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!

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 #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

book reviews · life

A Quick Catch Up

So, the news in brief and some reading roundups are

The not-COVID I had at the beginning of the month? Yeah, it turned out to actually be COVID. Li and I were both pretty sick for about 10 days, and completely exhausted for about another week. I still get fatigued pretty quickly but thankfully we were both triple vaxxed and survived in once piece.

I got my module result for this year of my degree – for A112 Cultures I received a distinction. 86%! As you can imagine, I am over the freaking moon. So that’s my first academic year complete, 120 credits. Only another 4 modules to go, starting in October with A229 Exploring The Classical World

I’ve been playing a lot of Stardew Valley, and Star Trek: Timelines. Li managed to bring home a Wii the other day, I rediscovered my Game Boy Advance, and we’ve also set up my old SNES. There has been much retro gaming and it has been wonderful.

Of course, a lot of gaming, a slight complete addiction to Pointless, and introducing Li to the Bridgerton Netflix show has meant I haven’t done a huge amount of reading lately. The bookx I have read recently:

Matt Haig – Reasons To Stay Alive
3/5, memoir, mental health, non-fiction, psychology
Bizarrely, as much as I thoroughly enjoyed the other couple of Haig’s books, this one didn’t gel with me. I found it a little too self-help-y, a little too twee. I didn’t connect with it and felt it bringing me down, rather than uplifting me.

Mary Beard – How Do We Look / The Eye of Faith
4/5, art history, history, non-fiction, philosophy, religion
Very interesting, would have liked it to have gone a little more in-depth in a couple of places but I do love her descriptions of the art and places she’s visited and writes about, and it helps bring it to life for me. Her passion also shines through

Mira Grant – Parasite
5/5, horror, medical, science-fiction, thriller
OMG y’all, I could not put this down. It had been on my TBR for ages, finally got it out of the library and sat and read the whole thing in one afternoon. I was reacting outloud and flailing and squeaking at Li… who picked it up as soon as I finished it, also read it in one sitting – falling asleep at like 1am!

My reserves of Symbiont and Chimera have just come in and oh yes, I will be starting Symbiont tomorrow!

Holly Black – Tithe
3.5/, faeries, paranormal, urban-fantasy, young-adult
This one is very much a case of ‘I liked it, but…’ – I was disappointed, really. It was enjoyable enough but there was something missing. It was a little predictable in places, the characters needed a little more rounding and the pacing was… hmm… uneven. And even though there are more books in the series, I don’t care enough to see if the library even has them.

Melanie Cantor – Life and Other Happy Endings
3/5, chick-lit, family, friends, library, read, romance

Such a weird read, and literally lost starts with every section of the story. So it started off as this great 5-star read about a woman who found out she had 3 months to live and was telling people the things she wanted to tell them etc… only then she wasn’t dying because of a test result mix-up, and she was back to being trodden over… only then she was pregnant and yawn. She was way more interesting when she thought she was dying!

Joanna Hickson – First Of The Tudors
4/5, historical-fiction

We’ve covered my love for all things War Of The Roses, yes? And this was no exception! The story centers around Jasper Tudor, his wardship of young Henry Tudor and his relationship with Margaret Beaufort, and the intricacies of the Yorkists, Lancastrians, Tudors, and Warwick The Kingmaker. I will be checking out more of Hickson’s work – she has other stories set in the time period.

Which brings me on to what I’m currently reading:

book reviews

Book Review: Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig

Photo of the book Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig on an orange backgroundTitle: Notes on a Nervous Planet
Author: Matt Haig
Dates read: 01/05/22 – 07/05/22
Rating 4.5/5

Publisher: Canongate
Number of pages: 310
Fiction or non-fiction: non-fiction
Subject or genre: health, mental health, philosophy, psychology

Book blurb:

The world is messing with our minds.

Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected, yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index.

– How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad?
– How do we stay human in a technological world?
– How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious?

After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him.

Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century.

How I discovered or acquired this book: I picked it up off my betrothed’s bookshelf after reading The Comfort Book.

Notable quotes “Reading isn’t important because it helps to get you a job. It’s important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you’re given. It is how humans merge. How minds connect. Dreams. Empathy. Understanding. Escape. Reading is love in action.”

My thoughts I have anxiety, I have had anxiety for as long as I can remember and for the second time in a decade it has tipped into agoraphobia. Pretty much the whole world is making me anxious. So what better to pick up and read?

I read Haig’s ‘The Comfort Book’ the other month and found it really calming, so picked this one up off my betrothed’s book shelf because it seemed quite fitting. And I found it very helpful. It’s not preachy or claiming to know how to ‘fix me’, like so many mental health memoirs can be. Again, I found it very calming, little nuggets of wisdom about the world, about Haig’s experiences, suggestions on ways to work with the world, with technology and social media because these things are needed but with ways to stop them stressing us out. I find his voice soothing and there were so many great ideas that I’ve made a note of to try, to remember… to be.

4.5/5, I really loved it, wouldn’t necessarily read the whole thing again but would dip in and out of it as/when needed

weekly wednesday blogging challenge · www wednesday

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge & WWW Wednesday

I am so discombobulated right now. Time is definitely doing that whole ‘wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey-stuff’. I blame the Bank Holidays. As much as I love having that long weekend off work over Easter and two short weeks, and there’s another Bank Holiday and short week next week, and then the week after that I’m off work… but at the same time, I do not know if I’m coming or going!

But! I got a 96% on my most recent university assignment – and it was a pro-forma plan for my end of module assignment so I’m feeling pretty confident going into that. Although struggling a little with motivation and procrastination – it’s due on the 19th, so ADHD brain is all ‘nah, we don’t need to start yet, it’s not due for aaaages yet’. It’s my first extended essay and first long deadline and I’m not quite sure how to handle it. So I’ve got a call with my tutor tomorrow where I’m going to ask her for some help!

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge this week asks Book, movie or TV show you can’t wait for and oh… please allow me flail in a fangirling manner over my sheer nerdy excitement for Jurassic World Dominion. I was 12 or so when I first saw the original Jurassic Park, got the book and fell even more in love. I think I saw JPIII in the cinema like 3 times in 48 hours. I still grin like a fucking insane person at just the theme music, my jaw still drops when we first see the dinosaurs in the park and I will randomly blurt out ‘we have a T-Rex’. I am actually having to pause typing this to stim, because thats how excited I am. I am completely spoiler-free which is my preference, I know nothing about it going in other than that Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum are in it. I have cried with joy at the trailer.
Did I mention that I’m a complete geek? LMAO

WWW Wednesday
What are you currently reading? A Court Of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas, This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch by Tabitha Carvan and Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
What did you recently finish reading? The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America by Bill Bryson
And I DNFed Crocodile On The Sandback by Elizabeth Peters
What do you think you’ll read next? Notes On A Nervous Planet by Matt Haig, Summer At Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain or A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled by Ruby Wax.