Tag: Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday – Favourite Places to Read

Hello and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post!

I’ve had my eye on taking part in this post for a couple of weeks. When I saw this week‘s topic I knew I wanted to share my top ten places to read. It’s one of those really personal things so not only does it give you the opportunity to learn a little about me, but also I would like to hear what your favourite places are and see how we differ!

Shall we jump into the list?


Home – The Living Room

This is by far my favourite place to read. Sat on my sofa on a cosy evening, cup of tea in hand, candles lit and curtains drawn. Maybe even wrapped in a blanket. This is my ideal reading spot. I don’t know why, but reading always appeals to me more as the nights are drawing in earlier, so September-November is the ideal time of year for me.


Home – In Bed

My second favourite place to read is in bed just before settling down for the night. This is actually where I got back into reading on a regular basis several years ago. It was cold, it was January and with being out for most of the day at that time, I was coming home to a cold flat. As such, I decided rather than putting the heating on for half an hour or so before turning in, I’d just go straight to tucking myself up in bed instead. I wasn’t in the mood to watch anything on TV as I was tired. However, picking up a book could be as much or as little as you wish… And well, the rest is history!

Someone who loves to read before bed, I don’t read in the mornings. For me it’s a ‘before bed’ thing and that’s it.


Home – The Garden

Since moving into my new place I’ve enjoyed going and sitting out on the decking with a book. It’s probably happened more last year with lockdown (ironically when I didn’t have a garden furniture to go and sit out on!) But I still do go and take the opportunity when I feel like it. Over here it’s also severely weather permitting too… And most of the time it isn’t!

This does come with the caveat that as long as I’m not surrounded by bees or wasps I’m comfortable. I have been known on several occasions to put headphones in just to make it a little bit easier to ignore the things. I absolutely hate them!

 

At Work – Lunchtime Reading

One of the ways I like to wind down at lunchtime is to pick up a book. If I want to switch off it’s a good way to distract my mind and enjoy some downtime, even for a short while. And I was reading is more than enough for me. I’m not a marathon reader by any stretch of the imagination and I don’t need to sit for long sessions. So, this suits me to a T.

 

Commuting

A hobby such as reading is great when you have to commute. I must admit I drive most of the time, but I have been known to listen to an audiobook whilst I’m driving.

Reading on buses (or trains for those who have access to them) can be a great way to pass the time. I would only ever do it on a very familiar route however, because I would easily get too engrossed, lose my bearings and inevitably miss my stop. I was born blonde and though looks maybe deceiving, I haven’t lost that trait! The best place for me to commute and read is on the plane – because you really can’t miss your stop!

 

On Holiday

Whenever I go on holiday I can guarantee that my kindle is one of the first things I think to pack. Since getting an e-reader I tend to stick to taking that on holiday, but that’s not strictly the case. Last time I went on holiday (all that time ago…) I took a couple of paperbacks with me as well, because they weren’t too big.

I’m not one for getting in the pool too much, but sitting next to it with a book in hand is one of the most relaxing things that I will do on holiday. And with all that time to do nothing at all, there’s plenty of opportunity to bury my nose and indulge. I go on holiday with my family and whilst others may not read as much as me, we all read on holiday. So, it suits us all.

 

Coffee Shops

If I’m in the right frame of mind, sitting in a coffee shop is a great way to enjoy your book. I say in the right frame of mind because sometimes background noise can be distracting for me. Equally, sometimes it doesn’t bother me at all. I can’t say I frequent coffee shops very often alone (and I won’t read whilst in company), but I do enjoy doing it when I am on my own. I think the last time I visited a coffee shop with a book in hand was around a year ago. I think I was out Christmas shopping if that tells you anything about how long ago it was!

 

Bookshops

There’s something about being in the company of others who appreciate books that makes for a lovely atmosphere in a bookshop. I wouldn’t say I’m a big reader in this sense, but you always have to try but before you buy right? The last time I read in public (as above), was in a café in a coffee shop. Win-win if you ask me!

 

Libraries

If the noise of a coffee shop is offputting then the library is the next best alternative. I like the ability to choose anything to read. It’s a great place to try something new and if you really want the peace and quiet to take your time with it, it’s a great place to go.

 

Airports

Airports are by far not my favourite place to be, but with all that waiting around they are perfect venues for picking up a book. Again, like commuting, I’m very wary about doing this. I’m paranoid about missing my flight so whilst I have been known to read whilst waiting, I am checking the board frequently and listening to every tannoy going. Do you get the vibe I don’t trust myself?

 

So, those are my top ten places to read, and I would love to hear yours! Please let me know in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time)

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Today’s topic features Books I Have Read in One Sitting (Or Would if I Had the Time). Now, I’ll be the first person to admit that I don’t have the patience to read a full book in one sitting. It’s not for a lack of time. I just don’t have the attention span.

By and large, I don’t read many short stories, however, you will find most of them on this list just because they are easier to get through by nature. There are a couple of longer books that will feature on this list because I’m expanding the definition to include books read within 24 hours. It’s not quite the same, but it’s close as I can get to give you a full list of ten!

Shall we jump into the list?

 

Making Magic – Allan Walsh

At just over 30 pages, this has to be the shortest book I have ever read since I started my blog. Needless to say, I definitely read this in one sitting. It would be pretty embarrassing if I hadn’t, wouldn’t it?

 

The Lynmouth Stories

This collection of short stories was also read in one sitting. I found the variety of tales within the book engaging enough to keep me sat down for longer. Normally I would have put a book of this length down at least once, even if it was just to make a cup of tea or have a very quick break.

 

Game of Crones – Jay Raven

As with the Lynmouth stories, the variety of tales within the short narrative kept me engaged throughout and so this also was completed in one sitting. The chilling and spooky tales also keep you on the edge of your seat, questioning what you think you know and what is going to happen.

 

Lost Tales of Solace 1-4 – Karl Drinkwater

From these four books and the rest afterwards, the definition stretches to within 24 hours. I think I read a couple of these books in one day, but at least a couple of them also stretched over into the next but still in 24 hours. They are nice and short but equally engaging and so we are very easy to keep picking up and reading just a little bit more… and then a little bit more.

 

The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient is unlike some of the other books on this list, because it is definitely not a short story! At around 325 pages this is one of the exceptions to the rule when it comes to my attention span. I’ve been able to read this quickly because it was absolutely fantastic! For me, I need to get the right combination of opportunity and motivation and the stars must have aligned perfectly when I picked this up.

 

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

It’s rare that I’m a sucker for a YA book, but I absolutely devoured this one! I’m pretty sure I’ve binge-read it over a weekend… and what probably makes it *worse* is that it wasn’t my intended read at the time! I picked it up because for whatever reason, I wasn’t feeling my current read at the time. So, I was just casually reading the first chapter to try it out and before I know it I’d read over a third. Needless to say, I was invested at that point and the rest is history.

 

Fires of the Dead – Jed Herne

I don’t know whether to describe this as a short story really. It’s kind of that midway length between a full novel and a short story. The tale is just less than 200 pages long, so no mean feat. However, I also went on to read this within 24 hours because the characters were hilarious, the plot was action-packed, engaging and exciting – and I had to know what happened next.

 

So, these are my top ten books I have read in one sitting (ish), featuring in today’s Top Ten Tuesday post. I would love to find out yours! Please let me know in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Reasons Why I Love Reading

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Today’s topic is ten reasons why I love reading and honestly, you could let me ramble all day and I guarantee you I’ll have more than ten reasons. However, I will narrow it down to my favourites to stick to the post rules (but also not to bore you to death!) I feel like this is probably something I have discussed before in one way or another. But, this is a fun post topic and as everyone has their own reasons, it’s a good way to find out a bit about me.

So, enough rambling – let’s get into it!

 

Escapism

Reading is escapism from our daily, mundane lives. It gives us the opportunity to sweep your day‘s troubles under the carpet and forget about them. Becoming immersed in a completely new world or a new character helps us to separate ourselves, even if just for a little while, from the boringness that life can sometimes be. It is probably one of the main reasons why I read. That’s not to say my life is terrible, because it absolutely isn’t. None of us can deny that life can be monotonous at times – and it is at these times where reading plays a huge role for me.

 

Relaxing

I personally find reading very relaxing. Sitting down on my sofa with a cup of tea and my nose in a book is my ideal ‘me time’. I love it because I can focus all my attention on one thing. Usually my mind is going ten to the dozen with things I have done, things I need to do, things are probably forgotten to do and much more besides. Picking up a book and focusing on what I’m reading sweeps those thoughts away. Whether that’s a good thing or not is up to you… but I enjoy the respite!

 

To learn

I’m always trying to read either new genres, or taking historical fiction as an example, new time periods. I may have left school a few years ago now, but every day is still a school day and there is plenty that I don’t know. I enjoy learning new things and so branching out in topics I’m interested in already is one of my favourite ways to read.

 

Spark imagination

In a world where any information we want is just a few clicks away, I really enjoy the thought process that goes into Reading. Google any book characters name and you could probably find images of the actor who is played the film version of the character. Just by looking at that image, your perception that that character is formed by their physical appearance.

I personally think there is a magic to taking the words written on a page and constructing your own version of the character based on them. I firmly believe that everyone reads a book differently and will come to very different conclusions based on the information provided. More and more I see a distinct lack of people thinking for themselves, but this is something that is definitely required when reading.

 

To experience living in another’s shoes

There are billions of people on this planet and yet without the ability to walk in somebody else’s shoes, we only have a very limited perspective on life. Reading books gives people the opportunity to see through someone else’s eyes. In my opinion, reading offers an intimate way of getting to know a character. Not only do we experience their completely different lives, but we also  get an insight into the way they think and perceive the world themselves.

I don’t think this is ever something we could really do without the written word, and so I’m grateful that I can experience somebody else’s life, even for a short while, thanks to books.

 

Challenge ideals/perception

This really goes hand in hand with the point above. Unless we are prompted to think about our ideals and our perception of people/events etc, we are never going to change our minds. Reading definitely gives you the opportunity to do this-by putting yourself in another person choose and seeing it from another point of view!

 

Invest time

It’s apparent that I am the kind of person who likes to invest their time. Whether it is reading or my crafting hobbies (knitting and crochet), I get a lot not just from the end product, but also from the ‘doing’ part. I find characters a lot more relatable if I’ve taken the time to read their story, feel their emotions and experience it with them, rather than watch a film narrating it. It personally isn’t long or in-depth enough for me. Everyone is different, but this is just my perspective.

 

Improve my writing

There has definitely been an improvement in my writing skills since I’ve started reading more. I don’t think it matters what medium you use, but exposing yourself to language and literature will ultimately influence your own style. I have the advantage that I read a wide variety of books and I think each has played their part in shaping my own narrative voice. It’s something we use everyday  (even without having a blog or a hobby that involves writing), so everyone can benefit!

