#WrapPost – February 2021!

Aloha Bibliofriends!

Life Update

I know that February is only ever 3 days maximum shorter than the other months but it still feels so ridiculously short – then before you know it… BAM we’re into March and the children are coming back to school!!! Not going to lie – we have very little planned for class tomorrow apart from letting the children just see their friends again and enjoy being together!

Life is February kept a pretty regular rhythm: lots of walking, reading, online learning and TV. We now have lambs in the field opposite our house and the daffodils are starting to form in little clumps along our lane. Spring is definitely beginning to peek through!

What I’ve Been Reading in February

February was a pretty solid month for me. I managed to get through four books (finishing my last one exactly on the last day of the month was definitely a satisfying feeling!

  • A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I was really looking forward to the ending of this series to finally get that closure and find out where the story finished up. Reader… I was a little disappointed. I found the pace far too slow for me to get sucked into like I had with the previous two books. If felt like a lot of the time the story was just building up to something we knew had been coming since AHSFAB – how many times were Rhen and Harper going to blame themselves and each other instead of just talking to one another?! It felt like it was predominantly a character development interlude. I did enjoy the Lia Mara and Grey elements though and I also have to admit that even though it’s only been 1 month since I finished reading – I can’t really remember what happened at the end except that it was predictable. I am pleased in the way that the series ended but I definitely prefer the first two books to this one.
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    You know there are those books that you have to wait until you are mentally prepared to read them? This was one of those books and it absolutely wowed me. I got so engrossed into Starr’s world. The empathy that her character evoked in me was something I haven’t quite felt in a lead character before for a while. It gave me an insight into racial issues which was profound and incredibly moving. It’ll definitely be one of those ‘must-reads’ that I recommend to all my friends (which I actually did – and she’s already started reading it!).
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I had so far resisted the urge to dive back into Prythian after the brokenness I had felt after A Court of Wings and Ruin, but then all of the hype over the release of A Court of Silver Flames and I finally felt like I had to try and catch up with the series to avoid any accidental spoilers. Whilst I really enjoyed seeing the aftermath of ACOWAR events and the way life continued for some of my favourite characters, it just wasn’t quite the same as the original narrative and felt more like a pleasant jaunt into the past rather than something which the series couldn’t do without. I am very excited to read A Court of Silver Flames though when I finally get around to ordering it – I love Nesta’s waspish attitude so I hope she brings her full sass-bucket to that party! 😂
  • The Favour by Laura Vaughan
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I managed to win a copy of this book pre-publication through Readers First. The Italian setting immediately grabbed me and the whole element of deception, lies and manipulation cemented my need to read the book. It was a fabulously dark and twisty read and the final scene had me reeling! If you like an unreliable narrator then this may definitely be one for you! Review coming up later this week!

What I’ve Been Watching in February

So long story short – my Dad has been so bored during lockdown that he guilt trips me into watching films with him. He loves the violent, gritty Jason Statham style thrillers where everyone has to be shot about 20 times before they finally die so most of my watchlist is his fault (and they’re nearly all complete crap!)

Films:

  • Next
  • Uncut Gems
  • The Old Guard
  • So Undercover (a Miley pick – that was definitely mine!)
  • Inside Man
  • Escape Plan
  • Capone
  • The Angel
  • Extraction (very gory, but probably the best film all month that was one of “Dad’s picks!”)
  • Legacy of Lies
  • Mulan (I finally got to watch Mulan – I loved it so much. I think Disney did a great job of this remake and I loved the way the score had elements of Reflection woven through it!)

TV Series

  • Sounds so cheesy but I love game shows, especially music related ones so I ended up bingeing on the entire season of the American show Sing On! It was sooooo bad that it was epic!
  • Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments – Season One – I think this started out so weird but actually it’s growing on me a little more – I think now the characters have grown into their roles a little more (at first I found Clary so awkward). It won;t ever be a favourite but it’s something easy to relax and watch in the evenings.
  • Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel – the adverts for this reeked of paranormal involvement or some sort of deception. Sadly the reality of the case was so much more traumatic and I felt really sorry for Elisa Lam. At only four parts long, this was short enough to maintain my interest but I find it very unsettling that the hotel is due for reopen (after being revamped) very soon. It almost felt like they were using the documentary to drum up interest in it again – although why anyone would voluntarily stay there after having watched that series… who knows!

