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.

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.


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.



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




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.