My June TBR Hopefuls!

After how hectic the end of May was, I thought I’d be a little more down low for June and only put 10 books onto my tbr (yes… I’m aware that’s still a lot. This was as low as I could get it!) A couple audiobooks, one non-fiction, and a load of fantasy. Perfect!

My tbr video is already up if you’d rather consume this in video form!

Not included in the 10 is The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, which I’m reading one chapter a day of. I’m carrying on with it in June and I’m actually hoping to finish it this month! We’ll have to wait and see.

Then, the TBR jar returned this month! And from that I’m picking up The Muse by Jessie Burton. This is a historical fiction set between the 1960s and 1930s that follows art, or more accurately, one painting. This was gifted to me by my little sister back in 2016 and I really do need to get around to it!

Because I’m one of the co-hosts for MiddleEarthAThon I really should have read the Lord of the Rings… and I haven’t. So I’m wanting to listen to the audiobook of The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkein! One of the most well known high fantasy books, and it’s a wee bit shameful I’ve not read it yet 😂

And for my second audiobook, Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth. This is an LGBTQ+ gothic historical fiction, and I really know basically nothing else. But my friend Lizzie enjoyed it (from LizzieIsElf) so why not! It’s a long audiobook, just under 20 hours, so I’ll most likely start this one after reading LotR.

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch is a longstanding fantasy series that I’ve seen around for a few years now, it follows a detective around a magical version of our London. I love a good mystery, as well as a fantasy, so I’m hoping this combination really works for me.

Vox by Christina Dalcher is a dystopian where women can only speak 100 words a day. Any more and they get hit with 1000 volts of electricity. I enjoy concepts like these, but I am wary of it being “women” who are impacted by this. How does this then impact trans women, or non-binary folk, or trans men? I’m not expecting this book to be aware enough to cover this topic but I’ll be super pleasantly surprised if it does.

Another social commentary kind of book, 84k by Claire North. This is set in a world where each life has a monetary value, and if you can afford the price you can do whatever you like. Including murder. Our main character doesn’t care, until someone they love has their life bought.

Hannah from LadetteM sent me The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake when she was unhauling it. She really didn’t vibe with it, but I also enjoyed Addie LaRue, which Hannah hated sooooo I thought it was worth giving a shot to a fantasy world where only 5 people will get a place in this society each year.

For my non-fiction of the month I’m going for Minnesota’s Geologist by Sue Leaf, which was a present from Kari from Kar-ing for Books who lives in the state and knows I’m always down to learn about geology! I’m super excited for this one and have been for a while.

The Goldsboro GSFF box for May gave us The Collarbound by Rebecca Zahabi, this is advertised as a magical, brink-of-war setting and I really do enjoy political fantasy and have had fantastic success with previous GSFF books so I’m excited for this one!

And finally is the Illumicrate book from the May box which is Book of Night by Holly Black. I’ve never been interested in Black’s books before, but this one has a woman who is fantastic with explosives and I am totally here for that. I just hope it’s a good one!

And that’s my June TBR! Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought of them. And let me know one book that’s on your TBR, I’m always here to add more books to the list!

Touch, a review

I definitely read Touch by Claire North at the wrong time. It should definitely not be read during a panini!

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We follow a being which doesn’t have a body of its own. Instead it utilises other peoples bodies by touching them to take possession. Now this wouldn’t have been a problem in and of itself, but there is one scene where the entity is attempting to flee and does so by running through a crowd and flitting between all of the bodies that they happen to touch against as they run.

Like I said, bad timing to read this because what do you mean touching people outside on a busy street?? I’ve been in pretty stringent isolation through the entire two years we’ve been in this global pandemi lovato so touching people is a foreign concept to me right now.

This, if you couldn’t tell, just fully pulled me out of the book. It’s not a judgement on the author at all because this book was published back in 2015, probably the last time the world felt vaguely normal.

Other than this I really enjoyed the concept that the book played with of consenting and unconsenting bodies used for these entities to jump around and explore the world in. It wasn’t quite as good as The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August or The End of the Day but still enjoyable nonetheless and I’m excited to read some more from North in the future!

Have you read anything from Claire North? Let me know what you thought of it!

June TBR 2021!

Something a little different for my blog! I show my tbr’s on my channel and on my bookstagram (to be read, the pile of books I want to read that month) but I don’t tend to show them here! I think that’s mainly cause I don’t want to have to go through the hassle of editing the post #lazy so I’ve decided to just try out text post versions. No book covers. Nothing fancy. But here is my tbr!

To start with the “obvious” (if you follow me) I’ll be continuing to read War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy this month (I’m reading a chapter a day with Olivia from Olivia’s Catastrophe and we’re really enjoying it!!). Hopefully we’ll hit book Eleven next month!

As I’m taking part in the Buzzwordathon hosted by Kayla from Booksandlala I’ll be reading Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan, this is a thriller following a woman who receives a letter from someone claiming to be a girl who went missing 20 years ago. I’m hoping that cause this is a thriller it’ll be a nice quick read!

Each month I’m also taking part in the Dead Famous Read-a-long hosted by Hannah at LadetteM along with Bekka from the Comic Book Sanctury, Aly from the Chaotic Reader and Emma from EmmaNovella. We’ve reached book 5 in the Skulduggery Pleasant series which is Mortal Coil by Derek Landy. This series follows a young Irish girl who discovers magic via a talking skeleton detective and goes on to join him in saving the day! This is one of my favourite series and I’ve read every single book that’s published so these are all re-reads for me! I also want to re-read Apocalypse Kings which is a novella which only came out this year for World Book Day. Of course I only read it for the first time recently but this is where it chronologically sits so I want to pop it in here!

Then whilst filming my tbr I picked out my tbr jar pick for the month, which turned out to be Dark Places by Gillian Flynn! This follows a girl who’s family were all brutally murdered leaving just her and her brother. Her evidence put him behind bars but there are people who think he was innocent. I’ve never read any Flynn before so I’m hoping for good things!

Now finally onto the 3 “random” books on my tbr!

First up is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen! I actually own 2 copies of this. One is a standard book, but one is a more magazine format, and although they have the same illustrations the magazine ones are coloured. I’m not sure which copy I’m going to pick up, and considering I measure page count I’m not sure which one I’ll be using for that either. But either way I’m wanting to read the book this month.

Then we have Pet by Akwaeke Emezi which was gifted to me by the lovely Olivia (mentioned above). This follows a young girl who was raised in a world where monsters have been defeated, but then Pet appears. But are they a monster? Or are they protecting the city from the real monsters? I loved Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi so I’m super excited to read more from this author!

Last but by no means least, Touch by Claire North is the final book on my tbr for June. The synopsis on this one is pretty sparse. With one touch she can take over your body for however long she wants. And that’s who we’re following! I’ve read 2 books by North so far and adored them both so I’m really excited for this one and I hope it’ll be a quick read!

And there you have it! My June tbr! I’ve been trying to be nicer to myself lately so if I don’t manage to complete the tbr then it’s not the end of the world. I will read my War and Peace chapters each day, and I will aim to read my tbr jar pick, the Skulduggery book (but only Mortal Coil, Apocalypse Kings doesn’t matter so much) and the buzzwordathon book. And Pet. Just cause I want to. But the rest would just be bonus books. We’ll see how I do, fingers crossed!!

What do you want to read in June? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!!

First Lines Friday #10

It’s time for another First Lines Friday! Hosted by Wandering Words!!

What if, instead of judging a book by its cover or its author, we judged the book by its opening lines?

Here is how it works:

– Pick a book and open to the first page.

– Copy the first few lines without revealing which book it is.

– Reveal the book!

So… do these first lines entice you?

At the beginning and the ending of all things…
She had not seen the man called Theo in the cards, nor did they prophesy the meaning of her actions. When she called the ambulance they said they would come soon, and half an hour later she was still waiting by the water.
And when she called again they had no record of her call, and gave her the number of the complaints department.

Scroll down to reveal the book!

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84K by Claire North

Every single one of Claire North’s books excites me. The premise, the first lines. This is an author I absolutely adore!! This book sounds so so interesting, according to the back we’re in a world where you can pay off the debt of killing someone. Everyone’s life is worth a certain amount, if you can afford it? You can kill them without issue. Knowing that and then reading the first lines has me so intrigued!!!

Claire North does it again

I knew. I just knew. From the second I finished The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August I knew that Claire North was one of my favourite authors and The End of the Day has solidified that even further. This is only the second book I’ve read from her and yet again I sped through it in one day, barely able to put it down.


In this novel we follow Charlie, a recent grad who’s just gotten a job working as the harbinger of death. Pretty standard stuff. He goes before death, wherever he is needed all over the world. Sometimes he is a courtesy, sometimes he’s a warning. We follow him for both.

This is such an interesting concept, having Death have a human assistant who goes before him for important cases, who gives Death a face, who talks to people. I’m sure it’s been done before but I love the way that North has carried it out here. We see people from all walks of life who have a variety of responses to the harbingers presence, from anger and denial, to attempting to persuade Death, to calm acceptance. All of the individual stories are handled incredibly well and bring a new perspective on life to the reader.

Not only do people die, but ideas too. Whether that is an old racist finally dying away, an abandonment of a tradition or an escape into a new life, Death honours each and every one of them. This personally made me think more about times in my life where something has died, whether it was a dream never to be achieved or a mindset I overcome. Everything has its time.

There is also the impact is has on Charlie. It would have been easy for North to not even cover this, to gloss past it as though it would never happen. Instead she puts it front and centre, this sort of work would take its toll on a person. It isn’t easy. This really adds an actual human aspect to a character who could have easily become as dehumanised as Death themselves and adds another punch to the book.

If you are at all interested in fantasy’s which are heavily set on reality, where for all others life continues as normal, apart from the select few who live this extraordinary existence, then I 100% recommend picking up anything by Claire North. The End of the Day would, ironically, be a great place to start.

Claire North is a pseudonym for Catherine Webb, who has also written under the name Kate Griffin. I’ve not read any of her works under the various names yet but it’s definitely something I intend on doing in the future.