#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – New Year, New Books

Six for Sunday
And so we have come to the last Six for Sunday of the year! A new year full of new books awaits! I may have splurged on books the last month or so and as a result, I’m planning to try and curb my book buying until I can make at least a dent in my current physical TBR which is starting to get a little out of control, to be honest. I do have a post coming soon featuring books that I’m looking forward to next year but with this being the last S4S and indeed my last blog post in general of this year I decided to make this list about six of the new books I have brought or been gifted this past month to read in the new year!

Star Wars: A Finn and Poe Adventure by Cavan Scott
This is the most recent book I brought technically as it arrived most recently but I ordered it before any of the other books on this list, such is the beauty of the pre-order. I’ve been tempted by the three others in this series before, also known as the “choose your destiny” books as they are told in the choose your own adventure style. I don’t think it will blow my mind but it does look fun!

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
One of the books that have been on my TBR for a little while now after having so many people tell me it’s my kind of book, but I hadn’t got around to buying it yet. I was treated to a lovely hard copy for Christmas by my favourite Star Wars gal! Thank you, El 💜

His Hideous Heart by various authors, edited by Dahlia Adler
After reading a dystopian anthology earlier this year I’ve been looking into more and more anthologies. I saw this one reviewed on one of the blogs I follow (your name escapes me right now but I figure this makes us even for always filling your blogger feed with Jay Kristoff reviews haha!) and it sounds brilliant. I’ve not read anything by Poe before and I’m glad that the original texts are also included so I can read them first! Thank you so much to Lucy for the lovely gift 💜

The Martian by Andy Weir
I’ve been dying to read this book since I saw the film but this is another book I just never got around to buying! This one was gifted to me by the lovely Justine (thank you again also for helping me fix my wish list etc 💜)

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
I have a feeling this book might break me but I’ve been so intrigued by it!! I even ended up with a copy on NetGalley but again it got lost in my huge TBR. I’m hoping this gorgeous physical copy gifted to me by another Jemma will encourage me to finally read it!

Star Wars: Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray
I’ve been rewatching the Star Wars prequels this week when I’ve had trouble sleeping and I had almost forgotten just how much I ADORE Obi-Wan Kenobi

I’m not going on a book buying ban exactly but I did find that really thinking about my bookish purchases and trying to avoiding things like cover and impulse buys really helped this year so I’m going to continue with that method in the new year after my Christmas splurge! I also have a big bookshelf shuffle coming up so wish me luck! What books did you buy or receive recently?

 

Roundup / Recap, spoiler free

My Favourite Reads of 2019

tag Thursday

I originally wrote this as in the place of a Six for Sunday post a week or so ago and then was ill and forgot to post it. So, as I’m a still a little under the weather I thought I would add a few more books to even the list out and share them with you today!

I decided it was time to reflect on some of my favourite books I’ve read this year, which seemed like a good idea at the time but then I had to go through fifty-five books and pick just six and I can’t decide if this was more fun or stressful but it was definitely a little of both so I hope you enjoy my list.

Just a note that this is my personal list and is linked only to my enjoyment. These are not “THE BEST” books of 2019, I’m in no way qualified to judge that and not all of these books are even FROM 2019 but they are my favourites so they count here.

The Wicked King by Holly Black
I’ve enjoyed this series on a whole but shockingly the middle book has turned out to be my favourite book of the trilogy and one of my top books, certainly of the year if not in general. This book had such a wonderful mix of things I just adore, the politics, the fighting, the kissing, Cardan being an ass and Jude just being…Jude. *Chef kiss*

Sanctuary by V.V James
A book I read on a whim after it was recommended by a friend that just completely blew me away. There were some great twists and turns that had me hanging on the edge of my seat, frantically turning pages and wanting to pull out my hair in places. A brilliant witchy read with some themes that remind me of The Crucible.

