WWW Wednesday

A lot of things are happening, I’ve been a bit stressed and anxious so I haven’t been able to completely focus on my reading, but I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to read at least one chapter a day. Now Wednesday is here and I decided to go with this meme to provide a different and quick kind of update to what’s up on my reading life.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam from Taking on a World of Words. The three questions to answer are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


Current reads:

The Dartmoor Murders

An eARC I got via NetGalley and have to review soon since it’s being published on June 17th. I’m about 50% into it so far and enjoying it a lot. Interesting premise and a nice mystery, lots of things happening and I can’t wait to see how it all connects in the end.


The (Last) Flight

I’m listing this as The (Last) Flight because that’s how it shows up on Goodreads, but the version on the image is the one I got. Apparently this was re-released under the title The Flight for some reason. Another nice thriller that I’m reading quite slowly because I have to finish other books first.


The Three-Body Problem

I started this one weeks ago and then deadlines creeped up on me so this one is currently on hold. I’m quite excited to read this because I’ve had this for some time and heard lots of good things. I’m about 30% into this book and I find the ideas very interesting and refreshing.


Recent read:

Murder at Madame Tussauds

Another eARC that I got from NetGalley that’s also being published on June 17th. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. A murder mystery set in the late XIX century England at the world famous wax museum? Count me in! This was a very quick and fun read for me. It’s actually the sixth book in the Museum Detectives series, but works well as a standalone and I loved the detectives, Daniel and Abigail, so much that I am really looking forward to reading the other books in the series.


Upcoming read:

Offline

Not gonna lie, I got this from the library and it’s due in two weeks, so I know that this will be my next read. I’ve been wanting to read this one since reading Die App (The App) earlier this year, so as soon as I saw it was available at the library, I borrowed a copy. Looks like I’m in a very thriller book kind of mood.


So, this has been my early June, Wednesday update. How’s your reading going? Have you read anything you really enjoyed recently? Do you have any plans on what to read next? Feel free to answer the questions from this meme in the comments.

Top 10s: Favourite Sci-Fi books

The idea to make a post on my top 10 reads of different genres is one I’ve had for a while, but for some reason didn’t work on until now. Better late than never, right?

No surprise here, I’m starting this with my favourite genre: sci-fi. And yes, I’ll admit I’m the kind of sci-fi fan who gets a bit annoyed whenever I see a “sci-fi and fantasy” category, like they’re one thing, but I get it. Some type of sci-fi books can really blend the two genres in a way that they’re not purely one nor the other. That said, let’s talk about my top 10 science fiction books.


1. Fahrenheit 451

Of course I have to start this list with one of the first books of this genre that I read and loved. I should really re-read this soon, it’s nice to go back to classics. I can’t remember exactly how old I was when I picked this up, but I was a young teenager and while I always enjoyed reading, this book took that to the next level.


2. The Time Machine

Another classic that I read as a kid, basically because I had recently discovered the Back to the Future movies and was obsessed with time travel. As a kid, this was one of the books featured on a series of abridged books for kids that a popular magazine in my home country released during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I was fascinated not just by the story, but also by the illustrations present on those editions, they really brought the book to life. Later in life, I read the full original version and I loved it just the same.


3. 20000 Leagues Under the Sea

Right around the time when I watched Back to the Future for the first time and heard about Doc’s love of Jules Verne, I had to read his books. This is one of the ones I enjoyed the most and one I should revisit soon, since it’s been a very long time since the last time I read it.


4. Sycamore

I’ve talked about this book before. I read the entire series last year and it’s become one of my favourite books ever. The story gives you that eerie feeling that comes from knowing that we are close to living in this reality.


5. In Times Like These

Time travel always makes for a interesting topic on sci-fi books and this one stood out for me because of how the idea was developed. The characters find themselves at a different point in time by accident and they have to discover how time travel works in order to get back to their time. The stakes are high and the mechanisms of time travel are explored in a refreshing manner.


6. Infinity Born

Douglas E. Richards writes some really great books. Infinity Born was such a great one to read. I have a soft spot for this kind of stories that explore the possibilities certain technological developments present, especially when it’s something that is actually being studied in reality.


7. All Systems Red

You know I have to include the Murderbot Diares series on this list. Murderbot is one of my favourite characters of all time. Martha Wells does a great job of creating a relatable, compelling character that you love from page one.


8. Six Wakes

Reading this one reminded me a lot of Dark Matter, the SyFy show. I loved that show. This is a great combination of sci-fi and mystery and I couldn’t put it down.


9. The Ghost from the Grand Banks

This pick might be a bit controversial, this book is probably not Arhur C. Clarke’s best book and by now it’s quite dated, yet it holds a special place in my heart. I picked this up as a kid and many things went over my head at the time, but I was interested in reading anything with a mention of the Titanic and I loved it so I had to include it.


