Monthly Round Up – October

So October has been my first month as a masters student and as you’ll guess if you’ve been paying attention, I haven’t had much time for reading or blogging. In fact the only posts that have gone out are my pre-scheduled Top Ten Tuesdays. This month has been busier than I could’ve imagined, but I’m enjoying my course and getting back into studying again. 

I’ve managed to finish The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, and read an ARC that’s been sat on my Kobo for too long, Local Girl Missing by Claire Douglas. I’m cheating a little bit as I finished that tonight (2nd November), but I’m going to count it anyway. Review coming soon (when I have time!).


One good bookish thing about this month is that I’ve finally completed my Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge of reading 35 books. I was really hoping for 40, but considering how long Local Girl Missing took me, and with only two months left, I don’t think I’ll make it. 

I’m obviously reading much slower now, but I’m enjoying it. I’m taking my time and not rushing to get things finished like I did have a tendency to do. I’ve got back into reading every night before bed, which is a nice way to switch off after a long day with my head in research books. Over the past year, reading has become slightly more than just a hobby, simply because I haven’t had anything else to focus my mind on, but now I’m feeling much more casual and relaxed about it. I’m not worrying about reading a book a week so that I fulfil my goal of paying a review a week on my blog. 

Unfortunately, my blog is something I’ve had to put to one side, although I’m certainly not giving up on it altogether. I’m really proud of what I e managed to build up over the past few months, and although I don’t have masses of followers, or views for that matter, I never even expected anyone to read it. I love being part of the book blogger community, and that’s not something I’m going to leave behind, I’m just going to be playing more of a background role for the foreseeable. 

I’m about to start The Reader on the 6:27 by Jean-Paul Didierlaurent. I’m looking forward to reading something different and uplifting, as I’ve heard this is!


Happy November!

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Monthly Round Up – September

Can you remember in my August Round Up when I said I was going to read more books than ever and absolutely smash my TBR? Yeah, that didn’t happen. I wouldn’t exactly say it’s been a slow month, but I’ve slowed down a lot myself. I’ve decided that from now on, it doesn’t matter how long it takes me to finish a book, as long as I’m enjoying it. I’ve read two and a half books this month, the first two being within the first half of the month, so fairly average speed reading. The book I’m reading at the moment is historical fiction, which I always like to take my time on.

  1. After You by Jojo Moyes
  2. While My Eyes Were Closed by Linda Green
  3. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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Monthly Round Up – August

It’s probably not been the most productive month of reading, but I have read one pretty long and slow book, and then I was distracted by the Olympics for a fortnight, so I think I can be forgiven! I’ve managed to read three books this month:

  1. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
  2. The Sister by Louise Jensen
  3. The Girls by Lisa Jewell (review coming soon)

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Monthly Round Up – July

Processed with MOLDIVI suppose I could say this has been a steady month. In regards to blog stats, it’s been my best month so far, beating my records of most views and most likes in a day. You might have noticed that I’ve tried to be more active in the book blogger community, by joining in with WWW Wednesdays. I’m going to have a look round for more memes like that for me to latch on to and become even more involved. You might also have noticed that I’ve had a bit of an overhaul of my blog theme and design. It wasn’t very personal before, so I’ve created a proper header, and gone with a tropical theme (taken from a picture of the tissue box on my desk!). Hopefully you’ll agree that it looks a lot better, although I’m not the most creative person and don’t really do well with photo editing stuff, so I can probably do better!

 

I’ve also tried to develop my bookstagram (@bathtimereadsblog). I’m not very good at photography, and I don’t have the time (or money for strange dried flowers/candles/weird book character dolls etc!) to make my picture as lovely as lots of those out there, but I am trying. I’ve been trying my best to post a new photo every day, and they’re getting around 40 likes on average, which I think is pretty good to start with. I’ve slowly started building up my followers and have around 125 now, which is steadily increasing. I’m going to do one of the special monthly hashtags in August to hopefully give me a bit of inspiration and a bigger platform, although I haven’t decided which one to do yet!

Moving on to the real reason we’re all here: the books. I’ve read five full books books this month, along with DNFing one.  They are:

  1. The Accident by C.L Taylor (I know this was included in the June post, but I did finish it in July!) – 8/10 Solid
  2. Tell Us Something True by Dana Reinhardt – 7/10 Something Missing
  3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins – 8/10 Solid
  4. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – 6/10 Alright
  5. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness – 10/10 Perfect
  6. Everything Love Is by Claire King – DNF

It’s been a decent mix, with my first 10/10 since I started my blog, and since The Help in January! Two very decent thrillers with The Accident and The Girl on the Train, one cute YA ARC with Tell Us Something True, and one annoying, insulting ‘thriller’ with Big Little Lies.

A Monster Calls was my first 10/10 since I started my blog, and also since I read The Help in January! Click on the link above to read my gushing review. I also read one and a half ARC. I’m trying to read more, and I have a one or two sitting on my NetGalley account, but I also have so many other books to read. Because I’ve only just got back into reading in the last year or so, I feel like I’ve got lots of catching up to do, and there’s so many good books from the last few years that I’ve missed. I’m trying my best to read at least one ARC per month.

Regarding August, my plans are to squeeze as much as I can in to my final full month before I start my masters. I’m giving myself a target of 6 books this month, which I don’t think will be too difficult to do. I am already around a third of the way through I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak, and I am absolutely loving it. The Book Thief is my all time favourite book, and this is written in the same beautiful style, despite the story being completely different. As seems to be the case with all of Markus Zusak’s books, the story could be anything – he could rewrite the phone book and I’d read it cover to cover, loving every word. He just uses the most stunning descriptions.

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I also plan to read The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah next. I’ve been putting it off for a while, but I think now is the right time. I also have After You by Jojo Moyes and The Girls by Lisa Jewell to read. I think I’ll read both of those quite quickly, so they’ll probably be next. I also have a couple of thrillers and We Need to Talk About Kevin to get through. Maybe I’ll save that for September.

 

Let me know what you’ve been reading in July!

Monthly Round Up – June

As expected, it’s been a busy month for reading. My holiday, and almost a fortnight off work, has meant lots of lovely extra reading time. I’ve squeezed in six books, of various genres, and am half way through a seventh. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s a lot for me, who normally averages three or four.

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  1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  2. The Missing by C. L. Taylor
  3. Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin
  4. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  5. The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell
  6. The Bones of You by Debbie Howells
  7. The Accident by C. L. Taylor

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Monthly Round Up – May

This month started off with the huge struggle that was The End Game by Raymond Khoury, but it actually ended up coming to a rather nice close. I didn’t actually end up following the plan of ‘Next Books To Read’ that I listed in April’s round up, but I have made a start on it, and I’m hoping to tick off at least two more books before my holiday in two weeks.

I have only managed to get through two and a half books this month:

  1. The End Game by Raymond Khoury – 7/10 Something Missing
  2. My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry – 8/10 Solid
  3. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – Not finished yet

After the minor disaster that was the first two weeks of the month (I won’t go into that any more, I’ve blabbed on too much about it already!), I ended the month with two great books. My Husband’s Wife set me straight back on track, with its fast-paced, gripping narrative. This was exactly what I needed and I’m excited about reading again, after a very minor dip.

I’ve also just had a really busy birthday weekend, meaning I haven’t managed to finish Me Before You, like I had expected to. I’m about two thirds of the way through, so I should be done by tomorrow.

I’m finally going to get through the two that have been sat under my bed for months, The Bones of You by Debbie Howells, and When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen. They’re both around 300 pages long, so hopefully I’ll get through them pretty quickly. Maybe. I might read on of the books I got for my birthday, as I’m due a gritty thriller. (See my list of birthday books here)


I am very conscious that the majority of the books I received for my birthday are thrillers, so I’m going to have to alternate between them and other things, so I don’t burn myself out. I do have a few chic-lits lying around, so maybe I’ll read a few of those in between, as a thriller detox.

I have also almost decided on my holiday reads for this year. I’m going to Halki, a tiny island just off the coast of Rhodes, which has a population of about 300 people. I’m hoping for a week of pure relaxation, undisturbed reading and, of course, wonderful Greek food! I usually get through around three books in a week when on holiday, so I’m planning on choosing three quite different ones to add a bit of variety. I know I’m definitely taking Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith, but I’m still undecided on the others. I’ll get back to you.

