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

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!)

top ten tuesday

Books on my Spring 2024 TBR

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 on my Spring 2024 TBR and, honestly, it’s going to end up being more of ‘the next 10 books I want to finish’ because I’ve once against ended up with 19 books in progress again. Although I am working out that between 3 and 5 seems to be the best number of books to be actively reading so my next reading goal of is going to be to try and get it down to that number.


Steven Keogh – Murder Investigation Team: How Scotland Yard Really Catches Killers I’m 69% of the way through with just over 50 pages left so this will definitely get finished this week.
Britney Spears – The Woman in Me Another one I’m really close to finishing, I’ve got about 90 pages so that might get finished this week as well
Nicholas Carr – The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains This one is one of the handful I’m actively reading this week, I’m about 70% through and about 80 pages left so another one that shouldn’t take long to finish
Ben Aaronovitch – The October Man Again, one of the ones I’m actively reading, 62% finished with 70 or so pages left, another one I should finish relatively soon
Cathy Glass – A Long Way From Home The last one of the ones I’m actively reading, I’m about half way through and shall probably finish next week

Then on to the some that are on my currently-reading. They aren’t the ones I’m actively reading, but they’re the next up, and I’m hoping to finish by the end of March

Ronald Hutton – The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain
Juliet Ashton – The Sunday Lunch Club
Ed Gamble – Glutton: The Multi-Course Life of a Very Greedy Boy
Matthew Reilly – Scarecrow
Jeremy Clarkson – What Could Possibly Go Wrong…

What’s on your TBR this spring?

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

top ten tuesday

New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2023

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 New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2023 and I’m picking ones that I read for the first time in 2023, not necessarily the ones I only heard of first – because I did a lot of ‘picking the popular thing up to see what the fuss was all about’, and they were books that had been around for a while.
I have 8 though, not 10 -I read more than 10 new authors, but these are the 8 that stuck with me, and i have something to say about.
That made more sense in my head – in my defence, I’m writing this under a heady cocktail of codeine, naproxen and not enough caffeine because today is A Bad Pain Day.

Matthew Reilly Definitely one of my top author discoveries of 2023. I picked up Temple because it was set in Peru and filled the ‘South America’ prompt on a Reading Around The World challenge and completely fell in love, proceeded to read 2 more of his books, just bought a 3rd, and have further 2 on my TBR.

Andrea Penrose I absolutely devoured the Wrexford & Sloane books last year, and read books 6 and 7 in January of this year. I am now very impatiently waiting for book 8 to come out in like Aug/Sept
Note to self – you should check out her other series too

Jeremy Clarkson Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t discover Jeremy Clarkson last year. I’ve known who he is for years, I live in the UK and I’ve watched Top Gear, Grand Tour, Clarkson’s Farm etc, but this was the first time I picked up one of his books. It won’t be the last
Note to self – do the library have any of his other books too?

Talia Hibbert Talia Hibbert is someone I first heard of a couple of years ago, and knew I wanted to read. How could I not want to read spicy diverse romance novels, with characters who are fat, or autistic…i.e. like me. And they were wonderful and I adore her!

Alix E Harrow The Once and Future Witches was one of my standout reads from last year, and Harrow’s beautiful writing style is one of the main reasons for that. I absolutely loved it and, yes, want to read more.

Meik Wiking I’d actually attended a bunch of webinars that Wiking has either led as part of The Happiness Institue, or been part of through places like Action For Happiness, but I’d never read one of his books. And then I devoured all the Hygge books he’d written because that all just

Raynor Winn I had been wanting to read The Salt Path for years and when I saw it sitting on the shelf in the library, I was overjoyed. Thankfully the book was every bit as amazing as I expected it to be, Winn’s writing style flows so easily and all three books were completely unputdownable

Stel Pavlou The one author on this list I don’t have the burning desire to read more by but Decipher was definitely one of my top books of 2023. Li recommended it to me and it was fucking batshit crazy, OTT, sci-fi action thriller and I LOVED IT. His other book/s, the precis don’t appeal to me, but he deserves to be on this list for my love of Decipher!

top ten tuesday

Favourite Books of 2023

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 Favourite Books I read in 2023 and this is much easier than just being asked my single favourite for reasons of no LOL

If I ever wasn’t sure what an eclectic reader I can be we have non-fiction history, non-fiction farming, historical fantasy, sci-fi thriller, historical mystery, action adventure thriller, haunted house horror, urban fantasy cozy mystery, non-fiction lifestyle, and non-fiction travel memoir!

I wanted to take a moment and talk about why each of the books was one of my top reads, but I have the flu, feel completely rotten and honestly just sitting at the laptop to write this much is making my head pound and my back muscles ache, and y’all don’t want to know how many times I fucked up that HTML LMAO

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

top ten tuesday

Books With Weather-Related Titles

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 doesn’t appeal to me, so I’m picking one from a couple of weeks ago that I missed: Books with Weather Events/Words in the Title/on the Cover
(I’m picturing a list of titles with weather-related words in them like storm, rain, blizzard, flood, lightning, hail, snow, wind, etc. OR covers with lightning/storms in the picture.)


Matthew Reilly – Ice Station
Carlos Ruiz Zafón – The Shadow Of The Wind
Cecilia Ahern – Where Rainbows End
Stephen King – The Mist
Richard Castle – Heat Wave


Barbara Sophia Tammes – A Blueprint for Your Castle in the Clouds
Guy de la Bédoyère – Gods with Thunderbolts
Sally Malcolm – Permafrost
Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief
Jaimie Admans – Snowflakes At The Little Christmas Tree Farm

That was legit a lot harder than I thought it would be. I figured I’d have read loads of books with storm, thunder, or lightning in the title but no! I did have fun scrolling through 13 years of GoodReads books read though!

www wednesday

What I’m Reading Wednesday

WWW Wednesday was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?

From Memory to Written Record – England 1066-1307 by M.T. Clanchy It’s a history of writing and record keeping in England. It’s interesting but it’s one of those books that was written to be written, not written to be read and it’s a bit of a slog. Fascinating but not an easy read at ALL. I’m just under halfway through.
Murder at Queen’s Landing by Andrea Penrose Book 4 in the Wrexford & Sloane series, and just as enjoyable as the others. I love how the characters are getting more fleshed out, and we’re learning so much more about them. Although the growing UST between Wrexford & Sloane is starting to bug me, but then it always does. I’m 70% through and its due back to Libby tomorrow night, so this evening/tonight I’ll be focusing on finishing it.
Black Hole Survival Guide by Janna Levin Physics is… not generally my thing. But last week I read one of Li’s library books about Quantum Mechanics, and this one just jumped off the shelf. It’s written very plainly and I’m actually understanding the science of black holes which is awesome.
Temple by Matthew Reilly This book just keeps getting more and more bonkers, and honestly I fucking love it! I’m 80% of the way through now and on track to finish it this week.
Kitty’s Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow and in my favourite style of books, a grandmother Kitty didn’t know she had, just died and left her a chicken farm! I’ve only just started it, but I am a fan of Christie Barlow so I’m looking forward to finding out what happens

What did you recently finish reading?

A Regency Guide to Modern Life by Carly Lane which I gave 4 stars to. A really fun little book written in the style of an agony aunt column, answered by a Regency Lady A, but to today’s life problems. The illustrations were also amazing
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie because apparently I’m trying all the new things as I work my way through the non-fiction section of Honiton library. Another 4-star read, a published version of a TED talk the author gave about what feminism means and some of the less obvious divides between men and not-men.
Quantum Mechanics by Jim Al-Khalili is the aforementioned physics book that Li had out of the library. I started reading this at 23:45 on Sunday which you would not think would be the optimum time to learn about quantum physics. And yet Al-Khalili broke everything down to a point I could understand and Li and I had some amazing late night/early morning conversations about subatomic particles. I legit want to know more now because y’all, this is fascinating shit!


I also DNFed Angel Of The Crows by Katherine Addison. Essentially, a supernatural steampunk Sherlock fanfic which started off really strong, but the book tried to do too much, and started getting a little bit ridiculous. You know those fics that keep going because the author doesn’t know how to end the story? Yeah, I DNFed at 46% when there was a random curveball of ‘oh, BTW, Watson (who’s the narrator) is actually a woman’… completely out of nowhere, and that was a few hundred pages after being told Watson was a hellhound. I just… no.

What do you think you’ll read next?

But then… I’m not great at sticking to these so LOL

www wednesday

What I’m Reading Wednesday

WWW Wednesday was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words.

The Three Ws are:
What are you currently reading?

Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker & Jules Scheele I’m at 68% should probably finish it this week – I just had a couple of library books that were due back, and had wait lists on them so I wanted to get them finished first.
The Witches of St Petersburg by Imogen Edwards-Jones I’ve only started reading this in the last couple of days, and it’s due back to the library on Monday. I’m 25% of the way through and hoping I’ll finish it. I picked this for the Russia prompt on an Around The World reading challenge
Temple by Matthew Reilly I haven’t read any more of this one this week for the same reason.
The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking is absolutely DELIGHTFUL. It’s as cozy to read as it’s subject matter, and I’m actually quite tempted to buy a copy for my own collection.

What did you recently finish reading?

Thanátou by Natalie J Case which I gave 2.5 stars to in the end. It was enjoyable enough but wasn’t really my thing and I’m not finding I care enough about the characters to pick up the rest of the series which is a shame
Murder at Kensington Palace by Andrea Penrose, the third of the Wrexford & Sloane regency mystery series and just as enjoyable as the first two. I’m loving learning more about Charlotte and her real identity, and hoping we see more of her Aunt. I’m getting frustrated with how the relationship between Wrexford & Sloane is going because I’m here for the murder, not for the UST. A solid 4 stars, I really enjoyed it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Ben Aaronovitch – Lies Sleeping I’m about half-way through, and I did bring it to Devon with me but it’s still sitting in my bag.
Terry Deary – Dangerous Days in Elizabethan England came home from the library with me because Tudor history by the guy who wrote Horrible Histories? NEED TO READ!
K.E. O’Connor – Spells & Spooks a Kindle Unlimited choice because I can’t borrow any more and I have a huge list I want to read!