#TheReadingQuest Week 3 Update!

Hello! I was meant to post this on Sunday but was too busy reading. I am literally a caricature of myself. Anyway, three weeks of The Reading Quest have passed and I’ve only got one to go. If you read my previous post, you’ll know that I have finished my Mage character’s pathway and am now a Knight. There’s only four books for this quest, as I’ve already read the first one as part of the Mage quest (they share the “First Book Of A Series” prompt). I’m already one down, so I’m fairly confident that I’m going to be able to manage to finish up this quest as well. If you want more detail on my provisional TBR for the Knight’s quest, it’s in my previous post – although I’ve already changed one of them. Continue reading “#TheReadingQuest Week 3 Update!”


#TheReadingQuest Knight TBR

Hello there. Vair exciting news – I’ve finished the Mage pathway in The Reading Quest! I ended up using We Are Legion: We Are Bob as my “First Book in a Series” option and changing Nevernight to “A Book Set in a Different World” because I think I’ve reached fantasy saturation now and all I want now is to read thrillers/contemporary. So I’ll leave The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin until I fancy reading fantasy again, because I’m very much a mood reader and don’t think I’ll enjoy it as much if I force myself to read it. Anyway, that aside, I have a  and a whole new quest to be getting on with until 10 September – I have decided (like Ron Weasley) to be a Knight!

character card knight.png
I feel like a whole new person!

The Knight quest is all about adventure and action. As I’ve already completed one of the prompts for the knight (The First In A Series prompt) I’ve only (only!) got four to read for this quest.

So, below is my progress with the Quest so far…

reading quest progress.png

…and here is my new TBR for the rest of September. I know it’s fairly ambitious, but I’m hoping to complete all four books by 10 September, which is the end date of the quest.

The Word Is MurderA Book With A Verb In Its Title…

…will be The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz. I’m already halfway through this and loving it. So far with his adult crime novels, Horowitz has done something unique to make it stand out from the crowd. With Magpie Murders, he included an entire, “fake” novel within the main novel that held clues for the main plot. With this one, he has written himself in as a character! I’ll let you know what I think when I’m done!


A Book With A Weapon On The Cover…

…will be Kid Got Shot by Simon Mason. This is the second in a British young adult crime Kid Got Shotseries starring reluctant detective and even more reluctant schoolboy, Garvie Smith. I really enjoyed the first in the series, Running Girl, and am looking forward to seeing where the series goes. I found it really hard to find a book I actually wanted to read with a weapon on the cover. The problem with British crime/thriller novels is that the covers are often quite abstract in design, so that even if most of them contain violence/guns/knives in the plot, it won’t be shown on the cover. As you can see here, there’s a teeny little gun over the title, so that’ll do for me.

Silent ChildA Book With A Red Cover…

… will be Silent Child by Sarah A. Denzil (audiobook). This was a stroke of luck, actually, because it’s Audible’s thriller of the year and they’ve changed the audiobook cover so that it’s red. The cover of the regular book is actually black! This has been a bit of a runaway success on Amazon, and is about a woman whose son goes missing. 10 years later, she is beginning to move on – she is married again and newly pregnant. Then, her son, now a teenager, shows up – but he has quite clearly had a terrible time over the intervening years and is completely mute. That’s about all I know, but the audiobook is narrated by Jane Frogatt, who plays the housemaid Anna in Downton Abbey!

A Book That Has A TV/Movie Adaptation

…will be The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. I have had this on my shelf for Boy Striped Pyjamasthe LONGEST time and it’s getting a bit embarrassing, really. It has been made into a movie, which I… have not watched, but this is my excuse to get around to the book at long last! I have managed over the years to avoid hearing too much about this book – all I know is that a young boy’s father changes jobs and he has to move, and near his home is a large wire fence. On the other side of this fence, he sees a boy in striped clothing and strikes up a friendship with him. I fully expect to weep buckets.


Finally, there is one last side quest I’d like to complete, and that is the prompt to read a graphic novel. For this, I’m still hoping to read…

…Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda



I chose this graphic novel because it won the Hugo Award 2017 in its category. It will be my very first graphic novel! Also, I think the artwork is absolutely stunning. I fully admit that I know nothing about this whatsoever, but I’m very excited to dive in!




So there we are. I have just over a week and this is probably horribly ambitious again, but some of the books are pretty short and I’m already halfway through one.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you thought! How are you doing if you’re joining in with The Reading Quest?

My update for Week 3 will be up on the blog tomorrow, so I’ll catch up then!

#TheReadingQuest Week 2 Update!

Hello there! So it’s officially the halfway point of #TheReadingQuest hosted by Aentee at readatmidnight. The time has absolutely flown and while I haven’t been able to keep up with my ambitions by a long stretch, I’ve had a bit more time to dedicate to it this week and am now quite a bit further on in the quest with a few more completed books under my belt. I’ve also been working on some of the side challenges at the same time, which has slowed down my main quest a little but has been thoroughly worth it. Continue reading “#TheReadingQuest Week 2 Update!”

#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…


…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.




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)!”