#SixforSunday, Roundup / Recap, spoiler free

S4S – 2019 Favourites

Six for Sunday

Happy Six for Sunday! This prompt for this week from the lovely Steph at A Little But A lot is 2019 favourites. I did a top ten favourite books for 2019 already SO I decided that I would tweak what I think the intended meaning was a little bit and give you a list of six of my favourite book-related things from last year!

London Darkdawn Launch
I didn’t go to a huge amount of events last year but the ones I went to I really enjoyed, especially the London event for the Darkdawn launch. I got to hang out with my friends, bring my husband to his first bookish event, visit Goldsboro books, eat ice cream, listen to Jay’s talk chaired by Samantha Shannon and then meet the guy himself and get my books signed, it was amazing and serial and honestly some of the most fun I’ve ever had at an event.

Being asked to recommend Star Wars books 
This one is going to sound a little silly but I’m always insanely flattered whenever anyone asks me for book recommendations and when I posted about Star Wars (which was a LOT last month) a number of people actually asked me about the Star Wars books and where to start, which ones I’d recommend etc and as someone who is a bit of a Star Wars fangirl and still trying to pluck up the courage to email Century about reviewing for them this really touched me and made my week with every message.

Doing a Q&A with Lauren James 
I was so amazed and excited to have been added to the blogger list for Walker this year, mainly as they publish books by Lauren James who is one of my all-time favourite authors so I pretty much lost my mind when not only did I manage to get an early copy of The Quiet at the End of the World but also had the opportunity to host aQ&Aon my blog with Lauren herself! I have never worked so hard on a set of questions in my entire life let me tell you. I’m so happy with how it turned out and it’s hands down I think my favourite blog post I’ve ever done.

Receiving early copies of some of my favourite books  
I guess this one might sound a little simple but I am honestly SO grateful for being able to work with so many great publishers who have given me fantastic opportunities to review books from their authors. Last year I got to receive and review early copies for some of my absolute favourite books including (but not limited to) Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder (who has been a favourite author of mine for over ten years now), The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James, The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman, Once and Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta and Sanctuary by V.V/Vic James! (Thank you Maria, Walker Books, Titan Books, Rock the Boat/Oneworld and Gollancz).

Memento 
The Illuminae Files books by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff are my favourite books. If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time it’s quite likely you already know this as I don’t really shut up about them so when the Memento novella was announced I was devastated it wasn’t something that we would be likely to get in the UK until Goodchoice books in the US announced they were shopping their copies of Aurora Rising with them and I was over the moon to get my hands on one! Reading it was like coming home, I missed the world and format of these books so damn much and DAMN it was good.

Blogger Brunch at MCM 
I was invited to the Blogger Brunch at MCM London last May and although I’ve been invited to other events before this one just felt so relaxed and chill I had the best time. Meeting all of the authors was fun and chatting with them felt organic and it was the least nervous I have ever been in that kind of setting. Not to mention I met some other lovely bloggers, got a bag of goodies and some books signed! A brilliant event and I hope to get invited to another if they have one! Fingers crossed!

There we have it! Six of my bookish favourites from 2019, I’m excited to see what 2020 brings with it! Maybe I’ll finally e-mail Century?

 

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free, Uncategorized

S4S – Six Bookish Resolutions

Six for Sunday

The first Six for Sunday post of 2020 is here! I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Steph from A Little But A lot for coming up with all of these prompts over the past year or so (I’ve been doing it for about a year now I think). I love taking part each week (even when the prompts are super hard haha). Honestly, folks, Steph is super lovely and works her butt off, make sure to check her out.

This weeks prompt is Six Bookish Resolutions, I try not to make any solid resolutions of any kind usually but this year I did find myself making a small list of personal things I’d like to achieve like making sure to be active every day, taking a creative writing course of some kind and keeping on top of my blog as well as things like meeting the critical role cast this year and getting a tattoo but this what bookish resolutions could I make?

Finish Six of Crows! 
Okay, so I know this one is a little specific but it’s driving me nuts! Every time I go to carry on reading it I end up having to put it down to read something I’m on a deadline for and I never learn. So this year I’m going to clear a space for Six of Crows and I’m going to damn well finish it! Then I might even read Crooked Kingdom as well!!

Think more about the books I buy
I ended up on a bit of a little book buying spree at the end of December but I’m back to really trying to decide how much I need a book RIGHT NOW as opposed to just buying immediately on a whim.

Read the books I have already
This kind of goes hand in hand with the previous one. I have so many books to read and I did make a bit of dent in my physical TBR last year but I’d like to continue to do so. Not to mention the more books I read, the more books I can buy at a later date? (I’m weak okay?!)

Read more indie or smaller publisher books 
I quite often pass over indie or books from smaller publishers as I find they don’t tend to grab my attention as much, maybe it’s some strange bias I have or I worry that I need to read “popular” books. I’m not sure, whatever it is, it can get in the bin this year because I would like to read more of them! (Feel free to recommend your favourite books from indie and small publishers!)

Get back into Audiobooks. 
Since my office closed down and I’ve been a stay at home mum I haven’t found a lot of time for Audiobooks and I really miss them. One thing I thought I would like to do would be to listen to an audiobook for a little each day, maybe while doing housework or going for a walk while Nate is at school. I think my first one this year might be the second Discovery of Witches book.

Make review notes and review promptly
This is kind of part reading, part blogging related really. I have a habit of finishing a book and rushing in the next one and then a week or two later when I have to write the review I can’t even tell you what the name of the main character is. For the love of books future me, please write some notes, you’re phone is always an arms reach away, use it, or post-it notes, just SOMETHING.

There we have it! Six bookish resolutions for the year! I wonder how many I’ll actually keep? Do you have any book-related new years resolutions?

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – New Year, New Books

Six for Sunday
And so we have come to the last Six for Sunday of the year! A new year full of new books awaits! I may have splurged on books the last month or so and as a result, I’m planning to try and curb my book buying until I can make at least a dent in my current physical TBR which is starting to get a little out of control, to be honest. I do have a post coming soon featuring books that I’m looking forward to next year but with this being the last S4S and indeed my last blog post in general of this year I decided to make this list about six of the new books I have brought or been gifted this past month to read in the new year!

Star Wars: A Finn and Poe Adventure by Cavan Scott
This is the most recent book I brought technically as it arrived most recently but I ordered it before any of the other books on this list, such is the beauty of the pre-order. I’ve been tempted by the three others in this series before, also known as the “choose your destiny” books as they are told in the choose your own adventure style. I don’t think it will blow my mind but it does look fun!

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson
One of the books that have been on my TBR for a little while now after having so many people tell me it’s my kind of book, but I hadn’t got around to buying it yet. I was treated to a lovely hard copy for Christmas by my favourite Star Wars gal! Thank you, El 💜

His Hideous Heart by various authors, edited by Dahlia Adler
After reading a dystopian anthology earlier this year I’ve been looking into more and more anthologies. I saw this one reviewed on one of the blogs I follow (your name escapes me right now but I figure this makes us even for always filling your blogger feed with Jay Kristoff reviews haha!) and it sounds brilliant. I’ve not read anything by Poe before and I’m glad that the original texts are also included so I can read them first! Thank you so much to Lucy for the lovely gift 💜

The Martian by Andy Weir
I’ve been dying to read this book since I saw the film but this is another book I just never got around to buying! This one was gifted to me by the lovely Justine (thank you again also for helping me fix my wish list etc 💜)

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
I have a feeling this book might break me but I’ve been so intrigued by it!! I even ended up with a copy on NetGalley but again it got lost in my huge TBR. I’m hoping this gorgeous physical copy gifted to me by another Jemma will encourage me to finally read it!

Star Wars: Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray
I’ve been rewatching the Star Wars prequels this week when I’ve had trouble sleeping and I had almost forgotten just how much I ADORE Obi-Wan Kenobi

I’m not going on a book buying ban exactly but I did find that really thinking about my bookish purchases and trying to avoiding things like cover and impulse buys really helped this year so I’m going to continue with that method in the new year after my Christmas splurge! I also have a big bookshelf shuffle coming up so wish me luck! What books did you buy or receive recently?

 

Roundup / Recap, spoiler free

My Favourite Reads of 2019

tag Thursday

I originally wrote this as in the place of a Six for Sunday post a week or so ago and then was ill and forgot to post it. So, as I’m a still a little under the weather I thought I would add a few more books to even the list out and share them with you today!

I decided it was time to reflect on some of my favourite books I’ve read this year, which seemed like a good idea at the time but then I had to go through fifty-five books and pick just six and I can’t decide if this was more fun or stressful but it was definitely a little of both so I hope you enjoy my list.

Just a note that this is my personal list and is linked only to my enjoyment. These are not “THE BEST” books of 2019, I’m in no way qualified to judge that and not all of these books are even FROM 2019 but they are my favourites so they count here.

The Wicked King by Holly Black
I’ve enjoyed this series on a whole but shockingly the middle book has turned out to be my favourite book of the trilogy and one of my top books, certainly of the year if not in general. This book had such a wonderful mix of things I just adore, the politics, the fighting, the kissing, Cardan being an ass and Jude just being…Jude. *Chef kiss*

Sanctuary by V.V James
A book I read on a whim after it was recommended by a friend that just completely blew me away. There were some great twists and turns that had me hanging on the edge of my seat, frantically turning pages and wanting to pull out my hair in places. A brilliant witchy read with some themes that remind me of The Crucible.

Finding Home, Vol Two: The Healer by Hari Conner
MY BOYS.
So, I know they’re technically Hari’s boys, not mine but I would happily protect them as if they were my own. Chepi and Janek captured my heart in Volume One of Finding Home but Volume Two was a whole new level. I love these two so much and I just want to keep them safe but at the same time they are both utter messes and honestly, I think that just makes me love them more. This volume had so many, interesting, beautiful, heartbreaking and tense moments throughout, not to mention a couple that made me laugh out loud. I think this might have been my favourite read of the year, I can’t fault it any conceivable way, it was perfect.

The Devouring Gray by Christine Lynn Herman
Riverdale meets Stranger Things is the best way to describe TDG and honestly, someone needs to make it into a show already because it’s brilliant and has all the right vibes. I love the rival families, the secrets, the ANGST. I am already chomping at the bit for The Deck of Omens like I can’t begin to explain.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
So I was in two minds whether or not to include Nevernight. Partially because it wasn’t released this year and also because I’ve spent so long trying to work out how I feel about it. The beginning is slow and I’m pretty sure anyone who’s read it will agree but MY GODS the rest of it is sublime. Murder Hogwarts? CHECK. Murderous, unapologetic knife wife? CHECK. Sarcastic cat made of shadows?! CHECK CHECK CHECK.

Heartstopper Volume Two by Alice Oseman
This book (both of them really) are my happy place. I could honestly just read them forever. These books feel like a warm hot chocolate on a cold day. The second volume in particular just had so many great moments on so many levels.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Although it wasn’t quite the level of the Illuminae series I loved this first book and I can’t wait for more, Aurora Burning is currently my most anticipated book next year so far. I love Squad 312, Finn especially!

The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James
A beautiful entwining of two compelling stories both linked to a “soft” apocalypse. This, as I’m sure comes to no surprise to anyone who’s read anything by Lauren James, had some spectacular twists and was incredibly thought-provoking.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
This was not a book I expected to love but I absolutely adored it. I expected it would be a lot of fluff and fan service and although there was definitely that it was so much more, it had an interesting little storyline and I believe paved the way for the next trilogy to come. I’m glad I finally got around to reading it this year.

Chasing the Shadows by Maria V. Snyder
After some problems with the first book and not enjoying it as much as I thought I would I was SO pleased that Chasing the Shadows was fantastic! I love the sci-fi lore behind it, we had some great twists and turns, got to know our characters a little better and find out some HUGE secrets!! It was one of the best sequels I’ve ever read and will definitely be rereading via audiobook next year.

Did any of these books make your top list this year? What are some of your top reads of the year?

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – All I Want for Christmas Is…

Six for Sunday

Welcome to penultimate #SixforSunday post of the year! The prompt from the lovely Steph at a Little but A Lot is “All I want for Christmas is…” This was actually a really difficult list this year as I don’t have many bookish wishes as I have SO many books to read right now.

The Rise of Skywalker Novelisation by Rae Carson.
This book isn’t due out until next March and that fact makes me want to weep. I hated the wait for The Last Jedi novelisation and I think the wait for TROS is going to be infinitely worse. Just going to make sure I read a different Star Wars book every month to keep the momentum going.

Another bookshelf. But also the space for said bookshelf. 
I have piles of books everywhere. I am in desperate need of more space but also more places to put my books. A pocket universe with a library in it would be really great thank you. For real though I’m probably going to have to go through my books and seriously cull the herd.

More creative time.  
I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of things by the skin of my teeth lately and I’m just about having time to actually write blog posts, let alone promote them, blog hop very much at all or reply to comments and the interactions are one of my favourite things about being a blogger so I really hate missing out on it. On top of that, I’m still feeling really creatively burned out from NaNoWriMo still and I would like some time to just find myself in that regard again but I’ve just not had the free time to do so. I’m tired by eight or nine most nights and I try not to spend too much time on my computer while my son is awake so I’m finding it hard. Some extra magical time while I’m awake would be lovely.

To get over this damned virus!
I’ve been ill for a flu virus for the past week and I’m so very done with it. I want to sleep all day until I feel better but it’s not really an option as a stay at home mum and it’s just making me feel so damned miserable. I’m having trouble focusing on or enjoying anything, I haven’t even really been able to eat anything either and it’s just affecting everything else and making me generally pretty miserable and I really just want to enjoy my Christmas.

For it to be Christmas already! 
Despite the fact that I still have a little bit of wrapping to do I’m just so done waiting for Christmas! I’m so excited about it but I feel like it’s taking forever to get here, I think because we did most of our Christmas shopping so early I’ve been ready for a while.

A Good Day 
As I mentioned, I’m feeling pretty low at the moment and I would really like for Christmas to just be a good day. I hope everybody loves their gifts and has a great time and we stay up late messing about and having fun and feeling like kids. That’s what Christmas is to me.

Apologies that this has been a bit of a miserable sounding post this year! Hoping I’ll be feeling better soon and cheer up! I do want to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me this year and an extra big thank you to all the lovely people who have gifted me with books these past couple of weeks (books in the picture above), each one has put such a big smile on my face 💜

Tell me what exciting and lovely things are you are looking forward to this Christmas!

 

#SixforSunday, spoiler free

S4S – Books You Want to Give as Gifts

Six for Sunday

One of my favourite things about Christmas is giving gifts. I even like the buying of said gifts, wracking my brain as I try to decide what gift suits those I’m buying for, I always want to make sure that some thought has gone into the gifts I give, this made picking six books I would give as gifts for this weeks prompt difficult without any particular recipient in mind so I’ve picked a few that I think would just be good gifts in general.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
This is one of the books I recommend to basically everyone. It’s a clever, brilliant read that to this day, years after having been released, blows my damn mind.

Sanctuary by V.V James
Another book I would recommend until I’m blue in the face. Another friend recommended it to me and it has been one of my best reads this year. It’s full twists, turns and mystery, a book that kept me on the very edge of my seat pretty much the whole way through. READ IT.

Sherlock Holmes and the Christmas Demon by James Lovegrove
This one is not one of my usual staples and I haven’t actually quite finished it yet, although I am very close! But this is such a Christmassy feeling book in its own weird way. It just feels like a book you would warm up with under blankets in front of a fireplace or in the light of your Christmas tree on Christmas eve, it’s nice and creep-tastic with that twisty, rustic Sherlock Holmes feel that Lovegrove has embodied fantastically. This is definitely a book I would buy for a few of my friends.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin
Considering buying this for my husband for Jolabokaflod this year even though I already own two copies, one of which is an ARC. It’s so very up his alley and I know he’ll love it but I just can’t get him to pick up a book right now so I figure Jolabokaflod is my only hope this year. It’s a great book so I’ll happily have another copy in my house!

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
This is another sitting by the fire all cosy to read kind of book. I think I’ve mentioned this book about once a week for the past couple of months and I PROMISE I will read the second in the new year, I swear. But seriously I loved the crap out of this first book and I think a lot of other people, including some of the people I know, would love this too. 

The Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
Let’s be honest I couldn’t not include this. The Illumine files books are my favourite books and I will do anything I can to get everyone else to read it so we can all excitedly talk about these damn books.

Are any of these books you’d like to receive? Are any of these books you’ve already gifted or are planning to gift? Are you buying many bookish gifts for others this year?

#SixforSunday

S4S – Books I have put in the freezer

Six for Sunday

Once again Sunday has come about again (I’m sure it comes about faster every week?) I’m starting to get restless for Christmas already! I know a lot of people don’t like to even mention it before December but Christmas is my favourite holiday/season and have got pretty much all of our Christmas shopping done early this year I’m ready for the holidays to begin!

I’ve thrown a couple of books to the floor before but I wouldn’t say there were any books I would particularly want to throw in the fire which is the Six for Sunday Prompt today from the lovely Steph over at A Little but A Lot so instead I decided to name for you folk, six books that I have put in my freezer. This might sound a little weird but it started off as a joke having watched the episode of friends where Joey gets so scared of a book he puts it in the freezer and then later on when another book makes him sad it does the same thing. Ever since it’s been a kind of signal between me and my husband that a book has hurt us and we need to take a break, often there are cuddles and shoulder rubs with a coffee or hot chocolate to follow and eventually retrieving the book when we’re ready to dive back in.

When a Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This started it all. This book made me so incredibly sad and distraught that I didn’t know what to do with myself, I have still to this day never ever cried this hard at a book. When I actually met the author himself at an event later that year my friend made me tell him the story and was actually familiar with the freezer bit and has become one of my favourite author meeting moments.

Warrior Cats: Fire and Ice By Erin Hunter
As may be the case with a few of these I can’t go into huge detail for fear of spoiling these books for people but there was a death in this that really shocked me (I gasped out loud while reading this at work which was fun trying to explain) and it wasn’t until I got back from work and tried to pick the book back up that it really hit me. Thankfully Chris had already read the book and understood this character was one of my favourites and I was pretty damn sad.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
This book spent three days in the freezer. If you’ve read it you’ll understand.

Tides of War by Christie Golden
Another early on victim of the freezer and one of the first character deaths to have ever really affected me in such an emotional way. It’s a fictional moment I will honestly never forget and just a tribute to the character that was added in-game recently moved me to tears.

Once and Future by Cori McCarthy and Amy Rose Capetta.
I think I’m starting to see a pattern here as almost all of these freezer moments have been triggered by a characters death because guess what…

The Wicked King by Holly Black
This trip to the freezer was purely inspired by frustration at the end of THAT ending.

(Nevernight and Godsgrave are not mentioned here as Nevernight got thrown across my room and Godgrave got thrown off our balcony but had they not, Nevernight at the very least would have been freezer material. Darkdawn came close.)

I know not everyone experiences emotions from books in the same way but if you did/do, what book would you put in the freezer and is there a book you would throw in the fire as the original prompt suggested.