November Wrap Up

This post has been sitting in my drafts pile for the past week and I've only just realised, the day of publishing, that I had called it October Wrap Up. When we've just been through November.. Clearly time is moving too fast for me this year. I can't believe its December already.

The month of November is pretty bad for me in terms of the number of books I've read but it feels like I haven't read anything for absolutely ages. Recently I've been getting awful headaches and the Optician and Doctor recommended I stop reading for a while until my headaches have subsided. 2 weeks they lasted. 2 weeks without being able to read any books - modern day torture I tell you.

I only have 1 physical copy of all of the books left because I've swapped them all before managing to get photos!

I've read 5 books in the month of November.

I haven't done a full review of any of these books, but please let me know if you'd like me to do one for any of these. In fact, any of the books on my GoodReads, if you want reviews let me know.

The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessey by Rachel Joyce
This book is a companion novel to the more famous The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel. I haven't read it nor had I actually heard anything about it until I picked this up. I'm not actually sure what made me pick this book up, I vaguely remember shopping with my boyfriend and he was more than likely rushing me to pick my 3rd book in a 3 for 2 offer so I ended up with this. You begin the story by finding out Queenie has cancer, and has written a letter/note to Harold Fry telling him she has cancer, to which he simply replies asking her to wait for him and he's going to walk to see her. We are kept in the story by a new volunteer at the hospice who encourages Queenie to document her story and previous life with Harold Fry; during which we discover Queenie was quite in love with Harold but never mentioned or expressed this to him. I gave this 3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads as I wasn't really impressed with the ending. It felt really rushed and it made me miffed at the whole book. I wouldn''t say you had to have read the companion novel, however people I have spoke to say that it's much better if you do.

Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer
I understand I may get some grief for this one, but Twilight and the whole series is my secret love. When I found out Stephenie was releasing a new book (albeit being it was later ruined and leaked online) I was super excited, and actually I'm really glad she released a 're-invented' version of Twilight. It isn't just gender swapping, the story is similar don't get me wrong, but with the characters being so different, it's like reading a whole different story and seeing a whole different relationship blossom. I'm not going to say much more because it will ruin it for you, I'd really really recommend reading this. Even if you weren't a huge fan of Twilight, I think you'll enjoy this. I really like as well how Stephenie put a letter to the reader in the edition, acknowledging her disappointment also that the novel released isn't Midnight Sun.

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
Since watching and reading Gone Girl I am an official Gillian Flynn groupie. Everything she writes is incredible, and I find myself reading it over and over again. Th/e way she allows the characters to be so relatable to every day people, but will then show their creepy dangerous side is fantastic for getting reads engaged with the story. The main character is exactly what you would expect from Gillian. The story itself evolves into its own monster over the course of the 100 something pages. The everyday life of a working girl is transformed into a psychological, supernatural almost thriller plot. The ending is very much ambiguous. I re-read the last chapter over and over to make sure I hadn't missed something that made the ending that bit better. Whilst I enjoy making my own mind up about the end of a story, this felt almost as if the book had been forgotten about and published without an ending. I still rated it 4 stars on GoodReads.

Grief is the thing with Feathers by Max Porter
I watch Jean (Jean Bookish Thoughts) on YouTube and she kept mentioning this book in a few of her videos so I thought I'd buy it and give it a try. The story refers quite heavily to Ted Hughes' The Crow selection of poetry, which I haven't read and don't feel like you have to to enjoy this book. A family of 3 are mourning the death of their mother and whilst the Dad is struggling to cope with his devastation a Crow appears and helps them overcome their grief and move forward with their lives. The story switches between narrative of the Dad, the Crow and the 2 Boys. From my perspective, the Crow is a babysitter but when a friend of mine read this she viewed the Crow as a trickster, prying on the minds of this poor vulnerable family. It was a different book for me to read definitely, I don't feel there really was going to be a story in the sense of beginning, middle and end, but the story does tell the process of grief and overcoming the loss of a family member. It was ok, but it hasn't really transformed me into wanting to read this particular style of narrative.

TechBitch by Lucy Sykes
I'm not going to go into too much detail about this as there is/will be a full review on this somewhere soon! The story revolves around Imogen Tate, a Director in Chief of Glossy magazine. Upon returning from sick leave, Imogen finds her once assistant is now plotting to take over Imogen's job and turn the famous fashion magazine into an app. Whilst I tried my hardest not to, this was so comparable to Ugly Betty. Fashion isn't really my forte or something I'm interested in, so perhaps this is why I didn't enjoy this. I found Eve's character very similar to one of the Clients I work with which made her character much more relatable and funny.

Have you read any of these books? Have you posted your November wrap up? I'd love to read it!

Blogger Bookclub #7: Techbitch

''Imogen Tate, editor-in-chief of Glossy magazine, is a legend in the fashion world. But when she returns from a sabbatical to find her twenty-six-year-old former assistant, Eve Morton, behind her desk, she realises times are changing.

