Friday, January 29, 2016

Recent Book Acquistions

Thanks to Christmas and the sales, I’ve managed to acquire a number of new books and thought I’d share them here.


Going from top to bottom

The Robber Bridegroom by Brothers Grim- I loved the Penguin 80 Classics when they came out, they’re such a great idea. Small books for 80p (about €1.20), really handy to put in your handbag. I didn’t manage to pick any up when they were first released but when I saw them in O’Mahony’s Bookshop I picked this one up, it has several Brothers Grimm tales in it including Snow White, which has an interesting ending for the Wicked Stepmother!

H is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald- This book was all over the place last year. I never got a chance to pick it up and so I was delighted to get it for Christmas. After Helen’s father dies, she’s devastated. Helen decides to train a goshawk and the book is part nature writing, part memoir as she learns to deal with the bereavement of her father and the beauty of this bird.

It’s Not Me It’s You by Mhairi McFarlane- I’ve seen Mhairi McFarlane’s books around before but never really looked into them until Leena Norms mentioned this book in a video. Delia Moss loves her boyfriend and their life so she decides to propose. After not getting the reaction she expected, she finds out he has been sleeping around and she goes to stay with a friend in London.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini- My Mum was going to donate this book so I snagged it. I have yet to read any Hosseini, despite owning The Kite Runner, but I thought I’d grab this anyway. The book is about two women in Kabul born a generation apart and with different ideals who are brought together in the war. It sounds like a beautiful story.

Upcycling Celebrations by Danny Seo- A gift from my aunt, this is a DIY book about upcycling projects, turning old things into new things. Hopefully it’ll help with my crafting and creativity this year!

About Face by Aisling McDermott and Laura Kennedy- I have Aisling’s two previous books and can’t wait to properly get stuck into this! The subtitle to this book is ‘A Smart Woman’s Guide to Beauty’ and I have no doubt it will be this, full of tips for skincare and makeup. Love the cover too, so classy.

Colour Therapy for Adults by Alligator Publishing- I have a few colouring books but I like the look of this one, nothing too intricate and they kind of remind me of spirographs that just need to be coloured in.


       sofia khan is not obliged lumberjanes what if

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik- I first saw this in one of Leena’s videos and then when I noticed it was one of WH Smith’s Fresh Talents for Winter 2016 I decided to buy it on Kindle. Unlucky in love Sofia is ready to give up men for good until her boss asks her to write an expose all about Muslim dating. I’ve read a good amount of romantic comedies, most if not all of the women being white so I’m looking foward to see a spin on the genre.

Lumberjanes Volume 1 by Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson and Brooke Allen- I’d seen this on Rincey videos before so I decided to give it a shot when I saw it for 99p on Kindle. 5 best friends spending their summer at the Lumberjane camp where they kick ass against all sorts of strange animals and monsters and solve mysteries.

What If? by Randall Munroe- Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve definitely seen xkcd comics online. This book is by the creator and he looks at odd and crazy questions like ‘when will Facebook contain more profiles of dead people than livng’ and ‘How many humans would a T-Rex rampaging through New York need to eat a day?’. He approaches it with research, wit and sometimes comics and sounds right up my alley.

And that’s it! I did order a book from Easons and it was cancelled as it wasn’t in stock. So I have another voucher to spend there and haven’t decided yet what to spend it on. I have actually read a handful of these books already so you’ll see the reviews in my reading wrap up. But if you’ve read any of these I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Essence Merry Berry I Heart My Golden Pumps

When I saw the press release for Essence’s Winter Limited Edition Merry Berry I immediately wanted this polish. As well as the highlight, which is just gorgeous. I hunted around for a while, found a stand that had sold out of both products but eventually found what I was looking for. I <3 My Golden Pumps is a beautiful gold flakey glitter topper. It’s quite similar to the Rimmel Love Glitter in Mistletoe Mischief, except the Essence polish is just warm gold flakes.




I was going to layer it over black but because I did the Rimmel polish over black I went with navy instead and used NYC in Ink Stain. I used two coats of topper because I wanted a saturated look but you can use one coat too and it’s just as pretty, which is what Cuti-CLUE-les did when she did her post on this polish (and you’ll get it see it over red!). I love this polish, it’s so shiny and really transforms the polish it’s over.

Monday, January 11, 2016

2016 Book Releases I’m Looking Forward To

My third year in a row doing a post like this! I love making a list of what’s coming out, gives me something to look forward to. And hopefully it’ll alert some of you reading of things you mightn’t have heard about!

The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch

the hanging tree

This was featured in last year’s post (as well as my Late 2015 Book Releases post), as it was SUPPOSED to be released then but got pushed back. Wah! The next book in the Rivers of London series, which I hope carries on from the massive cliffhanger from 2 books ago (Foxglove Summer was a bit of a detour so I’m still dying to know what happened!). If you want to know a bit about the series, click here on my November 2013 book reviews post, where I read the 1st 4 books in a month! June 16th



Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans At War by Mary Roach


I love a Mary Roach book! Her last one, Gulp, came out in 2013 and I had hoped we’d get a 2015 release but alas we didn’t. So I was VERY excited to see that there is a book coming for 2016! I’ve read all of Mary’s books so far and even if you think that science of humans at war doesn’t sound interesting, I can guarantee a good read! I have yet to be disappointed by one of her books and I doubt this will be any different. June 7th




A Fever of the Blood by Oscar de Muriel


I read the first book of this series, The Strings of Murder, after requesting it on NetGalley and was pleasantly surprised! It was a great little mystery crime novel, set in my beloved Victorian times but this time in Scotland, which was a refreshing change of scenery. This book sees the return of Frey and McGray, detectives thrown together despite very much being opposites in character. To read my review of The Strings of Murder click here. February 11th




The Little Shop of Happy Ever After by Jenny Colgan

the little shop of happy ever after

It’s my third year of doing a list like this and it’s the 3rd time a Jenny Colgan book has been on the list! All Colgan’s books are uplifting and cosy, with this one sounding like no exception! Nina leaves Birmingham after the library she works for downsizes, she heads to Scotland to own a bookshop bus! Sounds like the perfect book for me to be honest. February 11th




End of Watch by Stephen King

end of watch

The third book in the Mr Mercedes series! Last year, book 2 (Finders Keepers) was on my 2015 list but I wasn’t overly wowed by it. I am excited for this one though, I think it will please my expectations! It’ll see a return and continuation to the story in Mr Mercedes. June 7th





Making It Up As I Go Along by Marian Keyes

making it up as I go along

I love Marian Keyes as an author. She’s witty, can be light reading but at the same time she writes so honestly about important issues. This book however is a non-fiction book, a series of essays and insights to modern life. I have no doubt this will be hilarious and if you’re a fan of Marian’s books (and Twitter account!) then I think you’ll probably enjoy this. February 11th




Moranifesto by Caitlin Moran


My favourite Caitlin Moran book was Moranthology, a collection of her articles and I liked reading her thoughts on lots of different issues. This I think will be something similar and I’m really looking forward to picking it up. March 10th






Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen some of Allie Brosh’s comics online before. I read her other book Hyperbole and a Half back in February and really enjoyed it, it had me laughing out loud several times (but especially the goose story). As I haven’t really read any more of her comics online, all this should be new to me and hopefully just as funny! October 25th




Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins

lady renegades

I loved this first book in this series, Rebel Belle, so much, it was like Buffy crossed with a Southern Belle. The second book, Miss Mayhem, was another 2015 list book (and another one that slightly disappointed like Finders Keepers) but it hasn’t put me off the third book! I’m invested in finding out what happened and I still love kick ass Harper as a character. April 5th




Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins

summer days and summer nights

Having just read My True Love Gave To Me, a collection of holiday themed short stories by popular YA authors, I was tickled to find out there’s a summer version of it due out this year! Summer is a great time for short stories that you can dip in and out of and I’m looking forward to being introduced to more YA authors I haven’t had a chance to get around to trying. I think books like this are perfect for sampling authors being committing to a full book! May 17th



The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth by Katherine Woodfine

mystery of the jewelled moth

I read Katherine’s first book, The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow, last year for work when it was the Children’s Book of the Month and was charmed by it. It was like Enid Blyton meets the world of Edwardian charm and it’s a lovely book for younger children. This will be the follow on book and I can’t wait to be swept away in all the grandeur of Sinclair’s Department Stores! February 25th




Darkmouth: Chaos Descends by Shane Hegarty

darkmouth chaos descends

I wrote this post at the beginning of the month and under the final paragraph mentioned I’d like another Darkmouth book to come out but couldn’t find any details on it. And then lo and behold Shane Hegarty the author tweeted out the new book cover! So I had to edit it in to this post. This is book three about Legend Hunter, Finn, and his family, who are trying to stop the Legends (monsters) from coming through from their world and destroying ours. The previous two books have been funny and sweet and I’d recommend them for boys and girls from age 9 up. April 7th


Heartless by Marissa Meyer


I wasn’t even aware of this until I saw Kat from Katytastic talk about it! I LOVE The Lunar Chronicles series (I have yet to read Winter as I’m waiting to read it with a friend but this fairytale retelling series is fantastic) so I was excited to hear there’s going to be another series, this time based on Wonderland. Heartless follows the Queen of Hearts before she became the Queen and if it’s anything like Lunar Chronicles then Meyer will do a brilliant job on it. November 8th



That’s all the ones I have titles and covers for! Of course, I have my fingers crossed AGAIN for another Cormoran Strike novel from Robert Galbraith (and seeing as we’ve had one each year so have I’m hoping the trend will continue!). I see bits and pieces of a Danny Wallace book, but considering he now writes children’s books as well it might be for that. There’s always another #1 Ladies Detective Agency book, I never seem to hear about them until they are just coming out so who knows! The above will keep me occupied anyway, with the Mary Roach book probably being the one I’m most excited about and February 11th being the busiest day with 3 books out!

Let me know below if you’re looking forward to any of these or if there’s anything I’ve missed out!

Friday, January 8, 2016

2015 Reading Stats and Resolutions Review and 2016 Reading Resolutions

I did a Reading Stats post last year which I really enjoyed, I liked seeing how my reading broke down. So I decided to redo it again this year, hopefully I have all my maths right!

Fiction to NonFiction Breakdown


I read more books this year, compared to last, but I also read more fiction books. I dropped my non-fiction reading from 35% of my reading to just under 30%. It’s still not bad but I don’t think I’d like it to drop down further than that for 2016.

Physical Books vs E-Books vs Audio Books


E-books actually DECREASED this year, which surprised me at first but then, considering I was working in a bookshop, it’s not that surprising after all! I’m happy about my increase in audio books, I doubled it compared to last year (4% to 8% of total books).

Female to Male Authors


I know a lot of people who try to read more female authors than male, but it just naturally happens for me! I’ve gone from 60% of my authors being female in 2014 to 65% being female in 2015.

Other fun stats

-29 books came from library (this includes physical, ebooks and audiobooks), a decrease from last year’s 33

-17 were NetGalley reviews! An increase from last year’s 14

-17 were my own books (and some were borrowed but I didn’t count them), which is an increase from last year’s 6, BUT I also bought more books/got them as advanced copies from work so I actually haven’t made a dent in my own books.

And now to look at last year’s Reading Resolutions!

1. Read To Kill a Mockingbird

Hurrah! I won’t have to put it on my 2016 list as I ACTUALLY read it!

2. Read more diversely

I stopped taking this into account. I can’t say I really succeeded and while I probably won’t try and keep track of this really, I am going to try pick up more books by diverse authors, especially ones already on my TBR.

3. Reduce the amount of books I own to read

Hahahahahaha, no. Seriously, didn’t happen, I increased the amount of books I own as mentioned aboved.

4. Read a Russian author

The Russians have scared me, they seem to intimidating so I wanted to tackle this. And I read Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov in November.

5. Listen to more audio books

I wanted to increase the amount of audiobooks I listened to to 6 for 2015 and considering I listened to 7, I think that’s a success!

6. Do a themed reading month

No, didn’t get around to doing that unfortunately. I did start the Fem-tellectual themed months but that site went a bit dead and as there was no real interest coming from there I stopped doing it half way through.

7. Do Popsugar Reading Challenge

When I had posted the challenge, I didn’t know it was from Popsugar until a few weeks later. Needless to say I completed the challenge! Just about. I have a post from a few days ago with my results.

Now usually I have a seperate post for my Reading Resolutions but I don’t really have any this year so I’m going to post them here

2016 Reading Resolutions

1. Do the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge

As much as I enjoyed the Popsugar Challenge, I want a change and I’m going to attempt this one by Book Riot, along with Beth from Plastic Rosaries. If you’re interested in doing the Popsugar one though, here’s the link to their 2016 challenge.

2. Reduce the amount of books I own

Yes, this crops up every year but my friend gave me a bookshelf as a present and once I have all my books out of boxes I’ll be able to browse them better. And this also stands for my ebooks (ones I’ve bought and NetGalley ones as well). I have books that I bought years ago and I’d like to start getting through them. Or donate them if I’m no longer interested.

3. Read 90 Books

I usually set my Goodreads challenge to 50 and up it as I go along in the year. I hit 86 this year so I’m setting it at 90 and seeing how I go from there.

4. Read more Irish authors

Loads of new or at least new to me Irish authors have appeared on the scene and I want to look into them, it’s great to support home grown talent. I might do another Irish reading month, in 2014 I only read Irish authors in month of March so thinking of doing something similar this year.

That’s it really, it might not seem like a lot but the Read Harder challenge has a few that will actually challenge me so it’ll be interesting to do that! I might try and read more from the Rory Gilmore Book Club.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Handmade Christmas Presents

I know we’re probably all a bit jaded about Christmas by now but I wanted to share some of the presents I made this year. I mainly knitted hats (me and bloody knitting hats!) but I made a handful of other things too.


Lemon Meringue Cupcake Beanie was made for my youngest sister, from the The Knit Guru’s pattern

The Yellow and Blue Striped Beanie was made for my sports mad brother in the Clare colours. I put a pom pom on top but didn’t take a picture of that yet. I winged the pattern using DK yarn.

Blue Chunky Hat for Chelsea supporting brother, made from Super Soft Merino Hats for Everyone by Purl Bee.

Creeper Beanie for youngest brother, made using Minecraft Inspired Hat by Jenna La Due

celestial hat

This hat was made for Sarah from Cashmere and Clouds. She loves space and galaxy stuff and I had this planned for months. It’s probably not the best (it was my first time using multiple colours) but I’m proud of it and love the colours I finally picked! The pattern I used was Siouxsie Stitiches Celestial Fair Isle Hat that I modified slightly.


I made this cowl for my best friend using Aran yarn and reverting to my beloved Seed Stitch pattern. I love the off white creamy colour! It was a pattern I made up myself.


I made two fleece Pusheens, one for my brother and one for his friend. They were both double sided, so happy Pusheen on one side and an angrier Pusheen on the other side. This was the biggest time suck, having to hand stitch on all those facial pieces took hours. I thought I’d fly though the sewing up of the body with my sewing machine but I didn’t have the correct needle! I had to handstitch them closed but overall I’m happy with how they turned out. I shall make one for myself, once I stop hating the sight of Pusheen’s face!


For my baby cousin, I knew she’d get loads of presents, so along with one present I got her I made these postcard frames. ‘Made’ being a close term to be honest! Anyway, I bought some wooden frames, trimmed off a small amout of the Puffin Postcards I had chosen and added them to the frame. They’re going to be hung up in her nursery.

diy geek box

Themed subscription boxes are all the rage (like Loot Crate and My Geek Box) so I decided to put together one for my boyfriend. I got the logo of his podcast printed on a mug, made some Lego chocolates, knitted a Cthulhu hat and bought other bits and pieces like socks, keyrings and t-shirt.

           IMG_5456 IMG_5457

Here’s a close up of the hat, made using this Cthulhu’s Unspeakable Hat by Finlay Logan

I was also lucky to receive some handmade gifts!


Sarah knitted me some socks!! I loved them, I always thought knitted socks would feel weird and scratchy but these are lovely.


The friend I made the cowl for not only bought me a much needed bookcase but she decoupaged some of my favourite books along the sides and inside! I love it so much, I finally filled the shelves after having to wait a few days for landlord to do work in the house.

And that’s it! I still have a hat to make for my sister, I just didn’t have the time thanks to getting sick for 2 weeks. I also have another project to finish, would should have been done on time but I didn’t order enough material and then the local shops didn’t have it either.

You can find more of my knitting from my Ravelry page if you’re interesting. I’m hoping in the next day or two to start another project (for myself this time!).

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 Top Books and Popsugar Reading Challenge Results

I usually do a Top 5 of the year but I’m lame when it comes to TV shows, films and music of 2015. All I know if that 2015 so many people become Bielebers. So I present my top 5 fiction books and my top 5 non-fiction books.

Fiction Top 5

2015 Fiction

1. A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson. Probably my favourite book of the year, made me cry on the bus home from work! If you liked Life After Life, then pick up this companion novel! It doesn’t have to be read in order as they don’t really spoil each other.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I finally read this classic! And it was worth the read. And the day after I started it, Go Set a Watchman was released.

3. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas. This is the fourth book in the series, the most recent, and I picked it as it really wowed me but the entire Throne of Glass series is a fantastic, kick ass fantasy YA series I’d really recommend.

4. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. This one had been on my radar for a while but it wasn’t until a workmate read it and loved it that I picked it up. It’s haunting and beautiful and I know Sharon from Behind Green Eyes loved it too!

5. Faithful Place by Tana French. I read Broken Harbour too this year but I picked Faithful Place as French really nails the inner Dublin dialect and I loved the main character in this.

Honorary mentions to The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey and Animal Farm by George Orwell

Non Fiction Top 5

nonfiction 2015

1. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. I read a good few nonfiction books that tackled the theme of depression this year (Hyperbole and a Half and Reasons to Stay Alive being the main ones that stick out), but I chose this one as it stuck with me the most and it also made me laugh.

2. Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes. I love Sali’s YouTube videos and everytime I read a piece by her I’m struck by how honest she is. I love her mentally of not saving the ‘good’ stuff because it’s just a waste! A must for beauty junkies.

3. Yes Please by Amy Poehler. The main thing I took away from this book was Amy’s message of ‘Good for her. Not for me’. That you don’t need to tear down other people’s choices, just say ‘good for her. Not for me’.

4. Popular: a Memoir by Maya Van Wagenen. Maya is low down on the popularity scale in school so she decides to follow the wisdom in a 1950s popularity guide. Her writing is so sweet and I really loved this book.

5. Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell. This made me laugh out loud and roll my eyes in equal measures, especially as I was working in a bookshop at the time of reading. Even if you’ve never worked in one, you’ll appreciate some of the things that come out of people’s mouths.

Popsugar Challenge

I posted that I wanted to do a challenge that Sharon from Behind Green Eyes tagged me in and later I found out it was the Popsugar Challenge. At first I just read what I wanted and matched the books up to a challenge. But half way through the year I noticed I’d have to start reading books that fit challenges and things got serious! I only doubled on one challenge (Read a book you were supposed to read in school, I read everything so this wasn’t an option for me but instead I picked it to go under To Kill a Mockingbird as even though we didn’t read it in school I should have read it back then). I’m pretty proud at myself for finishing this!

Books one

Read a book with more than 500 pages- Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

A classic romance- Persuasion by Jane Austen

A book that became a movie- The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

A book published this year- Winter Siege by Ariana Franlin and Samantha Norman

A book with a number in the title- The Edible Atlas: Around the World in 39 Countries by Mina Holland

A book written by someone under 30- Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

A book with non-human characters- Animal Farm by George Orwell

A funny book- Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

A book by a female author- Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

A mystery or thriller- The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

books 2

A book with a one word title- Fairest by Marissa Meyer

A book of short stories- Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

A book set in a different country- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A nonfiction book- Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

A popular author’s first book- Looking For Alaska by John Green

A book from an author you love that you have not read yet- So You’ve Been Publically Shamed by Jon Ronson

A book a friend recommends- Faithful Place by Tana French

A Pulitzer Prize winning book- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A book based on a true story- Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

A book at the bottom of your to-read list- The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Books 3

A book your mom loves- Body 115: The Mystery of the Last Victim of the King’s Cross Fire by Paul Chambers

A book that scares you- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

A book more than 100 years old- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

A book based entirely on its cover- The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

A book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A memoir- Yes Please by Amy Poehler

A book you can finish in a day- The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel

A book with antonyms in the title- Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit- The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

A book that came out the year you were born- Watchmen by Alan Moore

books 4

A book with bad reviews- Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

A trilogy- Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight, and Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

A book from your childhood- Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr

A book with a love triangle- Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas

A book set in the future- Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill

A book set in a high school- Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

A book with a colour in the title- A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

A book that made you cry- Academy Street by Mary Costello

books 5

A book with magic- Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas

A graphic novel- Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness by Bryan Lee O’Malley

A book from an author you’ve read before- Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris

A book you own but have never read yet- Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming

A book set in your home town- Meatspace by Nikesh Shukla

A book that was originally written in another language- The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

A book set at Christmas- Humbugs and Heartstrings by Catherine Ferguson

A book written by an author with your same intials- The Teatime Islands by Ben Fogle

A play- The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh

A banned book- Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

A book based on or turned into a TV show- The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith

A book you started by never finished- The Second Book of General Ignorance by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson (started in 2012!)

Phew! It was a fun challenge to do, I know Sharon completed hers too, which you can check out here. There’s a 2016 challenge if you’re interested in it but I will be doing the Book Riot Read Harder challenge this year if you’re interested in joining! Even if you don’t want to do a book challenge like these, then perhaps just set a reading resolutions goal or two. If you’re not a reader, then aim for 6 books in the year (that’s 1 for every 2 months). If you only read fiction, try to read a handful of non-fiction books. Think you’re too busy to read? Have one screen free evening a week, where you don’t look at TV, computers or phones and I bet you’ll find time to read. Now to pester my boyfriend into reading at least one book this year!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

December Reads

Final reading wrap up for 2015! Not a massively busy month, I spent a lot of time crafting presents for Christmas and being too sick and miserable to read but I did manage to finish all my PopSugar challenge books! I’ll be doing a post in a few days about that though with all the books listed in one place.

December Reads

Body 115: The Mystery of the Last Victim of the King’s Cross Fire by Paul Chambers

body 115

One of the PopSugar challenges was to read your mother’s favourite book and while this probably isn’t her absolutely favourite (I’m sure if she had to answer she couldn’t, just like I couldn’t), it was the one that sparked my interest most out of the handful of books she thrust in my hands. In 1987 there was a massive fire in King’s Cross Tube Station and for years there was one person unidentified, Body 115. This book tells the story of how the fire happened, the aftermath and most importantly all the hard work put into finding out who Body 115 was. It was upsetting in parts to read how people suffered in this horrefic accident but it was fascinating to get a look behind what happens in such an event and especially all the different routes taken to finally get a positive match.


My True Love Gave To Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to Me UK

This is a collection of holiday themed short stories by popular YA authors like Stephanie Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Holly Black and Laini Taylor, to name but a few. I really enjoyed this book, it helped me get back into reading after feeling sick and poorly and also gave me a chance to read a few new authors that I’ll probably check out this year. I didn’t love all the stories, and that was ok! If there any authors on here you didn’t like, you can definitely skip them. Or you can read the book out of order, either reading your favourite authors first or saving them for last! A sweet collection and something I’ll possibly return to next Christmas to get me in the festive mood.


Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming

not my father's son

I’d heard a lot of good things about this book and even own it on ebook but when I saw it on Audio on offer I decided to buy it as I love Alan’s accent! This book goes back on forth between two main timelines: when Alan was younger and the abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of his father, and also when he is about to start filming Who Do You Think You Are and his father drops the bombshell that he might not even be his son. Having already seen the Who Do You Think You Are episode, all the revelations were not new to me but that didn’t matter, Alan’s background thoughts and feeling during the filming are insightful and in fact I think I might rewatch the WDYTYA episode now that I know what was going on in his life. The childhood stories do have some happier times too, which was nice to hear too as it doesn’t turn the book into misery-memoir territory (though the horrible scenes were upsetting). Well worth the read and well worth the listen too as well.


Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor


The final book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. Overall I enjoyed the series but I think I might need a reread at some stage, as I was distracted and a bit anxious. I felt like this could have had some parts left out and been a stronger book but again, a reread might make me think more favourably towards the series. It is a solid YA trilogy though, a lot more so than others I’ve read, so don’t let me put you off!




The Teatime Islands by Ben Fogle

teatime islands

Ben Fogle decides to visit some of harder to reach British Outposts, going to 6 islands in one year: Tristan da Cunha, St. Helena, British Indian Ocean Territory, Pitcairn Island, Falkland Islands and Ascension Island. I did enjoy this book, it’s a great start to a short introduction to these islands and the life on them, it’s left me curious and has had me Googling various things about the islands so no doubt it’ll stick in my mind for a while. The one major downside is how dated it is by now, a good decade has past and I’d love to know more about what it’s like on these islands. A pleasant, light travel read.


Watchmen by Alan Moore


My final book of the year, started a good few months ago! To be honest I didn’t really like this book, I felt the story was too confusing for me at times and I wanted to skip pages. Again, a reread might do me the world of good with this, what with the distraction and anxiety this month. Maybe I’m just not a comic person (I’m sure some people think I’m a heathen for not enjoying this!). Some of the colour work is stunning though, it really caught my eye and I might have another glance over those pages to truly appreciate it.



December Stats

Number of books read- 6

Ratio fiction to non-fiction- 3:3

Male to Female authors- 4:2

Number of eBooks- 2 (My True Love Gave To Me and Dreams of Gods and Monsters)

Number of Audio Books- 1 (Not My Father’s Son)

Reading Challenges Completed

A Book Your Mom Loves- Body 115

A Trilogy (book 3)- Dreams of Gods and Monsters

A Book You Own But Have Never Read- Not My Father’s Son

A Book Written by an Author With Your Same Initials- The Teatime Islands

A Book That Came Out the Year You Were Born- Watchmen

And that’s 2015 over with! All going to plan, I’ll have a few book posts coming in the next few days (A look at 2015 Reading including stats and PopSugar Challenge, 2016 Reading Resolutions and 2016 Releases posts at the very least). I’m excited for the bookishness 2016 will bring!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Resolutions and Things to Look Forward To

2015 was such a mixed year for me, it brought me so much happiness and joy in some areas but it was also so lonely and crippling in other areas. It is over however so Happy New Year everyone! I set resolutions, half follow them and then forget but I’ll try again this year and see what I can do.

Happy New Year

1. Take better care of myself

I want to make myself feel better, mentally and physically. So eating better, light exercise, getting hugs, start flossing my teeth, wearing nicer (*cough* less wrinkled and baggy) clothes. Just taking a bit more pride in myself but not pressuring myself into feeling bad about my appearance. Doing more of the Self Care Pledges.

2. Saying yes more

Pushing my comfort zone a bit more, saying yes when all I want to do is hide under a blanket. What will help me is remembering I can leave the situation if I’m not actually enjoying it or I’ve pushed my comfort zone too much.

3. Saying no more

I take on more than I need to at times as I’m dreadful at saying no. I fall back into the role of 2nd mother when I’m at home and I need to learn that I can say no to things if it’s going to add to my stress and make me feel bad. I can say no because I simply don’t want to do something and not feel bad about it either.

4. Being more crafty

I set a resolutions list for crafting last year but it went out the window, along with so many other things. I have boxes of crafting material and the reason I won’t use it? I’m afraid too! I’m afraid I’ll ruin the beautiful material, I’m afraid my crafts will be crappy (which they properly will to be fair, but I need to learn to enjoy the process). I hope to go join a local knitting club, which will help me be crafty, help me get out more and meet new people too.

5. Not to take things too personally

I get so upset over little things, I’m such an emotional person so that doesn’t help. I need to learn to take things not so personally or less take charge and tackle the person/thing that has made me feel that way.

Things to look forward to this year? My friend’s hen party and her wedding, being able to finally go abroad on holiday (destination not booked yet but looking like it’ll be LA!), my brother turning 18, going to London for the the days leading up to New Year (as my brother got me a ticket to the Harry Potter play for 1st Jan 2017!!). I’m sure there will be lots of other fantastic things, just like there is a lot of uncertainty too, but here’s to trying to be a bit more positive! Hope 2016 is a good year for you too.

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