Thursday, 29 October 2020

Beware, octopus... a weekly check-in

Thanks to the readathon, this has been a pretty good reading week, including one of my favourite books of the year, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. I also posted On My Radar for November if you want to keep up with new releases.

So on top of my readathon books, I finished off Puddin' which was my Popsugar "touch a book on a shelf with your eyes closed" book and I stuck to it and didn't cheat. This one follows Millie and Callie (of all people) and I liked the theme of acceptance and giving people a chance. Forgot how lovely these books are, and I'm looking forward to Pumpkin' next year now.


I also finished listening to The Diabolical Bones, the second book in the Bronte sisters mysteries, in which the Bronte sisters solve mysteries that no one else is interested in. This one has an element of the occult and was perfect listening for this time of year.

Here's a photo of Scully sat in front of a giant octopus. My town has a public skate park and a wall for street art behind it and I think the octopus is new...or I have just been oblivious to it for months, it is possible. Sometimes, when there is no one in the skate park, we run round with Scully, she loves it.


I'm down to five prompts left on each of my reading challenges after some creative wrangling of books into prompts. If you're interested in joining in, Around the Year in 52 Books has now finalised the list for next year. I wanted to read in order but the order isn't really working for 2021 releases, so I'll see how it goes when I get to it.

It's my birthday next week and I have a five day weekend, with the weather looking dreadful, so hopefully I'll knock out some more books during my time off. I'm not doing anything for Halloween however I think people are missing out by not having a slingshot to fire sweets in a socially distanced manner. I might watch Rebecca, the second part of It or The Haunting of Bly Manor...or all three!

Speaking of films, I finally watched Parasite which was good and surprising!

New Books Through the Door:

Greensmith by Aliya Whiteley
The Magpie Society by Amy McCulloch + Zoe Sugg
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari (audio)
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (ebook)
The Quickening by Rhiannon Ward (ebook)

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

On My Radar: November

You're gonna need a lot of books to get through winter, right? Well here are a whole bunch more to add to your TBRs to keep you going!

Please do consider supporting an independent book shop this present buying season. Many will post books out to you if they are closed or you don't live nearby.

As always, inclusion here isn't an endorsement (I haven't read them all yet, haha!) and dates stated are generally for the UK print edition unless otherwise noted.


1st

Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

3rd

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer (US only)

5th

It's the End of the World: But What Are We Really Afraid Of? by Professor Adam Roberts
Zeus Is A Dick by Susie Donkin
The Swallowed Man by Edward Carey
The Diabolical Bones by Bella Ellis


10th

The Factory Witches of Lowell by C.S. Malerich
A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey (US only)
Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett (US only)
Odessa by Jonathan Hill


12th

The Betrayals by Bridget Collins
Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by Robin Talley
The Thief on the Winged Horse by Kate Mascarenhas



17th

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
God 99 by Hassan Blasim

God 99

24th

Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar (US only)
How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black + Rovina Cai

26th

The Dark Archive by Genevieve Cogman
The Stone Knife by Anna Stephens
Strange Beasts of China by Ge Yan
Letters from the Dead by Sam Hurcom
The Sacrifice of Darkness by Roxane Gay + Tracy Lynne Oliver

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Readathon: Book Spine Poetry

Welcome to my mini challenge for Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon, Book Spine Poetry!

I hope you are having a great readathon. If for some reason book spine poetry has passed you by, it's basically a poem made out of book titles. If you want it to be a photo challenge, just stack up your books to spell out your poem and take a photo of the spines. Easy peasy.

If you're reading digitally, or just don't have the books to hand, you are more than welcome to just type out the titles in poem form. Here are a few examples of my book spine poems from past readathons:



Close your pretty eyes,
Let the games begin.
Truth or dare, do no harm.
Only we know it can't happen here.
Warm bodies, shattered minds.
Dead ever after.



Oh, dear Silvia
Wicked business!
Bad girls hidden behind the sofa
The other hand among others...

I'd love to see your poems so please tag @patchworkbunny if you're posting on Twitter or Instagram. If you'd like to be entered into the prize draw* for a book of your choice, please pop your details into this form so that I can track you down easily. Please, please if you're sharing on your Instagram stories can you tag @patchworkbunny as otherwise I might not get to see them before they disappear.

*This is open internationally as much as possible, ideally Wordery or The Book Depository will ship to you, however if not I will try and find an alternative prize. Maximum prize value £20.

Since we are approaching the final hours, if you'd rather do this as a post-readathon challenge, I will keep the entries open until the end of Sunday.

Saturday, 24 October 2020

The One Stop #Readathon Update Post

Latest update: 12:00
Hours spent reading: 14.5
Pages read: 864
Books finished: 3


The End
Local time: 12:00 GMT
Pages read: 274

I read a couple of very short books, Memento and Serpentine and then moved on to Puddin' which I knew I wouldn't have time to finish. Really loved reading about AIDAN again but I just wish it had been longer. Considering I did co-hosting and sleeping I'm happy with how much I read.


Closing Survey

How would you assess your reading overall?
I read a fantastic book, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue which I loved, although I usually prefer to read shorter books during the readthon, it was nice to absorb myself into just one book yesterday.

Did you have a stategy, and if so, did you stick to it?
I just took it easy, and knew I would take time out of reading for co-hosting and sleep... But I had planned on finishing a book by hour 8 and that didn't happen.

What was your favorite snack?
My home-made brownies were pretty good, if I say so myself!

Wanna volunteer for our next event?
Sure, although I might mix it up what I volunteer for. Co-hosting is fun but I also read a lot less due to it.

Hour Twenty-One
Local time: 08:00 GMT
Pages read: 325
Slept: 7 hours


It's my mini challenge hour and it looks like I managed to schedule it right! Clocks have now changed, I've had a full night's sleep (oops) but I finished a book before I passed out. I LOVED Addie LaRue, 5 stars, review will appear in the distant future. Haha.

Now reading Memento which is an Illuminae Files novella.



Hour Nine
Local time: 19:00 BST
Pages read: 69
Eaten: PIZZA


Spent the last two hours co-hosting so not much reading done plus I stopped to shovel pizza into my mouth!

Hour Five
Local time: 17:00 BST
Pages read: 196
Eaten: brownies and jacket potato


I am loving Addie LaRue! But it is quite a long book for me to choose for readathon so I will probably spend the rest of today reading it and then I can read some of my short choices in the morning.

Scully has been sleeping cuddled up to me but keeps fidgeting. Now she's staring at me trying to get me to feed her early. So demanding!


Hour One
Local time: 13:00 BST

I'm starting out reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Potatoes are in the oven baking for my lunch. Scully has been walked. It is miserable weather today so I've changed into comfy PJ bottoms rather than my damp outside clothes. What else is there to do other than read all weekend?

Good luck to everyone joining in, have fun, chat to people and read some great books!

Opening Survey!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Hampshire, UK

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I've been saving Addie LaRue for this weekend!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I made brownies. Though I may have eaten some already, but I am looking forward to eating more.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I am a software tester by day, Labrador servant by night. Who am I kidding, not I work from home I have to bow to her wishes all day long! You may have seen Scully's warm up post last week.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? After nearly a decade of readathons this is a well oiled machine. Hah well more like an old jumper. I'm co-hosting and running a mini-challenge.

Friday, 23 October 2020

Readathon TBR

It's Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon this weekend!

I am trying to finish up Popsugar and ATY challenges so of course I have compiled a readathon TBR completely ignoring my remaining prompts. OK, OK, I threw in some last minute additions that will help, but this is a weekend of fun!



The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo
Serpentine by Philip Pullman
The Burning by Laura Bates
Puddin' by Julie Murphy*
Summerwater by Sarah Moss
2084 by various authors

*Why yes it was on my previous readathon TBR...and probably several before that too!

Queued On My Kindle...

Memento by Amie Kaufman + Jay Kristoff
The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
These Witches Don't Burn by Isabell Sterling

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Tumble weeds... a weekly check-in

I don't have much to report this week, I haven't finished any books :( However I have been preparing for Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon and will be co-hosting hours 7 and 8 and running a mini challenge in the later hours.

I did post a review though! You can read my thoughts on Ninth House here. Spoiler, I loved it. And if you'd like to read Scully's warm up post, it's over on the readathon blog.

I'm currently plodding through Gods of Jade and Shadow which has not captured my attention at all. I really wanted to like it but the characters don't seem to have much depth, it's more of a fairytale style. I probably would have put it aside but I want to use it for the set in 1920s Popsugar prompt (and I would like to finish my challenges before December).

Monday, 19 October 2020

Ninth House

Alex Stern does not belong at Yale. When she awakes as the sole survivor of a multiple homicide, presumed a drug deal gone wrong, she is given an unlikely offer. Come to Yale, join the House of Lethe and oversee the rituals of the other eight houses, each one specialising in a magic that has kept generations of alumni in power.

The Houses of the Veil had too much power, and the rules they had put in place were really about controlling access to that power, not limiting the damage it could do.

Ninth House seems like the natural progression of Leigh Bardugo's writing. Six of Crows was darker and more grown up than the Grisha trilogy, and this has gone one step further. Drug use and addiction has never been a stranger to her stories either. I liked the darkness of Ninth House. I put off reading it for almost a year as I'd seen how many people just didn't like Alex Stern, but I feel they are harsh on a young woman who has suffered a great deal. Who would be a well adjusted human being after what she's been though? She's a survivor.

So I'm kicking myself for not reading it sooner, I loved it and I hope there will be more. Alex is one of the few people who can see ghosts, better known as grays. She didn't know this growing up, seeing people no one else could see. Being assaulted by someone no one else can see... You can see why a traumatised Alex would turn away from her hippy mother and seek out drugs, which is where she is when Lethe finally find her.

With little formal education she struggles with her classes, she needs to at least appear to belong even with the help of the secret societies. Darlington, the current Dante of Lethe House is supposed to be her Virgil, her guide into the underworld of Yale but he is missing, sucked into a portal to who knows where. When called to the site of a homicide, she can't just leave it be. That dead girl could so easily be her, so she ignores warnings from above and investiagtes further by herself.

But would it have mattered if she'd been someone else? If she'd been a social butterfly, they would have said she liked to drink away her pain. If she'd been a straight-A student, they would have said she'd been eaten alive by her perfectionism. There were always excuses for why girls died.

Transported to a place of privilege, Alex doesn't become instantly happy or find a place where she belongs, it's not one of those stories. That makes her begrudging friendships seem all the more valuable. She has reasons to be suspicious, but slowly she defrosts to a few individuals.

Part murder mystery, part a story of corrupt power, generational privilege and class divides, with a backdrop of sinister occult rituals and magical drugs. There are several instances of sexual assault in the story, but they are not casually thrown in. Drugs used to coerce and control are treated with horror, as they should be.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge: 23. A book that won an award in 2019

Goodreads | Amazon | Waterstones | Hive | Wordery | Blackwell’s



Illumicrate edition spine: Leave the dead to the dead. Turn your eyes to the living.

Friday, 16 October 2020

Venturing out, mushrooms and psychic cats... a weekly check-in

So already a day late on my new weekly updates. The oven broke this week which meant Thursday was more of a "helping" Josh out building a replacement cabinet for the new oven kinda evening. Went into Bournemouth on Sunday for lunch and a walk through the gardens, it was surprisingly busy (and unseasonably warm). I don't think I've been into central Bournemouth since we were sent home from work prior to lockdown. Was nice to get out and see it was still there!

Autumn colour in Bournemouth gardens
Anyone else noticed there are mushrooms everywhere this year? Has it been a good year for them or has lack of stimulation just made me more observant?

Mushrooms

This week I finished three books, firstly being We Have Always Lived in the Castle which ticked off classic prompts for both ATY and Popsugar challenges. I absolutely loved it, much more than Hill House. It charming yet dark and the tension builds slowly.

I listened to The Fated Sky the second of Mary Robinette Kowal's Lady Astronaut series, which she narrates herself. I felt this had less plot than the first one but still enjoyed their mission to Mars. I went and bought the audio of the third book for when I'm finished my challenges. I'm taking two or three weeks to get through an audiobook now I'm not commuting, so I'm not really getting through my Audible credits fast enough.

Lastly I read Prime Deceptions (thanks Orbit for the free copy) the sequel to Chilling Effect. For those disappointed by the small role the psychic cats played in the first book, you will be pleased, Mala gets out and about this time. I thought this was a much better plotted and paced story, and I will definitely continue with the series now.

Honestly, I will write a proper review of something next week. I have a few half drafts, I can do it!

Me and Scully

Check out the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon blog next week for Scully's opinion on readathon!

New Books Through the Door:

The Diabolical Bones by Bella Ellis (audio)
Serpentine by Philip Pullman
The Relentless Moon by Mary Robinette Kowal (audio)

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Needle felting, pumpkins and some of those book things... a weekly check in

Welcome to this week's check in! I manage to check in with the Popsugar Challenge group on Goodreads every Thursday so I have no excuse that I can't do the same on my poor, neglected blog. So here I am, with news of what I've been reading, making, playing, etc.


This week I finished A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik, set in a school for magic with no teachers, but an awful lot of creatures that want to drain the students' magical essence. Graduation is all about getting out the Scholomance alive. I loved the characters and concept, even if it didn't feel as polished as her previous books. On my pile of books to review more thoroughly...

I also read The Passengers by John Marrs which was a bit disappointing, the characters just felt unrealistic and cliched, and it stuck in so many serious issues that they seemed to be treated carelessly, and at times coming across as racist. It was trying to make a point but not done with much care. I liked the idea, basically turning the trolley test into a story, but it kept going on long after it should have. I generally find these sorts of thrillers a bit ridiculous so your mileage may vary. TW for suicide.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold was a moving little story about having a second chance to say something you regretted not saying. It's based on a play and it definitely has that constrained feeling of being set in just one room.

And Don't Go Without me was a random graphic novel purchase, it's actually three stories in one, with beautiful pink and purple illustrations. Lovely, dreamlike distraction, I especially liked the title story. So a pretty good reading week!

I actually grew a real squash this year, and ate it, but didn't take a photo so you'll just have to make do with my virtual pumpkins in Animal Crossing. I love the Halloween update, I'm currently working towards covering Floofers in spooky items. I haven't uploaded my island to the dream suite yet but I'll let you know when I have.


I've discovered needle felting is a great craft to do whilst listening to audibooks! I usually buy felted Christmas decorations, which Scully is obsessed with and whenever she's been left alone with them for any length of time she's stolen them off the tree. So this year I thought I'd try making some, and it turns out it's not hard at all. My first attempt is bigger than I'd want for tree decorations but pretty cute.


Have you signed up for Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon yet? It's on the 24th October and I'll be helping out again, co-hosting, mini-challenge and a warm-up post, so keep your eyes out.

New Books Through the Door:

Don't Go Without Me by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
The Lives of Saints by Leigh Bardugo

I also bought a ridiculous amount of Kindle books, but out of sight out of mind...