 

It’s a reasonably accessible hobby

With a lot of places having access to libraries, and even a plethora of free or discounted literature online, most have the potential to access a book. Given that there are so many great things that reading can teach us, the accessibility means that there is no reason that someone couldn’t expose themselves to these benefits. For the most part.

Of course there are exceptions. I am writing this as someone who had access to education and can borrow books from the library, download them from the Internet or even walk into one of many local bookshops nearby. Not everybody will have these things. Even so, where there may not be a range of books available I feel sure that at least something will be available to a lot of people.

 

You can read anywhere!

Okay, so it’s probably unacceptable to read a chapter during a team meeting at work or such like. But, you don’t have to wait until the following evening to watch the next episode of that series your bingeing. Books are so portable and they can be read pretty much anywhere. At home, at work or travelling. The birth of e-readers has made reading even more flexible. I remember the times when I used to take three or four physical books on holiday in my suitcase for a week or ten days. In my later teenage years I was able to read George R. R. Martin’s A Dance with Dragons on holiday without exceeding my luggage allowance; thanks to the birth of the e-reader! My entire downloaded library was in my hand at any given time. I had so much freedom and access to what I wanted to read that I didn’t particularly have to plan in advance what I was taking with me.

Reading doesn’t have to be done in blocks of time; if it suits you you could easily read 10 or 15 minutes at once. Turn on a regular basis and you could easily get through a book. If snatching that time works best in your lunch hour or whilst you’re on the go then you can absolutely do that.

These are just my top ten reasons why I love reading, and I would love to hear yours! Please let me know in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books on my Summer TBR

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Today’s subject is all about my Summer TBR. For those of you who read my blog regularly, you will know that I have taken a bit of a step back with reading this year. I don’t particularly anticipate getting through ten reads throughout summer, but I will certainly do the best I can!

Therefore, this list is going to be the books that I will choose my TBR from, rather than a definitive list of ALL the books I’m going to read in summer.

Does that make sense? I certainly hope so… But without further ado let’s get into the books on my list!

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling

I’ve been re-reading the Harry Potter series this year and this is the next instalment on my list. I recently finished Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I really enjoyed that one, and I love that the books are starting to get a bit chunkier! I love a big book and I’m excited that some of the grittier aspects of Harry Potter are going to start creeping in soon. I can’t wait to pick this up!

 

Clarissa – Karl Drinkwater

This book is definitely going to be read very shortly as I am reviewing it for an upcoming blog tour next month. These are only short stories in a universe I’m already familiar with, having read other shorts in the series. I’m looking forward to seeing how this one compares and I have no doubt that I will enjoy it!

 

Ruabon – Karl Drinkwater

As with Clarissa, I am also reviewing the second short story around a week later than the first one. So, again, I will be reading this very very soon!

 

Dune – Frank Herbert

I intended to pick up Dune earlier this year, however, for one reason or another, it didn’t come to pass. I am determined to pick this up properly though, and so I imagine this will be among the next few books I decide to read.

 

Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

It has been several years since I read a book by Mark Lawrence, however, I really enjoyed his Broken Empire series when I was a teenager! So, as I’m sure you can imagine, I’m really looking forward to trying something new of his and seeing if it lives up to my recollection of The Broken Empire trilogy.

 

The Talisman – Stephen King & Peter Straub

I haven’t picked up a Stephen King book for a little while, and this is the oldest one on my TBR. It’s my mission to get through some of the oldest books on my list this year and so this one is definitely in scope. I’m reading The Dark Tower series at the moment and I love how Stephen King dabbles in a little bit of fantasy. This is completely different, to the best of my knowledge, but I’m willing to give anything a go…

 

The Feedback Loop – Harmon Cooper

The Feedback Loop is another reasonably old item on my TBR. Given that I’m really enjoying more in the way of science fiction at the moment, this is definitely one to consider picking up soon. I think it’s quite a short one compared to my typical average, so it shouldn’t take too long to read once I do pick it up.

 

The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan

The Keeper of Lost Things is a lot more contemporary than I typically pick up, however, I love the premise. As a sentimental person, I can see the appeal of the book and the narrative! With this one I was wanting to push my boundaries and try to read something new… so I hope I can get round to this before too long!

 

Hild- Nicola Griffith

It feels like an absolute age since I read a historical fiction novel. I’d say it’s my go-to genre that I haven’t picked up the longest. I’ve definitely been reading more in the way of science fiction and fantasy instead. With that in mind, I’m looking forward to getting back into historical fiction as it is one of my favourite genres. Having taken the break, I think reading Hild will be refreshing.

 

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson

A summer TBR isn’t complete without a dash of humour, and this is what I expect and more from The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I read a similar book recently, which blended psychology and humour. This also dabbles in a bit of self-help, which isn’t something I read much of, but I think this appeals to me for a lot of reasons!

Not giving a **** sounds like a plan to me!

So, there you have my Summer TBR (or at least the books I will be choosing my Summer TBR from). Have you read any of these books? Do you have any recommendations? Please let me know in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Humorous Book Quotes

Good evening everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post!

In my Sunday Summary post last week I told you that I was planning on sharing this particular post, but that I hadn’t chosen a theme. I’ve looked at a plethora of quotes saved on my goodreads account and on my kindle and I’ve decided to share my top ten humorous quotes with you.

There is a definite weighting to a particular author I have read a lot of books by. He is very funny and the book series these come from is satirical, so it’s unsurprising so many have come from it. Yet a lot of them have a ring of truth, which to my mind makes me even funnier!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and the quotes I share below – here are the quotes and the books they belong to: –

 

People ought to think for themselves, Captain Vimes says. The problem is, people only think for themselves if you tell them to.

Men At Arms – Terry Pratchett

 

 

 

 

“I told Lord Harms I’d return Steris to him. And I will. That is that.”

“Then I will remain and help,” Marasi said. “That is that.”

“And I could really use some food,” Wayne added. “Fat is fat.”

The Alloy of Law – Brandon Sanderson

 

 

Granny Weatherwax made a great play of her independence and self-reliance. But the point about that kind of stuff was that you needed someone around to be proudly independent and self-reliant at. People who didn’t need people needed people around to know that they were the kind of people who didn’t need people.

Maskerade – Terry Pratchett

 

 

Never throw the first punch. If you have to throw the second, try to make sure they don’t get up for a third.

Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

 

 

 

 

You are not so smartThe research shows that groups of friends who allow members to disagree and still be friends are more likely to come to better decisions. So the next time you are in a group of people trying to reach consensus, be the asshole. Every group needs one, and it might as well be you.

You Are Not So Smart – David McRaney

 

 

It was clearly the room of a woman, but one who had cheerfully and without any silly moping been getting on with her life while all that soppy romance stuff had been happening to other people somewhere else, and been jolly grateful that she had her health.

Guards Guards – Terry Pratchett

 

 

The thing about the path less travelled is that it is often less travelled for a good reason.

King of Thorns

 

 

 

 

 

The conversation of human beings seldom interested him, but it crossed his mind that the males and females always got along best when neither actually listened fully to what the other one was saying. 

Pyramids – Terry Pratchett 

 

 

 

There were some things on which even they were united. No more policy statements, no more consultative documents, no more morale-boosting messages to all staff. This was Hell, but you had to draw the line somewhere.

Eric – Terry Pratchett

 

 

 

Listen,’ said Granny Weatherwax. ‘She’s well out of it, d’you hear? She’ll be a lot happier as a queen!’

‘I never said nothing,’ said Nanny Ogg mildly. ‘

I know you never! I could hear you not saying anything! You’ve got the loudest silences I ever did hear from anyone who wasn’t dead!’

Lords and Ladies – Terry Pratchett

 

That’s my Top Ten Tuesday post! Which of these quotes did you find the funniest? Let me know in the comments!

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Top Ten Tuesday – Places in Books I’d Love to Live

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.

In today’s Top Ten Tuesday post, I am featuring my top ten places in books I’d love to live. I really liked the idea of this topic – which is why I’m taking part in it! Having said that, I did struggle to come up with ten. It’s not that I have a lack of books to choose from, but rather the events that take place in the book are more often than not unpleasant and consequently I wouldn’t want to live there!

For example, Westeros and Essos, the two main landmasses famous in the Game of Thrones series are notably not on here. If any of you follow the series I’m sure it’s not a huge stretch of the imagination to wonder why…

But, alas, I did come up with ten in the end. Some of them still have caveats that I wouldn’t want to live that in the circumstances of the book necessarily, but they are all lovely places but I think I could live in in more pleasant climes.

So, shall we jump into the list?

 

The Shire: Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J. R. R. Tolkien 

The Shire has to be the top entry on today’s Top Ten Tuesday list. Maybe it is because of Tolkien’s beautiful descriptions, or perhaps it has more to do with the fact that The Shire is similar enough to where I actually live. I live in probably one of the smaller villages on the island. Whilst I certainly don’t live in a hobbit-hole, I do have the benefit of a small community and country views, just as hobbits do. For context as to just how small the villages, we have one convenience shop and one pub – you’ll be pleased to know that we’ve at least got our priorities right!

 

Prague: Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

It would be a very far cry to describe myself as a city girl. In fact, the thought is ridiculous – I just not a fan of being around people! However, the descriptions of the city of Prague are absolutely beautiful in Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. So, I concede that I would be willing to give it a go. Even if I only survived living there a day, it still counts, right?

 

Deserted Island: Circe – Madeline Miller

This may seem like a strange addition, but I have my reasons. In Circe, the title character is banished to a deserted island. No spoilers as to why, but sometimes there is a great appeal to just have my own space. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a complete social recluse, but on a Friday evening after a full week at work, there is nothing I love more than locking my front door and just shutting the world out! I’m a very independent person and I benefit from being by myself to recharge my batteries. So, perhaps you can see the appeal of being left to one’s own devices sometimes!

 

The Labyrinth: The Relic Guild – Edward Cox

I can’t wholly put my finger on it, but there is something about the Labyrinth that appeals to me. Aside from the danger of magic and the quest of a small guild to save the inhabitants, there is something I like about the idea of living in a secluded area (as we’ve already covered!). For context, there is only one gateway into the Labyrinth; none who live there can leave. I hear you ask – why does that appeal? Well I suppose it’s again much like where I live. Obviously I can leave… unless you lived on the Isle of Man you won’t understand. The island is very static; the town that I grew up in hasn’t changed since my mum was a child. In some aspects I suppose there is a reassuring element to that which does not change, however equally progressive change is also somewhat lacking. Swings and roundabouts, but the concept of the Labyrinth does remind me of home. There may be a boat in the morning here yessir, but that entirely depends on the weather. 

