Monthly Reading Wrap Up | August 2021

How do the summer holidays always go by so fast?! Even though I am now a teacher, not a student, it still feels like the last day of school was just yesterday!

In August, I did not read as many books as I wanted to. Thought I thought it was going to be a relatively quiet month, August turned out to actually be rather hectic and busy. I did a lot of adventuring and day trips, as well as a couple of overnight trips; I finished my Masters, and my first edited novel; and I had a good time! Maybe August wasn’t as productive and book-filled as I’d expected, but sometimes that’s not a bad thing.

Continue reading “Monthly Reading Wrap Up | August 2021”

Wrap Up | March 2020

March has been… a month. Should we just leave it at that?!

In March, my brother turned 18, one of my best mate got meningitis (still in recovery), coronavirus shut down our society, and I had to come home in emergency circumstances so I wouldn’t be isolated 200 miles away from everyone I knew.

I was so busy in March that I didn’t read as much as I wanted to, but I did still read 8 books!

Continue reading “Wrap Up | March 2020”

Turning the Page #4 | a new favourite book?

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.

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This week I read…

I read two very thought-provoking books this week, and loved them both.

  1. Image result for the tobacconistThe Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler – this was a just a really brilliant book set in Vienna in 1937/38. Through the view of a young man, Seethaler explores subjects like love, family, truth, and freedom. I’d so recommend this book to everyone, and it’s a new favourite.
  2. Secrets for the Mad by dodie – this is the kind of book I would love to write. I love reading Dodie’s views on love, life, and mental health. She’s so relatable, and doesn’t hide from the truth. I really enjoyed this memoir.

Next week I want to read…

I don’t really have a set TBR for next week, but I think I would like to get to…

  1. Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig – two mental health books so close together might be pushing it for me, but I’d love to read it soon!
  2. something fantasy – I haven’t decided what, exactly, yet, but I’m in a fantasy mood right now.

On the blog…

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I posted one of my all-time favourite blog posts this week, and it was…

  1. A review of the entire Rebel of the Sands trilogy (sans spoilers!) by Alwyn Hamilton. It’s around 1000 words, so quite lengthy, but I loved writing it!
  2. I also wrote about some totally bingeworthy book series that you should really give a chance!

So that’s my week in books! How was yours?

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,

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March Reading Wrap-Up & Haul | 2017

So March is already over…?!?! What?

A fair bit happened in March, like coming home from university, and I also blogged, like, a lot. I also published 17 posts (!) and I had a whopping 695 views from 221 visitors! Wow! Thank you guys so much for looking at my little old blog. ❤

Onto the wrap up. According to Goodreads, I have now finished my 50th as in fiftieth book of the year. Whaaaaaaaaaaat. Basically March seems to be a month for saying “whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat”. Anyway. Here’s the wrap up!

Wrap-Up

  1. The Way by Swann’s by Marcel Proust
    The less said about this one, the better.
  2. George by Alex Gino
    This is a sweet little MG book about a transgender girl. I enjoyed it, but it was a little wish-fulfilling.
  3. A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
    I looooooved this book! It taught me so much about sign language and mutism, and I felt I really related to the anxiety.
  4. If you Want to Write by Brenda Ueland
    I also loved this book. This is a non-fiction/self-help/memoir about writing, and I really enjoyed it and found it so inspiring. I want to get my own copy as this was a a library book.
  5. The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
    A graphic novel about growing up in Iran when the war started. It wasn’t what I expected, but I enjoyed it anyway.
  6. The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge
    This book was fab! I love magical realism, and although this was a lot darker than I expected I really enjoyed it.
  7. Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans
    This was such a cute little MG novel, but it actually also focussed on some really hard issues like young carers. I think this is going to be an important novel, and I look forward to the sequel.
  8. The Princess Saves Herself In This One by Amanda Lovelace
    This poetry collection has prompted lots of thought from me about what is poetry. I loved the messages and what Lovelace actually writes, but yes, many thoughts about this book!
  9. Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook
    This was an interesting and different poetry collection, where Cook writes poems and then does “blackout” poetry in the second half, with her own poems. I loved the blackout poetry, possibly more, but the whole collection was refreshing and interesting.
  10. Seven Types of Ambiguity by William Empson
    Does anyone ever really understand this book? I kind of did, but mostly I loved how weird Empson was and yet he still got published. There is hope for me yet.
  11. Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
    I loooooooved this book, too! I was convinced the whole way through something huge was going to be revealed about one of the characters but yes it was a lovely book. I can’t wait to see what Barnard writes next!
  12. The Story Cure by Dinty W Moore
    I have to say: if you are looking for a writing book, don’t read this one. It was good and offered some good advice, but not what I was looking for and I wouldn’t recommend.
  13. Jonesy #1 by Sam Humphries
    Despite the character being quite scary, this was a sweet little MG graphic novel.
  14. Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly
    I have already seen BATB twice and I loved it both times. Whilst I thought this book was a little juvenile in places, I loved it too!
  15. Animal by Sara Pascoe 
    This book was fab! It was the BOTM for the 12/12 book club, and I found it really interesting, heartwarming, and funny.
  16. Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens
    I loooooooooove Stevens’ books so much! I simply had to buy this one as I had books 1-3 and then book 5… so, y’know… it was just begging. Basically, this book was wonderful and I highly recommend the series!
  17. The One by Kiera Cass
    Well, I read this just to finish the series really! It did keep me hooked, but there were some points where I wanted to roll my eyes! The ending was a bit fantastical, but then again, it is a fantasy.

Book Haul

  • River of Ink by Paul MM Cooper
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
  • Anatomy of a Soldier by Harry Parker
  • Mother Moon by Bob Goddard
  • A Galaxy of Starfish ed. by Sophie Essex
  • Jolly Foul Play by Robin Stevens
  • Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens
  • SS-GB by Len Deighton
  • His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Ah, quite a big haul yet again… Still, I’ve already read one and I hope that a lot more will follow in the near future!

There you have my reading wrap up and haul for March 2017! Have you read/do you want to read any of the books here? What did you read in March? 🙂

February Reading Wrap-Up & Haul | 2017

My reading month this February wasn’t as good as January’s, but I still read a lot and I got to two of my most anticipated: Saga volume 2 and 3 which I’ve been wanting to read for AGES!

Wrap-Up

  1. The Wicked and the Divine #2 by Kieron Gillan and Jamie McKelvie 
  2. The Wicked and the Divine #3 by Kieron Gillan and Jamie McKelvie
    I’m going to write about these two together! I definitely enjoyed these more than #1 – I wasn’t actually sure about carrying on with the series. However, I really loved volumes 2 and 3 and would love to carry on afterwards as well.
  3. The Fox & the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith
    This is SUCH a beautiful little graphic novel. The designs are exquisite and it’s even cloth-bound! The story is delightful and so, so cute. I’d really recommend this little graphic novel.
  4. The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith 
    I think the less said about this book, the better… Basically: it is not the definition of a realism novel… Anyway. That’s this book over and done with.
  5. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriager
    This is a MG novel, and was absolutely brilliant. The characters had very weird names, but they were still fascinating. I really enjoy steampunk although I don’t read a lot of it. I’d love to read Carriager’s Parasol series, too. Scott was the best character of all, obviously. ;P
  6. Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend
    Another university book! I’m kind of in the middle of this one about whether I actually liked it or not, but I would still definitely recommend it; diverse magical realism!
  7. Paper Girls #1 by Brian K Vaughan 
    I feel like I needed the next volume of this one already, because it ended a bit abruptly. However, I’m super intrigued as to what’s happening and want to read more!
  8. The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon 
    University book #3. Written in a vernacular (kind of like a written accent), it’s a really interesting and relevant book about immigrants to London in the 1950s.
  9. The Infernal Devices graphic novel: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare and Hye-Kyung Baek
    I was kind of disappointed in this graphic novel. It wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, so if you want to read the series definitely read the actual novels instead of just the graphic novels.
  10. Saga #2 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples
  11. Saga #3 by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples 
    I’m going to put these two together too, and basically just say: Saga is BRILLIANT and you should definitely go and read it RIGHT NOW! I absolutely LOVE this graphic novel series.
  12. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 
    My book club‘s book of the month! I really enjoyed this book, especially the ending. I feel like it’s a book everyone should read (and if you don’t want to, read it just to say you’ve read it :P)
  13. The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig 
    I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH! It was filled with everything I wanted it to be and I absolutely loved the idea of it. I can’t wait to get my hands on book two, THE SHIP THROUGH TIME which came out a few days ago!
  14. Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley 
    This is a really interesting graphic novel about Katie and her household spirit, Lis. This novel has such beautiful illustrations and is a really interesting read and yet kind of scary read. I really loved it, and would definitely recommend it!

Book Haul

BOUGHT:

  • Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
  • Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
  • Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (received in Fairyloot!)
  • Life Class by Ludwig Bemelmans (received in Bookishly box!)
  • Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka
  • Strangers by Paul Finch (£1 mystery book for charity)
  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
  • Who Let the Gods Out by Maz Evans
  • A Girl in Exile by Ismail Kaurae

GIVEN:

  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl (thank you to Emma @emmmabooks!)
  • The Snowman by Jo Nesbo (in a book exchange)

RECEIVED FOR REVIEW:

  • Displaced by Stephen Abarbanell
  • The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams
  • The Owl at the Window by Carl Gorham
  • A Most Misleading Habit by Dandy Gilver
  • The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas (EEEEK!)

I bought way too many books this month, so I really have to cut down on that in February! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? 🙂

January Wrap-Up and Book Haul!

I used to do wrap-ups on my booktube channel, but now I really don’t want to and therefore I am going to do them on here instead. To the point, amirite?

I read a whole lotta books in January. 16, to be exact! That’s pretty damn impressive, considering I didn’t even pick up a book until the 2nd week of January. Let’s get onto my stack!

  1. The History Boys by Alan Bennett
    The first thing I read in 2017, and I really liked it! Alan Bennett is a new author to me, but I am really enjoying his work.
  2. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
    Whoa. What a book. The ending was SO INCREDIBLE I am almost still in shock! I feel privileged to be attending the same university as Boyne did.
  3. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
    Why it took me so long to pick up this book I do not know, because I really loved it. It was cutesy and romantic and dealt with family and friends and love and it was just awesome and I need book 2 ASAP.
  4. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
    Whilst this book isn’t the best quality literature in the world, and i already knew the ending, and there were some problems, this was really gripping and just plain enjoyable to read. Jest was one of the best book boyfriends I’ve read for a while! ❤
  5. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
    This is the third in the Young Elites series and it was so good, especially that ending. Again, Magiano is one of the favourite book boyfriends! I loved the character development throughout the books, and thought this was a brilliant ending to the trilogy.
  6. Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac
    This was the first book I read for university this year and it was… okay. I’m not too into social totality and realism (oops, considering that’s what I’m studying this semester) so it did drag in places but the ending! it was so good!
  7. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
    This was a really enjoyable book, and I especially loved all the science-y bits. I’m looking forward to book 2. My review will be up soon on sprinkledwithwords!
  8. Asking for It by Louise O’Neill
    The first book for my 12/12 book club! This wasn’t a particularly enjoyable book, and there were certainly bits I thought dragged on or I didn’t like, but I feel like the topic was an important one to read.
  9. The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield
    This is the second book I’ve read for uni so far! I really liked most of these stories (not all, not all) and again, the endings were abrupt and left you answering your own questions about how they ended. I loved the endings.
  10. A Reading Diary by Alberto Manguel
    A really interesting book, and it has very much inspired me to look forward to rereading books I’ve loved. Not always the most interesting, but Manguel speaks in quotations which was a novelty.
  11. Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was by Sjon
    GUYS. This book is a newbie on my Top Ten Favourite Books (I know! Big claim!) because it is so good and I loved it SO MUCH. I have a book review to be posted on sprinkledwithwords on Monday. PLEASE check it out!
  12. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket
    The first in the Series of Unfortunate Events series, this was actually a reread for me, but I’m definitely glad I reread it as I basically didn’t remember anything. I’m reading the series for the first time to watch the Netflix series, but I’d already read this one once!
  13. Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
    A psychological thriller, this book was entirely gripping but I did find myself getting a little scared reading it! not a good idea to read it at night, I think. The multiple POVs, whilst distracting, were clever and kept you wanting to keep reading to find out about the characters. My review/blog tour post will be up on Tuesday on my other blog
  14. Pottermore Presents by JK Rowling
    There are actually 3 mini novellas in this series: Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies; Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics, and Pesky Poltergeists; and Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide. (Can I have a complete guide, please, JKR?) I loved, of course, dipping back into the magical world. My only wish is that they had been longer and covered many more characters.

And there you have my January wrap-up! I’m going to do a mini, list-type book haul, too:

BOUGHT BY MYSELF:

  • Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Asking for It by Louise O’Neill
  • The Princess Saves Herself in This One by Amanda Lovelace
  • The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare et al.
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

GIVEN:

  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (thanks mum!)
  • The Chimes by Anna Smaill (thanks Natalie!)
  • Hot Feminist by Polly Vernon (thanks Natalie!)

RECEIVED FOR REVIEW:

  • Strange Medicine by Mike Russell
  • Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner
  • Moonstone by Sjon

I’ve already read 4 of the books here and I am hoping to get to more in February!

So there you (fully) have it: my January wrap-up and haul. You can head to my other blog and Goodreads, where I post my reviews.

What did you read/receive in January? Have you read/do you recommend any books here? Let me know in the comments below!