Saturday 30 April 2016

Marvel Characters Book Tag

We are actually just about to go out and watch Captain America: Civil War so now seemed a great time to do this tag. And in honour of Captain America I have even added on a bonus question!

1) Black Widow - Favourite Badass Character
Clare: Katniss from The Hunger Games. I just love her character so much. She is complex and flawed and yes, badass. 
Ann: Isabelle from The Mortal Instruments. I love he so so much. She is so badass and amazing and I love her in both books, tv series and film.

2) Ant-Man - A Book That Sounds Bad But Is Awesome
Clare: Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. This book follows such a messed up situation in such a great way. This was the first to spring to mind because when I was reading it someone at work asked me casually what the book was about and I didn't have any ideas on how to respond without sounding crazy! I'm not sure awesome would be the best word to describe it but it is brilliantly written and very thought provoking.
Ann: Magyk by Angie Sage. At first when i read this blurb it sounded ok but not amazing and then I read it and it was amazing and I have loved ever book that I have read in the series since then.

3) Groot - A Character That Says Little But Is Important
Clare: I am going to cheat a little and say Hedwig and Crookshanks from Harry Potter. I loved Hedwig from the start and then Crookshanks came along and stole my heart as well. 
Ann: Tom, Penny's brother for Girl Online. He never really ever said anything but he was always a character I liked cause he was so protective and amazing.

4) Rocket - Favourite Loudmouth Character
Clare: I instantly thought of Jace from City of Bones for this one. He definitely talks the big talk!
Ann: Hugo from Confessions of a murder suspect. He is such a loudmouthed character and I actually kinda love him.

5) Ultron - Favourite Sci-Fi Book Character
Clare: Kady from Illuminae. I actually love all the characters in this book but she immediately caught me from the first page and I look forward to seeing more of her in future books!
Ann: I dont really read a lot of sci-fi books but i agree with Clare I loved Kady from Illuminae and she is the only sci-fi character that I can think of that I liked.

6) Pepper Potts - Favourite Sidekick
Clare: I struggled with this for some reason but eventually decided on Luna, Neville, Hermione and Ron from Harry Potter. I'm cheating again I know. But they all have strengths and they are so supportive of each other and of Harry and I love those books. 
Ann: Alec, he isn't really a sidekick but Clare cheated on a question so I will too. Alec is one of my favourite characters from the Mortal Instruments so I choose him.

7) Iron Man - A Book With a Lot of Hype
Clare: I am going to go with one I haven't read yet - The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead. I was so excited when I first got it and then its sat on my shelf since waiting for me to de-hype myself because I don't want to be disappointed!
Ann: The Fault In Our Stars. I feel like before I read this book I was worried about being disappointed because all my friends were talking about how amazing it was and how much they love it.

8) Wolverine - A Character I Hate to Love
Clare: Another one I struggled with. But I decided to go for Rosalie from Twilight. I really enjoyed those books the first time round but less so now. Which means I don't re-read them - and yet I do love Rosalie's character.
Ann: Valentine. I really hate the stuff he did but a part of me actually kinda like him.

9) Jean Grey - Good Character Turned Bad
Clare: Ooh this was a hard one! Avoiding spoilers alone is terrible, so just in case - if you haven't read the Vampire Academy series and want to, look away now! I am going to have to go with Dimitri.
Ann: Noah from Girl Online On Tour, who was kind of a character who was good but then was a bad person and then became good again but I was annoyed with him for his brief peroid of being a jerk.

10) Spiderman - Character With a Unique Trait
Clare: Hallie from Infinityglass. I mean, all the characters in this serious have some pretty interesting traits but she is genuinely one of a kind. 
Ann: Tandy fro confessions of a murder suspect. She is incredible smart and just amazing and so far I think she is a pretty unique character.

Bonus: Captain America - Your Original Favourite
Clare: My original favourite book was Alice in Wonderland. But the first time I remember absolutely adoring a character was, I think, Anne from Anne of Green Gables.

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading

Friday 29 April 2016

Friday Reads 29th April 2016

Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice, the idea is to grab a book, turn to page 56 (or 56% in an e-book) and find any sentence (no spoilers!) and then post it. Book Beginnings is hosted by Rose City Reader to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are currently reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence and impressions about the book.


Death at Gallows Green (The Victorian Mystery Series)Brighton BelleLondon Calling
I am just about to start the second book in the victorian mystery series which is Death at Gallows Green. I really enjoyed the first one so I am hoping for good things from this onw. I have a couple of plans this weekend but I am mostly free so I am also planning to read or at least start the Mirabelle Bevan series.

Book Beginning:
"The gentle southern breeze that riffled the fresh green grass of the Essex meadows was mild and fragrant." - Death at Gallows Green

Friday 56:
"Kate was so astonished that she could only stare. "Do you often talk to mice?" she managed finally."It depends upon whether I have anything to say. I more often talk to hedgehogs."" - Death at Gallows Green
The book beginning seems very placid which, from reading mysteries before, tends to mean something bad is going to happen! I love the 56, the whole page is filled with ridiculousness, I believe this is a conversation between the main character and Beatrix Potter which is exciting because I grew up reading Beatrix Potter! 

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Wednesday Catch-Up 27th April 2016

Every Wednesday we are linking up with WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is hosted at Taking on a World of Words and asks 3 questions: What are you currently reading?, What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you'll read next? 


Currently Reading:
Death At Bishops Keep - The Victorian Mystery SeriesDeath at Gallows Green (The Victorian Mystery Series)
The next series I am reading is by Robin Paige and starts with Death at Bishop's Keep and Death at Gallows Green. These look like really interesting victorian mysteries and I am excited to get stuck in. I have only just started the first book but plan to read them both today since I don't have anything else planned and can just have a reading day!

Recently Finished:
Death in the Clouds (Poirot)Sad Cypress (Hercule Poirot, #21)Hickory Dickory Dock (Hercule Poirot, #30)
The Clocks (Hercule Poirot, #34)Lost Among the LivingMurphy's Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1)Lonesome Road (Miss Silver, #3)Miss Silver Comes to StayThe Girl in the Cellar
I rounded off my Poirot-a-thon with the last four books I currently have. Death in the Clouds was wonderfully twisty and surprising and I can honestly say I did not see that ending coming! Sad Cypress was similarly twisting but I was able to work the mystery out, if only just before it was revealed! Hickory Dickory Dock was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed all the characters and personalities. The only slightly disappointing one was The Clocks which didn't really feel like a Poirot book at all since he spends perhaps two chapters in the book. But it was still an interesting read even if I didn't love the way the mystery was resolved. I then read a very anticipated book for me - Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James which I really enjoyed. It wasn't my favourite of hers books - I found it a little less chilling and romantic but I still thoroughly enjoyed it and I can't wait for more from her. I was then slightly disappointed by Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen - the historical details were there but the characters just weren't as good. I didn't love the main character and I found the mystery less than compelling. I then went back to some good old Christie-style novels and found I really enjoyed Lonesome Road by Patricia Wentworth. I've been meaning to read this series for a while and I found it just a comfortable and interesting read. The mystery didn't keep me on the edge of the seat but I was so compelled by the characters that I didn't care much. Miss Silver Comes to Stay went the opposite way and had a compelling mystery with less compelling characters but it was still very enjoyable as was my final Wentworth book The Girl in the Cellar. 

Planning to Read Next:
Brighton BelleLondon CallingEngland Expects
Next I am planning to read the Mirabelle Bevan mysteries by Sarah Sheridan. These sound like really fun, interesting mysteries (definitely on a mystery kick at the moment) but they also sound like they cover some important issues of the time. I am very intrigued by these and I really love these covers!

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading

Blog Tour: Eden Gardens by Louise Brown

I am delighted to have had the chance to be the third stop on the Eden Gardens blog tour. I was also lucky enough to be sent a copy of the book to review so look out for that in the near future! 

Eden Gardens
Blurb: Calcutta, the 1940s. In a ramshackle house, streets away from the grand colonial mansions of the British, live Maisy, her Mam and their ayah, Pushpa. Whiskey-fuelled and poverty-stricken, Mam entertains officers in the night - a disgrace to British India; all hopes are on beautiful Maisy to restore their good fortune. But Maisy’s more at home in the city’s forbidden alleyways, eating bazaar food and speaking Bengali with Pushpa, than dancing in glittering ballrooms with potential husbands. Then one day Maisy’s tutor falls ill. His son stands in. Poetic, handsome and ambitious for an independent India, Sunil Banerjee promises Maisy the world. So begins a love affair that will cast her future, for better and for worse. Just as the Second World War strikes and the empire begins to crumble... This is the other side of British India. A dizzying, scandalous, dangerous world, where race, class and gender divide and rule.

The Little-Known History of the British Raj by Louise Brown

I adore Pushpa, the Bengali sex worker who becomes a domestic servant for numerous British people. She is wise, smart and caring, and although she’s suffered countless setbacks, she always bounces back, a bit bruised, but ready to move forward. I think her resilience is rooted in her early life; in the loving relationships with her parents and siblings. She carries that love with her, even when she is an old woman. And she repays it too, so that when everything is ruined, when her parents are dead, her sister drowned, and her brother disabled, it is Pushpa who comes to the rescue and saves what is left of her family. That she does it by working in a brothel is a measure of her determination and strength.

                I’ve met many women like Pushpa in the brothels of Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi and Dhaka. They sell sex not only to escape poverty themselves, but to support entire impoverished families in the countryside. Their earnings buy food and shelter for ailing parents, for younger brothers and sisters, and sometimes for their own children too.  I wanted Pushpa to speak for these women – women who are strong despite their day-to-day humiliations and the awful stigma they face, and who find joy in an often difficult life.

About the Author:

Louise Brown has lived in Nepal and travelled extensively in India, sparking her enduring love of South Asia. She was a Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Asian Studies at the University of Birmingham, where she worked for nearly twenty years. In research for her critically acclaimed non-fiction books she’s witnessed revolutions and even stayed in a Lahore brothel with a family of traditional courtesans. Eden Gardens is her debut novel. 
Louise has three grown-up children and lives in Birmingham.

Check out the other stops on the Eden Gardens Blog Tour:

Tuesday 26 April 2016

Bout of Books 16!

Bout of Books
It's time for another Bout of Books! This will be our third time taking part - we had a very successful time of it for the first one but we were both in reading slumps last time so we are excited to take part again!
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading

Monday 25 April 2016

Cover Characteristic: Circus

Cover Characteristic is a weekly feature over at Sugar & Snark. This topic got me so excited! The circus is one of my favourite things - when I got my exam results in secondary school my Dad took me out to the circus. It's basically just my perfect day out and one of the easiest ways to make me happy! So, as you can imagine, I basically read any book that says its about a circus - which meant I had quite a good starting point for this week!
The Night Circus
Water for ElephantsThat Time I Joined the CircusChurch of Marvels
CarniepunkCarnival of ShadowsThe Wanderers (The Wanderers, #1)
I just love all these covers so much! I love how constant the circus tent is! I chose The Night Circus as my favourite partly because I just genuinely loved the book itself and partly because every single one of its many covers applies here - I chose the one on my copy but I could equally have chosen the French or German covers which are just as gorgeous. But I do love all of these. There are a couple here I haven't actually read yet (terrible I know) but they are high on my I-Need list so I am sure I will get to them soon!

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading

Sunday 24 April 2016

Sunday Post 24th April 2016

The Sunday Post STSmall_thumb[2]
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, it's a chance to post a recap on the past week, show the books we have received and share what we plan for the coming week. Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews and the aim is to show our newest books and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops or downloaded on to their e-reader. As always you can click on any of the pictures to be taken to the Goodreads page for that book if you're interested in finding out more about it.

Today is Ann's birthday! It's been such a joy having her as a sister and as a friend, and for almost a year now, as a co-blogger! I hope she has a spectacular birthday!

Last Week on the Blog:
Books We Got This Week:
We went a bit overboard this week because the Book People had a sale on (and they're already stupid cheap).
Confessions of a Murder Suspect (Confessions, #1)Confessions: The Private School Murders (Confessions, #2)Confessions: The Paris Mysteries (Confessions, #3)
Confessions of a Murder Suspect/Confessions The Private School Murders/Confessions The Paris Mysteries by James Patterson: I started the first book in this series recently and so far I am loving it. 

Lonesome Road (Miss Silver, #3)Miss Silver Comes to StayThe Girl in the Cellar
Lonesome Road/Miss Silver Comes to Stay/The Girl in the Cellar by Patricia Wentworth: I am in a huge mystery mood at the moment, as you'll be able to tell by almost all the books this week! I've always wanted to read this series - these are books 3, 16 and 32.
Murphy's Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1)Death of Riley (Molly Murphy)For the Love of Mike (Molly Murphy, #3)
Murphy's Law/Death of Riley/For the Love of Mike by Rhys Bowen: Another series I've been intrigued by and these are actually the first three books.
Brighton BelleLondon CallingEngland Expects
Brighton Belle/London Calling/England Expects by Sara Sheridan: I've never heard of these before but the plots and covers called to me. 
The Detective's DaughterGhost girl (Detective's Daughter, #2)The Detective's Secret
The Detective's Daughter/Ghost Girl/The Detective's Secret by Lesley Thomson: I don't read a lot of contemporary mysteries so I thought I'd give these a go.
Zeroes (Zeroes, #1)Demon Road (Demon Road, #1)The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1)
Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld: I read Uglies a while back and thought it was an ok read but this appeals to me more and I've heard some good things.
Demon Road by Derek Landy: My brother has read and loved some of his books and I love road trips and books about demons so this seemed like a great pick.
Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson: I actually nearly picked up the ninth book in the series not realising it was a series but thought I'd better start at the beginning!
Rose Under Fire (Code Name Verity, #2)Watch the LadyRevolution
Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein: I loved her first book and I have no idea why its taken me this long to get hold of this one. I am very excited.
Watch the Lady by Elizabeth Fremantle: I have seen this around and been intrigued so when I saw it on offer I kind of had to get it.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly: So many people have recommended this to me that I am interested to see why everyone seems to love it so much!
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in BetweenThink Twice (Don't Even Think About It)Eden Gardens
Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between by Jennifer E. Smith: I love her books so much so I was excited to receive this from the publisher. Definitely going to be a cute and fun read.
Think Twice by Sarah Mlynowski: Received via Netgalley - I have a review up for the first book here and I was excited to check out the second.
Eden Gardens by Louise Brown: I am taking part in a blog tour for this next Wednesday and the publisher was kind enough to send me a copy of the book - which I am very excited for. So I will have a review up for this soon!
The Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn, #2)Ten
The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh: I am so, so, so excited for this. I thought the wait was going to take forever for this book and it almost doesn't seem real that I actually have it! 
Ten by Gretchen McNeil: A horror movie in book form pretty much. This sounds like a very interesting read!

Reading Update:
The Swan Kingdom
The Swan Kingdom by Zoe Marriott: 4 stars, This was an odd book but overall I liked it. It was just kind of hard to follow in places and all of the exciting things happened in the last few chapters.

I had a really good reading week this week, partly because I was ill and had to cancel all my plans, but mostly because Christie is just such compulsive reading. I couldn't put any of the books down until I finished and as soon as I had finished I wanted the next one!
The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2)The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)Death in the Clouds (Poirot)
The Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie: 4 stars, I really enjoyed this one and read it in one sitting. The mystery was compelling and I was surprised by most of the twists which was great.
The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie: 3.5 stars, Still very enjoyable but I would say this mystery was a lot easier, I had partially solved it by the time the murder actually occurred but it was a lot of fun to see things unfold.
Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie: 4.5 stars, Brilliantly planned out, I have no doubt that, on re-reading all the hints would be obvious but I never saw it coming!
Sad Cypress (Hercule Poirot, #21)Hickory Dickory Dock (Hercule Poirot, #30)The Clocks (Hercule Poirot, #34)
Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie: 3.5 stars, I didn't massively love the characters but the mystery itself was excellent.
Hickory Dickory Dock by Agatha Christie: 4 stars, I really did like the characters in this book - even the ones who turned out to be mad and evil! 
The Clocks by Agatha Christie: 3 stars, My least favourite of the bunch probably, if only because Poirot doesn't appear very much - and I wasn't a huge fan of the mystery resolution. However there were parts I enjoyed and I would have liked to see more Sheila since she interested me.
Lost Among the LivingMurphy's Law (Molly Murphy Mysteries #1)
Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James: 4.5 stars, I wouldn't say this was my favourite of her books - the ghost element was a little less chilling than in some and the romance marginally less compelling but it was still thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyable and I highly recommend it.
Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen: 2.5 stars, I am not really sure about this one. Its a quick read and the historical details are excellent but I wasn't drawn in by the characters or the mystery. I've put the second and third books to one side for now but I will come back to them later.

Next Week on the Blog:
  • Cover Characteristic: Circus
  • Top 5 Favourite Mothers/Maternal Figures
  • Wednesday Catch-Up
  • Eden Gardens Blog Tour: The Little Known History of the British Raj
  • Mini Reviews: Poirot by Agatha Christie
  • Friday Reads
  • Marvel Characters Book Tag (Postponed from last week)

You can also find us on Goodreads (Ann and Clare) to keep up with what we are reading