Top Ten Tuesday #352

TTT-Big2

Hi all! I hope you’ve had a good week since I last did one of these, I had my friends round to stay over the weekend which was really great, it was so lovely to catch up in person as we hadn’t seen each other since before Christmas.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, which means another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is another of our annual lists, this time we’re talking New To Me Authors I Discovered In 2021. Now though I read quite a few new authors last year, there weren’t enough that I would read more from to fill a whole list (I count New To Me Authors to mean authors I read for the first time and would read from again as that’s the mark of a successful new author discovery for me), so I’m splitting this list into two sections: New To Me Authors I Discovered In 2021 & New To Me Authors I Want To Read In 2022. Here we go:

New To Me Authors I Discovered In 2021:

  1. Kate Quinn

My favourite new author discovery of last year, I devoured The Rose Code last spring, loving the characters, the focus on female friendship and the setting of Bletchley Park’s codebreaking hub of the 1940s. I quickly went onto read another book of hers, The Alice Network and loved that one too. I’m massively excited to see what Quinn does next with her 2022 release, The Diamond Eye.

2. Madeline Martin

Martin’s historical fiction The Last Bookshop in London was one of my biggest surprises of 2021, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the cosy story of a WWII bookshop as much as I did. Martin’s next book is set to follow spies working undercover as librarians in WWII and it’s safe to say that I’m very excited for it to come out in July.

3. Andrew Cotter

I’ve actually already read Andrew Cotter’s second book, Dog Days: A Year With Olive and Mabel, after loving his initial book about his lockdown sensation Labradors, Olive, Mabel & Me. I don’t know if he’ll ever do anymore books about Olive and Mabel but I will happily devour them if he does, as his writing is very funny and enjoyable.

4. Garth Nix

I know, I know, I must be one of the last people ever to read Garth Nix. Now The Left-Handed Booksellers of London may not have been my favourite book of last year, but it was quirky and creative, so it has me intrigued about reading more Nix books. He seems to be doing a follow up the The Left-Handed Booksellers, which I think I will probably read as I was interested enough by the first book to want to explore more of the world he created.

New To Me Authors I Want To Read In 2022:

5. Pat Barker

The Silence of The Girls is one of the books on my #RockMyTBR challenge list for 2022, and though I’ve heard from a friend who’s read it that it’s very similar to The Song of Achilles, and not quite want I thought it was, I’m still intrigued to see what Pat Barker’s take on the Trojan War and the women who experienced it is.

6. Stuart Turton

I’ve had The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle on my shelves for years, and courtesy of my #RockMyTBR challenge, this year is finally the year to read it. I’ve heard such high praise for this book, so I just really hope that it lives up to it!

7. Grace D. Li

Possibly my anticipated debut of 2022, never has a book screamed me more than this one. University students, heists, colonialism, history…..I could go on. I cannot wait to see what Grace D. Li has done with this book!

8. Marie Benedict

I love books about historical women that were underappreciated in their time and have always felt quite indignant about the way Rosalind Franklin’s contribution to the discovery of DNA was brushed under the carpet, so I’m really excited to read Marie Benedict’s take on her story. I think this is going to be my next audiobook when I’m done with Resistance Women!

9. Maya Rodale

I’m interested in Maya Rodale’s book for much the same reasons as Marie Benedict, I love reading about historical women who aren’t as well known as they should be. I also have an extra layer of interest in Nellie Bly because she was also a journalist and think that what she did going undercover in an asylum was so brave and incredible. I can’t wait to see what Maya Rodale does with her story.

10. Freya Marske

I meant to read Freya Marske’s debut last year, as I had an ARC from Netgalley, but I never did get around to it. I’m really excited to get to it this year though as I love historical fantasy and Edwardian era historical fantasy is not something you usually find. Historical gays + magic is a combination I can’t resist.

So there we go, those were my favourite new to me authors of 2021, plus some new authors I’m looking forward to reading this year. Have you read anything from any of these authors (aside from the two who are 2022 debuts of course!)? Did you like their books? What new authors did you discover last year? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time we’ll be talking Books With Character Names In The Title, which is a topic I actually suggested! I did this one last year, but since I suggested it, I’ll try to come up with ten more book titles for a part 2 to the post I did last year.

Top Ten Tuesday #351

TTT-Big2

Hi all! I hope you’ve had a good week since I last did one of these, I’ve largely just been working, it’s been fairly quiet, we seem to have reached the post-Christmas slump so the vaccination centres haven’t been as busy as they were pre-Christmas, with the main exception being Saturday as the weekends are always busier than weekdays. Still, I’m off this weekend and meeting up with my friends which I’m super excited for!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, which means another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is the annual list of shame, the 2021 releases we were excited for, but didn’t actually get around to reading, and boy is this year’s list long for me! Honestly, this is probably the short version, it could have been even longer, with being in a reading slump last year, I really didn’t get to many of the 2021 releases I was excited for at all, because ironically, I wasn’t in the mood to read them. Hopefully this year will be better. These are the ones I would like to try and catch up on this year (if my reading mood allows!):

  1. Rule of Wolves-Leigh Bardugo

I was so excited for this one after watching Shadow and Bone on Netflix, but with my reading slump at the time, I was avoiding massive books for fear of diving even further into the slump and this book is a whopping 500+ pages. I’m hopeful that I can complete this one before the second series is released on Netflix (not that I need to, we’re still in the original Grisha trilogy on the show, but I’d just like to) and since they only just started filming, I should have plenty of time.

2. Once Upon A Broken Heart-Stephanie Garber

I’ve heard such rave reviews about this one and I loved the Caraval trilogy (well at least the first two, I found Finale kind of underwhelming), so naturally I was really excited for this new series set in the same world but following new characters. I never got around to it last year, but it’s high priority on my TBR for this year.

3. The Bronzed Beasts-Roshani Chokshi

I had such grand plans to read this as soon as it arrived, and finally find out what happened to Severin and the crew after the evil cliffhanger of The Silvered Serpents, but I was still stuck on Sorcery of Thorns at the time and never got around to it before the end of the year. Hopefully I will get around to it this year!

4. All of Us Villains-Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman

Another one that I’d been hearing rave reviews about, but didn’t get around to. Honestly this one was largely a timing thing, it came out in November and usually books that come out at the end of the year end up being pushed into my next year’s reading. I’m super excited for this one though, I love villains and a Hunger Games style magical villain contest sounds right up my street.

5. Liberte-Gita Trelease

I was so excited for this one following the release of Enchantee but then it got pushed back and by the time it was finally released last year, it was slightly less on my radar than it had been two years prior. I’m still excited for it, but I have it as an e-book and I’ve not been in the mood for those lately, so we’ll see when I’m feeling more into reading from a screen.

6. Mister Impossible-Maggie Stiefvater

I meant to read this one last year, but as I wasn’t enamoured with the first book (I enjoyed it but didn’t love it), it fell down my TBR pile. I love TRC characters though, so I will happily continue with Ronan’s adventures in the hope that I will enjoy the rest of the trilogy more than Call Down The Hawk.

7. Bridge Of Souls-VE Schwab

I really enjoyed the first two Cassidy Blake books when I read them back in 2020, and whilst I didn’t get around to this one last year, I definitely will this year as it’s one of my #RockMyTBR Challenge books and I’m looking forward to seeing how Cassidy’s adventures turn out as this seems to be the last book-at least for now.

8. City of Spells-Alexandra Christo

I really enjoyed Into The Crooked Place when it came out two years ago, though I have to admit to having forgotten most of the plot in the intervening time! Thankfully the sequel comes with a handy recap, so when I get it back from my friend, I will be diving in.

9. Dead Or Alive-Derek Landy

Much like Rule of Wolves, this one ended up being pushed to the side due to sheer size. Also I found Seasons of War kind of underwhelming, so I just haven’t felt the impetus to read this one yet. I do still want to finish out this series, but it’s just not top of my TBR at the moment.

10. Ace of Spades-Faridah Abike-Iyimide

I heard so much praise for this one last year, and it does sound right up my street (I’m currently in the middle of my I’ve lost count of the number times rewatch of the original Gossip Girl so any comps to that always have me excited). It’s on my #RockMyTBR challenge for this year as well, so I’ll definitely be reading it at some point it in 2022.

11. Endgame-Malorie Blackman

The Noughts and Crosses series was my first real dive into YA, and I’m feeling incredibly nostalgic that this will be the last Noughts and Crosses book, given that I was around 11/12 when I read the first one. I’m looking forward to seeing how Blackman wraps up the series though, especially given the cliffhanger that Crossfire left off on.

12. The Paris Library-Janet Skielsen Charles

I’ve been on a real historical fiction kick over the past year or so, and my friend Hannah really enjoyed this one, so I’m really excited to finally dive in at some point this year. I had no idea that the American Library in Paris was involved in the French Resistance against the Nazis, so I’m definitely intrigued to learn more about that.

13. Vespertine-Margaret Rogerson

I’ll admit that I’ve kind of stalled out on Sorcery of Thorns, though I do hope to finish it one of these days, as I’m only about five chapters from the end. I got the gorgeous FairyLoot edition of Margaret Rogerson’s latest release in December, so I didn’t have time to dive into it before the year ended, but I definitely hope to this year, as it sounds really cool, a girl training to be a nun who accidentally awakens an ancient spirit? Sounds like chaos is bound to ensue!

14. Mina and The Undead-Amy McCaw

I really want to get around to this one soon, as Amy is a Twitter friend of mine, and I really want to support her book!

15. A Marvellous Light-Freya Marske

Again this one came out towards the end of the year, so I didn’t get around to it, but I’m hopeful that I will this year as it sounds great, a historical fantasy set in Edwardian England with an m/m romance. Edwardian England isn’t a common era that I’ve found in historical fantasy (Victorian tends to be more popular) so I’m excited to see this author’s take on it. Plus the cover is GORGEOUS.

So there we go, my 2021 list of shame! Have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them? Are you planning to read any of them this year? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time with one of my perennial favourites of our annually reoccurring topics, New To Me Authors I Discovered In 2021. Now though I did discover quite a few new authors in 2021, for this list I always count “New To Me” as both ones I read for the first time in the year in question and want to read again, so though I read a lot of new authors, there weren’t as many I want to read again. Instead I’ll be splitting my list into New To Me Authors I Discovered In 2021/Authors I’m Looking Forward To Reading For The First Time In 2022.

Top Ten Tuesday #350

Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, I have to admit the first week back to work was a bit of a shock to the system, especially the first Saturday back as I’ve not worked one of those in a while, and forgot how busy they were!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so I have another Top Ten Tuesday (my 350th, how can it have been that many?!) for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic was meant to be the Ten Most Recent Additions To My Bookshelf, but I did that fairly recently, and I’ve not added much since then, so instead I’m going to share my Top Ten Reading/Writing/Blogging Goals For 2022. I didn’t do as well on my 2021 goals as I was hoping to, so I’m hoping I will do better on this year’s goals:

  1. Complete my Goodreads Challenge

As with every year, I’ll be spending the year working towards completing my Goodreads Challenge. I’ve started again at 24, as that’s what I always do and what I managed last year, though I’m really hoping I’ll get much more reading done this year. I’d ideally like to read 50 books this year, though as I always do, I’ll be adjusting my goal depending on how much I’m reading.

2. Complete my #RockMyTBR Challenge

This one was kind of a washout last year, so I’d really like to do better on it this year than I did last year. I’ve got another 12 books on my challenge list this year, and I’m really excited for all of them, so I’m hoping I might find some new favourites among the list.

3. Read more adult historical fiction

This one is actually one that came out of my reading last year, I read quite a bit of adult historical fiction and found that I really enjoyed it, so I’d like to keep that train going this year if I can and discover some more new authors, and hopefully new favourite books.

4. Catch up on 2021 releases

I didn’t get as many 2021 releases read last year as I’d have liked because I was in a reading slump for most of the year, so I’d really like to catch up with some of the ones I missed this year as I hopefully emerge from said slump! I’ve got so many really anticipated ones still left to read: Once Upon A Broken Heart, The Bronzed Beasts, Rule of Wolves, All of Us Villains, the list goes on!

5. Continue to diversify my reading

I wanted to make this one a little more broad this year, in previous years, I’ve specifically aimed to read more by authors of colour, but this year I’d like to include more LGBTQ+ and disabled authors as well, and ideally try and make my reading as intersectional as possible!

6. Keep up with discussion posts at least once a month

I really dropped the ball on my Jo Talks posts last year, only doing three discussion posts for the whole year which is a real shame because I’ve enjoyed doing them so much since I started them five years ago. My ideal when I started was that I’d do them twice monthly but that’s got trickier since I’ve had full time work, so I’d just like to get at least one up a month this year and get back to a more regular posting schedule for that feature.

7. Have a more regular review posting schedule

Last year I got ridiculously behind on posting my reviews, so this year, I’d really like to get back to a more regular schedule so I’m not 5 reviews behind what I’m actually reading! Obviously when I’m able to write reviews will depend on how busy my work schedule is, so I’d say as a goal, I’d like to have all my reviews up within two weeks of finishing the book, hopefully that will be an achievable goal!

8. Do a book unhaul before moving in the Spring

We’re moving back to London this year, and since I’ve not done an unhaul since I moved back home from Uni in 2019, I feel like it’s about time to do another clear-out of my shelves and make sure that what I currently have are still things I want to read/want to have in my collection. After all, the only way to make room for new books is to get rid of some of the old ones!

9. Get back to working on my novel

I was in such a groove with This Is Not A Love Story last year until the lockdown was lifted and I started work at the vaccine centre and had no time to write, so I’d really like to try and get back to it this year and actually have a fully polished manuscript by the end of the year. Maybe it’s a stretch goal, but I would like to see if I can get it there!

10. Finish the books I “paused” last year (or DNF them if I decide they are not for me)

Last year I created a “on-pause” shelf on Goodreads for books I started but wasn’t in the mood for at the time. This year I’d really like to finish some of those “on pause” books as I don’t want them sitting around half-finished forever, so I either need to finish them, or decide that they’re not for me and move on. Either way, I’d really like that shelf to be empty by the end of the year. I’ve already finished This Poison Heart which was one book on the shelf, so I’m hoping I can get through the rest before December.

So there we go, those are my Reading/Writing/Blogging goals for this year! Do you set goals for the year? If not, why not? What are your goals for 2022? Do we share any? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, it’s another annual one next week, 2021 Releases I Was Excited To Read But Didn’t Get To (aka the list of shame!) and there’s going to be a lot for me this year, since due to my reading slump, I didn’t read anywhere near the number of 2021 releases I was meaning to last year.

Top Ten Tuesday #349

Hi all! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, my New Year, much like my Christmas was very quiet, just staying in with my parents watching TV, but I did very much enjoy our traditional New Year’s Eve dinner of ALL THE PARTY SNACKS. I maintain that duck spring rolls are the one of the best things ever. I had my first day back at work today and I actually quite enjoyed being back? I’ve been off for a while, and I definitely needed the break, so I came back feeling quite refreshed. I also got my booster vaccine today, one of the perks of working at a vaccine centre, you don’t have to book an appointment or wait in long lines to get the vaccine, I could just get it at work!

Anyway it’s Tuesday, so I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is another annual one for the beginning of the year, we’re talking about our Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2022. I’ve actually not got a massive amount on my radar for 2022 yet, it’s still a fairly small list, but I’m sure that will change throughout the year and again my first half of the year list is surprisingly more top heavy than my second half of the year, though I’m sure that’s mostly down to just not being as aware of books coming out in the second half of the year yet. Anyway enough of my rambling, on with the list (as always these are in release date order, so order is no indication of level of excitement:

  1. Her Hidden Genius-Marie Benedict-Releases 25th January
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Rosalind Franklin is one of those historical women that I feel very indignant for because her incredibly important contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA were dismissed for so long, and the fact that Watson and Crick based so much of their own work on the work she had already done. I’m glad that her role in the discovery of the structure of DNA is more widely known and talked about now, and I’m really interested to see Marie Benedict’s take on her story.

Cover Designed By: Sourcebooks Landmark

2. Pandora-Susan Stokes-Chapman-Releases 27th January

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Cover Artist: Micaela Alcaino

I didn’t have a massive amount of luck with Ariadne when I read it this year, I made it about halfway through and then abandoned it, though I do think that was partly down to my reading slump and I’d like to go back to it in the future. I’m hoping I will have better luck with this different Greek mythology retelling by a different author, this time of the story of Pandora (yes she of the box fame, though it’s really more of an urn/jar in the original tale). I’m really interested in how Stokes-Chapman is going to take on this one, as it seems like it’s going to be an Ancient Greek tale transplanted to Georgian London (not a historical setting I explore often!) which is great, I love it when authors get creative with their retellings. I have high hopes for this one, so hopefully it meets them!

3. A Lesson In Vengeance-Victoria Lee-Releases 22nd February

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Cover Artist: @missnatmack

But this one was on your most anticipated releases for the later half of 2021 Jo, I hear you cry. Isn’t it already out? Well it turns out, the UK release wasn’t until this year, hence the reappearance on this list! I’ve already got a pre-order out for it, and I’m excited for all the witchy, dark academia, gay goodness to make it to my shelf.

4. Gallant-VE Schwab-Releases 1st March

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Cover Artist: Julia Lloyd

Oh look it’s VE Schwab’s newest release on my most anticipated list again. Who’s surprised? Anyone? No one? Good you know me! I’m honestly really not sure what to expect of this one at all, I hardly know what it’s about, other than an old house and a world beyond a garden wall. But it’s VE Schwab and I devour everything she puts out there happily. Plus HAVE YOU SEEN THAT COVER? IT IS BEYOND GORGEOUS. I swear VE Schwab has sold her soul to the cover gods because every cover she gets is even more stunning than the previous one.

5. True Biz-Sara Novic-Releases 15th March

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Cover Artist: Tree Abraham

Deaf people are not featured in books nearly as much as they should be, so I’m really excited for this new book by Sara Novic, a Deaf author. I’ve been wanting to learn British Sign Language for years, but never had the time to, I really need to fix that one of these days! I’ll admit, I found the blurb a little vague on the plot of this book, but I’m interested enough in the representation that I’m happy to find out more when I read it!

6. The Diamond Eye-Kate Quinn-Releases 29th March

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Cover Artist: Elsie Lyons

As I loved The Rose Code and The Alice Network in 2021, I’m naturally incredibly excited for Quinn’s latest release this year! She’s definitely fast become one of my new favourite historical fiction authors, and The Diamond Eye sounds so cool, a fictionalised version of the life of Lyudmila Pavilchenko, the deadliest female sniper in history. I love that Quinn’s books so unapologetically centre on women, and the cover for this one is so gorgeous and wintery which is an automatic winner for me (though I will be listening to the audio again as it seems like the wonderful Saskia Maarleveld will once again narrate this).

7. Until The End (Skulduggery Pleasant #15)-Derek Landy-Releases 31st March

Until the End - Skulduggery Pleasant Book 15 (Hardback)
(Not final cover)

I’ve not been as enamoured with the most recent instalments of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, I feel like Phase 2 has not been as strong as the OG books, and Seasons of War was kind of a let down for me, so I still haven’t got to Dead or Alive yet. I will though, and I’m still excited for this book because Skulduggery Pleasant holds so many great memories for me, and I want Valkyrie and Skulduggery to get the send-off they deserve (assuming this really is the end……).

8. Portrait of A Thief-Grace D.Li-Releases 14th April

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I cannot overstate how excited I am for this book. COLLEGE AGED STUDENTS EVERYONE. SOMETHING WITH CHARACTERS IN THEIR EARLY TWENTIES. DOING HEISTS. RECLAIMING THEIR HISTORY. Literally everything about this book so screams me and I’m so excited to read it because it’s everything that I’ve been wanting for ages.

Cover Designed By: Dutton Books

9. The Mad Girls of New York-Maya Rodale-Releases 26th April

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Cover Designed By: Berkley Publishing

I love Nellie Bly, I think she was such a cool badass woman and as a fellow journalist, incredibly inspiring (I would never have the guts to be an undercover reporter in an asylum back in those days though!) and I can’t wait to see what Maya Rodale’s take on Nellie’s story will be. I’m also just really excited to see a novel with Nellie at the centre because I’d love more people to be familiar with her story!

10. Isolated Incidents: And Other Lies That Shape Women’s Lives-Laura Bates-Releases 12th May

Unfortunately no cover for this one yet! Still I’m massively excited for this because I loved Men Who Hate Women and given everything that happened last year with the Sarah Everard case and all the discussions around women’s safety and things we have to do to keep ourselves safe, I think this book will be incredibly timely and important.

So there we go, my most anticipated releases of the first half of 2021! I’m happy that I’ve got a nice mix of genres here, and lots of new authors as well which is really exciting, I love discovering new authors! What books are you excited for in the first half of 2021? Do we share any? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, it’s meant to be Most Recent Additions To My Book Collection, but I did that one fairly recently in October of last year and I haven’t accumulated all that many since I did that post, so instead I’m going to use it as an opportunity to share my Top Ten Reading/Writing/Blogging Goals for 2022, as I was going to do that anyway.

Top Ten Tuesday #348

Hi all! I hope you’re all having a wonderful Christmas break (assuming that you don’t have to work between now and the New Year!) and that you all had a lovely Christmas however you spent it. My Christmas was much the same as always, just a quiet one at home with my family, eating lots of food and watching lots of TV, just the way we like it!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is our annual end of year topic, so this year it’s Best Books of 2021. I have to admit, this year has been a bit of a mixed bag for me in terms of books, I have had some favourites, but by and large most of the books I’ve read this year have been 3 stars or less, so it’s going to be a slightly shorter list this year than usual, as I could only pick nine books that I’d rated highly enough to count as favourites for this year. But even though it’s been a bit of a mixed reading year, the books I’ve loved have really been standouts, so I’m excited to share them with you:

  1. Born A Crime-Trevor Noah-5 stars

I’ve not actually quite finished this yet, I still have about four hours left to read, but I know I will finish it by New Years Eve and I already know it’s going to be my favourite read of the year. This book actually wasn’t on my radar until I saw it popping up a lot on people’s Top Ten Tuesdays and they were all raving about it, and now I know why! It obviously tackles some very difficult topics (Noah’s childhood growing up in Apartheid South Africa) but given that Noah is a comedian, it’s naturally also very funny, and Noah is such a brilliantly engaging narrator that I’m having the best time listening to this book!

2. The Rose Code-Kate Quinn-4 stars

It was a tricky toss-up between where I would put this and The Alice Network, the other Quinn book I read this year, but ultimately I decided to give this one the No 2 spot because I loved the characters so much, I did love Eve in The Alice Network, but Charlie brought it slightly down for me, whereas I was engaged with Beth, Osla and Mab from the start of this one and I loved Osla and Beth’s character development so much. This was also the book which introduced me to my new favourite audiobook narrator, Saskia Maarleveld, who narrated no less than three of the audiobooks that I read this year and they are ALL on this list, in no small part due to her narration being so brilliant.

3. The Alice Network-Kate Quinn-4 stars

Like I said, it was a really tight toss-up between the two Kate Quinn books for spots 2 & 3 and The Rose Code just slightly beat this one out on the character front, but I still really did love this one! Eve Gardener is possibly one of my favourite historical heroines of all time, and her story really made this for me. I also loved learning about The Alice Network, which was a real life WWI spy network and its leader Louise De Bettignies, who I would desperately love to learn more about in the future as she sounds like she was such a firecracker of a woman!

4. I Am Malala-Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb-4 stars

Malala’s memoir about her childhood and her experiences under the Taliban is definitely one of the most powerful memoirs I’ve read in a while! I learned so much about Pakistan and its history and was so captivated by Malala’s story, that it was definitely one of the quickest audiobooks I read all year.

5. The Nobleman’s Guide To Scandal and Shipwrecks (Montague Siblings #3)-Mackenzi Lee-4 stars

My most recent read, and the final book of the Montague siblings trilogy. Both of its predecessors made my Best Books Of lists in the respective years I read them, so it’s only fitting that this one should complete the set. I fell in love with Adrian, and felt so much for his mental health struggles, which were marvellously handled by the narrative. The audiobook narrator for this one, Christian Coulson was also fabulous and really made this book for me. It was a wonderful way to wrap up the series, and that epilogue was just….perfect.

6. Olive, Mabel and Me-Andrew Cotter-4 stars

Apparently I’ve had a thing for memoirs this year? Anyway, Andrew Cotter’s book about his Labradors Olive and Mabel and how they became lockdown superstars was such a fun, engaging read and a dose of humorous stories about loveable dogs was exactly what I needed in this, the second year of our pandemic, 2021. I’m really excited to read his second book, which I think is probably going to be one of my first audios of 2022.

7. The Last Bookshop In London-Madeline Martin-3.5 stars

This was such a wonderful surprise, as it really wasn’t a book that was on my radar at all, until I came across it on someone’s Top Ten Tuesday list one week and thought it sounded right up my street. You wouldn’t necessarily think that “cosy” and “WWII story” would go together, but that’s exactly what this book was, though of course it had it’s darker moments (it is set in a war after all), it was such a lovely story about the power of resilience and community, and of course….books and it was such a wonderful little surprise for me as I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I’m super excited for Martin’s next book too now, as it’s about librarian spies in WWII which sounds amazing!

8. A Psalm of Storms and Silence (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #2)-Roseanne A. Brown-3.5 stars

Whilst I didn’t love this one quite as much as the first book in the duology, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, it was still a good read, and my love of the characters and the fantastic audiobook narration did win out over the lacklustre pacing and less than satisfying ending enough for me to still say that this was one of my favourite reads of the year. I look forward to seeing what Roseanne Brown does next!

9. The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2)-Roshani Chokshi-3.5 stars

The sequel to The Gilded Wolves didn’t quite reach the heights of the first book for me, largely due to pacing issues, but I still really, really loved the characters which makes it one of the standouts of the year for me anyway. The cliffhanger at the end of the book was infuriating and I really need to read the third one soon so I can find out how it all wraps up for Severin, Laila, Enrique, Zofia and Hypnos.

So there we go, those were my favourite books of 2021! It was quite interesting for me to see how different a bunch I had this year, as last year, more than half of my list were fantasy books, and this year, the majority were either historical fiction or memoirs, with only the two fantasy books, despite fantasy usually being my favourite genre. I don’t know if this is just a blip as I did read less this year overall, but it will be interesting to come back next year when I’ll hopefully have read more, and see if the trend remains the same. What were your favourite books this year? Have you read any of mine? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with my first Top Ten Tuesday of 2022, it’s our annual Most Anticipated Releases For The First Half of 2022. I read basically none of the books on either of my Most Anticipated Lists for 2021, so hopefully I will do better with next years’ lists!

In the meantime, as is tradition for the end of the year, there will be a lot of tying things up on the blog this week. I’ve got one last review for 2021 to post (The Nobleman’s Guide To Scandal and Shipwrecks), which I’m hoping to get up tomorrow, my End of Year Survey and my End of Year Check In, which I’m hoping to have both up in the next few days as well so I can start fresh in 2022 with hopefully very little 2021 stuff needing to be completed in January!

Top Ten Tuesday #347-The Christmas Movie Book Tag

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these! I arrived up in Stirling to join my family for Christmas yesterday, and me and Mum spent yesterday evening decorating the tree, which is always one of my favourite parts of Christmas so that was really nice.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you guys, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Now this week’s topic is meant to be a Bookish Wishes post where we share our wishlists, but I wasn’t really feeling that topic so instead I’m going rogue (as I always do this time of year anyway!) and sharing a Christmassy themed Book Tag, as has become tradition in the last three years! This year’s tag is The Christmas Movie Book Tag, courtesy of Aoife at Pretty Purple Polka Dots, you can check out Aoife’s post here: https://prettypurplepolkadots.wordpress.com/2019/12/19/the-christmas-movie-book-tag/

Here we go, the Christmas Movie Book Tag:

Elf-Choose a book that puts you in the Christmas mood

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I’ll be honest, I don’t really read Christmas themed books much, I tend to watch Christmassy films more, but if I had to choose (and I swear I wouldn’t use She Who Must Not Be Named if I could think of any other options), Harry Potter always puts me in a Christmassy mood because the films are always on TV at Christmas.

It’s A Wonderful Life-Choose a book with a character who goes through some serious character development

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All three girls in this book go on quite a journey, but I have to highlight Beth Finch for this prompt. She starts as a painfully shy and withdrawn young woman who is completely controlled by her emotionally and physically abusive mother, and by the end of the book, she is practically a different person, she grows so much in confidence and in her abilities as a cryptanalyst and the moment where she confronts her mother and leaves home was possibly one of the most satisfying parts of the book. Also is this the time to admit that I’ve never actually seen It’s A Wonderful Life? *withdraws slowly and carefully*

A Christmas Carol-Choose a book/series with a character you didn’t like at first, but grew to love

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When we were initially introduced to Ali in The City of Brass, I didn’t really like him much, I thought he was uptight and obnoxious and I didn’t really feel like he was going to be someone I could root for. However as the book went on, and we got to know him more, I ended up liking him more and more and by the end he had definitely achieved cinnamon roll, must protect at all costs status.

Home Alone-Choose a book where the parents aren’t present and if they are, they’re not a good influence

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Unwind is probably the best example of the WORST PARENTS EVER. Connor’s parents basically decide that they can’t deal with him anymore so the best solution to this is to have him unwound (basically taken apart and all your organs are donated to other people so you’re not technically “dead”). Risa is an orphan, so we don’t really know what her parents are like, but her guardians at the group home she’s in send her off to be unwound so that they have less mouths to feed, and Lev’s parents decide to sacrifice Lev for unwinding as they are religious and believe that having him be unwound is for the greater good. Basically it’s bad parents/guardians all round here!

Frosty the Snowman-Find a book with a snowy cover

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This was a no brainer for me, it’s the most wintery cover I’ve ever seen! Plus this cover is so pretty, I take any opportunity I can to share it.

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer-Choose a protagonist you couldn’t help but root for

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Eve from The Alice Network is definitely the kind of protagonist that could rub people up the wrong way, she’s quite abrasive but she’s the kind of woman that I absolutely love, she doesn’t care about being liked, she says what she thinks, she’s super funny and brave and determined and I was absolutely rooting for her the whole way through this book!

Polar Express-Find a book where characters travel somewhere cold

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I just finished this book yesterday, and the characters travel all over Europe, but one of the places is Iceland which is obviously very cold, so fitted the prompt perfectly!

How The Grinch Stole Christmas-Choose a villain you can’t help but love

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I mean I love a good villain, so honestly I could go for like 90% of villains I’ve read here, but I decided on Marcella Riggins because I just loved her so much. She’s got epic “I’m done with men” energy and is just so tired of being underestimated and wants to claim her own power. Obviously this is turned up to 10,000 and manifests in killing people, which I can’t relate to but I can definitely relate to being ambitious and wanting to prove people who underestimate you wrong!

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation-Choose a character with a goofy sense of humour

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I don’t know if his sense of humour is exactly goofy, but Enrique is definitely one of my favourite funny characters from the last couple of years. He adds a much needed levity to Severin’s crew, and I just have such a soft spot for funny characters, so I fell in love with him almost instantly when reading this book.

Lifetime/Hallmark movie-Choose a book with the cheesiest romance

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I’m not really one for cheesy romances, and I read this series a long time ago, but I do remember thinking that the romance in The Princess Diaries series was very cheesy. To be honest, the whole series is quite cheesy (but fun, if you’re into those kinds of books).

So there we go, the Christmas Movie Book Tag! I’ve actually not watched quite a lot of these films, so clearly I’m not as up on Christmas films as I thought I was. What are your favourite Christmas films? What are everyone’s plans for Christmas this year? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with the last Top Ten Tuesday of 2021, as always talking about my favourite books of the year. In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of content planned as ever for this final couple of weeks of 2021, I’ve got my last Quarterly Rewind of the year, I’ll have my End of Year Survey and End of Year Check-In, I’ve still got a couple more book reviews to do…..so keep your eyes peeled for lots more content coming your way in the next couple of weeks.

Merry Christmas everyone and I hope however you’re celebrating, you have a great time!

Top Ten Tuesday #346

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, and that all of my UK readers are doing okay with all of the anxiety-inducing news coming out at the moment.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you guys courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is our annual Winter TBR. I’ll be honest I’ve been pretty horrible at sticking to my TBRs this year because I’ve just not been reading as much, I only finished 3.5 of the books on my Autumn TBR list (although I’ve read more than that, a lot of the books I read weren’t on my original TBR list!). I’m hoping I will be able to get through more of my Winter TBR, but we’ll see how many of these I actually manage to read:

  1. The Nobleman’s Guide To Scandal and Shipwrecks-Mackenzi Lee

My current audiobook read, and I’m almost done with it, I’ve got about 3.5 hours left to go. I’m really enjoying it, I love Adrian, I think he may be my favourite Montague sibling (though I do love Felicity and Monty too so it’s hard to decide) and it’s been so fun to finally see all three Montague siblings together. I definitely think this will be one of my favourite reads of the year.

2. Sorcery Of Thorns-Margaret Rogerson

I know this has been on my last three TBR lists, I’ve just been reading it very intermittently, but I am going to try and finally finish it before the end of the year as I really don’t want to take it into 2022 with me. I’m enjoying the characters and the concept but I’ve been finding it kind of slow going, though I don’t know if that’s just because I’ve been picking it up so intermittently and haven’t been able to get a proper flow with the book.

3. Born A Crime-Trevor Noah

I’ve got one more audiobook credit left for this year, and I’ve decided I want to use it on this memoir. After living in South Africa last year, and learning a bit more about Apartheid, I thought this would be a really interesting read, and I’ve heard that the audiobook, narrated by Noah himself is really good, so I’m excited to give it a try.

4. The Night of Knives (Steel Prince #5-8)-VE Schwab

I read the first arc of the Steel Prince comics back in 2019, but I’ve not got round to the second arc yet. As it looks like I’m going to be a couple of books short of my Goodreads goal, I think I’m going to use these comics to reach it this year! I really enjoyed the first arc, despite not usually being a comic reader, so I’m excited to find out what’s going to happen in the second arc.

5. The Girls I’ve Been-Tess Sharpe

My first #RockMyTBR read of 2022, I’m really excited for this one because it sounds really good and I think a nice, quick, thriller is exactly what I need to finally break out of this reading funk that I’ve been in for the whole of this year.

6. The Love Hypothesis-Laura Steven

I’ve not read a Laura Steven book since A Girl Called A Shameless in 2019, so I’m excited to read her most recent release. It’s billed as an LGBTQ+ rom-com and whilst I’m not usually a big fan of romance in books, I do love humour, so I’m definitely up for another hilarious Laura Steven read.

7. The Silence of The Girls-Pat Barker

I love books that focus on underrepresented women in history, so this book definitely fits that bill, and after being kind of disappointed in The Song of Achilles, I’m hoping that this one will be more up my street. I loved Briseis in The Song of Achilles, so I’m interested to see how Pat Barker characterises her in a book where she’s the main character.

8. This Poison Heart-Kalynn Bayron

I’m going to try this in audiobook as I’ve not really had the time to get through e-books this year, and the audiobook narrator is Jordan Cobb, who was one of the narrators for the ASOWAR duology which I really enjoyed the narration for, so I feel like the audiobook would be a good choice for me.

9. Dog Days: A Year With Olive and Mabel-Andrew Cotter

I loved Andrew Cotter’s first book about Olive and Mabel which I read this year, so I’m super excited to read this second book. Andrew Cotter’s narration is of course fantastic, and it was just such a fun, light read, which I get the feeling is something that I’m probably going to need going into next year!

10. Good Girl, Bad Blood-Holly Jackson

I meant to make this one a priority for this year, but given that I’ve not been reading many physical books this year, it’s just fallen by the wayside. I definitely want to try and get this read in the first three months of 2022 as I’ve been intending to read it for ages!

So there we go, those are my planned Winter TBR reads! I don’t know if I’ll get to all of them, given how my reading has been going over the past year, but I’d like to at least get all my #RockMyTBR reads done! How about you? What’s on your Winter TBR this year? Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next Tuesday with our last Top Ten Tuesday before Christmas (HOW?), it’s meant to be another Bookish Wishes post, but most of the books I want now are 2022 releases, so instead of doing that, I’m going to be doing a Christmas Films Book Tag, which I found on Aoife @ Pretty Purple Polka Dots’ blog.

Top Ten Tuesday #345

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve had a good week since I last did one of these. I was with my friends over the weekend for our annual Christmas meetup which was really fun, it was our first one in two years as we had to skip last year thanks to the restrictions, so it was really nice to get to do it again.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you guys, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is a Freebie, so I’m going to be sharing my Most Anticipated Releases That Are Still On My Shelf, as like many bookworms, I buy books that I’m really excited for immediately and then promptly leave them on my shelf for a good year or so before reading them. So here we go, my most anticipated releases that are still on my shelf:

  1. Good Girl, Bad Blood-Holly Jackson

I meant to read this last year, but I ran out of time before the end of the year, and then this year I’ve just not really been reading many physical books, I’ve been much more into audio. I’m hoping that I will finally get around to this one next year though, because I really loved A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder and I’m looking forward to seeing what Pip gets up to next.

2. Where Dreams Descend-Janella Angeles

I actually started reading this one back in March but thanks to my funny reading mood, I ended up putting it down. I really want to go back to it when I’m feeling more in the mood for physical books because any book that compares itself to Moulin Rouge is something that I need in my life!

3. Rule of Wolves-Leigh Bardugo

This one has suffered really due to sheer length rather than anything else, because I was actually really in the mood for reading Grishaverse stuff following the release of Shadow and Bone on Netflix in April, but I was still stuck on The Unbound at that point, and I wasn’t getting through physical books very easily, so I didn’t want my enjoyment of this book to suffer from my lacklustre reading mood. I’m hoping that next year will be the year!

4. The Bronzed Beasts-Roshani Chokshi

In the grand scheme of things, this book hasn’t been sitting on my shelf for that long, it only came out in September and I got it at the beginning of October, but given the way The Silvered Serpents ended, I’m quite surprised I didn’t immediately dive on it because that cliffhanger was EVIL. This one is definitely a high priority for next year, as I really want to see how this series ends.

5. Once Upon A Broken Heart-Stephanie Garber

This is also a fairly recent release, so it hasn’t been on my shelf for that long, but considering that it’s been two years since Stephanie Garber released her last book, it’s another one I thought I’d immediately jump on. I’ve heard super good things about this one, so I’m really excited to get to it, hopefully next year some time!

6. The Mask Falling-Samantha Shannon

This is a slight cheat because I actually have read a large portion of this book, I got through about 320 pages before my Netgalley e-arc expired but I’ve not picked it back up since then. Honestly I’ve struggled more than I’d have liked with The Mask Falling, I’ve found it quite dense to get through, and it’s not thrilled me as much as I thought it would, but I would still like to finish it.

7. Liberte-Gita Trelease

I loved Enchantee when it first came out, and I was really excited for Liberte but then the release was pushed back, and my Netgalley e-arc expired, and I just haven’t been in the mood for e-books this year. I am hoping to get to it next year as I really want to see how the rest of Camille’s story plays out.

8. Dead or Alive-Derek Landy

The most recent Skulduggery Pleasant release has been sitting on my shelf for a while for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s a CHUNKY BOOK and I’ve just not been in the mood for those this year. Secondly, I’ve been less than thrilled with the most recent Skulduggery books and I’m worried that it will disappoint me. I will probably read it at some point, but it’s not at the top of my list.

9. Mister Impossible-Maggie Stiefvater

Whilst I may not have liked Call Down The Hawk as much as the original Raven Cycle books, I was still really excited for Mister Impossible and pre-ordered it when it came out back in May. Naturally, it’s been sitting on my shelf since then and I don’t even have a good excuse as it’s not a chunky book. This is another one for 2022 hopefully!

10. Ace of Spades-Faridah Abike-Iyimide

I was such a big Gossip Girl fan when I was a teenager, so this sounds right up my street and after being fairly underwhelmed by the Gossip Girl reboot, it will be nice to read a mystery influenced by Gossip Girl that hopefully isn’t disappointing! Also I love the idea of a mystery that explores institutional racism and white privilege. I’ve heard such good things about this one, so I’m hoping that I’ll get to it next year and really enjoy it.

So there we go, those are some of my most anticipated releases that are still sitting on my shelf! Do you leave anticipated releases on your shelves for months or years at a time? Have you read any of these? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s list is my annual Winter TBR list, I’ve not been doing well on these at all this year, but they’re always fun to do anyway!

Top Ten Tuesday #344

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these. I’ve been in Stirling for the past week, having a nice break from work, I’ve not been doing much, but I did get some Christmas shopping done in Dundee yesterday and went to see the filmed production of Anything Goes from London this summer on Sunday, which was great fun.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you guys, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Bookish Memories, so we’re talking all about the memories we have of reading, book events that we’ve been to, authors we’ve met etc. So here we go, some of my favourite bookish memories:

  1. My dad reading me the James Herriot books when I was little, and doing the Yorkshire accents for all the farmers

My dad reading to me when I was a kid was definitely part of what made me the reader I am today, and whilst he read a lot to me, the most memorable books for me when I was a kid were James Herriot’s books. He would read them to me and my sister and because he is also from Yorkshire, he would do all the voices for the characters, and we absolutely loved it!

2. Going to my first YALC with my friend Hannah

I have so many great book memories with Hannah, but I decided on going to our first YALC as one of the ones I wanted to share here, because it was such a great day and started an annual tradition for the next four years! I may have barely read any of the books I read that first year, and given pretty much all of them to charity shops, but it was still such a fun experience and we learned a lot that first year that made our experiences in future years even better. It was also my first time ever meeting Derek Landy so it was memorable just for that.

3. Seeing Alwyn Hamilton every year at YALC

Another YALC related one, on our very first year at YALC, we met Alwyn Hamilton before she had published her debut novel Rebel of The Sands. She was really lovely and even though we didn’t win the manuscript of Rebel of The Sands that was being given away that first year, we’ve seen her every year since that first year, and she always remembers us and chats quite a bit with us which we really appreciate. We even joined her queue just to get a photo in 2019, when she was there promoting The Notorious Virtues! I hope she’s back in 2022 because seeing her at YALC has always been a highlight of the weekend.

4. VE Schwab liking my As Travars necklace when I went to an event of hers in 2019

Back when live, in-person book events were still a thing (I am going to be even more embarrassing with authors I like when we’re finally able to go to back I swear because it’s been so long since I’ve been to a book event), I went to VE Schwab’s Glasgow event for the re-release of The Near Witch. I wasn’t quite sure what to say to her when I got up to the front, but she noticed that I was wearing a A Darker Shade of Magic themed necklace that I bought and complimented me on it, which I was really touched by because I wasn’t expecting her to notice!

5. Going all the way down from Stirling to London to go to an event with VE Schwab, Samantha Shannon and Neal Shusterman

You know that you’re a book lover when you spend a ridiculous amount of money on train tickets down from Scotland to London just to see three of your favourite authors in a room together, before swiftly getting the train back up! Still it was so worth it, it’s probably one of my favourite book events I’ve ever been to, V, Samantha and Neal were all really great and Samantha even remembered me from this event at one of her own events in Glasgow the next year, which was lovely.

6. Going to my first ever book event with Jodi Picoult

My first ever book event was actually only in 2014 believe it or not, I went to one of Jodi Picoult’s book tour stops for Leaving Time, in Ely. I was definitely super awkward meeting her but I remember her being really sweet, and loving that I’d written some quotes from her books in the inside covers. She’s one of my favourite authors to go to book events for because she’s such an interesting and engaging speaker, and has tons of stories about all the weird and wonderful research she’s done for her books. I definitely held up the queue somewhat because I brought such a huge pile of books (I think I had about five!) but she was super sweet about it!

7. Maggie Stiefvater’s talk at YALC in 2016 (and waiting three hours to get our books signed)

We specifically got tickets for the Sunday in 2016 because I really wanted to meet Maggie, and in a rare move for us, we actually went to her panel (Hannah and I tend not to go to the panels at YALC very often), and it was one of the most hilarious book talks I’ve ever been to. She was so funny and had the whole audience laughing for half an hour straight. We ended up waiting for three hours after her talk to finally get our books signed because the virtual queue was so long and we got fairly far back numbers. We didn’t get to speak to Maggie for long when we did meet her because it was so late, but we did get an incredibly embarrassing picture that will never see the light of day.

8. Going to the midnight release of The Cursed Child

This was obviously long before She Who Must Not Be Named revealed herself to be the world’s biggest transphobe, but the weekend we were at YALC in 2016 also coincided with the release of the script book for Harry Potter and The Cursed Child and as we were both big Harry Potter fans, we decided to stop by a midnight release of the book. Despite everything that’s happened since, it was still a very memorable evening.

9. World Book Day in school

I don’t know how familiar readers from other parts of the world are with World Book Day, but in the UK it’s a really big deal and I remember being so excited to get dressed up as one of my favourite book characters for the day and have an entire day where my favourite hobby was celebrated. I was always so excited to get my £1 book token as it meant a new book and new adventures to be had!

10. My dad taking us to the library every week

I’ve kind of fallen out of using the library in recent years, but when I was a kid, my dad used to walk us to library up the road from us every week and we’d pick out new books, I always used to come back with a stack of books as big as they’d let you take out. I specifically remember the really nice librarian, his name was Giles Harrison and he always used to help me pick out books and order books in for me if they didn’t have them and was always so lovely and happy to see us when we came in on a Saturday. I stopped going to the library as much when I was in secondary school, and had an allowance to buy books, but when we move back to London next year, I will definitely be going back to that library!

So there we go, those are some of my favourite bookish memories from over the years! How about you? What are some of your favourite bookish memories? Do you have any memories of author events that you’ve been to? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is our last freebie of the year, and as I’ve got quite a few of these, I’m going to talk about Most Anticipated Releases That Are Still On My Shelf, books that I was super excited for and pre-ordered but still haven’t read yet!

Top Ten Tuesday #343

Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, I was in London again over the weekend, we went to see The Shark Is Broken on Friday night, a new play in the West End about the making of Jaws, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, it was really funny! I also stopped by both Charing Cross Foyles and Waterstones Piccadilly on Saturday, as when in London, visiting bookshop heaven is a must!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you guys, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking Characters I’d Like An Update On. I actually did this very topic for an article I did for The National Student three years ago, imagining what some of my favourite children’s book characters would be doing as adults, so today’s topic is going to be very similar to that, though I imagine most of you won’t have read that article I did, so hopefully some of these will be new for you (and I am going to do some different ones compared to that article!). I’m only including books where the author is still alive on this list, so there is actual potential for future instalments one day, much as I’d love updates on characters from children’s classics I read when I was younger, that’s impossible when the author is dead! So here we go:

  1. Percy Jackson-PJO Universe-Rick Riordan

Of course I would want to see what Percy was up to as an adult, since Percy Jackson was such a big part of my teenage years. However unrealistic it might be for teenage romances to last into your adult years, I’d like to think that Percy and Annabeth would still be together, living at the Big House at Camp Half-Blood and training a new generation of demigods. I don’t feel like either of them would particularly want “normal” jobs and this would be a nice way for them to still be involved without going on dangerous quests themselves (as they definitely both deserve a rest!). I know in the books they’re in New Rome, but I like to think that they’d come back to Camp Half-Blood eventually.

2. Lila Bard-Shades of Magic Trilogy-VE Schwab

This may be cheating slightly as Threads of Power is going to be coming out in the next couple of years, so we will soon find out what Lila Bard has been getting up to since A Conjuring of Light. I imagine that Lila has been going on lots of adventures and seeing the world, and never really stopping, so I’ll be intrigued to see what brings her back to (I presume) Red London and Kell and Rhy and Alucard.

3. The Diviners gang-The Diviners series-Libba Bray

Now King of Crows may only have come out last year, but I’m already desperate for more! The epilogue totally sounded like Bray was setting up for a spinoff series, with the hints about Hitler’s rise to power, so I would love to catch up with The Diviners gang and see where they all are going into the 1930s and towards WWII.

4. The Dregs-Six of Crows duology-Leigh Bardugo

This is also another cheat, seeing as Leigh Bardugo has said that she is planning to do a Six of Crows 3 “down the line” (very vague, could be anything from a couple of years time to ten years down the line!) but I would love to see what the Dregs are getting up to in the future. Do Kaz and Inej continue working through their trauma and build on a relationship together? Does Nina rejoin the Dregs? What crazy heist do they get into next? I know Six of Crows #3 is probably a long way off but I shall be impatiently waiting to see what my favourite gang of criminals gets up to next.

5. Ead and Sabran-The Priory of The Orange Tree-Samantha Shannon

Samantha Shannon has suggested that she would like to write a sequel to Priory in the future, and I would desperately like to know whether Ead and Sabran actually reunite in ten years time as they planned to when they parted in Priory. I just need to know that they have a happy ending!

6. Flavia, Lupus, Jonathan and Nubia-The Roman Mysteries-Caroline Lawrence

I really loved The Roman Mysteries when I was a kid, though I never actually finished the series, I was borrowing them from the library and I don’t think they had anymore after the 10th book, so I never got around to finishing them. But anyway, that’s neither here nor there, I loved the books I did read and would love to see what our four detectives ended up doing as adults, whether they all remained friends, whether they all split up across the country and went down separate paths, if Flavia kept on solving mysteries…..there would be a lot to catch up on with these characters as adults and I would love to see it!

7. Liesel Meminger-The Book Thief-Markus Zusak

I know we do get a sense of what Liesel did with her life at the very end of the book, and The Book Thief is perfect as a standalone, but if Zusak ever were to want to explore Liesel’s adult life, I would be very happy to read it. I’d love to know how she ended up in Australia, and whether she became an author like I’ve always imagined she did and how she managed to cope with everything that happened to her in the war.

8. Risa and Connor-Unwind series-Neal Shusterman

I was kind of sad that the collection of short stories set in the Unwind universe that Shusterman released a few years back, didn’t have any that actually featured Risa and Connor. I would love to see what happened to them post UnDivided, whether they stayed together or went their separate ways, and what they both ended up doing with their lives.

9. Tessa-Blind Beauty-KM Peyton

I doubt KM Peyton would ever write a sequel to Blind Beauty, given that it’s been twenty odd years since it was published and is a very self-contained story, but I would love to have an update on where Tessa is in her life. I doubt she’d still be a jockey as they tend to have quite short lived careers, but she definitely still works with horses in some capacity, maybe training racehorses or perhaps working at a riding school for disadvantaged kids.

10. Aelin Ashryver Galathynius-Throne of Glass-Sarah J Maas

I was satisfied with the way the series ended, but of course, as with all worlds that I love, I would happily come back for an update on how Aelin and her friends are doing following the end of Kingdom of Ash. I’d be interested to see how she was getting on being Queen, and how the rebuilding of Terrasen was going as well as how the whole continent is rebuilding following the war.

So there we go, those are just some of the characters I’d like updates on following the end of their books/series. Do you agree with any of these? Have you read any of these books? Which book characters would you like future updates from? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Bookish Memories, which should be a really lovely one, as I have many fun (and slightly embarrassing) bookish memories, and I had definitely run out of ideas for the annual Thanksgiving freebie, so quite glad we don’t have that this year!