Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: 2018 Bookish Resolutions/Goals 16/1/18

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This one is always a bit of a toughie. I don't like to make too many reading goals for the year because then I might fail and I don't think of reading as a winning/failing thing so that's slightly problematic though. 

I don't know if I can come up with ten here but I will see what I can do...

1. My Goodreads goal. I always sign up for the Goodreads challenge. In 2016 I didn't meet my goal of 100 books and in 2017 I had met my goal of 100 books by the beginning of June, who knows what will happen this year (my goal is 104).

2. Try not to buy too many new books-who am I kidding? I'm going to buy new books but there are so many on my shelf I want to read so I really need to show them some love too!

3. Keep on plugging away at my BookTube channel. I have loved having more time to make BookTube videos and over vlogmas I tried my hand and vlogging too (you can read all about that here). My channel still has a small following and sometimes I find that discouraging but I definitely still want to keep going with it and try and upload 2-3 videos a week as I did in 2017. 

4. Continue to participate in readathons. I participated in more readathons than ever in 2017 and I would love this to continue in 2018. I know I probably won't have as much time this year as last year as I hopefully won't spend the entire year unemployed, but I would still like to take part in the readathons, even if I just read less!

5. Continue to show my blog lots of love. Having more time last year meant that I could show my lovely blog even more love. Sometimes I had posts going up every day. I had different kinds of posts as well as just reviews and top tens and I loved feeling like I was in control of the blog. I would love this to continue into 2018. I'm not off to a great start at Christmas knocked it out of me more than I was prepared for but I would love to keep making Fabulous Book Fiend a fabulous place to come for all things bookish. 

Please let me know below if you think I have made sensible goals and what your reading goals for 2018 are, if you have set any. I would love to hear from you!

Monday, 15 January 2018

Bout of Books Day 7 Update and Wrap Up

It's the end of Bout of Books-who else is sad? I know I've said it before but I'll say it again, I think this readathon is the BEST way to kickstart your reading year, whether you read 1 book or 10 books. It means you'll have read more this week than you did last week, joined in with the community and had fun! I also enjoy the challenges, let's not forget those challenges...

Book spine rainbow

Book spine poetry

So let's start with what I read today... I finished Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined, 341 pages. And I listened to Moonrise by Sarah Crossan, something which I started reading in September and then left for some reason. So I went back to the start and read all 400 pages of this, on audiobook. 

And now for the books I read this week (I've been filming my reading this week so check out my channel today for my wrap up and later this week for some more reviews!)

Complete: 400 pages

Complete: 301 pages

Complete: 304 pages

Complete: 306 pages

Complete: 358 pages

Complete: 252 pages

Complete: 480 pages

Complete: 368 pages

Complete 400

Pages Read Today: 748
Pages Read This Week: 3176
Complete Books Finished: 9

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Bout of Books Day 6 Update/Day 7 Challenge

Today was a bit of a weird day, I did a lot of audiobook but I really struggled to read actual books. I had a headache and it was one of those where you just want to lie in the dark you know?

I took part in the Bout of Books Twitter chat today as well, I set my alarm and everything!

The challenge today is to leave a review. I have actually already reviewed one of the books this week. Click here to see my review of Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughn. Of course I have posted my review on Amazon/Goodreads as well so if we're Goodreads friends then you'll be able to see it on there too (I'm Fabulous Book Fiend on there too!)

The first thing I did today (from midnight until 2am) was finish off Seven Days of Us. I couldn't go to sleep without finishing it! So that was the final 71 pages of that.

Then during the Twitter chat & whilst doing chores around the house I listened to a couple of audiobooks. Firstly, I listened to some more of On A Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond. I actually finished this one, equating to 240 pages.

I listened to the whole of this book. Although this is a survival guide and advice book for actors and I am not an actor, I felt like this was a good follow on after listening to The Bassoon King. I found this really motivating for just pursuing what you want to do in general and I found the anecdotes really entertaining too! This book totalled 252 pages, but I listened on audio and it felt a lot longer than that!

Then I started reading Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined. I was really struggling with my headache so I only read 27 pages of this.

I've already met my goal of reading 7 books this week (yey!) so anything that I read tomorrow will be a bonus!

Pages Read Today: 590
Pages Read This Week: 2347
Complete Books Finished: 7

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Bout of Books Day 5 Update/Day 6 Challenge

The challenge for today is book spine poetry. Again I will be doing my challenge over on Instagram so make sure you check there for that later on today. 

I listened to some more of the audiobook I started before bed yesterday. On a Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond. I listened to half of this which equates to 240 pages. 

I also read another 185 pages of Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornack. I had hoped to finish this one today and will probably try and read before bed, but its after midnight now so...

Pages Read Today: 425
Pages Read This Week: 1757

Complete Books Finished: 4

Friday, 12 January 2018

Bout of Books Day 4 Update/Day 5 Challenge

Day 5 challenge is to create a newspaper headline for a favourite book, so here's my attempt:

Breaking News: Girls Can do Anything!

I've reviewed this book on my blog today too (you can see that here), it's probably my favourite read from 2017 and will be a re-read in 2018...

Today I did that thing where I listen to an entire audiobook. I made a video about how listening to audiobooks helps me to read the books I want to/any books at all when I'm super busy and here's a good example of that!

I listened to the entirety of Unqualified by Anna Faris, 306 pages. 

I also began listening to another audiobook before bed but I literally put it on and then turned on the sleep timer so I'll fill you in on that once I have listened to more of it tomorrow!

I started a new physical book as well. I read the first 102 pages of Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornack. I did a poll on Instagram and that was the one that won! I hope to finish that one off tomorrow because it has been very compelling so far!

Pages Read Today: 408
Pages Read This Week: 1332
Complete Books Finished: 4

Review: Girl Up by Laura Bates

Disclaimer: This may be my favourite book of 2017-expect gushing!

They told you you need to be thin and beautiful. 

They told you to wear longer skirts, avoid going out late at night and move in groups - never accept drinks from a stranger, and wear shoes you can run in more easily than heels. 

They told you to wear just enough make-up to look presentable but not enough to be a slut; to dress to flatter your apple, pear, hourglass figure, but not to be too tarty. 

They warned you that if you try to be strong, or take control, you'll be shrill, bossy, a ballbreaker. Of course it's fine for the boys, but you should know your place. 

They told you 'that's not for girls' - 'take it as a compliment' - 'don't rock the boat' - 'that'll go straight to your hips'. 

They told you 'beauty is on the inside', but you knew they didn't really mean it. 

Well I'm here to tell you something different. 

Review: I loved this book so much and that it why it has taken me so long to review it! This book sat on my shelf for far too long and then once I picked it up, I was obsessed with it. I really just want to push this book into the hands of everyone out there because I just think that it is such an important book. 

I loved the fact that this book is not just a bunch of information this book is split into different sections with humour and illustrations and facts and figures and all of it is just so interesting and important but delivered in a friendly and informal way. Yes there are biological facts in here but then there are dancing vaginas to go with them. Yes there are facts about the law in here but then there are pictures that you can shoot with your phone in order to have something to send back if you receive an unwanted Dick pic.

This book is from the same author that brought us the Everyday Sexism project and these books really do go hand in hand. Girl Up is different in that it is aimed at a younger audience though. This book is the book that every adult woman wishes she had had growing up because of the plethora of information that it contains. It is also the book that every teenage girl reading wishes that that the teenage boys around her could be reading too, so really when I say that this book is for everyone, I mean this book is for everyone. 

I read this book with a pack of post-its and I ended up putting a tab on at least half of the pages because I wanted to go back and read them again or show them off on social media or talk to someone about them. Seriously, if you don't already have a copy of this book, you need to get one because it is amazing. And if you have already got it and have read it, then tweet me, lets gush about it together! 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Bout of Books Day 3 Update/Day 4 Challenge

Today I read the rest of Click'd by Tamara Ireland Stone. This had to go back to the library so i literally finished the final 100 pages whilst sitting in the library and then immediately returned it. I'm going to post my review of this soon and of course I will talk a little more about it in my wrap up post and video! This amounted to a total of 208 pages. 

Then I listened to the rest of The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson. This book definitely surpassed my expectations. The reviews were all somewhat meh but I really enjoyed it so you can expect a review of this one soon as well! This equates to 160 pages.

Looks like it's time to start a new book or 2!

Today's challenge is 'favourites" so I've decided to share a few of my favourite BookTube channels with you. These are the ones I go to and love their recommendations. These are the people who inspired me to start mine! This list is not exhaustive, I've just chosen a few of my faves. I haven't included my own channel in there but I love that too!

Pages Read Today: 368
Pages Read This Week: 924
Complete Books Finished: 3

Review: Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughn

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

Review: Everyone told me I was going to love this book and there's always a danger going into a book with those stakes that you're not going to love it but I really enjoyed this novel. It was intense, it was empowering and it was completely relevant and easy to relate to. This book does have a trigger warning for sexual violence.

The structure of this novel is one of the things I liked about it best. It has multiple narratives. Enough to keep you reading so you can find out what one party had to think about an event or a revelation but not too many that you're confused as to who is who. I am a big fan of multiple narratives and I really do think that the way this book is structured is part of what makes it such a page turner. It also has a couple of different time frames, the heading of each chapter always makes it clear what particular period of time you're in, right down to the date, however so the time shift is handled well and isn't confusing at all. 

Now the characters. The main characters here are two fabulous women named Kate and Sophie. You know I love a book with a strong female lead and this time I got two for the price of one. The best part about these characters is that you get to see them grow in strength over the course of the book. They are both put in difficult situations and we get to see them, not only now they are the women they are today, but also a glimpse of how they were in the past. I loved the character development of these women and I am sure you will be able to relate to these two protagonists from the word go to. 

There is of course a villain in this story, although, as you can see from the blurb, we don't really know whether or not he really is a villain. He is incredibly well written. He made me very uncomfortable and yet I could recognise traits of him in people I have come across and people who have been in the media recently. 

The issue of politics and nepotism is also dealt with in this book. Some might think that this makes the book a little dry and distracts from those two kick-ass female leads, but I found the political side of this novel really interesting. It's great to have a little glimpse into a world I will never be part of and I haven't really read many books dealing with this subject. This writer deals with this side of the story line really well and makes me wonder whether I would enjoy more books dealing with the ins and outs of Westminster!

Overall this was a great read and definitely the epitome of a page turner. There are definitely some moments designed to make the reader feel uncomfortable and it really is effective at drawing you in and getting you to sympathise with both of the main protagonists. I really enjoyed this book and even if you don't normally read books that cover court cases, I really think you will enjoy this one as much as I did. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US (comes out on 23rd January in the US)

Bout of Books Day 2 Update/Day 3 Challenge

The first thing I read today was the last 120 pages of Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughn. I tried really hard to finish this book yesterday but I'm glad I left it to finish today because I got to read the last little bit sitting outside in the sun-heavenly! My review of this book will be up on the blog on Thursday (UK release day) so watch out for that one!

I also started reading Click'd by Tamara Ireland Stone which means that it only took me until day 2 to deviate from my TBR! I read 96 pages of this one and I'm looking forward to finishing it tomorrow. 

I did listen to a little more of The Bassoon King but not very much so I'm not going to count those pages today. This is another one I hope to finish tomorrow!

The challenge for the day was a book spine rainbow. I will share this on Instagram so head on over there to see!

Pages Read Today: 216
Pages Read This Week: 616
Complete Books Finished: 1

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Guest Review: The Cosy Christmas Chocolate Shop by Caroline Roberts

The snow is falling, the hot chocolate’s warming, and hearts are melting . . .
Emma is the proud owner of The Chocolate Shop by the Sea, nestled in the heart of the cosy seaside village that’s become her home. With Christmas right around the corner, she and her assistant Holly are busy cooking up the locals’ festive favourites.
From cinnamon hot chocolates to reindeer lollipops, Christmas wouldn’t taste the same without a little cocoa magic. And for Emma it’s the perfect distraction from her romantic pains of the past. So when the shop’s miserly landlord threatens to hike up the rent, Emma’s Christmas and New Year suddenly look a lot less cheerful.
With the whole village rallying behind her – and loyal spaniel Alfie by her side – Emma’s determined to hold onto her chocolate-box dream.
The chocolate calendar countdown is on. Can Emma rescue her business and her broken heart?

Review: Although I have not yet read any other novels from Caroline Roberts, I was drawn to this one just by its very title and the promise of a lovely warming Christmas tale. It also turned out that the chocolate shop in question was set in a seaside village and additionally housed a very cute spaniel - well, that clinched it. I would admit that the story itself did not grab me immediately, but once I got my teeth into it, I finished it off quickly, as I would have done many of the sweet treats described within its covers. 

The story centres around Emma, who owns the Chocolate Shop by the Sea, set in the Northumberland coastal village of Warkton-by-the-Sea. She had moved to the village, with its little harbour and long beach, seven years previously following a tragic and heartbreaking event in her life. A total change in location and career had been just what she needed at that time. We meet a few of the villagers who have welcomed her into the community, including best friend Bev and her husband, Pete, and Holly, who helps out in the shop after school and on Saturdays. Although the shop is doing well enough with the local customers, the decision by the landlord to increase the rent brings Emma financial worries and the possibility of losing her beloved shop and cottage. However, a chance encounter with a stranger on a windy Boxing Day walk along the beach with her dog, Alfie, introduces an element of mystery and the chance of romance. 

This was a charming story, beginning and ending at Christmas time, and following the characters for the year in between. As you might imagine from the title, there was a lot of chocolates being made, sold and eaten. The author has clearly done lots of research into the whole chocolate making process and how to make the various types of filling for truffles etc. They all sound delicious, so I certainly wouldn't recommend this book to anyone embarking on a post-Christmas diet. For anyone fancying giving the procedure a try, a couple of mouth-watering recipes are included at the end of the story. I did find the story a little slow to get going, but I enjoyed it overall. The setting was very well described, and there were some interesting characters, typical of those that you can find in any small village. It was also intriguing following Emma's plans to increase her turnover and improve her chances of saving the business. She certainly worked hard and deserved to succeed. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Bout of Books Day 1 Update/Day 2 Challenge

Today was a good start to Bout of Books. I got a large chunk of Anatomy of a Scandal Read, I read 280 pages. I had lots to do in the house post-christmas still so I didn't get as much time to sit down and read that as I wanted but I did take a very long bath and get some reading done, uninterrupted on there.

Whilst I was busy doing washing and changing beds and whatnot I listened to The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson. I've listened to just under half of this which translates to about 140 pages.

Today's challenge is to share your 2018 bookish goals. One of my biggest goal, ironically is to take part in more readathons. I so enjoyed taking part in so many last year and this one in particular is one of my favourites. I always make time for Bout of Books and so I added it to my goals/resolutions list for the year!

Pages Read Today: 400
Pages Read This Week: 400
Complete Books Finished: 0

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Of course there are plenty of theses (there always are!) and you may have seen a couple of these in my most recent TBRs as well!