Monthly Wrap Ups

July Wrap Up!

Happy Saturday bookish people! It is the end of July… this month has felt like a long one for me. I submitted my new PhD application at the beginning of this month and I’m not sure how I feel about it, the first time I sent in an application I wasn’t confident exactly but this time any confidence I might have had was completely gone. Anyway, I also got to see family in July which was really nice!

So in terms of reading for the month of July: Once again I did not complete my TBR, I’m not surprised about this at all because I had a couple of book tour reads I had to do and I spent four days in Hampshire and I mostly mood read for that. I packed five books and read four over this weekend so even though I didn’t read much off my TBR I still read a lot of books, I think my final number was fifteen. I’ll know for sure at the end of this wrap up.

Let’s see what I did and didn’t read this month!

My July TBR and thoughts:

  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – I did not get around to reading this (again) I will read it at some point but I need to be in a certain mood and have time to really get engrossed in the book, I mean Rhysand is in it so I’m definitely excited to read it.
  • A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn – I read this one! I took this one with me to Hampshire and read it in the hotel room on one of the evenings, I really enjoyed this book and of course now I want the whole series. I will be putting up a review of this book very soon.
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – I didn’t read this book. I am still very interested in this book I just didn’t have enough time this month.
  • Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin – I read Serpent and Dove in June and loved it, however I wasn’t ready to go back into this world yet so I will read this one in a couple of months time.
  • European Travels for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss – I have started reading this one but I have not finished it yet.
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V E Schwaab – I haven’t read this one because I have a feeling it will make me cry and I didn’t feel like crying too much in July.
  • The Killings at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah – I didn’t get around to reading this one either.
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – I feel like I should read the final installment in the Shadow and Bone series first so I haven’t read this one.
  • Legendborn by Tracy Deonne – another one I haven’t read this month.
  • Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch – I have read this one. I wanted a light and fluffy read, I didn’t quite get this but it was an okay read.
  • Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M Danforth – big books strike again, I didn’t read this because it is a huge book.
  • Pumpkin by Julie Murphy – I read this one, this was my first read of the month, I really liked this one. I will have a review up for this book soon too.
  • Save the Date by Morgan Matson – I don’t read very much contemporary so I’m not surprised that I didn’t get around to this one.
  • The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden – again I was very much mood reading this month so I didn’t get to this one.
  • The Plague Letters by V L Valentine – I thought this book would be a bit dark for me this month so I didn’t read this one either.
  • Threadneedle by Cari Thomas – I didn’t read this one.
  • Finally Turtles All The Way Down by John Green – I di not read this one either.

So, from my TBR I read three books and started one other. Outside of my TBR I read some other books, these were:

That is my reading for this month, I read 13 books and started two others so overall this was another good reading month. I am actually pretty confident I will reach my 100 books challenge for 2021.

Book Quotes

Favourite Book Quotes – top 100, 20 – 11

Happy Friday bookish people! I’m back with the next set of ten in my top 100 favourite book quotes series. We are getting so close to the end of this! I don’t know about anyone else but I’ve been enjoying making the lists (I LOVE lists, anyone else? No? Just me, okay…) and talking through my choices for my top 100. So, today’s is numbers 20 – 11 so when I said we are close to the end, we are really really close, as in next week will be the top ten….

But first, at number 20 is a book I got a special edition of…

A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwaab

20. “I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still” – this is a very well known quote I think and every time I hear it I wish I was a more adventurous person, although that will never happen because I quite like being in my comfort zone and alive.

Up next is a quote from a book I only rated three stars…

Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu

19. “We’re goddamn witches, don’t tell us we can’t”

At 18 is a quote from a sequel….

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

18. “Fear is a pheonix, you can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return”

At 17, is the first book in a duology…

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

17. “The heart is an arrow, it demands aim to land true”

Up next is a quote from a book I haven’t read yet but I love the series….

Queenslayer by Sebastien De Castell

16. “I’ve discovered that a death sentence can be some what liberating for someone who’s spent their life curtsying”

At 15 is the finale in a trilogy..

The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

15. “I have plucked snowdrops at midwinter, died at my own choosing and wept for a nightingale, now I am beyond prophecy”

Next is a quote from a book I do not own yet…

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout

14. “You’re an absolutely stunning murderous little creature”

At 13 is a quote from one of my favourite books…

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

13. “Roses have both petals and thorns”

At 12 is a book from one of my favourite series’…

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

12. “You are yours to give” – just yes.

And finally for this list of ten, a book with a library in it…

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

11. “It was always wise to be polite to books whether or not they could hear you”

That’s it for this weeks ten, I cannot wait to bring you my top ten next week!

Book Quotes

Favourite Book Quotes: 30 – 21

Happy Friday Bookish people! I’m back with the next set of ten quotes in my top 100 favourite book quotes series. I hope you’ve all been enjoying it so far, I can’t wait to share with you what my top ten is, but we aren’t quite there yet. Only two weeks to go!

At 30 is a quote from a popular series with Fae in..

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

30. “kiss me again, kiss me until I am sick of it”

Up next is from a great murder mystery/thriller….

An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena

29. “one may smile and smile and still be a villain”

The next quote is from the ‘Queen of crime’….

Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie

28. “if the foundations are rotten, everything’s rotten”

At 27 is a quote from one of my favourite books…

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

27. “every good story needs a villain”

Now a quote from a beautifully dark book…

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

26. “wild birds die in cages”

At 25 is from a duology…

Vicious by V E Schwaab

25. “plenty of humans were monstrous and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human”

Up next is a quote from a book I haven’t read yet…

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

24. “I turned my nightmares into fireflies and caught them in a jar”

Now a quote from a very unusual murder mystery…

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

23. “we are never more ourselves than when we think people aren’t watching”

At 22 is a book that I found very humorous….

The Left Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

22. “Fantasy writers, they’re the bane of our existance”

And finally from the third book in one of my favourite series’….

Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco

21. “most stories are too good to be true that’s what makes them enchanting”

That’s it for this week’s quotes, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Monthly TBRs

July TBR!

Happy Thursday bookish people! It’s the first of July! There’s so much happening this month: book tours, seeing family members, an outdoor murder mystery event! And because it is the first of the month it is time to show you what I’m planning on reading this month.

June went very well, I ended up reading twelve books, if you’re interested in seeing what I read I posted my June wrap up yesterday.

So once again for July I have given myself a large TBR, and that is before the books I need to read for book tours.

Onto my TBR for July!

  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas – I am very much looking forward to reading this one. I read A Court of Thorns and Roses earlier this year and really enjoyed it.
  • A Curious Beginning by Jeanna Raybourn – I’ve found in the past year that I enjoy murder mysteries set in the victorian period so I’m hoping I’ll love this one too.
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – it’s about time I get around to reading this series. I’ve had it on my shelves for over a year.
  • Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin – I have just read Serpent and Dove and loved it so I can’t wait to pick up the sequel.
  • European Travels for the Monstrous Gentlewoman – I read the first in this series and I’m hoping to enjoy this one too now that I know the characters well.
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V E Schwaab – I think I’m going to cry at this one.
  • The Killing at Kingfisher Hill by Sophie Hannah – I used to love all the Poirot books and the TV show so I’m hopeful about this one.
  • King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – I love the Grishaverse so much I can’t wait to be back in it.
  • Legendborn by Tracey Deonn – I’m excited for this one as I’ve heard good things about it.
  • Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch – This is a contemporary so I’m not sure how it’s going to go but I don’t usually love contemporaries.
  • Plain Bad Heroines by Emily Danforth – I picked this one up by chance but I do enjoy a mystery.
  • Pumpkin by Julie Murphy – this one looks so good!
  • Save the Date by Morgan Matson – I have read some of her other books and enjoyed them so this one should be good too.
  • The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden – I loved the Bear and the Nightingale so I’m hoping to enjoy this one too.
  • The Plague Letters by V L Valentine – I’m so excited for this murder mystery.
  • Threadneedle by Cari Thomas – This book is absolutely beautiful!
  • Turtles all the way Down by John Green – I’m not sure if I will enjoy this book or not, I’ve never read any of his other books.

That’s it for my July TBR, I hope you all enjoyed it! What books are you reading in July?

Book Quotes

Favourite Book Quotes 70 – 61

Happy Friday bookish people! We are getting very close to the halfway point in this list. Today is numbers 70 – 61.

I’m going to get right into it, I hope you enjoy it!

At 70 we have a quote from one of my favourite books…

Crescent City by Sarah J Maas

70. “What blinds an oracle” – I love this quote because it kept me thinking about it all throughout the book.

At 69 is a quote from a book that I’m yet to read but is on my TBR this month…

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

69. “Our lives reflect our hearts”

68 is from a book that I read over a weekend readathon a few months ago…

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

68. “My soul sees it’s equal in you”

At 67 is a quote from a book series that I need to continue…

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

67. “The head is too wise, the heart is all fire” – I like this quote because of how real it is, the heart feels more emotion in the metaphorical sense.

Up next is from a book that I gave five stars…

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

66. “Mornings are wiser than evenings” – I like this one simply because I’m always awake early in the morning.

At 65 is a quote from a very popular series…

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J Maas

65. “we are the thirteen. From now until the darkness claims us”

the next quote is from a spooky retelling..

House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A Craig

64. “we are born of the salt, we live by the salt and to the salt we return” – I loved this book, it was spooky and wonderful and this quote sums the book up.

At 63 is another retelling, at least I think it’s classed as a retelling…

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

63. “All legends have a spark of truth”

62 is from a book that has just been turned into a tv show…

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

62. “when people say impossible they usually mean improbable”

At 61 is from a book I haven’t got around to reading yet…

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

61. “all you children playing with fire looking surprised when the house burns down”

That’s it for this weeks group of quotes, I hope you all enjoyed it!

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Happy Monday bookish people! This is my fifth and final book review for today and it is for The Bear and the Nightingale. This book had a beautiful cover and I’m not ashamed to say that this was the reason I first bought this series. I can’t help myself with beautiful covers!

In this book review I will give star ratings to four categories and I will write a little about each one. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as possible. I hope you enjoy my book review!

The Bear and the Nightingale plot:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The plot of this novel starts off slow, allowing us to be introduced to the town and the people in the town. Particularly Vasilisa and her family who are the main characters within the novel. It’s dark atmosphere had elements of fairytales and caught my interest with all it’s mythical creatures and spirits. Although it starts off slow the pacing soon picks up as Vasilisa gets older and the main events of the plot begin. As this happens the atmosphere gets darker and the winter landscape only furthers this. The family dynamic was something I truly enjoyed about this book, it had layers that were being explored throughout. The ending of this book made me so excited to pick up the next one in the series, although I haven’t managed to get it onto one of my TBR’s yet I will soon!

The Bear and the Nightingale Characters:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Each character in this novel has their own place within the plot. Some of them are morally grey and I enjoyed the dynamic of having these types of characters in this story. Vasilisa is headstrong and devout in her beliefs of the spirits, I loved her character. I felt that she will be such a good protagonist in this trilogy. I feel for her, I felt her sadness and her pain and her resoluteness to do what she needs to do for her town no matter the consequences. The other character I enjoyed, even though he was only in the story for a little bit, was Morozko, also known as the Frost. He feels like a fairytale character and I can’t wait to see more of him in the trilogy.

Writing and Dialogue:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As with the rest of the categories this book is whimsical and beautiful and there isn’t really much more for me to say in terms of writing and dialogue.

The Bear and the Nightingale Overall Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I had to give this book five stars. I’m still thinking about it months later and all I can say is I really recommend this book to anyone who might be even a little interested in it.

Blurb/Synopsis:

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

The Bear and the Nightingale is a magical debut novel from a gifted and gorgeous voice. It spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent.

That’s it for this book review, I hope you enjoyed it!

Book Tags, Uncategorized

Cake Flavoured Book Tag

Good morning bookish people! It’s Friday again. This week has been a rough one for me, my Mum has had to have a big operation so it’s been rather stressful. So I thought for today’s post I’d do a short. light-hearted book tag about cake. I mean who doesn’t like cake?! I found this tag on ZeeZeewithbooks. Let me know- what’s your favourite type of cake? And what books would you answer these questions with?

Enjoy!

Starting off very nicely with chocolate cake: a dark book that you absolutely love?
For this one I’m going to go with The Bear and the Nightengale by Katherine Arden. It was my first five star read of 2021 and I LOVED it, the atmosphere is really dark though and I’ve heard that the series gets darker…

Vanilla cake: A light read?
Hmm… most of the books I read are pretty dark fantasies but one that is coming to mind is Blooming Grand by Carmella McKenzie about a girl, a boy, a garden shop and a little it of magic. It’s light hearted and just a lovely story.

Red Velvet Cake: A book that gave you mixed emotions?
Ooh, so many! I think I’m going to go with The Merciful Crow by Margaret Owen. It was good and I enjoyed it but I didn’t love it, in particular the ending. Confession time.. I have never had red velvet cake…

Cheesecake: (I love cheesecake!) A book you would recommend to anyone?
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern hands down! It’s my favourite book, I suggested my friend read it – she did and loved it, it’s just a wonderful, magical, whimsical book.

Coffee Cake: A book you started but never finished?
I am ashamed to say it but this has to be The City of Brass by S A Chakraborty, I rarely don’t finish books but I put this one down to do something and just could not find the motivation to pick it back up. I will eventually but right now.. not so much. It’s a big book.

Carrot Cake: A book with great writing?
Again, so many! For this one I think I’ll go with the Spellslinger series by Sebastien De Castell. I love this series, it hooked me from the first page and the writing, I think, is brilliant.

Tiramasu: A book that left you wanting more:
This tag is full of tough decisions! I’ll choose Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson for this one. Simply because it’s a stand alone book that ends on a sort of cliffhanger and when I finished reading it I would have given pretty much anything to find out what happened after that ending.

Cupcakes: A series with 4+ books?
I literally can’t choose one for this, pretty much all of my books are in series’ longer than four books… nope, I can’t do it. I won’t choose between them!

And finally Fruit Cake: A book that wasn’t what you anticipated?
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, not in a bad way, I enjoyed the book and I’m going to continue with the series but I expected James Bond mixed with librarians but it wasn’t like that at all.

That’s it for this book tag, I hope everyone enjoyed it!