Roundup

Ranty Round Up – July

July was a strange month for me – I read quite a bit, but wasn’t as active with my blogging as I was in June, I found my month to be quite hectic, especially the last week or so. I’m only actually getting to do my wrap up a third through August, which should say something!

the house of mirthI read five books in July, I was hoping to get more read during July, while I am still on university holidays. Now I am back studying, I have less time to devote to leisure reading. The standout read for July was The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. My second of Wharton’s works, and I loved this more than Ethan Frome. My classics TBR is now bursting – I’ve just added The Age of Innocence to the list.

My participation in the readathons in July was luckluster, I barely participated at all. Just read a couple of hours and didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.

I’m still trucking along with Middlemarch, I’m about 40% through and have just stalled, but I am planning on tackling that with some gumption once I’ve finished my current pulpy read. The readalong (#eliotalong) officially ends today, but I am going to put some effort into finishing it in the next week so at least I can offer a detailed review.

August Events


20 books of summerI will be continuing on with #20booksofsummer (in winter), and I’m allowing myself to cross a couple of the bigger, chunky classics off the list and put some mood reading on the list – and I know that I will be able to finish more books if they are pulpier. So bring on the war thrillers and crime novels – I’m finishing this challenge even if it takes me out in a storm of pages. As of the 8th of August, I have read 11 of the books from my list in full, and Middlemarch is just under half way cooked – so it will be a push but I’ll put some effort in.


bout of books augus 16The other event that will be kicking off in August is Bout of Books, which is my favourite of the readathon events – but August is the ‘thon that I generally don’t take part in or low key participate. It runs from 22 – 28 August, and this year my Dad’s 60th falls just before that, and my own birthday too. My sister is also due to have her baby late August – early September and I don’t want to be focusing on something like Bout of Books when I should focus on helping and being with family. If I do participate, it will probably be a limited amount of time. Or even limiting myself to how much reading I complete.


Books Read in July – 5

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman – Laurence Sterne – 4 stars
The Innocents – Ace Atkins – 4 stars
Fire Point – Sean Black – 4 stars
The Edge of Alone – Sean Black – 2 stars
The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton – 5 stars


Book Reviews in July – 3 full reviews, 3 tiny ones.

The Innocents – Ace Atkins
The Edge of Alone – Sean Black
House of Mirth – Edith Wharton
Review Spree: Some Unholy War – Terence Strong, Birthdays for the Dead – Stuart Macbride, One Hit – Jack Coughlin


Challenge Progress

Read My Books Challenge
Tristram Shandy

5 in 2016

Classic a Month/Classics Club Challenge

Tristram Shandy
The House of Mirth

Series a Month
Did not participate in the Series a Month Challenge in July


August TBR

Well, I’ve already read three books in August, so I’m not going to actually list which books I’m planning on reading but have already read. I’m going to be focusing on finishing my #20booksofsummer and actually mood read. There’s a couple of new release military fiction releases that I’m eyeing off… so I might give myself leave to read them this month. I’m also going to aim for at three books off my classics club list – I’ve already read Brave New World, hopefully finish Middlemarch and then one other (shorter/easier reading) classic.

Ranty Roundup – June

June was a great blogging and pretty good reading month for me. I managed to read 5 books in their entirety, and knock off some classics from my classics club list. I’m expecting July to be a little slower in both blogging and reading, but I’m also committed to dedicating as much time as possible to reading, as I don’t want to commit to reading 10 books in August to finish the #20booksofsummer challenge.

The best nothing short of dyingbook from June was hands down Erik Storey’s Nothing Short of Dying. I’ve already talked about this forthcoming title a bit on my blog, but my review (and the book) aren’t due to be published until August, so I will hold back on anything too descriptive. Let me just say, it’s one of the best novels I’ve read, and one of only two five star rating books that I’ve read this year.

I’m currently half way through Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, and although I am enjoying it, I’m finding it slow going and I’m looking forward to completing it and reviewing it on August 1st for the Classics Club Spin pick.


eliotalong

In other Classics news – I’m participating in a readalong of Middlemarch, hosted by Bex at Armchair by the Sea. So far I am finding Middlemarch to be better than I was expecting and I will be trying to write a post of impressions, ideas and thoughts each week here on the blog, but my main priority will be keeping up with the chapters per week. I will also be reading another book a week – I don’t want to fall even further behind in my reading challenge on Goodreads.


