May 2019 Wrap Up

Another month over. Despite it being a pretty hellish month for me, I managed to read 8 books and I’ve posted every single day in May on here. That’s something I’m quite proud of and it’s been really good for me. It’s given me some focus. So I’m really pleased with this month. Anyway, here are the books I read this month.


A Storm of Swords by G. R. R. Martin

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This was a re-read for me. I’ve been going through the series again on audio and I’m really enjoying it again. Despite the narrator’s appalling pronunciation of names (the worst ones are Brienne as BRY-een and Petyr as PUH-tyre, they trigger me every single time). Hopefully, by the time I finish this re-read, we’ll have a release date for Winds of Winter. Please? 5/5 stars

Alice by Christina Henry

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I’ve been meaning to pick up this series for a long time and I finally did. I really enjoyed the book, but I also found some things very problematic. I talk about it more in my review, but I had a problem with how both men and women were portrayed in this book. It was otherwise very well written and compelling storytelling, but do be aware that it contains violence, sexual, physical and emotional abuse, animal abuse, pretty much any kind of abuse you can think of. 3.5/5

City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

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This was an audiobook I picked up on a whim and ended up enjoying a lot more than I thought I would. Especially towards the end, it was a bit slow to start with. I didn’t mind the pacing as much as I just didn’t like the insta-love that was focused on a lot in the first part of the book. As a result, I didn’t like any of the romance in this book. There’s a kind of love triangle, I can’t tell yet if it’s intended as a love triangle or one of the sides is intended as just a friendship. I would prefer the latter, but even then, I’m just not a fan of that character so I still wouldn’t love it. That kind of goes for all the characters, really. I found them all quite dis-likeable. That’s not to say that I hate them and I think at times the unlikeability was intentional. I still find them compelling, but I don’t love them. I really do love the world however and the political environment and mythology. That’s really what I’m here for. 3.75/5

Sadie by Courtney Summers

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Another audiobook. I think the majority of books I read this month were audiobooks. And I actually do recommend this story as an audiobook. I think it’s the best way to experience it. It was one of the best thriller/mystery books I’ve read in a while. I’ve reviewed it, so you can check that out, but it’s amazing and I recommend it. 5/5 stars

One Word Kill by Mark Lawrence

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Mark Lawrence has become one of my favourite, auto-buy authors. This was such a fun, short weird and heartwarming book. I believe the second one came out this month and the final book in the series is due to be released later this year and it’s just so much fun. It’s like Doctor Who meets Stranger Things. 3.75 stars

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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This has been sitting in my Audible library for some time and I finally decided to listen to it. I’m very glad I did, I really loved it. It’s such a beautifully told story and I really love survival stories. I love reading about people’s will to survive and the ingenuity that is brought out by that desire. I did fundamentally disagree with some of the main ideas of the main character. And that actually affected my rating of the book. Normally it wouldn’t, if they had been conveyed as simply something that the MC believed, it wouldn’t have. But the way that it was portrayed, it was one of the main things that the books was trying to convey. 3.5/5 stars

Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

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I’ve been doing pretty well with reading authors that I already know I enjoy. I really like having read all or most of an author’s works if I enjoy their books, of course. There’s just something very satisfying about it. But like with finishing series, it’s something I’ve historically not been great at. But I’ve been doing that more lately and I’m glad. I really enjoyed this book, in some ways I liked it even more than his other series. It’s definitely not as complex, it’s aimed for a younger audience. But as a result of that, I didn’t struggle with the pacing the way I sometimes did with The First Law books. 4/5 stars

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett

I’ve only read one other Terry Pratchett book, but even I could tell this is not one of his best. It was one of his later works when he already struggled with Alzheimer’s, so it’s to be expected. It was still highly entertaining, especially the Audible audiobook. It’s full cast and it’s a show almost. It’s got sound effects and everything. It’s a lot of fun, I do recommend that if you’re able to get it. 3.5/5 stars

Do I Have That Book Challenge

I saw this tag on YouTube and I thought it was fun, so I’m gonna do it. I will link to the creator’s video.

This tag has 20 questions about what books I own. I feel it works better in video format. But Whatever, I still want to do it.


1. A book with deckled edges

YES. I may have more than one, but the one that comes to mind at the moment is Jesus Freaks by DC Talk.

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Couldn’t find a picture where you can see the deckled pages, but it’s got them. I promise.

2. A book with 3 or more people on the cover

YES! A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L’Engle. Has 3 people on it.

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3. A book based on another fictional story

Do I? Do I really? How about The Wrath and the Dawn? Arabian nights retelling. Percy Jackson? Magnus Chase? ACOTAR? Cruel Beauty? Could go on, but you guys get the point. I have A LOT of retellings.

 

4. A book with a title 10 letters long

I’m gonna say it has to be 1 word, just to make it more difficult. And I’m gonna go with Nevernight by Jay Kristoff.

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5. A book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Starts and ends with a T. And just because I know some people are going to be picky about me including the article, here’s another: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

6. A mass market paperback

Yes. All of my Lord of the Rings and one of my copies of The Hobbit.

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7. A book by an author using a pen name

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll. His real name was Charles Dodgson.

 

8. A book with a character’s name in the title

Looking for Alaska by John Green. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury. The main character is named Sorrow. Weird, I know. Marissa Meyer’s books also. Could probably go on, but we’ll stoop here.

 

9. A book with two maps in it

Probably have loads of these as well, but I’m too lazy to check so we’ll go with Elantris by Brandon Sanderson because I’m currently reading it. And it has not two, but three maps in it. Wait… does that mean it doesn’t fulfill the challenge? Like does it have to be 2, no more no less? If that’s the case, I will go with A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas.

10. A book that was turned into a TV show

A Game of Thrones by G. R. R. Martin.

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11. A book written by someone who was originally famous for something else?

Relativity by Albert Einstein. Cause he was famous for science. So, I’m counting it.

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12. A book with a clock on the cover

This is going to take some thinking. Just One damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor. That’s kind of a clock. If you don’t like that, I got Clockwork Angel that’s got Big Ben in the background. No one can argue with Big Ben.

13. A poetry book

I have several, but I’ll go with Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur because I’ve read and loved it.

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14. A book with an award stamp on it

Ok, I’m bitter about this question because I have loads of books that have won prizes. But the stickers/stamps annoy me, so I tend to buy editions that don’t have them. I’m going to have to delve deep for this one.

I have The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin. It’s not actually a sticker, nor is it a stamp. It’s just printed on the cover. But I’m going with it.

15. A book written by an author with the same initials as you?

I actually don’t. 😥 My initials are RP and I have no books written by an author with the same initials. I do have books written by a PR. But no RP. So I’m gonna give myself half a point for this, cause the right letters, just wrong order and go with The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

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16. A book of short stories

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo.

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17. A book between 500 and 510 pages.

Pfft, easy. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. Exactly 510 pages (just got it in a subscription box yesterday and I SQUEALED!).

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18. A book that was turned into a movie

I have like 20. But I’ll go with The Lord of the Rings because that’s my favourite adaptation.

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19. A graphic novel

Indeed I do. Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel. 

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20. A book written by two or more authors

This was a long tag. I do indeed have several books that are co-authored. Including Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

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This was fun. I got 19.5 out of 20 points. So… not bad. Let me know what you guys got!

 

ABC Challenge – D

I saw this over at Thrice Read.

Previous posts: A B C


Remarkable book

This time, I’m giving a shout out to A Dance With Dragons by G. R. R. Martin. This is by far my favourite of the series. So many things going on, so many questions to be answered! I want the next one already!

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Book on my TBR

Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor. I really need to finish this series. It’s getting ridiculous. It’s been over 2 years since I read the first two books and I really loved the series. So I have no idea why I haven’t read this one yet.

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My TBR Shelf

I’ve never had a designated TBR shelf before. I usually kept read and unread books together. But I recently moved to a new flat and I have this little shelf right next to my bed, so I decided to put my unread books on it. These aren’t all of my unread owned books, because they wouldn’t all fit, so I kept my unread non-fiction books separately.

A great photographer, I am not, but this is what the shelf looks like at the moment.


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The books on here aren’t actually sorted in any particular way except that the hardbacks are at one end and I kind of grouped the white books, but other than that I just shoved them on in whatever order. The little shelf at the top holds the books that I’ve already started but have yet to finish.

In case you are for whatever reason curious as to what books are on my TBR shelf, they are as follows:

Top shelf (started but not yet finished)

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas – I’ve legit been reading this for a year now. Since it came out last year. I’m just really not enjoying it, mainly because I cannot stand Chaol. I just want to get through it so I can get to Kingdom of Ash. I’m almost halfway through it (I know, I hate Chaol that much).

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks – This is another one that I just couldn’t really get into. I was actually expecting to enjoy this book and series as I’ve heard great things about it from people I trust. And I am intrigued by the plot and the world, but again, I dislike the main character and it just puts me off reading it. Every time I pick it up, I read a few pages and I put it back down. I’m 135 pages into this one.

Looking for Alaska by John Green – I started reading this at the start of September, but then I just really haven’t been in a contemp kind of mood, so I haven’t been picking it up much.

The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis – This is the non-fiction that I’m currently reading and as usual with Lewis’ books, I’m really enjoying it. Though I have to say at least so far, this one is my least favourite of his books that I have read.

What If? Serious Scientific Answersto Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe – This is another non-fiction that I’m reading, though not as actively as The Four Loves. Because of the nature of this book, this is what I pick up when I have only 5 minutes and want a quick pick me up as each chapter is very entertaining and usually quite short.

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch – You can’t actually see the spine of this one, but it’s the one with green pages. This is my meh book of the moment. Am I the only one who has a book that’s just kind of mediocre that you read when you’re too tired for anything that requires more than a quarter of a brain and you don’t want to read a book you love because you won’t be able to focus, but you want to read? Or when you just finished an awesome book and you know you won’t be able to focus on a new one, but you also want to keep reading? No? Just me? Anyway, this is my second Sara Raasch book and I didn’t really like the first one either.

The Bat by Jo Nesbo – Final book on the little shelf. I’ve been reading this book even longer than ToD. I’m debating just admitting that I’m never going to finish it. But… it was recommended to me by someone special and I just really wanted to like it.

Bottom shelf

I haven’t actually read any of these, so I don’t have much to say about each one. I’ll just list them, from left to right:

Hardbacks

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas | Heart of Thorns by Bree Barton | Turtles All the Way Down by John Green | The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett | State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury | Vengeful by V. E. Schwab

Paperbacks

The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund | Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pincola Estes | Elantris by Brandon Sanderson |A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by G. R. R. Martin | Origin by Dan Brown | Down River by John Hart

Wild Embers by Nikita Gill | The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood | City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab | The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett | Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu | Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen | A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas | Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel | American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Judging Book Covers #2

As before, I went to my goodreads read shelf and randomised it. And as before, I will split the rating between aesthetic and relevance to the story, with a maximum of 2.5 points in each category.


A Clash of Kings by G. R. R. Martin

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I like this cover. It’s simple, yet effective. I like the colours as well. I would say 2 points for aesthetic. The crown there gives a nice medieval feel to it. You know picking this up, it’ll be a medieval setting. So 2 points for relevance with a total of 4/5.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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I love this cover. I have a thing about covers with crows or ravens on them. And it’s just so pretty! 2.5 for aesthetic. As for relevance, you can definitely tell this  will be fantasy from just looking at it. You can see a kind of city landscape and the bird’s wing also looks a little bit like the night sky, so it very much suggests night-time shenanigans in an urban setting, which is very much relevant, so 2.5 for relevance as well! 5/5

The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer

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I like the font of this. The background is simple, so it looks good. 1.5 for aesthetic. You can see the snow, which is relevant, and the sort of metal door behind bunker sort of vibe, which is also relevant. I would say 1.5 for relevance as well, with a total of 3/5.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

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Well… it is essentially a book about a blue dragon, so gotta give it full points for relevance although subtlety and symbolism clearly eluded whoever designed this. I like the blue of it and the font, but I’m not a huge fan of the dragon for some reason. 1.25 for aesthetic; 3.75 total.

Everless by Sara Holland

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I really like this cover. Minimalist, but captures the essence of the story excellently. There’s an hourglass, blood, a castle built with it… 2.5 for relevance. I love the font and the simple design, so 2.5 for aesthetic as well. We have another 5/5.

April 2018 Wrap Up

Please explain to me when exactly did April happen and where was I? I feel like I say this every month, but honestly I feel like time is just getting away from me. I managed to read 5 books this month, I don’t even know how cause I’ve been insanely busy. Though to be fair, some of these I had started before April and audiobooks were involved.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

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First read of the month was awesome. I expected it to be because Leigh Bardugo, but I was still pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book. Now I’m actually a bit wary of reading the other DC Icons books because I loved this one so much, I’m afraid I’ll be disappointed by the others. 5/5 stars

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

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Finally finished this one, 100 years after starting it. I actually really loved this book, don’t know why it took me so long to read. It’s full of compassion and encouragement. I found it very empowering. 5/5 stars

Red Sister by Mark Lawrence

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I discovered a new (to me) fantasy author. I’ve read two of his books this month and I enjoyed both of them. I did like this one more, but I like his other series as well. I’ve been in the mood for dark stories and he delivers. This series in particular appeals to me cause assassins, and not only that, but magic assassin school. Yeah. Really. I audiobooked this one and I really loved the narration. 5/5 stars

Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

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This is his other series which I did not enjoy as much, but there’s a very particular reason for that which I’ll talk about more in my review, which if it doesn’t bother you, then you’ll most likely love this. If you’re into very dark post apocalyptic fantasy sci-fi… ish that is. I will say that this series is a lot darker than Red Sister and the main character has no redeemable qualities whatsoever. He is vile like most characters in this book and they all rape and murder willy nilly. So trigger warning for any kind of abuse, really. 3/5 stars

A Clash of Kings by Ceorge R. R. Martin

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Continuing with my re-read of this series. This being my second time through the books, I’m getting so many details and hints that I didn’t the first time around. It’s great, really enjoying re-reading these. 5/5 stars

Book Haul

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi | A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R. R. Martin | Wonderwoman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo | Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wyne Jones | The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Looking for Alaska by John Green | The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot  | The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie | Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake | Onyx and Ivory by Mindee Arnett

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks | Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman | Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart | The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson | A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

March 2018 Wrap Up

I honestly cannot believe it’s already April. That’s a quarter of the year gone. When did that happen? Anyway, I had a decent reading month in March, not as good as February, but to be fair some of the books I read this month were huge. I read a total of 8 books.


Golden Son by Pierce Brown

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I’m getting better about continuing with series! I actually audiobooked this one. The audiobooks for this series are pretty good. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I liked the first one. I’m not sure if it’s because I listened to it instead of reading it, or because it just wasn’t as good. But it felt to me a lot more disorganised and all over the place than the first book. I felt for the first quarter of it that the characters were just moving about aimlessly. Anyway, I still enjoyed it. I gave it 4/5 stars.

The Arctic Incident: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer

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Again with the continuing of series! I’m proud of myself. Unfortunately, as with Golden Son, I didn’t enjoy this one quite as much as its predecessor. I feel like it worked much better as a novel than it did as a graphic novel, which wasn’t really a problem I had with the first book. 4/5 stars

The Body Reader by Anne Frasier

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Another one I listened to on audiobook. I’m not really sure how I came to own this audiobook, but it was in my audible library so… I just gave it a try. I find that thrillers work quite well as audiobooks. I enjoyed this one overall, I did think that the ending was quite predictable and cliche, but it was an entertaining novel nevertheless. 3/5 stars

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

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I watched the series this month and that season 7 finale just left me unable to just leave Westeros, so I decided to re-read the books. It’s been maybe 4 years since I originally read them, so it was high time for a re-read. I audiobooked this one because my copy of it is back at my parents’ house. I’m not the biggest fan of either the UK or the US narration of this series, unfortunately. I like the UK one slightly better just because I like the voice and accent of the narrator better, but he cannot pronounce names to save his life. 4/5 stars because of the narration, though my rating for the story is 5 stars.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

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I had hopes for this book. Sadly, I did not like it much. I thought it was a bit boring, the writing was weird and not in a good way, the story was so… pointless that I just stopped caring about a third through the book and there were some other things that I found problematic and I’ll talk about them more when I review the book. 1.5/5 stars.

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

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Poetry tends to be very hit and miss for me, I either don’t get it and it leaves me cold, or I really love it. This I absolutely loved. It made me cry multiple times, it made me feel empowered and beautiful, full of love and compassion. It’s just beautiful and I recommend it wholeheartedly. 5/5 stars.

Invitation to Poetry by Mihai Brinas

I received an e-copy of this from the author in exchange for a review. This is a self-published poetry book by a Romanian author. I normally don’t read a lot of poetry, but I loved Milk and Honey and when I was contacted about this and saw that the poetry seemed to be in the same style, I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, this really didn’t do it for me for several reasons that I will expand on in my review. I gave it 1.5/5 stars.

The Eternity Code: The Graphic Novel by Eoin COlfer

Unlike the second graphic novel in the series, I really loved this one as much as I loved the novel itself. I’m sad though, cause I think the fourth one is the only graphic novel that is released and I don’t know if there are plans for the others to be released. 5/5 stars

Books I’m Currently Reading #2

A while back, I made a post about all the books I’d started reading and not yet finished for various reasons. This is a follow up to that because unfortunately, that list has only grown. I think I’ve only completed three of the books that were on that list, have given up on another one and have added a few. For that reason, I will exclude the sciency books that are on this list because those were always going to take me a long time to finish and this list is long enough as it is.


Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

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This one I haven’t touched at all since my first post. I am really nervous that I will not enjoy it and I’ve been avoiding it. I am still on page 93 of it.

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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catheynne M. Valente

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This is still here as well, but I have made progress on it. I am more than halfway through it and I enjoyed it this far, so hopefully I’ll finish it soon. I am now on page 184.

Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey

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Another one that’s still here months later. I did make a little progress on it. Every time I pick it up, I love it so much. I find it so enriching and empowering, but I just don’t pick it up often enough. I am on page 139.

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

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This one’s still here as well. I have made some progress on it though. I just need to sit down and read the last couple hundred pages. But this is another one that I just haven’t picked up because I was distracted with other books. I am now on page 433.

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson

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This is another book that I have made almost no progress on. I think I read maybe one chapter since the last post. It kind of intimidates me cause it’s huge and I’m afraid I’ll get sucked into it and not sleep until I finish it. But I do have the week off, so maybe I should just get on with it. I’m on page 35.

The Bat by Jo Nesbo

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I haven’t even touched this book in ages. I keep forgetting about it. I’m still on page 157.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

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I picked this up after reading The Cruel Prince. I was really craving some more fae, so I bought this one, but it wasn’t what I was expecting, so I only read a few chapters. I do intend to finish it though. I’m on page 38 of it.

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen

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I’ve been re-reading this series. I finished the first book and started this one, but haven’t picked it up in a while. I’m currently on page 69 of it.

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin

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This is the book that I’m most actively reading at the moment. I’ve been on an ASoIaF kick since watching the show. I am now on page 459.

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

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I know I said I would exclude sciency books, but this is a popular science book and not so much an educational book, so it doesn’t need to be studied, just enjoyed. I am currently on page 43 of this.

Can You Solve My Problems by Alex Bellos

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I’ve been making my way through this, solving all the puzzles (so much fun!). I’m currently on page 29 of it.

Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Polos

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This is a short story collection that I’ve been reading. I haven’t been reading them sequentially, so I can’t say what page I am on, but I’ve read 12 of the 28 stories in it.

What Is Self Control Book Haul

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert | The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen | The Runaway King by Jennifer a. Nielsen | The Broken Throne by Jennifer A Nielsen | The Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Arctic Incident: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer | The Eternity Code: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer | A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin | The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund | State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury