#BookTag – Celebrity Book Tag

Hi Bibliofriends,

I’m getting much more into the Book Tagging game more recently and this Celebrity Book Tag was a great little one I found over at Kira Jeanette’s Blog. She found the tag on Gigisreads but I’m not sure of the original tag creator so thank you whoever you are!


Emma Watson- A book with a hot kick butt female character

It sounds so typical and boring of me but I literally can’t think of anyone other than Aelin from the Throne of Glass series.

Ryan Gosling- A book with the hottest male character

It has to be Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury doesn’t it?!

Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt- A book with your favorite fictional book couple

Aragorn and Arwen from Lord of the Rings – I absolutely love them! * heart eyes *

Shailene Woodley- Author you’ve recently discovered and loved

Robbie Arnott, Isabel Ibañez, Mark Newman, Nadine Brandes

Josh Hutcherson- Favorite short story or novella

My Fence is Electric by Mark Newman (Butterfly Farm)
The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Dwayne Johnson AKA The Rock – Favorite Big Book (over 500 pages)

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón – 520 pages

Leonardo DiCaprio- A series with the most upsetting death (no spoilers, don’t worry!)

Crooked Kingdom 🤐

Kristen Stewart- A book you found boring

All The Birds In The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders.

Ian Somerhalder and his cat- Cutest book on your shelf

Wicked Like A Wildfire by Lana Popovic – the cover is beautiful
Or
Queen of Nothing by Holly Black (same reason – my FairyLoot exclusive edition is gorgeous!)

Jennifer Lawrence- Perfect book or series

Series: Harry Potter / Lord of the Rings / Cemetery of Forgotten Books / Illuminae Files
Book: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline


Which books would make it into your celebrity book tag? Tag yourself if you want to have a go! Feel free to include your links below so I can visit! As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixForSunday – Series I Can Now Finish (Because I Have The Sequel!)

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

Can you believe we’re actually in the final weekend of June?! The month has flown so quickly!
I changed up the theme slightly for Six For Sunday this week as I had practically zero to contribute to today’s regular theme so I kind of made one up for myself. This S4S I have decided to focus on series I can now finish reading because I own the sequel! Those that catch up with my blog regularly may know that I’m not the best at actually finishing a series so for last month’s birthday, my bookish wishlist was composed almost entirely of sequels. These are the ones I’m planning to get finished before the summer is out!
For those who don’t already knowSix for Sunday is a weekly list-based meme created by Steph @ALittleButALot and has a different weekly prompt based on a monthly theme.


  • These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch [sequel to These Rebel Waves]
  • Shadow and Flame by Mindee Arnett [sequel to Onyx and Ivory]
  • All The Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett [sequel to Even The Darkest Stars]
  • Given to the Earth by Mindy McGinnis [sequel to Given to the Sea]
  • Cloak of Night by Evelyn Skye [sequel to Circle of Shadows]
  • Rage by Cora Carmack [sequel to Rage – book 2 of the trilogy]

Have you read any of these series? Got any recommendations on which one I should tackle first? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

 

#Friday56 – My Fence Is Electric: and Other Stories

Howdy Bibliofriends, it’s Friday!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from My Fence Is Electric: and Other Stories by Mark Newman. I was so excited when Odyssey Books contacted me directly to review this collection of short stories. It’s not often I’m approached by publishers directly so I jumped at the opportunity straight away – and I was not disappointed – thanks so much to them and Mark Newman!!

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


A rustling, a muted round of applause then, as all the little yellow squares test their newfound wings. Then there is a blur of little yellow squares around them, like blossoms falling. They are surrounded like this for perhaps a minute, then the little yellow squares find a place to land and fold themselves flat again.

This collection of short stories was so relevant and current that I strongly suggest you check it out – there really is a story for everyone in this anthology and it’s so clear to see why so many of them are award-winning. In a world filled with novels and epic sweeping series, Mark Newman has put the humble short story firmly back on the map! You can check out my full review here!


What is your favourite short story / short story collection? Do you read this genre often or would you like to explore it more? As always, leave me your #Friday56 links or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings: My Fence is Electric: and Other Stories

Happy last Wednesday in June Bibliofriends!

Short stories are an art of their own. To do it well is some achievement, but to do it so well that it becomes powerful enough to leap off the page into your bookish heart is something else entirely… It’s safe to say that Mark Newman is a master of the short story art form.

My Fence Is Electric: and Other Stories is an anthology full of award-winning stories that deal with a lot of the macabre sentimentalities of everyday human existence. Dysfunctional families are actually quite normal nowadays; we don’t always know what goes on behind closed doors; many of us have parts of ourselves that we’d rather change or adapt. In places, Newman writes parables of bygone childhoods for reminiscent adults – others form as eerie ghost stories of the living – literary brilliance right up my street!


Book: My Fence is Electric: and Other Stories by Mark Newman
Genre: Short Stories
Publication Date: 18th February 2020
Publisher: Odyssey Books
Pages: 162
Rating: 📚📚📚📚📖

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

A housing estate is in shock following a child’s disappearance. A girl and her invisible friend go their separate ways. A father and a son bond over Post-It notes. A single father and his daughter have different approaches to the disappearance of their dog. A father finds his way to coax his agoraphobic son back out into the world.

My Fence is Electric and Other Stories is a collection of award-winning short stories looking at those moments in life that fizz with the electric intensity of change.


Many big themes (love, hope, freedom, conservation, illness, tragedy and change) are represented in these stories and Newman has such a wonderful way with words and descriptions; it really appealed to the inner logophile within me. Here are some of my personal favourites:

Before There Were Houses, This Was All Fields – Living in a rural area, I can relate majorly to our fields turning into building sites. This story opened Newman’s collection in a way which sets the tone for the whole compilation. The spooky imagery of the fairytale street names followed by evil and the likening of houses to skulls with their concrete breeze blocks and no windows for eye sockets was exceptional. You’re reminded that this story could so easily have been something you watch on the evening news. In a world with an expanding population and increasing housing need it’s an apt nod to what humanity has concreted over.

Little Yellow Squares discusses the way we can be talking about the same thing but really be having two entirely different conversations – all I can say is, I wish my post-it notes did what they do in this story!

We Sink When We Swim – I love the symbolism of the swimming pool in this story. The way it represents a journey, growing old, being lonely and the metaphorical way it considers what is really beneath the surface of the water and our emotions.

Butterfly Farm – So short yet so sweet. Without spoilers, I love the way the way freedom is represented and parodied between the butterflies and ‘she’.

My Fence is Electric focuses on the way we try to protect ourselves from heartbreak, I’ll never look at an electric fence again without thinking of this story.

Rosa is Red, Violet is Blue centres around our identities, how we strive to be someone different and the change we want to bring about in ourselves. I enjoyed the way the colours represented differing attitudes and personality traits.

I read My Fence is Electric: and Other Stories during the coronavirus lockdown and it strikes me as the perfect ‘stay-at-home’ book to remind you of ‘real people’ during this time when we can’t see our friends and families as we usually would. It’s a reminder that we are all unique, we all have little worlds inside our own heads, yet we are all out here on planet earth trying to survive through this together whilst being socially distanced and apart. In my own little way, the stories reminded me slightly of a bookish version of my favourite Florence + the Machine songs, probably another reason why I thoroughly enjoyed it. This collection really does have something for everyone, you can dip in and out of the stories at any time or read them through in their published entirety.

When I think of the greats of the short story genre, I often think of the renowned anthologies: Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love; Katherine Mansfield’s The Garden Party and Other Stories; Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber – I will now definitely be adding Mark Newman’s My Fence Is Electric: and Other Stories onto that list as well – it deserves its place there.

A big thank you to Odyssey Books for getting in contact with me via Twitter and providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. An extra big THANK YOU to Mark Newman for bringing these incredible stories into my life! ☺️

Even if you don’t normally read short stories, there is bound to be something for you in this collection – I would wholeheartedly recommend you read it!

Odyssey BooksAmazon | Waterstones |


What’s your favourite short story ever? Do you prefer longer short stories or short short stories? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#BookTag – Disney Parks Tag!

It’s Tag Tuesday Bibliofriends!

Welcome to the Disney Parks Book Tag! I’m absolutely in love with all things Disney so as soon as I came across this Tag on dinipandareads I knew that I had to have a go myself!

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I visited Walt Disney World in Florida for the first time back in 2018 and now truly understand why they call it the most magical place on earth! The California parks is the next one on my travel bucket list having already visited Paris.


The Rules

☆Mention the creator and link back to original post [Alexandra @ Reading by Starlight]
☆Thank the blogger who tagged you
☆Answer the 10 questions below using any genre
☆Tag 5+ friends
☆Feel free to copy the heading graphics

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pirates-of-the-caribbean

TKAK

the-haunted-mansion-2

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thunder-mountain-railroad

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splash-mountain

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cinderella-castle

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mad-tea-party

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matterhorn-bobsleds-1

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its-a-small-world

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space-mountain

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Thanks so much to Alexandra for creating this Disneytastic Book Tag! Have you ever been to Disney? What’s your favourite ride/attraction? Are any of the theme parks on your travel bucket? As always, tag yourselves and feel free to keep spreading the Disney joy, otherwise drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixForSunday – Backlist Books

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

How has June been for you so far? Are you on track with your reading goals? This week I decided to do something a little different for Six For Sunday as I’d been struggling a little with June’s theme. As I missed out on the April theme and it seemed really relevant to my bookshelves, I thought I’d do an April prompt about books that have been on my shelves forever! There were so many to choose from, I think I could have done 60 for Sunday rather than 6! For those who don’t already knowSix for Sunday is a weekly list-based meme created by Steph @ALittleButALot and has a different weekly prompt based on a monthly theme.


  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
    This is such a classic and I loved the film so so much that I really do need to get my ass in gear and actually read this book!
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith
    She has been hailed as one of the great writers of today’s modern fiction world so I’d really like to pick this one up at some point in the next year(!). I think the sheer size of it and the tiny font has been putting me off slightly.
  • The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
    This sits so prominently on my bookshelves and the neon pink font of the author’s name is like a constant reminder hanging over my head that I have probably owned this book for nearly 10 years and still not read it yet – I just can’t seem to part with a book before I’ve at least given it a little chance.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    I think I bought this as part of the Between Two Books Book Club which is made up of Florence + the Machine fans – I can’t think of any other reason why it would have appeared on my shelves!
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    It seemed quite relevant to include this book in this list having spent the past few months living amidst a global pandemic!
  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
    Another practically modern classic that I just haven’t got around to reading. I thankfully haven’t seen the film either so I’m not spoiled about what happens. I think this may be one of those books that I have to be in the mood to read.

There you go, an insight into my backlist books, a majority of which were purchased before I became addicted to Fantasy and it took precedence over all other reading material! Do you have any backlist books on your shelves? What are your best ways of getting through them? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

 

 

#Friday56 – A Touch of Death

Happy Friday Bibliofriends! The weekend is almost here…

This week’s Friday 56 comes from A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden. I was so overwhelmed when Rebecca contacted me to review the first book in her dystopian Outlands Pentalogy. It’s such a fantastic novel and I can’t wait to get my hand on the sequel and find out what happens next.

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


fri56atod

A Touch of Death is an intriguing, dystopian thriller which left me curious as to how the series is going to develop next. I absolutely loved the attention to detail at the world-building in the Kingdom of Cutta and am looking forwards to getting my hands on the sequel. You can check out my full review here!


What do you look for in dystopian fiction? Do you have any fun weekend plans? As always, leave me your #Friday56 links or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – A Touch Of Death

Good morning Bibliofriends,

I was overjoyed and thrilled when Rebecca approached me to read and review the first book in her Outlands Pentalogy. A Touch of Death follows the story of Nate and Catherine as they embark on a journey as wanted criminals through the Kingdom of Cutta. After running into a spot of trouble in the mountains, Nate and Catherine become infected with a mysterious disease and are then wanted for an investigation into their strange circumstances. A notorious criminal and dissenter, the last thing Nate wants is to submit himself to interrogation at the hands of a department where its inmates seem to vanish. The pair decide to evade capture and go on-the-run seeking sanctuary and a new life in The Outlands. It’s only when the disease seems to become more deadly and impact upon their health, do the pair face a tricky decision: continue to seek a new life and possibly die trying… or return to the heart of the kingdom hoping to find an antidote without being detained and condemned.


Book: A Touch of Death (Book #1 – The Outlands Pentalogy) by Rebecca Crunden
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: 24th Feb 2017
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages: 308
Rating: 📚📚📚.5

A Touch of Death is an intriguing, dystopian thriller which left me curious as to how the series is going to develop next. I absolutely loved the attention to detail at the world-building in the Kingdom of Cutta. The fact that this place has a map won me over from the start, but the drip-by-drip feed on information and detail helped me to construct the kingdom in my mind. It really helps me to become invested into a place if I feel like I can visualise it in my head. Whilst the Kingdom of Cutta clearly has that dystopian feeling with the mention of radiation destruction, rabids and mutants, the characters, setting and feel of the whole novel gave off a brilliantly balanced futuristic fantasy vibe. By breaking the novel down into parts rather than chapters, it was clear to see how each element of the plot linked into the next and helped the story to flow.

Right from the off, it was immediately clear that Crunden is an author who isn’t afraid to take a risk. The lashing torture during the opening scene was a fairly harrowing reminder that A Touch of Death is firmly cemented in the adult section of the genre. It was a powerful opening prologue and helps you to understand later on why the characters fear Redwater prison so much.

I adored the city of Talon and it is now on my literary travels bucket list. The no-judgements imposed upon visitors as long as you follow the rules, time spent in the stunning library as well as the glorious sounding architecture and food makes it seem like the perfect place for communal living and offered up a stark contrast to the other places we’d visited in Cutta so far which were heavily regulated and policed.

The characters Tove, Zoe and Evander were a welcome introduction part way through the story. They provided some folklore, humour and helped to freshen up the plot of two characters on a quest to escape the kingdom. I really liked the different dynamic they added to the story.

Towards the end, Catherine’s thoughts that the world would be a better place without the strict and harsh ruling of Crown and Council (government) that dominate all in the Kingdom of Cutta, seemed incredibly poignant in today’s modern world and in particular the current challenges and opinions posed of governments during this global pandemic. I seem to have an affinity with these types of storylines due to my own personal political stances and views so Catherine’s perspective was really relatable.

The ending of A Touch of Death is neatly lined-up for the next book in the pentalogy. I would say that I think I needed a little more information throughout the story as to why Nate is so against Crown and Council, other than just his personal views and the treatment put upon him. I feel this was hinted at slightly, that there might be some other underlying reason there, but I wanted this to just be slightly more evident and almost leave me burning (pun intended!) as to what is going to happen next as the story doesn’t end on a cliffhanger or dramatic twist. Nevertheless, I’m still intrigued to explore more of the Kingdom of Cutta and learn the fates of characters who have been left with such a harsh hand dealt to them all – I’ll definitely be downloading the sequel!


You can connect with Rebecca at her website, Twitter or Goodreads.

You can find out more about The Outlands Pentalogy here:
Goodreads | Amazon

What’s your favourite dystopian book? Do you think you’d prefer to live in a world 1000 years from now or are you happy in 2020? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#BookTag – Stay At Home Tag

Hi Bibliofriends,

It seems to be that the world is slowly returning back to normal as we tentatively emerge out of lockdown. Nevertheless, I still wanted to have a go at the Stay At Home Book Tag which has been doing the rounds recently. I found this over at Zeezee With Books but it was originally created by booktuber Princess of Paperbacks.


Laying in bed — A book you read in one day

The Wicked King by Holly Black – the pages just kept turning, turning and turning until the very last one!

Snacking – A book that is a ‘guilty pleasure’ read

The Robert Langdon novels by Dan Brown – I just live them and think they’re full of suspense and conspiracy.

Netflix — A series that you want to start

The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty – I recently purchased the FairyLoot exclusive editions so I’m looking forward to reading them!

Deep clean — A book that has been on your TBR for ages

The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte – this was one of the first books on my Goodreads TBR. It sounded really intriguing but I still haven’t got around to picking it up.

Animal Crossing — A book you recently bought because of the hype

Crescent City – House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas – I don’t really think this one needs any explanations at all!

Productivity — A book you learned from or had an impact on you

Remember This When You’re Sad by Maggy Van Eijk – this book helped put a lot of things in perspective for me.

FaceTime — A book you were gifted

I have a special anniversary edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy which was gifted to me from some friends in school.

Self-care — What is one thing you have done recently to look after yourself

Spend time reading out in the garden in the sunshine! Also putting myself on a work schedule so that I make sure to take proper breaks on the days I’m working from home.

BONUS — An upcoming release you are looking forward to

The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott – This is a July release which I was fortunate enough to be accepted for on NetGalley so I’m really excited to get around to reading it!
Or:Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibañez, the sequel to Woven in Moonlight.


What has been your reading highlights from Lockdown? What have you been doing to look after yourselves whilst we’ve all been staying at home? As always, feel free to tag yourselves and drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixForSunday – Favourite LGBTQ+ Characters and Romances

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

How has your week been? I decided to mix things up a little bit this week for Six for Sunday. When I was planning my posts, I found that a lot of the characters/books I picked for this week’s prompt (favourite LGBT characters) were the same as next week’s S4S post (favourite LGBT romances) so I decided to put them both together. For those who don’t already knowSix for Sunday is a weekly list-based meme created by Steph @ALittleButALot and has a different weekly prompt based on a monthly theme.


  • Magnus Bane and Alec Lightwood – The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
    I adore Magnus’ character in this series and can’t wait to read more about him in The Infernal Devices (I’m just navigating my way onto Clockwork Prince). He and Alec have such a cute relationship and they’re definitely one of my favourite couples in the series.
  • Bea – Anna K by Jenny Lee
    Bea is one of the more vibrant characters in Jenny Lee’s modern uplift of the Anna Karenina story originally by Tolstoy (you can read my review of it here). She is quite liberated when it comes to her sexuality and comes across as someone who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it.
  • Cara and Dell – The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson
    This book had such an original story attached to it involving a multiverse and doppelgängers. It really added an extra dimension to the relationship between Cara and Dell – there’s an episode with an earring and I think it really showed how much one meant to another even if there was a lot of angst at different parts of the story! Read the review here!
  • Jesper Fahey and Wylan Van Eck – Six of Crows Duology by Leigh Bardugo
    Jesper is such an awesome character and I couldn’t write a post about my favourite LGBTQ+ characters without including him in it!
  • Loras Tyrell – Game of Thrones by George R R Martin
    Ah, the Knight of the Flowers – I love the idea of Highgarden and think that it would be an awesome place to visit. Whilst I haven’t finished reading all of the books or even watched all of the series yet, I like the imagery that Ser Loras and his floral armour bring to the books and films.
  • Patrick – The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
    I think Patrick goes through a pretty tough time during The Perks Of Being A Wallflower and I actually think it’s a sad reflection of what a lot of people who are gay go through when it comes to their relationships and coming out about their sexuality to their wider friends, family and in public.

Who are some of your favourite LGBT characters or romances?  Do you feel that the LGBT community are well-represented in modern literature? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx