Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

DSC_0057Unfortunately, I don’t have much to smile about this week, especially this weekend. I’ve been ill, it’s been raining and my little furbaby, Harry, passed away.

So, feeling sorry for myself, I’ve been eating chocolate, drinking hot chocolate with squirty cream, and finally watching Big Little Lies. I loved the book so am hoping the TV series is just as good. I didn’t realise Alexander Skarsgård is in it!

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Publication: 3th May 2016 by Bloomsbury
Genre: YA, Fantasy

Around the Year in 52 books challenge – A book with the letters A, T and Y in the title.

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

My Thoughts

I purposely saved this book to be the first book I read in 2018. That was such a good choice because this book was brilliant. It was so good that I had to read ACoWaR straight away. I feel that this is the best book of the three, so far.

Although this book is classified YA, it wavers that line where I would be more inclined to remove it from that category and put it in full fledged fantasy.  There are a few sex scenes in the book, they’re not necessarily graphic but they’re pretty descriptive and may not be appropriate for young YA readers.

The book begins with Feyre back in the Spring Court preparing, but not really engaging, for her wedding to Tamlin. Although she made a bargain with Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court, to spend one week with him a month, his has not called in on this yet. Feyre is withering away due to not eating, disturbed sleep full with nightmares about under the mountain and Tamlin being more overprotective than usual and leaving Feyre like a prisoner in her own home. As she walks down the isle, she is silently praying for help. Like an answer to her prayer, that is the momeny Rhysand decides to turn up and make Feyre hold up her end of their bargain.

Although some people may consider this a love triangle, I think this is probably more about Feyre growing as a person and deciding who she wants to be, not who she wants to be with. Feyre grows so much within this book, both personally and romantically. She not only learns about her newly acquired powers, she learns to read and write and becomes more confident and assurtive.

The characters are just wonderful in this book too. I didn’t feel there were too many and as we progressed we found out more about each one. I just love Mor.

And man, that ending!

My Thoughts (1)

5-stars

Top Ten Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and The Bookish and now hosted by The Artsty Reader. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. It’s a great way to learn more about the bloggers you follow and to find lots of new books. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Bookish Resolutions / Goals”

I have already done a post on what my goals are for this year (which you can find here)

My Resolutions

  • To not buy any more physical books until at least June (with exception of continuations of series – looking at you Morgan Rhodes and Michael J Sullivan, and longing for Scott Lynch and Pat Rothfuss to surprise us all)
  • To only request Netgalley books that I really want so they don’t sit on my shelf for months/years.
  • To start using actual book marks rather than just everything and anything I can grab.
  • To stop shying away from classic books. I’m a big girl now. They shouldn’t scare me.
  • To try and interact with people more on here. I’m read all the comments that people leave on my blog but haven’t always replied or commented on other people’s. I’m going to make a more conscious effort to talk to all you wonderful people.
  • I try and be healthier – to eat out less, to cut down on eating biscuits/cake in the staff room, to eat more fruit, to drink more water. Not major things but hopefully the little things will make a positive impact.
  • To try and go out with my camera more.

What are your resolutions this year?

Bout of Books | Days 6 + 7 + Wrap Up

Day 6 – Saturday

I read absolutely diddly squat. Unless you’d like to count reading a theater programme? No? I don’t blame you, I don’t count it either. You can read about all the fantastic things I did instead of reading, here.

Day 7 – Sunday

The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter  (Riyria Chronicles, #4)This was much better! I consciously put aside time for reading. Best of all, reading in the bath (quite possibly my favourite reading spot). I managed to complete The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan around 10pm.  This was one of the only books I had put on my TBR for this week that I completed. Moral of the story, don’t create TBR lists!

Wrap Up

Children’s Books

Image resultOi FrogCopy CatThe Lonely BeastImage result for topsy and tim babyImage result for children picture books new babyImage result for children picture books new babyplus a couple of others.

Graphic Novels

Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman, #1)

Novels

The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter  (Riyria Chronicles, #4)


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
– From the Bout of Books team

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

This week I was meant to be partaking in Bout of Books. It hasn’t gone anywhere near as well as I was hoping. It’s been a very stressful week during which I’ve been falling asleep about 9. I still have today to go so I will do a full update on it tomorrow.

Image result for charlie and the chocolate factory afternoon tea

Despite my draining week, I had a fantastic Saturday. We went to the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed afternoon tea at One Aldwych. It was absolutely incredibly and I would completely recommend it. You have savory sandwiches to begin with, followed by the scrumptious sweets. My highlights were the chocolate tea, flavoured candyfloss, bacon jam and Cocoa bean financiers. Yum! We didn’t have the cocktail Charlie but it did look incredible.

Afterwards, we went to see The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter. Image result for harold pinter the birthday partyThe only other Pinter play we’ve seen before is No Mans Land and just like that play, we had very little idea what was going on! Ir’s about Stanley Webber who lives in a run down boarding house by the sea, run y Meg and Petey. Two sinister strangers arrive on Stan’s supposed birthday and they all have a party which turns into a nightmare. The play is one that can’t be taken at face value, with pretty much all the characters contradicting themselves throughout. It’s ambiguous as to what ultimately happens to Stan and what truly happens at the party. I bought the script while I was there and fully intend to read in with the hope that I’ll understand it a bit better!

We also went to the LEGO store and made our own people. Can you guess who they are? (They took ages to make!)

What’s made you smile this week?


Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

Bout of Books | Day 5

I was awful yesterday and didn’t read a single thing.

No, that’s a lie, we re-read The Lonely Beast in literacy but I don’t think that really counts considering I read it the day before as well… I’ve just been so tired that I came home, ate and slept.

Today I didn’t manage to read any books to the class but I did read quite a few after school. A couple of my children are going to become older siblings in the next few weeks so I was finding lots of books I could read to them to prepare them a bit. I manage to find:

Image result for topsy and tim babyImage result for children picture books new babyImage result for children picture books new baby

There were a couple of others, which were actually better than these, but I can’t remember their names… It’s been that sort of day.

I’d like to think I’ll do so reading this evening but if I’m honest I probably won’t as I’m incredibly tired.


 

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
– From the Bout of Books team

Bout of Books | Day 3

The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter  (Riyria Chronicles, #4)I fell asleep before I updated yesterday, whoops. I managed to get a couple of hours reading in, so I’m about halfway through The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan. If you haven’t checked out any of his books already, I strongly recommend you do. He is one of the authors that I recommend to anyone and everyone. His books are incredible and he’s a really friendly person who welcomes and responses to e-mails from fans. Go, check him out now, I’ll wait.

The Lonely Beast5:40 pm: We did really well and read 2 books today in class. The first book was for our literacy lesson, The Lonely Beast by Chris Judge. I’ve done a review on this book before here. Before reading the book we look at a picture of the beast first arriving at the city, with no text. The Beast is waving but all the people are running away. We then look at the front cover and spot at least 10 things on the cover and think of questions we would like to ask the creature standing on the cliff edge. They really enjoyed the story, and immediately started talking when they realised they had things in common with him (like eating cake) and when they realised he was waving because he was friendly. They loved him sinking and seeing the animals and thought it was hilarious that he hitched a lift from a whale.

Copy CatThe second book we read, at the end of the day, was Copy Cat by Ali Pye. Bella loves Anna so much that she keeps copying everything she does.  Eventually Anna gets annoyed and snaps, she’s had enough of Bella being such a copy cat and sulks off.  Bella is upset at first but then starts teaching herself to skip, like she had seen Anna doing. After practicing, and practicing and practicing, she gets really good at it. Eventually another person asks her how to do it and they work together. It’s a lovely little story about playground friendships and finding your own way. I hope some of my children take something away from it…

Current number of pages read: 556 pages

Challenge: Book Spine Rainbow


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
– From the Bout of Books team

Bout of Books | Day 2

5:30pm – We have a teddy called Aslan (yes, he’s a lion) who goes home with a different child each weekend. This weekend a child read Oi, Cat! by Kes Gray and Jim Fields with Aslan, so today in school we read Oi, Frog!

The story is really good for rhyming as the cat is explaining what animals are aloud to sit on; cats sit on mats, hares sit on chairs, gofers sit on sofas. The children really enjoyed spotting the rhymes and then I hid the picture and they had to guess what the animal was going to sit on. They thoroughly enjoyed it, especially if they got it right. There are lovely, big and clear pictures which are, at times, very amusing.

Oi Frog

Current number of pages read: 394

Challenge: Share your 2018 reading goals.

I did a post on my goals here. But to summarise…

  • To read my pre-ordered books.
  • To get above 75% on NetGalley
  • To complete The Sherlock Holmes Collection
  • To read more than 16,084 pages
  • To read at least 25 books I already own.
  • To complete at least one classic (other than Sherlock Holmes)
  • To read at least 5 of the books delivered to me in my illumicrate boxes.
  • To complete at least 26 of the Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge.
  • To not buy any physical books until at least June, with exceptions of series continuations.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
– From the Bout of Books team

Top Ten Books I Meant To Read In 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. It’s a great way to learn more about the bloggers you follow and to find lots of new books. This week’s topic is  “ Top Ten Books I Was Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn’t Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)”

At the beginning of the year, I made a list of books I intended to read to tick off my Around the Year in 52 Books challenge. I only ended up reading 7 of the books in the end!

Here are the ones I definitely will be reading this year:

  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • Game of Thrones series by George R R Martin
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All by Jonas Jonasson
  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Collection by Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Age of Swords by Michael J Sullivan
  • Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1)The Complete Sherlock Holmes


What books did you not manage to get around to?

Bout of Books | Day 1

It’s day one of my first ever readathon!

6:00pm – I’m finally home from work. As a class we read The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes. This was a really lovely book. It had very little writing on each page but some beautiful language and pictures to match. The story follows a little gardener who tries very, very hard but his garden just won’t grow, except one beautiful flower. He sends out a call for help but because he is so small, no one can hear him. However, one someone sees the beautiful flower. Exhausted from trying so hard all the time, the little gardener falls asleep for a month, when he finally awakes he finds his garden in full flourish. He’s only little but to his garden he’s everything.

Page count: 40 pagesImage result

8:15pm – I’ve just completed Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman  #1) by Neil Gaiman. I didn’t love this at first but definitely got into as the story progressed. An occultist attempts to capture Death to bargain for eternal life but instead captures her younger brother, dream. After 70 years of imprisonment, Dream escapes and hunts down his lost objects of power.

I really enjoyed that Death and Dream were related, I especially loved that Death was a female rock chick.

This was a lot darker than I was expecting. A particular image which I know will stick with me is Death going around and picking up a baby from the cot as the mother leaves the room to get milk.

Image result for sandmanI did feel like there I was missing something as I was reading as there were little mentions to DC. At one point they mention calling Batman but he’d be busy. There was also an odd character which had a small role, I just remember he started to rhyme in Hell. After reading it, it turns out Veritgo is DC Comics which explains a lot.

Also, is it me, or does Dream look a bit like Neil Gaiman?

Page count: 290 pages

Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman, #1)

11:00pm – I managed to get in a bit of reading before bed so I’m now on page 142 of The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter by Michael J. Sullivan. I’m definitely going to finish it this week.

 

Pages read: 362 pages

The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter  (Riyria Chronicles, #4)

 

Challenge: Introduce yourself in six words #insixwords.

Tea drinking, Harry Potter loving teacher.


The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
– From the Bout of Books team