July 2017 Reading Summary

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I read 6 books in July 2017. It was a somewhat slow month for me. However, on a brighter note, I did manage to reach and beat my Goodreads Reading Challenge for this year. I am currently deciding whether to increase it or leave it as it is.

I’ll talk a little about each of the books, ranked according to my favourites.

Wicked Wonders by Ellen Klages

This was a book of short stories that I stumbled upon by accident, whilst browsing my local libraries app. I’m glad I did because it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I even managed to convince someone else to read it so I must have done a good job at writing my review.

Memory Man by David Baldacci

This is the first crime thriller that I have read in a long time and I must say that I really enjoyed it. David B managed to grab my interest very early on and keep me enthralled right until the end. This is why this one makes my number 2 for this month.

Paper Girls #1 by Brian K. Vaughan

This series of graphic novels has been on TBR pile since forever. I was super excited when the first issue became available for free via Amazon Kindle. I really enjoyed this and have now added the second issue to my TBR pile (who knows, maybe that one will end up free).

Gotham Academy Second Semester Volume 1 by Brenden Fletcher

This series has also been on my TBR pile for a while, further down than Paper Girls but still there. However, I was unsure whether I’d like it, so when this version was available through Netgalley I decided to go for it. As this is the second semester, I plan on going back to the beginning and reading them all.

Dark Screams: Volume Seven by Brian James Freeman

This is another short story collection, from Netgalley this time. Falling within the horror category there was a good mix of decent stories. I like short stories at the moment as they are quick to read, usually at the most taking only a couple of days to read each one. 

The Rage For Life by David Taransaud

This book was created as an aid for psychologists and councillors when approaching difficult subjects with children. The only reason that it is at the bottom of the list is that it is the one that I connected with the least. It was a complete blind download, again free from Amazon Kindle.

Stay tuned for more posts soon, I’m on a go slow at the moment at the kids are at home for the summer holidays

 

 

 

June 2017 Reading Summary

I know, that during June I read a load of books. This is partly due to re-joining Netgalley (I was a member a few years ago, but I’ll write more about that in a later post) but mainly because I decided I was going to read Graphic Novels. I turn to these when I find myself in a slump, or I get so bogged down by a book that I struggle to read it for much longer than a page or two at a time. For some reason, possibly due to the pictures and the fact that I can devour a three hundred page “volume” in half a day, these bring me out of my downhearted feeling about reading. Those months when this happens, I generally read a lot more than usual. Because of this, I have been dreading writing my summary this time, but have to for continuities sake and I can’t have a month missing. A missing month would drive me insane.

I thought long and hard about how to approach this month, so decided to attempt something similar to a previous month when I listed a top and bottom three books, then just briefly mention the others I’d read. Then I second guessed myself and completely changed course. This is what I came up with.

The NetGalley books

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Plus another Netgalley book that I’m not allowed to talk about publicly due it being an Advanced Reader Copy

Disney Manga: Descendants The Rotten to the Core Trilogy Volume 1 was my favourite read out of the Netgalley books.

Joyride, Volume 1 while still being a good book, was my least favourite of the month from Netgalley.

Let’s talk about The Wicked & The Divine graphic novel series. The first in the series was chosen as the monthly read over in Book Club. As I enjoyed that one so much I decided to read the rest of the series. Well, without going into detail as my individual reviews are available on Goodreads.Com, I found that the first issue was definitely the best. It went slightly downhill with the second but only in that I didn’t get the same from it as I did with the first. The third had different illustrators and this really put me off the series and ranked at the bottom of my preferred list. Then the fourth picked up slightly. I am looking forward to reading the fifth issue when it comes out later this year, but by the end of the first four, I am not as enamoured as I was at the start.

Finally, I am going to talk about two autobiographical style books.

Firstly, The Inbetweeners Rudge Park Comprehensive Year Book. This was a charity shop find for a bargain £1. Yes, it is based on fictional characters from a TV show but it was still an interesting read. I got to relive some of the characteristics of the characters from said show, which I was quite a fan of when it aired. It was definitely fun.

And the final book I am going to discuss from my June Reads is Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities. This book focuses on content held and adored by GdT in his working home (not the one he lives in) – Bleak House. It talks about his films, where he gets his ideas from, what sort of props and things he owns. For any GdT fan, I strongly recommend this.

In Summary for June:
Total Books: 49
Comics/Graphic Novels: 42
Novels: 7

May 2017 Reading Summary

This month was a slog for reading, as in I struggled to read anything. Even finding time to pick up a book was difficult. Needless to say I didn’t read much therefore I’m going to post a picture of my books read in May from Goodreads and leave it at that.


So there you have it, not much at all.

I’m reading completely different books at the moment but still plan on completing my A to Z challenge as soon as I can, I just needed a break to get myself motivated again.

April 2017 Reading Summary

For April, I felt like I had read a lot of books. According to Goodreads, that isn’t the case (and I log ALL my books when reading and when finished).

I read a total of 6 books in April. Not really enough to do a top and bottom three this time so here goes the summary of what I have read.

Starting with my 2 star reads, I read a Graphic Novel called The City of Shifting Waters (Valérian #1). This is a french (I think) book, translated to English. My review can be seen here. Although it was free on kindle so no big loss there.

Personal Verdict: If you prefer your graphic novels to have interesting and well drawn illustrations, don’t bother with this one

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Damned Lies by Dennis Liggio is my other 2 star read for April. I started this book in 2016, but gave up after a few pages because I couldn’t get into it. Then as part book club’s monthly read, I was tasked to read a book that I had previously started but not finished. I had choices between this, Twelve Years A Slave and The Book Thief. I chose Damned Lies as it was the shortest option. I gained nothing by finishing the book, nor did I feel any different once I reached the end.

Personal Verdict: Another one for the “don’t waste your time” pile

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The House of Horrors, It’s Murphy’s Law and It’s a Madhouse Out There form one of my 4 star reads and two of my 5 star reads for April. I had first read all three of these books in novel format. Written by Jazan Wild, I felt like the novel was decent but WOW did these graphic novel versions of the same book pack a much better punch than the written version. The story came across so much better in picture format than writing. Read my review here (I reviewed all three books in one).

Personal Verdict: Definitely worth reading, as long as its the graphic novel versions AND as an added bonus, they were free on Amazon Kindle UK.

American Gods is my favourite book from April even though I only rated it 4 stars. I read it in anticipation of the TV show and also as part of another monthly read from book club. Neil Gaiman brings us into a world where Gods roam the Earth and they encounter modern age Gods. It was a fascinating way of looking at the world, and who knows, it could happen. Read my review here (This is one of my better reviews, I’ve become a bit lazy and one-sentencey lately).

Personal Verdict: Read it. Now. That is all.

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I’ll be back next month with a new summary, and I’m hoping to get going a bit more with some more reviews and random posts so stay tuned.

March 2017 Reading Summary

March, while not as busy as January, was still quite a busy month for me reading wise.

This month I discovered that Graphic Novels exist – that there are graphic novels out there that I am actually interested in reading. To anyone that has no idea what I am talking about, essentially, they are similar to comics but rather than having individual 20-30 page issues released periodically they tend to tell the full story in one book. Sometimes, as with written novels, they may be the first book in a series but length wise they tend to work out around the same as a novel.

Total books read: 22

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Screenplays: 2
Plays: 1
Novels: 5
Comic Issues: 3
Graphic Novels: 9
Manga: 2

Starting with the best books from this month

#1 – The Winner – My Favourite Read of March: Locke & Key Small World

It may only have had 32 pages and be a single issue comic but this was definitely my favourite read of March. I discovered the Locke & Key Graphic Novels back in 2016 and was honestly upset when they ended. Chancing upon this latest issue was a really happy moment for me. Taking us back into the world of mysterious keys, doors, ghosts and all kinds of other supernatural things, this was a fabulous short story which ended satisfactorily. I’m really hoping they do more of these in the future.

#2: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

Pretty much the same feelings as my review. I felt like this was an excellent insight into the characters we all know and love from the Harry Potter stories, how they developed, and what happened to them in later life. What I loved was knowing that the author, J K Rowling, hadn’t forgotten about them or her fans.

#3: Noughts & Crosses Graphic Novel

I heard of this series by accident. I didn’t even know the novel versions existed but fell upon the graphic novel on my library website. I reserved a copy (that cost me 60p. 60p to reserve a book. Needless to say I won’t be reserving many more in the future). The story is hard hitting, blacks v whites, racism and love. Not in the standard sense though. Roles are reversed to what you would normally expect to see. I definitely want to read the next book but it will have to be the written version as the graphic novel is not available as yet.

And on to the worst books of March – with a twist. I have no books rated low enough for March to actually be classed as bad, so this is more of a least favourite list.

#3: Oz: The Complete Collection

Now, before you all start shouting abuse at me, don’t get me wrong, I love The Wizard of Oz and all things associated it with it. This book, however, was far toooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long. 1796 pages on the kindle version to be precise. That’s a whole lot of reading.

The fact that:

  1. The book had no official page numbers on the kindle version so it just kept telling me I was at place x out of x places (at one point it was Place 400/24000 or something similar) – this frustrated the heck out of me, made the book feel like it was taking forever.
  2. The kindle kept telling me how much longer in terms of reading time I had left, starting out with an estimated 30 hours, which changed depending on whether I read a page slowly or quickly – this also made me mad as it seemed to make it take longer, being able to see actual real-time progress.
  3. I found some of the stories boring and pointless, while others were really interesting and fun. It was easy to read the fun ones but I struggled immensely with the boring ones.
  4. I was reading this to my daughter at bedtime, some nights we only managed three or four pages before she fell asleep. This majorly affected my overall experience with this book.

So, in summary, the reason this book is in the “worst” list is because the length was unbearable for me. I struggle with a 300-500 page book at the best of times. At least I can say I made it out the other side and it didn’t put me off reading.

#2: Howl’s Moving Castle, Volume 3

This was one of the Manga books that I read this month. I borrowed it from the library but didn’t realise until I got it home that it was volume three nor that it was in the proper Japanese format and had to be read from back to front. I liked the story, but having not seen the film, read the novel nor managed to read parts one and two first I felt a little lost at times. Not to mention that I kept trying to read it the wrong (right) way round.

#1 – My least favourite book of March: Trollhunters

This book, as per my review, felt like it was written for children. I did borrow it from the children’s section of my library though so I should have been expecting it. I didn’t think. That’s the only reason it is my least favourite book of this month. Otherwise it was a decent story.

April’s summary will be posted in May.