A-Z Author Challenge – X

 

A-Z Author Challenge post #2

X is a hard letter to find an author for, luckily they are a bit lenient and you can use a name with X in. So I picked Alix E. Harrow’s The Ten Thousand Doors of January.

It was the cover and the title that drew me to this book without even knowing what it was about. Then I saw that author Tabitha Bird was reading it and she said it was good, so I thought I’d give it a go, it sounded different in a magical kind of way, and that interested me. Magic is something we need more of in this crazy world.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January is indeed about magic and believing in the unbelievable, it’s about adventure, hope, love, loss and good and evil.

I will say that it took me a while to be completely captured by this novel, it wasn’t that I wasn’t enjoying it per se, but I just couldn’t really grasp where it was leading me. It wasn’t until about page 130ish that it all started to come together and I began to be hooked on finding out what magic was in these pages.

At first, we are introduced to January, a young girl of odd colouring, a coppery-red colour, who doesn’t fit into society’s norms, nor have the right colour skin for society as it was in the early 1900s. She is talking about Doors with a capital D, trying to explain them to us, her readers. We meet her benefactor, a Mr Locke who doesn’t really seem as good as she seems to think he is at the beginning of the story. We also hear of her father, Julian or Yule Ian, who is always off on quests for Mr Locke and barely sees his daughter.

Interspersed with January’s tale is another tale written in the form of a book, this I think is where I became a bit lost and wondered how it was all going to come together. But when it did become clear, I was compelled to keep reading.

January does a great deal of growing up in this story, as things happen to her and she starts to uncover the truth about who she is and who her parents were and especially who Mr Locke and he society are, things begin to go wildly out of control for her and so begins an adventure of great proportions as she goes on the run for her life and simultaneously hunts for the truth.

The Doors are a wonderful concept, that there are fissures, thin places that sometimes people find and discover a doorway leading to all manner of worlds, though not all of them are good places to visit. I really love this and so want to believe that they do exist, maybe from growing up reading first Enid Blyton’s books, especially The Enchanted Woods and The Faraway tree and then onto Narnia and E.S. Nesbitt’s books as well as of course The Wizard of OZ and Alice in Wonderland, I’ve retained that childhood belief in magic and other worlds.

This is a unique novel that I highly enjoyed once it all came together.

Book Bingo 2020 Round 1: Themes of Crime and Justice

FB_IMG_1576969010534This is the first post for Book Bingo 2020 hosted by Theresa Smith Writes & Mrs B’s Book Reviews & The Book Muse

 

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This round I am crossing off the square Themes of Crime and Justice and I am using the book Dead Again by Sandi Wallace. 

This is a great crime novel and is book 2 in the Rural Crime Files, Franklin and Harvey series, it can be read as a standalone, but for best enjoyment, I would read book 1 first. Read my review for Dead Again here.

#BookBingo2020

 

Book Review: Dead Again by Sandi Wallace

This is my #AWW2020 book #2 and I’m also joining in the Backlist Book Challenge which Amanda @ Mrs B’s Book Reviews alerted me about,  so this is my first book in #20backlistin2020.

IMG_20200109_210413I’ve had this book, Dead Again by Sandi Wallace (Rural Crime Files, Franklin and Harvey #2) out of my library for 6 months, which is a ridiculous amount of time to have had it sitting next to my bed. I don’t know why I finally picked it up now, but I’m very glad I did as it was so good, I had trouble putting it down to go to sleep each evening. It was a ‘one more chapter’ book, but because the chapters are nice and short, I’d think, well maybe just one more.

Considering the fires all over our country right now, it was also quite a fitting read being about the aftermath of a terrible wildfire in Victoria 2 years beforehand and the search for the truth about those fires. I didn’t know this before starting reading as I didn’t read the blurb, I had it out because I read book one in 2018 and really enjoyed it. I’m now waiting for the library to get hold of book 3 for me.

In this novel, Melbourne journalist Georgie Harvey is on an assignment in the small rural town of Bullock 2 years after wildfires tragically nearly wiped out the town and killed 46 people. She is there to find a story, but she finds more than she bargained for. This novel asks the questions what are the long term after-effects of a tragedy like this on the people and the town? Should people rebuild in such an area? And why would they want to? It also asks the question if it is arson and the person is caught, what would justice look like for a crime like this?

As Georgie gets to know the people in the town and builds trust with several of the characters, she starts to uncover a mystery about a missing man, is he missing or is he dead, and if he is missing, then why? Her investigation leads her to work with police officer John Harvey from Daylesford, who we met in book 1 and who Georgie had an emotional connection with. This book takes place 8 months after book 1, and that connection is still there for both of them, but can anything come of it this time since Georgie is still in a relationship. For me, a big part of my enjoyment of this book was the connection between these two characters and the relationship and banter that builds between them. I can’t wait until book 3 now to find out where this possible relationship goes.

Franklin has his own issues in his town, with vagrants, vandalism, and break-ins to investigate as well as a love triangle that may prove dangerous to all involved.

The characters are all very real and very Aussie and I could relate to many of them and see the behaviours of others as very understandable, both the good and the bad.

I really loved meeting Georgie, Fraklin and his daughter Kat, as well as the other police officers from Daylesford. I wasn’t really a fan of Georgie’s partner AJ in books 1 and that didn’t change in book 2, I admit to having my fingers crossed the whole time that they would break up.

There was plenty of intrigue and twists and turns to keep me interested throughout this novel, and I enjoyed it even more than book 1. This can be read as a standalone, but for your enjoyment, I’d read book 1 first.

You may see this book pop up again in one or more of my challenges this year as there are a few crossovers.

Goodreads                 Author Facebook                 Website               Paperback

FB_IMG_1577105032228  #AWW2020 2/50

GR Aussie Book Bingo Challenge #1

One of my challenges for 2020 was the GR Aussie Book Bingo. Every fortnight on a wednesday I will aim to post which square I’m crossing off of the GR Aussie Book Bingo card.

There are 4 levels to the challenge:

  • Shelf: (10 books – 2 rows)
  • Bookcase (15 books – 3 rows)
  • Library (20 books – 4 rows)
  • To Infinity and Beyond ( 25 books – 5 rows)

Obviously I’m aiming towards infinity.

Screenshot_20200107_220846This week it is the square Rated 4+ by a friend

I’m going with Rania Battany’s novel Fleeting Moments which was rated 5 stars by HappyValley BooksRead as well as Helen Sibbrit and Nas Dean  as well as 4 stars by Mrs B’s Book Reviews

My review was published last week and can be read here

Until next time, happy reading.

A-Z Author Challenge – Q

 

A-Z Author Challenge post #1 is Q, so, obviously I’m not going to be going in alphabethical order like I originally had in mind.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

 

I listened to the audiobook verion of this book and it is one that worked well for me, I’ll be looking for more by this narrator.

The Alice Network had me enthralled, this dual timeline narrative is set during the first World War and two years after the end of WW2.

The two main female characters were both very strong women, who did a lot of growing during the story.

Eve was a spy during the first World War and she was assigned to the Alice Network which was a real network, the most successful of it’s time. Eve’s story was full of intrigue and heart stopping moments, corruption and fear. She grapples with many issues during this time, one being her relationship formed with a betrayer of the people whilst she is undercover. This man is a truly horrible person and we meet with him in both timelines as what he does and who he is has far reaching consequences.

Charlie is from a rich American family who is being taken to get rid of an ‘unwanted’ problem. On the spur of the moment, with not much of a plan, she absconds from her mothers clutches and goes off to search for her cousin who went missing two years before in France. Her only lead is Eve, who begrudginly agrees to help (very begrudginly). After meeting Eve and hearing her story as she searches for her cousin, Charlie learns to really understand what she wants and who she is as well as learning to heal from the loss of her brother and her cousin.

Finn, Eve’s chauffeur and all job man, was a great character, I loved how he cared for Eve, and I loved how he fought his attraction to Charlie, you could feel his shift in loyalties as he got to know Charlie.

In searching for Charlie’s cousin old wounds are opened and old enemies come to the fore. We learn Eve’s story in alternating chapters, until we reach a time where she begins to tell her story to Finn and Charlie.

There were some important characters that play a big part in Eve’s story, all based on real characters. I can’t imagine the bravery and conviction these women especially, must of had to be spies during the time of war.

Eve and Charlie are both so different, but both broken and searching for something to heal that brokenness. Their relationship grows and changes throughout the story, having big impacts on them both and leading to an ending with unexpected results.

This was my first book by Kate Quinn and I’ll be looking for me to read by her in the future.

 

Goodreads- Annual A-Z Authors Challenge 2020

Happy New Year!!!

A-Z

I thought I’d share with you the books I am planning to read for the A-Z Authors Challenge in 2020, these are subject to change depending on any review books that come in before I get to that letter, but I am hoping to be able to cross the majority of these off this year, as some have been waiting for a while. I haven’t decided if I am going to go through the alphabet or just play it by ear, time will tell.

A – Alissa Callen – The Boundary Fence

B – Anna Bradley – To Wed a Wild Scot

C – T.M Clark – Cry of the Firebird

D – Pip Drysdale – The Strangers We Know

E – Ella Carey – Beyond the Horizon

F – Fiona Lowe – Just an Ordinary Family

G – Kathryn Gauci – Conspiracy of Lies

H –  Susan Hoddy – Security

I – Sue Ingleton – Making Trouble

J- Rachael Johns – Just One Wish

K – kim Kelly – Walking

L – Julian Leatherdale – The Opal Dragonfly

M- Katie McGarry – Echoes Between Us

N- Joanna Nell – The Last Voyage of Mrs Henry Parker

O – Sunni Overend –

P – P.J Tracy – Ice Cold Heart

Q – Kate Quinn – The Alice Network

R – Kelly Rimmer –  The Things We Cannot Say

S – Sasha Wasley – Love Song

T – Kendall Talbot – Out of Luck

U – Jacquie Underdown – Meet Me in the Middle

V – Vanessa Diffenbaugh – The Language of Flowers

W – Carol Wyer – The Blossom Twins

X – Alix E Harrow – The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Y

Z – Tiffany Reisz – The Rose

End of year 2019 challenge wrap up and new challenges for 2020

What a wonderful year of reading this has been. According to Goodreads I read and reviewed on their site 243 books in 2019, I read a few more than that, but didn’t log them all, for reasons of my own. I had to look up my challenge post from the beginning of the year to see what I had challenged myself to read 2019 challenges. I initally said I’d read 100 books, knowing full well I’d probably need to up that. If you’d like to check out my list of reads on Goodreads, here is the link. For 2020 I will again set my goal to 100, but I will adjust accordingly as the year progresses. I still have 2 books to read this year which will round off the total nicely.

This was a cool little statistic GR20191

The next challenge was Book Bingo which I just finished in time, I’m looking forward to 2020s challenge which is much easier, saying that I may have signed up for a few more challenges this year as I really want to get through some of my TBR list.

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For the Australian Women Writers (AWW) challenge I said I would read 40 books, I can’t believe I thought that was even a serious number. According to the AWW website I reviewed 105 books by Australian women. I do tend to favour books by Australian women as a conscious choice because we have so much talent here that deserves to be recognised. According to Goodreads I read 121, so there were a few I didn’t review fully and therefore didn’t link to AWW. This year I have signed up to read and review 50 books in the #AWW2020 challenge. I no longer work in cranes so my alloted reading time has gone down a bit. I definitely hope to read many more than 50 though.

The last challenge was the Aussie author challenge which I completed but didn’t link my books to.

Onto 2020s challenges.

So we have Goodreads general challenge of 100 books

FB_IMG_1576969010534#BookBingo2020

 

 

and FB_IMG_1577105032228AWW set at 50 books. To sign up for the AWW 2020 challenge just follow the link.

 

 

 

I’ve also joined 2 other challenges, though some of the books will overlap on the different challenges (thank goodness).

I’ve joined the Goodreads Annual Aussie Author Bingo Challenge 2020 and have set most of my books for this challenge, which should help get through some of the books that have been waiting on my shelf for too long. If you’d like to join or take a look just click on the link above.

I’ve also joined the Goodreads Annual A-Z Authors Challenege and have set most of the books for this too. Click on the link to join or take a look.

 

Nonfictionchallenge2020Oh I nearly forgot one! Shellyrae @  Book’d Out is hosting a Nonfiction Reader Challenge, I was initially unsure about joining this as I’m not a massive nonfiction reader and her challenge was either Nonfiction Nibbler with 6 books or Nonfiction Know-it-all with 12 books, Shellyrae has nicely added an extra level with Nonfiction Nipper with 3 books, so I’ve signed up for this.  If you’d like to sign up click on the link above or just join in by hashtagging #2020ReadNonFic when posting your books.

 

It looks like 2020 is going to be a very busy year of reading indeed.

 

No photo description available.Books and Bites with Monique Mulligan is also running a Book Bingo Challenge for anyone interested. I will take a look, but won’t commit at this time.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for all your support in 2019, I’m looking forward to sharing what I read in 2020 and hearing your thoughts and what you are reading.

Goodreads Challenge Update

I started this year off well keeping you updated about how I was going with my many reading challenges, this was really for myself so I could keep track of where I was, but somewhere along the way I got behind in my updates and then just stopped. But today I found I’d met one of the biggest challenges, my goodreads challenge where I said I would read 200 books this year. Well I’ve done it! I’ve actually read a few more than that but there are some I don’t log on goodreads. There’s quite an array of different books in my challange this year and for the main part, I’ve enjoyed most of these reads.

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I’ve still got nearly 12 weeks of reading, so I’m sure there will be a few more books read in that time. If you want to check out any of the books I’ve read the click on the link to MY CHALLENGE

Happy reading x

Monthly Challenge Update – May 2019

So this month was a crazy reading month, I worked away for nearly 2 weeks which gave me masses of time to read, then I took a mental health week where I sat around reading and doing art. So this month I read 30 books, I think I need to slow down and find another passion.

may update 2019

17 of those books were written by Australian women bringing my total for the AWW Challenge to 75, I may or may not have reached my goal in this, I’ll have to go back and take a look at what number I set myself.

The Goodreads challenge is 125/200 making me comfortablly ahead of my goal.

IMG_20190525_134048Book bingo is going well with 13/30 squares marked off and plenty of time to fill in the rest.

My Aussie Author challenge was finished last month, I still have to go on the website and link my books. I’ve been a bit slack.

I read some really fantastic books this month, I have 4 standouts of which you can click on to read my reviews incase you missed them. A Lifetime of Impossible Days by Tabitha Bird , The Lost Boy by Rachael Wright, these two affected me emotionally quite deeply. The Cinema at Starlight Creek by Alli Sinclair and Under a Midnight Sky by Anna Romer were both wonderful reads also.

Until next month, happy reading.

Monthly challenge update – April 2019

Oh wow and I thought I’d slowed down this month, how wrong was I!!

April reads 2019

With a total of 26 books read or listened to this month, I think I have outdone myself.

In my AWW Challange, I may have completely blown that goal out of the water with a total of 56 books read this year so far by Australian Women Writers.

My Goodreads Challenge is now 95/200 which means at only 4 months in, I’m 48% complete and currently 30 books ahead of my goal, which allows me plenty of leeway if I get into a slump (a real one, not an imagined one lol).

In The Aussie Author Challenge which I admit to not updating on their website yet, I have now read all of the books in the challenge. I will list them next time.

My latest Book Bingo post will show you how I am going with that.

I have read some great books this month so I advise you to check some of them out. If I had to choose a favourite I think it would be Victoria Purman’s The Land Girls. But I am also loving Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changlings series. I have plenty more great books to read and plenty of reviews coming up this month.

Happy reading until next time.