What I’ve Been Listening to in January

Ditto from January – It’s pretty much been a literal never-ending shuffle play of Folklore, Evermore and Plastic Hearts…

Pokemon Go Update

So much happened this month with Pokemon Go that I felt like it needed it’s own little section! Right at the end of half-term we had the Pokemon Go Kanto World Tour which celebrated 25 years since the start of the Pokemon games (how old?!?!). They had such a fun event which (being in lockdown with very little else to do) I dedicated my entire day to 🙈.
It was such an awesome day! I chose to go with Team Red as Growlithe is one of my all-time favourite pokemons and I was yet to catch the elusive shiny one. I practically used incense for the whole time between 9am and 7pm but it was totally worth it to get such a shiny haul. I finally got my first non-shadow Mewtwo including a shiny one and I even got a boosted Moltres from a friend in Brazil. I haven’t got shiny forms of the legendary birds yet but this was my first time catching them in raids and adding them to my dex so I was pretty happy with that. I managed to complete all of the research tasks apart from the Trade task and the Evolve task. I have very few friends to do any trading with, especially during this lockdown where we can’t all meet up, although I did manage to revive my extremely old account from 2016 (which I think was the first one I ever created) to get enough trades in and complete the shiny Ditto task! There was no way I was managing to walk over 250 km in a week to get enough candy to evolve my Weepinbell into Victreebell which is where I eventually got stuck on the Evolve side of things! 

I’m now working on the tasks for Shiny Mew although I’m a little apprehensive about how long it’s going to take me to get to Level 40 at this rate! 

February’s Shiny Haul
Piplup
Roselia (evolved into Roserade)
Luvdisc
Shellder
Pidgey
Porygon
Scyther
Gligar
Electabuzz
Lickitung
Gastly
Growlithe
Mewtwo
Pikachu
Ditto
Ekans
Drowzee
Squirtle
Weedle
Hitmonlee

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

What I’m Looking Forward to it March

  • Getting my first Illumicrate book – the Feb one was held up in the post 😏
  • Taking part in ‘Tis the Damn Readathon – check out my TBR and more info here!
  • Slithers of normality resuming!
  • Spring time, lighter evenings and longer walks!

And that’s a wrap! What have you been reading/watching/listening to/doing in February? What are your anticipated reads for next month? How are you coping with Lockdown 3.0? Are you excited for Spring?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

#WrapPost – January 2021!

Happy February Bibliofriends!

Life Update

Lockdown 3.0 has definitely put the kibosh on any kind of social life this month so I’ve been taking the opportunity to enjoy some down-time and catch up on things. Even though I’m still going into work every day, a habit that I have definitely tried to keep up so far is to make sure that I get outside and take myself off for a daily walk, even if it is just around the village. We had some snow in the middle of the month which was super exciting and it was wonderful to see our picturesque landscape become even more magical and beautiful!

As far as the blog goes, I’ve definitely been more active this month than I was for the last three months of 2020! I haven’t been reviewing many books though – I think I’ve kind of hit my reviewing wall where it sometimes feels that although I’ve got a lot of thoughts about a book, I’m just not sure how to even write them down or if I even should! Anyone else get reviewers block? What do you do to combat it? #tipsplease!

What I’ve Been Reading in January

January has been a pretty great month for reading! I’ve managed to finish five books and am almost finished my 6th. I pretty much stuck to the TBR I set out myself at the start of the year with the addition of a couple extra.

  • The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna (Physical ARC from FairyLoot)
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This book had such a brilliant main character. I loved the concept of the plot and the way the heritage and traditions of another culture were interwoven with the magic and folklore of the story. One of the main things that shone for me was the fact that all of the girls in the story were from various backgrounds and races yet their differences were completely cast aside; they all brought something unique and special to their group in order to face the evils they had to contend with in the story. It was really empowering to have a cast of characters who showed their vulnerabilities yet supported each other to be strong and courageous at the same time. The Gilded Ones publishes on February 9th 2021!
  • How the King of Elfhame Learned to Hate Stories by Holly Black
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    As soon as this arrived I had to read it straightaway! I was head-over-heels for the Folk of the Air Series so this return to the world of Elfhame to read more of Jude and Cardan’s story was an absolute auto-buy. The illustrations were so beautiful. It reads as more of a short story style novella as we experiences different snapshots of Cardan’s life at various time intervals with one over-arching storyline plot which is tied together at the end. I gave it 5-stars purely for the nostalgia of being back in a series which I loved so much!
  • Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    When I first read a sampler of this pre-publication I knew I would be adding this book to my TBR straightaway and I’m king of annoyed with myself that it took me so long to get round to reading the rest of it. The first part of the story is so rich in setting up the world and the mythology of Aritsar that I was captivated. I had been looking for fantasies that would appeal to my needs for diversity and different cultures and this one definitely stepped up to the plate. I can’t wait for the sequel!
  • Locke and Key, Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez (Artist)
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I don’t usually tend to read comics or graphic novels but… after spending an entire weekend bingeing the Locke and Key series on Netflix I just had to investigate the original inspiration as soon as the final episode credits rolled. I think I’ll be doing a series vs graphic novel post about it so I won’t say too much here but the Netflix series blew my mind!!
  • Requiem by Daniel Ståhl (Author Request)
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I was so pleased to be contacted by Daniel to read his poetry book Requiem which was published in December 2020 and is soon to be coming out in paperback. I’ll have a review coming up later this month with more information but the meticulous way Daniel crafted out his crowns of sonnets was so intriguing and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It’s absolutely brilliant!

What I’ve Been Watching in January

January has definitely been a much more settled month after the chaos of moving house and Christmas at the end of 2020. We were without a TV for a while so I have very much enjoyed being able to unwind with Netflix and Disney+ again!

I finally finished my marathon of Hannah Montana episodes! I had seen the movie aaaggggeeeeess ago – so long in fact that I couldn’t actually remember what happened or who was even in it! When I got Disney+ I started watching all of the episodes of the TV show again with the aim of finishing off with the movie. It was around halfway through the final season where Hannah reveals herself as Miley that it suddenly dawned on me ‘how did she make a movie as Hannah if she’d already revealed herself to the world as Miley…?’ then I found a Reddit forum where it outlined the timeline of the shows and when the movie fitted in – it was such a face palm moment!

As I mentioned earlier in my reads section, I totally binged Locke and Key on Netflix. Magical keys in a big spooky house – wowzers!! And the ending… 😱 I will be needing the next series in my life. So. Very. Soon.

The series I most recently finished was Lupin; a series about a thief who wants to avenge his father’s suicide and takes his inspiration from the novels about the French Gentleman Thief Arsène Lupin by Maurice LeBlanc. Omar Sy is absolutely stellar as the lead character. Although I could see a couple of the plot twists coming, there are still enough unsolved questions for me to still be curious and in anticipation of Part 2! If you’re an Ocean’s Eleven / Sherlock Holmes fan then this would probably be right up your street!

#ConfessionTime – I’m also very hooked on The Masked Singer on ITV. I know it’s complete cheese TV but I just can’t help switching it on to try and guess who they all are! I’m adamant the Sausage is Sheridan Smith (p.s. I’m writing this on the last Saturday of Jan and there’s a double elimination tonight so if Sausage gets booted out, then my above sentence is still contextually accurate and I’ve probably been too lazy to come back here and edit it out! 😂 🙈)

I have managed to avoid everything Bridgerton at the moment, even though I love Shonda Rhimes, but I think I’m just fooling myself and will probably end up watching it soon… Should I??????

