Seeing as we are halfway through 2020 I’ve seen so many people taking part in mid year tags and talking of what they have read so far, and how they are fairing against Good Reads challenges.
Thank So it got me thinking about my reading journey in the craziest year of my life. So my target for the year is 100 books which for a book blogger should be easy but life often gets in the way. I’ve generally always got at least one book on the go – sometimes if I’m reading more than one it takes me longer sometimes it makes no difference.
During lockdown to date I’ve read 47 books and I’m currently at 62 out of my 100. So lockdown well and truly has helped my reading mojo. I’ve downloaded and took advantage of the Libby app supporting my library from afar, and I’ve got back into audiobooks. Following my issues with my left ear I had cancelled subscriptions and had mostly stopped listening to audiobooks I’m loving having them back.
So 47 lockdown reads and 15 prior to that….I’m feeling pretty darn good about that. Woah it’s a long and a late one…can you imagine if I had the other 15.
Another week has flown by. It was a bit of a weird one for me few things I had to do and help sort out where possible, and I was a bit headachey. So after finishing Call Me Joe last Sunday I started…
So this week I haven’t finished a book since last Sunday I should finish my audiobook today and hopefully get back on track with my Jaimie Admans read and my buddy read which is my very first Santa novel – I do own a few others so watch this space.
Running seems to be my newest addiction that has stuck. Monday and Wednesday saw runs 2 and 3 of week 4 and wow the pace is definitelyhotting up.
Friday was the start of week 5 and wow it has increased again with three runs of 5 mins and wow!!! My persistence and resilience shone through and I’m so so proud of myself it was the hardest but my most rewarding and fun.
Now I don’t know who said it or where I read it but someone said about having motivational songs or songs you love. I made a playlist of a few upbeat songs of Westlife and a Mr Ronan Keating and my it helped especially on my final run I was feeling it and hearing a Ronan track live from 2013 was the motivation I needed to not give up and to keep on running no matter how much I wanted to walk and it sure did work. I have a new aim for my next run. Week 5 is definitely a change in tempo and where we usually repeat the same format each of the 3 runs is different with Monday’s having two 8 min runs that’s two and a half songs right?? Those of you on my Twitter will see I regularly update my run info almost instantly but as ever I will keep adding it to my weekly Update.
So what was on the blog this week??
On Sunday I posted my thoughts on The Girl on The Train film and you can read it Here.
As ever I apologised for double posting and then pretty much double posted on both Monday and Tuesday but I’m pretty proud of all four of them posts with a few blog tour commitments kept.
Up first was a blog blitz for Shalini The Defence Of Exeter Station can be read Here. I had also agreed to a blog tour via Red Door and they have been pretty good to me and their books have often taken me on journeys I would never have chosen you can read my thoughts on Call Me Joe Here.
Tuesday was another unique day following last weeks Top Ten Tuesday this weeks prompt got under my skin so here is a Top Ten Tuesday brimming with my favourites and you can read it Here. I’m a sucker for a cover reveal and having already posted I came across this and had to share the gorgeous Hit List by Holly Seddon Here.
I welcomed July with what I read in June and you read that again Here. Not as impressive as May but still not a bad effort.
There wasn’t a post on the Thursday and I didn’t want to post something half hearted. I’ve prided myself on being more organised and posting when it’s sufficient. So yesterday I posted my July TBR (although I rarely post these so let’s see if I can actually read all these and a few more shorts) hoping I haven’t jinxed myself. You can read it Here.
Feeling headachey hasn’t helped hoping lots more fluids and stuff will help and I can smash my reading goals and keep the blog consistent. As ever I’m always looking for inspiration and feedback so if you would like to see more of something and less of something else do get in touch. I may add books I’ve purchased or loaned from the library?
From the moment Daisy walked barefoot on to the stage at the Whisky, she and the band were a sensation. Their sound defined an era. Their albums were on every turntable. They sold out arenas from coast to coast.
This is the story of their incredible rise: the desire, the rivalry – and the music.
Then, on 12 July 1979, Daisy Jones and the Six split up.
Nobody knew why. Until now…
Review: Daisy Jones & The Six is a novel that could have passed me by. There has been so much hype over this book and since downloading Libby I’ve also looked to books I may have missed. I must admit I had no idea of what this was about based on the name. I even had to Google whether Daisy Jones & The Six was a real band. If I’m honest it’s definitely a book I could have missed and now I’ve listened to it I’m so glad I didn’t. Audio was definitely the best way with this one especially with the closing music.
From a young age I’d heard so many sounds of the 60s and so on from my family and as I say I was thinking are these real. It reads like a real band autobiography which makes this an extremely raw and compelling read. Where do I begin there is so much substance with this band let’s face it they’re a rock band so it’s full on Sex, drugs and rock and roll.
Daisy has an extremely low opinion on herself from the off, learning about life as a woman the hard way from a young age.
The name of the book makes you think it’s predominantly about Daisy – which in part it is but it’s about The Six and Daisy and how their lives entwine for the good and the bad. Just like anything be it friends, family and work colleagues it’s not always plain sailing in our lives and that is more than evident in this novel. There’s some raw scenes for a number of them but getting each of their sides of the story made it more informative.
It’s told in interview style which is great and as they have different readers for each character it really does give it a different edge. With even commentary from people connected to the band be it photographers, the managerial team etc which was another reason I found myself looking them up. There’s so much to the interview and nearer the end I found it heartwarming and heart wrenching.
There are so many trigger topics in this novel – which based on the music industry is to be expected. It was handled well and gracefully.
Daisy is quite simply a beautiful car crash, she’s talented but she’s craved love and affection her whole life. Which is why she gets herself into some scrapes early on. Billy is constantly battling his demons at times I loved and loathed Billy but deep down he was a lost soul wanting to be happy and make music. I really really liked his brother Graeme, I could see his struggle with being kind of in his brothers shadow – which I’ve seen within the music industry loads over the years. I won’t say too much more. Eddie is definitely a character and seeing him push back really has made me think of bands of old and the struggles they had, that from the outside you can’t see until the cracks start to show.
A heart wrenching read that will have you intrigued and compelled from the off. Following this I’ve placed on hold The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo from my library on audio and I have purchased a few of Taylor’s back catalogue including a short which I hope to read soon.
I’m not usually bothered by books that are hyped but this one definitely lives up to that hype and if you get the chance definitely listen to this novel.
Today sees the eagerly anticipated final season of 13 Reasons Why dropping on Netflix. I had hoped to have pre-written this post but I had a few other plans.
I got into 13 Reasons Why whilst I was off work thanks to ankle issues and considering the subject matter it was my saving grace, when I was disheartened and off work. Until recently I only knew the story thanks to the TV show.
Blurb: Clay Jensen returns home from school one day to find a mysterious box with his name on it, outside his front door. Inside he discovers a series of cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker – his classmate and crush. Only, she committed suicide two weeks earlier. On the first tape, Hannah explains that there are 13 reasons why she did what she did – and Clay is one of them.
If he listens, Clay will find out how he made the list – what he hears will change his life forever.
Review: So prior to the series coming back I listened to the audiobook. I already knew the story but in all honesty as much as I enjoyed the audiobook I’m not sure I would have fully got the story without already knowing where it was leading. There are some obvious changes for TV I may have thought differently if I’d read and not listened yet I can’t be certain on that.
In the book it’s more about Clay from the beginning whereas in the TV series it’s a lead up to Clay hearing the tapes and that of Clay’s actual tape and his story. Just like in the series I’m a massive Clay fan and I’m routing for him from the off. I have a few others of Jay Ashers novels and I’m intrigued to see how they fair to this.
So I’ve watched the recap and the first episode of the 4th and final series. It’s good to have the gang back as so to speak. Feeling for Clay as you can see in that first hour just how much his mental health is being tested. Panic attack’s anxiety are a horrible combination and as I may have mentioned I’dnever had these sort of troubles before lockdown. Yet I have felt anxious on a number of occasions. I know these 10 episodes will fly by. At the beginning there is a care warning and various links and advice before watching. I know some people think this dramatises mental health I onother handfind it informative and I’m pleased I’m too old for high school now.
Let me know if you would like me to give my final thoughts once I’ve said goodbye to Clay and the gang.
Here’s a post I wrote previously about 13 Reasons Why and you can read it Here.
Blurb: Laurie and Pete should never have met. But fate has pushed them together for a reason.
Six months ago, on the same night, Laurie and Pete both lost their partners. Struggling to manage the grief, they join the same counselling group – and meet each other.
From their sadness, Pete and Laurie find happiness growing and they sense a fresh new beginning. Except, the more they talk, the more they begin to spot the strange parallels in their stories. Then Pete discovers a truth that changes everything.
Review: I must admit I really do need to prioritise Milly more. I read her short read The Little Dreams Of Lara Cliffe on publication day when it pinged onto my Kindle although I somehow haven’t reviewed it. I am going to re-read it and give it the review it deserves seeing as I have it on Kindle and in paperback.
Now I’m sat at home until further notice these good ole hardbacks should be read in full – that will happen soon. When I saw that the audio was available on Libby via my library I knew I needed to listen to this after hearing such good things. So many of my favourite bloggers had read and loved this book so I knew I would too. Now the question is do I get the hardback or the paperback for my collection. As when possible this is definitely a book I would love Milly to sign for me.
Enough rambling – although I would love recommendations of which Milly novel to devour next. I ashamedly have a fabulous one in hardback/ signed and half read but I will be restarting that soon.
Milly is undoubtably the queen of feel good fiction. In saying that – My One True North has taken on a different direction although still full with her trademark wit. This was definitely the read I’ve needed – I listened to the audio which was read well and I enjoyed listening long into the night.
My oh my in this you can see exactly why Milly Johnson is often referred to as ‘Queen Milly’. My One True North deals with the topic of grief although as I said Milly’s humour still does shine through and that is a hard task in itself. Both Pete and Laurie are adorable characters and I fell in love with both of them right from the beginning. In the heart of their extreme sadness they are both loveable souls constantly thinking of others and sparing others heartache where they can.
The Daily Trumpet anecdotes had me laughing out loud, which made me think if life had been as it was I would have more than likely been the crazy woman laughing out loud in public seemingly to nothing. I have to mention the positive quotes in abundance I felt myself smiling and feeling lighter at those. ‘A stranger is a friend you don’t know yet.’ Is one I’ve heard before but gave me a smile once again.
Grief is something most of us shy away from, seemingly as we don’t want to offend or say the wrong thing. When most people suffering from loosing a love one just wants us to be normal and not constantly thinking before we speak and forever apologising.
If you’ve read more from Milly you may have noticed some familiar faces just like that of Paige Toon I got into Milly late. In saying that I do feel like I need to bump the Little Teashop on the Corner up my TBR list after the mention.
Milly has dealt with so many aspects of grief with grace. I loved the idea of a group of people helping each other through – It’s made me want cake in abundance though but that’s not a bad thing. I could see a few things that happened in the plot and I now wholeheartedly want to visit the Northern Lights.
Milly I’m sorry I’ve been a pretty crap blogger in terms of your fantastic books. Those I have read I’ve loved and I’m definitely a fan girl.
If you’re looking for a book to take you away from the worries in the world look no further this may feature a hard topic but it’s so much more than grief. My One True North is a story of living in the now, ceasing the day, love, family and friendships. Secrets always come out and sometimes in thinking you are helping you’re hindering the grieving process.
Blurb: Against all odds, she survived. The first girl born in fifty years.
They called her Eve.
Eve lives alone in the Tower under the strict gaze of the Mothers. She is prized and protected, because she is the last girl on earth.
Eve has always understood that the survival of the human race is in her hands. Now she’s sixteen, and three males have been selected. Eve knows it’s time to face her fate.
Until she meets Bram.
Eve sees a chance for something she never thought could be hers.
But how do you choose between love and the future of humanity?
Review: I must begin by saying I’ve been intrigued by this novel for a while now…but as ever so many books and never enough time. During lockdown which I’m sorry I keep mentioning – I’ve downloaded Libby and I swear I’ve used the library more now than when it was open. I’m loving downloading audiobooks to listen to at my disposal and whilst I’m doing any number of tasks from lazing in bed to sunning myself in the garden. This is the second of Giovanna’s I have listened to this month and wow.
Where do I begin…well it’s been a while since I’ve read anything Dystopian/YA/Fantasy and it was a welcome distraction. I think I maybe ready to get back onto this bandwagon. I had got to a point where I was sick of fantasy and vampires but now I feel like this novel has given me the taste back. So feel free to send me some recommendations the newest Hunger Games will be happening soon I will also be re-reading Books one and two and finally finishing the series.
On individual merit both Tom & Giovanna are a force to be reckoned with but together they are a power house. I love a dual narrative but when you have a couple writing this level of imagery and description it’s insane. The wording was so vivid I feel like I’ve watched this and I know the characters, even though I only listened to this novel.
Eve of Man I would call Hunger Games esque. It’s from another time where Eve is the saviour being the first girl to be born in the last 50 years. There are so many human and inhumane actions throughout this novel and as a reader we are taken on a rocky rollercoaster where both Eve & Bram have lots to learn as to what’s real and what’s fantasy. I really enjoyed this one although I must say I would also liken it to a TV show where you have to pay attention drop the ball and you’ll need to rewind or reread otherwise you’ll be sitting there completely clueless.
Sadly for me my library don’t have the second instalment but the concluding part isn’t released until next April so do I hold off a little longer…but that ending had me gasping to know more.
There’s only so much I can share without ruining the essence of the story. Eve is the saviour and that in itself puts her in danger. She’s also breathtakingly beautiful. There are aspects of her life that I wasn’t comfortable with but when you read fantasy it’s often nowhere near the realm of life and I accepted that. The obsession with Eve by the men of the world is understandable as women aren’t around and also unnerving as she’s subject to potential violence, rape and arranged couplings.
The brimming relationship of Eve & Bram wasn’t always at the forefront of the story but it was obviously always there, the most intimate moments had me gasping and eager for more especially that ending….to be honest in two of the trilogy available I knew I would be left having questions and wanting more and I was right on that front.
There is so much to this novel but the essence of family, love, loss, loneliness and entrapment are just a number of the themes that Eve of Man features.
I’ve seen so many mixed reviews for this and that never ever stops me. I enjoyed listening to the audio but as I say at times you can’t take your attention away from the story. A book I could have missed if I relied alone on others opinions I’m so glad I read this novel and I look forward to the remaining two books of the series. I have a feeling Eve & Bram will get under my skin in book two. If you’ve been contemplating then do read it.
Welcome to the second weekly update here at Hayley Reviews. As I said last week I’m still looking at feedback to expand on this post each week.
Last weeks update was pretty impressive after a very successful Bout of Books reading week.
Last Sunday I spoke about Libby and my library updates you can re-read it Here. Did you enjoy my library post and would you like this as a regular update and when?
So far this week I’ve finished reading only one audiobook- Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks….
I’m currently listening to Eve of Man By Giovanna and Tom Fletcher and I’m intrigued so far. I’m just under 40% of the way through. It’s got a feel of the Hunger Games and I’m enjoying the chapters of Eve and that of Bram.
Throughout May I’ve only not posted on one day of last week, and that was only because I didn’t want to rush a post. In saying that I’m loving the productivity and continuity on the blog.
Monday saw my thoughts on Giovanna Fletcher’s Some Kind Of Wonderful which was another Libby audiobook that I loved. I listened to this whilst carrying out chores in my room you can read my thoughts Here.
On Tuesday I delved into my thoughts seeing as so many people had been berating themselves over a number of things during lockdown you can read my thoughts Focus on the positives here
Up next was a blog blitz and you can see that again Here
I’ve already posted my review of my finished book and the final post was the cover reveal that I posted earlier today and if you missed it I’ve made it easy for you, you can read it Here.
I’m still reading this at times heartbreaking read.
Thank you for reading once again. I am looking for feedback on this post and what you would like to see going forward.
Today I managed an online workout which I had a lot of fun with although I maybe saying differently tomorrow haha. Some days my routines are better somedays they aren’t, today is a good day.
Next week I would like to answer some questions on here so send over the questions you would love me to answer…until next time.
Blurb: Two fragile people. One desperate second chance.
Reeling and desolate, Adrienne Willis needs space to rethink her life after her husband leaves her for a younger woman. Fleeing everything, she jumps at the chance to look after her friend’s guesthouse in the coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina. But there is a storm heading for Adrienne, in more ways than she can imagine.
Stranded and isolated as the weather closes in, Adrienne has only one guest: Paul Flanner, a man running from his own shattered past. Taking refuge, Paul and Adrienne have only each other to turn to. Against all the odds, their one weekend sets in motion feelings that will resonate through the rest of their lives.
Review: It’s been such a long time since I’ve read a Nicholas Sparks novel. Nights in Rodanthe is one of the earlier novels that has somehow passed me by. I haven’t watched the film starring Richard Gere as yet but I will do now I’m familiar with the story. I’ve listened to this one via Libby supporting my library from the comfort of my garden. I really did enjoy the story I always do with a Nicholas Sparks novel but I must say the narration was much to be desired, I mean I persisted but I must say I listened to the opening twice. Although it must have grown on me like a song that you’re unsure of. As I finished listening in a number of days.
Since lockdown I’ve turned to audio again – having had trouble with my left ear I had cancelled my audible subscription as with only one headphone in I was struggling reading out and about. At home listening in my room whilst getting dressed, doing chores or before bed has been a welcome way to read more.
A gorgeous tale of lost souls who find a connection in that of a weekend in a guesthouse. Nicholas Sparks is quite simply the king of writing about lost souls with grace and integrity. His descriptions are always like a film reel so you can see it in your mind as you’re reading or listening, in saying that I can’t wait to watch this and see if the film lives up to that truly gorgeous description. There’s just something about a guesthouse in the United States. Like any Nicholas Sparks novel theres a strong story of sadness and tragedy which brings these two lost souls together.
I loved seeing Adrienne and Paul get to know each other their love story is brief yet all encompassing. I really enjoyed how the story was told through letters and memories as Adrienne recounted her love story to that of her daughter Amanda over a glass or two of wine. Before the story concluded I had worked out a few technicalities to the plot but it didn’t take away any of the enjoyment of it at all.
I’ve always been so in awe of the way Nicholas Sparks writes about love and this love story is so beautiful. I honestly cannot wait to see how this one looks on the screen.
Blurb: Happiness can be found where you least expect it . . . When the love of your life says you’re not The One, what next?
After celebrating a decade together, everyone thinks Lizzy and Ian are about to get engaged.
Instead, a romantic escape to Dubai leaves Lizzy with no ring, no fiancé and no future.
Lizzy is heartbroken – but through the tears, she sees an opportunity. This is her moment to discover what she’s been missing while playing Ian’s ‘better half’.
But how much has Ian changed her, and who is she without him?
Lizzy sets out to rediscover the girl she was before – and, in the meantime, have a little fun .
Review: This truly gorgeous delight has been on my TBR for a lot longer than it deserved to be. I had no idea what to expect but I knew that Giovanna would entertain and enlighten me. When I realised it was being read by the amazingly funny Emily Atack it had to be an audiobook.
Since being at home I’ve been saying I need to do more in my room and I decided to do so alongside the readathon Bout of Books, so that meant this was going to be an audio read. A few friends had mentioned the app Libby before. I’ve now downloaded it and now I’m a little obsessed with seeing what books my library have on audio.
I don’t know how or why this treat has been sat awaiting my attention for so long but it was just the fun filled read that I needed in my life during these truly crazy times we’re experiencing right now. Giovanna writes such gorgeous rom-com esque novels and I must say this is one of my favourites.
Lizzy is the perfect leading lady she’s feisty and deep down she’s all that she needs. At the beginning my heart was breaking for her seeing her change and realise her heartbreak was just the kick she needed to change her life. What was also heartwarming was the end result in Lizzy’s happiness had absolutely nothing to do with a man.
The sense of progression, new beginnings and self love are in abundance and it was just the story I needed. I also loved the element of family and finding yourself. Sometimes you need to dig a little deeper to find your own kind of wonderful. If you’re searching for something right now look no further this read is a must.
After yesterday’s well received weekly update I’ve been toying with a few ideas of a blog post for today. Thanks to the Bout of Books readathon I’ve had quite a productive reading week.
I was listening to the end of my audiobook earlier and I spent a bit of time with a book I had half started and shelved, I have hoped to finish it today on the final bout of books day but I have a bit of a headache so I’ve came back inside re-hydrated taken pills and started penning this I will step away from my electronics shortly.
Do you use your library and in this instance are you taking advantage of online bases. I downloaded Libby this week and I must admit once I realised just how easy it was to load my library details and download audiobooks I became addicted. I had almost instantly downloaded three audiobooks.
Out of the audiobooks I downloaded I have already finished…
I’ve also put a few books on hold…with my library I can take out 5 books and can hold 3 as you can see I’ve took out 4 and I’ve finished one already. Below are the ones I have on hold….
Is there anything I should be reading? I’ve heard good things about all of these books and I’m making good use of my currently closed library without leaving the house.
Have you enjoyed my library based post? What should I be downloading and would you like to see this as a regular feature. Do get in touch?