Most Anticipated Reads Q1 -2020

The beginning of a new year means a lot of new books to look forward to. Here I have listed a few of the books I am most looking forward to from January to April 2020. Most of these are continuations of series I have started or some new releases I have been hearing a lot about.

As I live in the UK all of these are the UK release dates.

January

7th

A Heart so Fierce and Broken

Brigid Kemmerer
Cursebreakers #2

I had an ARC of the first book A Curse so Dark and Lonely, and it was a solid 3 star read for me. I enjoyed it and as this one has promised to contain the POV from one of my favorite characters I am looking forward to reading it.

The Night Country

Melissa Albert
The Hazel Wood #2

Book 2 in the Hazel wood series. I gave the first book four stars and it was a great read. However, I will admit I can’t quite remember how the Hazel wood ended so I might have to re-read before I get to this one.

I managed to find both of these on the buy one get one half price table in Waterstones the day of release so it might be worth checking out your local store if you are interested in these two.

9th

One of us is Next

Karen M. McManus
One of us is Lying #2

Yet another squeal! This follows on from One of us is lying which was a fun YA mystery that I enjoyed. I also enjoyed Karen M. Manus’ Two can keep a secret. They were both fun and entertaining quick reads and I am sure this will be the same.

23rd

Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep

H.G Parry

I currently have an ARC of this and am just trying to finish it up so I can dive into reading it. I am loving it so far and cant wait to get my hands on my pre-ordered copy. I mean books within books are just my thing, what is not to love.

FEBRUARY

1st

Come Tumbling Down

Seanan McGuire
Wayward children #6

This released in the states on the 7th of january but we have to wait just a wee bit longer here in the UK and I am itching for this. I adore this series and as this one goes back to Jack and Jill’s world! I need. I hope my pre-order comes in on time as I will be sitting down and reading it immediately.

4th

The King of Crows

Libba Bray
Deviners #4

The final book of the Diviners series! this is an awesomely creepy 1920s set paranormal mystery series that have just been the most fun to read. I am looking forward to reading the finale!

6th

The Last Day

Andrew Hunter Murray

This is the debut Sci-Fi novel from Hunter Murray of No such thing as a fish fame. I am really intrigued by the premise. I do hope it also has elements of his humour throughout the story too.

The Hand on the wall

Maureen Johnson
Truly Devious #3

I have really enjoyed this series. It is a fun dual mystery crossing timelines at an elite boarding school. After the cliffhanger of book two I am looking forward to finding out how this concludes.

Heartstopper Vol 3

Alice Oseman
Heartstopper #3

This is the cutest comic series ever. While these are freely available to read online I like purchasing the physical copies to support the artist.

20th

False Value

Ben Aaronovich
Rivers of London #8

This was delayed from November and I am anxious to get reading. This is one of the most in depth stories I follow we are now at 8 novels, 8 graphic novels and two novellas and I love them all. The story left off at such an interesting point and really want to know what happens next!

March

10th

Scavenge the Stars

Tara Sim

This was released this month else where but we in the UK have to wait until March. I really enjoyed Tara Sim’s Timekeepers series. This is billed as a gender swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo which sounds really fun. The Timekeeper series was also filled with diversity so hopefully this will be the same.

26th

The City We Became

N.K. Jemisin

I love a good bit of urban fantasy and combining it with new york city just makes this even more of a must read. This sounds amazing, the soul of the city its dark side and all of it in peril, Yes!

30th

The Glass Hotel

Emily St. John Mandel

While I have not read station eleven I have read her mystery The singer’s Gun and enjoyed it. I have an ARC of this one and I am hoping to start it soon so I can post my full review.

April

16th

The Last Emperox

John Scalzi
The Interdependency #3

Anyone that has read my blog before knows I am a big fan of Scalzi. This is the last in his Interdependency series and while I do not love it as much as his Old man’s war series I am enjoying it greatly.

Plan for the Worst

Jodi Taylor
The Chronicles of St Mary #11

I recently just discovered this series and I am flying through them. Therefore, I fully expect to pick up book 11 shortly after it is published. They are just jam packed, furiously paced sci-fi novels that take sharp twists and turns and have an awesome brand of snarky humour.

Looking Glass

Christina Henry
The Chronicles of Alice

I really enjoy Christina Henry’s retellings and her Alice series is the creepiest. This collection of novellas will let s jump back into that world.

Goldilocks

Laura Lam

I am a fan of Laura Lam’s work and when I found out she is releasing an adult Sci-fi I was immediately interested in it. The dystopian setting, the all female space crew one of whom is a botanist! I am looking forward to reading it.


I think I have a busy few months of reading on my hands. Are you looking forward to any of these? Have I missed any?

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

#Blogmas – Merry Christmas

I have been doing Blogmas all month and it has been a lot of hard work and a lot of fun. So for the final Blogmas post I just wanted to make a small and simple post just to say:

I hope you have a wonderful day wither you celebrate or not.

I will be back with my 2019 best books of the year, and yearly wrap up and some 2020 planning spreads – very shortly!

Happy holidays!

Fi

Back in Business – Blogmas

A little bit of a Life update for those that are interested. You might have noticed that I haven’t posted for a whole month. That’s because I have been participating in Nanowrimo! I decided to put the blog on hiatus as attempted to write a novel.

I sadly did not win Nanowrimo but I made some great headway in a couple of projects one of which I am extremely excited about and will continue to work on just at a slower pace. I originally started writing a Sci-Fi Murder Mystery, think Agatha Christie in space, I managed 27,000 words of that project but I just wasn’t feeling it. This was a complete discovery write for me, it was not the book I had planned to write in October. That idea completely fell apart on the first day, instead i just sat an wrote what came to mind. However after about 17 days straight of writing I just found I was pushing the characters around and that nothing much was happening. They lost all their personality and just became blank chess pieces that I was moving from this place to that. I wasn’t happy with this, so I decided to put that project back in its shelf till I can rediscover who the characters are.

All through this month, another idea started building itself slowly in the back of my mind. I kept making notes, little snippets of dialogue, descriptions of locations, characters pushed there way forwards to tell me who they are and what they were doing in this world. I have over 10000 words of descriptions of the world, three interweaving plot lines and chunks of scenes along those lines. I adore this project and I am not going to say anything about it other than at them moment it is a standalone fantasy. This is one I am going to take forward.

Before attempting Nanowrimo, I didn’t think I could invent stories. I just didn’t think my creative brain worked in that way. I would tell myself it was something I just couldn’t do. This has shown me that I can, that if I just run with my story ideas something will come of them. My draft may not be amazing but I have put those words down which is a big step in itself. I have also learned that I am ok and discovery writing but that in order to keep momentum going I probably need a rough outline to refer back to and keep me on track.

The biggest thing that came out of Nanowrimo for me was the habit building. I have wrote something every day this month. Even if it was just a couple of hundred words of world building it was something out on the page. I want to keep this up. You will probably hear more about this near the end of December.

Speaking of December I am participating in Blogmas!

I will be attempting to post lots of different content on the run up to Christmas. I have posts on Tags, TBRs, Reviews and Readathons planned. I also have my usual run up to the new year planned as well so that’s 31 days of posts!

Are you doing Blogmas this year? Are you participating in any December readathons? Are there any tags you would like me to do? Send me your links below so I can follow along!

I hope you enjoy the Festive season and Happy Reading!

Back from unplanned Hiatus -Kittens!

So those that know my regular posting schedule may have noticed I have not posted for over a week, despite having a number of ARCs to review. This is because I have been kept rather busy and distracted over the last week that I just haven’t had a chance to sit down with my laptop to write any of the posts I had planned.

Last Saturday these two cute little trouble makers, found their forever home with my husband and I.

They are truly distracting with how sweet, playful and snuggly they are. The combination of them and the International Fringe Festival here in Edinburgh, which attracts a number of friends and family to visit, have kept me extremely busy. Therefore, I just couldn’t find the time to sit and plan, write and format any blog posts.

So introductions should be made! They are just over seven weeks old, and even though they are from separate litters they were brought up together at the rescues kitten room.

The White with black splodges in Mogget. For frequent visitors to my blog you will know that I adored Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy and that by far Mogget was my favourite sassy talking cat. So when this tiny little white cat approached my husband for tickles in the kitten room we knew it was kismet and that he had to come home with us and had to be called Mogget. He is such a snuggler and just as chatty as his namesake.

Our little black kitten is also named after a bookish kitty. For anyone in Edinburgh you are probably familiar with Maisie of Morningside.

Maisie of Morningside by Aileen Paterson

Maisie McKenzie is an Edinburgh based cartoon cat by Aileen Paterson that I read constantly during my childhood. She was Adventurous and egar to learn and our Maisie is exactly the same. She was the first to find her way up onto the couch for cuddle and leads the way as Mogget follows. While she looks black as night in photos, in the sun she has lovely little ginger tiger stripes to her fur, which makes her look a little like her namesake.

It’s safe to say we are utterly in love with them, and there will most likely be more kitten pictures on my blog. Thankfully, I have another full week off work where I can try and catch up on all my reviews and hopefully find some fun Tags to do as well. If there are any tags you would like to suggest I would be very grateful!

Thank you for reading my blog and for your patience when I just randomly stop posting, and a big Hello from Maisie and Mogget!

Magical Readathon N.E.W.Ts 2019 – Ravenclaw Recommends

Another Magical Readathon is slowly closing in on us and it time to get our TBRs in order for the

NASTILY EXHAUSTING WIZARDING TESTS!

 1ST – 31ST OF AUGUST 

For all the details on how to participate make sure to check out G’s announcement video.

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Headmistress G has selected some members of the four houses to help you select study material and pass all your N.E.W.Ts. We have scoured the Hogwarts Library to find the best textbooks hidden deep in the restricted section. Each house will provide recommendations for their assigned subjects. I am one of the three Ravenclaws who will be recommending books for the subjects of Astronomy, Charms and Divination.

While Headmistress only requires use to recommend one book per prompt, I have been my usual over achieving Ravenclaw and I’ve tried to give you varying options to help all those with varying reading taste. I’ve tried to select an Adult and a YA for each prompt as well as some of my more personal favourites. These are all books I’ve read and would recommend others pick up.

Also keep an eye out for my OUT OF THE BOX recommendations. These are those recommendations that, like fellow Ravenclaw Gildroy Lockheart, are a little bit devious and logically interpret the prompt in a very Ravenclaw way (which that may appeal to the Slytherins too!).

Wands AT THE READY!

Charms

Everyone knows that Professor Flitwick is head of the Ravenclaw house. In order to make him proud with our perfect pronunciation and those sharp swish and flicks, here are my recommendations for passing Charms

ACCEPTABLE: Read a Book that you think has a gorgeous cover.

I love bold, striking graphic covers so I have picked a few that are as beautiful inside as they are outside!

My YA pick is Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. I adore the bright vivid blue of this cover with the detailed gold embossing of the moth. It really compliments the gorgeous lyrical story telling inside.

V.E.Schwab has been blessed by some amazing cover designers for her UK and Special Editions. I love how both her Adult and YA series all use the same colour schemes so they look outstandingly beautiful on the shelves. Her signature colour scheme is not by accident.So what would be better than to read the book that started those beautiful covers and visit the many Londons of A Darker Shade of Magic?

Exceeds Expectations: Read a Comic/Graphic Novel/Manga

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson is a fantastic intro into graphic novels for those that may not have delved into that realm before. Soon to be its own movie this is the perfect time to pick this one up.
The Adventure Zone is also a great gateway into how fun and diverse graphic novels can be. Its based on the DnD Podcast of the same name, where the Comedy group, The McElroy Brothers, play DnD with there Dad. This is the first of their adventures and what is great is you can also listen along in the podcast for more and inside jokes. Though I will say the language does get a little fruity!
My personal recommendation in Mouse Guard by David Peterson. While this may look cute it is anything but! This is a gritty medieval based fantasy set around a society of Mice trying to survive in a very cruel world. The art work is stunning and the storylines are fantastic. It is worth the read.

Outstanding: Spongify – Read a Paperback

In the UK we are somewhat spoilt for choice in this category. Most of our Sci-Fi and Fantasy market wither its YA or Adult are published directly in paperback. This means that a large proportion of my book collection is in paperback. Here I selected some favourite for various reasons.

The Spellslinger series by Sebastian DeCastell. Not only is Spellslinger the restricted section book but these are some of the most beautiful paperbacks that I own. All of them have gorgeous cover art and fabulous matching sprayed edges. It is also one of the best YA series I have read and I will be re-reading Spellslinger (again). I have whole series of reviews and posts dedicated to this series from spoiler free reviews (Books 1, 2 ,3 ,4) to spoiler filled discussions while I re-read them.

Christina Henry is one of those authors that goes straight to paperback when published in the UK but I adore her work. She does deeply dark Horror retellings. Lost Boy is a disturbingly dark adult retelling of the origin of Captain Hook from Peter Pan and it is one of my favourite depictions of this tale. Also all her paperbacks match in art style which my shelves also appreciate. I have a spoiler free review here.

Another series I have only found in paperback is The Invisible Library by Geneieve Cogman. It is a great mix of steampunk, multiverse, fantasy that has a little something for everyone along the way, from the fae to dragons, Victorian detectives to inter-dimensional travel.


TELESCOPES and star charts!

Astronomy

As a Ravenclaw I spend hours whiling away the hours studying up in Ravenclaw tower and when we hit the wee hours of the morning it is the best place to be to study Astronomy outside of the Astronomy tower itself. So instead of sneaking out at midnight and risking being caught in the glowing eye of Mrs Norris. Grab your telescope and join us in the common room to study for our Astronomy N.E.W.T.

ACCEPTABLE: A Moon on the cover or anywhere in the title.

Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend has a lovely full moon right in the middle of the cover and this book is a fantastically magical read for this N.E.W.T. I think moonlight, just captures the slightly mystical, but slightly dark feeling this book has, with curses, magical lands and secret societies. It is a middle grade that creates such a fantastic world that I adored every minute of. I have a review here.

Moon over Soho by Ben Aaronovich is the only book I own with Moon in the title. It is actually the second book in one of my favourite series River’s of London. It is an adult Urban fantasy that is well worth the read, this one features Jazz based emotional vampires! Why Aaronovich maintains you do not need to read them in order I think your would need to pick up the first one to get the full story. So if you can fit in Rivers of London, maybe for an A in Ancient Runes/ Potions or an O in DADA both are well worth it (The audiobooks are amazing too).

OUT OF THE BOX

stuck for options try anything published by Harper voyager or Orbit. Both have moons as part of their logos and can be found on the spine of most of their books
Exceeds Expectations: Word ‘Night’ in the book or series title

My choice for the YA read is my favourite stand alone. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstren. While not everyone’s cup of tea, this is a book based solely on world building and as it is primarily set at night it is the perfect read for this prompt.

Nevernight, book 1 of The Nevernight Chronicles is a perfect choice as an adult read for this prompt as night is both part of the name and the series title. There is also a read-along happening of this series in July (Nevernight) and August (Godsgrave) in anticipation for the last book in the series which is released in September. I adore this series and I will most likely be continuing my re-read in this prompt.

Outstanding: Read a Sci-Fi

Oh I couldn’t choose there are just too many great books out there for both YA and adult audiences that I am just going to dump a bit list of them all here and let you explore.

The collective works of John Scalzi, he is my favourite Sci-fi author, I love his approach, his dark humour and how his plots always question humanity. He has a series for every taste while still sticking to the pulp sci-fi range. You want space opera/ military feel go for Old man’s war, you want more of a western in space feel go for The Collapsing Empire (my review). Want to keep your feet on the ground try Lock in. Don’t want a big time investment go for one of his short stories such as Three Robots which inspired the Netflix cartoon in Love,Death, Robots collection.

Want something a little different try Sleeping Giants by Slyvain Neuvel (my review of books two and three) which is all told in interview format. While The Long way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers is fully character driven space adventure, with all manner of alien races.

For those that want to stick to YA there are a number of amazing options, Binti is a short story by Nnedi Okorafor that mixes African culture with alien exploration. The Lunar chronicles by Marissa Meyer twist your favourite fairy tales into shimmery science fiction epics and Skyward by Brandon Sanderson (my review) gives you a taste of Sci-fi told in a very fantasy based way.

If you are more visual, for YA I cant recommend the Illuminae files enough. While they look like chunkers, due to the unique layout style they read like graphic novels that will have you twisting the book this way and that to read all the text. For an adult read, the graphic novel series Saga is just a tour de force that everyone should try.

Few! OK no one can say that they dont have an idea for what to read for that prompt!


Put the Kettle on! Its time for TEA LEAVEs

Divination

Now I am a sceptical science based Ravenclaw and I don’t hold much stock in the fortune telling arts, but I do like to make sure I pass my exams so if that means reading for divination, pass me my tea cup and tarot cards and lets get predicting.

ACCEPTABLE: Read a White book.

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus is a great YA Mystery that I really enjoyed. In fact any of McManus’ UK paperbacks could count for this prompt as they all follow this stunning yet simple design. Her books are fun escapes that are great for readathons. I have reviewed the book here.

If you are trying Spellslinger as the restricted book why not try De Castell’s Adult series that is set in the same universe (but different contients according to De Castell) with Traitor’s Blade? This is a Three Musketeers feeling novel that has all the wit and sword play expected from one of De Castell’s books. The rest of the Greatcoat’s series also has these stunning cover designs. My spoiler free review (with a tiny spoiler section) was my first full review on this site!

Another personal favourite is, An Unkindness of Magician by Kat Howard. This is an Urban fantasy that throws you in the deep end of a magical competition. It is great for those not looking for a commitment of a series but is wanting a great character driven story of magical duels and political manoeuvring. I have a spoiler free review here.

Exceeds Expectations: A Short Story or collection of Short Stories

Agatha Christie is the Queen of Crime but also of Short story collections. She has a number of them in both her Ms Marple and Hercule Poirot series. Some of her most famous works are actually from short story collections which can most often be found in large bind ups of 50+ stories. One of my personal favourites is The 13 problems from the Ms Marple series which is 13 short stories all about crimes that have occurred that a dinner party are trying to riddle out each time they meet. Read one, read all 13 you wont regret it.

The Paper Menagerie and other stories by Ken Liu are just so rich in description and emotion that I can only read one at a time and then sit and savour them. These are short fiction at it’s best and I cannot recommend them highly enough you will laugh you, you will cry they just are so jam packed with gorgeous story telling in so few pages.

If you are reading the Restricted Section book Spellslinger, you can get the free short story The Dowager Magus, that fills in a few loose ends, from Sebastian De Castell’s website.

OUT OF THE BOX

Don’t Want To invest in anything new. have a look in the back of any special editions you may have. many have bonus content and short stories in the back which would count
Outstanding: Read the last book you bought/borrowed

As I haven’t yet read the last books I have bought/borrowed I cant really recommend them so instead here are some 2019 releases I have loved.

For The YA category I have chosen Sorcery of Thorns by Margeret Rogerson (my review) and The Kingdom by Jess Rothenburg (my review). Both were 5 star reads for me. Sorcery of Thorns is a magical fantasy filled with sword wielding librarians, talking grimoires and sassy sorcerers, while The Kingdom has a little bit of everything from AI princesses, to sinister theme parks and court room drama as we follow a distopian murder mystery.

For those that want to dip into adult fiction we have Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes (my review), with a nod to RPGs, this its a jam packed action adventure across an amazingly realised world. While those that want a bit more of a spine tingling thrill might prefer The Furies by Katie Lowe (my review) which is a sinister psychological thriller with a touch of the craft set in the UK.

Wow OK, I might have gone a bit overboard on all the prompts as I have recommended over 33 books (when I was meant to pick 9). But hopefully you can find something in this massive list that will not only fill these prompts but potentially a number of others. I love all of the books on this list and would recommend them to any one.

I want to say a HUGE!!! Thank you to G for letting me take part in this. Make sure you check out her recommendations video as well as all the other house recommendations. In particular check out my Fellow Booktube based Ravenclaws :

Gavin Hetherington

Catarina the Book Worm


Are you participating in the N.E.W.Ts are you thinking of reading any of the books above? Are there any amazing books I have missed off this huge list? Let me know in the comments?

I love to talk all things bookish both here, on Goodreads and on Twitter.

Happy Reading and good luck planning your N.E.W.Ts TBR!!!!

Top 5 Wednesday – Out of my Comfort zone

I have to admit I was at a loss as to what to write about today. With the Top 5 Wednesday group on break for the summer I just wasn’t sure where I was going to pull an idea from!

Then I was thinking about my TBR for The Bookie Trials (watch out for my TBR post very very soon)! I am on team Mage and the teams weakness is we have to read a book out of our comfort zone. Now I am an avid reader and while I tend to gravitate towards Fantasy and Sci-fi from all age ranges, I like to occasionally step out of that . I don’t frequently read a lot of contemporary, romance, non-fiction or historical fiction. So in order to help me decide what to read as part of my Bookie Trials TBR I have made a list of the top 5 books outside of my usual comfort zone that I am interested in reading.

Almost Adults
Ali Pantony

I actually have an ARC of this that I need to get to sooner rather than later! This is listed as “Woman’s fiction” (I really hate that classification but I am not getting into that now), it appears to be a contemporary romance within the NA range. More NA novels covering just life for 20/30–somethings are deprived needed and the blurb for this one just appealed so much.

The Flat Share
Beth O’Leary

Another contemporary romance with such a quirky sounding premise that I am really intrigued by. This just seems like such a fun and unique tale that I am really interested in it even if contemporary really isn’t my thing.

Red, White and Royal Blue
Casey McQuiston

This is everywhere in the book community and everyone is raving about it. It’s just a straight up romance and I am not a huge romance reader, I just don’t like it to be the main goal of my plot line. I also am unsure I will be able to get over the prince harry (who’s real name is Henry – which happens to be the name of the prince in this book and the cover art looks a bit like harry) comparison while reading it. If i get around to reading this. I think this is on the list due to a bit of overhype and I am scared, but still intrigued.

The Lady from the Black Lagoon
Mallory O’Meara

As an avid listener to the podcast Reading Glasses, which Mallory O’Meara is a presenter, I have been following this book for some time. It’s a very intereting sounding piece of non-fiction that centres around the world or creature creation and special effects of early Hollywood and it just sounds fascinating. With the added bonus of supporting a bookish blogger/content creator.

Hidden Figures
Margot Lee Shetterly

I have never been a huge fan of historical fiction, especially fictionalised accounts of real stories. However, this just seems like such and important piece of hidden history that it has to be on my TBR at some point.

Any manga

I don’t actually know if this is outside my comfort zone as I have never actually read any. I am not a huge fan of Anime so I have never ventured to pick up any Manga. Any recommendations would be vastly welcome.


So those are the top 5 Books and a whole genre that I am interested in attempting. Have you read any of these? Do you think I should take the plunge or leave them out of my TBRs? Which one should I choose for the Bookie trials? (Using it for the Glimmer prompt)

Moving Home Hiatus

As some of you may know my husband and I recently bought our first home! This means the time has finally come for me to pull all my books from their shelves all there nooks and crannies and pack them up in to boxes in preparation for the move.

Therefore, while I take time to get them settled into their new home in the dedicated library space!!!! (so unbelievably excited for this), my blog will be on a little bit of a hiatus until the beginning of June.

I am hoping once I have everything organised to to a bit of a library/bookshelf tour and resume my usual posting. June is my birthday month so I am hoping to have some awesome posts up for that!

So for the next two weeks – Happy Reading!

Top 5 Wednesday – Changing opinions!

It’s been a while since I have done a top five post but I really loved this topic so I just had to do a post! As always Top five wednesdays is the creation of Sam from Thoughts on Tomes and the topics can be found on the Goodreads group.

This weeks topic is:

Bookish things I have changed my mind about


1) Paperbacks

I admit it I used to be a bit of a book snob, I liked all my books to match, in pretty hardback making my shelves a thing of beauty. But as a UK reader of all things SFF I had to get over that really quickly. Most SFF and YA publications go straight to paperback in the UK and I have to admit the covers tend to be stunning. While, I wish UK publishers would embrace, the floppy paperback a bit more readily, my commute has made me love the fantastic portability of paperbacks.

2) Annotating Books

Again I was a bit of a purest, my books had to be pristine things of beauty on my shelves, till i discovered the joy of scribbling all over them. I don’t annotate every book but when I do I really enjoy making notes, using tabs, underline it quotes and just filling it with all my thoughts. It’s great fun to flick back through and see what my opinions were. I am hoping to go back and annotate some of my favourites.

3) DNFing Books

I used to be a real stickler for finishing books weather I enjoyed them or not but recently I realised that life is too short to read bad books, my TBR is far to big to be obsessing over finishing books I am not enjoying. Sometimes I am just not in the mood to read a certain genre, or a particular authors style. I am finally getting round to saying it’s OK to put it down and pick it up later, or to put it down and not finish it at all.

4) Unhauling books

I have also recently started to get rid of books that I am never going to read/re-read. Most of my book collection now comes from my local charity shops and I have no problems in returning them to those shops, if they no longer capture my interest. It’s much better that the book goes to a home it will be read and loved than gathering dust on my shelf, and the charity benefits twice!

5) The gender swap/Undercover Lover trope

We all have read these kind of books, the Mulan retellings where our heroine has to dress up as a boy in order to save the world etc and the first boy she befriends actually falls I love with her despite thinking she is a boy, he is confused by his feelings for her, but when he finds out she is a girl is relieved and instantly is deeply in love with girl her. In my youth I loved this trope. I adore mulan and used to love all the awkward angst filled scenes this trope created. But after reading a couple of books recently that has resurrected this idea I found myself feeling uncomfortable with it. The older I get the less angsty this gets and I have started to find it rather negative towards the LGBT+ community. While we usually read these books from the female persepective, the questioning of the male characters feelings towards their “male” friend now impacts me is being almost homophobic. Usually the male character is not allowed to explore those feelings and usually is relieved to find out the “male” friend is a girl and that leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.


What have you changed your mind about, when it comes to all things bookish? Are there any tropes you used to adore and now are iffy about? Have you recently changed a reading habit, revisited a genre etc.etc. I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

The Library Lover’s Book Tag

I have seen a number of people doing this tag lately, while I wasn’t tagged I thought it would be fun to do. I have tried to find the original creator of this tag but it seems to be from the dark depths of the bookish internet. If you do know the creator please let me know. I have also lost track of the bloggers, that have recently resurrected this tag, I tried searching through my reader but they must have been a lot further back than I remember!

How often do you visit your local library?

Sporadically. I am very fortunate to live around the corner from a branch of my local library, but also my library has a fantastic app. So I tend to browse the digital shelves a lot more than the physical shelves. As all the libraries are linked I can reserve copies from any of the physical libraries and have it shipped to my local library for me to pick up. Or with Libby I can just grab something from the digital catalogue. My local library really is a bit of an enabler!

Are you the type of person who checks out more books than you can read or are you someone who checks out the exact amount of books you intend to read before they are due?

I try to be the latter I really do but I really do fail. I tend to turn to my library app when the late night online bookshopping bug bites, and that means on occasion I end up with 5/6 holds on my library at once, then when I pick them up there is the new in displays etc. etc. and before I know it I have too many books I can read in the 3 weeks.

How old were you when you got your first library card?

To young to remember. There has only been one city I lived in where I didn’t have a library card and that’s while I was in Ohio for 2 years and my university library had a bigger selection that the local library. I have had my current library card for 3 years as I have lived in Edinburgh for 3 years.

Do you go to your library for a particular book or do you check out anything that piques your interest?

I tend to do a bit of both. I don’t need to go to my library physically to browse their catalogue and I tend to soothe the book buying bug with swiping through my library app I tend to make snap choices there. But I do the same in the physical library too.

Do you only check out books or do you also get DVDs, audiobooks, etc.?

I have never got any DVDs from my library but I do check out a lot of ebooks and audiobooks especially with the Libby app that makes it so easy to access them on all my devices.

From what section of the library do you check out most of your books?

I’ll give you one guess? Yes the Sci-Fi and Fantasy section! I do also browse the Crime and Mystery section too.

What is your favourite part of using your local library?

I love the ability to just try new authors, that I haven’t encountered before without the financial investment. I have found some of my favourite books at the library. Even in the last year I discovered Sebastian De Castell, I finally read Garth Nix’s Sabreil and most of my Agatha Christie reads are from the library.

T5W – Characters that embody my Hogwarts house

I really love these slightly out of the box, really make you think, kind of challenges. Which the 2019 round of the Magical Readathon O.W.Ls swiftly approaching I thought this would be a fun one to set the mood for next month.

It’s no secret that my Hogwarts house is Ravenclaw.

Ravenclaws really do run a gamut of different characters within the books. We have the scheming Gilderoy Lockhart, the graceful Cho Chang and the quirky Luna Lovegood.

According to the sorting hat the main traits for Ravenclaw are wit and intelligence, they are outspoken, curious and welcoming of the eccentric. However, many of them have poor judgement of people, being quick to trust, for example The grey lady with Tom Riddle. Despite the academic air they are also not pretentious they are quick to share what they have discovered. They are also honest to the point of being blunt. I think the range of traits from this house allows for a number of characters to find their way into Ravenclaw.

In order to discuss the characters and why I feel they are a Ravenclaw, I may include a couple of spoilers specific to that character.

My Top 5 potential Ravenclaws:

Ferius Parfax
Spellslinger
Sebastien De Castell

Most reminiscent of Ravenclaw Sybill Trelawney, Ferius has the airy feel, spouting prophesies and seeking out the nature of the universe through her cards. But she is also as sharp as a knife, quick to react and use her skills, training and environment to her advantage when trouble hits. Ferius is also incredibly witty, I have had many laugh out loud moments when reading her. She has a way with words that runs rings round everyone that encounters her, and is not afraid to speak her mind.

Harry Wilson
Old Man’s War
John Scalzi

A former high school physics teacher before joining the CDC, Harry then becomes a Research scientist for the CDC and seems to be instrumental in solving a number of tricky situations his team finds itself in, from deciphering alien technology to resolving potential diplomatic disasters after a xeno-botanical incident. He is continually curious and I love that about his character. Again, he also provides elements of comic relief seeming to read the situation and defusing tension. He is humble too. He never claims to know the answers to the universe instead diving in to learn as much as he can and applying what knowledge he does have.

PC Peter Grant
Rivers of London
Ben Aaronovich

While I think Peter may be inclined to think he is a Gryffindor, he is quiet definitely a Ravenclaw. He has a real thirst for knowledge and is always quick to share it. While, PC May is busy taming the Saturday night crowds of Trafalgar Square, Peter was busying himself with finding out what was written on the lion’s bum. He often applies the scientific method without being a scientist himself and is always concocting experiments to test magic and figure out how it works. That kind of curiosity, to me, screams Ravenclaw to me.

Albert Ellingham
Truly Devious
Maureen Johnson

While he is a minor character we really do learn a lot about Mr Ellingham, and he really is a Ravenclaw from a love of inventing, telling and solving riddles to founding a school where every student is free to devote themselves to what ever study interests them. I hope we discover more about this mysterious character in the Vanishing stair.

Marco
The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstern

Again, I think its Marco’s approach to the circus that makes him a Ravenclaw. I can picture many Ravenclaw’s having multiple notebooks filled with tiny symbols and scratching of their research. He created without observing instead relaying on his planning and also seeking the expertise of others.