top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Geographical Terms in the Title

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 with Geographical Terms in the Title which honestly made me glee, especially with yesterday’s post of Plotlines I Love because they go together really well – there’s so many chick-lit with titles like ‘The Wishing Tree Beside the Shore’ or to look at Hallmark, Virgin River or Chesapeake Shores!

So that gives us a little list that looks like:

Jaimie Admans – The Little Wedding Island
Jean M Auel – Valley Of The Horses
Christie Barlow – The Lake House
Lilly Bartlett – Big Dreams Beach Hotel
Jennifer Bohnett – Little Kiosk By The Sea

Jenny Colgan – The Bookshop on the Shore
Dan Jones – Crusaders: The Epic History of the Wars for the Holy Land
Holly Martin – Spring At Blueberry Bay
Ali McNamara – Secrets and Seashells at Rainbow Bay
Heidi Swain – The Secret Seaside Escape

Is it me, or is one of these not like others? LMFAO

weekly wednesday blogging challenge

Plotlines I love

Yes, it’s Monday and I’m just answering last week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge about A plotline I love to watch/read and why.

This… oh this is putting a big smile on my face because I definitely have a favourite plotline. One that’s found throughout oh so many many many chick-lits and Hallmark shows and I can never ever resist it. Hell, I’ve got a Stargate AU fanfic I’m writing with this damn plotline.

Our lead character, usually a woman, is tired of the ratrace in the big city and her thankless corporate job – which she may or may not have just lost or exuberantly quit. She’s also probably just been dumped. what is this, a fucking country song. And so, she packs her bags and moves to a small town in the country, where she might have grown up but also where she might know absolutely nobody but quickly becomes an integral part of that community of quirky and unique characters. Bonus points if she’s inherited a farm/bookstore/bakery/island, and has to work with the very attractive but very grumpy local handyperson.

It’s very millennial. I literally don’t know anyone of my generation who doesn’t want to do exactly this. It’s why Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, and Stardew Valley are so popular!

I love it because it’s formulaic in a good way. I know what’s going to happen, I don’t know how we’re going to get there, but I know it’s going to be heartwarming and fluffy, have a happy ending and probably make me cry.

Essentially, for those fic people out there, it’s a coffee shop AU. AND I CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH OF THEM!

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Had To Get A Copy For My Personal Library

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 Loved So Much I Had to Get a Copy for My Personal Library (Maybe you received an ARC or borrowed from a friend/the library and loved it so much you wanted your own! Or maybe you read it in one format and wanted another format, like you read it in ebook and wanted a physical copy to display on your shelves or you read it the paperback and would love to re-read it on audio.) and this will be a mixture of library books I bough, books borrowed from other people I bought and books I want to get in another format

Ben Aaronovitch – Rivers Of London
I started getting the books out of the library, probably read the first three or four. But then the library didn’t have the next one, didn’t know if they were going to get it and so what was I supposed to do? I had to buy it. And then, of course, I had to buy copies of the ones I had already read so that I had the full series.

Sarah J Maas – A Court Of Mist and Fury
I started reading it on Libby through the library, but I was part-way through it when it was due back, but then I couldn’t check it back out again because there was a queue. Except I was part-way through and really enjoying it, and didn’t want to wait. So I bought it on Kindle… and then bought the next couple as well, because they were all on offer.

Tess Gerritsen – The Surgeon
I initially borrowed the book from my mum, she loved it and raved about it, so I read it and also fell in love with it. I read faster than her so it ended up there was one of the books I was too impatient to wait for mum to finish reading so I just… bought it myself. And, as ever, had to complete the set

Jean M Auel – The Clan Of The Cave Bear
I inherited most of mum’s books when she died, and she had all of the Earth’s Childrens books. They were all second-hand, but mostly a matching paperback set. Except for this one which was a falling apart hardback and had to be replaced. So that one went to a charity shop and I picked myself up a paperback copy

Dan Jones – The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England
We’ve covered my love for Dan Jones, yes?
OK good, just checking. LOL
I got a few of Dan Jones’ books out of the library, promptly fell in love, bought my own copy of The Plantagenets and really need to get around to buying the rest of his books
On a semi-related note, his first fiction book Essex Dogs is coming out next week – set in the Hundred Years – which I’m quite excited about!

