Some Jane Austen for my July

If you read classics, and if you’ve liked what you’ve read from Austen before… it’s kinda mandatory to read one of her books in July. Right? Well at least I think so, which is why I read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen this July.

I’m not gunna lie, I picked this one because it was the shortest in my bind up collection out of the books I’ve yet to read. I didn’t want to make my tbr any harder than it had to be! But this ended up being a really fun choice.

Austen used this novel to poke some fun at her gothic literature counterparts. Playing with, and making fun of, the tropes they so often utilised within their works. It’s all in good jest though, and I did really like how she interwove this in with the main character so that it wasn’t something at odds with the rest of the book.

The ending of this one is exactly what I had expected. It’s an Austen novel, I think all the endings are the same. Right? I don’t know, I’ve not read them all yet. Ask me in five years and I might be able to get back to you. But yes, the ending was exactly what one would predict. But there’s a plot twist that you (if you’re like me) definitely won’t expect. Shocking behaviour!

Also within this novel, I adored Austen’s discussions on novels and literature, discussing their importance and utility. As well as discussions on friendship, first impressions of people, and gut reactions not always being the best move (surprise suprise)

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 6, Atmosphere: 7, Writing: 7, Plot: , Intrigue: , Logic: 7, and Enjoyment: 6. Giving a score of 6.29 and a 3.5* rating.

Highlight here for trigger warnings: toxic friendship, misogyny, domestic abuse, infidelity, gaslighting, death of parent, classism, adult/minor relationship, death, confinement.

This was definitely a novel of Austen’s that was worth reading. If you’ve read anything from her before and enjoyed it then I definitely recommend! I wouldn’t say that this is the best novel to start with however. It’s definitely (imo) best appreciated when already having knowledge of Austen’s writing style so you can see how she mocks the gothic tropes.

Have you read this Austen work, or any others by her? I know that some people aren’t keen on her writing. And usually I wouldn’t go for the genre she writes in, but for some reason I just really enjoy her novels!

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!

Jane Austen July TBR! 2022

Thank you for baring with a little post break. I might have gotten back from my hols on Tuesday but that didn’t mean I was recovered! (We got in at about 3am, boy was I tired) But that isn’t what you’re here for. It’s tbr time!

I chose not to pick something from my tbr jar this month. I clearly just need a bit of a break and so I’ll leave that for now. If you want to see my tbr in video form then please check that out here!

Considering just how badly I did in June (seriously, just wait for the wrap up, it’s bad) I tried to keep this tbr on the smaller side, as well as transferring over some books from last month.

The first book I transferred over was The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien which I want to read via audiobook. I’ve never read the Lord of the Rings book, and I’m determined to change that sooner rather than later!

Secondly I transferred Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch which is a high fantasy following a DC in the Met Police in a magical London. I took this all the way to Italy with me, and didn’t read a single page. But I did see that the font was pretty big, so this should actually be a nice and easy read.

The final transferred book is Book of Night by Holly Black which is another one that I just didn’t have time for. This was the Illumicrate book for last month and it kind of works out that I’m reading it this month, as I don’t intend on reading We All Fall Down by Rose Szabo because of the racist issues that some have highlighted. So I can read last months instead.

The first of my “new” tbr books is Ordinary Monsters by J.M. Miro which is the Goldsboro GSFF book I got last month. I knew nothing about it until I filmed my tbr, and I read the first paragraph of the synopsis and fell in love. So despite this being around 600 pages I’m really excited to dive in! Goldsboro seems to know my reading taste so damn well!

Pompeii by Salvatore Nappo is a non-fiction all about the buried Roman town. Possibly this is one I should’ve read before we went and had a tour by an active archaeologist… but regardless I think it’ll be fun. It is quite out of date, as it’s technically been on my tbr since 1997. When I was 1… So it’s not the most up to date but hey, it’ll be interesting nontheless!

The prequel to Pet, Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi is a short little book that arrive at the very end of June and I’m hyped for. It’s a fantasy that follows Pet’s mum when she was younger. I don’t want to say too much in case it spoils Pet!

And then finally, onto the title of this post. Jane Austen July.

The book that is definitely on my tbr is Northanger Abbey (by Jane Austen of course) because it’s the shortest one left of Austen’s that I’ve not read yet! Look I’ve been having a time and I need to make things easier on myself.

And the second Austen book, and final book on my tbr, is Sense and Sensibility which is the next shortest, and is also (I’m simplifying massively here) like a first draft of Pride and Prejudice. So I won’t be mad if I miss this one, but I think it should be one I can get through without too much trouble. We’ll see 😏

And that’s my tbr! 7 books in total, smaller than my usual tbr’s, but I hope I can actually get through them all and make a good dent. And if I read them all? Well then I can get through some of the books I’ve gotten so far this year that I’ve not read yet!

What are you wanting to read in july? Will you be reading any Austen? Please let me know!!

Persuasion, a review

Persuasion by Jane Austen is my third book from her, and after reading her short story/collection of fictional letters that was Lady Susan, it was nice to be back in novel form.


I did, however, read a weird version of this book because I used the Flipback Paperback version! A tiny little book that you can fit in your pocket, yes even in women’s jackets. This made the book feel a lot shorter and was a really cute way of reading it!

The story is a romance, unsurprisingly. But on a surprising note I really enjoyed it! I’m not a big romance reader but this was just so lovely, Austen’s writing has (temporarily) converted even me!

I really loved the travelling aspect within this story and how it progressed the narrative on further. It was actually pretty fun to wait on the inevitable “surprise” bumping into our love interest and friends from the previous location.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Characters: 8, Atmosphere: 7, Writing: 8, Plot: 7, Intrigue: 7, Logic: 7, Enjoyment: 8. Giving a total rating of 7.43 which is a 4 star rating.

This has solidified Jane Austen as an author that I enjoy and (after getting a collection of all her works for Christmas) I’m so excited to delve into the rest of her novels!

Lady Susan, a review

Lady Susan by Jane Austen is a tiny little book that I thought I would pick up for the Jane Austenathon (alongside Pride and Prejudice).

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It’s made up primarily of letters between characters, and this means that stylistically it’s very different to Pride and Prejudice. It’s also unfinished, as Austen passed away while still working on this. It does leave the ending of the story with a very open air, and is quite unsatisfying if you’re used to her other works, but of course you have to expect that going into something that wasn’t quite finished.

Regardless of this I still found it a really interesting read. As always Austen does great character studies and I still want to know more about the lives of these women, even months later as I write this!

On CAWPILE I gave this: Characters: 7, Atmosphere: 7, Writing: 8, Plot: 7, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 7, Enjoyment: 7, giving an overall score of 7.29 which is a low 4 stars.

Definitely not one to be missed for any fan of Austen’s writing!

Pride and Prejudice, a review

When I first was getting into the online book community, I went book shopping, and picked up a metric hell tonne of classics. Since then, up until this year, I hadn’t read a single one other than Jane Eyre. Not one. I bought these in 2016!! So I’ve been slowly making my way through more classics lately and given that I had two editions of Pride and Prejudice on my tbr, I felt like it was time to take my first dive into Austen’s work!

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Thankfully I didn’t actually buy both copies. One I did buy myself, it’s the “standard” wordsworth edition. One my mum gifted me when it was being disposed of from the bookshop she worked in. It’s more of a magazine style print with coloured pictures and of course much bigger pages. I had debated how I would read this book, and fully intended to pick just one copy or another, but I ended up using both and that actually worked out really well for me!! And sometimes it helped those bigger chapters feel a little smaller when they were “only 3 pages” rather than the 7/8 they were in the standard paperback version!

Now, onto what I actually thought of the book…. I adored it!!

I was not expecting to love this book! Every time I picked it up I got such a feeling of peace, I was so invested in all of the characters lives even when I knew what would happen (either through pop culture, the book telling us, or just me “predicting” plot devices which were new in 1813) and when I finished the book? I just sat there with a smile on my face! It was just so lovely!!

Darcy’s development was very interesting to watch. He’s so self assured, until Jane rocked his world view and he had to come to terms with the kind of man he is. He starts out being quite abrasive and really not someone you would want to marry! But by the end he’s very sweet and I totally understand Jane’s change of heart!

Bingham through this whole novel is just so innocent and a little bit dumb if I’m honest! In contrast to the societal games being played around him this was really sweet to see and brought a refreshing air to the book.

Jane is just such a sweetie, always caring for others, apart from the abrupt Mr Darcy! Whereas in contrast Lydia was just an absolute idiot and in my opinion she deserves the partner she ends up with (harsh I know, but still).

For my CAWPILE rating I gave:

Characters: 8, Atmosphere: 10, Writing: 9, Plot: 8, Intrigue: 9, Logic: 9, and Enjoyment: 10. Which gives an overall score of 9.00 just squeezing in a 5 star rating!

Overall I love the progression through this book of the characters as they learn more about each other and themselves. I really didn’t expect to love this book. It’s all about people and romance, normally not my thing. And yet I adored it so so much. Not mad!

Trigger warning for Pride and Prejudice: classism, sexism

The Pride and Prejudice Book Tag

I found this tag on Elaine’s page (check out her post here!) and now that I’ve finally read this book I thought it would be really fun to do this!

A few little pleasantries:

  • Thank those who tagged you.
  • Link back to the creator of the tag (Emma @TurnAnotherPage)
  • Tag as many people as you want
  • Have fun!!

The Bennet Sisters: A Mixed Bag
A book or series with an eclectic cast of characters

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy!! This is a looooong series that I’m reread this year and I still adore it! It’s so fun, filled with quips, magic and fighting scenes growing from Middle Grade to Young Adult as the series goes on. Not enough people on the internet read this series!

Charlotte Lucas: The Best Friend
A dependable book/series, tv show or film you can always turn to

I was pretty tempted to use Skulduggery for this answer as well. But instead I’ll turn to screens for my answer. I don’t watch a lot of tv or films, but Elementary and Doctor Who are staples for me. And the Narnia movies, as well as the MCU, are ones I’ll always love!

Mr Darcy: The Unexpected Surprise
A book or series that you didn’t originally like but grew to love.

Immediately The Crow by Alison Croggon, the 3rd book in the Pellinor series, comes to mind. It was my least favourite as a teen when I first read the books, and I would reread the others all the time but I barely went back to this one. I went back to it at the end of 2020 and I discovered that I actually really love it now! It’s such a beautiful book and I’m so glad that I’ve changed my mind!

Lady Catherine de Bourg: The Intimidating Aristocrat
A book or series that intimidates you

The Centuries Trilogy by Ken Follett! For some reason I own all three massive books in hardback, even though I’ve never finish a Follett book in my life. They’re all at least 800 pages, all historical fiction, and they’re all probably going to be on my tbr for a while…

Mr Bingley: Honest Yet Easily Led
A character you think deserves a lot of love

Why do I never hear people talking about Pierre from War and Peace? (or Natasha but I’ll stick to just one character for now) He gets so much character development through the book and I know that War and Peace is a chunky one (understatement of the year) but it’s also a really well known classic so I would’ve thought we’d hear more about some of its characters!

Mr Collins: Awkward and a little socially inept.
What hyped or popular book/series have you not yet read?

There are so many books that I could put here! I’m going to go with The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. The Daevabad Trilogy sounds like an amazing fantasy series that I really need to get my teeth into! I’ve just gotta buy it first 😂

The Gardiners: Steady Voices of Reason
A character from any book, film, or tv series that you would turn to for advice

Nana Jasmine from the Noughts & Crosses series by Malorie Blackman. But only by the third book. She starts off having to deal with a lot of internal demons but by the third book in this series, without giving any spoilers, she is 100% the person I would turn to first with any question I had.

Mr Wickham: The Deceiver
A book that did not reach your expectations

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. I’m not sure what I had been expecting from this book, but it certainly wasn’t two privileged people complaining about their lives with barely a plot to sustain it. Such a disappointment.

Georgiana Darcy: Shy and Naive but Friendly
An under-hyped or represented book that you really love

Okay we all know I have a million and one different books and series I could recommend here! I do read hyped books, but I also read a lot of underhyped ones! The Legends of the Godkissed Continent by AB Endacott is an interwoven series which covers all four countries in this fantasy world

Colonel Foster’s Regiment: Sure to liven up any party!
What book or series would you always recommend?

Surely this is the easy one? It’s got to be the Pellinor series by Alison Croggon! Especially after rereading it at the end of 2020 it really solidified my love for the story and I want more people to pick it up!

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Persuasion ReadAThon!!

Today, 22nd July, is the start of the readalong for Persuasion as part of the Jane Austen Read A Thon!!! Reading a few chapters each day for the rest of the month (hence why it starts on a Thursday) means we’ll finish the book by the 31st! This will be my second ever Jane Austen novel so I’m really excited!

Reading Dates:

22nd: Chapters 1, 2, 3

23rd: Chapters 4, 5

24th: Chapters 6, 7, 8

25th: Chapters 9, 10, 11

26th: Chapters 12, 13

27th: Chapters 14, 15

28th: Chapters 16, 17

29th: Chapters: 18, 19

30th: Chapters 20, 21

31st: Chapters 22, 23, 24

And that’s the book finished! No more than 3 chapters each day and you’ve got a Jane Austen novel under your belt! I was really surprised by Pride and Prejudice when I read it in June so I’m hoping that I enjoy Persuasion as well!

Let me know if you’ve read any of Jane Austen’s work and if you’re joining in with Jane Austen July!!!

June 2021 Reading Wrap Up

Things worked out pretty well for me this month! I managed to read every book that was on my tbr, as well as one extra book and I had 2 days to spare! I could’ve added another book at the end of the month but I thought I would give myself a bit of a break for a couple days.

Let’s get into the mini wrap ups!

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn coming in at 421 pages was my first read of the month. And wow. What a shite way to start the month! I was tempted to DNF this after 50 pages, and for some reason I pushed myself through the entirety of this despite wanting to DNF it (Did Not Finish) and I ended up giving it 2*s. What a waste of my time (and a realisation that I’m not very good at DNFing books)

Something a little more positive was 175 pages of Armadeddon Outta Here by Derek Landy which I just read certain short stories of. I read up to the point before Mortal Coil to bring myself up to date with the plotline so far and I’m excited to read more of these when I carry on with the series!

Another great read was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen which was 329 pages of amazingness! I gave this 5*s and I really didn’t expect that! I was expecting this to be just fine, one that I was just gunna read through because it’s a classic and it’s interesting. But I ended up adoring this book so much, it gave me such a cosy vibe and I was just so happy reading it!

The wonderful Olivia Savanah from Olivia’s Catastrophe gifted by Pet by Akwaeke Emezi and I’m so glad that I read it this month because it was AMAZING!! This was 205 pages of wonder and I of course gave it 5*s. I adore Emezi’s writing, they’re just fantastic and I’m so excited to read more from them in the future. This is a YA book I’ll be recommending to absolutely everyone. Honestly I need to just sit down with my thoughts because it’s just a massive jumble of wonderment!

Touch by Claire North is one that I should probably not have read with the world situation right now. I did still enjoy this 426 page book, and although I’ve not ran it through CAWPILE yet I’m anticipating it being a 4* read, but there was one major downfall. I don’t want to go into the specifics cause spoilers, but I’m sure you can guess. A book based on touch isn’t the best one to read and empathise with in a world where we don’t touch anyone. I’ll need to re-read this in the future where the hustle and bustle of a commute doesn’t feel so alien.

Mortal Coil by Derek Landy was my Skulduggery re-read for the month so of course I loved it. Coming in at 572 pages it’s my biggest read of the month and so much happens in this one! So much that I don’t like! But we’re making so much progress and it was so fun to discuss this with Bekka as we read it.

I finally read a thriller I didn’t hate this month with Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan. 344 pages long, this is definitely an interesting one. There are some controversial sections that I need to think more about, but from a pure enjoyment level this was one that I was engaged ith, actively reacting to, and I’m glad I finally picked it up!

The last book on my actual tbr for the month was Apocalypse Kings by Derek Landy, a short story released for World Book Day this year. I only read it the first time a few months ago but I wanted to re-read it in the chronological spot. I only read 80 pages rather than the full 100ish because those last 20 are the first chapters of book 1 and I’ve read that twice this year already!

And last but no where near least for books I finished… The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris which was 393 pages of intrigue and I really enjoyed it! This took a twist that was so much fun to read and I loved reading from a grey character. I was discussing this with Kashay from Shay with the Hobbies on YouTube as I went through so that was a lot of fun being able to voice message her blow by blow through the book! I’m not sure of my rating yet as I like to give books a bit of time before I run them through CAWPILE, but I’m guessing probably 4*s.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is still going strong, and me and Olivia Savannah are around 70% of the way through this tome and we’re loving it! Of course I still can’t talk about the content cause spoilers, but ooooh I’m really enjoying this reading experience still!

And those are the books I read in June! For my page count it totalled at 2943, so just under 3000. Not the best reading month that I’ve had but I’m not mad! I’ve read some books that I absolutely adored and I’m so glad that I was able to finally cross them off of my list! Definitely keep a look out for full reviews of all of these coming out in the coming months!

What’s the best book (or three) that you read last month? Have you read any of these? Let me know!

July 2021 TBR

As I write this I look over to my tbr stack, sat on top of my shelves. Jesus christ that thing is BIG. Wish me luck.

This month, as always, I’ve went overboard on my tbr. There’s two readathons in here, one is the Dead Famous Readalong, and one is a Jane Austen-a-long that Caitlyn from Mad Cheshire Woman showed me and oh look now I’m reading 2 Austen novels this month (god damn it woman). So let’s get into my far too big tbr.

Starting off with the Skulduggery Pleasant books, the next book for us is Death Bringer by Derek Landy. This is book 6 in the series, so we’re finishing off the second trilogy. I never clicked when I first read them that the books were split into trilogies so I’m looking forward to realising this when I read the end of this one and to seeing how this all wraps up. Then I also have The End of the World by Derek Landy which is the 2012 world book day novella which slots in here, and finally the stories from the Armageddon Outta Here collection which lay between this book and the next. A lot of Skulduggery to read! Last month I found out that I actually read through these books faster than my normal speed, at about 200 pages an hour, and that really helps to know when getting through these chonkers!

For the Jane Austen readathon I’m hoping to pick up Persuasion in a FlipBack format I have, and also Lady Susan which is included in a bind up I have of all of Austen’s works. I think Lady Susan will be my first read of the month because it’s nice and short and will get me into the swing of things. With Persuasion coming later one. I honestly haven’t even read the synopsis of these so I couldn’t tell you what they’re about!

As of writing there is one book I don’t know about. And that is my tbr jar pick. I do this live as I film my video and I haven’t filmed yet! So unless by some luck I pull out one of the 4 books I’m about to mention, I’ll be reading another book from my tbr this month too! I’ll make a little separate post once I know what that one is.

For the 4 I do know? Let’s start with the biggest which is Labyrinth by Kate Mosse which is a historical fantasy that I’ve been putting off for a solid 4 years because it’s over 700 pages long and I’m a wimp. Simple as. But this year? This month? This. Is when I’m finally getting to it (oh dear god I really hope so). We follow two different time frames, one in near modern day and one back in the 1200s, and they intersect somehow. It sounds really interesting and I have the entire trilogy on my tbr so I really should actually read one of them!

Checkmate by Malorie Blackman is up next. This is the third book in the Noughts & Crosses series which I’ve been slowly re-reading lately. If I’m remembering rightly this follows characters which telling you about would spoil the first book. So I won’t say. But it’s a fantastic series which spins the narrative with whites as the minority and Black people in power. It’s an amazing series and I’m so glad that I’m re-reading this as an adult because I’m getting so much extra from it that childhood Abi missed.

The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown by Vaseem Khan is the second book in the Baby Ganesh Detective Agency series and this is going to be such a fun read! A “cosy mystery” sort of read set in India (and written by a British Indian), I love that this takes the traditional Doyle/Christie format and moves it away from that Eurocentric setting whilst retaining the quaint charm and vague silliness of those books!

And lastly we have Prodigy by Marie Lu, the second book in the Legend series. I first read Legend years ago now, and I found it pretty good. It’s a standard YA fantasy/dystopian where you follow one person on one side and another on the other. I enjoyed the writing and somehow still remember the outline of the plot so I’m hoping that I’ll enjoy diving into this one!

And that’s it (she says after listing 9 and a bit books), that’s my July tbr! Let me know what you want to read this month. Do you have a stupidly long tbr like mine? Or do you have something slightly more achievable? Let me know!