Posted in Books, Reading, Reading Challenge 2021

2021!

Hello Lovelies!

Happy New Year to you all. We can all agree that 2020 challenged us in so many different ways – ways that we just didn’t expect. What 2020 did give us was time to read some amazing books. I know last year gave me the opportunity to really lose myself in books. I read more than I think I’ve ever done before. It gave me the release from the real world that I know we all found necessary at times. When my school closed and we went into a lockdown, I felt really lost for a while. I’d gone from seeing hundreds of people every day to seeing no one. It had been a really surreal year but one I doubt we’ll ever forget. Regardless, there’s nothing I love more than reading a good book and then sharing it with you amazing people. πŸ“š

2020 was also the first year I wrote my own reading challenge and I’m so proud to say that I completed it too! A different theme each month really encouraged me to broaden my horizons and read things that had either been sat on my shelf for years or branch out into new writers and genres I’d never considered or knew about. I joined various book subscriptions which also gave me new and exciting reads. I’m so chuffed with it that I’ve written a fresh new challenge for 2021 which I am exceptionally excited about.

Naturally, 2020 wouldn’t have been the same without you. I say it regularly but the blogging community is the gift that keeps giving. You’re all so inspiring and lovely. It’s such a privilege to be a part of it. πŸ’– I’m sure I’m not the only one who really felt that despite the world being in isolation, we were really more together than ever before. Thank you.

So, let’s round up 2020 and launch the reading challenge for 2021!

2020 – Books read: 148

Dr. Nick Edwards – In Stitches: The Highs and Lows of Being an A&E Doctor
Gillian Flynn- The Grownup
Mark Haddon -The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Lee Child – Past Tense
Meg Rosoff – There Is No Dog
Nicci French – Beneath the Skin
Antoine de Sait-Exupery – The Little PrinceΒ 
Ruth Sepetrys – Between Shades of Gray
Lindsay McCrae – My Penguin Year – Living with Emperors – A Journey of Discovery
Mitch Albom – For One More Day
Vanessa Curtis – Zelah Green – One More Little Problem
David Walliams – The Midnight Gang
Terence Frisby – Kisses on a Postcard
Annie Spence – Dear Fahrenheit 451
Greta Thunberg – No One is Too Small to Make a Difference
Val Emmich – Dear Evan Hansen
Sara Pennypacker – Pax
Tayari Jones – An American Marriage
Onjali Q Rauf – The Day We Met the Queen
JP Delaney – Believe Me
Laure Ellen Anderson – Amelia Fang and the Bookworm Gang
Mona Awad – 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl
Jack London – The Call of the Wild
Kate DiCamillo – The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Graeme Simsion – The Rosie Project
Hazel Prior – Away with the Penguins
Harlen Coben – The Stranger
Margarita Montimore – The Rearrange Life of Oona Lockhart
Peter James – The Secret of Cold Hill
Claire Pooley – The Authenticity Project
David Walliams – Slime
Beth O’Leary – The Flat Share
Isabella Wilding – Wilding
Lia Louis – Somewhere Close to Happy
Chloe Coles – Bookshop Girl
Brian Bilston – Diary of a Somebody
Jo Middleton – Play Groups & Prosecco
Harper Lee – Go Set a Watchman
Michelle Harrison – A Sprinkle of Sorcery
Rory Dunlop – What We Didn’t SayΒ 
Beth O’Leary – The Switch
Katharine Arden – The Winter of the Witch
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Phil Earle – Mind the Gap
Nick Spalding – Fat Chance
Alice Munroe – Queenie
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Freya Lewis – What Makes us Stronger
Graeme Simsion – The Rosie Effect
Claire Hutson – Art & Soul
Chloe Coles – Life’s a Beach
E Lockhart – Again, Again
Emma Carroll – Letters from the Lighthouse
Fredrik Backman – My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologies
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Graeme Simsion – The Rosie Result
David Foenkinos – The Mystery of Henri Pick
Stephanie Green – The Heathrow Doctor
Sophie Kinsella – Finding Audrey
Beatrix Potter – The World of Peter Rabbit (1-23)
Annika Perry – Oscar’s Quest
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Durian Sukegawa – Sweet Bean Paste
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Elisa Shua Dusapin – Winter in Sokcho
Claire Chambers – Small Pleasures
Michael Connelly – The Black Echo
Patrick Hoffman – Clean Hands
Zoe Folbigg – The Distance
Katherine Heiny – Standard Deviation
Nadia Marks – One Summer in Crete
Holly Seddon – Love Will Tear us Apart
J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Sophie Kinsella – The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic
Robin Sloan – Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore
Sophie Kinsella – Shopaholic Abroad
Laura Imai Messina – The Phonebox at the Edge of the World
Rose Black – The Unforgetting
Dorothy Strachey – Olivia
Mhairi McFarlane – If I Never Met You
Sophie Kinsella – Shopaholic Ties the Knot
Taylor Jenkins Reid – Evidence of the Affair
Lynda Le Plante – Buried
Olivia Beirne – The Accidental Love Letter
Sarah J Naughton – Mothers
Phaedra Patrick – The Secrets of Sunshine
Kate Bradley – I Took You to Keep You Safe
Alex Quigley – Closing the Reading Gap
Katerina Diamond – The Heatwave
Sanjida Kay – One Year Later
Ayisha Malik – Sofia Khan is Not Obliged
Helen Moffett – Charlotte
Michelle Campbell – The Wife Who Knew Too Much
Sam Carrington – One Little Lie
Jessica Jarlvi – When I Wake Up
Christian White – The Nowhere Child
Johnathan Swift – Gulliver’s Travels
Jim Dwyer & Kevin Flynn – 102 Minutes
Matt Haig – The Midnight Library
Ayisha Malik – The Other Half of Happiness
Dominic Pimenta – Duty of Care
Lisa Unger – Confessions on the 7:45
Gill Sims – Why Mummy Drinks
Hong Ying – K: The Art of Love
John Boyne – The Boy at the Top of the Mountain
William Shakespeare – Macbeth
Chris & Rosie Ramsey – Sh**ged. Married. Annoyed.
Nicola Yoon – Everything Everything
Ferdinand von Schirach – The Girl Who Wasn’t There
Deryn Mansell – Tiger Stone
Gill Sims – Why Mummy’s Sloshed
Anton du Beke – A Christmas to Remember
Stacey Halls – The Familiars
Christopher Skaife – The Ravenmaster
Carmel Harrinton – The Woman at 72 Derry Lane
Vanessa Tait – The Pharmacist’s Wife
Karen Dionne – Home
Vicky Zimmerman – The Woman Who Wanted More
Mark Roberts – Blood Mist
Romesh Ranganathan – As Good as it Gets
Chan Ho-Kei – The Borrowed
S.J. Bennett – The Windsor Knot
Heather Morris – Cilka’s Journey
Brad Parks – The Last Act
Shaun Bythell – Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops
Maria Timon – City of Spies
Deborah Bee – Every Move You Make
Marilyn Shimon – First One In, Last One Out
Anton du Beke – One Enchanted Evening
Anton du Beke – Moonlight Over Mayfair
J.R.R. Tolkien – Letters From Father Christmas
Helley Acton – The Shelf
Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol
Dr Seuss – How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Giovanna Fletcher – You’re the One I Want
Peter Swanson – All the Beautiful Lies
Grace Dent – Hungry
Andreas Pfluger – In the Dark
Katharine Kirlalea – Ok, Mr Field
Sarah Franklin – How to Belong
Elly Griffiths – The Postscript Murders
Gill Sims – Why Mummy Swears
B.A. Paris – Behind Closed Doors
Tara Moore – Victorian Christmas Ghost StoriesΒ 
Tom Allen – No Shame
Christopher de Vinck – AshesΒ 
Richard Osman – The Thursday Murder Club

Looking at that list, I feel immensely proud. Reading the titles again where some jump out at me – gifts from friends, amazing stories that I’ve finally read etc. Whatever the context, I’m so glad I’ve got books. πŸ“–

Time to look to 2021! I’ve thought hard about this reading challenge. They’re meant to be fun and achievable and that’s exactly what I’ve gone for. If you’ve got any book suggestions based on these themes let me know!

January – Read a book that is set anywhere in the world you want to visit.Β 
February – Read a book by an author who was born in this month.Β 
March – Read a book that was gifted to you.Β 
April – Read a book with a one word title.Β 
May – Read a book that is based on real life events.Β 
June – Read a debut novel this month.Β 
July – Read a book where your name is on the cover (title or author)
August – Read a book which takes you to the beach.Β 
September – Read a traditional fairy tale.Β 
October – Read a book with an orange cover.Β 
November – Read a book by an author who died more than 100 years ago.Β 
December – Read a book with a beautiful cover.Β 

Ta-da! And there it is in all its glory. I didn’t want to repeat previous themes and I wanted it to be as open as it could be so I could read plenty. I hope you accompany me on the reading journey of 2021.

Have an amazing 2021. I’ll be right there with you!

As always, big love to you all. xxx

Posted in Blog, Books, Follows, Friends, New Books, New Year

Bye 2019! Hello 2020!

Hello Loves!

I can’t believe it’s New Years Eve. I think I say this every single year but I’ve no idea where the time has gone. I’m sure as I’m getting older, time is going quicker. Is that just me?

Besides, I’m not really a fan of New Year. I’m not really sure why either. It’s always been an evening well spent with family and a glass of fizz. I guess one thing I’m not such a fan of is the fact that New Year seems to be a time when people tend to make bold statements about how they’re going to change and they usually fail by the second week of January. For me, I wanted to try and read 100 books again this year. Amazingly, I succeeded! I read a total of 105 books.πŸ“š

My 2019 reading list:

Abrahamson, Emmy: How To Fall In Love With a Man Who Lives in a Bush
Ahern, Cecelia: Postscript
Alderton, Dolly: Everything I Know About Love
Anderson, Sophie: The House with Chicken Legs
Beckerman, Hannah: If Only I Could Tell You
Blake, Sarah: The Postmistress
Brahmachari, Sita: Where the River Runs Gold
Braithwaite, Oyinkan: My Sister, The Serial Killer
Buchan, Elizabeth: The Museum of Broken Promises
Bythell, Shaun: Confessions of a Bookseller
Campbell, Jen: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
Campbell, Jen: The Bookshop Book
Candlish, Louise: Our House
Candlish, Louise: Those People
Child, Lee: The Midnight Line
Child, Lee: Gone Tomorrow
Chirovici, E.O.: The Book of Mirrors
Clanchy, Kate: Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me
Coelho, Paulo: Manuscript Found in Accra
Coleman, Alistair: Angry People in Local Newspapers
Cooper, Roxie: The Day We Met
Cormier, Robert: Heroes
Coules, Bert: Flowers for Algernon
Cumming, Laura: On Chapel Sands
Dashner, James: The 13th Reality Journal of Curious Letters
Dickens, Charles: A Christmas Carol
Didierlaurent, Jean-Paul: The Reader on the 6.27
Eliot, T.S.: Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
Fargher, Anna: The Umbrella Mouse
Feret-Fleury, Christine: The Girl Who Reads on the Metro
Fforde, Katie: A French Affair
Fletcher, Carrie Hope: All That She Can See
French, Kat: A Summer Scandal
French, Nicci: The Lying Room
George, Nina: The Book of Dreams
Greene, Jayson: Once More We Saw Stars
Greer, Andrew Sean: Less
Griffin, Anne: When All is Said
Griffin, Kate: Kitty Peck and the Music Hall Murders
Gustafson, Michael & Uberti, Oliver: Notes from a Public Typewriter
Han, Jenny: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Han, Jenny: P.S. I Still Love You
Han, Jenny: Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Hanks, Tom: Uncommon Type
Harris, Anstey: The Truths and Triumps of Grace Atherton
Hazard, Leah: Hard Pushed: A Midwife’s Story
Hislop, Victoria: The Return
Hislop, Victoria: The Island
Hislop, Victoria: The Sunrise
Hislop, Victoria: Those Who Are Loved
Jakobse, Mette: The Vanishing Act
Johns, Ana: The Woman in the White Kimono
Kawaguchi, Toshikazu: Before The Coffee Gets Cold
Kay, Adam: Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas – read twice – October when published and December.
Kerr, Judith: The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Kinney, Jeff: Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Getaway
Kinsella, Sophie: I’ve Got Your Number
Kinsella, Sophie: I Owe You One
Kinsella, Sophie: Christmas Shopaholic
Kirby, Carolyn: The Conviction of Cora Burns
Koch, Emily: If I Die Before I Wake
Lane, Andrew: Young Sherlock: Death Cloud
Mackesy, Charlie: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse
Maguire, Gregory : Wicked
Meehan, Thomas: Annie
Mercer, Jeremy: Books, Baguettes & Bedbugs
Morpurgo, Michael: Pinocchio by Pinocchio
Murata, Sayaka: Convenience Store Woman
Noble, Elizabeth: Letters to Iris
Norton, Graham: A Keeper
Parry, Ambrose: The Way of all Flesh
Pentland, Louise: Wilde Women
Priestley, J.B: An Inspector Calls
Rauf, Onjali Q: The Boy at the Back of the Class
Rauf, Onjali Q: The Star Outside My Window
Roper, Richard: Something to Live For
Rowling, J.K, Tiffany, John & Thorne, Jack: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
RuPaul: Guru
Salisbury, Martin: The Illustrated Dust Jacket 1920-1970
Samader, Rhik: I Never Said I Love You
Shaw, Dale: Painfully British Haikus
Shepherd, Andy: The Boy Who Grew Dragons
Sims, Gill: Why Mummy Doesn’t Give a F***
Smith, Alex T: How Winston Delivered Christmas
Sorosiak, Carlie: I, Cosmo
Steadman, Catherine: Something in the Water
Stempel, John Lewis: Still Water: The Deep Life of the Pond
Stempel, John Lewis: The Glorious Life of the Oak
Stempel, John Lewis: Meadowland: The Private Life of an English Field
Tate, June: Born to Dance
Thomas, Angie: The Hate You Give
Tyce, Harriet: Blood Orange
Valentino, Serena: The Beast Within
Walliams, David: Fing
Walliams, David: Bad Dad
Walliams, David: The Boy in the Dress
Walliams, David: The World’s Worst Teachers
Walsh, Rosie: The Man Who Didn’t Call
Watson, Christie: The Language of Kindness – A Nurses Story
Wilkinson, Sheena: Star by Star
Williams, Beatriz: A Hundred Summers
Williams, Laura Jane: Our Stop
Wood, Laura: Under a Dancing Star
Zouroudi, Anne: The Messenger of Athens

Looking back, this list brings me so much joy. I started the year with The Language of Kindness and I ended the year with rereading Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas, both of which are about the NHS. I have such amazing memories of my holiday reads from my summer break in Cyprus, Hislop being a firm favourite of mine.

Another thing I’m really pleased about is the mixture of fiction and non fiction. Surprisingly, non fiction has been something I’ve read more of over the past two years so I’d like to keep that going into the next decade. Finally, there’s a few titles here that are Children’s Literature. I’m really proud of the fact that 2019 was the year I set up and successfully ran the Accelerated Reader Programme in my school. Getting boys into reading is so important so there’s some titles here, namely Walliams, that make me smile because of the conversations I’ve had with various students about it.

So, what is on the agenda for 2020? Post more! (Hopefully…) Another 100 books – or try to! I’m going to make sure I jot down what I read in each month too so I remember the journey rather than just one big list. I did try and complete another reading challenge this year, picking one of the titles from the Waterstones Book of the Month list but I missed a couple of months. I’d like to complete another reading challenge but I need to research more. Any ideas? I’ll keep you posted on this! The current pile looks like this:

Also, personally, 2020 brings me a promotion at work to Head of Department which I’m super excited about. AND, after a lot of hard work and time at the gym, 3 stone lighter. Let’s hope I can keep this up.

Lastly, just a shout out to you all, my faithful blogging friends. Thank you for being there every step of the way, for sending me messages when I’ve vanished off the face of the year and checking I’m alright. I wish you all a Happy New Year and a peaceful 2020. Let’s do this!

Big love xx