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Hello friends! Today marks my first anniversary on bookstgram. Thank you so much for coming to my little corner on the internet to talk all things books.

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A Year in Review

Hi all!

Since it’s the end of the year, which still doesn’t feel real, I thought I’d look back on my reading year with a survey.

I’ve adapted this from questions for Cait at paper fury. It looked like fun and the pie chats looked so cute. However they were not so fun to make so please appreciate them! Mostly just so I can justify the 2 hours I spent on creating them.

Also this is for the books I’ve read in 2017, most of which didn’t come out this year.


Reading Stats

Number of books read: 94
Number of rereads: 2


Reading Challenges

This year I took part in two reading challenges:

  • Goodreads Challenges
  • Around the Year in 52 Books

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In 2016 I just make the my 50 books goal so I set it for 50 again this year and my god I don’t think I’ve read this much ever. So yay one challenged completed.

Around The Year in 52 Books

Goal: 52
Read: 43

I really do love this challenge and I will do it again in 2018. I’ve figured out that I’m not so great when it comes to assigned reading, even if they’re books I actually want to read. So I’m pretty happy with this.


Star Ratings

Star Rating

2017 was a pretty awesome year for me with most of my rating being 4 stars. Overall I can’t complain.

5 Star Reads

I had fourteen 5 star reads this year and they are:

  • The Art Of Asking by Amanda Palmer
  • Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
  • Daughter Of Smoke And Bone by Lani Taylor
  • Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
  • Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Lani Taylor
  • A Court of Mist of Fury by Sarah J. Maas (reread)
  • The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose
  • Cassandra by Kerry Greenwood
  • The Hate Race by Maxine Benaba Clarke
  • The Canary Club by Sherry D. Ficklin
  • Franklin’s Flying Bookshop by Jen Campbell
  • Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
  • The Boy Made Of Snow by Chloe Mayer
  • Monstrous Creatures by Aaron Mahnke

Year Published

Year Published

I managed to read a lot of new releases this year, which is strange because I normally wait like 5 years to get to the hyped books so I enjoyed not having to avoid spoilers. I would’ve like to have read more classics.


Genres Read

Genres

No real surprises that historical fiction and fantasy were my most read genres of the year. I would like to explore some other genres and this gives me a great starting board on where to go.


Target Audience

Target Audience

This actually suspires me since I thought I read a hell of a lot more YA than I did. I would’ve liked to get to more Middle Grade but overall pretty happy.


Page Numbers

Page Numbers

The shortest book I read was Franklin’s Flying Bookshop by Jen Campbell which is 32 pages. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas was the longest book I read at 699 pages.

344 pages was the average length for the books I read.


Author Gender

Author Genders

The author’s gender isn’t something I take into consideration when picking a books, but as a female writer myself I am glad that I’m supporting other lady authors.


Series or Standalone

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2017 was the year of the series. I started 23 new series which sounds crazy since I never get around to finishing them.


That’s all for me. Comment down below and let me know what your favourite read of the year. 

Until next time, happy reading and happy New Year!
Dearna

Seven Podcasts for Fairy Tale Lovers

Amazing list of podcast for those fairytale lovers

Vasilisa the Wise

If you’re anything like me, you use podcasts to get you through the day – out walking, in the car, cooking dinner: all the stuff where sometimes it’s great just to have some else’s voice in your head for a while! I also spend a lot of time at the computer working with images and, strangely enough, listening to other people talking can help the work flow. I do try to keep the subject vaguely related, so over the years I’ve been collecting fairy tale and folklore related podcasts. Here are some of my favourites.

Singing Bones

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Clare Testoni knows her fairy tales. Every episode is meticulously researched, and she brings an enormous amount of knowledge to each one. She tells a version of the tale,  and discusses its variants, where it sits in a historical and cultural context, and its hidden and not so hidden meanings.  Try her episode…

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5 Star Book Predictions

Hello!

How are you? Tell me all the things you’re reading!

Today I thought I do something a little different and share with you 5 books I have yet to read but think will be 5 star reads. I’ve been wanting to do this since I saw Mercedes from Mercy’s Bookish Musings video. I think it’s a really interesting exercise in seeing just how well you know your own reading tastes.

So the way this works is that I will share with you 5 books I think will be new favourites and why I think so. Then, once I’ve read them all, I will come back and share my thoughts and rating and see if I was right.

Onto the books!

 

The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth

The Wild Girl

I recently went to the Historical Novel Society of Australasia’s conference and got to hear Kate Forsyth talk — spoiler she was amazing! This book tells the story of Dortchen Wild the wife of Wilhelm Grimm and how she share fairytales with her husband. This sounds like it is going to be a perfect mix of fairytale and history and I can’t wait.

 

The Diviners by Libba Bray

Diviners

I’ve had this book to me recommended so many times by people who I trust so I think I should just get to it. It was everything I love in a book, awesome historical setting, magic, young adult protagonist, with a bit of crime.