 

Weep: Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

Weep is a legendary city in Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer duology. For this particular entry, my preference would be to visit the city before the events of the books. Cataclysmic events render the city of Weep destroyed before the books begin. However, the descriptions of its beauty even afterwards are in themselves legendary and on those alone, I would like to live in and admire the fabled city before its disaster.

 

The Misery: The Raven’s Mark Trilogy – Ed Macdonald

Of all the places to appeal to me in the Raven’s Mark series, it is the wasted, warping desert known as the Misery that strangely appeals. It goes to show that a fantastic description of a setting can go along way to influencing your perception. In the books it is an awful place; it is ravaged by monsters and there are no fixed landmarks as magic warps the landscape constantly. It is easy to get lost. If I remember rightly there is just one location/residence in the Misery that remains a fixed point. I’d have to make my base there… but at least I would wake up to new scenery every day!

 

London: Rivers of London – Ben Aaronovitch

I don’t profess to be an expert on modern-day London; the fact is I’ve only visited twice in my life. I visited once with my grandparents as a child and once again more recently, albeit for the more mundane reason of a training exercise for work. Still, there is a sense of excitement and appeal to the idea of there being more behind a modern-day setting. The unknown and the magical living on your doorstep is utterly fantastical and yet my whimsical brain loves the idea! If it could happen in London it could happen anywhere. I suppose we have our kind of ‘magical inhabitants‘ here on Island if you want to call them that. If you don’t say good morning or good afternoon to the fairies when you go over the Fairy Bridge, you can expect to be asking for trouble!

If anybody reading this thinks that the last sentence was a joke… It wasn’t entirely. It is tradition to bid the fairies good day when crossing the bridge. As to whether any ill-fortune becomes of you if you don’t is entirely speculative… But who wants to be taking that chance?

 

Elendel: Alloy of Law – Brandon Sanderson

The Alloy of Law is a rather steampunk setting and so living in this book would be a step backwards technologically. That would be a huge adjustment, however, the industrial revolution-esque advancements the city is gradually undergoing means that it wouldn’t be uninhabitable. And as a bonus, the city has its magical protector by the name of Waxillium – I can think of far worse choices for places to live!

 

The Emporium: The Toymakers – Robert Dinsdale

Do I even have to elaborate on this one much? Who wouldn’t want to live and work in a magical toy shop… especially when it only opens its doors for the festive season? It’s all the fun and none of the customer service lark for most of the year. Where do I sign up?

 

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry: Harry Potter Series – J. K. Rowling

Living at a school teaching magic is a huge appeal, ignoring the whole ‘he who must not be named‘ situation. Obviously I wouldn’t particularly want to live there during the event of the series, however as a lover of learning and magic in books this is definitely one of my top places to live on this Top Ten Tuesday list.

So, there you have it! Here are my top ten places in books I would love to live in! Do you agree with any of my choices? Or, do you have any alternative destinations? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Spring 2021 TBR

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday post is all about my Spring 2021 TBR.

If I’d have been writing this post this time last year, I would’ve been picking the ten books that I absolutely would be reading during spring. However, now I have changed to a more relaxed approach, today’s list is my top ten books that I will be choosing from rather than just reading the lot. It could well be subject to change. If there’s one thing I am enjoying this year it’s having the freedom to choose what I read when I want rather than setting rigid reading lists that I didn’t always stick to.

So, which ten books on likely to appear on my Spring 2021 TBR? Read on below to find out!

 

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Easter is around the corner and the daffodils are out in force, despite the cold weather persisting. So, I suppose I should count now as spring and in that vein, I am featuring my current read on this list. I’m about halfway through The Book Thief right now and I’m really enjoying it so I hope to have it finished soon!

 

Fire and Blood – George R. R. Martin

Fire and Blood is also a current read. I’m a couple of hundred pages in at the moment and I’m intending on picking this up again as soon as I have finished The Book Thief. It’s a heavy read in case you haven’t seen it before. If you have you’ll know it weighs in at about 700 odd pages. It’s a big one but you know me – I love the realm of Westeros and all the history that goes with the Game of Thrones series.

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K Rowling

I’ve read the first couple of Harry Potter books this year to date. If you follow my blog you’ll know that I committed to doing a re-read of the series this year! The first couple of books have been really easy to pick up and get back into the story from the start. I haven’t read these books since I was a teenager so going back to them is truly a blast from the past. I’m keen to keep up the momentum with this and so I’m fully intending on reading this next instalment very shortly!

 

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J. K. Rowling

And following on from my last book on this list, depending on how quickly I get around to reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, I may just get around to reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire before the summer. Maybe, we’ll see.

 

A Clash of Kings – George R. R. Martin

Similar to my featuring The Book Thief and Fire and Blood, it’s only fair that I feature my current audiobook as well. I really love the Game of Thrones series (as I’m sure I have established by now) and so I have been listening to this audiobook as a way to touch base with the series. This is also a long one and so I don’t really expect to get this listen to too much. I don’t want to commit to it just in case I don’t!

 

The Psychology Book

This book is one I have picked up previously and made a degree of progress with, however, I ultimately ended up putting it down and I haven’t read it in its entirety. It has been on my TBR for a number of years now and so I want to set aside the time to pick this up. As a former psychology student, I do find the content quite interesting and I like the diversity within this book!

 

Dune – Frank Herbert

I was gifted a copy of Dune years ago for my birthday by work colleagues and I think it’s about time that I get around to giving it a go! I love the sound of the premise and given that I’ve been reading more science fiction in recent years, I’m hoping that I really get on with this one. Only time and picking up the book itself will tell, but I’m optimistic.

 

Silverthorn – Raymond E. Feist

I first read Magician, the first book of the series, as a teenager. A couple of years ago I revisited this first book in an attempt to make a more serious go off reading the series. As with my first attempt, however, I didn’t really follow through and pick up this next book. I do plan on doing the shortly though, although I won’t be picking up the first book a third time – at worst I will have to try and recap the events of the first book online.

 

Words of Radiance – Brandon Sanderson

I am a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson and a reading list wouldn’t feel right without a book of his on it somewhere. I read The Way of Kings, the first book of this series (that is ultimately going to be around ten books long), a couple of years ago. Since then I have been deliberately putting off delving into this series further, despite the fact I really want to do having loved the first book. Brandon Sanderson has only published four of the ten at the moment I don’t want to be disappointed by catching up and having to wait for the last few to be published. As it stands book five scheduled for publication in two and a half years time! With that in mind, I think I have left at a decent time to be able to pick up the next book and halve another break before the next; it gives him a chance to keep writing the series so I don’t catch up before he finishes it!

 

If We Were Villains – M. L. Rio

I’ve owned a copy of this book for quite a few years now and it’s one of the older books on my TBR. So, this is another book that I intend to read shortly. Realistically, being at this end of the list, it is more likely being a summer read. That’s not the end of the world though, as it’s quite a nice manageable length it could make for quite an easy light read! Maybe in the garden –  although thoughts like that whilst it’s a tropical 8°C currently feels a little optimistic…

 

So, these are my top ten books I’ll likely be choosing from for my Spring 2021 TBR! Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments. 

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To

Hey guys and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post! Today’s topic is Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To… and if that doesn’t sum up 2020 for me then I don’t know what does! I made ambitious plans last January, ignorant of how the year was going to pan out for me. I’ve already talked about the reasons a lot, but ultimately I didn’t meet any of my goals.

The most important goal in relation to today’s post was my aim to read the 25 oldest books on my TBR. I made a noble attempt and managed to read 7 in full, but I also DNF’d 3. A lot of these were old additions to the TBR… we’re talking 2014/2015 when I first started using Goodreads. That’s why I wanted to get around to them, but also to see if my reading taste has changed. If anything, I think I’m a lot more open to different genres when I was then. Some of the books added were pushing the boat out on what I normally read so I’m happy to accept some of the DNF’s. Others had every right to be firm favourites but just didn’t work for me at all (Good Omens by Terry Pratchett – I’m looking at you!)

So, as you can see I have plenty of material for the Top Ten I didn’t get around to! I also wanted to write this post about it as my new goal for this year is to pick up where I left off and read more exclusively from the TBR… no ARCs, no new review requests etc. So, which ones am I looking forward to the most? Let’s get into it! Rather than a paragraph for each book, I’ve split my ten into genres groups that I’ll talk more generally about.

 

Fantasy

 

It’s hardly surprising that a number of books on this list are from the fantasy genre. As a teenager, it was pretty much all I read. These books are all by authors I love. I have already read at least three books by each and I’m confident that I’m going to really enjoy the books listed above. Brandon Sanderson and Stephen King I have read more recently. It has been a number of years since I read a book by Mark Lawrence, so I’m excited to get stuck in!

I think it’s funny that I am coming to this Stephen King novel now having read several of his other books in different genres. I’m pretty sure I added The Talisman with the intention of using it as a ‘step into’ trying his writing before exploring his more extensive horror genre books! Look how that worked out!

 

Science-fiction

 

Science-fiction is another genre that pops up again and again. I didn’t read a lot of it when I was younger, but I definitely have a healthier appreciation for it now. I added Dune to my TBR after being gifted a copy for my birthday a few years ago. I’m glad it was given to me as I really like the sound of it. I have had an experimental skeet at the first few pages before and I’m hopeful I’ll be enjoying this one too.

The Feedback Loop is quite short compared to my average read, but still, I love the sound of the plot. It will be the first thing I have read by this author too, so it’ll be a completely new experience for me.

 

Classics

 

If someone had told me ten years ago that one day I would be reading classics by choice, I’d have laughed at you. If you also told me that I’d re-read and come to enjoy the classic novels I hated studying for school, I wouldn’t believe you. And yet, I am reading them. For the most part, I am enjoying them. I’ve only DNF’d one so far and that’s The Catcher in the Rye. I’m not put off by this though and I’m looking forward to trying more classics!

 

Historical Fiction

I love historical fiction novels too, so their inclusion on this list shouldn’t be a surprise either! The two locations and time periods for each book’s setting are very different, but I have read similar books before that I’ve really enjoyed them. The Book Thief is set in Nazi Germany in WW2 and Hild in 7th century Britain.

WW2 is one of my favourite historical time periods to read about. You could call it a bit of morbid fascination given the atrocities real people lived through in these times. It’s horrible to think about but equally, I think novels set in this period have a lot to tell us. It’s a reminder not to make the same mistakes again.

 

So, those are my Top Ten Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To. Have you read any of them, or do you intend to in 2021?

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Chilling Hop Tu Naa Reads

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday post subject is Halloween themed since we’ll be celebrating Halloween (somewhat differently than most years, I expect) later this week.

We don’t call it Halloween here on the Isle of Man. Instead, we call it Hop Tu Naa. All in all, it is very similar to Halloween, but if you do want to have a skeet (that’s Manx for having a nosey) at the difference between the two celebrations, you can find out more on the Culture Vannin website.

For today’s post, I wanted to put together a list of recommended reads if you are looking for inspiration this Halloween/ HopTu Naa. There are some classic horrors here, as well as a few thrillers if that is more your bag and last, but not least, there’s a bit of a parody read if you want a lighter tone.

 

IT – Stephen King

Goodreads – IT

Welcome to Derry, Maine …

It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real …

They were seven teenagers when they first stumbled upon the horror. Now they are grown-up men and women who have gone out into the big world to gain success and happiness. But none of them can withstand the force that has drawn them back to Derry to face the nightmare without an end, and the evil without a name.

 

Pet Sematary – Stephen King

Goodreads – Pet Sematary

The road in front of Dr. Louis Creed’s rural Maine home frequently claims the lives of neighborhood pets. Louis has recently moved from Chicago to Ludlow with his wife Rachel, their children and pet cat. Near their house, local children have created a cemetery for the dogs and cats killed by the steady stream of transports on the busy highway. Deeper in the woods lies another graveyard, an ancient Indian burial ground whose sinister properties Louis discovers when the family cat is killed.

 

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

Goodreads – Frankenstein

Obsessed with creating life itself, Victor Frankenstein plunders graveyards for the material to fashion a new being, which he shocks into life with electricity. But his botched creature, rejected by Frankenstein and denied human companionship, sets out to destroy his maker and all that he holds dear. Mary Shelley’s chilling Gothic tale was conceived when she was only eighteen, living with her lover Percy Shelley near Byron’s villa on Lake Geneva. It would become the world’s most famous work of horror fiction, and remains a devastating exploration of the limits of human creativity.

Based on the third edition of 1831, this volume contains all the revisions Mary Shelley made to her story, as well as her 1831 introduction and Percy Bysshe Shelley’s preface to the first edition. This revised edition includes as appendices a select collation of the texts of 1818 and 1831 together with ‘A Fragment’ by Lord Byron and Dr John Polidori’s ‘The Vampyre: A Tale’.

 

The Stand – Stephen King

Goodreads – The Stand

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen.

 

Imaginary Friend – Stephen Chbosky

Goodreads – Imaginary Friend

Imagine… Leaving your house in the middle of the night. Knowing your mother is doing her best, but she’s just as scared as you.

Imagine… Starting a new school, making friends. Seeing how happy it makes your mother. Hearing a voice, calling out to you.

Imagine… Following the signs, into the woods. Going missing for six days. Remembering nothing about what happened.

Imagine… Something that will change everything… And having to save everyone you love.

 

The Chalk Man – C. J. Tudor

Goodreads – The Chalk Man

In 1986, Eddie and his friends are just kids on the verge of adolescence. They spend their days biking around their sleepy English village and looking for any taste of excitement they can get. The chalk men are their secret code: little chalk stick figures they leave for one another as messages only they can understand. But then a mysterious chalk man leads them right to a dismembered body, and nothing is ever the same.

In 2016, Eddie is fully grown, and thinks he’s put his past behind him. But then he gets a letter in the mail, containing a single chalk stick figure. When it turns out that his friends got the same message, they think it could be a prank . . . until one of them turns up dead.

That’s when Eddie realizes that saving himself means finally figuring out what really happened all those years ago.

 

The Dead Tell Lies – J F Kirwan

Goodreads – The Dead Tell Lies

Greg Adams, a criminal psychologist at Scotland Yard, specialises in bringing serial killers to justice. He tracks down a spree serial killer nicknamed the Divine, who has already killed six teenage girls and is about to kill a seventh. Greg works out the location where he is hiding and joins a raid. The police capture the Divine and save the girl, but on the very same night, Greg’s wife is brutally murdered by another serial killer, known as the Dreamer.

A year later, unable to bring the killer to justice, Greg has quit his job and is ready to end it all, when he receives a phone call from a man who tells him the Dreamer is dead, and that he didn’t kill Greg’s wife, Kate.

Greg returns to Scotland Yard to work for Superintendent Chief Detective Donaldson in the hope he can re-examine the case with the help of two new detectives, Finch and Matthews.

As Greg delves into the case further, he becomes more convinced that the Dreamer wasn’t the man responsible for his wife’s murder.

But if it wasn’t the Dreamer, who was it?

In order to solve the mystery around his wife’s murder, Greg is going to have to delve even deeper into the mind of a terrifying psychopath. And this time he might not make it back in one piece…

 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

Goodreads – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

“Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day . . . quite unlike anything I’ve ever read, and altogether triumphant.” – A. J. Finn, #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Woman in the Window

Aiden Bishop knows the rules. Evelyn Hardcastle will die every day until he can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest at Blackheath Manor. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others. With a locked room mystery that Agatha Christie would envy, Stuart Turton unfurls a breakneck novel of intrigue and suspense.

For fans of Claire North, and Kate Atkinson, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a breathlessly addictive mystery that follows one man’s race against time to find a killer, with an astonishing time-turning twist that means nothing and no one are quite what they seem.

This inventive debut twists together a thriller of such unexpected creativity it will leave readers guessing until the very last page.

Recommended in The New York TimesThe GuardianHarper’s Bazaar, Buzzfeed, Vulture, BookRiot, and more.

 

Mindworm – David Pollard

Goodreads – Mindworm

The placid life of a college librarian is plunged into a desperate fight for survival when he witnesses the death of his only friend. Suddenly he is forced to confront disturbing changes in his nature and appetites and their consequences. Suspected of murder and pursued by an implacable police detective he runs – but is he running from the law or from himself?

 

Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett

Goodreads – Reaper Man

‘Death has to happen. That’s what bein’ alive is all about. You’re alive, and then you’re dead. It can’t just stop happening.’

But it can. And it has.

Death is missing – presumed gone.

Which leads to the kind of chaos you always get when an important public service is withdrawn. If Death doesn’t come for you, then what are you supposed to do in the meantime?

You can’t have the undead wandering about like lost souls – there’s no telling what might happen!

Particularly when they discover that life really is only for the living…

 

 

I hope you found some reading inspiration from today’s Top Ten Tuesday list! If you have read any of these books or have any other suggestions in the comments, please share it with us.

 

 

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Top Ten Tuesday – Non-Bookish Hobbies

Hello everyone and welcome to today’s Top Ten Tuesday post!

Today’s topic is actually a little premature as it’s earmarked for Tuesday 3rd November. Unfortunately, I have a blog tour that day but I really wanted to share the post anyway. It’s especially relevant at the moment as I am finding myself turning more to non-bookish hobbies.  I also think this post is a fun way for you to get to know a little more about me!

So, here are my top ten non-bookish hobbies, and for fun, I’m posting them in reverse order: –

 

Logic Puzzles

From classic puzzle books, Sudoku, codebreakers and hanjie are puzzles I really enjoy trying to decode. Classic games like Minesweeper are fun too. I think it’s fair to say that I don’t have a particular bias towards numbers, words or pictures when it comes to employing logic to solve a puzzle – I just enjoy the challenge of using the clues I’m given to complete a puzzle.

I haven’t done a logic grid puzzle in a long time, but those are good too! Half the battle with those is reading the word clues very carefully to make sure you got all the information out of them.

 

Watch documentaries

I don’t watch much TV, but lately, I’ve taken to watching documentaries. I’ve watched nearly3 series’ of Blowing Up History over the past couple of months, as well as David Attenborough’s The Galapagos Islands docu-series. I’m sure I watched these years ago, but I enjoyed it again! I also enjoy TV mystery/thrillers and dramas, but I haven’t watched so many of those lately.

 

Watching YouTube

From instructional videos to watching people play games like Minecraft, I enjoy watching a video or two on YouTube… especially when I’m eating.

 

Play Minecraft

Playing Minecraft is something I also enjoy, although I haven’t logged on for a little while now. The last time I went to play I discovered my wireless mouse was broken. That was the end of August. I tend to play Minecraft for a bit and then stop, but then get back into it again. I haven’t played all that much since the Nether update went live, so maybe that’s my excuse to get back into it again! The next update has just been announced and sounds great, so I’ll definitely be getting back into it again when that’s released!

 

Listening to music

I almost forgot to add this to my list even though it’s something I do every day. That’s precisely the reason I overlooked it – it’s an ingrained habit. I love music across a variety of genres. From some of the more modern music to singer/songwriter, musical tracks and even soundtracks (I’m sure you’ll be REALLY surprised to know I have all the Game of Thrones soundtracks downloaded… NOT!) I really enjoy a variety of music. It depends on my mood as to what I listen to.

 

Writing

It’s hard to think of writing and blogging as separate to reading given that the two have gone so hand-in-hand for such a long time. But, they are technically different hobbies. I like taking the time to share my thoughts on something, whether it’s a book, an idea – you name it… I’ll have an opinion on it! Taking the time to write several times a week over the course of a few years stacks up and consequently, I find it a lot easier to write now than I did when I started blogging in 2017.

 

Knitting

Knitting is a new hobby I’ve taken up in the last month or two and I’m enjoying the challenge of it. I learned the very basics of knitting as a child, so I’m not completely new to it. I think my knowledge of it only went so far as learning the garter stitch and figuring out (the hard way) how not to add or drop stitches. That first ‘scarf’ I made, was awful. I can still picture that first section I did in brown, full of holes and scruffy as anything. In hindsight, the colour choice was a premonition for how it was going to turn out…

I still make plenty of mistakes now, but I’m also taking on more stitches and more complicated patterns… so that’s my excuse.

 

Crochet

I’ve been crocheting longer than knitting; however, I love the two just as much!! Ironically, crochet is the more complicated of the two crafts (in my opinion) as there are more stitch types and combinations etc but I found that easier to learn than knitting.

A little weird fact for you – I learned how to do these crafts at different times and in different ways, so I knit right-handed but crochet left-handed.

 

Learn new things

I guess you have probably figured out from some of the entries here that a lot of my ‘motivation’ behind them is learning new things. More than anything, I love to learn – whether it is picking up a new skill or just finding out something I didn’t know yesterday. I enjoyed going to school (for the most part) and so I try to make everyday a school day!

 

Spend time with friends/family

Above all these things, my friends and family mean the most to me and so spending time with them is the thing I look forward to most. I am very lucky to be close to my family and we see each other a lot! I also have a close-knit circle of friends that are great fun to spend time with. You see a lot of jokes about readers and avoiding socialising in favour of staying home and reading. I’m really not like that at all. I do enjoy socialising and I’m grateful for the wonderful people I have in my life. I’d give up every hobby in this list for them if I had to, so of course they take the top spot on this list!

 

What are your hobbies? Let’s chat and get to know each other!

 

 

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