The Hallowreadathon really snuck up on me this year! It feels like just a couple of days ago that we were posting the announcement and challenges, and somehow the readathon is this weekend? I have no idea how it happened! So what am I planning to read?
For our Trick or Treat prompt, the book that has recently joined my lair (and one that I’ve been saving just for this weekend) is The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik. I loved A Deadly Education, the first book in this dark academia magic trilogy, and think that this is perfect spooky season reading. It’s been a real struggle not to read it! But it is a game of chance…
I’m not sure I totally thought through how I would do the book that’s been haunting my shelves the longest since I cleared out my Goodreads shelf in a moment of digital decluttering. Luckily, I have a blog! And with that comes years of talking about books, including this haul from 2015! It’s always a little cringey reading out posts but it did remind me that I have a very long boxset of Penguin Little Black classics. And I haven’t read any of them in a good while. So, I dusted them off and pulled out the one I felt was most halloween-y; The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Starting with the big chunk of the 27… I’m going to be reading the 2nd to the 13th book of the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong as part of the Otherworldalong I’m doing with Rosina from Lace and Dagger Books! Most of the group have read the books before but I’m going in fresh so that’s been really fun. If you want to join, we have a Discord that is separated into the different books of the series so you can avoid spoilers!
This series are all set in the same world with a few books for each different woman. There’s werewolves, witches, ghosts, vampires… all vaguely connected, I think! It’s the first time I’ve picked up an urban fantasy series and been immediately in love since my adored Sookie Stackhouse. So I’m really looking forward to continuing the series, one book a month, for the entire year.
I started a lot of series in 2020, so I want to reign it back slightly? These are the firsts that I’m most excited for. Enough that I will willingly stress myself out about being in the middle of a hundred and one series, just to start them.
The Plot is Murder by V.M. Burns is one of many cosy mystery first-in-a-series books that I have. I seem to be collecting them- but this is the highest rated and I need to start somewhere!
And The Drowned City by K.J. Maitland* was sent to me by the same person in publicity who originally sent me the first Six Tudor Queens book so I have high hopes! Set at the beginning of the Stuart period (the monarchy after the Tudors), its focus is the aftermath of the Gunpowder plot!
And then there are some classics that I’m almost certain that I’m going to love. I studied both The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot and The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford for my degree so I want to read some of their other works too. Middlemarch by George Eliot and Parade’s End by Ford Maddox Ford are said to be both authors best, so onto the list they go.
I didn’t study The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë, I read it while procrastinating on Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, which I actually was studying, but it was incredible. If I’m going to keep defending Anne as the best Brontë, I need to actually read her only other novel, Agnes Grey.
My wonderful friend Asha is hosting a month-long readathon; Februwitchy (you can read all about it here) and I, of course, needed to join. Mainly because I love witches but also because I bought a lot of witchy books for my Hallowreadathon, which Asha helped host, and never got around to reading them! I don’t normally do TBRs because I’m a huge mood reader but I think I’ve covered all my bases with this one…
If I feel like a historical fiction book that is more on the side of history, Her Kind by Niamh Boyce* is about the 14th century Kilkenny witch trials in Ireland. I don’t think I’ve read much of this time period before so I’m looking forward to learning more about it.
Hex Life, edited by Christopher Golden and Rachel Autumn Deering was a Secret Santa gift from Kate and I think it’s going to be the star of this readathon for me because if I can just read one of the eighteen stories every day, then I’ll finish this in no time. I love discovering new authors as well so this might end up making my TBR longer…
The nights darken, the sweets are ready for the trick-or-treaters and the sixth Hallowreadathon approaches. So I’ve piled up truly too many books that fit the challenges so I have lots to choose from! Hopefully if you’re taking part, this might give you a few last minute ideas. Don’t forget to follow the official Twitter and use the #Hallowreadathon to be in with a chance of winning a spooky care package!
I don’t tend to get a lot of reading done around the holiday season- it’s busy! There’s cleaning, cooking, decorating and general panicked shopping to be done while family is swarms the house. Plus, I’m a themed reader. I want my reads to have that vibe about how I generally feel about the holidays. I also don’t want anything to dark and heavy since SAD is in full effect these days. So these are the few books that pass the test…
And lastly, The Faber Book of Christmas is a gorgeous anthology I’ll probably dip in and out of for a Christmassy boost when I need it. I love having a collection that I can read bits from in the quiet moments of the festivities.
It’s getting close to the best day of the year: Halloween! I still need to stock up on chocolate but considering we didn’t get any trick-or-treaters last year and I have an assignment due on the second day of my own dang readathon… it’s mostly for me. You can learn more about the Hallowreadathon and the challenges here, and here’s the pile of books I’ll be picking from!
2. Read a book with Green on the cover!
Finding books with green on the cover is surprisingly hard! You’d think with grass, and trees, and just the fact that it’s the best colour (totally not bias) that there’d be a lot more green covers. But what did I manage to find? A Christmas Return by Anne Perry* dropped through my letterbox and it has so many things going for it: it’s short, it’s very green and the readathon lasts until the day after Halloween = Christmas. Bodacious: The Shepherd Cat by Suzanna Crampton* has to be on the list because not only is grass green, but this kitty has the prettiest green eyes! Curling up with whatever foster cat I’ll have at the time and reading about cats seems like spoopy goals. Persuasion by Jane Austen is also on the list because I’m a huge audiobook fan and since the audiobook is 9 hours, I can totally do that in one day! Plus, I’ve been in a real Austen mood lately.
Are you joining the readathon? What are your picks for the challenges?
It’s getting close to the Hallowreadathon and I’m getting excited! I prefer Halloween to any other holiday. I love the atmosphere with kids out trick-or-treating and carved pumpkins flickering while I stay in, curled up on the couch with a bowl of candy, a steaming cup of tea and a good spooky book. I’ve got a few choices for each Hallowreadathon challenge so if you’re looking for inspiration, look no further…
1. Read a book with a ghost!
It actually took me a while to come up with a decent list on this one! Especially since I’m the one who set the challenge, I expected it to be easier. The book that prompted the theme was The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell which I won in a Goodreads giveaway and has been tempting me from my shelf ever since. I might not make it to Halloween for this one.
Another option is Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I’d have to really get my read on to get through this and another book in 48 hours, but it’s one of my required reads for this term at university and from what I’ve listened to on audiobook, it really captures that spooky spirit. And finally The Shining by Stephen King! This is the book to fill this challenge in my Hallowreadathon Preparation box and I’ve never read it. Don’t tell anyone. It was on a list of books with ghosts in it and I really really need to get to this soon.
2. Read a book with red on the cover!
My immediate thought on this one was my beautiful copy of Carrie by Stephen King that I haven’t read since my teens. But red is a popular colour on my book covers so I tried to pick some other spooks… I love cosy crime, but I’ve never read an Agatha Christie book. Terrible. So I might pick up The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie, it’s a standalone thriller but introduces Colonel Race who features in some of her other books.
Poison City by Paul Crilley has splatters of red and I’ve been meaning to read this since summer, it’s an urban fantasy type of book that I normally fly though so a good pick! One book that my dad recommended that I shouldn’t read because it freaked him out, was The Collector by John Fowles. So obviously I have to read it, right? Reading about a woman kidnapped is true horror. Since reading Jane Eyre in September, I’ve been eying up Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye*. A homicidal retelling that’s a little on the long side for a readathon (418 pages) but looks so good!
3. Read two books!
I always like to throw up a couple shorter options because I know two books in two days is a real challenge.
Starting with my last mention of Stephen King; American Vampire, written by Scott Snyder and Stephen King and drawn by Rafael Albuquerque. I’ve read this before but it’s been a while and it’s really great. A super fun 1920s vampire read with red on the cover. I mentioned in my post about Teen Creeps, a podcast I adore about YA pulp that I wanted to read one of those types of books! The only one I have is The New Year’s Party by R.L. Stein, which might be better saved for New Years, but it has red on the cover. Wailing Ghosts by Pu Songling is one of the Penguin Little Black Classics so it’s around 60 pages, and ‘ghosts’ is right there in the title. Perfect for if you’re cramming your second read in right at the end. The winner of the Hallowreadathon Preparation Box has been announced so don’t forget to check to see if you won here!
What’s on your Hallowreadathon TBR? Have you read any of my picks?
Everyone joins the odd readathon the day they start, right? Denise has created an amazing readathon and I wanted in! You can hear all about it here but in short, there are three levels: Easy, where you use the titles and authors names to get all the letters A-to-Z. Medium, where you use the titles. And Hard, where you just use the first letter of the title. I so want to try that hard version but I have deadlines galore in May and I occasionally have to chose to be responsible. So- medium! I had a blast picking out my books and using a little excel spreadsheet to make sure I hit all the letters. Here’s my TBR…
The Light Fantastic and Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett I haven’t had the best time with Terry Pratchett in the past, but I’ve read enough on the internet to be reassured that his work gets better. And books with Q in the title are super hard to find. So, I’m going to give books two and three again. Especially since book three; Equal Rites is the first of the Witches books. They’re what I’m super interested in getting to.
The Devil You Know by Mike Carey I’m really excited to get to this book! I bought it years ago and it’s about a gritty London paranormal detective. I completely forgot about it until I searched for books with a V in. I’ve seen a lot of comparisons to the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher, which I wanted to read a while ago and have since discovered it’s pretty misoginistic, so I’m hoping this will fill the gap!
Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides There were a couple of different books I could’ve picked to get the letter X but I’ve never read a book with an intersex character before. I think it’s about time I did. Plus, I’ve been listening to a couple of modern classics on audiobook lately so I kind of want to see what happens when I try to read-read one.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen This was actually the last book I added because J was the hardest letter to find and I still needed P. So why not read my first Jane Austen? This has been mentioned over and over on my blog so I’m glad to get that final push to start it! Plus, maybe after reading this I’ll stop trying to spell Prejudice like ‘Predjudice’.
Sneaky view of my spreadsheet for the curious!
So that’s my TBR! I think I have a pretty neat little selection too, and a couple of books to read that I hadn’t thought about in a while. I love that about readathons with interesting challenges.
It feels strange to be writing this while there’s snow on the ground but hey! I didn’t do a post-Christmas Winter TBR because January is a busy yearly-wrap-up time on the blog, then February was just wow busy. In fact, it was my first month in over three years that I have no books for a Books I Read in monthly wrap-up! Although I did start a lot of books in February.
So, to jump-start my March reading and my Spring TBR…
These are the books I started in February! With the exception of The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien which I took a break from while listening to Catch-22 by Joseph Heller on audiobook in January. I need to jump back into that.
Another series I’m continuing is the Call the Midwife series, with the second book; Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth. I read the first book last September and really enjoyed it but I had no plans to continue so soon. However, the new season of the show is out and I really wanted to delve into the books again. As you can see, I’m about half-way through and should finish it up easily.
My reading goals for 2017 included challenging myself and to stop putting books off. So when I saw that sales of 1984 by George Orwell had skyrocketed after Trumps presidency, I wanted to see why. Reading this in London? With all the CCTV cameras? Spooky. I already had the book but I’ve since bought the audiobook which I prefer for classics to finish.
My favourite book last year was If You Go Away by Adele Parks so I was super excited to get my hands on her new book, The Stranger in my Home* and meet her and have her sign my book. And I’m really liking her writing style in contemporary.
Onto the books I haven’t yet started! While I was at the book event where I met Adele Parks and Alison Weir, I was introduced to Nikola Scott. Her debut novel, My Mother’s Shadow* is coming out this year and if it’s half as good as she is nice- it’ll be an amazing book. Nikola is one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met and I can’t wait to read her book.
While I was there I also snagged a copy of The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams*. I missed out on her last trilogy so I’m looking forward to jumping on at the first book with her new one; The Winnowing Flame trilogy. It’s also been a long time since I sat down with a hunking great fantasy book and lost myself so I’m hopeful.
After reading A Young Doctor’s Notebook in January, I mentioned to my parents that I really enjoyed it and ended up getting The Master & Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov for my birthday! I’m all about reading more challenging books this year and after loving his short stories, I think I’m really going to like his novel.
And lastly, Small Island by Andrea Levy. When I’m feeling bored/ blue/ procrastinate-y, I re-organise my books and I was looking through my stand-alone when I came across Small Island and thought, yeah. I want to read this soon! It’s won award after award and deals with post-WWII racial issues, which isn’t a subject I know much about.
Phew! Wish me luck! What do you want to read this Spring?
Autumn ended up being a two month season because I wanted it to be Winter already.. I think we celebrate Christmas too early. I’m always reminded of that line from Community: “It’s the crazy notion that the longest, coldest, darkest nights can be the warmest and brightest.” But when Christmas is over there’s still like- 3 months of Winter left. Maybe I’m overthinking. Let’s talk about books instead…
And I read Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth! I was spurned on to read it by watching the TV show and the first book in the series scratched the itch. Since it’s non-fiction, I’m not rushing to read the rest. I’m sure when the new series is released on Netflix, I’ll pick up the next book. The Edge Chronicles by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell were on my Summer TBR and have now joined my Winter TBR because I haven’t even opened the first book yet. It’s a real shame. However, in one of the #bookbloggers chats, I found a fellow blogger who loves this series and we’ll hopefully be planning a buddy read soon!
I started the Lux series by Jennifer L Armentrout series as part of my Summer TBR with Obsidian and I loved it! Unfortunately, when I picked it up a couple of weeks ago, it didn’t feel right. I’m a big sucker for the books you read changing with the seasons. And this feels like a Summer series to me. For now, it rejoins the shelf until the sun is out.
And finally, I started the Lord of the Rings series. I took the plunge and got the audiobook for The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. I think everyone can join me in my utter unsurprise that I’m really enjoying it so far. I should, hopefully, finish The Fellowship of the Ring soon. And then onto the next! And that’s four out of six! That’s surprisingly good for me. Spring was all together useless, Summer was quite good, but this has been my successful so far. Hopefully the streak continues although my Pre-Christmas Winter TBR was outrageous!