Quarterly Rewind (March-June ’20 edition)

Hi all! So yeah, this Spring has been a bit….well let’s not sugarcoat it, it’s been pretty awful on all fronts and I reckon we can all agree to some extent with that, I don’t think being stuck at home for three months was on anyone’s to-do list for 2020! I have managed to get a lot of reading done but aside from that, the silver linings of lockdown have been few and far between. Anyway, it’s the Summer Solstice today, so that means it’s time for me to wrap up Spring here on the blog and look forward to my Northern Hemisphere Summer, Summer 2.0 if you like. This post will cover 23rd March-19th June:

Image From This Spring:

20200321_192205

Okay so I’m cheating a little here, as I haven’t taken any new pictures whilst I’ve been in lockdown (I mean me sitting on the couch watching TV doesn’t exactly make for a great picture) so I thought I’d share another of my South Africa pictures instead, this one was the sunset over Camps Bay on my last night in Cape Town.

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Spring:

“When we revise the horror and sanitise the grotesque, we risk erasing the paths that led us here” -Roshani Chokshi, The Gilded Wolves

This isn’t actually from the book, it’s from Roshani Chokshi’s Author’s Note but I wanted to share it here because it really resonated with me as someone who studied history and also with everything that has been going on with the Black Lives Matter protests in the last few weeks.

This Spring In One Word:

Montonous (there is really no other word that describes lockdown life as aptly as this).

Most Popular Review of This Spring:

I read 14 books in the period that this Rewind covers, and have reviewed 13 of them. The most popular of these was Spin The Dawn, which I was quite surprised by as I was expecting it to be Call Down The Hawk:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/04/02/spin-the-dawn-the-blood-of-the-stars-1-review/

Top Two Books I Read This Spring:

I’ve read some really great books over the last few months (as well as some not so great ones) and it was tricky to choose between my four favourites, but in the end I went with these two:

  1. The City of Brass-S.A. Chakraborty

I finally read this back in April and I’m so glad that I now understand what people were raving about, the world building and the characters in this book were really great! I’m almost finished with the second book on audio now and I’m hoping to finish off the series next month.

2. The Gilded Wolves-Roshani Chokshi

Definitely one of my new favourites of this year, the gang of The Gilded Wolves has one of my favourite friendship dynamics I’ve read and I’m so looking forward to getting to read more of them when The Silvered Serpents comes out in September.

TV I’m Looking Forward To Watching This Summer:

As with last time, since I probably won’t be doing a massive amount this summer aside from socially distanced meetups with my friends, so I’m going to share the TV I’m looking forward to watching instead (however much is available, I’m slowly running out of things to watch!):

  1. Good Girls Season 3-The third season of Good Girls comes out on Netflix at the end of July, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what Beth, Annie and Ruby get up to in the new series.
  2. Becoming-I know the documentary of Michelle Obama’s book tour has been out for a few weeks but I haven’t got around to watching it yet, so that’s one I definitely want to get around to in the next few weeks.
  3. Hamilton-Okay yes, not technically TV but the release of the original Broadway company of Hamilton’s recorded performance being moved up is possibly one of the highlights of my year, and I’m really looking forward to getting to see it when it’s released (TWO WEEKS).
  4. When They See Us-Continuing my education in anti-racism, I’d like to get through a few more shows and documentaries this month. I just watched 13th, also done by Ava DuVernay today and it was really interesting and informative. There’s a lot I still don’t know and I’d like to rectify that.

Three New Obsessions This Spring:

  1. Elementary-I was pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed this US version of Sherlock more than the British series. The mysteries might not be taken straight from the books, but I appreciate that it doesn’t try so hard to be clever and I love Lucy Liu as Watson, and actually think I prefer Jonny Lee Miller’s Sherlock to Benedict Cumberbatch (I KNOW, I KNOW).
  2. I Weigh With Jameela Jamil-Jameela Jamil’s new podcast has been a real bright spot in lockdown, I love the frank honest conversations that she has with her guests and I’ve learned a lot about mental health.
  3. Moulin Rouge Original Broadway Cast Recording-I was a little sceptical about this album at first, but over several listens, I’ve really grown to love it!

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Spring:

It’s funny, I’ve gone from barely posting at all during the beginning of the year, to posting quite a lot over lockdown because I don’t have much else to do! Still mostly Top Ten Tuesdays for this, which isn’t a surprise, but a couple of older reviews as well, which is nice.

  1. Ninth House Review

It’s nice to see that this one has been seeing a renewed audience as a review that I did towards the end of last year.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/ninth-house-alex-stern-1-review/

2. Midnight (Skulduggery Pleasant #11) Review

After dropping off at the beginning of this year, this older review seems to have seen a renewed audience in the last few months, which is lovely to see. Skulduggery Pleasant is one of my favourite series, so it’s good to see this review gain some popularity.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/midnight-skulduggery-pleasant-11-review/

3. TTT #264 & TTT #265

I had a tie for this one, two Top Ten Tuesday posts from last month, both ones that I really enjoyed doing! #264 was me talking about Reasons Why I Love VE Schwab’s books, which was a really fun one to do and I hope I’ve helped even more people discover her brilliant work. #265 was sharing my favourite opening lines from my favourite authors’ books which was another super fun one to do.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/19/top-ten-tuesday-264/

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/26/top-ten-tuesday-265/

4. TTT #268

This was this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, which was all about our Summer TBRs, seasonal TBRs are a perennially popular topic (and one of my favourites to do as well)! Fingers crossed that I enjoy all of the books that I put on this list!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/06/16/top-ten-tuesday-268/

5. TTT #263

This one was about the Last Ten Books I DNF’ed, which I’m surprised was such a popular topic as I didn’t think that was one you guys liked to see from me! I’ll have to talk more about the books that don’t work for me in the future.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/05/12/top-ten-tuesday-263/

Four Posts I Enjoyed On Other Blogs This Spring:

  1. I discovered this great post that Victoria Lee did last year about discovering her identity as bigender through Harry Potter fan communities just after the latest incident of JKR showing how bigoted she is. It definitely made me interested in checking out Victoria Lee’s books at some point:

Harry Potter and the Conspiracy of Queers: Discovering Myself in Fandom and Roleplay

2. Grace Latter did this great post about shielding and her experiences of the lockdown back at the beginning of April, which was really great and quite emotional!

https://www.almostamazinggrace.co.uk/2020/04/isolation.html

3. Rose Stokes wrote this awesome article about pregnancy tests and how we need to change the narrative around them which was really interesting. If you haven’t checked out her stuff then you really should, she’s a journalist who writes a lot about women’s rights (basically everything I’d like to be!)

https://yourdaye.com/vitals/cultural-musings/history-of-pregnancy-test-womens-rights

4. Eleanor Morgan did a brilliant post on Medium about women and the myth that there is any one “right” way to be a woman.

 

 

View at Medium.com

Five Shows That I Enjoyed This Spring:

Since I didn’t really go out all that much in the past three months, I thought instead I’d share some of the best things I’ve watched:

  1. This Is Us-Season 4

The new season of This Is Us came to Amazon Prime earlier this month and I just finished it last week. As usual, it was brilliantly acted, super emotional and I can’t wait to see Season 5, whenever it comes out.

2. Little Fires Everywhere

I also watched the miniseries of Little Fires Everywhere this month, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are AMAZING and I thought the young cast of teenagers were really great as well (ACTUAL TEENAGERS. Not people my age playing teenagers!).

3. Noughts and Crosses

As I mentioned in my Book Vs Movie post about it, I really enjoyed the BBC’s adaptation of Noughts and Crosses when I watched it back at the end of March. The main actors were both really great, and I seriously hope it gets another series, because there is plenty more story to be mined from Malorie Blackman’s books!

4. Death In Paradise-Series 9

Death In Paradise is a great show for lockdown, easy to watch, relaxing and a lot of fun! The new series was no exception and I thoroughly enjoyed the latest outing for the team from Saint Marie.

5. Elementary

As I mentioned above, I watched Elementary Series 1-5 over the past month or so and I really enjoyed it! Very sad that Amazon Prime doesn’t have the last two series available (since much as I enjoyed it, I’m not paying almost £50 to watch the last two series!).

Six Songs I Listened To Way Too Often This Spring:

  1. Without A Believer-Sara Barielles

I discovered the cut songs album from Waitress and almost instantly became obsessed with this one. I understand why it got cut as I’m not sure where it would have fit in the show, but it is a brilliant song.

2. Bad Idea-Waitress

One of my favourite songs from the Waitress soundtrack so naturally it’s ended up coming up on my playlist more than a few times.

3. Crazy Rolling-Moulin Rouge (Broadway)

One of my favourites of the new mashups introduced for the Broadway show, I never would have thought to put Crazy and Rolling In The Deep together, but it works really well!

4. Shut up and Raise Your Glass-Moulin Rouge (Broadway)

Another of the new songs and again, two I wouldn’t have thought to put together but actually work really well. I really love the small segment of I Wanna Dance With Somebody that they use towards the end as well!

5. Welcome To The Moulin Rogue-Moulin Rouge (Broadway)

I told you I’d been listening to a lot of Moulin Rouge over the last few months and the opening number from the show is just brilliant! I seriously hope the show actually does come to the West End next year as planned after the pandemic, because I really want to see it!

6. I Didn’t Plan It-Waitress

Another one of my favourites that comes up on my IPod Shuffle a lot.

So there we go, that was my Spring! What have you enjoyed most on my blog this Spring (or Autumn, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere)? What have you been up to? What have been the highlights (if that’s the right word) of your lockdown? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Quarterly Rewind (December ’19-March ’20 edition)

Hi all! Sorry that my usual Quarterly Rewind is a little late, the last few days have been a bit of a whirlwind. I’m back from South Africa now, earlier than planned for obvious reasons and I figured since I was coming back only a few days after the start of Spring in the UK, you guys wouldn’t mind that this post is a little late. It’s kind of a weird one for me this time as I’m coming from summer in South Africa, back into spring in the UK! Anyway, as it is now ostensibly Spring (it does not feel it), it’s time for me to wrap up my Southern Hemisphere Summer and look forward to Northern Hemisphere Spring! This post will cover 21st December-22nd March:

(I deliberately left out my most popular review of the summer as I haven’t actually written any this year yet!).

Image From This Summer:

20200222_111721(0)

I have about a million and one pictures from South Africa that I could have used for this, but this one from Vrendenheim Wine Farm in Stellenbosch is one of my favourites.

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Summer:

“But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me”

-Circe, Madeline Miller

Circe’s whole story feels weirdly apt for the current world situation we find ourselves in (albeit her isolation is a bit more extreme) and this quote feels quite relevant at the moment too, so I wanted to share it.

This Summer In One Word:

Memorable (for both good and bad reasons. South Africa was amazing, an experience I’ll never forget. The current world situation will be seared into my brain for different reasons).

Top Two Books I Read This Summer:

I’ve had kind of a mixed bag of books so far this year, but there are definitely two that stand out above the rest!

  1. Circe-Madeline Miller

I love Greek mythology and this reimagining of Circe’s story was so beautiful. I loved the way she wound all sorts of different Greek myths into the story and Madeline Miller’s writing was just beautiful. I’d definitely read more from her in the future.

2. Night Spinner-Addie Thorley

I loved Addie Thorley’s take on the Hunchback of Notre Dame, her worldbuilding was really creative, Enebish was a great heroine and I can’t wait to see what she does next with the sequel.

TV I’m Looking Forward To Watching This Spring

Usually I would share the things that I’m looking forward to doing in a given season. However, as I’m going to be staying home for the foreseeable future, I’m going to share the TV that I’m looking forward to watching instead. I have almost three months of TV to catch up on, so it should take me a while:

  1. Call The Midwife Series 9-The latest series of Call The Midwife was on whilst I was over in South Africa, and I’m looking forward to catching up and seeing what the team at Nonnatus House got up to this year.
  2. Noughts and Crosses-Noughts and Crosses is one of my favourite books from my childhood, so I can’t wait to see how the BBC adaptation of this one turned out.
  3. Brooklyn Nine-Nine Season 7-The latest series of Brooklyn Nine Nine arrives on E4 on Thursday, just after Season 6 lands on Netflix, so you better believe I’ll be rewatching that over the weekend, just in time for the new series.
  4. Outlander Season 5-I love Outlander and am looking forward to seeing where the latest series takes Jamie and Claire.
  5. The Good Place Season 4-I left for South Africa with only three episodes left to watch of The Good Place, so naturally I’m dying to see how everything turned out.

Three New Obsessions This Summer:

Naturally, being in Cape Town for almost three months, I got to try a lot of new things and find a few new obsessions!

  1. Open Air Cinema-The weather in the UK is not really up to this kind of thing, but in Cape Town, I got to go a couple of times to the Galileo Open Air Cinema, and watch a movie under the stars!
  2. Sevruga-I’m not really a sushi person but this restaurant in Waterfront did really great seafood and cocktails as well as sushi.
  3. Gelato Mania-This ice cream chain did really amazing gelato and if I’d been in South Africa longer, I definitely would have been a few more times!

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Summer:

I’m really glad you guys all stuck with me through my reduced posting over the last couple of months. I definitely needed the break, and since I’m probably not going to be leaving my house much in the next few months, expect me to be making up for it in a serious way!

This is probably my most mixed bag of posts ever, so it’s nice to see some of my non TTT posts getting a little love:

  1. Unsouled (Unwind #3) Review

I’m surprised this one still seems to be doing so well, it’s a really old review and it’s not even the first of the series! Still I hope that means more people are discovering the Unwind books, so I have more people to fangirl with.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/unsouled-unwind-quartet-3-review/

2. Book Vs Movie: Between Shades of Gray

My Book Vs Movie comparison feature is still relatively new, I only started it last summer, so seeing one of those posts as one of my most popular for the last three months is really heartening to see. I hope you’ve been enjoying reading these posts as much as I have writing them.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/20/book-vs-movie-between-shades-of-gray-ashes-in-the-snow/

3. Ninth House Review

I posted this review back in November of last year, so it’s nice to see it get a bit of a resurgance of popularity.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/ninth-house-alex-stern-1-review/

4. TTT #245, TTT #248 & TTT #250

I had three Top Ten Tuesday posts tie for my fourth most popular post over the summer. The first was talking about my anticipated releases for the first half of the year, which is always a fun one for me to do. The second was a cover freebie, I shared the best book covers from my favourite authors, which was super fun take on a cover topic. The final one was talking about my favourite rom-coms which I also loved, as I love films almost as much as I love books.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/07/top-ten-tuesday-245-2/

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/01/28/top-ten-tuesday-247/

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/11/top-ten-tuesday-250/

5. TTT #249

The final most popular post of the summer for me was this one where I talked about Books That I Predicted Would Be Five Star Reads. I’ve read two so far and no five star reads yet, but there’s still eight to go!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/04/top-ten-tuesday-249/

(I’ll be skipping my favourite posts from other blogs this time as I just wasn’t blog hopping all that much in South Africa. I’m hoping I’ll have more to share with you next time).

Three Things That Happened This Summer:

  1. I went on Safari for the first time whilst in South Africa, and I loved it! Definitely will have to do it again at some point.
  2. I tried sandboarding-mostly unsuccessfully, but I did have one successful run right at the very end!
  3. I spent three months writing for Cape Chameleon covering a myriad of topics from film reviews to talking about gender based violence in South Africa.

Six Songs I Listened To Way Too Often This Summer:

  1. Juice-Lizzo-The girls I made friends with in Cape Town loved this song, so it came up on Spotify a lot!
  2. Good As Hell-Lizzo-Again, the girls I was with in Cape Town were big fans of Lizzo, so this one came up a lot as well.
  3. I Don’t Care-Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran-This one was really popular on the radio in Cape Town.
  4. Yummy-Justin Bieber-Again it was really popular on the radio, I will be very happy not to have to listen to it anymore!
  5. Colt 45-Afroman-My friends thought it was super hilarious how much I hated this song. Everyone else in SA seemed to love it though, it was a karaoke staple.
  6. Truth Hurts-Lizzo-I was not at all familiar with Lizzo till this trip!

So there we go, that was my Summer! What have you enjoyed most on my blog this Summer, or Winter depending on where you are in the world? What have you been up to? What is everyone planning on watching/doing whilst we’re stuck in lockdown? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Quarterly Rewind (September-December ’19 edition)

Hi everyone! IT’S ALMOST CHRISTMAS, who’s excited???? It’s taken me a bit longer this year to really get into the Christmas spirit, working retail just before Christmas kind of does that to you, but I’m really looking forward to having another nice quiet Christmas with my family. Anyway, for those of you who are new to the blog since I last did one of these, this is a feature I do every few months at the beginning of a new season, to look back on the previous season and look forward to what’s to come. It was originated by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner. Today is the Winter Solstice, which means it is time to wrap up Autumn here on the blog and look forward to what I have to come over the Winter (well it’s actually going to be Summer for me, but we’ll get into that later). This post will cover 23rd September-20th December:

Image from this Autumn:

carcassonne

My friends and I on our Summer in October holiday in Carcassonne.

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Autumn:

“Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.” -Stalking Jack The Ripper, Keri Mansicalco

I love it when women show how powerful they can be without shunning all traditional feminine interests, because guess what? Being interested in traditionally feminine things does not make us any less strong.

This Autumn In One Word:

Work (since that’s basically all I did most of this autumn!)

Most Popular Review of This Autumn:

I read 6 books in the period that this rewind covers and reviewed all of them. I actually wasn’t expecting this book to be the most popular one of the last three months, I thought it would be Kingdom of Ash, but I’m glad you all liked it. My most popular review this Autumn was Stalking Jack The Ripper, which I actually really enjoyed:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/02/stalking-jack-the-ripper-stalking-jack-the-ripper-1-review/

Top Two Books I Read This Autumn:

This Autumn hasn’t been great in terms of books I’ve really loved, I’ve read a lot of decent books, but only a couple that I really loved, but that does make this section a lot easier:

  1. Before The Devil Breaks You-Libba Bray

Definitely my favourite book of the autumn! The Diviners series went from strength to strength with this book, and Before The Devil Breaks You was definitely my favourite of the series so far. I can’t wait for King of Crows to come out in February.

2. Stalking Jack The Ripper-Keri Mansicalco

I really enjoyed Mansicalco’s take on the Jack The Ripper murders, Audrey Rose was a great heroine and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of her adventures.

Thing I’m Looking Forward To This Summer:

And yes, I said, Summer, that is not a mistake, because I’m not actually going to be in the UK! I’m going to be in South Africa! From January till April, I’m going to be writing for an online magazine, Cape Chameleon, as part of Projects Abroad’s Journalism Project.

So with that in mind the things I’m looking forward to:

  1. SOUTH AFRICA-I’ve been planning this for so long, and it’s finally almost happening. I can’t believe I only have a few weeks left before I leave, but I’m so excited for this great new adventure.
  2. Christmas-Okay, this will be Winter, because I’m in Scotland for Christmas, but still, I’m super excited!

Three New Obsessions This Autumn:

I’ll be honest, I haven’t really developed a lot of new obsessions over the last three months, because I’ve been so busy with work, but these are the new things I’ve really enjoyed:

  1. Waitress-I went to see Waitress with my parents back in October, absolutely LOVED IT and have been obsessed with the soundtrack ever since.
  2. Doing It!-Hannah Witton’s new podcast is really fun and informative and sex positive and I really enjoy it.
  3. The Marvelous Mrs Maisel Season 3-I really enjoyed the newest instalment of Mrs Maisel when it came out a couple of weeks ago.

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Autumn:

I actually have more of a mixed bag of posts this autumn, some reviews, some TTTs:

  1. Midnight (Skulduggery Pleasant #11) Review-Once again my most popular review of the season was this review of the 11th Skulduggery Pleasant book, which was a big surprise as I wrote it a while back, and my reviews aren’t usually that popular.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/midnight-skulduggery-pleasant-11-review/

2. Unsouled (Unwind #3) Review-This was also my second most popular review of the summer as well, another surprise, this was one of my earliest reviews and more people seem to be finding it now, which is great.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/unsouled-unwind-quartet-3-review/

3. Top Ten Tuesday #234-My third most popular post of the autumn was this Top Ten Tuesday post about non fiction books on my TBR, and I’m glad that you guys seemed to like it, as talking about non-fiction books is a bit of a departure for me.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/top-ten-tuesday-234/

4. The Ship of The Dead (Magnus Chase #3) Review and Top Ten Tuesday #240-Two posts tied for my fourth most popular post of the autumn, the first was my review of the final book in the Magnus Chase trilogy, which again surprised me because it’s two years old now. The other one was my Top Ten Tuesday from a few weeks ago, where I talked about my favourite Christmas TV.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/category/the-ship-of-the-dead-magnus-chase-and-the-gods-of-asgard-3/

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/12/03/top-ten-tuesday-240/

5. Top Ten Tuesday #231-My final most popular post of the autumn was this Top Ten Tuesday post in which I talked about Book Titles With Numbers In Them.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/01/top-ten-tuesday-231/

Four Posts On Other Blogs I Enjoyed This Autumn:

Okay, I’ll admit, I did not keep a very good track of the posts I read this autumn, nor did I read that many, because I was busy with work, but I’ll give it my best:

  1. Maggie Stiefvater did this amazing post on her Tumblr about her health issues and how they impacted her writing and I thought it was brilliant, beautifully written and I hope really helpful to other writers struggling with their health.

The Years Without Words

2. Jeffrey Davies from Book Riot did this great post about outgrowing YA, which really expressed a lot of the same things that I’ve been feeling recently about my own relationship to YA as I get further into my twenties.

https://bookriot.com/2019/10/20/outgrowng-ya-fiction/amp/

3. Lin Manuel Miranda did an interview for The Times which I really enjoyed, I realise it’s not a blog post, but I wanted to share it anyway, because I thought it was really great.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/lin-manuel-miranda-interview-from-hamilton-to-his-dark-materials-lxnzlsbz8

4. Rose Stokes wrote this awesome long read for The Independent about the decriminalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland and how the same changes need to happen in the rest of the UK (because yes, women can still be prosecuted for this in England, Scotland & Wales). It’s a Premium piece, but you can register for one free article a week and it’s definitely worth the read.

https://www.independent.co.uk/independentpremium/long-reads/northern-ireland-abortion-ban-law-change-womens-rights-same-sex-marriage-a9169551.html

Three Things That Happened This Autumn:

  1. I went on holiday with my friends to Carcassonne, it was so much fun.
  2. I went to a really awesome Journalism event, In Conversation With Deborah Joseph, the editor of Glamour, it was really cool and I learned a lot.
  3. I had Fake Christmas with my friends at my house, and it was so much fun, our Christmas meet ups are always my favourites.

Six Songs I Listened To Way Too Often This Autumn:

  1. You Matter To Me-Waitress-One of my favourite songs from the show, it’s so beautiful and heartfelt.
  2. Bad Idea-Waitress-Another great song from the show, so catchy.
  3. Lover-Taylor Swift-She’s been performing this quite a lot, so I’ve watched a few YouTube videos with it in, and it comes up on my shuffle quite a lot.
  4. She Used To Be Mine-Sara Barielles-My favourite song from Waitress, and I love Sara Barielles singing it.
  5. Mamma Mia-ABBA-Comes up a lot on my running playlist.
  6. I Didn’t Plan It-Waitress-Yup another one from Waitress, I told you I was obsessed!

So there we go, that was my Autumn! What have you enjoyed most on my blog this Autumn? What have you been up to? What are you looking forward to this Winter (or Summer if you’re going to be in the Southern Hemisphere like me)? Let me know in the comments!

Quarterly Rewind (June-September ’19 edition)

Hello everyone! We’ve finally made it to my favourite season of the year, Autumn, or at least meteorologically speaking, for me Autumn starts as soon as it hits September, since that was when we always went back to school and the summer holidays ended! Anyway, for those of you who are knew to this blog since I last did one of these, this is a feature I do every month at the beginning of a new season (well the equinox/solstice anyway), to look back on the previous season, and look forward to what there is to come. It was originated by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner. Today is the Autumn Equinox, which means it’s time to wrap up Summer here on the blog and look forward to what I have to come over the Autumn. This post will cover 21st June-22nd September:

Image from this Summer:

graduation 2

Me at my University graduation, back in June!

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Summer:

“How many men would she have to turn to dust before one took her seriously?” -Vengeful, V.E. Schwab

Marcella Riggins has the “I’m done caring about what other people think” energy that I think quite a lot of women can relate to in 2019!

This Summer In One Word:

Change (graduation has a way of doing that!)

Most Popular Review This Summer:

I read 9 books in the period that this Rewind covers and reviewed all of them. For the first time this year, I actually had an out and out winner for my most popular review, rather than a tie. Unsurprisingly, given the hype around this book, my most popular review this summer was Strange The Dreamer, which I didn’t love as much as I was expecting to, unfortunately.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/02/strange-the-dreamer-review/

Top Two Books I Read This Summer:

I’ve had kind of a mixed bag of books this summer, some that I’ve really loved, and some that weren’t so good. There were two that definitely stood out above the rest though, which makes doing this section a lot easier:

  1. Vengeful-V.E. Schwab

Probably my absolute favourite book of the year, not just the summer! I really enjoyed Vicious, but Vengeful was a whole new level of awesome, with all of the brilliant women, the complex and perfectly paced plot and the amazing cast of characters.

2. Bedlam (Skulduggery Pleasant #12)-Derek Landy

I haven’t been wildly keen on the newest phase of Skulduggery Pleasant books thus far, but this was definitely a return to form for the series. It had more humour, more excitement and loads more exciting twists and I can’t wait to see where the next book goes.

Two Things I’m Looking Forward To This Autumn:

  1. Going to France with my friends-I’m going on holiday with my friends in October and I’m really excited, I love going away with my friends and it should be a nice, relaxing trip.
  2. In Conversation With Deborah Joseph-I’m going to an event hosted by my mum’s old school alumni network, with the Editor in Chief of Glamour, which should be really fun and hopefully really helpful for my future career.

Three New Obsessions This Summer:

  1. Lover-Taylor Swift’s new album came out last month, and yes, of course I’m obsessed! I think this is actually my favourite album of hers since Red, it felt like a perfect blend of Country Taylor and Pop Taylor and there are so many great songs on it!
  2. Audiobooks-I got Audible over the summer, and consider me a convert to the audiobook bandwagon! They are so convenient to listen to on the bus, and I’ve managed to read some books that I probably wouldn’t have got around to without Audible.
  3. The Luminaries-If you haven’t been following Susan Dennard’s Twitter Choose Your Own Adventure story, then where have you been? I’ve been on the edge of my seat following it for months, and it’s definitely made me want to pick up one of her books!

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Summer:

I have a little bit more of mix of these than usual, which is quite nice. Most are still Top Ten Tuesday posts, but I got quite a lot of love for some of my older reviews, which was quite nice, because so often reviews aren’t the most viewed of my posts:

  1. Midnight (Skulduggery Pleasant #11) Review-My most popular post this summer was this review of the eleventh Skulduggery Pleasant book, which was quite a surprise to me as I wrote it almost a year ago!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/midnight-skulduggery-pleasant-11-review/

2. Unsouled (Unwind #3) Review-My second most popular post this summer was this review of the third book in the Unwind series, which again was quite a surprise because it’s quite an old one, but I’m glad if more people are discovering this amazing series through my reviews.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/unsouled-unwind-quartet-3-review/

3. Top Ten Tuesday #221-My third most popular post this summer was this one about settings I’d like to see more of in books, and it was a really fun one to write, so I’m glad that you guys seemed to enjoy it.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/07/23/top-ten-tuesday-221/

4. Top Ten Tuesday #223-My fourth most popular post this summer was this one about Cover Redesigns That I Loved/Hated and I definitely need to do more of these cover themed posts because they always seem to go down really well.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/06/top-ten-tuesday-223/

5. Top Ten Tuesday #224-My fifth most popular post this summer was this one about book characters I’d like to be friends with, which was a really fun one to do as I’ve always enjoyed thinking about what characters from books I would get along with if they were real.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/top-ten-tuesday-224/

Four posts I Enjoyed On Other Blogs This Summer:

I’ve not been the best at keeping track of these over the summer, just because I’ve been pretty busy and haven’t had too much time to visit other people’s blogs.

  1. Author Heather Demetrios did this article that was buzzing around Twitter on Tuesday night, about how she burst through her advance and then regretted it, and as someone wanting to go into the publishing industry, I really appreciate the transparency and honesty of posts like these.

 

2. Vicky from Vicky Who Reads did this great article about the disconnect between YA writer and teen readers, which is definitely something that needs to be addressed more.

“A lag is happening” : A disconnect between YA writers and the readers the books are written for

3. Christina Orlando did this great post for Tor.com about Lila Bard and her relationship with gender in the Shades of Magic series, which I thought was really great, though Lila doesn’t have the language to describe her gender in the 1820s, it’s clear that she doesn’t fit neatly into the gender binary.

Traveling Between Genders in V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic

4. One of my favourite feminists, Deborah Frances-White, did this awesome article for British Vogue about the small ways that we can tackle gender inequality in our lives.

https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/how-we-can-achieve-gender-equality?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1561471488

Five Things That Happened This Summer:

  1. I graduated from University, in June, with a 2:1 in History and Journalism.
  2. I got a new job! I’m now working at John Lewis.
  3. I turned 23.
  4. I went to see Wicked with my friends last Monday, and it was just as brilliant as I remembered it being from the last time I saw it, four years ago.
  5. I went to YALC with Hannah again, my fifth year going.

Six Songs I Listened To Way Too Often This Summer:

  1. Miss Americana And The Heartbreak Prince-Taylor Swift-One of my favourites from her new album (tbh, most of these will be from Lover).
  2. Daylight-Taylor Swift-Another one of my favourites from Lover.
  3. The Archer-Taylor Swift-I’ve had this one stuck in my head pretty permanently since I first heard it.
  4. One Short Day-Wicked-I’ve had this one stuck in my head ever since Monday!
  5. Dancing Through Life-Wicked-Another one of my favourites from Wicked (though let’s face it, they are all amazing).
  6. How Far I’ll Go-Moana-Probably one of my favourite Disney songs!

So there we go, that was my summer! What have you enjoyed most on my blog this summer? What have you been up to? What are you looking forward to this Autumn, books or otherwise? Let me know in the comments!

 

View at Medium.com

 

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

View at Medium.com

Quarterly Rewind (March-June ’19 edition)

Hi everyone! It’s summer at last, and I’m hoping this means that we might actually get some nice weather here, since we’ve had A LOT of rain over the past few weeks! Anyway, for those of you who have started following me since I last did one of these, this is a feature that I do every few months at the beginning of a new season, to look back on the previous season and look forward to the one to come. It was originated by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner. Today is the Summer Solstice, which means it’s time to wrap up Spring on the blog and look forward to what I have to come over the summer. This post will cover 20th March-20th June:

Image From This Spring:

This is me, back in April, just before I went to my last ever Uni Sports Ball.

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Spring:

“The most magnificent things are worth living for” -Finale, Stephanie Garber

While I didn’t totally love the book, man did it have some killer quotes!

This Spring In One Word:

Final (mostly because I did a lot of final things for Uni).

Most Popular Review This Spring:

I read ten books in the period that this Rewind covers and once again, I had a tie between the most popular reviews this winter, between Uprooted and Catwoman: Soulstealer, which doesn’t surprise me as both are massively popular books:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/12/catwoman-soulstealer/

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/uprooted-review/

Top Two Books This Spring:

This is really difficult to pick because I had 3 5 star reads this Spring and I loved them all, but for very different reasons. Still, if I have to pick two favourites, these are the two I choose:

  1. Becoming-Michelle Obama-I am not usually a big memoir fan, but I absolutely loved Michelle’s. She writes in such an engaging way and I learned so much that I didn’t know about her before, far beyond just what we saw when she was First Lady.
  2. King of Fools-Amanda Foody-The sequel to Ace of Shades was SO GOOD YOU GUYS. So many exciting plot twists, new characters, even more action and a game changing ending, I need the third book like now!

Two Things I’m Looking Forward To This Summer:

  1. GRADUATION!-Let’s start with the obvious, I’m graduating on Tuesday! Uni has been the last four years of my life and it’s going to be really weird saying goodbye to it, but I’m super excited to celebrate with my friends and family and to pick up the degree that I’ve spent the last four years working towards.
  2. YALC-It will be my fifth year of going to YALC this year, I’m going with Hannah again at the end of July and getting to see lots of favourites like Derek Landy and VE Schwab. YALC is always one of the best weekends of the summer, and I can’t wait to go back again this year.

Three New Obsessions This Spring:

  1. Good Omens-My mum and I binged the entirety of Good Omens over two days a couple of weeks ago, and I really enjoyed it. Having not read the book, I didn’t know what to expect, but I thought it was brilliant and at some point, I definitely had to read the book.
  2. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries-Nicola got obsessed with this show, which meant that in turn she got the rest of us obsessed with this show! I’ll be honest, I didn’t really watch this show for the mysteries, more for the clothes and the infuriatingly brilliant slow burn romance between Phryne and Jack.
  3. The Miss Fisher Philes Podcast-An extension of number 2, Nicola also got me into this podcast, where the two hosts, Mary ahd Chandler talk about each Miss Fisher episode.

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Spring:

As always, my five most popular blog posts from this Spring were all Top Ten Tuesday posts:

  1. Top Ten Tuesday #215-My most popular post of this Spring was this one from last week, where I talked about LGBTQ+ books in honour of Pride Month, which was a really fun list to write as I’ve wanted to do a recommendation list for Pride for quite a while.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/11/top-ten-tuesday-215/

2. Top Ten Tuesday #216-My second most popular post of this Spring was my TTT post from this week, where I talked about my most anticipated releases for the rest of the year, which is always a fun one to do.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/top-ten-tuesday-216/

3. Top Ten Tuesday #213-This actually tied with number 4 for my third most popular post, but it’s much neater to arrange them in the usual way. This post was about my favourite books I’ve read in the last ten years, which was a really fun and slightly different TTT than I’ve ever done before.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/28/top-ten-tuesday-213/

4. Top Ten Tuesday #211-This was also my third most popular post of the Spring, and I’m glad that it got so much attention as it was a list of books dealing with mental health for Mental Health Awareness Week which I think is a really important topic.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/top-ten-tuesday-211/

5. Top Ten Tuesday #214-My fourth and final most popular post of the Spring was this one, from a couple of weeks ago, which was a mega list of my favourite fantasy books.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/04/top-ten-tuesday-214/

Four Posts I’ve Enjoyed On Other Blogs This Spring:

Honestly, I’ve not been the best at keeping track of these over the past few months, but I’m going to try to come up with four for you guys!:

  1. Emilia Clarke did this amazing essay for The New Yorker about her near death experiences with brain aneurysms and although it’s not technically a blog post, I really wanted to share it, because I thought it was a really powerful story and I am in awe of this woman for surviving what she has, dealing with all of that whilst filming Game of Thrones could not have been easy!

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/personal-history/emilia-clarke-a-battle-for-my-life-brain-aneurysm-surgery-game-of-thrones

2. Cait @ PaperFury did a great post about the experience of having her second novel, The Boy Who Steals Houses published, and I love how candid she is about the difficulties of publishing, I feel like authors now are being a lot more transparent about the harder parts of the process, which as someone wanting to go into the industry, I really appreciate!

https://paperfury.com/having-your-2nd-novel-published/

3. Arub from Arub Unwritten did this great post about reading YA as an adult which really resonated with me, for as much as I love YA, I am getting to a stage in my life where I don’t really relate to it as much as I used to, yet it’s difficult to find books that I want to read with characters my age as they tend to be romances rather than fantasy or historical or basically any of the genres I actually enjoy reading.

https://arubunwritten.wordpress.com/2019/03/19/reading-ya-when-youve-dropped-the-y/

4. My friend Hannah from Books, Life and Other Oddities did a great post about relationships in YA and whether they really set a good example for the teenagers who read them.

https://bookslifeotheroddities.wordpress.com/2019/06/15/are-our-ships-empowering-readers/

Five Things That Happened This Spring:

  1. I finished my degree! I’m graduating with a 2:1 Bachelor of Arts With Honours in History and Journalism studies on Tuesday.
  2. I got a job for the summer, I’m going to be doing the same thing I did last summer, working at an English language summer school, for seven weeks.
  3. I went to the Superstars of Gymnastics with my family, which was a really fun gymnastics exhibition event.
  4. I started querying my book-AGHHHHHHHH! (This has been me for the last two months waiting to hear from agents).
  5. I went to the Edinburgh Dungeons with my friends for two of their birthdays which was a super fun day out.

Six Songs I Listened To Way Too Often This Spring:

  1. The Royal Doulton Music Hall-Mary Poppins Returns-This wasn’t my favourite song on the soundtrack when I watched the film but I have a newfound appreciation for it now.
  2. Hollywood Ending-Anna and The Apocalypse-Honestly, I love the entire soundtrack for this film, but this one is a particular banger.
  3. Look What I Found-A Star Is Born-I don’t really remember this song from the film, but I’ve really enjoyed listening to it since I downloaded the soundtrack.
  4. Nowhere To Go But Up-Mary Poppins Returns-Another Mary Poppins Returns song that I’ve had on repeat for the last few months.
  5. She Used To Be Mine-Sara Bareilles-Honestly this is one of my absolute favourite songs, and the main reason why I want to go see Waitress!
  6. The Room Where It Happens-Hamilton-One of my favourite Hamilton songs!

So there we go, that was my Spring! What have you enjoyed most on my blog this Spring? What have you been up to? What are you looking forward to this Summer, books or anything else? Let me know in the comments!

Quarterly Rewind (December ’18-March ’19 edition)

Hi all! We finally made it to Spring, although Scotland can’t quite decide if it wants to be spring, summer or winter yet, considering that we’ve had all three seasons in one day over the past few weeks! Anyway, if you’ve been following me for any length of time, then you’ll know what this is about by now, but for any new followers, this is a feature I do every three months or so, at the beginning of each new season, to wrap up the season just passed and look forward to the one to come. It was originated by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner. Today is the Spring Equinox, so the official start of Spring, which means it’s time to wrap up Winter here on the blog and look forward to what I have to come this Spring. This post will cover 21st December-19th March:

Image From This Winter:

hamilton 2

This is me and my friends (from left to right) Hannah, Zoe and Nicola at the Victoria Palace Theatre seeing Hamilton last month (DEAR GOD THAT WAS LAST MONTH, WHAT IS TIME?)

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Winter:

“I have a heart for every year I’ve been alive” -To Kill A Kingdom, Alexandra Christo

This is probably one of the best opening lines to a novel I think I’ve ever read, I honestly knew I was going to give this book five stars from this line alone.

This Winter In One Word:

Stressful! (Fourth year of Uni will do this to you!)

Most Popular Review This Winter:

I’ve read 13 books in the period this Rewind covers, and have reviewed 7 of them (no I’m not massively behind, but quite a few of the books I’ve read were comics, and non-fiction). I actually had a tie for most popular review this Winter, fittingly between two of the Grisha trilogy books:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/19/siege-and-storm-shadow-and-bone-2-review/

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/ruin-rising-review/

Top Two Books This Winter:

I’ve actually had a really great reading year so far, so it’s a lot harder than it would usually be to choose this as I’ve had several 4 & 5 star reviews so far this year. Here are the ones I think are my favourites though:

  1. Enchantee-Gita Trelease-This book definitely set standards high right out of the gate, never have I had a 5 star read so early in the year! This was a wonderful historical fantasy, with a memorable heroine, beautiful descriptions and the perfect merge of history and fantasy.
  2. To Kill A Kingdom-Alexandra Christo-This is possibly my favourite Little Mermaid retelling ever, dark, witty, adventurous and just a hell of a lot of fun to read, I enjoyed every second of this one.

Two Things I’m Looking Forward To This Spring:

  1. Superstars of Gymnastics-I’m going home for the weekend to go to this Gymnastics exhibition on Saturday, featuring some of the best gymnasts in the world, including some of my favourite Team GB gymnasts like Max Whitlock and I’m super excited to get to go it.
  2. Sports Ball-My final ever one! I’m super excited to be graduating but it is sad having all of these final Uni events, knowing that I’m not going to be coming back next year for more. Still Sports Ball is always a fantastic night and I cannot wait to have the best time at my final one.

Three New Obsessions This Winter:

  1. Death In Paradise-My friends introduced me to this show, having been trying to get me to watch it for a while, but I was very confused as to what it actually was. Had they just told me it was a detective show set on a Caribbean island where a different murder is solved each week , then they would have been successful far earlier!
  2. Sex Education-Can I clarify here that I mean the Netflix show and not the classes! I loved this funny, weird American/British hybrid comedy show from the first episode and I can’t wait to see the next season now.
  3. David Tennant Does A Podcast With…..-I’m really enjoying David Tennant’s new podcast, it’s been a very entertaining addition to my weekly podcast rotation.

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Winter:

As always, my five most popular blog posts this Winter were all Top Ten Tuesday posts:

  1. Top Ten Tuesday #195-My most popular post from this Winter was actually a tie between this one and the one at number 2, but I’m keeping them in this order just because it’s easier! This one was my list of shame, the 2018 releases I still have to catch up on, apparently you guys like it when I share my shameful lists of books I really should have read but haven’t yet got to.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/22/top-ten-tuesday-195/

2. Top Ten Tuesday #193-This one was also tied for my most popular post of the season, I talked about upcoming releases that I’m excited for, it was great to get to flail with all you guys about the books that I can’t wait for, though sadly the one book that I have been reading from this list hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. Hopefully the rest will go better!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/top-ten-tuesday-193/

3. Top Ten Tuesday #192-My second most popular post of this Winter was the list where I shared all of my 2018 favourites, I always love doing these posts as it’s great to share my faves with all of you, so I’m glad you seem to enjoy it too.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/top-ten-tuesday-192/

4. Top Ten Tuesday #198-My third most popular post of this Winter was this one back from Valentine’s Day. It was a freebie and I chose to share my favourite non-romantic Valentine’s films, for fellow cynics. It makes me very happy when my being cynical about love is enjoyed by you guys, because it’s very much on brand for me!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/12/top-ten-tuesday-198/

5. Top Ten Tuesday #200-My fourth most popular post of Winter was this one, from a couple of weeks ago where I talked about Places Mentioned I Books That I Have Visited. I love doing travel themed posts and it’s awesome that my 200th TTT made the top 5 for this Rewind.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/top-ten-tuesday-200/

Four Posts I’ve Enjoyed On Other Blogs This Winter:

  1. Laurie Halse Anderson did this awesome essay for Time about teenage boys and sexual assault, I found it an incredibly powerful and emotional read.

http://time.com/5503804/ive-talked-with-teenage-boys-about-sexual-assault-for-20-years-this-is-what-they-still-dont-know/?xid=tcoshare

2. Ashia Monet did a great post for YA Pride during Aro/Ace Awareness week about Centring Friendship In YA Lit, a topic that I’m greatly passionate about, I’m always talking about how we need to recentre friendship in YA and give it just as much, if not more prominence than romance so I really loved this post, not only because I feel friendship needs to be centred more in general but also because I definitely want YA to become an open and friendly space for aromantic/asexual people, everyone deserves to see themselves reflected in books and this whole, “you need love to feel complete” narrative is definitely not friendly to them.

http://www.yapride.org/2019/02/centering-friendship-in-ya-lit/

3. Samantha Shannon wrote this massive epic essay for Unbound and given that I love her work, I read it, it’s a very insightful and interesting look into the George and The Dragon story and how she worked to make it more feminist in her new book, The Priory of The Orange Tree.

https://unbound.com/boundless/2019/02/19/samantha-shannon-retellings/

4. Cait @ Paper Fury did this awesome Q&A post all about publishing in celebration of the release of her second book, The Boy Who Steals Houses, coming out next month.

https://paperfury.com/qa-the-boy-who-steals-houses/

Five Things That Happened This Winter:

  1. I finally went to see Hamilton, in February with my friends. It was just as amazing as I had hoped it would be, in fact it was even better. I thought I loved it when I listened to the soundtrack but having actually seen those songs performed on stage now, I have even more love and appreciation for the genius that is Hamilton.
  2. I went to Samantha Shannon’s Glasgow event for Priory of The Orange Tree with my friend Nicola.
  3. I went to Victoria Schwab’s Glasgow event for The Near Witch and The Steel Prince, also with my friend Nicola.
  4. I went to my first ever Blogger’s Brunch with Hot Key Books in February.
  5. I finally became a five star writer for The National Student.

Six Songs I Listened To Way Too Often This Winter:

  1. Turning My Life Around-Anna and The Apocalypse Cast-I’ve been completely addicted to this indie zombie musical’s soundtrack ever since my friends and I saw it in the cinema last Christmas.
  2. Trip A Little Light Fantastic-Mary Poppins Returns Cast-This song is just so darn catchy, I smile every time it comes up on my shuffle.
  3. A Cover Is Not The Book-Mary Poppins Returns Cast-The perfect song for any bibliophile!
  4. Right Hand Man-Hamilton Cast-For some reason, this particular Hamilton song is the one that has been stuck in my head over the last few months.
  5. Turning Turtle-Mary Poppins Returns Cast-This is an odd song, but a very enjoyable one.
  6. Goodbye Until Tomorrow/I Could Never Rescue You-This one is very popular in my shuffle rotation.

So there we go you guys, my first Rewind of 2019! What have you enjoyed most on my blog this Winter? What have you been up to? What are you looking forward to this Spring, books or anything else? Let me know in the comments!

 

Quarterly Rewind (September-December ’18 edition)

Hi everyone! It’s nearly Christmas, I can’t believe how fast this year has sped by, it felt like January went on forever and yet here we are, blink of an eye and it’s December. Anyway, since today is the Winter Solstice and the official beginning of Winter (though Winter started in Scotland pretty much in November), it’s time to do another Quarterly Rewind, a feature started by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner, where we look back at the season just gone and look forward to all the things we have coming up next season. This post will cover 23rd September-20th December:

Image from this Autumn:

christmas 2018

My friends came up to visit from Saturday-Tuesday and I took them up to see Stirling Castle on Sunday (our first trip there since they started coming four years ago!). This was a picture we took up there.

Favourite Quote from A Book You Read This Autumn:

“We are all drowning slowly in the tide of our opinions, oblivious that we are taking on water every time we open our mouths.” -A Spark of Light, Jodi Picoult

There are so many amazing quotes from this particular book, Jodi Picoult is an incredible writer, but this one just especially touched me.

This Autumn In One Word:

Stressful!

Most Popular Review This Autumn:

I read 6 books in the period that this Rewind covers, and have reviewed 5 of them (the sixth was an ARC and the review will be coming closer to its release date). The most popular of these (just!) was my review of For A Muse of Fire. Here is my review of it:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/22/for-a-muse-of-fire-for-a-muse-of-fire-1-review-arc/

Top Two Books I Read This Autumn:

Another relatively easy choice for me this time, as two books I read this autumn definitely stood out above the others:

  1. Firestarter-Tara Sim-My absolute favourite book of the year, it was such an action-packed, dramatic and emotional finale and the perfect ending to this wonderful trilogy. I cannot wait to see what Tara Sim writes next because she’s quickly becoming one of my favourite writers.
  2. A Spark of Light-Jodi Picoult-I’ve been waiting for such a long time to read a Jodi Picoult book that tackled abortion and I was not disappointed by the results, it was a powerful, emotional and nuanced look at the topic and not a story I will be forgetting anytime soon.

Two Things I’m Looking Forward To This Winter:

  1. Christmas-Let’s start with the obvious, Christmas is on Tuesday and naturally I’m really excited about it, it’s my favourite time of the year.
  2. HAMILTON-I’m going to see Hamilton in February-actually two months today! I WILL BE IN THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENS PEOPLE (I have absolutely no chill when it comes to Hamilton, you’ll get used to it) and I could not be more excited.

Three New Obsessions This Winter:

  1. The Marvelous Mrs Maisel-I actually watched S1 all the way back in March, so I probably should have included it in that rewind post, but if anything, I loved S2 even more than I loved S1, so colour me truly obsessed now. It’s basically everything I love: comedy, strong women and fifties clothing!
  2. Anna and The Apocalypse-My friends and I went to see this Christmas zombie musical in the cinema a couple of weeks ago, and it has the most amazing soundtrack!
  3. A Star Is Born soundtrack-I love the soundtrack to this movie, it’s so beautiful, I just want to cry every time I hear it.

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Autumn:

As always, my five most popular blog posts this autumn were all Top Ten Tuesday posts:

  1. Top Ten Tuesday #182-My most popular Top Ten Tuesday post was this one, where I talked about the Villains Books on My TBR. You guys clearly love your villains!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/top-ten-tuesday-182/

2. Top Ten Tuseday #190-This was actually this week’s topic, where I talked about the books on my Winter TBR. I was really happy that this one did so well, as I haven’t really had the time to go blog hopping in the last few weeks, so my views have been kind of down, it was nice to see them go back up again!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/top-ten-tuesday-190/

3. Top Ten Tuesday #180-I wasn’t actually expecting this one to be so popular, I talked about the longest books I’ve ever read. I tell you, compared to some of the answers I saw on this week, the longest books I’ve ever read are practically short!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/09/top-ten-tuesday-180/

4. Top Ten Tuesday #181-I’m so happy that this one made it onto my most popular posts of autumn, because it was one of my favourite ones to put together, I loved getting to go through the internet and look at all the beautiful pictures of bookstores and libraries around the world. I hope one day, I actually do get to visit them all.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/16/top-ten-tuesday-181/

5. Top Ten Tuesday #179-This post was all about the characters I’d love to meet and it was a super fun one to write because I got to think about all the fun things I’d get to do if my favourite fictional characters were real.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/top-ten-tuesday-179/

Four posts I’ve enjoyed on other blogs this Autumn:

  1. Vicky C did this great post about how YA and the YA book community isolates teens, she brought up some really notable problems that the publishing industry should be trying to work on, especially the fact that YA is really far too broad, and there should be more of a distinction between upper and lower YA.

https://vickywhoreads.wordpress.com/2018/11/01/how-ya-isolates-teens/

2. Rae from Bookworm Chronicles did this awesome post about women not having children and how it should be something that is more normalised in our society and as someone who has been pretty certain in their decision not to have kids from quite a young age, I really appreciated this post.

https://bookmarkchronicles.wordpress.com/2018/10/30/women-are-not-required-to-have-children/#respond

3. Vicky C also did a guest post on Sprinkle of Dreams about the objectiveness of ARC reviews and I found it really insightful because it’s honestly something I’ve never really thought about before, I always just assumed my reviews were my honest opinions, but she is right, there are outside factors which influence those, that we maybe don’t take into account as much as we should. Basically what I’m saying is that you should all go follow Vicky because she does some great discussions!

https://sprinklesofdreams.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/how-objective-are-arc-reviews-vicky-who-reads/

4. Cait at Paper Fury did a great post looking at her most anticipated reads of the year and seeing if they met her expectations-it’s something I might think about borrowing next year, because it’s a cool idea, looking back at what you put on your most anticipated list and seeing if they actually lived up.

https://paperfury.com/highly-anticipated-2018-ya-books-expectations/

Five Things That Happened This Autumn

  1. I went to Sarah J Maas’ book event for Kingdom of Ash with my friend Nicola-it’s hard to believe that’s the last one for that series!
  2. My friends came up to visit for their annual Christmas trip, my favourite time of the year.
  3. I went to the Edinburgh Christmas market with my friends from Uni, Rebecca and Nicola.
  4. I reached 1000 followers on this blog!
  5. I wrote my 70th article for The National Student.

Six Songs I Listened To Way Too Often This Autumn:

  1. The Hamilton Instrumentals-I’ve found the Instrumental versions of the Hamilton soundtrack an incredible help to me whilst I study!
  2. The Math of Love Triangles-Crazy Ex-Girlfriend-I’ve had this song stuck in my head ever since I rewatched Crazy Ex this autumn.
  3. The End of The Movie-Crazy Ex-Girlfriend-Much like Math of Love Triangles, this song has been stuck in my head ever since my rewatch.
  4. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas-Michael Buble-This has basically been on repeat ever since the Christmas season started.
  5. How Far I’ll Go-Moana-I’ve been listening to this one a lot since I watched the movie.
  6. Goodbye Until Tomorrow/I Will Never Rescue You-The Last Five Years-This one comes up a lot on my shuffle.

So there we go guys, my last Quarterly Rewind of 2018! What have you enjoyed most on my blog this year? What have you been up to this Autumn? What are you looking forward to this Winter, books or otherwise? Let me know in the comments!

 

Quarterly Rewind (June-September ’18 edition)

Hi everyone! I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of September already, I swear I blinked and basically missed the entirety of summer! Anyway, since today is the Autumn Equinox and so the official start of Autumn (though technically British Summertime doesn’t end for another month, but ah well), it’s time for me to do another Quarterly Rewind, a feature started by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner, where we look back at the season just gone and look forward to all the things we have coming up in the next season. This post will cover 22nd June-22nd September:

Image from this summer:

yalc 2018 12

Hannah and I with Samantha Shannon at YALC (one of the few author photos where we don’t look like absolute dorks!).

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Summer:

“Plenty of humans were monstrous and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human” -Vicious, VE Schwab

I just love VE Schwab’s writing so much, it’s so beautifully simple and yet so effective.

This Summer In One Word:

Melting!

Most Popular Review This Summer:

I read 7 books in the period this Rewind covers (not as much as I would have liked, but still pretty good) and have reviewed all of them. Unsurprisingly, given that it was one of the biggest debut releases of this year, my review of Children of Blood and Bone was my most popular one this summer. Here is my review of it, if you want to check it out:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/children-of-blood-and-bone-legacy-of-orisha-1-review/

Top Two Books This Summer:

This is actually the easiest choice I’ve had to do for one of these, because two books I read this summer stood out way above the rest of them and they were:

  1. Legendary-Stephanie Garber-The sequel to Caraval was even better, even darker and even more magical than the first book and I cannot wait to see what happens in the final book, appropriately titled “Finale”.
  2. Children of Blood and Bone-Tomi Adeyemi-I feel so bad for putting off this book for so long when it was so amazing! Such a diverse, amazing, enjoyable fantasy adventure and after THAT ENDING, I need the second book like right now!

Two Things I’m Looking Forward To This Autumn:

  1. My friends’ annual Christmas visit-My friends have come up to visit me in Scotland every year since I’ve been at Uni here and it’s my favourite part of the whole year, we have so much fun, eating junk, watching films, going to Edinburgh and talking way too late, it’s awesome and this year is probably going to be our last time doing it, since I probably won’t be here next year, so we’re definitely going to make the most of it.
  2. Sarah J Maas’ Edinburgh Event-Sarah J Maas is doing a book event for Kingdom of Ash in Edinburgh in November and I’m super excited-I mean it’s the final Throne of Glass book people!

Three New Obssessions This Summer:

  1. Suits-I started watching this legal drama towards the end of June, so it just counts for this Rewind, and I really love it, I mean it’s kind of over the top and I’m pretty sure you couldn’t get away with half the stuff they do in a real law firm, but that’s what makes it so great.
  2. Bodyguard-I’ve been watching this series for the past few weeks and I absolutely love it, it’s so dramatic and really well done, I can’t wait to watch the final episode tonight.
  3. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again-Yup I’m obsessed with this film and it’s soundtrack. And also Lily James. No surprises here, I mean it was pretty much guaranteed before I watched it that I was going to become obsessed.

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Summer:

As always, my five most popular blog posts this Summer were all Top Ten Tuesday posts, you guys really seem to love these:

  1. Top Ten Tuesday #166-As with my last rewind, my most popular post this summer was another cover related one, where I shared red, white and blue covers in honour of US Independence Day. I clearly need to do more cover posts, because you guys really seem to love them.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/03/top-ten-tuesday-166/

2. Top Ten Tuesday #175-This topic was from a few weeks ago, and wasn’t even about books! Us bookworms love TV almost as much as we love books, and this post about my favourite bingeworthy TV shows got a lot of love.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/04/top-ten-tuesday-175/

3. Top Ten Tuesday #167-This post was all about my favourite books of 2018 (so far). I love getting to share book love with everyone, so it was super fun to compile this list of all the books I’ve really enjoyed this year.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/10/top-ten-tuesday-167/

4. Top Ten Tuesday #173-This topic was all about books that got us out of reading slumps, as someone who has experienced a lot of reading slumps in the past, it was great to share the books that helped me break that cycle.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/21/top-ten-tuesday-173/

5. Top Ten Tuesday #165-This post was all about my favourite sequels, which was great to talk about, so often sequels can be disappointing, especially middle books in a trilogy, so it was great to get to share some sequels that didn’t disappoint!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/top-ten-tuesday-165/

Four Posts I’ve Enjoyed On Other Blogs This Summer:

  1. Avalinah did a great post about something I hadn’t really thought of: how the enemies to lovers trope can be damaging to those who have been bullied. It was a really insightful and interesting post so I wanted to share it here:

http://avalinahsbooks.space/discussion-enemies-to-lovers/

2. Sarah Hatch did this hilariously funny post entitled A Day In The Life of A YA Herione, which takes all of the classic YA heroine tropes and combines them! I dare you not to laugh whilst reading it:

A Day in the Life of a YA Heroine

3. Paper Fury did this really awesome post about writing with a mental illness, I found it really enlightening as it was a window into something that I haven’t personally experienced.

https://paperfury.com/how-write-with-mental-illness/

4. Chelsea Summers from Racked did this great article on the Politics of Pockets, though it is two years old, I read it in this Rewind period so I wanted to include it. As someone who is perennially annoyed by the lack of pockets in women’s clothing, I found this article really interesting and very enlightening.

https://www.racked.com/2016/9/19/12865560/politics-of-pockets-suffragettes-women

Five Things That Happened This Summer:

  1. I went to YALC for the fourth year in a row with my friend Hannah (and this year we were joined by her friend Hannah, not confusing at all), as with every year, it was super fun and I got loads of cool books.
  2. I went to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time with my friend Nicola to see a live recording of The Guilty Feminist podcast, it was so awesome!
  3. I went to the European Championships in Glasgow with my family to see the Men’s Team Gymnastics Final and Team GB won the silver medal which was great to see!
  4. I started my final year of University. Hear that screaming? That’s the sound of my impending mental breakdown.
  5. I turned 22! Last Wednesday actually 🙂

Six Songs I Listened To Way Too Often This Summer:

  1. Waterloo-Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again-Yes I became addicted to this song after I saw the film. No I do not anticipate that stopping anytime soon.
  2. Andante, Andante-Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again-I hadn’t heard this song before I saw the film and now I listen to it near enough constantly. Lily James’ voice is just…..ugh, I can’t even.
  3. My Shot-Hamilton-I mean I’m pretty much constantly listening to one Hamilton song or another!
  4. Super Trouper-Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again-I wasn’t that fond of this song in the first movie, but I’ve found a newfound appreciation for it.
  5. Dancing Queen-Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again-I mean this song can’t fail to get you pumped!
  6. Mamma Mia-Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again-Can you tell I loved this movie yet?

So there we go guys, that’s my Quarterly Rewind for Summer! What have you enjoyed most on my blog this Summer? What have you been up to? What are you looking forward to this Autumn, books or otherwise? Let me know in the comments!

 

Quarterly Rewind (March-June ’18 edition)

Hi everyone! The last few months have just sped by (why does January seem to last forever and then the rest of the year goes by in a flash, I don’t understand!) and as today is the official beginning of summer, it’s time for me to do another Quarterly Rewind, a feature started by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner, where we look back at the season just gone and look forward to all the things we have coming up during the next season. This post will cover 20th March-21st June:

Image from this Spring:

la famille

The whole Elliott clan soaking up what little sun there was in France!

Favourite Quote from a book you read this Spring:

“You see, some people are born with a piece of night inside, and that hollow place can never be filled – not with all the good food or sunshine in the world. That emptiness cannot be banished, and so some days we wake with the feeling of the wind blowing through, and we must simply endure it as the boy did.”  -The Language of Thorns, Leigh Bardugo

I just thought this particular quote was so beautiful and this book was one of my favourite ones I read this Spring.

This Spring In One Word:

Busy!

Most Popular Review This Spring:

I’ve read 12 books in the period this rewind covers (I know, go me!) and have reviewed all but the most recent one I read. Unsurprisingly, given how popular the Grishaverse is, my most popular review this spring was Crooked Kingdom. Here is my review of it, if you want to check it out:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/crooked-kingdom-six-of-crows-2-review/

Top Two Books This Spring:

I still haven’t had any 5 star books this year, everything I read this Spring kind of settled in the 3-4 star range, but there have still been some books that I’ve really enjoyed among them. These are the two that standout amongst the rest:

  1. The Language of Thorns-Leigh Bardugo-My highest rated book this spring, this collection of short stories was exactly what I needed during my exams, and I loved the dark, twisted, Grisha take on some classic fairytales.
  2. Daughter of The Burning City-Amanda Foody-I’ve been having a really good streak with Carnival/Circus Style YA recently and this one definitely added to it. I loved the unique combination of fantasy/murder mystery and thought the illusions were really awesome.

Two Things I’m Looking Forward To This Summer:

  1. YALC-AHHH! My fourth year of going to YALC is going to be this summer and I’m just as excited as ever. Though I won’t get to see my fave, VE Schwab this year, there are still several authors that I’m really excited to see and YALC is always my favourite weekend of the summer, so rest assured I am counting down the days!
  2. The Guilty Feminist at The Edinburgh Fringe-This year marks two firsts, my first time seeing a live recording of The Guilty Feminist podcast and my first time at the Edinburgh Fringe (which I somehow still haven’t been to, even after three years of studying in Scotland) and I am super excited for both things.

Three New Obsessions This Spring:

  1. The Hamilcast-I just started listening to this in May and YOU GUYS, WHY DID YOU NOT TELL ME ABOUT THIS BEFORE? If you are a Hamilton nerd and you haven’t listened to this podcast yet, then please do, Gillian is awesome and she’s spoken to so many cast members of Hamilton and it’s just such fun and AHHH, New Podcast Obssession!
  2. Riverdale-I shouldn’t love this, it’s ridiculously soapy and dramatic, and yet? I am totally addicted. Whoops.
  3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt-I wasn’t so keen on the most recent season, but I sped through the first three seasons in the first couple of days in May. Drunk therapist Tina Fey is now my official new favourite Tina Fey.

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Spring:

As usual, my five most popular blog posts this Spring were all Top Ten Tuesday posts:

  1. Top Ten Tuesday #158-I wasn’t actually expecting this one to be the top post of this Spring, but you guys clearly like your pretty covers! This topic was all about talking about books with your favourite colour on the cover, so I shared a lot of pretty purple covers.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/08/top-ten-tuesday-158/

2. Top Ten Tuesday #160-This topic was all about sharing your favourite character names, so I shared 10 awesome female characters whose names I absolutely love. I usually spend more time ribbing on character names than admiring them, so it was nice to share the love for once!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/22/top-ten-tuesday-160/

3. Top Ten Tuesday #157-This topic was all about books that we would love to be able to read early! Sadly the book gods have not smiled on me, as I only have the books that have been released since I made that post and have not got early copies of any of the later releases…..yet.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/top-ten-tuesday-157/

4. Top Ten Tuesday #164-This was this week’s TTT, where I talked all about the books that I’m planning to read this summer, and since posting, I’ve actually finished one of the books and started another, so the summer TBR is definitely off to a good start!
https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/top-ten-tuesday-164/

5. Top Ten Tuesday #154-This is a TTT from way back at the end of April, where I talked about books I will probably never reread.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/top-ten-tuesday-154/

Four Posts I’ve Enjoyed on Other Blogs This Spring:

  1. Lefty Reads did a discussion post about being an awkward age in the YA community, which is definitely something I’ve been feeling over the past few years as I’ve left my teens and am now into my twenties, but I still don’t really feel like an adult yet.

https://leftyreads.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/discussion-an-awkward-age-in-the-ya-book-community/

2. Lacy Literary did a discussion post about why they resent Indie bookstores, because of snobbery surrounding stocking romance novels in them, and although, as anyone who reads this blog regularly will know, I don’t read romance novels, book snobbery is an awful thing and a lot of the snobbery surrounding romance novels is misogyny because it is a market dominated by women, so I thought their discussion post was really interesting.

Why We Resent Indie Bookstores.

3. Aoife at Pretty Purple Polka Dots did this really fun post about Things You’ll Know If You Date A Bookworm (so basically pretty much a guide for any of our future partners) and every single item is so true! Sorry future boyfriend, I will love my books more than I love you!

https://prettypurplepolkadots.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/things-youll-know-if-you-date-a-bookworm/

4. Grace at Almost Amazing Grace (you all know Grace Latter right? If you don’t then you should) did a post about her journey with her brain tumour, and although it’s technically from last month’s rewind period, I wanted to include it here because I thought it was a really inspiring and well written piece.

http://www.almostamazinggrace.co.uk/2018/03/stable-angry-and-proud.html

Five Things That Happened This Spring:

  1. I finished my third year of University! I’ve officially only got one year left to go now, and I kind of can’t believe that? On the one hand, the fact that by this time next year I’ll be a week away from graduating is pretty cool, but on the other hand, WHAT? I am not ready to be a fully fledged adult, please don’t make me!
  2. I finished the first round of revisions on my novel This Is Not A Love Story (you can check out my post about it under the Writing Corner tab), I’m just waiting for my edits back from my critique partner Katie and whilst I’m waiting, I’m going to be working on TINALS’ sequel, which I just started yesterday!
  3. I went out to France with my family for a short holiday.
  4. I got elected Fundraiser of my university’s Equestrian Club, so I’m going to be on the committee for my final year, which is pretty cool.
  5. I wrote my 50th article for The National Student!

Six Songs I Listened To Way Too Often This Spring:

  1. Nobody Needs To Know-The Last Five Years-I have a newfound appreciation for this song, even though Jamie Wellerstein is an ass.
  2. The Other Side-The Greatest Showman-Yes I am still addicted to The Greatest Showman soundtrack, no I do not have any intention of changing that anytime soon.
  3. The Room Where It Happens-Hamilton-This one comes up quite often on my running playlist and that pleases me much.
  4. If I Didn’t Believe In You-The Last Five Years-Yet another song from The Last Five Years that shows that Jamie Wellerstein is an ass.
  5. The Schmuel Song-The Last Five Years-A seven minute masterpiece!
  6. This Is Me-The Greatest Showman-You can expect to see this song on this list for the foreseeable future most likely!

So there you go guys, that’s my Quarterly Rewind for Spring! What have you most enjoyed on my blog this Spring? What have you been up to? What are you looking forward to for the summer (books or otherwise)? Let me know in the comments!

 

Quarterly Rewind (December ’17-March ’18 edition)

Hey everyone! We’re into Spring already, not that you’d be able to believe it, given how the weather has been recently, but hopefully now that it’s the Spring Equinox, Spring might finally make an appearance? Please?? Anyway, if you’ve been following for a while, you know the drill by now, but if you’re a new follower, then this is the feature I do every three months, at the start of each new season to wrap up the one that has gone before, an idea originated by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page Turner. Today is the Spring Equinox, the official beginning of Spring, so it’s time to wrap up my Winter, and look forward to Spring. This post will cover 21st December-19th March:

Image From This Winter:

IMG_0080[1]This was the view from my window when The Beast From The East hit a few weeks ago!

Favourite Quote From A Book You Read This Winter:

“As a feminist I feel immediately guilty because everyone is trying to encourage girls into STEM subjects now, but to be honest I’m not dedicated enough to the Vagenda to force myself to become a computer programmer.” -The Exact Opposite of Okay, Laura Steven

This just made me laugh so hard, and I can relate, I am totally for girls getting into STEM subjects, I’m just not interested in pursuing it myself!

This Winter In One Word:

FREEZING!

Most Popular Review This Winter:

I’ve read 7 books in the period this rewind covers and have reviewed all of them (though I hadn’t posted my review of Orphan Monster Spy at the time of writing this, by the time its published, I will have). The most popular reviews of the ones I have posted was my review of Shadow of Bone, should have guessed since it is by far the most popular book of the ones I’ve read so far this year. Here is my review of it, if you want to check it out:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/shadow-and-bone-shadow-and-bone-1-review/

Top Two Books This Winter:

I haven’t had the greatest start to the reading year, most of what I’ve read so far has been pretty mediocre, but these are the two that stood out above the rest:

  1. The Exact Opposite of Okay-Laura Steven-This uproariously funny YA debut is definitely my standout of the year so far. It tackles difficult topics like slut shaming, the Friend Zone, revenge porn, Nice Guys etc. in a really accessible and funny way and the main character is basically me, but with more sex.
  2. By A Charm and A Curse-Jaime Questell-I loved this weird little YA fantasy, it’s kind of like a cross between Pinocchio & Sleeping Beauty, and you wouldn’t think it would work, but it so does!

Two Things I’m Looking Forward To This Spring:

  1. Easter-My family is getting together for the first time since Christmas over the Easter weekend and it will be nice to all be together again, even our dog Otis!
  2. Sports Ball-My university’s Sports Ball is in April and it’s one of my favourite events of the year, everyone gets all dressed up and we have a fancy meal and dance and eat and drink and it’s all very fun!

Three New Obsessions This Winter:

  1. Podcasts-I’ve started listening to podcasts since the beginning of the year, I didn’t think I was really a podcast person, but I’ve discovered some great ones via recommendations from friends and I now listen to them every night whilst I read. My favourites are The Guilty Feminist, a podcast created and hosted by Deborah Frances-White that talks about feminist issues in a really funny and accessible way and Stuff You Missed In History Class, a podcast that talks about historical events and people. Both were recommended by my friend Nicola, so thanks Nicola!
  2. Scandal-I’ve been watching this basically non-stop for weeks and even though some of the storylines are totally ridiculous and Olivia and Fitz’s relationship is completely toxic, I can’t help it, I am addicted!
  3. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend-I blew through all three seasons in four days whilst I was stuck inside because of The Beast From The East, the songs are so catchy, and it’s rare that a show talks about mental health issues so candidly.

Five Most Popular Blog Posts This Winter:

As always, my five most popular blog posts this Winter were all Top Ten Tuesday posts:

  1. Top Ten Tuesday #141-My most popular post this Winter was the final Top Ten Tuesday post from the now sadly defunct The Broke and The Bookish, so it’s nice that my last TTT prompt from them went out with a bang! This post talked about the 2017 releases that I missed out on that I’m hoping to read this year. So far I’ve only read one, but I have another in progress right now.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/09/top-ten-tuesday-141/

2. Top Ten Tuesday #146-This was my Anti-Valentine’s TTT, where I talked about non-romantic books you could spend your Valentine’s reading. I’m happy that my romantic cynicism was so well received!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/top-ten-tuesday-146/

3. Top Ten Tuesday #149-This is my TTT from last week, where I got to share my favourite book quotes, I’m happy that this one got so much love, because I love sharing book quotes!

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/top-ten-tuesday-149/

4. Top Ten Tuesday #142-This was my first TTT prompt from Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl, where I talked about my Bookish Resolutions for 2018. Since so many of you read it, I’d better make sure I stick to them!
https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/16/top-ten-tuesday-142/

5. Top Ten Tuesday #144-This was a TTT I did back in January, where I talked about Books I Can’t Believe I Read.

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/top-ten-tuesday-144/

Four Posts I’ve Enjoyed On Other Blogs This Winter:

I feel like I’ve once again kind of lapsed on bookmarking these over the Winter, but I will try and see if I can come up with four:

  1. Elise @TheBookishActress did this great post about the #BuryYourGays trope and why it needs to end.

https://thebookishactress.wordpress.com/2018/02/04/please-stop-killing-me-lets-talk-about-buryyourgays/

2. Zan Romanoff did this great article for The Paris Review about female YA authors.

https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2018/02/07/women-writers-youve-overlooking/

3. Annie @ Annie Likes Words did an awesome piece debunking common advice given to young writers, which I really appreciated as I’m currently in the middle of revising my first novel.

Annie Debunks Common Writing Advice

4. Lucy Powrie @ Queen of Contemporary did this great post celebrating one year of writing, which really inspired me to get working on my own projects this year.

http://queenofcontemporary.com/2018/01/one-year-actual-writing.html

Five Things That Happened This Winter:

  1. I went to Headline Publishing’s New Voices Event in Glasgow in January, it was a really fun, relaxed event and I hope it becomes an annual thing!
  2. I went to Neal Shusterman, Samantha Shannon and Victoria Schwab’s event in London on Monday, it was so fun getting to see three of my favourite authors in the same room and seeing my friend Hannah again after so long, even if it was only a brief visit!
  3. I got my first ever byline in a real newspaper when I went to The Evening Telegraph for work experience in February.
  4. I took part in my second ever competition with my trampolining club, and finished in the top 30, and got the second highest score of the girls from my club.
  5. I got trapped inside for four days by the Beast From The East.

Six Songs I Listened To Way Too Often This Winter:

  1. This Is Me-The Greatest Showman-I’ve been addicted to this soundtrack since I downloaded it at the beginning of the year, and this is probably my favourite song from it.
  2. A Part of That-The Last Five Years-This song is so darn catchy and for some reason, it seems to be a favourite of my shuffle!
  3. I Can Do Better Than That-The Last Five Years-Again very catchy!
  4. From Now On-The Greatest Showman-I swear, I just want to dance every time I hear this song.
  5. Shiksa Goddess-The Last Five Years-Another cracking tune from this soundtrack. Honestly I’m really not sure why this musical/movie is not more popular, the tunes are awesome!
  6. Moving Too Fast-The Last Five Years-Yup, another wonderful tune from this movie soundtrack.

So that’s my Quarterly Rewind for the Winter, what do you guys think? What have you enjoyed most on my blog this Winter? What have you been up to? Let me know in the comments!