A Bit of a Brummy Book Haul

Hello friends! I can’t actually believe I’m bringing you my third book haul post of the month… but there we go.

I visited my bestie, Natalie, in Lichfield over the Easter holidays, and we went to Stratford-upon-Avon, and the five storey Waterstone’s in Birmingham! Therefore, whilst they are not all from Birmingham, I thought that I would share with you what I bought…

The Sonnets by William Shakespeare 

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I don’t know why this one is so blurry, it just wouldn’t focus! I think my camera had a hard time with the gold text! 

Oh. My. God. Okay, so this book was a wee bit pricey, about £12 I think, but it was SO worth it. This book is smaller than my hand, and each sonnet takes up one page. It’s exclusive to William Shakespeare’s birth place, and it’s a book that is already very important to me.

The White Book by Han Kang 

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This is a book that I’ve been eyeing up for ages (I mentioned it in my top ten books on my immediate TBR!), and I finally bought it in Waterstones. This is different to The Vegetarian in that it isn’t a novel but more prose-poetry, and I am so excited to read it. I want to sit down and devour it all in one, is the only trouble!

Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia 

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Whenever I see this book I get all excited and just want to pick it up… so, eventually, I did! This is a YA book and I was able to get it in the US hardback (which I’m guessing because no one in the UK publishes it?), and I am SO excited to read it. For some reason, I didn’t put it in the same blog post I put The White Book in, but it’s definitely one I want to get to as soon as possible.

I’m really happy with all of the books I bought, and I can’t wait to get to all of them! I would love to know if you’ve read any of these in the comments below!

Until the next time, x

5 Series I Should Probably Get Around to Finishing

Hello all! Today I thought I would share 5 lovely book series that I really need to finish…!

Magnus Chase series by Rick Riordan (Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer, Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor, Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead)

I love Rick Riordan’s books, and I only have the last book in this series to read! I highly, highly recommend all of his books, but when you read Magnus Chase after reading the others, you discover so many more Easter eggs!

Skin Books series by Alice Broadway (Ink, Spark, Untitled Book #3)

SPARK, book 2 in this series, was only released about a week ago, so I haven’t really had that much time to read it, but I really want to read this one and the last in the series… although that will probably be released in 2019 or something…

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Days of Blood & Starlight, Dreams of Gods & Monsters)

I adored the first in this series, and I actually own the second, but I haven’t read it yet; and I think I will probably have to revisit it before I read the next ones in the series though, because I can’t really remember how it finished.

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, The Sleeping Prince, The Scarecrow Queen)

The first of this series was brilliant and really different to anything I’ve read before, but I have yet to finish the trilogy despite Melinda Salisbury kindly sending me the entire trilogy… so I should probably get reading.

Finishing School by Gail Carriger (Etiquette & Espionage, Curtsies & Conspiracies, Waistcoats & Weaponry, Manners & Mutiny)

I realise that by a complete accident I have put all trilogies on here, but now here’s a series of four books… and, once again, I’ve only read the first (I’m sensing yet another trend…) but it was hilarious, and I would love to finish it (especially as they’re such quick reads!).

So here are 5 I need to finish, what is on your list?

Until the next time,

Hannah 😊

4 Children’s/YA Authors You Should Read At Least 1 Book Of!

Hello everyone! Today I thought I would share some authors I think everyone should read at least 1 book of in the children’s / YA genre.

All of these authors have a big place in my heart, and I think that they’re brilliant. And yes, they are considered children’s authors, but I would honestly recommend them to any age – I would definitely read all of them now!

  1. Michael Morpurgo
    Image result for michael morpurgoMichael Morpurgo is a story maker, or at least that’s how he describes himself in one of his autobiographies, Singing For Mrs Pettigrew. He writes books that often centre around animals and history, and outcasted individuals. Some of his famous books are War Horse, The Wreck of the Zanzibar, Butterfly Lion, and Kensuke’s Kingdom. I would recommend starting pretty much anywhere, but any of his more famed books are always a good place to start.
  2. Rick Riordan 
    Image result for rick riordanRick Riordan is one of my personal top 3 favourite authors, so of course I’m going to recommend him! His novel list is substantial, which means that there are lots of places to start (although of course I would suggest either Percy Jackson or The Kane Chronicles). Rick’s books are full of action, friendship, myths, and in his new series (now that he has the publisher’s hooked), Rick is bringing out more and more diverse characters. I’m excited to see where his new imprint, Rick Riordan Presents, will go.
  3. Image result for enid blytonEnid Blyton
    Have you ever met a British adult who has not read at least one Enid Blyton book? Enid Blyton is such a staple in most homes, and I would highly recommend reading her! Personally I started with Malory Towers and that will always be my favourite series, but the Famous Five, Secret Seven, or Twins at St Clare’s books are also good places to start.
  4. Terry Pratchett
    Image result for terry pratchettAnd finally, the king of weird lit and fantastical novels: Terry Pratchett. Pratchett passed away in 2015 but his novels are still read but many, many people – including me! All of his books can be read as standalone but reading them in series may help. You can head over to my Discworld Reading List, where I’m recording what I’ve personally, read, but just Google it if you want to learn more of where to start!

I hope that this has given you a place to start! Perhaps you’re looking for a book for a young reader or you’re looking for yourself (no shame in looking for kids books, don’t worry!), but I hope that you’ve discovered something!

Until the next time,

hannah sign off

First Quarter Wrap-Up! | 10 second reviews

Hello all! So if you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been doing monthly reading wrap-ups. Therefore, I decided to do a list of all of the books I’ve read thus far this year (24 listed here) and do 10-second reviews of each book. Hope you enjoy!

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  • Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens
    A reread, Robin Stevens is always a pleasure, and the stakes are raised unbelievably in this one.
  • Women & Power by Mary Beard
    Perhaps not the manifesto it was promised to be, still a very impressive little book to tell the truth.
  • The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood-Hargrave
    Brilliant second book of this incredible YA author, and a great portrayal of female friendship.
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    Elizabeth and Darcy are an incredible famed romantic couple, and Jane Austen’s writing makes it a pleasure to read their story!
  • In Real Life by Cory Doctorow
    Lovely, clever graphic novel about the lives of people across the globe whom we will likely never know.
  • Percy Jackson 1-4 by Rick Riordan
    Perseus Jackson; always a pleasure.

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  • Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
    Photography and love – what’s not to like in this new, diverse YA. Not everything was to my taste, but I still gave it 4/5!
  • Grave Matter by Juno Dawson
    Creepy, haunting, and interesting, but not exactly something I would ever read again.
  • A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge
    Civil war magical realism, a girl, a bear, and dark family history mixes with a beautiful writing ability.
  • Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
    A sweet, short novel, this time about sisters that was honestly just enjoyable!
  • Be Happy! by Rebecca Ray
    Self-help in the form of happiness. I don’t agree with all of the tips, but either way there were some I would implement in my daily life.
  • The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
    Fantastic book about feminism and responding to rape and sexual assault in America, and indeed the whole world.

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  • Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence
    Fascinating, complete biography of one of the most famous authors which will definitely aid me in my degree.
  • Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt
    Thoroughly interesting and well-written book about economics and applying it to weird, real-life situations.
  • In the Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott
    Interesting memoir about a girl growing up in a cult. Not something I’ve ever read before so I was definitely interested; and it helps that it was written by a UEA professor…
  • The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu
    Personally, not as good as Moxie, but still an interesting, multiple-POV’d novel about truth and lies.
  • One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
    Brilliant sequel of Three Dark Crowns, this continuum of the series really raised the stakes and changed the game, every character having their moment.
  • Jane Austen and Marriage by Hazel Jones
    Thought this would be more helpful to my essay, but nonetheless it was incredibly informative in the world of 19th Century marriage.
  • Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard
    Difficult to read in places, as always incredibly written, and a refreshingly new topic, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
  • Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
    I can’t actually believe I read this all in one day; fascinating look at WWI era Suffragettes and suffragists, with a sweet love interest too!

Phew that was a lot of books! If you’ve read & enjoyed any of these too I would love to hear about them in the comments! How’s your reading year going so far? 🙂

Until the next time,

hannah sign off

Exciting Book Haul!

Hey friends! I know I’ve just done a book haul but I went shopping today & bought some books that I’m super excited about and I want to share!

I got three novels, all from Waterstone’s in Bournemouth. One is a classic, and two are YA, and I’m so excited for all of them and I’m hoping to get to them later this Easter. I still have a bunch to read on my Easter tbr, but maybe I can get to these sooner rather than later…!

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The first I got is Where Angels Fear to Tread by EM Forster, which is a Penguin English Library edition, which is my favourite edition of classics! I read A Room with a View by EM Forster and loved it, and also got given Howards End by EM Forster at Christmas, but I haven’t read it yet. Anyway, this one is short, about 160 pages, so should be pretty quick to read.

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Next up I grabbed Spark by Alice Broadway! This is the sequel to Ink and I am sooooooo excited to read this! I’d say that this was more MG than YA, but this one might end up being more YA I guess. ANYWAY, you should definitely read this series!

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And finally I picked up Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley. I saw an advert for this behind the till and just turned straight around, picked it up, and came back! It’s about writing and books and a love of words, and the lovely cashier said that I was going to thoroughly enjoy it so I hope she’s right! ❤

All in all, I have a lot to read, and I’m super excited to get to all of these and the ones in my last haul too. 🙂 Have you read any of these? Are you excited to read any of the ones I’m excited for too?

Until the next time,

hannah sign off

Guernsey Book Haul!

I spent my Easter weekend on Guernsey, a Channel Island, visiting my extended family with my close family (I’ll be doing a blog post on our trip soon enough!). Whilst I was there, I was lucky enough to pick up some gorgeous books which I thought I would share with you all.

Overall, I came back with 4 books, a stack of poetry, and one small poetry pamphlet to share, so I’ll start with the books!

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The first book I got was The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, which is the first of a new series! I’ve heard so many good things about this book, and because I’d already finished the two I took away with me (we were away for 4 days, and I read the only books I had in the first two…) I bought another one. I didn’t actually end up starting this whilst away so it seems a bit of a wasted purchase, but I have been wanting to read it for a long time so I will definitely start it soon.

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Next I picked up another copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I’ve already read this book but our copy has gone missing (this one is a shared book with my mum), and I want to reread it before I see the film that will come out soon! It’s such a great book, I highly recommend it.

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This is one of the three books I was given (or on a very-long-term-loan) by my uncle. Todd Swift did a PhD at the university I’m currently studying at and my uncle recommended him to me. I haven’t had a chance to look through this yet but I’m excited to read it.

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Another one from my uncle, this one I’m really excited to flick through! It has a condition on one side (say, heartbreak or anxiety) and a poem to “remedy” it on the other! I think I’m going to enjoy flicking through this one.

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Moving away from books, this was also given to me by my uncle, and is a collection of poems on grey cards. I’ve had a look through and they’re also so unique – you can even see in this picture that some are different sizes, some have titles etc. I’m looking forward to delving into these, although I don’t quite know if I should/how I should display them!

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Finally, my mama bought me this collection of poetry by Victor Hugo. I’ve never read any of his poetry so this might be a bit of a surprise and I don’t know if I’ll like it or not, but we’ll see! Obviously it was originally French too so it’ll be translated, which is always fun to read.

So there you have my Guernsey book haul! I’m so excited to get to read everything I acquired in Guernsey, and thank you very much to my parents and to my uncle for helping me to gather yet more books for my dragon-like pile of preciousssssssssssssss….

Have you read any here? What did you think of them?

Until the next time,

hannah sign off

Books I’m “Currently Reading” On Goodreads

I swear whenever I do this post, the same books crop up again and again because I never actually finish them. Well, despite that I thought I would do an updated version to see how things have changed!

Goodreads currently says I am 4 books “behind schedule,” and this Easter I’m hoping to read a bunch. I’ve been in a reading slump for a while, so here’s hoping I can change that ASAP! I miss reading!

I currently have seven (!) books on my CR shelf, so here’s a little tour of that…

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

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This has been on my currently reading for a few months, and I’m reading a specific copy that I’m actively writing in. I’ll finish this one sometime this summer, honest!

Facing Up and Facing the Frozen Ocean by Bear Grylls

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My CR shelf wouldn’t feel like mine if I didn’t have this monster on it. It’s become an inside running joke with, uh, myself, since 2015.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

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I have been reading this for a while now, and I’m determined to finish it soon! I’m about half way through it, I think, and I’m actually reading it for university so I need to get a jog on.

Autumn by Ali Smith

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To be honest, I think I might DNF this book. It’s just not for me, but I’m almost exactly half way through it and I did find it really different… I don’t know. I have, however, actually been reading this since autumn.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

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The difference between this one and the one before is that I’m actually really enjoying this one, and I can’t remember why I put it down! I definitely need to pick it back up again and finish it…

Flirtology by Jean Smith

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This is an eARC from NetGalley (non-fic), and I really need to finish it! The reason I haven’t yet finished this one is because I transferred to a new phone, from where I was reading it, and haven’t yet downloaded it to my new one. I’ll get on it! Although, to be honest, I’m not really learning anything so it may be a DNF.

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

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WHY HAVE I NOT FINISHED THIS YET?! I do not know. I LOVED Moxie by the same author, and for some reason I just haven’t finished this one. It might be because I’m reading it on my phone, so I’m reading it slower and I’m less inclined to pick it up, but I really do want to finish it ASAP!

So there is an updated currently reading shelf tour from Goodreads! I’ve actually just started reading Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett too, so that might be making a late addition to this article… although I think I’d like to finish Alice first! My goal for the end of May is to have my currently reading down to 2 – my Bear Grylls’ book, and the book I’m actually reading!

What’s on your currently reading shelf? Do you have many, like me, or just one? Let me know in the comments! PS – follow me on Goodreads if you’d like to stay up with my out-of-control shelf!

Until the next time,

hannah sign off

The Goodreads Challenge? | why I still participate!

goodreads challenge 17 mar 1So I recently saw this blog post where Yaiza discusses why they choose to stop doing the Goodreads challenge. Being in the same uni year as them (and, in fact, at the same university), I completely understand the reasoning behind wanting to stop participating in the Goodreads challenge – I was discussing it with my friend Natalie the other day, actually.

But in the post, I want to talk about why I am continuing on with the Goodreads challenge, even though I am technically behind schedule!

My challenge is set at 100 books for the whole year (which works out at just under 2 books a week) and, having just checked, I can see that I am 2 books behind schedule, although I have still read 18 books this year.

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Before, this might have stressed me out because I want to be above and beyond my challenge, but now I’m kind of nonchalant. If I didn’t have Goodreads, I probably wouldn’t be too bothered about it. But why am I so keen to keep my challenge?

The main reason is because it helps me to keep track, not only of what I’ve read in a given year, but how many books I’ve read; this isn’t shown anywhere else on Goodreads, and sometimes I have trouble keeping up myself. This year, I started keeping a jar wherein I put £1 every time I finish a book, and having the Goodreads challenge to keep track of how many books I’ve read is so helpful!

I’ve been on Goodreads since 2013, and clicking on my reading challenges is much more helpful to see what I read in those years (especially since the reread function was added) than having to scroll back and find out for myself exactly what I’ve read.

Comparatively to others, I don’t feel the element of competition anymore. I’ve gotten really good at not caring what others think, and when I see someone updating their challenge, I just feel happy for them rather than a sense of deprivation to myself. And whilst I agree that there is a “quantity of quality” sense, I don’t always believe that too be true. Yes, sometimes I read graphic novels or short books or poetry books to boost my number read list, but whatever I read I read because want to (except perhaps some university books!). Just because I read graphic novels, and yes perhaps I can read 10 whereas I might only be reading 1 full-length novel, doesn’t make them any less quality!

I enjoy using Goodreads to keep track of what I’m reading, and it just makes it fun for me! I completely understand that it’s not for everyone, but I’m super interested to see what you think – do you continue with your challenge? Did you never start a challenge? Are you interested in starting one? Let me know in the comments below!

Until the next time,

hannah sign off

Women Writers Who Made a Difference To Me

Today is International Women’s Day, and to celebrate I’m going to be sharing some women writers who have made a difference to me and my writing!

Enid Blyton 

One of the first books I can vividly remember reading is Malory Towers, a six-book series following a girl at boarding school. It’s a series I read over and over again, and it’s definitely a series that got me into reading, so her books made such a huge difference to my life.

JK Rowling 

Whilst I don’t agree with some of what Rowling has done lately, it doesn’t erase the impact that her and her books have had on my life. I would not have started writing when I did without Harry Potter being in my life, and therefore I would not be where I am now. Taking the same degree, perhaps, but almost certainly without the same amount of experience and love of writing that I do.

Eva Ibbotson 

Journey to the River Sea is a book that meant a lot to me when I was younger. It’s one of the books that made me actually feel something, and it was one of the first books that I properly, truly loved. That’s a feeling that I fully want to feel again; and if it’s possible, I want people to feel that way about a book I might write in the future too.

Let me know in the comments below any women writers who mean a lot to you, because I’d love to hear ones who have made a difference to your life.

Until the next time,

hannah sign off

An Evening With Stephen Fry | UEA Spring Literary Festival

Tonight I had the great pleasure of seeing Stephen Fry discuss his new book, MYTHOS, at UEA’s Spring Literary Festival in conversation with Philip Lankesgov. An hour of Greek mythology and brilliant quips, followed by a signing (I MET STEPHEN FRY!!) is a pretty good way to spend a Wednesday.

Stephen started by describing the Greek’s version of the beginning of the universe (“So there is the sky god’s… junk flying across the sea,” Stephen Fry, 2018), and reading his book in his own narrative voice was just incredible.

He is such a hilarious man, and it was such an entertaining night. He and Philip worked so well together bouncing off each other, and Stephen is just so intelligent it wasn’t a chore to listen to him.

I am so excited to read MYTHOS! And Stephen was such a lovely man when I met him – it was pretty quick, but so great to meet someone who I have admired for so long.

When you land in the world of Greek myth, you land in a place you already know.

-Stephen Fry

Until the next time,

hannah sign off