June 2016 | Reading Wrap-Up

I can’t believe we’ve already reached July. It’s scary how fast the first half of the year has gone.

This June has been… well, interesting to say the least.

I finished my job at Teesside University on Tuesday 21st and was suddenly and abruptly very sad to realise I wasn’t going to be working there anymore. My coworkers got me a lovely card and a Waterstones gift voucher, because they know me too well. Then I had a job interview on that Thursday at Liverpool University and I’m still waiting to hear back from that so it doesn’t look brilliant in terms of whether or not I did manage to get the job. Job hunting is a whole different issue that really effects my already pretty shaky self-esteem so it’s not exactly been a barrel of laughs this month. In other news (I swear I’m almost done), we lost my nanna this past weekend so it has been a few weird and unsettling days, to say the least. It probably still hasn’t really sunk it, and won’t until the funeral, but we’re all keeping busy until then.

But the fall out from that combined with job hunting means I probably won’t read a huge tonne of books in July… or maybe I will, as a form of escapism. Who can tell? Only time, it seems.

Now onto the books I did read this past month…

In June I read a total of 8 books – 5 fiction (4 fantasy, 1 contemporary) and 3 non-fiction, which somehow amounted to a total of 3031 pages. I say somehow, I know exactly why I read so many pages – a little thing called #readasoiaf.

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Review | Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

assassinsapprenticeTitleAssassin’s Apprentice (1995)
Author: Robin Hobb
Read:  23rd May-5th June 2016
Genre: fantasy; epic fantasy
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice is the opening novel in the Farseer trilogy, an epic fantasy set in the Six Duchies. Hobb gives voice to our young narrator Fitz, the bastard son of the kingdom’s prince, whose arrival at the royal court in Buckkeep sees him outcast and, largely, ignored. King Shrewd, however, sees promise in Fitz to fulfil a very specific role in his court. This narrative of Fitz’s childhood promises to relate the beginnings of a story which is sure to expand out into the kingdom, but this first book barely even scratches the surface of this journey from child to man.

“We left. Walking uphill and into the wind.
That suddenly seemed a metaphor for my whole life.”

The bastard son of Prince Chivalry, young FitzChivalry finds himself marched quite literally into the royal court, by his grandfather who proclaims him to be the prince’s illegitimate son and dumps him into their care. Passed onto Burrich, Chivalry’s stableman and man-at-arms, Fitz is raised as a stable boy and, though active, he finds it a lonely life. He never meets his royal father, who abdicates and removes himself from the court at Buckkeep before Fitz’s arrival at the castle. Neither does Fitz remain a stable boy only for long – his allegiances and loyalties are constantly tried as he becomes officially and unofficially apprenticed in various areas and to various parties, including Burrich, the King, Prince Verity, an odd recluse named Chade, a vicious tutor named Galen, his father’s wife Lady Patience,  and more. Surrounded by so many competing interests, it is unsurprising that a young boy could still feel woefully alone and incomplete in some way amongst these figures.

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#tometopple | Updates Post

As you might have seen on my recent TBR post, I’m participating in the Tome Topple Readathon hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes. You can find all the information about the readathon via the aforementioned blog post or pop over to Sam’s channel to see her announcement video for the readathon.

Since it lasts for a fortnight, it seems a good idea to have a single update post I can come back to and edit periodically so this is that post! It will be a nice neat way to collate all my (hopefully daily) updates about my reading so stay tuned if you’re interested…

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#tometopple | Stating My Intentions

Clearly, because low-key participating in Hobb-A-Long and #readasoiaf isn’t quite enough to take on (combined with finding a job so I can move and stop wasting hours on the Ikea website for nothing) I’ve decided to also participate in the #tometopple readathon next week.

For those who haven’t yet heard of the readathon, Tome Topple (or #tometopple) was created by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes and the idea is to tackle some of those really big books or “tomes” in a fortnight-long readathon.

I really like this concept because my main issue with a lot of readathons is that I feel like I’ve not really accomplished much because I’ve “only” read two books in the course of the readathon. Two books a week is hardly a failure but compared to how avidly some booktubers and book bloggers read during a readathon, it’s pathetic to say the least! So, I prefer the speed of this readathon and I can definitely get onboard with it. Or at least I intend to try.

Some details, for those who might be interested in participating along with me:

Dates:
Starts: 12:00am on Sunday 5th June
Ends: 11:59pm on Sunday 19th June
Purpose: to read books that are 500+ pages

Challenges:
1. Read more than one tome (500+ pages)
2. Take a graphic novel break (doesn’t need to be over 500 pages!)
3. Read a tome that is part of a series
4. Read over 500 pages in one week
5. Read an adult novel

My TBR:
I’ll be choosing from the following books to fulfil the challenges above, with A Game of Thrones being a priority.

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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin
Royal Assassin (The Farseer Trilogy #2) by Robin Hobb
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
Rat Queens: Sass and Sorcery (Volume 1) by Kurtis J. Wiebe
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

For further information, see Sam’s announcement video and the signup post but definitely consider joining in for a fortnight of tackling some tomes together!

Are you planning to participate? Comment below and we can cheer each other on throughout the readathon!


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