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I know that We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver will be the first thing I read after I get back from my holiday. I’m not sure why I’ve reserved it for then, but I do want to be able to take my time with it. It’s a book I’ve wanted to read for a while, so I don’t want the pressure of finishing it before I go away to ruin it for me.img_0271

This month has been a month of Goodreads Giveaways wins. I’d even go as far as saying I’ve won too many, which I never thought could be possible. I have won four books, and I’ll admit, none of them are ones I’m too bothered about. I’ve now started trying to only enter ones I know I’m going to be excited about reading, however I am worried this will drastically lower my chances of winning. I have won:

  1. The First Days of August by Alan Froning. I think I’ve already mentioned this in a previous post, but it’s some kind of medical thriller so I might enjoy it. It also hasn’t arrived yet, so I’ve got a while before I need to read it.
  2. No Man’s Land by Simon Tolkien. Yep, the surname is correct. This is by the grandson of the famous J.R.R. Tolkien. I’ve not read any of the Lord of the Rings novels, but I do love historical fiction, particularly set during war, so I have high hopes. My only slight worry is that it’s very long. Almost 700 pages.
  3. Diamond Men by Doug Macdougall. I’m not entirely sure what this one is about, but it’s written by a geologist and sounds like it might be some kind of thriller. I’m a little apprehensive to be honest.
  4. The Singles Game by Laura Weisberger. I’m more excited about this one, because I have read The Devil Wears Prada, and it is a bit of a guilty pleasure book. I did, however, try to read the sequel and gave up after a few chapters because it was so terrible. This should be an easy read, nonetheless, so I might take it on holiday, if it arrives before then.

Next month’s round up should be a good one. I usually steam through several books when I’m on holiday, so I’ll have a batch of reviews and thoughts to report. I’m hoping to extend my Goodreads Challenge target of 25 books by the end of this month (I’m on 17 at the moment), to 30. I hate setting myself a challenge I might not complete, so I like to extend it when I get close, maybe at around 22 or 23 books. I know that sort of goes against what the challenge is about, but I don’t care. I also don’t want to feel pressured to meet an outrageous target, and therefore end up rushing through books that I should be taking my time with.

Monthly Round Up – April

This has been my first month of actually having a blog, so I can’t really compare it to anything else, but I’ll try to do a summary of what I’ve read this month and how I feel about it. I’ve read four books this month and it’s been a very mixed bunch. The books I have read are:

  1. The Passenger by Lisa Lutz – 7/10 Something Missing
  2. Lexington and 42nd by Kim Carmody – 5/10 Begrudgingly Finished
  3. Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller – 9/10 Almost There
  4. The Revenant by Michael Punke – 6/10 Alright

They’ve all been completely different in genre, style, subject matter, and level of enjoyment. It’s also been quite a slow month for me. I think my mad reading rush is tailing off and I’m finally starting to settle into full reading enjoyment, rather than just reading as many as I can. I’m not spending every hour of every day reading anymore and that’s probably a good thing for my sanity. I am reading every day for at least an half an hour though, reading about 30 pages a day. Although it is nice to sit and read a book in a couple of days, which I did for both The Passenger and Lexington and 42nd, but I do like the level of deeper understanding you get by taking your time with a book.

My favourite book of the month, by far, has been Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller. It was so different to anything I’ve ever read before and I adored it. It somehow managed to hover between the realms of fairy tale and reality due to Fuller’s magical prose and beautiful descriptions. Also, look how pretty the cover is!

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I’m currently reading The End Game by Raymond Khoury, which I won on Goodreads Giveaways. I’m enjoying it so far, although I’m struggling slightly with the begining due to it being the fifth in a series that I’ve never even heard of, never mind read. I was assured by other reviews that this wouldn’t be an issue, and they were right. I’m just over a third of the way through and I’m really getting into it. This is the first book in a while that has evoked a verbal reaction, and that I’ve just had to read another chapter. It’s really gripping and the characters are great, I can see that it’s only going to get better. I think I’ll be buying the first four books in the series after I’ve finished.

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The next books on my TBR shelf are

  1. When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen.
  2. The Bones of You by Debbie Howells.
  3. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
  4. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
  5. Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  6. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

It’s unlikely I’ll read all of these in May, but I hope I’ll get through at least three of them. I only have copies of the first two at the moment, but I’ll be borrowing Me Before You and The Snow Child later on in the month, and I’m hoping for the last two for my birthday at the end of May. After my birthday, I’ll be doing to holiday reads round-up, ready for my holiday in June. I’m going to a tiny, quiet Greek island for a week and hope to cram in as much uninterrupted reading as I can.

I also won another Goodreads Giveaway this week, The Ghosts of Nagasaki by Daniel Clausen, which won’t be arriving until 20th June. It sounds really interesting; I’m not really sure what genre it is, or what it’s going to be about, but I’m excited to read it.

If you would like to look at my Goodreads page, it’s here.