Weekly Preview 21/3/21

Hello everyone. I’ve reached the unfortunate conclusion that I need to focus all my efforts on my exams. I thought I’d be able to continue writing some blog posts alongside, but I’ve just been too exhausted to do it, and I think it’ll just cause too much stress if I continue to try. I’ve still got a review for Something Wicked which I have agreed to write, but apart form that, this’ll be my last post for a while. Hopefully I’ll be back soon-ish, but I don’t know how thing’ll turn out.

Weekly Preview 14/3/21

Hello everyone. This past week has been a pretty slow one, where I’ve been cramming revision into most of my waking hours. Not exactly glamourous, but it needs to be done. Next week, however, is much more exciting. To start with, I’m going back to school tomorrow, which hasn’t happened in a year. I’m definitely looking forward to it, but there are some nerves too. Then I start the training for my census job on Tuesday. Not really sure what it’s going to be like. Anyway, all this combines to give me a very busy week. Given this, for the foreseeable future I’m going to try to post one or two book reviews a week, as well as my continued analysis of The Grapes Of Wrath, Music Monday, and this weekly catch-up post. I think trying to do any more than that is just setting myself up for failure.

I’m planning to review Lustrum, which I really enjoyed as it tied directly into the topics we cover in my latin lessons, as well as being an exceptional political thriller. I felt like it continued the story of Cicero well, and I plan on reading the final part of Robert Harris’ trilogy soon. Also, I hope to review Something Wicked, which was a surprisingly good indie book about a police investigation of vampires. I’ve also started The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, but it is a pretty meaty book.

Weekly Preview 7/3/21

Hi everyone. You might remember that I said I was going through a period of demotivation last week. Well, I’ve come out the other end, and everything seems to be looking up (even if I’m still not happy about the exams situation). I think part of the reason for this is that I now have a lot on my plate. Alongside near constant revision, and the possibility of returning to school, I’m also starting my job in just under a week and a half. I find having a lot going on helps me stay focused. The downside of this is that I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to write blog posts, but I’m hoping it won’t be affected too much.

Bookwise, I’ve read a lot this week. I reviewed two indie books, both of which were very good, Realms and Penny Pinching Tips For The Morally Bankrupt. I also finished reading The Empire Of Gold, which is the final book in the Daevabad trilogy (reviews for the first two here and here). I thought it was a pretty satisfying conclusion, although I think I enjoyed it a bit less than the previous two. My full review will be coming soon.

This week I’ll be reading another indie book, Her Mad Song. I’ve read the first few chapters and I can’t say I’ve been particularly captivated, but there is still plenty of time for that to change. I’m also just over halfway through Lustrum, and I’m loving it. The politics of ancient Rome is absolutely my thing. I’ll probably be reviewing one of these this week as well, although which one depends on my mood at the time, as well as how quickly I finish them.

Weekly Preview 28/2/21

Hello everybody. I hope you’re all having a better time than me. Most of my week has been pretty standard (as much as is possible during covid), but two big issues have made the last few days worse. Firstly, the announcement about what was to replace exams happened. We’re getting teacher assessed grades, with no algorithm, which I guess is the best we could have hoped for. But it’s left me feeling completely nihilistic about the situation (if it’s even possible to feel nihilistic about something). I just don’t see the point in going to school to revise for months for exams we’re not even taking to obtain grades that are likely to be completely inaccurate. I can’t help but think is the months of revision worth my time, because does it really make a material difference what grades I get, as long as I get into the uni I want to go to? If anyone has a different perspective on this to me, I’d love to hear it.

The second thing that happened was my step-dad explained the situation with pensions to me. Who knew the future looked so bleak. I guess the only positive is that we’re all living longer.

Turning to books, last week I reviewed both The Devil And The Dark Water, and Tokyo Mayday. They were both good reads, with one being a decent murder mystery, and the other having strong themes to carry it. I’m currently in the middle of Realms by Patrick Morgan (which isn’t on Goodreads yet). I really enjoyed his debut novel, and was grateful that he reached out to me to provide an ARC of his sophomore book. His writing style, being slow-burning and introspective, line up perfectly with what I like to read. Hopefully I’ll have a review coming on Tuesday.

I’m also reading Penny Pinching Tips For The Morally Bankrupt, which is an excellent series of short stories (some extremely short), which are both comedic and thought-provoking. And sometimes very chilling. Review coming Thursday.

Weekly Preview 21/2/21

Last Sunday, I set out my intentions for the following week, as usual, and then promptly failed to fulfill them. They were absolutely my plan initially, but as the week drew on, I realized just how much I needed a break, before the coming months of intense study. So I spent the week spending time with my family and friends, as well as playing xcom 2, an extremely cerebral game, and discovering new and diverse music.

However, half term is over now, and so I’ll be resuming my usual amount of content, at least for a few weeks. I got accepted for the census job that I mentioned a few weeks back, and I start in mid-March. So I’m likely to reduce output again then, at least until I adapt to the new circumstances.

The government should also be announcing what’ll happen with the replacement for exams tomorrow, which will be nice. I’ll finally know what’s happening and how to prepare effectively, which will be another weight off my shoulders.

In terms of books, I’ll probably just write the posts I was going to write last week. namely, a review of The Devil And The Dark Water, something about what I learnt from Homo Deus, the next part in my analysis of The Grapes Of Wrath. Not that any of that is new to you probably.

Weekly Preview 14/2/21

I know I’ve been MIA for the last few days. I already was at the usual low point that I often get before a school break, but then I had an old family problem rear its ugly head again, which just threw me off completely. But I made it, and it’s half term, and I’m just going to take it easy (so there might be reduced number of posts again this coming week).

