Scottish Reads, Vlogs

Reading Scottish – January Wrap Up

As it’s almost the end of January, it’s time for me to wrap up all of the Scottish fiction that I’ve read this month. If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll maybe know that I love Scottish fiction and make a conscious effort to read books by Scottish authors every month.

A smaller pile this month, much easier to hold

This month I only read 3 books by Scottish authors. Sort of. I only finished 3 books by Scottish authors because I’m doing a buddy read of Lanark by Alasdair Gray and am only half way through it. So maybe it’s 3.5 books?

This week I’m chatting about;

Lanark by Alasdair Gray

Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan

Sadie, Call the Polis by Kirkland Ciccone

Before Again by Claire S Duffy*

*gifted

Reviews, Vlogs

The Woman in the Library

In every person’s story, there is something to hide…

The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.

What a week I have had! I had planned to read and Vlog a specific book but I ended up hating it. Luckily, I was in a position to be able to pick up another book and The Woman in the Library really did deliver! I had planned to take this book to the library but it was closed, however I still had a fantastic experience with this book.

This book definitely deserved a dedicated vlog!

I read this book in under 24 hours. I was just so invested and eager to find out what was going to happen next. This is the first book I’ve selected from my 23 books in 2023 pile and I’m starting strong. I am a huge fan of murder mysteries and feel that this book gave me something extra and really felt fresh and exciting. I utterly adored this book and highly recommend it.

Reviews, Vlogs

Legends and Lattes

I had such a delightful time with this book

Finally! I finished a book this year and I loved it. It took me a while to get into my reading groove for 2023 and I’m so glad that this was my first read of the year. What a start!

I got this book in my office Secret Santa last year and I’ve been looking forward to reading it ever since. Yes, I was my own Secret Santa and I chose well because I had a brilliant time with this book.

I can see me reading this book over and over as it was such a comforting and cosy read. The hype definitely was real with this book!

Vlogs

Reading Goals for 2023

One of my favourite things about the new year is setting some fresh goals.

Setting some goals that I hope to achieve 🤞

Last year I set far too many specific goals which ended up being a little unachievable. I’ve learned my lesson and am still setting a lot of goals but they are less specific and hopefully more achievable.

I will still be participating in Read Christie and reading 23 specific books for 2023 but that’s where the specific reads end.

My specific goals

I’m aiming to complete 5 book series this year but I’m not certain which ones. I’m going to leave that open just now and hopefully they will just happen during the year as I have a few final books in a few series that I’ve preordered.

In addition to these goals, I’m hoping to read books with titles covering A-Z as well as participating in a Buzzword challenge.

I’m so excited for all these goals and a fresh year!

Vlogs

January TBR

With the start of a new year comes the start of a new way of selecting my monthly TBR. I’ve been working on this game for a good while and I’m ready to beta test it and I had a great time doing so!

I’m very excited about this TBR!

Basically I roll the dice and select a prompt based on the colour of the square that I landed on. This resulted in a pretty excellent looking TBR stack for January.

This is still in test mode while I iron out any major issues. For now, I’m kind of loving it!

Vlogs, Wrap Ups

2022 Wrap Up – Reading Stats and Favourites

Once it hits 29th-31st December my reading is all about finishing off any books that are partially read. I don’t want to carry a book through years, it makes me feel uncomfortable. So I tidied up my active reading list, by reading them, and this allowed me to choose my favourite books of the year. I was reluctant to choose until I’d finished everything because what if one final twist turned an ok book into a favourite?

My Favourite Books

I also got my stats. I love reading stats and I use both Goodreads and Storygraph so the pages read don’t match. As storygraph was closer to the page numbers when I was logging the books at the time of reading, I’m going with those page figures as being the most realistic. The number of books read was the same across apps and in my own handwritten notes.

My storygraph totals

I had a fantastic year of reading but did have way too many low books that I should have given up on because my average rating got brought down. I had 44 books that were rated 2 stars or less and I wonder if I knew that I was never going to enjoy them enough to give a 2.5 or above…I did but I hoped to be proven wrong.

44 books rated 2 stars and under

One of my reading goals for 2023 is to dnf more!

With Vlogmas over, I’m going to be going back to having reviews as well as vlogs. December was all Vlog but I have missed reviews

Vlogs, Wrap Ups

A Year of Reading Agatha Christie

This year I participated in Read Christie again this year and it was so much fun having a set read to enjoy. I also enjoyed being able to chat about each read when the month came to an end.

Of course, I had to rank them. Nobody asked for this but I did it anyway. So I have ranked all twelve of the Read Christie picks from least to most favourite. The top 5 spots were exceptionally difficult to determine but I’m happy with the positioning.

This pile of books was very heavy!

I will be participating in Read Christie again in 2023 and I’m so excited that next year will be themed around methods and motives which I think is going to be really fun.

My first pick for Read Christie 2023
Vlogs

Book Shopping in the Sales

For the last few years, my Boxing Day highlight has been the Waterstones sale which gives 50% off of hardbacks . This year was no different.

Hello new books!

I was very lucky and received some money for Christmas. That became ‘book money’ which let me approach the sales feeling poised and ready to invest in my reading future.

My partner and I actually arrived before the shop opened so we queued for a few minutes with the other 4 people in Aberdeen that were after a bookish bargain at 10am on Boxing Day.

We were in and out in 16 minutes which feels like a record! To be fair, the branch here is pretty small and there aren’t usually that many hardbacks, so it was easy to spy what books were included in the deal.

I came away with 9 books plus a calendar (one book was a cookbook that wasn’t in any deal). My boyfriend got 4 books and none of them were on offer. I now have two Waterstones credits to use as I was only one stamp away from getting 1 credit.

I do wish I got some of the memoirs I was tempted by but I really haven’t read a lot of non fiction in 2022 that it felt as if those books would be bought to just sit on my shelf and that didn’t feel in the spirit of the season.

Reviews, Vlogs

Black Water Sister

I am so happy that I managed to tick off one more book from my 22 in 2022 list. With the benefit of hindsight, I can agree that I set too many separate goals for 2022. I was never going to be able to get through all 22 books plus 26 books for my A-Z challenge, plus the Agatha Christie books I like to read, bookclubs, series goals…a smarter person would have merged some of these goals but I did not. So this is the last book I’m ticking from my 22 in 2022 but there are still 4 that remain unread. I’m ok with this.

A wee reading vlog

I really enjoyed the setting of this book! I picked this book up because I was drawn to the concept of a ghostly granny with unfinished business and possession skills!

Reviews, Scottish Reads, Vlogs

The Edinburgh Skating Club

My review and some of the festive sights of Aberdeen

I bought The Edinburgh Skating Club a few months ago and put it to the side for December. It felt like it should be read in December or at least winter, when there’s snow and ice because the book heavily features ice skating on a frozen loch. Well this week we have had a very cold spell and got some snow and ice and it felt like the right time to pick this book up.

I feel like I haven’t seen anyone talking about this book which is such a shame because I really enjoyed this. This was a lovely wee read and such a quick one too.

Please note that in the review I use the character names from the blurb in order to avoid giving any spoilers.