TTT – Book titles with numbers in them

Hey Bibliofriends,

Another week rolls around again! Downton Abbey is still distracting me, along with a strange addiction to the app game Gardenscapes! 😂 I will get back to reading again at some point… hopefully… wishful thinking?

If you don’t already know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly, list-themed book prompt hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is all about books with numbers in their titles. When I first started thinking of this theme I had a slight panic as I could only think of one book with a number in…! Thank goodness for Goodreads, it definitely came to my rescue in compiling this week’s list. Turns out I’ve read just shy of 20 books with numbers in them (that includes all three Fifty Shades books 🙈), but here are my selections for this week’s TTT.


1984 by George Orwell – it’s a literary classic right…?

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao – Enjoyed it so much, I’m currently reading the sequel.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – This is such a gripping read. I gave it 5⭐️

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline – I loved this book so so much. It’s so different from anything I’ve read before and will be on my ‘shelf of eternal favouritism’.

Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie – I really like Rushdie’s writing, he has such a unique style and I was lucky enough to meet him at a Literature Festival once.

The Tale of Two Bad Mice by Beatrix Potter – Potter’s world of animal tales give me such fond memories of childhood reading.

The Book of Fours by Nancy Holder – I’m a massive Buffy fan and have read lots of the spin-off novels. This one was one of my favourites.

One Day by David Nicholls – This book melted my heart. It was such a page-turner that I think I ended up working all though the night on a university essay because I’d spent all day reading it.

Starter For Ten by David Nicholls – Another Nicholls novel, this one makes the list because I’m such a fan of quiz shows especially University Challenge. It makes me feel slightly cleverer when I get one of the questions right!

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling – There had to be one didn’t there…and half is a number right?!


That’s my Top Ten books I’ve read with a number in the title. What would make your list? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

 

 

TTT – Books on my Fall TBR

Hey Bibliofriends,

Another Top Ten Tuesday has rolled around again so quick. I absolutely love Autumn. It brings about the new beginnings of so many things. At work, we start a brand new school year quite often teaching new children and it is so much fun getting to know them. Autumn also sees the start of two of my favourite sporting seasons; jumps racing gets underway properly around the middle of October, but this weekend the Rugby Union world has been catapulted into the beginning of their seasons with the start of the Rugby World Cup! Here’s hoping England can make a better performance than last year!

If you don’t already know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly, list-themed book prompt hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is all about books on our Fall TBRs. My new job has made finding time for reading a little challenging and to be honest, with the release of the Downton Abbey movie, I’ve been binge-watching all of the series over again hence the lack of time for reading. Nevertheless, I still start out with the best of intentions so, in the aim of being realistic, here are the Top Five books on my Fall TBR if I get my ass into gear and find myself some time to pick up these books! 😂 [all synopses from Goodreads].


1. Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix by Julie C. Dao

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Princess Jade has grown up in exile, hidden away in a monastery while her stepmother, the ruthless Xifeng, rules as empress of Feng Lu. But the empire is in distress and its people are sinking into poverty and despair. Even though Jade doesn’t want the crown, she knows she is the only one who can dethrone the empress and set the world right. Ready to reclaim her place as rightful heir, Jade embarks on a quest to raise the Dragon Lords and defeat Xifeng and the Serpent God once and for all. But will the same darkness that took Xifeng take Jade, too? Or will she find the strength within to save herself, her friends, and her empire?

