The Wrap – July 2021

Howdy Bibliofriends!

The Summer Holidays are finally HERE! I’ve already had about 2 weeks off and it has been so nice to catch up with myself, my life, my housework and… my reading!

Life Update

In my last update I was counting down the days until I finished at my place of work, which I have now left. It felt like a weight off my shoulders to hand those keys back and walk out the door for the final time. I’ve been able to catch up on some much needed housework and clearing a few things out which has put me into such a great headspace that I’ve really been missing. My usual horsey trips and cinema trips are back in full force so normality seems to be on the up!

The rest of this Wrap Post follows my usual format (Past Reads, Current Reads, Upcoming Reads, Films/TV, Music/Podcasts, Pokemon Go) so feel free to skip any irrelevant parts!


What I’ve Been Reading

In July I finished reading These Violent Nights by Rebecca Crunden. Rebecca sent me this towards the start of 2021 and it is a multi-layered fantasy which branches off in two directions before converging again into one storyline and ending. It was so nice to read something quite dark and adult after lots of YA reads. I’m currently writing the review which should be up in a couple of weeks.

The second book I finished this month was The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. Being in verse form I was desperate to read this as I’m a bit of a fan about things like that. I found the whole symbology of the flamingo really intriguing and can’t wait to write my review.

#CurrentlyReading

I’m currently reading Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim. I was lucky enough to receive an e-ARC of this from NetGalley but didn’t manage to get more than 5 chapters in before it was archived. Thankfully, a stunning exclusive edition of this same novel arrived last week in one of my books subscription boxes so I can finally finish the story. I’m excited to see what happens to Shiori and her brothers.

I got myself into a great habit of listening to audiobook whilst I would get ready for work but as it’s the holidays now this routine hasn’t been as frequent. I purchased Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami whilst it was on special offer so I’ve been plowing my way through that whenever I’m out in the car. Listening to Murakami via audio is so much easier than when I tried to read The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, I love Murakami’s style but sometimes it just doesn’t sink in when I read it myself!

Upcoming Reads

I always get to Summer and think about the entire bookshelf of novels I’m going to tick off my TBR… it almost never happens so I’m trying not to give myself a ‘goal oriented’ list this month – it’s bad enough Goodreads telling me I’m still 7 books behind schedule! 🙈

I do want to try and get as much reading in as possible though. Similarly to Six Crimson Cranes I also had the e-ARC for She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan but again couldn’t read it before it was archived… and again – thankfully a gorgeous special edition of this also came my way via one of my book subscriptions. That’s definitely on my priority list this Summer.

I have a review request from Brittany Willows for her Urban/YA Fantasy novel Bloody Spade and I am also part way through graphic novel series called Fiery Crown by Charles Cutting which I’ll be making real efforts with over this Summer. Watch this space for these reviews!

Other books which are pretty high on my TBR list are:

Dune by Frank Herbert (which I am hoping to read before the movie comes out).
Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline (I have been waiting to give this book my complete, undivided attention)
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

What I’ve Been Watching

I’ve tried to really curb by TV time this month to get some more reading time in – it seems to have been working so far but I am now hopelessly addicted to this series of Love Island. It’s one of those guilty pleasures that I find so bad but so good at the same time!

At the cinema this month we’ve been watching:

  • Freaky – cheesy horror with a great correlation to the film Freaky Friday (which I have a bit of a soft spot for).
  • Black Widow – Loved this! felt so good to be watching a Marvel film again and I love Scarlett Johansson’s character so I’m glad she got her own movie.
  • Old – This was a definitely a horror with a difference. I didn’t quite know what to expect but the plotline was unique and intriguing.
  • Escape Room: Tournament of Champions – I am a huge fan of Escape Rooms! I caught the first film of this series on Netflix during the lockdown and it quenched my first for not being able to participate in a real-live one. I just had to catch the sequel on the big screen and it did not let me down! It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s definitely mine!
  • Jungle Cruise – This was such an awesome film! One of my favourites of the entire year! Slightly long perhaps for the storyline but it was so funny and the scenery gave me total wanderlust vibes.

What I’ve Been Listening to

Not much other than my audiobook of Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.

Pokemon Go Update

This month we finally had Go Fest! I spent the entire weekend just walking round my village catching Pokemon and raiding – it was great for my step count! 😂 I do love it when they host big events like this but they do tend to completely monopolise your time. I got a pretty decent shiny haul thought and the legendary raids day helped me to fill some gaps in my dex.

July’s Shiny Haul
Skarmory x2
Skorupi
Ralts
Slakoth
Aron
Audino x2
Alomalola x2
Kricketot
Roggenrola
Tangela
Snivy
Eevee
Rayquaza
Galarian Ponyta (with Meloetta hat)

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


And that’s a wrap! How are you all doing? What are you looking forward to this August – do you have any special holiday or reading plans? What are the upcoming book/film releases that you’re looking forward to the most?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

The Wrap – April, May and June 2021

Howdy Bibliofriends!

How have you all been? I’ve missed you blogging friends! Attack of the Book Slump left me pretty much M.I.A for the last three months – I’m so sorry! For some reason, reading – and anything and everything to do with it – just completely left me behind like some kind of adverse food reaction. It hasn’t been this bad for several years but as work life got ramped up and crazy (*eye rolls*), the usual solace I found in escaping into the pages of books suddenly seemed like hard work. I stopped listening to audiobooks and bookish podcasts, I didn’t even read or keep up with my blog or Goodreads accounts – zilch!

I have literally gone from being 4 books ahead of my 2021 reading target to being 6 books behind! For anyone who has asked me about reviewing their books or sent me an email or blog comment during these past few months, I’m dreadfully sorry and I will definitely get around to catching up soon.

Life Update

In teacher life – I have 9.5 days in my current place of work before I am escaping onto a new adventure – still teaching but at an entirely different school setting! Pandemic aside, the last two years at my current workplace have really taken chunks out of my soul – my mental health reached new lows, but finally… the end is nigh! My new school is so fantastic and I feel incredibly proud to have been given a job there. I know the workload and expectations are going to be higher than ever given what I’m walking into but I can’t wait to belong to part of a bigger team again.

Elsewhere in life, the cinema is finally open again – I am loving being back in front of the big screen. I’d forgotten quite how loud the IMAX speakers could be until I heard Godzilla’s almighty ROAR! The horse racing yard that I am a part of has had the most spectacular start to the season and the horse I actually own has won 2 races! We’re all super proud of him. There is a whole vibe of positivity and celebration in the air at the moment which is definitely boosting the spirits.

The rest of this Wrap Post follows my usual format (Past Reads, Current Reads, Upcoming Reads, Films/TV, Music/Podcasts, Pokemon Go) so feel free to skip any irrelevant parts!

What I’ve Been Reading

So, somewhere along the reading road I hit a few bumps. March saw an incredible mission to try and complete the Taylor Swift themed ‘Tis the Damn Readathon which was challenging but great fun. You can read my wrap for that here.

April then saw me surrounded in the worlds of The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox and House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas, both of which I loved (I mean, SJM never fails to have me reaching for the tissues!).

In May I read absolutely nothing! 🙈

June saw my self-imposed NetGalley deadline guilt kick in and I finally picked up All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue. An intriguing YA debut based around a mystical tarot deck – review coming up next week!

#CurrentlyReading

I’m currently reading These Violent Nights by Rebecca Crunden which is definitely satisfying my need for a more adult fantasy novel. There’s a lot to sink my teeth into but I’ve just about reached the halfway point.

Upcoming Reads

I have Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim and She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan in my NetGalley reading pile which are both exciting, upcoming July releases. Rumour has it, I’ll be getting them both as physical copies very soon as well… 👀!

I have a review request from Brittany Willows for her Urban/YA Fantasy novel Bloody Spade and I am also part way through graphic novel series called Fiery Crown by Charles Cutting which I’ll be making real efforts with over this Summer. Watch this space for these reviews!

What I’ve Been Watching

I have unfortunately succumbed to the Bridgeton hype! I wasn’t exactly bowled over by the storyline but I did love the costumes and the set-dressing! The return of the cinema has been so welcome and I’ve managed to go at least once, if not twice a week – thank goodness for my Cineworld Unlimited Card! I had my first 4DX experience for Fast and Furious 9 which was. So. Much. Fun. It’s not quite the immersive experience that the Avatar Flight of Passage ride is at DisneyWorld but it definitely kept me awake late on a Friday evening!

Looking back at my Netflix viewing activity from April, May and June – I now know what may have added to the diversion away from reading… enter: The Bold Type! This is one of my favourite shows ever! I’m so sad that Season 5 is going to be the finale but I’m praying it comes to Netflix soon; I have to keep blitzing past the spoilers on Instagram!

  • Love Wedding Repeat [Film – Netflix]
  • The Bold Type [Seasons 1-4 – Netflix]
  • Shadow and Bone [Season 1 – Netflix]
  • Things Heard and Seen [Film – Netflix]
  • Ibiza [Film – Netflix]
  • Something Borrowed [Film – Netflix]
  • The Perfect Date [Film – Netflix]
  • Bridgerton [Season 1 – Netflix]
  • The Woman in the Window [Film – Netflix]
  • Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant [Films – Netflix]
  • Second Act [Film – Netflix]
  • In the Shadow of the Moon [Film – Netflix]
  • Can You Keep a Secret [Film – Netflix]
  • Friends: The Reunion [Sky]
  • Game of Thrones [Seasons 1-3 – Sky]
  • Ugly Betty [Season 1 – Disney +]
  • Godzilla vs Kong [Cinema]
  • Cruella [Cinema]
  • A Quiet Place Part II [Cinema]
  • In The Heights [Cinema]
  • Fast ad Furious 9 [Cinema]
  • Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard [Cinema]
  • Dream Horse [Cinema]

What I’ve Been Listening to

  • Fearless (Taylor’s Version) – Taylor Swift
  • Staying at Tamara’s – George Ezra (this album always gives me major summer vibes)
  • The Lion’s Roar – First Aid Kit
  • In the Heights (film soundtrack)
  • Dolly Parton’s America (podcast)

Pokemon Go Update

Sometimes it feels like PoGo is the one constant in my life – even if just for 5 minutes everyday! 🙈😂

April, May and June’s Shiny Haul
Lopunny
Execute
Snivy
Nidoran
Marill
Snubull
Swablu
Bunnelby
Igglybuff
Gible
Bidoof
Tepig

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


And that’s a wrap! How are you all doing? What are you looking forward to this July? If you’re a Bold Type Fan or Shadow and Bone fan feel free to let me know or send me a comment about what you thought of the series!

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

May Wrap Post & Haul!

Hey Bibliofriends!

May was such a brilliant reading month for me. It seemed that some of my bookish and blog goals were coming together as I managed to read some of my first NetGalley requests and also got approached by some authors and publishing companies through both my blog and Twitter! It’s definitely helped me to keep topping up my blog content and I’ve found a brilliant way to utilise my FairyLoot Reading journal as a blog planner so that I can keep track of my reading and blogging all in one place!

May was also my birthday month as it seemed a little strange not being able to go and celebrate with all of my friends together however I did have a wonderful picnic and walk through our local countryside with my family. I’m so lucky to live in a place with lots of hills and woodland on my doorstep. The sunshine has been pretty spectacular too!

So with birthday presents and all, this month has seen a pretty spectacular book haul which is why this post may be super long. There’s a kind of contents list below so you can skip to any part you wanted to! Thanks for reading about my topic month!

  • Books I Read in May
  • May’s Book Haul
  • Movies I Watched

Books I Read In May

The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary
Rating: 📚📚📚

After the absolute mission that was OWLs Readathon I felt like I needed something light and funny to kick off May. I’d had a chapter sampler of this sent to me pre-publication and it was brilliant. I liked the uniqueness of Leon and Tiffy’s situation. Read the review here.

The Carpet Cipher by Jane Thornley
Rating: 📚📚

I requested to read this through Netgalley and managed to get through it in about 2 days. To be honest, I don’t think my read pile would have been terribly sad if this wasn’t in it. I rarely get annoyed by a book but there was so much promise for this from the blurb but for me, it raised more questions than actual enjoyment. Read the review here.

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

Wow, wow, wow! This book was the dark, delicious poisoned apple offered by the Wicked Queen that I devoured. Luxurious, deceptive and romantic; if you love a Slytherin romance with a determined and headstrong character then you need to add this to your TBR. Read my review here.

The Spaces Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

It’s been a while since I read something purely sci-fi without the fantasy element and this was my first actually accepted request from NetGalley!!! *still jumping up and down in excitement* I loved idea of the book set in a multiverse of 382 Earths and the idea of being able to walk in all of the worlds your doppelganger no longer occupied. The mixture of scientific and spiritual was really well-balanced and I enjoyed the journey the main character took into finding her identify and place in the world. Traverse on over to the review here.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
Rating: 📚📚📚📚

May was a super lucky month for NetGalley approvals as I also received this book which had been on my TBR ever since its first release date in 2019. Descendant of the Crane did not disappoint. This book is more of a slower-paced read as there was a lot of description and information to digest as each new revelation was revealed. At the centre of it all was a trial and investigation into who killed the King which led to lots of other backstories and crises of revolt and impending war upon the country of Yan. If you like lots of world-building and information interspersed with plenty of action in a deliciously oriental palace setting, then check out my review on 10th June to see if Descendant of the Crane is right up your literary street.

Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart
Rating: 📚📚📚.5

As part of my mission to try and finish off some of the series that I had already started I read this sequel to Grace and Fury. I managed to steamroller my way through this book really quickly. I absolutely love the whole concept of Mount Ruin, not that it’s a prison (obviously) but just the role it plays in the story. Review coming up soon!

A Touch of Death (The Outlands Pentalogy) by Rebecca Crunden
Rating: 📚📚📚.5

I am so grateful to Rebecca for approaching me to read this first book in her series. I had so much fun getting to know the characters and explore the Kingdom of Cutta. The book had a fantastic dystopian vibe and it was wonderful to read something which seemed to balance both ends of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre quite well. I’m currently in the process of writing my review which will be coming up later this month!


May Book Haul

With it being my birthday this month, the rule about not-buying any more books was not just broken, but annihilated! Some of these were treats to myself and some of them were birthday gifts. Many of these were sequels that I purchased specifically just to try and finish some off before starting others.

Physical Books

Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie [Fairyloot March Box – Exclusive Edition]
Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart (sequel to Grace and Fury)
Shadow and Flame by Mindee Arnett (sequel to Onyx and Ivory)
These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch (sequel to These Rebel Waves)
Rage by Cora Carmack (sequel to Roar)
All the Wandering Light (sequel to Even the Darkest Stars)
Given to the Earth (sequel to Given to the Sea)
Cloak of Night by Evelyn Skye (sequel to Circle of Shadows)
Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (Book 2 of The Infernal Devices trilogy)
FairyLoot’s April Box Book (I kept this one spoiler free for now!)

E-Books / E-Arcs

The Spaces Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson (NetGalley e-arc)
The Carpet Cipher by Jane Thornley (NetGalley)
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He (NetGalley e-arc – rerelease)
The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott (NetGalley e-arc)
Ignite the Sun by Hanna Howard (NetGalley e-arc)
Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale by Andrea Blythe (Netgalley e-arc)
My Fence is Electric by Mark Newman (Short Story Collection: ePub thanks to Odyssey Books)
A Touch of Death (The Outlands Pentalogy) by Rebecca Crunden (thank you Rebecca! ☺️)


Movies I Watched in May

Having the Sky Cinema bundle on NowTV has been such a lifesaver for my film addiction whilst in lockdown! Some of the films are brand new streams and some were a little older.

Dora The Explorer: City of Lost Gold
Darkest Hour
Stuber
Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw
Hudson Hawk
Closer
Hotel Artemis
The Meg
Escape Room
Captain Marvel
Avengers: Endgame
Spiderman: Far From Home
American Made
The Billionaire Boys Club

Back at the tail end of 2019, I purchased the Marvel Cinematic Universe boxsets on Blu-Ray as I hadn’t seen them all. Making my way through all of the films across the four boxsets reminded me a little of the guys that paint the Forth Bridge in Scotland; once they get to the end, it’s pretty much time to start repainting again from the beginning – it’s taken me so long to get through the entire Marvel Universe that now I feel that I need to go right back and watch them all in chronological order! 😂


What has been your highlights of May? Did you get an impressive book haul or achieve any of your bookish goals? What are you looking forward to in June? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

May TBR

Hey Biblifriends,

We’re nearing the middle of May so I thought I’d better post my May TBR already… 🙈😂

April’s OWLs Magical Readathon was so brilliant and I’m thrilled I passed 11 of my 12 exams, but I’ve got to admit, it’s really knocked the stuffing out of me! It’s almost like I binged on books during April and now I can’t bear to read…or post…or bookstagram. I’ve hit the slump big-time!

To add to this, life has also been hectic. Next week at work, my little darling Year 6 kids are sitting their end of Key Stage 2 SATs exams so we’ve all been revising our socks off trying to get ready. I’ve also been spending my non-working life doing lots of things with friends including catching up with movies, going to our pub quiz and spending almost the entire bank holiday weekend listening to live music at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival (more on that in my monthly wrap at the end of the month).

Hence my little Biblioshelf hiatus – sorry guys!

Anyhow, in a bid to get myself out of my slump, and in preparation for one of 2019’s most anticipated series finales, I’m rereading Caraval by Stephanie Garber which is the first of my May TBR books.

My other three books are: Legendary by Stephanie Garber; Finale by Stephanie Garber; Obsidio (Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

Crates I’m expecting this month:

  • FairyLoot’s May Unlikely Romances Box
  • FairyLoot’s Finale Collector’s Edition Box
  • ShelfLove Crate May Box: We Hunt the Flame and Romanov – this will be my first ShelfLove Box and I’m super excited as I cannot wait to read these two titles!
  • Wizarding World May Box (which I think is themed around Quidditch)

So it looks set to be an exciting month in bookish terms, here’s hoping I actually get myself out of this slump in time to actually read! 😂

What are you all reading this month? Are there any hot new releases you’re really excited for? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx