Saturday, December 29, 2018

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge 2018 Results

I missed doing all my usual wrap up posts last year, I had great intentions to do them but work was busy and then I felt a bit silly posting those type of posts in May. They felt more like January and February posts. So I’m hoping to get a start on them now and get them up in the next month or two.

This was my 3rd year doing the Read Harder challenge and I’ve noticed a pattern. I get hyped about it when it’s announced, put together a list with potential reads for each challenge, read about half of them in the first 4-5 months, forget about it for a few months then rush to finish all the challenges I’ve been putting off. This year was no different. But I still succeeded!


1. Read a book published posthumously- Ariel by Sylvia Plath

A collection of poetry, which I mostly enjoyed.

2. A book of true crime- The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale

A true life whodunnit, a murder is committed in Victorian England in a locked house. Was it a stranger or an inside job?

3. A classic of genre fiction- The Murder of at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

The first Miss Marple book from the Queen of Crime herself, Agatha Christie. Really enjoyed this and want to read more from her.

4. A comic written and drawn by the same person- Ghost World by Daniel Clowes

Slightly strange graphic novel that I mostly enjoyed but I was a tad bit baffled at times.


5. A book set in or about one of the five BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China or South Africa)- Riot Days by Maria Alyokhina

Written by one of the Pussy Riot members, it tells the tale of their rise to fame and her subsequent jailing. The book was written in a style of a stream of consciousness which didn’t translate well to my e-book copy, I think I would have preferred it as a physical book. But it was still a fascinating read.

6. A book about nature- H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald

Following the death of her father, Helen buys a hawk and attempts to train it. Not exactly what I thought it would be at times but I did like it and it was beautifully written.

7. A western- Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

I struggled with choosing something for this and went with a YA book as it would be shorter and easier to read. Lots of fun and I loved the characters, there’s a follow up companion novel that I might pick up if I want to return to this world.

8. A comic written or drawn by a person of color- Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Didn’t love it as much as Scott Pilgrim series but I still liked it.


9. A book of colonial or post-colonial literature- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Covers being both colonial and post-colonial.

10. A romance by or about a person of color- The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

I saw this recommended by squibblesreads and it was a light enjoyable romantic story set mostly in San Francisco.

11. A children’s classic published before 1980- The Twins at St. Clare’s by Enid Blyton

I loved this series as a child (as well as the Mallory Towers series) so thought it would be fun to reread the first book.

12. A celebrity memoir- Where Am I Now? by Mara Wilson

I loved this, I highly recommend the audio version as Mara narrates it herself.


13. An Oprah Book Club selection- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

14. A book of social science- Dent’s Modern Tribes by Susie Dent

Probably the loosest choice for any of the categories, there were other books that suited the social science element better but it does work! A look at the lingo used by  particular to groups within society; from bird watchers and bin men to doctors and politicians.

15. A one sitting book- Dear Ijeawele by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This is a letter Chimamanda wrote to her friend when she had a baby, with suggestions on how to raise your child to be a feminist. Lots of interesting points and a super short read.

16. The first book in a new-to-you YA or middle grade series- Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertelli

I wasn’t sure if ‘new-to-you’ meant a series that I only discovered in 2018 or one I hadn’t read before. I took it to be the latter. I enjoyed this, I think I would have preferred to have physically read it instead of as an audio book as the emails being read out was annoying but it was cute and I liked the film.


17. A sci-fi novel by a female author with a female protagonist- Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

This novella (is that cheating? I don’t think so!) came recommended by booksandpieces.

18. A comic that isn’t published by Marvel, DC or Image- Archie Volume 1 by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples

I chose this reboot of the Archie comics as I enjoyed watching the Riverdale series on Netflix.

19. A book of genre fiction in translation- The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George

A romantic novel translated from German. I mentioned this is my Women in Translation post earlier this year.

20. A book with a cover you hate- Almost Love by Louise O’Neill

In general I hate people on covers and this is no exception. The book was a let down too.


21. A mystery by a person of color or LGBTQ+ author- Rivals in the City by Y.S. Lee

The final book in the YA The Agency series about a teenage spy in Victorian times. Thoroughly enjoyed the series

22. An essay anthology- Feminist Don’t Wear Pink curated by Scarlett Curtis

Probably not a proper essay anthology, I saw a lot of different explanations for what it meant and I decided this counted.

23. A book with a female protagonist over the age of 60- Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

I did enjoy it while reading it but not as much as Joanna’s first book The Trouble With Goats and Sheep.

24. An assigned book you hated (or never finished)- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

So if you were observant you’d have noticed that The Poisonwood Bible is there 3 times. Now usually I only use one book per challenge. The hardest challenge this year was the final one, an assigned book you hated or never finished. I finished all the books assigned to me in school and liked them all. So I decided I’d find another book that was on our reading list the year I did my exams and I’d read that.

I started reading The Poisonwood Bible for the Oprah or colonial challenge. When I started it, I hadn’t decided which one it would be for. My plan was to finish it and then pick which challenge it was for based on what I wanted to read next. But as I was sick in December, by the time I finished it I didn’t have the energy to read another book for the challenge so I decided it would work for both those challenges. And seeing as it also fit for the assigned book one, I decided if it worked for two it would work for three! I would have preferred a separate book for each challenge, as I had done for the previous 2 years. But there’s no real or ‘proper’ way to do the Read Harder challenge and it’s still completed and that’s all that really matters!

Does the Read Harder challenge encourage me to read harder? Yes, I think it does. I picked up a western, maybe not one of the classics of the genre but it was something new for me. I finally read The Poisonwood Bible, I think it was one of the very first books I marked to read when I joined Goodreads. Looking up books for the challenge helps me find new things that I’m interested in reading too. However I do think it stifles me a bit, I can find a lot of books already on my TBR that fit into categories but sometimes there isn’t a book and I need to hype myself up to read something I hadn’t heard of before. I find that having to plan in these books to read brings down the spontaneity of just being able to pick at random what I want to read next. That being said, I plan on doing the 2019 Read Harder Challenge and have already started my lists. Let’s up it doesn’t all come to a rush next October/November to get it all finished!

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart TurtonThe Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle opens with the narrator waking up in the forest, covered in blood, in a different body and no idea what is going on. He makes it front door of a large country house and from there he discovers that's he's Aiden Bishop and that he has 8 chances to stop the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle. Each day he will wake in a different host body and have the chance to relive the day and hopefully stop the murder. He has some advantages (he remembers his memories from the previous days and which host he is so he can set up and change scenarios) and disadvantages (He's hindered by his hosts' physical attributes, like being overweight or old as well as the hosts' personalities like their temper or impulsivity). Plus there's other obstacles in his way to further complicate things. Can he solve the puzzle on time? And what will happen if he doesn't?

I loved this book! It sucked me right in. It's like Gosford Park and Agatha Christie meets Inception and Groundhog Day. A murder mystery with a twist. It was really atmospheric and descriptive, I loved finding out who the new hosts were and was constantly guessing what was going on and how things would work out. Of course I wasn't anywhere close to getting it right! Complex and thrilling, I'll definitely reach for it again in the future to reread as I’d love to see if there’s anything new I pick up on.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Autumnal Jelly Nail Look

Years ago I saw a nail look on Pinterest and wanted to try it. If you look for nail looks on Pinterest then you’ve probably come across it. It’s with an orange jelly polish with leaves stamped in between layers. It took a while for me to source out the original link but I think it was from SaltyStyle Nails. I tried to recreate it last year stamping but I’m rubbish at it. I also tried punching out leaf shapes from strips of dried nail polish but it was a mess.

This year I decided to try again but this time with nail stickers from Ali Express! I’m happy with how it turned out, it’s not the same as the original but it’s still pretty.

Autumnal Jelly Sandwich Nail Polish look Orange jelly Maybelline Edgy Tangy with leaf nail stickers

Autumnal Jelly Sandwich Nail Polish look Orange jelly Maybelline Edgy Tangy with leaf nail stickers

The polish I used was Maybelline Color Show in Edgy Tangy, with the nail stickers between layers of polish. I’ll definitely try it again next year, I think it’ll be a staple autumn look for me every year.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Nonfiction November 2018

I like reading nonfiction but sometimes I’m a bit slower at reading it and that makes me hesitant at picking it up. Two years ago I did Nonfiction November and I found it did help me reach for nonfiction books more so when I saw this year’s video by abookolive on my YouTube sidebar, I decided to watch it and it inspired me to take part. Especially as I’m hoping knock out a few of my remaining Book Riot Read Harder 2018 challenges (as per usual, I’m slacking on that!)

The aim of Nonfiction November is just to get people reading nonfiction, even if it’s just one book. But there’s also 4 challenges that you can try complete, for you to interpreter whatever you want.

1. Past time/ Pastime

2. Self/Shelf

3. Wander/Wonder

4. Micro/Macro

Here are my picks for each challenge

1. Past time/ Pastime

lily allen my thoughts exactly book coverI know past time is probably more to do with history but I decided to pick My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen which I guess you could twist to say it’s about her life and anything to do with memoirs is technically past time. If that’s too much of a reach, then one of my pastimes is listening to music and I loved Lily Allen’s first album Alright, Still when it came out, it was the soundtrack to my summer in 2006. I got the book on Audible as I thought it would be interesting to listen to Lily narrate it.

2. Self/Shelf

feminists don't wear pink and other lies scarlett curtis book coverA relatively new addition to my shelf, as I only got it last month, but I thought Feminists Don’t Wear Pink and Other Lies curated by Scarlett Curtis would be a good pick for this challenge as I do consider myself a feminist. And it’ll help me finish the complete the Read an Essay Anthology challenge for Read Harder.

3. Wander/Wonder

H is for h is for hawk helen macdonald book coverHawk by Helen Macdonald was one of my choices for the previous Nonfiction November but I never got around to it then. I’m hoping I will this year, especially as I need to Read a Book about Nature for Read Harder.

4. Micro/Macro

dent's modern tribes the secret languages of Britain by Susie Dent book coverDent’s Modern Tribes by Susie Dent is all about slang used by different professions and groups and I thought it fit in with a micro as it focuses on smaller groups of people. It will also help me complete the Read Harder challenge of Read a Book on Social Science.

I’m also currently listening to the latest book by No Such Thing as Fish called The Book of the Year 2018 and I’m reading Timekeepers by Simon Garfield. There’s a new Simon Garfield book out called In Miniature which would be perfect for the Micro/Macro challenge but I didn’t want to start a new Garfield book without finished the current one! I think the books suit the challenges well, they might even fit some of the other challenges as well (H is for Hawk could be in Pastime as it’s about falconry and Lily Allen’s book could be in wonder about a celebrities life). I’m not sure I’ll get to read them all in November but if not I’ll continue into December to get them finished.

If you have any nonfiction recommendations let me know below in the comments or on Twitter.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

August 2018 Favourites

So I had hoped this would be on the blog for a week or so by now but September has been pretty shit at times. However, I used to do a monthly wrap up/recap post, I really enjoyed it and wanted to bring it back. There’s such a big trend on Instagram for templates for your story and I saw a few for end of August and it inspired me to share some of my favourite things from August


the seven husbands of evelyn hugoI adored The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Legendary actress Evelyn Hugo has agreed to do a rare interview and has specifically requested Monique Grant, a low level magazine reporter. We learn about Evelyn’s life, told through the marriages of her 7 husbands, and find out why she requested Monique. Full of Hollywood glamour and secrets, it sucked me right in. I listened to it as an Audible book and I think it would be perfect as a film or a TV series.

TV Show


I’ve been loving Celebrity Big Brother this summer! I do enjoy a good tacky reality TV show every now and again and Big Brother is something I used to love watching back in the day. So I’m loving the nostalgia element of it. There’s also been so much drama in this series of CBB which I also love. Best part is I’m in a group chat and I love being able to discuss and dissect things with my friends!


To_All_the_Boys_I've_Loved_Before_posterSo I also read To All the Boys I Loved Before in August too, specifically so I could watch the Netflix film! Every time Lara Jean loses feelings for her current crush, she writes him a letter saying all the things she liked about him, with the intention to never send them. But somehow they get out and chaos ensues! It was very cute and fun and Lara Jean has such an amazing wardrobe and bedroom. Serious style envy! And it makes me want to watch all the teen rom-coms.


42898582_562946560828539_8955394398598725632_nI had a fantastic weekend in Dingle visiting a friend with a whole group of friends from home. Saturday it was raining so we went surfing, had a nice lunch in a pub, spent a lot of good quality time together singing, playing music and catching up. Weather was really sunny the Sunday so after an epic homecooked breakfast, we did a bit of shopping and we soaked up the sun in the beer garden of Dick Macks. Bliss.


42812306_1545518488928305_2385079082741137408_nI managed to do my nails a good few times in August, but this one had the biggest reaction on Instagram. Pink base Barry M Rose Hip, white Model’s Own White Last Night, gold Revlon Gold Coin, Rose Gold Cirque Colors Halcyon and glitter Barry M Starlight.


42864364_238135416879090_1383512534882975744_nIf you’ve seen my Instagram then you’ll probably know I’m a fan of mugs, can’t resist buying a new one! I got this beaut from the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, the jellyfish tanks there are incredible.


42743642_1718840328245494_5156604956110749696_nPokémon Go! I updated my phone in July and could finally download Pokémon Go again. I like how active it makes me, I did so much more walking in August than I would have if I didn’t have the game.

I know I had more planned to say but I think this is a solid place to wrap things up. Hopefully I’ll have my September Favourites up next week!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Most Anticipated Books 2018 September to December

I’m SO excited about the books coming out in the next few months! Mainly because the past few years I’ve put down ‘New Robert Galbraith book’ and it never happened and I thought it would be the same this year. Alas no, the Book Gods have been good this year and there are books coming out from so many of my favourite authors. Onwards to the books!

Transcription by Kate Atkinson

transcriptionI loved Life After Life and A God in Ruins and I’ve been looking forward to this one after hearing Kate talk about it on the Penguin Book Podcast. It’s set in 1940 during WWII in an obscure MI5 department, it sounds so mysterious and I know it’ll be thrilling. Plus, come on! The cover has a flamingo on it. Perfect! 6th Sept

Sunny Side Up by Susan Calman

sunny side upI read Cheer Up Love back in 2016 and enjoyed it, I liked Calman’s writing style. While that book was about depression, the ways it manifests itself and advice with how to deal with it, Sunny Side Up will be about being kind to others and spreading joy. I’m sure this will put a smile on my stupid face. 6th Sept

The Importance of Being Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen

the importance of being aislingOh My God What a Complete Aisling is a very Irish thing. I’m not part of the Facebook group but I was aware of the memes from the group and I loved the first book when I read it at the end of last year. I loved all the cultural things that you might not get if you’re not Irish or not aware of Irish culture. I wasn’t surprised when a second book was announced, the first one was a big hit. I’m looking forward to seeing what Aisling is up to this time! 14th Sept

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

220px-Lethal_White_UKThe 4th novel in the Strike series by Robert Galbraith a.k.a. J. K. Rowling! Finally, 3 years after Career of Evil was released. Every year I’ve been hoping for this book and last month they announced it’s coming out in September! I’ve already pre-ordered the book and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. 18th Sept

Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake

two dark reignsThis is book 3 in YA fantasy series. Triplets who were separated as children, brought up in houses to learn different skills and powers and met again at 16 for the first time to battle it out to become queen. It’s an interesting series so far, nothing I’ve read before. It was supposed to be a duology but I think there’s now 4 books in the series. 4th Oct

The Witch Elm by Tana French

the witch elmIt’s like the book Gods are shining down on me, a new Tana French this year too! However, it’s not another one in the Dublin Murder Squad but a stand alone. I wish it WAS another Dublin Murder Squad but I love Tana and I’m excited to read anything she writes. She could write the back of a cereal box and I’d be down to write that. Amazon has the UK release date as 2019 but Tana’s Facebook says October. It could be US release first though. Guess we’ll see. 9th Oct

The Book of the Year 2018 by No Such Thing as a Fish

the book of the year 2018No Such Thing as a Fish is probably my favourite podcast. It’s by the QI Elves, who research all the facts for QI. Last year they brought out their first Book of the Year with loads of strange and funny stories from 2017 and I’m sooooo happy they’re doing it again this year. I listened to it as an audiobook as they narrated it and for big fans of the podcast this is definitely the best way to read this book. 18th Oct

An Island Christmas by Jenny Colgan

an island christas jenny colganThere’s nothing like a cosy Christmas read and Jenny Colgan is the queen of cosy reads. They’re like a blanket and hot drink on a cold night. I’m loving the setting for this book, an island off Scotland. I really enjoyed the first two books in the series. And how beautiful is that cover?! 18th Oct

GuRu by RuPaul

guru rupaulI’m a HUGE fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race and already own one of his books. I’m not expecting the book to be ground-breaking, I’ve heard a lot of RuPaul’s philosophies already and his general attitude to life. But I think the pictures will be stunning and it’ll be something fun to flick through. If nothing else it’ll a pretty addition to my book collection! 25th Oct

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

the proposal jasmine guilloryI read The Wedding Date earlier this year as part of this year’s Book Riot Read Harder challenge, for the Romance Novel by or about a Person of Colour and I really enjoyed it. It was cute, fun romance novel with a fantastic female character. I’m looking forward to this book which features one of the characters we saw briefly in The Wedding Date. Shown here is the US cover because in a rare turn of events, I prefer it over the UK one. 3oth Oct

Sweet Valley High Graphic Novel by Katy Rex and Andres Genolet

No picture for this, I can’t find any preview for this book or anything on the authors’ social media. The book has already been pushed back in its release so it could be pushed back again with nothing updated yet online. However, how flippin exciting is a Sweet Valley High graphic novel?! Can’t wait to see the blonde twins with the blue green eyes and perfect figures. 30th Oct

Pulp by Robin Talley

9781335012906.inddTwo points of view. 1st set in 1955, 18 year old Janet Jones discovers the world of lesbian pulp fiction and is coming to terms with her own sexuality. 2nd is set in 2017 with Abby Zimet researching her senior project on 1950s lesbian pulp fiction and feels connected to one author in particular, ‘Marian Love’ and sets out to discover who she really is. I love that there’s more and more LGBTQ+ novels being written and Robin did a fantastic job with Our Own Private Universe. I can’t wait to see how the stories weave together and learn more about 1950s pulp fiction. 13th Nov

Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch

Lies sleepingA new Robert Galbraith, a new Kate Atkinson, a new Tana French AND a new book in the Peter Grant series?! I feel so #blessed (can you use that hashtag when talking about books or is it only on pictures of presents my boyfriend got me along with #boydonegood)….. Anyway! I always love a new Peter Grant story, I love returning to London in an urban fantasy series. 15th Nov

I had this all done, then noticed the release date had changed on one book and went back and updated them for all of them. So they should be up to date but they might have changed again. I may have missed some upcoming releases but I doubt there will be much more released so close to Christmas. Most big ones for the Christmas market are released in October. But if I have missed anything, let me know below or on Twitter!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Women in Translation Book Recommended Reads

August is Women in Translation Month, something I became aware of when I read a post from Chloe from Nurse Fancy Pants on Bean Magazine. And then I saw Rincey from Rincey Reads do a video about the Women in Translation Readathon. The readathon is running 25th August to 31st August.  She linked a video to one of the hosts, Matthew Sciarappa, which has all the info for the readathon, including all the prompts.

So I decided to do a post recommending some of the books by women in translation that I’ve read before. And while compiling the list, I realised that I’ve not read a lot of translated works but looking at the list it seems pretty evenly split. A mixture of children’s books, literary fiction, non-fiction, romance and graphic novels.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank book coverWhile this book probably needs no introduction, I’ll give a brief one anyway. Anne Frank was a Jewish teenager who was gifted a diary for her 13th birthday. It’s a first hand account of the two years Anne and her family hid from Nazis in Amsterdam during Second World War. They were eventually found and sent to work camps and only Anne’s father survived, who later published the diary into a book. Originally published in Dutch, it’s well worth the read for the historical aspect but also as an insight into a teenage girl’s mind.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lingern

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lingern book coverPippi Longstocking is a children series about Pippi, a girl with red pigtails, mismatched socks, a horse that lives on her porch and no parents. Pippi has all sorts of crazy adventures. I remember reading this book on some outing with my grandmother. And I loved Pippi so much that I once dressed up as her for a World Book Day contest in school! Originally published in Swedish.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Persepolis The Story of a Childhood Marjane Satrapi book cover Persepolis is a graphic memoir about Marjane, a girl living Iran during the Islamic Revolution. I loved this series, it’s a fantastic mix of stories from Marjane’s life and family and the historical significance and changes in Iran. A look at the daily life in the home and life in public. Book two sees Marjane as a teenager and leaving Iran to go study in Austria. It’s a lot darker and sadder but still well worth the read. The books were published originally in French. I’ve also read Chicken With Plums and Embroideries by Satrapi and would recommend them too.

Jane, the Fox and Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault

jane the fox and me fanny britt isabelle arsenault book coverSticking with graphic novels, Jane, the Fox and Me was also originally published in French. Hélène is a shy, insecure girl who’s being bullied. Her only real comfort is reading Jane Eyre. The story was heart breaking at times but I really loved it and the colour choices for the illustrations were beautiful. As I warned last time I posted about it, there are spoilers for Jane Eyre so be aware of that if you haven’t read that!

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

the little paris bookshop nina george book coverJean Perdu owns a book barge, prescribing the perfect books for his customers and their problems. Ever since the love of his life, Manon, left him two decades earlier, he’s lived a very simple life, devoid of pleasures. Until he finds an unopened letter from Manon, explaining why she left. Jean decides to take his barge to down to Provence, to where Manon was originally from to find more answers. I thought it was a sweet book about a physical and emotional journey. And who doesn’t love the idea of a book barge?! And if you think this another book that was originally published in French, then you’d be wrong. As it was first published in German. I read George’s other book, The Little Breton Bistro, earlier this year and enjoyed that too.

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

fever dream samanta schweblin book coverAmanda is dying in hospital and wakes up to find David, a little boy, next to her. David is not her son nor is he there to tell her what happened. Instead he asks her questions about why she is there and from that we see the story unfolding and find out who David is. Originally published in Spanish, the book was confusing and nightmarish at times and I was completely engrossed by it. I read it in one sitting late one night as I couldn’t put it down. I have a full review here which you can read if interested.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

The elegance of the hedgehog muriel barbery book coverWhat do a 50 something year old concierge and a 12 year old in the middle of Paris have in common? You’d probably think not much but while Renée looks to be a typical concierge, she is secretly very educated and cultured. And 12 year old Paloma is highly intelligent and has decided on her 13 year old birthday to continue looking like a typical teenage girl on the outside, all while counting down the next 3 years when she plans to end her life. They strike up an unlikely friendship. I’ll admit, this book was tough for me to get through at first. I bought it in 2009, tried to read it several times over the years until I powered through and enjoyed it once getting 100 pages in. I didn’t like the main characters that much to begin with. Originally published in French, I may try another one of Barbery’s books in the future.

And while I’m not doing the Women in Translation Readathon, there is plenty of other books by women that are highly recommended. The Vegetarian by Han Kang won the Man Booker International Prize 2016 (Korean), the My Brilliant Friend series by Elena Ferrante (Italian), Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende, or really anything from Isabel Allende (Spanish), Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto (Japanese), classic Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan (French) or a crime novel from Yrsa Sigurðardóttir (Icelandic). And these are just off the top of my head. Goodreads has a fantastic list for Women in Translation which I’ve linked here. Let me know if I’ve missed anything obvious or what your favourite is in the comments below or on Twitter.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

2018 Most Anticipated Books May- August

So as we’re already IN August, this post is just to highlight the books that I was most looking forward to reading when I originally compiled the list of books I was looking forward to this year. You can see the books that were released January-April that I was looking forward to (and I’ve also read all but one of them so go me!)

Collage of A Court of Frost and Starlight Sarah J Maas, The Surface Breaks Louise O Neill Loch of the Dead Oscar de Muriel

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas- This novella is like a bridge between the original A Court of Thorns and Roses series and the upcoming series set in the same world but centring around a different character.

The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill- A feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid and the second book this year from Louise O’Neill, the first being Almost Love released in March.

Loch of the Dead by Oscar de Muriel. 4th book in the Frey and McGray series, the chalk and cheese detectives series set in Scotland. Set in Victorian times, the series is very atmospheric and gothic and I love the mysteries involved too. This one is set in the Scottish Highlands at Loch Maree.

Collage Save the Date Morgan Matson How to Be Famous Caitlin Moran Catwoman Soulstealer Sarah J Maas

Save the Date by Morgan Matson. I’ve read two of Matson’s books and I really need to read more. They’re perfect contemporary summer reads! Save the Date sees Charlie’s family come together in the family home before her older sister’s wedding and nothing goes to plan.

How to Be Famous by Caitlin Moran. This is the follow up to How to Build a Girl, Moran’s YA book that’s based on Moran’s life. We get to see Dolly Wilde a.k.a. Johanna Morrigan, living her cool life in London as writer for music magazine and I’m sure it’s just as funny and frank as How to Build a Girl.

Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas. The 3rd book in the DC Icons series. I read the first which was Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo which was ok and I might pick up the second one Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu at some stage. But Catwoman was always the one I wanted to read in this series and I hope she kicks ass in it!

Collage Notes on a Nervous Planet Matt Haig Record of a Spaceborn Few Becky Chambers

Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig. I read Reasons to Stay Alive in 2015 and this seems to be a follow on from that. I listened to the audio book and I think I might do the same with this one. It’s also one of the Rick O’Shea Book Club Book of the Month for August so I have no excuse not to pick it up ASAP really!

Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers. The 3rd book in the Wayfarers series. I have SO much love for A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and A Closed and Common Orbit. Those books just sucked me in and I love how Chambers writes her characters. I don’t really know anything about this one and I want to keep it that way until I read it really. All I know is that there will be space and lots of emotions!

And that was May to August. I’ve only read 1 and half of these books so far as I’m in such a bad reading slump. Though there’s SO many good books coming out September to December that I’m hoping I’ll get back on the reading train. I have a post for those books and unlike this post, you won’t have to wait until December to read it as I already have it written and ready to go for a few days times!

Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 Most Anticipated Book Releases January-April

I love this time of the year, going through Goodreads and finding out what new books are up and coming from authors I love. I always find out more as the year goes on of course but it’s great to have something to look forward to. This year I’m going to split it into two posts, this one will cover January to April and the next one from April onwards. And later in the year in summer I might do another one for upcoming releases that will be announced later this year (fingers crossed for Robert Galbraith and Tana French!).

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon

three things about elsie joanna cannon book coverI really enjoyed The Trouble with Goats and Sheep so I’m looking forward to seeing Joanna Cannon’s next offering. It’s about 84 year old Florence who’s fallen in her flat and while she is waiting to be rescues, begins to worry if a secret from her past has been discovered. The cover is so pretty too! 11th January

The Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan

the endless beach jenny colgan book coverHaving just finish the first book in this series, The Summer Seaside Cafe, I’m really looking forward to returning to Flora and the island of Mure! Jenny Colgan’s books are perfect for the post Christmas gloominess. They just whisk you away to this cosy other world. 11th January

From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty

from here to eternity caitlin doughty book coverI love Caitlin, her YouTube channel and her first book Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Basically she can do no wrong in my eyes and in this book we get to see how different cultures do death as Caitlin travels around the world.A book on death sounds morbid but if this book is anything like Caitlin’s videos, all morbid-ness will be balanced with respect and humour. 25th January

Eat Up! by Ruby Tandoh

eat up! ruby tandoh book coverI really enjoyed Ruby on The Great British Bake Off and I liked her baking book Crumb too. So I was very excited to see this book. The subtitle is Food, Appetite and Eating What You Want and cover topics like fad-diets,  food crazes, advice on things like mental health and shopping tips and getting inspiration from people such as Roald Dahl and TOWIE’s Gemma. SOLD! 1st February

Almost Love by Louise O’Neill

almost love louise o'neill book coverKicking off March is Louise O’Neill’s new book Almost Love. Sarah has fallen for Matthew and is sacrificing everything for him, even if he only sees her in secret. I’m intrigued with how this story about obsessive love will unfurl. 1st March

Hero at the Fall by Alywn Hamilton

hero at the fall alwyn hamilton rebel of the sands book 3The 3rd and final book in the Rebels in the Sands series. I did like the second book but it didn’t pack the same punch as the first book and I’m hoping we’ll see a return to that in this book. Either way, I’m looking forward to wrapping up this YA fantasy with a Western twist series. 6th March

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

obsidio amie kauffman kay kristoff illuminae book 3Final book in the Illuminae trilogy, I’ve really enjoyed this sci-fi YA series. Each book has a lead male and female and we see the story from both their perspectives which has been interesting. 13th March

From a Low and Quiet Sea by Donal Ryan

from a low and quiet sea donal ryan book coverWhile I have read what this is about, I don’t remember it and I don’t care to go read it again as I’m looking forward to reading this cold. I read my first Donal Ryan when I read All We Shall Know and it blew me away. I also have a back catalogue to read but for now I’m looking forward to this one. 22nd March

The Endless King by Dave Rudden

the endless king dave rudden knights of the borrowed dark3rd book in the Knights of the Borrowed Dark series, a fantastic Irish YA fantasy series set in contemporary Ireland that I’ve really been enjoying. Here’s a link to my review on book one. 22nd March

Skin Deep by Liz Nugent

skin deep liz nugent book coverI read Lying in Wait in 2016 and found it gripping and Skin Deep sounds like it’ll suck me in straight away too. As always, Nugent starts with a bang. Cordelia Russell, a posh English woman down on her luck living in Cote d’Azur for 10 years, arrives home one night from a party to find a dead body in her bedroom. I’m sure there will be plenty of twists and turns in this novel. 5th April

So much to look forward to in the upcoming months. And I’ll have another post soon for books from May onwards, some that I’m super excited about!

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