Sophie and I are very excited to share with you Episode One of the Turn The Page book podcast, our new, monthly podcast where we talk about our latest reads, book news and bookish events.
In this episode, we introduce our new monthly book club and chat about books that have changed our lives, why we love a good plot twist, books about racism and race, and much more!
Here's a little of what you can expect:
On book hangovers:
There are many times where I've gone to sleep at three o'clock in the morning, woke up the next day and have used the excuse, "oh, I had a really bad night's sleep", and really, it was just that I couldn't stop reading."
On the life-changing power of books:
I actually think this book has changed the way that I wake up every morning. It's changed the way that I live my life day to day.
Listen below, feel free to comment and tune in again on the 2nd Tuesday of each month for the latest episode! Subscribe on your favourite podcast platform here!
Happy listening and happy reading!
Please note: This podcast is intended as a way for us to chat about various books and, while we may enjoy certain books, that doesn't necessarily mean that we support, or are even aware of, all that the author(s) stand for. Having said that, this podcast episode was recorded before we became aware of the actions and comments from J.K. Rowling, and we have decided that we will not be continuing to read either The Ickabog or the Galbraith series (both mentioned in this podcast) in support of our friends in the trans community.
Read the transcript:
Kayleigh: Hello and welcome to the very first Turn The Page podcast. I'm Kayleigh, and I run the My Endless Shelf book blog, and I'm joined by my lovely sister, Sophie, who has agreed to be my co-host here and also to write reviews.
Hi Sophie. How are you?
Sophie: I'm really well, thank you.
Kayleigh: Good. What have you been up to?
Sophie: Luckily enough, I've been furloughed. So, I've had a lot more time on my hands than I'm used to having and I've been utilizing it for reading.
Kayleigh: Lots of reading.
Sophie: Yes. So, to be quite honest, I've done really well, especially with my Goodreads challenge, which I've already completed.
Kayleigh: Don't even talk to me about my Goodreads challenge, this is the first year, I think, not only have I set it lower than I have for other years, I'm also behind schedule and I'm just ignoring it now.
Sophie: Well, last year, I completely failed at it and I don't even think I got halfway through it. So yeah, I'm quite impressed with myself.
Kayleigh: Yeah, well done.
Kayleigh: That's really good. And I also know that you've been running and finding a lot of random wildlife on your morning runs.
Sophie: Yeah. Well, we say running, I took up running for the entirety of two days, and then I hurt my leg, so that didn't go to plan. So, then I lay about and read some more books.
Kayleigh: I think that just proves that reading is the safest option.
Sophie: Yeah, you know what I mean, running's just really not good for your health. It's just...
Kayleigh: We should do exercise campaigns. Thinking of working out?
Kayleigh: What you need is a good book.
Sophie: Yeah, I agree. Yeah. Yeah. I did blow the dust off my bike though and did some cycling and walking, so yeah it was good. I saw some nice wildlife in the garden, and I managed to get my camera out.
Kayleigh: That's good. I'm not even going to pretend that I've tried to exercise because I haven't. No.
Sophie: I tried; it just didn’t last very long.
Kayleigh: A few nature walks, but that's usually what I do anyway. So, I'm not going to lie, I did not start jumping around the living room, watching Joe Wicks, like my daughter did. No, not for me.
Sophie: I actually thought that they were like comedy shows.
Kayleigh: What, the PE thing?
Kayleigh: No. To be fair, Rosie didn't really, my daughter, didn't really like it very much. She watched a few and then I think his over excited attitude just got to her.
Sophie: Yeah, that’s what I mean. I thought he was just trying to be funny.
Kayleigh: Yeah, no, she just had enough. She was like, no, he's too enthusiastic and she just gave up. She's happy to do her very laid-back yoga, where she doesn't have to jump around and be all excited. But yeah, no. So yeah, lockdown has changed everything and has been relatively boring.
Kayleigh: But like you said, has given us more time to read, which is always a positive.
Sophie: Yeah, I was going to say, when lockdown first started, my mind was a bit all over the place and I thought, you know, I'm not going to be able to read anything. Because just thinking of everything, I couldn't really get into much. So, I started with my Audible trial again. Well, my Audible subscription again, and I just love it. Like, even when you're trying to get into a book and you can't, because there's still stuff going on your mind, the minute that you put headphones in and somebody starts telling you the story, there's no room to think about anything else. So, you just get absorbed into it.
Kayleigh: Yeah, I get what you mean.
Sophie: And I think that's what I love about it.
Kayleigh: Cool. I've tried. I had a similar thing to you, I really struggled to read a lot at the beginning of the lockdown. I mean, I was trying really hard to work as well, and, you know, I'm self-employed and trying to get more work in, so I think I put all of my energy into that and I just have no left to read.
So, I’ve been reading loads of light, fluffy rom-coms and things like that just to get me through.
Kayleigh: I used Audible a little bit through the lockdown. I've been listening to Wolfsong by TJ Klune, which I've been listening to for ages, admittedly. Because I listen to like 15 minutes and fall asleep, and that's got no reflection on the book because it's amazing and it's utterly heart-breaking, but I've just got no stamina anymore to stay awake. Other than that, I've just been using it for children's books because I've just been listening to books with my daughter, Rosie, I keep saying my daughter, you know who she is, I’m just saying that for anyone else.
Sophie: Yeah, I know who she is. She's my favourite and best sidekick in the world.
Kayleigh: Yeah, you have a bad influence on her to be fair.
Sophie: I know. I’m not actually sorry for it.
Kayleigh: No, I know you're not.
But, yes. So, if anyone wants to check out Sophie's first review of, The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, you can now do that on the blog because that went up yesterday. And actually, I did want to talk to you, Sophie about that book, because I am quite intrigued, when I read your review, because I haven't read the book, about the two main characters because they're from Romani Gypsy family, which is actually a part of our family history.
Kayleigh: On our Nanar's side.
Kayleigh: Grandma's side, nobody out of Stoke says Nanar, so everyone’s going to think we're really strange, but yeah, and I thought that was a really interesting concept because I'm watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix at the moment, which I'm sort of half and half about whether I like it or not.
Sophie: Yeah, I’ve been meaning to watch that as well.
Kayleigh: It's a little bit too violent for me, I’m a bit of a wet lettuce when it comes to violence and I’m not a big fan, but obviously, the Romani Gypsies feature quite heavily in it, and I do find it really interesting. Is that culture quite a big part of the book then?
Sophie: It is, to be honest, and I really liked how the author describes the discrimination and obviously everything that's associated with being let’s say a traveller, do you know what I mean? And how they're perceived in the book by the vampires, they're just so lesser. They don’t deserve any kind of common decency or basic human rights. And even just reading it, obviously you can kind of relate to stuff that's going on in the world right now, and it just makes you so angry, because it's just like, why should someone's background or race, religion, colour, whatever, determine how they should be treated. We're not gods, we shouldn't get to decide that.
Kayleigh: Well, even the gods, shouldn’t, should they?
Sophie: Well, that’s what I mean. We're all just creatures that live on the same planet.
Sophie: So, I just really liked how the writer captured that.
Kayleigh: Yeah, that's really good. I mean, there's a similar case in the book that I'm reading at the moment, which is Lies We Tell Ourselves, and I've just completely forgotten who the author is because my brains not here, Robin Talley. And I'm only 20% into the book, and it is heart wrenching. The way that they are treated, just because they are people of colour is ridiculous, and it just makes you feel ashamed almost to be a white person, as you are reading it. Even though you are not that way and would never think of ever treating someone that way, it's just unbelievable. And the way that it's written, it just takes you there and it’s just awful, it's almost impossible to explain.
Sophie: That’s what I mean, you feel the hate and I don’t know, it makes me angry because I'm just like, there’s no need.
Kayleigh: Yeah. Exactly. I'm reading this book and I can feel my blood boiling as I'm reading it. And I suppose that is the intended reaction, but yeah, I know what you mean.
I also wanted to say that I didn't know, like you said in the review, that it was a retelling of Dracula. Now, I've read about 50% of Dracula. I admit I haven't read the whole thing.
Sophie: Yeah, kind of, it's not really a retelling of Dracula as such, but it's more of a side story. You know how Dracula has all of his brides and his girls, well, it goes on to tell you about that side of the story.
Kayleigh: Yeah, I should know a little bit about Dracula, I was in a play about Dracula, a long, long time ago.
Sophie: To be honest, Dracula is not actually referenced in it that much, which is where I went on to say that I would have liked to know what his personality was like because he's made out to be really cruel and heartless, do you know what I mean? But then, when it comes to his girls, you can see that he does appreciate them, he does care for them. Do you know what I mean? So, I would have liked for it to just elaborate a little bit on that, is he really a villain? Do you know what I mean?
Kayleigh: Yeah. I'd like to get my own take on that. So, I'm going to add that to my TBR and hopefully read that at some point.
Sophie: And the cover is just so pretty.
Kayleigh: Yeah, I did like the cover. It is very, very nice. I do like the whole Gothic look of it and the animals.
Sophie: I kind of hoped for a little bit more darkness.
Kayleigh: Oh ok, yeah, because you're a very big fan of all things dark.
Sophie: Yeah. Not so much horror.
Kayleigh: You like a lot of thrillers though, don't you?
Sophie: Yeah, I do love a good thriller, especially with psychopaths and murderers.
Kayleigh: I just love good twists. I think good, unexpected, oh my God, what the hell just happened? just punch you in the face, twists.
Sophie: Well, just read the end of this book.
Kayleigh: Because, I can think of some of my favourite books, and I'm probably just pulling the most obvious one here for me is Nevernight. You read Nevernight and you get to a certain point, and I won't reveal for anyone what it is, but you get to a certain point, not too far into the book and you just go, oh my God, what the hell is happening? Did that really just happen? Is that a thing? And from there on, it just keeps throwing these twists at you and these great things. And I think that, for me, made that amazing. And I just love that from a book. It's a really, really good thing to have.
Sophie: There weren’t that many twists, I don't think in The Deathless Girls, but when it comes to the ending, you just, like, I stayed up all night and read it in, I think, pretty much one sitting. And I think it was well past midnight when I finished, and I'm lying in bed and I've got the book open in my hands, and I come to the last page and I couldn't close it because I was like, there's no way that it's just ended there. Why? how? what am I supposed to do now? I can't go to sleep. I need, do you know what I mean? I need more.
Kayleigh: Yeah, I know exactly what you mean. Yeah, I've had that happen to me quite a few times.
Sophie: So, for that reason this book got me a little bit.
Kayleigh: And as well, I wanted to say, very well done, because your first review is great. I really love it. And it did make me want to read the book, which as it's a four star is obviously the point. So, yeah.
Sophie: To be honest, I was torn whether to get it three or four stars. And, originally, I did-
Kayleigh: You could have gone with three and a half.
Sophie: Originally, I gave it three and then I went back and changed it. I did change it because I thought well-
Kayleigh: We all do that. There are many times I've given something five stars and then I've gone back and knocked it down. Or, I’ve given something less and then put it up. That’s just part and parcel of being a book blogger.
