Another Year Read

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Happy New Year lovely people! It’s hard to believe another year is over – 2015 seems to have disappeared in the blink of an eye! I did an awful lot of reading in those 12 months (and took a lot of pictures of books!) so I thought I’d do a year in books round up – here is a list of everything I read in 2015:

1. Unwind – Neal Shusterman

2. The Rithmatist – Brandon Sanderson

3. Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo (read for work)

4. The Strange Library – Haruki Murakami

5. The Library of Unrequited Love – Sophie Divry

6. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck (re-read for work)

7. Romeo & Juliet – Shakespeare (re-read for work)

8. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (re-read for work)

9. Abomination – Robert Swindells

10. Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

11. Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill

12. The Golem & The Djinni – Helene Wecker

13. Not That Kind Of Girl – Lena Dunham

14. The Innocent Mage – Karen Miller

15. Thief of Time – Terry Pratchett

16. The Infographic Guide to Literature – Joanna Eliot

17. The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

18. The Invisible Library – Genevieve Cogman

19. Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

20.  Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe –  Benjamin Alire Sáenz

21. The Coincidence Authority – John Ironmonger

22. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce

23. The Sleeper and the Spindle – Neil Gaiman

24. The Looking Glass Wars  – Frank Beddor

25. All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

26.  The Innocent Mage – Karen Miller

27. The Awakened Mage – Karen Miller

28.Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham

29. Earth, Air, Fire and Custard – Tom Holt

30. The Chrysalids – John Wyndham

31. The Soul Trade – E.E. Richardson

32. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin

33. All That is Solid Melts Into Air – Darragh McKeon

34. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

35. The Witches – Roald Dahl

36. The Glass Books of The Dream Eaters – Gordon Dahlquist

37. The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

38. Where The Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silversten

39. The Tempest – William Shakespeare

40. DNA – Dennis Kelly

41. Ella Minnow Pea – Mark Dunn

42. Very Good Lives – J.K. Rowling

43. How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran

44. The Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss

45. A Mislaid Magic – Joyce Windsor

46. Seraphina – Rachel Hartman

47. Smilers Fair – Rebecca Levene

48. The Colour of Magic – Terry Pratchett

49. Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham

50. Eunoia – Christian Bock

51. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

52. Night of Cake and Puppets – Lani Taylor

53. The Paper Magician – Charlie N Holmberg

54. The Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

55. Eros Unbound – Anais Nin

56. Will Grayson, Will Grayson – David Levithian & John Green

57.The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavander – Leslye Walton

58. Rules of the Red Rubber Ball – Kevin Carroll

59. Tales of Beedle The Bard – J K Rowling

60. Giver – Lois Lowry

61. Sun and Moon – Lindsey Yankee

62. Mental Morfosis – Franz De Paula

63. Throne of Glass – Sarah J Maas

64. Tiny Book of Tiny Stories – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

65. Tiny Book of Tiny Stories 2 – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

66. Tiny Book of Tiny Stories 3 – Joseph Gordon-Levitt

67. Crown of Midnight – Sarah J Maas

68. Night Owls – Jenn Bennett

69. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J K Rowling

70. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J K Rowling

71. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J K Rowling

72. The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Partick Ness

73. Fever Crumb – Phillip Reeve

74. Heir  of Fire – Sarah J Maas

75. The Fox and The Star – Coralie Bickford-Smith

76. The Uncommon Reader – Alan Bennett

77. Magonia – Maria Dahvana Headley

78. Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo

79. An Ember in The Ashes – Sabaa Tabhir

80. Poisoned Apples – Christine Heppermann

 

I could honestly recommend any one of these books but my favourites were: Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe, The Wise Man’s Fear, Shadow and Bone, An Ember in the Ashes, Harry Potter (all of them!), The Uncommon Reader, The Throne of Glass series, Very Good Lives, Magonia, The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and Ella Minnow Pea.

Hoping you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and wishing you a fabulous 2016!

What I’ve Been Reading

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I shared, back at the beginning of April, all the lovely books that I had read so far in 2015. I thought it was time for an update. 🙂

I seem to be going through phases at the moment; one week I’ll be reading up a storm and get through 2 or 3 books, the next I won’t even get halfway through one. Whichever state I’ve been in I have still managed to devour a good number of books, all of which I have enjoyed. So here’s the list of my reads from April-July 2015 (in no particular order):

1) The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

2) The Invisible Library – Genevieve Cogman

3) Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

4) Dante and Aristotle Discover the Secrets of the Universe –  Benjamin Alire Sáenz

