books

Sunday Reading Wrapup

What are you currently reading?

M.T. Clanchy – From Memory to Written Record: England 1066-1307 47% read. I’ve said this before – this book was written to be written, not to be read. It’s utterly fascinating but it’s a serious slog
DK Publishing – SuperSimple Chemistry 18% read. I picked this up on the Libby app, I didn’t realise it was a bite-size revision guide LOL but I’ve been on a science kick lately and it looked interesting. It is.
Imogen Edwards-Jones – The Witches of St. Petersburg 65% read. I’m feeling a little meh on this one. It has some good bits but mostly interspersed with blah. I don’t really care about the characters but I’m kinda curious where it goes. Mostly reading to fill the Russia prompt on a Round The World reading challenge.
Claire Heywood – The Shadow Of Perseus 49% read. Picked it up from the library, and I am loving this, y’all. It’s being told from the women in his life, so far I’ve read Danae and Medusa, and moving to Andromeda. So much love!
Stel Pavlou – Decipher 40% read, still absolutely batshit and I fucking love it! grins a bit like Matthew Reilly’s Temple, it has all the best bits of crazy sci-fi & pseudoscience & pseudohistory, with just enough of the actual stuff… kind of Ancient Aliens. LOL
Matthew Reilly – Ice Station 35% read, not loving it quite as much as Temple but it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable read. Maybe a little similar plotline-wise in places to Decipher but a very different approach.

I think my goal for the weekend is to finish either Witches Of St Petersburg or The Shadow of Perseus

What did you recently finish reading?

Steve Jackson & Ian Livingstone – The Warlock of Firetop Mountain 4/5 Li and I discovered we both loved Choose Your Own Adventure & Fighting Fantasy books when we were kids, so naturally we checked this out of the library and had a super nerdy date night. It took us 4 attempts to get through – Li drawing the map of our adventure while I read the book out.
Raynor Winn – The Salt Path 4/5 This had been on my TBR for ages, I saw one of her other books in the library so checked to see if they had this one, which they did and it was bloody brilliant, I could barely put it down.
Janna Levin – Black Hole Survival Guide 3/5. Like I said, I’ve been on a science kick recently, this was actually one of Li’s library books but I ended up reading it as well. I understood about 60% of the actual science, but could follow what Levin was saying about 90% of the time. Throughly enjoyed my trip into a black hole grins
Kris Hallenga – Glittering a Turd 4.5. I picked this one up on Libby purely based on the title, didn’t look to see what it was about. And I’m glad I didn’t, because I probably wouldn’t have read this, if I’d known it was a memoir of someone living with stage 4 cancer. But it’s amazing and highly recommended!
Angela Kelly – The Other Side Of The Coin 4/5. Another random Libby read (I love the app for that LOL) but I couldn’t resist it. A memoir of the Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Personal Advisor, Curator, Wardrobe and In-house Designer, filled with so many lovely anecdotes and fascinating details about what goes into dressing The Queen. And lovely never-seen-before candid photos. I thoroughly enjoyed it – and Li knows I did because of how much I read out loud to her LOL

What do you think you’ll read next?

Meik Wiking – The Little Book of Lykke
Katja Pantzar – The Finnish Way: Finding Courage, Wellness, and Happiness Through the Power of Sisu
Both books I picked up from the library based on how much I loved the Hygge books. I don’t know if I’ll enjoy them, but I’m curious and they’re due back next week so definitely moving to the top of the pile LOL

life · weekly wednesday blogging challenge

Documentaries I’ve enjoyed (and a quick life update)

To catch y’all up, I’ve been in a lot of pain for the last couple of weeks. There have been calls to 111 – the NHS non-emergency line. There has been a visit to a Minor Injuries Unit. And I’ve had to register as a temporary patient at my partner’s GP in Devon – where I’ve been stuck for the last month. I saw an Advanced Nurse Practitioner last Friday who did a full physical exam and diagnosed me with piriformis syndrome with sciatica, and trochanteric bursitis. She prescribed me a month’s worth of 10mg amitriptyline, 30mg codeine (not co-codamol this time, straight codeine) and 500mg naproxen. She tells me to rest, gives me ‘gentle’ stretching exercises to do, and she also signed me off work ‘for two weeks to start with’ – I’d honestly only wanted a letter or something that confirmed I was being treated in Devon, and couldn’t drive, but now I get to properly relax, let the drugs work and my body heal

When I’m just sitting, as long as I don’t move too quickly, it’s easy to forget that I’ve been in excruciating pain. With the pain pills, it’s mostly dialled down to a deep ache – with the odd muscle spasm and pins and needles in either my foot or my bum. And can I just say that that is a weird sensation in your bum, that point where when your foot has been to sleep, it’s waking up and about to tip into pins and needles? That, in your butt is weird.

