Happy February Bibliofriends!
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! 😍
- 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
greatlocal 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! ☺️