Wednesday 26 October 2016

Book Chat

Hi friends! I'm still here, busy as always with Ninja Book Swap and wrapping a hundred things for the first Ninja Book Box, but here. My office space for the box is right next to my big bookcase of unread books, which means I've been getting a bit distracted but also really inspired to read my own books!

Lots of what I'm reading is still secret, but I wanted to finally mention a couple of books I read during DiverseAThon all those ages ago and haven't talked about here yet. Firstly I picked up Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, the story of a girl, Lydia, from a Chinese-American family, whose body is found in a lake. The book is about the ways that her different family members react to her death, and how their experience of their father being Chinese play into that. It's a really well written book and had an ending that I didn't see coming. Each of Lydia's family members has a really distinctive voice, and there's also flashbacks to when Lydia herself was alive so we get to see how the family functioned before her death, and how their father's feelings about his ancestry affected his relationship with his children. I bought it on the London Bookshop Crawl last year and I'm really glad I finally read it. Not an absolutely favourite, but a solid, recommendable book.

I also read Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho, which they've been talking about on the All the Books podcast for ages now. I picked it up in Bath (apparently Diverseathon was my time for reading books I bought on bookshop crawls!) and although I don't think I loved it as much as some of the Book Riot crew did, I did very much enjoy it and am looking forward to the next book in the series! Zacharias Wythe is the Sorcerer Royal in a regency London very similar to our own, except that it obviously has magic. However fairyland has been cutting off the flow of magic to England and Zacharias sets out to find out why. He has some assistance from the excellent Prunella Gentleman, and lots of stuff goes on. They also face a lot of bullshit along the way (Zacharias is black and Prunella is mixed race) that's sadly entirely believable. People are shit. Rhys is reading this now and keeps asking me if stuff will be explained, and I'm like 'well, lots of stuff is explained but lots of stuff is not...' so bring on book two!

In unrelated book news, Nonfiction November is (I think) not happening this year, but I've decided since I've loved it so much the past couple of years, to have a little unofficial event myself and make a pile of nonfiction to read next month. I think I'm probably going to start with Reasons to Stay Alive or Man Up. I'm really excited about it - I've got far too much unread nonfiction!

That said, I'm also thinking about putting myself back on a mad book buying ban again for 2017 and trying to get my TBR down to a manageable number (currently it's about 350). I'd have to make exceptions for the bookshop crawls though, and obviously books would still come into the house through swaps, but I'm thinking about it...

What bookish things have you been up to?


  1. I'm thinking I may need to go on a book-buying ban for the beginning of 2017 (bookshop crawl excepted of course.) This month, as well as getting a few birthday books, I've bought several and not read many. Working through "The Passage" with my best friend and her boyfriend but I'm struggling with it. I've got 2 weeks off from Sunday, and I'm going to a Becky Chambers event next Monday (!!!) followed by the Harry Potter studio tour (!!!!) oh the Tuesday. Then lots of reading and writing planned for when I get home - and I will try to do some long-neglected blogging while avoiding Twitter as much as possible.

  2. Packing For Mars has been sitting on my bookshelf for over a year, completely unread... I've not heard of Reading The World before, but it sounds wonderful.

  3. I had mixed feelings about The Sorcerer in the Crown but, like you, ended up enjoying it enough to want to read another.

  4. Stumbled upon your blog when googling about "A Vicarage Family", which I picked up a month or so ago. Thank you for your posts and reviews! I loved Packing for Mars, it's a great and fun read. Highly recommend Alan Bradley's Flavia de Luce series (just finished the latest book) and Robin Stevens' Murder Most Unladylike series (waiting for the latest book to arrive). For non-fiction, I've just finished (and recommend) Ta Nehisi Coates' Between the World and Me, and am finishing (hopefully, at last!) Ashlee Vance's Elon Musk.

  5. I've been really good about not buying books this year! It's weird, but since I began the Year of Reading Whatever The Hell I Want (and pretty much decided that I wasn't bothered whether my TBR grew or shrank either), I've actually been buying fewer books! My unread pile is actually three less than it was in January :)