#SixforSunday – Books with sun in the title!

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

I initially thought this was going to be quite easy to complete this week’s prompt – but actually, turns out I’ve only read 3 books with word ‘sun’ in the title so the others had to come from my ‘want-to-read’ pile! ☺️

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. July’s theme is ‘Sounds of Summer’ which I am living for at the minute – bring it on! 


Characters I’d go on holiday with!

  1. She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
  2. Ignite the Sun by Hannah Howard
  3. The Sunshine and Biscotti Club by Jenny Oliver
  4. Under the Pendulum Sun by Jeanette Ng
  5. Smoke in the Sun by Renee Ahdieh
  6. The Sun and her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

What books have you read that contain the word sun or have sun in the title?
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Characters I’d go on holiday with!

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

This week’s prompt really got me thinking – who on earth would I want to go on holiday with? My own holidays have been pretty varied: from relaxing on a beach in Cape Verde to visiting (what felt like) every single Church in Florence, Venice, Rome and Milan… Not forgetting my action-packed trip to Disney World too. With that in mind, I’m not entirely sure I’ve read a lot of characters who would do all of those things. I’ve settled on a whole combination with the hope that we can go on six different holidays! Hey, with international travel being put on the back-burner for the foreseeable future, I can still dream can’t I? ☺️

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. July’s theme is ‘Sounds of Summer’ which I am living for at the minute – bring it on! 


Characters I’d go on holiday with!

  1. Addie from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue
    We all know Addie is pretty much my go-to girl – I think we could definitely make our own fun in any destination!
  2. Bridget Jones from Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
    I know I’m probably basing this more on Renee Zellweger’s portrayal rather than the books but who wouldn’t go on holiday with Bridget!
  3. Magnus Bane from The Infernal Devices series (amongst others) by Cassandra Clare
    He would definitely put the extra into our extravagant holiday!
  4. Daniel from The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    I need someone to visit all those libraries and museums with!
  5. Wade Owen Watts from Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    I can just imagine Wade being happy to wait in a three hour line for the Avatar Flight of Passage ride with me (whilst sipping on a Night Blossom from Pongu Pongu!)
  6. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    For two reasons, if we ever got stranded somewhere Katniss could definitely help me to survive but also, she’s probably be happy with taking some chill time on a beach after everything that happened to her in THG!

Which character are you wanting to take on your holidays with you?
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Books set somewhere warm!

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

I initially thought week’s prompt was going to be a difficult one for me in some ways – most of the books I read take place in fictional lands rather than Planet Earth so I really thought my selection was going to be quite slim; however, browsing my Goodreads shelf it turns out that there were quite a few choices set in ‘real-world’ warm places. Here are a few of my favourites with a couple of fictional ones thrown in too! ☺️

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. July’s theme is ‘Sounds of Summer’ which I am living for at the minute – bring it on! 


Books set somewhere warm!

  1. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
    Set in: India and Pakistan
  2. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
    Set in: the fictional empire of Aritsar (based on West Africa)
  3. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
    Set in: Singapore / Hong Kong / New York
  4. These Wicked Waters by Emily Layne
    Set in: the fictional island of Viaii Nisi (Greek-based – I think!)
  5. The Lonely Hearts Travel Club: Destination Thailand by Katy Colins
    Set in: Thailand
  6. The Istanbul Puzzle by Laurence O’Bryan
    Set in: Istanbul, Turkey

What are your warm destination to travel to or read about?
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue

Hello Bibliofriends!

This week’s Biblioshelf Musings is All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue. I would like to thank NetGalley and the publishers, Walker Books, for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

This book completely had me at the word ‘tarot’. I’ve always been intrigued by the art and origins of tarot reading so having a spooky deck of cards as the centrepiece for a novel really hooked me into the story and seemed quite different to other tropes/plot drivers that I’ve read about recently. Combined with a diverse band of main characters and set against a backdrop of Irish politics, this YA novel gave me plenty to enjoy.


Book: All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue
Genre: Teens / YA
Publication Date: 27th May 2021
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 304
Rating: 📚📚📚📖

Synopsis (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?

My Musings

All Our Hidden Gifts centres around our main character Maeve who finds a mysterious deck of tarot cards (along with a working cassette walkman) whilst she’s on detention at her all-girls Catholic school St. Bernadettes. For someone who isn’t that academic, Maeve finds it surprising easily to grasp the rules of tarot reading and begins hosting sessions for the girls at her school. Upon the strange appearance of an eerie ‘Housekeeper’ card and the mysterious vanishing of her former best friend Lily, Maeve embarks on a journey with sidekicks Roe and Fiona to try and solve the mystery of Lily’s disappearance. On their way, they uncover peculiar happenings in their small Irish town and get drawn into the conflicting politics of religion, pride and magic.

I loved the presence of the tarot cards as a key driver in this novel – I’ve always had some kind of magical fascination with them and the way the peculiar Housekeeper card has such an impact on Maeve’s life was gripping, I’m just so pleased that I haven’t found a Housekeeper card in my own tarot deck because that would definitely freak me out!

Maeve is such a young and honest lead. Whilst some of her choices are a little naive or questionable, particularly friendship-wise, I like the honesty in which she confronts her actions. Caroline’s portrayal of Maeve seems so authentic to that young, teenage girl going-through-the-motions-of-high-school that I really bought into her as a character and as someone who also went to an all-girls school.

The supporting characters complement Maeve really well. Roe’s exploration of his sexuality and expression of identity was refreshing and poignant in the way it related to some of the more political conflicts going on around the main storyline. Fiona’s Asian influences also drew a unique parallel with both Maeve’s and Roe’s experiences. Their diversity added a great deal of depth to the storyline whilst also helping Maeve to see the true values and meanings of friendship.

The magical element of the plot goes beyond just the tarot deck. Amongst the talk of otherworldly dimensions and summonings of spirits, Maeve’s experiences with homemade spells and witchcraft keep this element of the story quite realistic and believable without straying too far into the realms of complete fantasy. As Maeve discovers why she has such an affinity with the tarot deck, we start to understand a little more about her powers and tie up some of the looser ends within the story.

What I really enjoyed about this story was the way the author addresses some of the more political and controversial attitudes of Irish society. In our modern world of freedom, self-expression and pride, we can sometimes forget the ongoing struggles people face while trying to be their authentic selves in communities which are still devoutly conservative or religious. Whilst this forms a central part of the narrative for Roe’s character, O’Donoghue communicates this sensitively – raising awareness without giving too much of a historical/political narrative. Her tone is in-keeping with the rest of the novel and subtly gives the reader something to think about without going beyond the Teens/YA audience barrier. The Irish representation is something I haven’t experienced before in stories within this genre so it added to my enjoyment of the novel.

I have a special mention of adoration for the part of the narrative centring around Sister Assumpta and her decrepit VW Beetle. I hate spoilers so I won’t really mention it here but the presence of this in the story and the discoveries Maeve makes in that little car kept me flipping page after page to get to the bottom of those curiosities!

Overall, All Our Hidden Gifts is ultimately the book which broke me out of my reading slump. I loved the tarot element and the friendship between Maeve, Roe and Fiona. It was magical without being overly fantastical and is fitting of its ‘Teen/YA’ age bracket, although I personally feel this fits into the younger side of the YA genre. Roe’s character gave me food-for-thought and the backdrop of Irish sensitivities brought a new representation to my reading diet. News has it that there’s a follow-up novel planned. Whilst I’m left feeling contented about the ending of All Our Hidden Gifts, it will be really fascinating to see where O’Donoghue takes this story next.


Why Should I Read This?

For the tarot element and the creepy Housekeeper card (think the creature from The Grudge with the Grim from Harry Potter).
For an original fantasy set in the backdrop of Irish politics and conservatism.
For a band of diverse characters who help each other to bring out the best in themselves.

Find out more about this book here:

Amazon | Waterstones | Bookshop.org | Goodreads | Author’s Website | Publisher Website

Connect with me here:

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

#SixforSunday – Summer-y Colours!

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

Trying to get my blogging groove back and what better way than with a brand new theme of Six for Sunday! Seriously, my ideas for blog posts has gone way down the toilet (ahem) these past few months; if anyone has any inspirational ideas for posts/tags/listicles then send ’em my way – I’d be so grateful! ☺️

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. July’s theme is ‘Sounds of Summer’ which I am living for at the minute – bring it on! 


Summer-y Colours!

  1. You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry
    I loved Emily Henry’s debut Beach Read and the stunning pastel colours of this cover make me desperate to be back in a tropical paradise somewhere.
  2. She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan
    The sunburst yellows of this cover immediately make me think of that blazing ball up there in the sky which gives us those amazing summer sunsets. This book is one of my NetGalley arcs and one I’m hoping may be featured in a book subscription box very soon! 👀
  3. Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
    Another one lucky enough to be on my NetGalley Arc list! This whole pastel-loveliness of this cover just makes me think about all of the summery/floral clothes that I pull out of my wardrobe at this time of year rather than the darker colours of winter fashions.
  4. The Sunshine and Biscotti Club by Jenny Oliver
    Blue skies, sunflowers and lemons – what’s more summery than that?
  5. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
    This book is on my ‘to buy’ pile but that cover just gives me all of those tropical summer vibes!
  6. Nocturnal by Maya Motayne [Fairyloot Edition]
    The gorgeous blue tiling and mosaic effect on this cover make me think of swimming pool floors or those fabulous tiled floors you find on old city houses when you go away somewhere exotic.

What are your favourite summer-y colours on books?
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

The Wrap – April, May and June 2021

Howdy Bibliofriends!

How have you all been? I’ve missed you blogging friends! Attack of the Book Slump left me pretty much M.I.A for the last three months – I’m so sorry! For some reason, reading – and anything and everything to do with it – just completely left me behind like some kind of adverse food reaction. It hasn’t been this bad for several years but as work life got ramped up and crazy (*eye rolls*), the usual solace I found in escaping into the pages of books suddenly seemed like hard work. I stopped listening to audiobooks and bookish podcasts, I didn’t even read or keep up with my blog or Goodreads accounts – zilch!

I have literally gone from being 4 books ahead of my 2021 reading target to being 6 books behind! For anyone who has asked me about reviewing their books or sent me an email or blog comment during these past few months, I’m dreadfully sorry and I will definitely get around to catching up soon.

Life Update

In teacher life – I have 9.5 days in my current place of work before I am escaping onto a new adventure – still teaching but at an entirely different school setting! Pandemic aside, the last two years at my current workplace have really taken chunks out of my soul – my mental health reached new lows, but finally… the end is nigh! My new school is so fantastic and I feel incredibly proud to have been given a job there. I know the workload and expectations are going to be higher than ever given what I’m walking into but I can’t wait to belong to part of a bigger team again.

Elsewhere in life, the cinema is finally open again – I am loving being back in front of the big screen. I’d forgotten quite how loud the IMAX speakers could be until I heard Godzilla’s almighty ROAR! The horse racing yard that I am a part of has had the most spectacular start to the season and the horse I actually own has won 2 races! We’re all super proud of him. There is a whole vibe of positivity and celebration in the air at the moment which is definitely boosting the spirits.

The rest of this Wrap Post follows my usual format (Past Reads, Current Reads, Upcoming Reads, Films/TV, Music/Podcasts, Pokemon Go) so feel free to skip any irrelevant parts!

What I’ve Been Reading

So, somewhere along the reading road I hit a few bumps. March saw an incredible mission to try and complete the Taylor Swift themed ‘Tis the Damn Readathon which was challenging but great fun. You can read my wrap for that here.

April then saw me surrounded in the worlds of The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox and House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas, both of which I loved (I mean, SJM never fails to have me reaching for the tissues!).

In May I read absolutely nothing! 🙈

June saw my self-imposed NetGalley deadline guilt kick in and I finally picked up All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue. An intriguing YA debut based around a mystical tarot deck – review coming up next week!

#CurrentlyReading

I’m currently reading These Violent Nights by Rebecca Crunden which is definitely satisfying my need for a more adult fantasy novel. There’s a lot to sink my teeth into but I’ve just about reached the halfway point.

Upcoming Reads

I have Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim and She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan in my NetGalley reading pile which are both exciting, upcoming July releases. Rumour has it, I’ll be getting them both as physical copies very soon as well… 👀!

I have a review request from Brittany Willows for her Urban/YA Fantasy novel Bloody Spade and I am also part way through graphic novel series called Fiery Crown by Charles Cutting which I’ll be making real efforts with over this Summer. Watch this space for these reviews!

What I’ve Been Watching

I have unfortunately succumbed to the Bridgeton hype! I wasn’t exactly bowled over by the storyline but I did love the costumes and the set-dressing! The return of the cinema has been so welcome and I’ve managed to go at least once, if not twice a week – thank goodness for my Cineworld Unlimited Card! I had my first 4DX experience for Fast and Furious 9 which was. So. Much. Fun. It’s not quite the immersive experience that the Avatar Flight of Passage ride is at DisneyWorld but it definitely kept me awake late on a Friday evening!

Looking back at my Netflix viewing activity from April, May and June – I now know what may have added to the diversion away from reading… enter: The Bold Type! This is one of my favourite shows ever! I’m so sad that Season 5 is going to be the finale but I’m praying it comes to Netflix soon; I have to keep blitzing past the spoilers on Instagram!

  • Love Wedding Repeat [Film – Netflix]
  • The Bold Type [Seasons 1-4 – Netflix]
  • Shadow and Bone [Season 1 – Netflix]
  • Things Heard and Seen [Film – Netflix]
  • Ibiza [Film – Netflix]
  • Something Borrowed [Film – Netflix]
  • The Perfect Date [Film – Netflix]
  • Bridgerton [Season 1 – Netflix]
  • The Woman in the Window [Film – Netflix]
  • Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant [Films – Netflix]
  • Second Act [Film – Netflix]
  • In the Shadow of the Moon [Film – Netflix]
  • Can You Keep a Secret [Film – Netflix]
  • Friends: The Reunion [Sky]
  • Game of Thrones [Seasons 1-3 – Sky]
  • Ugly Betty [Season 1 – Disney +]
  • Godzilla vs Kong [Cinema]
  • Cruella [Cinema]
  • A Quiet Place Part II [Cinema]
  • In The Heights [Cinema]
  • Fast ad Furious 9 [Cinema]
  • Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard [Cinema]
  • Dream Horse [Cinema]

What I’ve Been Listening to

  • Fearless (Taylor’s Version) – Taylor Swift
  • Staying at Tamara’s – George Ezra (this album always gives me major summer vibes)
  • The Lion’s Roar – First Aid Kit
  • In the Heights (film soundtrack)
  • Dolly Parton’s America (podcast)

Pokemon Go Update

Sometimes it feels like PoGo is the one constant in my life – even if just for 5 minutes everyday! 🙈😂

April, May and June’s Shiny Haul
Lopunny
Execute
Snivy
Nidoran
Marill
Snubull
Swablu
Bunnelby
Igglybuff
Gible
Bidoof
Tepig

My Trainer Code: If any fellow Pogo players want to add me, my trainer code is: 8327 7170 2277


And that’s a wrap! How are you all doing? What are you looking forward to this July? If you’re a Bold Type Fan or Shadow and Bone fan feel free to let me know or send me a comment about what you thought of the series!

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx