Thursday 31 May 2018

May Wrap-Up.

Ouch! What a horrible reading month I've had! I only managed three reads altogether, which is probably the worst I've ever done in a month. I had a fair bit of time off this month too which makes it even more disappointing!

  1. 'The Power' by Naomi Alderman. I borrowed this read as a couple of friends of mine were also reading it, and I've heard such mixed reviews about it! Some people loved it, and some really didn't. For me, it didn't really blow me away or fill me with rage. It was well-written and filled with a lot of subtle, clever parallels with reality. I never really felt that it had much of a plot though, and there was a lot of build with very little climax. 3.5/5 Stars.
  2. 'The Quick & Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns' by Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson. This was a good little guide to something that a lot of people find inexplicably confusing. Pronouns. I have misgendered people in the past and felt absolutely terrible about it, so it's definitely necessary for books like this to exist. I liked the dynamic between Archie and Tristan too, though I think it was a little repetitive at times. 3.5/5 Stars.
  3. 'The Hound Of The Baskervilles' by Arthur Conan Doyle. I loved this next installment in the Sherlock Holmes series because not only was it mystery, but there were a few supernatural elements to make things interesting! In fact, I think this was my favourite story so far! Yes, I already sort of knew what was going to happen, but it was nice to see Watson play a more pivotal role in the story that wasn't observing Holmes. 4/5 Stars.

This month I read two books for the Beat The Backlist Challenge, making my yearly total so far fifteen.

- The Power
- The Hound Of The Baskervilles

This month I read zero books for the Finishing The Series Challenge, making my yearly total so far zero.

I read one books for the New Release Challenge, making my yearly total so far five.

- The Quick & Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns

I read one book for the Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, making my yearly total so far eleven.

- The Quick & Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns

Here is the end result for Pretty Deadly Blog's Bookish Bingo card.

Part Of A Series: The Novice; Taran Matharu
Made Into A Movie: The Hound Of The Baskervilles; Arthur Conan Doyle
Spring Release: Children Of Blood & Bone; Tomi Adeyemi
New To Me Author: Milk & Honey; Rupi Kaur
Freebie: --
Intersectional Diversity: bone; Yrsa Daley-Ward
Animal On Cover: Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them; J.K. Rowling
Epistolary: The Power; Naomi Alderman
Family: Spectacle; Megan Rose Gedris
LGBT+: They Both Die At The End; Adam Silvera
Multi POV: The Quick & Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns
Second Chance: The Magician's Nephew; C.S. Lewis

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Book Review: The Hound Of The Baskervilles; Arthur Conan Doyle.

I'm slowly working my way through these Sherlock Holmes books, and I'm glad that I am getting to read these as they are very enjoyable! Often I find that classics are less fun to read than watch (unpopular opinion alert) as they can be so heavy! But I think that Conan Doyle has hit the nail on the head here!

SOURCE: Borrowed
TYPE: Hardcover

TITLE: The Complete Sherlock Holmes (The Hound Of The Baskervilles)
AUTHOR: Arthur Conan Doyle
SERIES: Sherlock Holmes (#6)
PUBLISHER: Barnes & Noble Classics
GENRE: Mystery, Classics, Historical Fiction, Horror

RATING: 5/5 Stars

Could the sudden death of Sir Charles Baskerville have been caused by the gigantic ghostly hound that is said to have haunted his family for generations? Arch-rationalist Sherlock Holmes characteristically dismisses the theory as nonsense. And immersed in another case, he sends Watson to Devon to protect the Baskerville heir and observe the suspects close at hand. With its atmospheric setting on the ancient, wild moorland and its savage apparition, The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of the greatest crime novels ever written. Rationalism is pitted against the supernatural, good against evil, as Sherlock Holmes seeks to defeat a foe almost his equal.

What I Liked:

  • Who doesn't love a good old-fashioned, chilling mystery set on the moors of England? With most of the Sherlock Holmes cases, it is usually clear that a human is behind it all. I liked that Doyle took a spookier route with this one and decided to add a sprinkle of the supernatural to keep the reader guessing.
  • The characters are just as well-written as I remember. We get to see a lot less of Holmes himself this time, but more of a solitary Watson doing some digging of his own. This made a nice change, as it sometimes feels that Holmes keeps him around more to add to the decor than for anything particularly useful. Doyle gives a lot of flare and personality to every character he writes, no matter how prominent in the story they are.
What I Disliked:
  • Okay, so I guess Doyle has dropped Watson's wife Mary for good? How...disappointing. Also, one of the problems of this being the most famous of Sherlock Holmes' cases? I kind of knew what was going to happen. It made the ending a tiny bit anti-climactic.
Overall Conclusion:
This was a really enjoyable story. favourite so far? Wow, a bold statement I know, but I really liked how Doyle changed things up a bit. Everyone knows I like a good dash of horror every now and then and this was actually really tense to read at times! I wish that Doyle had done a little more with his previously introduced female characters and I also wish that I hadn't already known so much about the story. But overall, I liked this a lot!

Monday 28 May 2018

Last Week's Shenanigans (21st May - 27th May)...

Honestly? Pretty much nothing happened this week. I really hate unproductive weeks, but this has certainly been one of them. The weather has very much been matching my frustrated mood too, as it's been pretty thundery, particularly at the end! Something that I did do this week was go and see Solo: A Star Wars Story with Mat in the cinema, which we'd been hoping to do from the moment it came out! It's had some mixed reviews but we both really enjoyed it and the way that it expanded upon the lore in the Star Wars universe!

I Read...


I Received...

- 'Sea Witch' by Sarah Henning: Netgalley (25/05/18)

Monday 21 May 2018

Last Week's Shenanigans (14th May - 20th May)...

I still had a little time off after my birthday this week, which was lovely though it didn't end up being the most productive time on my part! I caught up with some TV watching and relaxed as much as possible before going back to work! We also went to see Deadpool 2 with friends which was absolutely hilarious! If you liked the first film, you'll definitely like this one too. 

I Read...

I Received...


Wednesday 16 May 2018

Mini Review: A Quick & Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns; Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson.

While it's a little sad that books like this are needed, Rome wasn't built in a day and it is important to educate people about the importance of gender pronouns! We're in 2018 after all! I picked this up because I'm trying to get a lot better at not mis-gendering people and I felt this would be a handy, quick read to fill in some knowledge gaps!

SOURCE: Netgalley
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: A Quick & Easy Guide To They/Them Pronouns
AUTHOR: Archie Bongiovanni & Tristan Jimerson
Limerence Press
GENRE: Non-Fiction, Graphic Novels, LGBT+

RATING: 4/5 Stars

Archie, a snarky genderqueer artist, is tired of people not understanding gender neutral pronouns. 

Tristan, a cisgender dude, is looking for an easy way to introduce gender neutral pronouns to his increasingly diverse workplace. 

The longtime best friends team up in this short and fun comic guide that explains what pronouns are, why they matter, and how to use them. They also include what to do if you make a mistake, and some tips-and-tricks for those who identify outside of the binary to keep themselves safe in this binary-centric world. A quick and easy resource for people who use they/them pronouns, and people who want to learn more!

Overall Conclusion:
This is certainly an easy guide to follow, and for a book like this, it definitely needs to be! It's filled to the brim with some great examples and I think that my favourite thing about it is Archie's impassioned insight into why these things matter. Tristan does a great job of bringing some balance to everything too. I think that while I loved the concept, the execution wasn't 100% there. The illustrations were cute but I felt that things got a little repetitive after a while and being someone who understands that mis-gendering can be a little rude and inconsiderate, I didn't necessarily learn anything new. I'd recommend this more for people who are totally new to the concept or don't 'get' it.

Monday 14 May 2018

Last Week's Shenanigans (7th May - 13th May)...It's My Birthday!

Yay! It's my favourite time of year! I booked a whole week off (starting Wednesday 9th) in order to maximise celebrations and had a really enjoyable time off with Mat. Firstly, we went to go and see Kinky Boots in the West End! Honestly, the show was so enjoyable and I really recommend it to anyone looking for something funny and feel-good while visiting London! We went for lunch and dinner while out too, which was nice. We even had some delicious pancakes!

On Thursday we went to Canary Wharf for dinner out with some friends and had a wonderful evening enjoying the views by the river! It's been so nice to relax and I've loved having the freedom to socialise at my own pace as well. On Saturday my parents came to visit and I really enjoyed spending time with them! Then came my actual birthday and it really was such a wonderful day. I was spoilt rotten by both my wonderful fiance and my friends who came round later on in the day! We played a hilarious game of Scrawl too - for those that don't know it's basically Cards Against Humanity, Pictionary and Chinese Whispers combined!

I Read...

I Received...

'And The Mountains Echoed' by Khaled Hosseini: Gift (10/05/18)
- 'Ash Princess' by Laura Sebastian: Physical ARC (12/05/18)
- 'No. 1 - No. 80' by Various (Little Black Classics): Gift (12/05/18)
- 'Alice In Wonderland' by Lewis Carroll: Gift (13/05/18)
- 'The Love Interest' by Cale Dietrich: Gift (13/05/18)
- 'A Study In Charlotte' by Brittany Cavallaro: Gift (13/05/18)
- 'The World Of Ice & Fire' by George R.R. Martin: Gift (13/05/18)
- 'Wires & Nerve' by Marissa Meyer: Gift (13/05/18)

Sunday 13 May 2018

Book Review: The Power; Naomi Alderman.

This book has caused such a stir, not only in the book community but also within my friendship group. Some people have hailed this as the biggest triumph of the feminist literature world, while others have said it's a total, catastrophic failure. I think my biggest disappointment was that I didn't really HAVE a reaction to this book other than mild enjoyment.

SOURCE: Borrowed
TYPE: Paperback

TITLE: The Power
AUTHOR: Naomi Alderman
PAGES: 341
GENRE: Dystopian, Science Fiction, Adult

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

Suddenly - tomorrow or the day after - girls find that with a flick of their fingers, they can inflict agonizing pain and even death. With this single twist, the four lives at the heart of Naomi Alderman's extraordinary, visceral novel are utterly transformed, and we look at the world in an entirely new light.

What if the power to hurt were in women's hands?

What I Liked:
  • Alderman writes really well. Honestly, I never exactly found myself bored with this book. The pacing and plot development were well structured and I liked the inclusion of diagrams, letters, etc. in order to build the world and make things more interesting. I also liked a couple of the POV characters, particularly Roxy and Alison. I found their viewpoints the most interesting and 'out there'!
  • The world-building was actually pretty cool and I found it so amazing how Alderman could take a woman's present day reality and turn it on it's head to make it sound so dystopian when it's happening to men. The fact that male news anchors had to be young, attractive and not have too many opinions? The increase in male rape and victim blaming? The bullying/peer pressure that took place when a girl's power was weak or they didn't use it? These are all obvious mirrors to what happens in our own society and I thought that they were very clever!
What I Disliked:
  • I guess the most disappointing thing for me was the detachment I felt from everything that happened. There were of course a lot of shocking twists but none of them blew me away and I honestly felt that some of them didn't particularly add to the plot. I didn't totally love all of the POV characters either, and I found Margot's chapters particularly uninteresting.
Overall Conclusion:
I'm all for reading a cleverly pieced together book, which is what this was. It took a totally different view on feminism and how to portray the everyday struggle of being a woman. It was filled to the brim with intelligent commentary, parallels and symbolism. But it didn't make me feel anything and I wanted that from this book most of all, for better or for worse.

Monday 7 May 2018

Last Week's Shenanigans (30th April - 6th May)...

We're already in May?! Whaaaat?! Well I for one am VERY happy because May is my birthday month, and so my favourite month of the year! The weather is starting to get really nice too. I'm much happier when it's sunny and bright than I am in the cold! May is going to be a really exciting month too because I have a fair amount of time off and exciting plans to fill it with! I'm looking forward to it!

I Read...


I Received...

- 'Spinning Silver' by Naomi Novik: Netgalley (01/05/18)
- 'Why I'm No Longer Talking To White People About Race' by Reni Eddo-Lodge: Netgalley (02/05/18)
- 'The Hatch' by Joe Fletcher: Netgalley (02/05/18)


Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Fight A Bear Underwater To Get Early

I Posted...

April Wrap-Up
Planned Reads For May

Tuesday 1 May 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Books I'd Fight A Bear Underwater To Get Early'.

Okay, so I changed up the title a little bit after repeating Todrick Hall's album Straight Outta Oz repeatedly these last few days (see the track 'Lions & Tigers & Bears' for the reference). But the intent is the same! I would seriously kill for these titles...seriously...

1) 'Floored' by Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne et al.

As soon as I saw the announcement for this one I was straight onto begging for a place on the mailing list. The proofs look so beautiful and I'm 100% on board with anything that Sara Barnard has had a hand in!

2) 'King Of Scars' by Leigh Bardugo.

This only recently came on my radar, but I need it. My baby Nikolai is the central character?! It's going to have a 'Six Of Crows' POV character?! HAVE YOU SEEN THE BOOK TRAILER?! HIEWHNNCLDSNC! Sign me up!

3) 'The Winter Of The Witch' by Katherine Arden.

The third and final installment to one of my favourite fantasy series is coming out this year. I am here for anything related to this book because it looks like it's going to be everything I've ever wanted! So exciting!

4) 'Sea Witch' by Sarah Henning.

I am so desperate for a copy of this book! There really aren't enough Sea Witch (of 'The Little Mermaid' fame) origin stories/retellings and I'm getting really good vibes from this one! I love that it references the Hans Christian Andersen version too, rather than Disney's Ursula!

5) 'Pride' by Ibi Zoboi.

I'm really surprised that I haven't seen this book floating around the blogosphere more, but a contemporary retelling of 'Pride & Prejudice' that is borne from POC culture and heritage is always going to go to the top of my priority list! I'm honestly so excited about this book!

6) 'The Winds Of Winter' by George R.R. Martin.

Many will think me a fool for listing this one, as it's probably not going to be released in my lifetime, even if Martin does outlive me! That being said, what I would give to be able to do a Miranda Priestly and secure a manuscript copy while everyone else waits!

7) 'Spinning Silver' by Naomi Novik.

This looks so pretty, first off! Just look at the stunning cover! I'm a big fan of the tale of Rumpelstiltskin so I'm intrigued by this retelling of the story because I haven't seen many of them.

8) 'Notes On A Nervous Planet' by Matt Haig.

'Reasons To Stay Alive' was a life-changing read for me, and now all of Matt Haig's titles catch my eye. Especially this one because it's (a) non-fiction, and (b) a lot more focused on anxiety which is something I would like to understand better so that I can understand myself better.

9) 'And The Ocean Was Our Sky' by Patrick Ness.

Ness never fails to grab me with his eye-catching, original story-telling and this book looks particularly stunning! I love the cover, and the promise of beautiful illustrations from Rovina Cai. I would love to get an ARC of this one!

10) 'The Curses' by Laure Eve.

I remember adoring 'The Graces' which was a little unexpected as I only expected to like it. My thoughts still go back to it a lot, especially it's fantastic use of an unreliable narrator, and I'm looking forward to seeing what it's sequel can bring to the table!

Planned Reads For May.

May is the month of my birthday and, as a result, I always save books that I'm super excited to read for it! Yay!

I'm currently reading Naomi Alderman's 'The Power' and I have to say, a lot of controversy surrounds this book. Some hail it as being super feminist while others claim it to be a step backwards? I'm really interested to see what my own thoughts will be for this one.

It's time to get round to the final book in the Malediction Trilogy, 'Warrior Witch' by Danielle L. Jensen. I have waited way too long to finish this series and it's time I did so! Especially as I enjoyed the books so far so much!

It's time for some more reading from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Complete Sherlock Holmes', this time I'm reading 'The Hound Of The Baskervilles'! This is probably the most famous of the Sherlock Holmes stories and I'm looking forward to finding out why, especially as I've enjoyed the other Sherlock Holmes stories so much!

I'm still looking forward to this 'The Belles' by Dhonielle Clayton! I know it doesn't seem like it because I haven't got round to it in the last couple of months but this is one of my most anticipated reads of the year! That cover is playing a big part in that.

Another book that I've been dying to get round to is Leigh Bardugo's 'Wonder Woman: Warbringer'! That's actually pretty surprising considering the fact that I don't usually like to read comic book retellings, so I'm really hoping that this is done well because I adored the Wonder Woman film!

'The Astonishing Colour Of After' by Emily X.R. Pan is the last one I'm bringing over from last month's TBR pile! I can't resist the cover, or the lure of reading about a totally new culture! I'm so excited about this book!

It's time. I'm having serious withdrawal symptoms from George R.R. Martin's world and I really want to read 'A Dance With Dragons: Dreams & Dust' which is the next in the series that I haven't read yet! I've put this off for long enough!

This book is so stunning and I adored the predecessor to Erin Bowman's 'Retribution Rails' so much that I need to read this ASAP! I can't wait to get stuck into another YA wild west adventure with badass characters and (hopefully) a sizzling romance.