October Wrap Post

Happy November Bibliofriends!

I would say that it doesn’t feel that long since it was the September Wrap Post… but I never got around to writing one of those! So – it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since I thought about writing the September Wrap Post! 😂

As usual, everything is in sections so feel free to skip to the ones you want to read (if you don’t want to hear about my boring life! 😂)
Apologies in advance that this post contains my favourite emoji 😂 many, MANY more times! #funnynotfunny

Life Update

Not gonna lie, I’m not in that great a place at the moment and the announcement of Lockdown 2.0 has just made things so much worse – which seems ironic given the many 😂 emojis. Honestly, if I’m not laughing, I’m crying – there is now no in-between on the mood front!

I’m glad we’re keeping schools open as there’s no way myself or my class would be able to access Remote Learning effectively due to wifi and other issues. The fact that I teach Years 3-6 all in one class can be challenging when you actually have the kids in the room with you, but to try replicating that online…?! Cue: brain confuddlement – so yes, very glad schools are open for now!

That being said, it feels like all of the things we enjoy in life have been taken away. All of the things I used to spend my evenings and weekends doing have been shut down or closed so it feels like all I am “allowed” to do is go to work then go home like a good little slave (and work isn’t that great at the moment either… everyone is so stressed and bogged down). It feels very much like ‘live to work’ rather than ‘work to live’.
I know that’s the case for most people, that I’m lucky to have a full-paying job to go to and that there truly are some horrific things happening out there; I’m very grateful that this is pretty much the worst of my problems but being at work like normal when it feels like the rest of the world isn’t is a really strange feeling that I don’t think my brain will ever be used to. Roll on December!

I had just got used to seeing my friends again and October was such a great time for that! I visited a local arboretum with friends I hadn’t seen since last Christmas. The trees were exquisite and it felt great to be doing something outside in the fresh air and in nature! I also went Pokemon hunting on Pokemon Go with some other friends and caught myself a shiny Charmander! It’s definitely made me want to get out and walk more (I’m trying to big up the “health benefits” of playing Pokemon here!). 😂🙈

The saddest part of the month was losing our beloved dog in late October. He’d been with us for over 10 years but sadly he just became so ill that it was unfair to let him decline and suffer. We still have one dog to pour our love into but the house is so quiet now and our dogs really were parts of our family rather than just animals. I still keep expecting to see him running through the door or jumping onto my lap and haven’t quite got used to the fact that he isn’t here anymore yet. I’m devastated 💔

So yes, October has been full of highs and lows, more than any other month. I’m trying so hard to be positive for November but it just isn’t happening at the moment. Hopefully there’ll be some amazing books to read and fictional worlds to get lost in!

Blog Life

These past couple of months have been pretty OK on the blog. I think this has been the longest period of time with regular/weekly posting since I set the whole thing up – so I’m taking that as a mini achievement! 😂

This month I did my very first series of posts about If Lord of the Rings Characters had Modern day Occupations. It’s the first time I’ve written posts like that so I was pleased that I managed to get them all out and scheduled! *mini achievement again – yay!* You can read all of the parts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

I definitely want to do another post like that at some point in the future, maybe with another fandom… any suggestions?!

Sometimes I’ve dropped off doing some Tag Tuesdays (feel free to tag me for any books tags – sometimes it’s the kick up the ass I need to do them!). I started doing Fae Friday which I’m hoping to keep up with more over the next month and maybe I’d like to start doing Top Ten Tuesdays again… so many options!

I was finally nominated by the wonderful Alex at MyBookWorld24 to do my first ever Sunshine Blogger Award! I had so much fun doing it and am thrilled that the lovely Ahaana at Windows to Worlds has nominated me to do it again! If anyone wants to be nominated then drop me a comment below! You can find my first SBA here!

What I’ve Been Reading in September and October

Across the two months I read 11 books which is pretty good going for me considering that the start of a new school term is always busy with less time for reading! Book titles will take you through to reviews (if I’ve written one for it!).

  • Beach Read by Emily Henry ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Hag: Forgotten Folk Tales Retold ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Thorn by Intisar Khanani ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cloak of Night (Circle of Shadows #2) by Evelyn Skye ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
  • A Curse of Ash and Embers by Jo Spurrier ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 (review to come)
  • A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and Vision For the Future by Sir David Attenborough ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (review to come)
  • The Island by C.L. Taylor ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 (review to come)
  • All the Wandering Light (Even the Darkest Stars #2) by Heather Fawcett ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (review to come)

What I’ve Been Watching in September and October

These last couple of months have been so strange that I’ve pretty much just been watching episodes of TV Shows back to back rather than full-length films. My attention span isn’t long enough for a full-length movie or by the time I’ve sat down in the evening ready to watch TV, the films are too long to watch in one evening so we ended up watching The Crown as we haven’t seen it before. It’s so brilliant – the actors, the voices, the costumes! I love it. Hopefully, the arrival of Season 4 in the middle of November will be something to look forward to in the middle of the month.

The other thing that my TV life revolves around is The Great British Bake Off! It sounds so shallow but I am loving the fact that even a global pandemic could not stop one of my favourite TV shows from happening! Bring on the trumpets! 😂 #wheresmycake

What I’ve Been Listening to in September and October

So we’re still on the Taylor Swift / Dolly Parton / The Dixie Chicks soundtrack from August but then towards the end of October, Miley Cyrus started doing those amazing live sessions and festivals in the build up to her new album which I am so excited about. I love her voice and the way she has changed musically as she’s shed the Hannah Montana skin and found her own fairly winding path through life and adulthood.

Songs that are on repeat the most:
Heart of Glass (Live from the iHeart Music Festival) – Miley Cyrus
betty (Live from the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards) – Taylor Swift
Malibu (Lost Frequencies Remix) – Miley Cyrus
Zombie (Live from the NIVA Save our Stages Festival) – Miley Cyrus
I Got So High That I Saw Jesus (Live recording ft. Miley Cyrus) – Noah Cyrus

What I’m Looking Forward to it November

  • Getting through it???? 🙈
  • Escaping to fictional worlds and more reading (obvs!)
  • Ready Player Two being released!
  • New series of The Crown on Netflix.
  • My new horse should have his debut run for us at some point this month.
  • Potentially moving house…?! *who knows when it’ll actually happen – but it’s getting closer… the packing has started!*
  • Blog-hopping – I seriously need to get my ass in gear and spend more time appreciating other people’s posts! It’s on my Habit Tracker for November – promise!

Writing this list has made me feel slightly more positive now for this month! 😂 Perhaps I’ll have to start writing a daily list of things I’m grateful for and what I’m looking forward to in order to get me out of this gloomy hole I’m in! I am very aware I need to stop whining – sorry everyone! 😂🙈🙃

And that’s a wrap! What have you been reading/watching/listening to/doing in October? How was your Halloween – what were your favourite spooky reads? What are your most anticipated November reads? And HOW are you coping with Lockdown 2.0??? Let me know in the comments!

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

If Lord of the Rings characters had modern day occupations – Part 4

Aloha Bibliofriends,

Today is the final part of ‘If Lord of the Rings Characters Had Modern Day Occupations’! If you’ve been reading and keeping up with all of the series so far – THANK YOU! ☺️ As I said in Part 1, this is the first time I’ve written posts quite like this so it was a bit of an anxious leap into the unknown!
If you’ve missed any the previous instalments in this mini-series you can catch them here:
Part 1 – Gandalf, Frodo, Samwise
Part 2 – Elrond, Eowyn, Faramir
Part 3 – Legolas, Gimli, Aragorn & Arwen

Galadriel: Fashion Queen

Initially starting small, Galadriel developed her own jewellery line of delicate rings and necklaces featuring some of the rarest and precious gemstones and metals from around the globe. Her brand sky-rocketed when a middle-eastern princess commissioned Galadriel to design her wedding tiara when she married one of the world’s most eligible billionaires. A rapid shoot-to-fame and being so in-demand nearly collapsed her entire company however, after taking some time out at Elrond’s exclusive Dellriven retreat, Galadriel returned to the fashion world completely overhauling her brand’s identity and ethos. With their new signature ‘Mallorn tree’ logo, Galadriel’s company Nenya, set upon their mission to be the first and only sustainable, ethical haute couture fashion house around the globe. The company has outfitted many stars for high-profile events including the Met Gala and Oscars, as well as appearing on some of the world’s most renowned fashion runways and the pages of the glossiest magazines. Galadriel’s creative flair and waspish prowess has enabled her to rise to the very top of the world’s fashion royalty and now Nenya is one of the only brands today’s A-Listers want to be seen in.

Eomer: Bloodstock Agent – Godolphin

Having access to some of the most affluent connections in the horse-racing industry through sister Eowyn, Eomer also found himself with a role working for one of the largest owners in the business. With an analytical mind and a great deal of integrity, Eomer was soon snapped up by Godolphin to head their team of bloodstock agents. With a keen-eye for evaluating horses and an almost photographic memory of equine bloodlines, Eomer carved out a shrewd reputation for himself in the industry catapulting the Godolphin team to huge successes with horses such as: Barney Roy, Dubawi, Dawn Approach and Kayf Tara.

Saruman: Arboretum Janitor

After a seemingly endless stint in Sabaneta Prison, Venezuela – Saruman resolved to put all matters and mis-deeds of his former life as “Sauron’s bitch” behind him. Having had extensive therapy for his onset dendrophobia (fear of trees), Saruman was forced to live out the rest of his sentence doing community service work at Westonbirt Arboretum in the leafy Cotswolds of England. His previous convictions, criminal record and lack of skills meant that he could only be employed to work as a janitor with responsibilities such as collecting rubbish and refuse from around the forest. Sometimes, when he is alone wandering through the trees, he swears he can hear them whispering…

That’s a wrap!!! I’ve had so much fun writing these posts and researching all of the little details to finish them off! I think Eowyn, Galadriel and Gandalf were some of my favourite ones to write. Which was your favourite? Are there any characters I’ve missed who you have a good idea for? Let me know your thoughts by dropping me a comment below!

Thanks for reading,
T xx

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters – these posts are purely from my wild, at times crazy, imagination and sometimes use vague reflections of real-world truths. They are purely meant for entertainment purposes only and are not designed to cause offense or upset in any way.

If Lord of the Rings characters had modern day occupations – Part 3

It’s Saturday Bibliofriends,

That means it’s time for Part 3 of ‘If Lord of the Rings Characters Had Modern Day Occupations’!
If you missed the previous instalments you can catch them here:
Part 1 – Gandalf, Frodo, Samwise
Part 2 – Elrond, Eowyn, Faramir

Legolas: Fashion Model / Actor / Boat Designer

In his early career, Legolas spent some time as a fashion model and B-Movie actor being picked out for his lustrous long locks and willow-like figure. Touted as a gay icon, his life was plagued by paparazzi who constantly hounded him about his love-life until he was forced to come out of the closet and admit his sexuality. Tired of the exhaustive, partying lifestyle of LA, Legolas packed up and went backpacking with his close friend Gimli in the forests of Scandinavia. It was there where he met his current life-partner Kristoffsven and the pair now live in a humble treehouse where they make wooden sailboats which they ship all across Europe and naturally, to the Grey Havens.

Gimli: Retired

Coming into a massive inheritance from a distant-cousin-thrice-removed, Gimli retired early and now lives a relatively easy life. He spends a majority of the year travelling around the earth to spend time with his friends. He recently purchased a treehouse right next door to Legolas and Kristoffven and spends a lot of time at his Scandinavian retreat; however, he avoids the months when illegal dwarf-tossing competitions take place… just in case! As a part-time hobby, Gimli enjoys participating in medieval re-enactments and often loans his extensive private collections of historic weaponry and armoury to various museums and exhibitions.

Aragorn and Arwen: Philanthropists / ‘Royal Celebrities’

Having reclaimed the throne of Gondor and successfully restoring the bloodline of Kings, Aragorn and Arwen found themselves a little stifled by a life of royal oppression. Tired of living in the goldfish bowl at court, not being able to speak their own minds about political matters or causes of global injustice, Aragorn and Arwen deserted their realm in a quest for a more financially independent, private family life. The couple needed an escape pronto and were relieved when their long-time confidante Gandalf offered them the use of his private jet and an unlimited free lease on his stunning waterfront mansion in Watch Hill, Rhode Island. Massive fences were erected around the property to try and prevent paparazzi drones from flying in. Having seemingly dropped off the radar, the only people with any current access to the couple are two freelance journalists believed to be writing a biography of the former royals – even though a spokesperson for the couple stated that Aragorn and Arwen would not actually be contributing to the book themselves. An early tabloid-leak (thought to be from a hacked mobile phone), revealed details of an interview with James Corden which seems to support the rumours that Arwen has set her sights on becoming the future Secretary-General of the United Nations whilst Aragorn will be creating his own global TV production company. So much for the quiet life! 😉

Would you go and visit Legolas and Kristoffsven? Perhaps you’ve seen Gimli in one of his medieval reenactments or you’re just itching to get your hands on Aragorn and Arwen’s new bio:

Thanks to Jens Hansen! Rad Lain in Sindarin (ish…!)

Let me know your thoughts by dropping me a comment below about the different jobs you would have given these characters.

Next week in the final part, your featured LOTR beloveds are: Galadriel, Eomer and Saruman!

Thanks for reading,
T xx

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters – these posts are purely from my wild, at times crazy, imagination and sometimes use vague reflections of real-world truths. They are purely meant for entertainment purposes only and are not designed to cause offense or upset in any way.

If Lord of the Rings characters had modern day occupations – Part 2

Happy Weekend Bibliofriends,

Back for Part 2 of my nerdy little series reimagining the lives of my favourite Lord of the Rings characters if they lived in today’s world. If you missed last week’s episode, you can find Part 1 here.

Elrond: Yogi / Spiritual Guru

Still wanting to offer counsel and refuge, Elrond now runs his very own spiritual mountain retreat for wayward souls. ‘Dellriven’ offers a comprehensive yet flexible programme for those seeking to find some inner purpose and get their life’s journey back on track. Blessed with the gift of foresight, Elrond can also be booked for special one-on-one consultations and tarot readings providing advice from a plethora of subjects including business, relationships and even ‘12 types of cakes to satisfy your sweet tooth’.

Eowyn: Horse-Racing Presenter and Activist

Showing an affinity for horses, Eowyn was working at a popular racing yard when she was talent-spotted by Sky Sports after stepping up to present the Grand National when the main presenter was knocked out by one of the declared runners whilst on set. Showcasing her astute knowledge of horses and her passion for the sport, Eowyn is now a regular face at all of the key fixtures across the racing calendar and has even been flown to the Middle East, Australia and America to host some of the world’s most famous horse races. Being a female in an industry which is still heavily dominated by the patriarchy, Eowyn is an active feminist, has recently become a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and is about to produce her own podcast rumoured to be titled, “I Am No Man”.

Faramir: PTSD Trauma Commander and Trustee of Invictus Games

Faramir, having known the horrors of war and being of an empathic nature, set about to rehabilitate and revitalise soldiers retuning from conflicts with PTSD. His gentle nature and natural leadership qualities made him the perfect person to set up the initiative. With many successes and case stories to his name, Faramir and his team embarked upon a journey to set up other training and rehabilitation centres around the world. Most recently, Faramir has joined the Governance Committee of the Invictus Games as a trustee in the hope of shining a light on life after service for thousands of former service recruits worldwide.
P.S. He’s still madly in love with Eowyn!

There had to be a horse-racing one in there at some point didn’t there?! 😂Let me know your thoughts by dropping me a comment below about the different jobs you would have given these characters.

Next week in part 3, your featured Middle Earthers are: Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn & Arwen!

Thanks for reading,
T xx

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters – these posts are purely from my wild, at times crazy, imagination and sometimes use vague reflections of real-world truths. They are purely meant for entertainment purposes only and are not designed to cause offense or upset in any way.

If Lord of the Rings characters had modern day occupations – Part 1

Happy Saturday Bibliofriends,

I’m back with a brand-new series of discussion posts throughout the whole of October! This month, I’m thinking about Lord of the Rings characters and what types of jobs or occupations they would have if they lived in our world today. From Frodo to Faramir, Samwise to Saruman – this discussion post in four weekly parts is me doing something slightly different and creative to my normal list-based / review posts. I hope you enjoy it!

Gandalf: CEO and Owner of Olórin’s Dens

Gandalf is the owner of a chain of highly lucrative, very elite private members clubs in the most luxurious cities across the world. The Olórin’s Dens are sumptuously decadent establishments where the highest profiles in our society go to unwind and relax (The Obamas, Princess Beatrice and Lin Chi-Ling have all been spotted there on occasion); think dark-wood panelling, velvet smoking jackets and champagne only available to purchase by the magnum (at a minimum). Be sure not to accidentally wander into the speakeasy bars of the club though, you may find yourself mingling with curiously strange folk who go by the names of wizard, elf or even eat… As a side venture (and a way to fund all of his Dens), Gandalf runs the world’s most renowned fireworks company which supplies the likes of New Year’s Eve displays in London, Sydney and Singapore – it’s even rumoured he also contributed to Taylor Swift’s infamous 4th of July weekends.

Frodo Baggins: Part-Time Author / Full-Time Recluse

Since relocating to his own private Scottish highland island, Frodo has been busy writing folklore anthologies and publishing his own range of Gothic quest myths for the YA audience (under a pseudonym of course!). When he is not writing, Frodo enjoys beachcombing to look for sea glass that washes up on his misty shores. Having had his fill of adventure to last several Ages, Frodo is often so reclusive that it takes his publisher around 8-14 months just to receive any correspondence from him.

Samwise and Rosie Gamgee: Founders of the Gamgee Juice Distillery

Samwise and his wife Rosie are just about to hit the London market with their range of organic, vegan juice drinks. Having purchased their extensive Somerset farm over a decade ago, the couple have spent time lovingly nurturing their crops from seed to sapling. Expanding into the botanical trend, the pair have cultivated their very own range of micro-herbs and rare berry specimens including Jostaberries, Lingenberries and Redcurrants. A firm favourite at farmers’ markets across their local county, the Gamgees range of juices, presses and smoothies have garnered many awards and are highly acclaimed to cure mild maladies such as relief for joint aches, stomach conditions and problems with skin complexion. Samwise and Rosie are also in talks with a large London Publishing House to write a collaboration with Jamie Oliver on how best to taste-match your juices with clean, fresh recipes. 

What do you think? Can you imagine any of these characters actually doing these types of things in our modern day world? What occupations would you give them?

Next week, we’re thinking about Elrond, Eowyn and Faramir so get your ideas in for what types of jobs/lives these guys could be having in the 21st Century!

Thanks for reading,
T xx

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters – these posts are purely from my wild, at times crazy, imagination and sometimes use vague reflections of real-world truths. They are purely meant for entertainment purposes only and are not designed to cause offense or upset in any way.

August Wrap Post

Happy September Bibliofriends!

This post was supposed to come to you way earlier in the week on Bank Holiday Monday right at the end of August but you can blame a particular little ARC of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab for keeping me from writing – more on that later!

August was such a wonderful month. Summer holidays reigned supreme and I spent a majority of the time down at my little house by the sea. It was so tranquil and peaceful, there’s something about being in Cornwall that just makes everything seem much more relaxing and chilled out.

I also decided that now was the time to have a major destash of all my FairyLoot haul. I’ve been a subscriber since February 2017 and had religiously kept every single item and book from all the boxes (I’m a self-confessed hoarder 🙊). I suddenly realised that I just didn’t need that many pouches, art prints or a pirate wax seal anymore so I listed a major haul of around 70 different items and books.

One of my funniest selling mistakes was listing about 30 different items for 10-day auctions one rainy Saturday afternoon. I suddenly realised when all of the bids came flooding in on the final day that I’d have to get all of it down to the Post Office. Thankfully they were very patient and I kept going back round the line several times so I didn’t hold up the queue! Definitely a lesson learnt for the future!

What I’ve Been Reading in August

August was such a good reading month for me – not just because I managed to finish six books, but also because I know I have read some of my favourite books of the whole year!

  • Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairytale by Andrea Blythe (NetGalley)
    I’m such a fan of fairytales and this was the perfect quick-read to start off the month. It is published this Tuesday 7th September by Interstellar Flight Press and if like me you love your fairytales then you have to check this out! You can read my review here.
  • The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice by E.S. Barrison (Author Request) ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I was so grateful to be given the opportunity to read this first instalment in the Life and Death Cycle by E.S. Barrison. It’s a New-Adult, Dark Fantasy and has a really intriguing, complex world at its centre. Spoiler-free review here.
  • Given to the Earth by Mindy McGinnis (Hardback)
    It felt great to finally find out the conclusion to this series. It’s definitely been one I’ve wanted to tick off my list and I was pleasantly surprised by how satisfying I found the ending to be. Review to come later this week.
  • Unlikely Angel: The Songs of Dolly Parton by Lydia R. Hamessley (NetGalley)
    I’m a HUGE Dolly Parton fan so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read this on NetGalley. It’s coming out on 12th October 2020 and if you’re interested in Dolly’s music career and the meanings/inspirations behind some of her most well-known songs then you should definitely check this out! You can read my review here.
  • The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow (NetGalley)
    This was the witchy witchy book I had been waiting for! I was massively excited when I got approved for it on NetGalley and boy, it did not disappoint. Sassy, empowered, fierce witches looking to find and take back their witching ways in the town of New Salem in 1893. I devoured every single word. It’s published on 15th October 2020 and is going to be perfect to get you right in the Halloween spirit. Review up later this month!
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Netgalley)
    This book… This. Book. 😍
    I’m not even guilty or ashamed that I’m totally bragging about the fact that I got this as an ARC from NetGalley – I literally squealed with excitement when that glorious little email pinged into my inbox. This is definitely one of my favourite books (if not THE favourite book) of the entire year. It’s also my first ever time reading anything Schwab! I adored it.
    It was one of those stay up all night to finish reads, I ended with tears running down my cheeks and nearly a week after finishing it I haven’t read anything else all goddamn week – completely bookishly hungover! It’s published on 6th October 2020 and guys… you need to read this book! Review to come soon (after the book hangover!).

What I’ve Been Watching in August

So I’ve finally got Netflix which has inspired some of my more recent films and viewings, and after chatting on Twitter and with one of my IRL friends, my Grey’s Anatomy addiction has returned! They weren’t exactly the best influences on my attempts to get reading done this month! With a Dolly inspired read, naturally Dolly inspired movies were next (Wild Texas Wind and Straight Talk). We’re also hooked on Money Heist at the moment and are about to go into Season 2 – I’d never thought I could spend this much time glued to just one robbery at the Spanish Royal Mint but I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Here’s my full run down of the month:

  • The Pitch Perfect Trilogy
  • Wild Texas Wind
  • Straight Talk
  • Charlie’s Angels (2019)
  • Baby Driver
  • A Quiet Place
  • Knives Out
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Ready Player One
  • Murder Mystery
  • Eurovision
  • Money Heist (Season 1)
  • Grey’s Anatomy (Seasons 1-3)

What I’ve Been Listening to in August

Let’s face it – August has had the exact same soundtrack as July in that my headphones have been blasting out a plethora of Dolly Parton, Gaslighter by The Chicks and Folklore by Taylor Swift.

With the ever-building hype and anticipation regarding the release of Ready Player Two in November, I re-watched Ready Player One and got into such an obsessiveness over its brilliance [the book by Ernest Cline is on my God Tier of best books ever…] that I even watched all of the special features. This then caused my to download some of the soundtrack and also some of the Avengers music (RIP Chadwick Boseman 😔) which was also composed by the amazing Alan Silvestri – the Portals scene and music just get me everytime!

What I’ve Been Doing in August

  • Very little – and loving it!
  • Reading, reading reading!
  • Cornwall chilling!
  • FairyLoot destash!

What I’m Looking Forward to it September

  • Would this be a book blog if I didn’t put ‘reading’ at the top?
  • Catching up with friends and making more plans!
  • Horse-racing and Rugby making a comeback so that I might actually get to watch some live sport.
  • Work hopefully being a little more stress-free for a change… wishful thinking?!

And that’s a wrap! What have you been reading/watching/listening to/doing in August? Are you still listening to Folklore? What are your most anticipated September reads?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

#BookTag – Taylor Swift Folklore Tag

It’s TuesTAG time,

This album…!!! 😍 By far my favourite music to have come out of this crazy pandemic. To me, this is Swift at her musical best; don’t get me wrong I enjoy the more poppy upbeat songs but I feel like Folklore lets her songwriting and musical genius really shine.

I found this little tag whilst browsing on iheartlandx’s bookloversblog and knew that I just had to do it!
Here are the rules for the tag:

  • Link to the original creator: Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink
  • Tag at least 3 people.
  • Declare the rules and list of prompts in your post
  • Thank whoever who tagged you and link to their post.

Taylor Swift
Book Tag

The 1: a book with an ending that left you speechless

The Wicked King by Holly Black – that cliffhanger had me desperate for the final book and I had really had to discuss it with someone but none of my friends had read it – ergo… speechless!

cardigan: a book that makes you feel happy and sad all at once

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green – I can’t really explain why. It just gives me both happy and sad vibes but I can’t pinpoint exactly which part about it makes me feel that way. I listened to it on audiobook and thought the narrator sounded automated, that may have had something to do with it…

the last great american dynasty: a book with a fascinating and well told story

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I was gripped from start to finish. I’d happily live inside that book! It’s not like anything I’ve ever read before or since to be honest.

exile: a book you wish you hadn’t read

Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis – I had quite high expectations as I had heard lots of good things about the author but reading this felt like I had literally wasted hours of my life. It is definitely not a book for me!

my tears ricochet: a book that made you cry uncontrollably

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – surely this needs no explanation?!

mirrorball: a book that feels like it was written for you

I always say this about my horoscopes… they are scarily accurate! I honestly haven’t come across a book that feels like it was actually written for me yet. 

seven: a childhood book that makes you feel nostalgic

The BFG and Matilda by Roald Dahl – my Grandpa bought me the books from a car boot sale and Dahl fast became my favourite storyteller after that.

