Back Into Reading! My July wrap up and stats!

I’ve had a big dip in my reading lately. Life came up on me and so reading had to take a back seat, but by the end of the month I seem to have gotten back into my stride. Despite that, I did “only” manage 7 books (I was averaging around 13 books before, 7 books is still a great number!).

I read 2410 pages this month, with 18 hours of audiobook listening. Which is the most I’ve done in any month so far. Despite that, I read mostly physical books, 6 in fact. With only the 1 audiobook (The Fellowship of the Ring). And surprising nobody, 4 out of the 7 books were fantasy!

I started out the month by reading Pompeii by Salvatore Nappo. This is a guide book to Pompeii that was published in 1998 and gifted to my family then. None of us ever got around to reading it, and seeing as I was in Pompeii last month now seemed like a good time! Despite it being a little old the information in here was still mostly accurate (what’s been excavated being the most inaccurate – obviously) and super interesting.

Then I finished Rivers of London by Ben Arronovitch and I couldn’t stop thinking about this book after I finished it! A Met Police PC discovers the occult and supernatural and ends up joining the department of the Met that deals with magical crimes. I did have a few issues with this book, but honestly I can’t get it out of my head and I’m definitely carrying on with the series.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen was my next read. This is my fourth book by her (if you include Lady Susan) and yet again I really enjoyed it! I like how it played on the gothic tropes and made fun of them a little whilst also advocating for reading and having some great quotes. I don’t know why I like her books so much, because I wouldn’t think of picking them up if they were contemporary now. But I’m not complaining!

A translated piece of fiction from Japan, The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa made me sob. Honestly my face was not fit for public consumption. Christ. I was red as a tomato and sniffling like a child who just finished throwing a tantrum. This book is so beautiful, and so heartwrenching. I don’t want to tell you much, because it’s learning about the events themselves that give the impact of the book. But the general plot is that it’s a road trip across Japan with this man and his cat, as he tries to find a new home for the cat. 5 stars!

Goldsboro did it once again with their amazing GSFF box pick, Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro. Think Peculiar Children but for adults. The magic system in here was amazing, I loved the conversation about taking children from their homes and their loved ones. I loved each and every side plot in here and wish that we could have them all fleshed out. It was just an amazing experience and this is another 5 star read for me. Read it.

Unfortunately, my next book wasn’t so great, and that’s Book of Night by Holly Black. This was the Illumicrate book for last month, but because I wasn’t reading this month’s book (cause it’s racist) I thought I’d catch up on my missed reading from my holidays with this one. It’s fine? The magic is interesting but I just couldn’t get along with Black’s writing style. And given this is supposed to be an adult title it felt incredibly YA.

Luckily my final book puts things on an upspin with The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein finally being on my read shelves! I listened to this via audiobook, which was a fantastic experience, and I’m so mad that I didn’t pick these books up sooner! I need to read the next two! I’m so glad Lizzie is hosting the MiddleEarthAThon to kick me into gear to read these!

And those are my reads! I seem to be getting back into my books now, fingers crossed (touch wood, and every other superstition available), and I’m looking forward to all the new stories I can get to next month! If you’d like to see how my balancing of the books went in July? Well you’ll have to subscribe to my BookTube channel so you get notified when that video comes out! (soon!)

What’s your favourite read of July? Mine has to be a tie between The Travelling Cat Chronicles, and Ordinary Monsters!

May Reading Wrap Up

May was, as always, a busy month! And yet somehow I managed to read 13 books. Let’s take a look at the books and then I’ll look at balancing out my tbr with the new books I brought in. If you’d rather see this in video format that’s linked below!

My first read was Rebel Heart by Moira Young, the second book in the Blood Red Road trilogy. This suffered a little from middle book syndrome, with the characters clearly just being moved into place for the final book. But it was still interesting to be back in this world and I’m looking forward to capping off the series, hopefully sometime soon.

My non-fiction for the month was Living Planet by David Attenborough which is a republication of a book from the 80s. In this repub they’ve updated the scientific information, as well as switching out examples of species to those which are more obscure. This was a fantastic book and I’m so glad I can add it to my shelves!

This month I discovered that Spotify has some audiobooks you can listen to for free, so I listened to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien because it was way past time for me to read this one. It’s such a fun audiobook and I’m definitely more hyped to read the main LotR trilogy now!

Freak Like Me by Hannah O’Donnell is a teeny book, at only 10 pages, but it packs a punch. Talking about familiars and acceptance in society, I would adore to see a full sized book within this world (and am tempted to hound Hannah until she does it!)

My last audiobook for the month was Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, which is a novel written in verse. This is a really tough novel, discussing gang violence and deaths in Black communities in the US. It’s tackled beautifully and I want to read more from Reynolds!

A partial reread, Binti: The Complete Collection by Nnedi Okorafor includes the titular novel Binti, as well as two more novellas in the series and a final short story between books 1 and 2. I read Binti previously via audio, but when I was picking up this collection I thought that I should reread the first book before diving in. This is a gorgeous sci-fi series that tackles racism, leaving home, being from multiple cultures and not feeling like you fit it, and it does all of it beautifully. I was genuinely disappointed when I realised I didn’t have anything else in this world to read!

Graceling by Kristin Cashore is one that I should’ve read years ago! It’s one of those “classic” YAs from the 00s and is such a fun read. The naming conventions are ridiculous, but I really enjoyed the book and I’m super excited to delve into the rest of the series, and then read the brand new release that’s due to come out later this year! I need to get my butt in gear clearly.

By now, I think I’ve solidified that the Goldsboro GSFF box sends me books that I adore, because Wild and Wicked Things by Francesca May was fantastic. A magical, witchy, dark book set on a small island in the 1920s with murder, lesbians, and non-binary rep. What else could you ask for?

Then I delved into some British ridiculousness with The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde which is a murder mystery, with Humpty Dumpty as the victim! I loved Fforde’s work in the Thursday Next series and this didn’t disappoint. Utterly stupid whilst also being brilliantly clever. I need to pick up more from Fforde.

Time for a little classic with The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, the synopsis on the back of my copy just talks about Wilde, and so I went into this knowing literally nothing. Colour me surprised when there was a fantastical element inside! There was one chapter that I really didn’t enjoy in here, but apart from that it was a fun classic with a really interesting concept I would love to see played with more.

Sticking with pictures, but this time it’s a contemporary read from Illumicrate. Portrait of a Thief by Grace D Li could’ve been so much more. It really needed better work on the character development, and the heist plots to steal back Chinese artefacts from Western museums needed a shade more believability. It was clearly a debut but I’m interested in anything else Li publishes in the future.

This Vicious Cure by Emily Suvada finished off the This Mortal Coil trilogy with a bang. The character development was fascinating, I adore the genetics and general science throughout all of this, and I actually really liked the ending! Looking forward to rereading this trilogy in the future.

Last but not least, I finished up my month with some Discworld in the form of Pyramids by Terry Pratchett, the seventh book in the series. This is a fun romp following the Pharaoh of not-quite-Egypt, who also happens to be a God and an assassin. In the ridiculous world on the back of the Great A’Tuin it’s a great standalone in the series.

And those are the thirteen books I managed to read this past month! I’m pretty happy with that if I do say so myself.

And then there comes the balancing. So I didn’t balance out my books for April (because it was a rough month) but I started May with 119 books on my tbr (honestly I really need to get this to a more reasonable number). I read 13 books, with 9 of them being from my tbr. I brought in 5 new books, and read 1 of those. All in all meaning that my new physical tbr count is 114. It’s went down!! I’m so damn pleased that I’m actually making some headway through this tbr!!

Let me know your favourite read of May. I’m spoilt for choice but I think Wild and Wicked Things might just have hit the top spot for me!

April Reading Wrap Up

Well April was a month, but despite everything going on I was still able to get through a fair few books! So let’s go through them in chronological order.

First up, a book I won’t name but that gives me 287 pages towards my page count for the month.

Next I finished my reread for The Skulduggery Pleasant Grimoire by Derek Landy. This does unfortunately have a few publishing issues and innacuracies, but overall it’s incredibly enjoyable and I gave it 4*

Then I read Until the End by Derek Landy and OMG!!!! Okay to be realistic, this is most likely actually a 4* read. But because it’s the last book in phase 2? Well it gets a 5* for now 😂

Beowulf by Maria Davana Headly is a translation of an Old English epic poem into modern English, and also as a feminist translation. Fucking fantastic, I can totally see why this was told around the camp fires! 3.5* on CAWPILE but I think that will be going up.

Then I bought a secondhand book and read it straight away, From Ostia to Alexandria with Flavia Gemina by Caroline Lawrence. It had one specific issue with language, but overall very interesting and a fun companion non-fiction to the middle grade series! 3*

The Book of Mirrors by E.O. Chirovici was lent to me back in 2016 by one of my best friends… yeah I finally read it. And it was… fine. How disappointing! A story about the death of a famous professor many years prior. 2.5*

Going with a translated classic, from Swedish, The Brothers Lionheart is an absolutely gorgeous children’s book about brothers love that is officially one of my favourites! 4*s and likely to go up!

My non-fiction of the month was Natives by Akala and this was a fantastic discussion on the intersectionality of race and class in the UK. It certainly gave me a lot to research, which I love! 4.5*s!

An audiobook for the month, I went with Comfort Me With Apples which is a short horror novel (novella?) that delves into feminist topics and Adam and Eve. Fantastic and I want to read more like it! 4*

Gallant by V.E. Schwab was a little bit of a let down, but a fantastic concept of a book. An orphan reunited with a family that has to guard the divide between our world and the shadow world of death. It wasn’t in depth enough for me, 3.5*

The Count of Monte Cristo was finally finished this month!!! I’ve not written my review up yet (not even going to lie, it’s fully because it intimidates me) so keep an eye out for that next week, hopefully Monday, but it was a fantastic read and I gave it 4*s!

Second to last, The Book Jumper, this also doesn’t have a review just yet (because chronological order controls my life) but I really enjoyed it. Very much the same vibes as The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I felt that the ending wrapped up too quickly and that’s the only thing that dropped it down to a 4*

The Embroidered Book (another one that will have it’s full review up next week) is a chunker of a book that I was determined I would finish by the end of the month. On my tbr from the Goldsboro book box, this historical fiction COMPLETELY surprised me and I gave it 5*! 170s Europe with incredibly accuracy? Sign me up!

And that was everything I managed to read in April! I didn’t do balancing the books this month, because of everything going on. But I started with 118 books on my tbr and I finished with 120. No penalty but I do have more of a challenge in May! And I read 4887 pages last month. Impressive! And Until the End, The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Embroidered Book definitely contributed to that.

What is your favourite book from last month? I have some amazing books but The Embroidered Book has *stuck* in my mind ever since I read it!

March Reading Wrap Up 2022

Somehow I had an absolutely amazing reading month in March! I have no clue how I managed it but I’m not about to complain! I also managed to get through three of the magazines that I’ve had for a while now. One from the Geological Society, one is Scientific America, and the last is Nature’s Home. I’m not counting them for Balancing the Books, but I’m still glad that I’ve been making it a priority to slowly get through them.

Now onto the actual books!

The first book I finished was American Gods by Neil Gaiman, which took me absolutely forever to get through! Okay I’m exaggerating but it took me a fair few days, 15 in total. And in the end? The book was just fine. Just… fine. I didn’t hate it like some of my friends, I didn’t love it like others. It was just quite bland.

Then I finished Super Volcanoes by Robin George Andrews which is 100% a five star read! It’s a beautiful non-fiction and I’m so glad that I read it! It’s hilarious (and I’ve had confirmed from a US friend that the humour is very very British) as well as really informative and interesting. If you’ve ever been intrigued about volcanoes? This is the book to pick up.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is a book I’ve been meaning to read for so long, and Olivia-Savannah has been waiting with baited breath for me to try. I really enjoyed it! I adore the relationships through the whole book and I’m definitely continuing with the series because I need to know more!

Next up is a book that I got a lot of jip for enjoying, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. Don’t get me wrong this is really not a work of remarkable literature. I can see so many issues with it. But at the same time I really enjoyed reading it and didn’t want to put it down each day. It just worked for me!

Then I ended up DNFing Three Sisters, Three Queens by Philippa Gregory which was such a pity. I read just under 200 pages of this and the topic itself was absolutely fascinating. But I just really didn’t enjoy how Gregory was creating Margaret, and disappointed that there was only one POV for this book instead of three. I’m just going to research the events myself.

I actually finished my next book, which was I Am A Cat by Sōseki Natsume, a translated Japanese classic. I went into this with the wrong expectations, I didn’t realise that this was going to be very much focused on society in early-1900s Japan and less so on the Cat. Once I’d realised and accepted this, I enjoyed it a lot more. I can’t wait to hear what my partner thinks of this one!

Smiler’s Fair by Rebecca Levene is a book that’s been on my tbr since about 2016, and I’ve never heard anyone talk about it. I have no clue why because it’s a fantastic fantasy! Death, gore, LGBT+ rep, and I’m 100% continuing with this trilogy!

And then for a trilogy that I’ve finally finished, Cathy’s Ring by Stewart, Weisman, and Brigg which is a supernatural/contemporary filled with mixed media. I really enjoyed this series and I’m sad that it’s over! I would’ve loved to see more from these characters. But at the same time I really enjoyed where we finished.

Gifted to me from Olivia-Savannah’s unhaul is Mrs Death Misses Death by Salena Godden which I think I need to reread. This had some great messages within it, but some of it seemed really uncohesive and like it could’ve done with another few rounds of editing. I think a reread could allow me to solidify my thoughts on this one.

The Illumicrate Discord buddy read was A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross this month and I really enjoyed it! I’d been so worried about an American writing about Scottish people, but she seems to have done her research and this was a fun read. There were a couple of issues that brought it down to a 4 star but I definitely want to continue with the duology!

The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide was exactly what I expected I Am A Cat to be and I adored it. It was beautiful, I loved reading about Chibi and his humans. It was a gorgeous look into humanity and love for nature and the wild.

Second to last I read Champion by Marie Lu, the last book in the Legend trilogy. This isn’t fantastic, it’s nothing special, but all the same it was enjoyable and I’m glad I’ve finished up the series and that it ended how it did.

And last, but never least of course, is Dead or Alive by Derek Landy, the second to last ever Skulduggery Pleasant book. This was such a fun reread for me because I only read it for the first time last year. It’s also a wild book (yes even by Skulduggery standards) and a lot of fun to read.

And that’s it! Those are all the books I read in March 2022! I managed 5373 pages, which is my highest page count so far this year, and it’s higher than any of my months reading in 2021! Absolutely ridiculous, no wonder I felt like I was reading so much!

What did you manage to read this month? Tell me about any stand outs, whether good or bad!

2021 Reading Year Review

Because I’ve finally caught up on my 2021 book reviews I thought it would be time to talk about my reading stats!!

I read around 32399 pages last year which is mad! My best month was September, I was getting some reading in before my life upended in October!

I managed to read 105 books. Again, absolutely ridiculous and I’m not quite sure how I managed it! I did read a fair few shorter books, but I also read some very big ones so I had thought it would balance out. I don’t know how I managed so many!

Surprising no-one my main genre was fantasy, with that being almost half of my reads! My next biggest were non-fiction and classics, which I’ve been loving lately so I’m super happy with that.

I also had an amazing reading year with almost half of my books hitting a 4 star rating. I’m not quite sure how I managed to read so many highly rated books in 2021 but I’m 100% not mad!

If you want to see my reading stats in a little more detail I made a video on my YouTube you can check out!

February Reading Wrap Up

I’ve been having such a productive time with reading so far this year! I’ve read 14 books this month, including everything that I set out to read on my tbr. Which is just bizarre to me but I’m not complaining at all!

First up I read Binti via audiobook, starting and finishing it on the 1st of Feb. My audio files were corrupted and so played in the wrong order, meaning I lost a bit of the flow of the book. But despite this I still enjoyed it, and I think that says a lot for this novella!

The Princess Bride is another audiobook I read this month, and again I read this one all in one day on the 1st of Feb. I watched the film at the tail end of 2021 and decided to try out the book too. The film is a really faithful adaptation and both are so much fun!

Brown Girl Dreaming was my first read for the Missy Elliott Readathon hosted by KaShay from Shay with the Hobbies. I read this one all in one day too (look it was a good time at work for listening to an audiobook while getting on with shit) and found it super interesting.

Then I beta read a book for the lovely Pablo Suarez which is currently titled The Broken Oath and I loved it! It’s a fantastic fantasy short novel/novella which has been desperate for more books in this world. So excited for when more of you get to read this!

The Ivory Key was a cheeky second book that Illumicrate included in January’s box, and I wanted to read it straight away. This is a fantastic YA fantasy with Indian culture throughout. I highly recommend it and I’m so glad that I had something to motivate me to pick this up!

Then I read a book by our lovely Hannah O’Donnell at LadetteM, Fatlip, which was such an easy read and an enjoyable one too. I think more people need to pick this one up.

My MIL (mother in law) loaned me Piranesi in January and I wanted to read it this month to give back to her. This book was amazing. It’s so weird and confusing and engrossing and I simultaneously want more from this world and don’t want anyone to touch it in case they ruin it!

Finally I struggled my way through Double Cross, and that’s not to say this is a bad book. Just that I was struggling with it. This whole series (Noughts and Crosses) is a really rough one and I’ve not been in the mindset for it for a while. But it counted for quite a few of my Missy Elliott Readathon prompts and I did want to finally finish up my reread of the series. I still recommend this series, but I’m glad that book is finally done.

My Sister the Serial Killer is one I listened to. I started listening to it at “normal” speed but found myself utterly bored. So I sped it up. Thank god I did that or I would’ve DNFd it! This was a really fun book, although I think it focused a lot more on the inter-familial relationships than on the murder side of things.

My monthly reread of a Skulduggery book was Seasons of War this time, again with Bekka from Comic Book Sanctum. These more recent books I’ve only read once before so it was so interesting to reread this and get the reveals once again! So excited for Until the End.

With the aforementioned Hannah, we read Black Water Sister and (as Olivia predicted) I loved it! It totally wasn’t what I expected, but I loved the cultural influences of both Eastern and Western ideals as well as our protagonists character development. This one was in my mind every single day.

This Is How You Lose The Time War was one I was unsure about, as I’m not a big romance fan. But this incredibly slow burn combined with Sci-Fi/fantasy elements is right up my street. The prose is stunning and I found myself savouring this small book slowly. Utterly beautiful.

I like to read the Illumicrate book with the Discord group, and this month was no different. It was really interesting to see everyone’s reactions to This Woven Kingdom this time around because hoooooo boy. What was this book? I won’t lie, I enjoyed reading it and at points was reading past the daily allocated chapters because I wanted to know more. But at the same time there was no character development, ridiculous dodging around why or how events were achieved, and whilst there were some really interesting plot points they were mostly mentioned once and then never again. While other, more ridiculous, plot points were focused on. If you couldn’t tell I have a lot of thoughts about this one. It’s my lowest rated book of the month (2.5/5) and yet I’m still debating whether I’m going to carry on with the series or not. What is has told me is that I won’t be reading anything more from Mafi.

I FINALLY FINISHED Fall of Giants by Ken Follett AND I’M SO HAPPY!!! I know that I put finishing this on my March tbr but I actually sped through it last night (28th Feb) and finished it up! I have plenty of issues with this book, and the vast majority of them lay in how women are written and the ridiculous male gaze we’re forced to endure. But despite that it was interesting to read from a personal viewpoint. It was also interesting for me to read about WWI as I focused on WWII during my mandatory “obsessed with something in history” years.

And last but of course not least we have The Bridesmaid’s Survival Guide once again by our wonderful LadetteM. And again this is one I blasted through last night! I’ll say straight up that contemporary is not my usual genre, without some other factor motivating me I don’t pick the genre up. But this was so enjoyable. I found myself not wanting to put the book down and I could relate to so many of the characters. The love interest is god damn perfection and I found myself smiling and laughing through this. Another one that I hope finds a lot more readers!

And that’s it! She says after read 15 books 🙄 what a month! I started the month with 118 unread books on my tbr and I’m ending with 120. So apparently I need to unhaul 2 books. Wish me luck with that, it’s only the second month and already balancing the books has gotten tough! If you want to see more about the balancing action going on then keep an eye out on my BookTube channel for the video going up!

