‘Tis the Damn Readathon Wrap Post

Aloha Bibliofriends!

In March I took part in the Taylor Swift based ‘Tis the Damn Readathon with my friend who is one of the biggest Swifties I know! Quite often my reading ambitions fall on the fantasy side of magical realism so I always end up giving myself too much to do and then fall out with myself when I don’t hit the goals: #ownworstenemy
I came up with a TBR of about 7 books as I wanted to try and hit all of the album prompts – you can read about that here!
Right towards the end of the month I hit a massive reading slump which probably killed my blog vibe too to be honest. I have just started reading Crescent City whilst it’s still the Easter holidays so I’m hoping that drags me out of it.

  • Album: Taylor Swift / Prompt: Read a Memoir / Book: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

I love the Star Wars franchise and actually won a copy of this book through Bookmarks which is an online research panel lead by Penguin. It was the perfect choice for a memoir and it was so strange reading this knowing that she tragically passed away shortly after its publication. You read my review here.

  • Album: Fearless / Prompt: Do some meditation (non bookish prompt)

I didn’t read anything for this but I do meditate every morning before going to work so this felt like an easy prompt to achieve.

  • Album: Speak Now / Prompt: Listen to an Audiobook / Book: The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

I was pleasantly surprised by this audiobook and ended up adoring its plot and characters. There was a day at school during remote learning where we set the children on an off-timetable creativity day so we didn’t have a live lesson schedule, this audiobook was the soundscape to my redecorating the classroom and laminating all of the resources. It’s one of those I could listen to again and again! Read my review here.

  • Album: Red / Prompt: Read a book with red on the cover / Book: The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

This was a late addition to my TBR as I unexpectedly got approved for this on NetGalley in preparation for the paperback release of the book. This was such a great SFF book with a really curious twist on magic. I’m so intrigued that I can’t wait to see where the series goes next. Read the review here.

  • Album: 1989 / Prompt: Read a book with a number in the title / Book: Locke and Key Volume Two: Head Games by Joe Hill

So I cheated on this one a little – I didn’t have time to read my TBR selection for this but I figure it counts right? I watched the Locke and Key series on Netflix and was so captivated that I had to start reading the graphic novels too. They’re a little different to the TV show in terms of the timeline but it still satisfies that void whilst I’m waiting for Season Two to drop.

  • Album: Reputation / Prompt: (Blank Space Tile) Read a book Taylor has referenced / Book: Peter Pan (Audiobook)

I used a Blank Space tile for this one as I struggled to think of an idea for any of the prompts. I came across an audiobook of Peter Pan read by a whole cast of celebs including Joanna Lumley, David Walliams, Kit Harrington and others. It was put together by Martin Jarvis who did the Good Omens audiobook which I also loved. I enjoyed exploring this as it was a classic which I haven’t read before.

  • Album: Lover / Prompt: Do some self care (non bookish prompt)

This prompt happened lots in March, mostly with ice cream! 😂

  • Album: Folklore / Prompt: Read a book based on mythology / Book: Lore by Alexandra Bracken

When I discovered this book was a standalone, it rocketed up my TBR and I was definitely in the mood for some contemporary, yet magical YA last month. It was such a fun read and I enjoyed the way the author mixed the ancient mythology into a modern world context. There might be a review of it coming soon if I get time.

  • Album: Evermore / Prompt: Read a mystery or thriller / Book: The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox

Again, this was a little bit of a cheat one as The Absolute Book is classed as Fantasy but after reading it I feel that it definitely has a mystery twist too – I was mystified through all 640 pages, right up until the Epilogue! 😂 I read this for NetGalley so this week’s job is to get the review finished!


That’s my ‘Tis the Damn Readathon Wrap! It was so much fun to take part in a Readathon again, I can’t remember the last time that happened. Thanks so much to my friend @megalynreads on Twitter for suggesting it and to the fabulous team over at ‘Tis the Damn Readathon for putting together the most comprehensive Swiftathon I’ve ever seen! It definitely helped motivate me to keep my reading goals on track in March!

Did any of you take part in the readathon? What did you read in March?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

#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

#SixforSunday – Books That Made You Cry

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

This week’s Six For Sunday theme is all about ‘books that made you cry’. Confession time: I am a huge cry-baby, to the point where I actually googled a few months ago whether I was some kind of empath… I just found myself being overwhelmed or crying at no end of TV, books, music – no kidding, I watched Taylor Swift’s Reputation Tour on Netflix, saw a girl crying in the audience and an actual tear came out of my own eyes!!!
So this post is almost like the ‘follow-up / B-side / sister album’ to last week’s Six for Sunday post about ‘books that made you FEEL‘. Think of it as the Buzz to my Woody, the cheese to my toast, the cookie to my dough…
For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. February’s theme is ‘Read it and Weep!’ (which I have definitely done in all of my choices for this month!).


Books That Made Me Cry!

  1. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks!
    When I read this in High School for a War Literature class it was probably one of the largest books I’d ever read. I remember being daunted by the size of it but the not having to worry as I just couldn’t stop turning the pages. It was such a tragic story and one that stayed in my mind for a long time.
  2. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
    I can never really talk about this book without majorly spoiling things but the ending broke me! I was in denial for quite a while that Bardugo could really finish a book like that – I’m still not really over it! 😂
  3. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
    Surprise surprise that this made the list! 😂 You know when you sometimes watch a horror movie and you’re yelling “Don’t do it, don’t do it!” That was what my reading voice was screaming during the final parts of this book. It was just so moving. I don’t think I’ve been so drawn to two characters like the way I was to both Addie and Henry for a very long time.
  4. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
    If I can cry at the Pixar movie Bolt then I was always going to cry over this novel! It’s weird to say that it’s a favourite because of the circumstances within the story but there was just something so familiar and endearing about the characters that you really felt like a part of the tragedy.
  5. One Day by David Nicholls
    I’ve talked about this book before because I love the concept of tracking what a friendship is like on the same day across a number of years. The ending of this book was a real distraction when I was working to an essay deadline. I genuinely didn’t see what was coming – I think the film really spoils that as the twist is made all that more obvious.
  6. Spectacles by Sue Perkins
    I was so thrilled to meet Sue and get a signed copy of her memoir when she was doing her book tour at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. If you’ve read it, I asked her to draw the smiley face inside my book which caused a fair amount of laughing. There’s one part in here though where Sue talks about losing a beloved pet and having been through that kind of pain myself it really resonated with me and I sobbed for ages. I think I had to put the book down so I could actually take a break from it!

What books made you club like a baby? Have you read any of my selections – did you find them as weepy as I did?
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Books That Made You FEEL

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends!

This week has been half term week and it has been so lovely just to catch up with myself, my blog, my reading and my housework – with current lockdown restrictions there’s pretty little else to do anyway! 😂 The Film Club I am a part of is having its 2020 review a little later on today so I’ve been looking back over all of the different films I’ve been watching in 2020 and pick my favourites. I’m hoping to make a separate post about it soon but it has definitely given me something to do over this week!

This week’s Six For Sunday theme is all about ‘books that made you FEEL’. It was so hard to pick just six books for this prompt and I made an initial list in my blog planner of my selections. But then… I looked ahead to next week’s prompt which is all about books which made you cry and I found myself having to reshuffle a few around on my list so as not to repeat myself. Quite a lot of the books that invoke strong feelings in me usually mean that I’m bawling my eyes out! 😂 I’ve tried to pick a different range of feelings for the books in this week’s prompt as there are so many wondrous feelings our darling books give us! For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. February’s theme is ‘Read it and Weep!’ (which I have definitely done in all of my choices for this month!).


Books That Made Me FEEL!

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas!
    Ok, there is no list that I could write for this prompt without including this book. It should actually come with a ‘swoon alert’ on the front cover. Feyre has got to be one of the luckiest protagonists in fantasy literature – that’s all I’ll say!
  2. Romanov by Nadine Brandes
    Wow was I won over by Nastya in this story! I know next week is supposed to be about books that made us cry but I couldn’t get through the final chapter of this without bawling like a baby. The level of hope and perseverance that Nastya’s character exuded was so endearing. I don’t know if that was because I’ve studied the Romanovs before and the real-life story has always been one of the most intriguing historical mysteries to me therefore I was hoping for that happy-ever-after that the true Anastasia didn’t really have, but this book definitely left it’s mark on me and gave me lots of different feels from the start to the finish!
  3. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
    I am SO glad I finished reading this book in time to put it on my list this week. I mean, can you read this and not end up feeling something when you finish that final page?! You know sometimes when you finish a book, and you know it’s going to leave its mark on you for an incredibly long time but you having quite compiled all of your thoughts together coherently yet…? That’s me, at the minute, with THUG – it’s simply amazing!
  4. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
    So I know this is another repeat performance for this author on the list but if you’ve read this book then you’ll know there’s a scene in here of absolute sacrifice and when I first read it, I couldn’t actually believe what I had read and had to go back just to check that I wasn’t making up my own version of the story – my inner head voice was also screaming ‘no, no, nooooooooo’ at the same time. So yes, Kingdom of Ash sure as hell made me FEEL – and then some!
  5. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
    I’ve never quite felt such pity for a character quite like Eleanor Oliphant. There’s that point in the novel where you realise really clearly and explicitly what is happening – and then it sank into my own head that for some people this is real-life. A completely different set of feels to ACOMAF and KOA but similarly to THUG there was a really poignant message lying at the core of Eleanor Oliphant.
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
    I couldn’t grow up with these characters and that world and then not end up having feels at the end of this series. To add to that, there is that one scene where one of my favourite characters of all-time meets their ending and I’m still in a bit of denial to be honest that it actually happened.

What books gave you all the FEELS? I’m in need of some recommendations to reconnect myself to my emotions after all of this lockdown isolation – feel free to suggest some titles!
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Beloved Books

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends and Happy Valentine’s Day if you celebrate it!

With love in the air, what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with a Six for Sunday post filled with my favourite, most loved books of all-time! These are probably the books (or series) that would be on my list for being stranded on a desert island, to rescue from a burning building, to put in a secure lock-box time capsule so they’ll stand the test of time… – you get the idea right? We’re talking God-Tier type stuff right here!

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot. February’s theme is ‘Read it and Weep!’ (which I have definitely done in all of this week’s choices!).


Beloved Books!

  1. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas!
    This series really kickstarted my love of reading again – and particularly my renewed enthusiasm for YA fantasy. I just love everything about these books – the characters, the plot twists, the cliffhangers, that formidable sense of knowing things will go badly and then they do! Plus, the series is so long that I’ll never get bored of reaching the end of Kingdom of Ash (with tissues for that mega cry’athon moment – if you know, you know!) and then going back to Assassin’s Blade to start all over again.

  2. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
    So continuing with the epic long books theme, Middle Earth has such a special place in my heart. Being perfectly honest, it was the films that first made got me into this series accompanied with that exquisite Howard Shore score. Reading the book after watching the films helped me to visualise things that little bit more clearly. Tolkien’s narration style is not something that I could breeze through easily and it took me about a month to get through the whole three volumes but the sense of achievement when finishing it made me love the whole thing even more. It’s definitely a classic fantasy pick and has firmly cemented itself onto my God-Tier of books.

  3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    I can’t quite remember where I stumbled across Ready Player One – it may have been in one of those indie record stores that occasionally sold books at half the RRP. I remember reading on the front cover that it was supposed to be a cross between Willy Wonka and the Matrix, couple that with my addiction to book-buying and the rest they say is history. I absolutely consumed the whole thing from cover to cover – the amount of pop culture references crammed into those pages, the whole treasure hunt theme, the Easter Eggs, the triumph of humanity over consumerist greed – it’s one of those books that feels like it was written especially for me. I’m so happy I found it.

  4. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
    This was the first time I’d ever read anything by Schwab and I was completely blown away. Addie’s character came straight out of those pages and right into my heart. The way the story couples magic with identity made it highly relatable and Schwab’s storytelling was so amazing that you could tell how much love she poured into her story and her characters. I could gush about how much I love about this book all day!
  5. The Shadow of the Wind / Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
    I’ve written quite a few times before about how Zafón is one of my all-time favourite authors. His writing style is like no other that I have ever read, it’s like he caresses ever single word that comes out of his brain and onto the page. To me, his stories have a brilliant blend of magical realism and literary fiction, couple with a devotion to books and the written word. Barcelona is definitely a place on my travel bucket list so I can go and explore a little more of the world that inspired him so much.
  6. The Harry Potter Series
    I can’t talk about my most loved books without mentioning the Harry Potter series. Whilst I don’t support the author’s personal views, I’ve tried my hardest to separate the art from the artist. I grew up reading these books. I grew up alongside Harry Potter. I found a fictional home inside the Wizarding World that I didn’t quite have in the real world and they books were a massive part of my childhood so they’ll always be a part of my favourites list.

What are your most loved books / characters /series? Feel free to gush and get your adorations out – it is Valentine’s Day after all! 😍
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Books With Red Covers

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

It’s February already?! On the one hand I am loving that we are getting closer to Spring (and half term!) but on the other it feels like time is flowing so rapidly and I’ve got very little to show for it. I really hit the wall reading A Vow So Bold and Deadly and I don’t think I’ve picked it up all week! 😏 I really need to push on through it as I’m hoping I’ll get to that point where everything in the story flips and then you just can’t put it down.

This week’s Six for Sunday we are starting a brand new theme which I am so excited for. February is all about Read It and Weep! Perfect for the month of love…! 😂 Anyone who knows me will know that I cry at so, so many things so I’m hoping the ‘weep’ side of the prompt comes easily this month! Today though, we are listing books with red covers. I had so much fun scrolling through my shelves and my Goodreads to find examples of these. If you read the above comment then the first pick should be no surprise! For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot.


Books With Red Covers!

Apart from the top one (which is my ‘currently reading’), the rest of my choices this week are books fro may ‘Read’ shelves that I absolutely loved reading and would recommend to anyone depending on their favourite/most read genres.

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer

The Windsor Knot by S. J. Bennett

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

Us by David Mitchell


What books do you have on your shelves with red covers? And more importantly, have you ‘read‘ any of them yet? 😂
As always, leave your links below to your own posts or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx