Top Ten Tuesday #309

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a good week since I last did one of these, I finally got to see my friends again yesterday for the first time in months as lockdown is finally starting to be eased in the UK and it was so fun to be together in person again after months of only being able to communicate through screens!

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so that means it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is Places In Books I’d Like To Live, which is a bit of a tricky one for me as I read mostly fantasy books and a lot of those worlds would be pretty dangerous to live in! Still I have managed to come up with a few places from books that I think I’d be happy to stay in (and less likely to die a violent death):

  1. Camp Half-Blood-Percy Jackson Universe-Rick Riordan

I wouldn’t want to go on any of the almost-certain-death quests, but just hanging around the camp seems like it would be very fun. Chilling in the mess hall with other demigods, playing Capture the Flag, laughing at my terrible archery skills….I could see myself at Camp Half-Blood.

2. Red London-Shades of Magic Trilogy-VE Schwab

This seems like the best London to be in, given that it’s the one that has all the magic. I would love to just wander the streets of Red London, going into the Night Market and tasting all the different food on offer. I would also love to attend the Essen Tasch (Element Games) as they sound really spectacular!

3. The Faraway Tree-The Faraway Tree series-Enid Blyton

I’d quite happily live in the Faraway Tree, with a very eclectic bunch of neighbours (Silky, Moonface, and the Saucepan Man: though I would definitely want to be far above Dame Washalot as I do not like getting wet) and going up the top of the tree every week to explore the different lands!

4. The Inn at Havenfall-Havenfall-Sara Holland

I’m currently reading Phoenix Flame and I think I’d quite happily live at the Inn at Havenfall, it sounds like a very nice, cosy little inn to live in and most of the time doesn’t seem to attract too much danger (barring what happens in the books of course!). It would also be cool to take part in the Peace Summit and get to meet all the delegates from Byrn and Fiordenkill and find out about their worlds.

5. Velaris-ACOMAF and ACOWAR-Sarah J Maas

The Night Court’s hidden city sounds like it would be a lovely place to live: the food for one sounds delicious & I would love to just spend my days wandering through the Artists Quarter and enjoying all the music and the artists and the dancers.

6. Henrietta-The Raven Cycle-Maggie Stiefvater

I would love to live in Henrietta and hang out with the Gangsey and go searching for ley lines and dead Welsh Kings. I’d love to spend time at 300 Fox Way and hang out in Cabeswater, and The Barns to see all of Ronan’s dreams! I also know I would spend a lot of time at Nino’s because I love pizza!

A slightly shorter list this week, but honestly, it was a real struggle to find nice places in fantasy books that I’d actually want to live in! I love reading about them, but would not want to face their near certain death I’d probably find there if I actually lived in them. Have you read in these books? Would you like to live in any of these places? Where from a book would you like to live? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, we’ll be talking about Books I’d Gladly Throw In The Ocean. Thankfully I don’t have too many of these, but it’s been a while since I last did a salty post so it should be fun!

Top Ten Tuesday #308

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all been having a good week since I last did one of these, mine has been fairly quiet, though I did get to meet up with a friend today (outside and socially distanced, of course) so that was nice. Today marks a year since the first lockdown in the UK: a year ago today, I arrived back from Cape Town (after having to change my flight home due to the pandemic) and by the evening we were in lockdown. We all know how awful the past year has been, in different ways for all of us, and I can only hope that things continue to keep looking up in the way that they have been and that this really is the beginning of the end of all of this.

Anyway, enough of the sombreness, it’s Tuesday, and so it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week, I’m twisting the topic slightly, and instead of talking about Funny Book Titles, I’m talking about Funny Percy Jackson Chapter Titles, as in the original Percy Jackson series (and the Magnus Chase series later on) Rick Riordan gave his chapters humourous titles based on their events. I’m putting in a spoiler warning here, as the titles may be spoilery for those of you who haven’t read the series, so if you haven’t then stop reading now! Here we go:

  1. I Accidentally Vaporize My Maths Teacher

This is the title of the first chapter of the first book in the series. Your interest is immediately piqued right? Not only is vaporizing your Maths teacher quite a funny idea but it immediately had me hooked on what was going to happen next.

2. I Become Supreme Lord of The Bathroom

This is another from the first book, which includes one of my favourite scenes of the whole series (if you’ve read the books you’ll know what I’m talking about).

3. Everybody Hates Me But The Horse

This is from the third book, where Percy basically barges his way into a quest to save Annabeth despite not being assigned it, because he’s obviously in love with her, but is completely oblivious to it and naturally the other people on the quest are not too happy about his interference!

4. I Have A Dam Problem

Ah one of my favourite jokes from the series. If you know, you know.

5. Nico Buys Happy Meals For The Dead

This is from the fourth book, apparently all you need to summon the dead is a few Happy Meals from McDonalds. Who knew?

6. We Get Advice From A Poodle

This is from the first book, whilst on their quest to find Zeus’ lightning bolt, Grover asks a poodle for advice (because he’s a Satyr and can talk to animals).

7. I Drive My Dog Into A Tree

Just don’t trust Percy with driving anything. Cars, dogs, it’s not a good idea.

8. I Play Dodgeball With Cannibals

The first chapter of the fourth book, Percy’s visit to his new school doesn’t go entirely to plan (as with anything that Percy does ever).

9. My Parents Go Commando

It’s not what you think.

10. I Put on A Few Million Extra Kilograms

From the third book in the series, when Percy helps hold up the sky because he’s ridiculously in love with Annabeth, and of course, still largely oblivious.

So there we go, those are my favourite Funny Percy Jackson Chapter titles, but honestly, I could have included so many more! Rick Riordan really makes funny writing seem far easier than it actually was. Have you read the original Percy Jackson books? What’s your favourite chapter title (if you can remember, don’t worry if you can’t!)? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, we’ll be talking about Places In Books We’d Like To Live. Now I read a lot of fantasy with fairly dangerous worlds that I wouldn’t like to live in, so this might be a bit of a tricky one for me, but I will do my best!

Top Ten Tuesday #307

Hi everyone! So the past week has been A LOT for women (and trans men and non-binary people because these issues affect them too), if you’re not familiar with what’s been going on in the UK at the moment, this week a police officer was arrested on suspicion of the murder of a woman called Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped and killed whilst walking home in London. The whole thing has launched a wave of discussion about male violence against women and sexual harassment which has been long overdue and yet of course there’s still so many cisgender men who refuse to believe there’s no problem.

I’m just so angry, I’m angry that male violence towards women is still something that happens, I’m angry for all the women killed by male violence whose deaths don’t get as much media attention because they aren’t white. I’m angry that many men don’t recognise that they’re part of the problem. I’m angry that progress on this has been SO SO SLOW and that the onus is still on women, trans men and non-binary people to protect ourselves rather than dealing with the societal problems that allow cisgender men to attack us in the first place. I hope that this is the start of real action to make the world a safer place for those of us who aren’t cisgender men, and that we are able to make real change because it has been far, far too long coming. For any of my followers/readers who are also in the UK, if you haven’t filled out the Government survey about Violence Against Women And Girls, then please do, it’s super important and could affect future policy on the issue: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/violence-against-women-and-girls-vawg-call-for-evidence

Anyway, with the long rant over, it’s Tuesday, and as always I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week is our annual Spring TBR topic, and I have to admit, I’ve not done great on my Winter TBR, I only read 5 books out of 14 because I’ve been in a slump basically since November. I’m hoping that this slump will cease over the Spring because I have so many books I’m excited to read:

  1. The Unbound-Victoria Schwab

My current read, I was meant to be reading Where Dreams Descend for my March TBR read, but given the slump, I decided to switch to this one as it’s shorter and by a favourite author which usually helps me break my reading slumps. It’s been almost four years since I read The Archived though, so I will admit, I did have to read a recap before starting this one.

2. Lore-Alexandra Bracken

My current audiobook, I’ve actually been reading this one since the beginning of February, but as I only listen to audiobooks when I go for my hourly run once a week, I’ve been making my way through it rather slowly. It’s okay, but not a new favourite.

3. Scarlet-AC Gaughen

My April #RockMyTBR book, I didn’t have massive luck with my last gender swapped Robin Hood retelling, but I’m hoping this female Will Scarlet retelling will work better for me!

4. Phoenix Flame-Sara Holland

My current Netgalley read which I’ve just started. I thought Havenfall was only okay, but I was intrigued enough that I wanted to check out the sequel which I’m hoping will up the ante from the first book.

5. Mina and The Undead-Amy McCaw

I’m not usually a horror fan, but Amy is a friend of mine, she was my secret sister in one round of the #otspsecretsister project and I so enjoyed having her as a pen-pal for six months, so I wanted to support her debut novel! I have an e-arc from Netgalley and I’m looking forward to reading it soon.

6. Ariadne-Jennifer Saint

I’m really excited about this one, I love Greek mythology and have always felt like Ariadne gets a bad rap in the Theseus and The Minotaur myth so I’m really excited to see what Jennifer Saint does with her story here, especially after really enjoying Circe by Madeline Miller, another Greek mythology book that looks at a maligned woman from Greek mythology in a different way. I have an e-arc for this one from Netgalley as well.

7. Sky Breaker-Addie Thorley

I really enjoyed Night Spinner when I read it last year, so I’m excited to see how Enebish’s story ends in the final book in this duology, which I also have an e-arc for from Netgalley (the Netgalley gods have been very kind to me recently!).

8. Olive, Mabel and Me-Andrew Cotter

My next planned audiobook read, I, like many others have really enjoyed Andrew’s videos of his two labradors Olive & Mabel and I think this book will be a really fun read. I especially waited for the book to be available on Audible because I thought listening to Andrew read it would be the best way to experience it.

9. Beloved-Toni Morrison

This was on my Winter TBR as well and I just haven’t got round to it yet, I really need to soon though, as it’s not mine, I was lent it by a friend so I do have to give it back at some point!

10. Where Dreams Descend-Janella Angeles

This was meant to be my March #RockMyTBR book, but because of my reading slump, I wasn’t really in the mood for a long descriptive book at the moment, so I swapped it for The Unbound and will come back to it in May. I really didn’t want my reading slump to affect my enjoyment of this book as it sounds like one I will really like if I’m in the right mood to read it.

11. City of Spells-Alexandra Christo

The sequel to Into The Crooked Place is finally here! I really enjoyed Into The Crooked Place when I read it about two years ago now, and I’m excited to see how this duology wraps up.

12. Good Girl, Bad Blood-Holly Jackson

I really enjoyed A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder last year, and I’ve been excited to read the sequel ever since, so I’m hoping I get a chance to get round to it this Spring.

So that’s my Spring TBR, it’s probably a little ambitious given my reading slump, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to get through at least a few of these in the next few months. What’s on your Spring TBR? Have you read any of these (of the ones that are already out?) What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back with another Top Ten Tuesday next week, which is meant to be Funny Book Titles, however I don’t really know many of those, so I’m flipping the theme slightly and sharing Funniest Percy Jackson Chapter Titles (as Rick Riordan is the king of funny chapter titles).

Top Ten Tuesday #306

Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, mine has as always been fairly quiet, there’s never very much to say about life under lockdown!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week our topic is a Spring Cleaning Freebie, so I’m going to be talking about Books I Added To My Goodreads TBR More Than Two Years Ago That I’m Considering Getting Rid Of. Like all of us, I add far more books to my Goodreads TBR than I will ever be able to read, and after a while, I forget about why I added them in the first place. So for this week, I’ve gone through my TBR and weeded out some of the books that I’m not sure I’m interested in anymore:

  1. All My Secrets-Sophie McKenzie

I used to really love Sophie McKenzie’s books when I was a teenager, but I’ve not read any of her books in the past few years and have kind of lost interest after feeling fairly lukewarm about her adult thrillers. I added it around when it first came out, but over five years later, I’ve still not read it. I have liked her YA thrillers in the past though, so I don’t know if I should give it a chance.

2. The DUFF-Kody Keplinger

I watched the film for this and it was okay, nothing massively special, just your average teen film really. But back when I added it to my list, I read more YA contemporary than I do now, and to be honest, my interest in YA contemporary now is fairly limited, as I feel a bit old for high school drama! So I’m not sure if it’s something I’ll ever read, especially as I’ve already seen the film.

3. The Testing-Joelle Charbonneau

I added this one to my TBR when I was still in my dystopian phase in 2015, and to be honest, I’m kind of over that now especially as most YA dystopian books I’ve read have felt very same-y. If it felt like this book added something new to the genre then I might be more interested, but from the description, it sounds exactly like 10,000 other dystopian books.

4. The Next Together-Lauren James

I think I added this one after hearing about it at YALC, and it did sound cool at the time, but looking back on it, it’s basically a romance story even with the time travelling aspect and given my lack of patience for most romances in books, I’m just not sure if I would actually enjoy it.

5. Those Who Save Us-Jenna Blum

I thought this one sounded really interesting when I added it, a mother/daughter story surrounding secrets from the mother’s past in WWII but it’s been sitting on my TBR for almost five years and I haven’t yet felt the need to pick it up which make me think that maybe I’m not that interested after all.

6. Shatter Me-Tahereh Mafi

Ah another victim of my growing out of my dystopian phase. I know a lot of people like this book which is why I added it to my TBR in the first place, because I’d heard good things about it, but I’ve not really felt the need to pick it up over the last few years and I’m like 90% sure that this series has a love triangle, so that is quite off-putting to me.

7. Mechanica-Betsy Cornwell

I added this a while back when I was adding a lot of fairytale retellings to my TBR, and it sounded good at the time but now I’m not so sure. It seems basically like Cinder without the space aspects and I wasn’t a big fan of that book, and I’m also not really a massive fan of Cinderella in general, so I don’t really know if this one would be for me (Cinderella Is Dead being an exception).

8. The Winner’s Curse-Marie Rutkoski

Another victim of the end of my dystopian phase! I have heard such good things about this one, but I just don’t know if I’m interested anymore. I don’t really know how I feel about a romance that starts with a master/slave vibe and I’m just generally not massively interested in dystopian books anymore because they all started to feel very same-y.

9. The Girl of Fire and Thorns-Rae Carson

Honestly this sounds like literally every other YA fantasy book, I mean I do get that a lot of them are very same-y and I accept that, but this one doesn’t really seem to have anything particularly interesting to set it apart from all the others I read, so I’m just not that sure if I’m interested anymore.

10. Assassin’s Heart-Sarah Ahiers

I thought this sounded interesting when I first added it, but the reviews I’ve seen haven’t been great and the longer it’s on my TBR, the less interested I’ve been in it. It seems like a Romeo and Juliet kind of story, with the main characters being assassins from rival families who have been in a secret relationship. I don’t know it just seems like it probably has too much focus on romance for me and since I’ve heard fairly lukewarm reviews of it, my interest has waned.

11. Burning Midnight-Will McIntosh

I thought this sounded quite unique when I first saw it, a world where these magic spheres are used as currency, but in the years since I added it to my TBR, my interest has waned. I don’t really know why, I have a lot of other books to read I guess and this one just hasn’t really stood out as something I’m desperately excited to read.

12. Henge-Realm Lovejoy

I do love Arthurian myths, so I can see why I added it to my TBR in the first place, but it’s been several years, it’s not a book that really seems to be around anywhere in the UK, so I don’t really know if it’s worth keeping on my TBR when I’m likely to never read it.

13. Why We Broke Up-Daniel Handler

I thought this sounded like a cute story when I first added it, but again, it’s a contemporary mostly based around a romance (albeit a break-up) so I’m not actually sure how much I’d like it. I’ve also heard some not great things about Daniel Handler in recent years and I’m not sure if I want to support his work anymore (I did read A Series of Unfortunate Events when I was younger).

14. These Rebel Waves-Sara Raasch

I do love pirates, so that aspect of this book really appealed to me, but I wasn’t a big fan of Raasch’s Snow Like Ashes, so I don’t really know if I want to read anymore of her books.

15. The Hidden Memory of Objects-Danielle Mages Amato

I’m kind of torn on this one because the story does sound interesting (a girl tries to solve the mystery of her brother’s death after the police rule it a suicide) but at the same time, it’s been on my TBR for years and I’ve not picked it up or even really thought about it, so that suggests that perhaps I wasn’t as interested as I thought.

16. Bridge of Clay-Markus Zusak

I’ll be honest, I added this to my TBR because I love The Book Thief so much, but I’m not really sure if this one appeals to me, the description on Goodreads is kind of confusing and I don’t really get what it’s about!

So there we go, those are some of the books I’m considering removing from my TBR? Any that I should definitely get rid of? Any that you think I should give a chance? Basically I want to know what you thought of these books, so let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is our annual Spring TBR topic, so you can all hear about how much I failed on my Winter TBR and watch me still make ridiculously ambitious reading plans for the Spring!

Top Ten Tuesday #305

Hi all! I hope you’ve all had a good week this week, mine was fairly quiet but I did have some great video chats with my friends over the weekend which were super fun, I cannot wait till I can finally see my friends in person again though!

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking about Characters Whose Jobs I Wish I Had. Now obviously, I already know the job I’m planning to go into (Journalism) but if I wasn’t going to do that, these are the jobs that fictional characters have, that I’d like to do:

  1. Amy Fleming-Heartland Series-Lauren Brooke-Horse Trainer

I love horses, and Amy’s job of working with horses with problems always seemed like such a cool thing to do when I was younger. I still really would love to learn some of the natural horsemanship techniques that Amy does in the books (and on the show) though that will probably only happen in a dream world where I finally manage to get a horse of my own!

2. Enrique Mercado-Lopez-The Gilded Wolves Trilogy-Roshani Chokshi-Historian

This one isn’t actually massively out of the question, since part of my degree was History! I do love the idea of being a historian, but I’m not really academically inclined and I didn’t want to do further education which I’d need to do if I was going to go into academia and do historical research. If I could find a job that was history related that I didn’t need further degrees for though, I would definitely be interested!

3. Mrs Elm-The Midnight Library-Matt Haig-Librarian

Any job to do with books would be perfect for me, and I have so many great memories of a particularly brilliant librarian from the library I used to go to when I was a kid, who was so lovely and helpful. I’m not really a kid person, so I don’t think I’d make the best children’s librarian but I reckon I would be a good general librarian, I know I’d be good at helping patrons find books they’d love.

4. Cath-Heartless-Marissa Meyer-Baker

I am able to bake a little, mostly really simple things like cookies and flapjacks, but I’d love to be able to do it well, in my dreams I’d be able to bake like the bakers on the Great British Bake-off and do all of these super elaborate desserts!

5. Jordan McAffee-Several Jodi Picoult books-Jodi Picoult-Lawyer

My parents always used to joke I’d make a good lawyer when I was a kid because I loved to argue! I’ve always found legal stuff interesting, but never really felt compelled to make it a career, mostly because I don’t think I could live with someone innocent going to jail because of me (or someone guilty walking free). However, when I was in Cape Town, I met a lawyer who worked for the Women’s Legal Centre, and if I was a lawyer, I’d love to do what she does, fighting to improve women’s rights would be a great job for me.

6. Henry Strauss-The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue-V.E. Schwab-Bookseller

I’ve always thought I’d make a great bookseller, finding people great books to read sounds like my idea of a dream job. Now I have worked in retail before, so I do realise that bookselling would probably have all the same drawbacks that all of my other retail jobs have had, but getting a discount on books would be totally worth it!

7. Lina Vilkas-Between Shades of Gray-Ruta Sepetys-Artist

I am terrible at art, truly horrendous, but I’ve always wanted to be good at it, it’s like singing, I really admire and am envious of people who can do it well. However, this is a dream not reality scenario, so in this scenario, if I was good at art, I would love to be an artist like Lina.

8. Dawn Edelstein-The Book of Two Ways-Jodi Picoult-Egyptologist

Egyptology seems like it would be a truly fascinating subject to study, I’ve always thought archaeology was really cool, so I’d love to be able to go on digs and excavate tombs, but being the history nerd that I am, I’d also love studying Ancient Egyptian history, I think it would be so interesting. I’ve not had a chance to study much Ancient history so far and I’ve always been fascinated by it, so I think Egyptology would be a really fun and interesting thing to study.

9. Queenie-Code Name Verity-Elizabeth Wein-Spy

I’m not sure I’d make the world’s best spy, but again, this is a dream scenario, so I think I can swing it. All the different disguises and pretending to be someone else is very appealing to me and though I’m sure the job would be dangerous, I reckon being undercover as a spy would also be really fun (I would not have wanted to do it during a war like Queenie though!).

10. Will Fitzgerald-The Diviners Series-Libba Bray-Museum Curator

Being a museum curator would be so interesting, obviously I would want to work for a historical museum rather than an arts or science one as that’s my area of interest but managing a museum’s collections sounds super interesting. Again, I probably wouldn’t do this in real life, as it requires higher degrees and so more studying, but if in a dream world I could do this job without those, then yes, I would definitely go for it.

So there we go, those are some Characters Whose Jobs I Wish I Had. Have you read any of these books? Would you like to? What fictional characters’ jobs would you like to have? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is a Spring Cleaning Freebie, now I’m not planning on doing an unhaul of my bookshelves any time soon, so instead, I’m going to look at Books I Added To My Goodreads TBR More Than Two Years Ago and see if I can clean up my Goodreads shelves!

Top Ten Tuesday #304

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week this week, as usual mine was very quiet, though I have a lot of job applications to get through this week and a few video chats organised for the end of the week, so this week is looking a little busier.

Anyway, since it’s Tuesday, I have another Top Ten Tuesday for you all, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we were meant to do Books That Made Us Laugh Out Loud, but I decided to go a slightly different route: as it’s still Black History Month in the US (the UK does Black History Month in October), I wanted to share some Books By Black Authors on My TBR as there are so many great Black authored books coming out this year, and many more that have come out previously that I’m excited to read too:

  1. This Poison Heart-Kalynn Bayron

Cinderella Is Dead was one of my favourite books of last year, so naturally I’m super excited for Kalynn’s newest book, which comes out in July. The cover is gorgeous, and the story sounds great, sapphic love story with plant magic and lots of family secrets? Sign me up!

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

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin was another of my favourite books of last year, so I’m super excited for the sequel to release at the end of August (it was June, but has been pushed back), especially as the first book ended on a cliffhanger!

3. The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1)-Namina Forna

I’ve already heard such great things about this one, it’s about a deeply patriarchal society where women are shunned or killed if they have gold blood instead of red blood. The gorgeous cover was definitely what attracted to me to this one, but it does sound like a really interesting story, so I’m excited to read it.

4. Off The Record-Camryn Garrett

As a journalist myself, I’m always interested when I see books about young journalists, and this one sounds really interesting, a teenage #metoo journalist story. I know that I’ll probably be quite picky around the journalistic details in this one since I have experience in the area but I’m still really looking forward to reading it.

5. Ace of Spades-Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

I was immediately drawn to this one when I saw the Gossip Girl comparison because I was obsessed with Gossip Girl as a teenager, and it sounds so good, I’ve read very little dark academia before, Ninth House and Vicious are the only ones that really come to mind, so I’m super excited to try this one, especially because it centres Black students, and all the dark academia I’ve read before has very much centred white people.

6. Endgame (Noughts and Crosses #6)-Malorie Blackman

Agh, I can’t believe this is the last Noughts and Crosses book we’re ever going to get. I read the first Noughts and Crosses book when I was 11 and by the time one releases I’ll be almost 25! Anyway, I can’t deny I was a little disappointed by Crossfire but I’m still excited to see how this series ends.

7. Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race-Reni Eddo-Lodge

Yes, I know, I know, I’m super behind the curve on this one! My sister keeps telling me to read it and that it’s super good, but I just haven’t got round to it yet. I’m definitely hoping to try and get to it this year though, as I want to educate myself more on structural racism, especially in the UK.

8. A River of Royal Blood-Amanda Joy

I added this one to my TBR a while back, but I’ve still not got around to it, since my TBR is huge and ever expanding. It does sound really good though, it’s about a sisterly rivalry which is definitely up my street.

9. A Blade So Black-LL McKinney

This one sounds really great, it’s an Alice in Wonderland retelling with a Black Alice. I’ve not been able to find this one in the UK so far and I’m trying not to buy my books from Amazon, so I’ll just have to see where I can get this from.

10. A Promised Land-Barack Obama

I got Barack Obama’s latest memoir for Christmas and wow is it a hefty tome! I will probably be dipping in and out of this one throughout the year rather than reading it in one chunk as it’s easier to do that with a non-fiction book.

So there we go, those are some of the books by Black Authors that are currently on my TBR. Do we share any? Have you read any of these (of the ones that are already published)? Are you excited for any? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic is Characters Whose Job I Wish I Had, and honestly I was going to try and do books where the main characters are journalists, but it turns out those are fairly few and I haven’t read most of them. This will be a tricky one to do, since I read mostly YA, but I will I give it a go!

Top Ten Tuesday #303

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week this past week, as always, mine has been very quiet as is usual for life under lockdown. So today is apparently Mardi Gras, which we don’t really do in the UK, the day before Lent in the UK is Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day depending on whether you observe the religious aspects or not, we don’t in our family, but we do still eat pancakes because let’s face it, any excuse to eat pancakes!

Anyway, with that in mind, today’s Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl, is Mardi Gras themed, so we’re sharing Books With Purple, Yellow and Green Covers, the colours of Mardi Gras. I actually thought this one would be more tricky than it was, but it turns out there are a lot of books with these colour covers. As with my Valentine’s Cover topic last week, these covers won’t necessarily have all three colours on them, but they will have at least one:

  1. The Kingdom of Copper (Daevabad Trilogy #2)-SA Chakraborty
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I love the covers for this series so much, honestly I could have used The Empire of Gold as well because it has a purple cover, but I decided to stick to just one from this series. This series has the most gorgeous covers and I highly recommend the series as well, it was one of my favourites from last year.

2. The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves #1)-Roshani Chokshi

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This series also has some of the most gorgeous covers, I cannot wait till The Bronzed Beasts comes out and I can see all three of the covers together. Anyway, I love everything about this cover, the green, the purple and the gold work so well together and the leaves and flowers are really fitting as one of the characters is a botanist and gardens play quite a big role in the story.

3. Into The Crooked Place (Into The Crooked Place #1)-Alexandra Christo

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I love the dark purple colour of this one, purple is one of my favourite colours anyway, and this is a really pretty shade. The black and the silver also look really good on this background, and I love the silvery spirals. This book is also really great, I loved the group dynamics, and it had lots of great twists and turns, I can’t wait to read the sequel when it comes out next month as it left off on a serious cliffhanger!

4. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games #0)-Suzanne Collins

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Honestly everything about this book was a let down. The cover itself is pretty ugly, and the story itself was slow and kind of boring. However it does have a yellow and green cover, so it fits the topic!

5. Hamilton and Peggy!: A Revolutionary Friendship-LM Elliott

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So it’s kind of a turquoise-y cover rather than pure green, but I figured it still counted, plus it also has yellow on it! I really enjoyed this book, I learned a lot about Peggy that I didn’t really know, since Hamilton kind of reduces her down to “And Peggy!” but in real life she was so much more than that. I love the little cameo of Hamilton at the top, the nod to the 18th century setting, and the colours match really well.

6. Daughter of The Burning City-Amanda Foody

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I think this is my favourite of Amanda Foody’s covers, I love the colours, that shade of purple is so nice and I love the way the stripes in the background kind of look like a circus tent. It’s a really cool story as well, it’s basically a circus murder mystery but the murder victims are illusions, who aren’t supposed to be able to die!

7. Rebel of The Sands (Rebel of The Sands #1)-Alwyn Hamilton

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I love this cover so much! The colours are gorgeous (and I’m not usually a fan of either green or yellow but these are really nice shades), the way that it resembles a night sky is so nice and I love the little black silhouettes. I highly recommend this book, it’s a fun, fast paced story and the main character Amani is great. I could have used the second book in the series for this one too as it has a purple cover, but since I used it for my purple covers topic, I decided not to.

8. Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7)-Sarah J Maas

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I generally like the UK Throne of Glass covers, but I was definitely a bit jealous of this US cover for the final book, it’s so vivid, it really looks like the background is flames, and you don’t get the same effect with the UK cover as the background is white. I did generally enjoy the final Throne of Glass book, but there’s no denying that it did NOT NEED TO BE OVER 900 PAGES.

9. This Poison Heart-Kalynn Bayron

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This one comes out in July, and I’m super excited for it, because I loved Cinderella Is Dead last year and this one sounds just as good. It also has all three colours of this week’s theme, the background is green, there’s yellow writing, and Bri has purple flowers in her hair. Whoever designed this cover did a really great job, I love the nature theme, and it’s such a bright and colourful cover!

10. Forest of A Thousand Lanterns (Rise of The Empress #1)-Julie C.Dao

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Look it’s the YA Book Snake! I have to admit, this isn’t my favourite cover, I like the green background, but the flower and the snake definitely seem like stock photos which is not my favourite cover trend. I actually prefer the US paperback, which is a more illustrated cover. Still, it does fit the theme, with the green and the yellow on the cover.

So there we go, those are my Purple, Yellow and Green covers for Mardi Gras! Have you read any of these? Are any on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

Next week’s topic was meant to be Books That Make Us Laugh Out Loud, but I’ve decided to go a little off course and instead talk about Books By Black Authors On My TBR, Leah from Leah’s Books topic last week reminded me that we haven’t ever really done a topic for Black History Month before, so I wanted to take the chance to talk about all of the great Black authored books that I’m excited to read.

Top Ten Tuesday #302

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, as with last week, I’ll be spending this week working on more job applications as usual.

Anyway, as it’s Tuesday, I’ve got another Top Ten Tuesday for you all courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Obviously Valentine’s Day is this Sunday (as usual, I am doing nothing!) so we’ve got a Love Freebie for this week. I’ve decided to do a cover themed post this week as you guys always seem to really like those, so I’ll be sharing my favourite Red, White and Pink covers in honour of Valentines Day. As with the Red, White and Blue cover topic we did, these books won’t necessarily have all three colours on their cover but they will all have at least one:

  1. The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2)-Roshani Chokshi
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This is my current read and I still can’t get over how gorgeous this cover is. White and red always look so great together and I love how much this cover embraces the wintery setting of the book (it’s set in Russia).

2. Ruin and Rising (Shadow and Bone #3)-Leigh Bardugo

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Another red and white one, I have to admit, I actually prefer the redesigned covers to the originals ones but this one fitted the theme better. I do love the red colour, but I’m not massively in love with the illustration?

3. Girl, Serpent, Thorn-Melissa Bashardoust

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The YA book snake makes a return appearance! In all seriousness though, I really do love this cover, the white and the pink are really complimentary and I think they did something very visually intriguing with the flowers and the thorns wrapped within the snake.

4. Alex and Eliza-Melissa De La Cruz

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I really didn’t like this book, it’s very historically inaccurate and it’s just a slow and rather dull book. However, the cover does fit the prompt as it is pink.

5. A Thousand Perfect Notes-CG Drews

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We have a little bit of all three on this cover, some red, some white and some pink. I love this cover, I think the butterfly wing is a really gorgeous and cool design and I love the simplicity of it as well.

6. Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1)-Amanda Foody

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I couldn’t not include this one in a red and white covers list! I really love what they did with these covers, the way they integrated the card suites into the background of the cover in particular I think is really cool.

7. Finale-Stephanie Garber

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The UK hardback covers for the Caraval trilogy are so gorgeous, it makes me so mad how dirty they did the paperback covers! I will admit, I did like the Fairyloot exclusive cover better (and did slightly kick myself for agreeing that my friend could have it when we split the cost of the special edition box as I’d already bought the original edition) but this cover has grown on me.

8. Under Rose Tainted Skies-Louise Gornall

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I couldn’t not have this cover on this list, given that it is bright pink! Very sadly, Louise Gornall died of cancer last year, and this was her only book, but it’s one of the most touching books about mental health that I’ve ever read, so I highly recommend it.

9. Everless-Sara Holland

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The US cover for this one is a little more dramatic, but I actually really like the minimalist approach that they took with the UK cover and I love the hourglass, it’s not a design that you usually see on book covers. Plus obviously the red and white works great for my purposes here!

10. Reign of The Fallen-Sarah Glenn Marsh

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The combination of the light pink and the skull is definitely unexpected, usually skulls on covers tend to be on darker backgrounds but I think it works really well!

11. Heartless-Marissa Meyer

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I really loved this origin story of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland and I think the UK cover is so much prettier than the US one. I particularly loved the way the queen’s face in this forms the shape of a heart!

12. The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2)-Samantha Shannon

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I’m so glad they decided to revert back to the original covers for this series because they’re so pretty, I hated the redesign (though now I have one awkward redesigned cover, but that’s neither here nor there). I love the red of this cover, it’s so vibrant, and the little moth details (Paige’s syndicate name is The Black Moth) are really cool as well.

13. A Darker Shade of Magic-VE Schwab

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I couldn’t do this topic without featuring at least one VE Schwab book, since red, white and black are pretty much her default colour scheme at this point! The Shades of Magic books also work really well for this topic anyway, since Red and White London are two of the Londons in this book.

14. The Scorpio Races-Maggie Stiefvater

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I have to admit that 99% of the reason that I picked up The Scorpio Races in the first place was the cover, it really is just so gorgeous (and this UK cover is still my favourite). In terms of the content, I definitely preferred The Raven Boys to this one, but it was still a fun read.

I know I went super over this week, but it turns out there are a lot of really lovely red, white and pink covers, so I wanted to share as many as I could with you! Do you like any of these covers? Have you read any of these books? What is your favourite red, white or pink cover? Let me know in the comments!

So next week is another cover topic, we’ll be sharing Purple, Green and Yellow Covers in honour of Mardi Gras, which I’m really looking forward to as I love doing cover posts!

Top Ten Tuesday #301

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve all had a good week since I last did one of these, mine has been fairly quiet, I’m working on a job application this week, so that’s probably going to take up most of my time.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking about Books Written Before I Was Born, so for me that’s anything that was published 26 years ago or earlier (I’m 24, turning 25 this year). I’ve chosen to go for all books I’ve read (we could have done books on our TBR as well) and these are in order of publication date, so no particular indicator of how much I liked the book:

  1. What Katy Did-Susan Coolidge-First Published 1872

This was actually one of my Mum’s favourites when she was younger and both me and my sister read it too (my sister is actually also called Katy, though I don’t think this book had anything to do with that!). Katy gets up to all sorts of mischief and I remember this book being a lot of fun to read.

2. Black Beauty-Anna Sewell-First Published 1877

Black Beauty is one of only a handful of classic books that I actually really liked, I’m usually not a fan! Of course, the fact that it’s about horses certainly helped but it’s also just a really beautiful and emotional story. If you’re going to watch one of the many film versions, I recommend the 1994 one, the horses are beautiful and it’s really well done.

3. Ballet Shoes-Noel Streatfeild-First Published 1936

For someone who was terrible at dancing, I really did enjoy dance books when I was younger! The sister relationship was definitely my favourite thing about this book, I think that reading about Pauline, Petrova and Posy when I was younger was the start of me loving the “found family” trope!

4. The Enchanted Wood-Enid Blyton-First Published 1939

Okay, I am very aware that Enid Blyton was pretty awful (apparently growing up means learning that all of the authors you liked when you were a kid were horrible people, but the Faraway Tree books, starting with The Enchanted Wood were really my start into fantasy. I loved being able to visit different lands with Jo, Bessie and Fanny (yes, her name has had to be changed in current editions of the book!) and meeting all of the magical creatures who lived in the Faraway Tree. It was always exciting to see whether they’d end up in a fun land (the Land of Birthdays for instance) or a bad one like The Land of Dame Slap.

5. Charlotte’s Web-EB White-First Published 1952

I maintain that Charlotte will remain the only spider I will ever like, and that’s only because she’s fictional. I feel like Charlotte’s Web is one of those that many generations share as a childhood classic? Anyway, it’s a really lovely, if a very sad story about the unlikely friendship between a pig and a spider and it’s one of the first books I can remember being completely devastated by the ending!

6. Flambards-KM Peyton-First Published 1967

When I was younger I was completely obsessed with horse stories (I still love and ride horses now, but horse books don’t tend to be aimed toward 24 year olds so I read less of them!) and Flambards was one of my favourites. It’s been a long time since I read it so I can’t really remember the details but I remember really liking Christina, really liking the horses and enjoying the development of the relationship between Christina and Will.

7. Matilda-Roald Dahl-First Published 1988

Roald Dahl is another of those authors I loved when I was younger that I now know was a pretty awful person. Matilda did mean a lot to me when I was a kid though, it’s one of the first books I remember reading with a main character who really loved books, so obviously I strongly related to her. It’s such a fun read, and Miss Trunchbull remains one of my favourite villains to this day.

8. Good Omens-Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett-First Published 1990

I actually only read Good Omens last year! I didn’t really like the book that much, though I enjoyed the show, it was very much of its time and a lot of the humour relied on sexist, racist and homophobic stereotypes which wasn’t something I enjoyed.

9. Animal Ark-Lucy Daniels-First Published 1994

I was obsessed with Animal Ark when I was a kid, I loved animals so these stories about vet’s daughter Mandy Hope and her animal saving exploits were right up my street. They were really short and there were a lot of them published, there were 12 published before I was born alone, so you can imagine I read a lot of them!

10. Picture Perfect-Jodi Picoult-First Published 1995

This was one of Jodi Picoult’s earlier books, so the writing wasn’t as good, I tend to prefer her post 2000 publications than the books she published early in her career. However, this is my favourite of her earlier published books, though it does rely on one of my least favourite tropes (amnesia), it’s a really interesting look into an abusive marriage.

So there we go, those are some books I’ve read that were published before I was born. How about you? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Next week is our annual Valentines Day Freebie, which is always one of my least favourite topics as I’m not really a romance person, so I’m doing a topic that’s only tangentially related to Valentines Day and sharing my favourite Red, White and Pink Book Covers (similar to the Red, White and Blue covers post we did for 4th July a few years back). I realise this means I’m doing two cover related posts in a row as the topic for the week after is also a cover one, but you guys really seem to like cover posts, so I don’t think you’ll mind!

Top Ten Tuesday #300

Hi everyone! I hope you had a good week since I last did one of these. I attended the virtual UK launch of The Mask Falling, the latest Bone Season book yesterday (the book is out today so if you’re a Bone Season fan, our time is now!) and it was a really fun event, I do miss in-person book events, but the virtual events I’ve been to so far have been really well run and the authors and moderators have done a great job.

Anyway, it’s Tuesday, so it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday, courtesy of Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week we’re talking about our Top Ten New To Me Authors We Discovered In 2020, which is always one of my favourite topics to share as I love raving about new authors I’ve come to love. It’s also a timely topic as it coincides with my 300th Top Ten Tuesday, so it’s nice to have a topic I like doing for this milestone post. So here we go, the new to me authors I discovered last year that I will be reading more from (as always, they are all women because I read basically no male authors these days):

  1. Roshani Chokshi

The Gilded Wolves was one of my favourite reads from last year, it was such a fun read and I’m super excited to read the sequel next month and also for the final book in the trilogy later this year. I really enjoyed Roshani Chokshi’s writing and especially her character dynamics, so I will definitely be checking out her work after The Gilded Wolves trilogy ends.

2. SA Chakraborty

I devoured the Daevabad trilogy last year, I loved SA Chakraborty’s lush, expansive worldbuilding and the characters she created in this world. I’m already super excited for her new series, the first book of which is set to publish next year, which sounds like a historical pirate heist, so basically everything I love in one book.

3. Holly Jackson

A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder is one of the best mysteries I’ve read in ages, so naturally Holly Jackson is an author I’m definitely going to be looking out for from now on. I’m super excited to read the sequel this year and apparently there’s going to be a third book as well, so lots more adventures for Pip and Ravi to come, which is great! I find it so hard to find mysteries that really impress me, so having found Holly Jackson, she’s definitely an author I’m going to be following well into the future.

4. Roseanne A. Brown

I really enjoyed Roseanne’s debut, A Song of Wraiths and Ruin last year and I’m super excited to read the sequel when it comes out later this year. She’s already a really great writer, so I’m looking forward to seeing how she grows through her career.

5. Madeline Miller

Circe was another of my favourite reads from last year, Madeline is such a beautiful writer and I love Greek mythology so much, so I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from her. The Song of Achilles is definitely near the top of the list of books I want to read, because I’ve heard so many good things about it!

6. Addie Thorley

I really enjoyed Night Spinner when I read it last year, it was such a creative fantasy, I loved the arctic setting, not one that’s really utilised very much in fantasy. I’m really excited to read the sequel, Sky Breaker and also to read her debut An Affair of Poisons because I love historical fantasy.

7. Laura Bates

Men Who Hate Women was my favourite book of last year, and with one of my goals for the year being to read more non-fiction, I can definitely see myself picking up more of Laura Bates’ books this year, starting with Everyday Sexism which I already have on my shelf.

8. Rebecca Schaeffer

Not Even Bones was a really exciting series starter, so I’m looking forward to read the rest of the Market of Monsters trilogy, I already have Only Ashes Remain, so hopefully I will get around to it at some point this year.

9. Susan Dennard

I read all of the Witchlands books last year, and I’m really looking forward to Witchshadow coming out in June. I really enjoy following Susan on Instagram, she always has great writing tips and talks a lot about craft and process which I really appreciate!

10. Kalynn Bayron

Cinderella is Dead was one of my favourite reads of last year, and I was really surprised because Cinderella is not one of my favourite fairytales, but I loved what Bayron did with it. I’m already excited for her 2021 release This Poison Heart, it has such a beautiful cover and I love the idea of the plant magic.

So there we go, those were my favourite new-to-me authors of 2020. All of these authors have books I’m really looking forward to reading either already out or coming out in the future, so I look forward to hopefully finding even more favourite books from them! Have you read any of these authors? Did you enjoy their books? Let me know in the comments!

I’ll be back next week with another Top Ten Tuesday, this time the topic is Books Written Before I Was Born, which should be a really interesting one, I’m intrigued to see how all of our lists differ, given the varying ages of bloggers in the book community!