Books I Read during my Scribd Free Trial!

Scribd is a digital library subscription service, a little like Netflix for books. It claims unlimited and what that actually means that if you read/listen to a lot, your access to certain options is limited until your next month. It also means unlimited within the collection they have, which is quite a bit, but not everything. You also get Mubi, the curated movie subscription service and FarFaria, a kids book service included. And it does a free 30 day trial. So I gave it a go and thought it’d be fun to go over what I read while trying out the service.

Books I Read on my Scribd Free Trial!

A Boy Worth Knowing by Jennifer Cosgrove
This has been on my wish list since I read Autoboyography a year ago and desperately searched for something similar. M/M romance? In high school? With GHOSTS? All a thumbs up from me so I was really excited to see this on Scribd in eBook form.

As for the book? The internal monologue could’ve done with some editing, I read it very fast so I picked up on a lot of little repetitive phrases, but the realism of a teenager telling themselves off inside their head was on point. I loved boys showing emotions, the importance of explicit consent, and as someone who spent a lot of my school time worrying about my attendance, I really loved the aunt encouraging taking a mental health day.

It was a sweet, fluffy, slightly paranormal romance and I would’ve loved it if it wasn’t for: “-I wouldn’t risk that. Not on the word of a junkie ghost.” That was just incredibly disappointing to read, I really hate that term for one, and for another this was a complete throwaway line and the drug abuse of the character was more a plot point to get to his death.

You by Caroline Kepnes

This was one of those rare occasions when the adaptation was as good/ better. I’ve never felt the need to read this after marathoning the show in one day last Boxing Day while completely ignoring my family, but I saw the audiobook and decided to listen to it. The narrator is incredibly good, similar in tone to Penn Badgley who plays Joe in the show, and creepy. I haven’t been so spooked by an audiobook since I listened to It.
I like a unreliable narrator but it can wear after a while because Joe felt frantic for the entire book. I found myself feeling physically stressed so I probably won’t read the sequel but I loved season 2 of You. I think maybe reading this physically might calm the pace.

Books I Read on my Scribd Free Trial! Charlaine Harris

Small Kingdoms & Other Stories by Charlaine Harris
I was really excited going into this as it was a short story collection of an interesting new character (at least for me) from Charlaine Harris. A high school principal with a shady past? Totally different from what I’ve read from Harris before and I loved it. The stories were short enough that I could get through one while I was winding down for bed and long enough that I really got a feel for the world and a satisfying story-arc.

Plus, Harris’s writing just works for me. Physical or audio, novel or short story (my least favourite format), I love her style and this was no exception.

After Dead by Charlaine Harris
This is the exception, however. I get that she did this ‘for the fans’ who wanted to know what came next but I am so glad I never bought this. The audiobook for this is 47 minutes. For comparison, the first Sookie Stackhouse book is nine and a half hours. And I know it’s not a novel but that is shockingly short.

This should’ve been published online for free, like Charlaine Harris has mentioned that she wanted to, not have the RRP of £8.99. Or it would’ve been a great blog tour! Think about fifty-ish blogs all posting one characters future and keen readers popping around, finding blogs they love that have the same taste as them! Although I’d feel sorry for whoever got the character who ‘contracted ghonnorea’ and that’s it!? This is both a missed opportunity and a disappointing cash grab.

This is tough to really review because I enjoyed the novella and some of the interviews, skipped the timeline for the books because I’m currently re-reading them, and found the fan club section a little weird. I don’t think this is by any means necessary reading, but I could see that it had, at least, more content than After Dead.

And finally a full novel. I dived back into Harris with my heart open and this paid off. This is her second novel and a standalone so I was blown away by how many things changed and how many stayed the same when it came to her characters and her story structure, still the same old Southern charm I loved but a bit less detective-y than I expected. I prefer it when the main character has a big impact on how the case is resolved, but this would’ve ended up the same way without her input.
I will say though, for something written 36 years ago in 1984? This was surprisingly progressive about rape culture! So overall, it was okay but not something I’m clamouring to read again.

If you want two free months, here’s a link! If you use it, I get a free month too!
Have you read any of these? Are you a Scribd subscriber?

Audiobooks to Listen to while Playing Animal Crossing!

Audiobooks to Listen to while Playing Animal Crossing!

Animal Crossing came out yesterday and I am so so so glad. And I love listening to audiobooks while I play Animal Crossing. There is nothing better than watering your flowers, fishing and bug catching with a gentle story being told in the background. I tend to go for more relaxed audiobooks, nothing too complicated or full of action that might ruin the Animal Crossing ~vibes~ for me. So here are my recommendations, and a few I plan to listen to!

Audiobooks to Listen to while Playing Animal Crossing!
If you have a pig villager, or a hankering for pastoral mischief, look no further than The Blandings Castle series by P.G. Wodehouse. I cannot recommend a series more for listening while playing Animal Crossing because the stakes are very very low and every book follows a similar plotline of someone impersonating someone else and something nefarious to do with the pig. I’ve read eight or nine of these now and they’re always read by very posh older gentlemen in very soothing tones.

If your luck ran out and your island is full of smug and snooty villagers, then I think you can’t go wrong with a Jane Austen. Personally, I think Emma is a great pick if you’re surrounded by gossips, and the new movie is out this year.

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere and are taken by the Spring vibes and the sound of water, Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome is the story of, you guessed it, three men (and a dog) in a boat taking a holiday down the river Thames. I just listened to this in February and recommend both unabridged and abridged (which is on Spotify, read by Hugh Laurie).

If you feel like leaning into the oddity of being the only humanoid on an island of talking animals, look to further than the Discworld books by Terry Pratchett. I really recommend the witches branch of this series, starting with Equal Rites, but Lianne has a great video breaking down the vast universe and all the best starting points. Oddball characters, magic, fantasy lands, I didn’t really like the first book which I read physically but they shine in audiobook format.

Personally, I just started Lady Susan by Jane Austen but it’s pretty short and two and a half hours is nothing when it comes to Animal Crossing. I’m really tempted to go back and listen to the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris on audiobook as I’ve been slowly re-reading them since I finished my first read of my favourite waitresses tales.

If you are looking to load up on audiobooks, consider as all the money goes to your local bookstore! Or you can get a free book using my link. Libro is a great alternative to Audible!

And what will I be listening to?

Audiobooks for the Sleigh!

Through the magic of Christmas cheer and children’s wishes, Santa somehow delivers presents to all the good little boys and girls in one night (although Popular Science did some maths and we’re looking at relativity clouds and six ‘Santa months’). Personally, I love listening to audiobooks when I’m driving, or wrapping, or doing literally anything so these are my recommendations for Father Christmas himself to keep his night/months interesting.

Audiobooks for the Sleigh!

Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle
Clocking in at almost 72 hours and read by Stephen Fry, I feel like this is a must for any long-haul journey. The stories are rarely predictable, plus, Santa is a bit of a detective himself! He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good. I feel like he’d appreciate a fellow investigators methods.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Since Santa is a bit of a pilot, and he has 16 hours to kill, I think he’s really like Catch-22. I loved it. It’s funny and amazingly plotted, I wanted to start it over as soon as I finished and Santa actually has the time!

It by Stephen King
At 44 hours long, if Santa decides to go a bit more contemporary, then It is a good pick. It’ll keep him awake from fear at the very least! I read it in August and I wish I had been in a sleigh, way above ground and away from any clowns when I read it. Although, I definitely wouldn’t want to visit anyone’s house after this and that is Santas main gig.

Something Fresh by P.G. Wodehouse
When the night starts winding down and Santa is ready for bed, nothing will help him relax more than the slow drama of a Wodehouse book. I started P.G. Wodehouse’s Blandings Castle series back in January and have since listened to six because they’re perfect for easy bedtime listening. Let a posh English accent lull him to sleep after the busiest night of the year!

What do you think Santa would listen to on the big night?

(Audio)books I Want to Buy and Why #12

Recently, with Amazon and Audible I took advantage of their 90-day Amazon Prime Free Monthly trial. Which translates to three credits, one a month, meaning three audiobooks. I’ve waxed lyrical about my love for Amazon Prime before but this was the thing that actually got me really excited since I’ve been trying to get back into audiobooks but dang, they expensive! So, I thought I’d write a Books I Want to Buy and Why post and ask the opinion of you, dear reader…

(Audio)books I Want to Buy and Why #12

Out of these eight, which three do you think are the ones to buy?

(Audio)books I Want to Buy and Why #12.2

Under The Dome by Stephen King
I’ve recently started watching the TV show of Under The Dome and I love it! It’s exactly what I wanted Gone by Michael Grant to be. But I’m a firm believer that the source material for a TV show or movie is, not always but generally, better. And I haven’t read a Stephen King in a while even thought he’s one of my most owned authors.

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
I mentioned in my Books I Took to Northumberland post that I was currently reading this book aloud to a friend of mine. Well, that was doing a real number on my throat so I thought I’d just get the audiobook instead and we could listen to it together. This is just the type of book that deserves a long, slow read.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien
This series is on my Eventually TBR and I really do want to read them. However, after a bad experience trying to read The Hobbit last year I don’t want to go in unprepared. So I’m thinking that an audiobook to read along to, at least until I get accustomed reading Tolkien, might be the way to go!

On The Road by Jack Kerouac
There are certain plots that just sound like they would make great audiobooks, and doesn’t a road trip across America sound like one? Although, add Gods to that and you have American Gods by Neil Gaiman which I didn’t get along with. Hmm…

(Audio)books I Want to Buy and Why #12.1

Dune by Frank Herbert
How about a throwback to the first Books I Want to Buy and Why with Dune! I haven’t bought the physical book and I’m not sure how the plot of this epic will translate to audiobook. But I do still really want to read it and I like the narrators voice.

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe by Various Authors
One of the times that I find myself listening to audiobooks and podcasts the most is actually in Winter, and specifically the run up to Christmas since so much mundane nonsense needs doing. Tidying, decorating, wrapping, all prime audiobook listening time. So why not listen to something christmassy? And it has stories from Charlaine Harris and Carrie Vaughn, both of whom I love.

Harry Potter und der Stein der Weisen by J.K. Rowling
I’ve been low-key trying to learn German for a while now and one of the things that’s recommended is to read your favourite book in the language! Harry Potter isn’t my favourite book (shock horror!) but I know it very very well so I think I’d be able to follow it pretty well, even in German. I wanted to read the book a while back but now I’m thinking the audiobook would be better to get to know pronunciations and tone better.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher
I mentioned wanting to read this in another Books I Want to Buy and Why #9 back in February but I wondered about the audiobook and found myself listening to the sample. The voice was familiar. Turns out it was James Masters! AKA Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Seriously, Spike as a wizard private detective? Sign me up.

So which should I pick?

Getting Back into Audiobooks!

I’ve never been a huge audiobook person. I loved the Stephen Fry Harry Potter ones as a kid and would listen to them on repeat, but audiobooks never fitted into my life the way they do with others. On the other hand, lately I’ve been making more of an effort to listen to them so I can ‘read’ while cleaning, travelling, and basically any time when I want a story but can’t physically look at a book. Here’s a couple of ways I’ve been getting back into audiobooks…

First thing I did was log onto my mothers Audible account because she’s an audiobook fiend, and thus began my journey listening to the twenty hours of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I love the app and the way it’s set out. You can bookmark, which has become my audiobook equivalent of a sticky note. You can speed it up or slow it down depending on your preference. There’s skip 30 seconds either way in case you miss something. And a sleep timer which is necessary for me as I’ve started listening before I go to sleep.

Technically not audiobooks, although you can find readings of classic books in the podcast section. I’ve been loving fictional world podcasts lately- and will be posting about them soon. But the episode style is great for those with a set commute time, as they tend to run 20-30 minutes and won’t have you sat in your car waiting for the chapter to end!

Playster has been a kind sponsor of Imogen’s Typewriter for a while now so I’ve kept up with how the company has progressed since my first review! Recently they’ve added audiobooks from MacMillan, Simon & Schuster, Harper Collins and a bunch of others. For the UK it is just on the website, they don’t have an app for us yet, but the range is good and they have the Lord of the Rings. That might actually make me read something from my ‘Eventually TBR. You can keep up to date on their Facebook page and fingers crossed for a UK app soon.

Reading along with a book
Sometimes there are books that just don’t want to be read alone. They’re classics. They’re philosophical. They’re autobiographical with audiobooks read by the author. That’s when I like to read along with the book in front of me. It also slows me down, which can actually be good when it comes to dense reading. Some books can’t be sped through!

We know I’m not a re-reader. I didn’t even really rate Harry Potter when I re-read it in book form. It doesn’t keep my attention  like a first read. But I can listen to the Harry Potter audiobook from now until the end of time! There’s a beauty in a great audiobook that surpasses the usual boredom I get from re-reading. Next time I want to re-read, I’m plugging in my headphones rather than picking up the book.

Are you an audiobook fan? What’s your favourite?

*This post was sponsored by Playster!

(Late) Fiction Friday: Getting your Fiction Fix while Sick!

These past few weeks I haven’t been very well with a combination of tonsillitis and sinusitis, hence the lack of blog posts which I apologise for. And for this being two days late, I’ve pretty much been sleeping and eating and feeling like death so it took me a while to take the pictures! In my opinion, the worst thing about being poorly is being bored and poorly. But- what do you do when you can’t read because your eyes feel like they’re about to pop out of your skull?

Here are my ways of getting your fiction fix even when you’re not feeling great!

#1: Audiobooks.
Thank the lord for Harry Potter read by Stephen Fry. The past couple weeks I’ve listened to all of Goblet of Fire and have started back on Chamber of Secrets. However, I don’t count these towards what I’ve read in the month because sometimes I fall asleep listening to it and miss out big chunks. I am reading the first book at the moment with a friend who has never read Harry Potter but that’s a whole different blog post!

#2: Podcasts, specifically Welcome to Night Vale.
I’m a big fan of Welcome to Night Vale, I think it’s a really original podcast that’s really interesting to listen to with it’s short 30 minute episodes and unexplainable story. I’d say give it a chance, listen to the first one and I’m sure you’ll be hooked. A must if you see mysterious lights pass overhead while we all pretend to sleep.

#3: Nostalgia on Netflix in the form of Pokémon.
Occasionally my eyeballs would stop hurting enough for me to curl up with my phone and watch some TV. The Netflix app kept me company and I started watching Pokémon: Indigo League from the beginning! If you remember from my 30 before 30 list, completing the Pokémon game is top of the list so I feel like I’m getting some valuable research in too :’)

#4: Fraiser.
Frasier has been my ‘poorly show’ for years now, starting way back when I had a portable DVD player instead of a laptop and found the season 1 DVDs on a day off school. In fact I mentioned the DVDs in my Christmas Wishlist, the christmas specials in my Best Christmas Specials post and the DVDs again in my What I got for Christmas post! I have a love for radio, even though I don’t listen to it much myself, and this show about a radio host psychiatrist is just what the doctor ordered while you rest.

How do you get your Fiction Fix when you don’t feel well?