I’d say when the meds are all worky and I’m being mindful of what I’m doing, the pain is at about a 3-4 (sometimes distracts me), but when they wear off or I forget myself, it’s at about a 5-6 (hard to ignore, interrupts some activities). Though when you consider 4 weeks ago it was a 9, and a week ago it was a 7, I’m getting there slowly. I’m still uncertain if I’ll be able to drive home next week or if I’ll be getting another sick note, but there’s a whole other week to go. The swelling in my thigh appears to have gone down though so I’m taking the small wins!

The meds are still making me a little woozy and wobbly. I’m making sure to keep moving regularly and I’m doing my stretches every day. I’m not getting a huge amount of reading done because my concentration isn’t great. I’m working through organising my tags on Dreamwidth and posting a bunch of memes. Mostly, I’ve been getting a bunch of colouring done – apparently, that’s the current hobby du jour

This week’s Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge is about A Documentary I Liked and I don’t know where to start. I watch a lot of documentaries – mostly (and I’m sure you’re shocked) history and science ones.

I enjoyed Alien Worlds on Netflix and Year Million on Disney+. American Ripper, which investigated the theory that Jack The Ripper & HH Holmes were the same person, was fascinating

BBC Horizon documentaries are just CLASS. I mean, BBC documentaries in general are utterly fantastic. There was a Chris Packham one about T-Rex which was brilliant, and there was one about the weather on other planets. So was The Genius Of Modern Life with Hannah Fry.

Li and I have been working our way chronologically through all the available David Attenborough shows available on iplayer and they have all been fucking fantastic. And so many of them completely groundbreaking for their day. That man is a national treasure and should be protected at all costs. Also, how does he clamber around in rainforests, jungles and deserts and his clothing still pristine white? Even the planet recognises his importance LOL

If you have any documentary recs, please feel free to share them!

monthly wrap up

June 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

I had quite the good reading month in June and finished 9 books

Kaleb Cooper – The World According To Kaleb
I am honestly not sure what the point of this book was. Other than to make money.

Like most fans of Clarkson’s Farm, I utterly adored Kaleb but this book was… well, it was exactly what you’d expect of a sheltered young man who’s never left the village he’s grown up in or experienced any kind of life outside of his circle.

There were a couple of points that were really interesting, and the bits of the book where he was talking about farming, the tone totally changed and you could feel his love. But as an overall reading experience, it fell flat

A 1.25 star read

Andrea Penrose – Murder at Half Moon Gate (Wrexford & Sloane #2)
The second of the Wrexford & Sloane regency mysteries and another excellent read. All the characters felt more fleshed out and real, even the secondary ones, and I’m not even hating the flirting between Wrexford & and Sloane, which I normally HATE. The mystery kept me guessing, and the story kept the pages turning

Now to wait ~patiently for the next 15 weeks for the next one to be available at my library

A 4 star read

Tim Marshall – Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics
Not my usual topic of choice when reading non-fiction, but it had been on my radar as something I thought I’d like to read for years. Goodreads kept recommending it, and I’ve picked it up in the bookshop a couple of times but it never made it home. I spotted it on the Libby app and it was checked straight out. Annoyingly, neither of the library services I’m a member of have the rest of the series electronically, but Devon libraries does have them physically.

The book was absolutely fascinating and very information. I swear I learned more about the conflicts in the Middle East in 1o pages than I’ve ever learned in my entire life. I’ve also never been more ashamed to be a white British person – like, I knew colonialism caused a whole bunch of shit and we were responsible for it, but not quite to this extent.

I was also blissfully unaware of quite how close the world is to devolving into entire chaos, and how many different countries either Russia or China have a hand in. It now feels like the slightest hair-trigger could cause what now feels like the entire world to spiral into war – because no matter where it happens, either China, Russia or the US is involved and then India or Japan or the UK would get involved

It actually started to trigger my main agoraphobia symptoms – the one I’ve spent the last two years working on of ‘the world outside isn’t safe – so I had to put it down for a while, which is why it’s lost a half point.

I will, however, still be picking up and reading the next book – but with the proviso it’s going to be alternating read with something a little light and fluffy for the sake of my mental health

A 3.5 star read

Ransom Riggs – Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3)
I’m really liking the mythology Riggs is building and weaving into the world of Peculiardom he’s created, but the stories themselves are getting repetitive. And I found the ending of this one to be particularly unsatisfying.

A 3.75 star read

Neil Gaiman – The Ocean At The End Of the Lane
My first reaction was ‘well that was bloody weird’, but it’s Neil Gaiman, so you kind of expect it. I’m not usually a fan of Gaiman’s style, which is a shame because I think he’s a fantastic storyteller and this was a wonderful, whimsical, fantastical tale which I thoroughly enjoyed. I think magical realism might have to be a genre I investigate a little more!

A 4.25 star read

Peter Ackroyd – Foundation (History Of England #1)
I have taken my time savouring this book because it is utterly fantastic! Also, hi, special interest, anyone? It covers everything from the neolithic through to the Wars Of The Roses and the death of Henry VII. I was filled with complete and utter glee for most of the reading and loved that even though he covered a HUGE amount of info, he didn’t get bogged down in the details. Straight-forward, to the point and a really good overview of the history of England. Ackroyd has this ability to bring the past to life in his narrative and I loved reading about the bits I didn’t know – and falling back in love with the Plantagenets and the Wars all over again (which, y’know, I always do!)

A 4.25 star read

Wendy Jago – How to Manage Your Mammoth: The Procrastinator’s Guide to Getting Things Done and Bringing Ambitions to Life
I picked this up from the library purely based on the title because it kind of intrigued me – I’m a terrible procrastinator, although how much of that is ADHD I don’t know. Also the cover made me laugh. I found a few useful pointers about figuring out what kind of worker you are, and how to use it to your advantage, and it didn’t feel particularly like it was talking down on me so it was definitely worth picking up

A 3 star read

Susan Cooper – Over Sea Under Stone (The Dark Is Rising #1)
Even though I’ve never read it before, this books reminded me of my childhood. I grew up in the West County, and played a lot of make believe/mystery-solving games, based a lot on Enid Blyton, and this had those same vibes. I also adore Arthurian mythology and the Grail.. so it was a no brainer really. I’m really glad Li recommended the series to me

A 3 star read

Alexis Caught – Queer Up: An Uplifting Guide to LGBTQ+ Love, Life and Mental Health
With the world rapidly turning back against not-straight and not-cis people like myself, it’s nice to actually read a really positive, uplifting, book about being queer. While it was definitely aimed at a younger audience, it’s a book that teen me would have been over the rainbow to read so I indulged. I couldn’t not pick it up from the library, I mean really!

A 3 star read

Looking more at the stats side of things:
9 books, 2608 pages – 56% between 300 & 499 pages long, 44% <300 pages
The main moods were mysterious & informative
78% medium paced, 22% face paced
56% non-fiction, 44% fiction
My most read genres were fantasy, young adult, and history
My average rating was 3.33

book reviews · monthly wrap up

April 2023 Reading Wrap-Up

I read 7 books in April which seems to be about my average in 2023

Jeremy Clay – The Burglar Caught by a Skeleton: And Other Singular Tales from the Victorian Press
A collection of extraordinary, bizarre and morbidly funny stories from the Victorian press. There were farces and tragedies and a lot of misfortune and some utterly heart-wrenching stories – and everything in between. The book was absolutely fascinating and I couldn’t put it down, but at the same time it got a little repetitive with many similar stories featured.
A 3.5 star read

Ruby Wax – A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled
I usually struggle with mindfulness books but I found this very easy to read. It felt like Wax was sitting down and talking with me, her voice was so clear and the information about how the brain works and what mindfulness can do was thorough and detailed without getting bogged down. Her own experiences were utterly harrowing but at the same time helped to contextualise the mindfulness she was writing about. And I found the 6 week course to be really helpful – and will definitely be a practice I continue, and come back to.
A 3.75 star read

Andrea Penrose – Murder on Black Swan Lane
What’s not to love about a Regency murder mystery with a scientist who’s an earl and a fearless artist investigating crimes relating to alchemy?! While it wasn’t exactly historically accurate, that didn’t actual detract from the reading for me which it quite often does, but it was a whole lot of fun with entertaining characters that I ended up really loving. There’s quite the wait at the library for the second book in the series and I’m getting impatient now!
A 4 star read – and my book of the month

Holly Black – The Queen Of Nothing
Honestly, the best month of the series in my opinion. I struggled through The Wicked King, but I really loved the machinations in The Queen of Nothing. It wasn’t the most neatly plotted book, it wasn’t particularly original but the story was still engrossing, had a few twists and surprises and was a very satisfying end to the series.
A 4 star read

AF Steadman – Skandar and the Unicorn Thief
There are some downsides to reading a kids book as an adult, and that is a lot of frustration with the behaviour of the pre-teen characters but other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the different approach to what a unicorn is, loved the whole vibe of the riders and the Eyrie and wasn’t at all bothered that I’d worked out the plot twist.
A 4 star read

Jeremy Clarkson – Diddly Squat: ‘Til The Cows Come Home
A bit like the first one, I read this in one afternoon, completely devoured it and loved it. Clarkson’s voice is very clear through his writing, it was a good mix of events that were featured on the show (but a slightly different telling of) and ones that happened off camera. For all his bull, you can tell he does genuinely care about the farm and I hope we get to keep hearing the stories about it.
A 5 star read

Ben Aaronovitch – The Hanging Tree
I’ve now hit the point in the series where I’m not re-reading, I’m reading for the first time. The Hanging Tree didn’t have a lot of the pacing issues I’ve found with the previous books, the action scenes felt smoother and easier to follow, and I really liked finding out more about some of the other magic paths in the world. I found there was a fair bit of callback to the previous books, and only small things, that I didn’t really remember which was a little frustrating but I loved how it’s all tying the series together and it didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment. I’m looking forward to the next one.
A 4 star read

Looking more at the stats side of things:
7 book, 2666 pages – 71% between 300 & 499 pages long, 29% <300 pages
The main moods were dark and adventurous
43% fast-paced, 43% medium-paced and 14% slow paced
57% fiction, 43 non-fiction
My most read genres were fantasy, mystery, historical, young adult, and self-help
My average rating was 4

weekly wednesday blogging challenge · www wednesday

Weekly Wednesday Blogging Catchup & What I’m Reading Wednesday… On A Thursday

Between work and health and school and just… life in general, I am a stressed and struggling llama right now. I have been hiding in books this last few weeks, lots of reading but no spoons to do any writing about the reading. Hell, over the last two weeks, typing has hurt because my hands have been so swollen and I’ve had to get two extensions on my Julius Caesar assignment. Co-codamol, naproxen and CBD have been my BFFs

Today, I actually feel like I have a little space in my brain and the pain levels are dropping off so I thought I’d catch up on some Weekly Wednesday Blogging Challenge questions that I’ve missed over the last few weeks – not all of them or I’ll be here all day but definitely a good handful of them.

My favourite food is a stuffed crust pepperoni pizza
Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking. And you can’t go wrong with some savoury mine and cheesy mash, or a good spaghetti bolognese, or a macaroni cheese, or a Full English.  But there’s something about a pepperoni pizza hits home in a different way. 

My favourite subject in school will probably come as no surprise to many people becuase it was history. From learning about the Romans and Vikings, to Medieval and Tudor times, to GCSE history and the history of medicine. I’d always planned on doing history at university – there was a history of science, medicine and technology degree that I really wanted to do – but it wasn’t to be, continued to love the subject and read all the non-history books about the times that I loved. And now I’m doing my Classical Studies degree and it’s amazing!

