stacking the shelves

Stacking the Shelves #13

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!

I’ve been intentionally not picking any new books up for a couple of weeks, because I once again got overwhelmed by my currently-reading and TBR piles. I’ve been working on bringing down the number of books I’ve started – I’ve now only got 13 books in the currently-reading – and I’m figuring out what the best number of ‘actively reading’ is, which seems to be about 6-8.

This week, however, books came home with me from various places. We’re not even going to think about the number of free books from the Stuff Your Kindle romance and cozy mystery Book Blast.

I picked up one book on Kindle – it was actually advertised to me on Facebook, it sounds ridiculous and it only cost 99p so what was I meant to do?

Julia Golding – The Persephone Code

WH Smith had two paperback books for £14 offer on – and since The Earth Transformed was £12.99 on its own, Happy Place was practically free

Peter Frankopan – The Earth Transformed
Emily Henry – Happy Place

Then Freckles, Finders Keepers and The Marks of Cain came from a charity shop, so it doesn’t count as ‘buying books’ – it’s essentially philanthropy!

Cecilia Ahern – Freckles
Stephen King – Finders Keepers
Tom Knox – The Marks of Cain

I’m also continuing my one-llama mission to fund Libraries Unlimited £1 at a time (reservation fee) and had three reservations come in

Jeremy Clarkson – Diddly Squat: Pigs Might Fly
Ruth Goodman – How To Be A Victorian
Milly Johnson – The Teashop on the Corner

My reading goals for the coming week look something a little like:
finish Juliet Ashton – The Sunday Lunch Club (currently 44%)
finish Sharon Blackie – If Women Rose Rooted (currently 42%)
start Jeremy Clarkson – Diddly Squat: Pigs Might Fly
finish Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere (currently 40%)
start Alix E Harrow – The Starling House
finish Emily Henry – Book Lovers (currently 29%)
finish Milly Johnson – The Teashop on the Corner (currently 57%)
finish Matthew Reilly – Scarecrow (currently 59%)
finish Stacey Solomon – Happily Imperfect (currently 34%)
start Nancy Warren – Lace & Lies
(to be fair, I’m spending over 6 hours on trains on Tuesday so it’s not as daunting as it seems!)

stacking the shelves

Stacking the Shelves #12

I am a very excited wee llama – yesterday I managed to get second-row seats to see Six: The Musical in Plymouth in September. I have been wanting to see the show for YEARS and kept missing it because of the fucking agoraphobia. This year, I’m really working on fighting back, and Li and I are apparently turning into cultured old queers because this is now two shows we’ve got booked – we’re also off to Barnstaple in July to see Rent for my birthday!

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!

You’ll be absolutely shocked I’m sure to learn I had some reservations come n at the library:

Judi Dench – Shakespeare: The Man Who Pays the Rent
Alice Roberts – Don’t Die Young: An Anatomist’s Guide to Your Organs and Your Health

I bought myself a new book:

Ben Aaronovitch – The October Man
I finished reading Rivers of London #7 Lies Sleeping in the week and this novella comes next

And my Amazon First Reads choice was:

Sarah Beth Durst – The Lies Among Us

I’m looking forward to reading all of them. Do I have any clue when I’ll get round to them? No, of course I don’t but that’s not the point LOL

A less exciting turn of events is that I’m having some issues with Luna my laptop’s keyboard. The I is only working intermittently which makes writing fun. I do have a new wireless keyboard that work provided and part of my to-do list this weekend is building the new desk and getting it all set up with monitor and stuff. Li’s going to take a look at the keyboard when I go down there in April and, if need be, I can get a new one for like £20 and she’s got the tech-know-how to fit it.

stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves #9

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!

My Amazon first read selection was:

Susannah Nix – The Love Code

I picked up one Kindle book:

Matthew Reilly – Scarecrow

I checked 8 books out of the library:


Jeremy Clarkson – What Could Possibly Go Wrong
Sarah Gibbs – Drama Queen
Hannah Gold – Finding Bear
Philippa Gregory – Normal Women
Matt Haig – The Midnight Library
Prince Harry – Spare
Katherine May – Wintering
Jennette McCurdy – I’m Glad My Mom Died
(all my reservations came in at the same time, because of course they bloody did! (and yes, I know I’m supposed to be focusing on my physical TBR – don’t look at me in that tone of voice LOL))

My reading goals for the coming week look something a little like:
Finish Grace Dent – Comfort Eating
Finish Ben Aaronovitch – Lies Sleeping
Start RF Kuang – Babel
Keep reading Sarah Maas – A Court of Wings and Ruin

stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves #8

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!

I picked up two Kindle books this week:

Ilona Andrews – Magic Bites
Kerrigan Byrne & Cynthia St. Aubin – Nevermore Bookstore

I checked 6 books out of the library:

Cecilia Ahern – Freckles
Susanna Clarke – Piranesi
Terry Deary – Dangerous Days in Elizabethan England
Paula Hawkins – The Girl On The Train
James Lovegrove – The Age Of Ra
Meik Wiking – The Little Book of Hygge

I borrowed one book from Li:

Susanna Clarke – Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

My reading goals for the coming week look something a little like:
Finish Andrea Penrose – Murder At Kensington Palace (currently at 60%)
Finish Natalie J Case – Thanátou (currently at 68%)
Finish Meg-John Barker – Queer: A Graphic History (currently at 51%)
Continue Matthew Reilly – Temple (currently at 29%)
Start Meik Wiking – The Little Book Of Hygge

stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves #7

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!

I picked up three Kindle books this week:

Renée Dahlia – Driven to Distraction (Gamble Racing #1) – this was my wee reward for not missing any meds for 2 weeks. I also picked up some book-themed stickers from Etsy
Thora Bluestone – The Tea Shop Witch
Joanne Paul – The House of Dudley: A New History of Tudor England

I checked one book out of the library:

Alfred Bester – The Demolished Man

My Gently Used Bookclub book was:

Melissa Albert – The Hazel Wood

And my Amazon First reads choice is:

Christina Baker Kline – The Scenic Route

My reading goals for the coming week look something a little like:
Finish The Demolished Man (currently at 36%)
Finish Thanátou (currently at 34%)
Continue Temple (currently at 16%)

life · stacking the shelves

New Bookstore

I am feeling very very VERY proud of myself today. Completely exhausted and worn out, body and soul, but also on top of the world.

The Book-ends, a new indie bookstore opened in Wellington today. I’ve been waiting for a few weeks, since the window blind and sign went up, and I’ve been cheering them along on social media. They announced a full day worth of events – including a talk by a children’s book illustrator – and sold a limited number of tickets which got you £10 off a book, an exclusive stamp in the book, plus coffee and cake. I bought myself a ticket because I figured it would mean I couldn’t talk myself out of going.

I got into town a couple of minutes before the ‘official opening’, with the cutting of the ribbons… and the heavens opened. It was pissing it down. So they did an ‘inside out’ opening, with everyone who had a ticket in the store. I had a moment of ARGH because I forgot to open the Eventbrite app on my phone and I never get a signal in town, but Richard (one of the owners, along with his wife Marcy) greets me by name which can I just say was absolutely fucking cool!

They had a DJ playing some cool jazzy music – a touch too loud, but I’d got my headphones so I was good. Everyone was talking to everyone, and I managed to not only talk to people I didn’t know, but I also joined their bookclub and am still interacting with them on Facebook! I picked up two books, The Lost Bookshop by Evie Woods and Tales of Troy and Greece by Andrew Lang (what was I supposed to do, leave it on the shelf?!)

The shop is being bookstore and performing arts space, and both Richard & Marcy are creative types. Marcy, who has ‘ sung on stages around the world combining jazz, soul, gospel and hip-hop influences’ did a small acoustic set which turned into a super fun sing-along.

I then went for lunch (!!) with Gill, one of the women I’d met that morning. We went to the Gratitude Cafe next door to the Book-Ends, which is somewhere I’ve been wanting to try for probably years at this point but… well… anxiety, you know? I did make Gill aware of my agoraphobia (she was stunned that I was doing this opening, I mean so was I!) and we managed to find a table, in a corner, so my back was against the wall but I had a clear line of sight to the door. I had a fantastic stack of pancakes with bacon, sausage and a fried egg.

In the afternoon, the award-winning children’s book illustrator Dapo Adeola read one of his books and gave a talk. I picked up one of the books he co-created & illustrated, Look Up! which he signed for me.

I then stumbled home, completely exhausted but seriously on Cloud 9. I couldn’t believe I not only went to a space I didn’t know, but talked to people I didn’t know and stayed out all day.

stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves #6

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!

Now, I’m not going to list everything I picked up during this week’s Stuff Your Kindle day, or we’ll be here for the rest of forever LMAO

I checked four books out of the library this week:

Charlotte Booth – The Boy Behind the Mask: Meeting the Real Tutankhamun
Susan Cooper – The Dark Is Rising
Imogen Edwards-Jones – The Witches of St Petersburg
Howard Hughes – Lady of Misrule

My Gently Used Bookclub book was:

Afia Atakora – Conjure Women

I bought myself a used copy of

Peter Ackroyd – The History Of England: Tudors

And my Amazon First reads choice is:

Lisa Gray – To Die For

My reading goals for the coming week look something a little like:
Finish Nomadland (currently at 75%)
Finish The Horse and His Boy (currently at 63%)
Finish The Once and Future Witches (currently at 63%)
Finish Love Heart Lane (currently at 52%)
Finish Lies Sleeping (currently at 50%)
Finish Thanatou (currently at 30%)
Finish The Shallows (currently at 17%)
Wish me luck?

stacking the shelves

Stacking the Shelves #5

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!

