October Wrap Post

Happy November Bibliofriends!

I would say that it doesn’t feel that long since it was the September Wrap Post… but I never got around to writing one of those! So – it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long since I thought about writing the September Wrap Post! 😂

As usual, everything is in sections so feel free to skip to the ones you want to read (if you don’t want to hear about my boring life! 😂)
Apologies in advance that this post contains my favourite emoji 😂 many, MANY more times! #funnynotfunny

Life Update

Not gonna lie, I’m not in that great a place at the moment and the announcement of Lockdown 2.0 has just made things so much worse – which seems ironic given the many 😂 emojis. Honestly, if I’m not laughing, I’m crying – there is now no in-between on the mood front!

I’m glad we’re keeping schools open as there’s no way myself or my class would be able to access Remote Learning effectively due to wifi and other issues. The fact that I teach Years 3-6 all in one class can be challenging when you actually have the kids in the room with you, but to try replicating that online…?! Cue: brain confuddlement – so yes, very glad schools are open for now!

That being said, it feels like all of the things we enjoy in life have been taken away. All of the things I used to spend my evenings and weekends doing have been shut down or closed so it feels like all I am “allowed” to do is go to work then go home like a good little slave (and work isn’t that great at the moment either… everyone is so stressed and bogged down). It feels very much like ‘live to work’ rather than ‘work to live’.
I know that’s the case for most people, that I’m lucky to have a full-paying job to go to and that there truly are some horrific things happening out there; I’m very grateful that this is pretty much the worst of my problems but being at work like normal when it feels like the rest of the world isn’t is a really strange feeling that I don’t think my brain will ever be used to. Roll on December!

I had just got used to seeing my friends again and October was such a great time for that! I visited a local arboretum with friends I hadn’t seen since last Christmas. The trees were exquisite and it felt great to be doing something outside in the fresh air and in nature! I also went Pokemon hunting on Pokemon Go with some other friends and caught myself a shiny Charmander! It’s definitely made me want to get out and walk more (I’m trying to big up the “health benefits” of playing Pokemon here!). 😂🙈

The saddest part of the month was losing our beloved dog in late October. He’d been with us for over 10 years but sadly he just became so ill that it was unfair to let him decline and suffer. We still have one dog to pour our love into but the house is so quiet now and our dogs really were parts of our family rather than just animals. I still keep expecting to see him running through the door or jumping onto my lap and haven’t quite got used to the fact that he isn’t here anymore yet. I’m devastated 💔

So yes, October has been full of highs and lows, more than any other month. I’m trying so hard to be positive for November but it just isn’t happening at the moment. Hopefully there’ll be some amazing books to read and fictional worlds to get lost in!

Blog Life

These past couple of months have been pretty OK on the blog. I think this has been the longest period of time with regular/weekly posting since I set the whole thing up – so I’m taking that as a mini achievement! 😂

This month I did my very first series of posts about If Lord of the Rings Characters had Modern day Occupations. It’s the first time I’ve written posts like that so I was pleased that I managed to get them all out and scheduled! *mini achievement again – yay!* You can read all of the parts here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

I definitely want to do another post like that at some point in the future, maybe with another fandom… any suggestions?!

Sometimes I’ve dropped off doing some Tag Tuesdays (feel free to tag me for any books tags – sometimes it’s the kick up the ass I need to do them!). I started doing Fae Friday which I’m hoping to keep up with more over the next month and maybe I’d like to start doing Top Ten Tuesdays again… so many options!

I was finally nominated by the wonderful Alex at MyBookWorld24 to do my first ever Sunshine Blogger Award! I had so much fun doing it and am thrilled that the lovely Ahaana at Windows to Worlds has nominated me to do it again! If anyone wants to be nominated then drop me a comment below! You can find my first SBA here!

What I’ve Been Reading in September and October

Across the two months I read 11 books which is pretty good going for me considering that the start of a new school term is always busy with less time for reading! Book titles will take you through to reviews (if I’ve written one for it!).

  • Beach Read by Emily Henry ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Hag: Forgotten Folk Tales Retold ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Thieves of Ostia by Caroline Lawrence ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Thorn by Intisar Khanani ⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Cloak of Night (Circle of Shadows #2) by Evelyn Skye ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
  • A Curse of Ash and Embers by Jo Spurrier ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 (review to come)
  • A Life on Our Planet: My Witness Statement and Vision For the Future by Sir David Attenborough ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (review to come)
  • The Island by C.L. Taylor ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 (review to come)
  • All the Wandering Light (Even the Darkest Stars #2) by Heather Fawcett ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (review to come)

What I’ve Been Watching in September and October

These last couple of months have been so strange that I’ve pretty much just been watching episodes of TV Shows back to back rather than full-length films. My attention span isn’t long enough for a full-length movie or by the time I’ve sat down in the evening ready to watch TV, the films are too long to watch in one evening so we ended up watching The Crown as we haven’t seen it before. It’s so brilliant – the actors, the voices, the costumes! I love it. Hopefully, the arrival of Season 4 in the middle of November will be something to look forward to in the middle of the month.

The other thing that my TV life revolves around is The Great British Bake Off! It sounds so shallow but I am loving the fact that even a global pandemic could not stop one of my favourite TV shows from happening! Bring on the trumpets! 😂 #wheresmycake

What I’ve Been Listening to in September and October

So we’re still on the Taylor Swift / Dolly Parton / The Dixie Chicks soundtrack from August but then towards the end of October, Miley Cyrus started doing those amazing live sessions and festivals in the build up to her new album which I am so excited about. I love her voice and the way she has changed musically as she’s shed the Hannah Montana skin and found her own fairly winding path through life and adulthood.

Songs that are on repeat the most:
Heart of Glass (Live from the iHeart Music Festival) – Miley Cyrus
betty (Live from the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards) – Taylor Swift
Malibu (Lost Frequencies Remix) – Miley Cyrus
Zombie (Live from the NIVA Save our Stages Festival) – Miley Cyrus
I Got So High That I Saw Jesus (Live recording ft. Miley Cyrus) – Noah Cyrus

What I’m Looking Forward to it November

  • Getting through it???? 🙈
  • Escaping to fictional worlds and more reading (obvs!)
  • Ready Player Two being released!
  • New series of The Crown on Netflix.
  • My new horse should have his debut run for us at some point this month.
  • Potentially moving house…?! *who knows when it’ll actually happen – but it’s getting closer… the packing has started!*
  • Blog-hopping – I seriously need to get my ass in gear and spend more time appreciating other people’s posts! It’s on my Habit Tracker for November – promise!

Writing this list has made me feel slightly more positive now for this month! 😂 Perhaps I’ll have to start writing a daily list of things I’m grateful for and what I’m looking forward to in order to get me out of this gloomy hole I’m in! I am very aware I need to stop whining – sorry everyone! 😂🙈🙃

And that’s a wrap! What have you been reading/watching/listening to/doing in October? How was your Halloween – what were your favourite spooky reads? What are your most anticipated November reads? And HOW are you coping with Lockdown 2.0??? Let me know in the comments!

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

#SixforSunday – Scary Stories / Characters

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

With Halloween just around the corner, we’re continuing the ‘Pumpkin Spice Goodness’ theme for October’s Six For Sunday by thinking of scary stories and characters. Most of my list this week is focused on the classics as I don’t tend to read many contemporary horror novels – however I did read a brilliant article by Silvia Moreno-Garcia on Buzzfeed Books called 10 Creepy Horror Books From Around The World which has me itching to click that ‘Want To Read’ button on Goodreads.

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot.

Scary Stories

Dracula by Bram Stoker

One of the most well-known vampire tales, I’m definitely counting Dracula in the ‘scary story’ camp.

Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Again, another one of the original Halloween monsters, Frankenstein is both scary character and scary story for me!

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

This is one of those truly classic gothic horror stories. The whole seance thing I find incredibly intriguing yet really scary. My Nan did a Ouija board once and was adamant that it told her she was going to marry me Grandad – and obviously, she did!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Amazing Amy definitely showed her darker side towards the end of this gripping novel. When my friend saw Rosamund Pike’s portrayal in the cinema he said it was enough to put him off women for life! 😂

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sherlock Holmes

I have to admit, the whole idea of big hounds across the moors glowing with phosphorous kind of creeps me out. I definitely wouldn’t have wanted to be running into those characters.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

I have heard so many good things about this story that the more I hear, the more I want to read it – hopefully I’ll get around to adding it to my TBR at some point.

Which scary books or characters have you trembling beneath the bed?
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Books That Gave Me All The Feels

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

Continuing the ‘Pumpkin Spice Goodness’ theme for October’s Six For Sunday post this week, we’re thinking all about books that gave us feels. Some books immediately sprang to mind – one in particular 😉 – and it was quite easy to put this list together. I’ll try not to say too much about each one to avoid all of the inevitable spoilers that just pour out when a book gives you those massive feels!

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot.

Books Which Gave Me Feels

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

If you know, you know! 😉

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas

I think I’m officially crowning her Queen of the Feels since I can’t seem to get through any books of hers without bawling my eyes out at the end… and what an epic finale to the Throne of Glass series this was! 😍

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Yet again…! I know I cannot seem to make a post or a list without mentioning this book. I love it! Sorry, not sorry!

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Now I’m not swooning at this one but I am in absolute awe of the amount of pop culture and easter eggs one man can fit into 374 pages.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

I remember reading this for one of my A-Level English classes and it was so tentative and moving that it definitely deserved its place here.

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

I’ve always had a soft spot for Anastasia, but even more so after reading Nadine’s portrayal of her. She really managed get me invested into the lives of the characters in her historical fantasy novel.

Come on, fess up! Which books are giving you guys all the feels?
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Characters I’d Be Scared To Meet

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

Continuing the ‘Pumpkin Spice Goodness’ theme for October’s Six For Sunday post this week, we’re thinking all about characters who we’d be scared to meet. This is such a strange one as I can be a highly anxious person at times so I’d be scared to meet various characters for completely various reasons, not necessarily just because they’re the creepy kind of scary!

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot.

Characters I’d Be Scared to Meet

Patrick Bateman – American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

I mean, yes – Patrick is definitely the creepy kind of scary that I never want to cross paths with.

Pennywise the Clown – IT by Stephen King

Clowns give me the wiggins at any point (except for Tweedy the Clown, our local living legend 😍), but Pennywise is seriously scary and there’s no way I’d ever be climbing down into the sewers after my paper boat for this dude. No. Way.

Addie LaRue – The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Addie made this list for a completely different reason to be the previous characters – due to her Faustian deal with the devil, I’d just be completely scared of being the one who forgot everything about her after meeting her, when secretly I’m wanting her to be my BFF! 😂

Shelob – The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Ginormous spider.
That’s it.
That’s the reason.

Ramsay Bolton

Taking ‘disturbing’ and ‘deranged’ to whole new levels, I think I’d rather take my chances over The Wall than with bumping into Ramsay Bolton.

Aragorn – The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Another LOTR character but a very different reason. He’s made my list of characters I’d be scared to meet because if he didn’t ask me to run away to Middle Earth with him, I’d be beyond devastated! 😂

Which characters would you be ducking behind the bookshelves to avoid meeting and what are the different reasons that you’d be scared to meet certain characters?
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixforSunday – Authors I’d Take For Coffee

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

We have a whole new theme for this month in Six for Sunday and it is just perfect for the season ahead! October’s ‘Pumpkin Spice Goodness’ theme has all of the Autumnal feels and I’m definitely feeling those vibes now that the wind has changed, nights are drawing in and the leaves are beginning to turn.

For those who don’t already know, Six for Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Steph over at A Little But A Lot.

Characters or Authors I’d Take For A Coffee

This week’s prompt is such a fascinating one as I normally wish that either I actually lived in the worlds of books, or that their characters could actually be my real-world best friends…so coffees for everyone basically! My list of characters and authors would be so immense that I’ve decided to focus on just the authors for this challenge. 

Sometimes I’m thinking about 1:1 coffee sessions in different places depending on each author; then other times this week’s Six for Sunday is breaking all of the UK Covid rules as I’m imagining a complete 7 person coffee gathering!! Because you know, clearly that 7th person will be the one to give us all Covid! 🙄 Anyway, here are my 6 authors I’m taking for coffee.

Neil Gaiman

Master of all fantasy and storytelling heritage, I could totally sit with Neil in a super cosy coffee shop, next to a roaring fire, somewhere in the wilds of Scotland to chat about fairies, the Anansi Boys, the world of Neverwhere and Loki.

V. E. Schwab

Ok if you haven’t heard me spouting off about how I have ‘just discovered’ Schwab, how irrevocably in love with The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue I am and how I now have to own Every. Single. One. of this author’s books… where have you been?! 😂 With Schwab, we’d be going for coffee in France of course, probably sat in the sunshine on the banks of a river with croissants and baked goodies!

Kevin Kwan

Heading East to a swanky rooftop bar overlooking the Singaporean skyline, Kevin is bringing us the crazy, rich, high-society gossip with him to have us giggling into our coffee cups. Who needs Hello Magazine when you’ve got a coffee buddy like Kevin?

Ernest Cline

How could I not invite the author of one of my favourite books EVER to coffee? Clearly, we’re not actually going to a coffee shop for this one – instead, we’re grabbing our eco-friendly refill cups and getting a takeout in Cline’s Delorean whilst I grill him on all of the secrets and easter eggs he has planned for us in the upcoming Ready Player Two which comes out in November. I cannot wait!

Rebecca Crunden

I am definitely taking Rebecca for coffee to say thank you for letting me read the first book in her Outlands Pentalogy series, A Touch of Death and introducing me to the thrillingly dystopian Kingdom of Cutta (you should definitely read it! Spoiler-free review here!). I’ve just purchased instalment 2, A History of Madness on my Kindle app and cannot wait to dive into it and find out what happened to Nate and Catherine! Of course, we’ll also be talking about our most anticipated reads for the rest of 2020 and discussing which exciting projects Rebecca has lined up next!

Isabel Ibañez

Forget the coffee this time, it’s only right that we’re sipping on some hot cacao with Isabel Ibañez. I absolutely adored the references to Bolivian culture in Isabel’s debut novel Woven in Moonlight which I read earlier this year. The sequel is definitely on my pre-order list and as my Peruvian adventure was postponed this year we’d have to chat about all things South American and what the future has in store for Ximena and the Illustrians!

Which characters or authors would you be taking out for coffee? Are you more of an espresso person or do you prefer your coffees frothy and sweet – or do you forgo all hot drinks?!
As always, leave your links below or drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Biblioshelf Musings – Upcoming October Reviews

Hi Bibliofriends, 

Normally, I’d be posting a review this week of one of my most recent reads however my reading in September has been all over the place, which is kinda what I was expecting since the start of a new term at school is always hectic and stressful. I’ve also been hooked on a series called Money Heist which I’ve been watching on Netflix and have managed to get my entire household glued to it! We’ve finally worked our way through all of the available episodes and are impatiently awaiting the final season!

So this week, instead of a new review, I thought I’d let you know about some upcoming reads and reviews that will be making their way to you over the next month. Two of them are 5-star reads and are definitely going to feature in my favourite books of the year for 2020.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue – V.E. Schwab

The first week and a half of September was spent in an absolute book hangover after finishing an e-arc from Netgalley of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. I had to reread the request acceptance email over and over again as I just couldn’t believe that Titan Books had approved it. It’s my first time reading anything by Schwab and it definitely won’t be the last. I feel like I keep going on and on about this book but it is seriously one of the best books I’ve read for a long, long time – I LOVE IT. It’s such an emotional story and the way art and history are interwoven into the plot grabbed right onto my lil bookish heart. I’ve already pre-ordered my signed copy from Waterstones and I can’t wait until it gets here so I can read it again!
Review coming up on: 7th October
Publication Date: 6th October

Synopsis from Goodreads:
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever-and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. 
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world. 
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore, and he remembers her name.
In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After LifeThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s #1 New York Times Bestselling Author genre-defying tour de force. 

The Once and Future Witches – Alix E. Harrow

Another 5-star read which I’m definitely recommending to all of my witchy/fantasy loving friend is The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow (thank you Netgalley – again!). The start of this book was like a vortex that just sucked me into the story. Sometimes when I read books, it feels like the authors writing style has an atmosphere which just permeates through the book and jumps off the pages – The Once and Future Witches was exactly like this! The story is so sinister and gripping whilst also featuring a little romance, sisterly bonding and female empowerment. There’s so, so much I could say about how much I enjoyed reading this but I’ll save some of it for the proper review – if you’re looking for the perfect Halloween read, this would definitely be top of my list!
Review coming up on: 14th October
Publication Date: 15th October

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In 1893, there’s no such thing as witches. There used to be, in the wild, dark days before the burnings began, but now witching is nothing but tidy charms and nursery rhymes. If the modern woman wants any measure of power, she must find it at the ballot box.
But when the Eastwood sisters–James Juniper, Agnes Amaranth, and Beatrice Belladonna–join the suffragists of New Salem, they begin to pursue the forgotten words and ways that might turn the women’s movement into the witch’s movement. Stalked by shadows and sickness, hunted by forces who will not suffer a witch to vote-and perhaps not even to live-the sisters will need to delve into the oldest magics, draw new alliances, and heal the bond between them if they want to survive.
There’s no such thing as witches. But there will be.

Hag: Forgotten Folktales Retold

My current read (thanks Netgalley again again!) is an anthology of forgotten folktales from around the UK and Ireland called Hag. Originally a podcast series, Professor Carolyne Larrington conjured up a writing experiment which tasked 8-10 inspiring British and Irish women authors to write a contemporary retelling of a forgotten folktale with a modern, feminist twist. The first few stories are particularly eerie and dark – so far this collection reminds me of a fresh uplift on the gothic horror genre (think Angela Carter meets Henry James’ Turn of the Screw with a pinch of Scarlett Curtis thrown in too). I can’t wait to make my way around all of the tales, particularly the one based around the region I live in. Another book perfect for the upcoming spooky season!
Publication Date: 8th October

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Here are sisters fighting for the love of the same woman, a pregnant archaeologist unearthing impossible bones and lost children following you home. A panther runs through the forests of England and pixies prey upon violent men.
From the islands of Scotland to the coast of Cornwall, the mountains of Galway to the depths of the Fens, these forgotten folktales howl, cackle and sing their way into the 21st century, wildly reimagined by some of the most exciting women writing in Britain and Ireland today.

The Windsor Knot – S J. Bennett

Anyone remember the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony where HM The Queen jumped out the plane à la James Bond…? Well the next book up on my TBR sounds absolutely like it was inspired by this… well kind of! The Windsor Knot is the first novel in a new series where The Queen goes all Poirot and starts solving crimes. I’m so excited to start reading it as it sounds like so much fun – (another Netgalley read so thanks again x4 to them)!
Review scheduled for: 28th October
Publication Date: 29th October / 9th March 2021

Synopsis from Goodreads:
The first book in a highly original and delightfully clever crime series in which Queen Elizabeth II secretly solves crimes while carrying out her royal duties.
It is the early spring of 2016 and Queen Elizabeth is at Windsor Castle in advance of her 90th birthday celebrations. But the preparations are interrupted when a guest is found dead in one of the Castle bedrooms. The scene suggests the young Russian pianist strangled himself, but a badly tied knot leads MI5 to suspect foul play was involved. The Queen leaves the investigation to the professionals—until their suspicions point them in the wrong direction.
Unhappy at the mishandling of the case and concerned for her staff’s morale, the monarch decides to discreetly take matters into her own hands. With help from her Assistant Private Secretary, Rozie Oshodi, a British Nigerian and recent officer in the Royal Horse Artillery, the Queen secretly begins making inquiries. As she carries out her royal duties with her usual aplomb, no one in the Royal Household, the government, or the public knows that the resolute Elizabeth will use her keen eye, quick mind, and steady nerve to bring a murderer to justice.
SJ Bennett captures Queen Elizabeth’s voice with skill, nuance, wit, and genuine charm in this imaginative and engaging mystery that portrays Her Majesty as she’s rarely seen: kind yet worldly, decisive, shrewd, and most importantly a great judge of character.

They are my forthcoming reads and reviews for across October. Have you read any of these yet or are tempted to add any to your TBR? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx