2018 Reading Year In Review

close up of shelves with plant

We’re at the end of 2018 eh? Well, no, we’re actually thoroughly in 2019 now and I’m late. But this is where most people would say “how it’s flown by!” but honestly? This year has d r a g g e d. But in the midst of many changes in my life throughout the year, I managed to sneak some reading in. So how did my 2018 reading go?

Continue reading 2018 Reading Year In Review

The Jingle Bell Book Tag

A Christmas Carol book between two book shaped christmas presents

Well we’ve not seen a book tag around these parts for awhile have we? But I’m going to be honest with you, I wanted some more festivity on this lil blog of mine and so it was perfect timing for Richard to tag me in his Jingle Bell Book Tag! This is a tag he made a couple of years ago using a combination of christmas songs and movies, so y’know, we’ve got music, we’ve got films, and we’ve got books. We’re in for a good time amiright?

Continue reading The Jingle Bell Book Tag

Book Haul Highlights // Autumn Edition

title image - blurry photo of books as background with a white banner across the middle saying book haul highlights

Yes, Autumn has passed but I’m late and didn’t want to miss out this blog post, so here we are. 

A few weeks ago I uploaded an Autumn Book Haul to my youtube channel, and while I didn’t want to repeat content on here, I still wanted to show you folks some of the books I’m excited about. So I thought I’d bring back the book haul highlights, where I show you a few of the books I’m most excited about from the haul! 

If you’d like to watch the full video it will be at the end of this post, but if you want to hear about some of the books I’ve acquired lately and am most excited for, here we are!

Continue reading Book Haul Highlights // Autumn Edition

Bookish Gift Guide | Support The Independents

Whether you’re organised with your Christmas shopping or completely at a loss so far, I feel like December is a month full of browsing. Even if you have your life together and everything sorted, isn’t it just interesting to see what’s out there? I certainly think so.

Well, I’m coming at you today with some of the independents. Wherever possible, I try to buy from independent businesses who are more likely to appreciate the money I spend than big corporations would. Of course, it’s not always avoidable. Buying from the big places can work out cheaper, quicker, more convenient in general. BUT…I do try to support the independents. And so I thought I’d create a lil bookish gift guide, suggesting not only some bookish gift ideas but specifically linking you folks to indie shops I think deserve more attention. 

Continue reading Bookish Gift Guide | Support The Independents

First Chapters – Deciding My Holiday TBR

Book spines - The Magicians by Lev Grossman, The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, American Gods by Neil Gaiman, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood, Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor, The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen, And I Darken by Kiersten White and I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

Way back in January, I was shocked to find myself part of a family-holiday-booking process, something I’ve never done before. And as of right now – the very day this blog post goes up, in fact – I will be on my first holiday abroad. Who’d have thought?

So of course my biggest dilemma for the past couple of months has been trying to decide which books to take with me.** I very rarely read the “typical” holiday reads – contemporaries, romances, crime novels etc – and so there wasn’t a particular mood to go for when plucking books off my shelves. So I decided to follow Hannah’s idea (A Cup of Wonderland), and decided my reads based on the first chapters. I vastly underestimated how long it would take me to read the first chapters of 10 books and started cheating a little by not reading the entire first chapter of some (I mean, some book chapters can be a solid 50 pages long! No thanks), but either way I eventually whittled it down to 6 books, which is hugely ambitious considering I’m a slow reader and will only be there 10 days. But better to be prepared, right?

Continue reading First Chapters – Deciding My Holiday TBR

(A little bit later than) Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

pile of books thrown down

This is what happens when you’re an indecisive human. You’re at first adamant you won’t be doing any mid year reading updates on your blog or booktube, but then suddenly, somehow, you end up doing two – one on each. I’ve been loving reading/watching everyone else’s updates, so I couldn’t resist really. I was tagged to do this one by Jess over at Read By Jess, and also the Mid Year Check In Tag by Jasmine over at Jasmine’s Reads, so I decided to spread them across the two platforms. Since the Freak Out tag is the longer one, it’s making its appearance on my blog! If you want to check out the other one too – some of the questions are similar but there are some different ones too! – you can click here. But, anyway, let’s have a lil mid year catch up!

Continue reading (A little bit later than) Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag

Fantasy & Myths | My favourite books of 2018 so far

High angle showing an assortment of my favourite books of 2018 so far - the covers hidden - and my travel journal for decoration

Apparently, I’ve become a harsher reviewer in 2018. I say this because now we’re in the 7th month of the year, and I haven’t rated any books 5 stars yet. None. Zero. Zilch. Why?? It’s true, I’m reluctant to give anything less than a newfound all-time fave 5 stars, but you’d figure that somewhere in the 35 books I’ve read so far this year, I’d have found one. It seems not.

Despite this, there are a few that have still stood out to me this year and have gotten close to those treasured 5 stars. I don’t think anyone will be surprised to see there’s a theme of fantasy and ancient history. But these four books are the ones currently in the running for my favourites of 2018…unless I miraculously discover a whole suitcase full of new favourites in the next 5 months between now and the end of the year. But here, (a little over) halfway through, we have my current highlights!

Continue reading Fantasy & Myths | My favourite books of 2018 so far

Stratford-Upon-Avon // Visiting Ol’ Shakespeare

1

Though not being the most prolific reader of Shakespeare, I couldn’t resist a trip to Stratford-Upon-Avon when offered. As always, my love for literature and history found themselves closely tied, and walking around what used to be a medieval market town fascinated me to no end.

The town itself is stunning, full of beamed buildings for even the most standard shops, something I was glad to see because lord, how I hate modern buildings in comparison. Quaint, cobblestoned streets bustling with people going about their day to day lives, we probably couldn’t help looking like the tourist types the locals are no doubt used to by now.

Continue reading Stratford-Upon-Avon // Visiting Ol’ Shakespeare

Favourite university reads | What a mix of eras

1

“Canonical writing is born of an originality fused with tradition.”

– Harold Bloom

At long last – but seemingly all too soon – I’ve reached the end of my first year at university. A long summer awaits, and so it’s time to bid farewell to the reading list of first year and anticipate the list for next year. But before doing so, the favourites of the bunch await their highlight.

Continue reading Favourite university reads | What a mix of eras

Haworth ~ Bronte Country

I’ve wanted to visit the Bronte Parsonage for years. Though I’ve read a pitiful amount from the infamous Bronte sisters so far, the history and literature lovers inside me bound together and willed me go. And so after all those years of waiting, I went.

street

‘…when the setting sun shone on it and the topmost heights, and the whole extent of landscape besides lay in shadow.’ {Emily Bronte}

Continue reading Haworth ~ Bronte Country