#SixforSunday – Bookish Hates

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

It’s the end of January and strangely this feels like such a short month in some respects (Lockdown 3.0 I’m looking at you 🙄) but then in others it seems to have gone at a nice tranquil pace…! The snow has kickstarted my love for the great outdoors so I’ve been making sure to take myself out for a walk as soon as I get home from work. Our village has these lovely trees along the High Street which are all lit up with beautiful white fairy lights so it’s very pretty to walk around in the evenings.

This week’s Six for Sunday was quite a tricky one for me as I found the theme very broad. Today we’re thinking about Bookish Hates and I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to go for tropes I found annoying, bookish pet peeves or other random things I don’t like to do with books – so this might all be a mish-mash! For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot.


Bookish Hates!

  1. Reading with the dust jacket on!
    I cannot read a hardback book and keep the dust jacket on it while reading. It just keeps moving around and then I worry about finger prints all over the artwork, or ripping/creasing the cover and I’m just so pedantic over it all that I end up taking the cover off to read the book. My pernickety-ness gets even worse if the hardcover is foiled because then I have to hold it so carefully to try not to rub the foiling off! 🙈

  2. Deja-Vu
    Now this one is probably by own fault because I read so much fantasy, but do you ever have that feeling when you’re reading a book and you’re sure you’ve read it before but you know you can’t have done as the book you’re reading only just came out…? There are so many times I’ve read a plot which is just like another plot and it just puts me into a reading slump. I end up needing to go to a different genre just to get my reading mojo back.

  3. Trending Titles
    Similarly to the above, ever since a book series seems to have gone interstellar there always seems to be releases afterwards which border on plagiaristic titles. Things like ‘A Court of…’ or ‘A ___ of ___ and ___’ (insert various birds, animals, collective nouns, weapons or weather elements here).

  4. The De-Facto Romantic Interlude
    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the odd swoon every now again when a writer does romance and does it well. But I just can’t help from eye-rolling everytime the MC suddenly falls in insta-love with their sidekick who they’re now suddenly seeing in a new light… it feels like the romance is just shoved in as a tenuous sideplot because there’s clearly nothing else those characters can do in their story anymore. Whatever happened to mutuality and just great friendships?!
  5. The Cover-Swap
    Yes I am that person that has to have matching editions of a series. It really bugs me when cover designs change halfway through a series and it makes me not want to order the books anymore – either that or secretly order a new set with all matching covers and pretend that they looked like that all along! I have also been known to trawl eBay checking ISBN numbers before I buy – damn those stock photos! 😂

  6. The Photo Cover
    Don’t ask me why but I really don’t like it when there is a photograph of a real person on the cover of a book. It puts me right off and freaks me out a little bit for some reason. Drawings on the other hand, I can totally cope with! 🙃

What are your bookish hates? Feel free to rant and offload, get all that angry angst about spilled tea, cracked spines and mis-matched book series out… you know you want to! 😂
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#FaeFriday – Least Favourite Genre

Happy Friday Bibliofriends,

How has your week been? We have a Wellbeing Day today for the children, parents and staff which has been fabulous as it’s allowed me to catch up with the backlog of Assignments marking on Teams as well as actually catch up with some housework (and catch up with Fae Friday!)! 🙈 I’m so excited to be doing Fae Friday again, I love how fun this tag is!

Fae Friday is a weekly blog prompt hosted by the wonderful Kristy at Caffeinated Fae. It seems like the perfect way to spread a little more magic across the blogosphere every week.

Here are the rules:

  • Link back to this page on Caffeinated Fae.
  • If the prompt idea is from another blog, link to that blog as well.
  • Use #FaeFriday when posting to social media so we can all find each other! 
  • Participate when you can & have fun with the prompt!

January 29th prompt:

It’s #FaeFriday, and it’s time to start a genre war… (not really, please be nice).

What is your least favorite genre, and why?

I covet books so much, it really is like some kind of addiction or chemical brain message which tells me I need to try and own a copy of every single book ever. So, as I’ll literally read absolutely anything, I don’t really have a ‘least favourite’ genre. I guess I could do without modern crime fiction, like murder mysteries or disappearances – only because there always seems to be so many of them on the shelves and they also always seem to have a ‘cover-type’ that can make them come across as quite generic. I’m not really incentivised to read them. It’s either that or any stories to do with family dramas, tragedy or illnesses – they’re just far too emotional for me to make it through without bawling my eyes out!

What are your least favourite genres? Which type of stories (or maybe not even stories, could you do without? As always, leave me a comment to chat!

Enjoy your weekend Bibliofriends!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Books I’m Excited For in 2021

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

Yet another week of lockdown done and dusted! This week’s Six For Sunday, continuing with our ‘It’s All About Books’ theme is centred around ‘Books I’m Excited For in 2021’. So I’m practically super excited for my physical 2021 TBR but I feel like I’ve already mentioned those books a load of times already. My ‘anticipated reads’ game has also been way off so far, mainly because I’ve been concentrating on getting through the afore mentioned TBR and finishing series rather than starting them! With that in mind, I’ve actually gone through my NetGalley Request list and added a few of those in here too as I’m obviously intrigued to read them when they are released later in 2021…!

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot.


Books I’m Excited to Read in 2021!

  1. Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibanez – publishes Jan 2021
    I’m already a little confused as to whether this is a sequel or a companion novel? I purposefully haven’t read the blurb but I just remember loving Ximena’s magic and woolly animals in the first novel that I’m definitely going to have to Ibanez’s follow up. I’ve recently read some reviews digging a little deeper into the representation (or misrepresentation may be more accurate) Woven In Moonlight gave about Bolivian politics so I’m intrigued as to what this novel will be like.

    Blurb from Goodreads:
    An adventerous South American Tomb Raider! This hotly anticipated companion to Woven in Moonlight follows an outcast Condesa, as she braves the jungle to forge an alliance with the lost city of gold.
    If the jungle wants you, it will have you…
    Catalina Quiroga is a Condesa without a country. She’s lost the Inkasisa throne, the loyalty of her people, and her best friend. Banished to the perilous Yanu Jungle, Catalina knows her chances of survival are slim, but that won’t stop her from trying to escape. It’s her duty to reclaim the throne.
    When Manuel, the son of her former general, rescues Catalina from a jaguar, a plan forms. Deep in the jungle, the city of gold is hidden, home to the fierce Illari people, who she could strike an alliance with.
    But the elusive Illari are fighting a battle of their own—a mysterious blight is corrupting the jungle, laying waste to everything they hold dear. As a seer, Catalina should be able to help, but her ability to read the future in the stars is as feeble as her survival instincts. While searching for the Illari, Catalina must reckon with her duty and her heart to find her true calling, which could be the key to stopping the corruption before it destroys the jungle completely.

  2. Poison Priestess (Lady Slayers) by Lana Popovic – publishes April 2021
    I absolutely loved Popovic’s writing style and world-building in Wicked Like A Wildfire and although I’m yet to read the sequel to that duology, I’m still really excited to see what tales Popovic weaves in this second instalment of the Lady Slayers series.

    Blurb from Goodreads:
    In 17th-century Paris, 19-year-old Catherine Monvoisin is a well-heeled jeweler’s wife with a peculiar taste for the arcane. She lives a comfortable life, far removed from a childhood of abject destitution—until her kind spendthrift of a husband lands them both in debt. Hell-bent on avoiding a return to poverty, Catherine must rely on her prophetic visions and the grimoire gifted to her by a talented diviner to reinvent herself as a sorceress. With the help of the grifter Marie Bosse, Catherine divines fortunes in the IIle de la Citee—home to sorcerers and scoundrels.
    There she encounters the Marquise de Montespan, a stunning noblewoman. When the Marquise becomes Louis XIV’s royal mistress with Catherine’s help, her ascension catapults Catherine to notoriety. Catherine takes easily to her glittering new life as the Sorceress La Voisin, pitting the depraved noblesse against one other to her advantage. The stakes soar ever higher when her path crosses with that of a young magician. A charged rivalry between sorceress and magician leads to Black Masses, tangled deceptions, and grisly murder—and sets Catherine on a collision course that threatens her own life.

  3. All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’ Donoghue – publishes July 2021
    Not gonna lie – the pretty cover drew me in and then the Tarot Cards had me sold on this one! I’m keeping my fingers crossed I get this arc request as it sounds like such a fun read!

    Blurb from Goodreads:
    Maeve Chambers doesn’t have much going for her. Not only does she feel like the sole idiot in a family of geniuses, she managed to drive away her best friend Lily a year ago. But when she finds a pack of dusty old tarot cards at school, and begins to give scarily accurate readings to the girls in her class, she realizes she’s found her gift at last. Things are looking up – until she discovers a strange card in the deck that definitely shouldn’t be there. And two days after she convinces her ex-best friend to have a reading, Lily disappears.
    Can Maeve, her new friend Fiona and Lily’s brother Roe find her? And will their special talents be enough to bring Lily back, before she’s gone for good?

  4. She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan – publishes July 2021
    The description of this book gave me such Mulan vibes and even better that it’s based on the founding of the Ming Dynasty.

    Blurb from Goodreads:
    Mulan meets The Song of Achilles in Shelley Parker-Chan’s She Who Became the Sun, a bold, queer, and lyrical reimagining of the rise of the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty from an amazing new voice in literary fantasy.
    To possess the Mandate of Heaven, the female monk Zhu will do anything
    “I refuse to be nothing…”
    In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…
    In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.
    When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.
    After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.

    At the Publisher’s request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

  5. Rainbow in the Dark by Sean McGinty – publishes August 2021
    Yet again, I’m such a clickbait for taglines on books. Wizard of Oz meets Ready Player One *jaw drop*! I need this book in my life and cannot wait for it to come out! #praystothenetgalleygods

    Blurb from Goodreads:
    The Wizard of Oz meets Ready Player One in this darkly comic YA novel about identity, depression, giving up, and finding your way home.
    High school senior Rainbow is trapped with three other teens in a game-like world that may or may not be real. Together, they must complete quests and gain experience in order to access their own forgotten memories, decode what has happened to them, and find a portal home.
    As Rainbow’s memories slowly return, the story of a lonely teen facing senior year as the new kid in a small town emerges. Surreal, absurdist humor balances sensitively handled themes of suicide, depression, and the search for identity in an unpredictable and ultimately hopeful page-turner that’s perfect for fans of Shaun David Hutchinson, Adam Silvera, and Libba Bray’s Going Bovine.

  6. A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer – publishes Jan 2021
    This is one trilogy finale that I will be needing to read sooner rather than later! I loved the first two in the Cursebreakers series and after reading a sneak peek of AVSBAD from each character’s perspective then this one is definitely going to be added to the purchase list!

    Blurb from Goodreads:
    Face your fears, fight the battle.
    Emberfall is crumbling fast, torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who are eager to begin a new era under Grey, the true heir. Grey has agreed to wait two months before attacking Emberfall, and in that time, Rhen has turned away from everyone—even Harper, as she desperately tries to help him find a path to peace. 
    Fight the battle, save the kingdom.
    Meanwhile, Lia Mara struggles to rule Syhl Shallow with a gentler hand than her mother. But after enjoying decades of peace once magic was driven out of their lands, some of her subjects are angry Lia Mara has an enchanted prince and magical scraver by her side. As Grey’s deadline draws nearer, Lia Mara questions if she can be the queen her country needs.
    As two kingdoms come closer to conflict, loyalties are tested, love is threatened, and an old enemy resurfaces who could destroy them all, in this stunning conclusion to bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreaker series.

What books are you looking forward to reading in 2021? What do you think will be your most anticipated read of the year?
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – The Island by C.L. Taylor

Hello Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musings are all about a YA Mystery/Thriller set in a beautiful Thai paradise! Think phobias, secrets, lies and intrigue – this book definitely kept me on my toes and turning page after page. 

This is my first review since I can actually remember! To be honest, I wasn’t reading much towards the tail end of last year and even though my reading has picked back up again, I just haven’t been in the mood to really ‘review’ what I’ve been reading. The Island by C.L. Taylor was a Netgalley arc I received in October and read cover to cover within 2 days. It’s out tomorrow so I thought now would be the perfect time to upload and share my review. Huge thanks to NetGalley, C.L. Taylor and the publishers HQ for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Book: The Island by C.L. Taylor
Genre: YA / Mystery
Publication Date: January 21st 2020
Publisher: HQ Young Adult
Pages: 384
Rating: 📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

Welcome to The Island.
Where your worst fears are about to come true…

It was supposed to be the perfect holiday: a week-long trip for six teenage friends on a remote tropical island.

But when their guide dies of a stroke leaving them stranded, the trip of a lifetime quickly turns into a nightmare.

Because someone on the island knows each of the group’s worst fears. And one by one, they’re coming true.

Seven days in paradise. A deadly secret.

Who will make it off the island alive?

My Musings

When I read that this book was like Lost meets The Hunger Games – I was sold! The beautiful Thai setting was the perfect world for me to escape into when I wanted a reprieve from the cold, wintery landscape outside. I could practically see the crystal blue waters and hear the macaques and jungle birds as they drifted through the trees. 

Tropical paradise aside, it took me a little while to get to grips with who was who in the band of 6 main characters. The perspectives shift quite quickly which was a little confusing to start with but I soon got into the rhythm of it. The format definitely helped draw out the suspense because the actions and events were coming from changing viewpoints. It was tricky to decide which narrator/character was giving you the honest truth but that made me more invested in the story.

The Phobias each character had were a real plot driver to carry the story forward and reveal more clues about what was really going on compared to what was perceived to be going on. As each character had to face their phobia, you were able to whittle down who could possibly be the one behind all of the drama. Then particular events near the end have you not only questioning what you thought you knew already, but also questioning what you thought you had read. These little red herrings continue to mind-trick you into narrowing down the list of suspects and their motivations whilst also keeping you engrossed in the plot. It’s probably the setting and mystery that kept me turning the pages rather than the actual characters themselves.

References to grief, guilt and PTSD are dealt with sensitively in a way which doesn’t necessarily dive right into the traumatic heart of its core but still help to raise awareness of these conditions well enough for a teenage / YA audience.

In a way, The Island totally reminded me of Lord of the Flies in the sense that these friends are stuck on this beautiful island which seems to be filled with horrors caused by one of their own. It’s definitely the new Lord of the Flies for a modern YA generation. One thing which could be said about The Island is that it seemed (in my own mind) to be a bunch of fairly privileged teenagers on a paradise island almost bemoaning about their lot in life whilst at the same time struggling to reconnect with each other now that they’re getting older, growing apart and dealing with the aftermath of events which have led to mental health issues. If you’re looking for diversity and complex world-building then I’m not sure that this book will appeal to you, but if you’re looking for thrills, spills and a multi-layered mystery (with a hint of paradise!) then this modern day Lord of the Flies may be right up your street.

Why Should I Read This?

For a compelling mystery complete with shifting character perspectives and tropical island vibes.
For a dark, twisty set of phobias which come to life one by one.
For a layered plot filled with mind-tricks which will keep you flipping page after page.

Find out more about this book here:

Amazon | Harper Collins – Listen/Read a Sample | Waterstones | Goodreads | Author’s Twitter | Author’s Website

Connect with me here:

Twitter | Goodreads | Book Sloth: @thebiblioshelf |Email: thebiblioshelf@gmail.com

#BookTag – Characters of the Year Book Tag

Happy Tag Tuesday Bibliofriends!

I’ve been running out of inspiration or tags to do lately but I came across this really fun Characters of the Year tag over at Zezee with books.

Characters can really make or break a book for me so this seemed the perfect way to reminisce about all of my reads from 2020 how I felt about some of their starring roles.

FAVORITE MALE CHARACTER OF THE YEAR

Crowley from Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
I absolutely love Crowley. He’s such a unique character with the coolest car around and great taste in music. I had so much fun reading his parts of the novel.

FAVORITE FEMALE CHARACTER OF THE YEAR

James Juniper from The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow.
She has so much sass, grit and determination. I loved how she could be so wild yet so humble. Such a fun character to read.

MOST RELATABLE CHARACTER OF THE YEAR

Addie and/or Henry from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab.
The theme of identity lies strongly within this book and I found myself relating to both of the main characters in a way which I haven’t really related to any others in a long while. It deeply resonated with me and I think that’s one of the reasons why I absolutely adored this read.

COUPLE OF THE YEAR

January and Augustus from Beach Read by Emily Henry.
I just loved their chemistry throughout this book!

VILLAIN OF THE YEAR

Nolan Sorrento from Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
Although he isn’t scary in the mythical beast kind of way – Sorrento is my villain of the year because of the sheer power, money and resources that he has at his fingertips. He can basically do whatever he wants and can get away with it. It’s really scary that I see him as a manifestation of some of today’s world leaders and billionaires who pretty much have all the power they need to exert their will on anyone without being stopped. 

MOST DISLIKED CHARACTER OF THE YEAR

Brent from The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice by E.S. Barrison.
Purely for his constant repetition of the word ‘aight’ and the way he sullenly complains that everything is his fault whenever something goes wrong. Unfortunately, Brent and I just didn’t bond which was a shame as the world-building in the novel was really original and quite well-written.

ROYAL OF THE YEAR

Anastasia Romanov (Nastya) from Romanov by Nadine Brandes.
This historical fantasy retelling absolutely captured my heart, as did its leading lady. I really liked the way Brandes wrote and portrayed her character to be sensitive yet determined and strong. A fabulous exiled Royal!

SIDEKICK/NON-MAIN CHARACTER OF THE YEAR

Dustin from Anna K by Jenny Lee.
Talk about championing the underdog! Dustin was one of those gems of a character who was thrust into this wild world of elite New York socialites and basically had to sink or swim. I was a joy to read his character arc with all of the complexities he had to face along the way.

SIBLING OF THE YEAR

Serina from Queen of Ruin (Grace and Fury #2) by Tracy Banghart.
I love the way Serina evolved through this duology and the strength of character she showed throughout this sequel. Without giving away spoilers, the relationship between the two sisters and the choices and decisions made at the end of the novel definitely put Serina as my top choice for Sibling of the Year.

That’s a wrap! Who were your favourite characters, villains, sidekicks, couples and siblings from your 2020 reads? Consider yourself tagged if you want to have a go at this tag yourself! As always, feel free to drop your links or send me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Books I Wish I’d Read in 2020.

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

How has your week been? Me and my Team are getting down with the Microsoft Teams Teaching – got to say, I love how organised and structured everything is! Must be the teeny little nerd inside me!

This week’s Six For Sunday, continuing with our ‘It’s All About Books’ theme is centred around ‘Books I Wish I’d Read in 2020’… I mean, this could be a complete randomly generated list of my TBR pile to be honest as I wish I’d been able to read EVERYTHING! 😂🙈 Anyhow, I was going to use a random generator to just select some random choices, but the minute I scrolled though my Goodreads list, the choices just kind of came to me naturally!
Disclaimer: I’ve tried my absolute hardest to ensure I’m not putting The Poppy War on this list (because it’s basically on every other post I write about nowadays)! 😬

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot.


Books I Wish I’d Read in 2020!

Book 1 and Book 2:

Ok, so I had to include these two on here because *whispers* – I haven’t actually read A Court of Frost and Starlight yet and now that A Court of Silver Flames is getting closer to release, the hype for this series is just rebuilding and rebuilding across all of my social media feeds and I know I’ll end up needing to read them ASAP. With Crescent City, I have not been spoiled yet at all which is amazing as I’m dying to dive into this series and with the sheer size of the book and the amount of brainpower I know it’s going to sap from me, I kind of wish I’d read it already.

Book 3:

Since Ready Player One is one of my all-time favourite books in the universe, it makes sense that I wish I’d read Ready Player Two in 2020 at the absolute minute of its release… but I didn’t. I’m kind of waiting for the paperback as my copy of RP1 is in that format and I wanted them to match (yes, I’m one of those people!), and also – I just don’t think I’m mentally ready for the sequel yet! 🙈

Book 4:

In 2020, we lost one of my favourite authors in the world. He was an absolute auto-buy (no matter the format!) and his writing voice was like nothing else I have ever read before nor will probably read again. I wanted to set myself a challenge of reading his complete Cemetery of Forgotten Books series again from the beginning and ending with the last book he ever wrote ‘The Labyrinth of the Spirits’, but other things just got in the way. It’s a weird, strange and completely somber feeling knowing that when I read The Labyrinth of the Spirits for the first time, it’ll also be the final time I get to immerse myself in his writing without knowing where the story will end up.

Book 5:

Dune – OK, so basically the only reason I wish I’d read this last year is because I really, really wanted to read the book before the movie came out. Due to Covid, the movie has been delayed so I’ve kind of already had my reading period extension and although I doubt the cinema will be opening again in the near future I really want to bump this one up the TBR pile to get through it in time!

Book 6:

I have heard no end of good things about this series and I’m really intrigued to find out what all the fuss is about! I wish I ‘d read it when it first came out so that I don’t end up overhyping myself for it!


What are the books you wish you read in 2020? Did you end up managing to clear some off your TBR shelf anyway?
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#BookTag – The Mystery Blogger Award

Hi Bibliofriends!

How are we all coping with Lockdown 3.0? Remote teaching is so intense that sometimes I can’t even bare to look at a screen when I come home – and I completely drafted this Tag then forgot to post it! 🙈

The fabulous Riddhi at Whispering Worlds is definitely holding my tag game up! She tagged me in this post at the same time as publishing her Evermore Book Tag so obviously I had to do that one as well! This is my first ever Mystery Blogger Award so I’m super excited to answering the questions!

Rules:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention Okoto Enigma, the creator of the award.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Answer 5 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 10 – 20 bloggers.
  • Notify your nominees by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice, including 1 weird or funny question.
  • Share the link to your best post.

Ok so three things about me…

  1. I absolutely love racehorses and am involved in about 5 different partnerships. Nothing beats going for a walk on the gallops to blow the cobwebs away – especially when you hear those hooves thundering up the grass! 😍

2. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t play Pokemon Go! 😂 I’m slightly obsessed with Pokemon ever since I got my first GameBoy Colour as a child and it came with Pokemon Gold. I then had to buy all of the original games but I’m still yet to catch them all! Drop me a chat if you want my Trainer Code! 😉

3. I believe in my horoscopes, read them devoutly and am a proud Taurean and INFJ!

Riddhi’s Questions:

  1. What is one Christmas themed book you want to read this year?

I don’t really read Christmas themed books… eek! And seeing as it’s now 2021 and we are seemingly waaaaaayyyyy past 2020 (putting that firmly behind us – although… hello Lockdown 3.0!) I’ve altered this question slightly to be a book I’m excited to read this New Year – The Poppy War series! I managed to snap-up a copy of the Illumicrate Archive Editions and I can’t wait to read them – I’ve heard all good things – and yes, I realise that I mention this in practically every post I write these days!

2. What is your fatal flaw? (Yes, you can take a quiz to find out)

There are lots! All equally fatal! 😂 I am incredibly stubborn (it comes from being a Taurean bull) and I often procrastinate or catastrophise everything which prevents me from living life properly and gives me ridiculous anxiety – well isn’t that a melodramatic statement if ever you’ve read one?!

3. What is your Hogwarts house?

Proud Ravenclaw over here! 💙

4. Who is your godly parent?

This is such a good question, it’s got me stumped – then I googled it and shame on me for not getting the Percy Jackson reference (at least I hope that’s what it is! 😂). OK, I did have to take a quiz on Epic Reads for this one and I got: Poseidon!
“As a child of one of the Big Three, you’re one of the most powerful demigods around. You must be a natural in water and probably have a sense for the weather, too. But Poseidon isn’t the most boastful father, which means you aren’t arrogant about your abilities. When the world needs saving, we want you by our side—and we’re not just saying that because you’re Percy’s sibling. Mostly.”

5. Name three authors whose books you read this year for the first time.

Ok so in 2020 I read 38 new-to-me authors so it’s super hard just to name 3 but my 3 mainstream favourites would be: V.E. Schwab, Alix E. Harrow and Isabel Ibañez. My two total gems of discovery which I found through my blog were: Rebecca Crunden and Mark Newman.

My favourite post by me:
Back last year I created a series of Original Posts about what types of occupations Lord of the Rings characters would have if they lived in today’s world. It was so much fun to write and sometimes I still can’t believe that I came up with the idea to write something like that! I’m normally just a reviews and tags kind of girl! 😂 You can read them here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four.

My Nominees!

Hey you…! Tag – you’re it!
I’m so so sorry but I absolutely suck at tagging people to do things and that massive anxiety/guilt comes out that I’m nominating where it’s not welcome, so if you’re reading this and want to take part then please do go ahead! ☺️

My Questions:

  1. What was the last album you listened to on-repeat, non-stop, without skipping a single song?
  2. What are your top three anticipated book releases for 2021?
  3. If you could live in any fictional world for a year, where would it be and why?
  4. Which season is your favourite?
  5. Favourite everyday item you can’t live without?

There you go peeps! Stay safe out there! ☺️
Happy blogging,
T xx

#SixforSunday – Bookish Wins of 2020

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

Well flipping done Boris!!! I mean, fancy having all your kids back to school for one day then telling them they can’t come back in for the rest of the term… AT 8PM ON A MONDAY NIGHT!! 😂🙈 #shortesttermever!!

That aside, we’re now using Microsoft Teams to do our online teaching and I must say I’m absolutely loving it!! I’ve never been so organised with all my files, folders and powerpoints everywhere! Obviously I wish I was still stood directly in front of my children actually teaching rather than death by powerpoint but oh well! With that in mind, spending all day on Teams and then coming home and trying to blog did not mix incredibly well and my scheduled posts went back down to big fat zero!

Onto Six for Sunday goodness! For January our theme is ‘It’s All About Boooooooks!” and this week the prompt is Bookish Wins of 2020. I got a little confused at first about what that actually meant: is it supposed to be my favourite books of 2020; good bookish things that happened in 2020? 🤔 Let’s face it, I think the pure existence of anything bookish was 2020’s greatest achievement alone! With that in mind, here are six totally random things that I consider to be a bookish win of 2020 – remember the word ‘random’ when you get to the bottom!

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot.


Bookish wins of 2020!

  1. Releases actually happened!!
    On a globe where everything was shut down to the extent that the canals in Venice actually ran clear, I think any book release that managed to hit the shelves in 2020 was a major achievement (side-eyeing Bond: No Time to Die – I’m still waiting!!!). I know that books sometimes take years to get to full publication stage but kudos to those people actually ensuring that they made their way from the machine and onto my bookshelves. There were some pretty amazing releases last year and I mention several of my favourites in my previous post about my best reads of 2020.
  2. People rediscovering reading during lockdown!
    It’s been said that one of most popular hobbies people rediscovered during lockdown was the joy of reading books – especially in the garden with a glass of wine… (although that was probably just me!).
  3. Bookshop.org!
    With businesses being shut down and ending up in financial difficulties, bookshop.org was one of the lights in the darkness for all of our sacred indie bookshops. I have been one of those self-confessed shoppers who bought a whole basket of books on Amazon because they were cheaper than anywhere else – but this pandemic has really brought to light the hardships faced by our independent bookshops. It has ignited my passion to perhaps buy fewer books across the year but purchase them through more rewarding channels, especially now that I have an indie bookshop in my village (when lockdown is actually over and I can visit it…).
  4. NetGalley release the Shelf app!
    OMG Netgalley’s Shelf app totally revolutionised my ability to actually read and make it through all of those arcs! I know it still isn’t perfect, especially when you normally only read e-books on an iPhone like I do (tiny-text-alert) but in my personal opinion, it really improved the productivity and experience of being able to request books on NetGalley and not have to struggle through some sort of Aldiko or Adobe app just to read them.
  5. Cheltenham Literature Festival went online!
    The Cheltenham Literature Festival is one of my favourite events of the whole year! How many times do you get to meet Salman Rushdie, Sarah J Maas or Mary Berry and have them sign your books? Or even get to sit in a tent with Matt Haig whilst there’s a howling storm outside shaking the whole damn thing – only for him to turn around and quip, “never mind Notes on a Nervous Planet – how about Notes from a Nervous Tent!” Whilst nothing can live up to spending time meeting authors face-to-face and having them sign your books, or to spend time wandering through the stacks in the book tent with a crepe or some kind of amazing street-food fayre – just having the events online or on a catch-up player so you can watch the ones that take place in the day when you’d normally be working was amazing. I’d definitely pay extra for that kind of catch-up service again this October, although hopefully we’ll be back in the tents by then!
  6. The Books themselves – my shelves are WINNING!
    Let’s face it – the books themselves are what matters right? So many awesome titles made their way onto my brand new bookshelves last year that my 2021 reading list is looking stellar! I have The Poppy War trilogy, The Daevabad trilogy, Raybearer, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin and Crescent City still to read – I know I’m leaving it mightily late with some of those! 🙈 And that’s not to mention the ones that I actually did get around to reading – Addie LaRue, The Once and Future Witches and Woven in Moonlight are still some of the favourites on there! So yeah, my 2020 book haul was a major WINNER!

I told you it was all random right?! 😉


What are your bookish wins for 2020? Would it be something to do with your own reads, a newly discovered author, a bookish event that got you shouting from the rooftops, or some other bookish news or release that made you get that winning feeling?
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#BookTag – The Evermore Book Tag

Howdy Bibliofriends!

One of my (few) favourite things about 2020 was the fact that we got not just one, but TWO!! brand new Taylor Swift albums!! Now, before these last two albums I wouldn’t really have considered myself a diehard Swiftie but now… OMG I have fallen well and truly “right down the rabbit hole” (pun intended!). Evermore and Folklore are practically on repeat in their own little playlist (with Miley’s Plastic Hearts album thrown into it as well). These tunes have been my absolute saviour through the final part of last year.

I had so much fun doing the Folklore Book Tag back during the Summer that I just had to tag myself in the Evermore Book Tag when I happened to come across it on the wonderful Riddhi’s Whispering Stories blog!

If you’re looking for a fairly accurate way of sorting your favourite Taylor songs the Jessee Pinkman has made an amazing set on song sorters on Tumblr! Check them out here – they’re amazing!


The evermore Book Tag!

Rules:

  • Link back to the original creator’s post: the fantabulous Ahaana @Windows to Worlds – seriously go check out her blog!!
  • Tag at least 5 people
  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post!! – Thanks so much Riddhi (blog linked above)!!
  • willow: a book with a character you can’t help but fall in love with
    I love how catchy this song is – and yes, I have downloaded all of the different versions of this song as well! 🙈

Rhysand from A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – all the damn time, even the I try so hard not to!

  • champagne problems: a book with a broken relationship
    This song is probably one of my (many) favourites. I love the way the lyrics just trip out with the melody and the sad story that’s told!

Hamlet by William Shakespeare – poor, poor Ophelia – I can almost imagine Hamlet’s and Ophelia’s characters being reversed in Champagne Problems – it could so easily have been written about them!

  • gold rush: a book you love with all your heart
    It’s fair to say that Gold Rush is my second favourite song on the whole album – it’s so catchy and I really like how the chorus is so incredibly different from the verses.

Ok, for this prompt, there are two books on this whole list that could be interchangeable here and they are: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
and
The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas
I love both of them so much.

  • ’tis the damn season: a book in which the character reconnects with their family/hometown
    This song has definitely grown on me with it’s melodramatic Christmassy feel. I think of this song being narrated by Betty talking about James and how their relationship would have fared (or not…) into adulthood.

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow immediately sprang to mind for this due to the way the Eastwood sisters come together in the storyline. It could also very easily have been a book I finished reading right at the end of 2020 called Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst – the plot is centred around bringing a family back together, with added were-dragons of course!

  • tolerate it: a book with a suffering relationship
    Admittedly this song tends to just blend into the background for me when I’m busy doing other things. It has a powerful message though, reading between the lines and all that!

The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black – there’s plenty of suffering relationships to choose from here – I won’t spoil them all but when you really stop to read into them there’s some pretty bad manipulation and control going on in the land of Faerie! 

  • no body, no crime: a book about murder
    I love HAIM so much from the first time I ever heard of them when they supported Florence + the Machine on one of their tours. I was a little sad that they weren’t a bit more prominent in this song but I love the classical country crime song elements that this track brings.

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith – I’m not normally a crime fan although I absolutely love the Strike series and am patiently awaiting the release of Troubled Blood in paperback (even though I know it’s going to be a hefty brick). The Strike novels just seem to get bigger and better with each new one that’s brought out.

  • happiness: a book that’s an old favourite, but you just can’t relate to anymore
    Sometimes this song comes on and I get right into singing along to the tune and everything whereas other times it just seems to blend into the background again – it’s a real mood song for me.

The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer was the ultimate choice for this one. I know if has its army of devout fans out there but dare I say… I think I’m just over Twilight?!

  • dorothea: a book featuring an old (or strong) friendships
    I read an article by someone who was convinced this song was all about Swift’s friendship with Selena Gomez. It’s quite often a track I’ll skip to be honest.

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman was my pics for this as I love the friendship, banter and rivalry between Aziraphale and Crowley.

  • coney island: a book that made you cry // completely destroyed you
    I just can’t listen to this song!!! It makes me so depressed! 😂 At least the prompt kinda fits though!

See the Gold Rush answer for this one – both the endings of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwa and the Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas can be interchangeable here. I can’t get through either without reaching for the tissues and the bookish hangover cures!

  • ivy: a book that was an unexpected favourite
    Ivy is a song which I’ve grown to love a little more each time I listen to it – it’s definitely not a skippable track anymore.

I’ve chosen Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez for this prompt – not because I didn’t expect that it would be any good, but just because I wasn’t expecting to absolutely adore it as much as I did! The sequel comes out this year and I am so ready for it! Bring back Ximena and the magical woven animals! 😍

  • cowboy like me: a book about thieves, or criminals
    Ok, this one is probably my favourite on the whole album – it’s the first one I’ll play from my playlist. The chorus just gets stuck in my head and I keep singing it over and over. I think it’s fabulous!

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo was my immediate choice for this – I’m just yelling out HEIST in my head! I think as far as my own reading goes, Bardugo has set the absolute yardstick for the heist novel! I’m a big fan!

  • long story short: a book that made up your childhood
    Again, another catchy song that I just can’t help but dance along to! 😂

I can;t pick anything other than the Harry Potter series for this one. I grew up waiting for these books to be released which would sometimes be years! It was always a tradition that my Nan would preorder them for me as she knew how much I adored the series – and yes, confession time: I did shed a few tears at the end of the Warner Brothers Studio Tour seeing that screen that says, “No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever. So whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”

  • marjorie: a book with a moving message
    Marjorie has a few lyrics in it which were like a massive lightbulb going PING when I really sat and listened to it properly and those words actually helped me to claw my way out a certain hole at the end of last year! They’re probably some of the most poignant lyrics I’ve ever heard to be honest and I could really relate to them in that moment.
    Never be so polite, you forget your power / Never wield such power, you forget to be polite

It wasn’t until I was scrolling through Goodreads that this read came back to me and like my lightbulb moment in marjorie, the lightbulb went off here to match Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman to this prompt. It’s such a moving story with a powerful message.

  • closure: a series in which you NEED to read the next book
    Closure is a song that I’m not particularly that fond in fairness – there are so many others I prefer more.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline is one of my ALL-TIME favourite novels and I know that the sequel Ready Player Two has been out since November so I could literally order it and read it ASAP but I really do NEED to read it! 🙈🙃

  • evermore: the perfect conclusion to an extremely long (but worth it) series
    The tune to this sounds so simplistically beautiful and I love both of Taylor’s duets with Bon Iver – this song was so perfect for winter too.

So when I first read Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien – I read each volume back to back as I have the special anniversary edition where they are all in the one book – me being me, I have to read only one book at a time so when I started the Fellowship I knew I was going to have to read all the way through to the Appendices before I could pick up another book. It was so worth it though. I’d love to reread the whole series again soon. Middle Earth is probably my favourite of all of the fictional worlds and so often I’m whinging that a book ends with a big battle and doesn’t fully explain the aftermath – that’s definitely NOT the case with LOTR! Haha!


This was such a fun tag to explore to share my love of books and my love of evermore! Thank you so much Riddhi and Ahaana for bringing this fabulous tag into my bloglife!

Are you constantly playing folklore or evermore on repeat? What are your favourite tracks? I’m not great at tagging people so consider yourself tagged if you fancy like giving the evermore book tag a go!
As always, drop me a comment below to chat! ☺️

T xx

#SixforSunday – Bookish Resolutions for 2021

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

Happy New Year everyone! It’s the first Six For Sunday of 2021!! Yippee!
I really love this weekly tag that the lovely Steph (THANK YOU!🙏) created back in 2017 as it isn’t too challenging and the prompts come well in advanced so that I can keep myself organised – that feels like a luxury sometimes these day! 🙄

For this brand new month, in a brand new year our January theme is ‘It’s All About Boooooooks!” – I mean, what better theme to start 2021 off with right?

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot.


Bookish Resolutions for 2021!

Now, kidding aside – I suck at New Year Resolutions! I love the idea of a new beginning and the start of some good habits etc… but I can never seem to stay on track. I don’t know whether it’s my Taurean nature or just the sheer amount of time/effort/energy that adulating takes up (😂😂😂) but there’s rarely an ambitious habit that I can stick to. So who knows what’ll happen this time next year and whether I’ll have actually achieved any of these goals or not!

  1. Keep on reading!
    2020 was the first year since 2017 that I actually managed to complete my Goodreads Challenge Goal so I’m hoping to keep that up this year and not fall behind again.
  2. Stick to the TBR!
    I always end up making goals and TBR lists which I never actually complete – sometimes it’s because I’m a mood reader although occasionally it’s because other things just distract me away from the pile. There are definitely some complete series I have which I now own and want to read in their entirety this year. They are: The Poppy War by R.F. Kung (my gorgeous Illumicrate Editions! 😍); The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty and the Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir.
  3. Expand my reading horizons!
    This year I really want to make more of an effort to read more diversely. Quite often my TBR and shelves consist of incredibly mainstream books so this is the year I hope to change that.
  4. Visit the library!
    Now that I can actually walk to my local library, hopefully (once normality has been restored after bloody Covid!) I’ll be able to spend more time borrowing books rather than buying a load and then not having anywhere to put them. I’m so surprised I haven’t actually had an accident from tripping over a pile of books dotted somewhere around my house! 🙈
  5. Blog, blog, blog!
    Not gonna lie, having a little headspace during National Lockdown really did help me to revitalise my blog and get organised enough to keep up a steady stream of content and even think up a few ideas for some original post content. Hopefully now my job will be calming down again soon I can keep up the fun bloggishness!
  6. Getting the Bookstagram back up and running!
    I got into such a rut with my Bookstagram account as I just couldn’t keep up with the photo challenges or I felt that my background “theme” was the same all of the time and just got boring. As part of my bujo I’ve made a special Insta page so hopefully I’ll be more organised to start updating it more frequently this year! That’s the plan anyway! 😂

What are your bookish goals for 2021? Do you always stick to your New Year Resolutions or are you a bit of a drifter like me?
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx