Mid-Year Reading Goals

Why do I get halfway through the year and decide to do something new? Honestly. I cause myself headaches sometimes.

After watching a few videos by the amazing booktuber Nayareadsandsmiles, I thought I would re-evaluate what I’ve been reading and how much I read! Therefore, I have a few more goals that I want to aim towards for the rest of the year.

2:1 Diet (of books)

Naia said that she wanted to read 2 books during the week and 1 at the weekend. I think this is a brilliant target and I want to take it on myself. Obviously I probably won’t always reach this, and I won’t stress about it, but it’s nice to aim for something.

1 eBook per week

This one is pretty self explanatory but I’ve already had this goal for 2 weeks and I have so far failed. Oops. I have a massive backlog of unread eBooks and I would like to get through some!

More BAME books

I want to read so many more BAME books! You can see my blog post about examining my white privilege through literature in which I talk about this in more detail.

And that’s it! What do you think about my goals? After evaluating your reading from the first half of the year, do you have any more yourself?

Keep reading!

Week 24 in Books | 2020

I thought I’d start doing weekly “weeks in books” to showcase some of the novels I’ve bought and consumed every week! Im starting to read a lot more that I’m not at work everyday and my masters is over, and I wanted to share it with you! Every week I’ll discuss my haul, read books, and do a mini review for every book I’ve read.

Haul

  • The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi
  • Good Girls, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson
  • The Weight of the Stars by K Ancrum

Read

  • The Austen Girls by Lucy Worsley
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Corbelo
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Total read this year: 70

Challenges completed: 0

Reviews

The Austen Girls

Rating: 3/5

This was a really cute read! It follows two cousins, related to author Jane Austen, and how they navigate growing up in the Georgian era.

Our main character is Fanny, and I really enjoyed her character growth from beginning to end. I wish there had been a bit more internal thoughts going on – we knew somewhat what she was thinking, but I just wanted to hear more from her!

The plot itself turned a bit crimey part way through, but it did end unsatisfactorily which is why I gave it 3 rather than 4/5. The resolution just didn’t feel like it had done the rest of the book justice. This felt the same for the rest of the novel: the romance just sort of tapered off at the end, for example. I know it’s a children’s book and therefore length has to be taken into account, but I would have rather have an extra 50 pages wrapping things up properly than this quick deviation to the end. The author’s note/epilogue was also needed to add to the reader’s feeling about the book, which I don’t always agree with as I think a piece of work should be able to stand alone.

Nevertheless, this was such a cutesy read and I will be looking for others by Lucy Worsley because I really enjoyed the experience!

The Alchemist

Rating: 2.5/5

I’ve heard the Alchemist be hailed as life changing and to be honest I was expecting something wonderful. Whilst it was a thought-provoking, interesting tale, life-changing is not what I got.

It tells the story of a shepherd called Santiago and how goes searching for his “personal legend”; his journey from Spain to Egypt and back, discovering things about “his soul” and talking to the wind and other rubbish. It’s not that this book was rubbish, but it delved quickly into magical realism.

I am confused on the message of this book. On the one hand it seemed to tell me that everything I’ve ever wanted is right under my feet. On the other hand, I got the idea that I had to go on a great adventure to discover what my heart truly desires.

The world presented in the Alchemist is a utopia, where, whilst there are thieves and wretched, everyone helps one another and goes out of their way to make the world a better place.

Overall, a fairly nice fable, for anyone who isn’t me.

The Raven Boys

Rating: 4/5

I thought I would hate this book. I’d seen it all about on tumblr and thought, arrogantly, “It’s one that’s too popular and I won’t like it.”

Well, turns out, as per usual, I was wrong. This book was funny and strange and magical and I loved it!

Admittedly it had a slow beginning, and those initial thoughts seemed to be confirmed, but once I got about 1/3 of the way in, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I really enjoyed the character development, the magic, and the plot itself.

I think that, because it’s a sequel, this book did feel incomplete. It’s so obviously set up for book 2 that I have this real sense of wanting more, which is both good and bad. Good, because it means I want to read on. Bad, because it means this book can not stand alone. Either way, I’m getting the next ones!

What did you read this week?

I recommend books based on your blog #6 |Musings of a Coffee Addicted Bibliophile

I recommend books based on your blog” is a bi-monthly series where I recommend a different blogger three books based on their blog content and blog design! 

i recommend books banner website

This time around, I am recommending books to the lovely Rachel who blogs at Musings of a Coffee Addicted Bibliophile. Rachel’s blog design is stunning – I have a severe blog crush, friends – and her writing is so good too! We seem to have really similar reading tastes, so I had a lot of fun coming up with her list of recommendations!

Continue reading “I recommend books based on your blog #6 |Musings of a Coffee Addicted Bibliophile”

I recommend books based on your blog #4 | Bound to Writing

I recommend books based on your blog” is a bi-monthly series where I recommend a different blogger three books based on their blog content and blog design! 

i recommend books banner website

This week I am recommending books to Jenn from Bound to Writing. Jenn is an author and blogger, who reads and reviews a lot of YA and poetry. Her blog is really bright and exciting, and she is such a great, consistent blogger who always gives good content!

I’m going to kind of cheat with this one, because I’m going to start by recommending a book I suggested last time!

  1. The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave
    Not only is this book a fantastic read… the cover is also yellow. Yup, when I started this series, I said I’d be looking at blog aesthetic too, and that is like 90% of the reason I’m recommending this one!
  2. Countless by Karen Gregory
    Looking through Jenn’s reviews, I think that this one fits in really well to some of the YA books she’s read before and it’d be a book she really enjoys reading. I just wish the cover had more yellow in it!
  3. Remix by Non Pratt
    The aesthetic of this one fits way more into Jenn’s blog which makes my little heart very happy! This one, I think, be a great fit into what Jenn likes to read – according to her blog anyway!

Soooo Jenn I found recommending books for you the hardest so far! You seem to be quite like me – read a really diverse range of books, so I hope that in this list there’s something that you’ll enjoy reading. I enjoyed all of these books, and the latter two especially are really great examples of strong YA novels.

Do you agree with my recommendations? What would you recommend to Jenn?

PS – if you want to look back through the recommendation archive, just click here!

Until next time,

signature white

Turning the Page #8 | when was the last time I did one of these again?

Turning the Page is a weekly meme hosted by yours truly. In it, I talk about what I read during the week with a Tweet-sized review, and what I’m planning on reading next week, as well as what you might’ve missed on the blog. You’re very welcome to join in if you’d like! Just make sure to link back.

turning the page banner

So the last time I did one of these was the 30th September – aka two weeks ago. I decided not to do monthly wrap ups, although they may make a come back cause I kinda like them… but anyway, what I post here will be what I’ve read in the past two weeks!

Continue reading “Turning the Page #8 | when was the last time I did one of these again?”

I recommend books based on your blog #1 | Mindful Millie

I recommend you books based on your blog” is a bi-monthly series where I recommend a different blogger three books based on their blog content and blog design! 

i recommend books banner website

In the first of this series, I recommend books to the lovely Louise from Mindful Millie! Louise is a children’s writer and mental health advocate. She blogs about mental health, pregnancy, writing, and also being married young. Her blog is also so aesthetically pleasing and I had the biggest heart eyes when scrolling through! Continue reading “I recommend books based on your blog #1 | Mindful Millie”

Turning the Page #3 | I forgot to press ‘publish’…

Turning the Page is a weekly meme hosted by yours truly. In it, I talk about what I read during the week with a Tweet-sized review, and what I’m planning on reading next week, as well as what you might’ve missed on the blog. You’re very welcome to join in if you’d like! Just make sure to link back.

turning the page banner

A book blogger’s nightmare happened – I forgot to press the “publish” button! Therefore, we have TWO WEEK’S WORTH of #TurningThePage to catch up on…

Last week I read…

Last week I read 4 books! I had some lush pool days and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

  1. Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton – oh my GOSH I LOVE JIN AND SAM SO. FRICKIN’. MUCH. #SamDeservedBetter #ILoveHim #FightMe #IShouldveReadThisSeriesSooner #ILoveIt Ahem. (Series review coming soon.)
  2. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli – I’ve never related to a character more in my frickin’ life. Read my full review here! This book was so fuckin predictable, but so bloody cute too. (Sorry for all the swearing. I’m excited.)
  3. Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? by Holly Bourne – #triggerwarning which sent me spiralling for a couple of days but golly I loved this book. The sentiments were just… so good. Review coming.
  4. Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu – um hello THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME. It wasn’t as good as Moxie by Mathieu, but tbh I don’t think anything will beat that. I got this as an arc (I’m so luckyyyy) so review definitely coming soon!

You can tell I loved everything by my excessive use of caps lock.

This week I read…

I had a slower reading week, and read 1 book.

  1. Howards End by EM Forster – this is the third Forster novel I’ve read, and it didn’t capture my heart in the same way as A Room With A View but I still thoroughly enjoyed it, as I had expected.

Next week I want to read…

I have a really busy week lined up, so if I read anything I’ll be happy… but I’d like to get to:

  1. Eureka! by Peter Jones – uni’s coming up, and I should probably start hardcore researching my dissertation…!
  2. Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmitt – I downloaded this from my library onto my phone. I’ve wanted to read it for a while.

On the blog…

Next week, I will endeavour to press ‘publish’ on time and not accidentally forget to do so! I actually don’t know how it happened… whoops!

Anyway, I hope you’ve had a fantastic (two) weeks, and I’ll see y’all in the next post.

PS – I’m no longer going to be doing monthly wrap-ups and TBRs, in lieu of these posts instead. If you want to see what I read for an entire month etc., you can check out my Goodreads which I update pretty religiously!

in favour of rereading

You close the book, set it aside. Lean back in your chair. Perhaps you take a sip of your cold tea, spit it back into the mug. Perhaps you whisper, “Wow,” to yourself.

You hop onto social media, Tweet, Instagram, blog your love for this new favourite book. You rave about it, know that it’s one that will come up in conversations.

And then you put it onto your shelf, and don’t pick it up again.

Well, friends, here’s my vote: wait a few months, perhaps, and then stroke the spine with a familiar finger and take it from the shelf. Snuggle into a chair, and crack open that first page once more.

finger-passes-along-book-spines-library-animated-gif

Rereading is like falling back into conversation with an old best friend. It feels as natural and comforting as collapsing into bed after a long day on your feet. It’s drinking a cold glass of water and feeling the liquid make its way to your stomach.

I’ve only recently started rereading books, and I don’t know why I ever stopped. I used to do it all the time as a child, and then consumerism and the feeling, the need, to constantly read new books instead of relishing in the old ones I already love.

You return to a favourite coffee shop time and again, and drink the same mug of coffee time and again, so why not revisit your favourite books in the same manner? When you drink that coffee, you might look up and notice a painting on the wall you didn’t see before, or a new person sat in the chair adjacent to yours. It’s the same when rereading a book. You think you know everything? Think again.

Book lovers, I would like to challenge you to try and reread an old favourite once a month. Take time out of the competition to always read more, and return to an old friend who’s always waiting for you on the shelf.

Until the next time,

Hannah