Armed with a business degree, naked ambition and an iPhone, Eve announces she has been brought in to turn Imogen's beloved magazine into an app. With herself at the helm.
In this terrifying new world, Imogen is almost invisible. In place of her team of dedicated staff is a constantly evolving line of twenty-something bloggers at their desks day and night ('Only losers need sleep!'), amateur snaps instead of elegant photo shoots, and a URL address in place of Imogen's glossy pages.

But Imogen isn't ready to give up her hard-earned career without a fight. Where Eve has Twitter followers, Imogen has experience, talent and real relationships, and she's prepared to fight for the fashion world she knows and loves. Even if it means going to war with a ruthless Techbitch..

I've recently been involved in a Blogger Bookclub on Goodreads with a few fellow bloggers (albeit they have a much larger following than my 0) and I've been really enjoying connecting with fellow readers as my friends and family aren't big on books. 

My first book I've fully taken part in was Techbitch by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. Unfortunately, I really didn't enjoy this... like at all. Fashion and the bitchy office drama type story really weren't to my taste. The story is focused on Imogen Tate and her battle to prevent Glossy for being turned into an app. Along the way we see Imogen in an ongoing battle with Eve to prevent Eve essentially ruining the Glossy reputation, relationships and magazine entirely. 

Eve was (until the part we find out something awful) my favourite character out of them all. Mainly for the reason that her traits happen to be very similar to a Client of mine at work. So it was funny comparing the two against each other. 

Whilst I appreciate I may be bias as the entire background and idea behind the story isn't my thing at all, I didn't really enjoy anything about the book. The characters were all very predictable, and I found it quite obvious how the story was going to end. 

Overall, I gave this 1 star on Goodreads.

Don't forget to check out fellow bookclubbers' thoughts!


I've seen floating around Twitter the hashtag #0by2016 and for any of you who aren't sure what this is, it's ensuring that your TBR pile is exactly 0 by the beginning of 2016. I'd like to say that I'm going to make that happen, buy my TBR pile is already up to 16 physical books, and I've got around 10 Kindle books on my TBR also - even if I read 1 book a week, 26 books is never going to happen.

So, I've tasked myself to finish 5 of my TBR by 2016, which will also complete my Reading Challenge for 2015 (which I started in August...), but to make it harder for myself, I'm not going to buy any more books until I've finished these 5 - this is not going to end well for my sanity, but will work well for my bank balance.

The 5 books I have decided I'm going to read are

// The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow by Katherine Woodfine
I actually bought this around July/August time and have really been meaning to getting round to it. It was a recommendation from Amazon based upon the hundreds of books I've ordered through them, so I'm not sure what it's going to be like but it seems interesting enough. From what I've gathered online, Sophie begins working in London's most glamorous superstore, but just before the grand opening there is a robbery in which the Clockwork Sparrow is taken in which Sophie is prime suspect. The only way to prove her innocence is to find the true culprits and we follow Sophie's adventure in finding the criminals.

// Revival by Stephen King
This one's a little bit of a cheat as my mum bought me this from the charity shop very recently, but it's still one I'd really like to read. I've heard a lot about Stephen King but I've never really picked up any of his books. Revival is set in New England in the early 60s and the main protagonist is a young boy, Jamie, who meets the new minister, Charles, and the two develop a great bond and friendship. Decades pass and Jamie bumps into Charles again, only this time there are dramatic consequences and we are to discover that 'revival' has many meanings.

// Into the Trees by Robert Williams
I bought this purely because the cover intrigued me and it was in the £1.99 bargain bin at Sainsbury's. I'm a sucker for a good cover and one of the printed comments in this was by Nathan Filer, author of The Shock of the Fall, a book which I really enjoyed so I had to buy it. It's based a family of 4 who buy a house in the middle of a forest. The story entwines between 3 sets of people, the Norton family, Raymond (a shy man who enjoys the loneliness of forest walks) and a group of masked men who invade the Norton's home.

// Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris
I really enjoy watching the television show TrueBlood and TrueBlood is based on the Sookie Stackhouse series, but I've never picked up one of the books. I used to own the whole series/set of books, but gave them away after never opening or reading one. I picked this copy up in a book swap on the ReaditSwapit site. It's quite similar to dare I say it... Twilight, in the sense that Sookie can read minds, until Bill arrives. Sookie is unable to read/hear a work Bill is thinking and Sookie can't believe her 'luck'.

// Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
I watch quite a lot of BookTubers, and this book featured in one of Jean's videos, her YouTube handle is Jean Bookishthoughts. This is based upon/has links to the book of poems Crow by Ted Hughes. This is written part novella, part fable and part essay based around a father and two boys who lose their mother. In their moments of despair and grief they are visited by Crow.

Have you read any of these books? Are you taking part in #0by2016?