‘Twas the Night Before Christmas – Book Tag

It’s Christmas Eve! And on Christmas Eve in my family home, right before bed it is traditional for us all to sit down are read the classic poem

The Night Before Christmas
Clement C. Moore

Therefore when I found the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Book tag, originally created by Aoife from Fred Weasley died laughing, I just had to make it my Christmas Eve post.

Questions:

“Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse,”
A book that kept you up so late, everyone else was asleep.

Godsgrave
Jay Kristoff

I read this in two sittings, staying up way to late to finish it as I was just in too deep I needed to know how it ended. I adore this series and I am sad it has now come to an end, even if I have not convinced myself to pick up the last book yet (I don’t want it to be over).

“And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,”
A book that made you fall asleep.

The Beholder
Anna Bright

Sorry but this one was a little bit of a snooze fest for me. I only rated it 2 stars, which was one of the lowest rated books of 2019 for me. I just found it rather dull and predictable. I did however recommend it to a friend whom I knew would adore the romance and she loved it. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.

“When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter,”
A book, or a book scene that made your heart race

The Black Hawks
David Wragg

Where not heart racing as such The Black Hawks had me on the edge of my seat on a number of occasions, eager to turn the page and see what happened next! This was a highly rated ARC read for me this year, and I have a full review.

“when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer,”
An object in a book that was utterly magical/ Or a magical book

The Starless Sea
Erin Morgernstern

To me this whole book was just magical. I have been trying to write my review for some time but I just can’t put into words how i feel about it. From the writing style to the worldbuilding to me its just magical. I intend on re-reading it over the holidays and will hopefully have my review in the new year, but it will be a glowing one.

“With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick,”
A twinkle-eyed book character that made you happy.

DC Peter Grant – Rivers of London
Ben Aaronovich

Peter will never fail to be one of my favourite characters. I realised that as the release of False Value was pushed back we would not be getting a story from Peter’s perspective this year so I am actually re-reading this one ( as I devoured it the day it came out last year) and decided to refresh my memory of the story before it continues early 2020.

“so up to the house-top the coursers they flew, with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too,”
A book that made you fly to another land.

Ten Thousand Doors of January
Alix E. Harrow

This had some of the most beautiful and wonderful worldbuilding as well as story telling I have come across. I adored every minute of this book and all the possibilities it held. You can read my full review here.

“And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, the prancing and pawing of each little hoof,”
A book creature you love.

Temeraire – The Temeraire Series
Naomi Novik

There is nothing quite like a super inquisitive almost feline like Dragon! Temeraire and his relationship with Capt. Laurence is just awesome to read about and I instantly fell for Temeraire. You can read all my thoughts on this one here

“He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot,”
A character that proves to more than his /her first impression

Kellen – Spellslinger Series
Sebastian De Castell

Kellen starts out as a little bit of a spoiled brat with a woe is me attitude but as this series continues he really does grow up. He learns from his mistakes, and makes his own way in the world and I really enjoyed going on that journey with him. I have just finished the last in the series, which I will be reviewing soon, it was a fitting ending to his story,

“He had a broad face and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly,”
A book or book character that made you laugh

Reichis – Spellslinger Series
Sebastian De Castell

This fluffy little murderous Squirrel-Cat just makes me chuckle. I adore the relationship he has with Kellen and the banter they share. Again I was happy with how the story ended for him too, it made me laugh right to the last page.

“A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread,”
A book that makes you feel safe.

A very Scalzi Christmas
John Scalzi

I wouldn’t say this book made me feel safe, its more I knew that this book was a safe bet that I would enjoy it from the very first page all the way to the last word. And I did. It put me in a great festive mood and I have even picked up the audio (its full cast!) to re-listen to a couple of my favourite bits with my husband as we have been prepping for Christmas Day. I have a mini review here.

“He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk,”
A book that put you to work (a book that you felt you really needed to concentrate on)

Crown of Feathers
Nicki Pau Preto

This is going right back to the beginning of the year but I just remember this taking me a very long time to get into. I just found it a bit of a struggle overall. While I quite enjoyed the story in the end I just found it a bit hard going to begin with. I did have an ARC of this and reviewed it here.

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
A book with a magnificent ending

Girls of Paper and Fire
Natasha Ngan

The worldbuilding made this book for me but Oh that Epilogue just killed. I am so glad I didn’t have to wait to pick up the sequel (review coming soon) as the cliffhanger was a doozie, see my review for more.


So there are my Answers. I tag you! If you haven’t done this tag.

Happy Holidays!

The Christmas Song Book Tag

I have another Festive tag for you today! This one was originally created by Hailey in Bookland . We have probably all been hearing these songs on loop for at least 18 days and after doing the Festive Christmas Book Tag why not do it 10 more times

The questions.

1. “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch” Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.

Sal form Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes
Sal is not a good person. In fact she is just purely hellbent on revenge but damn it would I not follow her every step of her quests. I adored her and cant wait to read the sequel next year. I have a full review here

2. “All I Want for Christmas is You” Which book to you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?

So I haven’t actually asked for any books this year. I pre-ordered most of the end of 2019 books I wanted and the rest will not find there way to me until 2020 (I need to get those pre-orders in) but I wouldn’t say no if Santa wants to bring me the 7th Rivers of London Graphic novel Action at a Distance

3. “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.

Hark from Deeplight by Frances Hardinge

Hark is the perfect example of this! This book is all about toxic friendship and self belief all set in an atmospheric spooky marine focused world. I really enjoyed this and have a full review here.

4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
a) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list?

Mia Corvere from the Nevernight chronicles by Jay Kristoff

She would be on the naughty list and relish every moment. Mia is a fantastic morally ambiguous character and I have loved her journey so far I just need to work up the courage to read the end.


b) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?

Nova and Tam from Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker

These two are just precious and lovely and this was such an adorable read. I have a full review here.

5. “Frosty the Snowman” Which book just melts your heart.

Heartstopper Vol 1 and 2 by Alice Oseman

How could this sweet romance not melt your heart it is just gorgeous! It has that great heartwarming satisfaction and I could read it over and over again.

6. “Feliz Navidad” Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.

Chainbreaker by Tara Sim

This takes us to a steampunk/clockwork version of Colonial India and it was fascinating. To have a fantasy set in this time during India’s history was very interesting. This series as a whole was great filled with diverse and interesting characters.

7. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?

The Adventures of the Christmas pudding by Agatha Christie

This is a short story collection that is meant to evoke the full and satisfied feeling of a Christmas dinner. The story The Adventures of the Christmas pudding is great fun and really does have that Christmas feel, while Poirot tracks down a jewel their.

8. “Sleigh Ride” Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)

I said Poirot in the Festive Book Tag so I will say the Weasley Family here. The Weasley family Christmas seems loud and hectic filled with family and food and fun and games. I think I would happily join them for Christmas.

9. “Baby it’s Cold Outside” Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

Beneath a scarlet sky by Mark Sullivan

Spoiler alert for my yearly wrap up but this was the worst book I have EVER read! I wouldn’t even think twice about giving it to the flames. Which is a shame as it is based on a true story but Sullivan just murders it with AWEFUL dialogue and over bad storytelling.

10. “Do you hear what I hear” Which book do you think everyone should read?

Oh this is such a hard decision as there were so many good books this year. I am going to reserve judgement on this one for the time being as I will say anything in my top reads of the year which I will post after Christmas!


If you haven’t done this tag I tag you and I look forward to reading your answers!

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 Festive Christmas book Tag

Interrupting the constant stream of reviews for a fun tag! This is an old one that originated with Girl reading back in 2015. I just thought the questions were fun.

1) A fictional family you would like to spend christmas dinner with?

I would actually like to have Christmas with Hercule Poirot. He revels in Handmade chocolates, fine french cooking, central heating and a good book. To me that sounds so relaxing! A real chill out Christmas. I also think Christmas with the Weasleys would be awesome but hectic!


2) A bookish item you would like to receive as a gift?

I would quite like a page anchor. They look like they would be good for keeping hardbacks open in my lap especially not that kittens like to climb in for a snuggle.


3) A fictional character you think would make a perfect christmas elf?

Peter Grant from Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovich. Peter is dedicated, and hard working, always diligent and I get the impression he would always go the extra mile to get the perfect gift.


4) Match a book to it’s perfect christmas song. 

I think Carol of the Bells would match perfectly with the atmosphere of Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. A lot of the book is set in winter and the almost somber nature of this song just makes me think of cold snowy days. I could just see it sung on the Yale campus. The song itself is a little haunting in its tone and I think that matches nicely. I will be reviewing Ninth house very shortly so keep an eye out for my full thoughts.


5) Bah Humbug. A book or fictional character you’ve been disappointed in and should be put on the naughty list?

Recently I was a little disappointed by Red Dwarf: Infinity welcomes careful drivers. I am a huge red dwarf fan and I was hoping that this would give me more insight into the characters, instead it was more of a rehash of the show with a bit extra at the end and that was a little disappointing. It was saved by Chris Barrie’s excellent narration


6) A book or a fictional character you think deserves more love and appreciation and deserve to be put on the nice list?

Kellen from the Spellslinger Series by Sebastien De Castell! This series has started to pick up momentum recently which I am so pleased about as I adore this series. I think Kellen is a fantastic protagonist and it has been amazing being on the journey with him.

7) Red, Gold and Green. A book cover that has a wonderfully christmasy feel to it.

A very Scalzi Christmas by John Scalzi. I just has to it just screams Christmas! This is filled with festive treats from one of my favourite authors and I think there would be something that everyone would enjoy. I have reviewed this here!

8) A book or series you love so much, you want everyone to find under their christmas tree this year so they can read it and love it too?

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I love this book! I regularly return to the Circus. It is so atmospheric i just want to loose myself in the descriptions and explore the circus tent by tent. I would love to meet fellow Reveurs there too!


So there are my festive answers. What would you pick? I tag YOU!

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 Christmas Stocking Book Tag

Another fun and festive book tag in between all of the book reviews I have been posting. This one was created by Kate at Reading through Infinity. I think its a great way of sifting through all the books I have read this year to try and recommend some good ones to you.

My Cat Maisie is very interested in her own Stocking! But Santa hasn’t been yet

The Questions

You get up on Christmas morning and your stocking is full! You take it down and start to unwrap the treats inside. The first thing you see is…

An orange! Which book is refreshing and vibrant, both inside and out?

Heartstopper
Alice Oseman

This web comic turned published graphic novel is just the most delightful, fun and cute read. I have read both volumes one and two this year and will be diving into three when it is released.

The next thing you see is a bag of chocolate coins. (Yum) Which book have you recently bought that was expensive, but totally worth the high price?

The Starless sea
Erin Morgenstern

I bought both the Waterstones special edition and the Illumicrate special edition and I am so glad I did as both are gorgeous and well crafted inside and out. I am a MEGA fan of the night Circus and The Starless sea lived up to every expectation from Morgenstern. Plus I got to meet her and get all my books signed so I am very very happy with my editions.

You also pull out a bath bomb. Tell us about a book that had explosive action scenes.

Seven Blades in Black
Sam Sykes

Jam packed with action, and humour! Kickass heroines and loveable side kicks this was just an awesome read! I flew through the 600 plus pages as the action is so quick and exciting you don’t realise how quickly you are reading. I have a full review here

Next is a pack of playing cards. Which series won you over?

The TimeKeeper series
Tara Sim

I had contemplated reading this series for a while. The first book really intrigued me but I never picked it up until early this year and within 3 weeks I had read the whole series. They were such fun, with a sweet romance and such interesting world building. My review for Timekeeper can hopefully convince you to pick them up too!

You also get a candle. Which character is a symbol of hope in their story?

January
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Alix E. Harrow

We follow January’s story from her childhood and her story is generally hope out of adversity, but that is really underselling this tale. It is beautifully told in an unusual fashion that weaves the magic of Doors and the magic of books together into something gorgeous. I have a full review here.

There are socks inside too. Is there a book that you think really encompasses all the distinctive tropes of its genre?

The Secret Chapter
Genevieve Cogman

This is a cheeky answer as Cogman takes all the troupes we know and love about the Fae, about heist movies, about bond villains and plays with them, giving them little twists here and their through the story. All the tropes and there plan to see, she holds them to the light and goes “Look a fun troupe”, the Fae follow those Archtypes to the letter, and then she slowly shifts them and it is what makes this a fun series as you get all those awesome troupe characters to enjoy. I have a review for this latest book in the series here.

There’s also a notebook. Which author’s writing process do you find most interesting/inspiring?

This is a hard one. I have gone to a lot of Author events this year which I am very fortunate to live in a city that attracts such big names. I kind of took a little bit from each of them and was inspired enough to start writing myself. I loved Erin Morgenstren’s talk about how she finds places first and lights them to see who shows up. Victoria Schwab, Ben Aaronvich and Garth Nix all talked about there characters tapping them on the shoulder and demanding to have their stories told. And Jay Kristoff just talked about sitting down and writing, letting it just find its own way.

There’s also a small bedside clock. Which book took you a long time to pick up but was worth it in the end?

Girls of Paper and Fire
Natasha Ngan

I received this book in a Fairyloot box and despite all the hype and great reviews i just didn’t pick it up. Till this month. I finished it and was really surprised. I really enjoyed it, the ending was great. I am hoping to dive into the second one soon.

Your pile is getting really big. You reach in to pull out the last gift and it’s… a lump of coal? You’re a little disappointed. But you look closer and realise there’s a seam running through the coal. You crack it open and sitting inside is a tiny golden snitch. Tell us about a book that surprised you in some way.

The Flat Share
Beth O’Leary

I am not a reader of Contemporary, you just have to look at my list of reviewed books to see I am a SFF fan through and through. I am not a huge lover of romance fiction either I find them predictable, but this one just captured me. I loved the communication between the characters. And while I did find it predictable I didn’t mind the journey at all. It was a fun and different read for me. I have a review here.


So there are all my answers? Have you read any of the above? If you haven’t done this tag I tag you? What books will you choose?

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 Day 7 : The Naughty or Nice book tag

I wasn’t tagged to do this book tag but I do think it is a fun one so I decided to do it as part of my blogmas posts. As far as I can tell it was originally created by Jen of Jenniely. The aims of the game it to answer the questions and find out at the end if you are on Santa’s bookish Nice list or Naughty List.

Questions

Received an ARC and not reviewed it  

Yes

I have a couple on my NetGalley list that were not read. A couple I DNF’d and reported to the publisher as such and a couple that I just haven’t managed to get to as they were sent to be after release data and I have priorities others. I will eventually get to those ones at some point.

Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley

Yes

Currently I am sitting at 50% but I have just been approved for a whole lot and I have a couple of reviews to post in the next few days so that should move back up very quickly. Also keep an eye out for the belated Oct and November arc reviews during Blogmas!

Rated a book on goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)

No

I don’t tend to write anything until I have written my review for my blog. Then I post a copy to goodreads. I do rate and not review but sometimes I feel that sequels or short stories are hard to review without spoilers.

Folded down the page of a book

Yes

But I personally don’t think that is a naughty thing to do with my own books. If i am borrowing I will always use a book mark so I am saying only 1/2 marks for this one.

Accidentally spilled on a book

No

I cant remember spilling or getting food on anything I have read this year.

DNF a book this year

Yes

I DNF books. Life is to short for bad books. There are so many books I want to read why would I waste time on one I am not enjoying. Sometimes its the wrong time/place or mindset to read that book and I don’t mind putting them down till later. I don’t count this on the naughty list so ill just do half points again.

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it

No

This isn’t really a thing I do. I have bought pretty editions of favourite books but as I have most likely read them multiple times I think having multiple copies is ok. I don’t tend to cover buy.

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework)

No

A great thing about finishing my PhD is I no longer have homework! Therefore I can read all night and not worry at all. I can’t think of an incident where I didn’t finish an obligation due to reading.

Skim read a book

No

I don’t tend to skim read books. Academic papers I will skim in a very specific way to get the information out as efficiently as possible but with books its my down time and I want to be absorbed by the story.

Completely missed your Goodreads goal

No

I have surpassed my Goodreads goal for the year! And I am hoping to go over by quite a bit by the end of the year.

Borrowed a book and not returned it

Yes

I have a couple of books that are borrowed from a friend that I have not returned yet. Probably because I haven’t read them yet. It must be close to a year since I borrowed them. I should really read them!

Broke a book buying ban

No

I haven’t been on a book buying ban so there was nothing to break

Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about

Yes

Oh I do this more than I should. I do try and write my thoughts in my reading journal but If i finish the book when I don’t have time to get it all down I can forget what it was about and have to re-read the ending to jog my memory.

Wrote in a book you were reading

Yes

I love annotating books! Especially those that mean something to me. I don’t see this as being Naughty. I would never write in someone else’s unless requested. I think i will only make 1/2 marks on this one.

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads

Yes

I do this quiet often. I routinely listen to favourite books in Audiobook format to help me get to sleep. I have listened to the Harry Potter, Night Circus and River’s of London Audiobooks several times this year I just don’t record them on Goodreads. I dont count them towards my reading goal as I am not bothered if i fall asleep and miss anything as I know the stories so well. I only count these as re-reads if i pick up the physical copies again.

Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend

Yes

See above about borrowing books. This is kind of a doubled up question.

Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book

Yes

There are just some people I wouldn’t trust with my books, or the book they want to borrow is a signed or special edition copy that I don’t want to lend.

Broke the spine of someone else’s book

No

Not to my knowledge. But I have not borrowed a lot of books from friends recently.

Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ended up making it more damaged

Yes

I am only awarding half points for this as it wasn’t me that did the damage. One of the kitten’s when they were teeny tiny got ahold of the dust jacket of Girls of Paper and fire and had a little chew so it now has teeny tiny teeth marks in one corner. She didn’t know better. Plus look at this face you just have to forgive her.

Sat on a book accidentally

No

Not that I can think of. I probably have at some point, I have a table and my book cart next to my reading chair so the books tend to find there way onto one of them when I am done reading. Several kitten butts have made there way onto books do they count?

Final Score

10/20

I think this would find me just on the Naught List this year but only a tiny bit. Maybe Bookish Santa will take pity on my and move me over onto the nice list.

I Tag you if you haven’t done this tag!

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 Day 5: End of the Year Book Tag

Last year I did this in the middle of November but because of my hiatus it got overlooked, so I am catching up now. This tag was first created by Ariel Bissett.

Questions

ARE THERE ANY BOOKS YOU STARTED THIS YEAR THAT YOU NEED TO FINISH?

Oh so many – but the main ones would have to be Starless sea by Erin Morgenstern, which I started in November, Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff which I started in October but put down to write and The Library of the Unbroken by A. J. Hackworth.

DO YOU HAVE AN AUTUMNAL BOOK TO TRANSITION INTO THE END OF THE YEAR?

Not really I tend to find a gravitate towards longer books in the colder months as I don’t feel so bad about curling up and reading. I seem to be drawn to sci-fi this year based on my October and November reading. We will see what December holds.

IS THERE A NEW RELEASE YOU’RE STILL WAITING FOR?

Not this late the year. There is the December Fairyloot but I am not going to speculate what the book is at the moment. We are being treated to two books this month, one a new release and one an Arc for March 2020. I will be doing an unboxing post when it arrives for those that are interested.

 WHAT ARE THREE BOOKS YOU WANT TO READ BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR?

I don’t just have a list of three I have a list of 20! Which can be found in my December TBR post but If I had to pick three that I have not mentioned before I will have to pick Angel Mage by Garth Nix, Crownbreaker by Sebastian de Castell and Starsight by Brandon Sanderson.

IS THERE A BOOK YOU THINK COULD STILL SHOCK YOU AND BECOME YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK OF THE YEAR?

I am going to be honest and say that the Starless sea will most likely be one of the highest rated books I will read this year. But I also think Angel Mage by Garth Nix will be very high up as well.

HAVE YOU ALREADY STARTED MAKING READING PLANS FOR 2020?

Yes, I will be doing a series of posts on them in the run up to the New year. But I am aiming to do more writing in 2020 so my reading goals will not be as bold as they were in 2019.


I tag you if you have not already done this tag! What books are you hoping to read in this last month of the year? Are there any books coming out soon that I have missed? Have you started planning for 2020?


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

Happy Reading!

Tag: My 2019 Mid-year Freak-out

It’s coming close to the end of June and that means we are half way through 2019! That means its time to do the mid-year book freak out tag!

2019 has been an awesome reading year, filled with some truly great reads, i have discovered some awesome authors, dived into back catalogues and re-read my heart out. It’s also been awesome, life wise. My husband and I bought a flat! I finally have my library, a cozy window seat with views out over the city and out to sea and my big reading chair has its own view of a castle and an extinct volcano! What more can a fantasy reader want than to look up form the pages to real life magical sight?

THE STATS

Number of Books so far: 56

No of pages: 19,335

Best reading Month so far: April (Thanks to the O.W.Ls)

THE BREAK DOWN

Surprise, surprise my most read genre is Fantasy! I am shocked to see that I have read more mysteries and graphic novels that Sci-fi so far this year. I have a number of anticipated Sci-Fi reads sitting on my TBR shelf so I will need to re-address that balance.

As I have read a lot of Fantasy was easy to guess I have been reading a lot of series. There is also a good chunk of ARCs in there which is nice. All the ARCs I have read are from Netgalley and its been nice to see my approval rate go up over the past 6 months, now I just need to read them all!

Again nothing really out of the ordinary within the format that I have been reading. I like the balance I am achieving between all the different formats though I would mention that all my ARCs are eARCs so the ebook value is closer to 34%.

Keeping that 50/50 that I wanted to maintain over the year. I am very happy with all these stats.

THE RATINGS:

5 Stars: 13
4.5 Stars: 8
4 Stars:
11
3.5 Stars: 14
3 Stars: 8

2.5 Stars: 0
2 Stars: 1
1 Star: 1

DNFs: 2

THE QUESTIONS

WHAT IS THE BEST BOOK THAT YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2019?

Seven Blades in Black by Sam Sykes
Sorcery of Thorns by Maregaret Rogerson

It was difficult to narrow down what I would vote for in this section I have rated 13! books over 5 stars (Escape >50). A lot of them were re-reads of my favourites so I discounted them for new reads only. I also removed the sequels as I can discuss them below. So that left me with an easier choice.

Seven blades in black was a sass filled, action packed adventure with some of the best world building I have read. It was an awesome start to a new series and I am eagerly waiting the next. Sykes dark sense of humour really matched mine and despite being a 700 page book the pages just flew by.

Sorcery of Thorns was just so magical! I loved the setting with Grimoires that talk, sword wielding librarians, suave sorcerers and domesticated demons. I was just swept away. I am actually sad it is a stand alone as I would love to have some companion novels exploring some of the of the side characters as all of them were so interesting.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE SEQUEL OF THE FIRST HALF OF THE YEAR?

In an Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire
The October Man by Ben Aaronovitch

Interestingly, both of my choices are novellas that I devoured in less than a day each. In an Absent Dream has to be my favourite in the series so far. Set in a logical world it just appealed to me so much . I am enjoying the format of this series of novellas with the even numbered exploring the past and the worlds of each of the inhabitants of the School for Wayward children and the odd numbered returning to the school.
The October man is the 2nd novella in the nine book Rivers of London series (7 books and 2 novellas). Aaronovich has announced that the novellas will take us away from Peter Grant and take us out of London to explore Magical policing from different perspectives. This one took us to Germany with a fascinating little mystery and some amazing new characters who will hopefully show up again.

IS THERE A NEW RELEASE THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT YOU’RE REALLY EXCITED TO?

Queenslayer by Sebastian De Castell

Shame on me. This was my most anticipated release of the year, I even re-read all the previous books in the lead up to the release! I haven’t managed to make time for it yet and I really need to.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR?

Oh there are so many and it was really difficult to narrow it down to just this list but these are the ones I currently have on pre-order. In September the conclusion to Jay Kristoff’s Nevernight Chronicles – Darkdawn. October heralds the release of Leigh Bardugo’s Adult debut with the mystery Thriller Ninth House. Then on the 5th of November, which happens to also be my wedding anniversary, I will have the tough decision wither to carry on with the River’s of London series with False Value by Ben Aaronovitch or dive into the long awaited second novel from the Night Circus (on of my favourite books) author Erin Morgenstern with The Starless Sea.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT SO FAR?

I have never hate read a book so hard in my entire life! This is a fictionalised account of the real life events of Pino Lello during the 2nd world war in Italy. It was so promising yet SOOOOO badly executed. The writing was just bad, the dialogue was cheesey and over exaggerated. It just didn’t do justice to the real life events the book was based around. I hope the up coming movie is a little better, but I would highly recommend skipping this one and reading Mr Lello’s son’s blog post on the events of his fathers life instead.

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SURPRISE SO FAR?

The Timekeeper Series by Tara Sim

This series was awesome. I picked Timekeeper up on a whim and I am so glad I did. It just had a little bit of everything from romance to action and drama all with fantastical elements and awesome diversity. It is well worth picking up.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE NEW TO YOU OR DEBUT AUTHOR?

Both of these books were new to me authors when I read them and as they were two of my favourite reads so far this year I will definitely be dipping back into the back catalogues of both authors.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE FICTIONAL CRUSH FROM THIS YEAR?

I am not one for book crushes but I have developed a soft spot for Nikolai Lantsov from the Grrishaverse and Nathanial Thorn from Sorcery of Thorns. I guess I am just a fan of witty, sassy talking guys.

WHAT IS YOUR NEW FAVOURITE CHARACTER?

I have actually chosen a team. Tobias Winter and Vanessa Sommer were an awesome match. I enjoyed Tobias’ narrative voice. His love for his job and his professionalism but also delight in having an officially issued flame thrower. While Vanessa is so enthusiastic and inquisitive but with a cruel sarcastic streak that she is a joy to read about.

A BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY?

There hasn’t been one this year to be honest. it takes a lot to make me cry at a book and it just hasn’t been met yet. The only one that came close to tears of joy for the characters was the graphic novel Heartstopper. It was just beautiful.

A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman is just too beautiful for words. it just filled my heart with such joy and I am very much looking forward to reading the next volume.

YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK TO MOVIE/TV SHOW THAT YOU’VE SEEN SO FAR?

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett on Amazon Prime was a masterpiece. Gaiman has really done Prachett proud in honouring his last request in finally bringing this to television. It was so lovelingly faithful to the work updating to make jokes more relevant without loosing their tone. It is very much worth a watch.

The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba on Netflix actually fulfills the very rare honour of a TV show I enjoyed more than the graphic novel itself. There as aspects of the Graphic novel that the TV show wove more intricately into the plot making them reveals and points of interest and reflection that the comic just gave you without any build up or discovery. They managed to expand the narrative and make it so much larger and emotionally involved for the viewers.

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU WANT TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?

This is always an impossible question to answer as there are so many. I have many unread books and highly anticpated release on my radar that I can never narrow it down. So I would just say I want to keep reading my exisitng TBR and to get to some of the recent purchases I have made. Below is just a small selection.


Well that is my mid year freak out. There is still a lot of time to read the rest of the year. With the Book junkie Trials and Medevialathon in July and the NEWTs in August I am bound to get a lot of reading done.

How has your 2019 reading year going so far? What has been your favourite read so far?
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.

Top 5 Wednesday – Independent Ladies

It’s time for another top five Wednesday and the prompt for this week was the top five Bookish Ladies that get shit done outside of there romantic plot. This was strangely rather hard for me. When I thought of all my favourite female characters they were mostly side characters that stole the show. I ended up with a split list of Leading ladies that get shit done and women that steal the show by getting shit done. Therefore, this list is my favourite independent female characters regardless of if they were supposed to run the show or not, they sure as hell stand out.

1)

Lireal from Lireal
Old Kingdom Series #2 (Previously Abhorsen Series #2)
Garth Nix

This is a great example of an early YA, though it reads more middle grade now. Where the heroine gets thrown in the deep end and works hard to get things done. She far outshines her male counterpart Sam. There is no romance plot in this book at all, instead Lireal discovers a family she never knew she had as well as establishing a bit of a found family. Though even these aspects don’t play into her strength and determination which are part of her character from the outset.

2)

Sabriel from Sabriel
Old Kingdom Series #1
Garth Nix

From the same series as Lireal, Sabriel is the original leading lady of this trilogy where she is thrown in the deep end when her father goes missing and she has to take over his work as Abhorsen to protect her kingdom from the dead. Again she shoulders this reposnsibility with little fuss and sets out to save her family and her kingdom. She has little to know romantic plot, in fact it is barely mentioned until the continuing series which jumps us forward in time. Where she still kicks ass, wielding her power with grace and being the dominant figure in the world.

3)

All the Ladies in River’s of London!
River’s of London Series
Ben Aaronovich

From Sahra Guleed, Leslie May, Molly and all of the physical embodiments of the Rivers Themes. All of these Ladies and many other counterparts that pass through this series are fantastic. If you were to get them together they would be a formidable girl Gang. Leslie May is a consummate professional in the first novel, reigning Peter (our MC) in and actually getting the policing done while Peter is distracted. Even after she is given a horrible set back she picks herself up, dusts herself off and finds a way to deal with it, all while Peter faff. The Rivers have power and not just supernatural, Even Beverly Brook, Peter’s love interest doesn’t cow tow to him, her life continues outside her relationship with Peter. They are just very well written women, varied and individual.

4)

Jane Sagan
Old Man’s War
John Scalzi

Jane is a curious character. She is the somewhat uninterested love interest for the main character in the first book of the Old Man’s war series. But the 2nd book Ghost brigades, while still somewhat a secondary character she truly begins to shine. She is a highly trained commander of an elite and secret military force, and despite being thrown into emotional turmoil by revelations of her origins within the first book and having to deal with emotions she hasn’t had to confront before. Yet she still keeps a handle on the strange mission her and her team have been thrown into. I loved when Scalzi decided to move Jane into a more prominent position, she was such an interesting character and to have her as the guiding force for the main focus of this book as well as her complicated romantic subplot with the lead of the first novel it all plays out beautifully.

5)

Ferius Parfax
Spellslinger Series
Sebastian de Castell

Ferius makes these books. Her subtle knowledge, her wit and sometimes her brash devil may care approach just keeps these books interesting. No wonder our main character Kellen, idolises her. She is a no-nonsense woman, that just wants to live life her way, maybe help a few people along the way. She is just so alive on the page that she truly steals the lime light and quickly became one of my favourite characters.

Special Case

Commander Shepard
Mass Effect Video Game Series

This is a special mention as the gender of the character could be picked by the player, but I will always pick Fem-Shep! It doesn’t seem right as male. Everyone I know has played the game as the female option, most of them casting her as a red-head too. I just feel that this was the way the game was meant to be played, a strong woman leading a found family/team to save the universe.


Who are your top five independent Ladies? Are any of these fantastic gals on your list? Do you agree/disagree with any on this list?

I would love to talk all things bookish either in the comments, on Twitter or Goodreads.