august: a book that reminds you of summer

Summer at the Lake by Erica James – I found it on a bookshelf at our hotel in Cape Verde and read it out there on the beach. Part of it is based in Italy where I spent another amazing summer so it gives me all the holiday vibes!

this is me trying: a book that deals with loneliness and sadness

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman – the character is just crafted with such a vulnerability. It was a really moving book.

illicit affairs: a book that gave you a book hangover

The Harry Potter series – finishing that final page and knowing that I could never ‘unknow’ how it all ended… it put me into the biggest book hangover or reading slump of my life!

invisible string: a book that came into your life at the exact right time

Remember This When You’re Sad by Maggie Van Eijk – it was the wake-up call I needed.

mad woman: a book with a female character you adore

Romanov by Nadine Brandes – her portrayal of Anastasia was so divine, she wrote a brilliant character. I cried so much at the ending and wished that this story could have been Anastasia’s actual ending as opposed to the harsh reality.

epiphany: a book that is haunting

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck or Room by Emma Donoghue – they both leave me with the chills for different reasons. Room because it’s horrifying to think of what Jack and his Ma went through. Then Of Mice and Men because, Lennie! It’s a sad reality of our world that people like Lennie still get treated differently today because of misconceptions surrounding their disabilities. In a way that’s more haunting to me than ghost stories.

betty: a book couple that fills you with yearning

Do I have to say Rhys and Feyre again – it seems I pick them for everything couple related?!
OK Rhys and Feyre for all of the feels or Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy for the good old fashioned romance!

peace: a book character you’d die for because you love them so much

Aragorn from Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – I’d be his Arwen and toodle on over to Middle Earth any day!

hoax: a book you thought you were going to love but didn’t

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin – this had so much hype about it and was touted as the witchy story we’d all been waiting for, but I really didn’t feel it – the cinnamon buns sounded delicious though!

That’s the Folklore book tag! Thanks so much to Ilsa for creating it! If you’re a big Folklore fan then consider yourself tagged and have a go yourself!

Have you listened to Folklore yet? What are your favourite songs? Is Betty really the name of Blake Lively and Ryan Gosling’s third daughter… Will we ever know? 😂 As always, drop me a comment to chat or leave your links to your own tags and I’ll be sure to check them out!

T xx

July Wrap Post

Happy August Bibliofriends!

I’m so excited for August getting into full swing! After all that was happening at school towards the end of term (it’s been a year unlike any other…) it has been so nice to finally break up for the summer holidays.

What I’ve Been Reading in July

I’m currently 8 books ahead of schedule on my Goodreads Reading Challenge! I’m so pleased because it really feels like I’m going to actually achieve my challenge for the first time in 3 years! I’ve also managed to keep the blogging going through some busy school times and am now looking at 4 straight months of consistent content, hopefully August will be the 5th and I can keep it going this time throughout the new term in September and beyond. Having a reading journal to plan posts ahead of time and setting my own routines for publishing content has really helped as well.

I’m looking slightly short on book tags so if anyone wants to tag me in any then please feel free!! 🤓

  • These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    It was good to finally get this series ticked off my reading list. The island of Grace Loray was a spectacular setting but I felt that the plot felt a little flat towards the end. You can read my review here.
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (Audiobook) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This was such a humorous audiobook to listen to. Martin Jarvis is a brilliant narrator and was perfect for some of these characters. Review to come!
  • Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton by Randy L. Schmidt (Ed.) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I’ve been totally going back into my country music phase recently and this was a great compilation of interviews throughout Dolly’s brilliant career.
  • Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I fell in love with the land of Esperance. It’s definitely on my fictional travels bucket list now. You can read my review here.
  • Ignite the Sun by Hanna C. Howard ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
    The range of characters in this book were perfect for a folklore fan like me. Review up later this month!

What I’ve Been Watching in July

I’ve been having a bit of a clear out of my DVD stash as we’re trying to de-clutter before we move. I made a hug pile of films that I wasn’t sure I wanted to get rid of or not so I’ve been trying to watch all of them so I can decide whether they stay or go!

  • The Bling Ring ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Starring Emma Watson this Sofia Coppola directed film retells the real-life story of the gang who burglarised some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. It’s a fun film for a rainy afternoon.
    Verdict: Go
  • Wild Child ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Emma Roberts has to adjust from her Malibu lifestyle when she is sent to an all-girls boarding school in England. I can’t help but love this film!
    Verdict: Stay
  • Love, Rosie ⭐️⭐️
    A typical rom-com about a couple who never seem to be able to get it together. Based on the novel Where Rainbows End by Cecilia Ahern.
    Verdict: Go
  • One Day ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
    Based on the novel of the same name by David Nicholls, Anne Hathaway practises her English accent in this film about how two people spend St. Swithin’s Day on each year of their friendship. It has such a bittersweet ending and I sobbed so much at the book!
    Verdict: Stay
  • The Duchess ⭐️⭐️
    Keira Knightley stars in this biopic about Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire. I just can’t seem to like this move. The costumes are brilliant but it’s just such a harsh story.
    Verdict: Go
  • The Bounty Hunter ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    There’s just something so enjoyable about this Jennifer Aniston/Gerard Butler flick where he is the bounty hunter tasked with bringing his ex-wife in.
    Verdict: Stay
  • The Break Up ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I can’t help but cry at this end of this movie. Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn really tear each other apart after their break-up – makes me glad sometimes that my life isn’t that complicated!
    Verdict: Stay
  • Eat, Pray, Love ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I watched this for the first time this month and though it was so inspiring. It’s definitely made me want to read the book and travel more.
    Verdict: Stay
  • Keeping Up with the Joneses (Film 4) ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I watched this one rainy afternoon when I was bored. It did exactly what it said on the tin.
  • Hannah Montana – Seasons 1 and 2 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I admit it, this is one of my guilty pleasures! I’ve loved binge-watching it on Disney +!
  • Unlikely Angel ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I don’t know why I watched a Christmas film in July but it’s Dolly so…!
  • Artemis Fowl (Disney +) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This was such a brilliant film. I haven’t read the book yet but if they are as good as the film then I’m sure to like them!
  • Hamilton ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Wow! I am so glad this came onto Disney +. Since all of the massive hype I knew I had to see it. I have to confess, I don;t know that much of the story but I had no idea how talented Lin-Manuel is. What a great musical.

What I’ve Been Listening to in July

  • Taylor Swift – Folklore ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
    What an album! This is exactly the stripped back Swift music I’ve been waiting for. I love her pop stuff but this just gave another level to her music and felt like she was evolving some of her earlier country roots.
  • The Chicks – Gaslighter ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I had this on pre-order ever since it was announced. I’ve been a fan of The (Dixie) Chicks for years. They recently changed their name due to the connotations surrounding the word Dixie and although it isn’t my favourite one of my favourite albums of theirs, it’s so good to have new music from them again.
  • Dolly Parton – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    So as I said earlier, my music tastes seem to have gone way back to my country roots again. I rewatched Dolly’s set from Glastonbury during the lockdown as the BBC had put a load of repeats on with the 2020 Glasto being cancelled etc and I’ve been downloading and playing her songs ever since! I love the recent song she did with Galantis Faith and the duet she did with Miley Cyrus Rainbowland. They’ve been on repeat a lot!

What I’ve Been Doing in July

  • School finally finished! What a mammoth term it has been. I’m on holiday mode now so I won’t go over it too much here but I am so glad the year is finally over and the summer holidays can be enjoyed!
  • Horse Racing is getting into it’s swing again. They aren’t letting many owners onto the track nowadays but it has been so nice to spend mornings down at the stable year again. I loved seeing my horses! We’ve also been having lots of Zoom meetings as we are planning a Virtual Owners’ Day in August. We normally have a big day at the yard with lots of food, live music and it’s a really big event but obviously we can;t quite do that this year so it’s all going to be virtual instead.
  • Picnic in the Park: I finally got to meet up with my friends again! It was so strange getting myself ready to go out for a social event again. I did my hair, nails, everything and all we did was sit in the park and eat take-out burgers! 😂 It’s been ages since I’ve seen any friends in person so it was real nice to catch up and chat again.
  • ‘Summer Cleaning’: Now that the house move is creeping closer and closer as renovations are finalised, I’ve been starting to declutter and go through some of my stuff. A lot of clothes have been bagged up, I’ve already mentioned the DVDs above. I’ve even started going through all of my Fairyloot box items and books and have started putting them together ready to sell. It’s been quite a productive time actually!
  • Cornwall! I have a little house down by the sea so it has been wonderful to spend some time relaxing, reading and going on beach walks. I brought my 17 year old cousin down for a few days… boy does she walk for miles!! I’ve never walked so much in such a long time – one day we did over 20,000 steps in about five hours! My legs were knackered by the time she went home. We went around the whole of Rame peninsula and she enjoyed our shopping day in Plymouth. It was so nice to have some company to do things with and now I’m here by myself so it’s brilliant to have the headspace for reading and catching up on my book reviews/blogging that have been piling up recently.

What I’m Looking Forward to it August

  • Reading, Reading, Reading! 🤓 I did a post about my summer reading goals back in July. As I’m a mood reader, I’m not sure if I’ll stick to them or have time to do all of them but there are some definite novels that I ‘need’ to read to this month.
  • Spending more time in Cornwall – it’s hard to know what is open with the pandemic and all of the different social distancing measures around. I’m hoping to visit the Eden Project soon as I’ve never been there despite having been here for about 3 years!
  • Finishing the renovations – apparently it’s going to take another few months, but I’m getting so impatient to move into my new house already that I just want it to happen now!! 🙈
  • Getting braver – as an introvert, and an introvert with anxiety and other issues… spending some time by myself has actually been helping me to be able to go out and try new things on my own so I’m looking forward to putting my brave pants on a little more throughout August!

And that’s a wrap! What have you been reading/watching/listening to/doing in July? What are you looking forward to doing in August? Do you have a set reading or goals list that you want to try and achieve?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

5 Biblioshelf Musings about… Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Series: The Illuminae Files #2
Genre: Sci-Fi (YA)
Publication Date: October 18th 2016
Publisher: Rock the Boat
Pages: 659
Rating: 📚📚📚📚📚

Gemina is the second book in the epic YA Sci-Fi trilogy, The Illuminae Files. I’m not typically a sci-fi fan but I was so glad when I succumbed to the hype and picked up the first instalment, Illuminae, last year. It truly offers a reading experience with a difference. I read this for my Arithmancy exam in the OWLs Magical Readathon as it has more than one author. Needless to say, there may be spoilers below for anything that happened within the first book, but I’ve tried my best to hold them back so as not to spoil Gemina. Apologies for any space related puns, jokes or language.

<Synopsis from Goodreads>

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

The format

This series skyrockets the form of the novel to a whole new dimension – pun DEFINITELY intended. Now, I don’t tend to read comics, graphic novels, manga or anything similar so I can’t comment on how much this novel is like one of them, however the format of these books are unlike any other I have ever come across. I love it! The story is told through a dossier of evidence-based files which include video surveillance footage summaries; transcripts of emails and instant messaging programs; scrapbook and diary pages; computer screen graphics and some pretty superb illustrations from Marie Lu. Gemina offers a much more immersive read than normal novels and it also takes the edge off the whopping 659 pages that some people may find daunting. I’ve never read anything like it and it’s definitely a contributing factor into me giving this a 5* rating.


After the ending of Illuminae, I wasn’t really sure how I felt about AIDAN. AIDAN: Artificial Intelligence Defence Analytics Network – for me, he’s definitely up there on the morally grey character list.  (I also have a bit of a thing about A.I.s developing their own non-programmed thoughts and feelings, but that’s a whole other rant!) The fact that he has the ability to rise from the ashes of the Alexander fleet makes him the mythological phoenix of our story…then again this is Illuminae where plot twists are shooting from hangar bays everywhere and you have to just go with the flow to work who’s really alive or dead. I loved that he appears again in this story along with some of the other characters from Illuminae; it brought the series back into continuity as at the start of Gemina it felt like the two stories weren’t going to merge. But when they did…cue the nebula-style explosion propelling the story light years ahead! It really felt like a mini-family reunion when the casts of Illuminae and Gemina collided! As for the other characters, at first I found Hanna really annoying, especially the way she moons after her boyfriend, but then as the story progresses she really comes into her own. Nik is awesome and his cousin Ella is comedy gold. Special mention to Ella’s little black goldfish – had my heart in my mouth for that little sucker!

Easter Eggs

One of the benefits of a format such as Illuminae means that so much fun can be had within the pages. I adore media easter eggs (little clues or intentional jokes that are hidden in things) and I loved spotting the ones that are littered through these books. I don’t think there were as many in here as there were in Illuminae however I still had fun spotting different authors names in the pages and the graphics. The illustrations matching specific parts of the action or plot also just add to that fun-factor during reading.


Just when you think you’ve got a grip on the story, the authors turn it on its head and makes you think again. Sometimes the twists go beyond all reasoning, well I suppose we are in a sci-fi book after all! These books are brilliantly researched and incredibly well-written. Even with all the Science info, which is perfectly explained and diluted for us non-astrophysics types, Kaufman and Kristoff still manage to keep you completely clued up with what is happening in those precise moments that you’re reading. The facts don’t become overbearing and even when we’re discussing the heights of wormholes and parallel universes, we still feel like we’re finding these things out and comprehending them at the same time as other characters in the novel.

Cover-Ups and Conspiracies

At the heart of this story is a corporation trying to cover-up any of its little naughty goings-on in the Kerenza star-system. I’m sure I’m not the only out there in the entire galaxy that thinks this kind of stuff already happens in our real-world everyday. Wiki-leaks anyone…??? Our news is full of stories of fraud, injunctions, hushed-up investigations, and conspiracies and this is one of the major factors I love about these books. I love a good conspiracy, that’s one of the paramount reasons I love these books, and I know this is sci-fi (emphasis on the fiction), but I completely believe that at some point in our future there will be more and more groups like the Illuminae group who are working towards uncovering all of the wrong-doings and cover-ups that happen on our plant and beyond, if they aren’t out there doing that as we speak…

If the children I teach at school were that little bit older, then these books would definitely be on my syllabus! With that kind of story-line, the galactically great format and the absolute, a$$-kicking whopper of an ending, Gemina was always guaranteed to find a way into my heart and onto my elusive 5* Biblioshelf!

Bring on Obsidio!

Have you read The Illuminae Files? Are you as much as a sucker for literary easter eggs as I am? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Top Ten Tuesday – First Ten Books I Reviewed

Hey Bibliofriends!

The Easter holidays are officially over for me now and it’s back to work time…but guess what, it’s also another Top Ten Tuesday time! TTT is a weekly, list-themed book prompt hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week we are discussing the First Ten Books (I/you/we) Reviewed. When I first thought about this topic, I must admit I panicked at whether or not I’d actually even reviewed ten books.

I’m relatively new to the blogosphere and despite starting this thing way back in September 2017 (under the guise of Cotswold Bookaholic) my posts were patchy and eventually life caught up, leading to the abandonment of my blog. Reading in general disappeared from my life and family matters, work matters and mental health matters all demanded more attention. However, life is now happily back on that upwards curve and the re-launch of this blog as ‘The Biblioshelf’ gave me a renewed focus on the literary world as well as a something positive to concentrate on. I’ve been back for about two full months and already this blog has grown considerably. This month, we’ve passed the 100 followers mark! I’m so grateful and thankful to all those who’ve stuck by it and the brilliant new blogging friends that have joined the journey along the way. It isn’t perfect and I’m still thinking of ways to adapt it and improve it going forwards but it’s stepping in the right direction.

Rambling aside…TTT this week helped me to look back at all the reviews I’ve done and I did breathe a little sigh of relief that it’s more than ten! Below are links to those first ten books I reviewed.


There you have it! Have you read any of these titles? What was the first book you ever reviewed? Drop me a comment to chat!

T xx