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