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Monthly Book Roundup

January Wrap Up

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Hello fellow bookworms! I hope the first month of 2021 has treated you kindly, despite the ongoing global crisis. It’s been a long, tough month, but every day we move closer to the end and closer to normality (whatever that is!) I have been longing for escape, and as many people here probably have to, I found my solace in literature. Here are the books I’ve had the pleasure to read this month…

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What books have I read this month?

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

I’ve had this book on my shelf for a very long time (7+ years maybe), and with my vow to get through some of the series I’ve had sat around forever, I decided to start here as the film is due out at some point this year (restrictions dependent!) I thoroughly enjoyed this first book and I couldn’t wait to get to the second book (which I am currently reading.

Brendon Chase by B.B.

Read this for my degree, I enjoyed it more than I expected to but it’s still not necessarily the type of narrative I’m thrilled by. A lot of stuff I disagreed with but made for an interesting discussion with my ecology peers.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

I’d heard really great things about this book and it did not disappoint! I’d stopped reading crime/detective books because I started to find them too predictable but this story was so unique, and the main characters and interweaving stories gave the book a lot of emotion not often present in novels involving murder…

Watership Down by Richard Adams

Another book for my degree, I think this one could have been shorter, as I found the beginning quite slow, but definitely picked up and got more exciting towards the end. Sometimes difficult to keep track of the rabbit language but an insightful book nonetheless.

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Average Rating: 3.4 stars

Number of total pages read: 1,850

Books read toward 2020 Book Challenge goal: 4/50 books 

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What am I currently reading?

The Game of Silence by Louise Eldrich

What is the Truth? by Ted Hughes

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

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Books I plan to read in February

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

The Children of the New Forest by Captain Marryat

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philip Pearce

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What do you think of the books I’ve read this month? What about the ones I plan on reading? Leave your comments below, and book recommendations are always welcome!

Have a great February

Jade 🙂

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book roundup Books

2020: Quite Possibly The Worst Year Ever, But I Read Some Books…

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Hello fellow bookworms! Well I think the title of this post pretty much sums it up… Most people have never encountered a year like this before. 2020 has been nothing like anyone could have predicted. There have been many things out of our control which has been incredibly scary. But while this year has been horrific due to the global health crisis, 2020 has also brought us many wonderful things that we may not have discovered if we were living our lives as normal. A lot of people started new hobbies, we reconnected with loved ones to check on how they were doing, we learnt how to use technology to our advantage to see people we couldn’t see in person. For me, I just stayed at home reading all the books (and went outside occasionally…) Seriously though, I hope everyone has stayed safe this year, and you and your families are healthy and as happy as possible in this holiday season. It’s definitely not the way we imagined the end of the year to be, but the most important thing is to be surrounded by the people you love, and who love you in return, whoever they may be.

My year in books has been really special and more important than ever. I used my plentiful reading time to escape the awfulness of the pandemic and explore some books which have been on my shelf forever, as well as reading some new releases which I’m really excited to share with you all. I’m doing my round-up slightly differently this year so I can really go into detail about the books I enjoyed (or didn’t enjoy), and talk about them more with you (I read so many good books this year that I honestly couldn’t pick a top 5!) So without too much more dwelling on 2020, here’s a roundup of the best and worst books I read this year…

2020 BOOK STATS

Total books read: 51

I’m really proud of that Classics %, no surprise YA is still my most read genre…

Average rating: 3.9 stars

Total pages read: 14,527

Oldest book: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719)

Newest book: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (Sept 2020)

Longest book: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (777 pages)

Shortest book: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (132 pages)

New favourite author: Maureen Johnson

Prettiest book: Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan

MY FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2020
Vicious by V.E. Schwab

This was my first Schwab book and I immensely enjoyed it. I loved the short chapters, and got so invested in the characters. The way it jumped between two timelines was the perfect way to structure the story and the ending climax was so exciting. I did get about 100 pages into the sequel, Vengeful, but it was at a time when my reading moods were very low, so I couldn’t finish it but I might come back to it, and I’ll definitely be reading some more of V.E. Schwab’s writing!

The Truly Devious series by Maureen Johnson

These books couldn’t have had more stuff in that I love if they tried! Set in a boarding school, an unsolved murder, mysterious happenings, smart people, gorgeous mountain setting, timeline flips, diverse characters, and the list goes on… and it turns out, we’re not done! The Hand on the Wall rounded off the series quite nicely, all puzzles resolved, but The Box in the Woods is my most anticipated release for 2021 so far, I cannot wait to read more in this series!

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

Laura Purcell’s The Corset got the top spot on my favourites list last year, and here she is again. This is her debut novel and it’s exactly what I was expecting and so much more! Purcell is the only author I have come across who writes gothic/horror historical fiction in a way that is compelling enough to make me read it. This was definitely a lot scarier than The Corset but the way the story and characters are woven and every subtle moment is written with such powerful intent, it makes it feel so much more real. I’ll definitely be picking up Bone China very soon, and I have a proof copy of her upcoming book The Shape of Darkness, publishing in January. Whether you’re a gothic horror fan or not, I highly recommend her books!

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

My non-fiction book of the year! I read this back when I was still commuting to work and got so many funny looks on the train from my sudden fits of laughter. There were tears too, but I honestly never expected what I got from this book. Who knew a medical memoir would be absolutely hilarious?! It was so refreshing to hear what it’s really like to be a junior doctor for the NHS, and to have those stories told with sarcasm, wit, and such honesty is what made this book really special.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I’d had this book on my shelf for so long, and I can’t quite remember what tipped me over the edge but I decided it was time to pick it up, and I was so glad I did! This book is so special, it was the ultimate escapism when I needed it most, and definitely one I will be reading again. You don’t come across books like The Night Circus very often; it’s one of those unique stories which is crafted with such care and attention to detail that you feel transported from wherever you’re sat to this magical place full of wonder that you truly believe exists. I want to have that feeling all the time. I basically want to be permanently reading this book.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This was my first Austen novel and it made me so excited to read more! I’ve never been a massive reader of classics because I found the writing a bit daunting but I read this along with the audiobook which really helped me focus on the story and made it easier to understand who all the different characters were and their positions and relationships with others. A classic romance with well known characters, it felt like a big warm hug! I’ve downloaded the audiobooks for Emma and Mansfield Park which I’m hoping to read along to as well at some point next year.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

It’s been so long since I’ve fallen in love with a character who I can call one of my fictional boyfriends… and I’m so glad to say The Flatshare did this for me. This story was fantastic! Tiffy was a very relatable character for me in some ways, and Leon was the most loveable character I’ve come across for a while. Another book which felt like hug from your favourite person, and I would happily go back for more. I will definitely be rereading this, and hoping to pick up some more of Beth O’Leary’s books in the future.

If Cats Disappeared From the World by Genki Kawamura

This was one of the last books I read in 2020 but definitely by no means least. I’d heard some really good things about this and I was not disappointed. It was so full of emotion and told the story of a young man’s last days with such sophistication it made me feel it was actually him standing in front of me and telling the story. While there is a story here, it is more about realising what the important things in modern life are and how we can live every day as if it is our last, not taking anything for granted. I cried. A lot.

Honourable Mentions
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

I was lucky enough to receive a proof copy of Piranesi, which I read back in March, and I boosted it up my TBR after a lot of my colleagues sped through it and gave it high praise. This book was so unique, the setting was the main thing that made it so special for me, and the unexpected turn of events at the end is worth sticking with the slightly confusing beginning, because everything makes sense in the end!

Toffee by Sarah Crossan

I read this in one day. It was such an easy book to speed through because of the verse-style of Crossan’s writing and the story was so heartwarming, it was exactly what I needed back in May and in the height of lockdown here in the UK. The many issues raised in this book were handled with such sensitivity that it moved me to tears. I am currently (at time of writing) reading Here is the Beehive, Crossan’s debut adult novel and I’m loving it so far!

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I listened to the audiobook of Becoming, and I love audiobooks narrated by their authors. It gives the book an extra special edge where you really get the emotion through. This book was so inspiring and motivating, and truly highlights how amazing women are. I loved the insights into Michelle’s life, her education and how she met Barack, and what life in the White House was like. Another book which made me cry a lot!

Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I’d been hearing about this book for so long and I finally managed to get a copy through a book swap at work. It definitely lived up to expectations, the story was excellently crafted and I loved the way everything came together in the end. Quite a few tears with this one as well…

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

I picked this book up as a quick one to get through before starting The Reading Rush back in the summer. I flew through it and it was everything I love about YA literature, particularly the fact that is made me so incredibly emotional (I was in floods at one point!) I recommend the film as well.

MY LEAST FAVOURITE BOOKS OF 2020
Normal People by Sally Rooney

There were aspects of this novel I enjoyed, and there were aspects that I did not, but I think I went into it with higher expectations than I should have. It’s won so many awards, it’s been highly praised by many, but this one just didn’t live up to the hype for me. Strangely enough, this was the only book I reviewed this year, you can read more about my thoughts here.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo

Another book I went into with high expectations. Three Women is a non fiction book which has had consistently high praise and there were parts which were interesting to read, but some parts were more difficult to get through, and I found it difficult to identify with the women who were making decisions I wouldn’t even dream of. Of course, the fact it was non fiction gave it a shock factor and I did sometimes feel for the people involved, but mostly I unfortunately saw an infuriating amount of poor judgement.

