Time and Challenges [Tinyletter]

Welcome to this Tinyletter from @gavreads. This posting contains my bookish review since the last letter and sometimes my thoughts on books and reading. 

Firstly, a question: How long to does it take you to read a book? 

I’m not the quickest reader. I don’t tend to get blocks of uninterrupted time to read so I’m always snatching pages and chapters rather taking making chunks out headway into books.  Though the speed I get through books does mean I seem to have a growing TBR rather than a shrinking one. I do worry that I’m too slow.

So, I asked on Twitter to see what they thought:

The replies were reassuring:

And I especially liked this one:

And I’m glad ‘days’ seemed a shocking concept:

But a couple of them were like this:

And I don’t know if I’m impressed or horrified by the idea but, ‘Go, Paul!’

I guess I just need to keep on moving on.


I have finished the audiobook of Runemarks by Joanne M. Harris read by Rosie Jones and here are a few thoughts:

It’s been 500 years since the end of the world; the old Norse gods are in hiding; magic is outlawed; the Order keeps a close watch: and in a remote valley in the north, 14-year-old Maddy Smith is shunned for the ruinmark on her hand. But then things change, and Maddy must save the worlds.

I purposely didn’t read up too much about Runemarks before I started to listen. I knew I already liked the way that Joanne M. Harris explored Norse mythology thanks to the fantastical The Gospel of Loki and most of the time having confidence in an author (or a recommendation from someone I trust) is enough for me to give the book a go. I was taken on an adventure that went under Red Horse Hill and into Worlds Below.

I don’t want to give spoilers, but Harris takes the characters from myth and the legends themselves into a new situation and reports on what happens as the threat of the Order increases. Doing this makes it fresh and fun. Maddy is a teenager who grows as she learns more about who and what she represents and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with these old gods.

Rosie Jones’s characterisations added an extra layer to personalities of each voice that I always knew who was talking and what they were feelings.

The ending leaves you in little doubt about the power of good storytellers and how crafty they can be.


I didn’t talk about being ‘challenged or entertained’ last time even though I put the phrase in the title of the post to remind myself to talk about it.

I read a lot of escapist fantasy (including science fiction, the weird and crime – though crime might be more of an escapist reality?) and fewer books that I would consider challenging. But over the last few months, I’m forcing myself, mostly by creating an inescapable TBR, to challenge myself.
The picture above are books I bought in Feb and early March. Kiss of the Spider Women and Apartment in Athens are probably the ones that I’m most curious about how I’ll find them. I am though looking forward to a different sort of adventure to my usual reads. I’m sure I’ll be mixing in some of my more usual suspects.

I just have to finish my current fiction reading pile first.
If you want to get in touch, please do by tweeting me via @gavreads.

Until next time,

Happy Reading.

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