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

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

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