books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: October 9 – October 15

My house has furniture again!  More importantly my books are back – as you’ll know if you’ve read my new State of the Pile post.  But all the unpacking means that I haven’t read as many books as I was hoping for this week – although I have started making inroads into the newly returned backlog!

Read:

Moonlight over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Fireworks in Paradise by Kathi Daley

Margaret finds a Future by Mabel Esther Allen

Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich

Blue Ridge Sunrise by Denise Hunter

Started:

The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin

China Court by Rumer Godden

Murder is Binding by Lorna Barrett

Still reading:

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin

And given the state of the aforementioned pile, I’m redoubling my efforts not to buy books and so I have been newly virtuous and haven’t bought anything this week.  Lets see how long that lasts…

The pile

The State of the Pile: October 2017 edition

So.  My books have returned home.  So has my sofa and the rest of my furniture so life is looking up.  However, unpacking meant that it was time to face up to things and take stock of the pile.  It’s been a while since we did a state of the Pile post – nearly year in fact, which is when I first started packing up things up for the initial bits of the house renovation work.  Some of it has been in those boxes ever since, while we saved the money to do the next bits, some of it (the stuff in the top box mostly) got read while we we saving and of course more was added to the pile too.  Most of the time I like to ignore the size of the pile and it being in mostly boxes in a corner for 8 months and then out of the house in storage for another two made that very easy.  But you can’t ignore something and pretend it isn’t a problem when you have to unpack it and fit it back into your house.

Plastic storage boxes full of books
Two boxes are the downstairs keeper shelf. Another two and a half are the backlog

We’ve done a bit of a reorganisation too, so that I’m no longer keeping my to-read pile in a little bookshelf by my side of the sofa with the overspill on an increasing number of piles hidden behind my sofa arm.  Instead, I’ve got the formerly-DVD bookcase for them.  And it’s pretty full…

A very full bookshelf
One very full bookshelf containing the pile

Yeah.  That’s an Ikea half-Billy  bookcase double-shelved with unread books. Well except for the top section, which s going to have some CDs in it when we unpack that box.  It’s a little scary how many unread books I’ve got, but I think it’s going to be helpful or them actually to be out in the open.  Why?  Well because I now have a finite amount of space for the unread stuff.  I’ve promised myself – and Him Indoors – that I won’t let the pile get so it won’t fit in this bookcase.  And being on shelves means that I can organise it and get at stuff more easily, which I’m hoping will help stop me from getting in one of my “I have nothing to read” moods and going out and buying more books because I’ve forgotten about some of the really good stuff that’s hidden at the bottom of the furthest pile behind the sofa arm.

So now the nonfiction books are together, the romance books are together, the crime books are together, the literary fiction is together.  Nothing is harder to get to than the back row of a shelf.  If I’ve got more than one book by an author waiting to be read, the first one in the series is on the front shelf so I read it first.

And in unpacking and sorting I’ve found some books that I’d forgotten I had (not a surpise) and realised that I have books waiting to be read that fit some of the #ReadHarder squares that I’m missing – which is *amazing* because we’re in October and I still have a fair few to go (see September Stats for current progress) and only two and a half months to finish it in!

So, now I’ve been reminded of all the good books that I’ve got waiting to be read, lets see if it helps restrain my book buying urge.  It’s going to have to for a few weeks at least – because there’s no space for anything else yet!

I want to hear from you if you’ve got any tips for managing a book backlog and for restraining your bookbuying urges as I’m fairly sure I haven’t seen the last of the restless feeling of not being able to settle down to a book and having nothing to read!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: October 2 – October 8

A week off work – where we should have been going on holiday, but ended up working on the house.  So not as much reading time as I would have had had I been on the beach.  But the list is deceptive – I’ve also read my 30+ first round submissions for #Noirville and I can’t wait to tell you about my favourites!

Read:

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

The Ninja’s Illusion by Gigi Pandian

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

In the Market for Murder by TE Kinsey

Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott

Started:

The Days of Anna Madrigal by Armistead Maupin

 Still reading:

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

Moonlight over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

 I may have bought a few books – but then I was on holiday and what’s a girl to do? You’ve got to have a holiday book or two!*

*NB actually six – two ebooks and four actual books. 

Some of the Heyer collection
Authors I love, non-fiction, romance, Series I love, The pile

Greatest Hits: My 500th post!

I realised earlier that my next post would be my 500th and it seemed a shame for it to go by without being marked and just be a normal Week in Books. So instead a little bonus post looking at what we’ve discovered in 500 posts…

I think, if we’re being honest we could sum most of my reading up as falling into one of three categories: romance, crime and history. To be honest, sometimes it hits all three…

Romance

Artistically arranged Heyer novels
A selection of my favourites

 

Back in the very early days I wrote about my abiding love of Georgette Heyer so it would be remiss of me not to mention her here (especially as some do hit that trifecta – Masqueraders, Talisman Ring, Unknown Ajax for example) but it’s not just about Regency romances. I already loved Trisha Ashley, but while I’ve been writing the blog I’ve become a massive fan of  Sarah Morgan and Jill Shalvis who both wrote contemporary romances, which a couple of years ago I would have told you that I don’t really read unless they’re romantic comedies. Romantic comedies have become harder to find over the years, but they’re still there if you look hard enough – like Kirsty Greenwood, my old editor at Novelicious who is funny and a little bit rude.*

Crime

Four books
The four books that feature Peter and Harriet

The only way to start this section is with Lord Peter Wimsey. I still love these stories as much as I did when I wrote that post. I still listen to the audiobooks and radio plays with Ian Carmichael monthly. They’re a sure fire way to make me relax at the end of a long day and my favourite of all the Golden Age crime. One of the greatest things about the ebook revolution is the reappearance of some more forgotten classics like Edmund Crispin and a lot of the British Library Crime classics. Another great thing about ebooks are the smaller presses – if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you’ll know about my love for Fahrenheit Press because I’ve gone on about it so much over the last 18+ months. And then there’s the cozy crime. My favourites are the ones with a sense of humour – like Meg Langslow and the Royal Spyness series.

History

Gone with the Windsors by Laurie Graham
Gone with the Windsors by Laurie Graham

This is actually quite a broad category – I’m using it to cover straight up nonfiction history books, like The Greedy Queen, and fiction set in the past like Deanna Raybourn and Lauren Willig’s books. A lot of my reading is set in the past in one way or another, which perhaps isn’t surprising given that I’m a history graduate. I’ve learned more about Ancient Egypt and the Victorian rush to excavate it through Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody series. I tend to stick to books set after 1600, but I do venture back further if something catches my eye. I have a love for the interwar period – non fiction books like Flappers and Queen Bees and novels – like one of my all-time favourites Gone With The Windsors, or mystery series (overlap!) like Daisy Dalrymple and Phryne Fisher, both of which are overdue for new novels too.

 

And all this hadn’t even touched on my love of boarding school stories – new and old – or ballet books, and classic children’s books in general.  Or the late, great Sir Terry Pratchett. Or Gail Carriger’s supernatural world. Or Charlaine Harris’s. Or the Janet Evanovich obsession. And just writing this has made me realise how many great books I’ve read and written about for this blog.

One  of the aims of Verity Reads Books was to try to reduce my to-read pile  I don’t think we can really count that as a success as the pile took up three boxes when it went into storage. But I do think I think more before buying books and NetGalley means I get advance copies of things now, which don’t take up actual space, but obviously mean I have less time to read Books from the pile. But really, there’s no such thing as too many books! Plus I really like writing about what I’ve been reading and chatting to people about what I’ve been reading on various social media platforms, so that’s been a total bonus.

Thanks for reading my ramblings, and here’s to whatever I discover in the next 500 posts!

Happy Reading.

* Kirsty’s Big Sexy Love is 99p on Kindle at the moment and you should totally buy it!

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: September 24 – October 1

The home renovations continue – and once again my reading time is down.  And I’m not expecting the book count to go up a lot in the next few weeks because I’m expecting the Fahrenheit #Noirville entries to arrive soon and then I’ll be reading them instead!  Exciting times.

Read:

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Nadiya’s British Food Adventure (sampler) by Nadiya Hussain

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

The New Deadwardians by Dan Abnett

Die Like an Eagle by Donna Andrews

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides

Started:

Moonlight over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher

The Ninja’s Illusion by Gigi Pandian

Still reading:

Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

On the brightside, I didn’t buy any books last week.  Which as we all know is a real achievement for me!

 

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: September 18 – September 24

A busy week – but lots of train journeys.  I read a book and a bit on the way to and the way back from meeting Sir Patrick Stewart (!) to make this video for work. Sorry not sorry!

Read:

Anna and Her Daughters by D E Stevenson

Bones to Pick by Linda Lovely

Ax to Grind by Tonya Kappes

Accidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis

The Midnight Peacock by Katherine Woodfine

Thrice the Brinded Cat hath Mew’d by Alan Bradley

Black Panther 1: A Nation Beneath Our Feet by Ta-Nehisi Coates et al

BuzzBooks 2017: Romance by various authors

Started:

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

Still reading:

Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides

 

books, stats, The pile, week in books

The Week In Books: September 11 – September 17

 I spent two days painting and a day out watching the touring cars. You can tell…

Read:

The Mothers by Brit Bennett

Wise Children by Angela Carter

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Rivers of London: Detective Stories 4 by Ben Aaronovitch et al

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

Started:

 To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

Fresh Complaint by Jeffrey Eugenides 

Still reading:

Rotherweird by Andrew Caldecott
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

The Golden House by Salman Rushdie

One ebook bought. So that’s ok. Sort of.