Friday Reads | 13th January 2017

Another week, another Friday, another Friday Reads. This one is a little special, however, since it’s my first of 2017. Happy 2017, here’s to (probably inevitably) more of the same… at least in terms of reading!

gofOn that note, I’m still reading/listening to the audiobook I was listening to in my previous Friday Reads back in December 2016 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling. This is making many a morning train ride bearable, but it’s also a bloody long book, so progress seems quite slow going (and it feels it at times, too!). I’m about 58% of the way through and I’ve just experienced the hilarity that is The Yule Ball chapter. (Ron and Hermione’s argument is my favourite thing ever, ngl.) So onwards and upwards into the trials and tribulations of The Triwizard Tournament and I’m actually really looking forward to the second half of the book because, although I watch the film quite a lot, I don’t very often re-read Goblet of Fire, for obvious length-based reasons.

darkestmindsI’m also reading The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I requested and was sent this to review for Cuckoo Review, a writing programme/website I’m part of (in my own small way), and my review is due on Monday so I really, really need to get cracking with finishing this book. I’m… enjoying it reasonably so far, I think. Actually, a lot of the reasons I’m not wholly invested in the story aren’t really the book’s fault so I’m not sure where I will stand on it in my review, to be honest – is it the book’s fault that I am kind of over the whole heroine-of-book’s POV in a dystopian world narrative? I’m not sure. And it’s going to make completing my review a little tricky but, hey, that’s sort of a challenge in and of itself. And it’s good to be challenged when reading/reviewing.

asouenetflixHaving said both of those things… I’m also very aware that today is the darkest of days – the day that Netflix drops A Series of Unfortunate Events! I haven’t been this excited for a TV show in a while (well, since the Gilmore Girls specials) and whilst it would be nice to sit here and pretend this weekend will be dedicated entirely to reading… I’d be lying through my teeth – I fully intend to carve out a large block of time to snuggle up and not move for (hopefully) hours whilst I watch ASOUE. Likewise, me and Liz keep putting off going outside after work in order to go to the cinema and see Assassin’s Creed, but it’s now showing at a small local cinema and its proximity and cheaper price makes it an appealing offer ahead of the Odeon in town, and we should be seeing it sometime this weekend. And that sounds like a pretty damn ideal weekend to me!

So, those are my likely reading plans for today and heading into the weekend ahead. Do you have any Friday Reads posts?

Or perhaps just some fun plans for the weekend? Are you excited for A Series of Unfortunate Events like I am? Or perhaps a new film release? Let me know in the comments!

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Friday Reads | 23rd December

As you might have seen from the last time I did a Currently Reading sort of post back on 10th/11th December, I was reading J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and I’m happy to report that I have finally finished both those books! I’m especially pleased that I’ve finally completed All the Light We Cannot See as it’s a book that I’d spent way longer reading than I ordinarily would. However, given the content of the narrative and how beautiful the storytelling is, I am quite glad I took my time with it, especially since I went into the book with such high expectations and being told by practically everyone that it’s amazing. I’m glad that I can now say that I agree – All the Light We Cannot See is indeed beautiful and it has made me rethink my Best of 2016 list which I’d already compiled before I had finished it.

Now, enough of the past, let’s move on to the present and the future, namely what I’ll be reading today/this weekend. I’m sure it’s impossible to escape the knowledge that this weekend happens to contain Christmas Eve/Day. So, reading might be a little intermittent because Christmas and because Christmas films. Likewise, I’m at home visiting my parents so I don’t have any of my books with me (believe me, realising I should probably not pick out a book to bring home was torture) but I do have an Overdrive account, my phone, and my Kindle. So, really, I’m not at all bookless. With that in mind, I have a couple of books lined up…

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Weekend Reads | 10th and 11th December

This weekend ought to be a very Christmassy weekend – I have an advent calendar, our decorations are finally up in the house as of last night, and Liz and I plan to visit the Christmas markets in Liverpool today. I desperately need to get going on the Christmas shopping and card writing because, even though I’m always a little bit behind, it’s getting ridiculous with the amount I still need to buy for people. So this weekend will (hopefully) remedy that.

So, aside from all that, what will I be doing this weekend? Well, hopefully, nothing but reading and/or watching Once Upon A Time (let’s face it, there’s gonna be some OUAT watching because I’ve just met Hook). ‘What will you be reading this weekend’ I hear you ask. Well, dear readers, that is the entire point of this post so let’s see…

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling (x)

poaI’m not sure why but Christmas always seem like the time to dig up childhood nostalgia and Harry Potter definitely fits in that category. I’ve recently been working my way through the audiobooks on my train journeys to/from work and I’m now onto the third book, the Prisoner of Azkaban which remains my favourite film in the series and also contains one of my favourite character – Remus Lupin. (Although I’ve never quite forgiven him for the almost abandonment of Tonks though, if I’m honest. We need to have words, Remus.) I’ve also got my hardback copy of the book down from its pride of place atop my bookshelf so I’ll probably revert to reading, rather than listening, in the next couple of days. I should definitely finish it this weekend.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (x)

allthelightI’ve been reading this one for what feels like weeks at this point. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, and the writing really is as beautiful as everyone said it was. However, the “problem” with this book is its subject matter. It’s not exactly the lightest or easiest to read so, because of that, I find it quite difficult to read casually on my train journey home. Blessedly, the alternating POV chapters are very short, which means that it’s easy to think ‘I’ll just read a chapter or two’ and then accidentally end up reading some 50 pages. I’m still only halfway through this book but it’s getting mildly ridiculous that I haven’t finished it yet because I really am enjoying the story, for the most part, so I’ll try to make this one a priority this weekend.

So, those are my weekend reads and my plans. What are you up to this weekend? Do you have any bookish plans, or specific books you’re planning to read? Comment below, I’d love to hear about them!

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Friday Reads | 14th October

Another Friday dawns, and I cannot believe how quickly this week has gone by. I swear I blinked on Monday and then somehow it was Friday already. For some unknown reason, early this week I was sat on my bed, fully dressed, ready to leave, staring at my bookshelves. Now, admittedly, I have recently furnished my room so my shelves are looking rather nice to a person who previously used the ‘stack and hope they don’t fall’ method of book organisation. However, the reason I was staring was because I realised I wasn’t really in the mood to read Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on my morning train journey, nor did I really fancy lugging around A Feast For Crows, nor was I in the mood for any of my on-loan audiobooks.

I should have already left the house, I was running late, but I had a sudden and bewildering draw to pick up Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, a book I have read before but was vaguely interested in re-reading “at some point”. “At some point” turned out to be on that morning’s train journey, apparently. I don’t know why, but it happened. So now I’m about 200 pages/a third of the way through and I fully intend to read it today and going into the weekend.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt (x)

The Secret History is essentially the story of a group of clever, but eccentric students at an elite New England college. When I say “clever” and “elite”, I really mean it – the group isolate themselves from other students, studying as a group of five with their charming Classics professor Julian. All of their classes are taught by Julian and their studies focus around ancient history and philosophy (along with language-learning Ancient Greek and Latin). Because of their intent and intense focus on their studies, it’s unsurprising that the philosophy and practices they discuss actually start to creep over into their life outside of the classroom.

As a book, it’s weird – I mean, come on, it opens with the line “The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation”. It’s also incredibly elitist in its references and whether that comes across as annoying or compelling depends entirely on the individual reader, I think. However, on my first read of this, I adored hating these weird and flawed characters. I’m sure that feeling will continue on this re-read!

So there we have it, that was my rather short Friday Reads.
Do you have any books lined up for today and into this weekend?
What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below!

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Friday Reads | 7th October

Well, it’s that time of the week again – Friday Reads! The time when I realise I haven’t done quite as much reading as I would like in these past few days and so I foolishly try to claim I’m going to make up for it by reading, reading, reading this weekend. I inevitably won’t but, hey, good intentions are the best kind of intentions. Or so I hear.

This weekend will mostly be filled with furniture… by which I mean my IKEA order finally arrives today (hopefully anyway) so tonight/tomorrow could well be spent trying to dutifully follow along flat pack instructions before throwing them away, trying in vain to freestyle it, before realising confusing instructions are actually the best way forward. So, there’s some reading comprehension happening there. But aside from that? Well, audiobooks might well be the way to go.

I realised this week, whilst standing uncomfortably on a train, wedged against the person stood next to me, that I wasted a lot of potential reading time every single day. My walk to the train station is about 10 minutes, my standing journey on the train is about 20 minutes, and I then walk a further 20 minutes to work. That’s 50 minutes each way, 1 hour 40 minutes each day, Monday to Friday – easily enough time to shift through audiobooks, especially if I listen to them at faster than 1x speed. (Although I do tend to only go for 1.5x speed though, otherwise I get way too on edge because the sped up narration makes me feel like every book is a high octane thriller!) So I’ve finally reopened the abandoned Audible app on my phone and started listening to some books I’ve really been meaning to get to, mainly:

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Friday Reads | 30th September

Well, it’s that time of the week again – the time when I realise I haven’t done quite as much reading as I would like in these past few days and so I foolishly try to claim I’m going to make up for it by reading, reading, reading this weekend. I inevitably won’t but, hey, good intentions are the best kind of intentions. Or so I hear.

Today and into this weekend might potentially be very busy with very boring tasks – the arduous process of unpacking the rest of my belongings which are being brought over to my new abode by my parents this evening. They’ll only be staying with me tonight and they’re off early tomorrow morning so whilst I doubt that will dissuade me from reading, I probably should immediately unpack the (many) boxes they bring with them rather than procrastinating that task by reading. Still, if I get that done early then I’ll have a lot of the weekend for reading… whilst I’m waiting for the coats of paint I’m painting my room with to dry. Fun, fun, fun.

Yesterday I finished my re-read of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, a re-read which I did because I had fallen into kind of a funk with only reading (YA) fantasy recently. I picked up a book I was sure to love and wouldn’t be too hefty to carry with me on the train to/from work. I really enjoyed the change of pace/tone that reading this classic this week provided – but now I’m hoping to try to get back to the fantasy I’m in the middle of with some kind of renewed vigor.

So, in the same vein I intend to read some of the following:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I’ve been re-reading this one in preparation for picking up A Torch Against the Night which has arrived since I started the re-read but I have yet to get to it because I seem to be taking forever to read the first book! I intend to remedy that this weekend. I even made a start on the train this morning since I happened to have my Kindle with me which, luckily, had An Ember in the Ashes loaded onto it. I hope to continue reading on my train journey home and maybe I’ll pick up the physical copy again this weekend. I really want to try to finish it asap so I can move onto the sequel!

A Feast For Crows by George R.R. Martin

I’ve been reading this one for waaaay too long. I was meant to have it finished this month, as part of the #readasoiaf readalong. I highly doubt that will be happening, since I have some 600 pages to read and the end of the month is today! Still, I hope to finish it sometime next week so I’m not too far behind with the readalong – we’re meant to be moving onto A Dance With Dragons in October. I really don’t want to crash and burn out of the readalong since I’ve got this far and I know if I tried to pick up the series again sometime next year instead, I would have to re-read the volumes I’ve already read because I undoubtedly would have forgotten what had happened. I don’t have time for that, so I need to continue. Yes, it’s a need.

So there we have it, that was my Friday Reads.
Do you have any books lined up for today and into this weekend?
What are you currently reading? Let me know in the comments below!

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Friday Reads | 16th September

Just a quick Friday Reads post from me today! Here I’ll share what I plan to read this Friday and into the weekend ahead but, as we all know, I rarely follow through on reading plans once I document them here.

However I have a pretty big real-life update. The big big news is… (drumroll please!) I’ve been offered a job, across the country, and it starts on Wednesday! Which is fantastic – it means I can move out (to Liverpool no less) and will have a job again (so I don’t have to job hunt, woo!) and it seems like it’ll be a pretty great job – all signs are good. However, since I start on Wednesday I really need to kick up the sorting and packing so it’s quite likely that my weekend reading will be sporadic, at best.

So, aside from continuing to make my way through An Ember in the Ashes and A Feast for Crows as mentioned in my last Friday Reads post, I have a review due for Cuckoo Review on Monday so I’ll be focusing the bulk of my sparse reading time on that book which is…

Here I Stand: Stories That Speak For Freedom

img_0929“Did you know that…

… government spies can turn on your phone and use the microphone to listen in to your conversation?

… lesbian and gay relationships are illegal in 78 countries?

… in 2015 Amnesty recorded the highest number of executions globally for more than 25 years? In fifth place – after China, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – was the USA.”
(Blurb taken from the book’s dust-jacket)

Edited by Amnesty International, this collection features contributions from contemporary writers and illustrators such as Matt Haig, John Boyne, Jackie Kay, Frances Hardinge, Neil Gaiman, and Chris Riddell to name but a few, all of whom explore the human rights that are being threatened across the world to this very day.

This seems like a very important, if hard-hitting, collection (I fully anticipate feeling enraged, physically sick, and heartbroken in various measures) so I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing it for Cuckoo Review’s website.

So those are the books I will hopefully be reading today and this weekend.
What are you reading at the moment?
Do you have you any weekend plans, reading-related or otherwise?
Have you read any of the books I’m planning to read – what did you think?
Feel free to share below!

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Friday Reads | 9th September

Just a quick Friday Reads post from me today! Here I’ll share what I plan to read this Friday and into the weekend ahead but, as we all know, I rarely follow through on reading plans once I document them here. However, I’m hoping this one sticks since I have the house all to myself this weekend and therefore absolutely zero distractions… well apart from watching Gilmore Girls of course, which is a pretty sizeable distraction in itself. I must resist!

A Feast For Crows – George R.R. Martin (x)

As I’ve mentioned countless times, I’m participating in the #readasoiaf readalong where we read a book from the A Song of Ice and Fire series every month. This month’s book is the fourth in the series – A Feast For Crows – and after the slog that was the first part of A Storm of Swords last month I’m so excited to get to this book. I’ve heard this book is very political and scheming-focused and I’m actually really looking forward to that because that element is my favourite part of the series.

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Friday Reads | 2nd September

Just a quick Friday Reads post from me today! Here I’ll share what I plan to read this Friday and into the weekend ahead but, as we all know, I rarely follow through on reading plans once I document them here.

However, there is one book in particular that I have to finish this weekend because it’s getting embarrassing now that I haven’t finished it yet, like really genuinely quite embarrassing.

Can you guess what it is?

Highly-anticipated sort-of sequel.

It was released at the end of July.

It features a beloved character but has received mostly less than favourable reviews.

Have you guessed what it is yet?

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Friday Reads | 12th August

Just a quick Friday Reads post from me today! I’m going to ambitiously share what I plan to read this Friday and into the weekend ahead but, as we all know, I rarely follow through on reading plans once I document them here. However, I am sitting pretty at 49 out of 52 books in my 2016 Reading Challenge so I think I’m doing just fine.

Which is a good thing because my reading this week thus far hasn’t been brilliant. I should probably finish up some books I am halfway through so I can get my reading down to one, or two, items, but I’m nearly always a polygamous reader so I’m sure I will be diving into all of the following books intermittently over this weekend:

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