Review | The Power by Naomi Alderman

thepowerTitle: The Power (2016)
Author: Naomi Alderman
Publisher: Penguin
Read: 5th – 11th February 2018
Genre: science-fiction; dystopia
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

“All over the world women are discovering they have the power.
With a flick of the fingers they can inflict terrible pain – even death.
Suddenly, every man on the planet finds they’ve lost control.

The Day of the Girls has arrived – but where will it end?”
(Synopsis from the publisher)

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Feature | Favourite Eateries #2 ft. Lunya, Liverpool

In my inaugural Favourite Eateries blog post I gushed at length about The Tavern Co in Liverpool. This time, I bring you something completely different – we’re ditching the tex-mex breakfast food and heading to the Iberian peninsula via Lunya in Liverpool.

With independent, family-owned restaurants in both Liverpool and Manchester, Lunya is Peter & Elaine Kinsella’s homage to Catalunya and Spain. Lunya is a combination of Catalan restaurant, deli, and bar, and they are multi-award winning, with the Liverpool restaurant featured in the Good Food Guide North West as Restaurant of the Year for two years running (2015 & 2016). Located on the corner of College Lane and Hanover Street, opposite Radio Merseyside, Lunya is best experienced when you have plenty of time to eat in Catalan fashion, that is to say: slow and social. If you’re looking for a quick get-in-get-out meal I would not recommend the Catalan restaurant, but if you’re happy to sit back, relax, and have some seriously tasty tapas brought to your table as and when it’s ready, then Lunya may well be the place for you.

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Spring Cosy Reading Night | TBR

Hello, folks! I come to you today with a tentative TBR for the upcoming Cosy Reading Night. This is the Spring round of the Cosy Reading Night and will take place during the hours of 7:00-10:00pm GMT on Friday 20th April and I’m really looking forward to going into my weekend by dedicating an evening to getting cosy with a book and a cup of tea. But I’m getting ahead of myself so let me explain for those unaware: Cosy Reading Nights are an evening dedicated to snacks and reading, hosted by the lovely Lauren from Laurenandthebooks from YouTube. You can check out her announcement video here.

This Cosy Reading night comes handily during the OWLs Readathon that I’m currently taking part in, so I’m hoping it will provide a much-needed boost to my reading progress for that. I don’t have huge ambitions for this Cosy Reading Night, I just thought I’ll probably be reading anyway so I might as well make the most of it and participate in this little event. It will make me feel more accountable/less susceptible to getting distracted by watching old episodes of The Great British Bake Off on Netflix (the struggle is real, guys, seriously). So let’s have a gander at what books I plan to read on Friday night, shall we?

TBR

  1. Saga Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  2. Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
  3. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman

 

 

As you can see, I’m aiming fairly low by choosing to put on my TBR two graphic novels and a book I’ve already started. In fact, it might get to Friday with me already having finished The Dark Days Club and, if that’s the case, I’ll be starting another book from my OWLs Readathon TBR. Regardless of how much (or how little) I end up reading, I’ll be sure to get cosy with a book and my cup of tea which, let’s face it, are the minimum requirements to participate in this lovely low-key readathon.

Are you joining in with the Cosy Reading Night on Friday? Have you participated in a Cosy Reading Night before? Let me know in the comments!


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Review | Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

artemisfowlTitle: Artemis Fowl (2001)
Author: Eoin Colfer
Publisher: Puffin
Read: 7th – 10th April 2018
Genre: children’s; fantasy
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Twelve-year-old villain, Artemis Fowl, is the most ingenious criminal mastermind in history. His bold and daring plan is to hold a leprechaun to ransom. But he’s taking on more than he bargained for when he kidnaps Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance Unit). For a start, leprechaun technology is more advanced than our own. Add to that the fact that Holly is a true heroine and that her senior officer Commander Root will stop at nothing to get her back and you’ve got the mother of all sieges brewing!” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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OWLs Readathon | Progress Report

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I am currently taking part in the OWLs Readathon run by Gintare of Book Roast. I found out about the readathon a few days into it so I didn’t have time to post a proper TBR on here, but I did make a Twitter thread which I’ve been updating periodically with my reading progress throughout the readathon. However, I thought it might be nice, now we’re at the halfway stage of two weeks, to do a more official progress report of sorts so both you (and I) can see where I’m up to and what I have left to read for the remaining two weeks of the readathon. You in? Great, let’s begin…

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Review | The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner’s Crime (2015)
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Read: 6th – 12th January 2018
Genre: young-adult; fantasy/dystopia
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Lady Kestrel’s engagement to Valoria’s crown prince calls for great celebration: balls and performances, fireworks and revelry. But to Kestrel it means a cage of her own making. Embedded in the imperial court as a spy, she lives and breathes deceit and cannot confide in the one person she really longs to trust… While Arin fights to keep his country’s freedom from the hands of his enemy, he suspects that Kestrel knows more than she shows. As Kestrel comes closer to uncovering a shocking secret, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. Lies will come undone, and Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them in this second book in the breathtaking Winner’s trilogy.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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Review | Circe by Madeline Miller

Title: Circe (2018)
Author: Madeline Miller
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: 19th April 2018
Read: 4th – 13th March 2018
Genre: fantasy; mythology; retelling
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe has neither the look nor the voice of divinity, and is scorned and rejected by her kin. Increasingly isolated, she turns to mortals for companionship, leading her to discover a power forbidden to the gods: witchcraft. When love drives Circe to cast a dark spell, wrathful Zeus banishes her to the remote island of Aiaia. There she learns to harness her occult craft, drawing strength from nature. But she will not always be alone; many are destined to pass through Circe’s place of exile, entwining their fates with hers. The messenger god, Hermes. The craftsman, Daedalus. A ship bearing a golden fleece. And wily Odysseus, on his epic voyage home. There is danger for a solitary woman in this world, and Circe’s independence draws the wrath of men and gods alike. To protect what she holds dear, Circe must decide whether she belongs with the deities she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love. Breathing life into the ancient world, Madeline Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation.” (Synopsis from the publisher)

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T5W | Auto-Buy SFF Authors

Welcome one and all to this week’s Top 5 Wednesday post! For those of you who don’t know Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme/challenge which was created by the wonderful Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now overseen by the equally lovely Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. Every Wednesday, participants devise their Top 5 based on a given topic.

This Wednesday’s topic is a Booktube SFF Awards Babble Crossover Topic: Auto-Buy Sci-fi and Fantasy Authors! As a mostly fantasy reader, it’s unsurprising that there are a fair few SFF authors whose work I will always read, regardless of the synopsis, so this topic is pretty perfect. Let’s not waste any more time, let’s get into it…

Honourable Mention: J.K. Rowling

Before you start to throw things at me, I should explain: Rowling’s presence on this list as an “honourable mention” is simply because, nowadays, she has well and truly diversified beyond SFF. The Harry Potter series may have been her debut (and a pretty spectacular debut at that, I think we can all agree) but she’s since written contemporary and crime, as well as expanding the Harry Potter Wizarding World even further. So is she really mainly a SFF author anymore? Only time will tell, but that’s also why she’s “only” an honourable mention on this list.

5. Maggie Stiefvater

Ever since reading The Raven Boys I knew I couldn’t ever not buy something that Maggie Stiefvater has published since those books. (I say “since” because I’m not so fussed about the The Wolves of Mercy Falls series if I’m honest, oops!) I find her writing incredibly vivid and compelling, it just has a vibe I can’t quite explain, but it makes me want to live in the world she creates in her stories. So it’s safe to say I’ll definitely be buying her forthcoming books.
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Down the TBR Hole #18

Welcome folks to the eighteenth round of Down the TBR Hole! As I mentioned in my last round of DtTH (nope, that acronym isn’t particularly attractive, is it?), this little project has been a great way of weening down my TBR over the past year so I’ve decided to keep it up and make it a semi-regular feature in order to spring clean my TBR aka be realistic about what books I aspire to read and what books I actually will read.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the previous posts via the tag or check out Lia at Lost in a Story who is the creator of this wonderful meme/project.

I’m trying to make this a regular feature of my blogging schedule because it’s good to regularly reevaluate if/why you want to read a book – that way you don’t come back to your TBR years later and have no clue why a title piqued your interest in the first place. I’ve also added a summary of results bit at the bottom of each round so I can track how many books I’ve kept and ditched from my TBR shelf in each round and overall.

Just a reminder of how this works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Outside of doing these posts semi-regularly I have also been culling my TBR list at random points when I’m bored – all of this is good in terms of getting my TBR to a reasonable amount of books but it also means that these posts are getting harder for me to do as I’m beginning to really agonise over whether to ditch or keep books on there. Not that any of this is a bad thing! Let’s get going on the 10 books under scrutiny today…

1. Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier

Why is it there? Truth be told, I don’t know much about this novel at all. I hear it’s semi-biographical and the only novel from this author as he died in World War I. Originally written in French, I believe it’s a bildungsroman and is something about the romantic ideal and it’s on Le Monde’s 100 Books of the Century. This is all I know. I’m still not sure if I actually want to read it though.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

2. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Why is it there? Confession time: I disliked The Great Gatsby intensely and just DID NOT understand the hype (or indeed the critical appreciation) surrounding it. However, I did enjoy Fitzgerald’s writing style even if the plot wasn’t my cup of tea so, instinctively, I want to try some of his other novels. Starting with his debut seems like a good idea, even if I have heard mixed things about it and it seems horrendously autobiographical. Even so, I’m willing to give it a go…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

3. The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Why is it there? As I mentioned above, I do want to give Fitzgerald another shot, so I also put The Beautiful and the Damned on my TBR. How much I enjoy This Side of Paradise will probably dictate whether or not this novel stays on my TBR in the long term but, for now, I guess it can stay alongside.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

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Feature | Weekend Watching #6

Welcome one, welcome all, to a new feature to this blog which I have decided to call: Weekend Watching. This will be a hopefully regular post uploaded on Saturdays or Sundays (hence the “weekend watching”) where I talk about a film, TV show, or maybe even YouTube channel/video that I’ve particularly enjoyed recently. I’m hoping to spotlight at least one thing to watch each week and hopefully someone at least will get a kick out of these posts – I will, if no one else does!


My last Weekend Watching showcased the brilliance that is Marvel’s Jessica Jones, and this week we’re staying with TV shows produced by Netflix and hopping over to A Series of Unfortunate Events! As a huge fan of the book series when I was younger, when I heard ASOUE was getting the Netflix treatment I was extremely excited about the series. Add in Neil Patrick Harris as the villainous Count Olaf and I eagerly awaited the first season with barely disguised impatience, especially since I seemed to be one of the very few people who’d actually enjoyed the film version starring Jim Carey. The Netflix series, however, is leagues above the film, and it’s for this reason that I’m featuring it in this week’s Weekend Watching.

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