Books I Read during my Hiatus!

Books I Read during my Hiatus!

So, I took a slightly long hiatus as I finished up my last term of my degree. And now I’m finished and free! It’s very strange to think that such a big part of my life is over. But my trusty blog was still here waiting and I thought I would go over the books I read during my break and give some thoughts on the ones that I haven’t completely forgotten…

I started reading the Sherlock Holmes books way back in May 2017 when I said: “I’m not sure I like the books as much as I like the idea of the the characters”. I finally finished them with The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle and that stayed the general vibe of these books for me. I much preferred the short stories, but in the end they were neither new favourites or completely not worth reading. I like adaptations more!

Preferring the adaptation might be the theme of these next two reads too. I read A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, and I’ve never been a huge Dickens fan. I studied him and Bleak House for university and he simply isn’t my cup of tea but A Christmas Carol is a seasonal classic and I’m glad I read it, even though I’ll be sticking to the Muppets version in the future. Similarly, I loved the Netflix adaptation of The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson and totally expected it to be a new favourite but in the end, it didn’t work for me.

I re-read some comfort reads: The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and loved them as much as I did the last time. I definitely need to finish the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it’s getting embarrassing at this point!

I also read two of the classics from my list of 27 books I want to read while I’m 27; Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë was a little bit of a disappointment after adoring The Tenant of Wildfell Hall but I don’t like a few of my favourite authors debuts so ah well. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Chris Riddell is a beautiful book and I can’t wait until my niece is old enough for me to read it to her with these incredible illustrations!

The less said about Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K Jerome, the better. In my mind, Three Men on a Boat is the perfect stand-alone!

Kelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld books

As part of Rosina’s Women of the Otherworldalong, I’ve been reading my way through the series. Unfortunately, I’m a little behind (five books behind, yikes) so I’ve only read Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic by Kelley Armstrong so far! I’m adoring the series, I’ve just been in a real funk with the fifth book in the series. I’m feeling in an urban fantasy mood lately though so I’ll hopefully catch up soon!

Cozy Mysteries are my new love and I started by re-reading the ones that got me into the genre: Three Bedrooms, One Corpse, The Julius House, Dead over Heels, A Fool and his Honey, Last Scene Alive, Poppy Done to Death, Sleep Like a Baby and All The Little Liars by Charlaine Harris. And then I went on to try a bunch more.

I loved Forget Me Knot by Mary Marks with it’s Fibromyalgia representation as well as quilting inspiration. And I actually have a full review of The Plot is Murder by V.M. Burns coming soon! One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon was one of my most anticipated releases for 2021 and while I loved the witchcraft element, I hated the fat-shaming language used to describe one of the characters over-and-over-and-over again.

After reading The Murder at the Vicarage, I think I have to face that I’m just not an Agatha Christie girl? I liked And Then There were None back when I listened to the audiobook, but I hated The Man in the Brown Suit. And Miss Marple- just not for me. I’m giving up. Sorry Agatha! Similarly, I loved The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey when I read it but didn’t think much of Brat Farrar, I’ll give her another go though.

A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem by Manda Collins* was kindly sent to me and I think I can firmly say that historical newspaper-writer murder-mystery romances are just too many aspects in a book for me to enjoy it. I’m passing this on to a friend who will hopefully manage to keep all the different sides to this story clearer in their mind than I could!

This is my not-much-to-say and too-much-to-say pile. I have nothing to say about The Vanished Man by Jeffery Deaver, Dangerous Remedy by Kat Dunn, The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by the McElroys and Before Mars by Emma Newman.

But I have too much to say about Raising Hell by Bryony Pearce*, What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo, Katherine Parr, the Sixth Wife by Alison Weir*, My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell and The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson to even try in this post! Expect reviews to slowly trickle in.

Phew! And this doesn’t even include the eBooks and audiobooks! I’m glad to be back though and will hopefully start posting on a semi-regular basis soon. Thank you for sticking with me!

Books I Read in September & October!

Books I Read in September & October!

As the year wraps up, I’m determined to get on top of these wrap-ups! Today, I’m talking about the books I read in September & October. Including one that took over my life for a few days, one that infuriated me beyond belief, and one that I’ve actually been reading since Summer and finally sat down to finish…

The Stone Monkey by Jeffery Deaver

It’s been a good while since I read a Deaver! In fact, I traced it back to May 2018! Since it’s been a while, I kind of forgot how bloody masterful Deaver is at crafting a mystery. This book took me over for a few days while I flew through it. The twists, the turns, wherever you think you’re going, you’re not, whatever you think is happening, it isn’t. But it’s done in a way that you discover things at the same time as the characters, and everything makes sense.
It’s also really nice to have good disability representation, both in Rhyme being a quadriplegic and Amelia having severe arthritis. In this book there’s also talk of endometriosis and fertility issues.

A Bone to Pick by Charlaine Harris

This is a re-read for me that I started over Summer and finally got around to finishing. This series will pop up a lot in future wrap-ups because it took over my audiobook listening for a good couple months. I just love the series and this was always one of my favourites.

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Ah, if only I knew. I read this because I knew that the TV show was coming to Netflix and I loved The Haunting of Hill House adaptation. But, I didn’t really enjoy the book and I only got through two episodes of the TV show. I can’t put my finger on why, it just didn’t meet my expectations. There were a few moments that had my skin crawling though!

An Armful of Babies and a Cup of Tea by Molly Corbally

This is a really charming and interesting memoir about 1950’s health visitors in the UK and her role in the community. I wanted to read something similar to the Call the Midwife series of books by Jennifer Worth and this was a great choice. The timing is similar and it delved into what happened to the babies after they were signed off from the midwives and onto the health visitor.
Molly is charming and headstrong, and it’s a real joy to read her experiences. I also really liked hearing about her partnership with Claire and the home they had together.
“People still wondered how it worked, especially the men, who couldn’t imagine how women exist, let alone be happy, without male company.”

Midwife on Call by Agnes Light

In comparison, Midwife on Call is a much more modern look at midwifery and maternity with the NHS as it looks at the 70s-00s. Agnes is outspoken in her opinions and her care for her patients which was really great to read, but it didn’t have the same cozy and soft vibe.
This is the one to read if you’re less squeamish and like a bit of humour with your memoir!
I started getting labour contractions in the middle of the night and my husband awoke to a vision of me performing contortions as I tried to examine myself internally to check if my cervix was dilating.

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

I started reading this all the way back in June and I ended up putting it down for a couple months because the pacing felt so strange. But I loved the world and the characters that I had to pick it up again and it ended up being a real blast to read. It’s great combination of urban fantasy and Wild West vibes, with a little dystopia in the mix. There’s been a climate apocalypse and now monsters and heroes and gods are all over the place. So much fun.
I’d recommend this to every urban fantasy fan as it’s so different from the usual vampires and werewolves, but scratches the same itch! I can’t wait to read the second book, and her new series.
“Everything you’ve done, your past, it’s all just a story you tell yourself. Some of it is true, but some of it is lies.”

The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse

I’ve been listening to a lot of Jeeves audiobooks in 2020. They were easy listens, funny and charming, and my library had a lot available. But, I’ve hit my limit now. I will definitely be back to read more once I’ve had a bit of time to forget the formula though.

What have you been reading lately? Have you read any of these?