What I’ve Been Listening to in January

It’s pretty much been a literal never-ending shuffle play of Folklore, Evermore and Plastic Hearts…

What I’ve Been Doing in January

  • Very little – and loving it!
  • Reading, reading reading!
  • Discovering that Biscoff Apple Crumble is actually a very real and oh so delectable pudding! 😍
  • Walking!
  • Continuing my shiny quest in Pokémon Go – I’ve caught 6 in Jan: Jigglypuff, Machop, Weedle, Mareep x2 and Eevee, but no Sneasel or Miltank 🙁!
  • Becoming a Microsoft Teams / Remote Learning Aficionado – (who am I kidding?!) 😂

What I’m Looking Forward to it February

  • Finally being subscribed to Illumicrate! I took out my book-only subscription earlier in Jan so I’m hoping that I’ll be getting this month’s book!
  • Half Term holiday!
  • More adventuring in the great local outdoors and hopefully some more Pokémon shinies too (not gonna lie, sometimes it’s the only reason I go for a walk!) 😂

And that’s a wrap! What have you been reading/watching/listening to/doing in January? What are your anticipated reads for next month? How are you coping with Lockdown 3.0?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

Top Ten Books of 2020!

Hello Bibliofriends!

Happy New Years Eve to you all! I don’t know about you but I am so pleased to be saying ‘good riddance’ to 2020 and HELLO 2021! Even without that teeny tiny global pandemic, this year has definitely been a toughie, particularly in the mental health and work department.

In spite of that, this is the first year since 2017 that I’ve actually managed to reach my Goodreads Reading Challenge Goal – hurray for the small wins!

This year I really managed to get my ass in gear on my blog and with Netgalley so some amazing books landed in my reading shaped lap. Surprisingly it wasn’t that difficult for me to sift through and pick out a top 7 books that I loved this year and then it was a little more difficult to try and fill out the remaining 3 spots to make it a top 10 – the pedantic-ness in my brain prevented me from quitting at the Top 7… I mean who ever heard of that? 😂

10. A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

This was a surprisingly enjoyable read for me as I wasn’t expecting to warm to the new narrators after loving Rhen and Harper’s viewpoints so much. Needless to say, I now cannot wait for the final instalment of this series to come out next year especially after reading a sneak peek a short while ago! Read my review here!

9. Romanov by Nadine Brandes

What a magical retelling this was! The sentimentality and personalisation in Anastasia’s character really made me warm for her. The mystery of the Romanovs is one of my favourite historical conspiracies so I was overjoyed that I enjoyed this read so much. Read my review here!

8. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I totally binged this book in a day. After hearing so many brilliant things all over socials it was one of the first books I bought from an ‘in-real-life’ bookshop after lockdown. The intrigue had me turning page after page! Read my review here!

7. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

This book had been on my TBR for ages but the sheer size of it had always been putting me off. Thankfully lockdown gave me a little headspace in order to tackle the tricky narration of Cromwell. I loved the way Mantel characterised Cromwell; it was almost like seeing the historical period through his eyes rather than a 20th century historian’s. Fabulous! Read my review here!

6. My Fence is Electric: and Other Stories by Mark Newman

I was so thrilled to be approached by Odyssey Books to review this collection of short stories by the fabulous Mark Newman. His storytelling was the perfect antidote to the strange times that we were living through and really made me love this genre again. Slightly macabre with a hint of the weird and wonderful I highly recommend this collection! Read my review here!

5. Anna K by Jenny Lee

Crazy Rich Asians meets Sex and the City in this retelling of Anna Karenina. Although I’m not familiar with the tale of Anna Karenina it didn’t matter in the slightest as I was completely engrossed in the messy lives of these teenage New York rich kids! Read my review here!

4. The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott

This eco-fable had me really pondering the impact we humans have on the natural world. The magical elements of the legendary creatures woven into the story certainly appealed to my fantasy loving nature whilst at the same time delivering a powerful message to the reader. Read my review here!

3. Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez

It was really refreshing to read a fantasy story rooted in Bolivian folklore and culture. Ximena’s talent with woven animals is one of my favourite magical abilities. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out next year, it’s definitely one of my most anticipated releases for 2021.

2. The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

By golly did the opening of this book pitch me straight back in time to 1893 New Salem. I really love a distinctive narrative voice and this is definitely what Alix E. Harrow brought to this tale. The insertion of women’s suffrage and empowerment, a sapphic romance, witchcraft-a-plenty, and the bond between three sisters made this a total 5-star read for me – it blew my mind! Read my review here!

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

If you’ve read any of my posts, lists or tags since October then this should be no surprise that Addie LaRue is my all-time favourite book of 2020. It was the book I didn’t realise I needed in my life. Addie’s story was told so poetically and beautifully and I loved the way Schwab tackled the theme of identity and what happens when you’re not really sure who you are anymore. This book has definitely made its way into my God-Tier of favourite books EVER! I loved it! Read my review here!

That’s a wrap!

Dear 2020,
You’ve been a pretty crap year to be honest – but thank you for bringing so many fabulous reads into our lives. I guess you weren’t all that bad after all!

What were you favourite books of 2020? Did you read anything that you know you’ll treasure for all time?As always, drop me a comment to chat! Thanks for putting up with me this past year. Have a wonderful New Year everybody and enjoy ringing in 2021!

T xx

November Wrap Post

Yoohoo Bibliofriends!

I’m finally getting around to writing my Wrap up for November! It was a month of epic proportions, read more below! ☺️

Life Update

This month has been so hectic, it’s unreal! School is just always so crazy and it seems that it’s only my social life that is in lockdown while work has gone full throttle!

In other news… I’ve actually moved house! We have been gradually renovating a property for a few years with the intention of moving into to when it was fully finished but other circumstances had us quickly having to move out of our old house and into our new one in a bit of a rush! It’s because of all those goings on that I have barely had the energy to read, let alone blog or tweet so there’ve been more gaps than I would have liked in my posting schedule this month! Thankfully, we are gradually getting our furniture set up and the boxes unpacked. I now have my own Office/Library space and my new house is just a walk away from the village centre where there is a library AND a bookshop! I’m in book heaven! Haha!

Blog Life

What I’ve Been Reading in November

  • The Savage Garden by Mark Mills – literally… that’s it – this is how my family know it’s a hectic time; I can;t remember the last time I only ever read one book in the month!!
  • I am part-way through reading a book called The Last Gospel but there’s still a fair way to go left in that before I finish it!

What I’ve Been Watching in November

  • The Umbrella Academy – I finally finished it! It had such a strange ending and I have so many more questions so I hope there’s going to be another series coming out soon!
  • We’ve finally caught up with The Crown ready for the new season! We’re such big fans of it in our house that we’ve already finished Season 4! The costumes and make-up are on point; it’s amazing how the actors really look and sound like the royals! Such drama!
  • I binge-watched Emily in Paris on one Saturday (seeing as we were in lockdown 2.0 and all!). It’s such a cute series, nowhere near as fun and original as Sex and the City was but it’s still a wonderful show to watch. I loved the characters and the costumes as well as that glorious Paris scenery. Roll on Season 2 – I need to know what happens next after that cliffhanger of an ending!
  • Little Italy – If you ever need a film that’ll make you crave pizza, this is it!
  • Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island – This premise and location had so much potential – unfortunately, I felt it was bit of a let down.

What I’ve Been Listening to in November

  • What with all of the US Election hype – I found myself addicted to the Americast podcast just to keep up with all of the goings-on.
  • Ready Player One (Audiobook) – deal of the week for just £3.99 – YES PLEASE! Ready Player One is one of my all-time favourite books ever so it’s been great listening to the audiobook before the release of the sequel. I think I missed out on the Waterstones signed editions but it safe to say that I can’t wait until August next year for the paperback to come out! I definitely need to read this soon!
  • Miley Cyrus’ Plastic Hearts album finally dropped – I have been downloading all of the live covers I can get my hands on in the promo run up to this album and I absolutely love it! It’s practically been on repeat with her duet of I Got So High That I Saw Jesus with her sister Noah Cyrus and the Heart of Glass Blondie cover she did too. It definitely feels like Miley has evolved from her chrysalis into a beautiful musical butterfly with this album.

What I’m Looking Forward to it December

  • Spending more time reading and finally finishing some books.
  • Unpacking the rest of my boxes and actually living in our new house.
  • Seeing people from my support bubble.
  • CHRISTMAS!!!

