Bookish Bullet Journal 2019

I have kept a bullet journal for over 3 years now. I swear I wouldn’t have survived my PhD without it. I use it for work projects as well as personal projects and it travels with me every day. I have found that over the years it has also became a reading journal where I track various stats as well as make notes on the books I am reading.

While I have trimmed down the number of pages dedicated to bookish stats this year, as I am tracking most of them in a spreadsheet (see my 2019 goals post for a link to the spread sheet I based mine on). I thought I would still share some of my key pages. Most of the pictures were taken before I started filling the spreads in but I have included a couple to show how I use them.

I really love the minimalist style so I don’t have the most artistic of books but I love how practical it is. I have found over the years these spreads have really worked for me. I currently have a Nuuna notebook with the Douglas Adam’s quote

I love deadlines I love the Whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

I think is the perfect quote for a bookish bullet journal! particularly for me, I have a million deadlines that really do whoosh by! I primarily use Muji 0.5 pens but I do have some mildliners and Faber Castel Pitt artist pens for a little flare. Each month usually has a two tone colour scheme and my reading sections is teal and grey! The pens for that months colour scheme are stored in the cute pen strap pictured. As my journal doesn’t have its own inbuilt elastic closure this has duel function of keeping my book closed in my bag but also keeping my pens at hand if i want to make notes on the go (i dont know the brand as it was a Christmas gift).

I always start and end my bookish sections with a creative space for me to decorate. For some years now I have been tracking my reading using homemade stickers of book covers I am reading. Its a fun way to add colour to my journal while also tracking all the books I have read!

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The biggest thing I track in the bookish portion has to be my Goodreads Challenge. Its great for if I finish a book on the go, late at night or just when I cant be bothered logging on to Goodreads I can note down the details and go back to Goodreads later!

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My decision to streamline my stats tracking has reduced this from serveral pages down to this single page. I intend to fill this with the number of books and pages I read, my average ratings, my favourite book of the month and any readathons I participated in so I can look at it all at a glance.

While this year I decided not to have a written TBR I do have a few trackers for up-coming releases, eArc I have received and and series I need to complete! I am hoping flicking past these pages will remind me to pull form these various shelves or keep me on top of my pre-orders.

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As well as these year long logs I also track my reading at the monthly/weekly level. I have a page that contains my Ten Book TBR, my blog post schedule and I also track pages read per day on a graph. My Weeklies also utalise the homemade book stickers where I post a sticker with the number of pages I read that day.

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Probably one of my most common spreads is my book review notes. I like to make one page for each book. I make notes on when I started and finished, number of pages, if I read it as part of a readathon/project, my ratings in both stars and my new ESCAPE system. I also make noted as I read in the Thoughts section and used them to compile notes for each section of ESCAPE which in turn I use to write my Review. I am  really enjoying how this works. its so easy to just grab my journal and jot down a thought or two as I read. It also allows me to come back and assess for my review later instead of struggling to remember what I loved/hated about the work. I have blurred the example above as it has spoilers but do check out my spoiler free review of The Binding!


Do you keep a bullet journal? What do you track?

Do you track your reading? How do you track it?

Are you interested to see more of my Bullet Journal? I could post a monthly spread – they mostly stay the same month to month, so I wouldn’t post a plan with me every month as it would get boring quickly.

I would love to chat all thinks Bookish wither here in the comments or on Goodreads and Twitter.

Happy Reading!

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Review – The Way of All Flesh

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Title: The Way of All Flesh

Author: Ambrose Parry

Pages: 407

E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 43
(see breakdown below)

4 STARS


From Goodreads:

Young women are being discovered dead across the Old Town, all having suffered similarly gruesome ends. In the New Town, medical student Will Raven is about to start his apprenticeship with the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson.

Simpson’s patients range from the richest to the poorest of this divided city. His house is like no other, full of visiting luminaries and daring experiments in the new medical frontier of anaesthesia. It is here that Raven meets housemaid Sarah Fisher, who recognises trouble when she sees it and takes an immediate dislike to him. She has all of his intelligence but none of his privileges, in particular his medical education.

With each having their own motive to look deeper into these deaths, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld, where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to make it out alive.


Content Warnings: This book is set in and around Edinburgh Medical School in 1847, following an apprentice midwife. Therefore, it may not be the book for you if your are not comfortable with detailed description of medical procedures, particularly surgeries without anaesthesia and complications within births, abortions and other aspects pertaining to 19th century midwifery.

Ambrose Parry is the new Pen-name of Scottish Crime author Christopher Brookmyre and his wife, Marisa Haetzman, who is an anaesthetist with an MSc in Medical History. I have always enjoyed Brookmyre’s work. He has always been one of my go to writers since I first discovered him. Form the opening scene it is very much a Brookmyre book. He has a very distinctive writing style and has a use of language that I particularly like. The use of language to show the disparities between Edinburgh’s old town and new town (new town being the more affluent area ) was particularly interesting.

I feel I am drawn to this book as it takes place in my home town, with scenes taking place just around the corner from my front door in Edinburgh. I am familiar with the history of the city and this book just captured my imagination of how the city would have felt like in the 19th Century. The dark twisting close-nit closes of the old town, the streets piled on top of each other on Cowgate and Grassmarket just lends its self to the dark underworld of this novel, while it is flanked by the affluent townhouses of the New town and the vast collection of university buildings.

The plot it’s self is somewhat predictable I had successfully guessed the killer within the first quarter of the story. However, that did not make it any less enjoyable. Marisa Haetzman’s contribution was most definitely rooted within the historical accuracy of Edinburgh medical history. I am not usually one for historical fiction but this was definitely a hit. To me this was the most interesting parts of the book. The aspects revolving around Edinburgh Medical School, which at the time was at the forefront of medical advancement and the work of Dr Simpson were woven so seamlessly into plot. Even including the Great Disruption and formation of the Free Church of Scotland with their opposition to Dr Simpsons use of anaesthesia gave such an authenticity to the story.

As usual to Brookmyre’s previous work it is his female characters that shine above the men. His women tend to be strong, knowledgeable and determined and the female lead of Sarah, Dr Simpson’s housemaid, was no different. She is ambitious and sincere, determined to overcome her lot in the world despite the prejudiced of the time. His male characters on the other hand tend to be more fallible and unlikable with very little redemption, this is true of Will Raven, Dr Simpson’s new apprentice and ‘hero’ of our tale. Raven is honestly is a very weakly developed character that I really couldn’t care about. The side character’s were also somewhat underdeveloped. I found myself wanting to know more of Dr Simpson and his whole household, including his various medical colleagues but they were not developed more than to discuss the historical development of  anaesthetics. We also got introduced to a number of personalities in Edinburgh’s underworld but they were just the tiny aspects of the story. Possibly this is a set up to a continuing series where they will get time to shine?

Overall, the ending was satisfactory with some hints of dark humour to leave you with a chuckle. While it seemed to wrap up nicely I do feel there could be potential for continuation of investigations on Edinburgh’s streets. The nice thing about this book is it really did prompt me to do more reading into the historical characters of  Dr Simpson, Dr Matthew Duncan and Dr Syme. A book that peeks your interest in previously unknown areas is always welcome. If this is an ongoing series I think we are in store for some fun, especially if it keeps focusing on the History of Edinburgh medical school. I would love someone to tackle the Edinburgh Seven (the first females to be educated as doctors at the medical school in 1869) and I think this could be the writing duo to do it.

 

ESCAPE Score

ENDING – 7
STYLE AND PACE OF WRITING – 8
CHARACTERS – 6
ATMOSPHERE AND WORLDBUILDING – 8
PLOT – 7
ENJOYMENT – 7

I would love to chat all thinks Bookish wither here in the comments or on Goodreads and Twitter.

Happy Reading!

Fairyloot Unboxing – Dec 2018

I have been receiving Fairyloot boxes for quite some time now  but have never done a proper unboxing or acknowledged the different reads it has introduced me to. For those that don’t know Fairyloot is a UK based book subscription box that focuses around the YA fantasy genre. A typical box includes a new release YA novel (lately with special covers, sprayed edges or signed by author/bookplate – this is not guaranteed just a nice perk) and 5-6 bookish themed goodies.

I first received my first year of Fairyloot subscriptions as a 30th birthday present from my husband, when that finished I just had to renew as I was having too much fun with them. I have gotten some amazing items that I use regularly, and some fantastic books I have loved (and a good few that are still sitting on my shelves looking pretty, but unread). I have received everything from oven-gloves to mugs, cushion covers to candles, which have always been high quality and bookish themed! My only criticism over the past 18 months has been the volume of Sarah J. Maas items included over that time, I am not a fan but I understand that she is hugely popular and that is the risk you take with book boxes is not everything will be in your favourite fandoms.

So in 2019 I am wanting to start doing unboxings but actually reading and reviewing my Fairyloot books in a timely fashion (instead of them looking pretty on my shelves). There is no time like the present and as it is the week of the photo challenge on Fairyloot’s instagram, we should hopefully be out of the spoiler period. That being said if you don’t want spoilers for the contents of the December 2018 Fairyloot box stop reading here!


The Theme for December 2018 was

Dragons!

 

I knew instantly that this box was going to be a hit for me. How can you be a fantasy fan and not love a good dragon!

The Items:

First Item out the box for me was the promised Reading Journal by Fictiontea Designs & Blanca Montiel.

This is the second reading journal Fairyloot have sent out. This one covers the months of Jan to June 2019 with the promise of one in the June box that covers the second half of 2019. It is filled to the brim with gorgeous dragon themed quotes and art. While I use my bullet journal for all my reading tracking, I might use this for readathon planning.

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Next there was this cute little pin flag by Fairyloot. on occasion Fairyloot have included pins in their previous boxes and I also have a cute collection myself this allows them to be displayed nicely! I currently have it hanging on the corner of one of my shelves. A very useful item.

This Dragon pendent also designed by Fairyloot with its glow in the dark wings is beautiful. It is nice to get items that are not completely associated with a particular book or fandom but still fit with the theme of the box. I have tried to get a good picture of it glowing for you. i was very impressed that the necklace itself is nickle free which is a big plus for me as I can’t wear nickle! (no painting the back with clear nailpolish!!!). The box it came in was also beautiful with the embossed Fairyloot logo.

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Possibly one of my favourite items was this Book Sleeve by Sweet Sequels. It depicts the scene of the Dragon escaping Gringots bank in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It is such high quality. Able to fit a standard YA hard back book it is soft but tough wearing. The design is just beautiful I love the colour choice and the watercolour effect.

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This month included not only the book of the month but also an ARC of The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson. It has such and interesting premise that I am looking forward to reading it (I will review closer to official release).

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As per usual a number of paper items were included in the box such as an author letter with exclusive character art, the Fairyloot Book mark and Spoiler card with art  by Taratjah, as well as a Double-sided Print of ‘Toothless & Abraxos’ (Toothless side pictured)  by Diana Worak.

We also received two of the new Fairyloot Trading cards (assumed as no information was given on the spoiler card) but were informed that the set of ‘Mother of Dragons’ Magnetic Bookmark Set by Taratjah was mistakenly left out of the box to be shipped early January.

The Book of the month:

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Fire & Heist
Sarah Beth Durst

With an exclusive Fairyloot cover and actually signed by the author.

This is one my January TBR so look out for a review in the coming weeks.


Do you subscribe to Fairyloot? what was your favourite item? Have your read Fire and Heist? or are you planning on reading the Storm crow?

I would love to chat all thinks Bookish wither here in the comments or on Goodreads and Twitter.

Happy Reading!

ARC Review – The Binding

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I received an eARC from The Borough Press, HarperCollins UK, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Binding

Author: Bridget Collins

Release date : 10/1/2019 UK
16th April 2019 USA (William Morrow)

E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 47
(see breakdown below)

4 STARS

From Goodreads:

Imagine you could erase grief.
Imagine you could remove pain.
Imagine you could hide the darkest, most horrifying secret.
Forever.

Young Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a strange letter arrives summoning him away from his family. He is to begin an apprenticeship as a Bookbinder—a vocation that arouses fear, superstition, and prejudice among their small community but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

For as long as he can recall, Emmett has been drawn to books, even though they are strictly forbidden. Bookbinding is a sacred calling, Seredith informs her new apprentice, and he is a binder born. Under the old woman’s watchful eye, Emmett learns to hand-craft the elegant leather-bound volumes. Within each one they will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, a binder can help. If there’s something you need to erase, they can assist. Within the pages of the books they create, secrets are concealed and the past is locked away. In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, rows upon rows of books are meticulously stored.

But while Seredith is an artisan, there are others of their kind, avaricious and amoral tradesman who use their talents for dark ends—and just as Emmett begins to settle into his new circumstances, he makes an astonishing discovery: one of the books has his name on it. Soon, everything he thought he understood about his life will be dramatically rewritten.

My Thoughts

NOTE: This book is being advertised as Bridget Collins’ first foray into the Adult Fantasy as opposed to her well known YA fiction. I think this book would be a very welcome and comfortable read for the YA market if you keep in mind these possible Content warnings.
Content Warnings: If you are sensitive to the inclusion of topics such as discussion but not description of sexual assault, potential inability to give consent, consent under duress, or scenes including puppy murder, suicide. this may not be the book for you.

Oh this is a hard one to review without spoilers but I will try my best. This book is part magical realism, part literary fiction and part romance, all told in the most interesting fashion. It is beautifully written, it is lyrical without being flowery and just moves you along with the story.

The book is split into three distinct parts with the first two from Emmett Farmer’s point of view and the third part sweeping us off to the view of another player in the story. Each part seems to have its own pacing and even setting and story that weaves together to make a whole and this is one aspect that keeps this book interesting.

The first section while being the heaviest on the fantasy aspects was slow paced and slightly long winded in my point of view. It is this section, that follows the blurb description, we learn a little about the process of binding and we develop a sense of Emmett as a character. For me while this section while magical just seemed to drag giving me huge amounts of information on mundane aspects while also not giving me the same level not nearly enough on all those fantasy aspects I wanted. It contained one of my most hated troupes which is when all the lead characters problems could be solved if the characters involved within it would just talk to each other!!!! But the magic of the books and the characters of both Emmett and Seredith rescue it, they are just fantastic and i loved reading about them and their craft.

The second section pertains to the memories contained in Emmett’s book, this is a switch in pace and tone, it is a focus on Emmett’s life before his apprenticeship, it is where the focus shifts to a more historical fiction with a splash of romance that is sweet and genuine in feeling. We gain a further set of characters in Emmett’s life that really do feel established. Like Seredith, you get the feel that they have their own long and complicated backstories that if you had a million more pages you would love to explore. This was actually by far my favourite section, which was a nice surprise as I am not a reader of historical fiction.

The final section, switches perspective to a lead player in Emmett’s life. To avoid spoilers I will not mention why or how they know Emmett but their perspective chronicles the aftermath of Emmett receiving his book. This section contains ramps up the pace, which I occasionally found a bit too fast, skipping over important pieces of information to find a resolution, which was slightly disappointing. The ending however, was great. It both had a feeling of being open ended that anything could happen but also was a  nice resolution for the story line. While we may have been rushed to get there it as still satisfying.

The only qualms I had is I actually wanted more from certain side characters, they would have interesting hints and tidbits of information about their back stories but we never got to explore them fully. I also wanted more of the binding process and of the binderies contained in the book, the dark side of the bindings was so interesting and I would have loved to have gotten darker and read more on that. However, with that said I loved this book. I loved that even though it was not the full force fantasy I expected, it managed to sweep me into the historical and romantic aspects. Also nice to see some LGBT rep. It is so difficult to talk about what I loved, as all of them would give away big spoilers for some just fantastic moments in the book. All I can say is it really did deliver a magical read just not the magic I expected!

ESCAPE Score

Ending – 9
Style and pace of writing – 7
Characters – 8
Atmosphere and worldbuilding -7 
Plot – 7
Enjoyment – 9

 

NOTE2: I preordered this book almost immediately after starting and I happened to get the Waterstones Exclusive Signed copy with the most beautiful purple sprayed pages, which arrived early! The attention to detail in the binding of this novel is so perfect, and complements those aspects of the story perfectly. I will post images on my Instagram for you to check out as it really is extra special!

New Reviewing system

Over the past 9 months of this blog I have been slowly increasing the number of reviews I have been doing. Yet, how to review a book is something I have struggled with. I am a Scientist it has been over 13 years since I have done a book review in school. I want my reviews to reflect my feelings towards the work instead of being a rehash of the blurb and I want to get across what I loved,liked and wasn’t a fan of about a particular work in a clear manor so that those reading them can make their own choice if the book is for them or not.

The reviews I trust on Goodreads focus on various aspects of the book without giving away the plot and without talking to much about the story-line itself and that’s what I would like my reviews to contain. I want them to be spoiler free advice for those that wish to use it to inform their decision to read.

Therefore, I sat down and asked myself what is important to me? What makes me go yes this is a great book? This yielded a few categories that after some fiddling I managed to invent the handy acronym of ESCAPE

What Does ESCAPE stand for?

Ending

Was the ending fitting/satisfying/leave me wanting more? Was it an enjoyable end to the book? Did it round out the plot well? If it was a cliffhanger was it suitable and does it encourage me to want to read on in the series? Or did the end make me want to throw the book across the room (in a good way or a bad way)?

Style and pace of writing

How much did I enjoy the writing style? Did it add or deter from the story?  Was it info dumpy or did we get the right amount of information at the right times? If from multiple perspectives were all enjoyable? Were there too many or not enough points of view? Was the overall pace engaging or discouraging?

