Waiting On Wednesday: ‘The Gates of Athens’ by Conn Iggulden

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

I haven’t read a single book by this author but I am so intrigued and onboard for this book.

Published by: Penguin Books

Expected Publication: 4th August 2020

The stunning new novel from Britain’s master of historical fiction.

The momentous struggle between Athens and Sparta as rival powers and political systems will last for twenty-seven years (431 to 404 BC). It will end in the fall of Athens.

Filled with cunning political scheming, astonishing military prowess, invasions, treacheries, plagues, ambitions, virtues, and emotions and a lot of intrigue, Conn Iggulden brings to life one of the most thrilling chapters of the ancient world.

REVIEW: Rocky and Louie by Phil Walleystack, Raweyn Caisley and Dub Leffler

Published: 28th April 2020

Publisher: Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia

Pages:  32

Format: Hardback picture book (courtesy of the publisher for review)

RRP: $24.99

4/5 Stars

 Louie’s big brother, Rocky, has big dreams and wants to chase them. But Louie doesn’t want him to forget where he belongs . . .

A heartfelt story about the bond between two brothers and their special connection to country. Illustrated by CBCA award-winning picture-book creator Dub Leffler, and written by acclaimed singer/storyteller Phil Walleystack and award-winning children’s author Raewyn Caisley.

 Rocky and Louie is a super sweet picture about family, country and change. Continue reading

Waiting On Wednesday: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

Love it or hate it, there is no denying that the best-selling Twilight series took the world by storm during its hey-day. Fans of the series have been waiting for this book for years … and I’m keen to see if it lives up to its hype (and to jump back into the stories we all were so addicted to!).

Published by: Hachette

Expected Publication: 5th August 2020

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experience in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

In Midnight Sun, Stephenie Meyer transports us back to a world that has captivated millions of readers and brings us an epic novel about the profound pleasures and devastating consequences of immortal love.

July TBR & Reading Aspirations

July marks my third Monthly TBR post, and I’ve decided to keep this feature going until the end of 2020 at the very least. I really enjoy making them and planning out the books I ‘will’ read each month and seeing how much my expectations stack up to my reality.

June turned out to be pretty readathon heavy thanks to some world-event inspired readathons that were announced mid-way through the month. While I enjoyed them immensely, I’m really hoping for a more low-key July. I’ve got a lot on this month in my personal life, and thus I’d like to keep my expectations and blogging life simple, clean and as easy as possible.

Continue reading

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

I’m not sure how we’ve ended up here already, but it’s time for the Mid-Year Book Freak Out tag for 2020. I haven’t been tagged by anyone to do this, but I just love the concept and adore watching and reading booktubers and bloggers responses to these questions.

Much like half the population, reading has been … problematic for me this year. I’m way behind on my book count and I’m having major issues concentrating. That said I’ve read some gems this year. So without further ado, let’s get into the tag!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2020?

 

 

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020?

I haven’t read as many sequels as I thought so far this year, and those that I have read are all ice-hockey related. With that in mind, I have two books that instantly stand out for this question. I absolutely adored both of these books and still think about them months after reading them.

Avery Flynn is a new-to-me author who I heard about thanks to the (now cancelled due to covid19) 2020 SAE line up. I really liked the first book, but I ADORED this book. The characters, plot, romance and just everything about this book were just perfection and I’m so looking forward to the next Avery Flynn book coming out!

Sawyer Bennett’s Arizona Vengeance’s series is one of my favourite ice-hockey series, so I thought I knew what I was into with this book, but this one blew my expectations out of the park. It was so good!

 

3. New Releases you haven’t read yet, but you want to.

There are so many … so I’m just going to list the covers.

I am most desperate to read Felix Ever After, but its so hard to get hold of a copy in Australia. I’ve ordered the hardback, but there’s no date on when they think it will arrive yet.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

How long have you got? 2020 is shaping up to be an amazing book release year with so many books still coming!

5. Biggest disappointment?

I’ve had a mostly good book year with the books I’ve picked up …but I had such high hopes for these books, and they just fell short of achieving them. A lot of them are shorter books, and maybe it’s the format … novellas might not be my thing it seems. I like a good chunky monkey of a book it appears.

 

6. Biggest Surprise?

Wendy James talked this memoir up to me towards the end of 2019 and let me just say that it didn’t disappoint. Susan Francis’ writing was so effortless and I fell in love instantly. Her story is captivating and I was so caught up in everything that it was such a surprise to find myself at the end of the book so quickly!

I first heard about this book from Jessie at Bowties and Books once again, but this book kept appearing across social media, blogs and youtube and I just had to give it ago. I originally thought Akwaeke Emezi’s writing might be a bit too high brow for me, but I absolutely adored this gem of a book and want to read more of their stuff ASAP (I’m just a bit cautious of the book snake on their other book ….).

Girl, Woman, Other is such a hard book to explain, but it was epic. I almost didn’t pick this one up, but I really wanted to read both Man Brooker Prize winners (plot twist, although I’ve now read The Handmaid’s Tale, I still haven’t read The Testament yet). It took me a while to get used to Evaristo’s writing, but once I warmed up, I couldn’t put this down. It was enlightening … and just amazing.

This book had me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t know where it was going, did not see most of the twists coming and it was just so creepy at times. I listened to the audio of this, and probably should have read the physical book at times, but it was so good!

7. Favourite new author (debut or new-to-you).

There were so many authors I instantly listed here, but I’m going to stick to the rules here and list one … Avery Flynn. I’ve read two of her books this year, with the aim to read the third ASAP.

8.Newest fictional crush.

Jonah Collins from The Best Thing by Mariana Zapata. His accent, personality, actions, and … looks… Jonah Collins has it all.

Also Theodore/Theo from The Guy On The Right… swoon.

 

9. Newest favourite character.

Emma Phoenix from Bossy Bastard. I loved this character so much!

10. Books that made you cry.

11. Books that make you happy.

Romance makes me happy… so half of the books I read this year qualify, but I’m going with Heartstopper Vol. 3 by Alice Oseman because I haven’t mentioned this book yet and it needs more recognition.

 

12. Most beautiful book you’ve brought so far this year?

Ebook: Teofila’s Guide to Saving The Sun by Cynthia A. Rodriguez & Reborn Yesterday by Tessa Bailey

Audiobook: All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

Paperback: Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

 

Hardback: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender & Smash It! by Francina Simon

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

REVIEW: Little Puggle’s Song by Vikki Conley & illustrated by Helene Magisson

Published: 15th August 2019

Publisher: New Frontier Publishing

Pages: 32

Format: Hardback Picture book (borrowed from the library)

RRP: $35 AUD

5/5 Stars

A lonely echidna searches for his voice. Every time Puggle tires to make sound nothing comes out. Can Puggle find his voice and join the bush choir?

 

 

 

 

Little Puggle’s Song is one of the beautiful and inspiring picture books I’ve read. There is just something about this adorable books that tugs at your heartstrings and makes you notice it.
Puggle might be small, and not able to sing, but she is mighty and resilient in the face of failure.

Continue reading

REVIEW: Dear Grandpa by Kate Simpson & Illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh

Published: 5th August 2019

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Pages: 32

Format: Hardback picture book (borrowed from the library)

RRP:$24.99

5/5 Stars

A picture book about the special relationship between a boy and his grandfather, who stay close even when they are separated by distance.

Grandpa, did you know that if you rub a needle with a magnet, one end will point to the north and the other end to the south? In the south there’s an apartment building 160 metres tall. From the balcony, you can see the entire city. There are cinemas and ice cream shops … and me!

As Henry measures the distance between his new apartment and Grandpa’s wooden house under the mango tree, Grandpa works out how close they really are. A moving story that celebrates the bond between a boy and his grandfather.

 Dear Grandpa by Kate Simpson and illustrated by Ronojoy Ghosh is a love letter to the relationships kids share with their Grandparents. It is heartwarming; packed full of so much emotion, love and care that this is bound to be a family feel-good favourite. Continue reading

Waiting On Wednesday: The Shelf by Helly Acton

 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking the Spine. The purpose is to spotlight upcoming releases that we are excited for.

 

Published by: Bonnier Zaffre

Expected Publication: 2nd July 2020

Amy Wright thinks her boyfriend is surprising her with a dream holiday to pop the big question – they’ve been together for two years now so surely it must be about time? But the dream turns into a nightmare when she removes her blindfold and finds herself on the set of The Shelf, a Big Brother-style reality television show.

Along with five other women, Amy is dumped live on TV in front of a studio audience and millions of viewers watching from home.

The women must compete in a series of humiliating and obnoxious tasks in the hope of being crowned The Keeper.

Amy initially stays on The Shelf with the million-pound prize in mind. But, empowered by the women around her, and with a month to think about what she really wants (without constantly comparing herself to everyone else’s filtered online lives), she might come away with an even bigger reward.

This fun, relatable, honest and satirical look at society’s obsession with settling down, coupling up, having the courage to be enough on your own will strike a chord with anyone who’s been asked ‘why are you still single?’.

REVIEW: Little Bird’s Day by Sally Morgan and illustrated by Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr

Published: 1st April 2019

Publisher: Magabala Books

Pages: 40

Format: Hardcover Picture book (borrowed from the library)

RRP: $24.99

4/5 Stars 

SHORTLISTED – 2020 ABIA AWARD SMALL PUBLISHERS’ CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE YEAR
SHORTLISTED – 2020 CBCA Award for New Illustrator

NOTABLES – 2020 CBCA Picture Book of the Year Book Award
NOTABLES – 2020 CBCA Book of the Year: Early Childhood

Inaugural Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award Winner

A simple, universal story of a day in the life of Little Bird as she sings the world alive, flies with Cloud, travels with Wind, nestles with Moon and dreams of flying among the stars. Sally’s beautiful words and Johnny’s sensitive artwork combine to make this a beautiful, distinctive publication with global appeal. Johnny infuses his illustrations with his fine-art aesthetic, his traditional motifs and a quirky sense of humour.

Little Bird’s Day is a beautiful picture book about the day in the life of a bird. Told beautifully through Sally Morgan’s text and Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr’s illustrations, this book is a stunning piece of art celebrating nature and the Indigenous culture. Continue reading