October recap

And yet another month has passed! Although I did finish 4 books, this wasn’t my best reading month. I was ill twice which prevented me from reading and the books I read didn’t always turn out as I hoped they would. Nonetheless, October is also the month that I passed my Goodreads reading challenge and abandoned my classics club for a while.

Read(ing)

I read three new-to-me authors and one book of my favourite author. North and South was my 40th book of the year and so my Goodreads challenge is now finished. I believe this is a week or two later than last year. I knew that I would finish 40 without problem. But I don’t want to add more pressure in raising my challenge.

North and south was a classic from my classic club list. And, however, this isn’t a bad book – I did enjoy it at times-, I can now say that I’m done with reading difficult language books for a while. Especially when they’re slow in pace. I’m just too busy with building my own house and life lately to be able to ‘work’ again while reading.

Number of pages read: 1.465 pages
Number of books finished: 4
Favorite read: ‘The honey and the sting‘, although it’s not my favourite Fremantle
Centuries visited: B.C., 17th century, 19th century and 20th century
Countries visited: England, France and Greece
Currently reading: Nefertiti by Michelle Moran (I love it so far)
Next up: no idea yet!

Reviewed

Added to my TBR

  • Little by Edward Carey is one of those books that has peaked my interest at a few times and that I want to borrow from the library some day.
  • Black drop by Leonora Nattrass, looks like an interesting new series for me to try out

What was your favourite read in October?

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September recap

September means getting back into routine when halfway the month you start to realize that time feels to move a lot quicker than during Summer. So when I started writing this recap, I thought it was a bad reading month. I didn’t read that much, did I? But no worries, I managed to read a normal amount of books. It’s just my imagination.

Read(ing)

I finished 4 total different books. I didn’t like ‘My brilliant friend’ and ‘Ithaca’ as much as I hoped I would. But Essex Dogs and Heartstone both could make it to my end of year list of favourite books. Heartstone might also become one of my favourite parts of the Shardlake series.

Number of pages read: 1.869 pages
Number of books finished: 4
Favorite read: ‘Heartstone‘, but it was difficult to choose that one over Essex dogs
Centuries visited: B.C., 14th century, 16th century and 20th century
Countries visited: France, England, Italy and Greece
Currently reading: Kate Quinn’s ‘The Alice Network’
Next up: might pick up a classic or something from my psychical shelves

I was very distraught to hear about the death of Hilary Mantel. Although I still need to read ‘The mirror and the light’ and I didn’t like her ‘A place of greater safety’, I love her Thomas Cromwell series. I believe her to be a great author and it is sad to lose her this soon.

Reviewed & blogged

Added to my TBR

  • Winter in Madrid by S.J. Sansom, to try some of his other work
  • Lamentation because of course I’m looking forward to reading the next Shardlake installment
  • I bought a copy of The marriage portrait. I haven’t read anything by O’Farrell yet (no not even Hamnet)

How was your month?

20 books of Summer: the recap

I’m not ready yet to say goodbye to summer, but it’s time to do a recap on my ’20 books of summer’ challenge. This challenge is hosted by Cathy of 746 books and the idea is to create a list of 20 books to read and review between the 1st of June and the 31st of August. Here you can read my sign-up post with my original list of twenty books.

I’m happy to announce that I managed to read 12 books during the last three months. Ten of them are from my original list, I also read two extra review copies. Last year, I stranded at 14 books, but that was because my holidays got cancelled, while this year I went abroad for two weeks during this three-month-period. And when I’m on holiday, I tend to read a lot less than usual. So, in the end I’m quite happy with my result.
These are the books I’ve read:

My favourite reads were ‘That bonesetter woman’, ‘Stone blind’ and ‘The price of blood’. I enjoyed participating in this challenge (thanks Cathy for hosting!) and I’m looking forward to join again next year.

Did you finish this challenge?

August recap

As August was the last month of ’20 books of Summer’ (recap coming up soon), I worked through my list. Although, I also had my Summer holidays and didn’t read every day, I’m really happy with the books I’ve read this summer. Some of them will no doubt make it to my favourites list at the end of the year.

Read(ing)

I finished 4 books during August, all of them from my ‘20 books of summer‘ list. I loved Mrs England and enjoyed Weir’s book about Anne Boleyn a lot. But nothing beats a good Nathalie Haynes book. Stone blind is just pure perfection.

Number of pages read: 1.602 pages
Number of books finished: 4
Favorite read: ‘Stone blind
Centuries visited: B.C., 14th century, 16th century and 19th century
Countries visited: England, Italy and Greece
Currently reading: ‘Essex dogs’ by Dan Jones, it’s great so far!
Next up: no idea yet

Reviewed

Added to my TBR

Have you read anything by Nathalie Haynes yet?

June recap

June was a month of ups and also many downs. I went to London for a week and really enjoyed being on a trip after two long covid years (and I bought a few books in the Waterstones, and with a few I mean a lot 😅). But there was also some bad news this month. So, I did read but not as much as I hoped.

Read(ing)

I managed to finish 4 books and I’m in the middle of two more. Quite a good start of my 20 books of summer challenge. As ‘Lord John and the hand of devils’ was almost as a whole finished in May, I don’t count it for my list. At the moment I’m at 3/20 after one month out of three. Still some work to do :).

I’m slowly getting through Cloud cuckoo land. It’s not the kind of book that I normally read, but I’m very curious to see how all the layers of the story will unfold. The heretic wind is a fast read about the life of Mary Tudor. I didn’t like it at first, but I’m enjoying more now that I’m in the second half of the book.

Number of pages read: 1.651 pages
Number of books finished: 4
Favorite read: The house with the golden door
Centuries visited: 1st century, 13th century, 14th century, 16th century, 18th century and 20th century
Countries visited: England, Italy, France and Greece (Constantinople)
Currently reading: The heretic wind and cloud cuckoo land
Next up: No idea yet 🙂 But I have the ’20 books of summer’ list to guide me

Reviewed

Added to my TBR

  • Sepulchre by Kate Mosse
  • The master of Measham Hall, this book was in every bookshop in London on display. I didn’t buy it, but it seems interesting
  • I still need to try Damian Dibben’s Tomorrow, but his newest book ‘The colour storm‘ seems even more my cup of tea.

How is your summer reading going?

20 books of summer 2022: my list

I’ve been looking forward a lot to Cathy’s announcement of 20 books of summer. Not only because summer is my favourite season and reading while trying not to spill my sun cream, or even better ice cream, on my book is one of my happy places. This is just such a nice challenge in which a lot of other book bloggers are taking part and encourage each other.

Have you never heard of 20 books of summer before? Well, the good thing is that there are almost no rules 😅. The concept is to compile a list of 10, 15 or 20 books. And then read and review these books before the 1st of September.

All the fun is off course in creating the list and in not sticking to it 😛. But well, I created my list at the beginning of May and decided to list 20 books. And then aim to read at least 10 of them. Last year I finished 14 books during summer, which is A LOT. Mainly because I didn’t go on holiday in 2021 and thus spent a lot of my free time to reading. This year, I know I won’t have the same amount of time, so I’ve set the bar a lot lower for myself. 10 books will do.

This is my full list of books, in a random order.

  • Mrs England by Stacey Halls (Kindle copy)
  • Cloud cuckoo land by Anthony Doerr (physical copy)
  • Labyrinth by Kate Mosse (library)
  • The price of blood by Patricia Bracewell (Kindle copy)
  • City of masks by S.D. Sykes (Kindle copy)
  • And then there were none by Agatha Christie (for the classics club, physical copy)
  • The house with the golden door by Elodie Harper (Netgalley ARC)
  • The seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (library)
  • Heartstone by S.J. Sansom (library)
  • The heretic wind by Judith Arnopp (Kindle copy)
  • The honey and the sting by Elizabeth Fremantle (physical copy)
  • The devil and the dark water by Stuart Turton (library)
  • Anne Boleyn, a king’s obsession by Alison Weir (library)
  • North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (for the classics club, Kindle copy)
  • The puritan princess by Miranda Mallins (Kindle copy)
  • The royal secret by Andrew Taylor (library)
  • A column of fire by Ken Follett (physical copy)
  • Stone blind by Nathalie Haynes (Netgalley ARC)
  • The reindeer hunters by Lars Mytting (library)
  • Circe by Madeline Miller (physical copy)

I’m curious to see where this challenge will end for me. Bring on the summer.

Have you made your list yet? With which book do I need to start my challenge?

April recap

Hi all, April was a crazy month at work, so I had slightly less time for reading. I stopped reading classics for a while and just worked my way through a library haul of some more recent books.

Read(ing)

The wolf den was definitely my favourite book of the month. It is set in the ancient city of Pompeii and tells the story of 5 women in a brothel who are trying to survive. Next, I discovered the existence of stave churches in 19th century Norway and read about the Wars of the Roses in the next installment of the Kingmaker series. At the moment, I’m finishing Ariadne, a Greek myth retelling that I’m enjoying a lot so far.

Number of pages read: 1.540 pages
Number of books finished: 3
Favorite read: The wolf den
Centuries visited: 1ste century, 15th century and 19th century
Countries visited: England, Italy and Norway
Currently reading: Ariadne by Jeniffer Saint (almost finished)
Next up: Probably ‘I, Eliza Hamilton’, as it was on my TBR for 2022.

Reviewed

Watched

  • I’ve started watching ‘Poldark’ again. It seems I forgot some things about season 1.

Added to my TBR

What have you read in April?

March recap

Hi all! April started in Belgium with a bit of snow and now a week of rain. I hope for some sunshine in the coming weeks. I’m in a bit of reading slump because work is crazy as is the construction of my home, so sometimes I’m just too tired too read a few pages. The fact that I started a classic that wasn’t at all something for me, didn’t help.

Read(ing)

I still managed to finish 4 books during march. It’s difficult to choose a favourite but I think I’ll go for ‘The Tudor crown’, just because I enjoy Hickson’s books so much. But I discovered two new authors with Miranda Malins and Jennifer Saint of whom I both want to read other books.

I participated to the next classics club spin and got ‘Tender is the night’ from Fitzgerald as my lucky draw. I immediately started reading it, but it dragged on and on and after 30% I wasn’t enjoying anything about the novel anymore, so I decided to DNF it. As also ‘The trial’ and ‘Villette‘, my two previous classics failed to grip me, I’m a bit ‘done’ with my classics challenge at the moment. Reading should be fun, so I decided to let go of classics for a while. We’ll see what I pick up next.

Number of pages read: 1.817 pages
Number of books finished: 4
Favorite read: The Tudor crown
Centuries visited: Ancient Greece (B.C.), 15th century and 17th century
Countries visited: Greece, England and France
Currently reading: The wolf den by Elodie Harper
Next up: Maybe ‘the bell in the lake’ by Mytting

Reviewed

Blogged

Watched

  • I’m almost finished with ‘Domina’ about Livia Drusilla, wife of emperor Augustus. I’m so happy that there’s a new series about Ancient Rome. It’s very modern (just like Sisi) and the main actress her voice is a bit strange, but I still like it nonetheless.
  • Still going strong with ‘Downton Abbey’ (season 4)

Added to my TBR

Have you read a lot in March? Any favourites?

February recap

Hi all

February is the shortest month of the year and I actually don’t mind because I’m done with the Winter and I hope that April (Spring!) arrives soon now. I also try not to think too much about what’s happening in the world because it makes me sad beyond words. And I want to offer my support to everyone who suffers in some way from the war. What an awful word.

Read(ing)

I managed to finished 4 books of which ‘Wildevrouw’ is my favourite. It’s a historical novel only written in Dutch, so I’ll write no review about that one. But it is set in 16th Antwerp during the Great Iconoclasm.

Number of pages read: 1.448 pages
Number of books finished: 4
Favorite read: Wildevrouw
Centuries visited: 16th century, 17th century, 18th century and 20th century
Countries visited: England and Belgium
Currently reading: Villette by Charlotte Brönte for the classics club
Next up: Don’t know for sure, but I think I’ll pick a book from my physical shelves.

Reviewed

Watched

  • My boyfriend and me are still watching ‘Merlin’ and we’ve started The Borgias again (which is a first for him).
  • Looking forward to the new series of Outlander and The last kingdom and to Vikings: Valhalla.

Added to my TBR

  • The royal secret by Andrew Taylor (The next Marwood and Lovett)
  • The devil and the dark water by Stuart Turton. I haven’t read one of his books before, but this one seems something different for me that I would like to try.

What was your favourite read in February?

January recap

The first recap of 2022! January always feels like an extra long month or so and mostly this means that I can finish a lot of books. Which I did.

Read(ing)

The first days of January I was still recovering from the holidays but I also had some productive days at work and I managed to finish Anna Karenina. I also read two ARc’s this month ‘The hemlock cure’ and ‘The leviathan’. I didn’t like the first one, but enjoyed the atmosphere of the second. My favourite book of the month is ‘A tapestry of treason’, although the next Uhtred book proved again one of the best of the series.

Number of pages read: 2.228 pages
Number of books finished: 5
Favorite read: A tapestry of treason
Centuries visited: 10th century, 15th century, 17th century and 19th century
Countries visited: Russia and England
Currently reading: ‘The trial’ by Franz Kafka for the classics club
Next up: Probably: ‘Wildevrouw’ (A Dutch book set in 16th century Antwerp) or ‘The last protector’ by Andrew Taylor (both are on my shelves from the library).

Reviewed

Blogged

Watched

  • I started watching ‘Downton Abbey’ finally and am already in the middle of the second season. Late too the party, I know :).

Added to my TBR

  • I saw this historical mystery set in Tudor times in my library: The first horseman by D.K. Wilson. Not sure if this will be any good. Has anybody read it?
  • War of the wolf by Bernard Cornwell. Three more books to go in this series!

What was your favourite January read?