Finding Home, Vol Two: The Healer by Hari Conner
MY BOYS.
So, I know they’re technically Hari’s boys, not mine but I would happily protect them as if they were my own. Chepi and Janek captured my heart in Volume One of Finding Home but Volume Two was a whole new level. I love these two so much and I just want to keep them safe but at the same time they are both utter messes and honestly, I think that just makes me love them more. This volume had so many, interesting, beautiful, heartbreaking and tense moments throughout, not to mention a couple that made me laugh out loud. I think this might have been my favourite read of the year, I can’t fault it any conceivable way, it was perfect.

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
Riverdale meets Stranger Things is the best way to describe TDG and honestly, someone needs to make it into a show already because it’s brilliant and has all the right vibes. I love the rival families, the secrets, the ANGST. I am already chomping at the bit for The Deck of Omens like I can’t begin to explain.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
So I was in two minds whether or not to include Nevernight. Partially because it wasn’t released this year and also because I’ve spent so long trying to work out how I feel about it. The beginning is slow and I’m pretty sure anyone who’s read it will agree but MY GODS the rest of it is sublime. Murder Hogwarts? CHECK. Murderous, unapologetic knife wife? CHECK. Sarcastic cat made of shadows?! CHECK CHECK CHECK.

Heartstopper Volume Two by Alice Oseman
This book (both of them really) are my happy place. I could honestly just read them forever. These books feel like a warm hot chocolate on a cold day. The second volume in particular just had so many great moments on so many levels.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Although it wasn’t quite the level of the Illuminae series I loved this first book and I can’t wait for more, Aurora Burning is currently my most anticipated book next year so far. I love Squad 312, Finn especially!

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James
A beautiful entwining of two compelling stories both linked to a “soft” apocalypse. This, as I’m sure comes to no surprise to anyone who’s read anything by Lauren James, had some spectacular twists and was incredibly thought-provoking.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
This was not a book I expected to love but I absolutely adored it. I expected it would be a lot of fluff and fan service and although there was definitely that it was so much more, it had an interesting little storyline and I believe paved the way for the next trilogy to come. I’m glad I finally got around to reading it this year.

Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder
After some problems with the first book and not enjoying it as much as I thought I would I was SO pleased that Chasing the Shadows was fantastic! I love the sci-fi lore behind it, we had some great twists and turns, got to know our characters a little better and find out some HUGE secrets!! It was one of the best sequels I’ve ever read and will definitely be rereading via audiobook next year.

Did any of these books make your top list this year? What are some of your top reads of the year?

 

spoiler free, Tags

Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag!

tag Thursday

I am loving reading everyone’s Blogmas posts at the moment! I always think of taking part every year but end up having no time after the chaos of NaNoWriMo so I’ve been living vicariously through others and their brilliant Blogmas posts. Some of my favourite posts have been from Jenn at Jenniely.com. Her Bookish Naughty or Nice Tag particularly caught my eye! For this tag tick which ones apply to you and total them up at the end to see just how “naughty” you’ve been this year.

You can check out this particular tag right here. I won’t tag anyone in particular but if you like the look of this and want to do the tag then go for it, don’t forget to tag me AND Jen, we love reading your answers! Please remember this is just a bit of fun and you’re not the most heinous person in the world for dog-earring your book pages.

1. Received an ARC and not reviewed it  

This is going to always be my downfall… I just can’t read that many books *dies of shame*

2. Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley

Damn. I’m so close at 57% I was doing so well and then I got approved for so many good books damnit. Planning to try and hit my 80% in January but we’ll see to be honest. I am a terrible person.

3. Rated a book on Goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did) 

Story of my Goodreads life. Thankfully when I submit my review to NetGalley it automatically posts it to Goodreads too. That’s probably the only way any of my reviews have made to my Goodreads in the past six months.

4. Folded down the page of a book

Yes! I don’t do it often but I tend to pick one quote when I read a book that I particularly love which features at the beginning for the review of that book and although I own book tabs and should really just use those I don’t usually have them to hand so I just fold the page down. I used to be really funny about this but I’m a lot more chill now and it’s nice to pick up a book that I’ve read and automatically find that quote that I love.

5. Accidentally spilt on a book 

I’m probably going to regret saying this when I immediately spill something on my book in the next week now but so far this year, shockingly I haven’t which I think is pretty impressive as quite often I eat my lunch while reading…

6. DNF a book this year 

Not technically, there have been books that I have started reading but not finished but I have intentions of finishing them, sometimes it’s just not the right time to read them or on occasion an important book or one I need to read for a blog tour etc takes precedence, so I class these as being on hold, not as DNF’s. My last DNF was last year.

7. Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it 

I never buy a book that I have no intention of reading., even if it’s pretty although I have been tempted.

8. Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework) 

I don’t do this that often anymore really as I don’t tend to get the chance but I do have a bad habit of reading during mealtimes which I know is super rude.

9. Skim read a book 

Nope, can’t do it. I hate missing things! The only time I even come close is if I’ve already read it and am skim reading to my favourite bits.

10. Completely missed your Goodreads goal 

Not yet! I’m behind by one book still and I have five books left to read before the end of the year to reach my goal. I might just do it, I do have some graphic novels I want to get through which might help!

11. Borrowed a book and not returned it to the library 

I still owe the library for a book I returned late last year I think! I need to check and get it paid off next payday thinking about it! SO technically I haven’t this year unless you count on my son’s behalf. It’s a good 35/45 min walk or more to our library and it can be a nightmare with a usually tired four-year-old so we don’t go as often as I would like and sometimes we miss the deadline and I forget to renew it online because I’m an idiot. I mean all of the books have gone back eventually and I’ve just reread the question and realised it means not returning them in general and no I’ve definitely not done that.

12. Broke a book buying ban

Frequently. I have done a lot better with buying fewer books this year because I’m coming to terms with the fact that I just don’t have space so I’m trying to focus on reading the books that I already have.

13. Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about.

Not this year! It’s something I’ve done in the past but I try to get reviews written asap after that incident and I almost always take notes which helps.

14. Wrote in a book you were reading

I haven’t done this as quite often recently I’ve started passing on books but I do often use coloured tabs, some of which I write on instead.

15. Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads

Nope, I’m pretty up to date with my Goodreads, I’m a little addicted to it and I love watching my percentage and challenge goal go up.

16. Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend

I realised while going through my shelves the other day that I do actually have a book borrowed from a friend that I’ve had for at least a year now, maybe more and I’m a little scared to give it back in case they’re mad at me for forgetting about it.

17. Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book 

Yes and it actually caused a big argument but it was something I was getting signed and was pretty much irreplaceable so I stood by my decision but I still feel crap about it.

18. Broke the spine of someone else’s book

Never. I barely break my own.

19. Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ended up making it more damaged 

Not technically. Sometimes the covers get a little dirty but not really damaged.

20. Sat on a book accidentally 

Not this year!

Final Score: 7/20

Ooo, looks like I was fairly good this year! How did you do? Do you have any other bookish habits that others might consider “naughty?” I tend to leave creases on my paperback spines because I tend to read one-handed (usually eating or making dinner at the same time) but honestly that’s how you know if I really loved it!

book reviews, spoiler free

Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse

Book Review

45452530._SY475_Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse

Rating: XXXX

Published November 27th 2019 by Century

“Not a lot with which to fight your enemy but more than they’d had yesterday. And so it would go. Every day more than yesterday until they had a fighting force. Or at least that was the idea. She tried not to think about the losses along the way.”

The heroes of the Resistance must fight back fro the edge of the oblivion in this pivotal prequel to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The Resistance is in ruins. In the wake of their harrowing escape from Crait, what was once an army has been reduced to a handful of wounded heroes. Finn, Poe, Rey, Rose, Chewbacca, Leia Organa — their names are famous among the oppressed worlds they fight to liberate. But names can only get you so far, and Leia’s last desperate call for aid has gone unanswered.

From jungles of Ryloth to the shipyards of Corellia, the shadow of the First Order looms large, and those with the bravery to face the darkness are scattered and isolated. If hope is to survive, the Resistance must journey throughout the galaxy, seeking out more leaders – including those who, in days gone by, helped a nascent rebellion tripple an empire. Battles will be fought, alliances will be forged, and the Resistance will be reborn.

After reading some of the previous “journey to” books for The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, I was suitably amped up and excited for this first book in the Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker! I’ve always been a big Star Wars fan, from watching the original trilogy at home on VHS with my parents, delighting in the shiny remastered video boxset my mum got me for Christmas one year and then seeing the prequel films coming out in the cinema, to going to the cinema on my own the day The Force Awakens came out because I had managed to find a baby sitter for a few hours and I was determined not to let the film get spoilt for me and going to see The Last Jedi countless times (my poor husband saw it with me first and got the brunt of all my confused emotions – Sorry Chris!). So suffice to say, I’m incredibly excited about the last film in this newest trilogy. I have begun my yearly hype fest of rewatching the other films (including Solo, at last, this year) and am LOVING watching The Mandolorian (Baby Yoda Show) each week which in turn meant that I ended up pouring a lot of that hype into my reading of Resistance Reborn which is by no means a bad book, it’s a great book but I don’t think it was physically capable of filling the void that can only be filled by the upcoming film itself.

This is very much a Poe Dameron book which the cover suggests judging by his face being the largest present and I’m glad for it. In the Force Awakens, Poe is cocky and charming, in The Last Jedi we see the more negative side of that confidence and in this book that helps to bridge the gap between TLJ and The Rise of Skywalker we really see how that confidence has been shaken to its very core and the emotional aftermath of the loss of a huge proportion of lives and ships from the already too small amount that the resistance had remaining after their forced speedy evacuation from their previous base of operations. We really get a good look inside Poe’s head and see how this has all affected him as well as the repercussions of his actions on those around him.

Although the story is intriguing and compelling for me the characters and their interactions really made this book for me. We get to see the resistance “family” rally together for the first time before they all jet off to where they have to be etc but it was nice for example seeing Poe and Rey interact as well as being introduced to new characters and some old faces!! I won’t give any spoilers away but if you’re a fan of the older films (and especially the X-Wing novels) you’ll be very pleased as well as one of my personal favourite appearances, a couple of characters that will mean a lot if you’ve played the single-player campaign in Battlefront 2 (if you haven’t, do this at your earliest convenience) as well as a surprise addition that made me actually gasp which will only make sense if you’ve read the particular book they’re previously mentioned in and was my favourite character inclusion. In addition to these characters, we get Finn, Rose and Rey too although I think one of my biggest gripes is that I would like to have seen more of both Rose and Rey.

One character I did find particularly interesting was a member of the First Order we get a point of view from. I loved the insight we got into members of the First Order and earlier on, Empire in some previous books but this really has a Catalyst feel to it which really helped as that’s one of my top three Star Wars books.

Story-wise we get a one of my favourite things, HEISTS. I won’t go into too much detail but the Resistance is trying to get back on its feet and is in desperate need of a few things if it is to continue to exist, let alone pose any kind of threat to the First Order. Thus the whole is split into different teams for different missions which from a written perspective are all woven together exceedingly well and kept everything interesting and linked together and remaining well-paced.

I definitely enjoyed this book but I think there was just something lacking to give it that extra push to a XXXXX rating for me. I would still definitely recommend reading it though if you’re a Star Wars fan especially and you’re running out of time to do so before The Rise of Skywalker comes out on December 19th so get to it!

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Books You Want to Give as Gifts

Six for Sunday

One of my favourite things about Christmas is giving gifts. I even like the buying of said gifts, wracking my brain as I try to decide what gift suits those I’m buying for, I always want to make sure that some thought has gone into the gifts I give, this made picking six books I would give as gifts for this weeks prompt difficult without any particular recipient in mind so I’ve picked a few that I think would just be good gifts in general.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
This is one of the books I recommend to basically everyone. It’s a clever, brilliant read that to this day, years after having been released, blows my damn mind.

Sanctuary by V.V James
Another book I would recommend until I’m blue in the face. Another friend recommended it to me and it has been one of my best reads this year. It’s full twists, turns and mystery, a book that kept me on the very edge of my seat pretty much the whole way through. READ IT.

Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon by James Lovegrove
This one is not one of my usual staples and I haven’t actually quite finished it yet, although I am very close! But this is such a Christmassy feeling book in its own weird way. It just feels like a book you would warm up with under blankets in front of a fireplace or in the light of your Christmas tree on Christmas eve, it’s nice and creep-tastic with that twisty, rustic Sherlock Holmes feel that Lovegrove has embodied fantastically. This is definitely a book I would buy for a few of my friends.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Considering buying this for my husband for Jolabokaflod this year even though I already own two copies, one of which is an ARC. It’s so very up his alley and I know he’ll love it but I just can’t get him to pick up a book right now so I figure Jolabokaflod is my only hope this year. It’s a great book so I’ll happily have another copy in my house!

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
This is another sitting by the fire all cosy to read kind of book. I think I’ve mentioned this book about once a week for the past couple of months and I PROMISE I will read the second in the new year, I swear. But seriously I loved the crap out of this first book and I think a lot of other people, including some of the people I know, would love this too. 

The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Let’s be honest I couldn’t not include this. The Illumine files books are my favourite books and I will do anything I can to get everyone else to read it so we can all excitedly talk about these damn books.

Are any of these books you’d like to receive? Are any of these books you’ve already gifted or are planning to gift? Are you buying many bookish gifts for others this year?

spoiler free, WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday 4th December

www wednesday

For a change, it actually feels like it’s been longer than a fortnight since I last did one of these! I think because I actually got some books finished for a change. I’m definitely feeling more confident reading-wise and on a whole which is a nice change after feeling quite overwhelmed over the past month or so.

If you want to join in with WWW don’t forget to send over a big thank you to Sam at Taking on a World of Words for keeping WWW alive and kicking.

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Sherlock Holmes and The Christmas Demon by James Lovegrove is my current read. As soon as I realised it was penned by James I knew I needed it after he wrote an AMAZING Firefly novel earlier this year (review here) and I had decided then that I needed to read some of his Sherlock Holmes work and this seemed the perfect opportunity, not to mention that the cover for this book is the most beautiful thing in existence. Not to mention it’s actually a really good read so far!

What did you recently finish reading?

A few days ago I finished Star Wars: Resistance Reborn by Rebecca Roanhorse and although it didn’t quite grab me the way Phasma did (I’m seriously never getting over that book) it was really good, I enjoyed seeing what happens during some of the time between The Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker as well as seeing some older faces that have been in the books, the comics and the older films.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Ahh, I won’t go into too much detail as my December TBR is going live tomorrow but I think it’ll probably be Starsight by Brendon Sanderson. I am trying to work my way through my ARCS and advance copies but trying to keep a balance between books that are coming out next year and new ones that are out now so that I can get some content written in advance but without running out of my weekly reviews too.

Have you read any of these? What are you reading right now? What have you read recently? I want to hear all about your reading life right now!

book reviews, Uncategorized

Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Book Review

26032912._SY475_Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Rating: XXXX

Published November 19th by Hot Key Books

“You will be nothing. You are nothing…You come from nothing and it is to nothing you will return,” he whispers against my neck.

He will be the destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

Queen of Nothing has been one of my most anticipated books to be released this year. I hadn’t been sure I enjoyed some aspects of The Cruel Prince but fell head over heels, irrevocably in love with The Wicked King and have been eager to get my hands on the conclusion to the trilogy since I read the last page of the second book. So much so in fact that I pre-ordered stupidly early and was lucky enough to receive my Waterstones edition (you get letters from Cardan to Jude included as an extra and if you ship those idiots then you will NOT want to miss out on this edition trust me) almost a week before the official release date but I had agreed to wait until my friend received hers to read it so I patiently waite (By patiently I mean that I got my taller than me, husband to hide my copy on top of the board games which are, in turn, on top of my bookshelves so I couldn’t reach it). When the time came to start it I may have then read it over the course of about two days. I know a lot of people have read it much quicker, some in one sitting but I had NaNoWriMo to contend with and a four-year-old who isn’t at school much so I’m pretty proud of what I did manage.

So now to discuss the book itself…I definitely enjoyed it, maybe on par with The Cruel Prince or a little lower. If I had to rank them in order I would say that Queen of Nothing was probably my least favourite but it was just in good, just in different ways. The Cruel Prince was, I think, the forming of Jude, in The Wicked King we see her coming into her own and then in Queen of Nothing she is out of her comfort zone and we see yet another side to Jude that is something between the two versions I think that we’ve seen so far. Jude has become one of my favourite fictional characters over the course of these books for many different reasons, I love that she’s smart but not to the point of absolute cockiness, she makes mistakes and she admits them, she’s conniving and she plays people and tricks them like the best (and worst) of the fey and I love that she just feels so unapologetic. “What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.” or in this book “I feel like a constellation of wounds, held together with string and stubbornness.” Jude is strong on so many different levels and I love her.

I loved seeing other sides to a lot of the other characters as well, especially a bit more of an insight into Maddoc and Tayrn and my boy Cardan really made me proud in this book too. A new character that was introduced quite early on in this book who had been mentioned at least in passing previously was a great addition too and one that became a firm favourite of mine too, particularly how she was brought into the story. A lot of the relationships, not just romantic ones got a lot of attention in this book as well which was a welcome addition and one much needed, I think, in a third book as we already know the characters fairly well but how they interact with each other and their reasons for doing so adds another needed level to them. I’m glad the members of the Court of Shadows their own part in the story too and no one was really forgotten, the good and the bad.

There wasn’t a whole lot of world-building in Queen of Nothing but as the third book in a trilogy set in the same places as the first two books it didn’t really need it, I particularly loved the fey presence in the human world and would honestly love a book or group of short stories around the folk there as I found the concept a really interesting one. Some of the insights we did get however was a little more information regarding the political side of the Fey Courts and some great new lore.

As for the plot and story itself, it was enjoyable but probably the least strong out of the three books. There are the odd few little twists and one that was a little shocking but I don’t think it really had the effect on me that it was meant to for some reason or another, whether that’s because I had come to expect big twisty moments from these books and over-hyped it for myself or because it seemed like something I expected or at the very least expected to be solved I’m not sure. I liked that it wasn’t completely out of left field though and made a lot of sense. The story is well-paced for the most part although I did find the last third felt a bit off balance especially the part that I imagine would be the last climax of the story. Again, it wasn’t bad and it could genuinely be my expectations and the final book curse, I often don’t really like final books and have found very few that fully meet my expectations or hopes and feel flat. Queen of Nothing isn’t the worst final book I’ve read but doesn’t quite make it into some of the best, this is all personal opinion though and I know a lot of people really did enjoy the ending. I enjoyed the ending but just felt that bit before needed some more whammy to it.

Overall the book really is a great read that I enjoyed reading I just wish it wasn’t the end although I don’t think there’s really much else to do with the story now in a vein that I would enjoy or perhaps do it justice. Either way, this is a series I’ve loved and I think will stick with me for a good long while, especially some of the beautiful quotes Holly has given us throughout the three books.