2. These Wicked Waters by Emily Layne

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A centuries-old curse plagues the island of Viaii Nisi and an ancient enemy lurks beneath the depths of the surrounding water.
Annie Mayfield has heard all the stories and rumors about the island that is now home to the brand new Mayfield Villa resort, and she is definitely not psyched about having to spend her summer working there. The island’s name alone—Viaii Nisi, or violent island—is enough to make any sane person seriously reconsider it as a vacation destination. Then there are the mysterious deaths of every previous owner! It’s a history Annie’s mother is quick to shrug off, but when a guest goes missing on opening night, Annie really starts to get the creeps.
And then Annie makes a truly terrifying discovery: ruins filled with bones and one skeleton that seems to be half human and half fish. Intrigued by the strange remains and determined to help find the missing guest, Annie channels her inner Nancy Drew—minus the skirt and pearls, of course—in an attempt to uncover the truth about Viaii Nisi. But that truth is beyond anything she could ever have imagined. With her mother in complete denial and local officials unconcerned, Annie finds she’ll have to face her biggest fears if she’s to attempt to save everyone she loves.

3. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

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All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.
Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.
As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

4. Into the Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo

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Magic rules the city of Creije Capital and Tavia Syn knows just how many tricks she needs up her sleeve to survive. Selling dark magic on the streets for her kingpin, she keeps clear of other crooks, counting the days until her debt is paid and she can flee her criminal life.
But then, one day, with her freedom in sight, Tavia uncovers a sinister plot that threatens to destroy the realm she calls home. Desperate to put an end to her kingpin’s plan, Tavia forms an unlikely alliance with three crooks even more deadly than her:
Wesley, the kingpin’s prodigy and most renewed criminal in the realm
Karam, an underground fighter with a penchant for killing first and forgetting to ask questions
And Saxony, a Crafter in hiding who will stop at nothing to avenge her family
With the reluctant saviours assembled, they embark on a quest to put an end to the dark magic before it’s too late. But even if they can take down the kingpin and save the realm, the one thing they can’t do is trust each other.

5. The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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In this unforgettable final volume of Ruiz Zafón’s cycle of novels set in the universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, beautiful and enigmatic Alicia Gris, with the help of the Sempere family, uncovers one of the most shocking conspiracies in all Spanish history. Nine-year-old Alicia lost her parents during the Spanish Civil War when the Nacionales (the fascists) savagely bombed Barcelona in 1938. Twenty years later, she still carries the emotional and physical scars of that violent and terrifying time. Weary of her work as an investigator for Spain’s secret police in Madrid, a job she has held for more than a decade, the twenty-nine-year old plans to move on. At the insistence of her boss, Leandro Montalvo, she remains to solve one last case: the mysterious disappearance of Spain’s Minister of Culture, Mauricio Valls. With her partner, the intimidating policeman Juan Manuel Vargas, Alicia discovers a possible clue—a rare book by the author Victor Mataix hidden in Valls’ office in his Madrid mansion. Valls was the director of the notorious Montjuic Prison in Barcelona during World War II where several writers were imprisoned, including David Martín and Victor Mataix. Traveling to Barcelona on the trail of these writers, Alicia and Vargas meet with several booksellers, including Juan Sempere, who knew her parents. As Alicia and Vargas come closer to finding Valls, they uncover a tangled web of kidnappings and murders tied to the Franco regime, whose corruption is more widespread and horrifying than anyone imagined. Alicia’s courageous and uncompromising search for the truth puts her life in peril. Only with the help of a circle of devoted friends will she emerge from the dark labyrinths of Barcelona and its history into the light of the future. In this haunting new novel, Carlos Ruiz Zafón proves yet again that he is a masterful storyteller and pays homage to the world of books, to his ingenious creation of the Cemetery of Forgotten, and to that magical bridge between literature and our lives.’


That’s what I’m hoping to read this Autumn. What books make your Fall TBR? As, always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

TTT – Favourite things to eat/drink whilst reading

Hi Bibliofriends,

TTT was pretty hard work this week, compared to last week’s one. If you don’t already know, TTT is a weekly, list-themed book prompt hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I don’t tend to eat anything whilst reading. I’m normally always reading a physical book which makes it fairly difficult to eat anything as I’m trying so hard to hold the book up without bending the spine – yes, I’m one of those people…! Also, snackish items that I’d want to eat whilst reading like crisps, chocolate etc. always tend to leave little marks all over the pages which I can’t stand. Therefore, my TTT this week is compiled of drinks only and has been reduced to just 6! As I said, this week’s TTT was hard work!

  • Tea – a good strong brew with a small amount of milk and one sweetner. I’ve weaned myself off having two sugars as I drink so much tea nowadays.
  • Coffee – black with one sweetner. The above note about sugar also applies here.
  • Hot Chocolate – especially in the winter! Galaxy s probably my favourite as I don’t have a proper milk frother and that’s the one that tastes the best when you just add hot water.
  • A Java-Chip Frapuccino from Starbucks – my all-time favourite Starbucks drink ever!
  • Wine – a white sauvignon blanc or any rose, especially when reading in a sunny garden.
  • Gin and Tonic – I don’t need any specific reason to drink one of these!

What do you like to eat and drink whilst reading? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

TTT – Books on my TBR I’m avoiding reading.

Hey Bibliofriends!

Top Ten Tuesday was so easy for me this week! Having such a mammoth TBR list also helps. If you don’t already know, TTT is a weekly, list-themed book prompt hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. My summer holiday project was to try and finish some of the series that I had already started but hadn’t got around to finishing. I managed to tick off quite a few but there are still a couple left that I have to get through before I want to begin any new ones. Additionally, by finishing some of the more hyped book series earlier this year (Caraval, Throne of Glass and Illuminae), I don’t think I’m entirely ready to put my little bookish heart out there again whilst it is still in recovery mode from these epic endings! Therefore my entire TTT list this week is compiled around the books on my TBR that I’m avoiding as I’m not ready to start a new series yet!


Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Nocturna by Maya Motayne
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Odeyemi
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
Skyward by Brandon Sanderson
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The Beholder by Anna Bright


There we go – ten series which are on my TBR, sat right here next to me as I type…that I am actively avoiding because I’m not ready to start a new series yet. 🙈
Which one do you think I should start with when I finally get around to it? Have you read any of these? What books from your TBR are you side-eyeing and avoiding too? As always drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

TTT – Books outside my comfort zone I actually enjoyed

Hey Bibliofriends!

Top Ten Tuesday this week is all about the books we actually enjoyed which were outside of our comfort zones. If you don’t already know, TTT is a weekly, list-themed book prompt hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Looking back through my shelves to try and compile this list, it became pretty clear that I don’t tend to read outside of my comfort zone an awful lot nowadays. I wonder if this is one of the contributing reasons the infamous ‘reading slump’ seems to take hold every now and again. Most of my list is made up of compulsory books from reading lists of my English Literature High School and Degree Courses. Perhaps it should be my 2020 resolution to read more widely and get my head out of the Sci-Fi and Fantasy clouds for a while!


The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith – I don’t normally tend to read crime fiction or detective novels that much, despite one of my English Literature degree modules being crime fiction 😂. If I’m being perfectly honest, the only reason I picked this up in the first place was because it was J.K. Rowling who wrote it, however I soon grew to love the characters and the story that she wove together and now I am a massive fan of this series.

Walking Home: My Family and Other Rambles by Clare Balding – I was gifted this book by one of my students after telling them that I really wanted to read the new Clare Balding book. They bought me this for Christmas and I didn’t have the heart to tell them that the book I actually meant was her children’s book The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop. Nevertheless, I read it over that holiday and absolutely loved it. The way she merged discussions about walking routes, her experiences with various different groups of people alongside how walking is an outlet/escape from real life was actually quite inspiring and I enjoyed reading it a lot more than I expected to.

The Secret History of the World by Jonathan Black – This book has quite a lot of pages and the font is so tiny that I almost never wanted to put the effort into reading it. At times, all of the esoteric and theological references were a little heavy going too. But when I finally did get into it, it was actually more intriguing and interesting than I’d originally given it credit for.

All My Sons by Arthur Miller – I don’t tend to read playscripts out of choice, other than the Shakespeare plays or Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which I saw for the first time last month 🙌), but after reading this once upon a time as part of my school coursework I found that it is actually quite a powerful piece of writing with some really memorable and compelling quotes.

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks – I can’t even remember how or why I read this book. All I do remember is that it was a type of storytelling and subject matter that I hadn’t come across before and it was weirdly fascinating to read.

Once in a House on Fire by Andrea Ashworth – This was suggested to me by one of my teachers for a piece of English coursework I was writing. Memoirs are also not really a genre I would typically chose to read, unless it’s either a person or subject matter which really interests me. Ashworth’s writing was so poignant and gripping that I couldn’t put it down and still have my copy on my bookshelf to this day.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks – Yet another one from the days of High School English Literature classes! I don’t read books set in war history from our time but Faulk’s tale moved me to tears.

The Girls by Lori Lansens – When I relocated, this was the first book which I bought from my local bookshop. It is a story about two conjoined twins and how they are on the verge of becoming the oldest living conjoined twins in history. It’s not something I’d normally buy but it was a really endearing tale.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – This book always gives me fond memories of my school days. It’s one of those American classics that I don’t normally go to but I really enjoyed reading it.

Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake – I like reading poetry but sometimes I find it difficult to become a fan of a poet’s whole works. William Blake was the first poet that made me want to read his entire collection. The Songs of Innocence and of Experience are famous for so many lines and references and they definitely contain some of my favourite poems of all time.


Have you read any of these? What books would make it onto your own TTT list this week? As always drop me a comment to chat!

T xx

Top Ten Tuesday – Rainy Day Reads

Happy Tuesday Bibliofriends,

It seems like ages since last week’s Top Ten Tuesday but here it is again! TTT is a weekly, list-themed book prompt hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme was the top ten rainy day reads.

Now when I think of reading on a rainy day, I automatically visualise cosying up on the sofa with a blanket, my dogs and a hot chocolate. However, when it came to picking my top ten rainy day reads I noticed that they were starting to take on a beachy theme…so maybe I like to think of far-off, tropical places on a typically wet, grey, rainy day in the UK! Thumbnails should take you to Goodreads!


7600679From Notting Hill With Love…Actually by Ali McNamara

Notting Hill is one of my all-time favourite movies, in fact I don’t think there’s a Richard Curtis film that I actually dislike! Therefore, it was a really easy decision to pick up this book and read it. Loved it, the perfect squashy sofa read!

 

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding 856684

I totally read this because of the movie… and although I think I prefer the film version, I’m such a bibliophile that I appreciate the origins of the story. Good old Bridget!

 

28014641Destination Thailand by Katy Colins

This is the first in a series called The Lonely Hearts Travel Club and provided me with the perfect little bit of escapism I needed at the time of reading. It also made me want to visit Thailand where the rain is probably like liquid sunshine compared to the cold, wet drizzle we have over here.

 

The Sunshine and Biscotti Club by Jenny Oliver28674865

Italy…my favourite real-world destination ever! Just thinking about this book gives me good vibes – Italy, sunshine and baking…what’s not to like? It’s a cute, easy read and brings back fond memories from when I was travelling through this beautiful country.

 

594735Fairytales – in any shape/form/variety/telling

I love fairytales and consider them to be a genre all of their own. That little bit of magic is all that’s needed to brighten up a rainy day so they definitely needed to feature somewhere in my list this week.

 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas 17927395

This was the series that gave me my reading mojo back! Whilst I loved both the first book in the series, A Court of Thorns and Roses and the finale A Court Of Wings And Ruin, ACOMAF is the one that gave me all the feels! Rhysand fans…you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!

 

8789394The Agatha Raisin Series by M.C. Beaton

I bought the entire collection of these (there’s about 20 novels!) from The Book People a while back and they’re the perfect series to dip into, particularly on a rainy day. M.C. Beaton lives in a village not too far away from where I live either so it feels good to be reading a local author.

 

Gardens of Delight by Erica James27841996

I’ve often spoken of my love for Summer by the Lake, and I picked up Gardens of Delight purely because it was also set in Italy and provides perfect ‘drizzle escapism’. I really enjoy all of Erica’s novels and was so thrilled when she commented on one of my Bookstagram pictures of Gardens of Delight last year.

 

The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March15702047

I cannot tell you how much I love Meryl Streep; I will literally watch any film that she’s in (yes, even Hope Springs!). Set by the beach in Maine and based on a family who also love and watch Meryl Streep films, this is exactly the kind of book I will be reading when stuck inside. Mini warning: if you haven’t seen the films mentioned in this book then be prepared to read lots of film spoilers; sadly I had no such warning…but I really enjoyed the read so it didn’t matter too much.

 

And finally…have you guessed it yet?

 

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling 49774

If you’ve read any of my posts so far, you’ll know by now that I am definitely a self-confessed Potterhead! I will turn to this series come rain, come shine, come book hangover or come book-slump. It’s my ultimate go-to series in all times of need!

 

What makes it onto your list for rainy day reads? Do you like to make a bookish escape to warmer climes or do you like warm and fluffy tales to snuggle up to? As always, drop me a comment to chat!

 

T xx

Top Ten Tuesday – Audio Freebie

Happy Tuesday Bibliofriends!

This Top Ten Tuesday was so incredibly difficult for me due to the fact that I rarely listen to audiobooks. I also don’t listen to music when I read as I prefer the quiet (even though SOME PEOPLE in my household clearly don’t understand the fact that when undivided attention is on my book I am therefore unable to read and talk at the same time… *cue the eye-rolling and huffing*)!

For some reason I just feel like it’s cheating and I’m not actually “reading” at all. Also, I find that I tend to forget what happens in the story a lot easier with audiobooks than I do with reading physical books. Yep, I’m one of ‘those people’. Sorry not sorry!

However, more recently I have admittedly been scrolling through the audiobook catalogues in a fit of desperation just to try and give my reading challenge a bit of a boost! I’m already on my second one this year and trust me, that’s a record! So for TTT this week I decided to gather together my own random list of audio things to do with books…

Some musically bookish accompaniments…

10) Harry Potter Soundtrack

Ok, so my thinking here is that I’ve become so in love with the Wizarding World of Harry Potter that when I read the books I cannot help but hear the movie soundtrack in my head. The two things have become synonymous with each other in my brain and John Williams is a soundtrack genius!

9) The Lord of the Rings Soundtrack

Likewise with Harry Potter above, there’s just something about the soundtrack of LOTR that sends me immediately back to Middle Earth. For me, Howard Shore really got to the heart of the mash-up between Tolkien’s world and Peter Jackson’s vision.

8) Holst’s Planets Suite

I’m not the biggest classical music aficionado. I rarely get those really hard music questions on University Challenge correct, however Holst’s Planets Suite is one of my favourite pieces of classical music of all-time. It’s probably something to do with the Land of Hope and Glory vibe and I Vow to Thee My Country which are quite patriotic songs here in England. Mind you, if I listened to this whilst I was reading then I would probably be more focused on humming along to the tune than actually reading the words of my book!

7) 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music

This album is perfect to satisfy all of my classical music needs in one go. It’s surprising how many of the tunes are actually familiar when you hear them. I could definitely have this on as a bit of background noise when I’m absorbed in a good book.

6) The Fantasia Soundtrack

Fantasia was one of my favourite Disney movies as a kid and I still love it today. The way the cartoons were designed to match the different pieces of music is fantastic and again the lack of words to sing-a-long to would help me tune into my book a little bit more.

Audiobooks I’ve read/listened to:

5) The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (read by Paul Michael)

I think I bought this as a CD set because it was on sale. I can honestly tell you that I loved the premise of Dan Brown’s novel (as always) but I have no recollection of what actually happened! I couldn’t even begin to guess which character would have been the bad guy! At least I have a physical copy now for a re-read… at some point… when my TBR is not as full…

4) Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl (read by Chris O’Dowd)

Chris O’Dowd is such a fantastic narrator and his voice was perfect for this childhood classic. I sometimes play these audiobooks in my classroom during art afternoons and the kids love it.

3) The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (read by Kelsey Grammer)

This is my ‘currently listening to’. My first motivation for downloading this was that it was free on iTunes. The second was that this is one of those classic Sci-Fi reads that is probably on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. And thirdly, I need to do whatever I can to help me get my read count up! I’m kind of enjoying it so far although it is quite hard to keep up with the story, especially when I’m listening to it in the car on the way to work!

2) Mythos by and read by Stephen Fry 

I am so glad that I downloaded this and listened to it on the long journeys down to Cornwall and back. Fry is an excellent orator and his storytelling really bought the Greek myths to life. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who loves either audiobooks or the Greek myths.

And finally…The ultimate reading soundtrack…

1) SILENCE – Reading is the chance to escape whatever is going on in this reality and jump into a new world. For me, the perfect way to absorb right into that is with no sounds around at all. There are so many distractions around already from the TV or mobile phones etc. that sometimes it’s nice to switch off completely with a good read and the sound of silence.

Woohoo, I made it through to the end…if you’ve cared enough to read this far then thank you! I’m not managing to get around to writing as much as I’d like to recently as my head is filled with so many things taking up much more of my time than I’d like; which then in turn leaves me frustrated and angry as I really don’t want to neglect my blog again. Thankfully, the Easter holidays are nearly here and I should be able to try and get ahead of myself rather than try to keep chasing my tail all the time! Anyone else have patches like that?

To all of the readers who continuously read my posts and like/comment on them – I love you guys!

Happy reading everyone! 3 more sleeps until the weekend!

T xx

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I’m No Longer Interested in Reading

Hey Bookaholics!

I hope you are all having a good week so far. We are back to school again this week after the half term break. I enjoyed getting the chance to meet up with some friends and catch up with my reading (as well as some much needed sleep)!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is Books I’m No Longer Interested In Reading. This was really hard for me as I hardly ever DNF a book; in fact, I think I’ve only ever DNF’d one book so this list predominantly consists of book series which I am no longer interested in or motivated to finish/continue!

10. A Thing Or Two About Curtis And Camilla by Nick Fowler

My only DNF. I’m sorry to say that I’ve already included this in a previous post and I’m sure some people out there really enjoyed the story, but for me both Curtis and Camilla irritated the hell out of me and I couldn’t finish it!

9. Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

I was really intrigued by this epistolary novel yet I’ve picked it up no end of times and don’t seem to be able to get past the first 50 pages. It hasn’t become the second book on my DNF hitlist…yet! Nevertheless, it’s been put on pause for the time being!

8. Pure Dead Magic by Debi Gliori

Again, this seems to be another regular feature on my TTT list. It just didn’t quite grab me and although I own the entire series as a boxset, I never made it past the first one and probably won’t.

7. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

For some reason this series didn’t hook me which I was quite surprised about. I don’t think I realised it was part of a series when I first read it but it definitely didn’t inspire me to purchase the sequel. I think there were just other books out there which piqued my interest more.

6. Still Me by Jojo Moyes

I wept at Me Before You. I carried on with After You because I enjoyed reading about Lou’s effervescent character and really wanted her to overcome her grief and get her happy ending. But to continue it with another book…do we really need one? The love and the loss has been dealt with enough for Lou to move on with her life. Apologies to the Moyes superfans out there, but can we not just let her be? 

5. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

I must admit, I purchased this purely because of the title, the cover and the reference to magic in the blurb. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting and I don’t think the style of the novel was totally to my taste. I know there’s a brief follow up story about the cat but I don’t think I’ll end up reading it.

4. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

I actually quite enjoyed this book! It is one of the few eBooks I read last year and I found it to be quite a relaxing read even though I was hoping it would be a little more in the epistolary style. After I’d finished reading I found out it was the first one in a series but yet again, other books grabbed my attention sooner so I don’t think I’ll be reading P.S I Still Love You or Always and Forever, Lara Jean for some time.

3. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

This book was included in my first ever Fairyloot box that I received! Overall I enjoyed the story but the series just didn’t leave me invested enough to preorder the second book in the series. Maybe one day…

2. Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh

Another Fairyloot book which was massively hyped due to Ahdieh’s success with The Wrath and the Dawn (which I haven’t got around to reading yet). It was pitched as a Mulan retelling but I’m not quite sure that I saw that in it. The story kept me interested enough but I just don’t think I’m interested enough in following Mariko’s character into the sequel.

1. A Song of Ice and Fire Series by G.R.R. Martin

I read both A Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings but towards the end I found myself skimming certain chapters just to find out more about the characters which I actually wanted to know about like Cersei, Daenerys, Jon Snow, Tyrion, Arya etc! I’m sure at some point in the future I should persist and plough my way through them but I’m just not yearning to pick them up for the time being.

So there you have it! Some novels which didn’t quite interest me enough and some firsts in a series which haven’t inspired me or hooked me enough to immediately grab for the sequel.

Have you read any of these? Should I persevere with any of them or give some a second chance? Let me know in the comments! 

Enjoy your week Bookaholics!

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Love Freebie

First-time loves – books I’d love to read again as if for the very first time!

Hey there Bookaholics!

So this week Top Ten Tuesday is a ‘Love freebie’ and I’m not going to lie, I kind of picked out my theme before fully reading the prompt so although this week’s post is not entirely ‘lovey-dovey’ or ‘romancy’, I’m going with it anyway! For this TTT, I decided to think about all of the books that I’d LOVE (had to get that word in there!) to rediscover as if for the first time. Deleting all my knowledge of these next ten books only to be able to read them afresh and experience those first-time feels again would be awesome! Bring on the nostalgic love…

10. Spies by Michael Frayn

This text was one of the books that was on my English Literature A-Level syllabus. I remember exactly where I sat in the A2 classroom of the English Block to discover this for the first time. Geekish as it may be, I absolutely loved school and had the most amazing English teachers (I’m now a teacher myself J). Despite English Literature being my last option selected for A-Levels, it fast became my favourite subject and I went on to study it at university too. For some reason, Spies has stuck out in my mind after all of these years. I really enjoyed Frayn’s storytelling as well as the tension and suspense he creates through the plot and imagery. Having to think of the significance of the cigarette packet, the laburnum and the diary with strange markings made it feel like a real mystery to solve before the ending was actually revealed. Whether it is the story told in the book itself, or the nostalgia it brings with it of being back at school, this text had to appear somewhere in my TTT this week.

9. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl thoroughly gripped me from the first to last page. I can’t really remember now whether I worked out the twists or not, but I definitely remember devouring it within a very short time as I just couldn’t put it down. Obviously now, after having read it and watched the film, the mystery of that first time reading is forever ruined, and since I can’t go back in time, I thought I’d honour it with a place on my list this week.

8. One Day by David Nicholls

Similarly to Gone Girl, this page-turner had to have a place on my top ten this week, purely for that dramatic twist at the end. I remember sitting at my computer, desperately trying to finish my uni assignments with this book just glaring at me from the chair. To hell with the essays, I had to finish it and then suffered the devastating book hangover that came from reaching the ending. Whether it is a great piece of literature or not, the shattering feeling that came from the last pages of that book has been difficult (but not entirely impossible) to experience again since.

7. Summer at the Lake by Erica James

I don’t often read a lot of this genre but I happened upon this book completely by chance in Cape Verde. We had gone to one of those 5 star all inclusive holidays where you never really leave the hotel complex and just sit and relax on the beach. I’d already polished off all four of the books I’d taken with me and was searching through a cabinet full of books other holidaymakers had abandoned on the island when Summer at the Lake called out to me. Being set in one of my all-time favourite locations (Lake Como, Italy) and with an Oxford tour guide protagonist named Floriana guiding the story, it was the perfect holiday read. Whether my glorious white-sandy setting influenced my enjoyment of James’ novel is yet to be seen but I would gladly go back in time to re-experience that book all over again.

6. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

This was my first ever time reading Angela Carter and boy it was not my last! I loved how deliciously dark these tales were and I’d happily revisit this book just for the pure shock-factor of how gruesome and morbid those tales really were.

5. The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Zafon is one of my absolute favourite authors. He has such a beautiful way with words and his novels are some of the most well-constructed I have ever read. I was resolute that at least one of his books would make this list so after browsing my shelves I decided upon The Prince of Mist. Whilst this isn’t one from his more popular Cemetery of Forgotten books series, I fell in love with the idea of the enchanted stone garden at the centre of the story. It had been an anticipated read on my TBR from the moment I knew that it was to be released in the UK and I would love to go back and open its pages again for the very first time. Zafon hasn’t released new material in English since 2013 and finally, in September 2018 we are getting the fourth instalment in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books series and I CAN NOT WAIT!

4. George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl

Who doesn’t love Roald Dahl?! By far one of my favourite Dahl books, I remember this being insanely funny when I read it as a kid. I was one of those children who messed around in the kitchen sink at my Grandparents’ house, making all sorts of potions and concoctions with whatever I found and although I didn’t manage to make a medicine as magical as George’s, I definitely made a few things to make my Grandad pull some highly comedic faces (brave Grandad)! Rediscovering this book for the first time without knowing the hilarious side-effects of George’s makeshift medicine would definitely be a blast from the past and would bring back that happy childhood nostalgia.

3. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Oh to experience that first adventure into Middle Earth once again without knowing how the journey ends! Tolkien is surely one of the greatest story-telling masters of all-time and I’d love to just revisit that WOW feeling that came from reading The Hobbit for the very first time. The trolls, the wizard, the elves, the dragon…! Stories which carry that much resonance with so many legions of fans truly are special and the first-time feels they give you really are worth treasuring. A highly deserved place on my TTT this week!

2. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

I thought about mentioning the whole trilogy in this post, but as those people who have read the ACOTAR trilogy and loved it will know, there’s just something special about book 2 (Rhysand, I’m talking to you!). The rollercoaster of emotions that this book sent me on…I felt like I was actually IN the book! ACOMAF has definitely earned its place on my most-loved-books-of-all-time shelf and to be able to go back and read it again for the first time would be such a thrill.

1. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Could there be any other…? To rediscover any book again as if for the very first time – If there was ever a chance to delete all of your Harry Potter knowledge and to go right back to the start and discover it all over again, would you do it? Would it be the same reading it in this day and age; the age you are now? Would it be better than you originally thought, or would you hate it and not rediscover that Potter love at all?

I grew up with Harry; I was at primary school when the first book was released and each time the next novel was announced my Nan had it on pre-order for me straight away (always from WH Smiths!). Never has a book series captivated me so wholeheartedly as much as Potter. Now whilst that may be a little cliché or roll the eyes of those Potter-haters out there (yes, they really do exist), no book-lover can surely deny that special feeling that comes with reading a book for the very first time and knowing that you are going to love it, treasure it and remember it for life. To experience that feeling is quite rare and I only hope I get to experience it again in the not so distant future.

Should the TARDIS ever become a reality these are the top ten books that I would go back in time to rediscover all over again as if for the very first time. Which books would you go back in time for? Feel free to chat and let me know in the comments!

Have a brilliant week Bookaholic friends!