And, in a related question, My Favourite historical personage to read about isn’t generally a single person, but it’s all things related to the Plantagenets, the Wars of the Roses and the Tudors. Pretty much the whole British monarch from Henry II through to Elizabeth I. 
I have a book out the library right now on St George,  because I saw it on the shelf and realised I didn’t know much about the legends, or if there was an actual person they were based on. 

And then, even though it’s a Thursday, we have WWW Wednesday which asks:
What are you currently reading?
Mary Beard – The Roman Triumph
Andrea Penrose – Murder on Black Swan Lane
Chris Smith – The Naked Scientist
AF Steadman – Skandar and the Unicorn Thief

What did you recently finish reading?
Sarah J Maas – A Court of Mist and Fury
Mira Grant – Chimera
VE Schwab – Gallant
Jeremy Clarkson – Diddy Squat: A Year On The Farm
Talia Hibbert – Damaged Goods

What do you think you’ll read next?
Holly Black – The Wicked King
Talia Hibbert – Untouchable
Ransom Riggs – Library of Souls
Sally Rooney – Beautiful World, Where Are You?
Ruby Wax – A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled

book reviews

Some drive-by mini reviews

It’s been a while since I’ve done any mini-reviews (and, y’know, actually finished reading any books to write a review of) so here’s a little round-up of what I’ve been reading recently.

I’ve DNFed two books in the last week:
The first one was Kelly Ambers – Her First Collar: A Beginning to Pet Play (Kitten Play BDSM Book 1). I’m not entirely sure how a nice little BDSM erotica could be so flat, but I gave up about 3 pages in. There was no life to it and I was bored.
The second one was Tangled Rhythm: An Anthology. By the time the tense had changed three times on one page, and the guitarist was playing a ‘cord’… nope. Yes, as an anthology by multiple authors, another story in the selection could have been better, but if the editors had let the first one be that bad? I’m not risking it.

Mira Grant – Symbiont (Parasitology #2)
4/5, horror, post-apocalyptic, science-fiction, zombies
I really enjoyed Symbiont. I didn’t find it quite as unputdownable as Parasite, and like many a ‘middle of a trilogy’, there were a few points where it felt a little ‘filler’ and I got a little frustrated with the lack of common sense and decision-making abilities of Sal – but then when you consider who and what she is (trying to not spoil anyone here LOL), it’s understandable from a story-telling perspective. Absolutely nothing like I was expecting and I think my current world anxiety stopped me from enjoying a good apocalypse as much as I usually do, but still a bloody good read.

Anne Rice – Interview With Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles #1)
5/5, gothic, historical-fiction, horror, vampires
I first read Interview when I was a young teenager, I came out of seeing the movie and went straight into WHSmith where I bought Interview, Vampire Lestat, and Queen Of The Damned. I’ve been in love with these books ever since. I absolutely love the storytelling, Anne Rice’s descriptions are so vivid and beautiful. I don’t, however, particularly like Lestat or Louis as characters but as an introduction to them, to the other characters, the world-building, and the beginnings of the mythology, this is a fantastic book and I re-read it regularly. I love Louis’ voice, I love lines like “That morning, I was not yet a vampire. And I saw my last sunrise. I remember it completely, yet I do not think I remember any other sunrise before it I just wish he was… less whiney but when you think about everything that happened to him, it makes perfect sense

Heidi Swain – Summer at Skylark Farm (Wynbridge #2)
4/5, chick-lit, contemporary, romance
I think I’ve mentioned before how much I love the ‘city girl ups and moves to a farm’ kind of storyline and this was a wonderfully fluffy, feel-good example of the genre. I loved watching Amber grow from being completely out of depth and gaining her confidence, her relationship with Jake growing, and making friends with the somewhat eccentric cast of characters that make up Wynbridge. It was nice to catch up with the characters from Cherry Tree Cafe too. I’m looking forward to reading the third book in the series.

Sarah Pomeroy et al. – A Brief History of Ancient Greece: Politics, Society, and Culture
4/5, ancient-history, classical-studies, history, non-fiction, reference
So this is actually one of the set books for my current university module. But I wanted to read the whole book before I started needing to dip in and out of it – both so that I wouldn’t get distracted by carrying on reading, and also so that I’d have some familiarity with the content when I needed it. I found this to be a really good overview of the topic, it was presented in an easy-to-understand way – and I’ve made notes in the margins on things I’d like to know more about if they’re not included in my course.

Nancy Warren – The Vampire Knitting Club (Vampire Knitting Club #1)
5/5, cozy-mystery, paranormal, urban-fantasy, vampires
I’ve been wanting to make a start with cozy mysteries for a while – I’ve had a few false starts but was still determined to find one. I had no idea there was such a thing as paranormal cozy mystery and let me tell you it was love at first page. I accidentally read this all in one sitting. When I was supposed to have been working. The mystery kept me guessing til the end, I didn’t figure whodunnit, and all the characters are such… characters. I can’t wait to see what happens to them next – I’ve already downloaded books 2-4 as they’re on Kindle Unlimited and have made a note of the other series by Nancy Warren.

Mary Beard – Pompeii: The Life of a Roman Town
4/5, ancient-history, classical-studies, history, non-fiction
I have loved all things Pompeii since I first read about it as a child and I was lucky enough to go there in 2018. The place is absolutely mindblowing, magical and wrecked the tyres of my wheelchair – it’s many things but disabled accessible is not one of them. I wish I’d read this book before going because I feel I would have seen it in a whole new light, and I really want to go back and see it again with Beard as guide, even virtually. She really brought the town and it’s inhabitants to life, and I love how she admits what we don’t know, that the evidence doesn’t tell us everything but explains how the theories have come from the traces left behind

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

sunday post

Sunday Post: The Queue, lots of cooking, and finally finishing something

The Sunday Post is a blog news meme hosted at Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, and showcase books and things received.

It has been quite a slow, but also sad week. I haven’t mentioned anything about the death of The Queen here before but the monarchy is a special interest of mine, and while part of me has been enjoying watching history in action (and discovering I know the words to the Proclamation!), I’ve also been mourning for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Part of me wishes I could have gone down to Westminster Hall to pay my respects, but while my agoraphobia is starting to ease, just seeing that many people in one place (and no one wearing a mask) is giving me the heebie-jeebies.

Then there’s The Queue. Yes, there’s an accessibility queue for those of us who are unable to stand in an 18+ hour queue (I sometimes struggle to stand long enough to do the dishes), it’s limited and available slots fill up quite quickly. I have, however, spent the last couple of days utterly fascinated by The Queue from a sociological perspective. I also think it’s one of the most British things we could do to honour our late Monarch, and personally find the number of people going to pay their respects to be incredibly moving.

It’s also been the 7th anniversary of my mum dying this week, so my emotions are all over the place.
For example, last night, I discovered the layout of a 2023 planner I wanted wasn’t going to work for me, and the level of sadness I experienced for that definitely felt out of proportion.

Other than that, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking again this week – which reminds me, I wanted to work on the layout for my cooking blog and properly figure out what I’m going to do with it.
Monday I made us Tomato & Courgette risotto
Tuesday was Crab & Lemon spaghetti with peas
Thursday was Slow Cooker Pork with cheesy mash
Last night we had tuna steak with a citrus rub and garlic butter crushed potatoes
I really love to cook!

I had some lovely Book Mail this week – I bought myself a paperback copy of Peter Ackroyd’s History Of England: Foundation when I realized I didn’t want to give the library their copy back. And I also got myself a signed hardback of Dan Jones’ Essex Boys – which was quite the dilemma, actually! I don’t usually like hardbacks, so I was planning on getting the kindle edition, then buying the paperback when it came out but then WH Smith had the signed hardbacks for £8.49

Speaking of books, I’ve actually managed to finish a handful of books, so there should be another round of mini-reviews coming this week. I’ve finished Anne Rice – Interview With The Vampire and Heidi Swain – Summer At Skylark Farm, and I’m on track to finish Mary Beard – Pompeii, Mira Grant – Chimera, Kate Kinsey – How To Be A Healthy & Happy Submissive AND Stephen Law – Philosophy next week!

I’ve also been listening to a lot of 80s/90s soft rock this week (forever my favourite genre) and I shall leave you with my song of the week which is Def Leppard – Photograph

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