Wednesday 27 November 2019

Family Adventures: Hampton Court Palace & Tower of London


I don't think that anyone could argue that the UK is packed with historical sites. 
Having lived at various points throughout the UK, I can honestly say it feels like no matter where you live you could visit a castle or former palace in under an hour if you were inclined to do so. 
However, there are comparatively few that are so steeped in history that they are known throughout the world but I'd say that the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace definitely qualify!
And we've visited both this year. 

Hampton Court Palace we visited this summer as part of our summer adventures and we visited the Tower of London during the October half-term. 

It wasn't the first time the professor and I have visited these places but it was the first time the little dude had visited Hampton Court (that he remembers!) and the first time that my mum had ever visited the Tower so both visits had a new feel as we experienced them through a set of fresh eyes each time.


The day we visited Hampton Court Palace was a soggy summer day, sadly. 
It didn't affect the visit to the Palace but it did hamper the exploration of the gardens which, from a previous visit, I can tell you are huge, very pretty, and not something you'd want to miss.
However, it was just too wet to properly appreciate them so we spent most of our visit indoors walking around the palace.   

The Palace offers an interactive tour guide and the children's version has challenges for each room. As you wander around the palace you have to look for the information you need and seek out the details highlighted in order to move onto the next challenge.
At the end of each time period, there was a quiz and for each quiz passed you could claim a prize (which were pin badges) at the visitor centre when handing the guide back. 
It was a brilliant way of imparting information to kids in a way that engaged them. 


The professor and I are history lovers so it's maybe not surprising that that love and fascination has been inherited by the little dude so he was all on board with completing the challenges. 

Visiting Hampton Court Palace is a little bit like stepping back in time and I could almost see the stories of past Kings and Queens coming to life for him as we walked the halls. 


From the Tudors to the House of Hannover, every room has a story to tell but it was the Tudor rooms that held the most interest for us. 

How could they not? Henry VIII was quite the character and his story and that of his wives are embedded into the very fabric of this place. 


From Catherine of Aragon to Anne Boleyn, then Jane Seymor through to Katherine Parr, I feel that each woman has left a mark on the collective psyche of this country and all haunt this opulent monument to the past in their own way.

One of the most spectacular things to see is the Royal Chapel but you're not allowed to take pictures of that one so you'll need to trust me on this... It's amazing. 


The post-Tudor rooms somehow feel grander than those of the Tudors but the history contained within the walls feels diluted... This is probably because I don't really care much for the later Stuart monarchs nor do I have much interest or historical affection for the House of Hannover. 

The only thing I can say is that they were some twisted puppies with a serious penchant for infighting and that the exhibits detail it all in a simple and family-friendly manner. 😉


For those spending the full day onsite, which would be super easy to do and not get bored, there are a couple of onsite cafes, plenty of bathrooms with baby changing facilities, and free wifi. 
They also do everything they can to ensure that the palace is fully accessible to disabled visitors. 
Basically, you have everything you need at Hampton Court to enjoy a full day out which is suitable for the entire family!
They even run special seasonal events to give you more to do and make every visit a little bit different.

If you have any kind of interest in history, especially that of good ol' Henry, then Hampton Court Palace is a must-see.

🌻

The Tower of London is one of those sites that once you've seen it, you've seen it. 
It doesn't change much and while it's interesting and well worth a visit don't expect it to occupy a full day.

Having only visited in summer 2018, I wouldn't have gone back so soon but, as I mentioned above, my mum had never seen it and it was one of her 'bucket list' items, so off we went!


When I think of the Tower of London, I think of political prisoners, torture and executions, the Princes in the tower... I think of the Tower as a symbol of Royal power, of military might. 
Basically, I think of it as a military garrison, prison and haunted pile of wtfery. 

However, it's none of those things... But it's also all of those things. 
As you can imagine it's history is long and very nuanced so just portraying it as I think of it is oversimplifying things. 

The initial parts of The Tower of London - i.e the White Tower - were built back in the days of William the Conquerer as a symbol of military might and authority. Good old William whacked towers up all over the country, so it's not surprising that he had one built in the capital of England as a method of keeping his newly conquered subjects underfoot!

However, over the years, the Tower - due to being heavily garrisoned I imagine - has been the location of the Royal Mint, a royal palace, the treasury, a menagerie, and is currently the location of the crown jewels (and still a military garrison).
But let's not forget it was also a prison and it was the site of many a notable execution and a little bit of torture which was never actually a legal thing under English law...


My mum predominantly wanted to see the crown jewels and, like every time I've visited the Tower, the queue to do so was insanely long. It moves fast, but it still took us 30 minutes of queuing in the cold to get into the building. 

The crown jewels are pretty amazing if you like lots of sparkly things. 
My mum loves all the sparkly things so was in her element. 
They don't lose their wow factor no matter how many times you see them but it always makes me sad that I can't take pictures of them and share their prettiness! 😟 
(It also makes perfect sense that you can't.)


My mum also enjoyed the stories of the Royal Menagerie especially the story about the polar bear they used to keep on a super long chain so it could go swimming in the river Thames! 
(The little dude was outraged by the very concept, lol.) 

We spent about half a day at the tower exploring all the buildings before moving on into the city to show mum some of the other sites. 
The nearest tube station is only a 5/10 minute walk so it's easy to move on to something else. 

🌻

Entry prices are the same for both the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace as they are part of the Historic Palaces of London. Adult entry will set you back around £21 per person and children (aged 5-15) are roughly half that amount. They do offer family tickets (which work out cheaper) as well as membership to the Historic Palaces, which if you are visiting two or more, would work out the best deal as the Historic Palaces pass gets you into them all and you can visit as often as you like! 

We got free entry to both due to a corporate membership to the Historic Palaces (which we're lucky to have) but even without it I wouldn't have begrudged paying the entrance fee as both are well worth seeing, at least once. 😊

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Tuesday 26 November 2019

Thankful, Festive Shopping & Shattering The Earth


I love participating in weekly bookish memes, answering questions and making lists, but sometimes the answers are not enough to make a decent post... On their own!
So, on those weeks, I'll be combining rather than skipping!


I always find these thankful topics a bit weird (blame it on being British) so I struggled to work out what to do and did this... And decided to go for the random things I'm genuinely thankful for instead of the usual list of family, a roof over my head blah blah blah.

So here are some things I'm thankful for.

Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America







Because he is beautiful and Steve Rogers' Captain America will always be my favourite Avenger.
And yes, he deserves three gifs. He deserves so much more than three gifs. So. Much. More.

Cat Memes/Videos/Gifs



They just make your day better.

Tea

It solves all of life's problems... Apparently.
There is also a tea for every occasion and situation and I drink a lot of it.

My dishwasher

Because there is no household chore I hate more than washing dishes.
When my dishwasher broke a couple of years ago, I cried. Actually cried. My husband came home and I was sobbing... Over the broken dishwasher and the massive pile of dishes sitting there.
He bought me a new dishwasher that weekend.
That's one of the very many reasons I love him.

The Killers



Because their music brings me joy.
This one is one of my favourites.

What random thing are you thankful for?



Now that Karen Chance is self-published her books are coming faster!
As a reader, I take that as a win!

Shatter The Earth should arrive sometime near the end of December (but there's no firm date as yet) and I couldn't be more excited!

Ironically for the time traveling, chief seer of the supernatural world, time has never been on Cassie Palmer’s side. There has always seemed to be too much to learn, too much to master, and never enough hours in a day. But the tables have now turned, and the fluctuating timelines of earth and faerie are diverging, slowing time in faerie relative to earth, and giving humans an advantage for the first time in their war with the fey. It is one they desperately need, for a literal war of the worlds is about to take place.

To win, or even to survive, Cassie and her allies, the powerful vampire senator Mircea Basarab and the formidable war mage John Pritkin, will have to pull off their greatest feat yet. And find a way to become more than the sum of their parts.

Any Cassie Palmer fans out there?


Did you go shopping on Thanksgiving Night, Black Friday, or on Cyber Monday?

Thanksgiving doesn't exist here. Thanksgiving night is just... Thursday. 
😉

Black Friday I avoid like the black plague! 
I struggle with crowds sometimes (not little crowds but big pushy aggressive crowds) and the level of crazy radiating off people on Black Friday makes things even more difficult. There's also the fact that the types of items I'd be buying aren't often the ones that have the super sales: So what's the point? 

Cyber Monday? Well... That one is a bit different. 
If there is something I need for the house or if there's something I have in mind for someone as a gift, I get googling and check out prices and if I find a good one, I snap it up. 
I don't buy things I don't need but it seems silly not to take advantage if something that'd work as a present for someone is on sale, you know? 

What about you? Do go shopping mad this weekend?
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Monday 25 November 2019

Review: Red Winter by Annette Marie (Red Winter Trilogy #1 - Audiobook)




Emi is the kamigakari.
In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin.
Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess-and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.

Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host.
Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can't match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command-whether she wants him or not.

On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate-but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope... and hope is all she has left. 


Audiobook: Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller
Duration: 11 hrs 21 minutes



I've heard a lot of hype about the Red Winter trilogy but I held off reading it as I wasn't sure it'd be for me and oh how wrong I was!

The book gets off to a slow start.
There is a lot of world-building and even though the information is woven through the story I still struggled, in the beginning, to absorb what everything was, who was who and why things were as they are. I even struggled to work out what time period we were in because life at the shrine is so removed from what is normal.
Maybe this all would have been easier for me if I was actually reading the book rather than listening to the audiobook but maybe not.
The world-building is complex (or was to me as I had no prior exposure to Japanese mythology) and I feel that no matter the format it probably would have still been a lot to absorb.

The action picked up about a third of the way in and by the time we hit the halfway mark I was hooked! This is the first time I've ever dipped a toe into the world of Japanese mythology and it was utterly fascinating!

I want to say that Emi was such an interesting character but honestly? She was so bland!
In the beginning anyway but it wasn't her fault.
She'd been marked to be the physical host of a goddess since she was a child. She was cut off from her family and raised in a very strict way so she'd be pure and prepared for her duty.
For the past 10 years, she'd been so sheltered that she has no real grasp of who she - Emi - is!
She's just been the kamigakari and has had next to no thought for herself.
However, she isn't weak. She isn't a coward. She is thoughtful, honourable, and determined.
The events of this book are like an awakening to Emi.
Her world is shaken to its very foundation and she begins to discover who she is as a person and over the course of the novel becomes ever more interesting.

Shiro, however, has an almost magnetic pull from the very first encounter!
The combination of the mysterious yoki and the sheltered kamigakari is pure gold.
I loved their dynamic and the potential that lies between them and I have no idea how things are going to play out - their attraction seems pretty doomed! - but I'm here for it.

The second half of the novel was so action packed and addictive that I'm bouncing on the edge of my seat for more!
Nothing is as it seems and I can't even begin to guess how things will unfold after the shocking revelations but I know it's going to be awesome!
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Wednesday 20 November 2019

Mini Reviews: Collateral & Damage by Natasha Knight (Collateral Damage Duet)


Collateral and Damage together create the Collateral Damage duet and are both full-length 250 + page novels told in alternating, first-person, pov.
They're dark, mafioso, romance and my first books by Natasha Knight.
I must say they did not make me want to read more from the author...



Gabriela

Stefan Sabbioni showed up in my bedroom on my sixteenth birthday. Uninvited, he stood in the shadows smelling of whiskey and death and wrapped a broken, blood-crusted necklace around my neck.
I thought he’d strangle me with it.
That night, he left a message for my father. He said he’d be back to take something precious.
I never delivered that message, though. I wonder if things would be different if I had because now, two years later, he’s back. And he’s not hiding in any shadows.
He’s come to make good on his promise.
He’s back to take that something precious.
Me.

Stefan

Marchese is the manipulator of my family’s tragedy. I won’t just bring him to his knees. I’ll bury him for what he did.
Taking his daughter is only the beginning. I’ll do it knowing I’m starting a war. I’ll do it knowing my enemies will become his allies. They’ll stop at nothing to destroy me and he’ll stop at nothing to get her back.
I’ve never shied away from war, though. I’m not one to play nice and I don’t share my toys. I’ll demolish you if you touch what’s mine.
And she is most definitely mine.



Collateral sets the scene.
You meet Stefan, you meet Gabriella and you learn why Stefan - a 28/29 yo man - wants to marry an 18 yo whose family he is seeking to destroy.

I expected the power struggles and backstabbing between the families but I didn't expect the familial manoeuvring to be, well, so tame (for a mafia romance) and kind of boring. I wanted to be invested and rooting for Stefan and Gabriella but he was borderline unlikable and she alternated between fierce and irritating.

I expected the power struggle between Stefan and Gabriella but what I didn't expect was for the power imbalance to be so vast!
Usually, women in these kinds of stories have their own kind of power but Gabriella was just so young... And painfully naive and in completely over her head!

Then there was the fact that every time I thought too long about the age difference I got a case of the heebies. Yes, I knew going into the book that Gabriella was young but I didn't know what the age gap between her and Stefan actually was and even though 10 years isn't horrendous, at this stage of her life it really was.

The back and forth and complete lack of understanding between them was draining.
For dark romance to work for me, there has to be love. There has to be a kindness, a genuine care, between the parties even if one of them is absolutely beastly at times... But there wasn't.
I got to the end of this book and thought wtf? Because even though Stefan wasn't too bad (all things considered), I didn't for one second believe he loved (or was falling in love) with Gabriella and she didn't seem to love him either.
To him, she was property and, to her, he was what she had to learn to live with.

 It teased so much potential and I kept reading and reading waiting for it but it just never took off!
I would have cut my losses here and not continued with the duet calling it a case of "it's not you, it's me" because the writing - the execution - of the story wasn't bad or else I wouldn't have been glued to it and unable to put it down but it ended on a bloody cliffhanger so on I read, like an idiot.



We’re a match made in hell, Stefan and I.

He took me to exact his revenge. I went from being a pawn to my father to being a pawn to Stefan. The only difference is I have a ring the size of a boulder on my finger and a husband I don’t want.

And the hardest part is I thought he was different. I thought I was falling in love.

I guess my father was right. I’m not a very smart girl.

Stefan is a powerful man. He doesn’t play nice, not if you’re his enemy. But I’ve learned one thing about my husband.

He takes care of what’s his.
And I am his.

His enemies have become my enemies, but he’ll never let anyone hurt me. He’s fiercely protective. It’s the predator inside that scares me.


Book two picked up right where book one ended and started off not too bad.
It got a bit gritty and I almost believed that Stefan was starting to catch a case of the feelings for Gabriella but it didn't take long for me to be disabused of that notion.

He may be protective of Gabriella, when it comes to anyone else, but it doesn't include him apparently unless slamming your wife into walls with a hand at her throat is considered protective nowadays...
Then there was lying. So much lying. And distrust. And insanity.
It went from a little bit twisted to toppling right down the rabbit hole into crazy fucked-up land.

I'd had enough before I even got a third of the way through this book but I'm a horrible person to myself sometimes and rather than DNFing I finished it.
Just because I was curious and, weirdly, because I kept waiting for it to get better!
And it didn't.
So, needless to say, I don't recommend.
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Tuesday 19 November 2019

Changes in My Reading Life and Books That Make Me Happy

I love participating in weekly bookish memes, answering questions and making lists, but sometimes the answers are not enough to make a decent post... On their own!
So, on those weeks, I'll be combining rather than skipping!


Changes In My Reading Life

Number One

Once upon a time, I'd buy a book, read the book and when I'd finished I'd go to the bookshop and buy another one (or to the library to borrow one). Rinse and repeat.
Now?
Hahahahahaha! Give me the books! Give me all the books and I'll read them... Eventually.



Number Two

Once upon a time, every book I read was on paper. Even when I had my first ereader I preferred paper because the old Sony ereaders where a pain in the ass to buy and load books onto.
Then came the kindle and it was bye bye paper books.
Well... Almost. I'd guesstimate that about 5% of my reading is actual physical books nowadays everything else is digital.



Number Three

Once upon a time, my reading rate was one book a day.
If it was particularly chunky, it might have taken me two.
Now?
I typically finish two or three books a week.
There are just too many competing demands on my time nowadays to read at a rate of one a day although if I'm particularly motivated, I can still do it. The time is there, it just means that lots of other things get neglected and I end up overwhelmed.



Number Four

Once upon a time, I used to make reading lists and stick to them.
Now?
Yeah, not so much.
Putting a book on a list is an almost surefire way of me NOT reading it.



Number Five

This is linked to number four... Once upon a time, I was not a mood reader.
I made a list of the books I had, I chose a book off the list, I read it and I moved onto the next one.
I rarely hit a reading slump.
Now?
There are so many books I want to read that I can spend days debating what to read next with my mood swinging like a pendulum so it ends up that I've gone days - sometimes weeks - and I've read nothing. Just, thought about reading. A lot.



So, that's my biggest changes!
What is your biggest reading change?


Name one book that makes you feel thankful and happy.

I don't have a single book that makes me feel thankful or happy. 
I'm thankful that I can read.
 I'm thankful that I grew up with, and continue to have access to, books. 
I'm thankful that access to books has never been restricted and I'm grateful that I've been able to foster a love of books in my son. 
Books, in all forms, make me feel extremely happy. 

What about you?
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Monday 18 November 2019

Review: Biting Cold by Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires Book 6) *Minor spoilers for earlier books!*


Warning!
Minor spoilers ahead for earlier books in the series.



In book six of the Chicagoland Vampires series, twenty-eight-year old vampire Merit is on the hunt, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artefact that could leash catastrophic evil on the world. But, as she soon discovers, she is also the prey: An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he'll stop at nothing to get his hands on the artefact.



Book five in the Chicagoland Vampires was a rollercoaster of a novel that ended rather dramatically with the return of Ethan from the dead and the fall of Mallory to the dark side.
Biting Cold follows on immediately from the events in that book and sees Merit and Ethan go on a road trip away from Chicago in an attempt to prevent Mallory from getting her hands on a book of magical evil. To complicate matters, the former mayor of Chicago, Seth Tate, a magical being of unknown origin - who lost his mind around book four  - is also hunting the book.
Magical tomes of evil aside, the book is loaded with vampire politics and the growing racial tensions between the humans and supernatural creatures.

Needless to say, Merit and Ethan have their hands full and both operate on their default settings and by that I mean that Merit wants to chase down the bad guy and whack 'em with a sword and Ethan shuts off his feelings and pushes Merit away because, you know, timing.
I was on board with Merit's plan but I was really hoping that she'd whack Ethan upside the head with her bloody sword because the back and forth with him is exhausting and you'd think a case of being dead would give the guy some perspective!
I guess, in the end, it works out well and from here Ethan and Merit will go from strength to strength but their relationship (non-relationship?) was annoying in this one.

Want to know what else was a bit annoying? Mallory.
However, I liked how people didn't give up on her but at the same time have not brushed aside or easily forgiven all that she did and caused.
That girl has a lot of things to atone for in later books and top of that list for me is breaking Catchers heart with her selfish, megalomaniac, bullshit.

All in all, Biting Cold felt like a transition book. It felt like it was needed to round off this phase of the storyline and set up the next but because of that it was mixed bag of tricks that was missing something vital. 

💬

“The world isn’t perfect, and some days it wears you down. You can either accept that, and face it, and be a help to others instead of a hindrance. Or you can decide the rules are too tough and they shouldn’t apply to you, and you can ignore them and make things harder for everybody else. Sometimes life is about being sad and doing things anyway. Sometimes it’s about being hurt and doing things anyway. The point isn’t perfection. The point is doing it anyway.”

💬
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Tuesday 12 November 2019

Bookmarks, Book Lunches & Heirs of Chicagoland!

I love participating in weekly bookish memes, answering questions and making lists, but sometimes the answers are not enough to make a decent post... On their own!
So, on those weeks, I'll be combining rather than skipping!



This week's topic is... Favourite Bookmarks.


Funny thing about bookmarks? 
You need to read physical books for them to be relevant and I rarely read print books anymore.
I'm a 10% audio, 85% ebook kind of gal. 
Yes, that remaining 5% would be print books but you can see my problem when it comes to answering this question? I don't really need bookmarks.

Anyway, when I do read a physical book, I will use anything as a bookmark:
Receipts
Bits of paper
 Ice-lolly sticks
Post its
Hair grips
The dust jacket on a hardback
The corner of the book. (Yes, I dog ear pages and I'm not sorry.)
Sometimes, I use an actual bookmark.

I actually surprise myself by owning a bookmark... It's a metal bookmark that looks like a sleeping cat and it clips onto the corner of your page to hold place but I can never find that thing when I actually need it. It's pretty though and brings joy.

So, what about you? Do you still need bookmarks? And what do you use if you do?


I'm back reading The Chicagoland Vampire's series as my "read a series in a month" challenge and it's making me all excited for the Heirs of Chicagoland books!

Wicked Hour (book 2 in the series) releases in December so I'll have two of them to read once I catch up with the predecessor series!
😊

If you've read this series, tell me what you think!



Do you think that overall work morale would be improved by having a "book lunch", sponsored by the company, at least once a month, or perhaps once a week? (Participation would be voluntary.) 

In a word, no.
Not everyone is a book lover or reader so why should a company sponsor this? Surely there are better things - that would benefit more people - for a company to sponsor?

I also fail to see how lunch were a bunch of people sit around not interacting can bolster morale. And worse! What if you're reading and people DO talk to you?!
So, no. Just... No.


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Tuesday 5 November 2019

Autumn Vibes, Druid Vices and Reading Quirks

I love participating in weekly bookish memes, answering questions and making lists, but sometimes the answers are not enough to make a decent post... On their own!
So, on those weeks, I'll be combining rather than skipping!


This week's topic is books that give off Autumn vibes... 

I gravitate towards urban fantasy more than usual at this time of year but I wouldn't say they particularly give me autumn vibes.
However, there are a few others that spring to mind as giving me autumn feels and they are: 

Gothic Novels

Wuthering Heights, Dracula and Jane Eyre in particular.  
With their dramatic landscapes, passionate love affairs, darkness, and death, it feels wrong to read them in the spring and summer but autumn? Oh yes... Autumn works.

Harry Potter

September rides on the Hogwarts express, marvellous Halloween feasts and all the magic and general witchery... How could Harry Potter be associated with any season other than autumn?

🌻

But that's all I've got! 
What about you? What gives you autumn vibes?


It doesn't release until January but I'm already crazy psycho excited to get my hands on it!

Book 6 in my beloved Guild Codex: Spellbound series!
Isn't it pretty?! And it sounds freakin' fantastic! The Druid is back!!!!
😍

I've said it before, but sometimes I'm a bad person. I cheated on my twelfth-grade math final, I've run countless yellow lights, and I gossip about how hot my kickass best friends are. (Good thing my job as a guild bartender doesn't require moral perfection.)

But there's bad, and then there's bad. And I'm not sure which applies to a certain dark druid/wanted criminal/reluctant friend of mine. His transgressions include black-magic dealings, kidnapping, and murder, and he's about to add "revenge-fueled killing spree" to his resume—if I don't stop him.

Should I stop him?

He and his nemesis are gearing up to tear each other apart, rogues and vultures are converging with their sights on the spoils, and the guilds that would normally stomp them into the ground are under attack. We're on the brink of an all-out criminal turf war, and my time to decide is almost up.

Who's the real bad guy ... and do I dare stand in his way?

Whatcha think? What are you excited for this week?


This week on the book blogger hop, Elizabeth asks, "Can you stop reading before the end of a chapter?"

My answer is simple: Yes. Yes, I can. 
Do I like having to stop before the end of a chapter? No.
However, I'm pretty good at remembering what was going on in a book so stopping and starting reading at strange places doesn't bother me too much. 

What about you? Can you stop?
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Saturday 2 November 2019

October Reading Challenge Update


October was a busy month.
In addition to working towards my year-long challenges, I also took part in Fraterfest (even though it was a bit of a disaster), October Blog Ahead (which resulted in 10 scheduled posts, not 31) and the Get Your Shit Together challenge (I definitely failed to get my shit together).

I feel like for most of the month I struggled to stay on top of things and ran from one fire to another but I still managed to read/listen to 8 books so I guess it wasn't a complete bust!


My favourite book of the month was Slaying Monster For The Feeble and my least favourite was Damage by Natasha Knight.

🌻

This year, I signed up for  4 reading challenges (not including the Goodreads Challenge) and 1 blogging challenge.

Details of them can be found in my 2019 Reading Challenge sign up post.

This month I have made progress as follows...

  
The Goal was to 10-12 books this year featuring royalty.

I read 1 'Royal' themed book last month, so my total goes to 9!


I'm almost finished with this one! I have the final book in the Paranormal PI Files to read and that'll wrap the challenge up nicely... And I may even exceed it! I have other Royal books I want to read before the year is out.


My blog challenge... Each month a prompt is given and the goal is to write a blog post that fits it. 
No change.
I haven't posted anything for any of the prompts.


My aim for this one was to read 10-15 books featuring bad boys... 
In October, I read 2 bringing the total to 4!


I still need to read more bad boys but I made progress so I'm happy!
Just wish the books had been better...


This reading challenge is aimed at reading books published before 2019 and getting them off your backlist/TBR/wishlist... This year, I'm hoping to read 60 books from the backlist.

For October, I read 1 book from the backlist.



My total for the year goes to 39.

I may or may not hit 60 by the end of December but regardless I'll be happy for I've read a lot of backlist books this year and I'll be reading more before the year is out! My Read A Series In A Month selection for November is all backlist and if I succeed that'll be an additional 7! So yeah... Happy.


I was originally aiming for 5 audiobooks this year. Because I was beastin' it, I raised the total to 'Weekend Warrior' which is 5-10 books.

In October, I finished 1 audiobook so my total goes to 9.


I upped my original target from 5 to 10 and honestly? I think I'm going to exceed 10 before the year is out! 

🌻

How are your challenges going this year?

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