What are you looking forward to reading and doing in December?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

#Friday56 – A Curse of Ash and Embers

Happy FriYAY Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from A Curse of Ash and Embers by Jo Spurrier. This was a really different style of witchy read and I loved the world building and magical characters created.

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


I tried, I really did, but it was too late.
The black shadow moved faster than a thought. In an instant it was wrapped around me, and I was swept to an empty, dark place. Dark and cold, so very cold, a cold that felt like needles dragging over my skin, a cold that pierced me right to the heart.

A Curse of Ash and Embers by Jo Spurrier

If you’re a fan of slow-paced, dark and sinister fantasies with wickedly created villains and a gruelling fight between (a morally-grey) good and evil then you might find something to enjoy in A Curse of Ash and Embers. You can check out my full, spoiler-free review here.


Drop me a comment below or connect with me here:

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

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

#Friday56 – The Windsor Knot

Happy FriYAY Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett. This novel is the first in a brand new series where HM The Queen dons her deerstalker hat and magnifying glass and turns detective to investigate the latest crime-capers rocking Windsor Castle.

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


As a little girl, when asked who she would like to be when she grew up, Princess Elizabeth had said, “A lady in the country, with animals.” For the past few weeks she had been just that, but for the next few days it was time to be Queen.

The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett

This book is a must-read if you’re a fan of the old-style, British crime-fictions stories or you just love to read a fun mystery with Queen Elizabeth II as one of the main protagonists. A big thank you to Netgalley, Zaffre and S.J. Bennett for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. You can check out my full, spoiler-free review here.


Drop me a comment below or connect with me here:

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

#Friday56 – The Inheritance Games

Happy FriYAY Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I absolutely love puzzles and mysteries, especially when they take place in such grand settings such as Hawthorne Manor – I mean, the home of a billionaire… give me my fictional passport and I’m off!

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


Libby had apologised at least a dozen times. She’d told Drake everything – about the will, the conditions on my inheritance, where we were staying. Everything. I knew her well enough to know why.

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

If you’re a fan of treasure hunting, clue-solving mysteries and riddles; if you love films such as Knives Out or Clue then there’s bound to be something for you in this brilliantly addictive YA Mystery. You can check out my full, spoiler-free review here.


Drop me a comment below or connect with me here:

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

#Friday56 – The Once and Future Witches

Happy FriYAY Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow. I loved the atmosphere and storytelling which catapulted me straight back into 1890s New Salem and introduced me to some fierce, sassy new witches. Thank you to NetGalley and Orbit / Little, Brown Book Group for providing me with a complimentary e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


A girl is such an easy thing to break: weak and fragile, all alone, all yours. But they aren’t girls anymore, and they don’t belong to anyone. And they aren’t alone.

The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow

From the first few pages of this book, I had those 5-star read vibes and let me tell you, Alix E Harrow did not let me down! Those characters, that storyline, that slow-burn sapphic romance! I was crying my eyes out by the end as the ending certainly kept me on my toes! You really should read it! You can check out my full, spoiler-free review here.


Drop me a comment below or connect with me here:

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

#Friday56 – Hag

Happy FriYAY Bibliofriends!

This week’s Friday 56 comes from Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold by a various group of awesome British and Irish authors – It is perfect for any folktale, retellings or feminist enthusiasts out there who want something just right for the upcoming dark nights and spooky season ahead.

Hosted by Freda’s Voice, the Friday 56 is a weekly bookish prompt. It’s quite easy to do and could cover no end of different books and genres so seems great if you’re looking for a quick snippet to discover something new!

Rules:

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader (If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.


As for me? I leave the island and I leave the past, or as much as I can. Meaning: now there’s only you. So, I hope you put your best foot forward as you heard all this and, if you didn’t, you might want to have a think think about that.

The Tale of Kathleen by Eimear McBride

This book was so brilliant to read. Each author put so much thought, effort and detail into their chosen retellings. It brings a fresh, modern and diverse uplift to some truly great British and Irish folktales. You really should read it! You can check out my full, spoiler-free review here.


Drop me a comment below or connect with me here:

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