 

The Reckoning by Sharon Penman

Reckoning

For me, this might be a safe bet seeing how I have yet to give any Sharon Penman book less than 5 stars. But I thought I’d include it because it is the last in the series and that always worries me a little. This is the third in her Welsh Prince’s trilogy and follows Llewlyn, Prince of Wales who finds himself on a collision course with the feudal realm of Edward I.

 

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is hands down one of my favourite movies, Westley was my first movie crush. I am hoping the book will also become a favourite. I have high hopes because William Goldman also wrote the screenplay. This story has everything; humour, fencing, fighting, true love, giants, revenge and pirates. What else do you need?

 

The Last Days of Leda Grey by Essie Fox

Leda Grey

This is a book I brought because of the cover and I kept hearing about it. It’s not a period of history that I normally read but was one I saw drawn to after seeing it Historia Magazine. I haven’t hear anything else about this books but I’m excited. It follows silent actress, Leda Grey and her volatile love affair that left her recluse for over half a century.

 

That’s it for me. Comment down below and let me know what books you think will be 5 star reads.
Until next time, happy reading!
Dearna

My Favourite Richard III Novels

Hi all,

Yesterday, 22nd August, was 532nd anniversary of the Battle of Bosworth. It was on this day in 1485 that Henry Tudor defeated and killed Richard III, the last Plantagenet king, and took the English crown.

So I thought I would share with you my favourite Richard III books because:

  1. I adore medieval historical fiction,
  2. The Wars of the Roses are my favourite era hence my blog name and
  3. Richard III is my favourite monarch so much so that I have his motto tattooed.

Now onto the books!

1. The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman

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If I was pushed to pick a favourite novel of all time, this novel would be it. I adore Penman’s writing. For me it’s the perfect mix of research, compelling characters and engrossing scenes.

The Sunne in Splendour follows Richard Plantagenet from his childhood to his untimely death at Bosworth in 1845. Penman strips back the ugly myth of Richard, the vile hunchback king who murdered his nephews, The Princes in the Tower, and redeems him. Richard III might not horrible tyrant Tudor playwright, Shakespeare, wanted us to believe.

Born in the treacherous courts of 15th century England while the Yorks and Lancastrians fight for the crown, Richard was raised in the shadow of his charismatic brother, Edward IV. We see Richard as a loyal man, one who would defend his brother and friends to the death;  as a man who is passionately in love with one women, his queen, Anne Neville. Filled with battles, court politics, 15th century customs and the passion of royalty.

 

2. Ravenspur (Wars of the Roses #4) by Conn Iggulden

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While not my favourite book in the series, mostly because Richard’s character doesn’t stray too far from the Shakespearian depiction, Ravenspur is still a fantastic novel. I thought this one would include this one is particular as it’s the book in the series to have the Battle of Bosworth.

Ravenspur takes place in the final 15 years of The Wars of the Roses. Starting in 1570, we see the Lancastrian’s final play for the throne against Edward IV and his brothers, George Duke of Clarence and Richard Duke of Gloucester. The novel ends with in 1584 with the rise of the Tudor Dynasty.

Iggulden has bring new life into these scheming barons, ruthless queens and ambitious kings. They feel human — living, breathing and real. While reading this series it’s so easy to get swept up in the visceral storytelling that it’s hard to remember all these events actually happened 500 odd years ago. The battle scenes describe the chaos, the fear and pure adrenaline of war, you feel like you’re there.

 

3. The Kingmaker’s Daughter (Cousins’ War #4) by Philippa Gregory

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This was the series, specifically the TV adoption, is what got me hooked on The Wars of the Roses. Promptly after I finished the mini series I tracked down the the books and devoured them.

This series is a made up of companion novels, with most of the narratives over lapping. The Kingmaker’s Daughter narrative play out on the same timeline as The White Queen and The Red Queen. Anne Neville is our protagonist and since she becomes Richard III’s wife this is the novel that focuses on the last Plantagenet king.

We don’t  see the battles like we do the other books, as The Kingmaker’s Daughter has a female protagonist. But we get a different kind of fear — the fear of the noble ladies. They sit out the battles, powerless to stop it but also not knowing if they will be striped of their home and titles once the battle ends.  The best part of this books is the budding romance between Anne and Richard — it’s swoon worthy.

 

That’s all for me. Comment down below and let me know if you’ve read any of these. Also if you have any recommendations. I am always on the lookout for more Wars of the Roses novels. 

Until next time, happy reading!

Dearna

An Update

Hi all!

I’m sorry I have been absent for a little while. A mix of uni and personal issues have kept me away but I’m back.

I will be posting regular content – if fact I have a few reviews, T5W and more bookish content ready to go. Inspired by being back at university and writing regularly, I am thinking about sharing some of my own work with you all. This will be a ms of short fiction and the process of writing my novel.

I will post my writing content more irregularly and I will be keeping the focus on my reading and books.

 

Comment down below and let me know if you’ll be interested in this.

Thanks and until next time, happy reading!

Dearna