Top 5 books of 2017

In 2017 I read 27 books, and my average rating for the year was 4.3/5 stars and I read some seriously incredible books. Here, I wanted to let you guys know my top 5 books of 2017. These are in no particular order, except number 5 was my favourite of the year! The list is summarised and below will be explanations with accompanying book covers.

  1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  3. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  4. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
  5. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline:

12279616I read this book fairly early on in the year but I just found it really interesting. It takes place in the future and everyone pretty much lives their lives in this virtual world called the Oasis and they’re all involved in this contest. There is action and there’s friendship and it’s a seriously interesting book that I recommend to anyone, especially if you like more sci-fi, kinda techy books.

 

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn:

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This was a book I’d been meaning to read for ages and I’ve even done a full review of it and I found it to be incredible. It’s dual perspective and can be quite emotional and shocking in some places, it really messes with the reader. It can be a bit violent and there is some bad language so it’s definitelty not for younger readers but overall it was really interesting and enjoyable and again, it’s highly recommended.

 

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness:

6043848I’ve kind of included this to represent the entire trilogy. I’ve owned this trilogy for a while and just never got around to reading it (the 3rd book being over 600 pages was a tad intimidating) but once I found out that there’s gonna be a film in 2019 with Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland in it, I got a bit excited and read the entire trilogy as quickly as possible. It’s an interesting concept of peoples thoughts always being able to be heard and it was also another very action-packed book and was really fun to read. I think pretty much everyone has read this at this point but in case you’re very late to it like I was, please do read it! You won’t regret it.

 

Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo:

34443972I love love love Wonder Woman! The film came out in 2017 as well so I got to watch that and I adored the film and knew I had to read this book too and it was sooooo good! It’s to do with teenage Diana Prince trying to help the human world because of this Warbringer, who she must either cure or kill to get rid of the curse. Diana is as lovely and wonderful and powerful as she was in the film and this is one of those books you need to read if you love Wonder Woman.

 

The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher:

28585312This is actually the first book I read in 2017. At the end of 2016, Carrie unfortunately died due to a heart attack and as a fan of her as Princess Leia while growing up, I was very upset by her death. I loved her and Princess Leia and I really wanted to dedicate the beginning of the year to reading her autobiographical books. This was the first one I read, which was a late Christmas present from my father (a lot of her books sold out pretty much the minute she died, so getting this was a pain) and I took the time to read it and appreciate it. This book is more about her when she was first becoming Princess Leia and involves a lot of diary extracts and discusses the affair she had with her co-star and on-screen lover, Harrison Ford. This book was lovely and sad to read and it lead me on to reading Schockaholic and Wishful Drinking, both books I also adored.

 

So those are my top 5 for the year of 2017, let me know what your top 5 books were!

-Laura

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Bookish goals for 2018

Happy new year everyone!! 2017 was an interesting year for reading. I succeeded with my goal of reading 20 books during the year despite doing my A-levels and I feel like I found some really interesting books to read. But with a new year there must be new goals, so… what are these goals I’ve decided to set for myself?

For a start my goal is 25 books. I will be doing open uni so that’ll take up a fair bit of time, but hopefully I’ll also have plenty of time to allow myself to read, which is why it’s low still, but a tiny bit higher than last year.

Within this goal of 25 books, I want to specifically read fiction books by Carrie Fisher. I read her memoir books last year and loved them (for those of you who don’t know, Carrie Fisher is Princess Leia and unfortunately passed away from a heart attack at the end of 2016) and I want to read her fiction books, of which there are 4. I do need to buy these books but I wanted to eventually anyway to complete the collection of her books.

Another bookish goal of mine is to read some classics, and I’m thinking of about 5. I didn’t really read many classics last year apart from for school, and I do enjoy them so I want to actually read some for my own enjoyment, and not have to analyse them or anything.

Another goal is to complete at least 3 series of books. I usually avoid them although owning a fair few unread or half read series, so I really need to get on with completing them.

And my final goal is to read at least 5 non-fiction books. I own books on Jack the Ripper & monarchs throughout history (eg. The Tudor’s and Queen Victoria), so I really want to get around to them to complete them and learn more about history.

So in summary my goals are:

1. Read 25 books

2. Read the fiction books by Carrie Fisher (4 books)

3. Read 5 classics

4. Complete 3 series

5. Read 5 non-fiction books

Please let me know your bookish goals for 2018 and I hope everyone has a fantastic year!

– Laura

A Bookish Summary of 2017

I am terrible at keeping track of what I’ve read without Goodreads, so luckily I’ve been using that for around 5 years for book tracking. My goal for 2017 was to read 20 books, and I actually managed to read a total of 27 books! I set the goal so low because this is the year that I completed my A-Levels, so I didn’t think I’d be able to read much during the first half of the year.

According to Goodreads, my total of 27 books is approximately 9,818 pages! My shortest book was Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher (at around 162 pages) and my longest book was Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (at around 603 pages). I’m seriously impressed with how I managed to do, and my next post will be about what my bookish goals are for 2018.

This year I didn’t really set myself any specific goals. I wanted to obviously reach my 20 book target, but I also just set myself a mini goal of reading Carrie Fisher’s biographical books, which I did and I really enjoyed them and felt myself learning so much about Carrie (Princess Leia for those who don’t know). You’ll notice a theme with next year’s book goals as well and how they linked to the one goal I completed this year.

Goodreads has also said that my average rating for the year was 4.3/5 stars, which means I read some incredible books this year, and I really did! A future post will be coming up about my top 5 books for this year so you’ll hopefully all be able to see more of what books really amazed me.

Overall, I’m pleased with how 2017 was with books and I’m looking forward to reaching my goal next year. What goals did you guys give yourselves? Did you complete them? I’d love to know!

-Laura

Pre-Christmas book Haul

So as 2017 is coming to a close, and Christmas is soon on its way, I wanted to do a little pre-Christmas book haul. There are only 9 books here that I’ve accumulated over the last few months (I am trying to not buy any believe it or not!) but I wanted to share them. I’ve only read 3/9 of these new books and I have done reviews of them which I will link to. I will also note now I did not pay more than £5 for any of these books, I tend to search around on the internet and in Charity shops for good deals and I hope this doesn’t come across as bragging!

IMG_1393Out of the 3 I have read, 2 were eBooks from Netgalley so I’ll begin with those. From Netgalley I received ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ by Heather Morris and ‘A Taxonomy of Love’ by Rachael Allen. I thought both of these books were really good and interesting and they both get released in January 2018, so actually quite soon!

The other book I bought and have read is ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ by Leigh Bardugo. I absolutely love Wonder Woman, so when I discovered this book I did not hesitate to purchase it and read it as soon as possible. I thought it was great and can’t wait to experience more of these DC superhero books. But, before I got my Wonder Woman book, I actually bought a comic/graphic novel too! I bought ‘DC Bombshells Volume 1: Enlisted’ by Bennett Sauvage and although I haven’t read it yet, I am excited about it! And a random book I bought to help finish buying the series before I read them all is ‘Assassin’s Creed: Revelations’ by Oliver Bowden. I keep picking the books in this series up for cheap prices in charity shops and on eBay, and I’m only missing a few of them now, so hopefully, in 2018 I will finish buying them and will read them all!

I’m also a fan of Beauty & The Beast, so I did purchase ‘The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince’ by Serena Valentino and ‘Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book’ by Jennifer Donnelly. Again, these are books I haven’t read yet but am looking forward to reading next year.

The last 2 books I actually got from my dad. I love reading about history and for a very long time I’ve found the Tudor era very interesting and dad had these two books he hadn’t read so I was allowed them. Those books are ‘The Tudors’ by G.J Meyer and ‘Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII’ by David Starkey. They both have tiny text and book by David Starkey is quite big, so I think those books will take a while to go through but I look forward to it. Hopefully they’ll be able to educate me more on the Tudor era.

 

So there is my pre-Christmas book haul. I am so excited for Christmas right now and although I may want to do a Christmas haul I probably won’t, as sometimes they can come off quite badly as ‘bragging’ and I don’t wanna seem like that! I only shared this because I find these sorts of posts and YouTube videos very interesting.

-Laura

 

Book Review – The Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen (ARC)

36523097Book: The Taxonomy of Love

Author: Rachael Allen

Format: eBook

Rating: 4/5

Review: To begin with, I want to point out that this book was an eBook I received as an ARC from NetGalley for free, but all thoughts are still my own. The release date for this book is the 9th of January 2018. This book is from the perspective of Spencer Barton, a 13-year-old boy with Tourette’s Syndrome. This book is in 6 parts plus an epilogue, so we go through the book from him aged 13 to age 19. It revolves around him meeting his new neighbour, Hope Birdsong when they were both 13 (at the beginning of the book) and their developing friendship, but Spencer struggles with the feelings he has developed for her, as well as suffering from his Tourette’s. The book also contains messages and letters from Hope (and her sister) during a very tough and traumatic time in her life, but Spencer wants to support her. At times their friendship was very confusing and the book really did have you feeling for Spencer and Hope. Hope seemed like the only person who truly understood and accepted Spencer, which is a massive thing within this novel, and Spencer just wants to fit in as he is teased because of his Tourette’s and because he knows so many things about bugs and random facts and hope accepts that and even is as ‘weird’ as he is made out to be by other people. This book isn’t just about love, but acceptance, understanding, growing up and friendship and finding a passion for something, which Spencer most definitely does. Both Spencer and Hope go through so much together (and apart) but they remain friends, even though their friendship could be a bit rocky and confusing at times like previously said. They develop as characters and as you would between 13 and 19, and Spencer overcomes so many things to do with his Tourette’s and I felt like you could really root for him and I felt so happy for him at times even though he’s fictional. It was a lovely book and had so much more involved than just love. I highly recommend this when it comes out in January.

-Laura

Book Review – The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (ARC)

36582334Book: The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Author: Heather Morris

Format: eBook

Rating: 5/5

Review: To begin with, I want to point out that this book was an eBook I received as an ARC from NetGalley for free, but all thoughts are still my own. The release date is the 11th of January 2018 and is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, who are survivors of Auschwitz. It begins in 1942 and we follow Lale who is a Jew who works as the tattooist between Auschwitz and Birkenau. It’s in a third person perspective with occasional insight into the thoughts of Lale. I absolutely loved this book and thought it was a powerful and emotional story of survival in such an awful time. I’ve always found books and information to do with the Holocaust and that era very interesting because it amazes me how people could be so cruel and how horrible it must have been to have been punished for being something you can’t help, whether that be your skin colour, ethnic background, religion or sexuality, it horrifies me that people were treated so cruelly but it is so inspiring to see how people survived such terrible events. Lale is such a wonderful, amazing man who uses his power as the tattooist to help others, he is truly an amazing man and Gita is also such a strong woman and they have such a powerful connection. I will say now that this book has themes of violence, bad language, sex, death and love, so it may not be suitable for younger readers, but still, it was such an amazing and interesting book. The dates are frequently mentioned throughout the book, which really gives an insight into how long Lale and Gita have had to deal with what has been thrown at them during their time in the camps and how amazing it is that they have survived so much. The hope of freedom, which is something a lot of us really do take for granted, is something that helps them get through the day, it gives them a reason to survive and wake up and do whatever they can in the hopes of being free. This story is such an emotional one that I found myself really pacing through this book, I found it so difficult to put down. The ending even contains an epilogue for what happened after the book to the real Lale and Gita and how he just wanted to get his story out there and how strong their love was. It was beautiful and inspiring and I hope others pick up this book when it is released next year. I highly recommend this, especially if you find this sort of thing fascinating.

-Laura

Book Review – Tarkin by James Luceno

25614845Book: Tarkin

Author: James Luceno

Format: Paperback

Rating: 4/5

Review: This book is basically about how Wilhuff Tarkin (known in the book as Governor Wilhuff Tarkin and Moff Tarkin) and how he became Grand Moff Tarkin, as we know him in Star Wars. It’s in a third person perspective and most of the time is focalised through Tarkin himself, as it contains an insight into his childhood/teenage years and how it shaped him into the man we know in Star Wars. It did jump from past to present quite suddenly at times which could be confusing but it was nice having that insight into his younger years. The writing was both detailed and straight to the point. It was very factual as you’d expect from a Star Wars book to do with Tarkin but I did at moments find it to drag a bit. I also couldn’t help but picture Tarkin as Peter Cushing (as he is portrayed on the cover) and just imagining that made it enjoyable as I am a fan of Peter Cushing. Both Darth Vader and Palpatine are involved in this book and it’s interesting to see how the relationship, particularly between Vader and Tarkin, develops, especially as Tarkin is somewhat intrigued by Vader and has his suspicions that Vader is indeed Anakin Skywalker (who he once fought beside). The book is pretty much a Vader and Tarkin adventure and is filled with action in places and can be quite suspenseful! Although some places, as previously said, are a tiny bit confusing and are very heavy on the descriptions. Overall, I did still enjoy this book and I do recommend it to Star Wars fans as getting to learn more about Tarkin was very interesting and it does kind of give insight into why Darth Vader actually listens to Tarkin. It was nice to see a book about the evil side without necessarily portraying it as such.

-Laura