Monthly Roundup

Monthly Roundup: January 2017

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Every first Wednesday of the month, I’ll be posting a roundup of the month just gone, including discussing books read that month, challenge progress, and a summary of all posts for the month.

Last month I read a total of fifteen books: The Death Cure (The Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner, The Girls by Emma Cline, The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K. Rowling, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, 1Q84 (1Q84 #3) by Haruki Murakami, The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry, After the Silence (Amsterdam Quartet #1) by Jake Woodhouse, The Terranauts by T.C. Boyle, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by J.K. Rowling, Saga Volume 1 (Saga #1) by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling, The Dead Men Stood Together by Chris Priestley and Elizabeth of York: The First Tudor Queen by Elizabeth Weir.

January was a month of unemployment, and therefore left me a lot of time for reading… yet still I fell into a bit of a slump. Not so much a general reading slump, as I still managed 15 books, but I lost interest in a lot of the SFF on my shelves and all the books I’d borrowed from the library, and felt like reading something a bit different. I aimed to get through quite a few of my Netgalley books and managed to cross quite a few off the list. I also started re-reading the Harry Potter series (because why not?), and finally read the first volume of the Saga graphic novels, which was excellent. I also re-read Amy Poehler’s autobiography, Yes Please, because I love her. The Girls was a bit of a disappointment after all that hype, and I finally finished the Maze Runner series!

 

Challenge progress:

  • Mpauli is not hosting the DC vs. Marvel Challenge this year, instead the Justice League vs. Teen Titans Challenge is being hosted by the wonderful Wayland, who is also the newest moderator of Dragons & Jetpacks. I won’t be keeping track of this on the blog, just on the book group, as I don’t plan on being quite so dedicated this year. Although I felt really proud that I managed to complete the challenge 100% in 2016, it did dictate quite a bit of my reading so I’m going for a more relaxed approach in 2017.
  • I have currently read fifteen books towards my Goodreads goal.

 

Currently reading:

How was January for you?

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Buddy Read

Bell & Sword: A Sabriel Read-along (Fantasy Casting)

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Today is the last part of the Sabriel read-along hosted by The Duchesses.

This post will contain details and possibly spoilers about the events in Sabriel.

As I read more and more of the book, the events came back to me. I didn’t take many notes when re-reading the last bit, as I wanted to do something different for this last post. There was one particular description of Touchstone, something about his curly hair, that conjured up an image of Ser Loras Tyrell from A Song of Ice and Fire. This gave me the idea of sharing my fantasy casting for a film version of Sabriel – apparently there were plans to pitch the film in 2008, but nothing has really progressed since.

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I think Tim Curry could play the smug aspect of Mogget really well, I can totally imagine a cat with his voice! Jeremy Irons would be a good Abhorsen, an authoritative figure who is also fatherly. Finn Jones, as previously mentioned, would be a pretty good Touchstone in my mind. Stephen Fry makes me think of Colonel Horyse, if only for his Blackadder days. I reckon Dane DeHaan would be a great Rogir, he was a wonderfully evil Harry Osborn in the recent The Amazing Spider-Man 2. And finally, it took me a while because I didn’t want to choose anyone really well known, but I settled for Alice Englert as Sabriel.

What do you think of my fantasy casting? Who would you choose for your ideal version of Sabriel?

Review

Review: Stephen Fry in America by Stephen Fry

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3 out of 5 stars | Goodreads
I somehow completely missed watching this TV series when it was on air a couple of years ago. I’ve always been aware of it, and caught the occasional bit of an episode (always the same one… about the Body Farm. Normally whilst eating.), but never watched much of it.

I learnt quite a bit whilst reading this book – although I think I could probably name every state, and had a general idea of where each one was located, I previously couldn’t tell you much about them. For instance, I never had any idea that Wisconsin and Minnesota were cold states. Fry creates a pretty clear picture of each landscape that he travels through, enough to make me want to visit several states that I previously knew nothing about. He also covers some less well-known (and very unappealing) places, such as a body farm in Tennessee, used to study how the human body decomposes in various conditions.

Whilst being the sort of travel fiction that I enjoy – factual, yet witty, enough information to interest but not too bogged down – this felt a bit sparse. I think it is very much a companion to the series rather than something you could read by itself; there just isn’t enough information on each state, I think the most is about four pages.

Personally, I would’ve loved a proper book about Stephen’s trip – especially coming from such a humourous, talented person – but I guess this just wasn’t it. It’s definitely more of a ‘coffee table’ book (as one of my lecturers used to refer to big hardbacks with pretty photos), that you might flick through, or pick out certain bits to read.

I do definitely now want to watch the series (it’s not as long as I believed it was) – but perhaps I’ll skip through part of Tennessee…

Past Features

Weekly Roundup #19

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My ‘Weekly Roundup’ is where I share the books I have received in the past week, whether bought, gifted, borrowed etc.
 
 

Borrowed

  • Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren Oliver – I’ve seen this one on lots of book blogs, so I thought I’d give it a try. This is another YA dystopia, to fit in with the flavour of the moment!
  • Albert of Adelaide by Howard L. Anderson – set in Australia and the story of the eponymous Albert, who also happens to be a platypus… this sounds pretty interesting! I do feel I should read more books set in Australia too – I used to live there and miss it quite a bit.
  • Stephen Fry in America by Stephen Fry – I’m currently reading this one, and it will be my next review. I never got round to watching the series and reading this makes me want to watch it – as if I don’t already have enough things to catch up on!

That’s it for this week! What new reads do you have?

Past Features

Weekly Roundup #18

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My ‘Weekly Roundup’ is where I share the books I have received in the past week, whether bought, gifted, borrowed etc.
 
A day late this week, but at least I’ve actually gotten round to posting it! This, ladies and gentlemen, is why charity shops are bad for me:
 
£4.10 for all of these.
 

Bought

  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle – so I already have this on the Kindle but I prefer real books. And it’s a cool cover!
  • Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories #6) by Bernard Cornwell – apparently this is the sixth in the series but nevermind! I always need more historical fiction. Anglo-Saxon England has always fascinated me – I did my A Level History coursework on it – but I just don’t know loads about it.
  • Nightrise (The Power of Five #3) by Anthony Horowitz – I’ve wanted to read this series for a while, and have the first two books so bought this one too. I think the fourth one is currently only in hardback?
  • The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry – because he is awesome. That is all.
  • Bitterblue (Graceling Realm #3) by Kristin Cashore – I picked this up because it looked pretty, and then I realised it’s a sequel to a book that I want to read (Graceling). I know I haven’t yet read the first two in the series, but I plan to, and since this was only 50p I grabbed it!
 
As for other book related news since my last post: I finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and sobbed. A lot. I also read The Great Gatsby today, as I plan on watching the new film adaptation, and I like to read the book first.
 
 

What new reads have you acquired this week? Have you read any of my new purchases, and if so what did you think of them?