Tag Archives: books roundup

Books Bought and Read September 2018

Books Bought

I went a bit mental in the first part of the month…

Firstly, a book arrived in a subscription box I get. I keep thinking this doesn’t count as a bought book, but I clearly pay an extortionate amount for the box! It was I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley.  


Then Oxfam books went and had a 3 for 2 sale!

  • The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Galileo’s Daughter by Dava Sobel
  • Life on the Edge: the Coming of Age of Quantum Biology by Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden
  • The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante


Eagle-eyed numbers people might be curious about me buying 5 books during a three for two sale. Well I also bought four kids books too.

Next I found a great sale on Amazon and bought ten books one lunchtime.

So what did I buy:


  •  The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I already own one unread copy of this, but I keep hearing it’s so good I’m going to give this someone for a xmas pressie.
  • Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig
  • This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay 
  • Artemis by Andy Weir. I LOVED The Martian, so have high hopes, but a friend recently told me this books is WEIRD. I need to read it soon to see if I agree or not!
  • A bunch of Penguin Little Black Classics
    • Only Dull People Are Brilliant at Breakfast by Oscar Wilde
    • Why I Am So Clever by Friedrich Nietzsche
    • The Suffragettes by Various
    • The Fall of Icarus by Ovid
    • The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

I’m sorry I can’t see or hear the word manifesto without this song jumping immediately into my head.

Anyway, here’s the haul again:


I also around this time bought Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday. Probably because it’s got a science word in the title. (Not pictured! I didn’t photograph it when it arrived. A clear sign of too much book buying going on). I now have no idea why I actually bought this.

Then a few weeks went buy and I bought myself Cooking With Columbo: Suppers with the Shambling Sleuth by Jenny Hammerton, well because, just look at it. I just wanted to own it.


Books Read

Finished five books this month. Much better than the one I managed in August! Click the title name for a link to my review.

Out of the Blue – Sophie Cameron


The Music Shop – Rachel Joyce


Crudo – Olivia Laing


The Silence of the Girls – Pat Barker


White Tears – Hari Kunzru



Top 10 Longest Books I’ve Read

This post is part of Top 10 Tuesdays by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Every week is a different theme, and lots of bloggers join in. The other posts on this theme can be found over at thatartsyreadergirl.com. I also know it’s Wednesday! but I never get time on a Tuesday.

I’m choosing to go by number of pages, according to goodreads. Some of my top 10 were trilogys – but clearly just chucking three books together can’t possibly count, so I’m ignoring those! and if that counted, then adding up all the Sharpe books would mean I’d read a book that was thousands of pages long, and clearly I haven’t. I’ve read about 20 normal sized books.

What you’re going to learn from this list is that I am not afraid of a long book, or a series, and that I sometimes read total trash. Only two books in this top ten are not part of a series. This just shows what the power of getting drawn into a series can do! I choose very carefully when I decide if I want to read a book one of anything…

10. A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. 784 pages.


A Song of Fire and Ice book 2. I loved this whole series so much that I read the lot in six weeks. Then I discovered the series wasn’t finished, and now I believe IT NEVER WILL. I loved these books so much I barely noticed the books were so big. Four make it into this top ten. And I mostly gave them four of five star ratings.

9. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. 848 pages.


A Song of Fire and Ice book 1. Five star brilliantness. I enjoyed the tv version (tits and dragons, what’s not to love? well, a lot really, it’s quite problematic 😀 but it is also very watchable) but we all know how much better the books are, right? yes!


8. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling. 870 pages.


Harry Potter book 5. Wow this one was a big book for kids!

7. Appassionata by Jilly Cooper. 896 pages.


Rutshire Chronicles book 5. Oh we’ve hit the Jilly Cooper section. I didn’t rate this one that much really, but I was on book five and so heavily invested in the series!

6. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. 912 pages.


Ooh Becky Sharpe. Loved her character, but only gave this three stars. That’s quite damning from me.

5. Riders by Jilly Cooper. 919 pages


Rutshire Chronicles book 1. Oh I would never have read this huge book, with THAT cover had I not heard the devotion of so many of my friends to Rupert Campbell-Black and his antics. Show jumping and rich, posh people. It’s not what I normally look for in a book. But I urge you to go and read this one of you haven’t already. It’s a super fun read, chaps!

4. Wicked by Jilly Cooper. 1008 pages.


This is book 8 of the Rutshire Chronicles. It’s perhaps worth noting that I only gave this a one star rating. That means I absolutely fucking hated it. But I still read it?? what is wrong with me!

3. A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin. 1061 pages


A Song of Fire and Ice book 4.  Another great instalment in this series. I can’t even really say anything more about this series, so instead here is the fantastic Britney Spears song, Hot as Ice, that I think of whenever I hear the name ‘A Song of Fire and Ice’.

2. A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin. 1125 pages


A Song of Fire and Ice book 5. Book five and I gave this one FIVE STARS. It’s not often that a series still holds up by book 5. Are you tempted to give them a go now? If you do, just remember, the next book is just never going to appear, so you will be as sad as I am about it.

 1. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. 1276 pages


Wow was this hard to get through? (YES IT WAS). It was a book club book, and if it hadn’t been I doubt I would have got through it. I liked the first half, and disliked the second half. As it turns out this was such a bad book club book, that book club never met to even talk about it, and we didn’t do book club for about a year after. This book is a book club killer! But I still gave it four stars. Perhaps that was just the relief it was over!

Surprises from this list? Where is Crime and Punishment? I felt like I deserved an award when I’d finished that. Surely it was 3000 tedious pages long??


Books Bought and Read August 2018

Books Bought

Last month I bought one book. ONE book. Then the summer holidays happened and I must have gone a bit mental.

Firstly I bought A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn because I’m excited about a potential trip to the US next year (fingers crossed for me that it works out!).


Then I bought A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin. I’ve been after this since I discovered it existed because, well, it’s title is great and I have a few of her non fiction books already. Janna Levin is a theoretical cosmologist. <3<3<3


Slabs From Paradise by Jason Williamson was next. I just needed to buy nice things to get me through the long days. Jason Williamson is the singer in one of my favourite bands, Sleaford Mods. 


And if anyone has a copy of one of his other books, Grammar Wanker, I would like it please. I’m so sad I didn’t buy a copy when it came out. 😀

Next I bought Karoo by Steve Tesich, because I remember Bookshambles going on about it. Also, The Portable Dorothy Parker by erm… Dorothy Parker. This one was on my reading list challenge from last year, and recently a friend has been reading some Dorothy Parker and I realised I needed to read some too.


homemade guacamole = the best food

Next I bought Crudo by Olivia Laing just because I wanted to, alright.


Around the end of the month I booked some tickets for some of the Manchester Literature Festival’s events. I’m now on a mini mission to read at least one book by everyone I’ll be seeing, so first up is: In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne. This one is also on the Man Booker longlist.


Miss Nightingale’s Nurses by Kate Eastham is the book club book for the Continental book club in Preston, for October. Excitingly this is a book written by ONE OF THE BOOK CLUB MEMBERS. Total excitement.


with some NURSE STUFF

I then bought A Drink of One’s Own: Cocktails for Literary Ladies by Laura Becherer and Cameo Marlatt. I’ve had this in my wishlist for a while, then I realised that I’m literally the only person who buys things from my wishlist. It’s just my long term shopping list. And I really want to drink more lovely cocktails. It’s brilliant too. I might need to do a monthly cocktail club where I read a book, and then drink the cocktail dedicated to the author.   
Finally, I needed the book for another book club I’m in, so I got Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron.
So I didn’t do well at not buying books. So much so that I have now imposed a book buying ban. But wait until you see how wrong that went in September…

Books Read

Crisis by Frank Gardner.
Oh dear. I finished one book. PATHETIC. I haven’t even reviewed it yet. PATHETIC.
I hope your book reading in August was more successful than mine!


Top 10 Bookish Websites

This is the topic of Top Ten Tuesday for this week, coordinated by That Artsy Reader Girl. I know it’s not Tuesday. As previously discussed, I will never end up doing this on the right day!

1. Goodreads. I know I’m not supposed to pick this, but I do use it a lot. I love the yearly challenge and I like being able to see all the books I’ve read all together in a list.


2. NetGalley. Books for free because I will write a review of them, which I would do anyway. I was so happy when I started getting approved for books! Now the problem is to not request too many that I don’t have time to read them… way too late to stop this being a problem.


