Summer Reading Goals

Happy Saturday Bibliofriends,

It has been such a wonderful morning so far. (Non-bookish related) but I have a few shares in some racehorses at a local stable yard and today was the first time since lockdown has been lifted that I’ve been able to go down to the gallops and spend some proper time with the horses and the family that run the yard. It was a ridiculously early start to be down there for 7am but it was all worth it. Afterwards I got to see some of the baby foals at another owner’s nearby stud so it’s been a truly wonderful start to the weekend filled with lots of horse-love! 😍

The Summer holidays are only a week away and I’m already beginning to think about all of the different reading goals I want to try and accomplish during the break.
[All title links go to Goodreads, synopses also from Goodreads.]


ARCs and Author Requests

I have three ARCs from NetGalley to read:

  • Ignite the Sun by Hanna Howard – Release date: 18th August 202048574106._SY475_ 

    Synopsis: Once upon a time, there was something called the sun…In a kingdom ruled by an evil witch, the sun is just part of a legend about light-filled days of old. Luckily for everybody in the kingdom, Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the light–or she will lose everything trying.
    Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow.
    Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria’s need to please them is greater even than her fear of the dark. So she heads to the royal city–the very center of the darkness–for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel’s court.
    But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of the sun with a ragtag group of rebels who could help her bring back the Light … or doom the kingdom to shadow forever.

  • Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairytale by Andrea Blythe – Release date: 7th September 2020
    Synopsis: Twelve is a poetic retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Bewitching and beguiling, this short series of linked poems takes the reader to the underground realm and back, following the stories of twelve princesses and their life after the magic shoes.
  • The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow – Release date: 15th October 202049504061._SY475_

    Synopsis: In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
    But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
    There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

Author Requests

I’m currently reading a lovely little fantasy book called Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster.

Synopsis: When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?
But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.9781925652246-Cover.indd
After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.
Winner of a Purple Dragonfly Book Award for best fantasy.

Next up I have a NA Dark Fantasy called The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice by E.S. Barrison

Synopsis: Storytelling was outlawed. Magic had all but vanished.
That all changed when the woman in black came to town.
Branded with the black stamp at a young age, Brent thought he would end up a vagrant like his father. His craft was telling stories, but the Order had long forbidden any weaving of tales. When Brent sees the woman in black, she leads him into a menagerie of tunnels beneath the earth where his life falls into the nauseating, but beautiful, mist of the dead.
He finds friendship in Rho, a young woman who hides her face with a tree branch while roots and vines bow to her every whim. Together, they embark on a journey to explore the world, escape the watchful eyes of the Order, and discover the woman in black’s secrets.
For thousands of years, the mist and the tunnels were under the sole guardianship of the Council of Mist Keepers. But as new monsters enter the mist, and magic is forced out of the shadows, the Council searches for young blood to join their ranks and Brent’s next in line.

I’d also like to explore the sequel to A Touch of Death, A History of Madness in The Outlands Pentalogy which I started earlier this year for author Rebecca Crunden. You can read my spoiler-free review of the first book in the series here!

Carlos Ruiz Zafón Readathon

9529So this is not an ‘official readathon’ thing, but after being heartbroken at hearing of Zafón’s death last month I decided it was time to revisit and reread all of his books, in particular the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. Zafón is one of my all-time favourite writers and I would auto-buy all of his books without even reading the blurb. I’m hoping to go right back to The Shadow of the Wind and finish with the last book he wrote The Labyrinth of the Spirits (which I have yet to read so it will still be a surprise!).

Not forgetting the actual TBR pile…

With an influx of Fairloot boxes due to the Corona backlog and my birthday book haul from May, I have a stack of books and series which I was hoping to start or finish! reading. Some of these include:

  • All the Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett
  • Given to the Earth by Mindy McGinnis
  • Rage by Cora Carmack
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
  • Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
  • + the two books in Fairyloot’s June box which arrived on Thursday evening (no spoilers for those who haven’t received their box yet!)

There’s always plenty to read as they say…
I know that I’m going to be nowhere near achieving all of these! I’m such a mood reader at the best and worst of times so I’ll probably float through the various challenges I’ve set for myself or even invent something new should I get stuck in a slump… especially as we are nearing the final stage of our house renovations before (FINALLY) moving – and all of the school work, recovery curriculums and new risk assessments which will need doing before all of the kids return in September. It’s going to be a pretty busy summer!

What are your summer reading goals? Do you have a set TBR list of are you more of a mood reader? What three books are you looking forward to reading next from your TBR? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

Have a lovely rest of the weekend everyone!

T xx

September Review / October TBR

Hey Bibliofriends,

A brand new month is upon us…well it will be tomorrow.

What I’m Reading

I’m still currently reading ‘Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix‘ which I started earlier this month but have now also begun ‘These Wicked Waves‘ by Emily Layne which is an e-arc from Netgalley due to be released on October 22nd. What will really kickstart my reading again is when my copy of ‘Into the Crooked Kingdom‘ by Alexandra Christo arrives in the post. I won a copy of it from Readers First which is a website I’d recommend to any book lover. You can get a first look at selected upcoming releases and if you write a brief review you get entered into a prize draw to win the book. I have previously won copies of ‘Wicked King’ and Alexandra’s first novel ‘To Kill a Kingdom’ from them – to be honest, the three book draws I’ve entered have all been successful. There aren’t a huge amount of YA/Fantasy novels that come through but it’s a great way to win a book!

October TBR

To be honest, with the current state of my reading, my October TBR will probably consist of the three books I’ve mentioned in the above paragraph. With half term towards the end of October, I’m hopeful to start ticking a few more off my list. You can read about what those books are in my previous TTT post here.

Films I’ve Seen in September

  • IT: Chapter Two – based on the Stephen King novel this thriller didn’t scare me as much as the first instalment of this movie reboot. Don’t get me wrong, the clown is still super sinister, but there’s just something about blowing it up to Godzilla size that just took the scariness away.
  • Downton Abbey – As if I haven’t talked about it enough already I loved seeing the Downton Abbey film this month. I’m normally hit and miss with period dramas, I either love them or hate them but this was definitely a LOVE. I’ve even completed my TV series DVD collection this month just so I can watch all of the episodes all over again!
  • Ready or Not – This movie was like a horror version of Downton. Young bride gets initiated into a rich board-game family by being made to play a game of hide and seek…only problem is, if the family find you, they have to kill you due to some devil pact that an ancestor made. It has some pretty strong gore and violence but I thoroughly enjoyed the concept and it was worth a watch.
  • The Goldfinch – I read this Pulitzer Prize winning novel as part of the Between Two Books Book Club which is a book club created by Florence + the Machine Fans. It really captivated me so I was thrilled when the movie was announced. I love the way the painting runs throughout the main character (Theo’s) narrative and the film was a wonderful way to remind me how much I loved this book.

(A few of the) Things I’m Looking Forward to in October

  • Cheltenham Literature Festival – October is one of my favourite months for the very reason that this Literary Circus rolls into town! Honestly, the line-up doesn’t seem as great to me as previous years however I’m immensely looking forward to it.
  • Rugby World Cup – The RWC continues throughout October. The only downside to it being in Japan is the time difference and being able to watch the matches, however the contest has already been so thrilling that I’m really looking forward to see how the teams end up after the pool stages. Any fellow bookish rugby fans amongst us?
  • The Cheltenham Races Showcase – Jumps season kicks off again towards the end of October and I can not wait!
  • My childhood friend gets married! – This will be my fourth wedding of the year to attend and I am so excited. Hannah is one of my friends from primary school so it will be so wonderful to see her walk down the aisle.
  • Half-Term! – I’m still really enjoying my new job, but any chance to get a holiday and get the chance to breath is always welcome.

What books are you looking forward to reading this month? What has been your favourite September read? What are you most excited about for October both bookish and non-bookish?

As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Hey Bibliofriends!

Happy 1st September! Whilst my inner child is happily in London at Platform 9¾ to get to Hogwarts, the real me is sat at a laptop screen wondering how on earth September is happening already?!

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BREAKING NEWS – I have actually got rid of some books! 😱 Getting rid of books either by donating them or selling them has been one of those ‘never have I ever’ things for me, but considering all of the books I’ve been buying recently, the fact that my floorboards are now actually bending underneath the sheer weight of all of my tomes, and that I barely have time to read a majority of them… I figured it was finally time to part with some of my lesser-loved reads that I know I’ll probably never pick up again. To be honest, I can’t even remember what I’ve parted with – I just know that they have found their way to a community centre where hopefully others will find some enjoyment in them. How do you decide what to part with and what to keep? Do you donate or sell? Any tips would be gratefully received to try and cure my hoarding affliction!

With that all sorted, it gave me a little more room to concentrate on the epic list that forms the ‘never-ending TBR pile’to see which books I could actually start ticking off my list. In case you missed my summer reads, you can shimmy on over to see which series I’ve finally finished reading here. According to Goodreads, the Reading Challenge to read 50 books by then end of 2019 is ‘on track’, which is hilarious considering the amount of time I’ve actually given to reading these past few months!


September’s TBR focus is still trying to complete a few more outstanding series before I start to get cracking on some of the newer ones.

This month I’m aiming to read:
Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao – This is the conclusion to Forest of a Thousand Lanterns which was one of the first books I ever reviewed on this site. I loved the atmosphere of this Evil Queen retelling that I have been desperate to finally start it the sequel.

Song of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury – After receiving State of Sorrow in a previous Fairyloot box last year and then coming across a gorgeous edition of Song of Sorrow complete with fancy stencilled edges, it was a dead cert that I’d have to be completing this series.

If I have time:
Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – As this is a standalone it’s been allowed to be bumped up the TBR list! 😂 I’ve heard some wonderful things about it on Bookstagram and the magical library may be just the escape I need from teaching young muggles this month!


What are you all reading this month? Are you on track to reach your reading goal? Is your inner child also on board the Hogwarts Express? As always drop me a comment to chat!

T xx