2017 Reading Resolutions

I know what you’re thinking. Nathan mate, your last post was literally a half an hour rant about how you didn’t meet any of your resolutions last year, well, here we are, plot twist, here are my 2017 reading/bookish resolutions.

  1. Read Whatever The Fuck You Want – Last year as I discovered Booktube, blogs and everything else, I became very aware of a hell of a lot of books for the first time. People were discussing new releases, favorites, classics, etc and I thought, oh shit, I really don’t know much about any books at all. So I panicked thinking I was the worlds worst reader and that I needed to buy and read ALL THE BOOKS EVER. This was dumb. I ended up buying a lot of books I haven’t looked at since, that if left to my own devises I probably never would have encountered, and most certainly never have read. That kind of idea that I need to be reading what everyone else is and keeping up with the books everyone is talking about has very much floated off into the atmosphere and is no longer a factor for me. Booktube and book blogs are incredible sources of recommendations and reviews, and of course I’ll still be watching out for this type of content, but I won’t be trying to buy everything ever mentioned because if I don’t I’m the worst reading in the world and I might as well burn down a library with myself inside (sorry, that went very dramatic very quickly). Basically, I’m going to read what I feel I’d enjoy, because I WANT TO READ IT not because I have to. Putting pressure on myself reading wise is going to be a running theme throughout this I can see it now.
  2. Do Not Make Unrealistic Goals For Yourself – This is one that sums up pretty much all of my 2016 resolutions. Like ‘Read 60 Books’ WHAT THE FUCK NATHAN. There are only 52 weeks in a year when on average do you EVER read more than one book in a week?! Honestly I’d like to time travel to the year younger version of myself who wrote that and throw 60 books at his head one by one until he realises how outrageous he was. I mean, uni finishes next year, maybe I will be able to read a huge amount of books, but I don’t be stressing myself out about a goal and not meeting it. This year saw me reading awful graphic novels just so I could add one to my read list like I was in some kind of race and competing like WHO THE FUCK CARES HOW MANY BOOKS YOU READ NATHAN CALM YOURSELF DOWN.
  3. Do Not Be So Precious About Books – My books stay EXACTLY the same from when they’re bought to when they are read and put back on my shelf. No corner is turned, no spine is cracked, they are perfect little soldiers lined up in rows. WHY. Why do I make myself uncomfortable whilst reading for the sake of breaking the spine of a £6.99 paperback? And WHY OH WHY do I keep every book ever. If it was trash, and I didn’t enjoy it, it just goes BEHIND THE OTHER BOOKS. Why? What is this corpse of a crappy novel staying on my shelves for? Hidden behind it’s stronger brothers like the runt of a litter, no, they’re out. I won’t be keeping every book I’ve ever bought anymore, because that my friend is not practical in a two bedroom flat in which my boyfriend is acutely aware is slowly being taken over. In short, if books get fucked up it doesn’t matter as long and they’re readable, and any books I don’t like or don’t want anymore will be OUT.
  4. Continue Using The Library – Like I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been using the library quite a bit this past year. I’m not saying I used to effectively, but I used it. I mainly used it for the point raised in number 1, to get hold of that new release everyone is talking about so I can read it NOW BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE IS OVER IT AND I’M AN IRRELEVANT FOOL. Reality is you’ve always been an irrelevant fool Nathan sit down. I’d like to use the library as a source of FREE BOOKS. I mean, I just walk in, flash a card, and I own (for the next three weeks at least) a shit load of new books. What isn’t to love about that? I’m not someone who likes to splash a huge amount of cash at new books (because what even is council tax really I mean do I need to pay it or can I please just go to Waterstones instead?!?!), so the library is a person resource for me. My local one is absolutely tiny, but I can order books in online for like 10p so there really is no excuse not to fully take advantage.
  5. Stop Trying So Hard (You Fake Fuck) – Well, yeah. Honestly in 2016 I tried so fucking hard to become Book Blogger/Tuber/Instagramer/Tweeter OF THE FREE WORLD. I followed account after account hoping for a follow back, I made SHIT blog posts like ‘Quote of the Week’ scouring Google for a fucking life affirming quote from a book I’ve never read by a guy I’ve never heard of, I went to the library and took out a butt load of newish and popular books JUST SO I COULD DO A TBR/HAUL. Just so I had something to talk about on my channel. Just so people wouldn’t think that I’m that douche still trying to get through the 10 books I said I wanted to read last month but have no desire to open. I had a resolution of reading a classic every month, wanna know a secret? I’VE NEVER READ A CLASSIC I ENJOYED. Wuthering Heights was OKAY but I mean STOP WHINING (I saw in a post of 100% whine). So yup, this year I’m going to just chill my book bean, read at my own pace, read the books I genuinely want to read, and just relax, because I’ve come to the realisation that numbers on a screen have nothing at all in life to do with my enjoyment of a book. If people like my content, then they like it, but it’ll be genuine and from me because I wanted to create it, not because I feel I have to.

As you can see, my resolutions are basically ‘Do not do anything you did in 2016’. I also aim to be more consistent in my blogging and vlogging but honestly if I vanish for months on end it is simply because I haven’t read anything or that I have nothing to say. My blog might even evolve next year into content not book related because I might (heaven forbid) never feel like picking up a book again in my life You just don’t know. But yeah, by the end of 2016 I had a lot of realisations about myself and what I was up to and now that I’ve addressed them I feel really excited about the year to come.

Let me know how you got on with your resolutions this year below, and until next time, happy reading guys.

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My watch hasn’t ended 

Catch the Game of Thrones pun there? I am honestly so beyond happy that the series is back..anyway..as I was saying.

I haven’t abandoned you all, nor have I abandoned books. I am currently in the last couple of weeks of my second year with university and I have ALOT to get done/revise at the moment. But rest assured I shall be back to my old blogging self once it is all over for the summer.

Quick update though – I am currently, slowly but surely, when I get a few spare moments, reading Stone Matteress by Margaret Atwood, I have two short stories left to go and I’m really enjoying her work. I am also in such a fantasy mood thanks to the return of Game of Thrones so I will have to drive straight into the genre as soon as I have reading time!

Until then, happy reading one and all 🙂 

Fantasy – Books/Series I Want To Read

From a very young age, the fantasy genre is one that has captivated me more than any other, be in with books, films, or television. For example, as a child, other than being completely obsessed with Harry Potter, I was also into ANYTHING with magic, dragons, that sort of thing. Growing up, my love of fantasy hasn’t waned in the slightest, with things like Game of Thrones (both books and television series), and the work of Neil Gaiman. That being said, I thought it would be interesting to have a little run down of the fantasy novels and series that I would like to get to in the near future.

Fantasy can be quite daunting,  with some series having many books within them, and the books aren’t exactly short, but once you push past the doubt and make the leap into what ever fantasy world you’re reading, it is well worth it so far from my experience. So, here are some of the fantasy books and series I’d like to read in the near future.

THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY

I read The Hobbit a couple of years ago, in fact it was one of the first books I read since childhood, in my quest to get back into reading as an adult. I had heard mixed things about Tolkien’s work, with many saying he was far too descriptive. I really enjoyed The Hobbit, it was a lovely introduction to the world and the kinds of characters and creatures within it. I fully intend to attempt the first book, The Fellowship of The Ring this year at some point, and hopefully I’ll enjoy that as much as I did The Hobbit.

THE LIVESHIP TRADERS TRILOGY

I am one of the rare creatures of earth who have yet to read a Robin Hobb novel. When I heard about this trilogy I thought it sounded like something I would love. I have read off too many people not for it to put me off, that Hobb’s first trilogy, The Farseer Trilogy isn’t as good as the rest of her work so I think I’ll skip that and go straight to Liveship. From what I know already, all the books from Hobb take place in the same world, but this trilogy can be read as a  standalone without missing out on any important details. Also..SHIPS AND DRAGONS..YES PLEASE.

A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE SERIES

Having already read the first installment, A Game of Thrones, and being half way through the second, I have no excuse for not having continued on with these books. Sometimes I think their size is off putting, with A Clash Of Kings being 800+ pages, that at one point I decided to have a break for some shorter fiction and never returned, but I will! The TV is back this month which is the perfect opportunity to get back into this world and get the books finished before George R.R. Marin publishes the newest installment.

THE WORK OF NEIL GAIMAN

I find Neil’s work, what I’ve read of it, incredibly addicting and intelligent, he has such a way with words and plot that you cannot help but fall in love with his characters and his stories. I have only read two of his books so far, The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Trigger Warning more recently, so I am very excited to have a go at reading more of his novels and short story collections. I am most looking forward to both American Gods and Stardust.

THE HIS DARK MATERIALS SERIES 

I have had this collection in various forms throughout the last ten years or  more of my life and yet I still haven’t read it. I picked up Northern Lights has a kid a few times but never pushed past more than a few chapters. This series is one I KNOW I’ll love and enjoy a ridiculous amount, and for my birthday last year I got the stunning Everyman’s Library edition so now I have no excuse, this WILL be read VERY soon.

THE WHEEL OF TIME SERIES

I know it would take me a billion years from start to finish, and I don’t even know anything about the plot or what the series is even about, but I’ve heard too many good things about this series not to give it a go some day. My local library has every book in the series APART FROM THE FIRST which is beyond annoying so I’ll have to get that bought soon so I can delve in. I hope I really enjoy it because I’ve never had a long standing fantasy series outside of Harry Potter with so many books to look forward to!

THE COLOUR OF MAGIC BY TERRY PRATCHETT

I want to read this purely because I’ve never read anything by Terry and I find that to be quite a sin from a fantasy fan. Maybe it’ll encourage me to read all the Discworld novels, and if so, given this list so far, I’ll be reading nothing but fantasy for the next decade or so, which doesn’t sound all too bad ahah.

MORE BRANDON SANDERSON

Having read his Legion books as an easy introduction to his writing, I CANNOT WAIT to get started on some of his more fantasy based stories! I’ve had The Final Empire for a while now so I might have to pick that up once I’ve finished The Name of the Wind. I’ve heard nothing but adoration for his work and I’m so excited to expand my reading of his novels.

Book Review: Legion – Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson

GoodReads Rating – 3 Stars

This book is the second installment of Sanderson’s Legion books. I enjoyed this one, not quite as much as the first, but still enjoyed it nonetheless. I love how Sanderson uses his character, Leeds, and intertwines him with the aspects (imaginary people who re made up of his knowledge and memory).

Again, like the first one, there was the religion aspect involved that I don’t like in books, but it was minimal enough that I could see past it. The beginning of the sorry was a little off putting, a lot of science talk that probably went straight over my head, but once I got past that hump, I really got into the narrative. These books would make an incredible long running series, I hope Brandon Sanderson plans to write more of Stephen Leeds’ adventures in detective work. He has build an interesting network of characters here that could really go to some interesting places. And without ruining anything, WHAT ABOUT HER HUSBAND SHOWING UP!?

Overall this book was enjoyable, I’ve enjoyed this series as an introduction into Sanderson’s writings, and it has encouraged me more to finally pick up The Final Empire which has sat on my shelf for far too long now. Sanderson is an incredibly clever author, and I look forward to delving into his fantasy worlds in the future.

You can find my review of the first Legion book here 🙂

TBR Book Tag

Hi guys! I recently saw this tag on TheMysteryReader and thought it looked quite fun so I’m just going to answer a few questions all TBR related (because that pile is never ever ending!!).

 

1)How do you keep track of your TBR pile? 

I don’t have a designated shelf on my bookshelf for my TBR books but I can pretty much keep track of the ones I haven’t read on there. A good tool to use though is my GoodReads ‘to read’ list which is literally huge and I don’t own all the books on it but that helps me to see which books I want to read and what I can choose to read next.

2)Is your TBR pile mostly print or eBook? 

It’s pretty even to be honest. I have hundreds of books on my kindle, and quite a lot of print books. Usually if I enjoy an ebook I’ll buy the physical book after just because I love owning physical copies of books that I really enjoy, but obviously they’re no longer on my TBR by that point. I think it’s pretty much 50/50.

3)How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next? 

I have only for the month of December started to do monthly TBRs so up until then it is really just the case of staring blankly at my bookshelves until something exciting catches my attention. But after this month I’ll be doing monthly TBRs with the help of a TBR Jar and also including some books that have been on my shelf unread for far far too long.

4)The book that’s been on your TBR the longest? 

There are LOOOADS. Probably the one that I’ve been wanting to read for literally ever and have never gotten round to is Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. Luckily my boyfriend bought me a stunning bind up of all the His Dark Materials books for my birthday earlier this month so I think that will be my first read in the new year!

5)A book you recently added to your TBR? 

A book I’ve recently added to my TBR is The Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb. I love fantasy and I have never read a Robin Hobb book so I really want to try out some of her work soon!

6)A book on your TBR strictly because of the beautiful cover? 

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This collection of short stories by Angela Readman! That cover is beautiful.

7)A Book on your TBR that you never plan on reading? 

 

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Everyone has raved about Cinder and the Luna Chronicle series and I added it to my GoodReads TBR list ages ago but honestly I can’t ever see myself reading it, it doesn’t really interest me anymore.

8)An unpublished book on your TBR that your excited for?

A Gathering of Shadows  (A Darker Shade of Magic, #2)

I am so excited for the sequel to A Darker Shade Of Magic!!

9)A book on your TBR shelf that everyone has read but you? 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

I have read the first couple of pages of this book a million times but I’ve never actually sat down and tried to read it properly so this is definitely one to read soon because everyone seems to love it.

10)A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you? 

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EVERYONE recommends Aristotle and Dante and I’m so late to this party and the wonderfully floppy paperback has been sat on my shelf since June so I really need to get to this ASAP.

11) A book on your TBR that your dying to read? 

I’m dying to read EVERYTHING on my TRB, that’s why they’re on there in the first place!!

12) How many books are on your TBR shelf on GoodReads? 

My GoodReads TBR is currently at 185 and growing all the time. What can I say? I want to read ALL THE BOOKS!

Book Review – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

GoodReads Rating : 5 Stars

Apologies for my lack of content in recent weeks, I have been so so busy with work and university and just life in general that I haven’t had that much time to read…BUT, I did manage to squeeze in this beauty, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

Ready Player One is literally one of the most enjoyable, fun reads I have had in such a long time. The whole way through I was picturing it like a movie in my head, the imagery and the action is so wonderfully written that you cant help but play out the events in your head and imagine exactly how the world unfolds as if it was playing on the big screen.

Ready Player One follows Wade Watts, a young man who lives in a dystopian future in which the world as we know it was decayed and everyone pretty much is poor and living the ghettos due to the collapse of the energy companies and the loss of natural resources such as fossil fuels etc. The only release Wade has from the world around him is the OASIS, a virtual reality game (think World of War Craft only a lot more intense) in which he goes to school, makes a living, and goes about his daily life in an attempt to block out the real world.

The story follows Wade in his quest to find the Easter egg, an object hidden within the game by its creator James Halliday, who in his will, states that who ever finds this egg first, gains control of the OASIS and his fortune/estate. Obviously shenanigans ensue and Wade is up against everyone else trying to discover the location of the Easter egg, including an evil corporation who seek out the egg to gain control of the OASIS for their own sadistic goals.

We have adventure, we have battle, we have love, we have death, everything you could ever wish for is in Ready Player One. Such an easy and quick read, I know Ready Player One will be one of my favorite books of the year, if not of all time. I very much enjoyed the world and the characters, being gripped from the moment I picked it up.

I hope to read more of Cline’s work in the future, and I hope that this is the start of a love affair with sci-fi books maybe? Who knows. Over all this book was a wonderfully crafted, and immensely fun novel, I could not recommend this more.