December Wrap Up

 

I read three books in December, and although that was quit a while away now, here is my blog post form wrap up! If you head to my YouTube channel, or click here, you’ll be able to watch it in video form…wiiiith a bit of a difference from normal!!

Moving on!

The first book I finished in December was Gun Button to Fire by Tom Neil.

This is a memoir from a RAF pilot who downed 19 planes during the battle of Britain and his writing really helped me to get into his mind during the time he was participating in the war. If you’re interested then check out my full review of the book here.

Book two was How to Manage Your Slaves by Jerry Toner

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This book was incredibly well researched and so very interesting. I knew from the moment I picked this book up in the shop that I would adore it and I’m mad at myself for taking over¬†3 years to read the damn thing! Again if you would like to see my full review you can find it here.

Finally, my third book was The Beggar of Volubilis by Caroline Lawrence (The Roman Mysteries #13)

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This was sadly probably my least favourite book in this series so far, I skimmed a lot of it just to get it over and done with. Thankfully as it’s a kids book I was able to do this and get to the parts of the story I actually enjoyed. Full review here.

It was an interesting reading month, an interesting month! I was working retail in December which is the main reason why my reading suffered, but I’m still happy with what I read.

What did you read in December? What was your last read of 2019? Of the decade!

I’ve Opened an Etsy!!

I’ve been looking at doing this for a while now, and I’m so happy I’ve finally done it! I have opened up an Etsy shop! My store has downloadable pdf’s also known as printables (although you can use them digitally) which are there to help you track your reading, your purchases and inspire you!

Before we get started, I should say that I have cropped down all of these photos to highlight the parts I’m mentioning.

I know that I find it all too easy to lose track of how much I’m spending on books. One here, three there, and all of a sudden I’ve spent more money than I can afford to! To help myself with this, I write down each book I purchase and how much it cost me. Just simply making myself aware of this can really help me to stop mindlessly spending (no matter how much I want that book!!)

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I have the sheets available in Pounds (GBP), Dollars (USD), Euros (EUR), and Yen (YEN) and if you require a different currency you can message me and I’ll do my best to accommodate you.

 

I can also find myself putting reading to the wayside when I get busy, or simply distracted, which is why I make myself monthly reading trackers. They allow me to note down how many pages I read each day and personally, I find it encourages me to keep going each day and reading more.

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I have a variety of different page numbers available, from 50 to 1000, so that readers of all speeds and those who have more or less time can track how much they get to more effectively. Further up the page these printables also have a place to track your tbr and what you get around to reading within the month.

I also like to write up a bit of a review after I read a book, it helps for if there are sequels in the future (which I can take a bit of a while to get around to!) so that I remember key events and also just allows me to more accurately reflect on a book.

Book Review

As I also fill in a pdf for the year of my reads this also helps me keep a track of the data that I need to fill this in.¬†There is currently only one file format for this, but again if you’d like some alterations then please do message me and I’ll do what I can for you.

 

 

Finally, I will also have some reading challenges up there sometime soon! I’m thinking of hosting them on the blog and also my youtube channel at some point in the future, so the challenges themselves will be freely available to anyone. The sheets are just there if you’d like to do the challenges on your own time before I post them or if you’d like a place to write them down. There are four different challenges, ranging from a basic one to ones which are more difficult and specific to fulfill.

Under-read Books Reading ChallengeOverly Specific Reading ChallengeDifficult Reading ChallengeBasic Reading Challenge

Each challenge sheet has 10 challenges, an area to write the book you used to fulfill it (if needed) and a box to mark it off!

I do hope that you’ll have a look at my store (link here), any money that I do make will be helping me along in getting my Masters. As I’m sure you all know, higher education doesn’t come cheap in many countries and sadly the UK is one of them so every penny counts! I hope you enjoy my products and I’ll see you tomorrow, 1800 GMT for my next book review!

 

December Wrap Up| 2018

I set my tbr as four books this month, and as per I deviated pretty early on. So let’s get into what I¬†actually read in December! If you’d rather watch this in video format (with closed captions) then click here to go to my YouTube channel.

five go gluten freeFive Go Gluten Free by Bruno Vincent -> 3/5*

This parody of Blyton’s well-loved Famous Five was a fun and quick little romp. I adored the original books as a child and it’s fun to see the group brought into the modern day and dealing with the most random of problems.

five give up the boozeFive Give Up the Booze by Bruno Vincent -> 2/5*

Seeing as I read the book above so quickly I thought I’d get through this one as well. I did have a bit of a problem with one section, which is why it dropped a star, however, it’s also a fun little parody and I look forward to reading more from this mini-series.

Other Words For Smoke

Other Words for Smoke (sampler) by Sarah Maria Griffing -> 4.5/5*

25 pages and I’m hooked! I am so excited for the full book to be released so I can become fully immersed within this amazing world. Thank you Titan Books for the sampler!

The Devouring GrayThe Devouring Gray (sampler) by Christine Lynn Herman -> 4/5*

Another sampler I was very kindly sent by Titan Books, another 25 pages and another book I am super excited for in 2019! This is also going on my tbr!

 

enemy of the stateEnemy of the State, pt. 2 of 6 by Millar, Romita Jr., and Janson -> 2/5*

Honestly, I wasn’t that keen on this. I think I just don’t like comics as they’re too short and I don’t get enough of the story in one go. I don’t have any more comics in my tbr that I own so this is the last one.

a song of ice and fireGame of Thrones by George RR Martin -> 4/5*

I finally read it!! Finally!! This is a chunker of a book at over 800 pages, and I’ll be honest, when I tried to read this book before watching the show I just couldn’t get into it. There was too much for my little brain. But now that I’m completely up to date with the show (and in love with it) it was much easier to get through this book and I ended up really enjoying it.

a christmas carolA Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens -> 5/5*

Starting Christmas Eve, and finishing Christmas Day, I read this little classic novella from Dickens. This was such an entertaining little book that I really enjoyed and I’m glad I’ve finally read the original after seeing various adaptations over the years. It was also a lovely way to spend Christmas Day.

little moments of loveLittle Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd -> 4/5*

My lovely boyfriend gifted me with this book for Christmas, and I read it on Christmas day! We always send Catana’s comics to each other and this was such a sweet and thoughtful gift from him.

legendLegend by Marie Lu -> 3.5/5*

It took me a while, but once I got into this book I flew through it! I was tempted to give it 4*s but it doesn’t quite match up to other books I’ve given that rating. But, overall I massively enjoyed it, I even enjoyed the romance! And I look forward to carrying on with this trilogy in the future.

And that’s it! I should have read The Mime Order, and who knows. Maybe by some magic, I’ll read it tonight, but being realistic I won’t finish it this year. Ah well! That’s my last wrap up of 2018! It’s been a helluva year and I’m looking forward to 2019!

November Wrap Up| 2018

November was the month of Non-Fiction, and so I set myself a heady tbr of 13 books, some from friends, some from NetGalley and some I just have with me at uni. I ended up with a total read number of 9, but this wasn’t all of the books I put on my tbr at the begining of the month. I knew I was likely not going to get to all of them, as depending on how it’s written, non-fiction can be really slow going for me. However, I also picked up 2 non-fic books in a charity shop just before starting the challenge and this meant that I ended up reading them! But at least they’re read now! So let’s get into what I actually got around to this month.

hero at the fall

Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton -> 5/5*

I finished this series off in the first few days of November and absolutely adored it. My heart was torn out, sewn up and then torn out again! This is one of my favourite series ever and I need to buy them all! (I got them all out of my libraries)

reasons to stay aliveReasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig -> 3.5/5*

This was a difficult book for me to read. I have depression, and hearing it talked about in this manner triggered it frequently throughout my time reading. However, it was also interesting hearing about his story. Just tread carefully if you struggle with mental health issues.

rspbNature’s Home by the RSPB -> 4/5*

This is the seasonal magazine that the RSPB send around to their members. It was surprisingly enjoyable and I am definitely going to read the ones I get in the future. I learnt a lot which I wasn’t expecting to and it was simply a nice read.

the secret barristerThe Secret Barrister -> 4/5*

I really enjoyed this, a book I had seen promoted on Portal in the Pages channel (click to see her YouTube page) so when I spotted it in the charity shop I just had to pick it up. It was incredibly interesting to learn about the structural failures and corruption issues present within the UK law system from someone who has no reason to hide anything other than their name (the author is annonymous). This was a great read.

Weird War TwoWeird War Two by Richard Denham -> 3/5*

Of course I was going to get to at least one WWII book in my selection. This one talks about weird tactics, rumours spread on purpose and weird beliefs of those on both sides. I knew a few of the facts within already, but it was also great to add more factoids to my knowledge!

love and kisses from my padded cellLove and Kisses From my Padded Cell by Dr Ellie Henkind Katz -> 3/5*

Dr Katz interviewed around 12 people who have came out the other side of the 12 step process of overcoming (a variety of) addictions. Some of them have been successful, some have not. And it also exposes their pasts and how they got to where they were. As someone who is interested in psychology this was interesting and a very quick read.

the path to changeThe Path to Change by Pope Francis -> 2.5/5*

An interview with the current Pope, this was incredibly interesting, however, also very hard to read. It was not written in an engaging way but I was interested in the content. Too much repetition meant it got dropped down, but I am still really glad I read it.

POG cover final.inddPrisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall -> 4.5/5*

This was such an incredibly interesting book. I learnt about how the past and the present have been hugely influenced by geology and geography and also how this is likely to continue into the future. It was also relevant with Russia’s current Ukraine situation so that was a nice added bonus.

what itWhat If? by Randall Munroe -> 5/5*

If you want scientific, thought out answers to absurd and stupid questions then this is your book! It satisfied the nerdy scientist in me and was also really funny to boot! Definitely one to pick up if you’re even vaguely interested in science!

And that’s that! A really fun selection and some absolutely great reads this month! Next month I should hopefully stick to my tbr a little bit more, but I’m still very happy with what I read this month. Have you read any of these? Or are you going to? Let me know in the comments!

April Reading Wrap-Up

This is the month in which I finished my dissertation and in the first few days of May, I finished my degree altogether! So, all things considered, I did pretty decently reading-wise this month.

127937¬†The first book I finished this month was The Gladiators from Capua¬†by Caroline Lawrence¬†****.¬†As always, with this series, I really enjoyed the book as it took me on an emotional and educational rollercoaster. This is 100% one of my favourite children’s book series’ and I’ll be preaching that for many years to come! I definitely plan on reading the whole series once I am able to find them in the right covers in paperback and I know I’ll love them.

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The next book I finished in April was The Hazel Wood¬†by Melissa Albert ****, which I had as an eARC from NetGalley (yes I was behind, it is distressing and I’m working on it!). I have a full review of this book on my blog which you can find here¬†but as a short overview, I really enjoyed this read and am looking forward to the sequel.

 

36593157The third book I got to was Magnus and the Jewelled Book of the Universe by S.L. Browne **, which was another eARC thanks to NetGalley. I also have a full review of this book up on the blog, find it here, but the essence of it was that I was disappointed. This book could have been so much more.

 

34530151Book number four for the month was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas *****, which I was reading as part of a little travelling book club. My review of this book is up on my YouTube channel, and the link to the video is here. This was a very hard-hitting book which made me very angry, very emotional and I recommend it to anyone.

 

437330One book which was a big surprise¬†to me was The Comedy of Errors¬†by William Shakespear¬†****. I like Shakespear. I really didn’t expect to. I bought three mass market paperbacks of his plays as I thought they looked pretty and I decided I should attempt to “make my way” through some of his work. It turns out that both of the two I have read so far have been funny, entertaining, interesting… I really like Shakespear! I was expecting the¬†climax of this to come a little sooner to allow for more time for resolution, however, as a play the timing works well as it is so I just need to get used to reading plays. A fun, quick little play which I didn’t expect to enjoy!

36355075This month was the month I finally finished Other Minds by¬†Peter Godfrey-Smith ****! I haven’t read non-fiction in a very long while, despite it being one of my main genres to read as a child, so I had forgotten that they take me a lot longer to read than fiction books. This was a really interesting book, and the only reason it lost a star was that there were some sections which focused too much on humans. I understand bringing them in for comparison but at certain points, I had forgotten it was an octopus centred book until it mentioned them again. Other than that, this was informative, interesting and something that was very much outside of my comfort zone but that I enjoyed reading!

eggThe last book I finished in April was Davenant’s Egg & Other Tales by Jemahl Evans, *****. If you’ve been following me on this blog for a little bit, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of Jemahl Evans’ work and have been ever since I got his first book. So it’ll be no surprise to any of you that I loved this set of short stories which tie in with the Blandford Candy universe! If you want to see more of my thoughts on this book then click here! If you want to see my thoughts on The Last Roundhead (book 1) then click here, and This Deceitful Light (book 2) then click here!

I wasn’t able to get to Ink or Rebel in the Sands this month. Mainly because I was so focused on my University work, it meant I didn’t want to spend too much time reading and also I wasn’t out and about much, meaning the Kindle (where Rebel in the Sands is) wasn’t used as much. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get to them in May, fingers crossed!

Considering that I have had one of the most important months of my educational life, I think I’ve done pretty well reading 7 books in April along with getting all of my assignments done. Now I have finished my degree I’m hoping I’ll be able to read some more in May and catch up a bit with some books I should have gotten to!

Stay tuned for my May tbr, which will go up soon!!

March Wrap Up 2018

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I am disappointed with how much I read this month, but I shouldn’t be! This was the second to last month where I’ll be working on my dissertation and therefore I couldn’t justify spending too much time leisure reading.


For those who don’t know, a dissertation is the end¬†project of a degree in the UK. The degrees usually last three years, and most people start at 18 (it’s like our version of the US’ college) and this final paper is worth a huge amount of our grade. The word count varies between 8000 and 11000 and it is really daunting!


Despite the pressure and the work, I did manage 6 books! For the books that had to be ‘represented’ in the photo, Coffin, Scarcely Used was an eARC from NetGalley, The Call was borrowed from someone who lives in my apartment¬†complex, and Something Rotten was an audiobook.

Books and their Ratings

  1. Coffin, Scarcely Used by Colin Watson ***
  2. The Call¬†by Peadar O’Guilin ****
  3. Inspector Chopra and the Million Dollar Motor Car by Vaseem Khan ****
  4. Macbeth by William Shakespeare ****
  5. Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde ****
  6. Boy Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi ***.5

Sadly no 5 star reads this month but some got pretty close!¬†The Call is one that I immensely enjoyed and I will 100% be carrying on with the series. I also really enjoyed¬†Something Rotten and felt that this first section of the series was wrapped up really well, so well in fact that I’m tempted not to carry on with the rest! I don’t want to ruin it!¬†Boy Snow Bird¬†would’ve had a higher rating if it wasn’t for the incredibly… weird… ending and the odd choices Oyeyemi made, which explains the 3.5*s I gave it.

Overall, not my best reading month but I’m glad I managed to keep reading some stuff throughout the month and it’s a huge increase to where I was this time last year and I was barely even reading 2 years ago after a 5-year reading slump! So a vast improvement and I’m really enjoying myself to boot!