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

OWLs Readathon and April Wrap-Up

Happy May Biblioshelf Friends!

Welcome to the OWLs Magical Readathon and Monthly Wrap Post Mash-Up!
This post started small and then gradually gathered moss so it’s a pretty epic one. I’ve put a kind of contents list below so feel free to scroll to any particular section rather than having to suffer through the whole thing if you want – it is pretty long!

  1. All About OWLs Magical Readathon 2020
  2. New Biblioshelf Twitter
  3. My Chosen Wizarding Careers Path
  4. Books Read in April
  5. Films Watched in April

All about the Magical Readathon

So this month, I took part in the OWLs Magical Readathon for the second time. For those of you who don’t already know, Magical Readathon is a Wizarding World themed, month-long readathon hosted by G (Book Roast). Every year she creates this amazing Wizarding Careers booklet and picks bookish prompts to match each of the Hogwarts school subjects taken at OWLs level. Which prompts you chose depends on the career path you want to complete. In August, we then take our NEWTs and study the final exams/reading prompts for our chosen careers.
It is heaps of fun and G makes it really entertaining by hosting reading sprints, quidditch trials and quizzes. A page counter also lets you submit your reading in return for House Points and those all clock up to see who wins the House Cup at the end of the contest.

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Obviously… *Snape drawl* you can participate in as much or as little as you like so you don’t have to be too daunted with all of the ongoing festivities. This year was extra-special fun as two of my friends also joined in and we created our own little reading WhatsApp group to discuss our progress!


New Twitter!

I went to the extreme of making my own BookTwitter just to take part in the Readathon! I had been thinking of doing this for a while anyway now just seemed like the perfect time. I’ve kind of neglected my bookstagram badly and been spending a lot more time on my personal Twitter account. You can follow my bookish account @biblioshelf if you wanted to – come and say ‘Hi!’, I usually always follow back! So far I am loving the BookTwitter community so fingers crossed I can keep it going now that it’s original purpose has ended!


Chosen Wizarding Career Path

Last year, I graduated as a Hogwarts Professor so this year I decided to try something a little different. Being as indecisive as I am at the moment, I settled on two different career paths, Spell-Maker and Ministry Worker (Department of Mysteries). That way I figured I could choose the one that I preferred best by the end… however, I did kind of screw myself over as this meant that I had to do 9 of the 12 overall prompts…


Prompts and Books Read

ᚠ Ancient Runes: Read a book with a heart on the cover or title.
A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmer – 📚📚📚📚
Read my review here!

Abacus on Apple  Arithmancy: Read something outside of your favourite genre.
Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – 📚📚📚📚📚
Review to come on 6th May

💫 Astronomy: Read a majority of the book when it’s dark outside.
Awful Auntie by David Walliams – 📚📚📚

✨ Charms: Read a book with a white cover.
Selected Poems by T.S. Eliot – 📚📚

💀 Defence Against the Dark Arts: Read a book set at the coast or at sea.
The Beholder by Anna Bright – 📚📚📚.5

🔮 Divination: Read a book using a random number generator from your TBR.
Romanov by Nadine Brandes – 📚📚📚📚

📖 History of Magic: Read a book with witches or wizards in it.
Circe by Madeline Miller – 📚📚📚📚

🕷 Potions: Read a book under 150 pages.
Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers – 📚📚📚📚📚

🎴 Transfiguration: Read a book featuring a shapeshifter.
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – 📚📚📚

Total pages read: 3272

I am so happy that I actually finished my OWLs! I mean, it was down to the wire right up to the last day but April has definitely been my best month for reading so far. I started the month being behind on my Goodreads reading goal of 45 books and now I think I’m 2 ahead! #winning 🍾
Bring on the NEWTs in August, the Spell-Maker/Ministry Worker dream is still alive!


Films I Watched

I can’t remember if I mentioned this anywhere before, but at the start of lockdown I came across a Sky Movies deal on Now TV that was 2 months of movies for £2; it’s one of the best £2 I’ve ever spent. Those of you who knew me from before might recall that I’m part of a film club. We used to go to the cinema about 2-3 times a week; now everything is shut we’re having to get our film fix in other ways. Here’s what I watched this month – some were rewatches and others were films that I’d missed from last year.

The Kid Who Would Be King: 🎬🎬🎬🎬
Loved this movie, not just because I have ties to Cornwall but King Arthur’s tales have always been a part of folklore I’d love to read more about.

Clue: 🎬🎬🎬🎬
I am a massive sucker for board games, particularly Cluedo and this film was just so perfect, can’t believe I haven’t seen it before!

Bad Times at the El Royale: 🎬🎬🎬
I missed this when it came out at the cinema and was so glad to get the chance to watch it. It had a really interesting plotline and I wasn’t at all sure which characters to trust or believe in.

The Secret Life of Pets 2: 🎬🎬🎬
Gotta say, I still think the trailer for the first film is the best part of this franchise, otherwise, it’s pretty much your average animal animation movie. I still loved it though!

Coco: 🎬🎬🎬🎬🎬
I’ve always known that everyone has said I should watch Coco but I didn’t really understand why until I actually saw it! The music, the graphics, the heartfelt message in the story, it was pure magic!

Spider-Man into the Spider Verse: 🎬🎬🎬
This was the 2018 film of the year in our film club but I never got around to seeing it when it came out at the cinema. I can admire the storyline, the production and everything but sorry guys, Spiderman is just not my thing!

Rocketman: 🎬🎬🎬🎬
This was a rewatch for me but I think Taron Egerton does an exceptional job at portraying Elton John. I really love his music and the movie felt so raw and personal.

Yesterday: 🎬🎬🎬🎬
Another musical rewatch. Richard Curtis is one of my favourite film makers. I think he’s a bit of a genius really and it was so much fun seeing him do a talk at the Cheltenham Literature Festival last year. I thought Yesterday had such an intriguing storyline and actually made me fall a tiny bit in love with The Beatles.

Mission Impossible Fallout: 🎬🎬
I’m not the biggest MI or Tom Cruise fan so this just went over my head really as an afternoon filler.

What Men Want: 🎬
I thought this would at least be funny enough to keep me entertained. Sadly, it wasn’t!

Mary Poppins Returns: 🎬🎬🎬🎬
I adore Emily Blunt and Julie Andrews. I think Disney did an incredible job at giving Mary Poppins a fresh new life, whether it needed it is another matter. I love the little nods to the original but can’t help wishing whether I feel Julie Andrews should have just done that little role as the balloon lady at the end. I can totally see why she didn’t want to be involved but I just can’t decide whether my heart wanted her to do the cameo or she was better off just staying out of it. I’ve clearly thought about that way too much…

Aqua Man: 🎬🎬🎬
Like in books, any kind of watery film will instantly make it to my watch list. I wouldn’t say this is the most ground breaking film DC have ever done but I really did enjoy watching it.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu: 🎬🎬🎬🎬🎬
I need a sequel to this film NOW! I love Pokémon, so much so that after the film I had to complete the Pokémon book tag. You can find it here.

Ma: 🎬🎬
Octavia Spencer does a really great job at playing a creepy role although I just couldn’t stop myself from yelling “why would you do that?!” to the bunch of kids who decided to go and illegally drink with her in her basement.

The Lion King: 🎬🎬🎬🎬.5
The Lion King is one of my all-time favourite Disney films, so much so that I made my Y6s do it as their end of year production last year. I was very sceptical about this live action remake which is why it has taken me this long to get around to watching it. I think it’s brilliant…and yes I still cried at all my favourite songs!


If you’ve reached this far… 👏👏👏 Well done! I can’t actually believe that I’ve watched and read so much!

Did you take part in OWLs? Did you reach your reading goal for April? If you want to chat films/books/Readathon, as always drop me a comment to chat or leave me a link to your own wrap!

Enjoy the weekend!

T xx

September Review / October TBR

Hey Bibliofriends,

A brand new month is upon us…well it will be tomorrow.

What I’m Reading

I’m still currently reading ‘Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix‘ which I started earlier this month but have now also begun ‘These Wicked Waves‘ by Emily Layne which is an e-arc from Netgalley due to be released on October 22nd. What will really kickstart my reading again is when my copy of ‘Into the Crooked Kingdom‘ by Alexandra Christo arrives in the post. I won a copy of it from Readers First which is a website I’d recommend to any book lover. You can get a first look at selected upcoming releases and if you write a brief review you get entered into a prize draw to win the book. I have previously won copies of ‘Wicked King’ and Alexandra’s first novel ‘To Kill a Kingdom’ from them – to be honest, the three book draws I’ve entered have all been successful. There aren’t a huge amount of YA/Fantasy novels that come through but it’s a great way to win a book!

October TBR

To be honest, with the current state of my reading, my October TBR will probably consist of the three books I’ve mentioned in the above paragraph. With half term towards the end of October, I’m hopeful to start ticking a few more off my list. You can read about what those books are in my previous TTT post here.

Films I’ve Seen in September

  • IT: Chapter Two – based on the Stephen King novel this thriller didn’t scare me as much as the first instalment of this movie reboot. Don’t get me wrong, the clown is still super sinister, but there’s just something about blowing it up to Godzilla size that just took the scariness away.
  • Downton Abbey – As if I haven’t talked about it enough already I loved seeing the Downton Abbey film this month. I’m normally hit and miss with period dramas, I either love them or hate them but this was definitely a LOVE. I’ve even completed my TV series DVD collection this month just so I can watch all of the episodes all over again!
  • Ready or Not – This movie was like a horror version of Downton. Young bride gets initiated into a rich board-game family by being made to play a game of hide and seek…only problem is, if the family find you, they have to kill you due to some devil pact that an ancestor made. It has some pretty strong gore and violence but I thoroughly enjoyed the concept and it was worth a watch.
  • The Goldfinch – I read this Pulitzer Prize winning novel as part of the Between Two Books Book Club which is a book club created by Florence + the Machine Fans. It really captivated me so I was thrilled when the movie was announced. I love the way the painting runs throughout the main character (Theo’s) narrative and the film was a wonderful way to remind me how much I loved this book.

(A few of the) Things I’m Looking Forward to in October

  • Cheltenham Literature Festival – October is one of my favourite months for the very reason that this Literary Circus rolls into town! Honestly, the line-up doesn’t seem as great to me as previous years however I’m immensely looking forward to it.
  • Rugby World Cup – The RWC continues throughout October. The only downside to it being in Japan is the time difference and being able to watch the matches, however the contest has already been so thrilling that I’m really looking forward to see how the teams end up after the pool stages. Any fellow bookish rugby fans amongst us?
  • The Cheltenham Races Showcase – Jumps season kicks off again towards the end of October and I can not wait!
  • My childhood friend gets married! – This will be my fourth wedding of the year to attend and I am so excited. Hannah is one of my friends from primary school so it will be so wonderful to see her walk down the aisle.
  • Half-Term! – I’m still really enjoying my new job, but any chance to get a holiday and get the chance to breath is always welcome.

What books are you looking forward to reading this month? What has been your favourite September read? What are you most excited about for October both bookish and non-bookish?

As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx