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TBR w/c 17.06.24

My reading list for the coming week looks something like:

finish BBC Science Focus June 2024 (currently 28%)
finish Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere (currently 81%)
finish Alix E Harrow – The Ten Thousand Doors of January (currently 19%)
finish Neil MacGregor – A History Of The World in 100 Objects (55%)

read Ruth Goodman – How To Be A Victorian (currently 22%)
read Thomas Halliday – Otherlands (currently 14%)
read Emily Henry – Book Lovers (currently 29%)
read Ronald Hutton – Stations of the Sun (currently 53%)

start Carrie Fisher – The Princess Diarist
start Joanne Fluke – Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (and try to finish because it’s due back to the library next week and I can’t renew because someone’s reserved it!)
start Nicola Lewis – Em & Me
start Nancy Warren – Lace & Lies

I’ve also started the full cast audiobook of Good Omens. Audiobooks aren’t something I usually listen to, I zone out but I need an audiobook for a challenge and figured this was a good option. We’ll see how it goes!


TBR w/c 03.06.24

My reading list for the coming week looks something like:

finish Sharon Blackie – If Women Rose Rooted (currently 42%)
finish Neil Gaiman – Neverwhere (currently 40%)
finish Emily Henry – Book Lovers (currently 29%)

read Ruth Goodman – How To Be A Victorian (currently 7%)
read Neil MacGregor – A History Of The World in 100 Objects (39%)

start Heather Fawcett – Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries
start Carrie Fisher – The Princess Diarist
start Thomas Halliday – Otherlands
start Gabrielle Nevin – Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
start Nancy Warren – Lace & Lies

Do I expect to get to all of these books this week?
But I have ADHD and like to have a variety of books to bounce between reading. I’m probably most likely to focus on A History of the World and I’ll see where the week takes me

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

Top Ten Books Everyone Else Isn’t Reading

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 ‘Top Ten Forgotten Backlist Titles which Jana carries on to say is about thinking outside the shiny, new, trendy titles and think about ones that aren’t talked about anymore. She says that she often gets caught up in all the new releases and finds herself reading the same books everyone else is, that there’s no variety in the bookish community, and social media is full of pictures and reviews of the same handful of books

I do agree with her – every now and again I get fed up to the back teeth of seeing the same books – but luckily, what I tend to read are not the books everyone else is. So this is going to be 10 books I’ve read recently that I haven’t seen other people reading

Alix E Harrow – The Once And Future Witches
Mandy Baggot – Staying Out For The Summer
Colin Elford – A Year in the Woods: The Diary of a Forest Ranger
AJ Aalto – Touched
Christie Barlow – Love Heart Lane

Jessica Bruder – Nomadland
Susan Cooper – Over Sea, Under Stone
Alexis Caught – Queer Up
Peter Ackroyd – History Of England: Foundation
Neil Gaiman – The Ocean At the End Of the Lane

Do you tend to read the same books as everyone else? What have you read lately that other people haven’t been reading?

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