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!
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.
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! 👀
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.
The Sunshine and Biscotti Club by Jenny Oliver Blue skies, sunflowers and lemons – what’s more summery than that?
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!
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!
We are continuing the Around the World in 80 Books theme this week on Six For Sunday by creating a list focused on blue and green books. Blue and Green are two of my favourite colours so I’m really drawn to covers using those colour schemes. There were many books on my shelves to choose from this week! For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. March’s theme is ‘Around the World in 80 Books!’ (which sounds like some exciting travel adventure I’d definitely be signing up for!).
Blue and Green Books!
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao I loved this Evil Queen retelling! It was so atmospheric. I was captivated by Xi Feng’s villain-like perspective. I was a little but gutted when the cover style changed for the sequel as the vibrancy of this book cover really caught my eye.
Gemini by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff The Illuminae Files are one of my favourite trilogies. I love the mixed-media style formatting and the little Easter Eggs which were dotted around.
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas There had to be a TOG in there didn’t there. I remember there being some mixed feelings about this book when it came out but I adored it! I’m so glad SJM made it longer than the novella that it was originally intended as. I feel that we get to learn about so many side characters and other worlds through this book and it slotted in quite nicely to making me wait even longer after that cliffhanger at the end of Empire of Storms!
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman This is one of those series starters that I read as a child and then never continued. Now, as an adult this series is definitely on my reread pile. I had to restrain myself from watching the BBC series just so I could read the whole series through first (although looking at my ever-growing TBR, I have no idea when that will be! 😂).
Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers This picture book is a brilliant one for children to try to get them to understand just how wide and vast life on Earth is. I love the illustrations Jeffers creates and the way the book narration reads to his child. It’s informative but heart-warming at the same time.
Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett This is a series which I first found through Fairyloot and then finally got around to completing as one of my reading goals last year. The setting and world-building were fabulous. It was really different to read a fantasy book set in a Himalayan style environment with a mission based around mountain-climbing. You could really feel how much the author loved the hobby by the way she included lots of careful details which were fitted in seamlessly along the narration and plot. I’d really recommend it if you’re after something a little different!
What are your favourite blue and green books? As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!
We are continuing the Around the World in 80 Books theme this week on Six For Sunday by creating a list focused on characters who deserve a holiday. I must say, this is such an intriguing prompt for this week that I really had no idea quite where to start of who to pick! My mind went buzzing off in different directions to some of the heroes and heroines from my favourite ever books and the sheer effort they exerted in their triumph over evil (keep your eyes peeled for them below!) along with some other characters who were faced with trials and tribulations of a completely different kind! For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. March’s theme is ‘Around the World in 80 Books!’ (which sounds like some exciting travel adventure I’d definitely be signing up for!).
Characters Who Deserve A Holiday!
Frodo Baggins Frodo, Frodo, Frodo – you were the first character to come to my mind when thinking about who needs a holiday. The burden of carrying the One Ring certainly took it’s toll on you (and pretty much every character in LOTR tbh!) so you’re definitely in need of a holiday to find some distant shores and leave all of your Sauron-based troubles behind!
Circe (from Circe by Madeline Miller) I really felt for Circe during her tale within this book. I remember feeling that some of her problems were definitely of her own making but by the end of the novel, I was left with this overwhelming sense of pity for her. In my mind, she totally deserves a holiday to the party-loving island of Mykonos so she can let her hair down, drink cocktails on the beach and dance until sunrise – preferably without any pigs in sight!
Inej Ghafa (from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo) I feel like Inez goes through such a tumultuous rollercoaster in this duology that she definitely needs some time away from Ketterdam – perhaps to a yoga retreat or something! Not only is there the heist and imminent danger elements to physically contend with – she’s always being tracked down, chased or targeted – but then there’s also her relationship with Kaz and on top of that the emotional stress of her family situation too. She definitely needs a holiday!
Aelin (from the Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas) Similarly to Lord of the Rings, so many characters in this epic 7 book series (not forgetting the novellas!) went through such a journey in this book that I don’t know how half of them can go back to their ordinary lives without some from of PTSD – Aelin in particular after her wide-reaching character arc! This series will always be one of my favourites, and that ending will probably always sap the bookish life out of me with it’s high-stakes action and trauma – so yes, give Aelin a holiday!
Severus Snape Snape is one of my favourite characters of all time – I love the complexities of his character (massively helped by Alan Rickman’s portrayal of him). As a teacher myself, I can completely sympathise with his exasperation at trying to teach dunderheads students when sometimes they just Do. Not. Want. To. Learn. In between that, and being the whipping-boy of not one but two masters, I’d most certainly be helping into the getaway car for a much needed holiday.
Mr. Bennett (from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen) Surrounded by all those women, particularly his match-making obsessed, clucky wife and sycophantic daughter Lydia, I’m begging the holiday gods to take pity on poor Mr. Bennett and let him escape to some sort of fishing lake or gamekeeper cottage on the Pemberley estate for a little space and solitude!
Which characters would you send on holiday and where would you pack them off to? What are some of your favourite holiday destinations? Do you prefer sight-seeing city breaks or relaxing beach holidays? As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!
We are continuing the Around the World in 80 Books theme this week on Six For Sunday by creating lists focused on books set ‘elsewhere in the world’ to the place that we live. I have a massive case of ‘pandemic wanderlust’ at the moment and due to lots of things popping up in daily life and giving me holiday flashbacks, I decided to focus my list this week on one country in particular… Italy! My friend and I travelled through Italy (quite a few years ago now) and we stopped off at lots of different places between Venice, Milan, Florence and Rome. It was the most incredible holiday and I hope I get to go back and spend more time there one day, it really is a beautiful country. For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. March’s theme is ‘Around the World in 80 Books!’ (which sounds like some exciting travel adventure I’d definitely be signing up for!).
Books Set in Italy!
The Favour by Laura Vaughan This is the most recent book I have read set in Italy. It came out earlier this month and features a highly complex unreliable narrator called Ada who goes on an art-history travel adventure in Italy (definitely reminded me of my own trip!). I loved Laura’s description of the palazzos, museums and cities coupled with the dark, mysterious nature of the plot. It kept me guessing all of the way to the final sentence and that ending really did pack a punch and leave my brain spinning! You can check out my spoiler-free review here!
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown The Robert Langdon books are one of my favourite guilty pleasures. I’ve read them all and secretly believe that the conspiracies 100% factual. The Angels and Demons book is probably my favourite due to the setting and the whole idea of the treasure map across Rome. When we visited Italy I just had to retrace Langdon’s footsteps and visit all of the fountains and landmarks just to put the book’s description into reality. Bernini had also been one of my focuses in one of my degree modules as well so I definitely enjoyed geeking out on that adventure. Sadly, we didn’t find the pentagram and hidden passage inside Castel Sant’Angelo but we still enjoyed checking it out… just in case!
Summer at the Lake by Erica James After our Italian escapades, my friend practically demanded that our next holiday would be a beach one (as opposed to literally running around different cities trying to pack as much in as possible!) so we went off to Cape Verde which brought some more fantastic ‘memory-of-a-lifetime-style’ adventures. I had packed 5 books in my bag, yet I found Summer of the Lake in one of the bookshelves in the hotel lobby – being set in Italy, and having a slight case of the bookish-kleptomania, it made its way into my bag and I read it whilst sat on the divine sandy beaches. I completely fell in love with Erica’s characters and how the setting of Lake Como fitted seamlessly into the narrative. It’s definitely one of my favourites!
The Savage Garden by Mark Mills It seems that all of my Italian books have a holiday-themed story related to them but I found The Savage Garden in an English bookshop whilst visiting my friend in Lanzarote. I bought it because of the setting of the Italian garden and the way they blurb had mentioned this secret message hidden in the garden’s architecture and design – almost like some kind of horticultural treasure hunt! I enjoyed the mythological aspect to the garden statues and the way they were incorporated to the whole mystery element of the story. It’s definitely different to any other mysteries I’ve read. You can check out a little bit more in my review here.
The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen The Immortal City is the first book in a series called ‘The Magicians of Venice’. It’s centred around a character called Penelope who is trying to find the lost city of Atlantis but gets entangled in a murder mystery with some rather peculiar symbology. Her journey then intertwines with a group of immortal magicians (hence the title of the series) and they embark upon a quest to solve the mystery and save Venice from sinking at the same time. Obviously the setting was a winner for me but I was also completely engrossed in the storyline and the relationship between Penelope and Alexis (spoiler warning: it got a little steamy 😉). The second book in the series was released in September 2020 and it’s definitely on my TBR list! Check out my review here.
Love and Gelato byJenna Evans Welch This was a super-cute, fun YA novel which I truly enjoyed reading. I enjoyed seeing Lina experience life in Florence (my retirement dream!) for the first time and again it threw me straight back into that amazing holiday nostalgia. It was a really sweet novel about finding yourself and the importance of family/home.
There’s my little fictional jaunt through Northern Italy. If anyone has some Italian based recommendations I’d be glad to hear them, I’m always on the lookout!
What country or destination has you flipping the auto-buy switch in your brain? What are some of your favourite countries or places that you’ve been to or are on your travel bucket-list? As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!
We have a brand new theme for March with our Six for Sunday prompts and I am so excited for Around the World in 80 Books! This week we are focussing on books set in the country where we live. Now initially, when I wrote all of the prompts in my planner I accidentally wrote down down the word ‘love’ instead of the word ‘live’ so I had to quickly go back and change my Italian themed post… I definitely don’t live in Italy! I do however live in a beautiful area of England called the Cotswolds and spend my time between here and Cornwall (lockdown permitting!). Most of the books I seem to read are predominantly SFF which take place in fictional or off-world locations but looking through my ‘Read’ pile there are still plenty of delightful books set in the UK that I can compile today’s list from. For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. March’s theme is ‘Around the World in 80 Books!’ (which sounds like some exciting travel adventure I’d definitely be signing up for!).
Books Set in England!
The Agatha Raisin Series by M.C. Beaton The Agatha Raisin series is probably my most locally-set series that I have on my shelves as it is set in the Cotswolds and the author herself lives in a village not very far from where I live. I’ve only read the first one so far but it definitely makes me feel at home when I read it. From the characters, to the houses and scenic countryside – I’m always wondering whether some of the people we bump into have found themselves transported as a character into one of her books.
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare I have recently started reading Clockwork Prince just in little short bursts in reading breaks from other books. I’m really intrigued to see where this series goes as a lot of people have told me they preferred it to The Mortal Instruments which I felt was a little bit dare-I-say average… My hype-o-meter isn’t as huge for this London-based series though so I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy it (I’m just praying for more Magnus Bane moments tbh!).
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier There had to be a Cornish one on the list! Not going to lie, but my desire to read this stemmed completely from the Most Haunted episode at the Jamaica Inn on Bodmin Moor and then a trip to the Inn itself. I’m a massive coastal setting / pirate fan so I loved reading the book. After watching the film Rebecca and learning more about du Maurier’s time spent in Cornwall I can’t wait to read more of her books.
The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles I read this as part of a module at university but the setting of Lyme Regis just swept me away. We visited there once on a holiday where we toured the South coast. I love the lampposts that have the fossil style decor on them. That image in the book of Sarah just standing on the Cobb completely encapsulates the whole novel for me – it’s such tragic love story and was a lot different to the kinds of other romances I was reading as a late teen / early tween!
Spies by Michael Frayn This is one of my favourite WW2 books that I’ve read. The way the children played in the street or in the field near their houses was a little like the way I spent a bit of my childhood so I guess that I find it filled with a little bit of sentimentality and nostalgia – although we definitely didn’t have the kind of adventure they enjoyed in this novel though! 😂
Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold edited by Daisy Johnson Hag is a wonderful collection of forgotten folktales from around the UK retold by women authors with a feminist twist. I really enjoyed discovering some tales which were completely unfamiliar to me written by some quite well-known authors. The whole tone of the collection gave off these brilliant gothic/horror type vibes at times as well which was right up my street. You can read my review of it here.
So there are just a few books that I found whilst scrolling through my ‘read’ shelf – all of them set in particular parts of the UK. I thought at first that this task would be really hard, but actually I found myself wanting to include so many more books on my list that I remember as having typically UK settings and fill me with that sense of home – even if I do spend a majority of my time dreaming about far off shores and fictional worlds!
What books are set in the countries, cities or places where you live? As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!