Wrapping up #TomeTopple | August 2020 📚✨

From August 8th to August 21st, I participated in the twelfth round of Tome Topple, which was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and I had a lot of fun! The goal of this readathon is to read books that are over 500 pages, which I love. It was my second time participating, and I’m now planning to participate each time if I can.

As I posted my TBR for it two weeks ago, I thought I’d wrap-up this readathon today, so here is some sort of wrap-up of everything I’ve read in the past two weeks. For this round of Tome Topple, I put a little bit of a challenge on myself, not with the books that I was reading, but with the fact that my family moved houses on August 12th, so I’ve had a lot to do during those two weeks… but I was still really motivated!

For Tome Topple, I was planning on reading:

  • The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Les Travailleurs de la Mer by Victor Hugo

So, here are the books I managed to read for Tome Topple:

🌊 Les Travailleurs de la Mer (The Toilers of the Sea) by Victor Hugo

> I started the readathon with this French classic, which is set on the island of Guernsey, and mainly follows Gilliatt, who tries to save a ship from a wreckage. I liked this book overall, but I have a bit of a mixed opinion: it was separated in three parts, and they all were so different that they felt a bit disjointed.

I really enjoyed the first part, which established the setting and who was who in society on the island. The second part focused on the man vs. nature theme, as Gilliatt tried to save the ship, I found it interesting and the descriptions well-written, but it was a bit too long for me. The third part of the book was about what happened on Guernsey after Gilliatt came back, and it was fine, but my main problem with it was that all the developments needed to move the plot forward happened off-page, while Gilliatt wasn’t there, so I didn’t feel much for the characters (though I did, in the first part). I liked the drama of it all, but it was a shame I didn’t connect with the characters. In the end, I’m giving this 2.5-3 stars.

🐉 The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

> I then moved on to The Dragon Republic, and without any surprise, I adored it so much! The Poppy War is my favourite book of the year, and this sequel really delivered.

R.F. Kuang wrote amazingly how each character dealt with what happened at the end of the first book, it made perfect sense considering what they had had to deal with. These characters are all so gray and flawed, but I love them so much! The Dragon Republic also explored a lot more of the world, and expanded on the world-building, which was great. By the way, I 100% would love a spin-off on Moag! Once again, this book was very military-based, and the author managed to keep me interested throughout. Now, the ending was a lot and I need a million days to recover, but wow it was everything. I gave it 5/5 stars, it’s my favourite book of the readathon, and I can’t wait for the last book in the trilogy, The Burning God!

💑🏿 Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

> I listened to Americanah on audiobook throughout the readathon, and this book was such an important read! This novel follows Ifemelu and Obinze, who are young and in love when they leave military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Ifemelu heads for America, while Obinze, unable to join her post 9/11, plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they then reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria.

This novel was so many things: it explored immigration, being a Black person in western countries, coming of age, coming back to your country after leaving it for years, and also love. Ifemelu is a blogger who discusses race on her blog and in her real life, and I really enjoyed how Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie brought up very much needed conversations. Reading Ifemelu’s and Obinze’s stories made me so angry, yet really hopeful for them. It was a hard book to read for many reasons, but it was definitely a needed read. That being said, I would have loved to see more of Obinze, as there were some gaps in his point of view, and I’m bit on the fence about the last 10% of the novel, but it remained an excellent read! I gave it 4/5 stars.

In the end, I read exactly what I had been planning to during the readathon, which I’m really happy about, considering that I moved houses in the middle of it! I can’t wait to take part into Tome Topple next time!

Did you take part in any readathons this month? How has your reading been in August so far?

My #TomeTopple TBR | August 2020 📚✨

From August 8th to August 21st, I’m participating in round 12 of Tome Topple, and I’m super excited about it! This readathon was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and its goal is pretty simple: you have to read books over 500 pages. I participated to this readathon for the first time in May, and I had such an amazing time, so I’m excited for this round.

I’m not quite sure whether I’ll have much time to read during the first week of the readathon, as I’m moving houses with my family on August 12th, but I’ve planned to read one of my tomes via audiobook, so I might still read one tome during that busy time. In any case, I’m super motivated for this round, and my TBR is realistic, so it should be okay. 🙌🏻

Here are the books I’m hoping to get to during this readathon:

🐉 The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

I’ve been waiting for the release of the UK paperback of The Dragon Republic for months, and it’s finally out this week, so it’s a sign for me to read it during Tome Topple! This book is the sequel to The Poppy War, which is my favourite book of the year so far, so I’m super excited to read it! This Asian-inspired fantasy series follows Rin, a war orphan, who aces the test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies and get into Sinegard, the most elite military school in the Empire. I’m hoping *this* might be my third five-star read of the year, fingers crossed!

👩🏿‍❤️‍👨🏿 Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I’ve only read We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, but I’ve been meaning to get to her other books for such a long time, so it’s about time I read Americanah. This novel follows Ifemelu and Obinze, who are young and in love when they leave military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Ifemelu heads for America, while Obinze, unable to join her post 9/11, plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they then reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria. I’ve heard such high praise for this book, so I’m really looking forward to it!

🌊 Les Travailleurs de la Mer (The Toilers of the Sea) by Victor Hugo

Another book I’ve been meaning to get to for ages! I love Victor Hugo’s works, this one is one of the lesser-known, and is set on the island of Guernsey, where he was exiled during the Second Empire in France. I am fascinated by the island of Guernsey, and would love to travel there at some point, so I’m super excited about it (is this because of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? Absolutely). All I know is that this book is about fishermen or something? I’m not quite sure, but I’m really excited to find out, and to read more from Victor Hugo!

Are you participating in Tome Topple? What are you planning to read in August?

Wrapping up #TomeTopple | May 2020 📚✨

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Hello There

From May 9th to May 22nd, I participated in the eleventh round of Tome Topple, which was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and I had a lot of fun! The goal of this readathon is to read books that are over 500 pages and I’m glad I prioritised some of my tomes during these two weeks. As I posted my TBR for it two weeks ago, I thought I’d wrap-up this readathon today, so I guess this post is a sort of wrap-up of everything I’ve read in the past two weeks.

For Tome Topple, I was planning on reading:

  • A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold by G.R.R. Martin
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Kingsbane by Claire Legrand
  • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (reread)

… which meant I needed to read 2,545 pages. So, did I manage it? 👀

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🐉 A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold by G.R.R. Martin

> I started the readathon with this one and read it pretty quickly: it was so action-packed and I totally understood why A Storm of Swords is so many readers’ favourite book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series! It motivated to catch up on the series before the end of the year, so it was a success! I gave it 4/5 stars.

👑 Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

> I then moved on to Kingsbane, second book in the Empirium trilogy, and devoured it as well. It was so much better than Furyborn in my opinion, I cared a lot more for Rielle and Eliana, I loved how dark the story became (it’s the reason I was reading this series in the first place), I have a new favourite antagonist (everyone, please look away 🙈and considering that it ended on a big cliffhanger, I can’t wait to get my hands on Lightbringer in October! I gave 4/5 stars to this one as well.

🎨 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

> After that, I started reading The Goldfinch, and I was really excited about that one! Unfortunately, this book triggered my anxiety for days and I had to push myself to read it: I started with the physical copy, then switched to the audiobook, but really couldn’t get through it. Honestly, life is already scary enough as it is, so I decided to abandon it after 235 pages. I’ve felt so much better since I DNF-ed it, so I guess it wasn’t for me (though I loved The Secret History)!

🕊️ The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

> As the newest Hunger Games book came out during the readathon, I really wanted to read it straight away. Considering it’s 540 page-long, it fitted Tome Topple really well! It just came out this week, so I won’t say too much about it (there’s so much to say though!), but I enjoyed it overall. I thought the characters weren’t entirely believable in the beginning (though it got better by the end) and the pacing was a bit off at times, but I found Collins’ take on a villain origin story and the way she pictured the Capitol and its society very interesting (they’re the worst, I hate them so much). I’m still debating my rating, but I think it’s a 3-3.5/5 stars for me.

⚔️ The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

> Last, but not least, I reread my favourite book of the year and it was everything.

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me, rereading The Poppy War

The Poppy War is such a brilliant fantasy novel in my opinion, I find its characters and the world-building fascinating. In fantasy novels, my least favourite scenes are usually battle scenes, because I struggle to picture them, but while The Poppy War focuses a lot on, er, a war, I didn’t have any problem with that in this one, which rarely ever happens. That being said, this book gets very graphic towards the end and there a lot of trigger warnings for it because it’s set during a war, so it’s not for everyone! Still, I think it’s an excellent and powerful book, I gave it 5/5 stars and it was my favourite book of the readathon!

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In the end, I finished four books and read 2,549 pages (counting the first 235 pages of The Goldfinch) for Tome Topple, so despite abandoning one book, I read four more pages than planned (am I weirdly proud of myself? Absolutely)! This readathon was a success for me and I’m looking forward to take part in it again in the future! 🙌

What have you been reading lately? Are there any books on your TBR that you find intimidating?

lots of love

My #TomeTopple TBR | May 2020 📚✨

tome-topple-tbr

Hello ThereFrom May 9th to May 22nd, I’m participating in the eleventh round of Tome Topple, and I’m super excited about it! This readathon was created by Sam @ Thoughts on Tomes and its goal is pretty simple: you have to read books over 500 pages. I’m one of those people who adore big books, so I’m looking forward to dedicating two whole weeks to some tomes I had been meaning to get to for a while.

This readathon has been around for a few years, but if you’re interested, here’s Sam’s announcement video for this round:

I’m being *quite* ambitious for this round of Tome Topple, but I’m not quite sure about how it will go. My initial plan is to read 2,018 pages across three books, but there’s a fourth book I really want to reread, so I *might* try to read 2,545 pages in these two weeks? It’s probably wishful thinking, but uh, we’ll see.

Here are the books I’m hoping to get to during this readathon:

a-storm-of-swords

🐉 A Storm of Swords, Part Two: Blood and Gold by G.R.R. Martin

I’ve been slowly catching up on the A Song of Ice and Fire series (I have all the time in the world though, considering… The Winds of Winter), but it’s been a year since I last picked up a book in the series, so it’s about time I continue it (do I blame season 8 of Game of Thrones? Maybe). I’m reading this series in the UK paperback edition and A Storm of Swords is divided in two in it: weirdly enough, I’ve only read the first half, so I really need to get to the second one and Tome Topple is the perfect motivation to do it!

the-goldfinch

🎨 The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I loved The Secret History by Donna Tartt when I read it three years ago and have been meaning to get to the rest of Donna Tartt’s works since then, so it’s about time I finally do that! All I know is that this book follows Theo Decker, a young boy who miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother, through his teenage and adult years. It apparently goes from “the streets of New York to the dark corners of the art underworld” and focuses on a painting called The Goldfinch, which intrigues me so much!

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👑 Kingsbane by Claire Legrand

I read Furyborn by Claire Legrand last month, really liked it overall, and I’m curious to see where the story is going! Kingsbane will probably be my quickest read for Tome Topple (though it’s 600 page-long) and considering I have some daunting books on my TBR, I’ll need it. This series is set in a world where two queens have been prophesied: one of light, the other of blood, and follows two young women, a thousand years apart, who hold the power to save their world or doom it. So many readers said Kingsbane is better than Furyborn, so I’m excited to get to it!

These three books are my priority for this readathon, but if I manage to get to all of them, I’m hoping to reread my favourite book of the year, which is…

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⚔️ The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

I read The Poppy War back in February, it was in my 5 star predictions for the year… and it became my first 5 stars since March 2019. 😱 It’s a grimdark Chinese-inspired fantasy blending historical elements and mythology following a war orphan who has been accepted in an elite military school and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I read it. It’s definitely not for everyone, it’s quite graphic and has a lot of trigger warnings, but it’s a very powerful story and I so want to reread it.

So that’s it for my Tome Topple TBR. I can’t wait for tomorrow to get started on all of these books and I’m hoping I’ll manage to read everything, but we’ll see! 📚

Are you participating in Tome Topple? I know we’re already eight days into May, but what are you planning to read this month?lots of love