February TBR 2018

Who knows how many I will get to this month, I’m just hoping I can stay on track with uni reading if I’m honest! I also need to catch up on Rick Riordan’s books for the read-along I am participating in.

fullsizeoutput_1515

Uni books:

  • Harvest – Jim Crace
  • The Quickening Maze – Adam Foulds
  • N-W – Zadie Smith
  • Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Shakespeare
  • Twelfth Night – Shakespeare
  • The Winter’s Tale – Shakespeare
  • Twenty-First-Century Fiction: A Critical Introduction – Peter Boxall

Epic Riordan Readalong: 

  • Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse
  • Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth
  • Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
  • Heroes of Olympus – The Lost Hero
  • Heroes of Olympus – The Son of Neptune
  • Heroes of Olympus – The Mark of Athena
  • Heroes of Olympus – The House of Hades

It’s after typing this list out that I realise how far behind I am…

This is a long shot, but any extras I may manage to fit in:

  • Call Me By Your Name – André Aciman
  • Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
  • Goodbye, Perfect – Sara Barnard
  • Things a Bright Girl Can Do – Sally Nicholls

 

 

Advertisements

Top 3 January Reads 2018

As I write this, I have finished seven books this month. I’m debating starting wrap-up style posts, but then I have reviewed every book that I’ve read this month *gasp*. I probably – hopefully, as it needs to be read by the time this gets posted – will have finished another book, but it wouldn’t make this list even if I had finished it earlier.

BronzeWinter – Ali Smith 

I’m not sure that I felt so as soon as I finished it, but thinking back, I definitely preferred Winter to Autumn. It’s so rooted in present events, and that could be why – I read Winter only a couple of months after it was released. I’m definitely a lover of Ali Smith’s writing, and can’t wait to get to more of her work.

SilverPercy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan

This was SO good. I loved the characters, the plot, everything. I’m so glad Hannah made me pick this up!

GoldNice Try, Jane Sinner – Lianne Oelke

This book was incredible. The premise, humour, Jane herself. It dealt with serious topics really well, whilst keeping the rest of the story lighthearted. I absolutely adored this book, honestly, I haven’t laughed so much at a novel.

Review: Richard II – William Shakespeare

10765762

The fact that I couldn’t find a summary by goodreads sums up this play to be honest.

I am very definitely not a fan of the history plays by Shakespeare. I don’t understand half of what is going on, nor do I understand the reasons why things are happening. I mean, it’s very likely just me that can’t understand it, but there we go.

Richard II is a very complex character, granted. We see him descend into a state of madness (Hannah looked it up and he truly did go ‘mad’), and there are so many things wrong with him (again we looked it up and it’s mostly because of the inbreeding that went on in the royal family back in the 1300s), but these made his character incredibly interesting. And, considering the fact that this play was written in the Elizabethan times, it’s pretty well portrayed (nothing compared to today’s standards however – thankfully our expectations have improved).

As for the events of the play, I would discuss them… But I don’t actually understand what happened. They seemed dramatic? There was a lot of going back and forth between people and places and there were too many people and places to keep up.

I do feel that maybe because my heart wasn’t really into watching / reading it, I didn’t get the full benefit. However, I don’t think I’ll be picking it up again anytime soon to give it the benefit of the doubt. Shakespeare has written so many other plays, I have plenty to go through first before ending up rereading Richard II.

Rating: 2.5 / 5 🌟

Review: Hope – Rhian Ivory 

36248762

Genre: YA, Contemporary

Publication date: 15th September 2017 by Firefly Press Ltd

Format: Paperback I purchased from Waterstones

The summer between school and sixth-form. When Hope doesn’t get into drama college, and her friends do, all her plans fall apart. She’s struggling with anger, grief for her father and a sense that her own body is against her. She meets Riley on the ferry and his texts give her someone to talk to. But this isn’t a story about a boy fixing everything. It’s about trying new things and having the courage to ask for help.

(from goodreads.com)


I read this book a little while ago, back when it was released. As soon as I saw it in Waterstones I picked it up and I was not disappointed. It was a wonderful read, and I’m so glad I got to it so soon.

Hope is a complex character, there is so much going on with her. Even now, though I’m at a different stage in my life / education, I relate to her struggle about what to do next with her life so much. It was interesting to see this portrayed accurately, and the struggle she faces when her dream doesn’t quite come true and the subsequent paths she has to look at and choose from were well executed.

The main thing with this book, however, it that is does not shy away from talking about periods. It discusses the condition of PMDD, and it was great to see something talked about that is usually shied away from. It’s not something I personally struggle with, but I can see how reading about Hope’s struggle and coming to terms with it would really help someone. I can’t comment on the accuracy of the portrayal, but Hope’s emotional response came across as realistic and raw.

I couldn’t put this book down. It’s set in the Midlands area, which was amazing as I don’t think I have read any other book that explicitly mentions Birmingham. It was a surreal feeling reading a book and recognising the places mentioned. I mean, I recognise some of the famous names dropped in books set in London, but America I kind of guess at. Reading a book set so close to home made such a lovely, lovely change.

I would highly recommend this book. It completely grabbed me and I sped through it. The characters, their emotions and feelings, were so well developed, and I fell in love with it. I find myself wanting to reread it, which is unusual for me, and always a good sign!

Rating: 5 / 5 🌟

Review: Henry V – William Shakespeare

8569551

Henry V is Shakespeare’s most famous “war play”; it includes the storied English victory over the French at Agincourt. Some of it glorifies war, especially the choruses and Henry’s speeches urging his troops into battle. But we also hear bishops conniving for war to postpone a bill that would tax the church, and soldiers expecting to reap profits from the conflict. Even in the speeches of Henry and his nobles, there are many chilling references to the human cost of war.

(from goodreads.com)


Firstly, I don’t feel I can write a ‘review’ of a Shakespeare play. It’s Shakespeare, England’s most famous writer, I think it’s fair to say. But I wanted to share some of my thoughts about the play anyway.

I’m not really a fan of the histories, I must admit. I read this play back in year twelve (nearly three years ago) and wasn’t really keen on it, and reading it again for uni made me understand why I don’t particularly enjoy it. I watched it, rather than read it, this time around. It helped, as my attempts at reading it were just not going to happen!

There are so many characters. I know it’s a historical piece and Shakespeare couldn’t exactly cut them out of the play but I could not follow them. This is why watching it made it so much better. I could put a face to a name at the very least (admittedly, I had no clue who some of the people were but hey). I just got so confused reading this and I struggled to get through it (well, I didn’t). It is important to remember it is written for the stage though, even more so than today’s plays as the majority of Shakespeare’s audience wouldn’t have been able to read, so I guess there’s that.

I did love some of the speeches, the ‘Crispin’s Day’ speech is truly wonderful. Henry V definitely has good, motivational speeches going for it. But otherwise, I was bored. As I said, I’m not really a fan of the histories – I prefer the over the top drama of the tragedies and comedies personally. But I can see its merit. I mean, I find history interesting to learn about, but historical fiction in general is not my thing, let alone Shakespeare’s version of it!

Rating: 3 / 5 🌟

 

Books I’m Not Interested In Reading

I am struggling to find inspiration for posts at this moment, for a whole number of reasons, but I was scrolling through youtube earlier and saw multiple videos along these lines… I thought it’d be fun to do my own. If you love these books, I apologise! You are more than welcome to love them and rave about them to me, I just personally have no interest in reading them myself.

fullsizeoutput_14ec

Anything by Richard Yates

I loathed Revolutionary Road – I only finished it because I had to for school. It was horrific in so many ways I just can’t make myself read anything else by the same author.

How To Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran

This is one of the few books that I have consciously DNF’d. It wasn’t for me.

Zenith – Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings

Controversial, I know. I’m not really interested in science fiction generally anyway, and I was reading a little bit Sasha had shared on her Instagram story (I think), and the writing is just… not great.

Anything by Stephen King

I’m scared of my own shadow and so would have no hope with Stephen King.

A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin

I’m not really a fan of high fantasy, and these books are massive.

The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book, but the bad aspects definitely outweigh the good.

The Divergent Series – Veronica Roth

It’s been out such a long time now, and I’ve never particularly wanted to read it.

If you love these books / authors, honestly that’s great! I’m not going to blab on about disclaimers etc. I’d like to think everyone can have their different opinions and share them in a nice manner. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my list!

 

What I Am Currently Reading

I have so many books on the go at the moment, especially on Goodreads, far too many… I like having multiple books on the go, but it is getting a tad ridiculous now! My aim is to shorten the list this year… we hope!

These are the books I currently have on the go:

  • There But For The – Ali Smith
  • Hawthorn and Child – Keith Ridgway
  • Twelfth Night – William Shakespeare
  • Richard II – William Shakespeare
  • Evening Primrose – Kopano Matlwa
  • A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  • The Refugees – Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Sunshine – Melissa Lee-Houghton
  • American Gods – Neil Gaiman
  • The Divine Comedy – Dante
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  • Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  • The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven

Believe it or not, there are more listed as ‘currently reading’ on Goodreads, but I’m not really. I haven’t picked them up in ages and I don’t really intend to. I mean, some of those in the above list I haven’t picked up in a while and won’t for a while yet (my copy of The Divine Comedy is at home so I definitely won’t read any until Easter at the earliest) but I have good intentions. I’m sure there are other too that I have started and not added to Goodreads, and hence forgotten I have started!

What are you currently reading? Do you prefer to read one book at a time or have more than one (maybe not as many as me because my list is a bit too long to be honest!)?