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{Wrap Up} Books I read in June and TV series I watched

Last month I binged 3 different TV series. Three. My eyes are somewhat square to say the least! I can’t remember the last time I watched 3 different TV series in a month. Possibly never: my mother was very much of the opinion that fresh air was king. So naturally I missed out on all the cool TV series of my youth.

I also read three books last month. Hardly any, I know, but I don’t feel that I missed out as the three I did read were very enjoyable. I’m not sure whether it is the same for you, but my reading tends to ebb and flow throughout the year. Right now I’d rather be enjoying a walk in the summer rain than curled up under a blanket with a book.

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{Reading Challenge} The Classics Club | Spin Event #26

{Reading Challenge} The Classics Club | Spin Event #26

If you fancy a chuckle at how life gets in the way of remembering to read, then take a gander at my reading challenge post for the Classics Club.


To join in simply list any 20 books that remain on your Classics Club list before Sunday, 18th April 2021. On the 18th, the club will announce the winning number and then all you have to do is read the corresponding book by Monday, 31st May 2021.

Here is my list:

  1. A Room With A View – E M Forster
  2. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  3. Watson’s Choice – Gladys Mitchell
  4. Have His Carcase – Dorothy L Sayers
  5. Zazie in the Metro – Raymond Queneau
  6. The Fountain Overflows – Rebecca West
  7. The Singing Sands – Josephine Sands
  8. Claudine in Paris – Colette
  9. The Pumpkin Eaters – Penelope Mortimer
  10. Frenchman’s Creek – Daphne du Maurier
  11. The Romance of the Forest – Ann Radcliffe
  12. Earth – Zola
  13. Transparent Things – Nabokov
  14. The Phantom Tollbooth – Juster
  15. The Memorial – Isherwood
  16. Incidents in the Rue Langier – Anita Brookner
  17. Some Tame Gazelle – Pym
  18. Wuthering Heights – Bronte
  19. 100 Years of Solitude – García-Marquez
  20. Hotel du Lac – Anita Brookner
 
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Posted by on April 17, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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{Long-term Reading Challenge} The Classics Club

{Long-term Reading Challenge} The Classics Club

On the 15th of June 2016 I signed up for a long-term reading challenge: the Classics Club. Then I got caught up in starting a part-time degree and forgot about the whole thing until today.

As a dedicated commitment-phobe I only wrote the titles of the first 20 books (of 50+) that I had a burning desire to read. I thought that I’d read the first 20 books over the course of a couple of years, then come back to said list and add in the next batch of 20 that interested me (etc).

As of today I have still read 0 of those first 20 titles. Yes you heard me right: none of them.

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Posted by on April 16, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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{Wrap Up} Tadoku Reading Challenge 2 (March 2021)

{Wrap Up} Tadoku Reading Challenge 2 (March 2021)

The Challenge

The goal is incredibly simple: read as many pages as you fancy/ are able to in the foreign language or languages of your choice. I loved the open-ended nature of the challenge. With some reading challenges it can feel a little overwhelming to retrospectively find criteria to shoe-horn books I’ve read into to finish a challenge.

The Tadoku challenge took a lot of that stress away. Instead I just had to ask myself one question: “is this book in the challenge language?” This time around I chose just French as the challenge language. I have a shamefully large pile of books in French that I’ve bought that have languished on my TBR pile. If this challenge tickles your pickle then you can sign up here. The challenge runs every other month (January, March, May, etc.)

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Posted by on April 5, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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{Review} Mousseline La Serieuse by Sylvie Yvert

{Review} Mousseline La Serieuse by Sylvie Yvert

This is one of two books that have loomed unread for no good reason since January’s Tadoku challenge.

Mousseline La Sérieuse tells the story of Marie-Therese Charlotte de France (Mousseline La Sérieuse was her nickname). Born to Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI, Marie-Therese had a life of luxury until the French Revolution which started when she was ten years old. She and her family were placed under house arrest and eventually imprisoned in Temple Tower.

Gradually her parents, aunt, and younger brother were separated from one another, and for two years she was imprisoned alone. The silence of her days punctuated with the sound of her 9 year-old brother’s cries as he was beaten. Of her family, she was the only one to survive. This retelling of her incredibly tragic life follows her from youth to old age, but dwells on the horrors she endured during the Terror.

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Teaser Tuesday – 09/03/2021

This is Teaser Tuesday, a weekly Meme hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone is welcome to join in!

I recently discovered a book by Peter Tremayne called , “Ravenmoon“. It’s the first book by him that’s caught my eye that’s not part of his fantastic “Sister Fidelma” crime series, which I’ve been a fan of for well over a decade (man do I feel old).

Ravenmoon is set in a mythical Ireland at a time when heroes and frightful creatures of today’s legends roamed the land. I’ve only just added it to my TBR pile, and am going to get a copy next month (when I’ve winnowed down some of my current mountain of un-read books).

‘Who are you who follow us like a wolf in the night?’ demanded Aonghus.
At the first sound of his voice the warrior wheeled in surprise. ‘I am Morca, stranger,’ he replied , recovering swiftly from his astonishment. ‘This is the land of the Fomorii, and you have chosen it as your dying ground.’
Aonghus smiled. ‘That remains to be seen.’

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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{Review} The First Step (A Thousand Li series) by Tao Wong

{Review} The First Step (A Thousand Li series) by Tao Wong

I have wanted to read a xianxia novel since I watched a TV adaptation of The Untamed, and felt a giddy rush of love for the genre. Before I rush breathlessly into the review, I’m going to give a quick explanation of what xianxia actually is.

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Posted by on March 2, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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Tadoku Reading Challenge 1 Round-Up (January 2021)

Tadoku Reading Challenge 1 Round-Up (January 2021)

The Challenge

In January I participated in my first ever Tadoku challenge. The goal is incredibly simple: read as many pages as you fancy/ are able to in the foreign language or languages of your choice. I loved the open-ended nature of the challenge. With some reading challenges it can feel a little overwhelming to retrospectively find criteria to shoe-horn books I’ve read into to finish a challenge.

The Tadoku challenge took a lot of that stress away. Instead I just had to ask myself one question: “is this book in the challenge language?” This time around I chose just French as the challenge language. I have a shamefully large pile of books in French that I’ve bought that have languished on my TBR pile.


The Goal

My goal had been to slowly read Yvert’s “Mousseline la Sérieuse“, and then possibly re-read “L’inconnu du donjon” by Brisou-Pellen.
Side-note: if you’re in the market for a children’s book series in French, “L’inconnu du donjon” is an absolute classic. It always makes me a little sad that they’ve never been translated as the ones I’ve managed to get a copy of are sparklingly written. But I digress. Rave over for now.

Unfortunately, I didn’t really connect with “Mousseline La Sérieuse” and only made it to page 66 before deciding to call it a day, and starting “L’inconnu du donjon“. However, I decided to watch a “Secrets d’Histoire” documentary on Mousseline which did a fabulous job of humanising her. In addition, the author of Mousseline (Sylvie Yvert) appeared a few times in the documentary, and talked with such passion and authority that I got almost as excited as she was about Mousseline. Long story short, I’m now all psyched up to finish the book now that I know more about her life.


The Result

In total I only read 150-ish pages, and 0 books in French in January. Quelle horreur ! But it’s also the first time I’ve read any fiction in French since 2018 so I’m not that disappointed in myself for taking so long to read so little.

The next Tadoku challenge is in March, so I’ll get a chance to improve my reading speed and frequency next month. Who knows, I might even finish Mousseline next time round..

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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{Read-a-thon} Bout of Books, Day Four

{Read-a-thon} Bout of Books, Day Four

I had been planning on reading yesterday evening, but instead spent until 4am glued to live newsfeeds watching in horror as chaos unfolded in the Capitol (and listened to some very rousing speeches by various US politicians when a semblance of order was re-established).

Today I’ve not read much either as I’ve been too sleepy to really focus on anything. That said, I have managed the first 3 chapters of Monty Don’s Road to Le Tholonet. He’s a fascinating man, and reading about his time in France was incredibly calming. He lived in Aix-en-Provence for a while, and writes about his time there with real warmth. As I started this blog whilst living in Aix, it feels rather comforting to be mentioning the city in this post.

Apart from that, my brain has been sleepily flitting from one thing to another. I have also read one more chapter of Mousseline La Sérieuse, have worked through half of the second chapter of Teach Yourself Norwegian, and have drawn up a small vocabulary list from the first 42 pages of the beautiful Chineasy book.

Not much, but today is an incredibly slow day. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be awake enough to read without feeling incredibly drowsy.

Happy reading everyone! Wherever you are, I hope you are safe from harm.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2021 in Uncategorized

 

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{Read-a-thon} Bout of Books, Day Two

{Read-a-thon} Bout of Books, Day Two

Hello all!

Today has been a surprisingly productive day for reading, and knitting.

Book count: 1

Today I’ve finished my first audiobook of the year: “Happy Ever After” by Paul Dolan.

I’ll post a review for it tomorrow. It’s a self-help book that challenges you to think of the bigger picture. Dolan read the audiobook himself, and listening to his accent made me feel incredibly homesick after 11 months spent away from my family in London.

Yesterday I read the first couple of chapters of “Mousseline la Sérieuse” by Sylvie Yvert. It’s a historical fiction novel that imagines what Marie-Antoinette’s daughter’s life was like, as the only member of her family to survive the Terror. It’s interesting but incredibly sad at the same time.

Reading in French is going so incredibly slowly that I’m finding it frustrating. Time was when I’d have been able to read fiction in French as easily as fiction in English. Hopefully by the end of the novel French will be a little more familiar.

Fingers crossed!

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2021 in 2021 Challenges

 

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