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

August Wrap Post

Happy September Bibliofriends!

This post was supposed to come to you way earlier in the week on Bank Holiday Monday right at the end of August but you can blame a particular little ARC of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab for keeping me from writing – more on that later!

August was such a wonderful month. Summer holidays reigned supreme and I spent a majority of the time down at my little house by the sea. It was so tranquil and peaceful, there’s something about being in Cornwall that just makes everything seem much more relaxing and chilled out.

I also decided that now was the time to have a major destash of all my FairyLoot haul. I’ve been a subscriber since February 2017 and had religiously kept every single item and book from all the boxes (I’m a self-confessed hoarder 🙊). I suddenly realised that I just didn’t need that many pouches, art prints or a pirate wax seal anymore so I listed a major haul of around 70 different items and books.

One of my funniest selling mistakes was listing about 30 different items for 10-day auctions one rainy Saturday afternoon. I suddenly realised when all of the bids came flooding in on the final day that I’d have to get all of it down to the Post Office. Thankfully they were very patient and I kept going back round the line several times so I didn’t hold up the queue! Definitely a lesson learnt for the future!

What I’ve Been Reading in August

August was such a good reading month for me – not just because I managed to finish six books, but also because I know I have read some of my favourite books of the whole year!

  • Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairytale by Andrea Blythe (NetGalley)
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I’m such a fan of fairytales and this was the perfect quick-read to start off the month. It is published this Tuesday 7th September by Interstellar Flight Press and if like me you love your fairytales then you have to check this out! You can read my review here.
  • The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice by E.S. Barrison (Author Request) ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I was so grateful to be given the opportunity to read this first instalment in the Life and Death Cycle by E.S. Barrison. It’s a New-Adult, Dark Fantasy and has a really intriguing, complex world at its centre. Spoiler-free review here.
  • Given to the Earth by Mindy McGinnis (Hardback)
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    It felt great to finally find out the conclusion to this series. It’s definitely been one I’ve wanted to tick off my list and I was pleasantly surprised by how satisfying I found the ending to be. Review to come later this week.
  • Unlikely Angel: The Songs of Dolly Parton by Lydia R. Hamessley (NetGalley)
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I’m a HUGE Dolly Parton fan so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read this on NetGalley. It’s coming out on 12th October 2020 and if you’re interested in Dolly’s music career and the meanings/inspirations behind some of her most well-known songs then you should definitely check this out! You can read my review here.
  • The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow (NetGalley)
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This was the witchy witchy book I had been waiting for! I was massively excited when I got approved for it on NetGalley and boy, it did not disappoint. Sassy, empowered, fierce witches looking to find and take back their witching ways in the town of New Salem in 1893. I devoured every single word. It’s published on 15th October 2020 and is going to be perfect to get you right in the Halloween spirit. Review up later this month!
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Netgalley)
    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This book… This. Book. 😍
    I’m not even guilty or ashamed that I’m totally bragging about the fact that I got this as an ARC from NetGalley – I literally squealed with excitement when that glorious little email pinged into my inbox. This is definitely one of my favourite books (if not THE favourite book) of the entire year. It’s also my first ever time reading anything Schwab! I adored it.
    It was one of those stay up all night to finish reads, I ended with tears running down my cheeks and nearly a week after finishing it I haven’t read anything else all goddamn week – completely bookishly hungover! It’s published on 6th October 2020 and guys… you need to read this book! Review to come soon (after the book hangover!).

What I’ve Been Watching in August

So I’ve finally got Netflix which has inspired some of my more recent films and viewings, and after chatting on Twitter and with one of my IRL friends, my Grey’s Anatomy addiction has returned! They weren’t exactly the best influences on my attempts to get reading done this month! With a Dolly inspired read, naturally Dolly inspired movies were next (Wild Texas Wind and Straight Talk). We’re also hooked on Money Heist at the moment and are about to go into Season 2 – I’d never thought I could spend this much time glued to just one robbery at the Spanish Royal Mint but I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Here’s my full run down of the month:

  • The Pitch Perfect Trilogy
  • Wild Texas Wind
  • Straight Talk
  • Charlie’s Angels (2019)
  • Baby Driver
  • A Quiet Place
  • Knives Out
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Ready Player One
  • Murder Mystery
  • Eurovision
  • Money Heist (Season 1)
  • Grey’s Anatomy (Seasons 1-3)

What I’ve Been Listening to in August

Let’s face it – August has had the exact same soundtrack as July in that my headphones have been blasting out a plethora of Dolly Parton, Gaslighter by The Chicks and Folklore by Taylor Swift.

With the ever-building hype and anticipation regarding the release of Ready Player Two in November, I re-watched Ready Player One and got into such an obsessiveness over its brilliance [the book by Ernest Cline is on my God Tier of best books ever…] that I even watched all of the special features. This then caused my to download some of the soundtrack and also some of the Avengers music (RIP Chadwick Boseman 😔) which was also composed by the amazing Alan Silvestri – the Portals scene and music just get me everytime!

What I’ve Been Doing in August

  • Very little – and loving it!
  • Reading, reading reading!
  • Cornwall chilling!
  • FairyLoot destash!

What I’m Looking Forward to it September

  • Would this be a book blog if I didn’t put ‘reading’ at the top?
  • Catching up with friends and making more plans!
  • Horse-racing and Rugby making a comeback so that I might actually get to watch some live sport.
  • Work hopefully being a little more stress-free for a change… wishful thinking?!

And that’s a wrap! What have you been reading/watching/listening to/doing in August? Are you still listening to Folklore? What are your most anticipated September reads?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

July Wrap Post

Happy August Bibliofriends!

I’m so excited for August getting into full swing! After all that was happening at school towards the end of term (it’s been a year unlike any other…) it has been so nice to finally break up for the summer holidays.

What I’ve Been Reading in July

I’m currently 8 books ahead of schedule on my Goodreads Reading Challenge! I’m so pleased because it really feels like I’m going to actually achieve my challenge for the first time in 3 years! I’ve also managed to keep the blogging going through some busy school times and am now looking at 4 straight months of consistent content, hopefully August will be the 5th and I can keep it going this time throughout the new term in September and beyond. Having a reading journal to plan posts ahead of time and setting my own routines for publishing content has really helped as well.

I’m looking slightly short on book tags so if anyone wants to tag me in any then please feel free!! 🤓

  • These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    It was good to finally get this series ticked off my reading list. The island of Grace Loray was a spectacular setting but I felt that the plot felt a little flat towards the end. You can read my review here.
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (Audiobook) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This was such a humorous audiobook to listen to. Martin Jarvis is a brilliant narrator and was perfect for some of these characters. Review to come!
  • Dolly on Dolly: Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton by Randy L. Schmidt (Ed.) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I’ve been totally going back into my country music phase recently and this was a great compilation of interviews throughout Dolly’s brilliant career.
  • Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I fell in love with the land of Esperance. It’s definitely on my fictional travels bucket list now. You can read my review here.
  • Ignite the Sun by Hanna C. Howard ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
    The range of characters in this book were perfect for a folklore fan like me. Review up later this month!

What I’ve Been Watching in July

I’ve been having a bit of a clear out of my DVD stash as we’re trying to de-clutter before we move. I made a hug pile of films that I wasn’t sure I wanted to get rid of or not so I’ve been trying to watch all of them so I can decide whether they stay or go!

  • The Bling Ring ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Starring Emma Watson this Sofia Coppola directed film retells the real-life story of the gang who burglarised some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. It’s a fun film for a rainy afternoon.
    Verdict: Go
  • Wild Child ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Emma Roberts has to adjust from her Malibu lifestyle when she is sent to an all-girls boarding school in England. I can’t help but love this film!
    Verdict: Stay
  • Love, Rosie ⭐️⭐️
    A typical rom-com about a couple who never seem to be able to get it together. Based on the novel Where Rainbows End by Cecilia Ahern.
    Verdict: Go
  • One Day ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
    Based on the novel of the same name by David Nicholls, Anne Hathaway practises her English accent in this film about how two people spend St. Swithin’s Day on each year of their friendship. It has such a bittersweet ending and I sobbed so much at the book!
    Verdict: Stay
  • The Duchess ⭐️⭐️
    Keira Knightley stars in this biopic about Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire. I just can’t seem to like this move. The costumes are brilliant but it’s just such a harsh story.
    Verdict: Go
  • The Bounty Hunter ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    There’s just something so enjoyable about this Jennifer Aniston/Gerard Butler flick where he is the bounty hunter tasked with bringing his ex-wife in.
    Verdict: Stay
  • The Break Up ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I can’t help but cry at this end of this movie. Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn really tear each other apart after their break-up – makes me glad sometimes that my life isn’t that complicated!
    Verdict: Stay
  • Eat, Pray, Love ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I watched this for the first time this month and though it was so inspiring. It’s definitely made me want to read the book and travel more.
    Verdict: Stay
  • Keeping Up with the Joneses (Film 4) ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I watched this one rainy afternoon when I was bored. It did exactly what it said on the tin.
  • Hannah Montana – Seasons 1 and 2 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I admit it, this is one of my guilty pleasures! I’ve loved binge-watching it on Disney +!
  • Unlikely Angel ⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I don’t know why I watched a Christmas film in July but it’s Dolly so…!
  • Artemis Fowl (Disney +) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    This was such a brilliant film. I haven’t read the book yet but if they are as good as the film then I’m sure to like them!
  • Hamilton ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    Wow! I am so glad this came onto Disney +. Since all of the massive hype I knew I had to see it. I have to confess, I don;t know that much of the story but I had no idea how talented Lin-Manuel is. What a great musical.

What I’ve Been Listening to in July

  • Taylor Swift – Folklore ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫
    What an album! This is exactly the stripped back Swift music I’ve been waiting for. I love her pop stuff but this just gave another level to her music and felt like she was evolving some of her earlier country roots.
  • The Chicks – Gaslighter ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    I had this on pre-order ever since it was announced. I’ve been a fan of The (Dixie) Chicks for years. They recently changed their name due to the connotations surrounding the word Dixie and although it isn’t my favourite one of my favourite albums of theirs, it’s so good to have new music from them again.
  • Dolly Parton – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
    So as I said earlier, my music tastes seem to have gone way back to my country roots again. I rewatched Dolly’s set from Glastonbury during the lockdown as the BBC had put a load of repeats on with the 2020 Glasto being cancelled etc and I’ve been downloading and playing her songs ever since! I love the recent song she did with Galantis Faith and the duet she did with Miley Cyrus Rainbowland. They’ve been on repeat a lot!

What I’ve Been Doing in July

  • School finally finished! What a mammoth term it has been. I’m on holiday mode now so I won’t go over it too much here but I am so glad the year is finally over and the summer holidays can be enjoyed!
  • Horse Racing is getting into it’s swing again. They aren’t letting many owners onto the track nowadays but it has been so nice to spend mornings down at the stable year again. I loved seeing my horses! We’ve also been having lots of Zoom meetings as we are planning a Virtual Owners’ Day in August. We normally have a big day at the yard with lots of food, live music and it’s a really big event but obviously we can;t quite do that this year so it’s all going to be virtual instead.
  • Picnic in the Park: I finally got to meet up with my friends again! It was so strange getting myself ready to go out for a social event again. I did my hair, nails, everything and all we did was sit in the park and eat take-out burgers! 😂 It’s been ages since I’ve seen any friends in person so it was real nice to catch up and chat again.
  • ‘Summer Cleaning’: Now that the house move is creeping closer and closer as renovations are finalised, I’ve been starting to declutter and go through some of my stuff. A lot of clothes have been bagged up, I’ve already mentioned the DVDs above. I’ve even started going through all of my Fairyloot box items and books and have started putting them together ready to sell. It’s been quite a productive time actually!
  • Cornwall! I have a little house down by the sea so it has been wonderful to spend some time relaxing, reading and going on beach walks. I brought my 17 year old cousin down for a few days… boy does she walk for miles!! I’ve never walked so much in such a long time – one day we did over 20,000 steps in about five hours! My legs were knackered by the time she went home. We went around the whole of Rame peninsula and she enjoyed our shopping day in Plymouth. It was so nice to have some company to do things with and now I’m here by myself so it’s brilliant to have the headspace for reading and catching up on my book reviews/blogging that have been piling up recently.

What I’m Looking Forward to it August

  • Reading, Reading, Reading! 🤓 I did a post about my summer reading goals back in July. As I’m a mood reader, I’m not sure if I’ll stick to them or have time to do all of them but there are some definite novels that I ‘need’ to read to this month.
  • Spending more time in Cornwall – it’s hard to know what is open with the pandemic and all of the different social distancing measures around. I’m hoping to visit the Eden Project soon as I’ve never been there despite having been here for about 3 years!
  • Finishing the renovations – apparently it’s going to take another few months, but I’m getting so impatient to move into my new house already that I just want it to happen now!! 🙈
  • Getting braver – as an introvert, and an introvert with anxiety and other issues… spending some time by myself has actually been helping me to be able to go out and try new things on my own so I’m looking forward to putting my brave pants on a little more throughout August!

And that’s a wrap! What have you been reading/watching/listening to/doing in July? What are you looking forward to doing in August? Do you have a set reading or goals list that you want to try and achieve?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

Summer Reading Goals

Happy Saturday Bibliofriends,

It has been such a wonderful morning so far. (Non-bookish related) but I have a few shares in some racehorses at a local stable yard and today was the first time since lockdown has been lifted that I’ve been able to go down to the gallops and spend some proper time with the horses and the family that run the yard. It was a ridiculously early start to be down there for 7am but it was all worth it. Afterwards I got to see some of the baby foals at another owner’s nearby stud so it’s been a truly wonderful start to the weekend filled with lots of horse-love! 😍

The Summer holidays are only a week away and I’m already beginning to think about all of the different reading goals I want to try and accomplish during the break.
[All title links go to Goodreads, synopses also from Goodreads.]


ARCs and Author Requests

I have three ARCs from NetGalley to read:

  • Ignite the Sun by Hanna Howard – Release date: 18th August 202048574106._SY475_ 

    Synopsis: Once upon a time, there was something called the sun…In a kingdom ruled by an evil witch, the sun is just part of a legend about light-filled days of old. Luckily for everybody in the kingdom, Siria Nightingale is headed to the heart of the darkness to try and restore the light–or she will lose everything trying.
    Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow.
    Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria’s need to please them is greater even than her fear of the dark. So she heads to the royal city–the very center of the darkness–for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel’s court.
    But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball sends her on a quest toward the last vestiges of the sun with a ragtag group of rebels who could help her bring back the Light … or doom the kingdom to shadow forever.

  • Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairytale by Andrea Blythe – Release date: 7th September 2020
    Synopsis: Twelve is a poetic retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Bewitching and beguiling, this short series of linked poems takes the reader to the underground realm and back, following the stories of twelve princesses and their life after the magic shoes.
  • The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow – Release date: 15th October 202049504061._SY475_

    Synopsis: 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.

Author Requests

I’m currently reading a lovely little fantasy book called Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster.

Synopsis: When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?
But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.9781925652246-Cover.indd
After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.
Winner of a Purple Dragonfly Book Award for best fantasy.

Next up I have a NA Dark Fantasy called The Mist Keeper’s Apprentice by E.S. Barrison

Synopsis: Storytelling was outlawed. Magic had all but vanished.
That all changed when the woman in black came to town.
Branded with the black stamp at a young age, Brent thought he would end up a vagrant like his father. His craft was telling stories, but the Order had long forbidden any weaving of tales. When Brent sees the woman in black, she leads him into a menagerie of tunnels beneath the earth where his life falls into the nauseating, but beautiful, mist of the dead.
He finds friendship in Rho, a young woman who hides her face with a tree branch while roots and vines bow to her every whim. Together, they embark on a journey to explore the world, escape the watchful eyes of the Order, and discover the woman in black’s secrets.
For thousands of years, the mist and the tunnels were under the sole guardianship of the Council of Mist Keepers. But as new monsters enter the mist, and magic is forced out of the shadows, the Council searches for young blood to join their ranks and Brent’s next in line.

I’d also like to explore the sequel to A Touch of Death, A History of Madness in The Outlands Pentalogy which I started earlier this year for author Rebecca Crunden. You can read my spoiler-free review of the first book in the series here!

Carlos Ruiz Zafón Readathon

9529So this is not an ‘official readathon’ thing, but after being heartbroken at hearing of Zafón’s death last month I decided it was time to revisit and reread all of his books, in particular the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series. Zafón is one of my all-time favourite writers and I would auto-buy all of his books without even reading the blurb. I’m hoping to go right back to The Shadow of the Wind and finish with the last book he wrote The Labyrinth of the Spirits (which I have yet to read so it will still be a surprise!).

Not forgetting the actual TBR pile…

With an influx of Fairloot boxes due to the Corona backlog and my birthday book haul from May, I have a stack of books and series which I was hoping to start or finish! reading. Some of these include:

  • All the Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett
  • Given to the Earth by Mindy McGinnis
  • Rage by Cora Carmack
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
  • Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
  • + the two books in Fairyloot’s June box which arrived on Thursday evening (no spoilers for those who haven’t received their box yet!)

There’s always plenty to read as they say…
I know that I’m going to be nowhere near achieving all of these! I’m such a mood reader at the best and worst of times so I’ll probably float through the various challenges I’ve set for myself or even invent something new should I get stuck in a slump… especially as we are nearing the final stage of our house renovations before (FINALLY) moving – and all of the school work, recovery curriculums and new risk assessments which will need doing before all of the kids return in September. It’s going to be a pretty busy summer!

What are your summer reading goals? Do you have a set TBR list of are you more of a mood reader? What three books are you looking forward to reading next from your TBR? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

Have a lovely rest of the weekend everyone!

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.

iu

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

May TBR

Hey Biblifriends,

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

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

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

Hence my little Biblioshelf hiatus – sorry guys!

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

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

Crates I’m expecting this month:

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

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

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

T xx

April Wrap Up

Wow, what a busy month April was, particularly the end of the month, hence the lack of posting on here and on my Instagram. I’m hoping to catch up at some point soon… 😂 Participating in the OWLs Magical Readathon has definitely helped my reading challenge. After being about 2 books behind schedule last month, I’ve now read 21 of my target 50 books and am 6 ahead of schedule! Having two weeks off for the Easter holidays definitely helped! You can read more about my Magical Readathon escapades here. I’m hoping to get a wrap post up for it during the start of May.

Books I’ve read this month:

  • Mirage by Somaiya Daud – musings here.
  • Five Give Up the Booze by Bruno Vincent
  • Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye – musings here.
  • The Lost Sisters by Holly Black
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff – musings here.
  • Stardust by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander [J.K. Rowling] (reread)
  • To Best the Boys by Mary Weber
  • The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien [audiobook]

Films I’ve seen this month:

  • Wild Rose (15)

I love country music so a film about a single mum trying to get to Nashville was definitely going to be on my “must-see” list. Also, it has Julie Walters so it’s a win-win! Asides from the brilliant soundtrack, the film has a great sentimental message at the heart of it too.

  • Greta (15)

This film FREAKED ME OUT – but in that great ‘scary-movie’ kinda way! It isn’t a jumpy film with the non-existent soundtrack and bad guys jumping out from everywhere but it definitely leaves you really reconsidering the phrase ‘the kindness of strangers’. Kudos to Isabella Huppert for playing one hell of a scary psychopath! Basically her character utilises her lonely widow status by leaveing fake handbags on the subway in the hope that people will bring them back to her. She befriends them but then gradually wields her stalkerish and obsessive ways with them. If you love films that leave you with the chills, then this one may just be right up your street.

As the calendar has been quite busy and I was away for part of the holidays, I didn’t really get to see as much as I like at the cinema. May is definitely going to be busier as I’ve already got three films scheduled this weekend and one of them is Endgame! 😆

Other life stuff:

  • My friend Emma got married in April! This was my second wedding of four this year. She lives in Lanzarote so she and her now-husband had a quiet UK ceremony for their friends and family over here before flying back to Lanzarote for the ‘party’ part of the celebrations and their friends over there. It really was the perfect celebration to suit my friends; her dress was beautiful and the lace hair piece (which she had instead of a veil) was so gorgeous and intricate. It was a wonderful day which very nearly ended up with us crashing a country dancing event that was also going on in the hotel!
  • Keeping with the wedding theme, I spent the last weekend in April on a hen party for my Potterhead friend who I’ve known since primary school. We had Potter-themed T-shirts, went on a cauldron cocktail making experience at the Cauldron Pub in London and then finished with a Witchcraft and Wizardry escape room at Escape Leicester. Cocktail making was so much fun – there were robes, interactive wands, magically stirring drinks, fire, mythical beast heads and alcohol a-plenty! It’s amazing we made it back to the train in one piece! The Escape Room was also an absolute blast. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite make it out of the room as we ran out of time, however we’re hoping to go back sometime to complete it again. We’re all such competitive people that the idea of not finishing the game left us slightly dejected until we saw online that it only had a 51% success rate… at least we weren’t the only ones not to finish!
  • The Racing Club I am a part of were treated to a morning on the gallops to watch one of our new horses whose stable-name is ‘Happy’. She wowed us with her speed so we’re looking forward to seeing what she can do once the summer season commences fully. Afterwards we were treated to some deliciously home-baked cakes. One of our members really has top-notch baking skills.
  • The rugby team I support has made it into the top 4 of our league which means we get to enter the play-offs this month! Our boys have worked so hard this year and we’re looking forward to seeing them get their rewards. The final games of the season will be super exciting!

April has been so fantastic and it seems like there is going to be so much to also look forward to in May.

How was your April? Did you meet your reading goals or see any cool films? What are you most looking forward to doing in May? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

 

April Update – OWLs Magical Readathon

Hey Bibliofriends,

This month has been super busy already in my reading world. I’ve already passed last month’s read count of 5 books and I think that’s purely down to it being the Easter holidays and my motivation to try and pass all 12 exams in the OWLs Magical Readathon. If you’re not taking part in the Readathon or you want to know what it’s all about then you can see my previous post here.

The Goal:

Originally, I didn’t really have the time to browse the wonderful booklet of wizarding careers that G @book_roast had so lovingly created. I dove straight in at the deep end and made a TBR to try and complete all 12 OWLs, leaving my career options wide open.

OWLs completed so far:

Arithmancy: Work written by more than one author – Gemina (Illuminae Files #2)
Charms: Read an adult work – Five Give up the Booze
Defence Against the Dark Arts: Title starts with R – Red Queen
Divination: Set in the Future – Mirage
Potions: Sequel – The Lost Sisters
Transfiguration: Sprayed edges/red cover – Circle of Shadows

Currently in Progress:

Astronomy: Star in the title – Stardust
History of Magic: published at least 10 years ago – The Silmarillion

The Revised Plan:

Now that the Easter holidays are nearing an end, I know I’m going to have less time to get my reading done so I decided to narrow down the occupations and OWL Exams I definitely wanted to sit. I browsed the Wizarding Careers Guide and narrowed down my job choices to:

  • Astronomer
  • Hogwarts Professor
  • Librarian
  • Potioneer

True to my teacher roots, I think I’m going to end up going for Hogwarts Professor. To complete it I still need to pass Astronomy and Ancient Runes.
But then to be a Librarian/Astronomer I’ll still need to pass History of Magic…
And then… to be a Potioneer I’ll need to complete Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures.

So realistically I’ll still be attempting to complete 10/12

And here’s the funny part – I’ve already finished Divination and none of the career paths I’ve chosen require that. By the end of the readathon I guess I’m still aiming to complete 11 of 12 OWL exams – I guess I’ve really narrowed down my options haven’t I?!

Who’s doing the readathon? How’re you getting on? Are you on track for your career? Drop me a comment to chat!

T xx