Top Ten Tuesday – Audio Freebie

Happy Tuesday Bibliofriends!

This Top Ten Tuesday was so incredibly difficult for me due to the fact that I rarely listen to audiobooks. I also don’t listen to music when I read as I prefer the quiet (even though SOME PEOPLE in my household clearly don’t understand the fact that when undivided attention is on my book I am therefore unable to read and talk at the same time… *cue the eye-rolling and huffing*)!

For some reason I just feel like it’s cheating and I’m not actually “reading” at all. Also, I find that I tend to forget what happens in the story a lot easier with audiobooks than I do with reading physical books. Yep, I’m one of ‘those people’. Sorry not sorry!

However, more recently I have admittedly been scrolling through the audiobook catalogues in a fit of desperation just to try and give my reading challenge a bit of a boost! I’m already on my second one this year and trust me, that’s a record! So for TTT this week I decided to gather together my own random list of audio things to do with books…

Some musically bookish accompaniments…

10) Harry Potter Soundtrack

Ok, so my thinking here is that I’ve become so in love with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that when I read the books I cannot help but hear the movie soundtrack in my head. The two things have become synonymous with each other in my brain and John Williams is a soundtrack genius!

9) The Lord of the Rings Soundtrack

Likewise with Harry Potter above, there’s just something about the soundtrack of LOTR that sends me immediately back to Middle Earth. For me, Howard Shore really got to the heart of the mash-up between Tolkien’s world and Peter Jackson’s vision.

8) Holst’s Planets Suite

I’m not the biggest classical music aficionado. I rarely get those really hard music questions on University Challenge correct, however Holst’s Planets Suite is one of my favourite pieces of classical music of all-time. It’s probably something to do with the Land of Hope and Glory vibe and I Vow to Thee My Country which are quite patriotic songs here in England. Mind you, if I listened to this whilst I was reading then I would probably be more focused on humming along to the tune than actually reading the words of my book!

7) 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music

This album is perfect to satisfy all of my classical music needs in one go. It’s surprising how many of the tunes are actually familiar when you hear them. I could definitely have this on as a bit of background noise when I’m absorbed in a good book.

6) The Fantasia Soundtrack

Fantasia was one of my favourite Disney movies as a kid and I still love it today. The way the cartoons were designed to match the different pieces of music is fantastic and again the lack of words to sing-a-long to would help me tune into my book a little bit more.

Audiobooks I’ve read/listened to:

5) The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (read by Paul Michael)

I think I bought this as a CD set because it was on sale. I can honestly tell you that I loved the premise of Dan Brown’s novel (as always) but I have no recollection of what actually happened! I couldn’t even begin to guess which character would have been the bad guy! At least I have a physical copy now for a re-read… at some point… when my TBR is not as full…

4) Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl (read by Chris O’Dowd)

Chris O’Dowd is such a fantastic narrator and his voice was perfect for this childhood classic. I sometimes play these audiobooks in my classroom during art afternoons and the kids love it.

3) The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (read by Kelsey Grammer)

This is my ‘currently listening to’. My first motivation for downloading this was that it was free on iTunes. The second was that this is one of those classic Sci-Fi reads that is probably on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. And thirdly, I need to do whatever I can to help me get my read count up! I’m kind of enjoying it so far although it is quite hard to keep up with the story, especially when I’m listening to it in the car on the way to work!

2) Mythos by and read by Stephen Fry 

I am so glad that I downloaded this and listened to it on the long journeys down to Cornwall and back. Fry is an excellent orator and his storytelling really bought the Greek myths to life. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who loves either audiobooks or the Greek myths.

And finally…The ultimate reading soundtrack…

1) SILENCE – Reading is the chance to escape whatever is going on in this reality and jump into a new world. For me, the perfect way to absorb right into that is with no sounds around at all. There are so many distractions around already from the TV or mobile phones etc. that sometimes it’s nice to switch off completely with a good read and the sound of silence.

Woohoo, I made it through to the end…if you’ve cared enough to read this far then thank you! I’m not managing to get around to writing as much as I’d like to recently as my head is filled with so many things taking up much more of my time than I’d like; which then in turn leaves me frustrated and angry as I really don’t want to neglect my blog again. Thankfully, the Easter holidays are nearly here and I should be able to try and get ahead of myself rather than try to keep chasing my tail all the time! Anyone else have patches like that?

To all of the readers who continuously read my posts and like/comment on them – I love you guys!

Happy reading everyone! 3 more sleeps until the weekend!

T xx

TTT – Books on my Spring TBR

Bibliofriends, it’s Tuesday! That means it’s time for one of my favourite lists of the week!

Top Ten Tuesday is a book tag hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is ‘Books on my Spring TBR’. Last week I could barely think of ten things to put in my list whereas this week there are absolutely no shortage of books which could fit into my top ten; I could probably write a Top 50 to be honest! Saying that, my time for reading is becoming increasingly shorter and I cannot thank Goodreads enough for the persistent reminder that I am ‘3 books behind schedule’. 🙄

So here is my Top Ten Spring TBR or as I like to call it – “a list of all the Fairyloot books I haven’t read yet, with some others from my shelf”.
[Synopses from Goodreads]

10) The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson [Fairyloot]
An extra ARC goodie from December’s Dragon box!

In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life…until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything. That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother’s death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost. But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them.

9) Skyward by Brandon Sanderson [Fairyloot]
Rookie alert: I have never read anything by Brandon Sanderson and I’m not a typical Sci-fi kinda girl BUT I’ve been hearing loads of great things about this one.

Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.

8) Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan [Fairyloot]
Pink sprayed edges and the promise of a forbidden romance – I am there!

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it’s Lei they’re after–the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king’s interest. Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king’s consort. But Lei isn’t content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable–she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she’s willing to go for justice and revenge.

7) Mirage by Somaiya Daud [Fairyloot]
This book premise intrigues me (in a good way); I thought it was some sort of Middle Eastern style desert fantasy and then I read ‘star system’…

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon. But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place. As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

6) Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst [Fairyloot]
Dragons on the cover; mention of a heist – welcome to the TBR list!

In Sky Hawkins’s family, leading your first heist is a major milestone–even more so than learning to talk, walk, or do long division. It’s a chance to gain power and acceptance within your family, and within society. But stealing your first treasure can be complicated, especially when you’re a wyvern–a human capable of turning into a dragon. Embarking on a life of crime is never easy, and Sky discovers secrets about her mother, who recently went missing, the real reason her boyfriend broke up with her, and a valuable jewel that could restore her family’s wealth and rank in their community. With a handpicked crew by her side, Sky knows she has everything she needs to complete her first heist, and get her boyfriend and mother back in the process. But then she uncovers a dark truth about were-dragon society–a truth more valuable and dangerous than gold or jewels could ever be.

5) Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye [Fairyloot]
Espionage ninja warriors…the anticipation builds!

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona. As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

4) The Lost Sisters by Holly Black
This is going to be like my slow dose of deliberately administered poison (Jude fans – you get this right?!). I’m going to try and read it little by little just to tide me over until Queen of Nothing which seems so…far…away…! What are the chances I’ll devour it in one go?!

While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke. Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal. 
The Lost Sisters is a companion e-novella to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince by master writer Holly Black.

3) The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
This book had me at the word ‘witchery’.

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under. Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into. Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters. But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

2) Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Wonder Woman + Bardugo = immediate TBR inclusion

Daughter of immortals.
Princess Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mortal. Diana will soon learn that she has rescued no ordinary girl, and that with this single brave act, she may have doomed the world.
Daughter of death.
Alia Keralis just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted by people who think her very existence could spark a world war. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.
Together.
Two girls will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. Tested beyond the bounds of their abilities, Diana and Alia must find a way to unleash hidden strengths and forge an unlikely alliance. Because if they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

1) A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer [Fairyloot]
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favourite fairytales therefore I was so happy when this came in February’s Beast and Beauty box. It will definitely be the next book I read!

Fall in love, break the curse.
It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope. Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.
Break the curse, save the kingdom.
A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

There we have it! Have you read any of these yet? Let me know your thoughts!

Happy reading!

T xx

Standalone books that need a sequel

Happy Tuesday Bibliopiles!

I’ve got to admit, I really struggled with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday for ‘standalones that need a sequel’. The books I tend to read are mostly of the YA / Fantasy genre and there seems to be plenty of duologies and trilogies and quadrologies, but not many standalones. So after scouring through my whole ‘Read’ list on Goodreads, I have come up with a grand total of 9 standalones which I feel need a sequel. That missing 10thbook is going to really annoy me so if anyone can kindly suggest one to fill the gap then I’d be very grateful! 🤓

10) Vacant spot…please feel free to fill in the comments! 😂

9) The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Now I know that after the ending of The Great Gatsby [which I won’t spoil here], that there may not need to be a sequel as such, but I do wonder what became of Daisy, Nick and Jordan and what their futures held.

8) Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

This was one of the texts I had to read at school and I remember being thoroughly immersed in the storyline. It would have been fun to see how the characters’ lives played out after the ending.

7) Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

I loved this book! It really gripped me and…that ending! I would be truly afraid to be a fly on the wall in that household but would be desperate to see what their futures held.

6) Burning Bright – Tracy Chevalier

William Blake is one of my favourite poets so I was naturally drawn to this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and admired the way Tracy managed to weave the characters’ narratives into Blake’s work. I’d happily read a sequel to discover what happened next.

5) Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman

Gaiman is such a brilliant storyteller. I liked how unusual and literal his Neverwhere world was. I definitely wouldn’t say no to another instalment.

4) Stardust– Neil Gaiman

Ditto as above – I don’t think any Gaiman fan would turn down the chance to get their hands on a sequel to his work!

3) The Goldfinch– Donna Tartt

I read this as part of the Between Two Books book club (started by Florence + the Machine Fans) and was pleasantly surprised by how much the story captivated me. Although I was really satisfied with how it ended, I’d still love to see what happened to Theo Decker.

2) Kitchens of the Great Midwest– J. Ryan Stradal

This story was quite unique compared to any other novel that I’ve read before. A sequel would be a great way to show what happened to the characters and how their lives developed after the ending of the novel.

1) To Kill a Kingdom– Alexandra Christo

This was the first (and only, to be honest) book that came straight to my mind when I thought of the theme for this week’s TTT. In reality, it’s the only one on my list that I’d actually be pining after a sequel for. Christo’s brilliant characters and masterful settings created such a rich novel that I just wanted more, more, more!

Anyway, that’s my pathetic little attempt at keeping up to date with blog posts and TTT. Typical how when you always get into the swing of something, work comes along to distract you from it again! That’s what my week started off like. 🙄 I hope yours was better!

Happy reading!

T xx

Top Ten Tuesday – Characters I’d Like to Trade Places With

Hey Bibliophiles,

It’s that Top Ten Tuesday time again! This week’s theme is Characters I’d Like to Trade Places With. The way this term is going at work I’d happily hop into a bookish portal and body-swap with any of these guys right now; no hesitating or looking back required!

10) ‘Traitor Kate’ from Onyx and Ivory [Mindee Arnett]

I’m currently reading this book and loving it! As a Relay Rider Kate has to gallop across the country of Rime delivering things for the Royal Courier Service. Part of Kate’s wilder magic gives her the ability to speak to horses and connect with their essence; perfect for a horse-lover like myself!

9) ‘Flora’ from Summer at the Lake [Erica James]

She gets to hold guided tours around the beautiful City of Dreaming Spires for a day job, then jets off to the picturesque Lake Como in Italy where all her dreams come true and she meets and falls in love with the man of her dreams…What’s not to want to switch with?

8) ‘Isabel’ from The Mortal Instruments Series [Cassandra Clare]

Isabel is one of my favourite Shadowhunters and I think it’d be pretty cool to have a lightning whip!

7) ‘Robert Langdon’ [Dan Brown]

I am such a nerd when it comes to conspiracies and symbolism! I’d really love to have Langdon’s eidetic memory and visit lots of historic cities and landmarks cracking codes and solving puzzles.

6) ‘Wade Watts’ from Ready Player One [Ernest Cline]

Get me to the OASIS! Ready Player Onewas one of my favourite reads of last year! I basically just want to be Parzival’s character and go on my own Treasure Hunt to find 80s pop culture easter eggs!

5) ‘Elizabeth Bennett’ from Pride and Prejudice [Jane Austen]

Two words:

Mr.             Darcy

That is all.

4) ‘Lysandra’ from theThrone of Glass Series [Sarah J Maas]

Ok, so I’d only switch places after the magic has been freed and then I could shapeshift into anything or anyone I wanted right? Or is that cheating, like Aladdin wishing the genie for more wishes…?

3) ‘Buffy’ [Joss Whedon]

Now I know Buffy is more famous for being a TV show, but they also did books too. This TV show is one of my all-time favourites. I so badly wanted to be a vampire slayer when I was a kid! I haven’t read the new Slayernovel by Kiersten White yet but I’ve heard lots of great things.

2) ‘Professor McGonagall’ from the Harry Potter series [J. K. Rowling]

As a teacher myself, who better to switch places with then one of the fiercest teachers at Hogwarts? Alas, I guess I’ll have to stick to teaching the muggles for now!

1) ‘Arwen’ from The Lord of the Rings [J. R. R. Tolkien]

Reasons to switch places with Arwen:

Elven – check
Wears swishy long dresses – check
Adorned with ultimate Evenstar bling – check
Lives in Rivendell – check

Anything I’ve forgotten? Oh wait…

In love with Aragorn – BIG CHECK!

That’s the end of TTT for another week. Who would be your ultimate character to switch places with? I’m looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with!

T xx

Top Ten Tuesday – Places in Books I’d Love to Visit

After a year’s hiatus I’m finally getting back to the blog!  These last twelve months have been one hell of a bumpy ride and reading dropped off my radar so much that I didn’t even meet my reading challenge target for 2018 which I usually always exceed.
So now, after getting to grips with the stuff that has gone on, I’m finally getting to grips my mental health and anxiety, am coming out the other side and taking more time out for me by getting back to some of the things I love… reading! To mark the fresh start, the blog has a new name ‘The Biblioshelf’. I wasn’t particularly happy with the old one anyway so hopefully this will give me renewed motivation to keep going, starting with one of my favourite Book Tags ‘Top Ten Tuesday’.

Top Ten Tuesday by That Artsy Girl Reader is the ultimate tag for the bookish list-lover amongst us and I always look forward to seeing the different prompts and responses people have. It also helps by making me have a stern talking to myself to read more widely as most of my lists end up being from the same ten books just in a different order!

This week’s theme was ‘Places in Books I’d Love to Visit’. Hyperlinks of titles link to Goodreads.

10) The World of His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman
I remember being hooked on Northern Lightswhen I was a child on holiday in Greece; so much so that the only part of the holiday I can actually remember is sitting by the pool and reading this book… That said, I haven’t actually read the remainder of the trilogy so one of my 2019 reading goals is to go right back to the beginning and immerse myself back into this glorious world that I remember loving but can’t quite remember why…

9) The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey
So this one isn’t really a place from a book – it’s more a place to visit an object from the book…if that makes sense?! The Chemistry of Tears is centred around the creation of a gorgeous silver swan automaton. The Silver Swan which was created in the 18thCentury and is kept at the Bowes Museum in County Durham (England). It sits on a little pool of glass and eats up tiny silver fishes. I’d love to go and visit this incredible piece of clockwork one day, but for now I’ll just have to settle for watching people’s YouTube videos of it!

8) Narnia from The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Who doesn’t want to crawl through the back of their wardrobe and end up in a magical place? I imagine Narnia as being one of the ‘must-see’ locations from the worlds of fantasy literature. I’d love to explore it with one of those passports that you stamp when you get to a different area.

7) Berk from How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Let’s face it, I’m only going here to see the amazing dragons!

6) Carcassonne from Labyrinth by Kate Mosse
Kate Mosse’s books based in the Languedoc region of France always made me want to visit and due to this book Carcassonne is definitely one of my ‘to visit’ places in France. I love how she brings such a historical place to life and fills it with such mystery and intrigue. I’m also a sucker for a maze!

5) Kotor (Montenegro) from Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović
I loved this book so much and the way Lana writes about Old Town Catarro just seemed to appeal to every single one of my senses. I’d love to take a little boat trip to visit Our Lady of the Rocks which sits on a tiny island and I’d definitely have to find the little confectionery where Iris and Malina’s mother bakes delicious sounding cakes and pastries. I tried to convince my friend that we should go there on holiday, but we went to Walt Disney World instead!

4) The Cemetery of Forgotten Books from The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Pick one book from the Cemetery of Forgotten Books then look after and protect it for the rest of your life…what book lover would turn down this opportunity? Zafón is one of my all-time favourite authors and is such a genius story-teller. Everything he writes is so lyrical and his character Daniel Sempere is probably one of literature’s greatest bibliophiles. I believe Barcelona, where the books are set, now has a trail dedicated to the Zafón’s stories and it’s definitely on my travel bucket list. I only wish that there was such a place as the Cemetery of Forgotten Books!

3) Terrasen from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas
I know it’s incredibly hyped but I fell head over heels in love for this series! To pick just one place in Erilea to visit was tricky but I knew as soon as I read the final book in the series (Kingdom of Ash) it had to be Terrasen. Obviously I’d be making sure to pack my forest disguise to try and hide in Oakwald in the attempt at spotting the elusive Little Folk and the Lord of the North!

2) Rivendell from The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
Let’s be real, I’d visit any place in Middle Earth (yep, even Mordor!) but seeing the elves in Rivendell would probably be the place I head to first. Or Gondor to see Aragorn, or to the Green Dragon to have a pint with the Hobbits, or to Fangorn to chat to the Ents…I could go on but then my list would probably be as long as the book itself!

1) Flourish and Blotts from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
Once, a student I teach bought me a mug that says ‘Hogwarts wasn’t hiring so I teach muggles instead’. If the Wizarding World were a real place, I’d probably have emigrated there already. Similarly to Middle Earth, I couldn’t possibly just stop off at one place then head back home, but somewhere I have always wished I could step into was Flourish and Blotts. Surely it’s the ultimate bibliophile’s pit-stop in the amazingness that is the Wizarding World!

This was such a fun theme to explore for Top Ten Tuesday so thanks to That Artsy Girl Reader and Georgia @justreadthemm – now to try and curb that building wanderlust! What would make your list? Drop me and comment and let me know.

Until next time Bibliophiles, have a great week!

T xx

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Could Re-Read Forever

Hi Bookaholics!

It’s that TTT time again…already! We are holding our Parents’ Evening meetings at school this week which is why this post is coming slightly late, on Wednesday morning!

The theme for this week is books that you could re-read forever, almost like your desert island books. Initially, I thought this would be super easy, and it turns out that picking books I’d love to read over and over again is easy, but narrowing them down to just 10, therein lies the problem…! I think I’ve just about managed, here’s my list below; if any of these made your TTT this week or you’re intrigues to know more about them then drop me a comment!

10. The Witches by Roald Dahl

There had to be at least one of my childhood classics on the list and this one was always a firm favourite!

9. Pretty Little Mistakes by Heather McElhatton

This is one of those ‘choice books’ where you determine the characters fate yourself. I don;t know the proper name for them but you read the first page and then have a choice of which path the character should choose, you then flip to the page that corresponds with and continue the story from there. Obviously with so many different possibilities and outcomes I could read this again and again and still not quite read the same story!

8. The Complete Poetry Anthology of William Blake

Blake is one of my all-time favourite poets. I especially enjoyed his Songs of Innocence and Experience collections because they had so many different meanings in them.

7. Angela Carter’s Book of Fairytales / The Bloody Chamber

Carter features on a fair few of my TTT lists. I think she’s an exceptional story-teller and I love the dark, twisty way she writes,

6. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I only finished reading this a couple of weeks ago and absolutely adored it! I know I could read it over and over again just to try and find every single pop culture reference. It would probably keep me occupied for ages!

5. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

To be fair, if I was packing up for a desert island I’d be flinging every single one of his books in my suitcase, not just this series (Shadow of the Wind, The Angel’s Game, The Prisoner of Heaven). I cannot get enough of his writing and the mysteries he weaves with his words, they’re pure brilliance!

4. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

As if you hadn’t guessed already with all of the other magical/fairytale references dotting through my list, I absolutely love fairy tales and this book is fulled to the brim with them! It’s such a memorable tale and I could literally read it forever.

3. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas

After Harry Potter, I was forever looking for a series where I could be desperately waiting for the next book to be released and I finally found it in Throne of Glass! I cannot wait for the finale of this series.

2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

Again, another series which I really enjoyed. I did think about putting the whole series down but I think I’d only need to reread this one again and again, oh the feels!

1 – The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Again, another series where I would have to fling the entirety of it into my suitcase. I’ve reiterated time and time again about my love for Potter so it’s no surprises that I could read this forever!

Have a great week Bookaholics!

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I’m No Longer Interested in Reading

Hey Bookaholics!

I hope you are all having a good week so far. We are back to school again this week after the half term break. I enjoyed getting the chance to meet up with some friends and catch up with my reading (as well as some much needed sleep)!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is Books I’m No Longer Interested In Reading. This was really hard for me as I hardly ever DNF a book; in fact, I think I’ve only ever DNF’d one book so this list predominantly consists of book series which I am no longer interested in or motivated to finish/continue!

10. A Thing Or Two About Curtis And Camilla by Nick Fowler

My only DNF. I’m sorry to say that I’ve already included this in a previous post and I’m sure some people out there really enjoyed the story, but for me both Curtis and Camilla irritated the hell out of me and I couldn’t finish it!

9. Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

I was really intrigued by this epistolary novel yet I’ve picked it up no end of times and don’t seem to be able to get past the first 50 pages. It hasn’t become the second book on my DNF hitlist…yet! Nevertheless, it’s been put on pause for the time being!

8. Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori

Again, this seems to be another regular feature on my TTT list. It just didn’t quite grab me and although I own the entire series as a boxset, I never made it past the first one and probably won’t.

7. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

For some reason this series didn’t hook me which I was quite surprised about. I don’t think I realised it was part of a series when I first read it but it definitely didn’t inspire me to purchase the sequel. I think there were just other books out there which piqued my interest more.

6. Still Me by Jojo Moyes

I wept at Me Before You. I carried on with After You because I enjoyed reading about Lou’s effervescent character and really wanted her to overcome her grief and get her happy ending. But to continue it with another book…do we really need one? The love and the loss has been dealt with enough for Lou to move on with her life. Apologies to the Moyes superfans out there, but can we not just let her be? 

5. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

I must admit, I purchased this purely because of the title, the cover and the reference to magic in the blurb. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting and I don’t think the style of the novel was totally to my taste. I know there’s a brief follow up story about the cat but I don’t think I’ll end up reading it.

4. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I actually quite enjoyed this book! It is one of the few eBooks I read last year and I found it to be quite a relaxing read even though I was hoping it would be a little more in the epistolary style. After I’d finished reading I found out it was the first one in a series but yet again, other books grabbed my attention sooner so I don’t think I’ll be reading P.S I Still Love You or Always and Forever, Lara Jean for some time.

3. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

This book was included in my first ever Fairyloot box that I received! Overall I enjoyed the story but the series just didn’t leave me invested enough to preorder the second book in the series. Maybe one day…

2. Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Another Fairyloot book which was massively hyped due to Ahdieh’s success with The Wrath and the Dawn (which I haven’t got around to reading yet). It was pitched as a Mulan retelling but I’m not quite sure that I saw that in it. The story kept me interested enough but I just don’t think I’m interested enough in following Mariko’s character into the sequel.

1. A Song of Ice and Fire Series by G.R.R. Martin

I read both A Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings but towards the end I found myself skimming certain chapters just to find out more about the characters which I actually wanted to know about like Cersei, Daenerys, Jon Snow, Tyrion, Arya etc! I’m sure at some point in the future I should persist and plough my way through them but I’m just not yearning to pick them up for the time being.

So there you have it! Some novels which didn’t quite interest me enough and some firsts in a series which haven’t inspired me or hooked me enough to immediately grab for the sequel.

Have you read any of these? Should I persevere with any of them or give some a second chance? Let me know in the comments! 

Enjoy your week Bookaholics!

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Love Freebie

First-time loves – books I’d love to read again as if for the very first time!

Hey there Bookaholics!

So this week Top Ten Tuesday is a ‘Love freebie’ and I’m not going to lie, I kind of picked out my theme before fully reading the prompt so although this week’s post is not entirely ‘lovey-dovey’ or ‘romancy’, I’m going with it anyway! For this TTT, I decided to think about all of the books that I’d LOVE (had to get that word in there!) to rediscover as if for the first time. Deleting all my knowledge of these next ten books only to be able to read them afresh and experience those first-time feels again would be awesome! Bring on the nostalgic love…

10. Spies by Michael Frayn

This text was one of the books that was on my English Literature A-Level syllabus. I remember exactly where I sat in the A2 classroom of the English Block to discover this for the first time. Geekish as it may be, I absolutely loved school and had the most amazing English teachers (I’m now a teacher myself J). Despite English Literature being my last option selected for A-Levels, it fast became my favourite subject and I went on to study it at university too. For some reason, Spies has stuck out in my mind after all of these years. I really enjoyed Frayn’s storytelling as well as the tension and suspense he creates through the plot and imagery. Having to think of the significance of the cigarette packet, the laburnum and the diary with strange markings made it feel like a real mystery to solve before the ending was actually revealed. Whether it is the story told in the book itself, or the nostalgia it brings with it of being back at school, this text had to appear somewhere in my TTT this week.

9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl thoroughly gripped me from the first to last page. I can’t really remember now whether I worked out the twists or not, but I definitely remember devouring it within a very short time as I just couldn’t put it down. Obviously now, after having read it and watched the film, the mystery of that first time reading is forever ruined, and since I can’t go back in time, I thought I’d honour it with a place on my list this week.

8. One Day by David Nicholls

Similarly to Gone Girl, this page-turner had to have a place on my top ten this week, purely for that dramatic twist at the end. I remember sitting at my computer, desperately trying to finish my uni assignments with this book just glaring at me from the chair. To hell with the essays, I had to finish it and then suffered the devastating book hangover that came from reaching the ending. Whether it is a great piece of literature or not, the shattering feeling that came from the last pages of that book has been difficult (but not entirely impossible) to experience again since.

7. Summer at the Lake by Erica James

I don’t often read a lot of this genre but I happened upon this book completely by chance in Cape Verde. We had gone to one of those 5 star all inclusive holidays where you never really leave the hotel complex and just sit and relax on the beach. I’d already polished off all four of the books I’d taken with me and was searching through a cabinet full of books other holidaymakers had abandoned on the island when Summer at the Lake called out to me. Being set in one of my all-time favourite locations (Lake Como, Italy) and with an Oxford tour guide protagonist named Floriana guiding the story, it was the perfect holiday read. Whether my glorious white-sandy setting influenced my enjoyment of James’ novel is yet to be seen but I would gladly go back in time to re-experience that book all over again.

6. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

This was my first ever time reading Angela Carter and boy it was not my last! I loved how deliciously dark these tales were and I’d happily revisit this book just for the pure shock-factor of how gruesome and morbid those tales really were.

5. The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Zafon is one of my absolute favourite authors. He has such a beautiful way with words and his novels are some of the most well-constructed I have ever read. I was resolute that at least one of his books would make this list so after browsing my shelves I decided upon The Prince of Mist. Whilst this isn’t one from his more popular Cemetery of Forgotten books series, I fell in love with the idea of the enchanted stone garden at the centre of the story. It had been an anticipated read on my TBR from the moment I knew that it was to be released in the UK and I would love to go back and open its pages again for the very first time. Zafon hasn’t released new material in English since 2013 and finally, in September 2018 we are getting the fourth instalment in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series and I CAN NOT WAIT!

4. George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

Who doesn’t love Roald Dahl?! By far one of my favourite Dahl books, I remember this being insanely funny when I read it as a kid. I was one of those children who messed around in the kitchen sink at my Grandparents’ house, making all sorts of potions and concoctions with whatever I found and although I didn’t manage to make a medicine as magical as George’s, I definitely made a few things to make my Grandad pull some highly comedic faces (brave Grandad)! Rediscovering this book for the first time without knowing the hilarious side-effects of George’s makeshift medicine would definitely be a blast from the past and would bring back that happy childhood nostalgia.

3. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Oh to experience that first adventure into Middle Earth once again without knowing how the journey ends! Tolkien is surely one of the greatest story-telling masters of all-time and I’d love to just revisit that WOW feeling that came from reading The Hobbit for the very first time. The trolls, the wizard, the elves, the dragon…! Stories which carry that much resonance with so many legions of fans truly are special and the first-time feels they give you really are worth treasuring. A highly deserved place on my TTT this week!

2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

I thought about mentioning the whole trilogy in this post, but as those people who have read the ACOTAR trilogy and loved it will know, there’s just something special about book 2 (Rhysand, I’m talking to you!). The rollercoaster of emotions that this book sent me on…I felt like I was actually IN the book! ACOMAF has definitely earned its place on my most-loved-books-of-all-time shelf and to be able to go back and read it again for the first time would be such a thrill.

1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Could there be any other…? To rediscover any book again as if for the very first time – If there was ever a chance to delete all of your Harry Potter knowledge and to go right back to the start and discover it all over again, would you do it? Would it be the same reading it in this day and age; the age you are now? Would it be better than you originally thought, or would you hate it and not rediscover that Potter love at all?

I grew up with Harry; I was at primary school when the first book was released and each time the next novel was announced my Nan had it on pre-order for me straight away (always from WH Smiths!). Never has a book series captivated me so wholeheartedly as much as Potter. Now whilst that may be a little cliché or roll the eyes of those Potter-haters out there (yes, they really do exist), no book-lover can surely deny that special feeling that comes with reading a book for the very first time and knowing that you are going to love it, treasure it and remember it for life. To experience that feeling is quite rare and I only hope I get to experience it again in the not so distant future.

Should the TARDIS ever become a reality these are the top ten books that I would go back in time to rediscover all over again as if for the very first time. Which books would you go back in time for? Feel free to chat and let me know in the comments!

Have a brilliant week Bookaholic friends!

Top Ten Tuesday – Books on my TBR which I still haven’t read!

Hey Bookaholic friends,

I cannot believe Tuesday has come around again so quickly and it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This week we are looking at the top ten books that have been on my TBR way too long. As there are far too many unread books on my shelves already, I decided to focus this post on the YA books which I’ve heard a lot about and feel like I should have read by now.

10.Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

One of the children I teach has read practically every Percy Jackson book published to date and it puts me to shame! I should really make a start on this series but feel like I’ve got so many series on the go at the moment!

9.Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I saw the movie of this book when it came out at the cinema and loved the concept! I’ve bought the first two books in the series but as yet, I am still to get around to reading them!

8.Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

This series is very hyped in the bookish community so I feel like I should read it just to tick it off my list. My first introduction to Laini Taylor was Strange the Dreamer and I enjoyed her eloquent writer’s voice and the way she told the story so I am hoping that I like this trilogy too, when I finally get around to it of course!

7.The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Similarly to Daughter of Smoke and Bone, this has long been on my TBR. Arabian Nights is one of my favourite story themes so I really need to get a move on and start this series!

6.The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I have had this on my iBooks for so long and I keep seeing little fandom bits popping up all over Instagram. The reviews/opinions I have read are quite divided so I’m intrigued to read this.

5.The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Having just seen the last instalment of this as a film at the cinema I am now more motivated than ever to finally get stuck into this series!

4.Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Yet another fandom I keep seeing pop up and felt compelled to buy. For some reason it keeps making its way further down the TBR list but I will definitely make sure I get around to it at some point this year!

3.Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I absolutely adored The Language of Thorns so much so that I ordered all of Bardugo’s other books. I’m two thirds of the way through the Shadow and Bone trilogy and will start Ruin and Rising very soon. I am really looking forward to finally starting Six of Crows as many people have said how they enjoyed it more than Shadow and Bone.

2.Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

This has been pitched as one of the must-reads of the fantasy genres so it’s been on my To Buy list for ages and arrived just a few days ago despite being on my TBR list for well over a year!

1.A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Like Nevernight I’ve been meaning to purchase this trilogy starter for ages. Hopefully 2018 will be the year I can tick it off my TBR pile!

This week’s TTT seemed quite simple to start with…until I looked closer at how big my pile actually was! There are quite a few novels on here that didn’t make the cut to this post including, The Night Circus, Clockwork Angel, The Loney, Rebel of the Sands and Cinder to name but a few!

What made it into your Top Ten Tuesday this week? Which books have been on your TBR the longest? Have you read any of the ones on my TBR and what did you think? Let me know in the comments, I always love a good natter about books!

Until next time Bookaholic friends, have a good week!

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Can’t Believe I’ve Read

Hey bookaholic friends!

What are you all reading this week? I have finally managed to get my hands on a copy of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. It’s my first Holly Black read and I love her interpretation of the world of Faerie so far, although some of these faeries are downright mean!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday was quite a difficult one to interpret. Some books I can’t believe I read because they were so awful, some because they were so long, some because of the subject matter etc. So there’s a real mixture in this week’s top ten!

10) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

As someone who works with young children which have various kinds of needs, both educational and behavioural I really wanted to champion the perspective of Christopher Boone, however I found the writing style quite awkward for me to read and take in. I’m not sure if this was just the time during which I read it but for some reason I can’t believe I made it through to the end.

9) Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Now before anyone starts outcries or pulling funny faces, I am a massive Lord of the Rings fan. The reason this is on my top ten this week is purely because of the length of the book. I had a beautiful golden paperback edition gifted to me by one of my school friends for my 16th birthday which contains all three stories and the multitude of appendices. I read it all in one go! Yes it took me a good few months to get through it all the way to the end, but I’m so glad that I was able to tick this off on my read shelf on Goodreads. It has to be one of my all-time favourites! I’m sure I remember Sir Christopher Lee saying that he used to reread Lord of the Rings every year and boy do I take my hat off to him for that!

8) Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell

I picked up a cheap copy of this at a book store in town. Due to a printing error there was no cover art so it was basically just a blank white cover and you could only see the faint imprint of the title on the spine. As a fan of the TV show I decided to give it a shot but I think I was expecting it to be more like the TV show than it was. Some of the characters were a little unrecognisable to my eyes and had I not enjoyed the TV show so much I don’t think I would have ever picked this up which is why it made my top ten this week.

7) A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

I read this for a book club a few years ago and the only way I can describe it is quirky and bizarre. I’m not sure I even remember anything the book was about! Thinking back, I must have osmosed most of the words and just kept absorbing them one by one until I turned the final page. It’s one of the few Pulitzer Prize winners that I’ve actually “read” but I just can’t believe I made it all of the way to the end without recollecting anything. I’m probably missing some really deep meaning about the American Dream or the trials and tribulations of what it means to be human but sadly I just could not get into the spirit of this book.

6) A Thing or Two about Curtis and Camilla by Nick Fowler

Not going to lie, the dog on the front cover of this book is what drew me to it and was a prime example of why I should not just buy books because of their cover. This is possibly the ONLY book I have ever DNF’d (and I sneakily shelved it as read on Goodreads because I just couldn’t bear to try to wade through until the end). I could not find myself championing a single character; in fact the one I honestly supported was the poor daschund! Never before has a book made me quite so dismissive about it but this one just did, so much so that it was the second one I picked out almost instantaneously when sitting down to write this post.

5) Wetlands by Charlotte Roche

When this book was published, all pink and shiny with a giant and salacious-looking avocado on the cover, there was quite a lot of hype surrounding the subject matter of it. I remember the author being on the news and interviewed about her decision to write so honestly and controversially about sexuality and because curiosity usually prevails and gets the better of me I somehow found myself picking it up in Waterstones and taking it home. Some parts I laughed at, some parts I cringed at, but it will always remain one of those novels I can’t actually believe I read, let alone paid for!

4) Moby Dick by Herman Melville

I’m not terribly good with classics. I have to be in the mood to read them and almost translate the old styles of writing in my head so I have some kind of clue about what is actually happening. For a few years I’d owned the gorgeous Vintage edition of Moby Dick and it had been on my TBR ever since I found out it was what Matilda and Miss Honey were reading at the end of the film (Call me Ismael). What gave me the final push to read it was the film In the Heart of the Sea with Chris Hemsworth. I’m glad that I persevered and got myself through it. I enjoyed a majority of the text but my brain did have to train itself to skim the long ‘waffley’ parts and slow down again for the main parts of the story. I guess I feel a kind of achievement in reading it which is why I picked out for my list this week.

3) American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis

Do I really need to justify why I can’t believe I read this…??Some parts of this tale give new meaning to the word horror story, and not in a good way. I don’t know if I’m perturbed by its subject matter and content or in awe of it as a piece of literature and I don’t think I’ll ever work out the answer to that in my head either.

2) Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori

I have a disorder when it comes to buying books. If it’s on offer, it’s got a shiny cover, it’s about magic or I have to spend a certain amount to get free shipping then it’ll usually end up in my basket. That’s how the entire Pure Dead Magic series ended up on my shelves. I can’t believe I got through the first one and don’t think I’ll get around to reading the rest. For some reason the computers + magic calculation didn’t cast a spell on me.

1) The Fifty Shades Trilogy by E.L. James

I could not justify giving this three spaces on my top ten but this was the very first book/series that came to mind when thinking of books I can’t believe I’ve read. Yet again, I followed the hype and purchased the books which caused such a furore, then I sat down and read them and could not for the life of me realise why it received the reaction it did. Quite often, people are surprised when I say I’ve read all three. I’ve certainly read more explicit books than that, I’ve also read many many more well-written books than that as well. For some reason, I’ve also seen the films and will probably see the last one when it’s released next month, but I draw the line at reading the same books rehashed again just from a different character’s perspective (I’m lookin’ at you Grey!). Kudos to James though, she’s made her money and got her name on the bookshelves but I cannot believe I read them. What’s possibly worse is that I also can’t believe that they are still sat on my shelves!

So that’s my real mish-mash this week for Top Ten Tuesday – Books I can’t believe I’ve read (and equally can’t believe I’ll admit to reading some of them!).

Until next time, have a good week my bookaholic friends!