#TheReadingQuest Is On!

Hello everybody! So yesterday kicked off #TheReadingQuest, sorry for the late post! I was in Brighton, it was sunny, there might have been wine and my laptop got forgotten. Anyway, onto this quest thing that I’ve been wittering on about to my friends ever since I posted my sign-up post. I’ve even got a few of my colleagues joining in, which is most thrilling (I can witter on even more – “wonderful!”, I hear them cry).

Again, as I explained everything in my first post I won’t bore you with more details, you can see the original post by Aentee at readatmidnight here.

I’m going to be hopefully reading a book and listening to an audiobook simultaneously during the challenge to speed things up, and I’ve decided to start off with:

A Book Based on Mythology:

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (audiobook)

Song of Achilles

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Book That Contains Magic:

Gilded Cage by Vic James

Gilded Cage

I have also compiled a TBR for some of the most interesting side challenges (I’m holding off on a TBR for my next quest path, which would be the Knight if I managed to get round to it – there’s such a thing as too much ambition…).

Potions: A Book Concocted by 2+ Authors…

lluminae

…will be Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I was lazy and did a Twitter poll to decide on this one, and people seem to like Illuminae. To be honest, it’s one of those incredibly hyped books that I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single bad thing about. I like a good sci-fi, as well as books written as though made up of documents, interviews, emails etc., like Sleeping Giants and Waking Gods. I also get the impression that it’s super quick to read, which is all to the good.

Animal Companion: Book Referencing an Animal in the Title

Bear Nightingale…will The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (audiobook). It seems like sci-fi/fantasy is the way I’m going with this TBR and also it’s got two animals in it (do I get double the points for that? Yes? Yes?). Again, I’ve heard great things about this and it’s based on Russian fairytales, which very much appeals to me. I took to Twitter again to see if I could shoehorn my book club book, Flowers for Algernon, into being my choice for this challenge because at the end of the day, Algernon is a mouse. Apparently this would just not do. So…

Open World: Read Whatever You Want

Flowers for Algernon

…will be Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. This was a book that I vaguely knew existed somewhere in the back of my head, but then it got chosen for book club and it seems that everyone and their dog has read it. Emily at BookswithEmilyFox (who has quite similar tastes to me and whose judgement I quite trust) has said that she really loved it. I’m really, really excited about this one and hope it’ll live up to my expectations.

 

 

Time Warp: A Book Set Either in the Past or in the Future

We are Bob…will be We Are Legion: We Are Bob by Dennis E. Taylor (audiobook). This is one of those rare books that’s been a runaway success as an audiobook as opposed to being successful in print first. It’s about a man who pays to be cryogenically frozen, gets run over and wakes up 100 years in the future to find he’s been uploaded into a computer and is now some kind of Artificial Intelligence. Sounds suitably wacky.

 

Monstress

 

Mini-Game: Read a Graphic Novel, Novella or Poem Collection

…will be Monstress Volume 1 by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda. I was going to read Saga Volume 1 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples, but then it was announced today that Monstress won the Hugo Award 2017 in the graphic novel category and it looks intriguing. I’ve never actually read a graphic novel before, so this should be interesting!

 

So there you have it! Notice that I said there’s such a thing as too much ambition and I seem to have gone ahead and put a pile of books as tall as myself (admittedly, not as difficult to achieve as for some people) on my list. I’ve changed my mind! Ambition is good, it takes you places!

I’ve created a Goodreads shelf just for my #TheReadingQuest books to help me stay on track and to help you find out what I’m reading and how I’m progressing.

Good luck, other questers – I’ll post my first weekly update on Sunday 20th April!

I’d also love to know what you’re going to be reading, if you’re joining in, if you’ve read any of the books on my list and what you think of my TBR!

 

 

My Favourite Books of the Year so Far!

While I haven’t been strictly counting, according to my rough calculations I’ve read around 70 books this year so far. It’s been one of my most interesting reading years so far, which I can put down to two things.

1) The influence of my work colleagues, who are avid fantasy readers. Although I loved the fantasy genre well before becoming a bookseller, their interest in fantasy has piqued mine and their recommendations have led me to some truly stonking reads.

2) My decision to get an Audible membership. As you can see, three of the titles below are audiobooks, and it has completely changed my reading habits. I now always have two books on the go, one print and one audiobook. It’s definitely helped to speed up my reading and increase the number of books I’ve been able to get through.

So, below (in no particular order) are my favourite books for the first half of this year – do yourself a favour and read a couple. Continue reading “My Favourite Books of the Year so Far!”

This Bookseller Recommends: Title Recommendations for Fans of The Martian by Andy Weir

MartianEveryone has heard of The Martian, right? Andy Weir’s debut sci-fi novel has been made into a film starring Matt Damon (which, incidentally, I haven’t seen) and has just generally been raved about by everybody who has read it, myself included. It follows the story of astronaut Mark Wattney, who is left stranded on Mars after his crew depart the planet, convinced that he has died in a freak dust storm. Armed with a rapidly dwindling stash of supplies, his wits and a rather wicked sense of humour, Mark must survive completely alone on Mars until a plan can be formulated back on Earth to rescue him. Continue reading “This Bookseller Recommends: Title Recommendations for Fans of The Martian by Andy Weir”

My Top 5 Audiobooks (So Far)!

I absolutely love listening to audiobooks – my Audible subscription has been my most worthwhile investment in recent years. Audiobooks let me work on my TBR while out and about, as well as enable me to enjoy books (certain slower paced classics, for example) that I might struggle to finish in regular book format. As with regular books, there are certain audiobooks that stand out from the crowd. They go beyond a simple narration of the story – they are outstanding performances in their own right, to the extent that I feel that I would have lost out on something significant had I simply read them in book format. Continue reading “My Top 5 Audiobooks (So Far)!”

This Bookseller Recommends… Title recommendations for fans of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

One of the most frequent requests I get from customers as a bookseller is, “I really loved [insert book here] or [insert author here], and now I don’t know what to read next.” With my This Bookseller Recommends series, I will take a highly popular book or author and recommend other books to read that I think are similar in subject matter, style or general feel. Continue reading “This Bookseller Recommends… Title recommendations for fans of The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins”

Six Incredible Children’s Books That Made Me Realise the Power of Reading

Everybody has memories of those books that shaped them as a reader. When I was younger, let’s just say that I read a fair few books (slight understatement). These are a just a small selection of some of those that stand out even 15 or so years later. They are books that introduced me to something new, books that I read and reread compulsively, books that made me understand what reading could be. I still remember the way I felt as I was reading them, perhaps more so than the stories themselves. Some of them are quite old, but they are all well worth seeking out. Happy reading! Continue reading “Six Incredible Children’s Books That Made Me Realise the Power of Reading”