Month of Reading: March 2018

Hi readers

In the month of March I was able to read 6 books. This one’s slightly more rushed than usual because it’s Good Friday and I forgot to do this the day before.

Anyway here are all the books I read on much and what I thought of them. 

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt: 14/100 *

This is longlisted for the Women’s prize so I’ve done a full review of it here: Review.

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi: 84/100 ****

The first in a new trilogy continuing the Shatter Me story. I was so excited for this and it really did not let me down. I have a strong feeling these books are going to be even better than the original trilogy. 

Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher: 26/100

I was actually really disappointed with this one. I’ve been so excited to read this series for the longest time but it just fell flat for me. I’m starting to think adult fantasy isn’t for me. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K.Rowling: 94/100 *****

I just love rereading these books and we had a last (hopefully) flurry of snow earlier in the month and I wanted to use that cosy time stuck indoors to finish this reread.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward: 37/100 **

As this is a Women’s Prize longlistee I’ve done a full review of this one here: Review.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: 81/100 ****

I did a post of books I wanted to give another go and this was one of them. Boy, am I glad I did. I definitely tried to read this too quickly the first time around because there was a lot of stuff I’d completely missed. It was like reading it for the first time and I loved it. Can’t wait to continue the series. 

I also finally started North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell and I’ll be reading that over Easter Weekend.

I must admit I thought I’d read more but now it’s the Easter holidays so hopefully I can do a bit of catching up. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

Book Review: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

*Women’s Prize Longlist Book Review

Image result for sing unburied sing by jesmyn ward

Published: September 2017 by Scribner

Source: Library

Length: 285 Pages

Genre: Contemporary/Magical Realism

Goodreads Rating: 4.11

My Rating: 37/100 **

Hi Readers

I’ll start off by saying I can see why people like this book and I do agree with a lot of the glowing reviews. This is certainly a hard hitting story with beautiful writing, but it ended up just not working for me.

A Southern America story following a family who have been through the mill and back due to racial differences, poverty, drug addiction and illness.

As I said, this is a beautifully written story, and because of this I may read more from Ward in the future. Everything was immaculately and brutally detailed, the words drew you in and you could feel everything the characters were feeling.

There are two reasons why I think this book fell short for me. The first was because I wanted it to explore the themes more. I wanted her to dive deeper into these peoples lives. There was so much they were going through and I feel like we only brushed the surface of them. 

The second was the magical realism. This really threw me off and at first confused me because it just didn’t fit. I ended up not being a fan. I thought it slowed the plot down and that this is a story that would’ve been better told without it. Sometimes simple is better. 

Overall I do see what the hype is about but it didn’t hit me the same way. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

Aprilathon TBR

Hi Readers

April from Aprilius Maximus is hosting a readathon starting 2nd April until 8th April.

I am currently in the middle of trying to read the Women’s Prize longlist so I am in desperate need for a readathon to help me power through a big chunk of it.

She’s given us 6 challenges so here are the challenges…

  • A Recent Buy
  • A Beautiful Cover
  • Meaning to Read
  • Favourite Colour on the Cover
  • A Hyped Book
  • A Book You’re Excited To Read

…and the books I plan on reading for them.

When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy: This is a recent buy on my kindle. I was going to wait for my library to get this in but if I wait much longer the shortlist will be announced before I get to it. 

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie: I love this cover, it’s probably my favourite of the whole shortlist.

When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman: I’ve been meaning to read this for a while now. I’ve heard mixed things but I really like the sound of it so we’ll see. 

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan: My favourite colour is blue. This has a bit of blue on it. This one I’m a little sceptical about reading because I’ve heard a lot of bad things about this book but I like the premise so I still want to give it a go. 

Sight by Jessie Greengrass: This hasn’t been terribly hyped up but I have watched a video where someone predicts that this book will win the Manbooker prize. Plus it’s on the Women’s Prize longlist. So I’m going to say it counts. 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio: I’m excited to read this because I never got around to watching the movie. It just came out on DVD so I want to finally watch it, I just need to read the book again first Hopefully I like it as much as I did the first time. 

So, those are my plans for this readathon. Let me know if you plan on taking part. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

 

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schimdt

* Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist review.

See What I Have Done

Published: August 1st 2017 by Atlantic Monthly Press

Source: Library

Length: 328

Genre Historical Fiction

Goodreads Rating 3.28

My Rating: 14/100 *

Hi Readers

I don’t normally like reviewing books I disliked. However I plan on reviewing all of the books on the Women’s Prize longlist so I’m going to have to make an exception for this one.

This is a historical fiction based on the true events of Lizzie Borden who many believe killed her father and step-mother with an axe. This premise really intrigued me and this was a book on the longlist I was most excited to read. So I’m really disappointed I didn’t enjoy it.

It’s hard to explain why I didn’t like it other than saying it just didn’t click with me. Firstly, I wasn’t a fan of the writing style. This story is told in multiple POVs and I just couldn’t see any distinction between them. They all felt like I was reading the same character.

The structure was also very strange to me. It switched between the day of the murder to LIzzie’s and the other characters lives leading up to the murder so abruptly that I didn’t notice and would get confused. The reason for this could be because I never felt invested in the story. 

The atmosphere Schmidt tried to create with her writing just didn’t work for me.

Let me know you’re thoughts on this book.

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

Favourite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Tv Shows and Movies

Note: Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey and is hosted by ThoughtsonTomes on the Goodreads Group.

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Hi Readers

This weeks top 5 Wednesday is favourite TV shows or Movies that are Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

10 Cloverfield Lane: This movie is like one giant mind twisting adrenaline rush. I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. Highly recommend. 

Game of Thrones: I feel like this is a must watch these days and for good reason as it is amazing. 

Black Mirror: I think everyone either loves this TV show or hasn’t watched it yet. I love to be freaked out by sci-fi and this certainly does it by exploring multiple roots of how technology is mankinds doom.

Merlin: I think this was the first TV show I binged. I love the characters, the humour and the drama. 

Orphan Black: The star of this TV show, Tatiana Maslansy, is such an amazing actress. She plays multiple characters as this show is about Clones and honestly sometimes I forget it’s the same actress. 

Let me know if you’e taken part in this weeks top 5 wednesday!

Thanks for reading

Jess X

Predicting 5 More Future Favourite Books

Note: Created by MercysBookishMusings

Hi Readers

In this post I will be predicting 5 books that I think could make it onto my favourite books shelf. 

The last 5 books I predicted didn’t end well as three I DNFed and one I have no plans on reading anytime soon. So here are 5 new predictions. 

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell: This was on my last predictions post but I still have yet to read it. I plan on getting to it on the Easter Weekend. 

The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas: I’m beyond excited to read this and I really want to start it before that excitement dies down. 

Circe by Madeline Miller: This comes out in less than a month and I have very high expectations for it. 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton: is has been described as being similar to Downton Abbey or Godsford Park, both I love. 

If God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman: This is a book I’ve heard about for years but was never really interested in it until I actually learnt what it was about. Now I’m very excited to read it. 

So those are my predictions. I’ll let you know how it goes once I’ve read them all. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

Women’s Prize Longlist: Plans and Thoughts

Hi Readers

Last week the Women’s Prize for fiction’s longlist was announced and this year it is a very exciting and diverse one. 

When the longlist was initially announced I considered reading the entire list, and to be honest I still kind of want to. But now I’m being a bit more realistic with my plans. I’ve already read two of the longlisted books, I plan on definitely reading another 9. So, I do still have ambitious plans but I think it’s doable. 

Image result for 2018 womens prize longlist

Plans:

Red: Read
Blue: Will Read
Green: Won’t Read Unless I Have Time/Makes the Shortlist

Longlist:

H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker: This is the only sci-fi novel. Described as a Post-Apocalyptic Alice In Wonderland in a world that sounds very Utopian and questions whether we would be happy in a perfect world. This one hasn’t got the best reviews but the premise is so intriguing I have to give it a go.

The Idiot by Elif Batuman: This is a very worldly book following a student at Harvard who is the daughter of Turkish immigrants, befriends a Serbian and a Hungarian and spends the summer teaching English in Hungry. I am interested in this one but it’ll be one I get to if I have time. 

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon: This starts with 84 year old Florence who has fallen over in her care home and is waiting for someone to find her. Whilst she’s waiting she’s reflecting on her life and a secret she fears will be revealed. I’ve heard amazing things about this and was planning on reading this anyway.

Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig: This follows a family in Burma struggling to survive through war and colonialism. This sounds like such a layered story set in a part of the world I know little about. I do want to read this but I don’t think I’ll be able to as my library doesn’t have a copy. 

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan: This follows a women who’s working in a navel yard during the war in Brooklyn. I’ve seen some very bad reviews about this book but it does intrigue me so if I have time I may try it.

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar: This follows a ship owner who’s ship was sold for a mermaid. He decides to display the mermaid to earn back the money and this leads him into a social circle which will change his life forever. I’ve read and loved this. Very glad it made it to the longlist. 

Sight by Jessie Greengrass: I don’t know much about this other than it’s a look into parenthood. I actually saw someone predict that this will win the manbooker so that’s definitely what peaked my interest.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: My favourite book so far this year. This follows Eleanor who’s kind of an outsider and doesn’t fit in with her work mates. It’s about loneliness and breaking out of your shell. I love this book. 

When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy: This is about a woman who marries her professor. He quickly becomes violent with her and treats her as if she is his property. This sounds like a tough read but one I definitely want to read.

Elmet by Fiona Mozley: This is about a family and how they struggle to find their place in a world they don’t fit into. I’ve been meaning to read this for a while now and I’m very much looking forward to it.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy: I don’t really understand what this is about. I’m sure I’ll only read this if it makes the shortlist but honestly the reviews don’t inspire me to pick it up otherwise. 

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt: A story that captured the worlds attention, this follows the murders of Lizzie Borden’s parents and is a fictionalisation of the events. This sounds very interesting.

A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert: This tells the story of an increasingly occupied Ukraine and what happens when a local see’s Nazis taking Jews to a concentration camp. This one just didn’t capture my interest. 

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie: Following two Muslim families in the UK this sounds like a very current novel that I can’t wait to read.

The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal: This follows a doll maker. Each doll she makes is significant to her past, which we come to learn about. This is one I’m most excited to read. 

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward: Another that is about family. This is about the ugly truths of the american story. This is one of the more popular novels on this longlist I think and is one I’d definitely heard of before. 

I know I’m being ambitious but a lot of the ones I am interested in quite short (under 300 page) and I’ll be taking part in a readathon early April. So, maybe it’s possible.

Let me know your thoughts on the longlist and what you’re plans are. 

Thanks for reading,

Jess X