Sunday, 31 December 2017

Chuckles Weekend Roundup


Welcome to my new feature Chuckles Weekend Roundup where I will be looking at what books I've received, anything interesting I've done or bought or watched and other random stuff. I'll be taking a look back at what happened in my blogging world too, sort of like The Sunday Post that some of you do! 

Please note that I'll be visiting your STS/SP as normal, but I don't follow or leave comments on blogs run by Google Plus, or DISQUS as I refuse to join something just to leave comments, and I won't allow DISQUS to follow new people, update my profile or post tweets 'on my behalf'. I am the only one who does that on my social media! I won't comment on any blog that makes me sign in using another account. Sometimes, I have problems leaving messages on blogs hosted by Wordpress-they try to block me because I deleted my account with them but I will persevere as it only happens the odd time!

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It's the last day of the year already and I don't know where time has gone. As I write this Storm Dylan is hitting us with rain and high winds, the snow is gone, and I've just finished the last pile of ironing. The plan for the rest of the day is to finish this blog post, catch up on comments and blog visits, and put my feet up for the rest of the day. I have a night of reading and chocolate munching planned with a few films I like on in the background. My dad will be watching his own films downstairs all night. A quiet night at the Book Cave! From tomorrow I'll be posting my challenges for the year ahead and I will be online. I don't like New Year and I don't celebrate it. Maybe we'll get a break from the darn fireworks tonight with the weather being a bit on the grim side! Oh and the binmen didn't show up yesterday to empty them so last night's bad weather has overturned the bins and there are cans and bottles over everyone in the street's gardens. It's a pure mess!!!

DOWNLOADS: 


Chuckles Blogging World 
This week was about doing a review of my reading for the year and planning my challenge posts for next year ready to put up from tomorrow. Along with the regular blogging stuff, it turned into a pretty busy week! This is my last post of the year and links to all the posts are included as usual.

Book Reviews 
none this week

Regular Posts
 This week I went sampling and around the blogs to pick out some good posts for you. Cover Love showcased Nicole Conway, Top Ten Tuesday was about 2018 books I'm looking forward to and Can't Wait Wednesday was about zombies.

Chuckles Cover Love

Chuckles Goes Sampling

Around The Blogs With Chuckles

Top Ten Tuesday

Can't Wait Wednesday

Discussion Posts 
This week Chuckles Chat looked at where we get recommendations while Game of Thrones Gossip featured Ygritte.

Chuckles Chat

Game of Thrones Gossip

Film Reviews 
none this year

Special Posts 
I did a series of review posts looking at different genres I read through the year. I also shared the horrors of what my bookshelves look like!

Non Fiction

Fantasy

Urban Fantasy

Apocalypse

Horror

Zombies

Other Genres

Chuckles Bookshelf Hell #1

Chuckles Bookshelf Hell #2

Book Tags/Blog Awards 
none this week

Book Challenge Updates 

My Goodreads Challenge-202/200

 TBR books I own but haven't read-835

Currently Reading/Next Up
I'm reading A Dance With Dragons part one, finishing up with a couple of zombie re-reads and a couple of political cartoon books. My Goodreads 2018 Challenge is about to get off to a flyer!


Next week on the blog
I'm not sure if there will be a sample post or around the blogs as it depends on the time I have. I will be doing my regular posts though.

 

Chuckles Goes Sampling


Seeing Kermit surrounded and almost buried in leaves kind of reminds me of my relationship with books. I'm pretty much buried in them too! I have no more space in my house for the books I buy and piles are sitting on the floor which isn't good and I can't read them quick enough because I keep buying!!! I've battled to reduce the tbr without success this year but now Kermit and I are embarking on a new plan to reduce the book buying and give me a chance to reduce the tbr at last. The Plan? Download samples and read them and only go on to buy those I liked instead of grabbing everything!

Here is what I read last week! 

1) Daniel Humphreys-A Place Outside The Wild
Miles is working outside the city on night shift at a motel when the zombie apocalypse starts in his area. Watching a couple of fellow workers die and rise again is enough to convince him to get out of the area. 8 years later he is part of a surviving community who are alert to the threat from both zombie and hostile human.

I certainly prefer books where we follow the apocalypse from the start and see how the people start banding together and building a new life. By skipping eight years we miss a lot of that detail and all the danger and tension of dealing with the zombie outbreak. However, the aspects of the community life that is already established is interesting in its own way and I'm curious about some of the characters like battle scarred Charlie who scavenges from deserted properties with his team, and wheelchair bound Pete who is the community sniper. I think I might look at this one if I see it cheap to see how the plot develops.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32038526-a-place-outside-the-wild

2) John Tolliver-Darkness And The Grave 
Three hurricanes bear down on different parts of the US and a pandemic that turns people into zombies is hitting at the same time. Katie is at the library and being pusued by the creatures while her fiance Joel breaks the city quarantine to go looking for her. Five friends are trapped on a train when quarantine hits and are arrested by police as rioters gather outside the police station. Others are trapped on a rig with sick workers as the storm cuts them off from everyone.

This one was interesting and I liked the characters that were introduced. At the moment, we are following three distinct storylines, each with a varying level of zombie contact. Andy and his fellow workers are just discovering that people on the rig are sick so they will soon get a shock. Katie has seen the worst first hand and the group from the train are running into their first encounter with the sick. I found it intriguing and there is enough in this sample for me to want to check out the whole bookwhich I've already downloaded.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36164723-darkness-and-the-grave 

3) Wren Cavanagh-The Last Flag
The Last Flag is a new zombie gameshow on TV. Find three flags worth $500000 each and get to the roof of the highest building to claim the final flag and win not just your money but the money from any flags your rival teams have collected. All you have to do is not get eaten by more than 500 zombies roaming the enclosed town while TV viewers watch for entertainment. What could possibly go wrong when the four teams are dropped inside the game zone?

I've read a few dinosaur game show books that I really enjoyed so the prospect of a zombie version was very appealing. I liked the idea of the game and I'd watch this on a Saturday night! The character of Fats is interesting and there is the hint that Cheryl who is angry at not being promoted has something planned to disrupt the show and I'm curious about what she is going to do for her revenge. I definitely want to read this book and have already downloaded a full ebook copy.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33778735-the-last-flag

4) Rebecca Fernfield-The Road To Ruin 
Three years after the apocalypse, deacon has caught Dan and a woman coming into his territory. He decides to take the woman from Dan for his own pleasure and because he has a grudge. Story jumps back to a man plotting to sell vials of something to someone on the phone in revenge against a fellow scientist who crossed him. A woman is at home naked waiting for husband Dan to arrive, unaware that he is having sex with mel. Sample ends.

What a really dreadful sample this was. Deacon acting like a rapist to be plotting what to do with the captured woman, Dan screwing someone other than his wife while she waits for him..looks to me like this is going to be all sex and no plot as there are three sexual elements in just a few pages of sample. I already dislike Dan and Deacon which is never a good sign. This sounds like pure rubbish and I'll be avoiding this. 
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36495260-the-road-to-ruin

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Review of the Year Other Genres


And now my final round up post, featuring the genres I didn't read as much of during the year.

SF-Dystopian 
I only looked at four this year so I'll show them all. Orbs was a decent read, well written but not my kind of thing. Future Shock was a really good YA SF time travel murder mystery and I will continue reading the trilogy. The Testing Guide was short and poor, adding nothing to a really good series and Girl from above was a short story that again wasn't my kind of thing.



Historical
It was a bit of a surprise that I only read one this year!


Mystery/Thriller
I can't help liking Tom Ripley! I must be twisted! Stranded is a decent YA survival book but not the murder mystery I thought it would be. Pit Perfect was a fun cozy mystery and Ararat is a good horror type thriller.


Review of the Year Zombies


Ah zombies! They have always been my favourite monsters in fiction and on TV and I just can't get enough of them these days! I had to do a post just on the zombie books I've read this year. There are great series, new authors and lots of zombie fun!

Best Series 
Ah, you guys will have heard me rave about both the Arisen and Extinction series through the year so no surprises to see them chosen here! My other choice is the First Wave trilogy by JT Sawyer, which I very much enjoyed. If you love zombies, read these!


Best Zombie books
I started a few series that were promising and finished a couple that were also good. The first Zompoc book was very good and I'll be reading the rest of the trilogy. I read the second of Bonnie Dee's zombie books, two stand-alone books with zombies and romance and they were decent reads. JT Sawyer's Carlie Simmons series could also have potential. Having previously read the first Dying of the Light book I finished the trilogy. Note the great covers for the three!



Series I tried and might continue
My one issue with the RL Blalock series is that book one seems to have different MCs to this prequel I read so I hope I like the new MCs! World's End was a decent read with different ideas and I might take a look at the next book to see what happens if it ever comes out.


Disappointing Zombies I finished reading
I loved the first Burn the Dead book but was disappointed with the other two, especially Riot. They can be read as stand-alone as each featured different characters. Undead LA was not a great read for me, and I was annoyed about the dog issue in Officer Down. The Last Town series was a serial novel that I never took to though I like other work by the author. I was not greatly happy with J Walker's zombie series as the female MC seemed to be bedding every guy in the compound and had a 'me me me' complex.



Zombies I DNFed!
I read a few this year that I really didn't like! Bad characters and stupid stuff happening switched me off all of these.
 


Review of the Year Horror



It was a great year for horror at the Book Cave. These are all non zombie horror books, as I have a post for zombie books on their own. This year I discovered Hunter Shea and Ray Garton, found some great gory reads and monsters of all kinds!

Best Sea Monsters
I read these during a themed reading spell called Deep Blue Terror and I found a few good ones with krakens, hybrid eels, psycho fish and sea serpants from a mail order package! 



Best Sharks
I just LOVE sharks! Here there are sharks as part of scientific experiments and used in a twisted game show, megalodons and zombie sharks! 



Best Monsters
We have Bigfoots, radiation monsters, mutant spiders, monsters working for the government and were-animals! Some of the books in the Bigfoot Wars series are better than others but it's a fun series overall.



Other Horror
Cannibals, terrorists and killer X-Ray Specs!


And now those I was a bit disappointed in but finished.
Most of my issues were with Meg being too slow and too much on the MC wife's affair, horrible MCs in The Last Colossus and Loch Ness Revenge, and in the case of Dinosaur Island, too much religious stuff. Resident Evil and Insylum were confusing,  Jurrasic Dead being far too farfetched in plot and Hellhound just didn't deliver for me.




Disappointing re-read
I loved The Rats when I first read it many years ago but I was a bit disappointed reading it again. It was slower and had too much emphasis on people having sex. The horror parts were still well written but it wasn't as good this time round.


Horror DNFs