out of order. This book was so much more than I was expecting and I’m so glad that I stumbled upon it when sorting out my Kindle last week.

Fairytale Interrupted by RoseMarie Terenzio

This was an interesting book written by John F. Kennedy Jr.’s assistant. I enjoyed reading about the setting up of George magazine, and about John and Carolyn. I did find that Terenzio is a bit irritating at times but it didn’t stop me enjoying the book for the most part.

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

This is a beautiful novel, one that I think I’ll be reading again in the future. I was sent this for review so I’m hoping to get my thoughts written up and posted very soon.

The Way Back Home by Freya North

I was such a fan of Freya North’s novels when she was first published but I haven’t read anything by her for a few years now. I’m not sure when I bought this book but I found it on my kindle last week and decided to read it right away. I really enjoyed it, it isn’t my favourite book by her but it was a good read. I especially loved that Cat and Django from an earlier novel featured in this novel, it was nice to see how they both were.

 

This week I’ve blogged seven times:

Sunday: Weekly Wrap-Up

Monday: Guest post by Paul E. Hardisty about the evolution of his protagonist Claymore Stryker as part of the Reconciliation for the Dead blog tour

Tuesday: Review of Little Deaths by Emma Flint

Wednesday: WWW Wednesday

Thursday: Review of The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Friday: Review of The People at Number 9 by Felicity Everett

Saturday: Stacking the Shelves

 

This is what I’m currently reading:

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I started reading this yesterday and am already engrossed. Eleanor Oliphant is a great character and it feels like she could be one of those characters that really stays with me after I finish the book.

The Light We Lost by Jill

I started reading this last night and it’s got me hooked. I’m intrigued by where the story is going and what happened between these two people.

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

This book is so gripping, it grabbed me on the first page and I begrudge having to put the book down when real life intervenes on my reading time.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

This is another book that has been on my TBR for ages – I actually bought it when it was published but never got around to reading it. I’ve discovered the audio version is part of my subscription service so I’m part listening and part reading it. I’m really enjoying it and am intrigued to know where the story is going.

Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

This is an incredible memoir of a top heart surgeon and I’ve been fascinated by the various surgeries that he has been involved with, or has pioneered himself. I’d recommend this book to everyone.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

I’ve read another chapter of this book this week and am really engrossed in it now. It’s a similar book to And the Band Played on by Randy Schilts, and some of the same people do feature but a different perspective is given so it’s fascinating. I do find it utterly horrifying how various political elements stopped the cause of AIDS being known sooner.

 

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Update on my TBR:

TBR at the start of January 2017: 1885 (see my State of the TBR post)

TBR in last week’s Wrap-Up: 1934

Additions:

Books bought/received for review/gifts: 8

Subtractions:

Books read this week: 4

Books I’m currently reading: 6

TBR Books culled this week: 0

Total:

TBR now stands at: 1932

Woo hoo! My TBR has gone down by two, which I’m very happy with. 🙂


 

I’m linking this post up to Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s Sunday Blog Share.  It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.


 

How has your week been? What have you been reading? Please share in the comments below. If you write a wrap-up on your blog please feel free to share the link. 🙂

 

WWW Wednesday (10 May) What are you reading today?

WWW pic

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.

What I’m reading now:

The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis

I started this book yesterday and it’s so good, I just want to sit and read all day long. Unfortunately, I can’t but I will be reading in every spare second I have today!

The Zero by Jess Walters

I found this book on my Kindle recently but I couldn’t remember buying it so I looked the synopsis up and it sounded interesting. I started reading it this week and I’m hooked. It’s based around the 9/11 terrorist attacks but it’s told through the viewpoint of a police officer who is losing chunks of time and becoming increasingly confused, so it’s all out of order and strange. It’s a great read so far though and I’d recommend it.

Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby

I was sent this book for review a couple of months ago and am finally reading it. It’s a brilliant memoir of a heart surgeon – his writing about the surgeries he’s been involved with are incredible.

How to Survive a Plague by David France

This is an outstanding book about the AIDS crisis. It’s a look at the doctors and scientists trying to figure out what this disease was, it looks at some of the people affected by AIDS and it’s such a powerful and moving read.

 

What I recently finished reading:

Fairytale Interrupted by RoseMarie Terenzio

This is the memoir of John F. Kennedy Jr’s assistant and is an interesting read. It’s much more about RoseMarie but it’s fascinating to learn more about John and his wife, Carolyn. I also enjoyed reading about the setting up and launching of George magazine.

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale

This book is wonderful, I’ve been completely enthralled with these characters and I didn’t want to come to the end of their story. I’ll be reviewing this on my blog soon.

The Way Back Home by Freya North

I found this on my Kindle the other day when I was re-organising it and decided to start reading right away. I really enjoyed this book, it’s not my favourite of Freya North’s book but it was a good read. I do love how characters from Freya North’s previous novels pop up in later books, and in this one it was Cat and Django so I did love finding out how they were both doing.

The Elephant in the Room by Jon Ronson

This is a very short book, just 52 pages long, about the run-up to the 2016 American Presidential election. It focuses on two or three people that are believed to have held a lot of influence with Donald Trump, and it makes for an interesting read.

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You by Louisa Young

I found this on my Kindle too – shockingly it’d been on there since 2012! I’m annoyed that I didn’t pick it up until this week as once I started reading I absolutely fell in love with the story. It had me hooked all the way through and I immediately wanted to read the second book in the trilogy.

The Heroes’ Welcome by Louisa Young

This is the second book in the above series and I read it straight after the first book. I enjoyed this novel but it because it starts immediately where the first book finishes it feels like one book in my head. That’s not a bad thing though. I’m not looking forward to reading the third book and plan to get to that very soon.

Dead Woman Walking by Sharon Bolton

This book is brilliant, I think it may even be my new favourite Sharon Bolton novel. I’m trying to get my review written at the moment so hopefully I’ll get that posted on here very soon.

 

What I plan on reading next:

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

I’ve had this book on my TBR since it was first published and I’ve still not got around to reading it. I know that the next book in the series is coming out very soon so I’m keen to catch up.

 

What are you reading at the moment? Have you finished any good books recently? Any books you’re looking forward to reading soon? Please feel free to join in with this meme and share your link below, or if you don’t have a blog please share in the comments below.

Stacking the Shelves (5th March 2016)

 

I usually do a weekly wrap-up and stacking the shelves post in one but I’ve decided to separate them so I can focus on each one individually. I may end up combining them again in the future but for now, my stacking the shelves post will be posted on a Saturday and my weekly wrap-up will be posted on a Sunday.

So, here goes…

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(Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week – ebooks or physical books, and books you’ve bought or borrowed or received an ARC of.)


 

I didn’t post a stacking the shelves post last week so all the books in this post are ones I’ve received over the last fortnight.

GHOSTBIRD

 

This week I received a gorgeous print copy of Ghostbird by Carol Lovekin. I’m going to be reviewing this book for the blog tour on 21st March so had already been sent an e-copy but it was really lovely to received a finished print copy in the post too.

 

I was also approved for a couple of titles on Net Galley this week:

Everything Love is by Claire King (I completely and utterly adored The Night Rainbow so I can’t wait to start reading this one. I feel sure I’ll fall in love with it just as much!)

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

In The Light Of What We See by Sarah Painter

 

I was contacted by the lovely author Sarah Painter to ask if I’d like to review her forthcoming book In The Light Of What We See, which I was thrilled about so I have a net galley copy of this to read too.

 

 

I also bought some more new books this week but in fairness I did still have some money left on a gift card from my birthday so I don’t think these purchases really count… 

The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner

What She Never Told Me by Kate McQuaile

Perfect Days by Raphael Montes

Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad

These Days Of Ours by Juliet Ashton

Sweet Home by Carys Bray

Crush by Eve Ainsworth

Tony Visconti: The Autobiography by Toni Visconti

The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza

Lost Memory of Skin by Russell Banks

 

 

The following books were in a recent Kindle sale:

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

Here We Stand: Women Changing the World compiled & Edited by Helena Earnshaw & Angharad Penrhyn Jones

Cruel Summer by James Dawson

A Book for Her by Bridget Christie

The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall

Monsters by Emerald Fennell

 

So, that’s all of my new books from the last two weeks. Have you bought any new books recently? Tell me all in the comments below, or if you have a stacking the shelves post on your blog feel free to post the link below too. 🙂 

My weekly wrap up post will be on my blog tomorrow so please look out for that.