Books I Read in February!

Despite taking part in Februwitchy this month, I actually didn’t read as many witchy books as I planned. Although I loved having a themed TBR and finally getting to some of the books I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. I need to figure out a way to implement that in future!

The Witches of Cambridge by Menna Van Praag
This isn’t the style of book I normally read. As I mentioned in my Februwitchy TBR, I want to read more romance but this just wasn’t it for me. There were a lot of characters all having different dramas that were all very domestic and uninteresting to me personally, I couldn’t get a handle on one character and her cheating husband before I was whisked away to her mother and her grief, then her sister and her fertility struggles.
Witchcraft was rarely used apart from a couple times and always seemed to take away peoples consent. I liked the focus on kitchen witchery but not how it was used. I can imagine why people would like this but in the end, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
I always know I can turn to Armentrout when I want the same vibes as the Twilight-era, and she’s a prolific writer with various series so when I wanted something new, I picked up Half-Blood because modern day descendants of Greek gods? Sure! However, with the fun 2000s romp vibes, comes all the body-shaming and slut-shaming so common in those books. A truly mysterious phenomena!
I can’t speak for if the demonising of addiction was deliberate or just part of the unfortunate cultural opinion but that was something that really stood out to me in Half-Blood. Literally, the daimons (pronounced like demon) are addicted to the life force of these children of gods and are described as “like a druggie going after her fix” and they “sounded high”. Wild.
Its a shame because it’s a fun read! And openly queer-positive. But I won’t continue the series, I think when I’m next in the mood for an Armentrout, I’ll go back to the Lux series that I’ve loved in the past (my review of the first book, Obsidian is here).


Pigs Have Wings by P.G. Wodehouse
These books are like the perfectly crafted tiny cake that you just eat, enjoy, and don’t have to dissect or think about too much. If you want a simple tale of the upper class English stealing pigs and having various visitors that aren’t who they present themselves as, this is the series for you! The perfect audiobook to listen to when insomnia hits.

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
This was a birthday gift from the lovely Mols and it is truly one of my favourite books of the year, and it’s only February! Full review coming!

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica
This was released in English in February and when I wrote about 2020 releases I was most excited for, this was top of the list in my mind. This took me in places I didn’t expect and couldn’t wrap-up in a paragraph or two, so I’ll be doing a full post!

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
I actually listened to the unabridged and the abridged audiobooks of Three Men in a Boat this month. I grew up listening to the Hugh Laurie edition but wanted to read the full book- boy, I was not expecting a dead dang body!
Even so, this book is truly one of my favourites, I’ve named kittens after the characters in the past. I don’t think you can go wrong with this if you need light-hearted fun and charming 1800’s travels down the Thames. One day I’ll write an ode to this book but I’ve remembered how much I love it and will definitely be re-reading it again (and again (and again)).

What did you read in February? Have you read any of these?
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Books I Read in January!

After a rough 2019, I was ready for a good January and the stack of books by my bed that I really wanted to read. I ended up reading four books; one short story, a play and two 2020-release novels. The old seasonal depression caught me at the end of the month but I can actually say I enjoyed everything I read in January!

The Embassy of Cambodia by Zadie Smith
I always like to start the year with a short book that I think I can learn from so I can go in with a new perspective. The Embassy of Cambodia was perfect for that. It’s focus was on modern-day slavery which isn’t something I’ve ever read a book about.
It’s a short story, which I normally shy away from because I find they can feel quite unbalanced, but it felt complete and easy to read even while dealing with a serious topic. The characters were quickly formed and felt real, which makes the plot all the more affecting.
This was also my first Zadie Smith and I’m definitely going to read more.
Waterstones | Amazon

The Playboy of the Western World by J. M. Synge
This is required reading for my current university module and it was a bit of a weird one because reading plays is such a different experience to other fiction. I think I’d enjoy it if I saw it performed. It’s a fun study for sure as it had a massive backlash from audiences at the time! I’m currently writing an essay on it so we’ll see if I still like it in 1500 words…
Waterstones | Amazon | Book Depository

A Messy Affair by Elizabeth Mundy*
You can read my full book review here!
Waterstones | Amazon | Book Depository

Six Tudor Queens: Katheryn Howard, The Tainted Queen by Alison Weir*
I’ve got a full review of this coming sooner the release date!
WaterstonesAmazon | Book Depository

Have you read any of these? What did you read in January?

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Books I Read in February & March!

I didn’t finish a single book in January, which is actually the first month in five years that I haven’t. 2019 in general has been a slow year for reading and blogging, but I finished seven books in February in March and some of them were pretty good! And some of them weren’t for me, so lets talk about that!

Date With Death by Julia Chapman

This was one of the few books I bought last year but I actually ended up listening to the audiobook from the library for this one! It had all the makings of a good cosy crime; a small town, a few brutal murders, a tall, dark and mysterious gentleman and a main character with an interesting job (a dating agency!) but in the end, this wasn’t for me. I just can’t quite put my finger on it, but I didn’t click with the main character and that’s a really important part of cosy crime for me.

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout*

This was a good YA thriller, which is not a genre that seems to excel when aimed at that age. However, the only take away I had from it was that there were a lot of opinions on therapy and mental health that didn’t feel good. In fact, there are at least six terrible takes that I noted on how embarrassed and angry the main character is when her family thinks she needs help (after she gets amnesia and her friend goes missing). I was truly surprised when I found out that this was only published five years ago because it all seemed very early-2000s. It was a shame because the actually thriller aspect was well thought out and pretty clever.



Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson 
This is required reading for my university module and while I didn’t enjoy it, I can see why we’re studying it. It’s a strange mix of life-writing and fiction, and I did find the perspective of being a gay woman with a very religious upbringing quite interesting.



City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Cassandra Clare co-wrote my favourite middle-grade books; the Magisterium series, so I was pretty willing to give her original solo series a try. I did and this was quite a fun romp into the 2000s, and it is very 2000s, complete with shaming a girl for wearing a thong. I think if I read it as a teen, I probably would’ve loved it, but I’m 25 now and without nostalgia, this was just alright. I thought it would appeal to me more since I love urban fantasy but hey, not everything is for everyone.
I was initially interested in continuing the series, especially because they do apparently get better, but I think I’m going to wrap it up and unhaul the three books I have. I’d rather continue series that I really want to read.
“If there was such a thing as terminal literalism, you’d have died in childhood.”

Regeneration by Pat Barker
I’m going to have to do a full blog post on this one as it is a truly incredible book. A fictionalised account of real people in WWI dealing with shell-shock. I wanted to pick this up and read it again the second I finished, and I still want to re-read months later!



Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall
I found this while trawling Amazon for more books like Autoboyography by Christina Lauren because I needed more M/M romance in my life. This appealed and luckily I didn’t have any kind of book buying ban on myself this year because I don’t think I’d have got out of my slump without it!
It’s a very cute, 200-page fluff-fest. I just wish there was more depth to it. I think the main issue for me, apart from how short it is, was that the narrative is split between four characters and chapters were often split between two or three of them. It was a lot of flipping from one point of view to another.
On the other hand, there is an openly bisexual character, with mentions of pansexuality and how sexuality can be a spectrum, which I really appreciated in a book aimed at younger teens. And it was dang cute.
“-If your life were a teen comedy, tonight would be your night. It would be the climax of your young life.”



Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
This is a book that has been on my radar for a couple years, I even mentioned it in a blog post way back in 2015! In the end though, I’m glad I didn’t buy it and just borrowed it from my library because it just didn’t end up being what I expected. Despite the name being a pun, the funeral home aspect barely played into the narrative. It was an interesting read but I’m not going to search it out again.



Have you read any of these? What did you think?
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Books I Read in December!

December was a really good reading month for me considering that I’m usually so busy with Christmas stuff that I never get any reading done. However, it was also the beginning of a huge reading/ blogging slump that lead to me not reading anything in January and only getting around to talking about these books in August! I’m catching up, I swear! Anyway, the books…





Kitty in the Underworld by Carrie Vaughn
I took a massive break in the middle of reading this and the book as a whole struggled to hold my attention, unfortunately. I love the world and the characters but this instalment just wasn’t for me.
Although, as always, I was a big fan of the literature references Kitty makes in this series; in this book, H.G. Wells; The Island of Dr Moreau. In an urban fantasy book, these are the things that remind me that this is ‘our world’, just with werewolves and vampires and such.


Face Off by Brenda Novak
I know that Brenda Novak mostly writes romances, but she knows how to write a thriller. I’ve enjoyed this series from the word Go (review of the first book here and the second book here) and this was, what I thought, a thrilling conclusion. Only to find out there’s another book coming. It was like all those times you finish a series and wish for another book, only to immediately find out that it’s happening. If you like true crime but want a bit more of a story, or you just like crime books in general but the usual suspects are getting a bit too similar, the Evelyn Talbot series should be your next read.
Waterstones | Amazon | The Book People | Book DepositoryThe Works


Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean*
I said it when I finished this and I say it again now, Empress of All Seasons is YA fantasy at its best. It’s diverse, original and wasn’t dragged out into the trilogy format that packs young adult shelves.
I loved the Asian inspired mythology, I haven’t read much of it before and I want to search out more. There was ladies being badass and boys being gentle which I love. The pacing wasn’t the best but I think this one is worth pushing through, I might re-read it via audiobook and see how that is.
“-our bodies are not ornaments; they are instruments.”
Waterstones | Amazon | The Book People | Book Depository


Six Tudor Queens: Anna of Kleve, Queen of Secrets by Alison Weir*
I have never, and probably will never shut up about this series. After being a little disappointed with the third book, this one brought me back around and I’ll be writing a full review.
Waterstones | Amazon | The Book People | Book Depository


Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce*
I rarely read books as quickly as I read Blood Orange. I flew through this and actually no longer have my copy as I leant it to a friend who was getting bored of the usual thrillers. This isn’t a normal thriller, it’s flawed characters doing flawed things with a dash of blackmail and murder. I imagine that people who get stressed when characters do the wrong thing would absolutely hate this one but when I let that go and just let the story happen, I was gripped.
Waterstones | Amazon | The Book People | Book DepositoryThe Works

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Books I Read in November!

I’m going to catch up on these monthly wrap-up posts, I swear. Starting with November when half the books I read were co-written, which is an odd little coincidence! I really liked most of the books I got around to in November and even now, months later, really want to re-read at least two of them because of how much they impacted me. So!

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
I listened to the audiobook of this and it was so dang good even though I knew whodunnit (the BBC show was great too). I was genuinely spooked as it ramped up towards the end and the atmosphere was just so well-developed. The narrator, Hugh Fraser, does a lot of Agatha Christie audiobooks so I’m really looking forward to listening to some more when Autumn rolls around, which is really the perfect Christie season.

Magisterium: The Bronze Key by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
I agree with my initial review on my re-read of this! Although I did rate it slightly lower; four stars rather than five, as I find that ramped up cliffhangers tend to make me rate books slightly higher the first time around. Plus, with the reading one right after the other, I found a continuity error and that is the kind of stuff that bothers my nitpicky soul when it comes to entertainment.


Magisterium: The Silver Mask by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
I posted my full review of this just a few weeks ago here!
Sometimes he forgot how small she was because her bravery loomed so large in his mind.

Magisterium: The Golden Tower by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare
Unsurprisingly, I loved the final book in this series and it even had me laugh out loud at some points. Everything was tied up and rounded out well, it’s what you hope for in a final book really.
My main problem with the series and this book, in particular, is just how rushed it all feels. On one hand; they’re both pretty busy authors, Holly Black has her new series and Cassandra Clare seems to have a couple series on the go. And the Magisterium series didn’t get much attention after the first book had its week on YouTube. On the other hand, I just wish they had taken their time with it a bit more. I gave books two to five, four stars and I genuinely think they could’ve all been as good as the first book with just a little more fleshing out.
I do hope Holly Black and Cassandra Clare work together again in the future. I’d love a companion series set in this world that delved into the European mages and their hatred of Chaos magic.


Persuasion by Jane Austen
Literally everyone I spoke to when I was starting to read Austen’s works said that this was their favourite, even my mother who has pretty great taste. But it was my least favourite of the five I’ve read so far. I just didn’t connect with these characters at all and it really lacked some of the playfulness that her other works have. Maybe I’ll re-read it in a few years and my opinions will change but I’d much rather dive into Sense & Sensibility again.


Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Fun fact about me: Ebooks trigger my migraines so I mainly borrow them from the library as a way of deciding if I want to buy a physical copy. I also don’t read very fast. I dip into books in short bursts rather than long stretches. I read this book in ebook form, in one night. And ended up buying a physical copy too.
I’ll be doing a full review of this one because it blew my mind.


Christmas with the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry*
You can read my full review here!

Heartstopper: Volume 1 by Alice Oseman
I really like the Heartstopper comic, I read it online and decided to back it on Kickstarter and now it’s traditionally published! It’s adorable but, maybe because I read a lot of comics, I just don’t think the art translates well in print.

An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris
I love Charlaine Harris but alternate history Wild West stories might not be the genre for me. The main vibe of the book that has stayed with me is an uncomfortable relationship with sex throughout. You’ve got an older male character ‘waiting’ until a female character is old enough to sleep with, and while there is an openness about sex work, the term ‘whore’ is thrown about. I guess because of the time? I’ll still probably read the next book. I can’t just not read a Charlaine Harris.
“-I stood looking up, seeing the vastness above me, nothing between me and the hereafter. I had my place, standing here on this dirt.”

Have you read any of these? What did you think?
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Books I Read in October!

I’m slowly catching up on these reading wrap-ups and I have to say, October of last year was a pretty amazing reading month for me! It definitely helped having a holiday to Iceland but I was just really enjoying picking up books and reading in October. I think as the seasons change, I’m more inclined to curl up on the sofa with a blanket and enjoy a good book with a cup of cocoa.

Pile of books in front of a patterned background

Dominion by Jennifer Ridyard and John Connolly*
This took me a good couple years to get to. I loved the first two books in this trilogy so much that I got stage fright when it came to the final! I built it up in my head that it felt near impossible that it would reach my high expectations. Despite this, it did.
I cringe from the word ‘banter’ but there really is no other way to describe the charming back-and-forth between the cast of characters. An entire cast who are all fleshed out with insights into their backstories and personalities, no matter how minor. There are no throwaways here. But the thing that stands out the most to me is the use of time. It was impossibly clever but impossible to go into without spoiling the first two books so look out for that in my series review. These books are truly the best YA that I’ve read and I recommend them to everyone.
The clear water still lapped in her mind like all the tears ever shed in the universe, and she found her tears were wet with it.

The Iron Trial by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare*
I decided to re-read the Magisterium series when the fifth and final book came out for a couple reasons; I actually read along with the release dates for the most part so it’s been quite spread out, and I never finished my full review of the fourth book and I wanted to refresh my mind a little before I got to it.
I wrote a full review of this book back when I first read it three years ago and for the most part, I still agree. If anything, I love it more! No longer do I find the tunnel school creepy, but charming and I actually prefer this world to Harry Potter. And the foreshadowing? Incredible.


The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare*
In my initial review of this I wrote: “I think it has great re-readabiliy” and y’know what? I was right! Go read that review because everything I wrote there stands up three years later including for when I found this hard to get into at the start. It was still a little tough for the first couple chapters.
“I always have a plan”, she said, raising her eyebrows. “Sometimes even a scheme. You should take lessons from me.”

Service with a Smile by P. G. Wodehouse
I’m truly so impressed with how the threads of Wodehouse’s plots tangle and untangle over the course of the book. He is a master even if it does get a bit repetitive. At least if he’s self-aware;

-it sometimes seemed to her that Blandings Castle had Imposters the way other houses had mice-

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
I had a go at reading this in Summer last year, but didn’t get very far and moved on to other Austens. However, in October I discovered that Audible had released the audiobook read by Rosamund Pike, who read Pride and Prejudice to me last December which I loved! She really brings the characters to life.
And y’know what? I really liked this! I wish the relationships ended up a different way than they did but it was really funny and I might actually prefer it to Pride and Prejudice as my favourite Austen. I’ll have to re-read both at some point to see. 

-with them, to wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect.


Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
This felt too much like two separate books for me to love it. The Bath section and the Northanger Abbey section felt so distinctly different that while listening to the audiobook, I was convinced I had skipped chapters or something. However, I very much enjoyed the novel-adoring heroine and her paranoia coming from reading too many scary stories reminded me a lot of my personal fears following my reading of It by Stephen King last year. 
Nothanger Abbey has the added benefit of Austen’s comments on writing, which I really enjoyed! She speaks to the reader about common opinions on novels at the time she was writing and maybe it’s the English Lit student in me but it was really interesting.
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not the pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”

Have you read any of these? What did you think?
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Books I Read in August and September!

I had a slow couple of reading months in August and September due to my exams and the general panic that surrounds revision! So I thought I’d combine the two into a much more pleasing pile o’ books. Although I actually read 4/5 of these by listening to the audiobook- 2018 has definitely been the year of the audiobook for me…

It by Stephen King
I flew through this- well, as fast as you can fly though a 44 hour audiobook of a 1200+ page novel. In reality it was about ten days that It consumed me. Stephen King is a really complicated writer for me to pin down because at some times I was scared to death, literally hiding under my blankets and flinching at every sound… But at other times I was wondering how long there was left and when it was going to switch to a more interesting point of view. King writes amazing stories, but he never quite lands the ending for me. I definitely need to get around to my teenage favourite; Carrie, soon.
And yeah, about that scene? It made sense in the context of what was happening. Probably wouldn’t get published now but, as Bill says; “-politics always change, stories never do.”

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
It’s been three years since I read the first book in the Southern Vampire Mysteries. Although I also read it as a teen so this might be my third or fourth re-read. I listened to the audiobook which wasn’t great, but I was feeling so nostalgic for this universe that at the time, it’d do! When I next decide to visit Bon Temps, I’ll just pick up my physical copies.
“My mind scrabbled around like a squirrel trying to get out of a cage. It couldn’t light on anything or be comfortable anywhere.”

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
During my exam season I was super super stressed and needed an audiobook that would be easy listening. The Hobbit was perfect for that. I’ve read it before, the narrator is so calming, and it’s pretty short. I started reading it physically in 2015 and didn’t enjoy it that much so I think audiobook is definitely the way to go with Tolkien!
“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!”

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
I’m writing a full review on this because I have a lot of feelings.


Empire by Jennifer Ridyard and John Connolly*
I did it! I finally re-read Empire after wanting to for two years. And it was just as good as I remembered it, I completely agree with my original review and had an absolute blast revisiting one of my favourite series.
No knowledge could really be described as useless; there was simply knowledge that could be applied, and knowledge that had not yet found its application.

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Books I Read in July!

Think back to July. It was blazing hot. Every corner shop was running out of ice, air conditioners were sold out on Amazon, Twitter was aflush with gifs of things melting, and I was reading these books. Now I look out the window and it’s raining, so it’s about time I post this, huh?!

Kitty Rocks the House by Carrie Vaughn
Something I really appreciate about this series is how often the characters talks out their problems rather than resorting to violence, especially for a bunch of werewolves and vampires. Urban fantasy can get super violent but Vaughn has a level-headed main character that can be in some tough situations without spilling blood.
One thing I will say about this, and the last Kitty Norville book that I read in June, is that the writing has got a little boring. I didn’t find a single quote in either that stuck out to me as beautiful or powerful and that’s kind of disappointing to me. I haven’t picked up the next book yet but hopefully this series can get back to when my books were covered in sticky notes.

Full Moon by P.G. Wodehouse
I love these books and the antics of various characters. However, this one took a bit of a turn. I’ve never been so uncomfortable reading a book, I literally cringed. It wasn’t violence, smut or slurs but a character Veronica refusing to give up an accidental switch-up present. Much like a five-year-old throwing a tantrum but it’s a grown woman and my soul left my body listening to the audiobook.
The rest was wonderful though, and this series is so nice to stick on while cleaning or trying to sleep.
“I wouldn’t say a word against Aunt Dora, so I won’t call her England’s leading snob.”

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
I’ve had this on my TBR for a couple of years and was really excited when I finally picked it up because this felt like my dream urban fantasy for about a third of the book.  I loved the main character, Diana, who is a professor, because she spent a lot of time in libraries and doing research things- I just really enjoy reading about this stuff!
Then it veered off on a strange path. Soon after meeting the handsome vampire, her personality disappears. Instead replaced by a lot of talk of obeying and protecting her, plus some literal kidnapping. I’m tired of vampires who don’t understand that breaking into a woman’s bedroom is creepy and I’m tired of Stockholm Syndrome-style romances.
I really enjoy the Urban Fantasy genre but I demand a heroine that actually has some common sense.

What did you read in July?
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Books I Read in June!

June was such a strange reading month. I’m still catching up on my reading wrap-ups and looking at this pile of books three months later, most of my thoughts are how there was no pattern to my reading in June. After May I was determined to not hate-read, but I did that again! As well as continuing two series and starting another!



Marked by P.C. and Kristen Cast
I truly believe that all books that I don’t like, have an audience that I’m not a part of and that’s fine. I liked this book as a teen and it has an unbelievable sales record. But here’s the thing, everything you don’t want a teenage girl thinking is in that book: Racism, fat-shaming, joking about eating disorders, homophobia, slurs (everyone is called a r*tard or a f*g), weird references to “ancient Cherokee magic”, Slut-shaming. And just the oddest comments on sex. I had to pause and read aloud to several friends, the paragraph about “the blow job issue“, where the MC tells us that: “those of us with functioning brains that it is not cool to be used like that“… I have no idea how to even start to unpack that.
I don’t think a book has to have a likeable MC, or even an unproblematic MC, but damn. I wouldn’t want a teenage girl reading this. I feel bad for past!Imogen for reading this and thinking badly about herself and others because of the narrative.
Spoiler Alert for my next unhaul: all the books I own from this series.

Kitty Steals the Show by Carrie Vaughn
It’s been two years since I last read a Kitty Norville book but returning to this series felt like coming home, especially since this one was set in London! I love this world and these characters so much. 
It is different from past books, with the different setting meaning little interaction with the pack and the radio show that I love so much, but I liked the change- there’s 9 previous books chocked full of that. Seeing Kitty gain status through the radio show, enough to be invited to a conference of  paranormal studies, shows the world adapting to the news that werewolves and vampires are real. And I’m always interested in that kind of thing.
✮✮

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
After reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in May, I thought I was going to love this entire series but this is such an odd sequel. I enjoyed the book just fine when I was listening to the audiobook, although Martin Freeman isn’t as good as Stephen Fry when it comes to narrating. But by the end I couldn’t tell you what happened in those eight hours!

The Haunting of Mount Cod by Nicky Stratton
You can find my full review for this here!

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Books I Read in May!

My laptop is finally fixed so here is my May reading wrap-up, soon to be followed by June and July! May was the month of my last essay for this term of university so I didn’t get as much reading done as I wanted. That, and I was hate-reading for the first time in a long time. I’m a big fan of putting a book down if you’re not enjoying it, so why I decided a 800-page monster needed to be finished, I’ll never know. But hey, here are the books I loved and loathed in May.

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Y’all, I hated this book. People I know have similar tastes to me kept saying it was great and a slow-burn. So I listened to the whole 32-hour audiobook and y’know what? Hated it.
I understand that this story is from the point-of-view of the main character many years later, and therefore he can be the strongest, handsomest, best-at-everything kind of guy and it’s a narrative choice- but boy, male wish-fulfilment is so boring. So boring.
I also have no interest in a book with such low regard for women. 1/10 of the students at the magic university are women, literally no reason is given for this. Sex workers are “whores” but you should call them ladies because “their lives are hard enough“. A female student is asked to cross her legs by a professor who: “Now the gates of hell are closed” can begin his lecture. This was prompted by her being a few minutes late and nobody says anything.
This was the highest rated book on my Goodreads TBR. What the heck did I miss?!


The Emigrants by W.G. Sebald
I read this for an essay I was writing and it was one of those required reads that I want to come back to in the future because it was a good book, but I couldn’t enjoy it as much as I think I will when I’m not reading under pressure. The language was truly beautiful.
The pine forests were black on the mountainsides, the windows gleamed like lead, and the sky was so low and dark, one expected ink to run out of it at any moment.


The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Finally reading The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is like showing up to a party late and deciding to just go with it. Everyone else is having fun, jump in and enjoy it. Would I have enjoyed it as much if I didn’t love the movie so much? Who knows. But I saw a lot of comparisons online to the Terry Pratchett-style humour which I didn’t really enjoy, so was glad that the audiobook had me laughing out loud several times.
The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.

The Empty Chair by Jeffery Deaver
Lincoln Rhyme leaves his New York apartment in this book which I felt was a really interesting choice; the case they investigated was very not-Manhattan and really changed up the feel of the book. Sometimes crime series can get a bit same-y, but not here. Especially because he and Amelia Sachs went to the South, where I have a few friends and therefore find super interesting.
This was also the first time I’ve seen “able-bodied” used in a book, and this came out in 2000. I really like the fact that one main character is a quadriplegic and one has terrible arthritis and chronic pain because it’s really relatable to me as a disabled reader. This book also deals with Rhyme wanting a surgery that could make things better, but more likely not, or worse, or kill him. The way this is dealt with shows both sides of the coin when it comes to treatment and disability; either risking making it worse, or acceptance.
However, a very 2000’s thing was one of the characters being afraid to catch HIV from a gay man who had been shot so… swings and roundabouts?
The best criminalists […] were like talented novelists, who imagined themselves as their characters- and could disappear into someone else’s world.


Can you remember what you read all the way back in May?
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