#BookTag – The Bookish Baking Tag

Happy Tuesday Bibliofriends!

Do you ever have one of those serendipitous moments when you’ve just been doing something and then you read about it somewhere…? Well that happened to me just this weekend!

Basking in the glee of having the whole house to myself, I launched a massive Tesco mission to buy baking ingredients for THREE of Jane’s Patisserie’s recipes (Malteser Tiffin, Biscoff Rocky Road and Mint Aero Brownies 😍)! Mid-bakeathon, I’m scrolling through WordPress Reader and I come across this super-fun Bookish Baking Tag over on Ms. Victorious’ blog Victorious Pages and knew that I had to do it!

As if that wasn’t serendipity enough… *drumroll please*
GREAT BRITISH BAKE OFF IS BACK TONIGHT!!! We’re still in the midst of a global pandemic, yet Bake Off 2020 has been saved! I’m overjoyed! 😂 Without further ado, scroll on for the awesome Bookish Baking Tag – images from Victorious Pages because they’re super nicer than anything I could make (thank you!).


To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of blueberry muffins but as soon as I read this prompt, there was only one book on my mind – The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow. I read an arc of this (thanks Netgalley!) and the beginning was on point! It sucked me into world so fast that I already knew it was most likely going to be a 5-star read. Review coming soon!

Being from the UK and thanks to our Great British weather (the word ‘great’ is definitely a pun there) holidays to me are sunny, warm places so I would have to go with Summer at the Lake by Erica James or Beach Read by Emily Henry as I read both of them by the sea.

Can I say Gollum for this? Is that allowed? I know he was driven by the power of the ring and his greed for is it what turned him into the Gollum as opposed to Smeagol, but I don’t think he’s a definite ‘villain’ to the story.

Another Italian themed read, Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch. Florence, sunshine and ice cream – what could be more summery than that?

Gangsta Granny by David Walliams reminds me so much of growing up and reading Roald Dahl books. It’s really funny and lighthearted and reminds me of those old childhood memories when you’d be staying with your grandparents and playing games in the garden.

I remember having to read Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy for my English class and being completely overwhelmed by the size of it. I ended up taking it on holiday with me and remember being sat on the bed in our hotel room, listening to Elephunk by the Black Eyed Peas on my CD walkman and becoming so engrossed in Hardy’s world. I loved it, it’s probably my favourite classic I’ve read.

I read an amazing book called The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen through Netgalley and is was so engrossing. Atlantis, Venice, a secret magical archives, (hot) Gods – what’s not to like?! This was right up my street and I’m hoping there’s a sequel or something soon. I’d definitely be reading it!

Probably the book with the most feels on my shelf, A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – it that ain’t fluff then I don’t know what else qualifies!

Billed as an eco-fable, The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott tries to get us to consider how we treat and what we take from nature and the damaging affects it can have on humanity. It’s a powerful read.

When I once convinced myself to broaden my literary horizons, I decided that I had to read something by Murakami so my friend lent me their copy of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I found it so tough to read and try to understand at the same time so it was quite an intimidating read to get my head around.

I keep hearing loads of good things about A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown – my copy of this finally arrived about a week ago so I can’t wait to get around to starting it.

There are so many books on my shelves which are there purely because of the hype but there is one book coming out very soon which I am massively hyping up. I read an e-arc of it, I have on special-signed-edition preorder and I CAN NOT WAIT to read it again – that books is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab – it is exquisite! Review coming up at the end of this month! Honestly can’t tell you how much I love this book! 😍


TAG – you’re it!! Thanks for reading and feel free to have a go yourself and link back to my post if you love baking and books – UK people, don’t forget… BAKE OFF STARTS TONIGHT! 🙂

Enjoy your week Bibliofriends,

T xx

#BookTag – The Fellowship of the Ring Book Tag

Happy Tuesday Bibliofriends!

In my quest for more Book Tags, I’m pretty sure I stumbled across this Fellowship of the Rings book tag over at Wyrd & Wonder who posted it as part of their month-long celebration of all things fantasy – bot now I can’t seem to find their original post… You should visit them anyway as they have tons of brilliant fantasy recs!
I absolutely love Lord of the Rings; Middle Earth would definitely have to be on my Bookish Travels Bucket List, I think Tolkien created a really classic and remarkable world. This book tag was originally created by Nandini of Unputdownable Books.


Gandalf – A book that taught you something

Atomic Habits by James Clear
It gave me some form of organization back in my life – I’m an expert at putting things off until tomorrow so it was a really helpful guide at developing some good habits and make me a little more motivated and efficient. I wrote a review about it here.

Frodo – A book that left a mark on you

Remember This When You’re Sad by Maggy Van Eijk
Reading this book gave me a kind of lightbulb moment or wake-up call and kind of symbolizes a bit of a turning point for me on a personal level.

Legolas – A book you finished in one sitting

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
When I went to visit my friend out in Lanzarote, she gave me her copy of this and told me to read it. I became so engrossed in it that I literally sat on the beach and devoured it before the day had ended.

Gimli – A book that features an unlikely friendship

Mirage by Somaiya Daud
I guess there are a couple of unlikely friendships in this depending on how you view Amani’s relationship with Maram compared to her relationship with Idris. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel to find out what happens to this trio!

Merry – A book that pleasantly surprised you

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
I was quite reluctant to continue with this series after the mega-twist at the end of the first book and the fact that this sequel introduced a brand-new character; but overall, I was very glad I continued reading and now I cannot wait to read A Vow So Bold and Deadly – it’s one of my most anticipated reads for 2021!

Pippin – A book that made you laugh

Spectacles by Sue Perkins
I managed to see her on tour whilst she was promoting this book. There’s a particularly funny episode to do with a car park which, when she was signing my book, I asked her to draw the example in the front of it. Never fails to make me laugh whenever I open it and see that title page!

Boromir – A book/series that you think ended too soon

Breaking the rules and having two standalones for this one:
To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – this was so beautifully written that I could have read another 100/200 pages worth of plot and world-building before getting bored.
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – the hurtling, rollercoaster speed of that ending, plus the strange cliffhangery, twisty ending scene – this is definitely one standalone my brain isn’t ready to leave behind. It appears I’m not alone and Joan He has actually clarified whether any sequels/standalones are in the works (you can read her brief statement here). Let’s just leave it with, ‘if it gets written, I want to read it!’

Sam – A book with memorable side characters who stole the show

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Nina, Jesper, Wylan, Matthias… 💙 Kaz who?! 😂

Aragorn – A good book with a bad/average cover
(side note: I think Aragorn actually has a lovely cover 😉)

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao
When Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao was released it had such an intricate, vibrant cover… then when the sequel appeared… 🤔 they didn’t match at all and after loving the first cover so much I felt that the ambiguity of the sequel’s cover didn’t match up to what a brilliant series this was.

Gollum – A book that had great potential but disappointed you in the end

Evermore by Sara Holland
When Everless came out, I was blown away by the intriguing concept of blood and time as a currency. Coupled with a folklore-style story of a Sorcereress and an Alchemist, the silent megaphones in my head were screeching ‘omg, omg, omg’ when I finished reading that last sentence. When the sequel came out – it felt as if all the sparkle and dazzle of the first book had vanished and it was like reading a sequel to a completely different story.


TAG – you’re it!! Thanks for reading and feel free to have a go yourself and link back to my post if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan! 🙂

Enjoy your week Bibliofriends,

T xx

Pinnacle – Book Review

•   Published 6th February 2018 by Astraea Press (Paperback)

•   298 pages

•   ISBN-13:978-1621357339

•   Rated: 4/5 Magical Attributes

“Identifying her parents was the hardest thing ever, until Kaya learned she was the killer’s next target. Moving had thrown the ancient predator off her trail temporarily but with magical abilities manifesting, Kaya’s scent grows stronger and the attempts on her life become constant. Narrowly surviving each encounter, Kaya is desperate to stop her potential assassin, but it’s hard to kill a creature that changes its appearance and disappears without a trace. Kaya finds the support she needs to succeed in her small group of friends and her boyfriend Kenneth. Like so many things, they’re more than what they seem and with the killer having unsettling similarities to Kenneth and his family…Kaya can’t help but wonder if there’s a connection.”

Pinnacle is a brilliant debut from Lynn Veevers and really brings Lycanthropy into the spotlight. The novel has a wide-ranging cast of characters and gives the reader an in-depth look at the powers and heritage of the people within Kaya’s world. There is a lot of character-building which really immerses you into the plot.

At the beginning, I felt like there was a fair bit of info-dumping explaining all of the attributes and qualities of both the Natural and Afflicted Lycans and the Natural Mystics to bring the reader up to speed and into the story. As the descriptions were often quite lengthy and took place during conversations with numerous characters (some of which had been freshly introduced), I found myself having to pay close attention to what was happening to get my head around it all. With a little bit of perseverance, I came to understand more about the complexities of the various character traits. Afflicted Lycans = bad, they’re basically like the Terminators of the Lycan world; Natural Lycans are the good guys and have more than one form and Natural Mystics are like humans but with a specific skill or attribute.

Now Kaya is like the ultimate of the Natural Mystics and the plot revolves around her being the destined Pinnacle. Because of her heritage she has quite a range of different abilities which make her different from other Natural Mystics. She shows a lot of determination and adapts to her powers really well and quite speedily, especially when a new one will pop up out of the blue and show itself suddenly. At times, her relationship with Kenneth was a little cheesy for my personal taste, but I was pleased that the tone of the novel didn’t come across as an angsty teenage romance.

Although there were a lot of characters, you quickly felt like you got to know them as a fair amount of the text was centered around their interactions and conversations with each other. I don’t tend to read many books with werewolf or lycan themes but the likeability of the characters that Veevers created drew me into following their story through until the end.

My highlight of the book is where they journey to a cave in an attempt to track down and discover Senka, the main villain. This part of the novel was able to merge the world-building of the setting whilst also giving the characters a chance to demonstrate their skills in a battle-type situation. It gave the story a little more action and pace. I also felt that this was the part of the story where all of the main components came together and gave the story its link into the second novel Eximius.

Overall I really enjoyed Pinnacle, it was thrilling to read a book which had little complexities layered throughout its narrative. It really made me pay attention to the storyline and what was happening. For a debut, this is an ambitious and valiant attempt into the foray of paranormal YA fiction. I would definitely recommend this to older, more mature readers due to the exploration of relationships involved and some scenes which include violence and a character death. If you liked Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight and The Mortal Instruments for their werewolf elements and prefer books which focus heavily on character development and interactions then you would probably enjoy reading Pinnacle.

I would like to thank Lynn for giving me the opportunity to read Pinnacle before its release date and cannot wait to see what happens next in the forthcoming sequel Eximius.

Happy New Year! 2017 Review and 2018 Aspirations

Happy New Year Bookish Friends!

What a successful reading year 2017 was for me!
I began doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge about two years ago to try and get me back into reading. I had the reading appetite of Matilda when I was a child but since getting a job and adulting happened, reading dropped right off my radar! Unfortunately my book-buying habit had not subsided and I found myself with shelves full of books which had hardly been touched! Therefore I began my initial challenge at 25 books working at about two per month with an extra one as I prefer the number 24 to 25 (don’t ask me why!). It definitely motivated me as I read 34 books that year and so I decided to up my challenge each year by 10 books. Last year’s target of 35 was smashed as well as I ended up reading about 47 books. So perhaps 2018’s target of 45 is a little conservative but at least I know I can definitely reach it and it feels like an achievable goal.

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When I started properly reading again, I wanted to find a book series or author that had given me as many feels as the Harry Potter series; like so many I am a complete and utter Potterhead and grew up alongside Harry and the books. I really wanted to find a series where I’d be able to get back that eager anticipation of waiting for the next instalment to be released and I definitely found that in Sarah J Maas. The Bookstagram community was full of such love and adoration for SJM that when I heard she was hosting a talk and a book signing at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2016 I booked a ticket straight away to see what all the fuss was about! The queue to get into the event was one of the longest I’ve ever seen and some of the fangirls in the queue for the event looked at me gone out as if to say “What do you mean you’ve never read Throne of Glass?!” Needless to say that for that whole hour listening to SJM talk, the only thing I had any real understanding of was her love for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, plus I’d managed to get a seat right at the front so I felt really awkward surrounded by all these teenage lexicons swooning over people called Rhysand and Rowan whom I obviously knew nothing about. The complete buzz around both TOG, ACOTAR and Sarah herself made me buy the starter books from both series from the book tent right after the event and then spend more time in another really long queue to get her to sign those books. These were the series I had been waiting for. I was completely sucked into the worlds of Prythian and Erilea! I’d read both ACOTAR and ACOMAF ready for the release of ACOWAR in 2017 and I’ve now also read all of TOG up to Tower of Dawn which is on my TBR list for 2018. I’m trying to pace it out so I don’t gorge them all in one go! 🙈

Other bookish highlights of 2017 include:

  • Subscribing to the Fairyloot book box (since Feb 2017). It’s the only book box I subscribe to and I’m definitely never relinquishing my subscription. It has been one of the factors in helping me get back into reading and the whole community surrounding it is full of such lovely people who love to talk about books just as much as me! I’ve received so many gorgeous books I’d never have picked up on my own and discovered some brilliant new writers.
  • Ploughing through The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I managed to pick up this box set for about £10 from The Works and again it was one of those purchases based purely on the hype surrounding those infamous Shadowhunters.
  • Discovering Leigh Bardugo. I wrote my university dissertation on fairytales; I own copious books on fairytale criticism and theory; Angela Carter is one of my all-time favourite writers. So when I received an exclusively red-foiled copy of The Language of Thorns in my October Fairyloot box it felt like Leigh Bardugo had given me a little bit of Carter back in a Bloody Chamber-esque way! Her tales were so exquisitely told and full of such intrinsic imagery; both dark and twisty yet light and pure at the same time. It really was one of my favourite reads of 2017.

Bookish targets for 2018 include:

  • Reading Tower of Dawn ready for TOG7 and ordering A Court of Frost and Starlight.
  • Completing The Grishverse and starting the Six of Crows duology.
  • Purchasing and reading The Infernal Devices.
  • Reading books from authors I haven’t heard of or read before (enter Fairyloot!)
  • Clearing more of my TBR and not buying quite as many books, particularly e-books because I don’t actually enjoy reading them as much as physical books.
  • And the biggest challenge…Focusing on improving this blog (any constructive tips are welcome, I know that pictures are lacking!) and getting my new bookstagram account off the ground. You can follow me on Instagram @cotswoldbookaholic

So that’s me for this year! What are some of your 2017 reading highlights or goals for 2018? Let me know and happy reading!