In other news, my application to be a discovery reviewer was accepted, so I’ll be spending some time figuring out exactly what I’m doing with that. I also reviewed both Homo Deus and Instant Karma last week.

This coming week, I’ll have a review for The Devil And The Dark Water, which I thought was an decent blending of murder mystery with fantasy elements. It did have a few issues. but was overall very enjoyable. I’ll also have my second post for Homo Deus, talking about what I learnt, which I promised last week. My breakdown of The Grapes Of Wrath will be resuming as well.

I’m definitely going to be reading Tokyo Mayday over half term, but as I’m off school, I’m hoping to get through some other books too. I’m thinking I might read A Court Of Mist And Fury, but I haven’t fully decided.

Weekly Preview 7/2/21

I’ve been pretty demotivated this past week in general. Not entirely sure why, but I’m hoping I can just push through it for one more week and get to half term and relax. This did mean that I didn’t read that much last week, and I only reviewed Pariah’s Lament. However, my reading has picked back up again in the last few days.

I’m planning on writing two posts about Homo Deus this week, because I think it deserves it. Firstly, an ordinary book review (spoiler alert, I really liked it), and then a post about what I learnt from it. Honestly, this book completely shattered my perspective of the world in a way I don’t think anything ever has before.

I’m currently reading Instant Karma, which is well-written and keeps me coming back for more, but I don’t like the main character. I’ve also just started The Devil And The Dark Water, but I’ve only read a few chapters and don’t have much of a judgement for it yet.

Weekly Preview 31/1/21

I’ve got some good news and bad news this week. Starting with the bad news, I didn’t get into Cambridge. While it definitely would have been nice if I had, I’m not too cut up over it since I hadn’t even decided I definitely wanted to go there. There is a course at UCL called the BASc (Arts and Sciences), which focuses on interdisciplinarity and creating a flexible, personalized degree, that I’ve already had an offer from and was very excited about. Assuming I get the grades, that’s definitely where I’m going now. Nevertheless, I’m glad I applied to Cambridge, as it really help me focus what exactly what I’m interested in at a very early point in the application process.

The good news is I applied for my very first job! I’m trying to get a role working on the Census. I’m quite excited, because if you know anything about me, I really like politics and hopefully it’ll be an interesting experience to be interacting with an assortment of citizens in an official governmental capacity. The downside is, if I do get the job, it might mean that I reduce the amount of content I’m posting for the six weeks it lasts, since it is quite a significant time commitment alongside my normal school work.

In book news, last week I reviewed These Violent Delights and Numbers, both of which were decent books with pretty deep subject matter. I also finally really found my feet with my most recent Slow Reads book, The Grapes Of Wrath. I feel like my analysis was much better this week than in previous ones.

This week I’ll have a review of Pariah’s Lament and Homo Deus coming. Also, I’ll have the usual monthly wrap-up coming on Wednesday and hopefully another political article on Saturday, although it depends on how much time I have. No idea what I’ll start reading next.

Weekly Preview 24/1/21

This week has been pretty relaxed for me all things considered. I’m nearing the end of the A level syllabus in many of my courses, so the focus of the lessons is starting to transition form learning to revising. I’ll also likely hear back from Cambridge in the coming week. Probably the most exciting thing that happened this week was some cocktail glasses that I’d ordered arrived, and I’m very happy with them.

In more book related news, I signed up for NetGalley, although I’m yet to request any books. I still have plenty that I want to read before I want to dip into what they have on offer. However, let me know if you have any tips that you wish you’d known before you started using it. Also, I’ve been wondering if I should include explicit trigger warnings in my reviews, and if so, is it better at the beginning or the end? I’m curious to hear how you handle them in your own reviews, and if you find them helpful when reading other people’s.

This week I reviewed both The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and A Court Of Thorns And Roses, which wasn’t bad, but didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

I also finished These Violent Delights, which I have mixed feelings about. I felt it was mostly excellent, but I always struggle to empathize with gangster characters, simply because of their blasé attitude to violence. The full review is coming Tuesday. However, I was drawn into reading the acknowledgements, which I never do, by a cunning ploy on the authors part. There, I discovered her thanking my favourite music artist, which gave me an immense sense of happiness. Now I wonder what other hidden gems I’ve missed. I’ll definitely be reading them more often in the future.

This coming week I’ll be reading Pariah’s Lament, an indie high fantasy that has been pretty decent so far. I’m going to try to have the review ready for Thursday, but I might not achieve that.

Weekly Preview 17/1/21

Hello everybody. I’m very glad for a much tamer week than the last one! No violent insurrections and no absurd governmental u-turns is completely fine with me. Being stuck at home under lockdown has meant I haven’t exactly got much news, but at least I’ve had plenty of time for reading.

Last week I reviewed Kingdom Of The Wicked, which was a decent dark fantasy, but nothing special, and the indie book There Was Music. This one was very different from anything I’ve read recently, yet still compelling and emotive.

This week I’ve got reviews coming for The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue and A Court Of Thorns And Roses, both of which I have finally got around to reading. I thought Addie LaRue was particularly good, and certainly worthy of all the praise it’s been getting.

I started reading These Violent Delights this week, which is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet in 1920s Shanghai. While I’m a big fan of Shakespeare’s work, I didn’t like Romeo and Juliet that much, so I’m interested to see if this book can revitalize it for me. Although I have also heard it’s pretty gory, so I’m a little apprehensive as I’m very squeamish about graphic descriptions of blood.

Happy reading everyone, and fingers crossed we can have another peaceful week.