This Week by Proxy: 01 – 18 March


Welcome to This Week by Proxy. Join me as I look back on the past week to see which books I’ve read, the reviews I’ve posted and the goals I’ve completed.


| This Week by Proxy: 01 – 18 March 2018 |

I seem to have managed to avoid doing an end of week or end of month post for some time so this week’s post will be a little more beefy than usual! Even though it serves to make me look as though I’ve read a hefty amount of books, it really does highlight the abysmal number of reviews that have surfaced over that time. A big fat zero. I definitely need to schedule in a few more… or at least one. Yes, one would probably do it.

I hope you’ve all had wonderful weeks, happy reading everybody!


| Books Read |

| 1. |

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

A complete impulse buy, the hype surrounding this book completely went over my head. But wow, were they right. With a band of gritty and dangerous characters, Kings of the Wyld is a non-stop thrill ride from start to finish.

| 2. |

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Following on from my Top Ten Tuesday post about books I could re-read forever, I realised it was about time I reread The Secret Garden, one of my childhood favourites. As charming now as it ever was, this book is an enchanting tale of growth, friendship and childhood in Edwardian England.

| 3. |

The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams

Having spent far too long on my bookshelf, the sequel to the wonderful Copper Promise lived up to all expectation as an exciting and dangerous adventure through icy kingdoms and frozen wastes. The Silver Tide, here I come.

| 4. |

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Another book from my Top Ten Tuesday list, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a book I can return to again and again and always find enjoyment.  Nonsensical and amusing, Lewis Carroll’s famous works never get old.

| 5. |

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

My favourite book of all time, this year’s re-read of The Lord of the Rings couldn’t come soon enough. The absorbing narrative, the beautiful descriptions and the intricately drawn characters all work together to create a book that is a perfect component of the whole.

| 6. |

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti is a beautifully wrought novella which, in its few pages, manages to create an absorbing tale with believable characters, and wonderfully succinct worldbuilding. I cannot wait to continue Binti’s adventures in book two.


| Currently Reading |

Shamefully I’m still currently reading The Vagrant by Peter Newman and The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu. Neither of these books have really got my juices flowing so they’ve fallen a bit to the wayside, however I am determined to continue with them both!

Having also added two classic re-reads to my currently reading list, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë I’ve decided I’ll probably put together a Classics Club list in the very near future.

Added to this, I’m also re-reading The Builders by Daniel Polansky, a beautifully dark novella and Shadowblack by Sebastien de Castell, the second book in the wonderful Spellslinger series.


| Posts |

Tough Travelling: Apprentices

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Could Re-Read Forever

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Book Quotes by P.G. Wodehouse

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books With Plot Twists and Surprises

Teaser Tuesdays: February 27 – Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell + The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Teaser Tuesdays: March 06 – The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams + The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Teaser Tuesdays: March 13 – Binti by Nnedi Okorafor + The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Waiting on Wednesday: The Hyena and the Hawk

Waiting on Wednesday: Charmcaster by Sebastien de Castell

Waiting on Wednesday: Grey Sister by Mark Lawrence

Friday Firsts: The Iron Ghost by Jen Williams

Friday Firsts: The Builders by Daniel Polansky

Friday Firsts: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

The Friday Face-Off: Greek Mythology

The Friday Face-Off: …But Icarus Flew Too Close

The Friday Face-Off: I Got No Strings to Hold Me Down

Chapter + Verse – The Hobbit: Chapter IV – Over Hill and Under Hill


| March Goal Progress |

To read five books

Status: 5 of 5 Complete


What have you been reading this week? Have you accomplished any goals?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Books I Could Re-Read Forever


Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature from The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Books I Could Re-Read Forever |

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday! This week we’re looking at the Top Ten books we could re-read forever.

There are so many books I would happily pick up and read again and again and, in the past few years, this list has only grown. Keeping this Top Ten to only ten books was, therefore, quite a challenge. But, as with all these lists, there are those books that ultimately deserve a place.

These are the books that I adored as a child and inspired my love of the weird, the magical, the fantastic and the witty; these are the books that will always have a place on my bookshelf.

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| 1. |

The Lord of the Rings

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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| 2. |

The Hobbit

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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| 3. |

The Silmarillion

by J.R.R. Tolkien

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| 4. |

Harry Potter

by J.K. Rowling

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| 5. |

The Little White Horse

by Elizabeth Goudge

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| 6. |

Pride and Prejudice

by Jane Austen

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| 7. |

The Chronicles of Narnia

by C.S. Lewis heart

| 8. |

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland + Through the Looking Glass

by Lewis Carroll
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| 9. |

The Secret Garden

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

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| 10. |

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen

by Alan Garnerheart

Which books would you re-read again and again? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to ThatArtsyReaderGirl and sign up!

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2015: A Year in Review


2015


| Books by Proxy – A Year in Review |

Welcome to my first end of year post – and what a year it has been! I started this blog on the last day of July and, over the last half of 2015, have found myself as part of a wonderful community of readers and bloggers. In my albeit limited experience, we book bloggers are lucky to enjoy a very friendly and supportive community, where sharing our books, our reviews and our experiences is all done for a love of reading and can be enjoyed by many. So thank you readers and thank you bloggers for making 2015 such an enjoyable year. I hope you all have a fantastic 2016!heart


| A Year in Books |
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I think we can all agree these two very similar and equally profound books, Blood Song by Anthony Ryan and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, deservedly made it into my longest and shortest book categories.heart


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Donna Leon

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Leon 10

with ten books in her Commissario Brunetti series

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2015 - 6

P.G. Wodehouse

with nine books in total including seven from his Blandings series

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Jim Butcher

with eight books in The Dresden Files series

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AC - 6

Agatha Christie

with six books in her Hercule Poirot series

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best fantasyBlood Song

Book One of the Raven’s Shadow Series

by Anthony Ryan

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Best SciFiRed Rising

Book One of the Red Rising Trilogy

by Pierce Brown

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best novellaThe SerpentThe Serpent

The Gameshouse I

by Claire North

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best crimeThe Few

A Leone Scamarcio Thriller

by Nadia Dalbuonoheart

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best historicalLamentationLamentation

Book Six of the Matthew Shardlake Series

by C.J. Sansom

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best classicSomething FreshSomething Fresh

Book One of the Blandings Series

by P.G. Wodehouse

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There were so many more amazing books which deserve to be on this list but then it would just be most of 2015’s books!

Thank you all for reading and have a wonderful 2016!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Classics of 2015


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Classics of 2015 |

This year i have been determined to read more classics and amongst those dusty tomes I’ve discovered some fantastic literature, many of which are almost poetic in narrative and are often full of understated (if not blatant.. cough… Wodehouse) humour. For this week’s Top Ten, and to avoid any repeats with last week, I’m bringing you my top ten classics of 2015 – and hopefully I’ll unearth many more literary masters in 2016!

| 1. |

pj

Picadilly Jim

by P.G. Wodehouse

This is the book which started my love affair with Wodehouse. No author has brought tears of laughter to my eyes quite so much as this comedic genius, and with an inordinate number of books to his name, I expect to be crying with laughter for many more years to come!

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| 2. |

moe

Murder on the Orient Express

by Agatha Christie

I have been an Agatha Christie fan for some time now, dipping into and out of her work ever since I was a child, so it was about time then that I made a concerted effort to make my way through her catalogue in some semblance of order. Murder on the Orient Express most certainly lives up to its reputation as a whodunnit masterpiece and has fuelled my passion for Christie’s crime classics.

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| 3. |

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Sense and Sensibility

by Jane Austen

I had first read Sense and Sensibility as a young girl and, despite my love for both both literary and televised Austen, I hadn’t re-read a number of her novels until this year. Sense and Sensibility is social commentary at its finest, full of wit and humour with a sometimes heartbreaking storyline, which made me fall in love with Austen all over again.

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| 4. |

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Hard Times

by Charles Dickens

I cannot begin to describe how much I love this book. Charles Dickens is a master of the literary charicature and it is done so well in Hard Times. And not only that, we have some of the most beautiful and evocative descriptions of the industrial revolution that I’ve ever come across. A definite highlight in this year’s list of classics.

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| 5. |

awied

Around the World in Eighty Days

by Jules Verne

I was determined to read more Jules Verne this year but only ended up reading one novel – Around the World in Eighty Days. This delightful adventure, undertaken as a bet and chock full of a multitude of intriguing characters,  has definitely spurred me on to read more of Verne’s work.

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| 6. |

39s

The Thirty-Nine Steps

by John Buchan

Having never even heard of this novel until this year, The Thirty-Nine Steps took me by complete surprise. Reading just like one of the military escape memoirs I love so much, The Thirty-Nine Steps has me determined to add more John Buchan novels to my 2016 reading list.

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| 7. |

aiw

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There

by Lewis Carroll

And no list of classics for me would be complete without the delightful and nonsensical work of Lewis Carroll. This is pure and unadulterated fuel for the imagination, like a fever dream… on acid. And this year’s re-read only re-fuelled my love for this wonderful piece of literature.

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| 8. |

djmh

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde remains one of the most well known classic horror stories so it’s unsurprising that this short book, packed full of mystery, shock and suspense, made its way into this week’s Top Ten.

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| 9. |

SF

Something Fresh

by P.G. Wodehouse

Something Fresh is the first book in the Blandings series which I’ve wholeheartedly devoured in 2015. With the delightfully dotty Lord Emsworth, many an imposter and something of a whodunnit… involving scarabs… this is a fine example of comedic literature which had me reaching for the next book in an instant.


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| 10. |

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The Mystery of the Blue Train

by Agatha Christie

Another Christie classic (and another which involves trains!) tops this week’s list. Full of intriguing (and highly suspicious) characters, exotic jewels and even more exotic locations, this is one of my favourite Christie novels to date.

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Which are your favourite novels of 2015? Do any classics top your list? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten… Author Duos Which Should Exist


Top Ten TuesdayWelcome to Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature hosted by those lovely bookworms over at The Broke and the Bookish. Expect a new top ten list every week!


| Top Ten… Author Duos Which Should Exist |

This Tuesday we’re pairing up the authors we’d love to see write a book together. This Top Ten will combine two authors from very different genres, one deceased and one living, to create some fascinating and comic duos. In no particular order, here are my dream team of duos:

| 1. |

rd and ja

Roald Dahl & Joe Abercrombie

“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”

Matilda by Roald Dahl

In a new set of books for children, the humour of Roald Dahl and the bloody violence of Joe Abercrombie meet to create a non-stop, whizzpopping, exceedingly dark series. Man eating giants hunger for small children, a young girl uses her telekinetic powers to wield axes and exact bloody vengeance, and Miss Trunchbull and Sand dan Glokta have a whirlwind romance. Illustrated by Quentin Blake of course.

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| 2. |

P.G. Wodehouse & Scott Lynch

“What’s the use of a great city having temptations if fellows don’t yield to them?” 

~ Carry on, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Forget Blandings Castle or The Drones Club, this series will be based in one of the Five Towers of Camorr – Raven’s Reach. Duke Nicovante is going dotty, scandals and rumours abound, relations are getting into all sorts of mischief, and scheming fraudsters are after the Duke’s money.  And no Wodehouse novel would be complete without an imposter or two – enter Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen. Lynch brings the intricacy and detailing of plot and Wodehouse brings a riot of humour and tomfoolery for a very gritty witty novel.

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| 3. |

csl and at

C.S. Lewis & Adrian Tchaikovsky

“She looked back over her shoulder and there, between the dark tree-trunks, she could still see the open doorway of the wardrobe and even catch a glimpse of the empty room from which she had set out.”

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Send four children through a wardrobe into a land of insectoid, warlike humans and see how they react when Peter waves about a sword and declares himself King. But that’s his problem. Susan wields a snapbow to avenge her brother, Edmund sinks into psychotic insanity for lack of Turkish Delight, and Lucy is enslaved on the battlefields to forever resurrect fallen soldiers with her magic cordial. All jolly good fun!

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| 4. |

J.R.R. Tolkien & C.J. Sansom

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Because who wouldn’t love a crime solving Bilbo! The depth of history in Middle Earth provides a perfect playing field for a spectacular series of crime novels. Who stole Farmer Maggot’s crops? Who squashed Bilbo’s begonias? And that’s just the beginning! A darkness is spreading over Middle Earth, there’s murder afoot and only one little Hobbit can stop it. Armed with his trusty walking stick, spotted hanky and brass buttons, Bilbo must travel to the far flung reaches of the land to solve the mysteries that ensue. If only that meddling wizard would show up.

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| 5. |

ja and bc

Jane Austen & Bernard Cornwell

“Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.”

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Especially when the husband decides to go on campaign to subdue the French and thinks it appropriate to take his wife and her female companions with him. Bonnets will go flying! Petticoats will be six inches deep in mud, blood and various other vile excretions! Not to mention the possibility of being garrotted by ribbons or bound by lace! Austen’s wit and sublime characterisation meets Cornwell’s action-packed descriptive excellence in the bloodiest romance of any century.

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| 6. |

cd and jb

Charles Dickens & Jim Butcher

“About the Fairies, sir, and the Dwarf, and the Hunchback, and the Genies,’ she sobbed out; ‘and about — ‘ ‘Hush!’ said Mr. Gradgrind, ‘that is enough. Never breathe a word of such destructive nonsense any more.’”

~ Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Harry Dresden, Wizard PI, finds himself in Victorian England in the midst of the industrial revolution. Poverty, disease and the Red Court of vampires are running rampant across the country; the Wizard hierarchy is even more insufferable; and orphans, pickpockets and general ne’er-do-wells are developing a dangerous affinity for magic. The descriptive genius of Dickens meets the action and dark humour of Butcher. Magic (and industrial machinery) – It can get a guy killed.

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| 7. |

ms and km

Mary Shelley & Karen Maitland

“Unhappy man! Do you share my madness? Have you drunk also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me; let me reveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips!” 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Company of Reanimated Corpses? The Gallows Curse: A Guide to the Acquisition of Body Parts? Gothic horror and medieval mystery meet to create a tale of murder and superstition and raise those philosophical questions of what it means to be human in a world of myth and magic. The supernatural haunts every page, twists and turns abound and the terror of the unknown threaten all mankind in this medieval monster mash-up.

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| 8. |

lc and grrm

Lewis Carroll & George R.R. Martin

“We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by C.S. Lewis

Alice’s Adventures in Westeros: After falling down a rabbit hole and finding herself in the middle of King’s Landing, can Alice find a way to survive the clash between warring dynasties. Alice must outrun disgusting perverts, bloodthirsty maniacs, dragons and jabberwockys to find her way home. The nonsensical, witty and utterly absurd meets the complex, bloody and thoroughly epic in this merging of literary masters.

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| 9. |

dg and ku

David Gemmell & Kaye Umansky

“A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity.” 

~ Legend by David Gemmell

After sampling one of Pongwiffy’s terrible potions, Pongwiffy, Hugo the Hamster, a hoard of goblins and Grandwitch Sourmuddle’s birthday cake find themselves transported to a world of dark knights, thirsty (non-hamster) vampires, bloody battles and axe wielding warriors. Will Pongwiffy forsake her dirty habits to lead an army to victory? Can Hugo subdue the goblin horde? And, most importantly, will the cake survive a battlefield encounter?

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| 10. |

fhb and gdt

Frances Hodgson Burnett & Guillermo del Toro

“A house with a hundred rooms, nearly all shut up and with their doors locked—a house on the edge of a moor—whatsoever a moor was—sounded dreary. A man with a crooked back who shut himself up also!”

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mistlethwaite Manor will never be the same again after an injection of del Toro magic. Terrifying monsters lurk in hidden passages, The Cravens harbour a dark secret and Mrs. Medlock isn’t at all what she appears – and that’s before Mary even reaches the garden! When Mary decides to do a spot of gardening in Mrs. Craven’s old patch, the secrets she unearths and the horrors which she disturbs will change her life forever. This is a tale of enchanting mystery and surreal horror which will certainly not be for children.heart

Which authors would you love to see as a duo? If you would like to join in with Top Ten Tuesday, head on over to The Broke and the Bookish and sign up!

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Tough Travelling: Portals to Another Land


Tough TravellingJoin me each Thursday for some Tough Travelling with the Tough Guide, hosted by Fantasy Review Barn. Inspired by ‘The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, we will set out on a quest to track down the biggest tropes and clichés in fantasy fiction.


| Portals to Another Land |

Fantasyland often has some unique entry points; not every traveler is born within its boundaries.  It is a regular event for someone from a non-magical place to suddenly find themselves in this world of dragons, magic, and danger.

After quite some time searching, it appeared that most of my favourite portal books were those from childhood. So this week I’ve gathered five of my childhood favourites. These are the stories of portals and time-slips, of nightmarish creatures and dangerous worlds, of brave children and unwitting adults. These are the five I’ve read countless times over the years.

| 1. |

ElidorElidor

by Alan Garner

The four Watson children enter an old and abandoned church in search of a football when one by one, they disappear through a heavy iron-ringed door. A door which leads to the world of Elidor, a dark and dangerous kingdom almost entirely fallen to evil.

| 2. |

AliceAlice’s Adventures in WonderlandThrough the Looking-Glass 

by Lewis Carroll

Alice finds herself on all sorts of adventures after making her way down a rabbit hole and finding herself in Wonderland. It certainly doesn’t stop her from making her way through a looking-glass mirror.

| 3. | LionThe Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis

After being evacuated from London, Lucy Pevensie is exploring her adopted home when she finds her way through the back of a wardrobe into the world of Narnia. One by one, the disbelieving Pevensie children follow Lucy through the wardrobe to discover a world frozen in deep winter and ruled by the dark and terrible White Witch.

| 4. |TMGTom’s Midnight Garden

by Philippa Pearce

When Tom Long goes to stay with his Uncle Alan and Aunt Gwen in an upstairs flat of a large house with no garden, he finds himself transported to the past every night when the old grandfather clock strikes 13 and the back door opens onto a magical garden.

| 5. |MoondialMoondial

by Helen Cresswell

After being sent to live with an elderly aunt in the country, Minty finds herself transported to the past every night by a strange moondial in the garden; a past where she must help the ‘lost souls’  of former residents find peace.

What are your favourite portal books? If you would like to join in with Tough Travelling, head on over to the Fantasy Review Barn and sign up!

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