Characters

Were the main characters fully fleshed out, did I get a sense of who they were? Did they have enough information/growth to feel invested in the story. Were the side characters three-dimensional did they feel more than just a convenience to move the story along?

Atmosphere and worldbuilding 

Was the world building fullfilling? Does it feel fully structured and explained or are there holes in its development? Does it feel like it is another character with its own stories etc or is it merely just a setting?

Plot

Is the over all Plot intriguing/engaging/entertaining? is it complete? Were there any major plot holes that were distracting for the story-line, or could they be forgiven as the story is still awesome?

Enjoyment

My personal enjoyment of the book. Did I enjoy reading the book? did I get bored? would I recommend the book? Would I re-read the book?

 

Each category will be given a rating out of  10 to give a total score out of 60 Points

Converting from ESCAPE to a 5 star system?

We all wrestle with the Goodreads 5 Star system at some point as it just doesn’t seem nuanced enough to fully let us show just how much we liked the book but as it is the primary at a glance system used my most online retailers too we are kinda stuck with it.

Converting from escape to the 5 star system is quite straight forward.

ESCAPE Points Star Rating
> 50 5 Written Review
40-49 4
30-39 3
20-29 2 No Review Written
<20 1

 

 

Every Review in 2019 will follow the ESCAPE system and hopefully it will make my reviews more consistent and maybe even help with end of the year deliberations etc. It may take some time for me to gage the levels I am going to run a couple of books I have previously rated through the system again to work out any bugs but so far I am happy with it.


 

I would love to chat all thinks Bookish wither here in the comments or on Goodreads and Twitter.

Happy Reading!

Ten Book TBR – January

As stated in 2019 Goals to focus my reading to clearing my huge TBR pile, I am stealing an idea of Riley from rmfickfack and I am going to set myself a ten book TBR each month.

As a reminder I have set myself a few rule for setting the TBR. They are:

  • Last months Fairyloot book
  • At least one library book
  • at least one book from my Series to Finish TBR
  • at least one book from my ongoing blog projects

with the remaining being any eArcs, bookclub books or free choice.

My TBR

Fairyloot

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Fire and Heist
Sarah Beth Durst

Last months fairy loot came with two books, however as one was an aditional ARC that is not out until the summer I am just reading the official book. I am really looking forward to reading this a heist storyline with dragons what more could you want. It sounds like it is going to be a really good read.

Blog Project

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Spellslinger
Sebastien de Castell

I am currently doing a count down to the release of the 5th book in Sebastian de Castell’s Spellslinger series ( See my announcement post for details). Therefore, I will be reading and annotating this book in January.

Library book

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The Way of All Flesh
Ambrose Parry

Ambrose Parry is the new Pen-name of Scottish Crime author Christopher Brookmyre and his wife, Marisa Haetzman, who is an anaesthetist. I love Brookmyre’s work, he has a dark humour to his writing that is just my cup of tea. I am interested to read this both with the inclusion of Heatzman’s medical knowledge but also that it is based in 19th Century Edinburgh which at the time was renowned for its medical school. I am always interested in books set in my current home. This is due back to the library on the 14th as it has another hold on it so I will be getting to this really soon (if I have not already started it by the time this goes up).

#SeriesTF2019

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Shadow and Bone
Leigh Bardugo

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Waking Gods
Sylvain Neuval

Another project I started is series to finish. There are 25 books on my TBR so I have selected two for this month. Like I explain in my SeriesTF2019 TBR post I have been meaning to get to for a while now and its about time I do.

eARCs

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The Binding
Bridget Collins

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely
Brigid Kemmerer

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The Last
Hanna Jameson

I have three eARCs to read this month! Which is a lot but I am looking forward to all of them. They are so varied in genera that they should add a nice mix to my TBR.

Book Club

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Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Mark Sullivan

I have joined the Too Old for this Shit Book Club, which is a book club aimed at the 30+ year old BookBloggers/BookTubers (it is not exclusive – readers of all ages/online activities are welcome- from my understanding) , which focuses on reading books with protagonists that are 30+. It was founded by  and and the first book starts this month with discussions on the Goodreads Group and Twitter.

Free Choice

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Rivers of London Vol 6: Water Weed

Last but I have gone easy on myself with the free choice and picked a Graphic Novel I received for Christmas, which is also part of one of my favourite multi-format series.

Count down to Queenslayer

One of the best series I read last year was the Spellslinger series by Sebastian de Castell. I devoured the first three books and was luck enough to receive an eArc of the fourth which I finished within a couple of days. This series has had me running the emotional gamut from laughing out loud to crying, which to me is a sure sign of a great series. I have thrust these books into friends hands to make them read sections and have heralded its praises to teacher friends for inclusion in their classroom libraries.

The series follows Kellen, a misfit son of a great Mage society, that hasn’t quite got to grips with his magic when he looses all his power. We journey with him, a mysterious yet witty traveller and ruthless and sarcastic Squirrelcat through this magical land on a quest to help Kellen remove his affliction. Throughout the series we learn of about the would, get entangled in various capers and follow Kellen and he learns about himself, his family, his people and their past.

Currently there are four books in the series (with links to my reviews):

Spellslinger
Shadowblack
Charmcaster
Soulbinder

I also highly recommend the audiobooks which are narrated by the fantastic Joe Jameson who really does a great job of bringing all the characters to life!

If you can’t tell I am really excited for Queenslayer to be released. Therefore, to tide myself over I intend to re-read the four current books and annotate my copies, which is something I like to do with books I love. But, I also thought I would share the love and encourage others who have maybe thought of picking up this series, who maybe haven’t discovered it yet, or just want a good excuse to revisit them, and make this a read-a-long.

I intend for this to be quite laid back and welcome anyone to join for one or more of the reads and in whatever timescale you wish to read them. I have set the schedule for discussion purposes and I will be posting a Book Diary style wrap up at the end of each book, with all my thoughts and feelings on my re-read (these will contain spoilers).

Queenslayer is due to be released in the UK on the 2nd of May so that gives us ample time to read a book a month on the lead up.  Here is my intended schedule:

January

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Spellslinger

I know January has already begun but as it is still early days maybe you could squeeze this on to you TBR!

February

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Shadowblack

March

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Charmcaster

April

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Soulbinder

And of course this allows us to round off the read-along with the release of Queenslayer in May.

If you want to join please leave a comment below, especially if you are intending on blogging the experience too so I can link and retweet your posts. You can use #CountdownToQS on Twitter to join in discussion. If there is enough interest I will start a Goodreads group with chapter breakdowns so we can all read at our own pace.

Happy reading

 

Series To Finish Sign Up and TBR

I love a start of a new year it means a period of reorganisation and starting new challenges. This year, as stated in my 2019 goals post I want to focus on reading from my own TBR shelves, finishing all those series have have been sitting there unfinished for years in some cases. I was considering setting up some kind of personal project or challenge but then Twitter came to my rescue and presented the Series To Finish Challenge.

Created by Anna from Reader and Proud, it is a year long challenge that started on Jan 1st and will end on December 31st 2019. It is a great laid back challenge where you can select as many books as you want as long as you are completing series along the way. The only rules set by Anna is that ARCs and 2019 releases do not count towards the challenge.

As  I want to use this challenge to help clear out my TBR shelves converting them to read shelves I have added a rule of my own.

  • I must own all the books in the series to add them to my TBR – no using this as an excuse to buy more books

This still gives me a sizeable number of series to choose from.

I have also set a goal to read at least 25 books through this challenge therefore, it would count towards my own goal of reading at least 50 books from my own shelves.

My TBR

I have decided to just select 25 books for this TBR though due to the flexible nature of this challenge this will most likely change with my moods so these selections are more of a demonstration of what is still languishing on my shelves unread.

I have an awful habit of never really reading the last book in series I love, as well as collecting an authors work without actually reading them so I have a number of series by certain authors that are incomplete, so I will start with them.

V.E.Schwab

Oh the number of unfinished series I own by Victoria Schwab is just shameful seeing as I adore her writing.

Shades of Magic
To Read: 1 book

I have yet to finish this series as I adored the first two. It seems strange but its a real habit of mine to not finish series that I love as I don’t want to leave the world. I dont have an excuse for this series anymore with the comic book series and a new trilogy starting in these worlds I need to just buckle down and finish the series instead of re-reading the first two!

 

Monsters of Verity
To Read: 1 book

Again I read This savage song a couple of years ago and loved it, immediately bought the 2nd book as soon as it came out and then didn’t touch it (this will be a repeating theme!).

Villians
To Read: 2 books

I have read 73% of Vicious before during my PhD and despite loving it had to put it down to focus on the work i was doing at the time. I then got the Illumicreate special edition of Vengeful so they are must reads.

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The Archived
To Read: 2.5 books

This was recently re-released in the gorgeous bind-up which also includes a short story.

 

Leigh Bardugo

Grishaverse
To Read: 6 Books

I have not read anything from the Grishaverse series despite owning all of them so it is about time I tackled them. Especially as most of these books were birthday gifts (from 2 years ago oops).

Laini Taylor

Strange The Dreamer
To Read: 1 book


I Have to finish this duology I loved the first one so much. I am just a couple of months behind on keeping up with this one though which isn’t too bad, by my standards.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
To Read: 3 books

I have the most gorgeous hardback versions of these books which i was more than lucky to find in a second hand store but as I bought them during my PhD I never found the time to read them. Now I have the time they deserve to finally be read.


I also have a number of complete series on my shelves that I really want to tackle, which strangely enough a majority seem to be Sci-fi.

The Broken Earth – N. K. Jemisin
To Read: 3 books

All three of these books have won Hugo awards and I have been highly anticipating reading them but they are also kind of intimidating.

Wayfairer – Becky Chambers
To Read: 2 Books

It’s a very familiar story by now I started the long way to a small angry planet a while ago and put it down (i think for a readathon) but never picked it back up, now I have the whole series.

Themis Files – Sylvian Neuval
To Read: 2 books

I read the first and loved it but was waiting for the rest to be released in paperback and before you know it I had waited a good while.

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Alice Chronicles – Christina Henry
To Read: 1 book 

I have had this Duology for a while and I loved the twist on Alice, I also did a Christina Henry based Try and Chapter tag but I chose to continue with another one of her novels.

 

Head On – John Scalzi
To Read – 1 book

Finally the 25th book on my list, I own two copies of this book but havent cracked the spine. I am sure I will make time for it this year.


 

So that is my rough TBR for the series I would like to finish in 2019. I am sure more will make their way on to the list at some point. If you would like to keep track of my progress, I will be including a section in my monthly wrap-ups but also I will be updating on Twitter using #SeriesTF2019

Are you joining in? What Series are you hoping to complete? Are you reading any of these?

I would love to chat all thinks Bookish wither here in the comments or on Goodreads and Twitter.

Happy Series Completing! We can Finish them!!!

2019 Bookish Goals

Happy New Year!

2019 is now upon us so its time to set the Bookish based Goals for the year! 2018 was an amazing reading year for me – check out my year end wrap up – and I am hoping 2019 will be just the same. Therefore, I have set some goals to keep me reading but also to keep me working on this blog.

Reading Goals

1) Goodreads Goal 2019

I managed to read 101 books in 2018 so I am going to try and maintain that level, It seems a fairly manageable level when I combine my audio books and graphic novels with other reads. Therefore, I have set my Goodreads Challenge at 100 Books for the year.

2) Focus on finishing series #SeriesTF2019

I have to admit I am really bad for finishing any type of series. I never seem to read the last book in a series or watch the last episode of a TV show as once I have finished it, it is done and I know there will not be any more. But this year, I am going to finish them!

I have decided to join the year long TBR tackling challenge of Series to Finish 2019 to hopefully start ticking the series on my shelves off. Stay tuned for my TBR post soon.

3) Track my reading stats more efficiently

I love that Goodreads keeps track of pages etc and love having stats to report. I am a Scientist I love nothing better than a good statistic backed up by data so I have decided to actually collect various data points from my reading so I can make some beautiful graphs for my wrap ups. As who doesn’t love a nice info-graphic now and again?

To do this I am going to be using a modified to suit my personal needs version of Reader Voracious’ Book Blogger Spreedsheet (you can find the link to her version here and her instructions on how to modify it)

4) Focus on reading books I own (including kindle books).

I am aiming to clear my large TBR shelves which are sitting at about 150 unread books (that’s a rough count as it has been a few months since I last counted). I am hoping by reading more of my owned books it will also cut down my book buying. I am not enforcing any buying ban etc I just want to switch my focus to the books already on my shelves with those most anticipated reads of 2019 thrown in (Erin Morgenstern’s new book in November as an example of a pre-order I have already made).

I am aiming for overall books read to have been made up of at least 50% of books I currently own, 25% being books borrowed from my local library and I intend on reading my Fairyloot books the month after I receive them to prevent them piling up unread as they have previously.

5) Try a 10 book TBR each month

Leading on from the last goal I am stealing an idea of Riley from rmfickfack and I am going to set myself a ten book TBR each month in order to focus my reading. I have decided on the following construction. Each monthly TBR will consist of :

  • Last months Fairyloot book
  • At least one library book
  • at least one book from my Series to Finish TBR
  • at least one book from my ongoing blog projects

Any space left over can be filled with any ARCs, book club picks or just the books that take my fancy that month.

Blog Goals

1) Stick to my Posting Schedule

I have been trying to keep to my Wednesday, Friday, Sunday posting and while sometimes life gets in the way and that’s OK. I have found that more often than not I am just not keeping up with my reviews or posting new content or even planning posts in advance, leaving me scrambling for content at the last minute. I really would like to see my blog grow in 2019 so I am going to try and plan ahead and stick to my schedule.

2) Introduce new reviewing process

Speaking of keeping up with reviews, the down time over the holidays has allowed me time to really think about how I want to review books in 2019 and I have developed a set of criteria for me to make notes on but also to standardise my ratings. Keep an eye out for my post in the next few days that has all the details.

3) Start some new Blog projects

I am definitely continuing with my Agatha Christie back catalogue reading project and adding to it throughout 2019 but I also want to start some new projects both long and short. These will range from re-discovering some old favourites, diving into some of those extended series I have been too scared to start and counting down to exciting new releases etc. I also would like to do some more tags and maybe make one up myself.

I will be announcing one new project very soon. Also, I welcome any suggestions for projects, tags etc you would like to see me tackle.

I am also hoping to include more of my bullet journal posts in the future starting with my 2019 reading journal set up as well as possibly including my monthly set up in my TBR and Wrap-up.


What are your goals for the new year? are you setting a Goodreads goal? Are you participating in any year long challenges?

I would love to chat about all thinks bookish in the comments, on Goodread or Twitter.

Happy 2019 and Happy Reading!

My Reading Year 2018

Every year Goodreads kindly produces a lovely little stats graphic of the books you have read have recorded as read and various different breakdowns, its a really nice way to round out the year and reflect on the amazing, the good and the just O.K reads I have encountered though-out 2018. I love a good statistic and plan on tracking my reading a bit more thoroughly in the new year but for now here is

My Year in Books 2018

Note: I have included my current read (Fairest by Marrisa Meyer) in this list, making it as finished a bit earlier, as at time of writing I have about 8 hours to read ~40 pages which i think I can safely say I can do so it will officially be my last read of 2018!

I have to admit It has been the most amazing reading year for me. I credit this to not having a PhD to write and the large commute I now have has allowed me a lot of dedicated reading time. It was the year I started this blog! While I am still finding my feet I am loving it, I am loving interacting with the bookish community on Twitter, Instagram etc. It is such an accepting and supportive community even with its moments of drama.

I like participating in the Goodreads Challenge every year, I like it as a personal goal, I don’t see it as a competition but more a nice way for me to measure what I have been reading in a given year and how my time was spent. This year I set it at 75 books which for me seemed ambitious as I had read 54 books in 2017. I am thrilled to have met and surpassed that goal in 2018.

goodreads

I read a total of :

Books: 101

Pages: 33,507

Average Rating: 4.1 Stars

Average Book Length: 331

The Shortest book I read was:

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Binti
Nnedi Okorafor

This is a beautifully crafted piece of Sci-fi that is chocked full of intriguing world-building as well as giving a short and complete story line. It is well deserving of the awards it has received.
It is extremely inventive and captures the imagination. Another aspect I loved was the idea of Mathematics as an almost spiritual pursuit and how the technology of these worlds plays into that. In fact the complete series is just beautiful.

The Longest Book I read was:

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Winter
Marissa Meyer

I read half of this series in late 2017 and finished it in early 2018, all from my local library. I also just received the complete box set for Christmas which is why I am just finishing off reading Fairest (the prequel) for this first time. This series is straight on my re-read list. I loved it and genuinely missed the characters when I finished it. I am hoping to dive back into them soon and read the short story collection and the graphic novels in the new year.

 


If you would like the full breakdown of my Goodreads year in books you can check it out here!

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You can also find out which of these 101 books were my favourite in my Favourite Books of the Year post!

All in all I loved every minute spent reading this year, I participated in some amazing and creative readathons from the Borrowathon, the various Magical Readathons, Tome Topple and more. I got chatting with some awesome people because of these and I can’t wait to continue with all the various readathons of 2019.


How did your reading year go? Did you meet your reading goals?

I would love to chat all things bookish in the comments, on Goodreads or on Twitter or Instagram.

Happy Reading in 2019!