#SixforSunday – Books That Made You Cry

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

This week’s Six For Sunday theme is all about ‘books that made you cry’. Confession time: I am a huge cry-baby, to the point where I actually googled a few months ago whether I was some kind of empath… I just found myself being overwhelmed or crying at no end of TV, books, music – no kidding, I watched Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour on Netflix, saw a girl crying in the audience and an actual tear came out of my own eyes!!!
So this post is almost like the ‘follow-up / B-side / sister album’ to last week’s Six for Sunday post about ‘books that made you FEEL‘. Think of it as the Buzz to my Woody, the cheese to my toast, the cookie to my dough…
For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. February’s theme is ‘Read it and Weep!’ (which I have definitely done in all of my choices for this month!).


Books That Made Me Cry!

  1. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks!
    When I read this in High School for a War Literature class it was probably one of the largest books I’d ever read. I remember being daunted by the size of it but the not having to worry as I just couldn’t stop turning the pages. It was such a tragic story and one that stayed in my mind for a long time.
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
    I can never really talk about this book without majorly spoiling things but the ending broke me! I was in denial for quite a while that Bardugo could really finish a book like that – I’m still not really over it! 😂
  3. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
    Surprise surprise that this made the list! 😂 You know when you sometimes watch a horror movie and you’re yelling “Don’t do it, don’t do it!” That was what my reading voice was screaming during the final parts of this book. It was just so moving. I don’t think I’ve been so drawn to two characters like the way I was to both Addie and Henry for a very long time.
  4. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
    If I can cry at the Pixar movie Bolt then I was always going to cry over this novel! It’s weird to say that it’s a favourite because of the circumstances within the story but there was just something so familiar and endearing about the characters that you really felt like a part of the tragedy.
  5. One Day by David Nicholls
    I’ve talked about this book before because I love the concept of tracking what a friendship is like on the same day across a number of years. The ending of this book was a real distraction when I was working to an essay deadline. I genuinely didn’t see what was coming – I think the film really spoils that as the twist is made all that more obvious.
  6. Spectacles by Sue Perkins
    I was so thrilled to meet Sue and get a signed copy of her memoir when she was doing her book tour at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. If you’ve read it, I asked her to draw the smiley face inside my book which caused a fair amount of laughing. There’s one part in here though where Sue talks about losing a beloved pet and having been through that kind of pain myself it really resonated with me and I sobbed for ages. I think I had to put the book down so I could actually take a break from it!

What books made you club like a baby? Have you read any of my selections – did you find them as weepy as I did?
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#FaeFriday – History Books by Black Authors!

Happy Friday Bibliofriends,

It’s finally the weekend which can only mean one thing… (well lots of things really 😏) but one of my favourites is Fae Friday!

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!

February 26th prompt:

It’s the last Friday in February (Black History month in the US), and this week’s prompt is: 

What are some of your favourite history books written by Black authors? 

Despite half of my degree being History based, over the years I’ve gravitated away from reading non-fiction / history books preferring to get myself lost in the pages of fictional worlds instead. I genuinely couldn’t tell you of many up and coming history writers today other than the ‘big names’ or those I studied whilst doing my degree, let alone any history writers who are Black (shameful, I know!). That being said, the prompt this week gave me the perfect opportunity to start learning, go book hunting and add some titles written by Black historians to my TBR! Some of these are more like memoirs rather than what I’d call a History book, but who better to learn from than the people themselves?

  1. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou – This is one of those classic must-reads that I have never got around to reading so this would definitely be on the list!
  2. Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur – the story of the real Black Panther has fascinated me for some time so I’d absolutely like to read this one!
  3. Voices of the Windrush Generation by David Matthews – such an iconic generation of people and the impact immigration had on them, it deserves to be read.

I do have a little bonus curveball that I came across whilst browsing and I can’t include it in my list above as it is written by a white person however it does discuss Black history from one of my all-time favourite Historical periods and it’s called: Black Tudors: The Untold Story by Miranda Kaufmann.


I can’t wait to discover more so please feel free to leave me your recommendations!

What are your favourite history books by black authors? Have you read any of these on my TBR yet?
As always leave me your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

Enjoy your weekend Bibliofriends!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Books That Made You FEEL

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

This week has been half term week and it has been so lovely just to catch up with myself, my blog, my reading and my housework – with current lockdown restrictions there’s pretty little else to do anyway! 😂 The Film Club I am a part of is having its 2020 review a little later on today so I’ve been looking back over all of the different films I’ve been watching in 2020 and pick my favourites. I’m hoping to make a separate post about it soon but it has definitely given me something to do over this week!

This week’s Six For Sunday theme is all about ‘books that made you FEEL’. It was so hard to pick just six books for this prompt and I made an initial list in my blog planner of my selections. But then… I looked ahead to next week’s prompt which is all about books which made you cry and I found myself having to reshuffle a few around on my list so as not to repeat myself. Quite a lot of the books that invoke strong feelings in me usually mean that I’m bawling my eyes out! 😂 I’ve tried to pick a different range of feelings for the books in this week’s prompt as there are so many wondrous feelings our darling books give us! For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. February’s theme is ‘Read it and Weep!’ (which I have definitely done in all of my choices for this month!).


Books That Made Me FEEL!

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas!
    Ok, there is no list that I could write for this prompt without including this book. It should actually come with a ‘swoon alert’ on the front cover. Feyre has got to be one of the luckiest protagonists in fantasy literature – that’s all I’ll say!
  2. Romanov by Nadine Brandes
    Wow was I won over by Nastya in this story! I know next week is supposed to be about books that made us cry but I couldn’t get through the final chapter of this without bawling like a baby. The level of hope and perseverance that Nastya’s character exuded was so endearing. I don’t know if that was because I’ve studied the Romanovs before and the real-life story has always been one of the most intriguing historical mysteries to me therefore I was hoping for that happy-ever-after that the true Anastasia didn’t really have, but this book definitely left it’s mark on me and gave me lots of different feels from the start to the finish!
  3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    I am SO glad I finished reading this book in time to put it on my list this week. I mean, can you read this and not end up feeling something when you finish that final page?! You know sometimes when you finish a book, and you know it’s going to leave its mark on you for an incredibly long time but you having quite compiled all of your thoughts together coherently yet…? That’s me, at the minute, with THUG – it’s simply amazing!
  4. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
    So I know this is another repeat performance for this author on the list but if you’ve read this book then you’ll know there’s a scene in here of absolute sacrifice and when I first read it, I couldn’t actually believe what I had read and had to go back just to check that I wasn’t making up my own version of the story – my inner head voice was also screaming ‘no, no, nooooooooo’ at the same time. So yes, Kingdom of Ash sure as hell made me FEEL – and then some!
  5. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
    I’ve never quite felt such pity for a character quite like Eleanor Oliphant. There’s that point in the novel where you realise really clearly and explicitly what is happening – and then it sank into my own head that for some people this is real-life. A completely different set of feels to ACOMAF and KOA but similarly to THUG there was a really poignant message lying at the core of Eleanor Oliphant.
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
    I couldn’t grow up with these characters and that world and then not end up having feels at the end of this series. To add to that, there is that one scene where one of my favourite characters of all-time meets their ending and I’m still in a bit of denial to be honest that it actually happened.

What books gave you all the FEELS? I’m in need of some recommendations to reconnect myself to my emotions after all of this lockdown isolation – feel free to suggest some titles!
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#FaeFriday – Black History Month!

Happy Friday Bibliofriends,

It has been half-term week and I have really loved having the time to catch up with my reading – and one of those books came at the absolute perfect timing for this week’s Fae Friday!

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!

February 19th prompt:

February is Black History Month in the United States, which is why this week’s prompt is:

What are some of your favorite books written by Black authors? 

One of my reading goals for 2021 was to start reading more diversely and to try and celebrate all kinds of voices rather than sticking to the same-old YA fantasies. So far this year I have read three incredibly exceptional books by authors I can’t wait to read more of! They are:

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  2. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
  3. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

The Hate U Give conveyed such an important and powerful message; Raybearer had an intoxicating world filled with folklore and magic; The Gilded Ones featured a stellar main character with a development arc wider than the biggest rainbow – I loved the way every single one of these stories and voices made me think more deeply whilst at the same time giving me that amazing reading experience.
I can’t wait to discover more so please feel free to leave me your recommendations! One read already on my 2021 TBR is A Song of Wraiths and Ruin so I can’t wait to get around to reading that later this year.

What are your favourite books by black authors? Have you read any of my favourites yet?
As always leave me your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

Enjoy your weekend Bibliofriends!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Beloved Books

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends and Happy Valentine’s Day if you celebrate it!

With love in the air, what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a Six for Sunday post filled with my favourite, most loved books of all-time! These are probably the books (or series) that would be on my list for being stranded on a desert island, to rescue from a burning building, to put in a secure lock-box time capsule so they’ll stand the test of time… – you get the idea right? We’re talking God-Tier type stuff right here!

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. February’s theme is ‘Read it and Weep!’ (which I have definitely done in all of this week’s choices!).


Beloved Books!

  1. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas!
    This series really kickstarted my love of reading again – and particularly my renewed enthusiasm for YA fantasy. I just love everything about these books – the characters, the plot twists, the cliffhangers, that formidable sense of knowing things will go badly and then they do! Plus, the series is so long that I’ll never get bored of reaching the end of Kingdom of Ash (with tissues for that mega cry’athon moment – if you know, you know!) and then going back to Assassin’s Blade to start all over again.

  2. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    So continuing with the epic long books theme, Middle Earth has such a special place in my heart. Being perfectly honest, it was the films that first made got me into this series accompanied with that exquisite Howard Shore score. Reading the book after watching the films helped me to visualise things that little bit more clearly. Tolkien’s narration style is not something that I could breeze through easily and it took me about a month to get through the whole three volumes but the sense of achievement when finishing it made me love the whole thing even more. It’s definitely a classic fantasy pick and has firmly cemented itself onto my God-Tier of books.

  3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    I can’t quite remember where I stumbled across Ready Player One – it may have been in one of those indie record stores that occasionally sold books at half the RRP. I remember reading on the front cover that it was supposed to be a cross between Willy Wonka and the Matrix, couple that with my addiction to book-buying and the rest they say is history. I absolutely consumed the whole thing from cover to cover – the amount of pop culture references crammed into those pages, the whole treasure hunt theme, the Easter Eggs, the triumph of humanity over consumerist greed – it’s one of those books that feels like it was written especially for me. I’m so happy I found it.

  4. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
    This was the first time I’d ever read anything by Schwab and I was completely blown away. Addie’s character came straight out of those pages and right into my heart. The way the story couples magic with identity made it highly relatable and Schwab’s storytelling was so amazing that you could tell how much love she poured into her story and her characters. I could gush about how much I love about this book all day!
  5. The Shadow of the Wind / Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
    I’ve written quite a few times before about how Zafón is one of my all-time favourite authors. His writing style is like no other that I have ever read, it’s like he caresses ever single word that comes out of his brain and onto the page. To me, his stories have a brilliant blend of magical realism and literary fiction, couple with a devotion to books and the written word. Barcelona is definitely a place on my travel bucket list so I can go and explore a little more of the world that inspired him so much.
  6. The Harry Potter Series
    I can’t talk about my most loved books without mentioning the Harry Potter series. Whilst I don’t support the author’s personal views, I’ve tried my hardest to separate the art from the artist. I grew up reading these books. I grew up alongside Harry Potter. I found a fictional home inside the Wizarding World that I didn’t quite have in the real world and they books were a massive part of my childhood so they’ll always be a part of my favourites list.

What are your most loved books / characters /series? Feel free to gush and get your adorations out – it is Valentine’s Day after all! 😍
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#FaeFriday – What book didn’t live up to the hype?

Happy Friday Bibliofriends,

How are you getting on with your reading goals? It’s always around this time that I feel my goals start to slip a little, however with the continuation of lockdown into March, I guess I still have no social life so I may as well keep persevering with my goals! 😂 Thankfully, it’s time for #FaeFriday again!

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!

February 12th prompt:

It’s #FaeFriday and I bet you already knew what this week’s prompt would be based on last week! 😉

What book didn’t live up to the hype?

This question always fills me with a little bit of dread as it’s usually always accompanied with an 🚨 unpopular opinion alert 🚨! I also find it really awkward at having to say that book just isn’t for me – I’m too much of a people pleaser sometimes! 🙈

My immediate thoughts go to Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin. I first read this series when the book came in my Fairyloot subscription box and it was mega-hyped as the best witchy book you’ll have read in a long time… so I went into it with major hocus pocus vibes only to find that the thing I enjoyed most about the book was the constant references to sticky cinnamon buns. I know some people have major love for the series but it just wasn’t my thing at all.
I have since found my perfect witchy book that definitely WAS the best witchy book I’ve read for a long time, but that’s a different story… 😉

Other notable mentions include:
The Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo – which is so odd as I LOVE Six of Crows!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

What books didn’t quite cut the mustard and live up to the hype for you? As always, leave me a comment to chat!

Enjoy your weekend Bibliofriends!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Books With Red Covers

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

It’s February already?! On the one hand I am loving that we are getting closer to Spring (and half term!) but on the other it feels like time is flowing so rapidly and I’ve got very little to show for it. I really hit the wall reading A Vow So Bold and Deadly and I don’t think I’ve picked it up all week! 😏 I really need to push on through it as I’m hoping I’ll get to that point where everything in the story flips and then you just can’t put it down.

This week’s Six for Sunday we are starting a brand new theme which I am so excited for. February is all about Read It and Weep! Perfect for the month of love…! 😂 Anyone who knows me will know that I cry at so, so many things so I’m hoping the ‘weep’ side of the prompt comes easily this month! Today though, we are listing books with red covers. I had so much fun scrolling through my shelves and my Goodreads to find examples of these. If you read the above comment then the first pick should be no surprise! For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot.


Books With Red Covers!

Apart from the top one (which is my ‘currently reading’), the rest of my choices this week are books fro may ‘Read’ shelves that I absolutely loved reading and would recommend to anyone depending on their favourite/most read genres.

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

The Windsor Knot by S. J. Bennett

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Us by David Mitchell


What books do you have on your shelves with red covers? And more importantly, have you ‘read‘ any of them yet? 😂
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#FaeFriday – What book lived up to the hype?

Happy Friday Bibliofriends,

We’re finally in February and getting closer to Spring! Don’t get me wrong, I love how pretty everywhere looks when it’s covered in snow but I will be so glad to have the warmer weather and lighter evenings back! And hopefully less rain too! But for now, it’s time for Fae Friday!

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!

February 5th prompt:

It’s #FaeFriday! That means it’s time for this week’s prompt!

What book lived up to the hype?

This is such an amazing prompt because I could think of so many possible choices and probably talk about the for ages!

One of the first ones that came to mind is the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas. I remember when I had just started venturing into the bookish social media world by signing up to subscription boxes etc… and everyone was raving about this author. So when it popped up that she was doing a live event at the Cheltenham Literature Festival, I thought I’d book a ticket and see what all the fuss was about – despite the fact that I hadn’t read any of her books! 😂 That kind of backfired on me a little bit as there was talk of a character called Sam and also one of the major spoilers from the ending of the second book so I was a little bit spoiled but also really confused when I finally did start reading the series! 🙈 Needless to say I am so glad I just went along on a whim because otherwise I don’t think I’d have necessarily picked up the books as soon as I did and I absolutely ADORE this series. It really got me back into loving reading and fantasy/YA fiction again.

Other notable mentions include:
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwa
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

What books lived up to the hype for you? As always, leave me a comment to chat!

Enjoy your weekend Bibliofriends!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Hello Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musings is about a fantastically rich, character and culture driven YA fantasy called The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna. I first received this book as a physical ARC in June 2020’s FairyLoot box and it has taken me until now to finally get around to reading it – although what better time with its release date set for this week! With a premise of Children of Blood and Bone meets Black Panther, I definitely went in with high expectations and – there were definitely not disappointed!


Book: The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
Genre: YA / Fantasy
Publication Date: February 4th 2021
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 432
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

The start of a bold and immersive West African-inspired, feminist fantasy series for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther. In this world, girls are outcasts by blood and warriors by choice.

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

My Musings

One of the 2021 reading goals I wanted to set myself was a quest to read more diversely. Spending so much time with my head in the pages of authors such as Cassandra Clare, Sarah J Maas and Holly Black was lovely (and great for my ‘modern fantasy must-reads’ game), but with more prominent and widespread news coverage about issues surrounding race and diversity – now was as good a time as any to kickstart my goal with The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna.

There were so many things I enjoyed whilst reading this book, but the biggest one by far was the group of characters. These girls were pulled together from all across Forna’s fictional kingdom of Otera and were made up of all different heritages, classes and backgrounds. I loved the way their friendship knitted together as they showed each other their vulnerabilities and then supported and empowered each other to become fierce, strong warriors. You can’t help but have empathy for these girls, especially people like Deka and Belcalis whose sufferings are so brutally told – then admire the loyalty people like Britta, Asha and Adwapa show to Deka even at a time when they may be unsure of her motives.

The beginning of the novel is pretty much atypical of other YA fantasies – you can see what is coming and where it’s going, but when the group of alaki (the girls whose blood runs gold) get to their training camp, the author really kicks things into gear and the story begins to unfold in a riveting fashion. I loved learning about the mythology surrounding the alaki and it was on the deathshriek raids where I found the world-building to be particularly strong – there were a couple of particularly amazing scenes in temples which really appealed to the wanderlust in me! 

In her author’s letter at the end of the novel, Namina Forna explains to the reader that this book is an examination of patriarchy. She outlines the questions that she wanted to try and answer through her narrative and boy-oh-boy did she deliver on them. This story is all about the idea of the ‘Goddess’ and how women have been continually supressed by a male-dominated world, practically forcing themselves to become monsters and demons just to survive. Whilst the sad reality is that this is probably a more true-to-life reflection of what some girls and women may face in cultures and civilisations left in today’s world, the incredible storytelling of the author has managed to address this in a creative and magical plot which provides an intriguing and interesting story.

After the ending, I’m still left with so many questions about where this story goes now. Whilst I could predict parts of what happened and what was revealed at the final showdown, I’m definitely intrigued and curious to see how the next instalment plays out and what else lies in store for Deka and her fearsome group of friends!

Why Should I Read This?

For a well-paces, character-driven plot where you can really get inside the mind of Deka, the MC.
For an empowering group of women who support each to overcome the stigmas and suppression enforced on them by the patriarchy.
For a lavishly dark, rich fantasy stepped in West-African culture and magic!

Find out more about this book here:

Amazon | Waterstones | Goodreads | Author’s Twitter | Author’s Website

Connect with me here:

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

#WrapPost – January 2021!

Happy February Bibliofriends!

Life Update

Lockdown 3.0 has definitely put the kibosh on any kind of social life this month so I’ve been taking the opportunity to enjoy some down-time and catch up on things. Even though I’m still going into work every day, a habit that I have definitely tried to keep up so far is to make sure that I get outside and take myself off for a daily walk, even if it is just around the village. We had some snow in the middle of the month which was super exciting and it was wonderful to see our picturesque landscape become even more magical and beautiful!

As far as the blog goes, I’ve definitely been more active this month than I was for the last three months of 2020! I haven’t been reviewing many books though – I think I’ve kind of hit my reviewing wall where it sometimes feels that although I’ve got a lot of thoughts about a book, I’m just not sure how to even write them down or if I even should! Anyone else get reviewers block? What do you do to combat it? #tipsplease!

What I’ve Been Reading in January

January has been a pretty great month for reading! I’ve managed to finish five books and am almost finished my 6th. I pretty much stuck to the TBR I set out myself at the start of the year with the addition of a couple extra.

  • The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna (Physical ARC from FairyLoot)
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This book had such a brilliant main character. I loved the concept of the plot and the way the heritage and traditions of another culture were interwoven with the magic and folklore of the story. One of the main things that shone for me was the fact that all of the girls in the story were from various backgrounds and races yet their differences were completely cast aside; they all brought something unique and special to their group in order to face the evils they had to contend with in the story. It was really empowering to have a cast of characters who showed their vulnerabilities yet supported each other to be strong and courageous at the same time. The Gilded Ones publishes on February 9th 2021!
  • How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    As soon as this arrived I had to read it straightaway! I was head-over-heels for the Folk of the Air Series so this return to the world of Elfhame to read more of Jude and Cardan’s story was an absolute auto-buy. The illustrations were so beautiful. It reads as more of a short story style novella as we experiences different snapshots of Cardan’s life at various time intervals with one over-arching storyline plot which is tied together at the end. I gave it 5-stars purely for the nostalgia of being back in a series which I loved so much!
  • Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    When I first read a sampler of this pre-publication I knew I would be adding this book to my TBR straightaway and I’m king of annoyed with myself that it took me so long to get round to reading the rest of it. The first part of the story is so rich in setting up the world and the mythology of Aritsar that I was captivated. I had been looking for fantasies that would appeal to my needs for diversity and different cultures and this one definitely stepped up to the plate. I can’t wait for the sequel!
  • Locke and Key, Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez (Artist)
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I don’t usually tend to read comics or graphic novels but… after spending an entire weekend bingeing the Locke and Key series on Netflix I just had to investigate the original inspiration as soon as the final episode credits rolled. I think I’ll be doing a series vs graphic novel post about it so I won’t say too much here but the Netflix series blew my mind!!
  • Requiem by Daniel Ståhl (Author Request)
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I was so pleased to be contacted by Daniel to read his poetry book Requiem which was published in December 2020 and is soon to be coming out in paperback. I’ll have a review coming up later this month with more information but the meticulous way Daniel crafted out his crowns of sonnets was so intriguing and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s absolutely brilliant!

What I’ve Been Watching in January

January has definitely been a much more settled month after the chaos of moving house and Christmas at the end of 2020. We were without a TV for a while so I have very much enjoyed being able to unwind with Netflix and Disney+ again!

I finally finished my marathon of Hannah Montana episodes! I had seen the movie aaaggggeeeeess ago – so long in fact that I couldn’t actually remember what happened or who was even in it! When I got Disney+ I started watching all of the episodes of the TV show again with the aim of finishing off with the movie. It was around halfway through the final season where Hannah reveals herself as Miley that it suddenly dawned on me ‘how did she make a movie as Hannah if she’d already revealed herself to the world as Miley…?’ then I found a Reddit forum where it outlined the timeline of the shows and when the movie fitted in – it was such a face palm moment!

As I mentioned earlier in my reads section, I totally binged Locke and Key on Netflix. Magical keys in a big spooky house – wowzers!! And the ending… 😱 I will be needing the next series in my life. So. Very. Soon.

The series I most recently finished was Lupin; a series about a thief who wants to avenge his father’s suicide and takes his inspiration from the novels about the French Gentleman Thief Arsène Lupin by Maurice LeBlanc. Omar Sy is absolutely stellar as the lead character. Although I could see a couple of the plot twists coming, there are still enough unsolved questions for me to still be curious and in anticipation of Part 2! If you’re an Ocean’s Eleven / Sherlock Holmes fan then this would probably be right up your street!

#ConfessionTime – I’m also very hooked on The Masked Singer on ITV. I know it’s complete cheese TV but I just can’t help switching it on to try and guess who they all are! I’m adamant the Sausage is Sheridan Smith (p.s. I’m writing this on the last Saturday of Jan and there’s a double elimination tonight so if Sausage gets booted out, then my above sentence is still contextually accurate and I’ve probably been too lazy to come back here and edit it out! 😂 🙈)

I have managed to avoid everything Bridgerton at the moment, even though I love Shonda Rhimes, but I think I’m just fooling myself and will probably end up watching it soon… Should I??????

What I’ve Been Listening to in January

It’s pretty much been a literal never-ending shuffle play of Folklore, Evermore and Plastic Hearts…

What I’ve Been Doing in January

  • Very little – and loving it!
  • Reading, reading reading!
  • Discovering that Biscoff Apple Crumble is actually a very real and oh so delectable pudding! 😍
  • Walking!
  • Continuing my shiny quest in Pokémon Go – I’ve caught 6 in Jan: Jigglypuff, Machop, Weedle, Mareep x2 and Eevee, but no Sneasel or Miltank 🙁!
  • Becoming a Microsoft Teams / Remote Learning Aficionado – (who am I kidding?!) 😂

What I’m Looking Forward to it February

  • Finally being subscribed to Illumicrate! I took out my book-only subscription earlier in Jan so I’m hoping that I’ll be getting this month’s book!
  • Half Term holiday!
  • More adventuring in the great local outdoors and hopefully some more Pokémon shinies too (not gonna lie, sometimes it’s the only reason I go for a walk!) 😂

And that’s a wrap! What have you been reading/watching/listening to/doing in January? What are your anticipated reads for next month? How are you coping with Lockdown 3.0?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx