Beta reading is a . . .

Beta reading is a bitch,

The squinting will make you twitch,

Be careful you don’t miss a trick,

Because the slippery errors are quick,

They hide from you under your nose,

But that’s just the way that it goes,

When you’re reading off a tiny screen,

And your eyeballs are beginning to scream”

A little random poem reflecting my thoughts right now… enjoy. 

Catalyst Review (kinda short, sorry!)

RATING: 3/5 stars
GENRE: Science fiction 
AUTHOR: James Luceno
Let me just get some things straight before we start. I adore Star Wars, it’s one of my biggest fandoms and I’ve never read a Star Wars book I didn’t love. Also, this book IS good, don’t get me wrong here.

Now, I’ve been reading this book for FIVE DAYS! It’s never taken me so long to read a book before and this book is a tiny 350 pages max AND I only got just over halfway in those five days before DNFing the title. Why did I DNF a book that is good? Because it’s a prequel. That’s why.

Catalyst follows the story of Galen Erso, Jyn Erso’s father – before her birth and during her childhood. A lot of the story in my opinion is spoilered by what happened in Rogue One and it should not have been read after it. I couldn’t connect with the otherwise brilliant story because I kept thinking “oh well it don’t matter cause you do this/he does that/you die..” and it killed it for me. 

Overall the story is very interesting and very good but I do suggest reading this BEFORE reading Rogue One if you can. 

Madness Review 

RATING: 3/5 stars 
GENRE: Short Stories
AUTHOR: Roald Dahl
This is a small collection of ten short stories about madness and unreason. There are some good and some not very good stories in the collection which is perfectly understandable for any collection of various tales in a book like this. 

I found the opening story and the story ‘The Landlady’ were the best two shorts in the collection. They were nicely rounded in length with detailed characters that stick with you despite it being a short story. I also found them to be the most shocking and unpredictable of all the stories.

Roald Dahl is a master of eerie and macabre tales and his children’s books are riddled with dark humour. His adult works are all this and more! You can see clearly where his personal life has influenced the stories or even inspired them. They feel very heartfelt and deep despite being so short. I’m not usually a fan of short stories at all but Dahl makes them a treat to look forward too! 

Let’s talk about books? I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes them appeal so much to certain individuals but repels others. I’ve been addicted to reading since I was very small, I discovered The Hobbit and Jane Eyre when I was a primary school child (say, about 7-8 years old to my international friends) and have never looked back. I just love the feeling so being in a whole new world and discovering new languages, new friends, new loves, mortal enemies and so much more! I can be an astronaut, an assassin, ride dragons or defeat the devil himself all from the safety of my own imagination. I really don’t know what is not to love. 

My mother is one of these unfortunate people that have only read maybe 2-3 book in their entire life. She says she finds it dull and uninteresting and that she’d rather watch a film. I challenged her to read a book of my choosing, telling her I’d pick one that would appeal to her in every way and to tell me she didn’t enjoy it afterwards. Needless to say, she devoured the book in one sitting and loved it that much she asked me to buy her more. She said the book was that detailed she could see everything that was happening like it was a film reel and that it was very relaxing to loose herself in the pages. I knew this would be the case,  because I have this theory that people that don’t like to read, simply haven’t read and that’s why they presume they don’t like it. They might have some sigma that reading is for “nerds” and students or maybe they just generally never thought to pick up a book instead of a TV remote. But I challenge, that whatever reason they have for “not liking to read” it can be overcome by reading a bloody good book! 

I have since tried this with two other non-readers to the same effect and all three of my human guinea pigs are now frequent to semi frequent readers with growing libraries of their own. My conclusion is that reading is for everyone and there will be a book for you out there whoever or wherever you are. You just have to look! 

Book Slumps and other hell…

I am in the worlds worst book slump. Literally nothing is grabbing my attention and everything I pick up is draining my soul. I don’t know what has caused this hell on Earth but it arrived in a swift avalanche yesterday and I am still trying to find a book to appease it. Does anyone else get this?

Usually I end up in a book slump if I’ve been unlucky enough to read a really really rubbish book, or if I’m lucky enough to read a really really great one that I never wanted to end and the next book isn’t as good. This time? Nothing. I’ve read a string of really  really amazing books and then all of a sudden, everything is boring me. Why!? What long forgotten god have I displeased? 

I’ve found I’m really craving science fiction. It’s probably my second most favourite genre ever but I have this relationship with it that gets very very …. interesting. I tend to become wildly obsessed with it. Like, once I’ve read one sci-fi book, I need another and another and another and another, so on, so fourth, and I cannot stop. It takes over my reading life and nothing else will do. So, despite being my second favourite genre, I force myself to have blocks of time where I do not even acknowledge it, or it would be all I ever read. Really, it’s my ultimate favourite genre, isn’t it? Technically. But I won’t allow it that power over me, because I am weak when it comes to frolicking in space. I’ll blame it on my science nerd school years and hidden wish to be an astronaut. Shall I?

Carpe Jugulum Review

RATING: 500/5 stars

GENRE: Fantasy

AUTHOR: Terry Pratchett
This man knows no bounds when it comes to writing a kooky and engrossing fantasy world with both memorable and loveable characters and witty and charming humour. He is seriously one of my all time favourite authors and I have yet to find a book by the man that I didn’t love. 

Carpe Jugulum for me seemed a bit different to a usual Pratchett book. It’s not very often there is a “all hope is lost, woe is us” feel to his books but the plot line for this one was riddled in it! Absolutely riddled. It was still an amazing and wonderful read but this surprised me. I LOVED that Nanny Ogg had a central main role in this one! Usually it’s all about Granny, and yes, Granny is awesome  but I love Nanny and I’m glad she got more limelight. 

I wasn’t going to review my Pratchett books because they’re such old books now and there’s so many and most people know of them anyway but I felt this one needed a bit of something! 

Readalongs and other bookish fun!

In the book blogging and bookstagram communities there are SO MANY wonderful readalongs, monthly challenges, reading challenges and other fun stuff to take part in! I’m always blown away by the choices and options each month and the amount of planning people must put into these wonderful communal activities. It’s one of the many things I love about these communities, they draw you together and make a quite solitary hobby into something you can enjoy with friends. 

I’ve recently decided to take part in this years booktubeathon and I find challenges like this one quite difficult being a mother. Before having my daughter I got about 6-8 books a week read but since having her that’s gone down to 1-3 a week. I don’t mind this AT ALL but it makes challenges like this impossible for me and I tend to ignore them. I do enjoy readalongs though! Especially ones with a laid back schedule. I am currently taking part in the Hobb-a-long via Goodreads and in august I will be joining the Hobb Squad for Plenty of Hobb as well as my friend and her Pratchett readalong. 

It makes me wonder, what do others personally think of these types of challenges and readalongs? Are there things they would change or things they struggle with? What types do they prefer? 

I’m considering interviewing a few bookstagrammers over this so please feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts or if you’d like to be interviewed. 💁🏼