10. CyberStorm

I will admit this book had the same effect on me as some of Fitzek’s books. When I finished it, I felt frustrated. It was a great read, the premise was captivating and I was enjoying it so much… until the ending. By the end of the book, the characters jump to some rather ridiculous conclusions and it felt like it came out of nowhere. This is why I have mixed feelings about this book, but I have to include it, because it’s a really interesting story and I did love reading it.


So, those are my picks in no particular order. What do you think? If you’ve read any good sci-fi books that aren’t on this list, leave a comment below and tell me about it.

Books and Bakes Tag

A big part of why I’m not posting that often is how frustrated I get when I can’t come up with any post ideas that really excite me. Tags are always fun to do, but I don’t wanna turn my blog into a tags exclusive blog. However, every now and then I spot one that I can’t just not join, and this time I’m taking part of one created by India @ Life is a Page Turner, that I first saw done by Bookish Rebecca. This involves books and tasty food. Let’s get to it!


1. Cupcakes: Name a collection of short stories, poems, or anthologies where you couldn’t read just one section and had to go back for another

Alright, so I don’t really read this type of books enough these days. I was more drawn to them as a kid. That said, I have to mention the Forward Collection. I picked up The Last Conversation by Paul Tremblay just out of curiosity one day when I was in the mood to read a short story and I loved it. After that I went on to read other books in the series and each one captivated me in such a way that I am sad there’s only six stories in the series.

2. Lemon Pound Cake: Name a book that has 400 pages or more that you considered a comfort read and a classic

Wait, let me check page count… This might be considered cheating, but my last “comfort” read was The Selection series (books 1 to 3). It’s not the usual type of content I like to read, but I enjoyed it so much. I can’t say why exactly, but I found this story really cozy and heartwarming. I guess it was just what I needed to read at that time. I’m counting all three books for this one, so that’s more than 400 pages.

3. Red Velvet Cake – Name a book that you THought was one thing, but ended up being something completely different

The first one that comes to mind is The Hazards of Time Travel by Joyce Carol Oates. I wrote an entire post explaining why this book was completely different from what I expected when I picked it up.

4. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – Name a book or a book series that you can read over and over again even though you know that it’s bad for you

The Mind Dimension series by Dima Zales. I love this series so much and I like going back to it every now and then. The only reason I put it here in the “you know it’s bad for you” category is that re-reading this keeps me from reading new books. Although I would gladly read this over and over and nothing else. Yes, it’s that good.

5. Apple Pie a la Mode – Name a book that was really good but could have been better with a little bit of ice cream

Caraval comes to mind. I could imagine myself walking through that world and now that I think of it, walking through that world with ice cream would have been a big improvement.

6. Gingerbread Cookies – Do you like your gingerbread cookies crunchy or soft? If you like your cookies soft name a book that was squishy in the middle, but the beginning and the end were really good. IF YOU LIKE YOUR COOKIES CRUNCHY, NAME A BOOK THAT REALLY ANGERED YOU AND MADE YOU WANNA THROW IT AT A WALL.

Look, I’ll be honest, I haven’t had gingerbread cookies, but I tend to prefer my cookies crunchy so let’s go with that. A book that made me wanna throw it at a wall… I can think of a few that did that for me. I’m gonna go with the most recent read that made me feel that way, The Wife Between Us, just because I found the characters super annoying and the story really predictable. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad book, it’s okay, but it wasn’t the book for me.

7. Brownies – Are you a corner piece or a middle piece? If you’re a corner piece, name a book that starts off strong and then all comes apart. IF YOU prefer a middle brownie piece, name a book that kept you in the feels the entire way through.

Corner pieces are the best! I know instantly that I have to go with Passenger 23 by Sebastian Fitzek for this one. Fitzek frustrates me so much, I don’t know why I keep reading his books. I read Therapy and I was so frustrated with the “twist” that was obvious from page one, that I almost dismissed reading another one of his books, but he has some great premises for his books so I keep going back to them. Passenger 23 is a book that I remember fondly because I enjoyed reading it so much, the setting, the characters and the mystery all caught my interest from the start… but the ending completely ruined it for me. I was left thinking, “oh, wait, that’s it!?”.

8. Birthday Cake – Name a book series or an author that you feel like keeps coming out with a book, short story, novella every year

For this one too, I will have to go with Sebastian Fitzek. My roommate loves reading Fitzek books, so there’s plenty of those in the house. I still feel curious about a few of them, even though I learned to expect what for me are underwhelming “twists” to his stories. Eventually, I’ll read more of his work and I hope I find a book that I enjoy through and through. I like to think chances are high that I will, since he comes out with at least one new book a year, sometimes more.

9. Carrot Cake – Name a book that sounded healthy for you, but ended up being unhealthy either with content, or put you in a reading slump.

This selection might be controversial, but I actually loved this book… once I managed to push through and finish it. That book would be The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy. Let me explain, the book starts off at a nice pace and sets the conflict well enough that you want to know what’s going to happen. My problem with this book was though, that getting to the “what’s going to happen” part, was a bit dense. Too many detailed descriptions and what felt like story interruptions, since this was a government/military operation story, most of the book was reading about bureaucracy between different agents. At the end of the book, things picked up the pace and once things started happening, they happened fast and it was super quick to finish it, but all the middle stuff was a bit boring to read and it actually took me months to get through it.