3. bookfacemagazine. This is an Instagram account. I love it though.

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Bookface by @emwritersfestival

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4. Book Riot. Book stuff. Recommendations. Interesting articles.


5. Lit Hub. Books, essays, recommendations. Love the Rebecca Solnit article I read here last year.


6. Manchester Literary Festival. The tickets to this years events were just all released on Wednesday. I’ve been quite retrained and just bought for two events. Can’t wait.


7. The Literary Gift Company. Bookish things. I want pretty much everything they sell, but currently covet this t shirt. 


8. Bookshambles. This one might be cheating a bit, because it’s a podcast. But it’s the only podcast I regularly listen to and it’s where I’ve got so many recommendations from over the last few years, of books that have ended up being some of my favourites.


9. The Guardian Books section. I read quite a few of the articles and also tend to read their reviews of books I’m interested in.


10. Twitter. Because I follow so many great bookish people. 🙂


20 Books of Summer – Month 2 Update

I always think I will read loads when it’s the holidays. The reality is I read much less than when I’m working. It makes no sense! The challenge is quite straight forward: read 20 books in June, July and August. 

So I’ve finished 11 books so far. This means I’m unlikely to reach my goal of 20, but I’m ok with that. There are several books I’m already quite far through, so I might get quite a few of them finished. I also have book club next week so I’ll definitely get through at least one more for that.

My 20 books of summer side project: Project Iliad has also been slightly neglected in July. I am currently up to chapter 11 of 24. I’ve summarised the first 6 chapters in the first part of my review here. I’ll actually be happy if I complete this goal, even at the expense of the 20 books goal!

Here’s the original list of books, with ones I’ve read in red. Books I’ve read that weren’t on the original list are added at the bottom. Links to my reviews are next to all the ones I’ve read. Wonder how I’ll get on with the rest of August!

  1. Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi (review)
  2. Still Me – Jojo Moyes (review)
  3. Conclave – Robert Harris (review)
  4. Sarah – J.T. Leroy
  5. Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley – Charlotte Gordon
  6. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman (review)
  7. How Do You Like Me Now? – Holly Bourne
  8. The Pisces – Melissa Broder (review)
  9. How Not to be a Boy – Robert Webb
  10.  Things a Bright Girl Can Do – Sally Nicholls
  11. The Iliad – Homer
  12. Story – Robert McKee (review)
  13. How To Stop Time – Matt Haig (review)
  14. 2666 – Roberto Bolano
  15.  I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  16. The Dark Dark – Samantha Hunt
  17. Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life – Helen Czerski
  18. The Dark Road to Mercy – Wiley Cash
  19. My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante
  20. The Mother of All Questions – Rebecca Solnit
  21. Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates (review)
  22. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf (review)
  23. Little Black Book – Otegha Uwagba (review)
  24. Wishful Drinking – Carrie Fisher (review)

Books Bought and Read – June 2018

Books Bought

Firstly I visited Foyles on a trip to London, and even though I wanted to buy ALL THE BOOKS, I limited myself to two. I got Heartburn by Nora Ephron, and To Be a Machine by Mark O’Connell.


The next book I got this month was a copy of Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller. This is exciting because it was sent to me by Penguin, and I never get books sent to me. This is the first one, so I’m pretty excited about it.


Later in the month I visited Oxford and went to the Oxfam books there. I got Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn – I had a copy that I lent out years ago and never got back, so I’ve been waiting to replace it! I also got Interpreter of  Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, and Girls in their Married Bliss by Edna O’Brien.


While I was in Oxford I was staying at Christ Church College. I was literally having breakfast in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, and let me tell you I was beyond excited about this. I know I don’t look it in the picture, but it was very early, and very busy, and I was trying to take my photo without looking like too much of a knobhead. Also, the stairs up to the hall are a Harry Potter location. Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hogwarts!


The final purchases of June, were part of my Happy Pay Day celebrations. I bought myself four books: I Hate the Internet by Jarett Kobek, The Boy With the Top Knot by Sathnam Sanghera, Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, and The Bricks that Built the Houses by Kate Tempest.


Books Read

Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates


A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf


Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi


Little Black Book –  Otegha Uwagba


Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting – Robert McKee


How to Stop Time – Matt Haig