No Place to Hide, a review

No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald isn’t exactly a hyped book. But when I spotted it going for free at my old work, I couldn’t resist it. It’s all about Edward Snowden’s NSA leak which is something I’ve wanted to learn more about.

This was incredibly interesting. Greenwald is actually the journalist whom Snowden worked with to release the data, meaning that we get a full rundown of the events. We learn who Greenwald was prior to all this (and a little bit about Snowden too), and how Snowden got in contact with him in the first place. We learn about how Greenwald’s husband was impacted, as well as Greenwald himself. And all of this is on top of what we learn about the leaks themselves.

Greenwald isn’t great at tech, he makes that clear through a few anecdotes of Snowden struggling to get him to use encrypted methods of communication. However, this means that we get some pretty basic and easy to understand explanations of the information that he’s included in this book.

One thing I will never get over is the ridiculous PowerPoint presentations that had been used by the NSA. Now PowerPoint is a great tool, but why was a government organisation using the old rainbow WordArt effect? πŸ˜‚

I did try and run this through CAWPILE, but in 2021 there wasn’t a non-fiction rating available so I was basically just trying to make it equal my actual rating! So. I gave this book a solid 4 star rating.

If you’re at all interested in this topic, I think this is a really great book to fill up and I’m glad I’ve got this on my non-fiction shelves!

The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown, a review

I was so excited when I found the second book in the Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation series. This is such a fun mystery series set in India, following a man who inherited a baby elephant after he was forcefully retired from the police (those two events were unrelated πŸ˜‚)

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I adore these style of books, similar to Agatha Christie’s Poirot. They’re fun and silly, whilst still having some very serious themes and engaging content.

With this being the second book in the series I enjoyed how it continued on with some of the plotlines we’d encountered in the first book as well as adding its individual mystery component.

On CAWPILE I rated this: Charaters: 9, Atmosphere: 8, Writing: 8, Plot: 7, Intrigue: 8, Logic: 8, and Enjoyment: 9. Overall this gives the book a score of 8.14 which is a solid 4 star read.

I definitely want to continue with this series so cross your fingers for me that I can find the same editions!!

Being Behind on Reviews

I don’t know if you folks know this, but I like to give a review on my blog for every single book I read. Each and every one gets a dedicated blog post. That sounds great in practice but I am so far behind.

As in I have books from June 2021 that I still haven’t reviewed. I’ve only done my reviews for just over half of the books I read last year. Obviously something needs to change.

I’m not sure what that is going to be just yet, so if you have any ideas please do let me know! I’m not sure whether to start reviewing my 2022 books already and just upload the 2021 reviews when I can? Or if I should keep going chronologically? Or if I should completely scrap the reviews that I’m behind on?

With how far behind I am it’s hard to remember my thoughts about books. Literally, I’m trying to think of my opinions of books I can barely remember and its so damn awkward.

Basically this is just me complaining about my own incompetence so if you’re still reading? Thanks πŸ˜‚ Sorry for the lack of reviews lately, hopefully I’ll get back on the train sooner rather than later!!

My first ever Illumicrate box!!

This was my first ever book box and I absolutely loved it!

From the most beautiful book design I think I’ve ever seen, to the gorgeous mug and the beautiful pin!


I’ve not read A Marvellous Light yet, because I want to read along with the Discord to make the absolute most out of my first box! I’m really excited to delve in and hear everyone’s thoughts!


What do you think is the best thing from this box? Honestly? This time there is nothing that can truly compete with the book πŸ˜‚

Image ID: An unboxing of the December Illumicrate box. The book is A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske which is laid flat against a white background. To the left, under the book, is a dark blue pin banner with a phoeni design. Pinned on the banner is a badge depicting hands playing cats cradle. Leaning against the top left of the book is a large mug with art showing two characters on horseback. On top of the book is a small pink dragon statue. At the top of the photo is a yelow Illumicrate box with a fake pot of ivy sat on top. To the top left of the book is a sheet of stickres inspired by Nevermoor, a calendar, and a Ninth House pencil tin. To the left of the book is a small slice of purple geode

What’s a book you really want to read in 2022?

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Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston is one I was so excited to see in the supermarket when I was doing my shopping one day. I’ve heard so many fantastic things about this Middle Grade magical fantasy and the cover is stunning to boot!

I’ve just had a heck of a final quarter of 2021 and been far too busy so I was never able to squeeze this one onto a tbr, but I’m super excited to get around to it in the new year. Fingers crossed I absolutely love it!

Image ID: Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston is laid flat against a blue, white and grey plaid fabric. Behind this fabric peeks through some white

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πŸŽ…πŸ»Merry Christmas!πŸŽ…πŸ»

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Merry Christmas to all of those who celebrate today! I am one of those such people and this will actually be my first ever year celebrating without being with my parents. I’m going to be with my partner and his family instead which will be lovely, but quite odd.

I most likely won’t be reading anything at all today. I’ll be helping my mother in law with the cooking most likely and then eating as much of the food as I can!

If you celebrate Christmas I hope that you have a wonderful day celebrating! If you don’t then I hope you have a wonderful ordinary December day!

Image ID: A stack of books on a white shelf alternating between read and white spines. There is a small plush Santa on top of the stack. The books from bottom to top are: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer, Sabriel by Garth Nix, A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab, The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang, Vox by Christina Dalcher, and Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

What books do you associate with Christmas?

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It’s Christmas Eve Eve! And what’s better than a nice Christmass-y The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to get us into the seasonal spirit!

Narnia was one of my all time favourite series as a child. I know these books off by heart and I can fall back into their worlds at any moment.

As an adult I’ve noticed some… issues when I reread them. So I probably wouldn’t give them to a child now. But for me? With the nostalgia? I’ll always love them, and this book itself will always make me think of Christmas!

Image ID: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis laid flat, surrounding the book on all sides are other open books

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!

Pet, a review

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi was gifted to me by Olivia Savannah from Olivia’s Catastrophe after a really tough time for me. It was the most lovely surprise and I’m so so grateful!!

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This YA Fantasy is a really short book, but it packs a big punch in it’s few pages! We follow a young trans girl named Jam who’s mum is an artist. One day a painting seems to come to life and a monster named Pet is let lose in the world. This world is a Utopia, the bad people are all gone. But Pet says that there’s still a monster here. That it’s preying on someone she loves, and Jam decides to work with Pet to save them.

This is a beautifully written book, I was hooked for each and every second. Emezi has beautiful writing that I’ve loved before (in Freshwater) and she’s adapted perfectly to the YA style.

For my CAWPILE ratings I gave this book:

Characters: 9

Atmosphere: 9

Writing: 8

Plot: 9

Intrigue: 9

Logic: 9

Enjoyment: 10

And to literally no one’s surprise this gives me a score of 9.00 which is of course a 5 star rating!!!

There’s also been a sequel? prequel? that’s based on Jam’s mum and I am *so* excited to get to read this when it’s published! Let me know if you’ve read Pet and what you thought of it!

Q: Have you read self-help books?

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I’ve not purchased any myself, but my mum likes to buy me them sometimes as presents, especially when I was younger. This is one of those books!

A book from the late naughts that talks about health and beauty, when I delved back into this I wasn’t expecting much. I was expecting some decent advice, along with some questionable content and a lack of representation. I was pleasantly surprised!

This book has genuinely good health advice, there’s representation in the girls they photographed, and the makeup and hair sections make a point of also providing ways of looking after Black hair and Black skin. It’s not perfect by any means but it’s definitely better than I’d expected!

Image ID: Be Beautiful by Alice Hart-Davis and Molly Hindhaugh laid flat ona white background. Above the book is “growing” spelt in scrabble letters , around the book are generic beauty items like nail polish, makeup brushes, and a balck skirt with roses