Tag: readathon

Autumn Cosy Reading Night Vlog

Cosy Reading Night is a seasonal three-hour readathon hosted by Lauren and the Books. There are no tasks or challenges involved, you just have a nice evening reading and can chat with other people on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #cosyreadingnight.

Autumn Cosy Reading Night took place on Friday, November 2nd from 7 – 10pm.

For my night I planned to read an hour each of an ebook, a paperback and an audiobook. I set up my sitting room nice and cosy with candles and made some nachos. Watch my vlog above to see how my night went 🙂

My Books

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard Elaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Red Queen (Red Queen, #1)Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Graceling meets The Selection in debut novelist Victoria Aveyard’s sweeping tale of seventeen-year-old Mare, a common girl whose once-latent magical power draws her into the dangerous intrigue of the king’s palace. Will her power save her or condemn her?

Mare Barrow’s world is divided by blood—those with common, Red blood serve the Silver- blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities. Mare is a Red, scraping by as a thief in a poor, rural village, until a twist of fate throws her in front of the Silver court. Before the king, princes, and all the nobles, she discovers she has an ability of her own.

To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard—a growing Red rebellion—even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction. One wrong move can lead to her death, but in the dangerous game she plays, the only certainty is betrayal.

BelindaBelinda by Maria Edgeworth

The lively comedy of this novel in which a young woman comes of age amid the distractions and temptations of London high society belies the challenges it poses to the conventions of courtship, the dependence of women, and the limitations of domesticity. Contending with the perils and the varied cast of characters of the marriage market, Belinda strides resolutely toward independence. Admired by her contemporary, Jane Austen, and later by Thackeray and Turgenev, Edgeworth tackles issues of gender and race in a manner at once comic and thought-provoking. The 1802 text used in this edition also confronts the difficult and fascinating issues of racism and mixed marriage, which Edgeworth toned down in later editions.

The English PatientThe English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

Haunting and harrowing, as beautiful as it is disturbing, The English Patient tells the story of the entanglement of four damaged lives in an Italian monastery as World War II ends. The exhausted nurse, Hana; the maimed thief, Caravaggio; the wary sapper, Kip: each is haunted by the riddle of the English patient, the nameless burn victim who lies in an upstairs room and whose memories of passion, betrayal, and rescue illuminate this book like flashes of heat lightning. In lyrical prose informed by a poetic consciousness, Michael Ondaatje weaves these characters together, pulls them tight, then unravels the threads with unsettling acumen.

Do You Want to Start a Scandal (Spindle Cove, #5)Do You Want to Start a Scandal by Tessa Dare

On the night of the Parkhurst ball, someone had a scandalous tryst in the library. Was it Lord Canby, with the maid, on the divan? Or Miss Fairchild, with a rake, against the wall? Perhaps the butler did it.

All Charlotte Highwood knows is this: it wasn’t her. But rumors to the contrary are buzzing. Unless she can discover the lovers’ true identity, she’ll be forced to marry Piers Brandon, Lord Granville—the coldest, most arrogantly handsome gentleman she’s ever had the misfortune to embrace. When it comes to emotion, the man hasn’t got a clue.

But as they set about finding the mystery lovers, Piers reveals a few secrets of his own. The oh-so-proper marquess can pick locks, land punches, tease with sly wit . . . and melt a woman’s knees with a single kiss. The only thing he guards more fiercely than Charlotte’s safety is the truth about his dark past.

Their passion is intense. The danger is real. Soon Charlotte’s feeling torn. Will she risk all to prove her innocence? Or surrender it to a man who’s sworn to never love?


Did you join in Cosy Reading Night on Friday? Have you joined in before or will you for the next one?

Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Victober TBR

Victober is a month-long readathon in October focusing on Victorian literature. The Victorian era spanned June 20, 1837 – January 22, 1901, so any books published during this time in the UK and Ireland are welcome. The readathon is hosted by four YouTubers, Ange- Beyond the Pages, Kate Howe, Katie- Books and Things and Lucythereader.

Challenges:

  • Ange: Read a book by one of the hosts favourite Victorian authors (Thomas Hardy, Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell and Charlotte Bronte)
  • Kate: Read a Victorian book with a proper noun in the title
  • Katie: Read a book that was published in the first ten years of the Victorian era and/or published in the last ten years of the Victorian era
  • Lucy: Read a Victorian book written by a woman anonymously or with a pseudonym
  • Group: Read a Victorian novel and watch a screen adaptation

Group Readalong: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Wives and Daughters Set in English society before the 1832 Reform Bill, Wives and Daughters centres on the story of youthful Molly Gibson, brought up from childhood by her father. When he remarries, a new step-sister enters Molly’s quiet life – loveable, but worldly and troubling, Cynthia. The narrative traces the development of the two girls into womanhood within the gossiping and watchful society of Hollingford.

Wives and Daughters is far more than a nostalgic evocation of village life; it offers an ironic critique of mid-Victorian society. ‘No nineteenth-century novel contains a more devastating rejection than this of the Victorian male assumption of moral authority’, writes Pam Morris in her introduction to this new edition, in which she explores the novel’s main themes – the role of women, Darwinism and the concept of Englishness – and its literary and social context.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg

Victober Goodreads group

Victorian Novels List

roses and an open book elaine howlin literary blog

My TBR

Jane Eyre Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Fiery love, shocking twists of fate, and tragic mysteries put a lonely governess in jeopardy in JANE EYRE

Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.

But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

A Christmas CarolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London on December 1843. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. A Christmas Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. The book was written at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past as well as new customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees. Carol singing took a new lease on life during this time. Dickens’ sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.

Dickens was not the first author to celebrate the Christmas season in literature, but it was he who superimposed his humanitarian vision of the holiday upon the public, an idea that has been termed as Dickens’ “Carol Philosophy”. Dickens believed the best way to reach the broadest segment of the population regarding his concerns about poverty and social injustice was to write a deeply felt Christmas story rather than polemical pamphlets and essays. Dickens’ career as a best-selling author was on the wane, and the writer felt he needed to produce a tale that would prove both profitable and popular. Dickens’ visit to the work-worn industrial city of Manchester was the “spark” that fired the author to produce a story about the poor, a repentant miser, and redemption that would become A Christmas Carol. The forces that inspired Dickens to create a powerful, impressive and enduring tale were the profoundly humiliating experiences of his childhood, the plight of the poor and their children during the boom decades of the 1830s and 1840s, and Washington Irving’s essays on old English Christmas traditions published in his Sketch Book (1820); and fairy tales and nursery stories, as well as satirical essays and religious tracts.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

Dracula by Bram Stoker Elaine Howlin Literary Blog Gothic Reads for Autumn
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Dracula Dracula by Bram Stoker

A true masterwork of storytelling, Dracula has transcended generation, language, and culture to become one of the most popular novels ever written. It is a quintessential tale of suspense and horror, boasting one of the most terrifying characters ever born in literature: Count Dracula, a tragic, night-dwelling specter who feeds upon the blood of the living, and whose diabolical passions prey upon the innocent, the helpless, and the beautiful. But Dracula also stands as a bleak allegorical saga of an eternally cursed being whose nocturnal atrocities reflect the dark underside of the supremely moralistic age in which it was originally written — and the corrupt desires that continue to plague the modern human condition.
Pocket Books Enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enhanced for the contemporary reader. This edition of Dracula was prepared by Joseph Valente, Professor of English at the University of Illinois and the author of Dracula’s Crypt: Bram Stoker, Irishness, and the Question of Blood, who provides insight into the racial connotations of this enduring masterpiece.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

The Mayor of CasterbridgeThe Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

Under the powerful influence of rum furmity, Michael Henchard, a hay-trusser by trade, sells his wide Susan and their child Elizabeth-Jane to Newson, a sailor, for five guineas.

Years later, Susan, now a widow, arrives in Casterbridge with Elizabeth-Jane, to seek her legal husband. To their surprise, Henchard is now the Mayor of Casterbridge and, following the sale of his wide, took a twenty-one-year vow not to drink, out of shame. Henchard remarries Susan and, as Elizabeth-Jane believes herself to be Newson’s daughter, he adopts her as his own. But he cannot evade his destiny by such measures, for his past refuses to be buried. Fate contrives for him to be punished for the recklessness of his younger days.

In this powerful depiction of a man who overreaches himself, Hardy once again shows his astute psychological grasp and his deep-seated knowledge of mid-nineteenth-century Dorset.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte ELaine Howlin Literary Blog
Instagram @elainehowlin_

Wuthering HeightsWuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Project Gutenberg | Librivox

Visit Elaine Howlin Zazzle Literary Book Gifts Store

Synopsis from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

 

August Cosy Reading

August Cosy Reading The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Another Cosy Reading Night has come to a close. Although this time it was a Cosy Reading Afternoon but night sounds better. Cosy Reading Night is a seasonal readathon hosted by Lauren and the Books. August Cosy Reading took place on Thursday 23rd from 1pm – 4pm.

My goal was to read an hour each of three different books which I didn’t manage to do because some guys showed up to look at my pipes and that’s not a euphemism! Watch my vlog of the readathon below or on my YouTube channel.

Do check out Lauren’s channel, she is one of my favourite YouTubers and is just such a lovely bubbly person. The next Cosy Reading Night is scheduled for October which is awesome. I think I’ll have to dress up and read some creepy books.

Books mentioned:

Shadowed Souls

Shadowed Souls edited by Jim Butcher

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

Get the book: Amazon | Book Depository | Google | Barnes & Noble

Did you know I recently launched a Zazzle store? I will be adding more literary themed items to it but for the moment I have two bookish tote bags available.

Visit Elaine Howlin Zazzle Literary Book Gifts Store

Cosy Reading Night August TBR

Cosy Reading Night is a seasonal 3-hour readathon hosted by Lauren and the Books. This quarters Cosy Reading Night is taking place on Aug 23rd from 1300hrs-1600hrs BST so it’s really cosy reading afternoon this time.

My plan is to read an hour each of three books. If the weather is good I’ll read in my gazebo in the garden and if not the couch.

Shadowed Souls – an anthology so I’ll probably read a single story from that.

Shadow’s Seduction – my next read in the Immortal’s After Dark series.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter – a book I received from HarperCollins recently.

My Reading List

Shadowed SoulsShadow's Seduction (Immortals After Dark, #17; The Dacians, #2)The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

Shadowed SoulsShadowed Souls edited by Jim Butcher

In this dark and gritty collection—featuring short stories from Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Kevin J. Anderson, and Rob Thurman—nothing is as simple as black and white, light and dark, good and evil..

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what makes it so easy to cross the line.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher’s Cold Case, Molly Carpenter—Harry Dresden’s apprentice-turned-Winter Lady—must collect a tribute from a remote Fae colony and discovers that even if you’re a good girl, sometimes you have to be bad…

New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire’s Sleepover finds half-succubus Elsie Harrington kidnapped by a group of desperate teenage boys. Not for anything “weird.” They just need her to rescue a little girl from the boogeyman. No biggie.

In New York Times bestselling Kevin J. Anderson’s Eye of Newt, Zombie P.I. Dan Shamble’s latest client is a panicky lizard missing an eye who thinks someone wants him dead. But the truth is that someone only wants him for a very special dinner…

And New York Times bestselling author Rob Thurman’sinfernally heroic Caliban Leandros takes a trip down memory lane as he deals wih some overdue—and nightmarish—vengeance involving some quite nasty Impossible Monsters.

ALSO INCLUDES STORIES BY

Tanya Huff * Kat Richardson * Jim C. Hines * Anton Strout * Lucy A. Snyder * Kristine Kathryn Rusch * Erik Scott de Bie *

The Lighthouse Keeper's DaughterThe Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

From The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home comes a historical novel inspired by true events, and the extraordinary female lighthouse keepers of the past two hundred years.

“They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.

1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love.

Shadow's Seduction (Immortals After Dark, #17; The Dacians, #2)Shadow’s Seduction by Kresley Cole

In this scorching Immortals After Dark/Dacian novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole brings together a wicked vampire prince used to getting everything he desires and a demon warrior who always felt like an outcast.

A night of debauchery . . . 
Prince Mirceo Daciano and his new friend, Caspion the Tracker, comb the streets of Dacia, drunkenly seeking out pleasures of the flesh. In what should have been a typical night, they coax a bevy of nymphs to bed. To impress their females, the demon and the vampire kiss on a dare.

Changes them forever . . . 
Once they finally break away from their soul-searing kiss, they find themselves alone—and shaken. Had they imagined their explosive chemistry? Obstacles—ranging from a death sentence to exile in a war-torn dimension—threaten to destroy their lives . . . and the vulnerable promise in that one kiss.

How long can they resist the fire that blazes between them?
Even if Mirceo can accept Caspion as his fated mate, the seductive vampire still must convince the stubborn demon that their bond is forever. And any royal Dacian union must receive the blessing of King Lothaire, an unpredictable and savage killer…

As always, this is subject to change on the actual day cause I am terrible at sticking to TBR’s.

BookTube-A-Thon Wrap Up

Well, I didn’t get anywhere near 7 books (not really surprising) and I didn’t even do the challenges let alone read the books I planned to read! I’m so bad at sticking to TBR’s!

So why didn’t I read as much as I had wanted to? I had a friend visiting overnight on Monday and we went away during the day on Tuesday so no reading. I then went to Killarney from Friday to Monday with my parents, drove up the mountains and was basically a tourist for the weekend. I managed to read a bit in the evenings while there but not as much as would have liked.

In the end, I read 4.5 books, two of which were on my TBR and met the first challenge which was the coin toss.

BookTubeAThon Wrap Up 2018

Blue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #8)

Blue Moon (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #8) Blue Moon by Laurell K. Hamilton

Book 8 in the Anita Blake series and this will probably be where we part ways. I would so love to finish this series but I’m just not sure I’ll be able to. I could just skim over the orgies… Anyway, this book was pretty good other than the beginnings of all the sex stuff. I have nothing against sex in books it’s just a whole other level in this series. The overall story is really good though. Anita is a necromancer and vampire executioner who raises zombies for a living. So much fun to be had!

 

The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

This abridged version of the book contains the Introduction, chapter 14- The Independent Woman and the Conclusion. The original book was published in 1949 and does have a few points that seem a bit dated now but sadly not many. It’s a very interesting read but Beauvoir does come across as a little bit aggressive… which isn’t really a bad thing it just felt like some of the book was being shouted at me.

The Professional by Kresley Cole

I think this book is Cole’s answer to the 50 Shades craze. If you enjoyed the sex in that book you’ll probably like this one. I haven’t read 50 Shades so I can’t say much about it really… The Professional is typical Cole style with alpha males and sassy females but without the paranormal element. It’s definitely an erotic novel but she writes a great story to go with it.

Sweet Ruin by Kresley Cole

Some more Kresley Cole, why the hell not?! I started this book months ago and wasn’t feeling the characters but I love this series so much I really wanted to push through it. I ended up really enjoying it. This is the 16th book in Cole’s Immortal’s After Dark series and expands nicely on Nix’s storyline that has been popping up throughout the series. Wouldn’t be one of my favourites in the series but I enjoyed it.

Lover’s Knot by Karen Chance

Loved this novella set in Chance’s Dorina Basarab series. I had almost forgotten how much I love Dory! I finished this on Monday, just outside the scope of the readathon, but I’m including it cause I only had 40 pages left, I was just too tired to finish it! This is set after the 3rd Dory book and definitely should not be read out of sequence. It follows Dory, Marlowe and Radu on a rescue mission in Paris. Loved it! It has all the fun and action of the Dory novels.


So, this readathon didn’t really go as planned but fingers crossed for the next one.

Do you take part in BookTube-A-Thon this year?