Tag: reading

Top Ten Tuesday – Debut Novels I Enjoyed!

In today’s Top Ten Tuesday post I have the pleasure of sharing my list of ten debut novels I enjoyed and would love to pass on to my fellow readers. If you’ve landed on my blog, hopefully you have some overlap in reading tastes to me so some of these recommendations appeal!

I’ve broken down the recommendations by genre, which I hope helps you find the type of book you are looking for. Unsurprisingly, I have most in the fantasy genre, but also a few mysteries and non-fictions as well.

Let’s take a look!


The First Binding – R.R. Virdi

I have only read one book by R.R. Virdi so far, but I will be following his future releases.

I discovered The First Binding through taking part in a blog tour with Gollancz. If you love epic fantasy novels but want something a little different to the traditional Western style, then I can’t recommend The First Binding enough!

The First Binding has a traditionally more Eastern, Silk Road type setting. Combine that with a story structure like other favourites in the fantasy genre (Patrick Rothfuss’ the Name of the Wind and Jay Kristoff’s Empire of the Vampire), you can see why I’m a fan.


Elantris – Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson is one of my favourite all-time authors, so I’m ecstatic to be able to share his debut novel I enjoyed immensely! 

Elantris isn’t the first book of his I read – far from it in fact. I started with his Mistborn series and delved into other works from there. Although Elantris was written earlier, I don’t think that shows too much. It’s a fantastic stand-alone novel, although I do believe there may be a sequel in the pipeline…

Blackwing – Ed McDonald


I also discovered Ed McDonald because of a publisher-driven blog tour. I’ve featured the latter two books of this series (Ravencry and Crowfall) on the blog and I’ve even re-read them once already.

The grittiness of the world and the magical elements to the story appeal to me. The main character, Ryhalt, is far from admirable. He’s a bitter alcoholic, yet in a curmudgeonly way that we can’t help but let him grow on us readers.

Although a trilogy, there is plenty of detail in the stories to get stuck into. It’s an approachable and immersive read. Although I haven’t picked them up yet, I’m looking forward to trying his latest series, The Redwinter Chronicles, soon!


The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch

I read this series as a teenager and loved it! As it happens, I want to pick up this trilogy again. There are a real mix of dates online for a release of a fourth book in the series. However, as the new release may be early next year, I want to pick this up again ready for that. It’s been far too long for me to pick it up without a recap!



The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

The premise of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a unique one. We witness the murder of the titular character from the bodies/perspective of a new individual every day. Aidan can only move on once he’s identified the killer.

I thought the execution of each character perspective (how they are written – there’s only one murder here!) was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. I hope you do too!

The Chalk Man – C. J. Tudor

I’ve recommended The Chalk Man to quite a few people by now. If you haven’t read my review of the book, you can find that here.

I’m pleased to feature C.J. Tudor in this post as she is an author I have gone back to several times since reading her debut. In fact, I am currently listening to a book of hers, The Other People, right now.

If you enjoy books in the mystery or psychological thriller genre with dual timelines and plenty of 11th hour twists, The Chalk Man is a book I would strongly recommend for you!

The Appeal – Janice Hallett

The Appeal introduced me to books written in mixed media format. I absolutely loved it in this book, and I’ve gone onto read several others in the same style since!

If it’s something you haven’t read before I strongly recommend giving it a go. It’s unique – and the ever-changing format keeps your brain engaged whilst making the reading experience a little different. What I particularly enjoyed about The Appeal and this reading format is that you end up reading just as much between the lines. It’s a book I was thinking about even when I wasn’t reading it. If that’s not a compliment, I don’t know what it is!

Historical Fiction

As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow – Zoulfa Katouh

I picked up As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow as part of a book club online. Honestly, I went into this book without too much in the way of expectation as it wasn’t something I would’ve picked up otherwise. How wrong I was! I’m glad I pushed myself out of my comfort zone because this was one of my favourite reads of 2023.

The book is very cleverly written and I love the perspective it gives. The love of the characters for their home country Syria shines through. It’s not a perspective I read very often, but it’s one I look forward to picking up again!


Unmasked – Ellie Middleton

Unmasked is a great practical guide to understanding neurodivergence and how everyone can be a little more accommodating for those who think differently.

Not only that, but it’s a great insight into author Ellie and her life and experiences. She offers the advice she has collected over the years through experience and trial and error. Not everybody should have to struggle, and it is for that reason Ellie wants to try to help those who currently receive little support from the world.


This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

This is Going to Hurt is about demonstrating the dire straits in which the NHS finds itself. However, that is not all. It is a book that will have you in stitches one moment and crying the next. It’s a heart wrencher!

If you enjoy narratives that dig deep to combine both humour and sensitive topics, Adam Kay strikes up the perfect balance. I have since gone on to read his seasonal sequel, T’was the Nightshift Before Christmas. It’s just as good!


These are some of my favourite debut novels I enjoyed. Now I ask you – what is yours?


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Discussion Post – How Many Books is Too Many?

How many books is too many?

Naturally this will differ for everybody. How do you know how many is too many for you?

This number can change over time, just to make things more difficult. I have varied from reading 2-3 books one year to 72 another since leaving school. I’ve been consistently nearer the top of that range in recent years, but it could go the other way again later down the line.

So, how do you decide how many is too many, and what to do if you get close to that limit?

Storage Space

Physical space is probably one of my biggest restrictions when it come to paperback or hardback books. I have a little more space now compared to when I lived in my flat. However, it’s still a relative premium.

I have less restriction when it comes to e-books and that reflects in the number I have. It’s my largest collection by far, and always will be greater than my physical collection by nature. The only possible competitor here is audiobooks for the same reason of digital formatting. However, I typically read less in this format (at least right now).

Admittedly, I probably have too many physical books at the moment. My bookshelves, such as they are currently, are overflowing. However, this is something I manage periodically and I’ll donate unwanted copies. Even still, I’ll have to have a long hard think about picking up any more physical books until my next clear down!

Time to read

Depending on why you are collecting your books, there’s a good argument to keeping your collection proportionate to a realistic expectation of being able to read them all. That’s not always the case, though! If you’re collecting them just because they are of high-value, a specific collection or look pretty, then you do you! Have as many as you like.

A lot of readers fall into the trap of acquiring so many books that they will struggle to get to them.

If I’m honest, I think I’m nowhere near this bad. I do have several hundred books across all formats, but those include the ones I’ve read too. I’m not far off a 50/50 split comparing read/unread books. 

If I were to go on a complete book buying ban and focus only on the owned unread copies I have, my reading list is about five years long… but, I’m young and I have plenty of time to read them yet!

At least, I hope so…


The Plan

The Plan. Capital P.

After my most recent book haul in Liverpool, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to put a lid on my spending (full stop, but especially when it comes to books). I had a great time doing it, but I do need to focus on reading the books I have rather than getting copies of new ones.

As I’m not reading for blog tours or specifically acquiring new books for many reasons at the moment, this shouldn’t be a difficult task. The only exception here is our new book club at work, but I’ll always try libraries or alternative ways of getting books first.

How many books do you own? Are you on a book buying ban?


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Monthly TBR – July 2024

Given we’re about a third of the way into July, I’m overdue sharing my monthly TBR, no?

In today’s post I have a great range of books to share that I plan for read in the next few weeks. You’ll have seen a good few of them before as they are carryovers. At the same time, I have a few new faces too, so let’s get stuck in!


Fixed Reads

You Coach You

My last current read and carryover is You Coach You by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis.

As of this monthly TBR I have actually just finished this audiobook this morning. However, I spent at least a couple of hours this month getting to that point so it’s going on this TBR to mark that progress effort.

I’ve enjoyed this audio so much and see the value in its content that I’ve just ordered a paperback copy to refer back to and re-read in future!

Master of Sorrows

Master of Sorrows is on yet another monthly TBR… but not as a non-starter this time!

I’ve been trying to read the book since February and I finally started it last month. It is, however, a current read so it makes it onto July’s monthly TBR as a carryover. Can I say, may it please be the last?!

I’m about halfway through the book, so there’s no reason I won’t be completing this soon!


Another carryover from my June TBR is Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.

I started this last book in the Illuminae files trilogy last month after accidentally leaving Master of Sorrows at work. It’s been a refreshing change to read a mixed media book again! It’ll also be even better to be able to mark this series as complete once I’ve finished it. I’ll be sad to see it end, but there is another sci-fi series they’ve co-written I could pick up…

As of this post, I’m around a third of the way into the book. It’s a quick read, so again, I expect to finish it before long.

Mood Reads

The Other People

The only book on my June TBR I didn’t get to is The Other People by C.J. Tudor. It’s mum’s favourite book of hers so far, so I’m really looking forward to reading it this month instead.

I haven’t picked up a mystery novel at all this year, so it will make a refreshing change! I’ve enjoyed two of C.J. Tudor’s books already, so I have high hopes for this one!


With my Mid Year Check In and Summer TBR posts still fresh in my mind, I’m adding a book to this monthly TBR that will earn me another series completion.

Defiant is the last book in Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward series. Honestly, I’ll be sad to get to the end of it, but I also want to see how Spensa’s story ends. For a series to which I’m not the target demographic, I’m getting on with it really well. Equally, I haven’t met a Sanderson book I’ve disliked…

Let’s hope I’ve met jinxed it!

The Power of Habit

Another selection with my 2024 reading goals in mind is a recent acquisition. The Power of Habit is both a non-fiction book and will, with any luck, help towards my blogging goal of using social media more!

In theory this is a win-win read, but we’ll see how that works out in practice.


July’s monthly TBR reflects a reading month in which I plan to catch up with ongoing reads. However, there are also a couple of new books I’m introducing here. I’m not planning a long list that I think is unachievable, so here’s to a productive month! 


Have you read any of the books on this monthly TBR? Do you have any tips on how I can get better at making social media a habit?


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2024 Mid Year Check In!

Hello friends – after a week off it’s great to be back! In today’s mid year check in post, I’m taking a look at progress against my 2024 reading resolutions…

When I set my 2024 New Year Resolutions, I was ambitious in my goal-setting. I had a fresh start, plenty of reading motivation and a stack of great books. I still have that fab stack… and the motivation, but what I have encountered is a change of circumstances in the time I have available.

In January I read a whopping eight books, if that gives you an idea of the mindset I was in. However, at the beginning of February I started seeing my boyfriend. As such, my time available and priorities changed from then on. I’m still reading and blogging as they are hobbies I love. But, simply put, I don’t have the same amount of time for it.

And that’s okay! As you’ll see below, I’m still very happy with the amount I’m reading; I’ve not had to compromise the blog schedule yet either. But, I’m naturally not in a position to push myself in the same way as I anticipated at the beginning of the year.

Let’s take a look at the goals I set myself and check in on my progress against them.


Reading Goals: –

Goal: Goodreads Challenge – 60 Books

Current Progress: 23/60 Books Read

As of this mid year check in post, I am a little behind with this reading goal. But, given the change in circumstances I’m very happy with how much I’m still reading.

In some ways I have adapted my reading style in order to keep up. I’m listening to more audiobooks compared with last year and making the most of time available to listen. For example, I listen to a lot of audio whilst driving in the car, or even when pottering around the house cleaning or tidying.

Another change is that I’m not taking part as many blog tours as I was before. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however. With the amount of books I have on the back list, it’s sensible that I am now looking to prioritise that over new releases. It also works well with another reading goal I feature in this check in… but I’ll cover that later.


Goal: Read >15 non-fiction

Current Progress: 5/15 NF Books Read

Although I am also a little behind on the reading of non-fiction for this year, it’s interesting to note that the percentage progress is not dissimilar to that of my Goodreads Challenge. In short, if I was reading enough books to get completion in that challenge by the end of the year, I would also meet this one.

As of drafting this check in update, I have completed five non-fiction reads this year. In addition to those, I am also currently listening to You Coach You by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis. So, I’m fast approaching 6/15.

The good thing about covering these reading goals is that it gives me the opportunity to adjust how I am tackling them. Now that I know I’m a little behind schedule, I’ll make more time to pick up non-fiction more frequently than I do currently. It won’t be a dramatic change, but it is a change I can control.

It works in my favour that I have been adding and picking up more non-fiction books to my TBR of late. I have plenty to choose from and get stuck into!


Goal: Finish 10 series by the end of the year

Current Progress: 5/10 series up to date or finished

I thought my progress against this goal would be terrible, but I find myself surprised. In order to assess myself against this goal in this check in, I am including completion of finished series (obviously), but also current ongoing series that I’m up-to-date with.

For example, I have been reading the Eagle of Mercia Chronicles by M.J. Porter in the last few years. As of this check in post, I have read all five of the five currently published books in the series. I physically cannot read any more of the series right now, so that counts as a point.

As of this post, I have caught up-to-date with, or have completed, five out of ten series. That puts me right on track! As a bonus, I will soon complete Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman’s The Illuminae Files. I don’t think any adjustments need to be made with regards to how I’m approaching this goal – I just need to keep it in perspective when setting my monthly reading lists to make sure it remains a priority.


Blogging Goals: –

Make Social Media a Habit

In my resolution post, I set myself a brand-new goal for the year, and I confess this one has fallen off a cliff.

With the change of circumstances and all that, I have not been very good with social media this year. In truth, I haven’t seriously considered my Instagram account since late February and I’m just as pitiful on Threads, Facebook et al.

This is something I do want to get back to, but I need to be more realistic about how I fit this in. When I set myself this goal I wanted to try to structure and curate my content a little more artistically and thoughtfully.

If I’m honest with myself, I need to be more realistic in my expectations for the time commitment I can put into social media. As of right now, this is a prompt for me to try and get back on social media full stop. Low expectations, no drastic plans for improvement or anything like that. Get back to posting on the platforms more regularly.

I’ll take that as a win if I can achieve that by the end of the year!

Thanks for reading today’s mid year check in!

What reading goals did you set yourself in 2024 and how are you progressing towards them?


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Top Ten Tuesday – Summer 2024 TBR

In today’s Top Ten Tuesday, I’ll be making plans for my Summer 2024 TBR and sharing the top ten books I plan to read this summer season.

Some of the books on this Top Ten Tuesday list carried over from my Winter 2023 TBR. This is the last time I did a post of this type, and given I enjoyed it so much last year, I’m bringing it back. I also want to keep myself accountable to these reading lists, so before publishing the next one I’ll be doing a check-in of what I have actually read from the list I’ve set.

Now, with that out of the way, shall we get into today’s Top Ten Tuesday list?

Summer 2024 TBR


Having nearly concluded The Illuminae Files trilogy, I’m keen to pick up this last book and to be able to mark the trilogy as complete. But, this is more than a tick box exercise. I have really enjoyed reading this young adult sci-fi series and seeing how the storylines come together.

I plan to pick up Obsidio later this month, so watch this space!


Wolves of the Calla

Another series I want to progress with him the near future is Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. Wolves of the Calla is a chunky instalment in the series, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.

Book in the series, Wizard and Glass, did not carry on the present-day storyline like I expected. Instead, it takes us back to the history of events to date and explains a lot about what’s been hinted at in the books. I’m hoping for a jump back to the present day so we can pick up the storyline again.

The Good Samaritan

I enjoyed listening to The Minders by John Marrs towards the end of last year. Having finished that book, I knew I wanted to pick up another of his soon.

The Good Samaritan has been on my reading list for a good while, so that is the book I want to pick up next. I’m also really intrigued by the synopsis and the conflict that I expect in this book.


I love Adam Kay’s writing style for his humour. As of today, I’ve already enjoyed reading both This is Going to Hurt, and his festive themed book,T’was the Nightshift Before Christmas.

I’m looking forward to going back to his non-Christmas themed writing. His books are full of humour, even though they discuss important and very thought-provoking, emotional topics.


The Kingdom

I added The Kingdom to my Winter 2023 TBR but never got to it. I’ve decided to carry it forward as I like the sound of the synopsis.

As fiction goes, it’s a little different to what I typically pick up. I was taken with the synopsis after hearing about the book on the Currently Reading podcast. Given it’s been an intention of mine to read the book for a while, I’ll try to include it on July’s TBR.


If you follow my blog you’ll know that in the last couple of weeks, I’ve read two books written by, or about, Terry Pratchett. Neither of them were Discworld, but the autobiography has inspired me to continue with the next Discworld book and keep momentum going with the series.

Fool’s Errand

Another series I’m keen to keep progressing with is Robin Hobb’s Realm of the Elderlings series.

Fool’s Errand is the start of a new mini-series within the wider Realm of the Elderlings collection. It also goes back to a set of characters that we have seen previously in the first miniseries, the Farseer trilogy. I’m excited to see how these characters have moved on since those first books!


I recently featured Breathtaking in a First Lines Friday post. Honestly, that introduction caught my attention so hard that I really want to read this book. I’ve also recently watched the TV documentary based on it, so it’s a topic that I want to explore more of.

I appreciate not everybody wants to deal with such a topic, but I think it’s important we as a society highlight what went wrong. Why were we were so unprepared, and how can we try and prevent the same mistakes being made in future?


Another series I want to catch up on over the course of the summer is Brandon Sanderson‘s Skyward series. Last year I read Cytonic, which at the time was the last book published. However, a couple of short months later, this next instalment, Defiant, was published.

Now that I am reasonably on track with the series, I want to keep up with these as and when they come out. I’m a little late in starting Defiant as this came out in around November last year. But, reading this will mean I am back on track with the series and I can give myself a good old tick against my series goal!

Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon

The last book on this Top Ten Tuesday list is another non-fiction. With the next series of House of the Dragon coming out imminently, I want to read my copy of Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon.

If you are unfamiliar, this book is about the main Game of Thrones series. I honestly love it so much that I can read that, any spin off books and any books about the whole process and not get bored. It’s fat to say I am a little obsessed…

Have you read any of the books featured in my Top Ten Tuesday? Have any of them caught your eye and made you want to read them for yourself?



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Monthly TBR – June 2024

Good afternoon fellow readers and welcome to one of my favourite posts of the month – my monthly TBR. It’s a post of future plans and looking ahead at exciting books coming up on my immediate reading list!

This month I have a few carryovers (current reads and ones I didn’t get to in May) but also some new titles to feature.

So, shall we get into the details of my monthly TBR?


Mood Reads

The Long Earth

The first book I feature on this reading list is actually one I finished last night.

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter was a carryover from May as I hadn’t quite finished the book by the end of the month. Ironically, I have just finished it. So whilst I did technically read some of it in June, I’ll only be talking about it in this week’s Sunday Summary post.

I enjoyed this introduction to the series and I’m curious to see where the later books pick up from this first novel. I’ve gathered the scope gets quite a bit bigger just on the titles alone. I have those books in e-book format so I can pick them up whenever I’m ready!

Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes 

My second carryover from May that is working progress is Terry Pratchett’s biography, A Life With Footnotes.

At the moment I am around 50% through this audiobook, so I’m well on the way to completing this before the end of June. I’ve already enjoyed the first half of this audio, looking at Terry‘s early life, career and establishing himself as an author. We will inevitably move onto the less pleasant side of his later years, his Alzheimer’s diagnosis and ultimate passing, soon. I’m still looking forward to listening to this despite the difficult topic.

I admit I’m curious to see if Terry’s Alzheimer’s affected him in ways that are familiar to me through a family member suffering with the disease also. I’m also interested to see what impact it had on his career. I know in the end he was dictating his books to Rob, but also what other potential impacts there were that we haven’t talked about yet.

Master of Sorrows

I have a couple more carryovers from my May TBR, but these are books I did not get to start.

Are you surprised that once again, Master of Sorrows has been kicked down the line? Well, not anymore! It’s the first physical book I am going to pick up in June now that I’ve finished The Long Earth and nothing. will. stop. me. I have been trying to read this book since February – I’ve waited long enough!


The final carryover from my May TBR is Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.

Obsidio is the last book in the Illuminae files trilogy. I want to get to it to both finish the series, but also see how the two storylines we’ve enjoyed so far intertwine.

I anticipate Obsidio will be a relatively short read. Although it’s a good few hundred pages, the book is written in mixed media format. It has a lot of imagery so whilst there are some pages of solid text, there are plenty where there are not. I’ve really enjoyed into the world of mixed media from a variety of genres, but I do particularly like it in the science-fiction young adult series. It makes it very approachable to all readers and especially so to those who may be picking it up for the first time.

The Other People

Mum has been making her way through books written by C.J. Tudor after I introduced her to The Chalk Man and The Taking of Annie Thorne. She has recommended The Other People to me as her favourite book so far. Naturally, I want to see what it’s about!

Especially as I’ve not dabbled in the genre for a little while, I’m looking forward to seeing this book is about. This synopsis sounds as good as ever and I trust my mum’s judgement that I will really enjoy this one as she did!

Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots

Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots

In an effort to keep up with my non-fiction reading this year, I’ll be picking up the e-book Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots. This has been on my reading list since 2017 so is long overdue a read. At under 300 pages, this is also really achievable for me to pick up and make light work of.

I’ve already started this e-book as it was a convenient one to pick up after finishing a physical read of The Long Earth. I want to read on my Kindle for a bit! Aside from audiobooks, I’ve picked up a lot of physical read lately.

In just the half hour I started this last night, I am already well into the first chapter and intrigued as to where this book will take us.

If you are unfamiliar, this is a non-fiction book about how treatment for individuals in the UK and Ireland with mental health issues has changed in the last 200 or so years. By all accounts, we start this book with a lot to be desired in terms of treating people humanely and with dignity.

You Coach You

The last book on this monthly TBR is also a non-fiction and a book I intend to pick up via audio after finishing Terry Pratchett’s biography. The book is You Coach You.

I want to pick up this book for a couple of reasons. The first of these is that coaching is a skill I’m working on personally this year. I totally understand that not everyone is interested in personal development, but I’m still young and haven’t lost interest yet at the very least. On a serious note, I’m the kind of person who believes there is always more to learn. I can always improve.

So, coaching is a skill I want to work on. The other reason I want to pick up You Coach You in particular is because I listen to Helen and Sarah‘s podcast, Squiggly Careers. I already love their content and their style, so picking up their book makes infinite sense! They also narrate the audiobook, so I know exactly what I’m getting into when I start listening to this.

I can’t wait!


With a few shorter books on my monthly TBR, and a plan to pick up Master of Sorrows as a priority, I have confidence that June is going to be a productive reading month!

That’s all for my Monthly TBR post.

What are you reading?



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Monthly Wrap-Up – May 2024

Welcome readers to another monthly wrap-up post! How are we at the end of May already? If you love motorsport and enjoy the TT (which is ongoing at the moment locally), then hats off to you. As a local driver though, I’m less than a fan of the disruption and increased traffic…

As usual, I didn’t get to all the books I planned to read in May. From my May TBR, Master of Sorrows and Obsidio remain yet untouched. Soon friends I promise! However, I have managed to read a great selection, so without further ado, let’s take a look!


Books Read

The Icepick Surgeon

As of my last monthly wrap-up post, I was 70% into the audiobook of The Icepick Surgeon. In truth, it didn’t take me long to finish this audio. With just a few hours left until the conclusion, drove in and made all haste to get to the conclusion.

I really enjoyed this historical science novel and the variety of topics featured throughout. From ancient history through to modern day, the book features numerous famous (or infamous) individuals throughout history and the ways they have shaped science for good or ill.

F*ck No

I picked up this audiobook by Sarah Knight on the recommendation of my piercer, Lindsay. As someone who struggles to say no sometimes, particularly at work, I thought picking this up would be a useful way of getting myself familiar with ways in which I can set expectations and not just agree to everything.

At just over five hours long, this is a really quick listen and for anyone looking for real practical advice, I strongly recommend this book. Sarah‘s funny stories about her own real life scenari(no)s really add to the narrative to give it a personal touch.

Empire of the Damned

I picked up Empire of the Damned this month after just finishing Empire of the Vampire. I read that first book of the series once again as a reminder of what has happened to date. Plus I also had a new special edition copy, so why not?

Empire of the Damned took us on a storyline that I didn’t expect from the first book, but in a way that I really enjoyed. One of the big selling points for these books is the narrative style, and it is present once again in this book, but with a twist. I enjoyed the second and challenging perspective we get as it adds a lot of dimension to the characters we have initially met through Gabriel’s retelling. No names and no spoilers because where is the fun in that?

The only sad thing about finishing this book is that I’m now going to have to wait for the sequel, and God knows how long that will take. It’s a good job I have plenty of books to keep me going in the meantime, right?

Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes

Audiobooks feature heavily in this monthly wrap-up post because I spent a good deal of time listening to them this month. I started A Life with Footnotes earlier this month and as of this monthly wrap-up post, I am about 50% into the audio.

In this first half of Terry Pratchett biography, we are looking at his early life and career. From school days and the influence of his parents to starting his career in journalism and in writing, we’ve already covered so much about young Terry‘s life.

I’m interested to see how the story progresses and really learn about the life of one of my favourite authors of all time. I know I will struggle to listen to the end. His ultimately fatal illness and the recounting of final days will resonate quite strongly with me on a personal level. My gran also suffered with Alzheimer’s. However, I am looking forward to it on some level as well. I watched the documentaries on BBC and enjoyed those.

The Long Earth

Another Terry Pratchett related novel that I have picked up in May is The Long Earth, co-authored with Stephen Baxter. As of this monthly wrap-up I am 258 pages in, or 65% through this science-fiction book. The timing of picking up the science-fiction novel was apt as I had just started listening to the section of his biography which talks about his attendance of science-fiction conventions and his love of the genre.

Initially I had reservations about picking up this book as I have had less success with books he has co-authored in the past. However, as I’ve gone into this one with only a little knowledge and sample of Stephen Baxter’s writing, it hasn’t impacted my enjoyment in a negative way. Quite the opposite, I think their’s is a fantastic combination; we get elements of humour from Terry but there’s still a good deal of science-fiction behind it. So far I’m really enjoying this physical read and as it’s a relatively short one, I’m hoping to get this finished in the next few days!


I’ve enjoyed spending a month reading books that I have been looking forward to for a little while. It’s been fun to focus on the backlist and make my way through a highly anticipated sequel, as well as return to and about one of my favourite authors.

Have you read anything this month? Do you have any recommendations for me?



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Monthly TBR – May 2024

Hello fellow readers and welcome to my Monthly TBR! In today’s post, I’ll be sharing the books I hope to pick up over the month of May. I’m looking forward to all these books too! Now that I don’t have any reading obligations ongoing, I have free rein on every single book I pick up this month, and in what order.

I have a newly released sequel, a last in series, a new fantasy series, a science-fiction collab and two non-fiction audiobooks to share with you.

Curious as to what I’m picking up this month? Let’s get into this monthly TBR so you can find out!