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

I’d had a copy of this book for so long, and working from home made me stare at my bookshelf a lot, so I rediscovered books I’d forgotten I owned. The Accident Season was very slow going for me. Although the premise was really interesting, the actual story was incredibly strange with a very weird ending. It’s the sort of book I would love to deconstruct and analyse as I think it would be really interesting to uncover more about the text itself, but reading it for enjoyment just wasn’t for me.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

I did not willingly read this book… It was on my preliminary reading list to read before I started my uni course, and while I know it’s important to have a good understanding of the classics to be able to analyse more contemporary books, this is one I will not be revisiting. If a book says it’s influenced by Robinson Crusoe, I think that’s a firm sign for me to avoid…

2021 READING PLANS

I always love the start of a new reading year, a new Goodreads goal, and year full of new releases. I’m doing something this year that I’ve never done before, and setting myself a reading challenge. This is separate to my Goodreads goal, which is simply a number, and is a themed challenge to help me tackle some of the books that I’ve had sitting around for while. My 2020 reading challenge is…series!

I have so many first books of series which have been hanging around on my bookshelf since forever, so decided I would set myself a challenge to read some of them. Those series are…

📚 Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness

📚 Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

📚 Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

📚 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

📚 The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

📚 The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

📚 Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Goodreads Reading challenge goal: 40 books (aiming lower, hoping to exceed expectations)

Most anticipated 2021 releases

📚 The Shape of Darkness by Laura Purcell (release date: 21/01/21)

📚 Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro (02/03/21)

📚 The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson (15/06/21)

So that was my 2020 year of books! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year, and here’s to a 2021 that is brimming with great books!

Happy New Year!

Until next year…

Jade 🙂

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Monthly Book Roundup

Monthly Book Roundup for September/October

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Hello fellow bookworms! So I accidentally forgot to blog for a few months… so I’m mashing 2 posts into 1! Still not a lot of content as I haven’t had loads of time to read recently. I have now officially started my masters degree and I am loving it. The reading can be frustratingly complex at times but I always celebrate the little victories when I finally understand something, and the main thing getting me through is the thought that I am finally studying something I am so passionate about, and I can finally see my future getting a bit clearer! I do have some post ideas planned so hopefully I’ll have some time to write and post them soon as well. But back to today’s post, I am sharing with you the books I read in September and October, prepare to be amazed potentially disappointed (like me)…

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What books have I read this month?

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

I was so excited to read this book, and I can’t deny it is a great piece of YA literature, but I think I read it at the wrong time in my life. If I’d read this in my mid-teens, I think I would have ended up reading the whole series. I hate to think I’m growing away from YA books, and I don’t think I have completely, I just think my feelings toward them have changed.

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Forever and always a favourite of mine, and reminds me how it feels to love and cherish books as a big part of your life. I believe every young bookworm should read this book!

Flour Babies by Anne Fine

This book was so much fun, it was so insightful to see how young boys react and change when faced with the tasks of parenting. I wish I’d had a chance to read it in school, because books like this really do read differently when you’re younger.

Dying to Know You by Aidan Chambers

Aidan Chambers is a new author for me, but a well known name in YA literature from when it was first acknowledged as a form of writing between children’s and adult literature. Despite saying earlier that I was concerned my love of YA lit was leaving me, I really did enjoy this book. It was an unusual narration, written from the perspective of an older author and following the relationship between a young boy and a young girl, and the young boy and the author. It was such an inspirational story and, unlike Noughts and Crosses, I think I read this at the right time in my life.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

This book was way too creepy to be considered a children’s book! The illustrations by Chris Riddell were perfectly spooky, but Gaiman’s imaginatively creative storytelling was enough to send shivers down my spine, let alone any child reading this!

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Average Rating: 4.2 stars

Number of total pages read: 1,388

Books read toward 2020 Book Challenge goal: 48/50 books 

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What am I currently reading?

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

Taking a while but I’m getting there…!

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Books I plan to read in November

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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What do you think of the books I’ve read this month? What about the ones I plan on reading? Leave your comments below, and book recommendations are always welcome!

Happy November and Happy Blogging!

Jade 🙂

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Monthly Book Roundup

Monthly Book Roundup for August

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Hello fellow bookworms! Now, I think we all knew the day would come this year, and that it was ‘too good to be true’ to have so many books on my 2020 read pile… I am in a reading slump, and have been for most of August. I left July behind on such a high and 10 more books under my belt, 11 books ahead of my Goodreads Reading Challenge, and I suddenly crashed and decided I’d rather spend my time binge watching Jane the Virgin on Netflix! Hence the very short round-up post. Nevertheless, the slump is wearing off (I think/hope) and I see light on the horizon (in the shape of Midnight Sun which will be my reward for getting through this slump). Anyway, very underwhelmingly introducing my books of August 2020…

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What books have I read this month?

The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary

I loved this book so much! It will be rivalling top spot I think for my favourite book of the year come December. And it’s been a while since I’ve had a new book boyfriend but here we are, Leon Twomey, marry me?

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (audio)

I did enjoy this book, although not as much as I expected too, especially after enjoying Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo so much earlier in the year. However, I think my opinion would change if I read the physical book and fully immersed myself in the story, rather than listening and working at the same time!

Books read towards Children’s Classics Challenge

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

This was a re-read for me, and it is definitely a lot weirder than I remember it being the first time! It will definitely be an interesting one to analyse when I get to it in a future module!

Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson

This was one of my favourite Jacqueline Wilson books as a child and it made me want to re-read loads more. While my tastes have changed and I may not have re-read this for pleasure, it was nice to revisit a old favourite!

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Average Rating: 3.6 stars

Number of total pages read: 629… oh dear

Books read toward 2020 Book Challenge goal: 43/50 books 

Books read toward Children’s Classics Challenge: 13/15 books

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What am I currently reading?

Nought and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

I’m in a major reading slump right now so I’ve been reading this for about 3 weeks! Silly thing is, the story is so good and I really enjoy it when I pick it up, but finding the motivation to read has been a bit of a struggle…

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Books I plan to read in July

Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer

Who’s excited about this? I’m excited about this! I can’t wait to wait to travel back to my childhood and feel the nostalgia wash over me as I read this… that’s how I imagine it anyway, I’m not quite sure it will feel exactly the same as it felt before, but I’m excited all the same.

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

I finally got round to buying the sequel to Vicious, which is another book rivalling the 2020 hotspot for me this year. I can’t wait to get into the sequel and visit the characters again!

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What do you think of the books I’ve read this month? What about the ones I plan on reading? Leave your comments below, and book recommendations are always welcome!

Happy September and Happy Blogging!

Jade 🙂

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Monthly Book Roundup

I read 10 books in a month…?!

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Hello fellow bookworms! July has been a busy month, and a lot of ups and downs in changes to lockdown restrictions here in the UK. Personally, I’m still working from home, still getting ready to go back to studying at the beginning of October, and I finally had my welcome pack and syllabi through; I’m starting to feel even more like a student again, and I’m so excited! We also had The Reading Rush this month, which I managed to take some time off work for, and it definitely contributed to the main bulk of my reading this month! I read 10 books this month, which I think should be marked as a historical even in my personal lifetime so here are the books to mark this momentous occasion

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What books have I read this month?

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

I’d heard some really good things about this book, both when it came out and when the movie was released, and I saw it on my shelf when I was looking for an easier read that I knew I could get through quickly. I hadn’t read a YA romance in a while, and this is just the sort that I love to read! The story was so lovely, perfectly suited my tastes, and was exactly what I was looking for.

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

I’ve had this book on my shelf forever! The synopsis on the back cover sounded really intriguing but I definitely wasn’t expecting what I got! This book was so weird and quite different to what I thought I was getting into. I found it quite difficult to pick up at times, possibly owing to the fact that I literally had no idea what was going on until very end! I’d be interested to read another one of her books though because I think the writing was really nice and quite poetic.

Sadie by Courtney Summers (audio)

My first book of The Reading Rush! This has been on my radar for a while and I’m definitely glad I’ve now read it/listened to it! I think I’ll try to listen again or maybe read the book as I think my main problem was losing track of the story while doing other things. What I got of the story was good though, and I loved the way the audiobook was done with a full cast!

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Book 2 of The Reading Rush and it was okay… this was my second book by Ness and I have heard it’s not his best, but it was quite quick and easy to read and the characters were likeable enough. Ness definitely tackled some issues which appear a lot in contemporary YA fiction (relationships, mental health, college education) and it was nice to see diverse representation in there as well. The story could have been a little more interesting, althoughI do understand the concept of why it wasn’t more exciting.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I was really surprised at how much I loved this book! Considering it was the book I chose for my least read genre challenge, the fact that I gave it 5 stars just goes to show that I can enjoy classic literature! I read this and listened along to the audiobook at the same time so I was completely immersed in the story and followed the story a lot better I think. A perfect classic romance that I will definitely be revisiting!

Books read towards Children’s Classics Challenge

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Considering I’m not a horse person, I found this book oddly moving and quite emotional. It was interesting to read something from an animal’s perspective and I enjoyed following the horse’s life to the end.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

I vaguely remember watching the Peter Pan Disney films as a child, but not recalling much of the storyline itself. The book was really fun and a bit emotional at the end, and a classic story I think every child should be introduced to, either through book or film.

Five Children and It by E. Nesbit

I loved the concept of this story, and It was an adorable character in my imagination! The main thing I took away from this story was the morals it teaches children, and probably something adults can learn from as well!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

I vaguely remember the film from when I was younger but I don’t recall ever having read the book, so it was really nice to revisit the story and get a bit more detail about the world of Narnia.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I was really looking forward to reading this, and I enjoyed the first two-thirds of it maybe, but I’m not one who enjoys battle scenes, and so the last part just went over my head a bit. This is definitely very high fantasy as well, which isn’t a genre I usually read, and haven’t read in a while, so it took some adjustment as I was reading.

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Average Rating: 3.6 stars

Number of total pages read: 2,807

Books read toward 2020 Book Challenge goal: 39/50 books 

Books read toward Children’s Classics Challenge: 10/15 books

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What am I currently reading?

The Flat Share by Beth O’Leary

I’m really enjoying this so far! After The Reading Rush I was getting a bit distracted when I tried to read, I think mainly because I had done so much of it the previous week and I had other things floating around in my head that I needed to do and catch up on. However, this soon got very addictive and it won’t be long before I finish!

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

I remember loving this the first time I read it, so hopefully I’ll enjoy it the second time around too! It’s just as weird as I remember…

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Books I plan to read in July

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo

I’ve wanted to read this since it won the Booker Prize last year and I read the first few pages and was really intrigued, but for some reason I chose to pick up something else… but I will definitely be reading it this time, I’ve nothing but great things so I’m super excited!

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

I don’t even want to admit how long ago I added this to my TBR (maybe 10 years ago…) but when Malorie Blackman appeared on my very diverse reading list (finally, people are getting it!) I knew now was the time! I can’t wait, and the chapters look super short so should be a quick read for me.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

I am waiting for this to become available at my library, hopefully soon! Supporting female black authors this month!

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What do you think of the books I’ve read this month? What about the ones I plan on reading? Leave your comments below, and book recommendations are always welcome!

Happy August and Happy Blogging!

Jade 🙂

Categories
Books Reading Rush 2020

The Reading Rush 2020

Hello fellow bookworms! I am so excited to be taking part in this year’s Reading Rush, hosted by Ariel Bissett and Raeleen Lemay. The Reading Rush is a week long read-a-thon which happens every summer, where participants try and read as much as we can. This year, The Reading Rush is happening from July 20th – July 26th. There are official challenges you can build your TBR around, or just go with the flow and try and read as much as possible in the week! More information can be found on the website.

Today, I’m going to be sharing my ‘proposed’ TBR with you all – the books I plan to read during Reading Rush week… whether this goes to plan, we’ll see!

Challenge #1 // Read a book with a cover that matches the colour of your birth stone

My birthstone is peridot, for the month of August, so I’ve chosen Five Children and It by E. Nesbit. The edition I own isn’t completely green, but it’s mostly covered in leaves so I’m counting it! This book is also part of my Children’s Classics Challenge, so two birds with one stone, as the saying goes!

Challenge #2 // Read a book that starts with the word “The”

This was a last minute addition to my TBR, as I originally only had 5 books to tackle. Then I thought ‘what the heck, I’ll add a sixth book’ because I really do want to completely immerse myself in this read-a-thon. Ever since I saw this on my uni reading list I have been excited about reading it, and I’m so glad I’m finally getting around to picking it up!

Challenge #3 // Read a book that inspired a movie you’ve already seen

I see a theme here… another book from my Children’s Classics Challenge. I think I became very aware that I had a lot of reading to do if I was going to stay on track to finish them all by the end of July, so why not just cram them all into the last week!

Challenge #4 // Read the first book you touch

I lined up all my books in this post and the first one I touched was Pride and Prejudice, coming up in Challenge #6…

Challenge #5 // Read a book completely outside of your house

I don’t know how easy this challenge is going to be, as the weather hasn’t been on my side recently… and due to lockdown restrictions this may be tricky for some people, so Ariel and Raeleen have posted ways in which this challenge can be adapted. I’ve been meaning to read more Patrick Ness books since I finished A Monster Calls all those years ago, so I’ve chosen The Rest of Us Still Live Here. This is another book that I’d like to read as part of my preliminary reading for uni, and I’m hoping this is short enough for me to speed through and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the weather to be nice!

Challenge #6 // Read a book in a genre that you’ve always wanted to read more of

I am not a Classics reader. Well, I don’t read Classics as part of my pleasure reading. But since I’ve been reading more classics for uni, I’ve found it a lot less daunting than I thought, and I wanted to try one I’ve been meaning to read forever, but haven’t for fear of not fully understanding it. I’m so excited to read Pride and Prejudice, and I have the audiobook to help me along as well!

Challenge #7 // Read a book that takes place on a different continent than where you live

So I have to work for a lot of the week, although I have been able to take some time off to read, and I thought an audiobook would be a good way to keep up with books while I’m at my desk. I have two options for this, and which one I pick relies on whether my library has the first available! I really want to listen to Daisy Jones and the Six but I currently have the audiobook on hold at my my library and I’m number 2 in line so I’m not certain it will ‘arrive’ on time… If not, I’ll be listening to Sadie by Courtney Summers. A lot of the books I read are set in the US so I thought this would be easy for me, but I all the books I wanted to read were set in the UK which is where I live and therefore off limits…

So that’s it, those are the six books I’m planning on reading next week during The Reading Rush! Let me know in the comments if you’re taking part and what’s on your TBR for the week, I’d love to know what everyone else is reading!

Until next time…

Jade

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Book Tags Books

Mid Year Book Freak Out

time for tags

Hello fellow bookworms! How on earth is it July already?! We’re half way through the year, and I think we can all agree it’s not been the easiest six months for anyone! However, we’ve had the gift of literature to help us through! It’s now the perfect time to reflect on how the reading challenges are going, and generally freak out about the books we have (and haven’t) read. This is always a super fun post to do, because it gives me the chance to look back at all the books I’ve read so far this year and put them up against each other in metaphorical fights to see who will win and be crowned my favourites (or least favourites) in each category. So, here we are, this is what I think about the books I’ve read in 2020 so far…

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Best 2020 Book So Far

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Best 2020 Sequel So Far

The Hand on the Wall by Maureen Johnson

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New 2020 Release You Are Yet To Read

Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

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Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

A Beautifully Foolish Endeavour by Hank Green (July 7th)

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Biggest Disappointment of 2020 So Far

Normal People by Sally Rooney

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Biggest Surprise of 2020 So Far

Toffee by Sarah Crossan

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Newest Fictional Crush

Marco from The Night Circus

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Newest Favourite Character

Stevie Bell

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Book That Made Me Cry

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Book That Made Me Happy

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

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Favourite Film/TV Adaptation of 2020 So Far

Virgin River (adapted from the book by Robyn Carr)

(The TV show is so much better than the book in my opinion – I DNF’d the book!)

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Favourite BookMuffin Post of 2019 So Far

The Bookish Bucket List Tag or my Bookworm Survival Kit post series!

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Most Beautiful Book Purchased in 2020 So Far

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

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Book I Need To Read by the End of 2020

A Darker Shade final for Irene

A Darker Shade of Magic (this is the same as last year oops it’s a must this year…)

So that’s a snapshot of 2020: Part One, and I can’t wait to see what Part Two will bring, especially now I’ve been reminded of the books I really should have read by now! I’d love to know what you think of the books I’ve read so far, and any recommendations for the rest of the year is always welcome.

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

Categories
Monthly Book Roundup

Monthly Book Roundup for June

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Hello fellow bookworms! How’s everyone doing? June has been quite a good reading month for me, and for once, I am ahead of my Goodreads Reading Challenge! I’ve been enjoying my audiobooks, starting to really get into my uni reading, and actively diversifying my shelves. I’d like to quickly touch on a few things that have happened in the world this month and reassure my readers of my support. Firstly, I am fully supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement, and I am currently doing what I can to educate myself on anti-racism and supporting black authors. I’d also like to address another issue regarding what J.K. Rowling has been writing online. I have always been and will continue to be supportive of gender transitioning rights, and I do not agree with what Rowling has been tweeting and writing recently. I write a lot about Harry Potter both on here and my Instagram, and I want to make it clear that my love of Harry Potter is not in any way connected to J.K. Rowling. The Potter books are such a bit part of my life and they have helped me in so many different ways that I really can’t imagine my life without them, but I want to assure my readers that I do not support the author’s opinions on trans rights.

Now, onto the books…

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What books have I read this month?

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I had this book on my shelf for a very long time, and after years of staring at it, I finally decided to pick it up, and I’m so glad I did. The Night Circus was just what I needed, it’s the perfect escapism book, filled with magic, love, and deception. Highly recommend if there’s anyone left out there who hasn’t read it yet!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (audio)

This was a reread for me, I decided to listen to the audiobooks to refresh my memory of the series before I read the prequel… needless to say I haven’t yet read to prequel, and I’m not sure I will (I’ve heard a lot of people say it’s a bit boring, I guess the only way to find out would be to read it!)

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (audio)

Reread again! The first two books were just as good as I remember them, and I realise the main appeal of these books for me is the games. The Quarter Quell in this one is my favourite, I think Suzanne Collins is so inventive with her ideas.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (audio)

My rating for this actually went down since the first time I read it. I just found everything a little bit hard to follow, and some parts I found a bit unnecessary. I’m also a Gale fan over Peeta so the ending was not really my cup of tea…

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

I’ve owned this book for a while now, since I had a proof copy from an author event pre-publication, and it was only after everyone had recommended it to me that I decided to read it. I did enjoy it, I found the writing quite easy to read, but I thought it took a while for things to start happening after the first chapter.

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman (audio)

I got this audiobook on a whim as it was one a 2 for 1 sale, and I’m glad I did! It was a lot longer than I anticipated from the storyline but it included a lot of literary tropes I enjoy and had some nicely developed characters, as well as tackling issues rarely seen in YA literature.

Books read towards Children’s Classics Challenge

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

I did not enjoy the book. The only reason I didn’t DNF it is because I needed to read it for my uni course, so I stuck it out. I downloaded the audiobook which helped me get through it quicker. It took him too long to get shipwrecked, and the rest of the book was just him shooting animals, growing corn, and making weird pottery to survive. But I made it through, and I hopefully never have to read it again!

I enjoyed this more than Robinson Crusoe, but not by much. The story was a lot more interesting, as more things were happening throughout, but a lot of the satire went over my head, and it seemed a bit disjointed, more like four separate stories.

I’m surprised to say I enjoyed this book. The story was a classic journey of a young boy and his adventure with friends, and has small town vibes which I love in a classic book!

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Average Rating: 3.5 stars

Number of total pages read: 1,776

Books read toward 2020 Book Challenge goal: 29/50 books 

Books read toward Children’s Classics Challenge: 5/15 books

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What am I currently reading?

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

I tried to read The Green Mile but I red the first 100 pages and just couldn’t get into it. I wanted something a little bit easier to read and quicker to get through, especially next to the classics I’m reading for uni, so I picked this up. I’ve almost finished it as well, oops! I’m enjoying it so far, and can’t wait to see how it ends (although I’ve heard it’s very sad…)

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Another one that will apparently make me cry… I see a theme! Number 6 on my Children’s Classics Challenge, this is one I’m excited to finish.

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Books I plan to read in July

Five Children and It by E. Nesbit

This one is technically up next after Black Beauty, but I might save it for one of Reading Rush books as the majority of the cover matches my birthstone colour…

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

I can’t wait to read this one! I’ve seen the Disney films and know the story but I’ve heard the book is amazing so I’m looking forward to it.

I usually do a slightly longer section here but it’s the Reading Rush read-a-thon at the end of the month and I’m still working out my TBR for that and how much time I will have to read but I’m planning on posting my Reading Rush plans later in the month, so more on that later.

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What do you think of the books I’ve read this month? What about the ones I plan on reading? Leave your comments below, and book recommendations are always welcome!

Happy July and Happy Blogging!

Jade 🙂

Categories
Monthly Book Roundup

Monthly Book Roundup for May

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Hello fellow bookworms! How’s everyone doing? Some lockdown restrictions have already started to be lifted here, albeit slowly, so we’re able to get out and see more people from a distance. However, because I work in London and my job can be done from home, it looks like working from home will be my life for the next few months, which means I still have plenty of reading time! I now have preliminary reading for uni which I’ve got a good head start on, if you want to see what I’m reading, you can have a look here, but I’ll also be doing updates on how I’m getting on in these wrap up posts, so without too much more rambling, this is what I read in the month of May.

 

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What books have I read this month?

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

I loved, loved, LOVED this book! I can’t believe it took me so long to read it, I had it sat on my shelf for years! I will definitely be reading the sequel as soon as I can get my hands on a copy.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

3stars

This book was ok, but there are reasons why I don’t think it lives up to the hype. I still gave it 3 stars, because I did really enjoy the academia settings and character tropes used throughout. If you want to know more on my thoughts, I posted a review which you can read here.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

4.5stars

I really loved this book! At the beginning I wasn’t too sure about it, but the further into the first part, when it became more clear what direction her story was taking, I found it to be incredibly motivational and empowering for women, and looked a lot at racial issues which we know are still present in America and across the world through anecdotes of her experiences. Highly recommend!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is the first book in a while that made me properly cry, not just a few tears, but I was full-on sobbing by the end! This book is full of the glitz of Hollywood, as well as the not so glamorous behind the scenes, and fully focuses on the raw emotion you don’t get to see in most celebrities. There is great story running underneath the main plot line which keeps the reader wondering what it’s all really for.

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell

4stars

I’ve been so excited to read another book by Laura Purcell, and I thought I’d go back to her first (I think…) I was not disappointed, her writing was just as good as The Corset, and the same historical gothic atmosphere was present in all its glory. It freaked the hell out of me however, it is definitely a lot scarier than her second book! One star lost just because the ending wasn’t as satisfying as The Corset, and while I don’t mind a cliffhanger if I know there are means for me to find out more, but the ending wasn’t resolved and left me quite spooked!

Books read towards Children’s Classics Challenge

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

It took me a while, but I finally got there! Little Women is on my reading list for uni, which meant that I could read it and it counted as studying! I did really enjoy this story, the characters were so well formed, it was full of pieces of writing which really resonated with me, and it made me feel all of the emotions!

… and I did also listen to Pilgrim’s Progress, I tried to read it but not was immensely difficult to keep any kind of attention on it!

Average Rating: 4 stars

Number of total pages read: 2139 (not entirely accurate as Little Women was read over a span of months but I’m counting it!)

Books read toward 2020 Book Challenge goal: 21/50 books 

Books read toward Children’s Classics Challenge: 2/15 books

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What am I currently reading?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I’m only a few chapters in and I’m already loving the magical element of the story, I’m excited to see how the magic system develops and where the story goes, as I’ve heard really good things!

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

The third book in my Children’s Classics Challenge, while it’s not a children’s book as such, it’s a classic novel which has influenced a lot of Robinsonade literature.

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Books I plan to read in June

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

I’ve had a proof of this book on my shelf for a good few months now and loads of my friends have loved it, so I thought it was about time I read it! It’s meant to be quite a quick read which will be nice to break up two slightly longer books.

The Green Mile by Stephen King

I said to my mum that I wanted to try reading Stephen King but I didn’t want to read a horror, so she recommended The Green Mile to me, and I’m honestly really excited to read it! I know it’s going to be emotional and I will cry, but at least I’m prepared!

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

The last ‘non children’s’ book on my challenge list before moving on to the Children’s lit!

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

… and the first children’s book! I’ve had Huck Finn on my shelf for ages at a friend’s recommendation but never got to it, being deterred due to it’s classic classification, but if I enjoy this one I might pick up that one as well!

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What do you think of the books I’ve read this month? What about the ones I plan on reading? Leave your comments below, and book recommendations are always welcome!

Happy June and Happy Blogging!

Jade 🙂

Categories
Books

The Children’s Classics Challenge

Hello fellow bookworms! It’s only a few more weeks until June, and with June comes a mid-year wrap up; I can’t believe we’re almost half way through 2020! I hope by the time it comes to write that post I will have read at least 25 books and be half way through my reading goal for the year, who knows… but I’m hoping what I’m about to set out to do will help!

I recently received a preliminary reading list for my MA Children’s Lit course which I start in September, and there were so many books I was completely overwhelmed! Of course, on further inspection it turns out that it was definitely not expected of me to have read every single book on the list, especially not the textbooks (apart from the fact that I would go bankrupt buying them all), but there was a page of books and authors, and it was recommended I try and read a few. They were divided up into categories – Classic Children’s Literature, Children’s Literature Post 1960s, and Picture Books (with a list of illustrators). So I decided the best way to tackle this list was to pick the books I wanted to read, and set myself a goal to read them all by a certain date. I find myself a lot more motivated if I have a goal to work towards, especially if I’m struggling through a book I’m not particularly enjoying, so that’s what I’m going to do, and if you want to join me, you are more than welcome to!

I’ll be reading 15 classic children’s books in 10 weeks!

So by July 31st I will aim to have completed the following TBR:

Children’s Classics I Haven’t Read
  • Pilgrim’s Progress (Bunyan, 1674)
  • Robinson Crusoe (Defoe, 1719)
  • Gulliver’s Travels (Swift, 1726)
  • Little Women (Alcott, 1868)
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Twain, 1875)
  • Black Beauty (Sewell, 1877)
  • Five Children and It (Nesbit, 1902)
  • Peter Pan (Barrie, 1904)
  • Swallows and Amazons (Ransome, 1930)
  • The Hobbit (Tolkien, 1937)
Children’s Classics I’ll Be Re-Reading
  • Alice in Wonderland (Carroll, 1865)
  • Peter Rabbit (Potter, 1902)
  • Winnie the Pooh (Milne, 1926)
  • The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Lewis, 1950)
  • Matilda (Dahl, 1988)
Some other books I’d love to read

While these 15 books are the main books I am aiming to read, I also have a few already on my shelf which are written by authors appearing on the list which I’d love to try and get to if I can…

  • The Rest of Us Just Live Here (Ness, 2015)
  • Carrie’s War (Bawden, 1973)
  • Noughts and Crosses (Blackman, 2001)
  • Dying to Know You (Chambers, 2012)
  • Flour Babies (Fine, 1992)
  • The Graveyard Book (Gaiman, 2008)
  • Coraline (Gaiman, 2002)
  • (Un)arranged Marriage (Rai, 2001)

I’m also planning on adding a section to my monthly wrap to update you all on how I’m getting on and which books I’ve managed to finish… I’m still planning to continue on through my normal TBR as well, so I’m about to bury myself in literature, and to be honest, I don’t mind one bit!

I know these are children’s books, but a lot of them are still full length novels, and reading them alongside my preliminary textbook reading and my monthly TBR will be a challenge, but it’s a challenge I’m willing to face head on!

I’d love to know if you’ve read any of the books on this list and what you thought of them (and some encouragement in the comments would also be greatly appreciated!)

Take care everyone.

Until next time…

Jade