Choose Your Own Adventure books

I remember reading a ‘choose your own adventure’ book many years ago and loving the way you can interact with a book. I couldn’t resist getting The Gates of Death and seeing what it was about after all this time.  Then the other day I saw that they actually have a romance one now where you can fall in love rather than fight orcs and watch your planet be destroyed.

They’re a good laugh and its cool to make decisions as you read for a change. I guess they’re good for when you don’t have time or inclination to read a full novel, its good to see them back.

February book haul

Yes, its happened again. Proof that i have no control when it comes to buying books.

I also now have a very messy bookcase which needs sorting, badly!

Right lets get down to this shall we?

No your eyes don’t deceive you and yes, that is a book series. The Broken Earth series by N.K. Jemisin.

I have lost count of how many times The Fifth Season has appeared on my YouTube favourite’s channels. I really wanted to see for myself what was going on.

I actually bought Book 2 first as Amazon were selling it for £2, yes just £2! so i snapped it up then…

I found that book 3 was also £2 so i snapped that up too.

Book 1 was actually full price but even put together the whole series comes to just a tenner! Bargain of the day/week/month/year or what?

I have been waiting for The Spaceman of Bohemia to arrive in paperback form for months so it was good to get that and then i saw Exit West  was out and i have not heard a bad thing said about that anywhere. My god the cover is gorgeous too eh? (see featured image next to this post)

This duplicates a couple of the books but it also shows the most gorgeous graphic novel i’ve ever owned. The warmest colour is blue by Julie Maroh, translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger. It is full of muted browns and greys with the odd hint of colour, mainly blue obviously and is just so beautifully drawn.

I would really love to have a graphic novel collection so this may be the kickstart i need.

 

 

Most anticipated books of 2018 – so far

I keep a spreadsheet of books upcoming in date order so i can see when my next book purchase will be. Currently I have 16 books due to be published in 2018 between now and the end of July. I’m sure this will be constantly added to though throughout the year.

 

But for this post I want to share with you my top 5 books.  These are all ones coming out in paperback, four of them are already available to purchase in hardback but as you know I prefer to wait for them to arrive in a format I can enjoy holding.

 

I’ll list them from least to most although I really cant wait to read them all but one stands head and shoulders above the rest.

 

So,

 

5. We have this…

 

 

Laini Taylor writes so lyrically and this book sounds just amazing.  I’ve heard nothing but high praise for it since its publication last year so its one I cant wait to finally hold in my hands and devour on 8th March. Published by Hodder Books

 

4. there’s this…

 

 

I loved Planetfall and I have the second book, After Atlas too so this is a total ‘must have’ I love Emma’s writing style and futuristic ideas. The premise sounds awesome so roll on 17th April. Published by Ace Books.

 

3. Also this delight…

 

 

I just loved The Martian and cant wait to find out what Andy has cooked up for us next. Part of my reading challenges this year involve more Sci-Fi so this should fit the bill nicely. Annoyingly I have to wait until 3rd July to get my hands on a copy though. Published by Del Rey.

 

2. Me wants this so much…

 

 

This sounds like such an unusual book idea and again its another book that has only been spoken of in the highest terms so I’m really excited to read about her ‘certainly less than quiet’ life.  I have the longest to wait though as its not out until 26th July. #idontdopatience  Published by Tinder Press.

 

1. Now for the Piece De Resistance… (drum roll please)

 

 

Being a genealogist myself and having spent 12 years tracing my ancestors and discovering many illnesses and traits I am beyond excited to read Stephen’s book about his family ailments down the years. He always sounds so passionate, knowledgeable and enthusiastic whenever i’ve heard him on tv or radio  talking about this, so know i’m going to love it. Whats even better is that I only have just over two weeks to wait as its published on 25th of this month!  Published by Simon & Schuster.

 

All dates mentioned are from Amazon and may possibly change so check bookshops just in case.

 

I will do another 5 books list next month

 

Meanwhile i’d best get reading my huge TBR pile in readiness for this bunch eh?

 

TTFN

 

Gill X

 

End of the year Book Tag

The last 3rd of 2017 has begun so lets answer these questions

Q1. Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

A. Oh baby what a question! Yes there certainly are:

Enjoying all of these books a lot! but things just keep getting in the way (damn you real life) and I keep putting them down again.

Q2. Do you have an Autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

A. (See answer above)  Autumn by Ali Smith is the most autumnal sounding book i’ve ever owned but isn’t so much about the season itself. Other than that, NO.

Q3. Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

A. Oh yes indeedy! This baby

Its set before previous ‘His Dark Materials’ books and i’ve read a sneak preview and love it already.

Q4. What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

A. So many books, far more than three but i choose these and all of them make my mouth water with excitement!

Look at the gorgeousness before you and bow!

Q5. Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your book of the year?

A. I have a hunch it could be this beauty

There is just something about the cover, the story premise and combined with all ive heard about it i reckon it could sneak up on me.

Q6. Have you already begun making plans for 2018?

A. Absolutely I have! I’ve kindly been sent a few books which arent due out until 2018 and i have a few on my spreadsheet that I want to buy too.

Its gonna be a costly year! But then when isnt it?

Well thems my answers and I tag whoever reads this to take part.

What books are you excited for in the last few months of 2017?

Book Mail #1

Welcome to the first post of my new series Book Mail!  *Imagine cheering and a tickertape parade sort of thing*

This is a new thing on the blog whereby i share with you the excitement of any book post as it arrives, literally minutes after postie delivers it through my letterbox and as soon as i’ve picked myself up from the floor after passing out with happiness, you will know about it. Not at the end of the month in one big haul along with other books i may have been tempted to buy myself!

Okay, enough of the waffle lets do this thing!

Ringer by Lauren Oliver

This is the sequel to Replica which was one of my most anticipated reads.  I was so thrilled when this arrived as i had no idea it was coming. Gotta love those Hodder guys n gals.

And there is also this…

Ikigai – The essential Japanese way to finding your purpose in life by Ken Mogi

Look at this cover! I adore those whirls and the shiny concentric circles that make up the cover

close up

This is courtesy of Quercus books who are such lovely folk too.

I’m currently reading Replica so hope to get to Ringer quite soon as its published on 5th October in hardback.

Ikigai comes out on 7th September in hardback

 

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Gorgeous books

Sometimes you just have to sit back and admire the gorgeous covers that come on books these days.  I didnt buy any of these just because of the cover (well alright the Ghachar, Ghochar one did help) but damn it if they arent bloody delicious sights to behold.

Let me introduce you, first up we have…

The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F. Hamilton which at 680 pages is way, WAY bigger than my normal reads but hell it sounds so bloody good and from the sample I read of it I reckon we’re gonna be good friends.

To save their civilization he must destroy it. . . When images of a lost civilization are ‘dreamed’ by a self-proclaimed prophet of the age, Nigel Sheldon, inventor of wormhole technology and creator of the Commonwealth society, is asked to investigate. Especially as the dreams seem to be coming from the Void – a mysterious area of living space monitored and controlled because of its hugely destructive capabilities. With it being the greatest threat to the known universe, Nigel is committed to finding out what really lies within the Void and if there’s any truth to the visions they’ve received. Does human life really exist inside its boundary?

Next up we have…

 

 

Ghachar, Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag (translated by Srinath Perur)  I mean please, this cover is just so iconic! The pink and orange is sublime!  Its the opposite to the book above at just 182 pages! I’m already 24 pages in and it’s lovely and informative and giving me all the feels.

In this masterful novel by the acclaimed Indian writer Vivek Shanbhag, a close-knit family is delivered from near-destitution to sudden wealth after the narrator’s uncle founds a successful spice company. As the narrator – a sensitive young man who is never named – along with his sister, his parents, and his uncle move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house and encounter newfound wealth, the family dynamics begin to shift. Allegiances and desires realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter; and conflict brews ominously in the background. Their world becomes ‘ghachar ghochar’ – a nonsense phrase that, to the narrator, comes to mean something entangled beyond repair. Told in clean, urgent prose, and punctuated by moments of unexpected warmth and humour, Ghachar Ghochar is a quietly enthralling, deeply unsettling novel about the shifting meanings – and consequences – of financial gain in contemporary India.

And now in a complete change of pace we have…

Madame Zero by Sarah Hall

What a creepy yet cool photograph they’ve used for this cover. It both scares and intrigues me at the same time.  This is a book of short stories which is not something I buy often. I guess I really prefer one big story to get my teeth into rather than having the story finishing too soon and then having to invest into another round of plot, characters, emotions etc but now and then I like a change and sometimes all i can manage to read is something small so this fits the bill.

She is running and becoming smaller, running and becoming smaller, running in the light of the reddening sun, the red of her hair and her coat falling, the red of her fur and her body loosening. Running. Holding behind her a sudden, brazen object, white-tipped. Her yellow scarf trails in the briar. All vestiges shed. Sarah Hall is an exquisite chronicler of landscapes – rural, industrial, psychological – and these haunting stories reveal a writer at the peak of her powers. Rich in the mythic symbolism of wilderness and wasteland, these tales blur the natural and urban, mundane and surreal, human and animal. Written in Hall’s lyrical prose, this uncannily disturbing collection glitters with poetic and erotic imagery. Marked by a fascination with the intimacy of nature – and the nature of intimacy – Madame Zero is a stunning new collection from an author twice nominated for the Booker Prize.

And finally, we have this…

The Cursed Child by John Tiffany & Jack Thorne.  Yes, i know, why did i buy this. Its not exactly set the world afire and i do have it in hardback but hey it was £2.99 on Amazon for god’s sake! I couldn’t resist and if i do actually read the thing at least i’ll have the paperback version to do it with.  ( I wont bother with the blurb as i’m sure you’ve all heard of it, unless you’ve been on another planet for the last year anyway)

So thems the books and feel free to let me know if you’ve read any of them and what you thought.

 

 

 

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The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

This is about three friends, Dill, Lydia and Travis who live in a small town in Tennessee. The book begins in their final year of school before graduation. They all have incredibly different backgrounds, stories and lives but have become close and firm friends.

Of the three characters Lydia quickly became my favourite. I loved the way she handled herself with kids at school who taunted and bullied her, she was so at ease in her own skin but as the book went on she turned into a right little madam. She talked to her father like he was her flunky, ordering him to do this and that, the annoying thing was he did it all instead of teaching her some manners.

Dill i guess is the major character and the one we all feel the most for. His star grew as the book went on and had to overcome some terrible things. Travis was great too, probably my favourite by the end. I loved hanging out with these characters and feeling part of their lives and decisions. Jeff Zentner writes wonderful dialogue and has an ear for a good conversation. Witty and insightful and full of passion.

For the most part this book is beautifully written and just doesnt feel like a debut novel. It has the assurance of an author of many years standing.  My only gripe was that the writing was sometimes too flowery, the odd storyline a bit too sugary and one part of the plot was just way too unbelievable and ‘too good to be true’ for words but overall it kept me page turning and i really enjoyed reading it.  I gave it 4 stars and would highly recommend it.

 

 

5 books i’m uber excited for

So half of 2017 has virtually gone already!

How?

Where?

What have i done with my life? (apart from bought books of course)

*Cries all the tears and designs a time machine to go back*

But on a positive note here are the Top 5 books I am hugely anticipating for the second half of the year, 3 of them are already published in hardback but I prefer to wait for the paperback if possible so, bearing that in mind, bring it on!

Turtles all the way down by John Green – Yes, a new John Green novel, I am beside myself with excitement for this one (lets hope the finished cover will be more thrilling than this one however). The fault in our stars was such a massive hit he is gonna have to go it some to compete with himself but I have a feeling this will be ace.  I have already Pre-ordered it.

 

 

 

 

The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman – Whilst I still have not read all the His Dark Materials books I did read a sneaky first chapter of this online and it had me hooked so i cant wait. This i have also Pre-ordered and strangely they both come out on 10th October!

 

 

 

 

 

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – This actually comes out in paperback in just two days time (29th June) so not too long to wait then.  Every review of this has been nothing but brilliant so im looking forward to seeing what all the fuss is about. Its a challenge to myself as its way out of my reading ‘comfort zone’ but fascinating nevertheless.

 

 

 

 

First Love by Gwendoline Riley – One of the Baileys Prize for Women’s fiction shortlisted books and the only one I really like the sound of. Its a shortish book but so many Booktubers have raved about it. Its published in paperback on 7th September.

 

 

 

 

 

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid – This book has one of the most stunning covers i’ve ever seen in hardback so here’s hoping the paperback cover won’t disappoint. (Are you listening Simon & Schuster?) Again its another genre not normally enjoyed but for some reason I just cant wait to read this. It comes out on 13th July so just over 2 weeks to go, YAY!

 

 

 

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June (proof copies) TBR

I’m going against type here by choosing a TBR coz by nature im a mood reader but I badly need to read some of the gorgeous proofs I get sent and these five are making my mouth water in a BIG way!

I asked those gorgeous folk at Vintage Books for a copy of Bluets and The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson and they kindly sent them to me. They are both published tomorrow 1st June. Look how bloody lovely those covers are too.

Stevie over at Gollancz very kindly sent me Black Wing by Ed McDonald after i requested a copy. It has gosh darn wonderful black sprayed edges and the story sounds quite thrilling.

False Hearts by Laura Lam is another gorgeous book and one I have long been waiting for to arrive in paperback form. Another sprayed edge beauty, this time in red. I really cant wait to dive in to this one.

And last but never least Moonrise by Sarah Crossan. I was beyond thrilled to get a copy of this from the splendid folk at Bloomsbury.  I adored Sarah’s book One which i read in 2015 i think so cant wait to start this one. Its published in July.

Well there you have it on paper.

I have stated five books I want to read in June.  See you back here in one month to see how well i did.

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Planetfall by Emma Newman

For some reason 2017 wants me to read more Science fiction/fantasy books, dont ask me why but it does!  I’m not arguing though when Planetfall is so bloody good!

In their search for a new and better life than the one that they had on the overpopulated Earth, Suh lead a group of 1000 people – including her partner and lover Ren – to another planet. Then Suh mysteriously vanished, and only Ren and the Ringleader know the truth behind her disappearance. Now, two decades later, a stranger who looks suspiciously like Suh wanders into the colony, flooding Ren with memories of the traumatic event she fought so hard to bury. And if she reveals the secret she has kept for so long, it could ruin everything the colonists built…

 

I reckon that this is an excellent book to begin with if you are just starting to read SFF. It has just the right amount of excitement, suspense, thrills and emotions to keep you reading but not too much technical spacey stuff to put you off.

Renata or Ren is such a great character, flawed but ultimately so realistic. I felt for her on so many occasions which i why i loved the ending so much (read it and see if you agree, well i defy you not to really)

Beautifully written, the pace never slackened off for a second and for someone who hates all the world building in fantasy novels, Emma made this world come alive for me in such a short space of time I was sure I must be reading book 2 or 3 about these characters, so comfortable did i become with them.

Slowly the tension builds and builds until you just cant put the book down for a second or you’ll miss something. I read the last 80 pages in one gulp just to find out what would happen. Oh boy it was just great!

I ‘ve just bought the next book in the Planetfall series which is this baby

and im so looking forward to diving into it.

As i’m new(ish) to SFF what books would you recommend I read to keep my interest going?

What are you reading right now?

Lets chat.

 

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