I can’t believe the first month of 2019 is already over. It was a mixed month for me. The first half started off well but I then had a couple of bouts of illness that derailed my reading a little. I think I did an OK job of sticking to my 10 Book TBR. While I did deviate a little, as I had forgotten to set a couple of audiobooks to tide me over at work, I still managed to finish the majority of the books I had set.
This is the first time I am using the stats generated by a tracking spreadsheet (See my 2019 Goals for details). I haven’t quite decided what I want to track and what I want to report in these wrap ups. Therefore, I have included a lot of information in this post while I trial out all the different information that can be tracked. However, I am a sucker for pretty graphs!
(Page count includes Audiobook page numbers)
Out of the nine books read four were fantasy books, 3 were Mystery/Crime novels one was Sci-Fi and the last was a Graphic novel.
Unusual for me the majority of my reading was classed as Adult (6 books) with only 3 being YA.
For me this was very interesting, I had quiet a nice distribution of different formats. (it should be noted that all my ARCs are currently eARCs so I technically read three books on my ipad, three books in paperback format, two books via audio and a hardback.
To further break these down the Hardback and two Audiobooks were borrowed from my library/Library services. I had previously owned all three paperbacks one of which is a re-read. The ebook was also a free short story gifted from the authors website for subscribing. I have gone one to buy one of the ARCs I read as it was too pretty not to.
5 Stars: 1
4 Stars: 4
3 Stars: 4
WHAT I READ FROM MY TBR –
Sebastien de Castell
My only re-read and my obvious 5 star read. I have both a spoiler free review from my original read and a post all about my thoughts while re-reading this awesome book for you to check out. But if you are looking for a bit of a Western style fantasy, with a very much not the “choosen one” protagonist, a kick-ass Frontierswoman and a sassy talking squirrel cat all mixed in with amazing world-building and magic systems (yes systems- plural) this might be worth your time.
The Dowager Magus
Sebastien de Castell
I also read this little short story which gives us a glimps into a hidden scene during the events of Spellslinger. This is available as a free ebook (both mobi or epub) for signing up at Sebastian de Castell’s website. To me it added a little fuel to suspicions I already held when reading Spellslinger and was a welcomed add on giving more depth to a couple of my favourite characters. at just 28 pages it is a great way to spend 20 mins it is definitely a quick yet worthy read.
The Way of All Flesh
I really enjoyed this first in a new series from a new writing partnership! Filled with the medical history of 19th century Edinburgh this book was bound to be a hit with me (one of my favourite authors is included in this duo), with scenes taking place just meters from my front door! Its great if you want a good historical mystery to dive into. My Full review can be found here.
There is not much I can say about this without spoilers as it is deep into the River’s of London timeline. While the Graphic Novels are self contained little cases for Peter and the crew of the Folly, they do contain information from past books. This one is no different giving a little information about side characters, fleshing out the world of Peter’s London and presenting new characters that will hopefully make their way into the novels too.
This was a great way to start the year. This book is beautiful in all respects. After reading I did pre-order the stunning Waterstones signed special edition as it really was beautiful and unexpected in the best possible way. It was so close to being a 5 stars read receiving an ESCAPE score of 47. I have a full spoiler free review here.
A Curse So Dark and Lonely
A slightly more mixed bag for me. While I enjoyed the story and the reading experience it was just missing that overall wow factor that made me want to rave about it. It was a very interesting beauty and the beast retelling but eneded up a very average read in my opinion. You can find my full thoughts here in my review.
The second instalment of the Themis files, I read this during the January round of the SeriesTF2019 readathon. I really enjoyed the first book in this series and it was nice to get back to the characters in this one. While it didnt pull it’s punches in some aspects I felt it suffered a little from second book syndrome. I will be discussing this further in my review which is due to go live next week.
WHAT I READ FROM OUTSIDE MY TBR –
Like I said above I forgot to add an audio book or two to my TBR to get me through the quiet parts of my day, walks to and from train stations and various bits of housework that need attending too. I like to multi-task and when I am forced to put down my book i like to have an audiobook to jump into. So I ended up selecting a couple of Agatha Christie Classic. I will eventually be updating my Agatha Christie project with mini reviews for all my latest Christie reads.
13 Problems and Death in the Clouds
13 Problems is a collection of short stories in the Ms Marple Series. Unlike her Poirot short stories these are interconnected through the theme of the “Tuesday Murder Club” in which Ms Marple and a series of Friends come together to pose problems for the others to solve. All of which are unique and entertaining.
Death in the Clouds is part of the Poirot series and poses a fantastic locked room murder – aboard a plane – for Poirot to solve in his unorthodox style. Again this was quite enjoyable and held the comfortable troupes we are used to seeing in the Poirot books.
I unfortunately did not finish four of the books I had set out in my Ten book TBR. I started all four of these books, I just didn’t manage to finish them mainly due to falling ill and not being able to focus on them. I am hoping to carry these over into February. They include:
Fire and Heist
Sarah Beth Durst
I read 54 pages of this book and was enjoying it but put it down for the #SeriesTF2019 readathon and due to falling ill I just never picked it back up. I have just over 200 pages left of this and should hopefully be able to find time to finish it.
Shadow and Bone
This is my current read. I am only 36 pages in but I am already hooked. I have also recently acquired the audio book so I am hoping that I can fly through this both in my reading tonight but also on my commute on Monday, switching to audio during those times where I can’t have the book in my hand.
Unfortunately I will be late in reviewing this ARC. I had to put it down as due falling ill, my mental health was not in the right place to handle the post apocalyptic nature. The premise so far is interesting. A murder-mystery at the end of the world. I am in two minds over the presentation but I was only just getting into the mystery aspect of the novel at around 37% of the way through (148 pages). I will be returning to this book once my health is back to normal to give it a full review.
Beneath a Scarlet Sky
I have to admit I was very very close to DNFing this book. I am just not gelling with the wiritng style and while I want to know the story (as is a fictionalised memoir of a young italian man’s deeds during WW2) I just struggled with how the writer choose to convey the it. I got about 35% into the book before i put it down in favour of other reads. However the Too Old for This Shit book club has switched to being one book every 2 months giving me an extra month to attempt to finish it. I also found the Audio on Kindle Unlimited and it helps me power through with the writing so I may actually finish it. however I can tell you know it wont be getting a high rating for its writing.
How did your January reading go?
I would love to chat about these books or any others in the comments on Goodreads or Twitter!
Here is to a great reading year in 2019!