24in48 readathon: Sign up, goals & progress

Beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, readers read for 24 hours out of that 48 hour period. You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six 4 hour sessions with 4 hour breaks in between; whatever you’d like.

I’m never sure whether to sign up for short readathons like this – over a weeklong readathon I can get a lot of reading done, but in the short ones I feel like something inevitably comes up and I don’t get much done!  This weekend, although I’ve actually got the weekend off, I suspect I’ll be pretty busy, because my other half and I very rarely have days off at the same time (maybe 3 or 4 days a month) and so we’ll probably spend a lot of the weekend out, doing things we can’t normally squeeze in to an evening after work etc. I’ve decided to give it a go though, and although I definitely won’t be getting 24 hours in, I’m hoping to still get a decent chunk of reading done!

My TBR:

  • A Street Cat Named Bob – Book club choice, already started
  • Small Favor – audiobook, already started
  • Morning Star – re-read
  • Game of Thrones (illustrated edition) – re-read

My Goals:

Mostly I’m just aiming to get a good balance of reading, but also enjoying my rare weekend off with my other half!  I’m hoping to finish the two books I’ve already started, and read 500 pages in total (possibly too ambitious? We’ll see!)

Updates/Progress

Hour 0: Opening questions

Where in the world are you reading from this weekend?

I’m reading from my boyfriend’s house to start with, although I have no idea what our plans are for the weekend, so I may be reading from elsewhere later on.

Have you done the 24in48 readathon before?

Yes!

What book are you most excited about reading this weekend?

Probably Game of Thrones – I’ve been wanting to re-read for a while, but I got the Illustrated Edition for Christmas so now I’m even more excited about it.

Tell us something about yourself.

My favourite genres are sci-fi and fantasy, I’m Harry Potter obsessed and as you may have guessed from the header, I love animals!

Remind us where to find you online this weekend.

Right here, but I’ll also probably be posting on Twitter a lot too at @GeekyZooGirl

Progress:

Current time: 9pm UK time
Total reading time: 4.5 hours
Total pages: 227

A Street Cat Named Bob – Finished: 85 pages (1 hour)
Small Favor – 60 pages (2 hours on audio)
A Game of Thrones – 82 pages (1.5 hours)

Save

Review: The Broken World

Review: The Broken WorldThe Broken World (Ballad of Sir Benfro, #4) by James Oswald
Published by Penguin on September 24th 2015
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 572
Source: Purchased
Goodreads

The book, sir. The Llyfr Draconius.
You'll find what you need in there, if you know how to look.

The war across the Twin Kingdoms rages on.
Queen Beulah has killed one sister and ordered the assassination of another. The Inquisitor Melyn journeys though the north-lands of Llanwennog in a merciless bid to overthrow King Ballah. Now in possession of Brynceri's ring, his power seems indestructible. Nothing can stop the invasion.
Captured by the travelling circus, Sir Benfro cannot shake their control, more powerful than Magog's malign influence. Errol Ramsbottom, left for dead, follows the trail of his friend's captors - only Benfro holds the key to Errol's beloved Martha's whereabouts. But both sides are set on a path of destruction - dragon against dragon, king against queen, man against man.
As the ancient spell that split Gwlad begins to unravel, it may be easier for Benfro and Errol to travel to Gog's world now. But what will happen when the barriers between the two worlds fail entirely? As unlikely alliances form and strategies shift, who will emerge victorious?

A friend of mine adores this series, so I’ve been working my way through them on her recommendation, and while I’ve been enjoying the series so far, I haven’t been hooked on it.  I was a little nervous going into The Broken World (book 4) because of that, and I have to admit it took me quite a while to get into. Once I was engrossed though, I found it more addictive than the previous books – it took me 2 weeks to read the first 48%, and then less than a week to read the remaining 52%.

There are a lot of plot threads to follow in The Broken World, and a fair few different characters to focus on – we’re still following Errol and Benfro, of course, but we also get to see a lot more of Melyn, the series’ villain, Beulah, the reigning Queen, and a few other characters both old and new.  I love Melyn as a villain (and for once, I don’t mean in a ‘he’s just so damaged and I want to give him a hug’ kind of way), and I enjoyed getting some more insight into Beulah too, although she’s definitely softening which I’m not 100% sure about!

I love multiple character POVs, because even when you’re not hooked on one character’s current plot, there’s still someone else you simply can’t wait to get back to, so it helped keep me hooked and is probably why I found this more addictive than the previous volumes.  On the other hand, with so many plot threads going on, various clues building up to help answer some long unanswered questions, and a lot of world-building depth, this can all add up to make it occasionally difficult to keep everything straight in your head.  I enjoyed this book perhaps more than any of the earlier ones in the series though, and I’m looking forward to reading the fifth and final book this year.

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

TBR List January – the Winner!

My TBR list is a meme hosted by Michelle at Because Reading which aims to help knock a few books off our TBR piles by letting everyone else vote on what we should read!


The winner, with 63% of the votes, is…

I’ve been seriously eying up Bardugo’s Six of Crows for a while, and while I know I could theoretically jump straight in with that, I’d really like to start with her original trilogy first, but I’ve been putting this off because of the love triangle I know is coming.  I’m quite excited to finally have a reason to bump it up on my TBR list and stop making excuses 😉 I’m also in a serious fantasy mood at the moment so hopefully I’ll get stuck into this very quickly.

Review: Countdown (Newsflesh #0.5)

Review: Countdown (Newsflesh #0.5)Countdown by Mira Grant
Series: Newsflesh #0.5
Published by Orbit on August 1st 2011
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction, Zombies
Pages: 105
Format: audio
Source: Purchased
Goodreads

The year is 2014, the year everything changed. We cured cancer. We cured the common cold. We died.

This is the story of how we rose.

When will you rise?

Countdown is a novella set in the world of Feed.
Word count: ~19,500

When I read it…

I listened to the audiobook between December 27th and January 1st 2017.

What I’d heard before I read it:

Absolutely nothing! I had an audible voucher with a little credit leftover, and I loved Mira Grant’s Newsflesh series so I picked up this novella about how it all began.

What worked for me:

  • The science: I’ve said before, one of the reasons I so love Mira Grant is that her sci-fi doesn’t shy away from science. Grant’s zombies aren’t based on a vague virus we never find any details about, but a meticulously planned out one, which I love. Countdown is pretty much all about how the virus started, the background to the virus that reanimates the dead and the scientists involved in both it’s formation and the world’s response to it.
  • The narration: Brian Bascle hasn’t overtaken Wil Wheaton, James Marsters or Luke Daniels as a favourite narrator, but I enjoyed his narration, and found him very easy to listen to.
  • The length of the audiobook: I’m not really a short story/novella fan, but actually as an audiobook I have to say this length worked really well – while super-long audiobooks feel like great value, sometimes I get bored listening to the same thing for ages, whereas this was a <1 week read, and it was nice to mix things up.

Countdown is all about the background events leading up to Feed and of course you know going in where the story is going; it’s definitely not a drama-filled plot, but that didn’t really bother me.  While there’s not a huge amount of characterisation, I liked the characters we met, and I certainly wouldn’t have minded a longer novella and the chance to see more of them!  As a novella, Countdown is never going to become an absolute favourite of mine, but equally it did everything I wanted it to do very well and if you’re a Mira Grant fan – or you want to get into her awesome Newsflesh series – I’d definitely recommend it.

Other reviews of Countdown: The Guilded Earlobe | For The Love of Words | Brian’s Book Blog

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

2016 End of Year Survey

Taking part in Jamie’s End of Year Survey and also looking at my stats for the year are two of my absolute favourite things to blog about.  I’m a little late this year, but better late than never right?!

Number Of Books You Read: 105 [65 in 2015]
Number of Re-Reads: 4 (Turns out I actually re-read Red Rising twice, Golden Son & Queen of Shadows) [9 in 2015]
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy (44 books) [33 Fantasy books in 2015]

best-YA-books-2014

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

 

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

Probably Fellside – I really enjoyed The Girl With All the Gifts so I had high hopes for Fellside, but where I expected creepy supernatural mystery, I felt like what I got was mostly prison drama.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Harry Potter & The Cursed Child – I’m a massive fanfiction fan, but I’ve never been a fan of the next-gen stories, and I wasn’t at all keen on a story about the children. I’ve always said I’d happily ignore the epilogue because I much prefer fanon ships to canon ones, but I ended up enjoying Harry Potter & The Cursed Child a LOT more than I thought I would, and I loved Scorpius (I’m still a Dramione/Drarry shipper at heart though!).

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I’m not sure, but maybe Reasons to Stay Alive. I love Matt Haig!

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Series starter – Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Sequel – Empire of Storms
Series Ender – Morning Star or The Raven King

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Laini Taylor!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Probably Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things. I don’t read a lot of contemporary fiction but I’m always drawn in by Picoult’s books, and I think this was one of her best yet.  I also loved Born To Run despite the fact I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, and certainly not about sports!

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

An unexpected choice, but I absolutely could not put down What’s a Girl Gotta do? My first Holly Bourne book and although not something I would normally go for, I was hooked!

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Morning Star, without a shadow of a doubt! My other half is planning to read it this year so I can’t wait to re-read it and talk about it with him.  Also hopefully A Court of Thorns & Roses/A Court of Mist & Fury ready for the third book in the series.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

11. Most memorable character of 2016?

Either Harry Dresden or Leo Valez.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Laini Taylor’s writing is just stunning.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

Reasons to Stay Alive. Without getting into too many personal details, it pushed me to acknowledge a few things, handle some of my emotional ups and downs and take some steps I needed to.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Mistborn & Percy Jackson & The Last Olympian.

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

(Wow, I have got to find a better way to track these, because every year I get stumped by this question!)

An inspirational one – ” “If you can’t be unafraid, Henry said, be afraid and happy.”  ” – The Raven King

A romantic one – “Even when this world is a forgotten whisper of dust between the stars, I will always love you.” – Empire of Storms

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

The shortest was a Harley Quinn & The Suicide Squad Special edition, which actually comes up on GR as 0 pages?!

The longest was Empire of Storms at 693.

17. Book That Shocked You The Most

(Because of a plot twist, character death, left you hanging with your mouth wide open, etc.)

Morning Star 🙁

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

Albus Severus & Scorpius and no one can stop me. So there.

Failing that, Ronan & Adam.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Blue and the Raven Boys

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Small Great Things & Morning Star

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

A Court of Thorns & Roses (thanks Micheline!)

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

Hmmm…. Not sure about this one!

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

The Hatching

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

A Court of Thorns and Roses had some seriously vivid settings going on.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

The whole Magic 2.0 series had me genuinely laughing out loud.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

What’s a Girl Gotta Do.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Remade – Alex Scarrow.  I really enjoyed this, but I haven’t seen much feedback for it.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Hmmm…. Probably Empire of Storms.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

The Magic 2.0 series. Time-travel, computer-based wizardry and fantastic audio narration.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Running with Rhinos – and sadly, it was because I didn’t like it.

book-blogging

Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?

Probably the one for Fool’s Quest (Robin Hobb).

Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Balancing everything!

Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My Harry Potter House Cup post!

Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I aimed to read 104 books this year, which I managed (105), but I didn’t manage to get my NetGalley ratio up to 80% as I’d hoped.

looking-ahead-books-2015

One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

Truthwitch

Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

IRON GOLD!

Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

Throne of Glass #6, A Court of Wings & Ruin and Assassin’s Fate.

One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

Balance everything better (i.e. in 2016 I did zero gaming) and also diversify in terms of the things I blog about, post about non-bookish things as well as bookish ones.

Save