Li and I went into Exeter on Wednesday to go to an exhibition at the museum called Earth Spells: Witches of the Anthropocene which was amazing and I picked up a copy of the Green Wheel Oracle by Danielle Barlow. Shockingly enough, we then ended up in both Yo! Sushi (where we ate like £75 of sushi again) and I ended up in Waterstones again where I came home with another little pile of books


Have I read any of the ones I bought the last time I went to Waterstones?
No, of course I haven’t!

stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves #4

I am feeling so fucking proud of myself right now y’all. I did a whole bunch of HUGE things in the week. Admittedly, I’m still exhausted and hurting but like beaming with pride.

Wednesday, we drove back down to the retail park just outside of Exeter and went into Currys. Li had been stealing my Switch and she’d moved onto my island in Animal Crossing, but she really wanted her own Switch. Because I’m an amazing Llama, I said that as long as she can afford/transfer me the monthly payments, we’d get her one on my Curry’s credit account. We sensibly waited for the Boxing Day sale, and there was an amazing bundle with 3 games and a memory card but the check-out process was just Not Working. We spoke to various customer service people but couldn’t get it to work. So we toddled to an Actual Store. Fucking annoyingly, that bundle wasn’t on sale anymore, and it was back up to well over £400 which we couldn’t quite afford. But she did get a Switch, a memory card and Animal Crossing.

Thursday was the biggest day. So I’d pre-booked us a table at Yo! Sushi in Exeter for 2pm, and we’d decided we were going in on the train a few days ago because of the noise Eliot had been making. And we’d decided I was going to have a treat in Waterstones because I legit cannot remember the last time I went to an actual bookstore. Way before the pandemic. To say I had a bit of a shopping spree would be an understatement. I spent close to £200 on books. I bought SIXTEEN books – though one of them is a guided journal and one of them was a drawing book for Li. And without trying, I managed 7 fiction and 7 non-fiction!

My poor credit card is curled up in the corner crying. And I earned enough Waterstones points that I had £20 credit so I maaaaaay have just also ordered

I’d grabbed a Yo! Sushi gift card in their sale – it was 20% off and I’d already said to Li that there was no budget for sushi, we could eat as much as we want to. We both love the place, neither of us has been to one in like 5 or so years. I got a £100 gift card and… well let’s just say that we earned enough bonus points in that one trip that dessert was free! LMFAO We ate about £60 worth of sushi and I tried a whole bunch of new dishes – and only one of them I didn’t eat because it was a weird texture. We will definitely be going back again, and I want to go to the Exeter museum as well so I think we’re planning on pencilling that in before I head back home at the end of January.

And then, because that apparently wasn’t enough books or something, I’ve also been to the library and checked out:

Although, to be fair, these were all reserved before Christmas.

I’ve had a bloody brilliant week, even though I’m still hopped up on co-codamol and naproxen a couple of days later. But I have all the books to read, my reading journal for 2023 is set up, and I’m super excited!

stacking the shelves

Stacking The Shelves #3

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!

I’ve been purposefully not adding anything to my reading piles lately, I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed with both the amount of books I’ve managed to end up with in progress and the amount of books on my TBR which doesn’t actually feel like it’s gone down this year.

This last 10 days or so, that kind of went to pot and I ended up with a little collection of new books.


Firstly I had an email from Amazon offering my 40% off the Kindle version of Dan Jones’ The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses and the Rise of the Tudors. While I generally prefer paperbacks for my history books, what was I supposed to do – ignore the offer?!


Then, I realized I still hadn’t brought myself a copy of The Plantagenets, which I most definitely want to re-read before re-reading Hollow Crown. It’s practically mandatory! So I picked up a cheap used copy from Abe Book.


I recently finished Summer at Skylark Farm – #2 in the Wynbridge series, so clearly had to buy Mince Pies and Mistletoe at the Christmas Market. I’m generally not a big Christmas book reader so it tells you how much I enjoyed the first two books.


I accidentally read all of The Vampire Knitting Club on Monday, so promptly checked the next three out on Kindle Unlimited. I’ve also made a note of the other paranormal cozy mysteries that Nancy Warren has written because I’m already a little bit in love

I also popped into my local library the other day to find out if I could study there, did I need to book in advance and was happily told that no, it was absolutely ok to just rock up with my laptop and textbooks at any time, she confirmed the un-manned opening hours for me. I’ll be trying that one weekend when I need a change of scenery when studying.
However the library was clearly waiting for me and I came home with