Sophie: I think if I read it and not thought about it since, like I finished this book well over a week ago, I think, and the reason that I gave it an extra star is because I still keep thinking about it.
Kayleigh: Yeah. Always the sign of a good book, especially as well when you said that you read it in one sitting, I think a lot of the time, if it's that good enough to keep your interest for that long and to keep you just completely gripped and forgetting about everything else like food and sleep.
Sophie: Yeah, who needs sleep?
Kayleigh: There are many times where I've gone to sleep at three o'clock in the morning, woke up the next day and have used the excuse, oh, I had a really bad night sleep, and really it was just that I couldn’t stop reading.
Sophie: I’ve used that so much in lockdown, like I said, since really getting back into reading, I'll get up next day and, and my mum's like, oh, you look really tired and I’m like, yeah, I had a terrible night's sleep, I don't know what it is.
Kayleigh: Nope. It's just that other chapter that we just couldn't stop reading. Yeah, exactly. So, other than the Deathless Girls, what else have you been reading over lockdown?
Sophie: Okay. So, I mentioned that I was going through my Goodreads list and yeah, I don't know if you can remember some of our book hauls last year or the year before?
Kayleigh: Yes, we've had some great book hauls and one of the things I'm hating about lockdown is that we can’t go book shopping and have a little coffee and a cake and just peruse what we bought. Yeah, one of my favourite things to do.
Sophie: Anyway, so I thought I'd try and choose the books that have been kind of forgotten about for the longest on my shelf. I feel quite sad for them. It's like when you go to the dog’s home and you always want to rescue the dog that's been there the longest.
Kayleigh: Yeah, that's really true. Oh, you made me sad now, don’t talk about rescue dogs.
Sophie: No that’s just how I was looking at my books like, oh, he's been there such a long time. So, yeah, I decided to choose Disclaimer, which is one that I picked up in the charity shop. Again, I'm really, really bad for doing this, but I only chose it on the cover.
Kayleigh: Yeah, no, but we all do. And I think that's one of the biggest misconceptions about reading is everything is don't judge a book by its cover but it’s the first selling point, and if the cover doesn't draw, oftentimes you’re not going to pick up that book.
Sophie: Especially if you’re looking in a shop or online, if it doesn't jump out at you, you just scroll past it or you walk past it. So yeah, this one interested me because it had got a camera on the front and obviously, I really like photography. So, straight away I'm like, okay, it's got something of interest for me. Yeah, that’s how simple-minded I work.
Kayleigh: Don't worry. All I’ve been doing during lockdown is watching the garden birds. So, I think anything at the moment with a bird on the cover is going to have me, so I would worry too much.
Sophie: Okay. So, Disclaimer, it's called, by Renee Knight.
Kayleigh: Okay. I haven't actually heard of it.
Sophie: The blurb on the back, it says, imagine waking up and finding this book on your bedside table, and then you star in this book and it's...
Kayleigh: Ah, that’s amazing.
Sophie: Yeah, that's what I thought. So, anyway, I started reading it and it turned out that it was a psychological thriller sort of thing, and I really, really loved the concept and the idea of the book.
Kayleigh: Yeah. I'm sensing a 'but' coming.
Sophie: But I don’t know, the ending was just so disappointing.
Kayleigh: Oh ok, so not very well executed?
Sophie: It was from, from a positive aspect. Like, if you're a happy kind of person and you don't like people to die or anything bad to happen to people then, yeah, it's really good. So, it's like a happy ending, but me, I just feel like if it's psychological thriller, then there must be vengeance and death.
Kayleigh: Yeah. So really, you're not looking for a happy ending?
Sophie: No. No, if I pick up a thriller. I want to see people chopped up and murdered, and I want to know why.
Kayleigh: Who have I started a podcast with?
Sophie: Yeah, I know. I like happy books too.
Kayleigh: I know you do and I think you’ve read recently, this is not a happy book at all, They Both Die At The End, by Adam Silvera, which is one of my favourite books of all time, and I'm so, so glad you read it finally.
Sophie: Do you know what, I actually think this book has changed the way that I wake up every morning. It's changed the way that I live my life day to day. Because, when I wake up and I think, oh, I can't really be bothered to get out of bed this morning. And then, I look at my phone and I'm like, would I say that if I had a Death Cast alert? No, I wouldn't, okay.
Kayleigh: Ah, that’s so deep.
Sophie: So, then I jump out of bed and I’m like, oh, it's a bit muggy outside, I don't really want to go outside. So, I'll just sit down for a minute and then I'm like, nope, this could be your last day. We're going to go for a walk. We're going to spot some nice wildlife or, do you know what I mean?
Kayleigh: Oh, you’re such a better person than me. Because I wake up and sometimes, I do, do that and I'm still like no, I’d rather be in bed.
Sophie: Yeah. I'm just like, it really got to me.
Kayleigh: Yeah, it did me. To be honest, I looked back over the review I wrote on Goodreads, and it's probably one of the longest reviews, for a book that I like, that I've ever written, because I always find that it's harder to write a review for books that you actually enjoy, than it is for the ones you don't like. Because, when you didn't particularly like a book, you've got more to talk about, more to criticize. And when you did like it or when you really, really loved it, you pretty much just want to scream at people to read it. And you've got no other words to say. But I did write a big review for that book and, yeah, it blew me away, even with the spoiler of the title, I still did not expect the ending.
Sophie: See, I kind of did because obviously, you know, what's going to happen.
Kayleigh: Yeah, but I didn't expect it to go down the way that it did, those specific circumstances, I didn’t expect.
Sophie: As you're reading it, you're like, no, just don’t do it!
Kayleigh: And it was how quickly the relationship grew and how beautiful it was, and it was just too much. I did honestly cry. I did.
Sophie: Yeah, really, it was, I don't know, I'm pretty much lost for words. I don't think I'd ever be able to write a review for it because I have no other words than, it's brilliant, it changed my life and just read it.
Kayleigh: Yep. And to be honest, I mean, it really, really got to me that book because, there's a bit in it that I don't know if people know, that there’s a company that when you die, can turn your ashes into a bio urn, which then planted grows into a tree. And I've known about this for years-
Sophie: I’m pretty sure we discussed this on a coffee and cake book haul once.
Kayleigh: Yeah, and I've said for years that this is what I, I know it’s sort of horribly morbid, but this is what I want. I want to become a tree. I think it stems from watching Rosie and Jim when I was little. And the episode where she’s on the barge with the tree. You know, and I think when that part of the book came around as well, it just resonated with me so much. And I think that's why it will always just be one of my favourites. But at the same time, I think, even though it's one of my favourites, I'm not sure that I would reread it again. I mean, I don't even know when I first read it, I think it was at least, two years, 2018. So, yeah, two years ago. And even now I'm still, like, I don't think I'd reread that. I feel like I need a bit more time.
Sophie: Yeah, I don’t think I'd re-read it because I feel like it's achieved every purpose that it could possibly have for me. Do you know what I mean? Like it's made me appreciate so much more, like the relationships that you have with people and, I don't know, just everything.
Kayleigh: Yeah, it is a fantastic book, which makes me want to read more of Adam Silvera's books as well.
Sophie: I think if I read it again, for me personally, I'd just dwell on the fact that life's so short and I think that's where it would potentially become like a negative impact rather than the positive one that I have now.
Kayleigh: Yeah. Cool. Have you read anything else? Anything of note?
Sophie: Yes, I read three books called The Oremere Chronicles, which I have harped on to you for a while now to read them.
Kayleigh: Yes, you have. Yeah, and I still haven't added them to my list.
Sophie: Again, these really stuck with me. Obviously, it's a fantasy type book. It's got all these fantastic creatures in like teerah panthers that are like big saber-y type panthers that you can ride into battle and...
Kayleigh: Oh, that's cool.
Sophie: Yeah, it's wicked.
Kayleigh: Sounds a bit like the ones from Children of Blood and Bone. I’ve forgotten what they're called now.
Sophie: I can't remember what they’re called but I know what you mean.
Kayleigh: Because they’re like big leopards or something, aren’t they? Or something like that, I'm probably getting it completely wrong.
Sophie: I think they are I just can’t remember what they’re called. So, I was quite obsessed with those for quite a while, actually. Again, I just loved everything about it.
Kayleigh: Yeah, and what were they called again?
Sophie: It’s The Oremere Chronicles. So, you've got the first one, which is Heart of Mist. And then I think it's Reign of Mist and then War of Mist.
Kayleigh: Okay. And they're by Helen...I don't remember her last name at all. I just know it's Helen something. Apologies.
Sophie: Yeah, I didn't actually make notes on those ones.
Kayleigh: No, I know you've been making notes. You're very good co-host. I'm here just winging it and you’re making notes.
Sophie: No, it’s just if I’m obsessed with a book already, I tend to try and get absorbed into it so that I'm not thinking about the last one, especially if it's had such a big impact on me. But yeah, they are really good.
Kayleigh: Yeah, well I'll check those out as well because they're, I think, more my cup of tea than the...
Kayleigh: Yes, Disclaimer. See my memory's not great today either. Yeah, because I'm not a big thriller fan. I don't do psychological thrillers. Like I said, I'm a bit of a wet lettuce, it all messes with my brain and I just don’t like things messing with my brain.
Sophie: Yeah, Horrors mess with my brain. So, I remember years ago, reading something by Stephen King. In fact, I read a couple of his books.
Kayleigh: I've read nothing by Stephen King, and I will admit that freely.
Sophie: I am not kidding you, to this day, I still can't sleep because of the pictures that I drew in my own mind with his words. Yeah, so I don't even risk it anymore. I just think, no, no, I like to sleep.
Kayleigh: Well, like I said, since lockdown, I've been reading really light things, because I just. Well, I finished, at the start of the year, The Starless Sea, which is what I would call an epic fantasy and it was amazing and I absolutely loved the Night Circus. I know it's sort of Marmite for a lot of people. Some people love it. Some people hate it.
I love it. And it was, you know, that was probably one of my favourite books for a really long time. And then, as soon as The Starless Sea was announced, I was like, yes, definitely. I'm going to try that. And the description as well sounded fantastic. And it's got LGBT rep. And I was like, yes! Thank you. So, you know, this is definitely, and it's all about books, and I was like, yes, this is definitely right up my alley. So, we're going to read this, and I just loved it. I loved all the imagery, the bees and the keys and the doors and the mystery of it.
I mean, truthfully, I spent a hell of a lot of the book thinking, what is happening, Idon't even understand what's going on. All I know is I really like the main character Ezra, and then I'm reading it, Oh, sorry, Zachary. I'm lying, Zachary is his name. Ezra is his middle name. And I thought, well, I really like him and there's lots of mystery and lots of intrigue going on, but I actually don't know what is happening or what the story is about at all.
And I didn’t for, about, more than half of the book, I just didn't know what was going on. All I knew was that I just really, really wanted to find out. And that's what kept me going.
Sophie: So, it captured you in a good way, but without revealing hardly anything.
Kayleigh: Yes, exactly. Yeah. There was so much mystery in it, but it just kept me going and I love the world building. It was just fantastic. Like I said, the imagery, just lovely. There were parts of it where you just felt like you were there, completely immersed in the story, and the characters are great too. I mean, really fantastic. And that, to be honest, like I said, I think I finished that at the start of the year. I don't remember exactly when, but that book has really stayed with me and that's probably the only big fiction book that I've read this year.
Sophie: I did mark it on my want to read on Goodreads. So, I'm hoping to get round to that soon too.
Kayleigh: Yeah, well, the only other fiction that I have actually finished, because I've been trying to read the Queen of Nothing and every time I read it, I love it because I do really love the series, which is the one by Holly Black.
And I love the series, and this is the third book in the trilogy and I really, really, really love it. And I don't know why, but I just keep it down. And I think that's probably just more my mental state at the moment than the book itself. Like I said, because every time I'm reading it, I'm sucked immediately back into that world, and I really want to carry on reading, it's just, I think life is just getting in the way.
Sophie: And that's the thing, that's exactly how I was, and that's why I struggled, like I said, at the beginning of lockdown. And then, like I said, I've rediscovered my love for Audible and it kind of just jump-started my reading again.
Kayleigh: Yeah, Audible’s great for that. It's great switching up format sometimes. Even just switching from a paperback or a hardback to eBook sometimes does that for me. Just because it's on your phone and you can just flip through, instead of holding sometimes, you know, a really sizable book, it can just make things a bit better for you, and a bit different.
Yeah. So, I do get what you mean. And then the other fantasy book that I have read this year is also one of your favourites is the wonderful, The Lightning Struck Heart by T.J. Klune, which just gave me the laughter that I needed in this miserable situation.
Sophie: I made the mistake of actually listening to that whilst I was at work, and the amount of times which I just burst out laughing. And obviously, colleagues were like what, what’s was so funny, and it's like, I can't tell you.
Kayleigh: You literally can't tell them, because how do you talk about a gay hornless unicorn in the middle of work?
Yeah. For anyone who hasn't read books by T.J. Klune, please, please do. His work is amazing. He does everything from comedy to really, really heart wrenching, dramatic stories about grief and loss. And his works so diverse but his characters are just flawless. They're so varied and each character has their own personality and their own unique voice. And it just sucks you in. And the Lightning Struck Heart somehow manages to be extremely funny, but extremely heartfelt at the same time.
Oh, it's just one of my favourites and yeah, that really helped me. That was probably my favourite read last month.
Sophie: I was going to say that’s one where I switch between reading and listening. And I can honestly say that the Audible version that's read by Michael Leslie, the voices, they are fantastic.
Kayleigh: Yes, he's hysterical. But I often find that I can't listen to the Audible version because I'm so busy laughing that it just takes over and then I have to switch back to the book just so I don't hear his hysterical voice in my head.
Sophie: Yeah, I just loved it, it's such a feelgood book as well.
Kayleigh: Yeah, that was great. And then I think also I read, Heart Stopper Volume Three, which I don't think you've actually read.
It's a graphic novel and it started off as a web comic by Alice Oseman, and it's brilliant. It's so cute and adorable. And, yeah, so volume three came out, and I was bought a copy of that. So, I re-read volume one, volume two and volume three. I think I re-read them all in about an hour and a half. Because they're short, so quick, just because it's a graphic novel, but it was just an hour and half of just cute escapism, and it was just lovely.
And then I think the only other one that I read that I wanted to mention was Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. I had the second book Wayward Son, I think, possibly on one of our book hauls, but possibly, yeah, maybe. But yeah, so Id sort of forgotten what happened in the first one, which I know isn't great.
So, I decided to reread them both. And I did really like it, I just wanted a bit more from it really. I really like the two main characters, Baz and Simon, and I just wanted a little bit more of their relationship, which I just didn't feel like I got really. Although, to be honest, as I was writing my review, I was just like, why do I even like this series? Simon and Baz are amazing, but I just felt like I was turning page after page after page, just waiting for something more to happen. And the ending, I just got really frustrated. I nearly threw my book across the garden because it was reading outside, and I was just like, what is happening? And then we've got to wait for a third book and I'm just like, what's going now?
Sophie: I know, I hate the fact that we have to wait for them. I saw a quote on Goodreads once and it's too relatable. Like, if you could be friends with an author, like your favourite author anyway, do you know what I mean? You could just-
Kayleigh: Yeah. Don't ask me who mine is, because that's an awful question. It's like asking someone their favourite book and it’s just impossible to answer.
Sophie: No, it's too hard. But no, you could just message them and, if you're feeling down today, they'd be like, oh, okay, here's something new for you to read and they’d just ping it across, you know what I mean. Yeah, you need to write a book. You need to write a book.
Kayleigh: I am doing. It's just taking a while. But, yeah. Okay. So, let's move on. So, I wanted to introduce something that we've been talking about, a book club, which we've wanted to do for years.
Sophie: Yeah, I remember we practically planned this out in full, again, on one of our coffee and book haul days. It was exciting but we never pursued it, did we?
Kayleigh: Yeah. We even picked the coffee shop where we were going to meet up and do the book club. But yeah, then again, as we said, life just sort of gets in the way. So, we've decided to do a virtual book club, which is going to run monthly along with the Turn The Page podcast. So, basically each month, we're just going to choose a book to read and we're going to read it over the month. And then in the next podcast, we will discuss it. And everyone can feel free to join in, read the book along with us, come and have a little chat with us afterwards. You can comment on the blog or on social media, wherever you like, and we will chat about it.
So, this month we have chosen Hour of the Bees by Lindsey Eager, which sounds really great. And I'm really excited for actually. It's got Dementia representation in it. And, you know, for me, I think what drew me to this was the bees, because I've read The Starless Sea, which has so much bee imagery and bees are a recurring theme, when I saw this, I was just like ah bees. That’s something I need to have now.
Sophie: Yeah, I think we both had the same idea in the book shop, didn’t we?
Kayleigh: Yes, because I picked it up and then it was the last copy and you wanted it.
Sophie: No, as I remember, I picked it up and you were like, oh, it's my birthday. Oh, and it’s the last copy.
Kayleigh: Yeah, I’ve done that a few times before. It's good that you love me.
Sophie: I know.
Kayleigh: But yes, Hour of the Bees. It says it's a searing story about family love and finding your roots, and it's about a girl and her grandfather and how she copes with his dementia and moving to a new place. So, it does sound really cool and, to be honest, the blurb doesn't really give much away.
And I haven't even looked it up on Goodreads to see what the categories are, because I don't want it to spoil it for me.
Sophie: I was going to say, I haven't.
Kayleigh: The impression I get is that there is a bit of fantasy because the bees to me, you know, how they seem to be following her around and her grandfather's stories, I'm supposing that there is some sort of element of almost fantasy.
Sophie: Yeah, I feel like there is an adventure in there. Like there is a strong element of adventure and obviously finding herself.
Kayleigh: Yeah. So, I'm excited for that. I'm really, really looking forward to reading that over the next month. And then we'll be back to talk about that on the first Tuesday of next month.
So, I should have said this podcast will run on, no, I’m lying, it’s the second Tuesday of every month. The second Tuesday of every month is when the podcast will be live and it will be up on the blog and you can listen to it in audio and we will also include a transcript so you can read it as well. Anything else to add on the book club?
Sophie: I'm actually quite happy that we've decided to do a virtual one. I know we talked about like obviously physical meetings and stuff before, but for me, personally, as you know, I'm quite shy and reserved. So, I just think people might feel more confident and comfortable with the fact that it is virtual rather than-
Kayleigh: Yeah. And I think, sorry, carry on.
Sophie: Obviously, just especially with what's going on in the world, and germs and stuff.
Kayleigh: Yeah, I just thought it might make it a bit more accessible to more people as well. Because, with a physical bookshop, no, I'm being silly here. Sorry, a book club in real life, obviously, it's almost determined by location. It's got to be one you can get to, whereas with this, anybody can join in. So, wherever you are, feel free to pick up the book. Again, that's Hour of the bees by Lindsey Eager and feel free to read along over the next month. But yes, I’m really looking forward to that.
Sophie: Yeah. Me too.
Kayleigh: So, what else did I have on my list? Oh, yes. I want you to talk a little bit about, book news and events. Now, obviously, we all know that there is a lot going on in the world right now, so it's no surprise that books about race and anti-racism are dominating the best seller lists. We talked a little bit earlier, didn't we, about the fact that I'm reading one at the moment, which is Lies We Tell Ourselves. And again, I've forgotten the name of the author, Robin Talley, that's it. And again, it's fantastic. And I'm really, really, I want to say enjoying it, but at the same time, as I said earlier, it's such a hard topic. It's so powerful.
Sophie: I think you enjoy being educated, in a way, as to what it's like for other people, but then at the same time you get angry because it shouldn't be like that.
Kayleigh: Yes. No, and it shouldn't at all. And I have, through all this, I want to be a good ally, and I just want to educate myself a bit more. And so, I am trying to be a bit more conscious of the books that I'm choosing to read.
And I do feel that I do read quite diversely anyway. But obviously, I do want to make more of an effort to do so. I do want to be as educated as I can. But yeah, so, that is a big topic going on at the moment. Are there any books, because I know we were talking about, privately, we were talking about, Children Of Blood and Bone, which I think is one that you wanted to read, because I picked up the second one.
Sophie: Actually, I’ve already read the first one and I absolutely loved it.
Kayleigh: Yeah, I have as well, it's fantastic.
Sophie: I love how you're brought into a completely new world of culture and just a different way of living and, I don't know, I just really liked it. And like I said, I managed to pick up the second one which was-
Kayleigh: Yes. Children of Virtue and Vengeance.
Sophie: Yeah, I got that from Waterstones. I think it was a limited edition one.
Kayleigh: Yes, with the blue sprayed pages.
Sophie: It’s so pretty. So yeah, I'm looking forward to reading that soon as well.
Kayleigh: Yeah. What I really loved about it is I absolutely loved the cultural insight and I loved that it was also wound in with the epic fantasy, you know, the magic and the revenge.
Sophie: See, you just have a much better way of explaining things than I do.
Kayleigh: Not at all, I've been getting tongue twisted myself, but I just I felt it was great. And I thought, I do not know how to pronounce the name, and this is one of my things I need to get better at, but the main character.
Kayleigh: Yeah, see there you go. Zélie, she's fantastic and I absolutely loved her character. I thought she was the perfect lead, she's so outspoken and so passionate and bold, and I just thought, she's just a brilliant character and just the cliff-hanger at the ending. Again, it was one of those ones that just annoyed because I was like, no, what’s going on?
Sophie: Yeah when you’re reading and book and then you’re just, okay, I don't know how to live my life now.
Kayleigh: Yeah, exactly, you just want it to continue. And I just think there are so many amazing really, you know, strong characters in the book itself that it's just fantastic.
Sophie: Like Mama Agba she was amazing.
Kayleigh: Yes, Mama Agba yeah, she is just fantastic. I loved her so much. She was just so bad ass, she just takes everyone on and I’m just like, yes!
Sophie: So, yeah. I'm looking forward to reading the second one. Another one, which I think is kind of a classic now, that touches quite strongly on diversity and obviously discrimination and things like that is To Kill a Mockingbird.
Kayleigh: Okay. I haven't read that.
Sophie: I really liked it. Obviously, its, long story short, but you've got like a small town dominated by white people, and it's told through the eyes of a child. And you see how innocently they see everything. And her dad is basically representing a black man, in a court of justice, a court of law, sorry. And it shows, because he's doing that and he doesn't stand down, the whole town starts giving them abuse then, do you know what I mean?
Kayleigh: Oh, okay.
Sophie: Yeah, just read it. It's a really good story.
Kayleigh: Okay. Yeah, one I've had on my shelf for a really long time is, The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas, which is obviously such a well-known book. I just haven't yet got around to reading it, but that is definitely one that I want to get around to as soon as possible.
Yeah, and then the other thing I just wanted to talk about is, sort of book events. So, because of lockdown and coronavirus and all that, good stuff the book events are all, well, a lot of them, have gone online now, which I think is a great alternative to them being cancelled altogether. Because, I know we were really, really excited for the NYALitFest in Preston.
Because we went a few years ago and we actually went to a spin off event, like a side event, it was like a fantasy event, didn't we? And we actually missed the main event. So, this year we were really excited. We got our tickets and we started looking at the authors who were going, I did a big blog post on it, and we were looking at the books that we wanted to get and things to get signed and all this, that, and the other.
And they were having a children's festival, which personally I wanted for my daughter as well. And we were really excited and then obviously all this happened and that got completely cancelled. Whereas, a lot of other organizers have been taking things online, or people have even been setting up brand new events that didn't previously exist and just doing things online, which I think is great.
I haven't actually found the time to attend any of the online events, I don’t suppose you have?
Sophie: No, I'm a bit naive to stuff like that because I don't really know, unless it jumps out of my screen and slaps me in the face, I don't know it's there. So, I’d just struggle to find anything like that.
Kayleigh: Yeah, I do know there's one coming up next week from the 8th to the 14th of June, which is the Puffin Festival of Big Dreams, which is a children's book festival. So, it's a whole week of online kids’ books and, I think, Jacqueline Wilson is involved, I believe, as well as quite a few other authors and illustrators, and it's in partnership with Waterstones as well.
And I think that's going to be a really cool event, especially if you have children, or if you just love children's books, because there's nothing saying as an adult, you can't read children's books.
Sophie: No, and speaking of, I actually have one of David Walliams books, which I'm yet to read.
Kayleigh: Oh, ok. Which one is that?
Sophie: I think it's called The Beast at Buckingham Palace.
Kayleigh: Oh, okay. I haven't read that. Truthfully, I haven't read any of his books actually.
Sophie: No, I thought it was a bit like, I don't know, it struck me as a bit Harry Potter-ish, for some reason.
Kayleigh: Okay. Yes, because J.K. Rowling has also released The Ickabog or is in the process of releasing chapters of The Ickabog online. Which I thought would be a good thing to read to my five-year-old, until I started reading it. And, I don't know if it was just me, but we've only read the first chapter, and maybe that's me giving up a little bit soon.
But, as I was reading the first chapter, I became really quickly uncomfortable by how it seemed almost, very...Oh, there were just things that bothered me. So, there was things that were, you know, instantly the bad guys were described as being either too thin, or too fat, and straight away that just rubbed me up the wrong way.
And then, the main character, Fred the Fearless or King Fred the Fearless or something, he's a fair skinned blonde-haired man. And then, I think, I'm sure I remember something about, some slightly derogatory thing about women and, I'm not sure if it's just me, but the first chapter just rubbed me up the wrong way.
Sophie: I’ve seen quite a lot of negativity towards it on Twitter.
Kayleigh: Yeah, and as I was reading the first chapter out loud to my daughter, I was just like, hmm, I'm not sure if I'm actually enjoying reading this to you. So, I'm not sure yet whether or not we'll continue, I might read another chapter or two myself first, just to see whether I feel that it improves any. So, you know, we'll see how that goes.
But yeah, so are there any upcoming books that you're excited for? Anything that's coming out or anything that you plan to read next?
Sophie: Well, yeah, there is actually. If you can remember a while ago, I told you about the Robert Galbraith series. Well, I didn't realize that there's already been another one out.
So, I was just waiting for the one that's due to release in September, which is called Troubled Blood. And I was like, okay, that's the next one after Career of Evil, great. I haven't missed it.
Until I looked a bit more in depth and actually found out that there's a fourth book that's already out and has been out since April last year, I think it was out, which is called Lethal White.
So, obviously I've completely missed that, and I really liked the Galbraith series. So, I'm intrigued to read that and then once the next one is released in September, I will read that too.
Kayleigh: Okay, cool. That sounds good. Any new releases that you're excited for?
Sophie: Probably just the Troubled Blood one at the moment.
Kayleigh: Okay, cool. Yeah, for me there's a couple I'm looking forward to reading. I read a few years ago, Light Years by Kass Morgan and it's a sci-fi and it was a free ARC that we got in our Illumicrate boxes, one of the book box subscriptions I had at the time.
And I was surprised by how much I really, really liked the book. And then I was fully intending to read the sequel, which came out that October. And, as it always happens, I completely forgot about it. And it's now probably been out a couple of years and I still haven't read it. So, I'm hoping to read the sequel, which is called Supernova at some point.
I'm also, I’ve just bought it on Audible, want to listen to The House in the Cerulean Sea which is T.J. Klune’s new book. I think it's, I'm not a hundred percent sure, I don't know if it's a children's book actually, or at least it's suitable for children, which, quite a lot of his work is not.
And it just sounds really, really sweet. And I'm really, really looking forward to reading that because it's about children who have special abilities and I'm really, really interested to see what he does with that. So yeah, I have that on audible and I'm getting ready to listen to that hopefully soon. In terms of new, big releases though, there’s nothing really that’s on my radar at the moment.
Sophie: I haven’t seen anything for a while. There's one that I had saved, I had it saved for a while, and then I forgot that it came out on the 12th of May.
Sophie: What date is it today? Oh, we’re in June, aren’t we? Yeah, this is why I’m confused. I don’t even know what month it is. It's called The Lost Princess of Aevilen, and I’m pretty sure it's a series book, and it's the first one in the series. I don't really remember what it's about, but I remember that I was excited to read it.
Kayleigh: Okay. Yeah, that happens so many times, you add things to your TBR and then you have to go back and look at it, and ask, why did I actually add this?
Sophie: So yeah, there's that one, and there's one that I bought a while ago. Again, because of the front cover, it looks so pretty, which is called The Bone Houses. But then, I do this thin where I jump in with both feet and I buy something, and then I'll look it up to see if it's my cup of tea or not.
So, reading all the reviews people are like, yeah, it's fantastic, it's a brilliant book, but it’s really scary. So, I'm like, well, I can't not read it because it's so pretty. But yeah, I don't think it's going to be scary enough to be classed as a horror as such. But scary enough to possibly keep me awake at night. I'm not sure, we’ll have to see, but yeah, I'm really excited to read that one.
Kayleigh: Yeah, cool. Like I said, I mean, I'm not really aware of anything at the moment, which is really bad. I think that's just me because I haven't really been looking, because, like I said on my blog yesterday, and I know we were talking about it earlier, I've just been so distracted with work and everything that I haven't really been doing much. And obviously this podcast is one of the things that I wanted to do to try and get back into blogging and books and all that good stuff. So, no, at the moment, I haven't got any new books on my list. But I do have a couple of other ones and hopefully next month I’ll do a bit more research and hopefully have a better list.
But yeah, I mean, at the beginning of the year I made a TBR jar because my main goal for this year was to try and work through some of the books that I already have because, obviously, being unable to go out shopping anyway, book shopping, I wanted to try and tackle some of the books that I have on my shelf.
And I think I've been doing all right. I've read a few more of my own books than I would have done in previous years, so a few more of the ones I already have.
Sophie: Yeah, that's kind of the same as me. And I pondered in front of, of my boot case for quite a while. And you can never, I don't know anybody else is the same, but I can never just decide, right, okay, I'm going to choose that one. Do you know what I mean?
Kayleigh: No, it's always like you'd narrow it down to like top 5 and then you have to narrow it down even further. Because, I don’t know about you, but I’m a mood reader and I can't just read something because somebody says here, read this. I have to be actually in the mood for it, and I think that’s the same for a lot of people.
I think you have a very special gift if you can just read something, even if you're not in the mood for it.
Sophie: I think that’s where my psychological thrillers come in. Because they're always quite tense and gripping and sometimes a little bit horrific with how they’re detailed and things that are going on. Like, once you've read that, you're pretty much in the mood for any kind of fantasy or happiness or, do you know what I mean?
So yeah, if I'm struggling to find a book, chances are, I'll read a thriller first.
Kayleigh: Yup. Sounds good. See, I'm very much if I can't find a new book I want to read, or if I'm not in the mood and nothing's getting me, I'll either read a romcom and especially, it will be something that I've already read before.
So like, Tara Sivec, she’s a really, really funny author and the amount of times I've just not been able to pick anything else and I’ve just thought, oh, I’ll re-read Jed Had To Die for the 10th time.
Sophie: I think that’s probably one of my favourite books of all time.
Kayleigh: And I'll just, yeah, exactly. And I'll just reread something like that or something by Sophie Jordan or R.L. Mathewson, you know, just something that's a bit more light-hearted and I'm just like, you know, oh, this feels like home, this is comfortable.
Yeah, just something where I don't want to deal with anything too heavy because I mean, you know, we do, most of the time, a lot of us do turn to boots for escapism. I know I certainly do. And a lot of the time I want to escape what's happening in the world. So, I do often time found myself turning to books that are, you know, very light-hearted and very, you know, just simple, if that makes sense.
Just, straightforward happily ever after, you know what you're going to get really.
Sophie: I’m like the opposite.
Kayleigh: Yeah, definitely, two opposites.
But yes. So, actually, I think this has been a really great first podcast and I hope you have enjoyed it and I hope anyone listening has as well. And I'm really excited to read Hour of the Bees and I'm really excited to chat with you next month, the second Tuesday of the month.
Sophie: Sounds good.
Kayleigh: Yeah, brilliant.
So, I'm going to leave you now and hopefully get some more blogging done and you need to do another one as well, if you want to. And yeah, so I will speak to you next month.
Sophie: All right, see you later.
Kayleigh: Thank you everyone for listening.
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About Kayleigh (She/Her)
Book addict, film mad, music lover, business owner, writer and mum (not necessarily in that order), living in the UK.
About Sophie (She/Her)
Sophie loves books (obviously). She has a passion for photography and spotting wildlife, and is interested in anything made with passion and creativity.
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