My 2019 Wrap up – Fi’s Favourites

Every year Goodreads kindly produces a lovely little stats graphic of the books you have read have recorded as read and various different breakdowns, its a really nice way to round out the year and reflect on the amazing, the good and the just O.K reads I have encountered though-out 2019. I love a good statistic and while I was a bit lax in my stats calculations in the later part of 2019 I am hoping I can keep up with them a bit better in 2020.

MY YEAR IN BOOKS 2019

Note: I have included my current read (Christmas Present by Jodi Taylor) in this list, marking it as finished a bit earlier, as at time of writing I have 4 hours to read 41 pages, so I think it can be done.

It has been the most amazing reading year for me! My commute helps a lot! I have managed to read a vast number of books this year. I participated in some amazing and creative readathons from the Bookie Trials, the various Magical Readathons, Tome Topple and more. I got chatting with some awesome people and even have some buddy reads set up.

I like participating in the Goodreads Challenge every year, I like it as a personal goal, I don’t see it as a competition but more a nice way for me to measure what I have been reading in a given year and how my time was spent. This year I set it at 100 books. I had managed to achieve 101 books last year and I wanted to see if I could keep that level. I am amazed at how many I managed to actually read!

I READ A TOTAL OF :

Books: 130

Pages: 39,492

Average Rating: 3.9

Average Book Length: 305


The Stats

For those interested i have included my breakdowns of Intended Audience, No books per month, Genres, Star Ratings breakdown and Format.

There are some please take surprises in it all. Despite my average rating being 3.9 on Goodreads, 5 Star was my most popular rating on my personal spreadsheet. And that apart from paperback there was a somewhat even spread in formats, including ARCs. I also so a swing towards more General Audience titles of YA titles that dominated last year. There is no surprise that Fantasy and Sci-fi dominated the genres read, but a couple of cheeky contemporaries snuck there way in.

If you would like the full breakdown of my Goodreads year in books and see all 130 book I read you can check them out in the link below!

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2019 was also the year I got to meet some of my Favourite Authors including but not limited to:

Leigh Bardugo
Jay Kristoff
Erin Morgenstern
Garth Nix
V.E Schwab (again)

Which vastly increased my signed book collection! I always feel so privileged to live in a city that often attracts such awesome authors and I am glad I got to attend so many of these events.

MY 19 Favourite BOOKS of 2019

I just couldn’t decide on my favourite reads of the year! So I decided to pick the top 19 books I enjoyed during 2019. These are the books or series have have stuck with me. Most of them were 5 star reads but as I was reviewing my thoughts some of the 4 star reads that have persisted in my thoughts have made it to the list.

I will say the highest rated by my ESCAPE system were The Ten Thousand Door of January by Alix E. Harrow and The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, both receiving 57/60. I was lucky enough to receive an EARC of The Ten Thousand Doors of January and I have a full review here. I have yet to write a review for The Starless Sea as I just can’t get my feelings out on paper. I keep going back to sections and re-reading and I think a re-read will be needed to allow me to be objective in my review.

If I had to pick one book I haven’t managed to get out of my head it has to be This is how you Lose the Time War! It was just a beautiful read and I think I will go back to re-read when I can. I have a review here!


How did your reading year go? Did you meet your reading goals?

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

Happy Reading in 2020!

October/November Wrap up

It’s time for a reading wrap-up. As I was on hiatus in November I didn’t do my October wrap up so I have combined it with November’s as both months were fairly light on reading compared to other months. As it’s a double month wrap up I don’t have the graphs for you (sorry stats fans) but I do have the numbers.

WRAP-UP STATS

BOOKS:
October – 12
November – 5

PAGES:
October – 2686
November – 1666

(Page count includes Audiobook page numbers)

Actually looking at the two side by side like that I had a better reading month in October than I thought. October was when I reached my Goodreads goal of 100 books in a year! in 2018 I read a total of 101 books and I have already beaten that by a good amount so I am very pleased.

GENRES:

There was a mix of genres over the two months. Fantasy only made up 5 out of the 17 reads, Sci-fi made a comeback with 6 reads, there were two mysteries and four graphic novels (three from the same contemporary series and one fantasy)

AUDIENCE:

My Audience to a move towards the Adult over YA too. With the split being 11 books marketed to general audiences and 6 towards YA. It’s mostly the Sci-fi that bumped that up as all of them were general audience.

FORMAT:

Paperbacks and digital ruled. I think it was because I was carrying all my planning notebooks for Nanowrimo that I just didn’t want to lug hardbacks around too-

EARCs – 3 (including a graphic novel)
Paperbacks – 10
Ebooks -3
Audiobook only – 1

RATINGS:

5 STARS: 3

4.5 STARS: 1

4 STARS: 6

3.5 STARS: 4

3 STARS: 3

WHAT I READ –

OCTOBER:

White Cat
Holly Black
3 stars

This was actually my first Holly Black and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t amazing but it was a fun little heist like story.

The Black Hawks
David Wragg
5 stars

This was a great read! It’s filled with great characters, detailed worldbuilding and twists and turns galore. I have a full spoiler free review written closer to the time of reading that goes into more detail.

Black Mage
Daniel Barnes, DJ Kirkland
4 stars

This graphic novel was fun to read with a great plot and amazing graphics. Again I have a full review here.

A Murder is announced
Agatha Christie
3 stars

You cant go wrong with a bit of Christie. I tend to use her to break out of reading slumps. While not one of my favourites it is still an interesting enough mystery. Though this one does have a line that refers to Marple as a “4 star Pussy”, which I ashamedly giggled out loud about.

Just one Damn thing After Another
Jodi Taylor
4.5 Stars

This triggered my Sci-Fi kick and my Jodi Taylor kick at that. I just devoured this book. Again I have a review for it.

I then went on to read Two short stories:
The Very First Damned Thing and When A Child is Born which I gave 5 Stars and 4 Stars respectively

I also read the 2nd book in the series A Symphony Of Echoes which I gave 4 stars. I will be reviewing these shortly.

Appointment with Death
Agatha Christie
4 Stars


Yes another cheeky Christie slipped on to the list, this time a Poirot. I just seem to enjoy the Poirot miysteries more. I love a good evidence list, and a good parlour scene.

Fence Vol#1-3
3.5 Stars

I gave all three in this series 3.5 stars. They are lovely contemporary graphic novels based around a fencing school. I weirdly spent a large amount of my undergrad with people from the fencing team so I enjoyed reading about the competitions. The overall storyline was a little slow, as volumes 2 and 3 take place over a single day.


NOVEMBER:

Deeplight
Frances Hardinge
4 Stars

I was very fortunate to be granted an ARC of this beautiful book. It was a truly enchanting read Hardinge is a master and worldbuilding creating such atmospheric and interesting worlds. I will have a full review up very soon.

Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers.
Grant Naylor
3 Stars

If you are a Red dwarf fan you will most likely be very familiar with 80% of the plot in this book which is what it only achieved a 3 star rating. It does add little expansions to the familiar story and Chris Barrie is excellent at impersonating his fellow cast members in the audio narration. But on the whole the TV show is just as good a time.

This is How you Loose the Time War
Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
5 Stars

This was just a Gorgeous piece of Sci-if. An epistolary love story told through time and space between members of vastly different Alien races. The language is gorgeous the universe building is phenomenal and it just broke my heart. i will have a full review very soon but it is definitely in the running for one of my favourites of the year.

The Mortal Word and The Secret chapter
Genevieve Cogman
Both 4 Stars

I received the eARC of The Secret Chapter and realised I couldn’t remember anything about where the story left off so i re-read and rated The Mortal Word via the ESCAPE system. I really enjoy this series its just a fun romp. We have political intrigue and murder mystery in The Mortal Word and a heist/caper in The Secret chapter so they are never boring. I will be reviewing both very shortly.


So that is my reading for the past two months. I read some great books and will have a good number of reviews heading your way.

What did you read last month? Have you read any of the above? What did you think?

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

Happy Reading!

September Write up

This is up a bit later than usual as I have been trying to catch up on reading and my reviews (not that I am currently successful in that). But I did manage a little bit of reading in September, so here is what I read.

WRAP-UP STATS

BOOKS: 7

PAGES: 1276

(Page count includes Audiobook page numbers)

September was not a great reading month. I just couldn’t seem to focus on anything. In fact I started a large number of books but never really got very far with them. I just couldn’t focus on them. Instead a spent a lot of time catching up with The Adventure Zone podcast.

GENRES:

You can tell it was a rough month of reading when it consists of mostly graphic novels. I adore graphic novels and often use them to try and break reading slumps. I was also fortunate to have a GN ARC too.

AUDIENCE:

This is a bit surprising I think this is the first month ever with no YA what so ever. Most of my reads were GN or shorter novellas so it is understandable.

The formats are nicely varied from easily picked up ebooks and ARCs that I had committed to read. Managed to clear a couple of books of my TBR and a new read too.

FORMAT:

RATINGS:

5 STARS: 3

4.5 STARS: 1

4 STARS: 2

3 STARS: 1

WHAT I READ –

The Ten Thousand Doors of January
Alix E. Harrow

5 Stars

This is probably one of the best books I have read this year. I adored it . The writing was beautiful, the plot was fantastic. I had an ARC but within reading the first page I had pre-ordered and I am so glad that i did. I have a full spoiler free review here

The Tea Dragon Society and the Tea Dragon Festival
Katie O’Neill
5 stars (both)

This is the cutest and coziest series even. The Art is gorgeous and it has such a relaxed and beautiful storyline and is jam packed with diversity too! Again I have a spoiler free review of both of them.

Dispatcher
John Scalzi
4 Stars

This is an excellent Audio novella by one of my favourite authors. It is a fantastic murder mystery in a world where murder doesn’t lead to death instead the victim wakes up back at home almost as if they have been reset to how they were hours before their death. It follows some who is employed to kill people for medical insurance companies when surgeries take a turn towards the worst. Read by Zachery Quinto also gives it an added edge. It’s just such an inventive story I really enjoyed it.

Tunnel of Bones
Victoria Schwab
4 stars

I loved the first in this series, it being set in my home town just brought it to life for me. This was equally as fun. While I don’t think it gave quiet as much detail of the city, this one being set in Paris, for me it had a much creepier story. It was almost chilling at points and had a fantastic ending that will have me reaching for the next book when it is released.

SparrowHawk Vol 1
Delilah S. Dawson
3 Stars

This Graphic novel promised a lot but fell a little short for my liking. It has such an interesting premise but just didn’t pack the punch. I felt it just kept forward in time and was missing huge chunks of knowledge, which made the dialogue somewhat hard to follow at times.

To be Taught, if Fortunate
Becky Chambers
4.5 Stars

Oh I loved this novella. I picked it up on a whim as there was a signed copy available at my local bookshop. I am so glad I did. As a scientist this just spoke to me. It is a character study of humanity in close quarters as well as the mundanity of day to day science with the thrill of discovery. She is fantastic in making her scientific characters human and not over exaggerated caricatures (like some popular televised works).


Overall it was a quiet month but a good month. The books I did read were really high quality and I enjoyed them all. I am hoping October will help me cull the TBR more than September but I am ok with taking a month off now and then.

Only real disappointment is this left me one away from the Goodreads goal of 100 books and if i could have just squeezed one more in I would have hit that with 3 months of reading left. Then again Goodreads goals are just a bit of fun and I know I will clear it in October!

What did you read in September? What was your favourite read of the month?

I would love to chat all things bookish down below in the comments, on Goodreads, or Twitter.

Happy Reading!

N.E.W.Ts Wrap up

August is over which means the N.E.W.Ts have finished. While I didnt manage to graduate as an Alchemist I did pass all the exams I needed to be a Curse Breaker. I will try for Alchemist again next year.
It was also the month I got my cute little fur babies, who are so distracting in their cuteness.

WRAP-UP STATS

BOOKS: 20

PAGES: 5720

(Page count includes Audiobook page numbers)

I cant believe I managed the get through 20 books! I will admit to making some substitutions to my TBR as the end of the month loomed mostly subbing the longer novels for graphic novels and short stories.

GENRES:

As you an see there is an increase in graphic novels in this month, but it still doesn’t unseat Fantasy as my most read genre. I am still disappointed in the amount of Sci-fi I am reading. I thought I was a much more avid reader or sci-fi than appears from this year.

AUDIENCE:

Again maintaining the almost 50/50 balance of YA and Adult which I am please with. Due to the increase of Graphic novels this month, there is an increase in paperbacks as a format this month. I love the N.E.W.Ts as it forces me to dig deep into my shelves and read a lot of what I own. 15 of the 20 book I read I already owned.

FORMAT:

RATINGS:

5 STARS: 7

4.5 STARS: 4

4 STARS: 3

3.5 STARS:

3 STARS: 5

2.5 STARS: 1

WHAT I READ –

Curse Breaker

ANCIENT RUNES
A: EHWAZ – READ A BOOK RECOMMENDED BY A FRIEND

One Week in the Library
W. Maxwell Prince

⭐⭐⭐

I got this recommendation from fellow Ravenclaw Catarina the Bookworm. Be sure to check out her video and all the other recommendations though G’s video. This was an unusual one but really entertaining.

E: A BOOK WRITTEN IN THE PAST TENSE

Legion: Skin Deep
Brandon Sanderson

⭐⭐⭐

I have been meaning to read this series for a while, the premise was just so interesting and while this one was not as entertaining as the first in the series it was still a great read.

O: BOOK THAT HAS BEEN ON YOU TBR FOR AGES

Six of Crows
Leigh Bardugo

⭐⭐⭐⭐

4.5 Stars

Oh why did I wait so long to read this! I loved this. I am sucker for shows and movies around heists and con-artists and this really did fit in with some of my favourites with its twist turns and reveals. I am moving on to Crooked Kingdom asap.

ARITHMANCY
A: A BOOK THAT ENDS ON AN EVEN PAGE NUMBER

Sea Witch Rising
Sarah Henning

⭐⭐⭐

I was fortunate enough to receive an eARC for this sequel through NetGalley. I have to admit I enjoyed this one better than the first one. I have a full review of both books here.

E: READ A STANDALONE

Magic for Liars
Sarah Gailey

⭐⭐⭐⭐

4.5 Stars

I really really enjoyed this, it was such a great concept. A murder in magical school, all told from the perspective of the disillusioned detective. This book played with those stereotypes and had fun with them. While the mystery wasnt the most thrilling I still really enjoyed it. I will be reviewing this shortly.

O: A BOOK THAT IS LONGER THAN 350 PAGES

Throne of Jade
Naomi Novak

⭐⭐⭐⭐

4.5 Stars

I returned to the tale of Temeraire and Captain Laurance, this instalment takes us on a long sea journey with a little bit of a mystery thrown in. I am still very much enjoying this series.

DEFENCE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS
A: A BOOK THAT IS BLACK UNDER THE DUST JACKET

Legion
Brandon Sanderson

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This was such an interesting premise and it really captured my imagination. While it is not the best rep for mental health, it does draw a clear line with known conditions and the fake one created for the main character. It really does make for an interesting plot.

E: GILDEROY’S MEMORY CHARM – FIRST BOOK THAT YOU REMEMBERED FROM YOUR TBR!

The President’s Brain is missing
John Scalzi

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This aptly named short story was actually written in 2010 and is jam packed with all the off the wall thinking and dry humour that I love about Scalzi. If you haven’t tried Scalzi before this is a great place to start.

CHARMS
A: READ A BOOK THAT YOU THINK HAS A GORGEOUS COVER

Queenslayer
Sebastian De Castell

⭐⭐⭐⭐

4.5 Stars

I finally read this! and it heralds a very dark, yet enjoyable turn for this series. While it seems a bit of a middle book setting up the end game it was still an awesome read! I have a full review here.

E: READ A COMIC/GRAPHIC NOVEL/ MANGA

The Adventure Zone : Murder of the Rockport Express ltd
The McElroy Family and Carey Pietsch

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I love the podcast I love the graphic novel series and there isn’t much more to say. this really does capture all the humour of the series and didn’t skimp over my favourite bits! It just makes me giggle the whole way through.

O: SPONGIFY – READ A PAPERBACK

Death on the Nile
Agatha Christie

⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s not a readathon unless I have an Agatha Christie on the TBR. And this was a great little mystery, that keeps up the twists and turns and red herrings in the usual Poirot fashion.

Extra N.E.W.T.s

ASTRONOMY
A: A BOOK WITH A MOON ON THE COVER

We Hunt the Flame
Hafsah Faizal

⭐⭐⭐

2.5 Stars

I was lucky enough to get my hands on an eARC, but I wasn’t fully sold on this one I am afraid and it ended up with a 2.5 stars overall. For me it just didn’t hit the mark with its world building or characterisation. I have a full spoiler free review here.

E: A BOOK WITH THE WORD “NIGHT” IN THE TITLE OR SERIES NAME

Godsgrave – Nevernight #2
Jay Kristoff

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Continuing on with my re-read of the Nevernight chronicles in preparation of Darkdawn and I loved it just as much as the first time. I knew the ending was coming yet it still got me. I knew all the highs and the lows yet they still pulled me in with them. After meeting Mr Kristoff this week and am even more eager to jump into Darkdawn.

HERBOLOGY
A: MANDRAKE! QUICK PUT YOUR HEADPHONES ON! LISTEN TO AN AUDIOBOOK.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Daisy Jones and the Six
Taylor Jenkins Reid

I have heard this is better read in audio as it is told through a series of interviews and the audiobook is a full cast, and they were not wrong it is amazing! This might be one of the best books I have read this year. I have a full gushing review here.

E: READ A BOOK BETWEEN 350-390 PAGES

The Devouring Gray
Christine Lynn Herman

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Oh this put me in such a mood for Autumn and the Halloween season. It has such an awesome spooky atmosphere. I really enjoyed it. it did tie up a little too neatly for my liking but I really enjoyed the characters and the plot.

POTIONS
A: POLLYJUICE POTIONS: READ YOUR BEST FRIENDS FAVOURITE BOOK.

Fables Vol 1
Bill Willingham

⭐⭐⭐

My husband has been encouraging me to start this series for a while. Its like a dark “Once upon a time”, a murder mystery with fairytale characters stuck in our world. It was an enjoyable read but I did find it a little drawn out and could have wrapped up a lot quicker than it did.

E: HOUSE INGREDIENT: A BOOK WITH A COVER IN YOUR HOGWARTS HOUSE COLOUR

The Consuming Fire
John Scalzi

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Another awesome instalment of this series. I always enjoy scalzi’s work, I love his sense of humour and how out there his plots can get.

O: A BOOK THAT STARTS WITH A PROLOGUE

Bloodlust and Bonnets
Emily McGovern

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I managed to snag an ARC of “Background Slytherin” writer’s first Graphic Novel and it was amazing! I was tearing up with laughter. I will have my full review up soon.

TRANSFIGURATION
A: READ A BOOK WITH LGBTQIA+ REPRESENTATION

Heartstopper Vol 2
Alice Oseman

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is just so god damn sweet and amazing and lovely. Its the only words that can truly describe this book.

E: READ A BOOK THAT IS NOT THE FIRST IN THE SERIES

Giant Days Vol 4
John Allison

⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is one of my favourite series it is so witty and kind of nostalgic for me. I really enjoy these and like saving them up for readathons.

July Wrap up

July was actually a productive month. Despite being very busy at work I managed to read quite a lot. I also had a lot of fun participating in a couple of readathons.

WRAP-UP STATS

BOOKS: 13

PAGES: 3963

(Page count includes Audiobook page numbers)

Looking at these stats actually surprised me I had no idea I had read that much this month as it just felt like such a slow reading month. It’s my second best month of the year and raises my hopes for tackling my over ambitious N.E.W.Ts TBR this month.

GENRES:

A good mix, a few more graphic novels than normal, but I was just in that kind of mood. The bright red of Contemporary showing its face again, which is unusual for me.

AUDIENCE:

A lot more swing to the Adult this month, readdressing the balance to achieve my goal of having a 50/50 split.

FORMAT:

RATINGS:

5 STARS: 4

4.5 STARS: 1

4 STARS: 2

3.5 STARS: 2

3 STARS: 3

2 Stars: 1

WHAT I READ –

This month I am going to discuss these books in the order I read them. I was taking part in two readathons this month, The Book Junkie Trials and the Medieval-a-thon. I will note which challenges each book completed within each of the readathons, so this post can be considered my wrap up for both of them.

Nevernight
Jay Kristoff

5 Stars

I joined in on a re-read of this series in anticipation for the release of dark dawn. I adore this series so far and loved diving back into it. I still have not wrote and official review and will need to get round to doing so.

The Book Junkie Trials: Orc Grove
Medieval-a-thon: Dual Daggers

The Beholder
Anna Bright
2 Stars

This was soo disappointing. It was such an interesting setting but just did not deliver.. the characters were flat, the plot was obvious and extremely repetitive and it didn’t even have a conclusion.

The Book Junkie Trials: Ol’ Pirate Cove
Medievalathon: Sword

Murder in Mesopotamia
Agatha Christie
4 Stars

I always include an Agatha Christie in a readathon. They are just such fun, fast paced reads that they always make you feel accomplished during a readathon. This was such an interesting one. It is a Poirot mystery but not told from the perspective of Hastings. What I love is Christie really wasn’t scared about voicing her own opinions within her writing. There is some real sass in this one.

The Book Junkie Trials: The Drowning deep
Medieval-a-thon: Boots

One fine day in the middle of the night
Chris Brookmyre
4 Stars

I read this years ago and decided to pick it up again. It is just such a fun read. Brookmyre is one of my favourite crime writers and he has a dark and wicked sense of humour that just comes up with such entertaining scenarios. This is one of the best.

The Book Junkie Trials: Crimson Peaks
Medievalathon: Axe

The Kingdom
Jess Rothenberg
5 Stars

This was an eARC I got approved for last minute (which is why it was not on any of my TBRs) and I was so glad a did. It was exactly what i was looking for at the time and it just swept me away. It was such an inventive setting and tale that I was just captured by it. I have a full review here.

The Book Junkie Trials: The Queendom Stone
Medievalathon: Crown

The Flat Share
Beth O’Leary
3.5 Starts

A Contemporary on my read list, for the second month in the row, which I enjoyed! What has become of me? This was a genuinely sweet romantic read, perfect for a lazy summer read. I really liked the communication between the two main characters. I do wish there was more on some of the subplots and side characters. I have a full review here.

The Book Junkie Trials: Glimmer
Medievalathon: Brest Plate

Temeraire
Naomi Novik
4.5 Stars

I am so glad I picked this up. I have had it on my shelves for ages and had just never picked it up and I have no idea why. It is like a more military focused how to train your dragon. But it is very relationship heavy, focusing on the development of the bond between a man and his dragon. I have a full review here.

The Book Junkie Trials: The Draconic Isle
Medievalathon: Helmet

Sea Witch
Sarah Henning
3 Stars

I ended up adding this to my TBR as I got approved for the ARC of Sea Witch Rising (Review upcoming) but I had yet to read this one despite owning it since its release last year. This was a solid middle road YA fantasy. It has its faults but also its high points and it is worth the read, a nice twist on the little mermaid story released during the summer of mermaids last year.

The Book Junkie Trials: Dwarf Mount

Monstress Vol 2
Marjorie Lu
3 Stars

I am still not sure about this series I just not sold on it. The art is gorgeous but I am still not sold on the story. I may continue when my library gets the third volume.

The Book Junkie Trials: The Hollow Isle

A Day in the life of Marlon Bundo
5 Stars

This was a bit of a fun and indulgent on a whim read. It became available digitally vis my library and I just had to read it. It just too cute not too. I will definitely be purchasing a copy for such a good cause.

The Book Junkie Trials: The Empty barrel Inn

Stardust
Neil Gaiman
3 Stars

This was entertaining, for me it wasn’t phenomenal just a solid entertaining read. I can see why some love it but I can also see why others may find Gaiman’s writing style frustrating. One of the most fascinating parts for me was actually the additional material in which Gaiman discussed its conception and its many incarnations.

The Book Junkie Trials: The Bookish Grail
Medievalathon: Bow

Mooncakes
Wendy Xu and Susanne Walker
5 Stars

This was just so sweet and beautiful and jam packed with awesome rep. I loved this graphic novel. I cant gush about it enough. You can read my full review here. Put it on your wish list for August.

The Book Junkie Trials: Dwarf Mount
Medievalathon: Cape

Murder at the Vicarage
Agatha Christie
3 Stars

Snuck another Christie into my reading list at the last minute as I just read through them so fast. This is the first in the Ms Marple series and it shows, a lot of the recurring characters are present but not fully established (some have starkly different personalities from what they later become). As usual it has a great twist that really does have you chasing the red herrings till the very end.

The Book Junkie Trials: The Great Library


Overall I think I can call both readathons a win. I reached the Bookie Grail and Armed myself to the teeth in medieval-a-thon. In fact made it to the rank of Queen and the only prompt I was missing was leggings. So I am a very well armed bare legged queen.

Did you participate in either of these readathons? How did you do? How did your July reading go?

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

Happy Reading!

June Wrap-up

June is done and dusted and we are now forging our way into July. For me June was slow but steady, and enjoyable. It was nice to have a month without readathons to just drift from book to book. July and August have some big readathons that I am excited to take part in but they are intense.

WRAP-UP STATS

BOOKS: 10

PAGES: 3155

(Page count includes Audiobook page numbers)

GENRES:

AUDIENCE:

FORMAT:

RATINGS:

5 STARS: 4

4.5 STARS: 2

4 STARS: 0

3.5 STARS: 3

3 STARS: 1

WHAT I READ –

A study in Charlotte
Brittany Cavallaro
4.5 Stars

This was a fantastic little mystery that took me by surprise at how dark it got. I really enjoyed the concept and how the mystery played out. I will definitely be continuing with the series.

Malamander
Thomas Taylor
4.5 Stars

This was just purely delightful. A spooky little middle grade mystery that just hooked me for the first page and I just couldn’t put it down. It was just truly enjoyable with lots of twists and turns ( and a talking cat!).

Mouse Guard : Winter 1152
David Petersen
5 Stars

I love this graphic novel series. Despite its cute appearance this is a very gory and bloody comic which centres around a civilisation of mice as they attempt to navigate the worlds perils. It saddens me that as I read this they announced the cancellation of the movie which would have been spectacular if it had been made.

Sorcery of Thorns
Margaret Rogerson
5 Star

One of my favourite reads so far this year! Sorcery of Thorns had everything from daemons that take cat form, talking books, vast libraries and sassy talking sorcerers. I really enjoyed the writing style and hope we do eventually get more from this world. Check out my full review here.

The October Man
Ben Aaronovich
5 Stars

When a new novella from my favourite series lands on the shelves I am going to pick it up straight away. I tend to mainline these books so quickly that I have to re-read before attempting to review it. I devoured this a unpredictably loved it. Even with the change of perspective away from Peter. I have a full review here.

The Man in the Brown Suit
Agatha Christie
3.5 Stars

This wasn’t my favourite of Christie’s work. It is separate from her Poirot and Marple series and just didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I found it quiet long and convoluted for one of her more simple mysteries.

The Umbrella Academy : Apocalypse Suite
Gerard Way
3 Stars

I was kind of disappointed about this one, its a case of the TV show was better. The TV show did a more delicate job of the reveals and the twists which were just laid out in the comics.

Finale
Stephanie Garber
3.5 Stars

I actually enjoyed this final instalment with the Caraval series, it was a satisfying ending for a series I have been up and down with. I will be writing a full review shortly.

Almost Adults
Ali Pantony
3.5 Stars

A rare foray into contemporary that I actually enjoyed. It was a really nice looked into female friendship of girls that grew up during the spice girls girl power era and how they are coping now that they are in their late 20s! I have a full review here.

The Audiobook of the Year
No Such Thing as a Fish
5 Stars

I was on a bit of a podcast binge and I had finally caught up with one of my favourites, No such thing as a fish, and was restlessly waiting for the next instalment so when they advertise a 9hr version under the disguise of an audiobook I am going to listen to it. It is just that a 9 hour version of the pod cast packed full of facts and joking.


So that was my June. How did your June reading month go? What was your favourite read? Have your read any of the books above?

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

Happy Reading!

May Wrap-up

Finally I am getting around to my May wrap-up. May was, as I have said before, a very busy for me personally. My Hubsand and I bought a house, moved into that house and finally I have started to put together my dream library.

Despite all that going on i am very happy with the amount I managed to read. While a failed at all the readathons I casually attempted I did manage to read a good few books that I have been meaning to get to for a while.

WRAP-UP STATS

BOOKS: 7

PAGES: 2634

(Page count includes Audiobook page numbers)

Seven books is fantastic for a very busy month and over 2.5 thousand pages is far more than I expected to be able to read with everything packed away in boxes.

GENRES:

As expected I had quiet a fantasy heavy month and I had a number of graphic novels included because they are great for fitting into those little bits of down time I managed to carve out of amongst all the running around

AUDIENCE:

Again I am managing to keep the 50/50 split between YA and Adult overall this year. For the first time this year, a middle grade book has found itself on my reading list. I like delving into middle grade now and again for a fun quick read.

FORMAT:

RATINGS:

5 STARS: 2

4.5 STARS: 1

4 STARS: 0

3.5 STARS: 3

3 STARS: 1

WHAT I READ –

ARCs

The Furies
Katie Lowe

4.5 Stars

This is a spooky and extremely atmospheric Thriller/Magical realism that just had me captivated. I really enjoyed it but it is definatly more geared towards a British audience who may connect with it more, especially if they grew up in the 1990s. Read my full review here.

Crown of Feathers
 Nicki Pau Preto

3.5 Stars

A solid start to a YA fantasy, while it is lacking a bit of development and had one of my least favourite troupes as its romantic plot, I am intrigued enough to continue. I have a full review for this book

Seven Blades in Black
Sam Sykes

5 Stars

This honestly is one of the best books I have read this year. It is a fast faced, humour filled romp though such an interesting world. You can read my full gush of a review here.

libRary

Sorcerer to the Crown
Zen Cho
3.5 Stars

A slow paced historical fantasy that has the feeling of Johnathon Strange and Mr Norrel while dealing with issues such as women with power and race relations. I will have a review up for this shortly.

Monstress Vol 1: Awakening
3 Stars

An interesting Sci-Fi/Fantasy Graphic novel that for me just didn’t capture my attention in this issue. As I got it from the library I will be continuing and giving issue 2 a chance to win me over.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library
Chris Grabenstein 
3.5 Stars

This was so cute and fun, filled with bookish name drops and fun facts about the dewey decimal system. That I just grabbed on a whim when I wanted something to listen to while I was dealing with some stressful time at work. It was such a lovely story and I will happily read the rest of the series at some point.

MY Bookshelves

Shadow of the Fox
Julie Kagawa
3.5 Stars

I had this on my shelf for a while and it wasn’t quite what I was expecting but also that was a nice surprise. I didn’t expect a road trip book with such a lovely and sweet MC. I will be continuing when the second book is released.


Overall it was quite a nice reading month. How did your May reading go? Have you read any of these books? I would love to hear what you thought of them.

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

Happy Reading!

April and O.W.L’s Wrap up

We have finished the O.W.L exams for another year! I am Very proud of my house for winning the house cup again! And for everyone for reading 12,641 books and over 4 million pages!

I had an amazing reading month myself. I always find the magical readathons so motivating and the community is fantastically supportive. While I didn’t stick rigourously to my TBR I did manage to complete all 12 prompts passing all my exams. This means I can undertake the N.E.W.Ts for the Alchemy career if I want to! It’s also one book more that I managed to complete during last year! All in all I had an awesome month and it makes me feel better about taking it easy in May while I move house.

WRAP-UP STATS

BOOKS: 14

PAGES: 4,403

(Page count includes Audiobook page numbers)

I am still slowly working my way through and savouring every second of The Priory of the Orange Tree. I am loving it, and will hopefully finish it in May. I have not included those pages above but will include them what I have finished.

GENRES:

It was a mostly fantasy filled month, though a good mix of sub-genres, from urban fantasy, historical fantasy, magical realism etc. I loved having the graphic novels there to turn to when I just wanted a quick read. I might have to increase my collection and look into what my library has in stock to keep a few in my TBR. two out of the 3 graphic novels I read were Fantasy , while the third was contemporary. The short story collections were also fantasy based.

AUDIENCE:

I am still trying to maintain the 50/50 split and I am happy that I managed to keep this month reasonably close. I expected that I would be drawn more towards YA in a readathon month as I find them quicker to get through. But I am happy about the number of General Audience books I finished over the readathon.

FORMAT:

RATINGS:

5 STARS: 4

4.5 STARS: 1

4 STARS: 4

3.5 STARS: 4

3 Stars: 1

WHAT I READ For the O.W.Ls –

CHARMS – AGE LINE: READ A BOOK MARKETED AS GENERAL AUDIANCE/ADULT

Breaking the Lore
Andy Redsmith

4 Stars

This was one of 3 Arcs I read over the month and I really enjoyed it. Filled with bad puns and witty banter it was a perfect start to the readathon for me. I have a full review here.

ANCIENT RUNES – A RETELLING

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
Various
Editied by Ellen Oh and Elise Chapman


3.5 STARS

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a short story collection full of retellings of East and South Asian mythology and Folklore. It is always difficult to review short story collections

ARITMANCY – A WORK WRITTEN BY MORE THAN ONE creator

Shades of Magic Vol 1: The Steel Prince
V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri  

4 STARS

I wasn’t really settling into my original choice for this prompt and decided it just wasn’t the book for me at that moment in time therefore when my copy of this finally landed at my door I had pick it up. I felt this was enjoyable but had some real pacing issues compared to other spin off comic series I have read. I will be continuing with the volumes in hopes the full story arc pulls together.

DEFENCE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS – REDUCTO: READ A BOOK BEGINNING WITH THE LETTER R

The Raven’s Tale
Cat Winters


4.5 STARS

My second ARC of the month was this reimagining of the teenage life of Edgar Allen Poe. It was a facinating concept that was exicuted in such a fantastic way. it was deliciously dark and lyrical. Check out my full review.

POTIONS – NEXT INGREDIENT: READ A SEQUEL

Ruin and Rising
Leigh Bardugo

4 Stars

I really enjoyed the closing off of this series. While there were bits and pieces that made me groan, I was still swept away with it all. I just enjoyed this series as a whole and this was a fitting ending to it. I will hopefully have my review up shortly.

TRANSFIGURATION – SPRAYED EDGES OR A RED COVER
3.5 Stars

The Vanishing Stair
Maureen Johnson

This is another change from my original TBR. I just wasnt in the mood for my original pick so I picked up The Vanishing Stair instead. I adored Truly Devious and while this wasn’t as tantalising as the first book in the series it was still really enjoyable and set up some curious aspects for the third book.

ASTRONOMY – WITH THE WORD STAR IN THE TITLE

Stars Above
Marissa Meyer

4 Stars

Again A short story collection is hard to rate but this one was really fun. I love the Lunar chronicles and this was a great way to revisit all the characters. We learn a little more about their back stories, fill in little gaps in the original stories and that last story just hit me in the feels in such a lovely way.

CARE OF MAGICAL CREATURES – A LAND ANIMAL ON THE COVER

CharmCaster and Soulbinder
Sebastien De Castell

5 Stars for both

I read both of these this month as part of my Countdown to Queenslayer re-read. I adore this series and as they are re-reads for me a flew through them and I am more that excited for Queenslayer (I am anxiously awaiting my pre-order). I have spoiler filled Thoughts on Re-reading for both Charmcaster and Souldbinder. I counted these as land animal due to the presence of my precious little murder floof the squirrel cat Reichis (if you haven’t read this series you have to as I guarantee you will love this sassy little ball of rage)

DIVINATION – SET IN THE FUTURE

Only Human
Sylvian Neuvel

3.5 Stars

This is the last ARC I had for this month. It was to promote the paperback release here in the UK. I have really enjoyed this series. While, I was left in two minds about the overall ending, and I was wanting more, overall I think I enjoyed this more than some others. I have a full review here.

HERBOLOGY – PLANTS ON THE COVER
3 Stars

Gilded Wolves 
Roshani Chokshi

I was so intrigued by this, but it kind of missed the mark overall. I am intending to write a full review but I feel this was aged down to be YA. It made the teenage characters seem alot older than they were and the ending was just bizarre. But if I read this as the characters being experienced 20 somethings the story started to make more sense and I enjoyed it overall.

HISTORY OF MAGIC – PUBLISHED OVER TEN YEARS AGO
3.5 Stars

Peril at End House
Agatha Christie

There is nothing like a bit of Agatha Christie to get the pages turning during a readathon. This was a solid little Poirot mystery. Not one of the best I have read but still a great page turner, with Christie’s usual sharp twists and great final reveal!

MUGGLE STUDIES – A CONTEMPORTARY

Giant Days Vol#3
John Allison et al.

5 Stars

I don’t read a lot of contemporary but Giant Days is a huge exception for me. I love this graphic novel series. It reminds me so much of my undergrad. I knew a lot of people like these characters and it is very reflective of the British Uni experience. It makes me smile so much and I adore that.

Bonus read –

Mouse Guard – Fall 1152
David Peterson

A medieval Fantasy graphic novel based on a Mouse Society! It is filled with violence and betrayal and war. I would say if you grew up reading the Redwall series by Brian Jacques you will enjoy this. Note this is marketed as a mature graphic novel and despite being about cute mice it covers dark topics and is not suitable for younger audiences.


What a great month! What was your favourite read of the month? Did you manage to pass all the O.W.Ls you were hoping to? Will you be participating in the N.E.W.Ts?


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

Happy Reading!

March Reading Wrap up

March just flew by. I am beginning to sound like a broken record with how quickly I feel 2019 is passing us by. It was yet again another busy month for me and with the anticipation of the O.W.Ls in April, I took a more relaxed approach to my reading in March. I did participate in Re-readathon which I always enjoy. I otherwise just took it easy.

WRAP-UP STATS

BOOKS: 8

PAGES: 3,107

(Page count includes Audiobook page numbers)

I also have been slowly working my way through and savouring every second of The Priory of the Orange Tree. I am loving it, I am not going to rush through just to finish it. I have not put it on my O.W.Ls TBR but I will be continuing to read a few pages till I am finished.

GENRES:

It’s been a Fantasy filled month, with almost three quarters of the books read being within the Fantasy genre in some way. I have placed one book as a Mystery but only because I don’t have heist as a category.

AUDIENCE:

I am pleased I managed to hit the 50/50 split between adult and YA fiction. Overall I have managed to maintain this balance throughout the year so far and I hope I can continue to do that over the rest of the year.

FORMAT:

A real mixed media month reading from a little bit of everything, from ARCs to paperbacks.

RATINGS:

5 STARS: 2

4.5 STARS: 3

4 STARS: 2

2 STARS: 1

WHAT I READ FROM MY TBR –

ARC

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The Truth about Keeping Secrets
Savannah Brown
4 Stars
ESCAPE: 44

This was a great debut YA thriller that dealt with grief in a way that was so honest and raw. I really enjoyed most of this apart from wanting more from the ending so it was a solid 4 stars. Read my full review here.

BLOG PROJECT

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Shadowblack
Sebastian de Castell
4.5 Stars
ESCAPE: 48

Continuing with my Count down to Queenslayer with the second book in the Spellslinger series, I thought that I originally didn’t really favour this book as highly as the others in the series. I completely forgot how funny this book was and how much we learn about Kellen, Ferius and Reichis. I have a full spoiler filled thoughts while re-reading for this book.

RE Readathon

The Night Circus
Erin Morgenstren
5 Stars
ESCAPE: 55

This is one of my favourite books of all time. Every time I read it I get more and more out of it. I feel it is just beautifully written and I am soo excited for her next book which should release this year!

And Then There were None
Agatha Christie
5 Stars
ESCAPE: 50

And then there were none was the 2nd Agatha Christie I ever read and it was the book that truly hooked me to writing. I still found it an impactful and exciting tale even in a re-read. She really does deserve her crown as the queen of crime.

Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less
Jeffery Archer
4.5 Stars
ESCAPE: 48

Oh boy I had completely forgot everything about this book. When re-reading it I was just completely swept away and I adored it. It’s such a fun ride – you can find my full review here.

Storm Front
The Dresden Files #1
Jim Butcher
2 Stars
ESCAPE: 25

I tried I really did but this really wasn’t my cup of tea. I just found it such a grind to get through. A book which only describes the women within its pages by their cup size is not a book for me.

#SERIESTF2019

Siege and Storm
Leigh Bardugo
4.5 Stars
ESCAPE: 46

This was an awesome second book. It has completely sold me on this series. I just seemed to speed through it. I will definitely be diving into the next one during my O.W.Ls.

Firestarter
Tara Sim
4 Stars
ESCAPE: 45

I finally finished a series. I binged this series! It was so good. I got so invested in the characters and world. This really was a fitting conclusion. I will be writing up a review soon.

February Wrap up

Oh, February was an interesting month. I was very busy at work, bringing a lot of it home, so my usual commute was filled with work instead of novels. My during the week reading fell back on audiobooks with my physical TBR languishing. However, I seemed to be about to read like wild fire during the weekends, which allowed me to devour some really great books.

WRAP-UP STATS

BOOKS: 8 (+ DNF 2)

PAGES: 3,105

(Page count includes Audiobook page numbers)

GENRES:

chart (5)

It was a Fantasy heavy month, reading 5 books from that genre. I suspect that this will be the norm for most months. I did go out of my comfort zone as part of the Too Old for this Shit Book Club and read a historical fiction – an experiment that did not go well, and I made room for a little sci-fi and mystery in there too.

AUDIENCE:

chart (7)

It was a YA month, I just find reach for YA in very busy months, there are fewer YA Epic Tomes so they just seem more attractive when I can devour a book in a day or too.

FORMAT:

chart (9)

 

Like I mentioned above audiobooks were my saviour in this busy month. So was my library with all three of the audiobooks being obtained from there. Unfortunately, I DNF’d two books both of which were ARCs. I usually give myself 100 pages to get into a book but they just were not for me at this time.

RATINGS:

5 Stars: 1

4.5 Stars: 1

4 Stars: 1

3.5 Stars: 2

3 Stars: 2

1 Stars: 1

DNF: 2

WHAT I READ FROM MY TBR –

BOOK CLUB

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Beneath a Scarlet Sky
Mark Sullivan

1 Star
ESCAPE: 12

I have to admit I was very very close to DNFing this book. I am just not gelling with the wiritng style and while I want to know the story (as is a fictionalised memoir of a young italian man’s deeds during WW2) I just struggled with how the writer choose to convey the story. I have a very brief review here. It seems like this wasn’t well received by a lot of the club so I am looking forward to the live show discussion (date not set yet).

ARC

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Enchantee
Gita Trelease

3 Star
ESCAPE: 33

I have a full review of this book, here, but it was a fun read that just didn’t give all that was promised on the blurb. The magic system was interesting at first but fizzled out, the romance was sweet but filled with miscommunication and the revolution aspects didn’t materialise. However, the writing was beautiful and the story was inventive with strong characters. While not a 5 star for me, I could see others loving it.

#SERIESTF2019

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Shadow and Bone
Leigh Bardugo

3.5 Star
ESCAPE: 39

I have a full review of my thoughts here, but this one was so close to being a four star and while it wasn’t a run away hit for me I can see why people love this series. I am looking forward to continuing on with the series.

#SERIESTF2019 and LIBRARY

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Timekeeper
Tara Sim

4.5 Star
ESCAPE: 48

My full review of this delightful steampunk feeling, romantic, mysterious fantasy was actually my very low key 100th post and I am so glad it was. I read this half in audio/ half in ebook both from the library. This was such a fun read that I dived straight into the 2nd in the series.

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Chainbreaker
Tara Sim

4 Star
ESCAPE: 45

While I did not adore this as much as the first, I still really enjoyed the read and flew through it again in the audio/ebook combination – thanks to my library. I will have a full review to follow soon, but this books took some great perspective switches and a very interesting twists. You can rest assured that the 3rd and final book shall be making its way on to my Sequel-athon TBR in March!

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Unearthed
Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner

3 Star

When I heard this compared to a sort of Tombraider/Indy in space and it showed up as available to borrow in audiobook I just had to check it out. It was a fun story but I personally would have liked a lot more puzzles and actual tomb-raiding but it has some great twists. I will hopefully be reading the concluding book in this duology soon.

FREE CHOICE

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Two Can Keep a Secret
Karen M. McManus

3.5 Star
ESCAPE: 39

This was so close to a four star book that I wavered over my rating just to give it the four stars. I really enjoyed One of us is lying, and while not related Two can Keep a Secret holds the same high quality story construction with a great mystery to try and solve. However, occasionally it just lacked some drama to make it a run-away success for me. My full review will be following soon.

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In an Absent Dream
Seanan McGuire

5 Star
ESCAPE: 52

This series just keeps getting better for me. I loved this book, and it might be my favourite of the series so far. Then again, a high logic world where we get to know Lundy’s back story was always going to appeal to me. I will have my review to you in the next few days!

DNF –

EARC

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The Last
Hanna Jameson

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The Outcast Hours
Various

Neither of these books were bad books they were just not what i was looking for at the time. I am a firm believer in just moving on if I am just not in the mood for the book. These were unfortunately ARCs. But I would rather do justice to the authors and state that they are just not right for me right now than give them bad reviews as I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to continue. I may pick these back up. The outcast hours would be great around Halloween for those into Horror. But life is too short and there are too many books out their I want to try and read to forge ahead on books I just couldn’t get into.

TBR BOOKS I DIDN’T HAVE TIME FOR:

I am going to try a new thing and to encourage me to return to the TBR books I didn’t get to in the Month of February I will be asking you, dear reader, which one I should prioritise.

Here are the books I didn’t get to in February:

The Orphanage of Gods – Helena Coggan
Master of Sorrows – Justin Call
The Vanishing Stair – Maureen Johnson
Circle of Shadows – Evelyn Skye

What one should I read in February? Please vote in the comments!


How did your February reading go?

I would love to chat about these books or any others in the comments on Goodreads or Twitter!

Happy Reading!