Mood Reads


Empire of the Damned

After some deliberation, I’ve decided to start immediately after finishing Empire of the Vampire by picking up the sequel.

I’ve been looking forward to this read for a long time. It is rare that I pre-order books ahead of publication. However, Empire of the Damned was an exception! Now I’m caught up and refreshed on events of the previous book, I’m going to dive straight into this sequel.

As of this post, I’m already 50 pages into the book and intrigued as to where events are going to take us. It’s not the kind of story I expected to play out based on biases of the characters established in book 1. However, there is promise for conflict and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in!


Master of Sorrows

I’ve been trying to get to Master of Sorrows for a few months now, and I’ve decided May is THE month. I have no other reading obligations, so it’s going to be the next book I pick up after Empire of the Damned. I’m perhaps a little ambitious picking up two longer physical reads this month, but I am nothing if not up for a challenge.

I originally drew this book out of my TBR Jar at the end of January, with the intention of picking up the book in February. Three months late is better than never, right?


The Long Earth

The Long Earth has been on my reading list since February 2018. It’s been on my radar to pick up anyway, but I just so happened to get a loan copy from our former CEO at work as he has just read the book himself. He’s also a fan of Terry Pratchett.

My experience so far of books co-authored by Terry Pratchett are not the best. However, that’s usually because of the other authors influence rather than Terry’s. I’m not going to let that put me off a new combination though. My dad is a fan of Stephen Baxter, so I want to try it from that perspective as well.



Although a slightly thicker book, my experience of the Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman so far is that they are very quick reads. Having read the first two books of the trilogy, I want to pick up Obsidio in May in order to mark the series as completed.

I also believe this book picks up both storylines from the earlier books and brings the characters from each storyline together. I have no idea how that’s going to work and whether there’s going to be any personality clashes, but I’m excited to see what happens!


Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes

The first of my audiobook listens planned for this month is Terry Pratchett’s biography. If it wasn’t already clear I was a fan of his writing in picking up The Long Earth, the fact that I’ve read just under half of his 41 book Discworld series should leave no room for doubt.

I’ve watched a documentary about his life before and I’ve been fascinated by his life story. Now I want to hear that in his ‘own’ words as much as possible. This book isn’t an autobiography as Terry never got to complete it himself. Instead, his assistant Rob Wilkins picked up the mantle to finish it into the biography it is today.


F*ck No

The second and shorter audiobook I intend to pick up in May is called F*ck No by Sarah Knight. It’s a book that was recommended to me fairly recently and I’m interested in the content of the book. If I get on with it, then the author Sarah has an extensive collection of other self-help books that I would look to pick up as well.

I’ve already sampled and bought the audio as that’s a big make or break thing for me when picking up a book like that. If I can’t get on with the narrative style, then it’s a hard pass. However, I like what I’ve heard so far so I’m looking forward to listening to it in earnest!



As always, I don’t give myself much slack with my reading lists. However, I’m hopeful that I will get through the majority of this monthly TBR. Although some of the books are a little chunkier, some will be easier to read because of their format; mixed media and using audio when I can’t physically pick up a book are helpful to keep pace.

What are you planning to read?  Have you read any of the books on this monthly TBR? Do you have anything ongoing at the moment that you would recommend?



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Monthly Wrap-Up – April 2024

Good evening readers and welcome to my monthly wrap-up post for April! Somehow we’re a third of the way through the year already. Where has that gone?

April has been a good month. I’m still reading less than I did at the beginning of the year and I still have books I didn’t get to. However, I’ve read a number of great books over the month.

Shall we take a look?


Books Read


Empire of the Vampire

Empire of the Vampire is a book I ended up picking up on and off throughout the month. I started off at the beginning of April on page 171. At the end of the month, I finished off around 530 pages in. 

Empire of the Vampire has been a slow burn read. I’ve read the book before, but it’s been good to revisit the story ahead of picking up the sequel. In truth, I’m slower with re-reads as I don’t have the motivation to find out what’s happening. Even if I don’t remember all the details, I have a rough idea of what’s happened.

I’ve enjoyed reading this book again. I’m not generally one for vampire stories, but Jay Kristoff has a way of making stretching the boundaries of my reading. Whilst I am taking this into May, I hope to finish reading this book soon! As of this monthly wrap-up, I have just 100 pages to go.


Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?

The first audiobook I picked up in April was Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Julie Smith. I knew I wanted to go back to non-fiction audio as in the past I have been far quicker at listening to it. In truth, I find the genre easier to listen to than read, and vice versa.

From techniques on how to handle stress and anxiety to grief, the book touches on a broad range of emotions and how we can help ourselves to identify and try to self-regulate. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? excels as both a theoretical and practical guide. Even if you wouldn’t describe yourself as somebody who struggles with their mental health, there are still tips in here that anyone can benefit from. We all experience emotions or various intensities.


The Maiden of Florence

The Maiden of Florence is a historical fiction novel I picked up in April as part of a blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. I was intrigued by the book for its ties to a powerful Italian family in the period, the Medici’s.

It’s every bit as much a work of feminist fiction as it is historical. Protagonist Guilia spends her life in the power of men. This is her story, but also in part the stories of many women in the period who had little autonomy in their lives.

If you’re interested in picking up the book, here’s my full review so you can check it out for yourself!


The Icepick Surgeon

The Icepick Surgeon is also an ongoing read as of publishing this post. I only have a few hours left of the audio, however.

I’ve found this an interesting read. It’s another non-fiction novel, so appeals to me as an audiobook. I also love how it touches on different topics and time periods throughout history. A lot of the chapters interlink well, which is a nice touch.

For anyone who wants to take away any further reading, there is plenty on offer too. Sam is clearly well researched in the subject as he offers his website content, podcasts and other media as extra reading for anyone interested in a particular subject!

As of drafting this monthly wrap-up I’m 70% into the audio, with about 3 hours left of listening time to completion. Broadly I’ve been doing well for making time for audiobooks, so I imagine this won’t take long to wrap-up.



I’ve been taking my time over a chunky read this month, meaning the book count is a little less than usual. However, I’ve had a great time picking up the books I have, and that is ultimately what matters!

What have you been reading in the last month? Is there anything you would recommend to me?



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Monthly TBR – April 2024

Hi readers and welcome to a slightly later than planned Monthly TBR post!

To get through a slightly longer reading list in April, I’m making an effort to listen to more audio than usual. I’ve found in the past that non-fiction works best in this format, so that’s what I’ll be listening to. This also works great for my goal of reading more than 15 nonfiction books by the end of the year.

In addition to this, I’m picking up two fantasy reads and a sci-fi physically, and lastly, one e-ARC that I need to review by the 27th April. It’s a full list, so let’s get stuck in!


Monthly TBR

Empire of the Vampire

My first read of the month is my re-read of Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. I’m looking forward to picking up the relatively new release of the sequel. However, before I dive into that I wanted a refresher of events so far.

As you’ll see from my last Sunday Summary post, I’m enjoying this read so far! I started reading it last month but had to put it aside for blog tour obligations. However, I’m back into it in full swing and loving the story as much as I did the first time.


Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?

My first listen of the month is Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? Admittedly I started this audio on a whim after finishing The Atlas Six, but I have no regrets!

It’s just the kind of non-fiction that I can consume easily. I’m already 10 chapters or 2 hours 20mins in, and that’s been pretty easy to work through.

I’m looking forward to listening to more of this audio in the comings days, as well as looking at the exercises that come with it.


The Maiden of Florence

Next to feature on this monthly TBR is my one reading obligation this month, The Maiden of Florence. As I’ve already shared, I am reviewing this book on the 27th of the month.

I signed up for the blog tour as I was interested in the story’s ties to the Medici family. I love historical fiction anyway, but it reminds me of my favourite series in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I could play the Ezio storylines over and over and not get bored!

It’s a period of history I haven’t read in a while, and all about casting light on a female character cast aside by history… which has me intrigued!


The Icepick Surgeon

The second non-fiction audio I hope to listen to this month is The Icepick Surgeon. I discovered this book when an Instagrammer I follow shared she was reading it in March. Initially I’d hoped to read it then as well. However, time as always runs away and I didn’t get to it at the same time.

But, a month late is better than never! As someone who enjoyed exploring this side of science in psychology, I’m looking forward to reading further around the subject!


Master of Sorrows

Master of Sorrows… how many monthly TBR’s has this been on now? Three perhaps? I’ve just not gotten to it so far, but I’m determined to at the very least start it in April.

Last month I deliberately didn’t draw another book out my TBR jar give myself chance to read this one. Given I’ve ended up carrying it over again, the same applies this month.


Stretch Goal

The Long Earth

On the off-chance I manage to read all the books above, I’m going to pick up The Long Earth next.

It has been on my TBR since February 2018, but I’ve managed to borrow a copy from someone at work who was discussing it with me recently. He has not long finished it, so I want to state my intentions to pick it up as soon as I can so we can compare notes!


I’ve plenty of reading to do and as of this post, I have two at currently reading status and no completions! Best get a wriggle on!

Have you read any of the books I feature in this post?

Until next time, happy reading!

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