Blogstuff

Moving Shop

The time has finally come for the big reveal of that Secret Blogging Project I’ve been  mentioning. I’m going to be joining a group of really lovely and talented ladies to write for a new blog – Tea in the Treetops!

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http://www.teainthetreetops.com

With my second bub due at Christmas I’m going to have a lot less time for reading and/or blogging, and with the other bloggers in the group also finding their lives busier than ever we’ve banded together to hopefully create a new exciting and entertaining place for reviews, the Tea in the Treetops podcast and other general book chatter!

Please stop by and check it out! You can also enter our launch giveaways for a chance to win some great books.

The Oaken Bookcase will be quiet from here on so I just wanted to say a big thankyou to all of you for your support, for reading, commenting and being generally lovely. I hope to see you in my new bloggy home 🙂

Roundup: September 2013

It’s time for a look back at the past month on the Oaken Bookcase.

Can you believe it’s October already? It’s been a very busy month and seems to have flown by.

I’ve read a fair bit more this month but the towering to-read pile still doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller. It’s a neverending struggle for the summit, isn’t it!

The Secret Blogging Project is still in the works and should be ready to roll quite soon.

The Tea in the Treetops podcast is still on hiatus for a short while until Philippa and I get our busy lives under control, but we hope to have a new episode for you very soon.

Time to talk books! It’s been another month of sequels and series.

Reviews for September:

  • Kinslayer, Jay Kristoff (Lotus War #2) – Steampunkish fantasy. Extremely awesome.
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies, Scott Lynch (Gentleman Bastards #2) – heists and adventure on the high seas, more from Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen
  • Happy Hour in Hell, Tad Williams (Bobby Dollar #2) – A nightmarish trip to Hell for the advocate angel Bobby Dollar
  • City of Ashes, Cassandra Clare (Mortal Instruments #2) –  After seeing the City of Bones film, I had to read on to find out what happens next!
  • Crystal Venom, Steve Wheeler (A Fury of Aces #2) – High-tech science fiction space opera

Books I read but didn’t review yet:

  • The Scroll, KB Hoyle (The Gateway Chronicles #5)

 

Goal Update

  • Goodreads challenge – I’m currently sitting at 69 books read, 5 books behind schedule. I seem to be getting further behind for some reason – must need some shorter books to read! 

 

Coming up in October

To be honest I’m not really sure what’s coming in October because I’ve barely had a chance to plan anything! Hang around though, I’m sure there will be more great books to read about 🙂

Have a lovely October!

Roundup: August 2013

It’s time for a look back at the past month on the Oaken Bookcase.

I realise it’s already the 5th and I completely missed the end of August. No excuses, it’s just that things have been so frantic around here that I totally forgot.

Several things have been going on that have disrupted both my reading time and my blogging mojo. Firstly, not sure if I mentioned this already, but I’m due to have another bub at Christmas time (seriously, my due date is Christmas Day). That’s not much of an excuse but it is making me more tired and less likely to want to do anything in the evenings!

We also had my sister’s wedding during August (congrats!) involving a trip to Sydney, plus random preparations for my brother’s wedding in a few weeks (yes I know, my poor parents).

Lastly, there’s the Secret Blogging Project which I’m not allowed to talk about just yet, but you should see some news regarding that very soon so keep an eye out!

Tea in the Treetops is still on hiatus for a short while until Philippa and I get our busy lives under control, but we hope to have a new episode for you very soon.

To the books! This month was all about sequels – I seemed to read more sequels than anything else. It’s always nice to return to a world and characters that you already know and (most of the time) love!

Reviews for August:

  • Shudder, Samantha Durante (Stitch #2) – Dystopian adventure. Part of a massive blog tour. Incidentally, there’s a tour wrap-up post at Colorimetry with a big giveaway, check it out!
  • Black Sun Light My Way, Jo Spurrier (Children of the Black Sun #2) – Adult high fantasy. Quite a brutal story but wow, cannot wait for the next!
  • Crown of Midnight, Sarah J Maas (Throne of Glass #2) – YA Fantasy. Love, love, love. Have re-read most of it already.
  • The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon – The first in a new series, elements of fantasy, the paranormal, sci-fi and awesome.
  • Siege and Storm, Leigh Bardugo (Grisha #2) – Enjoyable YA Fantasy.
  • Kinslayer, Jay Kristoff (Lotus War #2) – Steampunkish fantasy. Actually this one was in Sept but I’m including it because it’s so very awesome.

Books I read but didn’t review yet:

  • The Throne of Glass novellas 3 and 4, The Assassin and the Underworld and The Assassin and the Empire. I’m not really sure why Sarah J Maas didn’t just combine the four pre-quel novellas and release them as one book, but I suppose they are separate enough stories.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (#7), JK Rowling. I finally finished my re-read of the series and I think number 7 remains my favourite. It’s a very epic ending, and I’ll get around to writing a review of this and number 6 at some stage I hope.

 

Goal Update

  • Goodreads challenge – I’m currently sitting at 64 books read, 3 books behind schedule. I have been reading some rather large books lately, but that’s only part of my excuse… I may have to drop my goal to 90 books for this year I think. No harm in that, I’ve been reading some awesome epic fantasy lately!
  • My list of books that I wanted to get to this year is looking woefully neglected! If I didn’t keep getting such awesome review books to read, I’d make a dent in that. There’s just not enough hours in the day, I tell you!

 

Coming up in September

At this stage I don’t think there are any big events happening during September, but I’m hoping for a big reveal of the Secret Blogging project before too long so stay tuned!

It’s a gorgeous time of year here in Brisbane, warming up towards summer. Have a lovely September!

Bout of Books 8.0: Goals

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books is on again! It starts this coming Monday and there’s still plenty of time to sign up.

Here’s a bit of info about the read-a-thon:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. -From the Bout of Books team

This time will be the revenge of the sequels for me – almost every book on the list is a sequel or prequel! I’ll be updating this post each day with my progress.

Make sure you visit the official blog to see all the events that will be going on around the blogs and on Twitter this week!

My Goals

  • Comment on some participating blogs. I say this every time but it’s the most important part of the read-a-thon! Apart from the reading, that is.
  • Spend at least two hours each day reading.

 

Book list

Realistically there’s no way I’m going to get through all of these books, but it’s nice to have a bit of a selection listed so I can see what I feel like next!

 

Updates

19th
Today’s progress: The Bone Season, Samantha Shannon – page 380-480 (end). The Assassin and the Underworld, Sarah J Maas – first 69% (about 70 pages)
Total pages so far: 170
Comments: I didn’t quite get to finish The Bone Season over the weekend so I polished it off today – such an awesome book! I do recommend it to fans of YA dystopia, even though this isn’t being released as a YA book.

I picked up the third and fourth Throne of Glass novellas last week and am so enjoying being back with Celaena, even if it is before all the events of Throne of Glass 🙂

20th
Today’s progress: The Assassin and the Underworld, Sarah J Maas – 69% to end (about 30 pages), The Assassin and the Empire, Sarah J Maas – all (about 94 pages)
Total pages so far: 294
Comments: It was all Throne of Glass novella today! I quite enjoyed The Assassin and the Underworld, but the Assassin and Empire didn’t quite catch my fancy. I’m not sure if it was because I knew it would end tragically before I started, but it just didn’t grab me and I felt a bit like it should have been put onto the end of the previous novella and condensed somewhat.

Not a huge reading day today but hopefully I can make up for it tomorrow!

21st
Today’s progress: Siege and Storm (Grisha #2), Leigh Bardugo – page 1 to 148
Total pages so far: 442
Comments: I was hoping for more opportunities to read today. Sadly, other people filled up my schedule and I really didn’t get much time at all, apart from when my lil boy was going to sleep. I was happy to get stuck into Siege and Storm and back with Alina and Mal. Wow, action from page 1!

22nd
Today’s progress: Siege and Storm (Grisha #2), Leigh Bardugo – page 148 to 259
Total pages so far: 553
Comments: Once again, not a day with a lot of reading opportunities. It doesn’t help that I’ve been spending my spare evenings this week on a secret blogging project… but stay tuned for more about that 😉

23rd
Today’s progress: Siege and Storm (Grisha #2), Leigh Bardugo – page 148 to 381 (end)
Total pages so far: 786
Comments: The end of Siege and Storm was soooo good, I made sure I sat down and read the end of this tonight before going to bed! Great stuff 🙂

24th
Today’s progress: Kinslayer (The Lotus War #2), Jay Kristoff – pages 1 to 92
Total pages so far: 874
Comments: I never have much luck with reading on Saturdays. I’ve barely started Kinslayer though, and I already love it – I’d forgotten how much I love Jay Kristoff’s writing style. I don’t want to take long to read this one, but let’s see how tomorrow pans out.

25th
Today’s progress: Kinslayer (The Lotus War #2), Jay Kristoff – pages 93 to 164
Total pages so far: 945
Comments: I am completely loving Kinslayer! I was so sad that I didn’t get a chance to read it much today, and I would have tonight, but being Sunday I had a raid to go to (yes, I’m still playing Wow). I always read more on work days so it won’t take me much longer 😉

In total, a pretty average week for me in terms of reading volume. I found some lovely new blogs which is why I still love to join in with these events even if I can’t devote a lot of time to reading. I hope everyone had a great week!

Discover Aussie Fantasy 2013: Wrap Up

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Well, July is at an end and so is the Discover Aussie Fantasy feature for another year.

I’ve read some great books this month! Interestingly and also unintentionally, all but one book was by lady authors – where are all the Aussie blokes in Fantasy?

Don’t forget, there’s still a few hours until the end of the giveaway – leave a comment on one of the reviews for an extra entry! Go to the Aussie Fantasy page for the entry form.

Here are the books reviewed this time around:

So, do you like the banner for this year? My very talented brother took one of my travel snaps and added a dragon!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway and spread the word of the feature 🙂 And now, back to semi-normal programming…

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon 4.0: Goals

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I’d like to take a brief break in my Aussie Fantasy month to let you know that the Once Upon a Read-a-Thon is on over the next few days, from July 8 to 10!

The read-a-thon is hosted by Angela & Loretta at Reading Angels, Candace at Candace’s Book Blog and Lori at Pure Imagination. You can find out more information and sign up at Pure Imagination, and keep track of twitter happenings by following @OUReadathon!

I’ll be updating this post each day with my progress. All the books on my reading list are part of my Discover Aussie Fantasy feature this month, so if you’re interested in them, check back soon to see my review!

Reading list

 

Updates

8th
Today’s progress: Long Lost Song, Stephen C. Ormsby – pages 36 to 123 (large format)
Total pages so far: 87
Comments: An interesting read so far! As a self-pubbed work it does have some typographic errors, but on the whole a very well-put-together story and building up to something very exciting.

A usual Monday for me today for most of the day, until the evening when my computer decided that booting Windows wasn’t worth the effort. More reading time for tonight, but I think I know what I’ll be doing tomorrow night now… :-/

9th
Today’s progress: Long Lost Song, Stephen C. Ormsby – pages 124 to 242 (end)
Total pages so far: 205
Comments: My copy of Long Lost Song is a large-format paperback, so even though there aren’t many pages, they have a lot of words! I really quite enjoyed it – a great end-of-days type story.

10th
Today’s progress: Aurora: Darwin, Amanda Bridgeman – first 6%. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling – pages 180-230
Total pages so far: 287
Comments: A proper sci-fi this time – Aurora: Darwin is very interesting at the start. A group of three women join the all-male crew of a space ship for a mysterious mission to a distant colony near Mars. Looking forward to getting stuck into this one properly! Didn’t get a lot of time to read today, except for when I was putting my little one to sleep – managed to fit a bit more Harry Potter in then 😉

In total, not a great three days’ worth of reading, but not too shabby. I hope everyone else enjoyed the read-a-thon 🙂

Discover Aussie Fantasy 2013 – Kick Off

 

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Welcome to Discover Aussie Fantasy for 2013!

All this month I will be featuring books written by Aussie speculative fiction authors for all ages – not just fantasy, but some sci-fi as well.

Authors whose works I am hoping to feature this year include: Amanda Bridgeman, Margo Lanagan, Stephen Ormsby, Kylie Chan, Carole Wilkinson, Paula Weston, Marianne De Pierres and more!

Throughout this month, a list of the books featured will be updated on the Aussie Fantasy page, which you can reach by clicking on any of the banners around the site or on the “Aussie Fantasy” menu option above.

Don’t forget, you can always see a great selection of books by Aussie authors by going to my reviews page and choosing “Aussie” from the tag list!

The Giveaway

No special feature would be complete without a giveaway, so during this month I will be offering two lucky winners a book of their choice from the list of books reviewed for the Aussie Fantasy feature. Some of these will be available as e-book only, while some may be shipped from the Book Depository.

To enter the giveaway and see the full list of reviews for the month (none just yet but they’ll be coming!), please visit the Aussie Fantasy page!

Quietness

quietlibraryHello everyone! Yes, I am still here.

I was going to write a long ranty post about how my last few weeks have been, but I figured you don’t really want to know about that. Instead, know that I had to take a break from bloggy things for a variety of reasons, mostly involving Mr Ang being away, a really nasty cold that I am still not quite over, plus being in the early stages of pregnancy and so extreeemely tired! Yes, there’s another Sproutling coming along, due around Christmas 🙂

All this has added up to not a whole lot of reading, reviewing or preparation for my Aussie Fantasy feature in July – I still plan to read the mountain of Aussie books I have here, but it will most likely be on a much smaller scale than last year’s event. If there’s anyone out there who might be willing to help with that, I’d appreciate it – you don’t have to review anything, any kind of guest post would be awesome. Thanks for your understanding.

Wicked Wildfire Read-a-thon: Goals

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Okay so I totally had this on my calendar and everything, then I was home sick all last week and hardly touched my blog or calendar at all. But I am going to try to make up for lost time since I did actually read quite a bit over the weekend!

The Wicked Wildfire read-a-thon is hosted by April and Pabkins of My Shelf Confessions and runs from June 7-14. Here’s a bit of info about the read-a-thon:

The Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon is a time when we all get together to dedicate the days of June 7-14 to as much reading as possible. You read as much as you can in order to get yourself a little further through that huge to-read pile! We know real life gets in the way and even if you can’t participate more than one day, you’re welcome to join in on the fun!

I’ll be attempting to update this post each day with my progress.

Make sure you visit My Shelf Confessions to see the challenges that will be going on around the blogs and on Twitter this week!

My Goals

  • Because I’ve started late, my only goal is to read more than I would have otherwise. No harm in aiming low, is there? 🙂

Book list

 

Updates

I’m starting late and can’t separate days over the weekend, so the first update is for:

7th – 10th
Today’s progress: Crown of Midnight, Sarah J Maas, pages 1-417 (end). The Scrivener’s Tale, Fiona McIntosh, pages 1-85. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, JK Rowling, pages 275-495
Total pages so far: 722
Comments: Not bad for a long weekend’s reading, eh? Actually my husband is away for a couple of weeks so I’m looking after my two-year-old on my own, so it is kind of an accomplishment to get that much read in between trying to keep him out of mischief!

Crown of Midnight arrived in the mail on Friday and I couldn’t help but start reading it right away. I couldn’t put it down but didn’t get a chance to finish it properly until Saturday night. Soooo swoony and fantastic! If you haven’t read Throne of Glass, get yourself a copy right now so you’re ready for this second one to be released in August!

I haven’t read much of The Scrivener’s Tale yet but it seems like a very complex world. I realise it is building on another existing series by Fiona McIntosh that I haven’t already read, but it seems quite compelling so I’ll stick with it.

I’m re-reading the Harry Potter series while putting my little one to sleep at night and since I’ve been on my own this week I’ve been getting through the Order of the Phoenix quite quickly. It’s been a long time since I saw this film and I couldn’t remember a lot of the details, so I’m really enjoying this re-read!

11th – 14th
Today’s progress: The Scrivener’s Tale, Fiona McIntosh, pages 85 – 210. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, JK Rowling, pages 495 – 766.
Total pages so far: 1288
Comments: Here’s another half-week’s worth of update. What on earth has this week been like? I did do two and a half day’s work this week, but had to go pick up my sick little boy on Thursday afternoon. I’m still sort of recovering from being sick myself during last week so looking after a sickly little one isn’t really a bucket of laughs. By the time he was asleep in the evenings I occasionally found the energy to play a bit of Wow, but otherwise, I crashed and didn’t read a thing. Note though, that I did finish off Harry Potter – perhaps an indication of how long I spent in the little one’s room waiting for him to fall asleep.

I’m having a lot of trouble getting into The Scrivener’s Tale. That makes me sad because this is a very complex and already well-developed world and I feel I should be giving it more love than it’s getting. I can’t help but feel that perhaps I should have picked up the Quickening series first before reading this one. I’ll press on, though.

On the whole, not my best read-a-thon week, even though I did get some reading done. Mr Ang is back from his field trip this weekend so things should more or less return to normal very shortly. But first, I will sleep. *collapse*

 

Roundup: May 2013

It’s time for a look back at the past month on the Oaken Bookcase.

Yes, I’m still around. May has been a fairly quiet month around here – I haven’t had a lot of time for reading, even though I took part in Bout of Books. I’ve also hit something that I haven’t had in quite a while – a reading slump. Sucks!

I also joined in with the Clean Sweep ARC Challenge and although I had grand plans, I only managed to cross three and a half books off my goal list. Dreadful effort! Well, I’ll be keeping that list and continuing to cross books off it, I hope.

Philippa and I managed to get one episode of Tea in the Treetops in before her little bubba arrived – yep, her little girl is here and all is well 🙂 Don’t forget, you can now subscribe to the podcast in a few different ways, including iTunes, Stitcher radio and email. Check out the podcast page for more information, and as always, let us know if you’re enjoying it or if you have any questions we can answer on the show for you.

Reviews for May:

  • The Golem and the Jinni, Helene Wecker – 5 stars for this tale of two creatures in early 20th-Century New York City.
  • In The End, Alexandra Rowland – 4 stars for a funny and quirky story of the end of days.
  • The 5th Wave, Rick Yancey – 4 stars for a fast-paced story of survival during an alien invasion.
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, JK Rowling – 5 stars of course! Children’s fantasy for all ages.
  • The River of No Return, Bee Ridgway – 5 stars, very enjoyable story of time travellers, set both in the present and in Regency London.
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch – 4.5 stars, swashbuckling adventure with the Gentleman Bastards. Fantasy adventure at its finest.

Books I read but didn’t review yet:

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling – the re-read continues. The last light-hearted adventures before the start of the darker parts of the story.
  • Shadow of Night, Deborah Harkness – This is the sequel to A Discovery of Witches, which I quite enjoyed during last year. I’m currently over half-way through this one and struggling a little. It’s not that the story isn’t enjoyable, it’s just… meandering all over the place. It doesn’t help that I’m in a bit of a reading slump at the moment. Hopefully will finish this in the next few days.

 

Goal Update

  • Goodreads challenge – I’m currently sitting at 41 books read. My reading slump and some larger books read this month means that I’m back on schedule rather than being ahead. 

 

Coming up in May

The Wicked Wildfire read-a-thon starts next Friday, June 7. It rather helpfully lies on a long weekend here in Queensland, and I’ll have a few extra days off around that time as well, so here’s hoping for some extra reading time!

You may remember last year I held the Discover Australian Fantasy event in July, where I featured a load of books by Aussie authors. Well, I’m planning another one for this July. If you’re interested in guest posting or if you have a suggestion for a book to include in the line-up, please get in touch with me as soon as possible! The help of the community made things so much easier last year.

Keep your ears open for another Tea in the Treetops episode, coming very soon, and have a fantastic June 🙂

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