Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January Wrap Up

Well January turned out to be a much better reading month than I anticipated. I think this is partly due to the fact that there were a couple of readathons this month and also due to the fact that I was just really excited to read everything, new year and all that!

As always, I will divide the books into the format that I read them in and leave links to any reviews that I have shared. Make sure you have a look at my readathon videos over on my channel because I vlogged a lot of my reading this month!

Physical Books



Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Can't Believe I Read 30/1/18

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 is an interesting one. I think I have put some of these books forward because they're outside of my usual genre and some of them because I am impressed that I have read them on top of everything else. I've got nothing against these books and enjoyed them all, they're just way out of my comfort zone!

Monday, 29 January 2018

24 in 48 Readathon Wrap Up

Here is my 24 in 48 readathon wrap up. I'll tell you how I read and what books I read. I will have a wrap up video coming up on my channel this week as well so keep your eyes peeled for that!

So the readathon stars at 10pm eastern time officially. If you want to do the readathon from midnight to midnight that's completely up to you but it worked out well for me to do a 10pm start because I'm currently mountain time, 2 hours behind eastern.

Here's how it went:

Day 1

10pm-1am Reading, (total so far: 3 hours)
1am-8am Sleep!
8am-11am Reading (total so far: 6 hours)
11am-11:30am Break
11:30am-6:30pm Reading (total so far 13 hours)
6:30pm-7pm Break
7pm-9pm Reading (total so far 15 hours)
9pm-12am Dinner/SNL

Day 2

12am-8am Sleep
8am-9am Read (total so far 16 hours)
9am-10am nap (woops!)
10am-12pm Read (total so far 18 hours)
12pm-2pm Read over brunch (total so far 20 hours)
2pm-3pm chat with family
3pm-7pm Read (total so far 24 hours)
7pm-7:30pm Listen to audiobook on the way to dinner (total so far 24.5 hours)
7:30pm-9:30pm Dinner
9:30pm-10pm Listen to audiobook on the back from dinner (total 25 hours reading!)

So I read for 25 hours of the readathon (I didn't remember to time the last 30 mins as I was in the car giving directions!). I found I read more slowly this weekend as I wasn't feeling great and I got easily distracted when I was out and about or when there were other people around. But I DID stick to my TBR-yey!

I read 3 full books and most of another book

Book 1: 281 pages

Book 2: 432 pages

Book 3: 272 pages (audiobook)

Book 4: 218 of  320 pages

Total pages: 1203

I took part in a couple of the challenges as well and updated regularly on social media. I would have liked to have taken part in a few more challenges but I didn't want to get even more distracted than I already was!

Did you take part in the readathon? Either way, what did you read this weekend?

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Quick Reads 2018

I am a massive fan of Quick Reads, a fabulous range of books from The Reading Agency and released once a year in the UK. So I wanted to shine a light on the project and this year's titles because they all sound absolutely fantastic! All of the information in the post can also be found on The Reading Agency Website. If you like the sound of any of the books, simply click the picture of the title and you'll be taken to the buy page. 

One in six adults of working age in the UK find reading difficult and may never pick up a book. People's reasons for not reading are varied: some people say they find books intimidating, that they struggle to find the time or that books are difficult or boring.
Quick Reads sets out to challenge these beliefs and to show that books and reading can be for everyone. Each year we commission big name authors to write short books that are specifically designed to be easy to read. They are the same as mainstream books in most respects but are simply shorter and easier to tackle for adults who are less confident in their reading skills. The books are then sold through major retailers and online booksellers, or loaned from libraries.
Quick Reads is making real, lasting changes to people's lives. Since 2006, 4.5 million books have been distributed through the initiative, 3 million library loans have been registered and through outreach work hundreds of thousands of new readers each year have been introduced to the joys and benefits of reading. Quick Reads is a unique collaboration and we are very grateful for the support of everyone involved.

2018 Quick Reads Titles

This year's Quick Reads authors and titles, available from 1 February 2018, are:

• Cut Off by Mark Billingham (Little, Brown): A punchy, taut urban thriller about that moment we all fear: losing our phone! For Louise, losing hers in a local cafĂ© takes a sinister turn. Billingham has sold five million copies of his novels and has twice won the Theakston's Old Peculiar Award for Crime Novel of the Year.

• The Great Cornish Getaway by Fern Britton (HarperCollins): As the sun sits high in the sky over Cornwall, and the sea breeze brings a welcome relief to the residents of the seaside village of Trevay, a stranger arrives in need of a safe haven. The former presenter of This Morning, Britton is now a Sunday Times bestselling author and this story is full of her usual warmth and wit.

• Clean Break by Tammy Cohen (Transworld): A dark and twisty portrait of a marriage coming to its bitter end, from the mistress of domestic noir. Can Kate rid herself of her jealous husband before it's too late? Cohen's acclaimed novels include The Mistress's Revenge, The War of the Wives and Someone Else's Wedding.

• Inspector Chopra and the Million-Dollar Motor Car by Vaseem Khan (Hodder & Stoughton): An enchanting Baby Ganesh Agency novella from the bestselling Khan set in the bustling back-streets of Mumbai. Inspector Chopra and his elephant sidekick have two days to solve the mystery of a missing - and very costly - car for its gangster owner, or there'll be a heavy price to pay.

• The Beach Wedding by Dorothy Koomson (Arrow): A gripping short read featuring a wedding, family drama, and old secrets. Tessa is thrilled when her daughter arrives in Ghana to get married but memories of the last time she was there haunt her; can she lay the ghosts of the past to rest or will they come back to haunt her daughter's future? Koomson is the bestselling author of 12 novels including The Ice-Cream GirlsMy Best Friends' Girl and most recently The Friend.

• Six Foot Six by Kit de Waal (Viking): A charming novella from Costa First Novel Award shortlisted author de Waal about finding friendship in the most unlikely of places. Everything changes for Timothy, a 21 year-old with learning difficulties, when local builder Charlie calls on him for help. De Waal worked in criminal and family law and was a magistrate for many years before her international bestseller, My Name is Leon was published.
Quick Reads are available from libraries and bookshops across the country.

Ideas for using Quick Reads

  • Hold a reading break or start a reading group in your workplace, college, library or local community. You can create a buzz about reading that will encourage even the most reluctant readers to pick up a good book.
  • Set up a reading area at your organisation. You can provide a bookcase and a reading area if you have room. Use new books or ask people to donate their books.
  • Use Quick Reads as part of Reading Ahead, which challenges people to pick six reads and record their reading in a diary to get a certificate.
  • Hold a book swap by encouraging people to bring in books they have read and enjoyed to share with others. You ask people to write reviews or put stickers in the front of the books for people to write comments.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

The third Lou Clark novel by Jojo Moyes, following the Number One international bestsellers Me Before You and After You.

Lou Clark knows too many things . . .

She knows how many miles lie between her new home in New York and her new boyfriend Sam in London.

She knows her employer is a good man and she knows his wife is keeping a secret from him.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to meet someone who's going to turn her whole life upside down.

Because Josh will remind her so much of a man she used to know that it'll hurt.

Lou won't know what to do next, but she knows that whatever she chooses is going to change everything.

Review: Wow! As soon as I started reading this book I got goosebumps because it was just so thrilling to be back in Louisa Clark's world once again. This book starts in such a fun way with Lou at border control, about to enter the USA, everything she is doing and feeling is so relatable and instantly you remember why you love her as a character so much. There are so many classic Louisa moments in this book, from genuine moments of honestly an heart to moments of insecurity and some really clumsy and or drunken mishaps. She is a great  character and I am so pleased that Jojo Moyes has decided to bring her back for a third time, long live Louisa Clark. 

Of course there are some new characters to meet in this book as well and most of them just happen to be New Yorkers, which is great fun to read about as well. But what Jojo Moyes has done is recognise that there are so many people from so many other countries who live in this city and the characters really reflect this, I think she made a really good choice here! Fear not, we get to catch up with Louisa's lovely family as well, when we got to hear from them through phone calls and visits, it really did feel like I was speaking to home as well, these characters have been so brilliantly written to feel like family to the reader as much as to Louisa. 

Then there is the fact that the majority of this book is set in Manhattan. I loved seeing the city through Louisa's eyes and visiting places with her that I have visited myself. It has that little bit of "Devil Wears Prada' about it because obviously Louisa is new to the city but must find her way around and get into the rhythm of New York so that she can get on with her new job, and there are some very funny moments that come out of this. One of my favourite things is that she frequently stumbles across the difference between purse and handbag, something that I can really relate to and something I'm glad was included in this book. 

In terms of the plot, I would say that this, the third in the series is a little more upbeat than the previous two novels and the plot is therefore a little slower in pace. It is very much all about Louisa's new start and I loved the fact that Jojo Moyes keeps it simple and really does focus in on that. She doesn't go too far into the ins and outs of the consequences of visas and plane fares and that makes for a real escapist read. The plot certainly did keep me turning the pages though as I listened to this audiobook in one day, only stopping it once when I had to call in at that library!

All in all this book was just fantastic. I really don't even think you would need to have read the other two books in the series in order to enjoy this book because it is definitely a story in itself about a wonderfully optimistic English woman making a life for herself in a fabulous new city and everything that comes with it. I feel satisfied and comforted having finished the book. I feel like I have lived through the experience with Louisa and I am ready to go right back to the beginning and start it all again! 

I highly recommend you grab yourself a copy of this book now: UK or US (US publication is 1/30)

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Aphrodite's Tears by Hannah Fielding Publication Day Party Giveaway

You May remember me sharing an exclusive extract from Hannah Fielding's new novel Aphrodite's Tears. If you missed that, you can find it here

Aphrodite’s Tears is out in paperback today for £7.99: Click here to order your copy! Here's what it's all about: 

In ancient Greece, one of the twelve labours of Heracles was to bring back a golden apple from the Garden of Hesperides. To archaeologist Oriel Anderson, joining a team of Greek divers on the island of Helios seems like the golden apple of her dreams. Yet the dream becomes a nightmare when she meets the devilish owner of the island, Damian Lekkas. In shocked recognition, she is flooded with the memory of a romantic night in a stranger’s arms, six summers ago. A very different man stands before her now, and Oriel senses that the sardonic Greek autocrat is hell-bent on playing a cat and mouse game with her. As they cross swords and passions mount, Oriel is aware that malevolent eyes watch her from the shadows. Dark rumours are whispered about the Lekkas family. What dangers lie in Helios, a bewitching land where ancient rituals are still enacted to appease the gods, young men risk their lives in the treacherous depths of the Ionian Sea, and the volatile earth can erupt at any moment? Will Oriel find the hidden treasures she seeks? Or will Damian’s tragic past catch up with them, threatening to engulf them both?

To celebrate her new book, Hannah is giving away a mythology-themed silk scarf by British designer Emma J. Shipley (worth £180) on her website and I wanted to share this with you guys as well in case you wanted to enter, having read the extract on Monday!

You can enter by visiting Hannah's website here!

Thank you to Hannah for sharing this and a very happy publication day!

24 in 48 Readathon Sign Up/TBR

This weekend I will be doing the 24 in 48 hour readathon. I did this for the first time last year and I loved it. I love the Dewey's 24 hour readathon and this one is simillar but a little more low key. I love the fact that I can still make plans and leave the house and still get my 24 hours in. I can also sleep, and nap! If you want to find out more, you can visit their website here.

So I am hoping to have finished my current reads by the time the readathon begins but I may have to switch gears a little if I haven't caught up as much as I was hoping to and so, as always, my TBR is very much subject to change.

If you follow me in Instagram, i posted to my story the other day that a LOAD of my library book holds had come in all at once and so this readathon is going to be library book themed. Here are the books I am hoping to get to/have to choose from.

And if I'm feeling like some non-fiction/more short stories...

And of course you have to have an audiobook too!

I will be updating my insta story throughout the weekend and I'll be vlogging as well so look out for those videos and my wrap up video on my instagram and my channel next week. 

Are you taking part? Let me know what you're planning on reading in the comments.