Monday, 25 November 2019

Reading Record | A Week of Nonfiction Only


My reading record posts are a way for me to document all things bookish and reading in my life - I aim to post consistently, with them most often being in a weekly format, however readathons & certain books have their own specific reading record.

In this reading record you will see me focusing solely on my nonfiction TBR for Nonfiction November.

MONDAY 18TH NOVEMBER
Currently reading:
The Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking (on page 115)

I started today with just the one book, and have ended it with three!

This morning I picked up Expeditions Unpacked, reading about the first four explorers/expeditions within. This book takes a look at the kit that individual adventurers decided to take on their expeditions. Not only does it share the kit, but also a little bit of information about the person, and also the journey they undertook too. My plan from here on out with Expeditions Unpacked is to read a few entries a day here and there, between now & the end of the month, so that by the time November is over, I should have completed the book.

I read a further two chapters in The Art of Making Memories, and am now on page 161 with that book.

Both of these NF books are the kind of ones that you dip in & out of - coffee table book like - and so I wanted to have a more substantial book on the go (which if I were reading fiction this week, that would likely fill this gap), and so I picked up Waterfalls of Stars: My Ten Years on the Island of Skomer by Rosanne Alexander. I read the first chapter (21 pages) before calling it a night.

TUESDAY 19TH NOVEMBER
Much like yesterday morning, I read a few more profiles from Expeditions Unpacked.

This evening I continued with Waterfalls of Stars, reading a further three chapters, meaning I am now on page 55. Although I am still in the very early stages of this book (it is 350 pages in total), I can already tell I'm going to fall in love with the island setting & wildlife commentary. 

WEDNESDAY 20TH NOVEMBER
Wednesday is the day I usually do the least amount of reading... However, I have managed to read a chapter within The Art of Making Memories, and also a further two chapters in Waterfalls of Stars, which I'm happy about.


THURSDAY 21ST NOVEMBER
This morning I finished reading The Art of Making Memories by Meik Wiking - book number 3 for NF November complete. I really quite enjoyed this book, especially as someone who isn't the best with remembering & memory (I document my reading online for reason - ha!). I liked learning about some of the science behind memory making, and how the book was kept light but yet informative with the writing style. 

I also started & finished Sustainable Home by Christine Liu today, reading the book in its entirety in the one sitting. This book was a whim of a library borrow for me, and I'm glad I took it out now. In Sustainable Home, Christine talks a little about her own sustainable journey (I did not know of her previously, but it appears she is a blogger), and shares via chapters of rooms found in your average home (living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom) ways in which the reader can also make more sustainable decisions & lifestyle choices. I found this book to be informative & insightful, not pushy in its message, and think it would be a great foundation for those looking to work towards a more sustainable lifestyle. 

Side note: I have already been on my own sustainable journey for a good while now and haven't actually read too many books on sustainability specifically, seeking this information online more than anything else. Whilst I already implement a number of the practices mentioned in my own day to day life already, I found the kitchen portion of Sustainable Home being the one that impacted me the most (as I do believe this is an area that me & my family could work on more).

FRIDAY 22ND NOVEMBER
This morning, after not picking it up for a few days, I read a handful more expedition studies within Expedition Unpacked.

I have also read more of Waterfalls of Stars, starting the day on page 81 and concluding it on page 120.

SATURDAY 23RD NOVEMBER
Really not much reading done today - 20ish pages in Waterfalls of Stars.

SUNDAY 24TH NOVEMBER
Another slow reading day, with two chapters being read in Waterfalls of Stars; I am currently on page 188 of this book, which means I am over half way through now.

The amount I was reading definitely tailed off a bit there towards the end of the week, but I think by adding in fiction books this coming week, it will help me to feel more of a pull to my books... I think... I hope!

BOOKS MENTIONED

Happy reading!
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Monday, 18 November 2019

Reading Record | I Finished Three Books


My reading record posts are a way for me to document all things bookish and reading in my life - I aim to post them consistently with them most often being in a weekly format, however readathons & certain books have their own specific reading record.

In this reading record you will see that I finished three books, including my most anticipated book of the year, a fantasy historical fiction with a male/male romance, and a nonfiction title.

MONDAY 11TH NOVEMBER
Currently reading:
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (on page 236)
The Binding by Bridget Collins (on page 163 - on pause until I finished The Starless Sea)
The Secret Barrister (on page 108)

I read to page 319 in The Starless Sea this evening. It appears we are at the point now where the story is starting to be pulled together, but there are still more questions than answers at this point. There are 175 pages left... It would be nice to get them all read tomorrow, but I'm not rushing the read in any way - I'm truly immersing myself in and appreciating all the details of this fantastical world & unfolding story - so we'll see how that goes.

TUESDAY 12TH NOVEMBER
I did indeed manage to finish reading The Starless Sea today. It has taken me almost a week to complete the book in its entirety, but that time has been spent with a magical book... It has been a joy to read.

The Starless Sea is deeply woven and wonderfully descriptive, with a cast of characters you won't forget easily. If you enjoyed The Night Circus, or if you are unfamiliar with Erin Morgenstern's writing but love books about books, then The Starless Sea is the book for you.

WEDNESDAY 13TH NOVEMBER
Today I did a little bit of reading in The Secret Barrister, but literally only a few pages or so.

THURSDAY 14TH NOVEMBER
With The Starless Sea now finished, my attention will now move back to The Binding as my current fiction read, whilst also continuing with The Secret Barrister as my nonfiction read. Can I have both of these books finished by the end of the week... Or is that wishful thinking?

I read to page 220 in The Secret Barrister today - meaning I am well over the halfway mark now. I'm quite enjoying this look at the criminal justice system here in the UK (well, England & Wales); it is proving to be both insightful & thought provoking.

In the evening I returned to The Binding, reading the next few chapters and placing my bookmark on page 213.

I left The Binding at the end of part one, where the general premise of the plot was set up, introducing us to the focal characters, outlining the art of book binding, and presenting us a mystery... Having now moved on the start of part two, I can see more focus on the mystery element; things are slowly being pieced together. I'm happy to be back with this book.


FRIDAY 15TH NOVEMBER
Further reading in The Secret Barrister today: read to page 305, which means I have less than 40 pages left.

I also finished the remainder of part two in The Binding (page 295). I was correct in my thoughts on the piecing together of the mystery, with a big answer being shared in part two. I'm keen to see where the rest of this book is going to take us now.

SATURDAY 16TH NOVEMBER
This morning I finished reading The Secret Barrister. I liked the topic, voice and presentation of this book; the writer did a good job of presenting the system to a layperson, and setting out the book in a way that is easy to follow. If you're looking for a snapshot of the courts & justice system here in England & Wales, then I recommend picking this up. 

I started my third book for Nonfiction November later on in the day - The Art of Making Memories by Weik Wiking. This book is a library borrow for me, and I picked it up having enjoyed another book by this writer. I have a number of books still on my NF stack, however I opted for this book in particular to read next as I think I could do with something a bit lighter in theme given the other two nonfiction books I've read so far for the month. I have read the introduction & first chapter of The Art of Making Memories, meaning I am just over 50 pages in.

As well as NF reading today, I also read just over 50 pages of The Binding this evening.

SUNDAY 17TH NOVEMBER
This morning I finished reading The Binding. I loved this book - the plot as a whole, the unique concept of binding itself (in short: books being a person's memories), the love story, and also the way in which the story was told with the parts & different perspectives. If you're on the lookout for a fantastical historical fiction, then I recommend The Binding.

I did also read a further two chapters within my current nonfiction read also today.

Ending the week on a good note, with three books finished. I'm thinking about making the new week an exclusive nonfiction reading week, we'll see.

BOOKS MENTIONED

Happy reading!
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Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Nonfiction November | Ask The Expert (Journeys)


Last year one of my favourite bookish events here in the blogging community was Nonfiction November; it was my first time taking part but I quickly fell in love with it, for many reasons. Concluding the month, I just knew I had to take part again next year... And here we are!

This year I will be taking part in the weekly prompts (on a Wednesday), as well as posting reading record posts each week (on a Monday). My intention for the month of November is to work through some of the unread nonfiction titles currently sitting on my shelves, and to read more nonfiction books within the month than fiction.

For those unfamiliar, the weekly post prompts are linky style, and hosted by one of the five hosts of the event. You can see the host of this week's prompt written below, and all five hosts linked at the end of this post.

WEEK 3
BE THE EXPERT/ASK THE EXPERT/BECOME THE EXPERT hosted by Doing Dewey
Three ways to join in this week! You can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that you have read and recommend (be the expert), you can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that you have been dying to read (ask the expert), or you can create your own list of books on a topic that you'd like to read (become the expert).

This week I'm opting to ask the expert, and am looking to you all for recommendations... Please! 

Something I've come to learn that I quite enjoy reading is books about journeys, in three different ways.

Firstly, I enjoy books about journeys that are quite fact based & informative.
Examples:

Secondly, I enjoy books about journeys that are of a person's experience journeying but still knowledgeable.
Examples:

Lastly, I enjoy books that are memoirs with people on a journey, but also a path of self discovery.
Examples: 

I feel like the topic of journeys is quite broad, but hopefully by sharing specifics & examples of books I've enjoyed there will be a few new to me recommendations coming my way.
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NONFICTION NOVEMBER HOSTS
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Monday, 11 November 2019

Reading Record | The Starless Sea + Nonfiction November


My reading record posts are a way for me to document all things bookish and reading in my life - I aim to post them consistently with them most often being in a weekly format, however readathons & certain books have their own specific reading record. 

In this reading record you will see snippets of reading for Nonfiction November and I also received my most anticipated read of the year.

FRIDAY 1ST NOVEMBER
Starting the month with bookmarks in the very early stages of two books:
The Binding by Bridget Collins (two chapters in - 36 pages read)
The Call of the Wild by Jack London (two chapters in - 34 pages read)

I often have a few books on the go at the one time, including a nonfiction. I finished my last nonfiction read a couple of days ago now and have been waiting on starting a new one... With Nonfiction November now here - I was keen to begin the month fresh with an unopened book - I can start a new nonfiction read.

The book I've chosen to start Nonfiction November with is The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. This is a book that I added to my NF wishlist this time last year during Nonfiction November, and I am happy to now be getting to it. 

I had heard so many positive things regarding this book, and having read the first two parts (99 pages) today, I can see why!

Raynor and her husband are at an immensely low point in life, and yet they have strength, hope and one another pushing them on as they traverse the South West coastline here in the UK. Reading about another's hardship is never an easy or pleasant experience, however Raynor's writing style means that the reader is emotionally invested in the couple, and kept easily engaged as she shares the highs & lows of their journey. I've found it hard putting this book down today.

In the evening I read (listened to) the first 52 minutes of The Shepherd's Hut by Tim Winton via the borrowing audiobook service through my library. I haven't really formed any solid impressions of this so far.

SATURDAY 2ND NOVEMBER
No reading.

SUNDAY 3RD NOVEMBER
Book one of NF November - complete! I finished the remainder of The Salt Path today (just under 200 pages), and what a great start to the month of immersing myself in NF it was.

Repeating the same reading routine as Friday, I listen to some more of The Shepherd's Hut in the evening once again - just over 50 minutes. I think the first person narration - stream of conscious almost - is really easy to listen to & fall into via audiobook.

MONDAY 4TH NOVEMBER
I popped to the library today to return two books, and came home with four - isn't that always the way?! I borrowed one fiction & three nonfiction (will I get to them this month with my already stacked TBR?).

Reading wise, I focused on my fiction books today, with just under 100 more pages read in The Binding and also further listening of my audiobook.


TUSEDAY 5TH NOVEMBER
This morning I read to the end of part 1 in The Binding (which was only about 30 pages) and decided it was a good place to take a brief break in my reading of this specific book as in the post today I had book mail: my preorder of The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. 

The Starless Sea is honestly my most anticipated book of the year (or ever!), and I just know I couldn't wait to complete my current fiction read before delving into Erin Morgenstern's newest release.

The reason I'm putting a pause on The Binding is not only because I want to focus solely on The Starless Sea when I read it (fiction wise), but also because both of them have a bookish theme to the story, and whilst I often read multiple books at a time, I like the plots to be vastly different as it makes following along a lot easier.

Ending the day having read 74 pages of The Starless Sea.

WEDNESDAY 6TH NOVEMBER
No reading.

THURSDAY 7TH NOVEMBER
After not getting any reading done yesterday, I did get a little bit done today with just over another 50 pages read in The Starless Sea.

FRIDAY 8TH NOVEMBER
Today I started my next NF pick for the month - The Secret Barrister - and have read the introduction + first two chapters, meaning I'll be continuing from page 85 when I next pick it up.

I did also read a little more of The Starless Sea today, with my bookmark now sitting at page 170. If I'm being honest, I definitely thought I'd have made more progress in The Starless Sea by now. It isn't the fault of the story - I'm absolutely loving being back in a world imagined by Erin Morgenstern - but the fault of the reader. This week has been quite a busy one personal life wise (& will continue so in to the weekend), and so reading hasn't been a main focus as it usually is in my spare time.

The Starless Sea is proving to be AMAZING (all that I could of hoped for, and more!), I just need to prioritise reading a bit more.

SATURDAY 9TH NOVEMBER
I managed to carve out a small amount of reading time today, with my bookmark now on page 236 of The Starless Sea.

SUNDAY 10TH NOVEMBER
Much less reading done today than yesterday, however I did finish the next chapter of The Secret Barrister. This NF book takes a look at the court system here in the UK, and I am really enjoying it so far - accessible and easy to read, as well as insightful.

BOOKS MENTIONED

Happy reading!
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Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Nonfiction November | Nonfiction / Fiction Book Pairing


Last year one of my favourite bookish events here in the blogging community was Nonfiction November; it was my first time taking part but I quickly fell in love with it, for many reasons. Concluding the month, I just knew I had to take part again next year... And here we are!

This year I will be taking part in the weekly post prompts (on a Wednesday), as well as posting reading record posts each week (on a Monday). My intention for the month of November is to work through some of the unread nonfiction titles currently sitting on my shelves, and to read more nonfiction books within the month than fiction.

For those unfamiliar, the weekly post prompts are linky style, and hosted by one of the five hosts of the event. You can see the host of this week's prompt below, and all five hosts linked at the end of this post.

WEEK 2
BOOK PAIRINGS hosted by Sarah's Book Shelves
This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title. It can be a "If you loved this book, read this!" or just two titles that you think would go well together. 

Of all the weekly prompts, this is one of my favourites. I find I come away with quite the list of pairings, and I enjoy seeing the ways in which other bloggers have decided to interpret the prompt & pair books. However, for me, it is also the hardest to write. 

I've only really gotten into nonfiction books properly in the last few years, and so naturally my knowledge of nonfiction is limited to that time frame; I think the more I continue to read nonfiction & widen my nonfiction net, the easier these posts will get to write... At least I'm hoping so!

Today I've decided to pair two sets of books, rather than specific titles. I'm pairing a nonfiction nature anthology series with the fictional writing of Kate Morton.

One of my favourite fictional authors is Kate Morton, there is such a depth & beauty to her historical fiction writing, and I find myself immersed in her stories so easily. One of the reasons I fall into her books with such ease is because of her writing style, and the picture she paints of the surroundings & settings. A number of her books feature the great British landscape in one way or another (titles that spring to mind: The Lake House, The Forgotten Garden, The House at Riverton, and The Clockmaker's Daughter), and that is why I'm pairing her books with a seasonal nature anthology edited by Melissa Harrison. With each of the four seasons being represented within the collection, the books reflect on a specific season and how it greets us here in the UK, with the reader being able to watch the season unfold in the eyes of a number of individuals through essays and such.

Although the link between my pairing isn't immediately obvious, I do think that if you enjoy the books of Kate Morton, then you'll enjoy some British nature writing also. 

Side note: for those who followed along with me last year during Nonfiction November, the seasonal anthology will be familiar to you as I mentioned it in the prompt of books that read like fiction.

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NONFICTION NOVEMBER HOSTS
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