So, what do you think? Do you like this tag? Feel free to join and tag me so I can read your answers. Now I think it’s time to make some tea and go to the bakery and get myself something nice. A lemon pound cake or an apple pie sound really good right now.

Lockdowns & Reading

Yes, once again, I managed to take a long, unexpected break. It’s my thing, I guess. Not to worry, lots of books have been read since my last post. As I write this post, mid-May, I have finished 26 books this year. With that number, this year looks set to be a record-breaking year in terms of reading for me. I’m also happy to report that this number also means I’m still on the right track to complete my proposed “one book a week” challenge. That said, I thought it was about time I provide an update on how things are going.


Given that I’m still not working, I’ve had quite a bit of time to read and I’ve spent the past week and a half a bit limited on my activities. I seem to have picked up a minor, but very painful, neck and shoulder injury in some way I can’t explain. As a result, there’s been a lot of resting and reading these days. We’re also still in a partial lockdown, which means that other than going on walks through the fields nearby, there’s not a lot to do outside, so that’s probably also boosted the amount of time I’ve spent reading so far. The weather hasn’t been too great, so there’s lots of staying in and reading, which allowed me to finally get to read some books that had been on my TBR for a long, long time.

These four books had been on my TBR for years and I have no idea why it took me so long to get to them because they are some of my favourite reads of the year so far.


Lockdown has also meant for me, as for many others, more time to play videogames. Lately, I am playing lots of CoD Cold War, but when I’m looking for something a bit more chill, I like to launch Coloring Pixels and either have a video running on my other screen or an audiobook playing in the background. I also like to play ETS2 while listening to an audiobook, time just flies by and I get through books quite quickly that way.

I think I talked about how I sometimes struggle to keep my focus while listening to an audiobook, I’ve realised I can follow them better while playing something relaxing like ETS2. These three books that I’ve listened to while trucking across Europe worked perfectly for me. I particularly enjoyed One by One. A couple of books by Ruth Ware have been on my TBR forever and somehow this was not one of them, but it ended up becoming the first book by Ware that I read and I am definitely a fan.


If everything goes as planned, I still have a couple of months before I start work and then we’ll see how much that affects my reading pace. I’ve been looking forward to going back to work, this past year has been a needed, but at times extremely boring break, especially during the latest lockdown. Books have been a really good companion through it all.

I hope to update this blog with a few reviews and a mid-year reading review next month, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, feel free to share how your reading has been affected by lockdowns. Did you pick up any books that surprised you? What has been your favourite lockdown read?

Christmas Book Haul

Last year I tried sharing my books wishlist on Twitter. I wasn’t really expecting anything from it, but I saw some people do it and thought, why not? Maybe I’ll be surprised and I was. It was an unusual holiday season for me, the first ever that I did not spend at home or with family of any kind. After a tough year, and while I love the holiday season, it felt a bit sad to know that it would be a very quiet, sort of lonely Christmas. No, Christmas is not about the presents, but the gesture counts and, especially in this case, they made it a little better.


Paul from BnT was kind enough to get me not one, but three books from my list, especially one that I had wanted to read for a while.

The Test is a rather short sci-fi story that I sort of heard about thanks to Paul. I was his Secret Santa some time ago and that’s when I heard about Sylvain Neuvel. All Rights Reserved is another sci-fi book that had caught my eye some time ago. Both of these have really interesting premises and I can’t wait to read them. On the other hand, How Music Got Free is a non-fiction book about the changes the music industry went through when MP3 files and other digital formats entered the scene. I saw a documentary about this while on a flight and I’ve been very interested in reading this ever since then so I’m super glad I get to do soon.


Oz, also from BnT, got me a copy of All Systems Red, the first book in the Murderbot Diaries series, which is exactly the kind of book I like to read and I love that show binging Murderbot! I tried listening to the audiobook some time ago and I liked it, but I don’t do well with audiobooks, my mind keeps wandering off topic. I really wanted to have a physical copy of this book to be able to take it all in and I have to say the physical book looks absolutely stunning.


My mom also got me a book. Die App, a book that I’d seen on stores for a while and had caught my eye, but wasn’t able to afford. I wasn’t able to visit my mom for the holidays this time because of the pandemic, but she still wanted to get me something for Christmas and since I really wanted to read this one, she got it for me. This has been my first read of the year and I absolutely loved it! It’s a great, fast paced and suspenseful thriller that I enjoyed a lot.


So, in spite of these holidays being different, they still managed to happily surprise me. I am so very grateful for these books and I am very thankful to both Paul and Oz, you guys really put a smile on my face and really made a difference. I really appreciate the gesture from both of you, you’re both awesome and I promise I’ll send you something too once I get a job.

How about you? Did you get any books or bookish gifts this past Christmas?