Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Musing Mondays - this week's book haul & vacation reading lists yes or no

Musing Monday, September 11, 2017

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

I bought the following book(s) in the past week…

I keep saying I'm going to lay off buying books for several reasons a. to save money, b. because I am running out of shelf space AGAIN, c. because my physical TBR shelf already exceeds 250 items and d. because Sophia challenged me to finish my entire TBR shelf (physical and digital) by the time she graduates in 2019...a challenge that seems impossibly harder when weekends like this past weekend happen. Chapters was having a 10x the plum rewards points sale for orders of $30 or more. I LOVE the 10x the plum points sales because they get me more points on books I wanted anyway so I get closer to the higher end gift cards for Christmas so I can get even MORE books with my holiday money haha. So of course I caved and bought 4 books, but only 2 are for me, the other 2 are Christmas gifts for my mum.

As I Was Saying . . .: The World According to Clarkson Volume 6 by Jeremy Clarkson

This is one of the ones that I bought for my mum. She and I enjoyed watching Jeremy, James and Richard being absolute idiots on Top Gear when the three of them were still the hosts. It was mainly their friendship and the way they terrorised one another that made it fun to watch. When I was visiting Angie in May I bought my mum one of Clarkson's books in the WHSmith's at Manchester Airport, and she really liked it, so I figured another Clarkson book would go over just as well as a gift.
Crikey, the world according to Clarkson's been a funny old place of late . . .
For a while, Jeremy could be found in his normal position as the tallest man on British television but, more recently, he appears to have been usurped by a pretend elephant.
But on paper the real Jeremy remains at the helm. That's as it should be. For nearly thirty years he has been fearlessly leading the charge as one the best comic writers in the country. And in 2015, he shows no sign of slowing down.
So, whether it's pondering
If Jesus might have been better off being born in New Zealand
Why reflexive pronoun abuse is the worst thing in the world
How Pam Ayres's head trumps Gordon Gecko's underpants
Or what a television presenter with time on his hands gets up to
Jeremy is still trying to make sense of all the big stuff.
Circumstances change. Nothing's forever. But As I Was Saying provides glorious proof that Jeremy remains as funny, puzzled, excitable, outspoken, insightful and thought-provoking as ever. As if you ever doubted it . . 

As You Do: Adventures with Evel, Oliver, and the Vice-President of Botswana by Richard Hammond

Another Top Gear book for my mum, this time by Richard Hammond. I chose this one specifically because we both get such a laugh about Richard's relationship with Oliver, the little, ancient Opal he drove through Botswana in the first African special. I decided that I should balance her Top Gear library out with books from the other hosts. There's a James May one I want to get her but it's not out yet, and at some point, I'll get her the book written by the first white-suited Stig too.

Moving quickly on from the devastating crash that nearly killed him, Richard ranges widely over his life and times—a visit to Glastonbury with James May reminds of him of his early years of playing in a band and how and why he never quite made it as a rock star; the stunts and other perils that come his way like the Top Gear North Pole race (why is it Richard who is out in the howling elements in a dog sled while the others are in the heated cab of an all-terrain vehicle?); Africa where he falls in love with and repatriates a stray car; and the U.S. (once to be chased by rednecks in middle America, the other in pursuit of his hero Evel Knievel); his passion for cars, what he owns and why, and although he loves his wife why it is a toss-up whether he says hello to the wife or the cars first. Balancing home and family with a crazy, peripatetic working life (or not, sometimes), the Hamster is well and truly back on the wheel About The Author: Richard Hammond is internationally famous for co-hosting Top Gear. His previous titles include On the Edge and Richard Hammond's Car Confidential. 
The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

I read this as an e-book back in 2014 because I got a free review copy during my brief stint as an e-book Reviewer over at Parajunkee's view. According to my review, I read it in April specifically, so it's been over 3 years since reading. This is one of those books that has always stuck into the back of my mind. I really loved it. It was what got me started on paranormal fantasy set in New Orleans. So when I found out that it had been published in paperback and hardcover (it was originally only for the Kindle), I knew that at some point I was going to want to buy a physical copy of it. So this past weekend I finally did!

Seven girls tied by time.
Five powers that bind.
One curse to lock the horror away.
One attic to keep the monsters at bay.
After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne wants nothing more than her now silent city to return to normal. But with home resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.
As the city murder rate soars, Adele finds herself tangled in a web of magic that weaves back to her own ancestors. Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, who can she trust when everyone has a secret and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless... you’re immortal.
The Romeo Catchers by Alys Arden

At the same time that I found out The Casquette Girls now existed as a physical book, I also found out that a sequel was released earlier this year. Since I absolutely adored the first book I knew I was going to need to acquire the sequel as well. So it too made its way into my cart during the 10x rewards point sale. I am super duper excited for this book you guys.

Is blood thicker than magic in La Nouvelle-Orléans?
Tormented by the fate she condemned her mother to, and by the lies she’s forced to tell to cover it up, Adele scours Storm-ravaged New Orleans for the truth about her family’s magical past. But every turn leads her back to the one person she's determined to forget: Niccolò Medici. Not even the multitude of enchanted locks on the attic door trapping Nicco within can break their connection.
Sensing Nicco calling to Adele, Isaac tries relentlessly to keep her from exploring paths too dark that would endanger them all. But a new threat is rising: the Medici’s presence has attracted something else to New Orleans…an older enemy, one that will bring Isaac’s haunted past to life, test the witches’ friendships, and jeopardize Adele and Isaac’s blossoming relationship.
In this spellbinding continuation of The Casquette Girls saga, Adele must draw on the past—from seventeenth-century Florence, a time bubbling with alchemy and fraternal betrayal—and sort history from fantasy if she is to have any chance of saving her mother, her coven, and her magic.
Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

While I was looking over my Amazon wish list to see what books I wanted to get in the Chapters sale I came across Glitch on sale for $3.64 cents. I've needed Glitch to complete my series set since I read it back in 2013. See, I originally borrowed it from the local public library - really enjoyed it - went out and bought the next two books in the series - didn't read them - and then never went on to get a copy of Glitch so that I could read through the entire series in one go. I have now rectified that situation, even if I did have to pay for shipping, even with the shipping it was still only about $10 which I think is a perfectly fine deal. You can tell I discovered this one during my YA dystopian phase.

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.
When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.
As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.
In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.

So then after spending all that money on those books. I got an email from Audible announcing another one of their fantastic $4.95 sales. The beauty of those sales is that I can get 3 books for about the cost of 1 single credit which only gets me 1 book. So needless to say I have taken advantage of every instance of the $4.95 sale that I have seen since I became an Audible member last year. I got:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

This is the first book in the series, but I forgot that. So a few months back I actually bought the second book A Court of Mist and Fury during a different $4.95 sale. I want these books because I have heard nothing but good things about them. Everyone I know who has read them has really enjoyed them. I decided to do them as audiobooks because her other series is currently on my physical TBR shelf, or at least 2-3 parts of it are, I'm compiling that set piecemeal as I find it on sale in places. I might need another trip to bookoutlet.ca to see if I can't finish it off.

Feyre's survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price ...
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre's presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

This is one of those books that in reader's advisory class in library school they sort of recommend that you read. Apparently, it's very popular at public libraries. I've heard mixed things about it, but to me, it's always seemed sort of fascinating. One of the most consistent bits of it I have heard though is that it can be very hard to actually get through as in it's a very slow read. So that's why I decided since I could get it for under $5 and my PL doesn't have an audiobook copy that I would try it as an audiobook and see if I can get into it. It's not something I would have paid a full credit for but I'm happy to get it as part of a 3-for-1 deal.

This novel of awesome beauty and power is a moving saga about people, relationships, and the boundaries of love. Through Jean M. Auel's magnificent storytelling we are taken back to the dawn of modern humans, and with a girl named Ayla we are swept up in the harsh and beautiful Ice Age world they shared with the ones who called themselves the Clan of the Cave Bear.
A natural disaster leaves the young girl wandering alone in an unfamiliar and dangerous land until she is found by a woman of the Clan, people very different from her own kind. To them, blond, blue-eyed Ayla looks peculiar and ugly--she is one of the Others, those who have moved into their ancient homeland; but Iza cannot leave the girl to die and takes her with them. Iza and Creb, the old Mog-ur, grow to love her, and as Ayla learns the ways of the Clan and Iza's way of healing, most come to accept her. But the brutal and proud youth who is destined to become their next leader sees her differences as a threat to his authority. He develops a deep and abiding hatred for the strange girl of the Others who lives in their midst, and is determined to get his revenge.
The Utterly Uninteresting and Unadventurous Tales of Fred, the Vampire Accountant by Drew Hayes

I had never heard of this one until I saw it in the sale. Needless to say the title DEFINITELY grabbed my attention, it sounds hilarious. And I do always enjoy a vampire novel, I have been a vampire fan since I was about 8 or so, I'd have to check with my childhood friend Stacey to see whether or not I'm wrong about that age haha. I know we were into witches for sure at that point, maybe vamps were a few years later, can't be sure. Anyway, that's beside the point. I went and peeked at the description and some of the reviews on Goodreads and those sold me enough that I decided that for under $5 this was something I wanted to try for myself. I've picked a couple of my $4.95 sale audiobooks like that now so we'll see! Apparently, there are wereponies which I am just super excited to learn more about.

Some people are born boring. Some live boring. Some even die boring. Fred managed to do all three, and when he woke up as a vampire, he did so as a boring one. Timid, socially awkward, and plagued by self-esteem issues, Fred has never been the adventurous sort.
One fateful night – different from the night he died, which was more inconvenient than fateful – Fred reconnects with an old friend at his high school reunion. This rekindled relationship sets off a chain of events thrusting him right into the chaos that is the parahuman world, a world with chipper zombies, truck driver wereponies, maniacal necromancers, ancient dragons, and now one undead accountant trying his best to “survive.” Because even after it’s over, life can still be a downright bloody mess.

        THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you plan a reading list while on vacation?

Not so much an actual reading list per se. Before I go on holiday I consider what books I have on my devices and whether or not I'll be in the mood for them, be they audiobooks or ebooks. I learned a lesson though when I went to visit Angie in May, and that lesson was that none of the Audible, Kobo and Kindle apps actually wanted to work properly for me on the plane. Now that was possibly my fault I might not have done something right before boarding but I don't know, so I was stuck for my whole flight over with absolutely nothing to read because I didn't bring any physical books with me (mainly because I *ALWAYS* buy at least 3 while I am visiting her and this time was no exception I came home with like 6...). The plus side to that was that I actually ended up getting a lot of sleep which was a good thing because I was well rested for my first day with Angie :D. Now I know to pack a backup paperback though to cover for tech issues. So once I check to see if there's anything I want, I buy something if there's not.

It really also depends a lot on where I'm travelling to, I do the vast majority of my travelling to visit Angie in England and I always stay with her. I love staying with her, her flat is 100% my second home in this world. There are many perks to staying with her, and one of them is that I get to raid her library. So sometimes even when I have said to myself that there were books on my devices I wanted to read while I was there, I end up raiding her shelves instead. This past, for example, I ended up reading 5 of her books because about 2 days in I decided I wanted to try and read as much of the 19 young Obi-Wan Kenobi books as I could. Turns out my limit was 5, I finished #5 as we were pulling into the parking lot at the airport on my way home in fact. I probably could have done about 2 more but I only took 3 with me when we went to London and after finishing those I switch to an ebook on my phone instead.

Do you plan your reading in advance or do you just read whatever catches your fancy on a trip? Do you try and read books about or set in your destination before you arrive?


  1. Haha the other Jedi Apprentice books are here waiting for you to come, screaming READ ME!!!

    1. That is exactly what I am going to do when next I am in your flat *giggles*