Category Archives: Personal

Kate Daniels’ World

I have become completely obsessed with the Kate Daniels series and world by Ilona Andrews. 

Until now, I had completely dismissed companion novels, .5 short stories and novellas. My world has completely changed. The Ilona Andrews team has shifted my thinking and reading experiences. I engrossed into this world, enhanced through each story and perspective. 

My obsession has led me to track down short stories in obscure anthologies and cut scenes post of their blog.

The Kate Daniel’s world is rich and holistic. Even though it is set in a futuristic Atlanta where magic and technology exist in deep conflict that waves throughout the world. A world inhabited by a range of preternatural beings that are fierce, predatory and loyal. This world feels real or at least believable.

Now that my reading experience has evolved into this new sector or the market, I’m going to relive some of my favourite series. I’m starting with the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr (another favourite author or urban fantasy). I’ve almost finished the audiobook of Desert Tales and I’m keen to find some short stories or novellas from this world.

What are your opinions of companion novels and short stories?
Are there any great series enhanced with them that I should read?

Happy reading 🙂


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Filed under Fantasy, Personal, Short stories

Goodreads saved my sanity!

I haven’t read a printed book (dead-tree variety) in over a year. I’m a new convert to ebooks and eaudio but I’ve jumped in with both feet.

I came to ebooks through necessity rather than choice. I quite unexpectantly found myself in hospital having a baby six weeks early. I had a few complications and after 10 days I was discharged but without my baby and unable to drive. What does one do? Head to mum’s for some looking after until bubs is strong enough to come home.

As a librarian, my life is reading. My passion is for fiction. Here I was staying in TV Land not Bookville. All I was armed with was an iPad and a library card!

Overdrive is my new best friend. I ended up having over a year off work and only being paid for a quarter so my relationship with my old friends (Dead-Tree sellers) bitterly needed to come to an end.

While Overdrive, Amazon and Audible were fulfilling my appetite for fiction, I no longer had anyone with which to share my reading. I hadn’t realised how much of my day used to be dedicated to discussing reading.

Having a new baby can be isolating – more than I was prepared to encounter. I tried to look for a local bookclub but it is difficult to fit anything around baby’s sleep patterns (I use pattern figuratively!) and I mainly read Young Adult fiction because of work. Not too many (any) daytime YA book groups around. That is why Goodreads saved my sanity.

We use Goodreads at work with the students. It is a fantastic way to breech the divide that makes solitary reading a social activity. I knew all the theory about why it was good for the students and their connectedness to their peers – why did it take me so long.

After starting a new, anonymous Goodreads account, I joined a variety of online book clubs. I’ve been enjoying book of the month chats, buddy reads, challenges, scavenger hunts (my favourite) and I’ve been connecting with some fabulous people. I’ve chatted with authors and reviewed their books. I’ve won competitions and accessed ARCs. I’ve loved having recommendations made for me and meeting some new Goodreads friends.

Goodreads saved my sanity because I’m able to connect with other book lovers and feel involved without having to leave my baby (who is now an adventurist toddler).

Feel free to come and share your reading with me on Goodreads. There should be a link via the Goodreads widget.

Happy reading 🙂

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Filed under Monthly update, Personal, Young Adult fiction

Holiday reading – didn’t happen

This has been a holiday unlike any other.

To start with I lost my phone somewhere en route to our holiday. So I’ve had a week of no phone and no Internet.

Secondly, I seriously underestimated the challenges of traveling with a 9 month old. It hasn’t so much been a holiday as a relocation of duties.

This has meant for the first time ever – I haven’t finished a single book while on holiday.

There has been been:
* no reading at the airport
* no reading on the plane
* no reading on the balcony
* no reading by the pool
* no reading on the beach
* not even any reading in the car!

At night I have managed to fall into bed with my audiobook but I’m not even making it through a chapter.

I need to go home for a rest!

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Updated: Help it’s Friday! A new to-do list.

Following up on Friday’s post Help it’s Friday! A new to-do list..

So far so good! It is Monday and I have already completed:
1. Write a review for Once by Morris Gleitzman

3. Finish reading Kiera’s Quest.

4. Finish listening to The False Prince and write a review.

This just leaves the following to finish by the end of the week:

2. Finish my review of Metatropolis
3. Write a tasteful review of Kiera’s Quest (I didn’t like it)
5. Finish reading Memory’s Wake by Thursday (review due the following Tuesday)
6. Download the next lot of R4R books: All Our Yesterdays, BZRK reloaded, Into the Dark
As always, 7. Organise my To Be Read shelves!!!

So far so good! I think I might stick with the Friday To-Do list idea for at least a month and see how it goes.

Happy reading 🙂

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Filed under Monthly update, Personal

Help it’s Friday! A new to-do list.

I can’t believe it is Friday all ready. I have managed to have a bizarrely unproductive week. I’m pretty sure the only thing I achieved was to put more things on my to-do list.

Inspired by Daily Prompt: Viral. I have come up with a first. Well, a first for me at least.

I don’t know about you but I’m not really a Monday person. I tend to put things off until Monday, then nothing gets done anyway. My new idea that I am going to trial is the Friday to-do list.

The Friday to-do list is going to be more motivating. As each Friday I am going to sit down and evaluate my achievements for the week. If I have completed most of my chores, I will try to reward myself on the weekend.

Another reason I think that Friday is the right to-do list day is that often there is some down time over the weekend. Usually what is left on the to-do list  by the weekend are the things that you really don’t want to do. By getting organised on a Friday, I am hoping that I will knock off some of the more interesting items by the end of the weekend freeing up time during the week for the more tedious jobs. 

The final reason I think this will work is that on a Friday I am often looking for some ‘busy’work to do. Jobs that make it look like I’m busy working but really are not to0 mentally stimulating. 🙂

This Friday’s To-Do list of blog related tasks include:

1. Write a review for Once by Morris Gleitzman

2. Finish my review of Metatropolis

3. Finish reading Kiera’s Quest and attempt to tackle a tasteful review.

4. Finish listening to The False Prince and write a review.

5. Finish reading Memory’s Wake by Thursday (review due the following Tuesday)

6. Download the next lot of R4R books: All Our Yesterdays, BZRK reloaded, Into the Dark: The Shadow Prince.

As always, 7. Organise my To Be Read shelves!!!

Do you find that to-do lists help?

Any recommendations on how to keep on top of Read for Review requests?

Happy reading 🙂


Filed under Personal

Science fiction – a growing love

For a long time I believed that I hated science fiction and I wouldn’t even give it a chance. However, after taking on a science fiction project in 2011 as part of my Masters degree, I have started to explore the genre more and more. Guess what I have found? There are some fantastic science fiction stories out there that are a far cry from my stereotypical assumptions of what is science fiction.

I know I’m not the only one. When The Hunger Games was at the height of popularity, many of my students were disgruntled to be informed that The Hunger Games was a science fiction novel. They were happy enough when we studied the subgenre of dystopian fiction because they too did not consider themselves to be science fiction readers.

Some of the great science fiction titles I have read in the last couple of years include:

Juno Of Taris Juno of Taris by Fleur Beale

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1) These Broken Stars by Amie kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Divergent (Divergent, #1) Divergent by Veronica Roth

Delirium (Delirium, #1) Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Partials (Partials, #1) Partials by Dan Wells

Metatropolis META-tropolis

As you can see, my science fiction tastes aren’t very varied … yet.

Recommend me some of your favourite or most interesting science fiction titles.

Happy reading 🙂


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Bad reviews – to write or not to write?

I have really struggled over the last few days as to whether or not to write a review of a book I just finished. The book was painful to read as the protagonist was completely selfish and woeful.

I knew that I had to rate the book because I hate it when I read something that has an average rating of 4 stars and I find it to be poorly written and painful to read.

The big issue was whether or not to elaborate and if so, in what tone and how much detail. I received the book as an advanced copy and it is a debut novel for the author. I don’t want to hurt her feelings.

In the end, I decided that I want this blog to be representative of how I used to talk to my colleagues and friends about what I was reading. This is why my bad review is a bit of a rant. I used to storm into work and let my friends hear a tirade about the terrible book I was reading or had just finished. In the same vein, I would often skip into work and thrust a book at them with “You really have to read this book! This week so we can talk about it next week”. I have also been known to send an sms or email in the middle of the night with a ‘you must read this now’ recommendations.

How do you handle reviewing books you don’t like?

Please give me your tips and ideas!

Happy reading 🙂



Filed under Personal