20 books of summer

Yet another challenge I am currently focusing on is #20booksofsummer (in winter) I was hoping to be able to knock off 6 – 7 books from this list before the month was up, but then I hit Tristram Shandy and my progress just slowed right down. I’m going to be focusing a lot on getting pages read during July, as opposed to blogging so that I can catch up on this a little. My current total stands at 3 books completed and one book half finished. I’m going to need some serious dedication to get this challenge completed!


make me read it

Another exciting event happening in July is the Make Me Read It readathon, where you guys can choose which books (and in which order) I read between the 9 – 16 of July. I’d appreciate it if you guys could vote in my poll, I’m looking forward to being able to participate in this readathon, from what I can tell it is in it’s second year and is such a novel idea. From what my poll looks like now, I’ll be working my way through House of Mirth and Go Set a Watchman, but there’s plenty of time for that to change. Pretty sure you can still sign up if you wish, just head over to here and sign up.


24in48Last but not least is the 24 in 48 hour readathon. I haven’t yet signed up for this one but I fully intend on participating. I’ll be taking the weekend off and spending 12 hours a day reading my little heart out. I’ve done 24hr readathons before, and always burnt out, so this challenge seems better in regards to spreading out the workload!

Sign-ups are happening over here, and if you wanna ‘thon with me, this seems like a great event to get some serious reading done in!


Books read in June – 5

Nothing Short of Dying – Erik Storey – 5 stars
No Safe Place – Matt Hilton – 4 stars
Journey to the Center of the Earth – Jules Verne – 3 stars
Deathlist – Chris Ryan – 1 star
The Awakening – Kate Chopin – 4 stars


Book Reviews in June – 7 (and that might just be a record for this blog)

Off The Grid by C.J. Box
The Sandpit by Stephen Leather
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
No Safe Place by Matt Hilton
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
First Response by Stephen Leather
The Awakening by Kate Chopin


Challenge Progress

Read My Books Challenge
Journey to the Center of the Earth
4 in 2016

Classic a Month/Classics Club Challenge
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Series a Month
Did not participate in the Series a Month Challenge in June.


July TBR

I’m going to aim to read 6 books in July. These will all be from my #20booksofsummer list and be heavily focused on the classics. The following are the books that I would have read in an ideal world, but 5 of these titles are part of the Make Me Read it poll, and I don’t fancy reading 4 400p books in one week while working, so I’m not going to aim to read all 8. I’ll also be whittling down Middlemarch.

Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
The Innocents by Ace Atkins
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Fire Point by Sean Black
Edge of Alone by Sean Black
Ghost Sniper by Scott McEwen
White Fang by Jack London
State of Emergency by Andy McNab
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

And that was a very long wrap-up!

Ranty Roundup – May

I took a bit of a reading and blogging break in March and April – a delicious combination of school, work, family commitments and my body falling apart meant reading took a backseat. However, May provided me with the opportunity to crack some spines (my own and some books) and get some reading in.

I participated – albeit on twitter – in Bout of Books 16, and that worked out well with the amount of commitments I have right now. I much prefer participating on my blog, so I hope next Bout of Books I will have the opportunity to actually fit in some blogging and challenges too.

51zj2wRqm0L._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_My favourite book I read this month was First Response by Stephen Leather. It was fresh, different and had an excellent main character. I will be posting a full review on Thursday, and will go into some of the things that I loved about this book. It’s a bit different for Stephen Leather, but it works well.

Plans for June include trying to get some review and recently published novels read and reviewed – there’s at least four novels published in the past few months that I’ve procrastinated on. I am going to attempt to be more consistent with blogging – aim for a post a week, minimum.

My other goal for June is to read at least one classic. I’ve been neglecting my Classics Club list, and I really need to get back to it and put some effort in. I’ve been sitting on a copy of Dracula for the last three months and I haven’t even opened it yet.


Books read in May – 5
Promise – Tony Cavanaugh
Some Unholy War – Terrence Strong
First Response – Stephen Leather
Off the Grid – C.J. Box
The Sandpit – Stephen Leather


Book Reviews in May – 1

Promise by Tony Cavanaugh 


Challenge Progress

Read My Books Challenge
First Response by Stephen Leather
3 in 2016

Classic a Month/Classics Club Challenge
Did not read a classic in May.

Series a Month
Did not participate in the Series a Month Challenge in May.


June TBR

I’m going to aim to read 6-8 books in June. I also have the second half of Chris Ryan’s Deathlist waiting for me.

Dracula – Bram Stoker
No Safe Place – Matt Hilton
State of Emergency – Andy McNab
Fire Point – Sean Black
Nothing Short of Dying – Erik Storey
The Wrecking Crew – Taylor Zajonc
The Twisted Knot – JM Peace

Ranty Roundup – February

So… It’s 9 days into March, and here I am, posting my summary for the previous month! Ha. I’ve got an extremely busy few months ahead of me, and I probably won’t be too active on the blog until May, but I will continue to abuse the service that is twitter, follow me @bookybecksa and I’ll follow back.

I only read two books in March, The Innocent by Sean Black and Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte. I can’t choose a favourite because I loved BOTH! I’ll be posting a review of Agnes in the next week or so, hopefully. It’s on my Classics Club Challenge list, so I really do need to review.

February was also the month of the #BBAW, which I loved participating in! I just wish I had more time/energy/resources/foresight to actually participate more. It was a great community event, and I really do hope that the organizers make it happen again next year. I met many new blogging friends and followed SO many new people on twitter who are constantly opening my reading horizons.

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I also attempted to start reading Ulysses – but then realised that reading such a challenging book (I could only tackle it in five minute moments before I would get frustrated) during uni semester is probably not the best idea.

March is going to be focused primarily on fun, genre reads. I am going to lowkey participate in the #slaythatseries which runs from March 13 – March 20. I’ll post a TBR for that readathon a day or two before it hits us!

Like usual, I will tackle a classic this month – I missed the official pick for the classics club spin, but as I have not seen which number won, I will post my list today and then check out what spun up. A little naughty, but the classics club spin is one of my favourite bookish events, so I don’t wanna miss out!


Books Read in February – 2

Agnes Grey – Anne Bronte – 4 stars
The Innocent – Sean Black – 4 stars.


Book Reviews in February

None! (such a naughty book reviewer!)


Challenge progress

Read my Books Challenge

Agnes Grey – Anne Bronte

1 book read in February / 2 in 2016

Classic a Month Challenge & Classics Club

Agnes Grey – Anne Bronte – Review to come

Series a Month

Did not participate in Series a month during February.


March TBR

One Hit – Jack Coughlin and Donald A. Davis
Promise – Tony Cavanaugh
Fire Point – Sean Black
State of Emergency – Andy McNab
Off the Grid – C.J. Box
First Response – Stephen Leather
Classic for the classics club

My Goal for the month will be to read 5-6 books.

Ranty Roundup – January

January was a strange reading month for me – it started off so strong, but then there was a period of about 14 days that I didn’t read anything. Not a single page. The month started off with a very successful Bout of Books readathon, in which I hosted a challenge and did a significant amount of reading. You can read my wrap of of that here.

A friend and I then drove to South Gippsland in Victoria (about a 13 hour drive) to go to a music festival. It was a camping festival and we did quite a bit of drinking and meeting new and wonderful people. We saw some of our favourite bands, like Parkway Drive, Stray from the Path, Confession and Neck Deep. Needless to say, I didn’t get to read a single word. Normally I would read while my friend drove, but I did most of the driving and we talked so much. It was just so nice to be able to have a pressure free weekend and be able to catch up with a good friend.

Anyway, onto more bookish things – my favourite book of January was without doubt Dispatches by Michael Herr. It was my classics club spin, and I had DNF’d it a couple of years ago when I just wasn’t in the mood for nonfic. It just shows that I am such a mood reader that something I DNF’d could then become a favourite after a couple of years. My other reads for the month were not spectacular, and I was quite disappointed with Dead Wake by Erik Larson, because I had such high hopes and expectations.

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Books read in January – 7

Birthdays for the Dead – Stuart MacBride – 3 stars

Dead Wake – Erik Larson – 3 stars

The Devil’s Bounty – Sean Black – 3 stars

The Business of Dying – Simon Kernick – 4 stars

A Good Day to Die – Simon Kernick – 3 stars

Dispatches – Michael Herr – 5 stars

The Payback – Simon Kernick – 3 stars


 

Book Reviews

Dead Wake – Larson

In The Cold Dark Ground – MacBride

Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton

Dispatches – Herr

Review Spree – Lynn, Black & Kava


 

 

Challenge progress

Read my Books Challenge

The Business of Dying by Simon Kernick

1 book read in January / 1 in 2016

Classic a Month Challenge & Classics Club

Dispatches by Michael Herr – Reviewed

Series a Month

Dennis Milne series by Simon Kernick – read 3/3 books.


 

February TBR

 

I’m not going to try and complete a series in February, rather I am going to focus on my steadily growing netgalley pile and clear my backlog. Currently I have 5 on my shelf that need to be read. My goal will be to read 4 of them at least.

I’ve also got quite a few books from the library that need attention, plus my monthly classic. So the following is my tentative TBR for Feb – however I’m not really expecting to read this whole list – maybe five or six from this list.

The Martian – Andy Weir

The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman

The Innocent – Sean Black

One Hit – Jack Coughlin

The Wrecking Crew – Taylor Zajonc

Youngblood – Matt Gallagher

Islamism – Tarek Osman

Red Line – Brian Thiem

Agnes Grey – Anne Bronte

I am so so excited that I am hosting a readathon for Agnes Grey, it’s the first time I have ever hosted one, so I am so grateful to have people to share this experience with. If you want to be involved, feel free to sign up – it’s still early days!

Agnes Grey Readalong

Ranty Roundup – December

So December was a return to blogging and reading form for me – having much less on my plate made life much easier, and I managed to read lots of books!

I participated in the #12forXmas challenge, and I only just managed to complete it with 18 hours to spare! I’ll post a wrap-up for that challenge in a couple of days time, but needless to say, I am very excited to complete it.

My favourite book of December would be In the Cold Dark Ground by Stuart MacBride. It was sensational, keeping me on the edge of my seat. One of my favourite series is the Logan McRae series, and I was very impressed by this latest installment. I will be reviewing this book around its publication date, mid January. An honourable mention (and possible usurper that came late to the party) was Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.

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Books Read in December – 12

The Redeemers – Ace Atkins – 3 stars

22 Dead Little Bodies – Stuart MacBride – 3 stars

Silent Creed – Alex Kava – 3 stars

Revenge! – Charles Whiting – 3 stars

Ice Force – Matt Lynn – 4 stars

Murder Team – Chris Ryan

Kingdom of the Strong – Tony Cavanaugh – 4 stars

The Scarlet Plague – Jack London – 3 stars

Gridlock – Sean Black – 4 stars

In the Cold Dark Ground – Stuart MacBride -4.5 stars

Killer Instinct – Zoe Sharp – 3 stars

Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton – 4.5 stars

January TBR

Islamism – Tarek Osman

Dispatches – Michael Kerr

The Devil’s Bounty – Sean Black

The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman

Bloggy Stuff

So December was the most consistent month for content creation for me, I posted at least three posts every week. I plan on continuing this through January and February, and then will most likely commit to a single post a week once uni goes back.

I’m also participating in the Bout of Books readathon, and once again hosting a challenge, which will have a giveaway! I am so excited to be doing this again, I missed the last readathon due to being on a placement, so my excitement levels are increasing.

Next month I will also start a new feature on Ranty Runt of a Reader, called Curated. It will be a themed collection of books/art/poetry/tv shows about a certain event, trope, character or genre. I will open it up to other participants and keep a list of all the created collections! I’m hoping to post more about this in the next couple of weeks.

Finally (oh my, so much is going on) is that next month I will ask for interest in a readalong of Agnes Gray. It will be run during February, and I would love as many buddy readers as possible. If you would like to participate (or maybe even write one of the content posts for each week) keep an eye out around the 10th of January.

I’m spending NYE with my boyfriend at the T20 Big Bash Cricket, and then starting work at midnight! No boozy new years for me. How did everyone else celebrate their NYE? Hope you had a safe and enjoyable night, and I look forward to talking books with you all in the new year!

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Ranty Roundup – April

April was an average reading month in regards with how many books I read, but a great month for blogging and the enjoyment of all things bookish, plus the few books I did read rated 4 or 5 stars! I participated in Dewey’s 24h readathon for the first time, and read a book and a half. I also participated in a bookish collaboration called The Bookish People, where I posted a list of book recommendations. Unfortunately because of time constraints and some naughty people being late with their posts (whoops) it has been put on hiatus, hopefully to return in the future. I purchased quite a few books in April – over 20, although I haven’t counted them.

Total books read in April

Red Notice – Andy McNab – 4 stars

A Perfect Evil – Alex Kava – 4 stars

Fortress – Andy McNab – 5 stars

Sandakan – Paul Ham – 4 stars

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde – 5 stars

Currently reading

Split Second by Alex Kava

The Godfather by Mario Puzo

May TBR

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

The Missing and the Dead by Stuart MacBride

The Sniper and the Wolf by Scott McEwen

The Harder They Come by T.C. Boyle

Australia and Canada in Afghanistan by Jack Cunningham and William Maley

Bloggish Stuff

My favourite post from April would have to be The Classics Book tag

My most popular post would have been my Dewey’s 24h Readathon Post

In the next couple of weeks expect more reviews of classics, I’ve got to finish the Classics Club spin pick and write my review for The Picture of Dorian Gray.

The most exciting thing has to be Bout of Books! I’ve signed up and volunteered to host a challenge on the Thursday, so I’m both nervous and excited about that. It will also be the first time I giveaway a book – and I’m pretty pumped!

I’ve been focusing more on twitter and posting regularly on that platform, and in May I hope to continue that, and learn more about how to use it.