5) The Coincidence Authority – John Ironmonger

6) The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce

7) The Sleeper and the Spindle – Neil Gaiman

8) The Looking Glass Wars  – Frank Beddor

9) All the Bright Places – Jennifer Niven

10) The Innocent Mage – Karen Miller

11) The Awakened Mage – Karen Miller

12) Not That Kind of Girl – Lena Dunham

13) Earth, Air, Fire and Custard – Tom Holt

14) The Chrysalids – John Wyndham

15) The Soul Trade – E.E. Richardson

16) The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin

17) All That is Solid Melts Into Air – Darragh McKeon

18) The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

19) The Witches – Roald Dahl

20) The Glass Books of The Dream Eaters – Gordon Dahlquist

21) The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

22) Where The Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silversten

23) The Tempest – William Shakespeare

24) DNA – Dennis Kelly

25) Ella Minnow Pea – Mark Dunn

26) Very Good Lives – J.K. Rowling

27)How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran

I really did enjoy every single one of these books, however my absolute favourites were The Knife of Never Letting Go, Ella Minnow Pea, Where The Sidewalk Ends, Very Good Lives and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

The Knife of Never Letting Go and Aristotle and Dante both moved me to tears (for completely different reasons) and are both beautifully written books with fantastic characters. Very Good Lives was a super quick read and is full of pearls of wisdom; a real manifesto for first world living in the 21st Century. Where The Sidewalk Ends is just a wonderful collection of Shel Silverston’s poetry and made me smile so much. Ella Minnow Pea is, quite frankly, a work of genius. As well as being a great story it is just incredibly clever.

So there you have it. My reading update for 2015 taking me nicely to 43 books read so far this year. I’m slightly behind the 50 mark I was hoping to have hit but I’ve got a few weeks of summer left to catch myself up and a couple of long haul flights in October should help as well! 🙂

What have you been reading lately?

Should

I really should cook something different for dinner…

I really should do another load of washing…

I really should clean the bath…

I really should prepare for that meeting…

I really should run those letters to the post box…

I really should check my bank balance…

I really should answer those emails…

I really should go to the gym…

…but I’d rather read a book.

What I’ve Been Reading

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I started the year with about 45 books on my ‘to be read’ list. Well…ok that was the shortened list. Let’s call it my ‘to be read first’ list! I’ve read 16 since the new year; although they didn’t all start on the list, some of them ended up being added by accident…along with another 20 or so.

So, I thought I’d share what I’ve been reading in the first 3 months of 2015.

1. Unwind – Neal Shusterman

2. The Rithmatist – Brandon Sanderson

3. Private Peaceful – Michael Morpurgo (read for work)

4. The Strange Library – Haruki Murakami

5. The Library of Unrequited Love – Sophie Divry

6. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck (re-read for work)

7. Romeo & Juliet – Shakespeare (re-read for work)

8. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (re-read for work)

9. Abomination – Robert Swindells

10. Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell

11. Only Ever Yours – Louise O’Neill

12. The Golem & The Djinni – Helene Wecker

13. Not That Kind Of Girl – Lena Dunham

14. The Innocent Mage – Karen Miller

15. Thief of Time – Terry Pratchett

16. The Infographic Guide to Literature – Joanna Eliot

I’d quite happily recommend any of these books but my favourites were Unwind, The Rithmatist, The Strange Library, Eleanor & Park and The Innocent Mage.  If you’re looking for your next read you should definitely consider giving one (or all) of these a go!

What have you bee reading?

In Celebration of Books

Yesterday was World Book Day, which is absolutely one of my favourite days. What could be better than a whole day dedicated to celebrating the wonderful world of books? Shamefully, I completely missed joining in the celebrations, here on Thrive in Chaos, due to a mixture of having too much work to do, being out for most of the evening and generally feeling too tired to write anything remotely worth sharing. So I’m hoping to rectify that here and now. Firstly, I thought I would share with you a few lovely bookish links from around the web…
 
1. The Literary Gift Company has all manner of fabulous literary goodies. Why not treat a book loving friend? While you’re at it you can treat yourself! 🙂
2. Can you relate to Natalia Sylvester’s reason for continuing to buy more books even when you probably can’t read them immediately? I know I can.
3.  As well as celebrating books, this week we are also celebrating women with International Women’s Day! So how about picking your next book from this list of readers’ favourite books by women.
4. Looking to branch out from your traditional genre choices? Have a gander  at these suggestions and see what takes your fancy.
5. For a bit of fun how about a quick game of ‘literary would your rather‘?
6. Alternatively you could opt for a blind date with a book! Have nosy round your local book shops to see if any offer this rather wonderful idea.

Whilst I was browsing around the various bookish things that have been going on I came across this TBR tag and I thought I’d share with you a bit about my to be read list(s)…


How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
A few ways; I have a shelf in my dining room and a pile by my bed that are waiting to be read. I also have quite a few waiting in my kindle. I have a books wish list on Amazon and I keep a physical list in a notebook. I also have a note in my iPhone that gets added to pretty much anytime I’m in a bookshop/library and then when I’m home they get added to my wish list.
Is your TBR mostly print or eBook?

Probably about 50/50 to be honest. I love actual, physical books however a limited amount of space does mean I often opt for digital versions nowadays.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I’ll usually have one only my shelf/bedside table/kindle that has been calling out to me to be read. If there isn’t one I’ve had in mind the. I’ll pick up a couple of options and read the opening paragraph, the. I’ll carry on reading the one that grabbed me most!

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest?

There are two that have been on my kindle and one that’s been on my shelf for ages: The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss, Villette by Charlotte Brontë and Heartstone by C. J. Sansom. I’m not really sure why I’ve not read them, they’re all by authors that I love and they’re all books I really want to read. I guess it’s just not been the right time to read them yet.

A book you recently added to your TBR?

Angelfall by Susan EE is the latest addition but ask me again in an hour and I’m sure I’ll have added another…

A book on your TBR strictly because of it’s beautiful cover.

I don’t really have any JUST for the beautiful cover however I do have an absolutely gorgeous copy of Grimm’s Tales that I’m currently dipping in and out of.

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading.

I don’t tend to keep books I don’t plan to read on my TBR list because then I just get annoyed that I’m not reading it. However one that was on there for ages and I have recently just decided to remove is The Beautiful and The Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I don’t know what it is but I just cannot get into his writing. Which I find weird because I come across beautiful quotes from his work all the time, but having tried a couple of his others and not finished a single one I think I can pretty confidently say I will never read this book.


An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for.
Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee. Having only got around to reading To Kill A Mockingbird last summer (why did I wait so long to read it?!) I am excited to see what this release has to offer.
A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you.
Probably Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.
A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, which seems to be highly praised all over the place. Also The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.
A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read.
Honestly I’m dying to read pretty much all of them…
How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?
Currently there are 13 on my kindle, about 30 on my bookshelves, and 148 on my wishlist. This is actually a very restrained TBR list at the moment. Give me an hour in a bookshop or just browsing online and I would increase this significantly. I can also pretty much guarantee that even as I finish a book I will have added at least one if not more onto the list.
So, what is your TBR looking like right now? If you decide to try this out on your own blog then please post a link in the comments so I can have a nosy (and probably add some of your TBR books to my own list).

My Year in Books

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Today I established that I currently have between 30-40 unread books waiting to be read at home, at work and on my kindle, along with a slightly larger number than that on my wishlist (…ahem…143…). I decided I should do a quick recap and list what I read in 2014. So here it is! My year in books…

Books I read for the first time:
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (I know, don’t judge, I’m not quite sure how I haven’t read this before either.)
Solitaire – Alice Oseman
The Signature of All Things – Elizabeth Gilbert
The Colour Master – Aimee Bender
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August – Claire North
Up a Tree in the Park at Night with a Hedgehog – Paul Robert Smith
Going Postal – Terry Pratchett
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler
Divergent – Veronica Roth
Insurgent – Veronica Roth
Allegiant – Veronica Roth
Words of Radiance – Brandon Sanderson
Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor
Dreams of Gods and Monsters – Laini Taylor
Days of Blood and Starlight – Laini Taylor
The Book of Life – Deborah Harkness
Shades of Grey – Jasper Fforde

Books I re-read:
Hello? Is Anybody There? – Jostein Gaarder
The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson
The Final Empire: Mistborn 1 – Brandon Sanderson
The Well of Ascension: Mistborn 2 – Brandon Sanderson
The Hero of Ages: Mistborn 3 – Brandon Sanderson
Harry Potter (all of them!) – J. K. Rowling
The Mortal Instruments (all of them!) – Cassandra Clare
Twilight (all of them!) – Stephenie Meyer
The Handmaids Tale – Margaret Atwood

Books I read for work:
Skellig – David Almond
The Switch – Anthony Horowitz
Two Weeks with the Queen – Morris Gleitzman
Face – Benjamin Zephaniah
The BFG – Roald Dahl
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
(Half of these were re-reads as well)

Books I kept dipping into:
Teach Now! English – Alex Quigley
Getting the Buggers to Write – Sue Cowley
Help Your Kids with Spelling and Grammar – Carol Vorderman
Ode to Common Things – Pablo Neruda
The Etymologicon – Mark Forsythe

Phew! I read a fair bit really. If I read the same amount again I can easily get through my unread books this year…however…there is absolutely no guarantee that I won’t buy more in the meantime. After all, you can never have too many books!

What did you read last year?

That Bookshop Feeling

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Image from here.

Is there anything better than wandering round a bookshop? I could quite happily spend my entire life in bookshops…as long as someone brought me food on a fairly regular basis.

I love the atmosphere of hushed appreciation, created by the small gatherings of book lovers, quietly browsing the shelves. The smell. The rainbow of colours spread across the walls and tables. All those inviting covers, waiting to be opened. People meandering through the stacks, running gentle fingers along the spines, occasionally pulling a book from the shelf to read the back or flip through the pages.

If I had even a smidgen less self control I would just pull out a pile of books that took my fancy, plonk myself down on the floor in the middle of the shop, and plunge straight into the vast universes waiting within the pages. It takes a great exercise of will to not indulge this little compulsion. If I did I would probably never leave.

I am alternately awed, excited and devastated by how many books there are. Awed and excited because how many wonderful stories and people and places have I yet to discover? Devastated because I know I will never discover them all…but that won’t stop me trying!