Category Archives: Our Week in Books 2014

Our Week in Books #52, #52 & 2014 Review

A few days late, but here’s the last Week in Books 2014, with some summaries.

My plan for 2014 was to have a net gain of zero books by removing as many books from shelves as I gained. The actual net gain was 403. Oops. An effort definitely needed for 2015 as we’ve made a net gain of over 800 books in the last two years, which is a bit ridiculous.

This year I included books I bought as gifts in my ‘books added to shelves’ list, but also in my ‘books removed from shelves’ total. This was to keep track of all book spending, including books given away. I spent over £1000 on books, which is higher than my annual salary. So also not sustainable. Aims for 2015 is less books, and a huge cull. This will be hard.

Books are my addiction. I don’t smoke and rarely go out, but I really really don’t have the finances.

I achieved both book challenges, although I haven’t hosted #300PBs for months so really should do a final wrap-up. I won’t be doing it this year, because more and more chapter books are entering into our reading. I will still read and review lots of picture books, but not committing to 300!

I read 82 books for myself this year, but I discounted ones under approx 150 pages, or that took under an hour to read, but still exceeded the 52 reads plan with 55 books. Woohoo 🙂

I’ve decided not to register every book I get on Goodreads in future, just the ones I read. I keep a spreadsheet list anyhow, and put them in a weekly post, so it’s unnecessary work that could be spent actually writing reviews.

So, that’s 2014, more or less.

Books added to shelves:
Once Upon a Time – Marina Warner (review from NetGalley)
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – Jen Campbell (bought from The Book People)
More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops – Jen Campbell (bought from The Book People)
Night’s Child – Maureen Jennings (bought from The Book People)
Under the Dragon’s Tail – Maureen Jennings (bought from The Book People)
Except the Dying – Maureen Jennings (bought from The Book People)
The Scandalous Lady Wright – M C Beaton (bought from The Book People)
His Lordship’s Pleasure – M C Beaton (bought from The Book People)
Her Grace’s Passion – M C Beaton (bought from The Book People)
What If? – Randall Munroe (bought from The Book People)
Geek Girl – Holly Smale (bought from The Book People)
Varjak Paw – S F Said (bought from The Book People)
Wreck This Journal Everywhere – Keri Smith (bought from The Book People)
Lullaby – Amanda Hocking (bought from Poundland)
Daisy and the Trouble with Kittens – Kes Gray & Garry Parsons (bought from Mostly Books)
Stormy Night – Salina Yoon (review book from Bloomsbury)
Little Red Riding Hood – Daniel Egneus (competition prize from Harper360)
Manolo Blahnik and The Tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker – Camilla Morton & Manolo Blanik (competition prize from Harper360)
Christian Lacroix and the Tale of Sleeping Beauty – Camilla Morton & Christian Lacroix (competition prize from Harper360)
Diggers – Terry Pratchett (Christmas present for MG)
Usborne Sticker Dressing King Arthur (Christmas present for DG)
Usborne’s Write and Draw Your Own Comics – Louie Stowell etc (Christmas Present for MG)
The Rather Small Turnip – Laurence Anholt & Arthur Robins (Christmas present for DG)
Bad Faerie and the Grotto of the Goblins – Sue Cowley (Free Kindle)
Journey to the River Sea – Eva Ibbotson (99p Kindle)
Thinking about It Only Makes It Worse – David Mitchell (99p Kindle)
Humans A-Z – Matt Haig (99p Kindle)
The Birds Began to Sing – Simon Dillon (Free Kindle)
Dr Gribbles and the Beast of Blackthorn Lodge – Simon Dillon (Free Kindle)
Cumulative: 633 (£1014.82) (£4072.76)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 46

Books removed from shelves: 6
Cumulative: 173
57 eBooks. Net bookshelf gain 2014 cumulative = 403

Read 52 books finished in last 2.5 weeks: The Matchbox Mysteries; Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops; More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops; The Snow Jewel; Geek Girl; Humans: An A-Z; Daisy and the Trouble with Kittens

Year progress: 365/365 = 100.0%
300 Picture Book progress: 387/300 = 129.0%
Read 52 progress: 82/52 = 157.7% (55/52 = 105.8%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #50

Week 50? Seriously? Eek! Where has the year gone? Etc, etc…

I mostly updated Goodreads last week, but need to add this week’s and work out where I went wrong between spreadsheet and Goodreads (totals don’t match) but that can all wait. More review books I wasn’t expecting, which is lovely, plus the prize we won from Okido 🙂

I then popped into Mostly Books just to say hello, and ended up taking advantage of the Christmas voucher. Oops 😉 Double oops, I also ‘accidentally’ took advantage of The Book People’s 20% off. But some of that is gifts, and it’s not arrived so it will go onto next week’s list.

I’ve not really been reading. It’s the depression mainly. Annoyingly I got stuck on a review book that actually I liked. But because it was the book I was reading when I got stuck reading, I’m finding it hard to finish. Which I feel bad about because the author sent it to me. But I’m going to have to just put it aside and read other books until I can start again and give it the attention it deserves.

Still not managing to get into the ‘Christmas spirit’. False joy doesn’t work for me. But excited children might. I’ll keep trying to get better.

Books added to shelves:
The Twelve Days of Christmas – Britta Teckentrup (review book from Little Tiger Press)
Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar – Emily MacKenzie (review book from Bloomsbury)
Dangerous – Tim Warnes (review book from Little Tiger Press)
Bug Detective – Maggie Li (competition prize from Okido)
Big City Explorer – Maggie Li (competion prize from Okido)
The Imaginary – A F Harrold & Emily Gravett (bought from Mostly Books)
Baby Aliens Got My Teacher – Pamela Butchart & Thomas Flintham (bought from Mostly Books)
The Matchbox Mysteries – Sally Gardner & David Roberts (bought from Mostly Books)
Pocket Fairy Tales: Little Red Riding Hood (bought from Mostly Books)
Cumulative: 604 (£978.60) (£3919.97)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 46

Books removed from shelves: none (6 still to give as gifts)
Cumulative: 167
50 eBooks. Net bookshelf gain 2014 cumulative = 387

Read 52 books finished this week: none

Year progress: 347/365 = 95.1%
300 Picture Book progress: 358?/300 = 119.3%
Read 52 progress: 75/52 = 144.2% (53/52 = 101.9%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #47, #48, & #49

Oh dear, has it been three weeks? I’ve completely lost track of where I am or what books we’ve had.

Hopefully more or less up-to-date. Need to update Goodreads etc but 7yo is screaming so will just post this for now.

Books added to shelves:
The Dreamsnatcher – Abi Elphinstone (review book from Abi)
A Whisper of Wolves – Kris Humprey (review book from Stripes Publishing)
Snappy Birthday – Mark Sperring & Laura Ellen Anderson (review book from Bloomsbury)
Heroes of Olympus: Blood of Olympus – Rick Riordan (competition prize)
Usborne Slot-Together Castle (bought from Mostly Books)
Rooftoppers – Katherine Rundell (£1.19 Kindle)
Trickster Tales: The Pied Piper of Hamelin – Russell Brand & Chris Riddell (bought from Amazon)
Hansel & Gretel – Neil Gaiman & Lorenzo Mattotti (bought from Mostly Books)
Animal Rescue – PatrickGeorge (review book from PatrickGeorge)
School Xmas Fair Santa Grotto Book (Horrid Henry Early Reader)
School Xmas Fair Santa Grotto Book (Ladybird Read It Yourself)
Little House in the Big Woods – Laura Ingalls Wilder (2nd hand from school)
Cumulative: 595 (£945.64) (£3845.06)

Library books borrowed: 25
Cumulative: 46

Books removed from shelves: 1 (6 still to give as gifts)
Cumulative: 167
50 eBooks. Net bookshelf gain 2014 cumulative = 378

Read 52 books finished this week:
Skulduggery Pleasant (book 52!!); Hansel and Gretel; The Rooftoppers

Year progress: 340/365 = 93.2%
300 Picture Book progress: ??/300 = ??%
Read 52 progress: 75/52 = 144.2% (53/52 = 101.9%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #46

La la la… Okay, I buy too many books. But, but… Books! I will try very, very, very hard not to get any more this year.

Apart from Neil Gaiman’s Hansel and Gretel.

And The Book People have the complete Saga of Darren Shan, which I’ve wanted to read for ages…

Okay, okay… No more books 🙁

Books added to shelves:
Where is Pim? – Lena & Olaf Landstrom (review book from Gecko Press)
Max’s Bear – Barbro Lindgren & Eva Eriksson (review book from Gecko Press)
Max’s Bath – Barbro Lindgren & Eva Eriksson (review book from Gecko Press)
Max’s Wagon – Barbro Lindgren & Eva Eriksson (review book from Gecko Press)
I Capture The Castle – Dodie Smith (2nd hand from charity shop)
Little Grey Rabbit’s Party – Alison Uttley & Margaret Tempest (2nd hand from charity shop)
Flour Babies – Anne Fine (2nd hand from charity shop)
The Fox Busters – Dick King Smith (2nd hand from charity shop)
Toad of Toad Hall – A A Milne (2nd hand from charity shop)
Ottoline and the Yellow Cat – Chris Riddell (bought from The Book People)
Ottoline Goes to School – Chris Riddell (bought from The Book People)
Ottoline at Sea – Chris Riddell (bought from The Book People)
The Adventures of Mr Toad – Tom Moorhouse & David Roberts (bought from The Book People)
Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy (bought from The Book People)
Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire – Derek Landy (bought from The Book People)
Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones – Derek Landy (bought from The Book People)
On Sudden Hill – Linda Sarah & Benji Davis (bought from The Book People)
That Is Not A Good Idea! – Mo Willems (bought from The Book People)
Go to Sleep or I Let Loose the Leopard – Steve Cole & Bruce Ingman (bought from The Book People)
Max and the Won’t Go to Bed Show – Mark Sperring & Sarah Warburton (bought from The Book People)
Agatha Raisin and the Blood of an Englishman – M C Beaton (bought from The Book People)
The Flower Colouring Book – Search Press (bought from The Book People)
The Angel & Fairy Colouring Book – Search Press (bought from The Book People)
The Art Nouveau Colouring Book – Search Press (bought from The Book People)
Cumulative: 583 (£917.26) (£3746.74)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 21

Books removed from shelves: 4 (1 to post; 8 still to give as gifts)
Cumulative: 166
49 eBooks. Net bookshelf gain 2014 cumulative = 368

Read 52 books finished this week:

Year progress: 319/365 = 87.4%
300 Picture Book progress: 335/300 = 111.7%
Read 52 progress: 72/52 = 138.5% (51/52 = 98.1%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #45

Blogfest.

Books added to shelves:
Tinder – Sally Gardener & David Roberts (bought from Amazon)
Happy Birthday, Madame Chapeau – Andrea Beaty & David Roberts (bought from Amazon)
Station Eleven (bookswap at Blogfest)
The Good Girl (free book from Blogfest)
Cumulative: 559 (£861.76) (£3586.18)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 21

Books removed from shelves: 1 (1 to post; 5 still to give as gifts)
Cumulative: 162
49 eBooks. Net bookshelf gain 2014 cumulative = 349

Read 52 books finished this week:

Year progress: 306/365 = 85.5%
300 Picture Book progress: ??/300 = ??%
Read 52 progress: 67/52 = 155.8% (49/52 = 94.2%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #44

Half term week, plus weekend solo parenting, plus Halloween party, plus childminding for friends = No energy to write anything.

Books added to shelves:
Independent Study (The Testing #2) – Joelle Charbonneau (99p Kindle)
Graduation Day (The Testing #3) – Joelle Charbonneau (99p Kindle)
The Pet Itch – Elli Woolard (bought from Amazon)
Building Stories – Chris Ware (bought from Amazon)
Jampires – Sarah McIntyre & David O’Connell (bought from The Story Museum)
Jampires Comic – Sarah McIntyre & David O’Connell (free with Jampires from The Story Museum)
Superkid – Claire Freedman & Sarah McIntyre (bought from The Story Museum)
Bernard – Rob Jones (review book from Beast in Show)
A Grimm Legacy (Grimm Tales #1) – Janna Jennings (review book from NetGalley)
Grimm Memories (Grimm Tales #2) – Janna Jennings (review book from NetGalley)
The Astounding Broccoli Boy – Frank Cottrell Boyce (review book from NetGalley)
Cumulative: 555 (£847.08) (£3565.20)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 21

Books removed from shelves: 1 (1 to post; 5 still to give as gifts)
Cumulative: 161
49 eBooks. Net bookshelf gain 2014 cumulative = 346

Read 52 books finished this week:
A Song for Ella Grey – David Almond
The Astounding Broccoli Boy – Frank Cottrell Boyce

Year progress: 306/365 = 83.8%
300 Picture Book progress: ??/300 = ??%
Read 52 progress: 67/52 = 155.8% (49/52 = 94.2%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #43

I don’t really feel like writing this weekend, but I did manage some quick reviews.

On Twitter, back to The Story Museum

On Instagram, being excited about a gorgeous new book

I may be feeling awful but I still had to go to @mostlyreading for this beauty @kidsbloomsbury @chrisriddell50 @neilgaiman

On Facebook, being a sheep and putting a quick review up because I’d just written one and he sort-of asked…

https://www.facebook.com/neilgaiman/posts/10152383665271016

 

Books added to shelves:
The Sleeper and the Spindle – Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell (bought from Mostly Books)
Heart of Dread: Frozen – Melissa de la Cruz & Michael Johnson (review book from Netgalley)
A Song for Ella Grey – David Almond (review book from NetGalley)
I Am Number Four – Pittacus Lore (Free Kindle)
Iggy Peck, Architect – Andrea Beatty & David Roberts (bought from Amazon)
Jampires – Sarah McIntyre & David O’Connell (bought from Amazon)
The Fairytale Hairdresser and Father Christmas – Abie Longstaff & Lauren Beard (bought from The Book People)
How to Hide a Lion – Helen Stephens (bought from The Book People)
How to Hide a Lion from Grandma – Helen Stephens (bought from The Book People)
Fleabag – Helen Stephens (bought from The Book People)
Practice Your Phonics with Traditional Tales – 20 Books (bought from The Book People)
Usborne Classic Tales Collection – 20 Books (bought from The Book People)
Cumulative: 544 (£820.49) (£3507.26)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 21

Books removed from shelves: none (1 to post; 4 still to give as gifts)
Cumulative: 160
41 eBooks. Net bookshelf gain 2014 cumulative = 343

Read 52 books finished this week:
The Sleeper and the Spindle – Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell
Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret – D D Everest

Year progress: 299/365 = 81.9%
300 Picture Book progress: 320?/300 = 106.7?%
Read 52 progress: 65/52 = 125.0% (47/52 = 90.4%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #42

I started the week with high anxiety levels and am finishing it with a cold, so I feel like I’ve achieved very little. There are a couple of ‘urgent’ things on my to-do list that I put off and really must do. However I did put two bookcases together and rearranged the books (again – it won’t be the last time…) I’ve put all the unreviewed books on shelves, which makes sense from a decluttering viewpoint (and I have them marked in a spreadsheet) but not so great from a visual viewpoint, as I can’t see them. Also I have no recollection if I received any review books this week. I think I didn’t, but I didn’t put anything on my spreadsheet and don’t have the box of review books to check. I suppose I could see if I recognise a new one in the shelves, but it’s kind of needle and haystack territory.

On instagram, I’ve been making bookshelves (dull pictures are me)

Putting flat pack bookcases together is surprisingly hard work. I need a electric screwdriver. Or a sonic. Or The Doctor.

On Twitter, I’ve been drooling over new books

On Facebook and G+ I’ve been as non-existant as usual. Ditto on the blog.

Behind the scenes, I’ve thoroughly failed in giving my (mine all mine!) illustrator a spec but have started creating a book database app type thing that should make creating reviews a speedier process so I can populate new blog with actual content. Actual content creation will have to wait until after half term, and I really need to think properly about what I’m trying to achieve for myself.

Right, I shall go back to sniffling and feeling sorry for myself now.

I noticed I’ve been inconsistent with putting books I’ve bought as gifts in my book totals, so I’ve gone back and added them all, hence the jump in cumulative totals this week.

Books added to shelves:
Cakes in Space – Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre (bought from The Book People)
How to Write a Story – Simon Cheshire & Kate Pankhurst (bought from The Book People)
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse – Chris Riddell (bought from The Book People)
Coraline – Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell (bought from The Book People)
Oliver and the Seawigs – Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre (bought from The Book People)
Aliens Love Underpants – Clare Freedman & Ben Cort (bought from The Book People)
Pirates Love Underpants – Clare Freedman & Ben Cort (bought from The Book People)
Aliens Love Panta Claus – Clare Freedman & Ben Cort (bought from The Book People)
Dinosaurs Love Underpants – Clare Freedman & Ben Cort (bought from The Book People)
Aliens in Underpants Save the World – Clare Freedman & Ben Cort (bought from The Book People)
Cumulative: 494 (£762.01) (£3225.78)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 21

Books removed from shelves: 12 gift books previously not counted (1 to post; 4 still to give as gifts)
Cumulative: 160
41 eBooks. Net bookshelf gain 2014 cumulative = 293

Read 52 books finished this week:
The Crane Wife – Patrick Ness

Year progress: 292/365 = 80.0%
300 Picture Book progress: 320/300 = 107.7%
Read 52 progress: 63/52 = 121.2% (46/52 = 88.5%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #41

An accidentally expensive book week this week, naughty Books Are My Bag celebrations 😉 But also a wonderful day at Mostly Books seeing Alison Mercer, Tom Moorhouse, Neill Cameron and David Melling (as well as all the fab Mostly Books staff, several of MG & DG’s school friends and parents, the lovely Sally Poyton, and probably more…)

I am socially exhausted today though, and Mr Chaos is at an acting workshop all day for his latest short film. Bleurgh. Kids will be watching TV all day while I grumble about the mess. Sigh.

(some time later)

Today has been better than I thought. I’ve got washing done, dishwasher on, fridge cleared out, recycling collected, kids fed (mainly on junk, but they don’t mind), and I’ve not felt too stressed out. Success.

Not sure what I’ve got up to on social media this week, will just pick some things at random.

On Twitter, I won a Jim Field print – happy happy!

On Facebook, um nothing apparently. I could have sworn I shared some Books Are My Bag things but apparently not. So will share here instead (my gorgeous girls in picture with Neill Cameron)

https://www.facebook.com/neillcameron/photos/pcb.893002300711931/893002157378612/

On Instagram, I’m generally frustrated with my rubbish mobile technology so don’t share as much as I’d like (too much of a pain to take pics on decent camera, put on laptop, upload, then post – hardly instant!)

This is how I'm woken up most weekends - books all over the bed ;-)

Behind the scenes, I’ve commissioned an illustrator for the new blog. Eek! I really, really, really need to get working on the content but I think the free theme I’ve got works so at least no costs there. Have I actually written about my plans? Probably ought to do that. And I could do with accepting sponsored posts again to pay for it.

On a personal level, I have some autism questionnaires to fill in. Four of them. With hundreds and hundreds of questions. It’s quite overwhelming.

Oh, and I eventually posted the books to giveaway winners – one of whom patiently waited six months. Sorry.

Books added to shelves:
Pourquoi? – Alex Sanders (bought from Mostly Books)
Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate – Cynthia Kim (bought from Mostly Books)
Woozy the Wizard: A Spell to Get Well – Elli Woolard (review book from Faber & Faber)
Squishy McFluff: Supermarket Sweep – Pip Jones & Ella Okstad (review book from Faber & Faber)
Borgon the Axe Boy – (review book from Faber & Faber)
Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret – (review book from Faber & Faber)
We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (99p Kindle)
Bears Don’t Read – Emma Chichester Clark (review book from HarperCollins)
Goth Girl and the Fete Worse than Death – Chris Riddell (bought from Mostly Books)
The River Singers – Tom Moorhouse (bought from Mostly Books)
How To Make Awesome Comics – Neill Cameron (bought from Mostly Books)
Usborne First Sticker Book Princesses (bought from Mostly Books)
Cumulative: 475 (£703.84)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 21

Books removed from shelves: none (1 to post)
Cumulative: 148

Read 52 books finished this week:
Nerdy, Shy and Socially Inappropriate – Cynthia Kim
We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Year progress: 285/365 = 78.1%
300 Picture Book progress: 320/300 = 106.7%
Read 52 progress: 62/52 = 119.2% (45/52 = 86.5%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #40

Actual book reviews this week. And I also finished #bookadayuk for June a mere three months late <cough>

On instagram, I really want a decent mobile camera so I can post more. Wondering if the Hudl2 is any good. I might have got some decent picture at The Story Museum, but this silly one will have to do. Also, go to 26 Characters if you can. It is awesome (three hours, had to drag the 7yo home…)

7yo making herself at home @thestorymuseum #26chatacters We very much recommend this exhibition / experience

On Twitter, mainly whinging I think. And lots of retweets. And pointing out I finished June’s #bookadayuk at last.

On Facebook, just the blog posts this week I think.

https://www.facebook.com/childledchaos/posts/733242413415005

Behind the scenes, I have sample images and quotes from two illustrators for the new book blog and I really need to choose, and I really need to find some money behind the sofa or something to pay for it (I may do some sponsored posts again, if I’m offered any!) I also realised that what I want to do for the look is called masonry so I should be able to find a free theme to tweak instead of needing new code written. Just all the actual posts to write to set it up then. Lalala…

It’s also been over three months since the last #300PBs so I really need to get that back up. We’ve just past 300 books here, way behind where we were last year.

I’ve mostly updated Goodreads, adding almost 20 books to the database just so I can keep my records up to date.

Books added to shelves:
How to Train Your Dragon: Incomplete Book of Dragons – Cressida Cowell (bought from Amazon)
The Humans – Matt Haig (bought from Amazon)
Pathfinder – Angie Sage (review book from Bloomsbury / NetGalley)
Monsters Love Underpants – (review book from Simon & Schuster)
The Crane Wife – Patrick Ness (bought from Amazon 3 for £10)
Half Bad – Sally Green (bought from Amazon 3 for £10)
A Blink of the Screen: Collected Short Fiction – Terry Pratchett (bought from Amazon 3 for £10)
Sloth Slept On – Frann Preston-Gannon (review book from Pavillion)
Cumulative: 465 (£672.89) (£3019.08)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 21

Books removed from shelves: 2 (23 to post)
Cumulative: 148

Read 52 books finished this week:
Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death – Chris Riddell
Shiverton Hall – Emerald Fennell
The Humans – Matt Haig

Year progress: 278/365 = 76.2%
300 Picture Book progress: 307/300 = 102.3%
Read 52 progress: 60/52 = 115.4% (44/52 = 84.6%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup