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!

top ten tuesday

Books I Had VERY Strong Emotions About

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 I Had VERY Strong Emotions About and this can be ‘Any emotion! Did a book make you super happy or sad? Angry? Terrified? Surprised?’ so I’ve tried to pick books that gave me a wide range of feels even though my first reaction was books that made me cry (because I’ve just finished Teashop on the Corner which made me BAWL)


Paul Cartledge – Ancient Greece (bored me to tears – how did he make ancient Greece as dull as dishwater?!)
Cathy Glass – Nobody’s Son (broke my heart, I felt so bad for that little boy)
Alix E Harrow – Once and Future Witches (utterly spellbound – I completely fell in love with Harrow’s writing style and the world she created)
EL James – Fifty Shades of Grey (hysterical laughter – apparently it’s not supposed to be a comedy?)
Milly Johnson – The Teashop on the Corner (made me cry like a baby, completely filled with warm fuzzies)


Stephen King – Misery (chilled me to the core and the reason I will never use the phrase ‘I’m your number one fan’)
Jennette McCurdy – I’m Glad My Mom Died (I’m glad her mom died, I went from horrified by what her mother was doing to her, to so proud of her)
Stephenie Meyer – Twilight (disgust – I threw the book across the room)
Matthew Reilly – Temple (joy, wonder, amazement and many many WTAF but in a good way)
Rainbow Rowell – Fangirl (disappointment, I’d been looking forward to reading and didn’t feel it lived up to the hype)

And this will be the first and last time Twilight or Fifty Shades of Grey get mentioned here LMAO

TBR

TBR w/c 03.06.24

My reading list for the coming week looks something like:

finish Sharon Blackie – If Women Rose Rooted (currently 42%)
finish Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere (currently 40%)
finish Emily Henry – Book Lovers (currently 29%)

read Ruth Goodman – How To Be A Victorian (currently 7%)
read Neil MacGregor – A History Of The World in 100 Objects (39%)

start Heather Fawcett – Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries
start Carrie Fisher – The Princess Diarist
start Thomas Halliday – Otherlands
start Gabrielle Nevin – Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
start Nancy Warren – Lace & Lies

Do I expect to get to all of these books this week?
No.
But I have ADHD and like to have a variety of books to bounce between reading. I’m probably most likely to focus on A History of the World and I’ll see where the week takes me

monthly wrap up

May Reading Wrap up

May wasn’t a great mental health month, the ADHD flared up and I started so many books but I did still manage to finish 8 of them:

Jeremy Clarkson – Diddly Squat: Pigs Might Fly
4 stars
I didn’t enjoy this as much as the first couple of Diddly Squat books – I think it’s because I watched the show first and read the book after with the others. Reading the book first, it fell a little flat because I didn’t feel as connected to the anecdotes Jeremy was sharing and barely a month later I can’t honestly remember much about it, bar a story about going to a slaughterhouse. And Clarksons Farm S3 is still on my list of things to watch because I’m super behind on everything. I don’t think I’m going to want to pick the book back up again afterwards, but who knows?

Austin Kleon – Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative
4 stars
This was actually one of Li’s library books but she read out so many excerpts from the book that I wanted to read it myself. We’ve both ended up wanting to own a copy because it was such a good book. I read it in one sitting, and even though the type of art I create is fiction rather than visual media, I still found the advice and ideas really helpful. Some of them validated what I already do, and some of them made me want to try something more. I felt very seen and very supported and I loved that.

Alix E. Harrow – Starling House
5 stars
Absolutely fucking mindblowing! Another gorgeous, eerie, gothic, creepy, southern gothic, dark fantasy, horror story with the same beautiful writing I was hoping for after Once and Future Witches. A fantastic haunted house, which we know I love more than anything, a tangled web of mystery both inside the house and wrapped around it and the characters. I read most of it in one sitting and I still want more, weeks later!

Freya Sampson – The Girl on the 88 Bus
3.5 stars
A random book I picked up on Libby because the title and the cover intrigued me. What I got was an inspiring, uplifting, sweet story about love and loss and family and friendship, and the power of hope. I thought I knew where it was going and it didn’t go there, which I always love when that happens. It wasn’t the ending I wanted, or I wanted for the characters, but it did really work with the story. Basically, a book filled with all the warm fuzzies.

Cathy Glass – Nobody’s Son
4.5 stars
I have been completely obsessed with reading Cathy Glass’ fostering memoirs this year. I have absolutely no clue why but I’ve read 5 of them this year, and have a bunch more reserved at the library or on Libby/Borrowbox. They’re not the best-written books, but they pack a powerful punch, right in the feels. They’ve all been pretty heartbreaking and this was no different, but there was something about this poor boy’s story that reduced me to tears.

Guy Shrubsole – The Lost Rainforests of Britain
3.5 stars
This is a book I’d been wanting to read for a while and it didn’t disappoint. A really interesting investigation into the pockets of temperate rainforest left in Britain, how they’ve survived and what can be done to help protect them, to make them thrive and grow. As a Devonian, I was thrilled at how many of those are down here, across Dartmoor and so many of the pictures reminded me of places from when I was younger. The last bit of the book got a little political and a little lectury but other than that, I enjoyed reading it a lot.

Lex Croucher – Infamous
3.5 stars
I’m still not sure what I think of this book, and it’s not really the book’s fault but it does make it difficult to rate and review. It was sold to me as ‘Bridgerton, but lesbians’ so that’s what I was expecting… only it wasn’t really that. So then I stopped and read the blurb, but it also wasn’t quite what I was expecting based on that either. I enjoyed the story that I did get, although I found it very slow to start with but the ending was utterly fantastic and gave me tears of happiness

Jennette McCurdy – I’m Glad My Mom Died
5 stars
Wow. Just… Wow. I’m glad her mom fucking died, lets be clear. That poor kid. So I’ve never seen iCarly, I was well out of the target audience for the show and had no idea who McCurdy was before the Nickelodeon scandal hitting the news the other year, and I remember the book world exploding when this came out. But even not knowing who she was, I was horrified by what happened to her, I felt so bad but ultimately so proud of her as she went through therapy and started taking control of her life.

Looking more at the stats side of things:
9 books, 2,562 pages – 75% between 300 & 499 pages long, 25% <300 pages
The main moods were emotional, reflective & informative
50% medium paced, 50% face paced
63% non-fiction, 38% fiction
My most read genres were memoir, nature & romance
My average rating was 4.03

top ten tuesday

Books I Was Super Excited to Get My Hands on but Still Haven’t Read

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 I Was Super Excited to Get My Hands on but Still Haven’t Read and my TBR and I are feeling very called out by this LMAO


Travis Baldree – Legends & Lattes
Mary Beard – SPQR
Stephen Fry – Mythos
Bonnie Garmus – Lessons in Chemistry
Ali Hazelwood – The Love Hypothesis


Dan Jones – Essex Dogs
Judy I. Lin – A Magic Steeped in Poison
Sangu Mandanna – The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches
Julia Quinn – The Duke & I
Jonathan Sims – Thirteen Storeys

What books have you been super excited to buy but still haven’t read yet?

weekly wednesday blogging challenge

How I Feel about Staycations

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge question is How I Feel about Staycations

Honestly, I love them!

I’m specifically talking about staycations where it’s spent at home, rather than holidaying in the same country. However, we could also argue that all my trips to Devon to be with Li are technically staycations, even if I’m working during the week. My agoraphobic ass doesn’t have to leave the house unless I really want to. I like my house, it’s safe, all my things are here and even better there are no other people (except Li).

I get to sleep in my own bed. I can spend my time chilling and doing the things I enjoy doing – I can catch up on some TV or movies that I want to watch, I can read, I can game, I can write. If I want to go out, I can do it at my own pace and schedule.

I would like to do more trips within the country or abroad but honestly, with the cost of living right now, I can’t really afford to do anything more than a weekend away – and I’d rather keep those for when I toddle off somewhere random (or just up to Glasgow) to see Raintown.

So yes, a staycation at home, with nothing to do and no plans and I can just properly relax is wonderful. There’s plenty of places to go to for day/mini-breaks if I want but mostly spending chill time alone or with Li is definitely where it’s at.

top ten tuesday

Authors I’d Love a New Book From

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 Authors I’d Love a New Book From (These could be authors that have passed away, who have retired from writing, who have inexplicably gone quiet, or who might jut not be able to keep up with how quickly you read their books!)

Anne Rice
Poppy Z Brite
Dan Brown
Bill Bryson
Michael Cordy
Michael Crichton
Belinda Jones
Richard Laymon
Stel Pavlou
Andrea Penrose