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Book Tags Books

Mid Year Book Freak Out

time for tags

Hello fellow bookworms! It’s been a while… I always start the year with the best intention of keeping my blog up to date, but it’s been a whirlwind start to the year for me. By the time I’ve realised one month has ended, we’re already in the middle of the next, so even my monthly reading updates have been sparse (putting it lightly!) However, I’m hoping the second half of the year will be different, and I have a few exciting post ideas which I can’t wait to write! Planning on keeping future posts shorter and sweeter, so I’ll have time to write more content and make it easier for you lovely people to enjoy the posts. I love this little space on the internet I have, along with my bookstagram, to interact with you all and chat about books. I enjoy the time I spend writing for you, and I will be prioritising this in the second half of this year as a form of self-care, because nothing is better than spending an hour or so gushing about my favourite books, which is what I’m here to do today, with a roundup of what I’ve read so far in 2021…

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Best 2021 Book So Far

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

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Best 2021 Sequel So Far

The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

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New 2021 Release You Are Yet To Read

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

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Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman (September 16th)

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Biggest Disappointment of 2021 So Far

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

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Biggest Surprise of 2021 So Far

Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan

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Newest Favourite Character

Viola (from Chaos Walking)

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Book That Made Me Cry

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

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Book That Made Me Happy

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

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Favourite Film/TV Adaptation of 2021 So Far

Virgin River (adapted from the book by Robyn Carr)

(Same as last year, still just as good!)

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Most Beautiful Book Purchased in 2021 So Far

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy

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Book I Need To Read by the End of 2021

A Darker Shade final for Irene

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

So that’s a snapshot of 2021: 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
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 🙂

Categories
Books

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 we all 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”

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!

Other challenges this book can be used for: Challenge #3

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, I thought an audiobook would be a good way to keep up with books while I’m at my desk, so I’ll be reading Sadie on audio. 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…

Categories
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
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

Categories
book roundup Books

Hi, it’s been a while… 2019 Book Roundup

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Hello fellow bookworms! Well it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I haven’t posted since my bookish freak out in July, it’s been a busy year and to be honest I forget I even run a blog sometimes (oops)! I’m not even going to use this space to say I will post more as there’s always so much to do and hopefully more adventures are lurking somewhen in 2020 which I’m very excited about, but I always love doing these roundup posts, especially at the end of the year, so I had to make sure I wrote at least one post the year.

2019 completely escaped me, but I did manage to read a few books. Some were absolutely unforgettable, some were not so great, but that’s what this post is for, so here is my bookish 2019…

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What I read in 2019

  • Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (audio) by J.K. Rowling
  • A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (audio) by J.K. Rowling
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
  • Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (audio) by J.K. Rowling
  • The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (audio) by J.K. Rowling
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (audio) by J.K. Rowling
  • You by Caroline Kepnes
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (audio) by Newt Scamander
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (audio) by J.K. Rowling
  • Fangirl (audio) by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Book Thief (audio) by Markus Zusak
  • The Fault in Our Stars (audio) by John Green
  • Talking as Fast as I Can (audio) by Lauren Graham
  • The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
  • The Lie by C.L. Taylor
  • The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Never Let Me Go (audio) by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The Farm by Joanne Ramos
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
  • Let’s Hope for the Best by Carolina Setterwall
  • They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
  • Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  • My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
  • Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  • The Corset by Laura Purcell
  • Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
  • The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
  • …currently reading The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman, Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, and Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Total books read: 40.5

Average Rating: 3.7 stars

Number of total pages read this year: 11,830 pages

 

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Top 5 books of 2018 (from 5th-1st)

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They Both Die at the End

northern lights

Northern Lights

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Queen of Air and Darkness

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Eliza and Her Monsters

corset

The Corset

With special shoutouts to The Tatoois of Auschwitz, The Upside of UnrequitedThe One Memory of Flora Banks, and Never Let Me Go

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Least Favourite 5 books (from 5th-1st)

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The Night Stalker

birdbox

Bird Box

letshope

Let’s Hope for the Best

priory

The Priory of the Orange Tree

circe

Circe

There’s a lot of books on my TBR list this year, and I don’t foresee any 800+ page books this year, so I’m hoping to stay on track for 50 books this year (or more if possible!) I’d love to know what you’ve read this year, and what your favourite books of 2019 were, so please feel free to comment below!

So that was my 2019 year of books! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year, and here’s to another amazing and positively bookish 2020!

Happy New Year and Happy Blogging!

Until next year…

Jade 🙂

 

Categories
Book Tags Books

The ‘Netflix Originals’ Book Tag

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Hello fellow bookworms! It’s tag time, and this tag, inspired by the Netflix Book Tag from Whitney @ A Darker Shade of Whitney, is the Netflix Originals Book Tag! There is no doubt that Netflix produce some amazing original series that you’re unlikely to get anywhere else, so it’s always worth finding someone who has a Netflix account and kindly asking them to make you a profile so you can catch up on all the great shows everyone’s talking about having a subscription to avoid missing out on these brilliant shows! While you’re at it, maybe you can enjoy some of these books too…

 

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Umbrella Academy

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A book with super powers

The Mara Dyer trilogy by Michelle Hodkin

4stars

This trilogy is incredible! The first book is really something but the series develops so well and the story is perfectly complex to devour all three books very quickly. I didn’t really enjoy the first book in the sequel series from Noah’s point of view, but the original series is great. The mysterious powers and the characters learning to control them makes for a really interesting concept, and the further into the series you get, the deeper and more interesting it gets (kind of like Umbrella Academy, which you should definitely watch if you haven’t already!)

 

Sex Education

sexed

A book with awkward teen romance

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

4.5stars

I loved this book so much, it’s such a quirky YA contemporary romance, and of course, Becky Albertalli is an incredible YA writer I knew I was going to love this book. There was the perfect mix of confident and shy characters to create a mashup of interesting relationships and the perfect ending filled with love and family.

 

You

you

A book with lots of books

the book thief

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

5stars

This is one of my all time favourite books, and I think books being a massive part of the story is a big factor in my enjoyment. The characters are extremely well developed and the era of war is so sensitively written to evoke the perfect mix of sadness and frustration. I will recommend this book to everyone who crosses my path!

 

Tidying Up with Marie Kondo

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A self help/wellbeing/lifestyle book you recommend

nervous planet

Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

4.5stars

All of Matt Haig’s no fiction books are so meaningful, I read Reasons To Stay Alive a few years ago and it there are a few sections which really strike something, and again in Notes on a Nervous Planet, there are chapters that you can dip in and out of which makes it an essential book for anyone who suffers from any mental illness, no matter how severe or mild, or just if you need a pick me up on a down day. The best thing it’s smaller than most books so it’s easier to carry around.

 

Lucifer

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The best villain

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Sebastian Morgenstern (City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare)

4.5stars

How can someone so evil be so attractive whilst doing it, he’s like a magnet?! Sebastian is one of my favourite villains in Cassie’s books, there is just something about his manner and his way of seeming kind of nice even when he’s so evil… does this even make sense?

 

Stranger Things

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A book set in an ‘other-worldly’ place

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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

4.5stars

Oh my goodness this book is amazing! This book involves the perfect amount of time travel and body hopping that makes you forget that you’re in a rural British setting. The complete and utter bonkers nature of the house and what keeps happening to the main characters is so bizarre, it really is like stepping into a new world. If you haven’t had a chance to pick this up I highly recommend it, especially if you’re an Agatha Christie fan!

 

Black Mirror

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A book with scarily realistic virtual reality/artificial intelligence

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

4.5stars

This was my first sci-fi book and it definitely encouraged me to read more in the genre. It took me a while to get into it but by the time I was half way through I was hooked and so captivated by this story that was written so incredibly well it could have been true! The idea of AI dominates the story by making the reader really think about how computers may be starting to control our lives and the way we think… scary stuff!

 

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

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A desperately awaited sequel/book from a favourite author

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Turtles All The Way Down

5stars

I’m a massive John Green fan, so when I found out he was releasing a new book after what felt like several thousand years, I was ecstatic! I was so excited, and this book definitely did not disappoint. The writing style was even more intelligent than his previous books, but still just as engaging with a perfect balance of story and meaning. A highly recommended book by many who love YA fiction.

 

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This is a BRAND NEW tag created by moi so if you enjoyed reading then please feel free to spread it around and do it yourself if you fancy, and add some stuff too if I’ve missed your fave Netflix Original series! I really hope you enjoyed this tag, share your love in the comments below and let me know what you think of the books I’ve chosen 🙂

(All gifs from GIPHY and belong to their respective shows)

Happy blogging…

Jade 🙂

 

Categories
Books

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week… 4 Books That Will Make You More Aware of Mental Health

Hello fellow bookworms! This week is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, which is so important for everyone to develop a deeper understanding of the various mental illnesses that exist. Society is becoming a lot more aware of mental health as something that can affect anyone and everyone at different times in their lives, and I think it’s crucial to upkeep the understanding of the many different illnesses there are, and to identify the signals so we can help those people around us who may be suffering. In this post, I wanted to explore those books which I found effectively communicated different mental health problems which you can read this week to expand your awareness and hopefully give you hope if you are suffering, or the confidence to know you can help someone who needs it.

5 Books That Will Make You More Aware of Mental Health

Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Tackling: OCD

John Green is such an incredible writer and having suffered with OCD for many years, his detailed account of the illness is told in an emotional and shocking way which really opens your eyes to what it’s like to live with OCD and experience the thought spirals and compulsions that can consume every thought to the point were it becomes difficult to do the things you want to do.

 

Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich

Tackling: Social Anxiety

The story of the new(ish) musical that has captured this hearts of so many people, Dear Evan Hansen not only tackles social anxiety, but also explores depression through beautifully created characters. The songs in the musical deeply resonate inside you, while the book translates everything you feel while listening the cast recording. The book perfectly describes what it’s like to live with severe social anxiety, and how it can hinder you going for what you really want in life.

 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Tackling: Depression, PTSD, Social Anxiety

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a raw, heartbreaking story about one women’s life which she lives the same way every single day. Suddenly, a strange turn of events sends her life into upheaval and, as Eleanor learns how to cope with changes to her regimented routine, we see even the small changes in life can have a bug affect on your mental wellbeing.

 

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Tackling: Depression

I read this book quite a while ago now, but it’s definitely one I still think about when the topic of mental illness comes up. Two teens are united through the idea of ending their life due to traumatic events in their lives, and the closer they get to each other, the more hope builds in their lives. It’s got a sad ending though, so you’ll need some tissues.

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Do you have any books to add to this list? Leave them in the comments below, I’d love to have some more recommendations!

Happy Mental Health Awareness Week, take care everyone.

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

Categories
Books

My 2019 Reading List and Bookish Goals

 

Hello fellow bookworms! It’s that time of year when I figure out what I want to read throughout 2019 (but let’s be completely honest, they’ll sit on my bookshelves for another year or so…) and set some bookish goals. I always feel like writing goals down seems to make them more concrete and actually helps me achieve them, and I’m hoping that making a list of books I definitely want to read will have the same effect! So here’s the ultimate list of books I plan to read, goals I want to meet, and a few new releases I’m anticipating in 2019…

 

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My 2019 Reading List

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Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas

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The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

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Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

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The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

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They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

 

2019 Anticipated Releases

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus – January 8th

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I was so excited when I saw Karen M. McManus was releasing a new book this year! I enjoyed One of Us is Lying so much when I read it, I loved the perfect mash up of mystery, crime/thriller and YA, and it looks like her new book will be a similar sort of thing!

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio – May 7th

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I love following Christine on YouTube and watching her videos makes me so motivated to read, and encourages me to try different genres (if it weren’t for her I don’t think I would have made it this far in the Shadowhunter Chronicles!) so I was thrilled when I found out she was writing a book! I’ve been watching all her Book Writing Chronicle videos and followed her journey from start to finish, and cannot wait to finally read the book when it comes out in May!

Chain of Gold (The Last Hours #1) by Cassandra Clare – November 19th

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NEW SHADOWHUNTER SERIES! How can one not be excited, especially when we’re going back to LONDON! The Infernal Devices is my favourite Shadowhunter series so far so to follow on the story with Will and Tessa’s children is so exciting; I always get excited for new Cassie Clare! Also, pretty, pretty cover!

 

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Bookish Goals of 2019

Read 50 books

I only managed a respectable 30 last year, but now I’m not at university and have more commuting time to read (and all the Harry Potters on audiobook) I am aiming to get back up to my usual standard. Also, my nan has joined me in this year’s reading challenge with a goal of 40 books, and I think she’ll be surprised at how many books she reads, so we’ll see who comes out on top at the end of the year!

Blog at least once a week

Over Christmas I had planned to write more blog posts, but alas I only managed one or two, but I really would like to get back into blogging a bit more, and I usually have a spare hour or so over the weekend, so I should probably start making my way through the post ideas I have had written down for the past year…

Read books I’ve owned for 2+ years

I was looking at my bookshelves this morning and I realised how many books I’ve owned/had on my TBR list for way too long, so I want to make it goal to read at least 5 of them. A lot are thrillers I bought when I was really into reading crime and mystery that I never picked up when my late obsession with YA and Fantasy kicked in. I love a good crime thriller novel, so I’m hoping to get some of those I’ve had for while read this year!

 

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So 2019 is well underway now, so lets see how well this goes… I’d love to know what your plans are for 2019, bookish or otherwise, so feel free to comment below or leave a link if you’ve done a similar post so I can come over your wonderful space on the internet and give it a read!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

Categories
book roundup Books

What a Disaster… 2018 Book Roundup

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Hello fellow bookworms! Wow, what a year it’s been! I will happily say that 2018 has been the busiest but best year of my life. I will be eternally grateful for everyone who made my year so wonderful, and everything that came together to made my 2018 so special. I finished and graduated university with a first class degree, I won a design award, got some great work experience, got offered and started my job at one of the top publishing companies in the world, and best of all… I saw Hamilton… twice (yes I rate that experience very highly!). But despite all of these amazing things that I was blessed with, it wasn’t all smooth sailing this year, but this year has made me realise you really have to go through some hard times to truly appreciate the good in life, so I really have to say thanks to 2018, and I really hope you all had an equally fabulous year!

My reading year, however, wasn’t as great, having the worst reading challenge in about 4 years! I read some great books, and I read some really bad books, so this is what we’re really here for. Let’s have a look at my bookish 2018…

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What I read in 2018

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas // 4.5 stars
  • The Book of Tea by Kakuzō Okakura // 4 stars
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas // 3.5 stars
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin // 4.5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling // 5 stars
  • The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith // 3 stars
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli // 5 stars
  • The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin // 4.5 stars
  • The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin // 5 stars
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman // 5 stars
  • Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham // 5 stars
  • The Becoming of Noah Shaw by Michelle Hodkin // 3 stars
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins// 4 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling // 5 stars
  • Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff // 4.5 stars
  • Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz // 4 stars
  • Daughter by Jane Schemilt // 3.5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling // 5 stars
  • Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index by Julie Israel // 3.5 stars
  • The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín // 3.5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry) // 5 stars
  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon // 4 stars
  • The Dinner by Herman Koch // 3 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling (audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry) // 5 stars
  • The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton // 4.5 stars
  • The Crimes of Grindelwald: Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling // 4 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry) // 5 stars
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee // 4 stars
  • You Will Be Safe Here by Damian Barr // 5 stars
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry) // 5 stars
  • … currently reading A Queen of Air of Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Total books read: 30.5

Average Rating: 4.3 stars

Number of total pages read this year: 10,079 pages (8,663 less than last year… sad face)

Which brings me to a total of 30.5 books this year!! I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge at 50 books to start with, then lowered it to 40, and then to 35, and still didn’t quite manage that! In my defence, however, the first 5 months of the year where the final months of my uni course which were extremely busy, and 2018 in general has been such an incredibly hectic year, I’m surprised I managed 30 in the end (thank god for audiobooks!) I want a much better year in 2019, and therefore I am upping my target back to 50 books to try and match my previous standards, and I have plenty of books lined up to satisfy whatever cravings I have!

 

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Top 5 books of 2018 (from 5th-1st)

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The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

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Talking as Fast as I Can

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You Will Be Safe Here

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Simon vs the Homo sapiens agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

I’ve never read any Becky Albertalli books, but I’m so glad I picked this one up! I sped through it and my face hurt from smiling so much! I’m really looking forward to reading some more of Albertalli’s writing in 2019.

I did really struggle to out my top 5 books together, because Illuminae and the Mara Dyer series were very close to making the list…

 

Least Favourite 5 books (from 5th-1st)

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Daughter

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The Call

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The Dinner

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The Becoming of Noah Shaw

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The Silkworm

I really hate to say it, but I’m not the biggest fan of J.K. Rowling writing crime novels. I feel like she is so used to a lot of detail in her fantastical world building of Harry Potter that just isn’t necessary in a crime thriller, and The Silkworm just dragged on a bit too much for me… too much unnecessary detail, not enough crime solving for me I’m afraid.

 

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So that was my 2018 year of books! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year, and here’s to another amazing and positively bookish 2019!

Happy New Year and Happy Blogging!

Until next year…

Jade 🙂