JUL WRAP UP | The Books & the Stats

This month, I’m writing this post on 31st July so if it doesn’t go live until mid-August, at least I started with good intentions. I’m getting better and hey, maybe this is the month that I post more than just my wrap up!

July has been busy, culminating in YALC last weekend. I don’t know yet whether I’m going to do a YALC post or not, but I will say that with that and my birthday, my July haul is off the charts. I’m never going to catch up on my TBR.

Big stat for the month though – this was my most consistently enjoyable reading month of 2019 so far with my star average being 4.63! My next closest was January with 4.42!

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MID-YEAR CHECK IN | Books that made me laugh, cry, sigh and squeal!

This post is based on the questions for the ‘Mid-Year Freak Out Tag’, but I’ve edited it to suit my needs a bit better. I’m pretty sure most of these will be to no one’s surprise but let’s see! I’m still going to be doing a June Wrap up, which you will be able to find here, but for some more specific check ups, here’s how my 2019 is going!

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MAY WRAP UP | The Books & the Stats

This is becoming a theme now, but welcome to the mess that is my life. I haven’t posted in over 20 days and that’s the longest I haven’t posted all year. I’ve said this at the start of all my wrap ups, but I’m still proud of myself that it’s only 20 days. Last year I was less consistent and my 2019 views for 5 months have already exceeded the entirety of 2018!

I’ve been having some issues with reading slumps and moods – I’ve been very much on a romance kick without having a lot of unread romance on my shelves. Also just life has been kicking me in the bum so Imi’s been absent – sorry, kids. Expect a comeback sometime soon.

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APR WRAP UP | The Books & the Stats

WELCOME to Imi hit a book slump at the end of March and couldn’t catch up with herself. This is a love letter to my book slump and how much I hate her, BUT let’s also consider the positives here. I am still doing wrap ups. It’s the fifth month of the year and I am still here. While April was not good for reading, or blog posts, the fact still remains that I’m coming back and I am still determined to continue making this better. I also have 28975982759 blog post ideas, what I lack is the time to write them.

Shout out to Lauren / Siz/ Provider of Doggo Pics / Personal PA and Nag for forcing me reminding me to write this post. This one is for you.

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ARC REVIEW | The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Name: The Priory of the Orange Tree
Author: Samantha Shannon
Genres: Adult, Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Uncorrected Proof
Source: Bloomsbury
Rating: ★★★★★
GOODREADS | BUY

A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

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2019 READING GOALS | Reading outside my comfort zone & smashing my TBR

HAPPY NEW YEAR ONE AND ALL! Now that 2019 is upon us, it’s time to find out what my reading resolutions are for the year! I’m sure you’ve already been inundated with posts about 2019 reading and blogging goals but hopefully you aren’t too bored of them just yet because here’s mine.

Thanks to my ridiculous book buying habits, subscription boxes and the lovely publishers who send me review copies, my TBR is once again overrun. But this is it. This is the year when I reduce my 174 unread physical books (I counted yesterday, ouch) down. I am smashing my TBR in 2019.

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REVIEW | The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

The-City-of-Brass-Blog-4.jpgName: The City of Brass
Author: S.A. Chakraborty
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: Illumicrate November 2017 Box
Rating: ★★★★★
GOODREADS | BUY

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.

But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary City of Brass? A city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.

In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.

After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for . . .

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KISS ME, KILL ME BLOG TOUR | J.S. Carol’s Writing Soundtrack

In the run-up to the release of J.S. Carol’s new novel, Kiss Me, Kill Me, I spoke to James about his writing soundtrack and what he listened to when writing this book!


 

When I’m writing I need to have something playing on the stereo. Silence drives me insane. It’s too distracting; there’s too much space to lose yourself in. A large part of Kiss Me, Kill Me was written during 2017.

Here are some of the things I was listening to back then…

  1. Melodrama (Lorde) – David Bowie proclaimed Lorde to be the future of music – on that basis alone that made her worth checking out. Boy, I’m glad I did. Melodrama is her second album and it’s a killer. Razor-sharp lyrics combine with hook-laden melodies to create something truly spectacular. Liability is the standout track here. The descending piano line and the brutally honest lyric might be straight out of the John Lennon songbook, but in Lorde’s hands, this is the story of a very modern doomed love affair. The way she paints pictures with words is sublime. “He made the big mistake of dancing in my storm” is a fantastic line. The whole song is there in ten words. Hands down, Melodrama was my favourite album of 2017.
  2. Drones (Muse) – Lorde might be the future of music, but for me, these guys have already landed in the future. They’re so far out there, I doubt they’ll ever come back. Not that I want them to. Muse have basically picked up where Queen left off. They’re bonkers and completely over the top, but all that craziness is tempered by their musical ability. Matt Bellamy’s voice is a thing of beauty and wonder; his guitar playing is incendiary. The rhythm section could give the four horsemen of the Apocalypse a run for their money. It’s hard to believe that all that sound is made by a three-piece band. Drones is a concept album about a drone pilot. It shouldn’t work but that’s Muse for you. They know how to make the impossible possible. With music getting increasingly generic, we need bands like Muse more than ever.
  3. Black Star (David Bowie) – Genius is one of those labels that gets overused these days, but if anyone can lay claim to that title it’s David Bowie. Black Star was released just two days before he died, and the thing that’s most incredible about it is the way he was still pushing that envelope right to the very end. Backed by a band of top jazz musicians, the album contains some of his most out-there songs. From the angular jagged melodies of Tis A Pity She Was A Whore, to the Clockwork Orange-inspired lyric of Girl Loves Me (I mean, who else but Bowie would think to write a lyric in Nadsat?) Lazarus is the standout track. “Look up here I’m in heaven, I’ve got scars that can’t be seen”. Yes, he knew he was dying but that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to create great art.
    Bowie was a man who stage-managed his life. With Black Star, he stage-managed his death. At times this isn’t an easy listen, however, it is without a doubt a truly remarkable piece of work. Each song is a gem, a final gift from one of the last true geniuses.
  4. 1989 (Taylor Swift) – Okay, I’ll put my hands up and admit it. I like Taylor Swift. The whole image/media manipulation thing I don’t have much time for, however, when it comes to writing and crafting a song she’s in a league of her own. 1989, sees her stepping away from her country roots and fully embracing her pop sensibilities. This album is jam-packed with tunes that get stuck in your head and just won’t let go. That said, her biggest strength is her lyrics. Each song tells a story and Taylor is an expert at turning a phrase in such a way that you are dragged right into the middle of the drama. My favourite line comes in Blank Space: “Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream”. That one makes me smile each and every time.
  5. Tug Of War (Paul McCartney) – There’s this theory that McCartney hasn’t done anything worthwhile since The Beatles. I can see how it came about. I mean how do you follow The Beatles? Anyway, I decided to test this theory by revisiting his solo albums. Guess what? It’s bullshit. He’s done plenty. Tug Of War is probably my favourite of his post-Beatles offerings. This album saw him reunited with George Martin, a producer who always knew how to get the best out of him. The album was released after Lennon was murdered and Here Today, his tribute to his old friend, is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and affecting things he has ever written. This song could easily stand up there next to the best of his Beatles tracks. The thing is, Here Today isn’t a one-off. McCartney is one of the best songwriters ever, and there’s plenty in his post-Beatles work to back that up. If you don’t believe me, go take a listen for yourself.

Kiss Me, Kill Me is out now on ebook, available to buy from Amazon and paperback release is 31st May via Amazon and Book Depository!

SPACER

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When the love has gone who can you trust?
When Zoe meets Dan, he’s everything she is looking for in a man – intelligent, charming, supportive.  It’s only after they’re married that she realises that he’s controlling, aggressive, paranoid.  And there’s no way out.

Or is there?

Zoe knows she has to escape, but Dan’s found her once before, and she knows he can find her again.  But Dan has plans of his own. Plans that don’t necessarily include Zoe.
Be careful who you trust . . .

SPACER

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