November Wrap Post

Yoohoo Bibliofriends!

I’m finally getting around to writing my Wrap up for November! It was a month of epic proportions, read more below! ☺️

Life Update

This month has been so hectic, it’s unreal! School is just always so crazy and it seems that it’s only my social life that is in lockdown while work has gone full throttle!

In other news… I’ve actually moved house! We have been gradually renovating a property for a few years with the intention of moving into to when it was fully finished but other circumstances had us quickly having to move out of our old house and into our new one in a bit of a rush! It’s because of all those goings on that I have barely had the energy to read, let alone blog or tweet so there’ve been more gaps than I would have liked in my posting schedule this month! Thankfully, we are gradually getting our furniture set up and the boxes unpacked. I now have my own Office/Library space and my new house is just a walk away from the village centre where there is a library AND a bookshop! I’m in book heaven! Haha!

Blog Life

What I’ve Been Reading in November

  • The Savage Garden by Mark Mills – literally… that’s it – this is how my family know it’s a hectic time; I can;t remember the last time I only ever read one book in the month!!
  • I am part-way through reading a book called The Last Gospel but there’s still a fair way to go left in that before I finish it!

What I’ve Been Watching in November

  • The Umbrella Academy – I finally finished it! It had such a strange ending and I have so many more questions so I hope there’s going to be another series coming out soon!
  • We’ve finally caught up with The Crown ready for the new season! We’re such big fans of it in our house that we’ve already finished Season 4! The costumes and make-up are on point; it’s amazing how the actors really look and sound like the royals! Such drama!
  • I binge-watched Emily in Paris on one Saturday (seeing as we were in lockdown 2.0 and all!). It’s such a cute series, nowhere near as fun and original as Sex and the City was but it’s still a wonderful show to watch. I loved the characters and the costumes as well as that glorious Paris scenery. Roll on Season 2 – I need to know what happens next after that cliffhanger of an ending!
  • Little Italy – If you ever need a film that’ll make you crave pizza, this is it!
  • Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island – This premise and location had so much potential – unfortunately, I felt it was bit of a let down.

What I’ve Been Listening to in November

  • What with all of the US Election hype – I found myself addicted to the Americast podcast just to keep up with all of the goings-on.
  • Ready Player One (Audiobook) – deal of the week for just £3.99 – YES PLEASE! Ready Player One is one of my all-time favourite books ever so it’s been great listening to the audiobook before the release of the sequel. I think I missed out on the Waterstones signed editions but it safe to say that I can’t wait until August next year for the paperback to come out! I definitely need to read this soon!
  • Miley Cyrus’ Plastic Hearts album finally dropped – I have been downloading all of the live covers I can get my hands on in the promo run up to this album and I absolutely love it! It’s practically been on repeat with her duet of I Got So High That I Saw Jesus with her sister Noah Cyrus and the Heart of Glass Blondie cover she did too. It definitely feels like Miley has evolved from her chrysalis into a beautiful musical butterfly with this album.

What I’m Looking Forward to it December

  • Spending more time reading and finally finishing some books.
  • Unpacking the rest of my boxes and actually living in our new house.
  • Seeing people from my support bubble.
  • CHRISTMAS!!!

What are you looking forward to reading and doing in December?

As always, drop me a comment to chat! ☺️

T xx

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

#BookTag – I Should Have Read That

Happy Tuesday Bibliofriends,

I’ve hit a kind of Book Tag slump recently and have been trying to find some different ones which interested me and motivated me enough to fill them out. When I saw the I Should Have Read That tag on One Book More I knew that it would be perfect for me as there are tons of books out there and on my shelves that I should have read.


 Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag 10 others to take part in the tag
  • Enjoy the tag!

A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read

My friend Hannah is always recommending the Rivers of London series to me by Ben Aaronovitch. I know that I will probably end up loving it as we share similar tastes in books but for some reason I just never get around to purchasing it!

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A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t read it

Erm.. my entire bookshelf?!

Nevernight or The Bone Season have both been sat on my shelves for well over 3 (or more likely 5!) years and I still haven’t picked them up and got past the first page yet.

A book in a series you’ve started, but haven’t gotten around to finishing

Surely we all know I have a bit of a problem with sequels by now? So much so that I think there should be a name for a scientific/medical name for not finishing a series – answers on a postcard please!

If I had to pick just one it would probably be Rage by Cora Carmack – I absolutely loved Roar and now I finally have Rage sat in my TBR pile I’m desperate to read it and find out what happens before buying Reign when it comes out later in August this year.

A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but have never actually read

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – purely for the fact that I love the sound of his name. It’s one of those aesthetically pleasing sounds. I have no idea what the book is actually about even though it’s sitting on my bookshelf – but that’s just me and my book-buying addiction habits!

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A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read

Anything by V.E. Schwab – it’s almost like I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t read any of her work yet. Lots of people discuss what an amazing writer she is so I really want to get around to reading the Darker Shades of Magic series in the near future.

A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but just haven’t picked up yet

Normally I’m a really stickler for making sure that I’ve read the book before the films come out. That being said I desperately want to read Dune before the movie comes out later this year. TV series-wise, I love, love, love Killing Eve. The first series was by far the best and I don’t really think series 2 and 3 have lived up to the ‘epicness’ of it yet but I’d like to take a punt on exploring the books.

A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet

With all of the reading, working, adulting, blogging, Twittering, watching reruns of Hannah Montana on Disney +etc… my Instagramming has taken a bit of a backseat and I don’t really go on it anymore to know what it popular. Two books I keep hearing hyped-up elsewhere that I’d like to read is A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A Brown and Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston.


Et voilà! I get all worried that by tagging people in posts they’ll get all eye-rolly and pissed off so feel free to tag yourself and have a go if you want to!

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

#BookTag – Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag!

Hey Bibliofriends,

It’s Tuesday tag time again! I was tagged by Books are 42 to do this highly relevant ‘Mid-Year Book Freak Out’ Book Tag! Links will take you to some of my reviews.

How Much Have You Read?

So far, I’ve read 29 books of my target of 45 and it’s looking likely that I’ll manage to achieve my goal this year for the first time in about two years! Being in lockdown for April and May definitely helped me to get a huge chunk of reading done and I like it when Goodreads tells me that I’m 7 books ahead of schedule rather than 7 books behind…

What Have You Been Reading?

Most of my reads consist of YA/Fantasy or Sci-fi books although I have read some literary fiction, historical mysteries and thrillers, short stories, non-fiction as well as some poetry.

Best Book You’ve Read so far in 2020

There are definitely a few highly recommended ones such as The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott or My Fence is Electirc: and Other Stories by Mark Newman but I think my standout book so far this year has to be Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – it’s definitely not for everyone but it was right up my history-geek street!

Best Sequel You’ve Read so far in 2020

I’ve only read 4 sequels so far this year but my favourite would have to be A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer. You can read my review here!

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

My mission this year has been trying to finish off some ‘already started series’ so I could get around to beginning some new ones but two new releases that I haven’t got around to yet are Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas and The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Part of the Year

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco – this book has me at ‘19thcentury Italian backdrop’!

Biggest Disappointment

Dare I say it… Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin – to be fair, I think the hype ruined this for me. I was expecting a sweeping new epic that I’d be throwing out the stars and rave reviews for but it left me feeling a little like an average YA fantasy, except the cinnamon buns – they sounded delicious.

Biggest Surprise

Romanov by Nadine Brandes – how that book hit the delicately fine balance between historical fact and magical fantasy was really well done. I loved it!

New Favourite Author (Debut or New To You)

I recently read The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott (review here!) and think he is such a talented writer. I’ve purchased his first book Flames and cannot wait to read it at some point later this year.

Underrated Gems You’ve Discovered Recently

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez – I need the sequel, like yesterday! I loved the Bolivian cultural references and the woven animals. A delightful read!
A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden – this first book was a thrilling read and I’m reliably informed that the series gets better and better so I can’t wait to read the next book.

Rereads This Year

None so far but I am planning on rereading Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett, Roar by Cora Carmack and Given to the Sea by Mindee McGinnis before reading the sequels.

I’m also planning on rereading all of the books by Carlos Ruiz Zafon as he is one of my all-time favourite authors in the universe and I was so saddened to hear of his death last month.

Newest Fictional Crush

I don’t even know if I have a ‘newest’ one?! I suppose I am seeing Grey from the Cursebreakers series in a new light and I adore his relationship with Lia Mara but I wouldn’t call it a crush…(there’ll only ever be one Rhysand or Aragorn anyway)!

Newest Favourite Character

Hesina (Descendant of the Crane), Ximena (Woven in Moonlight) or Alessandra (The Shadows Between Us).

Book That Made You Cry

Romanov by Nadine Brandes – Nastya is such a wonderful narrator and the author’s phrases are highly emotive at times.

Book That Made You Happy

The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary – it’s an enjoyably light and funny read.

Favourite Book to Film Adaption

Sticking with the classics, Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit – the New Zealand Hobbiton tour is now on my travel bucket list.

Most Beautiful Cover You’ve Bought This Year (or Received)

Probably the May FairyLoot book Girl, Serpent, Thorn or the April FairyLoot book Incendiary – I can’t wait to read either of them, they’re so beautiful!

What Books Do You Need to Read by the End of the Year?

How long is a piece of string…? I need to read Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster, Ignite the Sun by Hanna Howard and Twelve: Poems Inspired by the Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale by Andrea Blythe as they’re all review requests. I’d like to read the sequel to A Touch of Death by Rebecca Crunden and then the rereads I mentioned earlier. #nopressurethen

Favourite Post You Have Done This Year

Probably the Books as First Dates Book Tag – I really enjoy reviewing books but the tags are so much fun, although I do have to try and vary my answers otherwise everything becomes Harry Potter or Sarah J Maas related.

Favourite Book Community Member

I honestly couldn’t single out just one person as everyone here has been so wonderful, helpful and supportive – thank you Bibliofriends! I don’t tend to tag people as I don’t know who has already done the tags or even wants to take part but if you feel like having a go yourself then “tag, you’re it!”


Have you done the Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag yet? Do you feel like having a go yourself? What’s been the best thing you’ve read so far this year and what are you looking forward to reading in the next half of the year? As always, drop your tag links below or post me a comment to chat!

T xx

#SixForSunday – Series I Can Now Finish (Because I Have The Sequel!)

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

Can you believe we’re actually in the final weekend of June?! The month has flown so quickly!
I changed up the theme slightly for Six For Sunday this week as I had practically zero to contribute to today’s regular theme so I kind of made one up for myself. This S4S I have decided to focus on series I can now finish reading because I own the sequel! Those that catch up with my blog regularly may know that I’m not the best at actually finishing a series so for last month’s birthday, my bookish wishlist was composed almost entirely of sequels. These are the ones I’m planning to get finished before the summer is out!
For those who don’t already knowSix for Sunday is a weekly list-based meme created by Steph @ALittleButALot and has a different weekly prompt based on a monthly theme.


  • These Divided Shores by Sara Raasch [sequel to These Rebel Waves]
  • Shadow and Flame by Mindee Arnett [sequel to Onyx and Ivory]
  • All The Wandering Light by Heather Fawcett [sequel to Even The Darkest Stars]
  • Given to the Earth by Mindy McGinnis [sequel to Given to the Sea]
  • Cloak of Night by Evelyn Skye [sequel to Circle of Shadows]
  • Rage by Cora Carmack [sequel to Rage – book 2 of the trilogy]

Have you read any of these series? Got any recommendations on which one I should tackle first? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

 

#SixForSunday – Backlist Books

Happy Sunday Bibliofriends,

How has June been for you so far? Are you on track with your reading goals? This week I decided to do something a little different for Six For Sunday as I’d been struggling a little with June’s theme. As I missed out on the April theme and it seemed really relevant to my bookshelves, I thought I’d do an April prompt about books that have been on my shelves forever! There were so many to choose from, I think I could have done 60 for Sunday rather than 6! For those who don’t already knowSix for Sunday is a weekly list-based meme created by Steph @ALittleButALot and has a different weekly prompt based on a monthly theme.


  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
    This is such a classic and I loved the film so so much that I really do need to get my ass in gear and actually read this book!
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith
    She has been hailed as one of the great writers of today’s modern fiction world so I’d really like to pick this one up at some point in the next year(!). I think the sheer size of it and the tiny font has been putting me off slightly.
  • The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
    This sits so prominently on my bookshelves and the neon pink font of the author’s name is like a constant reminder hanging over my head that I have probably owned this book for nearly 10 years and still not read it yet – I just can’t seem to part with a book before I’ve at least given it a little chance.
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    I think I bought this as part of the Between Two Books Book Club which is made up of Florence + the Machine fans – I can’t think of any other reason why it would have appeared on my shelves!
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    It seemed quite relevant to include this book in this list having spent the past few months living amidst a global pandemic!
  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
    Another practically modern classic that I just haven’t got around to reading. I thankfully haven’t seen the film either so I’m not spoiled about what happens. I think this may be one of those books that I have to be in the mood to read.

There you go, an insight into my backlist books, a majority of which were purchased before I became addicted to Fantasy and it took precedence over all other reading material! Do you have any backlist books on your shelves? What are your best ways of getting through them? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

 

 

#BookTag – Stay At Home Tag

Hi Bibliofriends,

It seems to be that the world is slowly returning back to normal as we tentatively emerge out of lockdown. Nevertheless, I still wanted to have a go at the Stay At Home Book Tag which has been doing the rounds recently. I found this over at Zeezee With Books but it was originally created by booktuber Princess of Paperbacks.


Laying in bed — A book you read in one day

The Wicked King by Holly Black – the pages just kept turning, turning and turning until the very last one!

Snacking – A book that is a ‘guilty pleasure’ read

The Robert Langdon novels by Dan Brown – I just live them and think they’re full of suspense and conspiracy.

Netflix — A series that you want to start

The Daevabad Trilogy by S.A. Chakraborty – I recently purchased the FairyLoot exclusive editions so I’m looking forward to reading them!

Deep clean — A book that has been on your TBR for ages

The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte – this was one of the first books on my Goodreads TBR. It sounded really intriguing but I still haven’t got around to picking it up.

Animal Crossing — A book you recently bought because of the hype

Crescent City – House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas – I don’t really think this one needs any explanations at all!

Productivity — A book you learned from or had an impact on you

Remember This When You’re Sad by Maggy Van Eijk – this book helped put a lot of things in perspective for me.

FaceTime — A book you were gifted

I have a special anniversary edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy which was gifted to me from some friends in school.

Self-care — What is one thing you have done recently to look after yourself

Spend time reading out in the garden in the sunshine! Also putting myself on a work schedule so that I make sure to take proper breaks on the days I’m working from home.

BONUS — An upcoming release you are looking forward to

The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott – This is a July release which I was fortunate enough to be accepted for on NetGalley so I’m really excited to get around to reading it!
Or:Written in Starlight by Isabel Ibañez, the sequel to Woven in Moonlight.


What has been your reading highlights from Lockdown? What have you been doing to look after yourselves whilst we’ve all been staying at home? As always, feel free to tag yourselves and drop me a comment to chat!

T xx