Top Five Tuesday – Most anticipated releases of 2021

It’s Top Five Tuesday which is hosted by Meeghan Reads, every week we’re given a book related topic and we choose our top five! This week we’re looking ahead to see which 2021 releases we’re looking forward to.

Lore by Alexandra Bracken – January 2021

Every seven years the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the Earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.”

Girl A by Abigail Dean – February 2021

“Lexie Grace doesn’t want to think about her family. She doesn’t want to think about her parents’ house of horrors. And she doesn’t want to think about her identity as Girl A: the girl who escaped. When her mother dies in prison and leaves Lex and her siblings the family home, she can’t run from her past any longer. Together with her sister Evie, Lexie intends to turn the house of horrors into a force for good.”

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner – March 2021

A female apothecary dispenses poisons to liberate women from the men who have wronged them – setting three lives across centuries on a dangerous collision course. Rule 1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman. Rule 2: The name of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.”

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir – May 2021

“Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate last chance mission and if he fails humanity and the Earth itself will perish. Except right now he doesn’t know that. He doesn’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.”

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard – May 2021

“Who is left when the heroes fall? Corayne lives at the end of the world. Year after year, she watches her pirate mother sail away to adventures she’ll never share. So when a mysterious immortal and deadly assassin appears on Corayne’s doorstep telling her she is the last member of a dying bloodline, and the only one who can save the world, she seizes the chance to have her own adventure.”

The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin – ????

This is nowhere near confirmed but I’m holding out hope that George will save the year by releasing this much awaited book!!

Top Five Tuesday – Bookish Resolutions

It’s Top Five Tuesday which is hosted by Meeghan Reads, every week we’re given a book related topic and we choose our top five! It’s the New Year, hooray! Here are my book related resolutions:

1. Listen to more audiobooks

I have really enjoyed listening to audiobooks in the past but I’ve got out of the habit recently. I tend to listen to non-fiction audiobooks because I struggle to read them as I get too bored. I want to learn more things!

2. Read more on my train journeys

I’ve done well with this so far, I used to read a lot on my way to and from work but I got out of the habit last year so I want to restart it. My journeys are only about twenty minutes but that could add up to a lot of pages!

3. Read more poetry

I read some poetry by Rupi Kaur last year and really enjoyed it. I think school had put me off poetry but her work is so beautiful and clever that I want to try reading some more.

4. Stay on track with my tbr list

Last year I felt I struggled a bit to keep up with my reading targets, maybe because I wasn’t concentrating as well, I’m not sure. But this year I want to try to focus on reading all my unread books that I physically have.

5. Improve my reviews

I haven’t been very motivated to write reviews for the past couple of months, I think because I’ve been so stressed I just couldn’t think of what to say. Hopefully I can turn it around a bit this year.

What are some of your bookish resolutions?

Top Five Tuesday – Best reads of 2020

It’s Top Five Tuesday which is hosted by Meeghan Reads, every week we’re given a book related topic and we choose our top five! This week it’s time to pick our favourite reads of the year. This year has been completely mad and very stressful, I have cherished reading and the escapism it provides more than ever.

1. Circe by Madeline Miller

I absolutely loved this book, it’s so cleverly written. I related to Circe’s lonely witch vibes and loved seeing her grow in strength over the course of the story. I learned a lot about the Greek gods and goddesses and if you’re a fan of that era then I strongly recommend it. My full review is here.

2. The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

I read this and my third pick in the middle of lockdown in the UK in my warm sunny garden. I actually didn’t mind spending so much time at home because I was lucky enough to have outside space but this book also helped me travel all the way across Europe with Lyra. I’m so glad we have more stories set in this world so similar to our own but so different. It definitely gave me comfort, despite the tension and brilliant pace of the book. My full review is here.

3. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

I was excited about this book as soon as I heard about it and I was not disappointed. I was surprised though at how relatable Collins managed to make some of the Capitol children and seeing the Hunger Games taking shape was truly chilling. My full review is here.

4. The Girl Who Lived Twice by David Lagercrantz

The last in the Millennium series, I’m still sad we won’t get to see anymore dangerous adventures from Lisbeth and Mikael but this book is a fitting finale. It’s really intense and as clever as all the others in the series. My full review is here.

5. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

This is a very clever book, I really enjoyed finding out about all the complex characters. All the twists and turns were brilliant and unexpected. If you enjoy psychological booksI would strongly recommend it. My full review is here.

What are your favourite reads from this year?

Top Five Tuesday – Best book covers of 2020

It’s Top Five Tuesday which is hosted by Meeghan Reads, every week we’re given a book related topic and we choose our top five! This week we’ve got to pick our favourite book covers of the year:

1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

15841795

2. We Must Be Brave by Frances Liardet

41444358

3. Sanditon by Jane Austen

49794564. sx318 sy475

4. The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

44147077. sy475

5. Maskerade by Terry Pratchett

802929

What are some of your favourite covers from this year?

Top Five Tuesday – Books on my Christmas wish list

It’s Top Five Tuesday which is hosted by Meeghan Reads, every week we’re given a book related topic and we choose our top five! This week we’ve got to share the books on our holiday wish list! I’ve only actually asked for three of these but I’ve got a gift card from my birthday which I’ll use for the others.

1. The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley

I love this series and I’ve been waiting to continue it for a while so I’ve asked for the fourth and fifth books for Christmas. The Pearl Sister follows CeCe to Australia on her journey of self discovery.

2. Making History by Stephen Fry

An earnest history student and a German physicist have the idea to stop Hitler ever being born. From their success a new world is born, it’s different and in some ways better, but also worse. I am so excited to read this, I live alternate history ideas so to have a whole book…just brilliant!

3. The Moon Sister by Lucinda Riley

The fifth book in the series is focused on Tiggy, she currently lives in Scotland and loves her job looking after deer at a sanctuary. We also go back in time to Spain during their civil war. I don’t know a lot about that time so that will be really interesting.

4. The Forgotten Room by Karen White

I’ve had this on my TBR list forever but I’ve struggled to find a place to buy it from so I kept pushing it back! In New York 1945 a young woman is drawn into a mystery that connects three generations of women in her family to single room in Gilded Age mansion.

5. The Queen’s Choice by Anne O’Brien

France, 1399: The Duke of Brittany is dead and his widow, Joanna of Navarre, has inherited control of their land – a testament to her intellect, integrity and political prowess. Then comes an unprecedented proposal from Henry IV, King of England. The price of becoming his Queen? Abandoning her homeland, leaving her children and sacrificing her independence. Henry’s hold on the crown is unsteady and war is brewing. With the constant threat of rebellion, Henry will trust no-one – not even his new Queen. It looks so good and I don’t know much about this time, so I’m pretty excited.

I just realised that these are all historical fiction! What books are on your holiday wishlist?

Top Five Tuesday – Books I’m glad I read this year

It’s Top Five Tuesday which is hosted by Meeghan Reads, every week we’re given a book related topic and we choose our top five! This week we’ve got to pick five book that we’re glad we read this year. I’ve had a great reading year so far and here are my favourites:

1. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

I really enjoyed this book, my full review is here. It’s a prequel to The Hunger Games series but I found it chilling and interesting to see the Capitol just after the war and witness the coldness of the people in charge.

2. The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

I’m so glad Lyra is back! This is the second book in The Book of Dust and Lyra is an adult and enrolled at Oxford University. I loved being back in Lyra’s world and watching her navigate through it to places we’ve never been before, my full review is here.

3. Circe by Madeline Miller

This book is so great! Circe is a badass witch but more than that she still compassion and love to give. I learnt a lot about the Greek gods and goddesses in it as well, my full review is here.

4. The Garden of Lost and Found by Harriet Evans

A sad and beautiful historical fiction novel, I loved this book and the connection that the characters had to their house throughout the 20th century. My full review is here.

5. The Familiars by Stacey Halls

Another witchy tale but this time it was truly terrifying, it’s based on true events and I still can’t get over how awfully women were treated during the witch trials. My full review is here.

What are your favourite reads this year?

Top Five Tuesday – Books I haven’t read yet

It’s Top Five Tuesday which is hosted by Meeghan Reads, every week we’re given a book related topic and we choose our top five! This week we’ve got to choose five books that we wanted to read this year but haven’t yet, I’ve been pretty good this year, I’ve got through most of the books I wanted to but here are five that I may hve neglected:

1. The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley

It’s been a while since I finished The Shadow Sister which precedes this but it keeps getting bumped down my list! I love this series and I need to get a wriggle on and read the last three.

2. The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Ever since I watched The Witcher on Netflix I’ve been desperate to read the books! Someone has just leant me the first three in the series so I can’t wait to read all of Geralt’s adventures.

3. The Unseen by Katherine Webb

I added this to my TBR list four years ago and it’s been creeping it’s way up but I still haven’t got around to it, it’s historical fiction set in the early 1900s with a mystery and suspense, my type of book!

4. Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir

I started Alison Weir’s Six Queens series a while ago, each book focuses on one of Henry VIII’s wives. Her book about Katherine of Aragon was so detailed and incredibly written I felt like I knew more about Katherine than before, she felt far more real. I can’t wait to read Weir’s book about Anne Boleyn, I’ll probably be quite emotional as well.

5. Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom

I’ve been wanting to read more from C.J. Sansom ever since I read Dominion which was a terrifying take on what-if Britain made peace with Nazi Germany. It was so well written I was completely gripped, I need to get my hands on Winter in Madrid!

Do you have any books you were meant to read this year but haven’t yet?

Top Five Tuesday – Creepy Characters

It’s Top Five Tuesday which is hosted by Meeghan Reads, every week we’re given a book related topic and we choose our top five! This month is spooky themed for Halloween, this week we’ve got to pick creepy characters. I actually struggled a little bit with this one, but then I just thought about characters that I strongly dislike and why so here are the creepiest:

1. Ramsay Snow from A Song of Ice and Fire

Saying I hate him is a massive understatement. He’s a vile sadist, he tortures and kills people for fun, I won’t go into more detail. I can’t think of a more creepy character.

2. Littlefinger (Petyr Baelish) from A Song of Ice and Fire

Honestly what a creep! He basically stalks Catelyn and when he couldn’t marry her he sets out to creep on her daughter instead. He also spends all his time orchestrating chaotic scenarios and trying to destroy the country. He has no set goals except to get his hands on as much power as possible.

3. Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The only woman to make the list, but she is the worst! From her weird obsession with pink and kittens and her fake positivity to her forcing children to cut their hands because they disobeyed her. She’s a bully, pure and simple and she loves having power over others.

4. Count Olaf from A Series of Unfortunate Events

This guy is so creepy, he tries to adopt the Baudelaire orphans to steal their fortune and when his first plan fails he follows them for years trying to trick their various guardians to give them up. He also had different and increasingly disturbing disguises every time. These books are scarier the older you get!

5. Wormtail (Peter Pettigrew) from Harry Potter

I mean he literally chose to turn into a rat when given the choice, if that isn’t creepy I don’t know what is. He gave up his friends location to Voldermort because he is weak and pathetic and then hid for years as a pet rat.

There’s my list of creepy arseholes, who is on your list?!

Top Five Tuesday – Witches

It’s Top Five Tuesday which is hosted by Meeghan Reads, every week we’re given a book related topic and we choose our top five! This month is spooky themed for Halloween, this week we’ve got to pick our favourite books with witches in them. I love witches, I want to be one, so this is the perfect category for me!

1. Circe by Madeline Miller

I love Circe, she has amazing powers with herbs and plants, her potions and spells turned nyphs into monsters and mortal men into pigs who threw themselves off cliffs into the sea. She is not to be messed with! But Circe is also loving and used a lot of her magical energy protecting her son from Athena who wanted to do him harm.

2. Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett

This is the first Discworld story with our witches; Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick. It’s a spoof of Macbeth where our witches try to help the right person to the throne. It’s funny of course, I find Granny the funniest, she’s grumpy and set in her ways and just one glare can make most people tremble, but she cares really!

3. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

The witches in this series are mysterious and almost mythical beings. They live in clans and fight with other clans if necessary. They can fly easily, they live for hundreds of years but don’t appear to age much and can be miles away from their daemons, unlike the humans of their world who have to stay within a few feet of their daemons. Serafina Pekkala is the main witch that we know, she sees something special in Lyra and promises to protect her, also she has a great name.

4. A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan

I haven’t read this yet but it’s patiently waiting on my shelf! It follows a family of witches across five generations as they try to hide their secret and keep each other safe. I am very excited about this book!

5. The Familiars by Stacey Hall

I read this book recently and loved it, it’s set in the north of England when the witch trials were at their peak. It’s terrifying how those women were treated, most of them were just healers and midwives and wouldn’t do anyone any harm, the delusions of the King killed hundreds.

Top Five Tuesday – Ghosts

It’s Top Five Tuesday which is hosted by Meeghan Reads, every week we’re given a book related topic and we choose our top five! This month is spooky themed for Halloween, this week we’ve got to pick our favourite books with ghosts in them.

38530939. sy475 1. The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

This is one of my favourite books, it’s narrated by the resident ghost at Birchwood Manor. She gives us glimpses of the lives of her favourite people who have lived in the house since she’s been there. She helps some of the residents and even saved a girl’s life. But she barely remembers her own name or the rest of her life, it’s incredibly sad.

6147457. sy475 2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

This is probably my favourite classic, when Cathy dies she haunts Heathcliff and visits the house at night. The atmosphere in Wuthering Heights is haunting in itself, the fog and isolation of the moors which surround the house. It’s a good Halloween read!

253295133. Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James

The ghost in this book is a young girl, when alive she was troubled by visions and she took her own life. When Jo first goes to Wych Elm House she is terrified by the ghost who moves her things and wakes her in the night. But she comes to realise that the girl needs Jo to reveal the truth.

407656004. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

I haven’t read this book but I’ve watched the tv series and it is full of ghosts! But it’s cleverer than a normal haunted house story. I loved all the characters and their strangeness and how they interacted with the house, I’ve never read a horror book before but I’m looking forward to this one.

180006305. The Memory of Midnight by Pamela Hartshorne

This is an interesting take on ghosts because the haunting is memories rather than an active ghost. Tess and her son Oscar move to York, Tess is eager for a new start away from her manipulative husband. But soon Tess starts seeing memories of a past that’s not her own. Meanwhile we meet Nell in Elizabethan times, she is also hoping to escape a horrible marriage.

What are some of your favourite ghostly stories?