Tag: reading

March Wrap Up

“March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.” 
― L.M. Montgomery

I started March with a few rereads. I guess I was feeling nostalgic or something…. I should have been reading for The Irish Readathon but sadly only managed one book for it. I was visiting family and traveling for two weeks at the end of the month so that’s my excuse for not reading as much.

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A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark #2) by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

A Hunger Like No Other (Immortals After Dark, #2)

Paranormal Romance

I first read this in 2016. You can read my original review here. I enjoyed it a lot more on my second read. The main characters annoyed me a lot less because I understood why they behaved the way they did and where their story was going.

This book seems to have very mixed reviews from people because Lachlain hits very highly on the Alpha-Asshole scale.

Shadow Game (Ghost Walkers #1) by Christine Feehan ★★★☆☆

Shadow Game (GhostWalkers, #1)

Paranormal Romance

I first read this in 2016 as well but it was on audio and I kept falling asleep. Not cause it was boring just cause I was listening at night and kept snoozing so a lot of this seemed new to me reading as an ebook.

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Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed #9) by Lara Adrian ★★★★☆

Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed, #9)

Paranormal Romance

This one I read for the Kick’n Down Your TBR challenge in Gotta Have Romance With a Kick on Goodreads. I read book #8 in this series in 2013 so it took me awhile to remember everything about the series when I started this one (and most of it hasn’t come back to me 😅). Despite forgetting most of what was going on Adrian’s little recaps throughout the story reminded me of the important stuff and I ended up enjoying the story. I think the earlier books in this series were more romance focused and this one felt very story and action focused with a romance.

The Dark Calling (Arcana Chronicles #5) by Kresley Cole ★★★★☆

The Dark Calling (The Arcana Chronicles, #5)

YA, Fantasy

So close to the end now 😭😭😭 This series has been such an insane and emotional roller coaster! I am VERY invested in these characters now and if anything bad happens (or worse that what has already happened) to them I will be very upset. Cole is such a fantastic writer. She manages to write fiction in genres that are usually so predictable in a way that’s familiar but still refreshing. And she is a master at developing tension.

Dreaming of You (Gamblers #2) by Lisa Kleypas ★★★★☆

Dreaming of You (Gamblers, #2)

Historical Romance

I read this book for the Romanceopoly challenge. I landed on Austen Row – Read a classic romance OR a historical romance on UTC or Peace Love Books rec lists. So I chose a book from the rec list and really enjoyed it. This was my first Lisa Kleypas book, it was published in 1994 and I think certain elements of it show that it was a historical romance from that time. There are some things that the characters do that just don’t happen in historical romances anymore. But it’s a very good book and definitely doesn’t go as far as being rapey like romances often did in the 70’s/80’s.

Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes ★★★★☆

Under the Duvet

Essays

If you want to see what life was like for Irish people in the late 90’s and early 00’s then read this. Some of the language may be a little confusing if you’re not Irish but it’s a very entertaining collection nonetheless.

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
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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_

Thank You!

This blog reached 2000 followers today so I just wanted to thank everyone who follows 🙂 You’re all awesome and amazing and I love you!!!

I’m so happy to have found so many amazing people who love books and reading as much as I do through this blog and Instagram (#bookstagram 😉 ).

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Expressing your gratitude at work can make you a more effective leader. Lead with gratitude.
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5 Interesting Articles from the Booksphere

It’s almost as enjoyable to read about books as it is to read books (almost). Here are some interesting articles I read during the month about the books and reading. The article from Goodreads about killing the ‘dead girl’ in crime is particularly interesting and Signature’s article on haunted houses in literature has some great books for Autumn.

Elaine Howlin Book Blog Review

Book Bloggers Are Real Readers

Bloggers do it for their love of books. No agendas, no bias and no pay. If  bestselling authors can see the benefit, why can some readers not?

“On Saturday, February 4th, Chocolat author Joanne Harris started a hashtag on Twitter: #tentweetsaboutbookbloggers highlighted some of the misconceptions that surround the world of book blogging and online reviews.” – Margaret Madden, The Irish Times

Killing the ‘Dead Girl’ Theme in Crime Fiction

dead girls

“It’s long been my observation that a lot of crime writing, even very good crime writing, can be summed up this way: a beautiful girl dies, and a man feels bad about it. Maybe he’s a mourning husband/father/brother/lover. Maybe he’s falsely accused. Maybe he did it, but he has, you know, REASONS. And now we’re seeing more and more female writers asserting for their ownership of crime fiction, and it’s very exciting. ” – Cybil, Goodreads

The Future Isn’t Female—It’s Feminine

women power

“How is feminine different? Because as with all labels, categorizations divide us. Evolving means being all-encompassing rather than exclusive. Men are just as capable of being feminine as females are. Therefore, this change isn’t solely to be championed by females. But championed by those in tune with and embracing all things feminine. A balanced approach to both masculine and feminine energy. Not one or the other. Remember from the Goddess Manifesto: Unity is a source of our power.” – Emma Mildon, Tips on Life & Love

Beyond Haunted House: Fictional Houses in Novels that Jump off the Page

“Whether English country houses, Gothic Manors, or simply the classic haunted houses, writers have long had a fascination with making homes the centerpiece of stories. Some are so memorable and integral to the narrative as to essentially become characters themselves. They stick with us, captivate and terrify us, and provide a level of metaphorical depth that lifts a novel to another level. From horror and suspense to literary fiction and everything in between, these are few of my favorite houses in literature.” – Keith Rice, Signature

Everything We Know About the ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ Movie

“With Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, Witherspoon adds another female-authored debut novel to her list of book club picks. The book stars Eleanor, a lonely 30-year-old who spends her weekends nursing a bottle of vodka and a pop-star obsession. Throughout the novel we see Eleanor slowly widen her circle of interaction, both intentionally and unintentionally. However, Honeyman didn’t want Eleanor to be portrayed as a victim. The result is a humorous, yet thought-provoking story.” – Vicki Lindern, Bookbub


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Organise Your Library with these 4 Websites

With a book buying addiction and all the different deals out there on various sites and in different formats, I have a messy collection of books. I wanted something to list everything (ebooks, audiobooks, and print) together and be able to tag each item with searchable information.

These websites help to keep ALL of my books satisfyingly organised so I can view them based on genre, author, series, tags, collections, reading status and more.

Organise your Library with these websites Elaine Howlin Literary Blog


Image result for goodreads icon Goodreads

Goodreads is probably the most popular literary social media site. It’s formatted in a slightly similar way to FaceBook in that there is a newsfeed where you see updates and activity from your friends. You can also join groups focusing on many many different topics, share photos and follow authors.

Goodreads My Books Page Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Goodreads focuses more on the social aspects of reading and sharing books but there are a lot of organisational tools available as well. On the My Books page, you can organise your books into Bookshelves. You start with the basic All, Read, Currently Reading and Want to Read shelves but you can add more by clicking (Edit) next to the title Bookshelves at the top of the list. The shelves you create can be used in a similar way to tags and you can add a book to several shelves. You can also create more exclusive shelves like the Read and Currently Reading shelves at the top. When a book is on one of these shelves it cannot be on another exclusive shelf but can be added to any of the others.

Goodreads Edit Shelves Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

When adding your books you can set the format (paperback, ebook, etc.), ownership, where you purchased it, condition, recommend it to people, and the dates you read it.

Goodreads Shelf Settings Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Goodreads Reading Activity Elaine Howlin Literary BlogOne of my favourite features is the column settings on the shelves. You can have different settings for each shelf containing whatever information you want such as read count, dates, number of pages, etc.

At the lower part of your My Books page, you can view some limited stats about your reading such as most read authors, how many pages you’ve read this year (reading stats) and if you’ve synced your kindle you can view any notes you’ve made in your books.

 


Image result for librarything icon LibraryThing

LibraryThing has so many fields for metadata it makes me giddy at all the ways to organise my books. There is functionality for setting the format, condition (including weight!), tags, collections, and notes for your books. It is a must for any collectors. I’m dreaming of cataloguing Folio Society books… that I don’t have

LibraryThing Home Page Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

LibraryThing Stats/Memes Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

 

I have only skimmed the service of everything you can do with this site but my main love is the Stats/Memes section. Here you can view a tonne of information about your books. Which ones have won what awards, what lists they’re on, how many members read the same books as you, what books you’ve read set in certain places, major events that occur in your books, where the authors are from and so much more!

 

LibraryThing Stats Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

 


 

Image result for fictfact icon FictFact

FictFact is specifically designed to help you track your series. On your profile, you have a list of your series broken into Next Books, Coming Soon, To Be Read, Reading, and Read. Coming Soon lists the next releases in all the series you are following.

FictFact Profile Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Visiting the My Series page which is listed in the dropdown menu under Profile shows you the full list of series you’re reading, your progress and the next book you need to read.

FictFact Series Traacking Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

Visiting a books page gives you details about that specific book, shows you all the books in the series and where you are in it. You can skip certain books, add information such as tags, ownership, format and a rating.

FictFact Book Page Series Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

I use FictFact to track my progress in a series including any short stories or novellas that have been released.


LibraryCat LibraryCat

I adore this site! LibraryCat uses the information from your LibraryThing account to create a catalogue of your books. It is so beautiful and streamlined I love looking through my books on it.

LibraryCat Elaine Howlin's Library Literary Blog

As with a real library, you can set patrons and mark books as available or checked out. I created a profile for myself and my husband (which he’ll never use) and marked my current read as checked out.

LibraryCat Book View checked out Elaine Howlin Literary Blog

LibraryCat’s format is very simple but gives you a more interesting way to browse your personal library. It’s free to join for personal use.

LibraryCat Contemporary Search Elaine Howlin Literary Blog


Do you use any of these websites to track your books? What’s your favourite function on them?

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