This Week by Proxy: 31 August – 06 September


Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I link up with the Caffeinated Reviewer to look back on the past week and see what I’ve been reading, posting, watching and playing!


| This Week by Proxy: 31 August – 06 September 2020 |

Having not had a holiday in over six months, the other half and I made our way to the Lake District on Monday and spent the next four days reading books (or playing on the Switch), exploring the local landscape and visiting remote and ruined castles. It was wonderfully relaxing, completely peaceful and I only wish our stay could have been for just a bit longer.

The weekend, however, was spent picnicking in the park with my stepdaughter, visiting my mum and dad on their narrowboat, and relaxing with many a good book. Brilliant fun all round!

I hope you’ve all had a fantastic week and I will try to catch up on all the posts I’ve missed over the next few days! 


| Books Read |

Over the past week I completed both ‘The Trouble with Peace’ by Joe Abercrombie and ‘The Doors of Eden’ by Adrian Tchaikovsky and still managed to squeeze in a little Pratchett before the end. All different, all brilliant, and all a joy to read from beginning to end!


| Currently Reading |

This week I’m continuing to read ‘The Court of Broken Knives’, a brutal but beautifully written grimdark fantasy epic by Anna Smith Spark. Unfortunately, in my haste to pack my Kindle, I forgot to bring the book with me to the Lake District and I’m a little further behind than I wanted to be. I did, however, manage to pick up a wonderful assortment of books in the Kindle sale and have started ‘Tombland’, the seventh book in the Matthew Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom.

I am also taking part in the Read-Along for Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, organised by Imyril at There’s Always Room for One More. My Week One post, which covers Chapters 1 – 16, can be found here. If anyone would like to join in with this Read-Along, just head on over to the Goodreads group page and sign up.


| Upcoming Reviews |

Having spent an entire week on holiday (and most of that time spent reading!) I am even more behind on the review front, but will hopefully get a few out in the coming week! Every single one of these books was amazing so expect a whole host of glowing reviews!


| Watching |

Season One of Absentia was both an enjoyable and exasperating experience. Stana Katic was incredible as Emily Byrne and the overall plot was tense and unpredictable, but Nick Durand, Emily’s ex-husband and FBI agent, was an incredibly frustrating character who treated Emily like dirt, had serious trust issues, and couldn’t find a clue if it was stapled to his face.  He annoyed me so much I almost stopped watching altogether. However, I am glad I continued as it did have quite a gripping plot and Season Two is proving a far less rage-inducing experience.

Meanwhile, the other half and I are watching Season Five of Lucifer, which is as lighthearted and comedic as ever, and Season Two of The Boys, which is both brutal and bloody brilliant.


| Gaming |

As the past week has been spent in literary bliss up in the Lake District, I’ve only had time for a few short but sweet games of Apex Legends since our return.


| Posts |

Review: The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor

 

Music Mondays: Gurdy’s Green

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Foodie Book Covers

Teaser Tuesdays: Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett

Waiting on Wednesday: God of Night by Tom Lloyd

Read-Along: Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey – Week One

The Friday Face-Off: Cold and Crisp

My Top Ten Games of the Past Two Years


I hope you all have a wonderful, book-filled week!

What have you been reading, watching and playing this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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This Week by Proxy: 17 – 30 August


Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I link up with the Caffeinated Reviewer to look back on the past week and see what I’ve been reading, posting, watching and playing!


| This Week by Proxy: 17 – 30 August 2020 |

The past two weeks have been a rather strange mix of highs and lows. I realised the week before last, that I had only taken a handful of my holidays from work this year and, as we are now approaching September, it sent me into a bit of a spiral where all I could think about was how much I needed a break, knowing full well that I had one this coming week.

And now I’m finally on holiday I feel the utmost relief and can now enjoy the fact that the next four months have most of my holidays dispersed between them. Now this spiral is hardly the result of anything serious, but things seem so much more dramatic and terrible when you spend your days alone, working from home with only two rabbits for company until late in the evening!

I have, however, been reading some amazing books and I’m thoroughly enjoying escaping the world at large in between their comforting, if a little bloody, pages. I’ve also been lucky enough to see family, take my stepdaughter on a fairy treasure hunt and complete an enormous deadline at work – which feels like a giant weight off my shoulders!

I hope you’ve all had a lovely week and have been reading some amazing books! I look forward to reading all about them! 


| Books Read |

Over the past two weeks I’ve finished All Systems Red, the first in The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells, and A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie. Both books were brilliant, both entirely different, and both made me ridiculously excited to read the next in each series!


| Currently Reading |

I feel so lucky right now to not only be listening to the audiobook for The Doors of Eden by Adrian Tchaikovsky, but to be reading the brand new ARC for The Trouble With Peace by Joe Abercrombie. I’m trying ever so hard to savour every moment, but the pages are rapidly disappearing and I know it won’t be long before I’ve finished it entirely.

In between bouts of Tchaikovsky and Abercrombie, and believe me, The Doors of Eden is one hefty and time consuming audiobook, I’ve squeezed in a little bit of The Court of Broken Knives, which I hope to continue in earnest over my holiday, and my new Pratchett offering, Monstrous Regiment.

Now you might be weeping in horror at me reading so many books at once but, in my defence, with only an hour left in each, I am likely to finish both The Trouble With Peace and The Doors of Eden today.


| Upcoming Reviews |

My review for Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor will be appearing next week, hopefully followed by one other – if I can get it drafted before going away!


| Watching |

After finishing Season 3 of Good Girls last week, which was reasonably enjoyable and got better as the season progressed, I started watching Absentia.

Absentia tells the story of an FBI agent, Emily Byrne, who has been missing presumed dead for the past six years and who suddenly returns in an explosion of murder, lies and suspicion. Fast-paced and exciting, the only downside so far is Emily’s irritating FBI agent ex-husband who couldn’t spot a clue if it was stuck to his face! I am, however, trying to get beyond this annoyance and actually enjoy the series.

The other half and I finished watching The Umbrella Academy last week, which was brilliantly entertaining, and have started watching the latest season of Lucifer on Netflix. I absolutely love this series and it never fails to cheer me up, and no doubt we’ll polish it all off in the coming week!


| Gaming |

Although I’ve not had much time for gaming over the past two weeks, I’ve started playing Greedfall, a beautiful RPG in a fantasy setting, and have started the new season of Apex Legends, which introduces new Legend Rampart (pictured right) and her gun, Sheila (also pictured right). The latest changes to the game also include item crafting, altered locations and a new energy weapon, the volt.


| Posts |

Review: The Man With One Name by Tom Lloyd

Review: Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie

Music Mondays: Blade Runner 2049

Music Mondays: Svitjod

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Series That Should Have Screen Adaptations

Teaser Tuesdays: A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie

Teaser Tuesdays: The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark

Waiting on Wednesday: The Dead of Winter by S.J. Parris

Waiting on Wednesday: Bear Head by Adrian Tchaikovsky

The Friday Face-Off: Hubble Bubble

The Friday Face-Off: The Road Goes Ever On and On

Friday Firsts: The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith Spark

Friday Firsts: Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett


I hope you all have a wonderful, book-filled week!

What have you been reading, watching and playing this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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Teaser Tuesdays: A Little Hatred


Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays – a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker. Expect a new teaser every week!


| Teaser Tuesdays: August 18 |

A Little Hatred

Book One of The Age of Madness

by Joe Abercrombie

Fantasy | 471 Pages | Published by Gollancz in 2019


“And if she’d any doubts, there was the tattoo on his fist, before he twisted it up into his sleeve. Axe and lightning, crossed over a shattered gatehouse. Blue stars on the knuckles. On all the knuckles. So he’d been a Ladderman. First up the walls in a siege. Front of the storming party. He’d done it five times and lived to tell the tales. Or, more likely, to never speak of it again.

~ Chapter: Sinking Ships | Page 185 | A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie


| Synopsis |

The chimneys of industry rise over Adua and the world seethes with new opportunities. But old scores run deep as ever.

On the blood-soaked borders of Angland, Leo dan Brock struggles to win fame on the battlefield, and defeat the marauding armies of Stour Nightfall. He hopes for help from the crown. But King Jezal’s son, the feckless Prince Orso, is a man who specializes in disappointments.

Savine dan Glokta – socialite, investor, and daughter of the most feared man in the Union – plans to claw her way to the top of the slag-heap of society by any means necessary. But the slums boil over with a rage that all the money in the world cannot control.

The age of the machine dawns, but the age of magic refuses to die. With the help of the mad hillwoman Isern-i-Phail, Rikke struggles to control the blessing, or the curse, of the Long Eye. Glimpsing the future is one thing, but with the guiding hand of the First of the Magi still pulling the strings, changing it will be quite another…

Amazon | Book DepositoryGoodreads


| Join In |

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Please leave a comment with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your ‘teasers’ in a comment here!

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This Week by Proxy: 10 – 16 August


Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I link up with the Caffeinated Reviewer to look back on the past week and see what I’ve been reading, posting, watching and playing!


| This Week by Proxy: 10 – 16 August 2020 |

As busy as it’s been, this week has seemed to fly by! Unfortunately, so has the weekend, which has been a strange mixture of both horrific and relaxing.

Saturday morning was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. The other half and I were awoken on Saturday morning to a phone call telling us our nephew had gone missing in Blackpool. The police were involved and we scrambled to get out of the house as quickly as possible and make the journey to the coast. I have never gotten ready so quickly in my life!

Fortunately, before we left, we received another phone call to say a wonderful man had found him lost on the beach and had taken him to the police. Reunited with his parents and sister, he soon seemed oblivious to the panic he had inadvertently caused and spent the day playing on the beach and making sandcastles. I have never felt either such dread or such relief in my life, and my faith in humanity has most definitely been restored.

Following that, we decided to put our other plans on hold and spend the weekend relaxing and recovering from the shock.

I hope you have all had far more enjoyable weekends and I wish you all a fantastic week ahead!


| Books Read |

This week I finished The Ashes of London, a wonderful slice of historic crime fiction set during The Great Fire of London of 1666. Both skilfully plotted and bursting with descriptions of seventeenth century London, this was a wonderful start to a series I cannot wait to continue.

I also managed to squeeze in another P.G. Wodehouse novel, Ring for Jeeves, which was a brilliantly funny read.


| Currently Reading |

I’m currently enjoying the audiobook for The Doors of Eden, which is a somewhat long recording but fills in a lot moments where I can’t physically hold a book! And All Systems Red is already a joy to read and is only being usurped by A Little Hatred which I am finding difficult to put down!


| Upcoming Reviews |

I’m still making my way slowly but surely through my backlog of reviews and I’m actually seeing the sky through the clouds now! I should have two reviews for any of the above out this coming week!


| Watching |

I finally finished my Humans binge which ended in horror, tears and joy. This is a thoroughly enjoyable series which actually raises some profound questions about those we consider ‘other’ and what it means to be human.

The Umbrella Academy is, as usual, wonderfully ridiculous and makes for an excellent wind down at the end of a busy day, while the latest series of Good Girls isn’t quite hitting my sweet spot just yet. We’ll see how it fares over the course of the season.


| Gaming |

While I haven’t had much time for gaming this week, I’ve still managed to squeeze in a few games of GTFO, Apex Legends and continue the story mode for Red Dead Redemption 2. I’ve also started getting urges for World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, which comes out later this year (we hope!), so I may see a return to WoW sooner rather than later.


| Posts |

Review: Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Review: To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

Music Mondays: My Only Chance

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Loved but Never Reviewed

Teaser Tuesdays: The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor

Waiting on Wednesday: Orfeia by Joanne M. Harris

The Friday Face-Off: Spectacular

Friday Firsts: A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie


I hope you all have a wonderful, book-filled week!

What have you been reading, watching and playing this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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Friday Firsts: A Little Hatred


Welcome to Friday Firsts – a weekly meme created by Tenacious Reader. First paragraphs. First impressions. A new favourite?


| Friday Firsts: August 14 |

A Little Hatred

Book One of The Age of Madness

by Joe Abercrombie

Fantasy | 471 Pages | Published by Gollancz in 2019


| First Paragraphs |

‘Rikke.’

She prised one eye open. A slit of stabbing, sickening brightness.

‘Come back.’

She pushed the spit-wet dowel out of her mouth with her tongue and croaked the one word she could think of. ‘Fuck.’

‘There’s my girl!’ Isern squatted beside her, necklace of runes and finger bones dangling, grinning that twisted grin that showed the hole in her teeth and offering no help at all. ‘What did you see?’

Rikke heaved one hand up to grip her head. Felt like if she didn’t hold her skull together, it’d burst. Shapes still fizzed on the inside of her lids, like the glowing smears when you’ve looked at the sun.

‘I saw folk falling from a high tower. Dozens of ’em.’ She winced at the thought of them hitting the ground. ‘I saw folk hanged. Rows of ’em.’ Her gut cramped at the memory of swinging bodies, dangling feet. ‘I saw… a battle, maybe? Below a red hill.’

Amazon | Book DepositoryGoodreads


| First Impressions |

I could not be happier to be back in the world of The First Law. In just a few opening paragraphs, that ever familiar narrative style springs from the pages and throws us back into a chaotic, bloody and treacherous world.

With a whole host of new characters, a few familiar favourites, and a plot that weaves the past through the smoke and steam of  industrial revolution, A Little Hatred is already turning out to be a brilliant read.

What are you currently reading? What were your first impressions?

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