book meme

WWW Wednesday | 14 Apr

Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

The Sanatorium: The spine-tingling Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick, now a  Sunday Times bestseller: Amazon.co.uk: Pearse, Sarah: 9781787633315: Books

I’ve just started The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse – a bit late to the party as I feel like everyone has read this book already! The Sanatorium is a thriller set in an isolated hotel in the Swiss Alps, which was recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium. When Elin arrives to stay at the hotel, she is immediately put on edge… and that nervousness turns to panic when people start to disappear.

I only picked this up last night so I’m about 50 pages into the novel, but I’m enjoying it so far! It has very short chapters so it’s very quick and easy to read.

I’m also sort of currently reading Amazing Disgrace by Grace Campbell. By ‘sort of’, I mean I picked it up and read a couple of chapters just over a week ago, and I haven’t picked it up since. I wasn’t immediately taken by this book, which is a memoir/nonfiction book focusing on the concept of shame. I just don’t know if I enjoy the author’s voice very much. But I do want to give it another try.

What did you recently finish reading?

Tall Bones: The Sunday Times bestseller. “Compelling” – Paula Hawkins:  Amazon.co.uk: 9780857527394: Books

So, since my last WWW Wednesday post, I’ve finished three books: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Tall Bones by Anna Bailey and The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris.

I really enjoyed Tall Bones – it’s a haunting, twisty and dark thriller. I was less certain about Piranesi – I read it predominately because it’s on the Women’s Prize longlist – and I thought it had a really promising premise and loved the first half of the novel, but found the second half to be a let down.

The Other Black Girl was a really good thriller – it’s been described as a combination of The Devil Wears Prada and Get Out. I’ll be posting a review closer to its publication date, which is 1 June.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m not sure what I’ll read after The Sanatorium. I recently ordered some new books (as a celebration for some good news I received – though who really needs the excuse?) so it might be one of them. As March was a bad month for me, I was mood reading a lot more, and I’ve continued to do this through April. For example, 4 out of the 6 most recent books I’ve read/am currently reading have been thrillers – I’m really into that genre at the moment, as I’ve read some phenomenal ones (Girl A and Tall Bones have to be some of the best I’ve read!). I do want to change it up a bit, but I’ll just see what I’m feeling!

book meme

WWW Wednesday | 17 Mar

Hi all! I’m back after a bit of a break with another WWW Wednesday. WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Luster: Amazon.co.uk: Leilani, Raven: 9781529035988: Books

I’m currently reading Luster by Raven Leilani. This was always on my tbr for this month, but I made it my next read after it was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction last week. I’ve only actually picked it up once so far, but I managed to read about 1/4 of the novel in that sitting – it’s quite a short book and moves at a brisk pace. Currently, I would say that I think the writing style is fantastic but I find the main character (Edie) quite aloof and detached – though perhaps this is because I’ve only sat down with the book once so far. I’m interested to see if my feelings change as I progress with the book.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale | Waterstones

At the weekend I finished The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale, which is a nonfiction book about a 13-year-old boy who kills his mum in Victorian London. It encompasses his actions right after the murder, his court case and then his life afterwards. As you might know, I’ve read and enjoyed both The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and The Haunting of Alma Fielding by Kate Summerscale, but I found this one was probably my least favourite – which was a surprise. I don’t know if maybe I’ve read all of these books too close together (all since Christmas) but I found this one slower than the rest and a bit repetitive. I think I’ll still give it four stars when I write my review, but I think it will have only just edged that.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Mountains Sing: Amazon.co.uk: Quế Mai, Nguyễn Phan: 9781786079220: Books
The Little Stranger: shortlisted for the Booker Prize: Amazon.co.uk: Sarah  Waters: 9781844086061: Books

There are two books left on my tbr for March – The Mountains Sing and The Little Stranger – so we will see what I feel like next. However, I’ve found reading particularly challenging the last few weeks as I have had a lot going on personally, so I will definitely be listening to my instincts and just reading what I feel like.

book meme

WWW Wednesday | 3 March

Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Transcendent Kingdom

I’m currently reading Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (thank you to NetGalley & the publishers for a copy of this book), which is out in the UK on 4 March. So far, I’m really enjoying this one! It’s very different Gyasi’s other book, Homegoing, which I absolutely loved – but that’s not a bad thing. Transcendent Kingdom follows Gifty, a neuroscience PhD student who is studying the affects of depression and addiction. Switching between the present and the past, it also tells the story of her childhood, as part of a Ghanian family living in Alabama. Her writing, as expected, is superb.

What did you recently finish reading?

Every Last Fear: Amazon.co.uk: Finlay, Alex: 9781250268822: Books

My last read was Every Last Fear by Alex Finlay, a thriller which grapples with two mysteries about the Pine family. Did Danny Pine, the eldest son, really kill his teenage girlfriend? A new true crime Netflix documentary thinks not. And, when the Pine family (apart from Matt, our main character), is found dead on holiday, was foul play involved? Or was it an accident? I linked my review if you’re interested in how I found it.

Just before that, I finished Pachinko by Min Jin Lee – I absolutely adored it and I will be posting a very gushing review very soon, I’m sure.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Luster: Amazon.co.uk: Leilani, Raven: 9781529035988: Books

I just posted my March tbr, so you can check that out to see all of the books I want to read this month. I haven’t decided what I want to read next – I think it’ll be very dependent on my mood. Perhaps Luster by Raven Leilani. I’m very intrigued to see if that lives up to the hype.

What are you currently reading? And what do you think you’ll read next?

book meme

WWW Wednesday | 24 Feb

Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Pachinko: The New York Times Bestseller: Amazon.co.uk: Min Jin Lee:  9781786691378: Books

I’m currently reading Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and I’m absolutely loving it! This is a generational saga following a Korean family who moves from Korea to Japan in the 1930s. I’m about 50% of the way through this book and I’m excited to see where it will go! The writing is really beautiful, the characterisation is rich and I’m learning so much about Korea and Japan in this period that I wasn’t aware of. I’ve only managed to pick it up twice, but considering it’s a large book (over 500 pages), I’ve made really good headway into it because it’s just so captivating. Obviously I have to see what the rest of the novel brings, but I could see this being a five star read.

What did you recently finish reading?

Get a Life, Chloe Brown: A Novel (The Brown Sisters, 1): Hibbert, Talia:  9780062941206: Amazon.com: Books

Before Pachinko, I read Get a Life, Chloe Brown, which I really enjoyed! I hadn’t read a contemporary romance in ages – it’s definitely my first of the year and might be my first in like 6 months, so I found it very refreshing. There’s a lot of hype surrounding this book and I think that if you like contemporary romance, you will like this one; it’s fun, fluffy, steamy, well-written and has really good representation. Chloe, the main character, has a chronic illness and Red is trying to overcome trauma from a previous abusive relationship – and I think both aspects were handled really well! I’ll definitely be able picking up the next two books.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I think probably Transcendent Kingdom, as I loved Homegoing and I want to get to it before it’s released in the UK in early March. After that, I’m completely unsure! I’ll be thinking about my March tbr later this week, so that should help me narrow down my options at least.

What are you currently reading? And what do you think you’ll read next?

book meme

WWW Wednesday | 17 Feb

Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Image result for get a life chloe brown

I started reading Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert last night. I’ve seen lots of hype around this book and I’m really in the mood for a good rom com, so I’m very excited about this! I read around 10% of it last night before bed and have found it fun and captivating so far!

What did you recently finish reading?

I picked up The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson a couple of days ago (thanks to NetGalley for the eARC), but really struggled to get into it and I put it down for good yesterday evening. I just wasn’t enjoying it – though it has made me feel a little bit guilty as I hate dnf’ing books!

Image result for the night swim

Before that, I read The Night Swim by Megan Goldin, a thriller that I really enjoyed! [CW: Sexual abuse, skip to the next paragraph to avoid.] My review is still to come but I think I’ll give it four stars. It follows Rachel, a host for a true crime podcast, as she covers a trial for a rape case in a small town. While she’s in town, she also gets pulled into a cold case from 20 years before; the sister of the victim believes she was murdered, but the case was ruled an accidental drowning. I liked the juxtaposition of the two cases, and I found this a quick and engaging read. I think the author handled the sensitive subject matter particularly well.

Before that I read Bunny by Mona Awad – my review will be posting for that soon, but in short: what on earth did I read?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Image result for pachinko min jin lee

I set myself a four book tbr for this month, and I’ve already read three of them. The fourth is Pachinko, which I think I’ll dive into after my current read; a slight change of pace but I like mixing it up and reading some quicker books followed by some heavier ones. I think after Pachinko, I will jump into Transcendent Kingdom – the UK release date is 4 March and I have an eARC from NetGalley to read before then. I absolutely loved Homegoing so have very high hopes for that one!

What are you currently reading? And what do you think you’ll read next?

book meme

WWW Wednesday | 10 Feb

Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Image result for the confession

I’m currently reading The Confession by Jessie Burton, which I’m really enjoying. The novel is a split narrative, between Elise in the 1980s and Rose in 2017. Elise meets the acclaimed novelist Constance Holden and falls in love with her, following her to LA (where they are making a movie of her novel) so they can be together. However, while Connie is thriving, Elise is not. In 2017, Rose is seeking answers about her mother, who disappeared when she was younger. Her investigations lead her to ingratiate herself with Constance Holden, who has become reclusive in her old age.

I really enjoyed both The Miniaturist and The Muse, Jessie Burton’s previous novels, and I’m loving this one so much that I’m wondering why I waited so long to pick it up! Burton has this amazing ability of making all of her characters seem so vividly real.

What did you recently finish reading?

Image result for the haunting of alma fielding

I missed WWW Wednesday last week, so I’ll quickly recap what I’ve read over the last two weeks. I most recently finished The Haunting of Alma Fielding by Kate Summerscale last week, which I very much enjoyed. It wasn’t quite as good as The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, I don’t think, but still really interesting and well-researched.

Before that, I finished Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan. This was an eARC that I was really looking forward to, but I ended up finding very disappointing. Hopefully I’ll get my review up for that soon!

And I also read and loved Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson, which I have miraculously already written a review for!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Image result for bunny mona awad
Image result for pachinko min jin lee

I have two more books on my February tbr – Bunny by Mona Awad and Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. I’m looking forward to both of these but don’t know which one I’ll feel like reading most. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read either of these!

However, it was my birthday on Monday and was lucky enough to get a few books as presents, including Luster by Raven Leilani and The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, so I can’t promise I’ll stick to the tbr I set out at the beginning of Feb!

What are you currently reading? How are you finding it? And what are you planning to read next?

book meme

WWW Wednesday | 27 Jan

Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

(All links below are to Goodreads.)

What are you currently reading?

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I literally just finished a book last night, so I haven’t picked up a new book yet. However, I do know that my next read will be Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson. I’ve seen amazing things about this one, and it comes out on 4th Feb, so I want to read it and hopefully post a review before then. According to the blurb, it is a ‘A stunning, shattering debut novel about two Black British artists falling in and out of love’. I can’t wait to be shattered by it, haha! (Seriously though, books that shatter you are the best – see A Little Life!)

I’m also still reading Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall. I’m enjoying taking my time with this and absorbing everything. As I’m reading, I find myself writing down quotes/taking pictures of passages that I feel resonate with me. I’m getting so much from this book, and I also feel like it’s informing conversations I have with other people – which is a really good thing.

Here’s a quote I wrote down the other day:

The reality is that white, mainstream feminism has to confront the idea that the power to do harm rests in women too.

Mikki Kendall, Hood Feminism

What did you recently finish reading?

I’ve finished two books in the last week, which I’m very happy about.

The first is The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. This is a novel set on a Norwegian island in the 1600s. When a great storm kills all of the men of the island, the women are left to fend for themselves. As word of what the women are doing spreads, a new commissioner is sent to the island to watch over them, with fears that what they are doing is ungodly. I enjoyed the writing and themes in this book a lot, but I did think the pacing was a bit off and the ending felt very rushed to me – my review will be posting soon on this!

The other books I’ve finished is The Magpie Society by Amy McCulloch and Zoe Sugg. I was really interested in the premise of this book – a death at a boarding school, a mysterious podcast that claims the death was murder, two students who team up to solve it – but it really fell flat to me. Now, I know that I’m no longer the target audience of YA novels, but I really felt like this novel was too surface-level for me? The characters weren’t very well developed, the writing was average, the twists were signposted from a mile away and the entire book felt like set up for the next ones. The way the novel ended particularly annoying – we don’t get any answers at all, it just ends in a cliff hanger for the next book in the series. I think that writing books in a series is a balance, as you have to both have a full plot that ties up at the end of the book, while leaving it open for the next – and this didn’t tie anything up. It was just like the book ended too early. Unfortunately, I won’t be picking up the next book in this series.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Probably Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan – I’m really excited for this one and I’ve heard great things. I’ve got a review copy from NetGalley and am hoping to read and post my review before the pub date (11 Feb). According to the blurb on Goodreads, ‘Insatiable is about women and desire – lust, longing and the desire to be loved’. I’m very on board! (As a side note, I also think the cover is really good and it actually reminds me of The Supper Club – another book I have on my tbr, which I’m very interested in reading.)

What are you currently reading? How are you finding it? And what are you planning to read next?

book meme

WWW Wednesday | 20 Jan

Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall and The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. Funny that the latter one wasn’t on last week’s list of what I was going to read next! I just really felt like picking it up.

I’m really enjoying Hood Feminism, which is written in the form of short essays about different areas that Mikki Kendall argues should be part of mainstream feminism. She looks at these areas (lack of education, medical care, living wage, safe neighbourhoods) through the lens of intersectional feminism, focusing specifically on Black womxn. I’ve found all of her essays incredibly insightful, a blend of fact and personal stories – and I will definitely come away from this book with a lot to think about.

I don’t usually read two books at a time, but I find that I best digest these essays reading one or two at a time, and then giving myself the breathing space to really think about them. I’m over halfway through, and I could’ve read more by now, but I really want to absorb what they’re saying instead of rushing through them! I picked up The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave to fill the gaps in between reading Hood Feminism – and I’m really enjoying this too. This novel is set in the 1600s, on a Norweigan coastal village after a great storm killed most of the men in the village. The women have to adapt to survive, breaking social norms at the time. When Absalom Cornet (a witchhunter from Scotland) arrives, he sees a place untouched by God and flooded with evil. The writing in this book is beautiful, and I’m excited to see where it goes.

What did you recently finish reading?

I haven’t actually finished reading anything since last week. I feel like I haven’t had much of a chance to read during weekdays at the moment – work is very busy and by the end of the day I don’t necessarily feel like concentrating on reading. So I made progress with my two books at the weekend, but didn’t finish anything!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I know I didn’t follow any of the things I mentioned in this section last week, but I do think I will read Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson next. This is a debut novel about two Black British artists who fall in and out of love. This is what the Goodreads blurb says:

At once at achingly beautiful love story and potent insight into race and masculinity, Open Water asks what it means to be a person in a world that sees you only as a Black body, to be vulnerable when you are only respected for strength, to find safety in love, only to lose it.

How amazing does that sound?? I have the eARC for the novel (thanks to NetGalley and the publishers), and want to read it before it publishes on 4 February.

So that’s it from me this week! I hope your reading week has been slightly better than mine! What are you currently reading and how are you finding it?

book meme

WWW Wednesday | 13 Jan

Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

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I have literally just picked up Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall, which I’m very excited to get into. Hood Feminism looks at the women that women that the feminist movement forgot, making the point that while privileged (white) women often focus their feminism on gaining more privilege, they forget and leave behind the women that are struggling to survive – through lack of education, medical care, living wages, safe neighbourhoods etc. The book takes the form short essays covering all of these topics (and ones I haven’t mentioned), and I’m really excited to get into it properly!

What did you recently finish reading?

The last week has been a great reading week for me, so I’ve got quite a few to mention (lockdown 3 has definitely helped here!). I haven’t written reviews for these yet, but they are all coming!

  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi – This was a five star read for me – I found it absolutely phenomenal, so vivid and vibrant and full of humanity. I found myself slowing my reading down to truly savour the experience, as I was enjoying it so much. There’s so much to unpack and discuss about this book that I’m looking forward to sitting down and properly writing my review on it!
  • White Ivy by Susie Yang – Another very accomplished debut! I’m still a bit undecided about my rating for it, but it will probably fall somewhere in the 4 to 5 star range. I’m still thinking about this book days after I finished it, and it’s another I’m looking forward to writing the review on.
  • Unsettled Ground by Clare Fuller (eARC, NetGalley) – I was on such a run of good books for the year, and unfortunately this book really let me down. I found it overly bleak and quite…boring? I never really felt invested in it and I left the book feeling a bit like I wasted my time, which is not what you want to feel after finishing a book!
  • Confessions of a Curious Bookseller by Elizabeth Green (eARC, NetGalley) – this was actually a dnf for me. I feel bad about putting books down unfinished, especially when I’ve been sent them for review, but I just couldn’t continue with this one. Written in the form of epistolary, combining emails, letters and diary entries, I was expecting to really like this one, having been such a big fan of Meg Cabot’s Boy series (heartily recommend if you love rom coms), which follows this structure. But this book was not fun, the character was rude and unlikeable, and 25% of the way in, there was no plot – just the main character emailing back and forth with plumbers and catering companies.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Ooh, this is a tough one! I’ve recently gone on a bit of a book-buying frenzy, with some Christmas money and also just because there’s nothing else really to do during lockdown – so I have a lot of good ones to choose from! I think I’ve narrowed by choice for the next read down to a couple though!

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I have the eARC of Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson to read by 4th February, which I’m very excited about as I’ve seen amazing reviews. I also want to read The Magpie Society by Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch, as I bought this Nov/Dec time and had planned to read it by the end of the year. Another book high up on my to-read list is The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré, which I bought on Kindle (for 99p, bargain!) after hearing rave reviews and seeing people mark it as their fave book of 2020.

What are you currently reading? How are you finding it?

book meme

WWW Wednesday | 16 Dec 2020

Hi everyone! I’m back with another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

The three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

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I’m currently reading Murder Most Festive by Ada Moncrieff, a book I found on Kindle for 99p. I really liked the idea of reading an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery set at Christmas. So far, this is my one concession towards seasonal, festive reading. I know a lot of people read Christmas-themed romances at this time of year, but I’m mostly put off by their covers. That’s obviously very surface-level of me, and I should probably give some of them ago!

Anyway, this book is set at Christmas in 1938. The Westbury family and their friends have gathered to celebrate Christmas, but their plans are ruined when one of their party is found dead Christmas morning. Amateur sleuth and detective novel obsessive Hugh suspects there is foul play and so starts to investigate the death. I’m about 40% of the way through this book and I’m really enjoying it! It’s everything that I wanted: fun, Christmassy, doesn’t take itself too seriously. I haven’t yet worked out whodunnit, but I have my suspicions about a few people. I would definitely recommend this if you’re into the idea of a Christmassy murder mystery.

What did you recently finish reading?

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I read all of Sisters by Daisy Johnson on Sunday. I think I’m going to give this book 4 stars – I really loved it in lots of ways but there was just one thing that let it down for me. I’ll talk about it more in my review, which should be posting this week!

Sisters tells the story of two sisters and their mum, who move houses to run away from something that happened. The story is disjointed, mirroring the unsettled feeling you have right from the very start. It’s not a long book – just under 200 pages – and it’s perfect for the story it’s telling, as you feel the tension all of the way through. Johnson is a superb writer and it’s a really atmospheric read!

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This week I also finished listening to Three Women by Lisa Taddeo on audiobook. I mentioned it in last week’s WWW post so I won’t summarise it again. I really listening to it though – the stories of these women were so immersive and heart-breaking. I left the book feeling quite angry at the world actually, especially due to Maggie’s story. I would definitely recommend this if you like non-fiction, especially ones that follow in-depth explorations of people’s lives.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Hmmm, this is a difficult one! I am wondering whether to try out another Christmassy read – I know I just said that they don’t really appeal to me, but I feel like I should push through this prejudice as I think we could all do with more festive cosiness in our lives. I’ve seen a few good reviews of the The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss, so potentially that.

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I also have Serpent & Dove on my tbr for this month, so that could be my next read. But after reading The Bone Season and The Mime Order back-to-back, I’m not sure if I’m quite ready for another long fantasy novel yet. Feels like it might be a bit heavy, you know?

I finish work on Friday though, so I’m hoping to get a lot of reading done during the Christmas break.

I guess you (and I!) will find out in next week’s WWW post what I chose!

What are you currently reading? How are you finding it?

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