top ten tuesday

Debut Novels I Enjoyed

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is a Debut Novels I Enjoyed

Kelley Armstrong – Bitten
Alexandria Bellefleur – Written In The Stars
Poppy Z Brite – Lost Souls
Belinda Jones – Divas Las Vegas
Stephen King – Carrie

Stel Pavlou – Decipher
Sarah Penner – The Lost Apothecary
Anne Rice – Interview With The Vampire
Rick Riordan – The Lightning Thief
Alison Weir – Innocent Traitor

This was harder than I thought it would be – I thought of 3 straight off (Brite, King & Rice) but then it got a little trickier! It turns out a lot of the authors I love, I haven’t read their early work. There’s a couple who started self-publishing and those first books are ok, but it’s only their traditionally published later works I absolutely love. There are also a couple where I couldn’t figure out what was actually their first book.

I read much more non-fiction than fiction, so I’m tempted to save that as an idea and do 10 debut non-fiction books I enjoyed as well. Of course, knowing my luck, I won’t have read those authors early books either LOL

What debut novels have you enjoyed?

stacking the shelves

Stacking the Shelves #14

Stacking The Shelves is a meme hosted by Reading Reality all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

The books I’ve picked up recently all have a theme, and a fairly nerdy one, which honestly makes me kinda happy.

Beat Kümin – The European World 1500–1800: An Introduction to Early Modern History
This is the set book for reading with my university module that starts in October. I’m reading it over the summer because previous experience is that the module textbook will have me just reading sections of this book and I don’t want to get distracted by reading more. So I read it over the summer ready.

And then, for fun reading, we have

Mary Beard – Emperor of Rome
Suzie Edge – Vital Organs

What books have you picked up recently?

book blogger hop

Favorite Summer Beach Book

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the meme on February 15, 2013. Check out the hop here!

Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

The Question of the week is: July is the month for reading by the pool or on the beach. What’s your favorite summer beach book, and why is it suitable for a sunny day?

I’m not a seasonal reader, to be honest, and don’t think of books in terms of being a beach read or anything similar. So my pick of a book for reading at the beach would be basically whatever I was currently reading when I head for the beach – it could be a chick lit, it could be a horror, a sci-fi, or a European History textbook. I’ve been known to take my study materials and notebook and sit and read in the park, just as much as I have any other fiction book.

What makes it suitable for a sunny day is that it’s a book I’m reading in the sun. g

And heading for the beach with a book is something I’m hoping will happen much more with the amount of time I’m spending down in the South West. I’m not quite back to the beach I grew up reading on, but I’m not far away at all which is so awesome

weekly wednesday blogging challenge

Do I enjoy shopping?

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge question is Do You Enjoy Shopping? Why or Why Not?

The short answer is ‘hell no’. I hate it.

So I have agoraphobia, autism and social anxiety so going to places like shops where there’s a lot of sensory input, a lot of people and isn’t safe? That’s pretty much my idea of hell.

And so, where I can, I avoid it. If I have to physically go to a shop, I will go with a safe person (even if they’re on the phone), I will have my headphones, I will have a fidget, and I will go when I know a shop is quieter. But in general, where I can, I will do all my shopping online. I get my groceries delivered every two weeks and Amazon is like my best friend.

I will say, however, that I do love a good wander around Waterstones if I’m in the right mental mindset for it – although my credit card hates it when I do that 😉

top ten tuesday

Books With Orange Covers

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is a Throwback Freebie and I’m picking the topic I missed last week of ‘Books with My Favorite Color on the Cover‘ and my favourite colour is Orange

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – We Should All Be Feminists
Jean M. Auel – Shelters of Stone
Mary Beard – Pompeii: Life of a Roman Town
Jeremy Clarkson – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
Hal Duncan – Vellum

Joanne Fluke – Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere
Taylor Jenkins Reid – Daisy Jones & The Six
A.F. Steadman – Skandar and the Unicorn Thief
Nancy Warren – Crochet and Cauldrons



Do you ever think you know what your reading year will look like, only to find it turns out to be completely different?

I honestly thought this year would be jam-packed with action/adventure thriller-type novels. I discovered and fell in love with Matthew Reilly’s books last year – completely OTT action scenes and I was HERE for it! His book Temple was my surprise book of the year last year. And then there was Decipher by Stel Pavlou which was another action/adventure thriller with bonus added sci-fi – it was utterly batshit and I fell in love with it.

So yeah, I thought this year would be very much in that vibe. I started reading the Scarecrow series by Matthew Reilly…

But then I fell into memoirs. Out of the 50 books I’ve read so far this year, 14 have been memoirs (that’s 28%) and 4 have been biographies.

There have been food-related ones (Grace Dent, Jay Rayner, Ed Gamble)
There have been mental health, health and neurodivergence-related ones.
There’s been the latest Jeremy Clarkson/Diddly Squat one.
There’s been best-selling celebrity memoirs (Jennette McCurdy, Britney Spears)

And over a third of them have been fostering memoirs by Cathy Glass!
How? Why?
I haven’t a fucking clue but I am completely obsessed and just devouring them. I cannot get enough and have a whole bunch of them on my Borrowbox list

In the second half of the year though I want/need to pay more attention to the prompts in reading challenges. I’ll be interested to see if the memoir pattern continues, if another one emerges or if, by focusing on more specific books there’ll be no pattern at all.

book blogger hop

Book Blogger Hop catch up

I’ve missed a couple of weeks’ worth of Book Blogger Hop prompts, so let’s play catch up!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Are there any books with themes or characters dealing with issues related to mental health that you have found to be enlightening or comforting

It might be a bit of a cliche answer, but I’ve found Matt Haig’s books to be both comforting and helpful, especially some of his mental health non-fiction. I read The Comfort Book and Notes on a Nervous Planet when I was really struggling with anxiety and agoraphobia, to the point where I couldn’t leave the house. There was just something so calming, so comforting and so relaxing about them that genuinely helped soothe my brain.

I recently read The Midnight Library – a book I’d been wanting to read for AGES but had been putting off because I got nervous I wouldn’t like it (I hadn’t been thrilled by one of Haig’s other fiction books I read). It was, however, utterly fantastic and I gave it 5 stars. The descriptions of Nora’s depression resonated so strongly with me.

Do you consider yourself a book collector or a book hoarder? Oh, definitely a collector. The collection looks a little hoard-like at the moment; there’s piles of books everywhere because I’m sorting them, cataloguing, reshelving and figuring out a) how many more bookshelves I need and b) where they’re going to go.

Summer often means more time for reading. Do you have a list of books you’re eager to start reading during June’s warm days? Do you have a summer reading goal? I’m not really a seasonal reader, but I did post my current summer TBR earlier this week.
I don’t think I have any specific summer reading goals, other than continuing to read most days and try to focus a little on some of my reading challenges that aren’t very far along.

Will society suffer in the future as a result of the younger generations’ lack of reading? OK so I don’t have any first hand knowledge of this, but based on what I’ve seen/heard, I’m going with yes. I also don’t think it’s the actual issue at hand, but rather a symptom of something much larger – although I can’t pin down what that actually is. Like, it would be super easy to blame social media for ‘rotting kids brains’ and ‘causing short attention spans’ but then you only have to look at the size of the bookish community on social media which is filled with readers of all ages – including, yes, the younger generations. I’m sure I’ve even seen stats that things like TikTok are inspiring teens/new adults to start reading and reading is trending upwards again

There’s a whole other rant about the way social media works and preys on people and oh I wish how it worked like it did 5, 10, years ago when it just showed me the people I’m following in chronological order – my social media experience is very carefully curated, I met pretty much my whole friends group through social media and lets not forget I met my fiancee on AO3 and Tumblr. But, as I said, that’s a whole other thing… it is connected tangentially in that it’s a symptom of the same larger issue that’s affecting society.

I don’t know if ‘suffer’ is necessarily what’s going to happen with society. Society is currently undergoing such a huge change through all levels and because we’re right in the middle of it, we can’t see the end of it and it’s scary and it’s easy to blame ‘the younger generations’. I’m a Millennial – we’re still getting blamed for everything after all!

I don’t know that I’ve actually answered the question – the answer is both yes and no and it’s complicated – but this is the post that it inspired!

weekly wednesday blogging challenge

Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge catch-up

I’ve missed a couple of weeks’ worth of Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge prompts, some of which were ones I actually wanted to answer so let’s play catch up!

Museums/Galleries I’ve visited/want to visit and starting with the disclaimer that British Colonialism was bad and artefacts absolutely belong with their own cultures and not with looters… however having said that, I thoroughly enjoy a good wander around a museum. I am a history nerd after all, and without the British Museum, I would never actually get to see things like the Rosetta Stone or the Elgin Marbles so I’ve got complicated, mixed-up, feelings about these things.

I do love the British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the National Gallery and the Portrait Gallery (although never go to the Tudor Gallery with me unless you want an impromptu history lesson because hello special interest!). I love science museums as well, I’ve been to the ones in London and Glasgow. I visit the Kelvingrove when I’m up in Glasgow, and Li and I visit the RAMM in Exeter regularly. Back home in Telford, I love Blists Hill and over in Dudley the Black Country Living Museum. Jorvik Viking Centre is so much fun too.

Basically, yes I love museums, I go to as many as I can and there are many many I want to go to – I’d be here all day listing all the ones I want to visit!

Books that are tearjerker and I’m sorry but have you met me? LMAO! I cry easily over books and genuinely cry over the majority of them. I cry over books that are sad, and I cry over the warm fuzzies. I love stories that really tug on my heartstrings and make me cry. The last one that spring to mind is The Teashop on The Corner – I cried at both happy, sad, and heartwarming points in that story.

Characters I See Differently Now Than I Used To. I still remember the first rewatch of Buffy when I started to realise that Giles was right. I was agreeing with Rupert Giles and that was terrifying. I was a similar age to Buffy, Xander and Willow when I first watched the show and saw Giles the same way they did. But then all of a sudden, I’m Giles’ age and he has a point and that was… yeah

top ten tuesday

Books on My Summer 2024 To-Read List

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week a new theme is suggested for bloggers to participate in. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is Books on My Summer 2024 To-Read List and this is a mixture of books I’m currently reading that I’m hoping to finish over the coming weeks, and books at the very top of my TBR

Firstly, books I’m determined to finish this summer:

Heather Fawcett – Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries
Emily Henry – Book Lovers
Ronald Hutton – The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain
Sarah J. Maas – A Court of Wings and Ruin
Matthew Reilly – Scarecrow

And for the books I’m looking to start reading this summer:

Ben Aaronovitch – False Value
K.C. Davis – How to Keep House While Drowning: A Gentle Approach to Cleaning and Organising
Evie Meg – My Nonidentical Twin
Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson & The Last Olympian
Erin Sterling – The Kiss Curse

Will I actually get to any of these? who knows!

What’s on your summer TBR?

audiobooks · books · magazines · TBR

TBR w/c 17.06.24

My reading list for the coming week looks something like:

finish BBC Science Focus June 2024 (currently 28%)
finish Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere (currently 81%)
finish Alix E Harrow – The Ten Thousand Doors of January (currently 19%)
finish Neil MacGregor – A History Of The World in 100 Objects (55%)

read Ruth Goodman – How To Be A Victorian (currently 22%)
read Thomas Halliday – Otherlands (currently 14%)
read Emily Henry – Book Lovers (currently 29%)
read Ronald Hutton – Stations of the Sun (currently 53%)

start Carrie Fisher – The Princess Diarist
start Joanne Fluke – Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (and try to finish because it’s due back to the library next week and I can’t renew because someone’s reserved it!)
start Nicola Lewis – Em & Me
start Nancy Warren – Lace & Lies

I’ve also started the full cast audiobook of Good Omens. Audiobooks aren’t something I usually listen to, I zone out but I need an audiobook for a challenge and figured this was a good option. We’ll see how it goes!