Stephen King – The Tommyknockers
I first got a Stephen King book out of the library when I was… young enough that the librarian rang my mum to ask if I was allowed to take it out. Most of his books I’ve picked up second-hand and the copy of Tommyknockers I ended up with was a bigass hardback. As previously mentioned, I am not a fan of huge hardback books so I eventually replaced it with a much easier to read paperback

Mira Grant – Symbiont
The library had Parasite. The library had Chimera. The library did not have Symbiont, which frankly was fucking rude. I’m a member of not one but TWO different libraries in different counties, I get physical books and e-books, and not a single one of those four sources had Symbiont. So I had to buy it. And now I need to get Parasite and Chimera too.

Natalie J Case – Forever
So Natalie is one of my best friends, and she always gifts me a signed copy of her books in paperback. But because I’m super awesome, I also buy them on the Kindle. I’m also really impatient because she’s in California and pre-apocalypse, we only saw each other once a year and I now haven’t seen her since 2018. I don’t know when I’m seeing her again – neither of us feel safe enough for transcontinental travel. There’s no way I’m waiting that long to read a book!

And these last two are ones I want to replace my existing copies of but haven’t got around to doing so for various reasons, mostly involving being broke LOL

Kelley Armstrong – Bitten
I have the edition of this book that came from the Sci-Fi & Fantasy bookclub that my mum was a member of. The ones that would send you a catalogue and you had to buy X number of books a year – remember those?
But all the rest of the Women Of The Otherworld series that I own are published by Orbit in the 2000s and all have matching covers and are the same size. I am currently keeping an eye out in charity shops for the matching copy of Bitten.

Anne Rice – The Vampire Chronicles
With the exception of the first three which I bought together (and the Mayfair Witches), ever single one of Rice’s books I’ve got as a different imprint. Some are hardback, some are mass market paperback. I really really want a full matching set (and I think the Mayfair Witches are included in that as well, since they now tie-in properly with the Vampire Chronicles)

book blogger hop

Book Blogger Hop: Finding New Books

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: Is it difficult to find new books in local bookstores?

The small town I live in doesn’t have a bookstore.
The Tesco Express on the retail park has a book section but I’ve only just started being able to go there again, and it’s literally in and out to get my groceries as quickly as possible – not quite up to just browsing yet.
There’s a Waterstones, a WH Smith, and a The Works in the mall in the next town over but to be honest, I avoided malls like the plague even before… well… the plague.

I tend to buy a lot of books secondhand. There are a LOT of charity shops in town, and they’ve all got book sections in. There used to be an incredible second-hand bookshop in the market – it was filled to the brim with bookshelves chock-a-block, and piles and piles and piles of books EVERYWHERE. You could ask him if he had a certain book, and if he had it, he would know exactly where to find it

So yes, I buy a lot of books second-hand. I use my library and the libby app a lot. And for any actually new books I want, I order them from Amazon because it’s really my only source for them. I do miss a good mooch around a bookstore though.

weekly wednesday blogging challenge

Plotlines I refuse to read/watch

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge asks about A plotline you refuse to watch/read and why. And honestly, my first response was that I think I’m going to struggle to answer this. I read such a variety of books in different genres that there isn’t really anything I’ll refuse to read.

Li and I were talking about this last night, and she was saying she won’t read anything that treats an unhealthy relationship as being desirable or as a good thing. I think for me there are a couple of things, but they’re not really plotlines per se.

I’m not a huge fan of The Hero’s Journey, when in an epic/high fantasy setting. There are exceptions – but not in fantasy – but I don’t like farm boy is set upon by a random wizard and tasked on a long journey with a group of travelers in order to save the world.

As a disabled and chronically ill person, I hate inspiration porn. I wish there was more representation, but not in a way that either ‘fixes’ the character, or holds them up as being inspirational just for being alive.

I don’t like purple prose. I have no patience for a narrative that spends pages and pages describing a moor, or a single blade of grass. We’re looking at you here, Tolkien or Hardy.

And I fucking hate bad porn. Especially bad kink. Even more so, when it’s bad kink that doesn’t realize it’s bad kink and makes a vanilla reader think that is how the lifestyle works.

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Back To School – Non-Fiction History Books

Firstly: 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 ‘ School Freebie (In honor of school starting up soon, come up with a topic that somehow ties to school/education. The book could be set at school/college, characters could be teachers, books with school supplies on the cover, nonfiction titles, books that taught you something or how to do something, your favorite required reading in school, books you think should be required reading, your favorite banned books, etc.). Since I’m about to start my second year of a Classical Studies degree and because I absolutely love history, I decided it would be my Top Ten Non-Fiction History Books

In no particular order we have:

Peter Ackroyd – The History Of England
Liv Albert – Greek Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook
Bill Bryson – A Short History of Nearly Everything
Jessie Childs – God’s Traitors: Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England
Terry Deary – Horrible Histories

Patricia Fara – Science: A Four Thousand Year History
Dan Jones – The Hollow Crown. And The Plantagenets. And The Templars. Look, I like Dan Jones, ok? LOL
Ian Mortimer – The Time Traveller’s Guide To…  (and I’m trying super hard not to list all of Ian Mortimer’s Books too, I also really love 1415: Henry V’s Year Of Glory)
Roy Porter – Quacks: Fakers & Charlatans in English Medicine
Alison Weir – Lancaster and York – The Wars of the Roses. I love both her fiction and her non-fiction, not going to lie.

… and argh there’s so many that I feel like I’m leaving out, so I’m making this a Top Twenty!

Matthew Baylis – Man Belong Mrs Queen
Guy de la Bedoyere – Gods With Thunderbolts: Religion in Roman Britain
George Goodwin – Fatal Colours
Sean Lang – British History for Dummies
Nigel McRery – Silent Witnesses
Helen Morales – Classical Mythology
Mary Roach – Stiff: The Curious Life Of Human Cadavers
Alison Sim – Pleasures & Pastimes in Tudor England
Brian Switek – Written In Stone: The Hidden Secrets of Fossils and the Story of Life on Earth
Christian Wolmar – The Subterranean Railway: How the London Underground was Built & How It Changed the City Forever

I tried super hard not to just make them all Wars Of The Roses or Tudor themed. I think I managed ok, but you can tell it’s my favourite era. And, to be honest, I could probably have done it with just Dan Jones and Ian Mortimer LMFAO

weekly wednesday blogging challenge · www wednesday

Fanfiction, A Day in the Past, Bookmarks & What I’m Reading

Today we catch up on the Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge because I’ve missed a couple of weeks and honestly, there’s a couple of topics there I’m looking forward to rambling about!

Thoughts On Fanfiction which can basically be summed up as I FUCKING LOVE FANFICTION!

So, essentially, I’ve been writing fanfiction since before I knew what it was. As a child, I used to make up (and act out) my own stories about the Famous Five and The Hardy Boys, into my teens The X-Files and Star Trek. Then in my late teens in the late 90s, I came online and discovered fanfiction for Savage Garden, the Vampire Chronicles (yup, got my C&D from Anne Rice, thank you) and Star Wars.

I’ve been involved in online fandom, various different fandoms, ever since. I’ve been in online fandom, reading and writing fanfiction, going to cons, for my entire adult life – and I cannot see that changing anytime soon. Most of my friends I met through fanfiction. I’m writing less fanfiction than I was, mostly because of studying, but I’ve been active in Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis since 2013 and still love playing with those characters.

I’ve mentioned before that I met my fiance through her fanfiction. I started commenting on her fics on A03, then we started chatting on Tumblr, firstly about fanfiction, about kink in fanfiction, then kink in real life, there was some awkward flirting going on. But we’ve been together now since January 2021, got engaged in January this year and are working on moving in together and getting Not Married.
All because of a series of Stargate SG-1 fanfic!

I write slash, gen and het and if you’re interested in reading any of my stuff, my AO3 account is BADFAlcon

Where would you spend one day in the past? Explain Argh! Ask a history nerd like the hardest question possible why don’t you?!
OK, so I’d love to like see a dinosaur, visit ancient Greece or Rome or Egypt, see Stonehenge being built, visit the Library at Alexandria, meet Elizabeth I (or numerous other members of the royalty), spend time in Renaissance Italy, listen to discussions during The Enlightenment, see Shakespeare being performed at The Globe… the options are literally endless. There is SO much I would love to experience.

But the one thing I would really love to be able to do would be to travel back to the mid-late 80s, and spend a day with my parents. My dad died in 1993, my mum in 2015 – I knew my mum as an adult, but I was 11 when my dad died and he’d been sick for many years so being able to have a proper conversation with him would be just incredible.

Bookmark, scrap paper or dog-ear? Dog-ear? dog-ear?! Do I look like some kind of fucking heathen to you?!
I have a huge pile of bookmarks… somewhere. And I keep buying new ones. Sometimes I can find them when I need them, and god knows I’ve probably accidentally donated dozens to my local library LOL. So bookmark when I can find them, when I can’t it’ll be anything that’s to hand – receipts, post-it notes, scraps of paper, empty chocolate wrappers. But NEVER dog-ear the pages!

WWW Wednesday
What are you currently reading? Marian Keyes – Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, David Attenborough – Adventures Of A Young Naturalist & Peter Ackroyd – History Of England: Foundation
What did you recently finish reading? Mira Grant – Symbiont
What do you think you’ll read next? Natalie J Case – Thanátou

sunday post

Thank you

I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated towards helping cover the cost of getting Eliot’s brakes and my teeth sorted. Not going to lie, I sat here and cried. The cost of his repairs is sorted and I have about a third of the cost of my dental treatment covered so the costs are not going to completely wipe out my savings and credit which is incredible to know.


Eliot booked in for new rear brake pads and disks on Friday morning. And I have dentist appointments booked in September, October and November to continue my treatment.

So yeah, it’s been a hell of a week with all that happening: Dentist, the start of my autism referral and being booked in for a screening appointment, I actually made it not only into Tesco but did a real, in-person shop for the first time in a couple of years, Eliot’s brakes crunching, money worries… I’m hoping for a quieter week coming up, so that I’ve got the mental energy to read, play games -do anything, if I’m being honest. My brain is all fuzzy static. This heatwave isn’t helping. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love these temperatures but it’s the humidity that is fucking killing me. It is currently 32c (89.6F) which is glorious but it’s also like 40% humidity. Today is supposed to be the last day and we’ve got thunderstorms forecast. I do love a good thunderstorm.

For a reading update I am currently:
76% of Anne Rice – Interview With The Vampire
71% of Mira Grant – Symbiont
18% of Peter Ackroyd – History Of England: Foundation

I am also planning on starting:
Natalie J Case – Thanátou
Kerry O Ferris – Stargazing
Matt Haig – The Dead Fathers Club

And, like I said, hoping for a much better week ahead!


One embarassed Llama asking for help

I really hate to have to ask, but I’m in need of some financial help. I’m completely aware that the world is a dumpster fire right now and times are tough for everyone. So asking is horrible and I hate it.

My 10 year old car’s brakes aren’t great. He needs new brake pads and disks. The best quote I’ve got is £249. I am agoraphobic, he’s my lifeline and one of the few places I feel safe in.

I also need £280 worth of dental work. This is work that’s needed doing for about a decade, but I keep putting it off because I’m terrified of dentists. But it’s now got to the point where I NEED the work done – before I lose the rest of the teeth I have left.

I can cover one. Or the other. But it’ll wipe me out completely – empty my meagre savings and max out my credit card. I know times are tough for everyone right now. The world is a dumpster fire. I know. But if you can please spare even £5, to help Eliot get new brakes and to help a llama get their smile back it would be appreciated more than you could know!

books · stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves

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!

Do you remember how back in May I said I was going to stop getting new to me books, stop checking books out on Libby, stop going to the library and focus on my current physical TBR that’s taking over my flat?
HAHAHAHAH that’s gone about as well as could be expected. I currently have a pile of books akin to Mount Everest. And then I ended up in the library again this week (in my defence, it’s part of my therapy homework to keep practising leaving the house, and the library is generally safe!)

Well the books that came home with me this week are:

I’m particularly looking forward to Adventures Of A Young Naturalist. Bird Summons isn’t one I would normally have picked but it something about the colours and patterns called to me.