Friday, 28 February 2014

What I Read: February Wrap-Up

I have been busy this month, so I haven't written any many post or any reviews, sorry. February was a better reading month than January, as far as the number of books I read goes. February was also quite an eclectic month - there was romance, fantasy, satire, plays and poetry. The majority of the books I read this month were for university and luckily I enjoyed all of them, which is a first, as I usually struggle through required reading. For my own reading this month I read three novels and one non-fiction, that alone is better than last month.

So, for university I read:

Macbeth is the first Shakespeare I have read since school and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I did read it while I was watching a production of it online, in order to help me understand it better, which it did.

I might be cheating a bit by including Swift's A Modest Proposal, but oh well, I am counting it anyway.

Sexing the Cherry is weird but wonderful and Being There is strange but sweet.

The novels that I read just for me:

I loved each of these novels and I will have reviews for Steelheart and Fangirl soon. I may do a series review for The Vampire Academy series in the future, if anyone would be interested. I will say though, that I absolutely loved this series and I am sad I have finished it because I miss the characters already. I am looking forward to reading the Bloodlines series and I hope all of the characters I love make an appearence.

The non-fiction book I read this month is Mini Habits by Stephen Guise.

I read this because I have tried and failed many times to start new positive habits such as working-out and writing more. What drew me to this book was reading a blog post by the author where he talked about the basic premise of this book - start small. If you want to include exercise into your life, start with one push-up a day. You want to write everyday, aim for 50 words a day. Intrigued, I purchased the book on my kindle and devoured it in one sitting.

 After reading this book I chose three mini habits - one push-up and one squat a day and to write 50 words a day. Now, you may be thinking "what is the point? you're not gonna get any stronger or get much writing done with those tiny goals". Which is what I thought at first, but the beauty of it is that, 9 times out of 10, I am going to do more than one push-up and I am going to write more that 50 words. The goals are so ridiculously small that I would be an idiot to not even attempt them and if I only manage one squat, one push-up and 50 words, I have still achieved my goal. I have a win and I am more likely to stick to the habits. Whereas, if I was to aim for 20 squats and push-ups and 500 words a day, and only managed 12 squats, 3 push-ups and 200 words, I would feel like a failure. Add consective days of not reacing my goals, I woud become disheartened and give up altogether.

I love the idea of aiming for small victories but achieving bigger ones, because a little bit is better than none at all.

Well, that was my reading for the month of February. Hopefully, I can do just as well or even better in March, although I think my posts will continue to be few and far between. Wishing everyone a happy March.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

What I Bought: February 2014 Book Haul

I did so much better this month in not buying way too many books. I think I may have spent a total of £10 on books this month, which is good as I am a poor student. I got three books from the discount book shop The Works and the rest from charity shops. I feel very proud of myself for my self-control in not buying a million and one books like I usually do.

The books from Moll Flanders down are all on my year two university reading list and were all from charity shops. *pats self on back*

The Girl in the Steel Corset was a random buy as I haven't read any Steampunk yet and I look forward to delving into that genre. And for £1.99 if I don't like it, I am not losing out on much.

Hyperion and Consider Phlebas are two books that I have been wanting to read for a while now. So, seeing them for less that £2 each, I got very excited and had to have them.

Hopefully next month will be just as gentle on my bank account. *fingers crossed*

What I Borrowed: Library Haul #2

Confession: I only read one of the books I checked out from the library last month and that was Steelheart. A bad habit I have, is to check out a whole bunch of books but then only read one or two. I don't like to renew books over and over, just incase someone is waiting for them but doesn't want to put them on reserve (because that costs money). So, if I havent't read them after one renewal I take them back - very thoughful of me I know.

Anyway on to the haul. I currently only have 5 books checked out and I WILL read all of them.

Cress by Marrisa Meyer is book three in the Lunar Chronicles, which is a very loose, but very cool fairytale re-telling. The first book in the series, Cinder introduces us to the cool new world that has cyborgs, spaceships and an inhabited Moon. We also meet Cinder, who is as you might guess - Cinderella, but don't expect talking mice or fairy Godmothers. In the second book Scarlet, we meet a new main character, Scarlet who is Little Red Riding Hood, whose life becomes embroiled with Cinders. Cress brings us yet another new character, this time it is Rapunzel and I expect she will somehow cross paths with Cinder and Scarlet. I very much enjoyed the first two books and I am certain I enjoy will this one too.

Into The Still Blue by Veronica Rossi is the final book in the Under The Never Sky trilogy. The series follows a girl called Aria who grew up in a world where the Earth's atmosphere is almost deadly so people live inside self-contained pods and they spend the majority of their time within virtual worlds. Aria has been told that the people who live outside these pods are akin to savages. After an altercation with the son of a powerful man Aria is exiled to the outside world where she meets Perry, an outsider, who is not at all what she would have expected. The novels are also told from Perry's perspective in alternating chapters, but I will let you find out for yourself about him.

Bloodlines by Richelle Mead is a spin-off series from the Vampire Academy series. I don't know much about this series, just that it is told from Sydney the alchemist's point of view and that Adrain Ivashkov makes an appearence or two. I love the Vampire Academy series so I am super excited to get started on this.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown is a book that I didn't know all that much about going in, except that it is set on Mars and has been said to be like The Hunger Games meets Ender's Game meets The Game of Thrones (sensing a theme here). I have started reading it and so far I don't see any resemblence to either of those novels but I am really liking it. There will be a review. To go all shallow on you for a minute - HOT AUTHOR ALERT - seriously, look him up. I find attractive male authors are so far and few between that I need to appreciate them when they appear. Also, he likes Neil Gaiman and Joss Whedon, two of my favourite people - I think I'm in love. We now return you back to your scheduled programming...

To contradict what I just said in my confession - I still have Watchmen from last month's haul. The reason being is that I am actually still reading it and have been for what feels like forever now. Not because it isn't good or I am not enjoying it, because it is and I am, I just simply haven't finished it yet for whatever reason. I am also currently reading Red Rising by Pierce Brown and I am really enjoying it so far.

My cat is enjoying Watchmen too.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

What I Read: January Wrap-up

I didn't have the best reading month this month, I only read 2 books. Granted one of those books was 1000 plus pages, but it was a graphic novel, so an easy read.

The first book I read this year was The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. The protaganist of this story, Tana, lives in a world where vampires are real, and dangerous. Vampires are contained in walled-off cities called Coldtowns and there are livefeeds that broadcast the going-ons of these cities to the rest of the world.
Waking up one morning after a party, Tana has a horrific encounter with some vampires but manages to get away, along with her ex-boyfriend, who has been bitten (and you know what that means) and a sexy, mysterious stranger. Together they head towards the nearest Coldtown, as they are the safest places for the infected.
The story consists of a range of interesting and likable characters, even the bad guys. The vampires here are not sparkly vegetarians, they are dangerous killers who love to feed on the living. They are of course, still alluring and sexy, especially Gavriel.
I really enjoyed this book and I hope it is the first in a series, as I would like to continue to follow Tana and Gavriel's stories.

The second and last book I read was The Walking Dead Compendium: Volume One by Robert Kirkman & Co.
I did a review on this book, which you can find Here.

I hope that February will be a better reading month, but we'll see. I have nine books checked out from the library at the moment and I would like to get a majority of them read this month. Darn university, getting in the way of my reading ;-)