September Reading Wrap Up

This has been a helluva month!!

Not only have I been moving things down in dribs and drabs to my new home 100 miles away with my partner (thank you dad for all the driving), but I also did 10+ interviews for various jobs, and I’m moving job as well! And on top of all of that? I prepared for possibly the most ridiculous BookTube thing I’ve ever done (announcement tomorrow) and read a load!

But you’re here for the books, so let’s dive in!

First up is Cathy’s Book by Stewart, Weissman, and Brigg which has arguably been on my tbr for around a decade at this point. I’ve finally read it!!

The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy was my next read, chronologically, a short story following one of the side characters within the Skulduggery world. I loved the backstory that we got for them!

Sticking with the Skulduggery Pleasant theme I finished up the Armageddon Outta Here anthology by Derek Landy, I’ve been slowly reading this as the stories slot in with the main books so this has taken a few months. Glad to be able to tick this one off!

Going for a rare bit of Sci-Fi here, next I picked up Paradox Lost by George Mann which is a Doctor Who book, the last of 3 that I own. This was probably my least favourite of the three, but I did still enjoy it!

The Five by Hallie Rubenhold was absolutely amazing. This is a non-fiction read about the women who were murdered by Jack the Ripper. It looks into their history, their lives, their families, and their situations. It’s a very well written book and I recommend it to anyone.

The Last Stand of Dead Men by Derek Landy was the “actual” Dead Famous Readalong book for this month, and it was a damn good one! Possibly one of my favourite rereads so far? (not including the first book #obvs)

I can’t believe that it took me this long to pick up Sabriel by Garth Nix but I absolutely fell in love and I need more in this series right away!! This is a book about death, a theme I love, which also has fantastic character development and a really interesting magical system! Someone should’ve made me pick this up sooner!!

Finishing up a book I’ve been reading for a few months now, I finished Labyrinth by Kate Mosse finally on the 18th September. This was a really interesting historical fantasy, I like how the two time periods were woven together and I’m looking forward to reading more books in the Languedoc series.

The big one. It’s finally done!! War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is finally finished!! Me an Olivia did a big final push to get through this before the end of the month. I have to say that the end chapters were… uninspiring to say the least. Tolstoy was just talking at the reader as though his points are 100% factual and correct, even though they’re opinion, and having a privileged white man whine on at you for however long isn’t enjoyable. I did, however, really enjoy the fictional parts of the story and fell in love with Natasha, Pierre, Mary and Andrew! I just wish we had a bit more of a conclusion to the story!

And my final read of the month was The Cauldron of Life by Caroline Logan, the second book in The Four Treasures series. I adored this book so so much, the found family dynamic is beautiful and I love the character development. The plot pacing is fantastic and I am so ridiculously excited to read more in this series! I could live on books like these!

And there you have it, my September reads! Just a few 😂 I managed over 3000 pages this month (only including the parts of W&P etc that I read within September) which is pretty decent, and hopefully I can continue that in October! Although… somehow I’m doubting it #busy

What’s your favourite book you read in September? I can’t choose between The Five, Sabriel, and The Cauldron of Life!!

Sticking on the theme of finishing big books, I finished War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy! 😱 The momentus day itself being the 28th September 2021. I’ve been reading at least one chapter of this every single day since the 1st January this year!!

Then I had a DNF. After trying to read Double Cross by Malorie Blackman for 10 days and instead sinking myself into a massive slump, I decided to put it on hold. This was a reread for me, and to be honest I just couldn’t bring myself to read about teens /f.wmng

Onto more positive notes,

August Reading Wrap Up

I’ve not been having much luck with my mid-month reading lately. Yet again I hit a big slump, and this month the culprit was This Savage Song, so once I identified the culprit it was put back onto the tbr shelves to be read in another month.

If you want to see what I intended to read this month then click here to see my tbr, but, spoiler, I barely read any of it.

The first book I finished was No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwood which is all about Edward Snowdon and his NSA leak. It was a surprisingly slow read for me but I really enjoyed it and I’m very glad I picked this up from a little free shelf at work.

Second up I finished Prodigy by Marie Lu, which I read 80 pages of in July and I wanted to finish it up. This is another book that I’m pleased I’ve read. I really like where this book went and it definitely didn’t suffer from second book syndrome for me! I wonder how long it’ll take me to get to Champion!

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte was the first book to be finished after the slump of the savage song. This I read through a few chapters each day and whilst I enjoyed it, it was a very odd book! I’m still not quite sure how to describe it but I think I enjoyed it?

For the Dead Famous Readalong we were reading Kingdom of the Wicked by Derek Landy this month. This time I was actually able to buddy read this with Bekka from The Comic Book Sanctum! And of course we loved it! This is a reread for me so they always go by super quick!

On a related note, is this months pages of Armageddon Outta Here by Derek Landy which is comprised of short stories. And of course as always I enjoyed them.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by EK Johnston was an unexpected 5* read for me!! I had one little gripe with it but when I put it through CAWPILE it still came out at 5*s and honestly it’s just so sweet and wholesome! (mixed with a little sci-fi, honestly I’m in love)

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid was next and I didn’t quite love this as much as I’d hoped. But I still did enjoy it and I enjoyed chatting about it with Shay from Shay with the Hobbies!

And the final book I read this month was Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare and this… was exactly as expected. Trashy. Bad writing. Felt guilty while reading it, but still kinda fun? If I do continue with this series it’ll be via my library or ebooks. But at least it fulfilled my Buzzwordathon prompt!

Then I of course read about 100+ pages of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and me and Olivia are getting so close to the end now! I’m predicting we’ll finish in October!

And lastly I read around 150 pages of Labyrinth by Kate Mosse which I’m also reading a chapter of each day to make my way through this chonker of a book.

And that’s my August reading! I managed 7 full books which is still pretty decent! Even if I didn’t get to half of my actual tbr. We can’t do everything!

What’s your favourite read of August? Mine has to be That Inevitable Victorian Thing! It just has to be!

July Reading Wrap Up 2021

July was a MONTH. I had a lot going on in my personal and work life, meaning that my reading life took a back foot. I barely read anything at all for the majority of the month. However, at the very beginning and the very end of the month I somehow read a lot! And so that’s going to make this wrap up seem pretty full. But just for reference, here’s a picture of my bullet journal page for the month. Look how much space!!

I’m going to start of mentioning what I didn’t manage to get to from my tbr. First up, Pompeii by Mary Beard. I fully expected to not get to this book, it was my tbr jar pick and it’s a very dense book that was picked in a very busy month. It was just never going to happen. So I’m putting it back into the tbr jar and I’ll read it again another month.

Then we have Labyrinth by Kate Mosse which I have managed to read from! I’m 276 pages through this 500+ page book. I ended up having to stop focusing on this book as it was putting me into such a reading slump. Instead I’m now just reading a chapter each day. Weirdly despite the slump etc… I’m enjoying it! It’s a really interesting story and I’m looking forward to continuing reading it through the next month or so!

I also made some decent headway on Prodigy by Marie Lu which I’ve had on a few tbr’s now. I wasn’t exactly wanting it to be on my August tbr given the damn thing is too big as it is but hey ho!

As always, I read my pages of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy which I’m still really enjoying. I’m buddy reading this with Olivia Savannah from Olivia’s Catastrophe and we’re around 80% of the way through which is amazing! We planned for this to take us all year but I really think we could be finished by the end of October!

And continuing on with the Dead Famous Readalong I read 40 pages from Armageddon Outta Here by Derek Landy, which is a collection of short stories. They span across the first season of books so I’m reading the stories in chronological order. As always the ones I read this month were really fun. The Wonderful Adventures of Geoffrey Scrutinous and Just Another Friday Night. I love Geoffrey as a character, he’s so good at what he does…and nothing else! He really isn’t cut out for violence or fighting or anything like that, but sit him down with someone and he can work wonders on them, so I loved reading more about him. Just Another Friday Night was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the silliness as always as well as the new characters that we got to encounter.

Now for the books that I’ve actually finished.

Lady Susan by Jane Austen was my first read of the month, coming in at only 128 pages. This is one of the last works that was published, after Austen’s death, and instead of being written in the traditional novel style it is instead a collection of letters. I wasn’t keen on the ending as it felt quite rushed (although considering her life events that seems fair) but I did enjoy reading about a not-so-pleasant main character from Austen. This was read for me to take part in Jane Austen July, see more later in this post!

Then for the Buzzwordathon the prompt this month was “last”, so I read The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis which is the 7th and final book in the Narnia series. I know this series inside and out so I didn’t need to read the other books first in order to get to this one. It’s only 172 pages and a book I know very well so a nice quick read. Rereading it as an adult definitely brought more issues to light with the book however, and I’m glad that I read these as a child so I can retain my nostalgia, as they don’t hold up today. I’m planning on rereading the whole series for a full review, but essentially, racist, sexist, and portrays religion awfully.

On a more positive note, I read The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown by Vaseem Khan which is the second book in the Baby Ganesh Agency series and 345 pages long. A mystery series (think modern day Christie) set in Mumbai, India where a baby elephant takes centre stage! This series is so much fun and I’ll definitely be continuing!

For some reason I left this book riiiiight to the end of the month, but with 603 pages I finally read Death Bringer by Derek Landy, this months read for the Dead Famous Readalong. These are all rereads for me and I adore the series, so to no ones surprise I loved this!

Then I dove straight in (okay I waited a few hours but still) to The End of the World by Derek Landy, the short story (127 pages) that was released for World Book Day in 2012 and fits in between Death Bringer and Kingdom of the Wicked. This is such a fun short story, it’s so sweet whilst also being a lot of fun and I love the sneak peek chapters at the end that show us what the series could’ve been like.

Checkmate by Malorie Blackman, the 3rd book in the Noughts & Crosses series, coming in at 503 pages was my next read. This book made me cry. Actually cry. Full. On. Tears. I was almost crying in the living room sat next to my dad (who would just laugh at me) and I fully broke down in my room. This series is something else and if you’ve not read it yet you need to.

Finally another Jane Austen July read! (look I wasn’t going all out cause I didn’t want to ruin her books for me), I joined in with the buddy read of Persuasion by Jane Austen where 2/3 chapters were read each day. I had to catch up a little at the start but this was such a fun read. I loved the way that Austen took us to the inevitable ending whilst developing the characters so much further than expected throughout. Not as good as Pride and Prejudice for me, but I did still really enjoy it!

What a reading month! So many highs and lows! How much did you manage to read this month? Did you slump at all like me or was it plain sailing? Let me know!!

Mid July Check In!

We’re halfway through the month now, and hopefully halfway through our tbr piles! But let’s be honest… that ain’t the case! So lets see what I’ve managed to read so far.

First up was Lady Susan by Jane Austen, a collection of letters which chronicle Lady Susan’s intent to settle herself down in life and rid herself of her daughter whilst landing a high placement. She’s not a very likeable woman. I enjoyed these, although I felt the ending was rather rushed.

Next was my few short stories from Armageddon Outta Here by Derek Landy which I’m reading the short stories in chronological order. So that I don’t spoil anyone I won’t go into details, but as always these were really fun.

Then we have The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis which I forgot to put on my July tbr to fulfil the prompt for the Buzzwordathon “Last”. This is a reread for me, but it also brought quite a few things to light. I hadn’t read these since childhood so there were definitely issues with racism, sexism, and the portrayal of religion.

I’m making my way through Labyrinth by Kate Mosse and should finish this before the end of the month if all goes to plan! I’m making my way slowly through this so that I don’t freak myself out by trying to read all 700 pages at once.

And lastly is War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, as always me and Olivia are making our way through the book. There have been some time jumps in these later chapters which I have found interesting, as well as the way that Tolstoy chooses to portray events.

Left on my tbr pile are:

Death Bringer by Derek Landy, Checkmate by Malorie Blackman, The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown by Vaseem Khan, Pompeii by Mary Beard, Prodigy by Marie Lu, Persuasion by Jane Austen, and The End of the World by Derek Landy.

That is a BIG tbr left for the second half of the month. I should be fine for the Skulduggery and for Persuasion as it’s split into a few chapters a day. I’m not sure about the rest though so wish me luck!!

How much do you have left on your tbr so far this month?