The Wrap – September 2021

Howdy Bibliofriends!

September definitely felt like a ‘blink and you’ll miss it moment’ – seriously where has that month gone?! Although the pace was fast, looking back on it there were actually so many things that happened: the return of the Magical Readathon, starting my new job at a new school and our first stable yard Open Day (post-pandemic restrictions). Overall, this September seems to be the most positive month I’ve had in ages filled with lots of wonderful times! ☺️

We’re off to see the James Bond film tonight and I’m so excited!! I also have a new Audible subscription so please send recs of audiobooks as I’m totally procrastinating on what to get with my 2 free credits – HELP! 😂🙈

Life Update

Starting at my new school has been so wonderful and such a breath of fresh air after all of the work related problems from the past couple of years. I am actually loving my job again and it’s brought about a whole new energy which I’ve really been missing. Even friends have commented and said I seem like a much more positive person nowadays! 😂 I guess it’s pretty amazing what a change of scenery and a reduction of toxicity can do for your personality!

For the first time in about two years we were able to hold our annual Open Day at the stable yard I’m a part of. It was so nice to have visitors around the yard again and show them our fabulous horses and facilities. So far, this is our best season yet as we’ve had more winners already than ever before with the biggest part of the jumps racing season still ahead of us. The good vibes are in full flow at the minute, long may it continue!

I was so happy to see the return of the Magical Readathon hosted by Book Roast! I loved it back in it’s HP form but G has really pulled out all of the stops to make this bigger, better and more unique than ever before. You can read my original TBR below or scroll down to the What I’ve Been Reading section to find out more!

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

Having a readathon definitely helps my drive and determination to try and plough through the books – I think is probably my best reading month of the year so far. Despite only needing to fulfil two prompts to ‘pass’ the readathon, I always try to pick something for every prompt just in case I change my mind on the book I want to read, I’m such a mood reader at times! I’m going to write a proper wrap post for the Magical Readathon soon to go back over the prompts and challenges etc. but for now, here’s what I read in September:

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This book was so much fun and the perfect ‘end of school holidays’ distraction that I needed!

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I finally started the Percy Jackson series! Greek mythology is one of my favourites so I can’t believe it took me this long to get around to it. I loved the way Riordan blended ancient Gods and contemporary worlds together. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
It took me ages to finish this behemoth of an audiobook (clocking in at 19hrs long) and I’ve decided audio is definitely the way forward for me in terms of reading more of Murakami’s works. I much preferred Kafka to The Wind Up Bird Chronicle as I think I had a bit more of an understanding as to what was actually happening! Nakata’s character was adorable and the loved the speculative, magical-realism element the book had.

The Violent Season by Sara Walters (eARC)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The Violent Season comes out into the world next week! I was fortunate to get an eARC of it via Netgalley. The story revolves around a sleepy little town called Wolf Ridge where every November a strange sickness takes over the town’s residents and it turns into the season of violence (hence the title). I thought it would have paranormal / The Purge style vibes but this wasn’t quite the case. It was still an enjoyable read though. Review to come next week!

You and Me on Vacation by Emily Henry
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I think this was probably my favourite read of the whole month! I listened to it on audio with narration by Julia Whelan and it had me both laughing and crying at different points! Sometimes a book just comes along for you at the right time and it becomes everything you needed in that moment – You and Me on Vacation was exactly that. I’m turning into such a fan of Emily Henry’s writing, she creates some endearing characters and storylines. You can check out my spoiler-free review here.

Never Have I Ever by Isabel Yap
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Never Have I Ever is a short story collection from Isabel Yap and is based on Filipino folktales, myths and legends. I first came across the book on the Book Riot SFF Yeah! podcast and remember having to wait weeks for it to arrive from Bookshop.org as it had to be ordered direct from the supplier. I’ve always been intrigued by mythologies and tales from different cultures. Yap has a superb writing style which mixes threads from fantasy, speculative and magical-realism genres with contemporary vibes for modern readers. It’s a remarkable anthology and definitely got me in the spooky Halloween spirit!

#CurrentlyReading

As it was only £4.99, I completely caved and purchased the audiobook of Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer. I was determined not to continue anything to do with the Twilight series as I read it so long ago but curiosity (and my love of bargains!) got the better of me! I can’t believe it’s over 24 hours long and I must confess that I’ve had to crank the speed up to 1.5x because Edward’s narration is a little drawn out in places. I’m loving the background into the Cullen family so far.

In a bid to try and ‘read it before you see it’ I’ve recently started Dune by Frank Herbert in the hope I can finish it before the film comes out in cinemas later this month. At over 500 pages and tilted more into the Sci-Fi part of the SFF genre, I was a little apprehensive at first but now I’m about 200 pages in and loving it. Now I have majorly high expectations for the movie! 😂

Upcoming Reads

My book haul this month is making me so excited about my upcoming reads! I got the Illumicrate edition of Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff which is so stunning – the sprayed edges, the pearlescent hardback… it’s so gorgeous I almost don’t want to read it. (if that makes any sense?!)

I’ve also got some pretty cool ARCs on Netgalley and the release dates are fast looming so I’m keen to make my way through those pretty soon:
Midnight in Everwood by M.A. Kuzniar – publication date: 28th October
The Grimrose Girls by Laura Pohl – publication date: 2nd November
Swashbucklers by Dan Hanks – publication date: 9th November
A Three Dog Problem by SJ Bennett (Book 2 of the HM the Queen Investigates sereis) – publication date 11th November

What I’ve Been Watching

TV this month has been all about Grey’s Anatomy (again!) – it’s one of my all-time favourite series so I’ve been binging my backlog including Seasons 14, 15 and 16 and I’m now trying to rapidly make my way through Season 17 before it disappears from Sky later this month. Season 16, episode 16 (Leave a Light On) had me bawling my eyes out! In one way I’m so angry and gutted that the storyline had to go in that direction but what the writers did with it was so sentimental and just felt so right for that particular character that even though I don’t like it, it’s pretty perfect really.

Money Heist is back!! I can’t believe I got to the end of the 5th episode and then have to wait another few months for the second part of the season! Another cliffhanger/resolution/ending which made me grab the tissues. I get so sucked in to these TV programmes! 😂

Has anyone seen The Chair on Netflix with Sandra Oh? It’s on my watchlist but I haven’t started it yet.

Cinema movies this month have been:
Free Guy (LOVED IT!)
Respect – Aretha Franklin biopic (I never knew how turbulent her life was)
Shang Chi and the Ten Rings (the dragon scenes were epic)
The Many Saints of Newark (Sopranos prequel film)

Pokemon Go Update

I’ve definitely lost a bit of interest in the game since school started again. I basically leave my house at 7.15am and don’t return until 6.30pm so with the nights drawing in and the weather definitely turning more autumnal by the second, I’m not able to get out and play as much as I used to. The Fashion Week event was quite fun but it was a real sprint to the line to make sure I found all of the Fashion Challengers to battle for the Timed Research. I did manage to get a hundo Chansey and a hundo Furfrou out of it though.

September’s Shiny Haul
Lugia (finally!)
Oshawott (and all it’s evolutions on Comm Day)
Galarian Meowth (spotlight hour – I was so happy to see this guy!)

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 was your September? Are you heading into Autumn or is your weather still sunny and warm? I’m totally feeling the spooky vibes of Halloween and the witching season so feel free to send some bookish recommendations my way! What are you all looking forward to reading in October?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

The Wrap – August 2021

Howdy Bibliofriends!

“August slipped away like a moment in time…” – wow, where have those holidays gone and how is it September already?! Looking back now it feels like it disappeared in the blink of an eye although actually feel like I reached the perfect balance of relaxation and recreation to prepare for the forthcoming month!

Life Update

It was really nice to get back into reading and blogging again Summer – it’s definitely been my most active month for a while. I spent a majority of my holidays by the sea in Cornwall. We had some beautifully warm weather and sunny days. Where we are there is a main beach where all the tourists congregate but if you walk about a kilometre further up you discover a little secret beach which I literally had to myself every single day bar the rare dog-walking local ambling past. It was bliss!

Away from Cornwall I managed to catch up with some wonderful friends; we had an indulgent afternoon tea that was filled with all sorts of goodies and even a cheeseboard! I felt like such a Snorlax afterwards. I went to the races a few times with our stable yard which in turn led to seeing UB40 perform. But by far, my highlight of the entire month was our DB BBQ. DB is one of my racehorses and in amazing style he managed to win his hat-trick race (his third back-to-back win) on a day when two of the other yard’s horses also achieved the same feat so it was a treble of trebles! The whole of our syndicate got together to celebrate and it was a night filled with fabulous food, friendship and fizz. We each got mugs with our lovely horse on it and I came away with a stunning framed picture of one of his wins which now takes pride of place in my Office.

As August drew to a close I prepared myself for starting my new job at a brand new school – unloading my car I just couldn’t help but look around in awe at the school settings and the disbelief that I actually get to work there! I’m finally feeling super excited and positive about starting work again and I can’t wait to meet my new class! Wish me luck for September though, I know it’s going to be such hard work! 😂🙈

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

August felt like I got my reading mojo back (slightly!) – I read 4 books in total and although I’m still 6 books behind my reading goal schedule, August’s progress has been the best since about March. Here’s what I read in August:

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith (Strike #5)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I love the Strike novels. The plot just feels so well crafted and by the time I think I’ve finally figured out whodunnit, there will be a red herring or twist in the tale to make me have to rethink everything! This was edge-of-my-seat, page-turning crime and I loved every minute of it!

Can You Sign My Tentacle? by Brandon O’Brien
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
If you’re looking for a weird Sci-Fi, Poetry, Comptemporary fusion then look no further than this book! I received an eARC of this Carribbean author’s work from Netgalley. It takes Lovecraft and modern hip-hop influences and turns them completely upside down. I went into it on a bit of a whim but it was incredible and seriously made me consider the power of writing and imagination to send a message and challenge ideals without resorting to cancel culture. You can read my spoiler-free review here.

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This was a delightful Fairytale retelling of The Wild Swans. I was blown away by the magical world Lim created and can’t wait to read more of her writing. Check out my review here.

The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (The Inheritance Games #2)
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Puzzles, secrets, invisible ink and a whole heap of family drama… I adore this series of books and have literally devoured each read in just a day! After the ending of The Inheritance Games, I had no idea where the sequel would go but I was SO HERE FOR IT! I couldn’t believe it when I got my ARC request accepted on Netgalley and now I’m left twiddling my thumbs until the final installation of this gripping trilogy. My review is up next week so swing back to check it out!

#CurrentlyReading

I’m still going with my Kafka On The Shore audiobook by Murakami – I have about three hours left but I’m finally starting to pull together some little threads about what I think is going on! Perseverance has definitely been the key with this read!

For now I have parked She Who Became The Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan. I’ve heard great things about it so I’m determined that it will not become a DNF (I’ve only ever done that once before!), but I found it so hard to get into a reading rhythm and found myself just abandoning it and turning to TV – so for now, to keep my reading motivations on track, it’s on the bench. Anyone else ever feel that way with this book or is it just me?

I have FINALLY started my Rick Riordan reading journey with Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief! I haven’t even seen the films so I’m completely unspoiled. I only picked it up last night but I’m already halfway through. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to discover Camp Half-Blood, I love it!

Upcoming Reads

This month I am taking part in the Magical Readathon hosted by G (Book Roast). I loved this so much in it’s previous format with the Harry Potter OWLs/NEWTs theme but this time around it’s back… refreshed, rebranded, with it’s own unique magical world created specifically for readathon purposes! It’s like the readathon of all readathons and always helps me tick off my reading goals. G has put so much work into this, it’s epic! She’s epic!!
You can read my TBR for it here.

What I’ve Been Watching

Far too much TV in August to be honest but it was the holidays, so who cares?!

I have discovered the absolute joy that is Outer Banks on Netflix. If you’ve been following me for a little while you will know that treasure hunting is practically my favourite trope in the whole wide world. Hence why this treasure-hunting, mystery teen drama set in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and the Bahamas was one of my favourite summer binges!

Greys Anatomy has long been one of my favourite TV shows until I somehow stopped watching it around Season 13 – probably as everything moved to streaming services and my broadband signal back then was so poor I couldn’t even watch a YouTube vid without it buffering! For some reason I just seemed to ‘remember’ that it was on Disney + now so I steamrollered my way through Seasons 13, 14 and 15 – I’m forcing myself to take a little break before launching back into Season 16 but I don’t think I can really wait that long before curiosity eventually kills the cat! 🙈

I caught the second season of the French programme Lupin on Netflix. Assan is a the main character who fashions his escapades on the French literary character Arsene Lupin, a gentleman burglar and master of disguise, from the novels by Maurice Leblanc. I liked that it wasn’t a terribly long series and answered the big cliffhanger of a twist from season one. I’m not sure whether there’ll be a third season but the storyline kind of feels resolved for me know so who knows whether it’ll be back.

My friend recommended Sex/Life to me so I watched that on Netflix. Isabella Summers, the Machine part of Florence + the Machine, did the music for it so that also pulled me in (FATM are my all-time favourite band!). It was an interesting series although I got a little annoyed in the end by Billie’s character and the very, very final scene was a bit of a WTF moment! Love triangles irritate me slightly as I always end up changing my mind about who should end up with who – I know that’s kind of the point but I procrastinate enough in my own life, I don’t need to be overwhelmed by it in other people’s too! 😂

It’s been a bit of a quiet month at the cinema but I did manage to catch:

  • The Suicide Squad – I’ve decided I’m definitely a Marvel girl – the DC movies just don’t keep me entertained enough.
  • The Courier – This was an interesting film that was definitely worth the watch and whilst I appreciated the storyline (based on real events) I don’t think it’s one I’ll need to watch again.
  • Don’t Breathe 2 – This was an entirely different film to its predecessor and was more violence than horror. I enjoyed the story they created with the blind man’s character as it gave the film a little more depth than the first one.
  • Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins – A fun film but a little longer than it needed to be.

What I’ve Been Listening to

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

Pokemon Go Update

Eevee Community Day was the best event of the month – and not just because Eevee is one of my favourite Pokemons, it definitely helped in me completing the Eevee shiny dex! My favourite wild shiny catch was Clefairy! I wasn’t really paying full attention as I was walking to the cinema but when I caught sight of those shiny green ears I could have squealed!

August’s Shiny Haul
Kabuto
Eevee x 11
Clefairy
Caterpie

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 September – are you taking part in Magical Readathon or any other Readathons? How are you doing with your 2021 reading goals now that we’re in the final quarter of the year?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

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

March 2021 – #WrapPost

Howdy Bibliofriends!

Life Update

It’s been a little while hasn’t it? I took some time away from my blog over the past couple of weeks to deal with some things on the home front, and they’re not fully sorted but it’s also not really in my control to sort so my headspace is in a bit of a weird place right now.

What I am loving is that Spring is finally arriving – even if in typical British style the day can turn from sun to snow to hail all in the space of a morning! It has been so nice to catch up with friends and actually socialise again as England comes out of another stage of lockdown. I always used to have a packed diary but I had forgotten how tiring it can be actually having to make the effort and get out there – I think I took to the lockdown hermit life too well even though I was still in school like normal! How are you all coping with the different stages of the pandemic wherever you live?

What I’ve Been Reading in March

March was a pretty good reading month for me even if I did hit a massive reading slump which is kind of still ongoing… 😏 Taking part in the ‘Tis the Damn Readathon was so much fun as it’s been quite a while since I’ve taken part in one. It was also a really good way to keep me in my Taylor Swift zone. Ever since Folklore my fandom has reached brand new heights! 😂

Books I read:
> The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
> The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley (audiobook)
> The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
> Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (audiobook)
> Lore by Alexandra Bracken
> Locke and Key Vol. 2: Head Games by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez
> The Absolute Book by Elizabeth Knox

Instead of repeating myself, I did a small breakdown about each book and the readathon prompt they were for in a separate wrap post which you read here!

What I’ve Been Watching in March

  • Shadowhunters – Series 1

I finished watching the first season of Shadowhunters on Netflix. Being completely honest, I’m not sure it’s something I’ll continue with. I’ve read all of the books so was curious about the series but there are so many other things I think I’d rather try watching as I wasn’t really blown away by this one.

  • The Angel

I think this was based on the true story of Ashraf Marwan, an Egyptian spy (and President Nasser’s son-in-law) who tried to bring about peace with Israel. I didn’t really know any of the story beforehand so it was a little bit confusing to follow.

  • Extraction

Now this film I really enjoyed! Chris Hemsworth (a.k.a. Thor) is a mercenary tasked with rescuing a kidnapped teenager from a load of drug lords. It was fairly gory and there is a large amount of violence but I enjoyed the bond the mercenary and the teenager developed during the film.

  • Dead to Me – Season 1

Wow, this show! I can’t believe I didn’t see the twist at the end of the first episode coming! From there, the whole season was so addictive and I had to just keep clicking ‘next episode’ to see everything unfold. It’s kind of a tell-all show where the watcher knows exactly what is happening and is just waiting for the characters to find out to see their reactions. I definitely need to find out what is going to happen in season two after that incredible season finale.

  • Wandavision

OMG the ending to Wandavision, it went slightly off tangent for me but then the exploration of Wanda’s and Vision’s relationship just melted me! I’m so pleased we got to see Monica Rambeau as I can’t wait to see how her character evolves in the upcoming Captain Marvel II.

What I’ve Been Listening to in March

March has definitely been the discovery of the podcast! I’ve been listening to three different ones on a bit of a cycle during the mornings whilst I get ready for work.

That’s What I’m Tolkien About
This is such a great podcast by Mary Clay Watt which explores each the world of Tolkien chapter by chapter. I’ve come to this podcast fairly late (it’s up to episode 91/92 already). The Lord of the Rings and the movies have already been covered so I decided to start with The Hobbit chapters which are updated every Tuesday and always feature a special guest. I was so tempted to try and read the chapters along with the podcast, which I may go back and do for the LOTR books (the reading slump has beaten me to it this time around).

It’s Super Effective
This Pokémon podcast comes out every Monday and discusses all of the latest updates in Pokémon world. It’s pretty hefty at about 1.5 hours long but there is a mashup style music remix featuring as a break to each one which is kind of addictive. There’s a little too much TCG and Masters chat for me in some parts but the hosts SBJ, Will and Greg are incredibly entertaining and I like the Pokémon news and Pokémon Centre shopping updates they do. There’s also a Pokémon of the week style quiz to try and guess.

Book Riot’s SFF Yeah!
There had to be a bookish podcast in there from Book Riot! I love the way Sharifah and Jenn share their recommendations about books. I’ve mentally added so many more books to my TBR and actually preordered two books purely from their recommendations.

Pokemon Go Update

March was pretty quiet in the Pokemon Go stakes. I did find a group of local players in the village I live so I have been participating in more events and raids etc. which has been really nice. Rayquaza Raid weekend was such hard work! 😂 I did 15 raids, caught 14 of them and my 13th catch was my only shiny – how’s that for superstitious!  

March’s Shiny Haul
Krabby
Landorus (Incarnate Forme)
Fletchling (evolved into Fletchinder and Talonflame)
Voltorb
Eevee
Electrike
Castform
Chikorita
Pidgeot
Spearow
Rayquaza
Skarmory
Wingull

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 April

  • Easter holidays and Creme Eggs!
  • Lockdown easing and seeing friends.
  • The Shadow and Bone series!
  • Fearless (Taylor’s Version)

And that’s a wrap! What have you been reading/watching/listening to/doing in March? What are you reading in April? Have you got any exciting Readathons or social events lined up?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

‘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