Reading Round-Up: October

Hi loves!

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re all well rested and enjoying the weekend.

Whilst the rain is lashing down my windows, I thought now would be a good time to share with you all my round-up for October. October was a great month for reading which I’m really pleased with. I’m also surprised because even though I had half term, I was in London so only read one book! Anyway, there were some great books last month and some potential Christmas presents if you’re needing ideas! I do have to admit something though, I didn’t manage to get my book read for the book bingo but that’s ok!

So, I managed to read a thrilling 13 books in October. To be honest, I’m really chuffed! I’m desperately trying to get down my to be read pile and not buy anymore so I’m pleased with the progress I’m making, albeit quite slowly! Let’s check out the shelves.

I’ve already blogged and reviewed a couple of these: The Journey and Beyond the Wand. I absolutely loved both of those books and highly recommend them. However, I’ve picked a top three that lies outside those two.

  1. The Bullet That Missed – Richard Osman. The third book in the series and this was just as witty, thrilling and well developed as the others. Featuring our favourite Thursday Murder Club and another mystery that needs solving.
  2. Platform Seven – Louise Doughty. I received this in my halloween subscription box and it really didn’t disappoint. It’s just as gritty as Apple Tree Yard and I found myself falling into the depths of the murky world of murder. (Do not read if you’re planning on travelling around via train – I read this in London when I was hopping on and off tubes and I became super paranoid.)
  3. All About Evie – Matson Taylor. This book really was a breath of fresh air. It was utterly delightful and charming and I absolutely loved the character of Evie. A feel good read for those times when you really want one!

And there we have it! 13 fabulous books including one I’ve got for the tiny human in my life: Five Penguins. I must admit, it’s got beautiful illustrations and is perfect for the little ones. Who doesn’t love penguins as well?!

All in all, October was a brilliant reading month and I’m really excited about seeing what November brings on the reading front. It’s getting a bit exciting now with all the books being advertised for Christmas. I just need to resist temptation and get my pile down a bit more…

See you next time where I promise I’ll catch up the book I should have read for October and share with you some of the wonderful experiences of London.

Big love all! Xx

Reading Round-Up: August and September

Hey Loves!

Well, it appears that I’ve dropped a bit of a clanger… I didn’t seem to do my round-up for August! So today, I’m going to share with you the books I read in August and September so we are all back up to date. I cannot believe I’ve done that! I guess life gets in the way sometimes but still I’m super disappointed in myself really. I hope you can all forgive me and hopefully this acts as some form of redemption…

Anyway, let’s start with August. Like the end of July, I spent the majority of August on holiday which was excellent. I had a fabulous time but looking back now, it feels like such a long time ago. In August I managed to read a total of 16 books which I am really pleased with. There were some excellent ones here too. I’m surer you’ve got to them already but I’m still really excited to share them with you. Let’s check out the shelves!

Picking a top three from this lovely bunch is going to be really difficult. I enjoyed the majority of them so much to be honest! I’ll give it my best shot though.

  1. The Paper Palace – Miranda Cowley-Heller. For me, this had real Crawdad’s vibes and I utterly ate it up. I couldn’t put this book down. I loved the characters and the story and found it to be my favourite book of the summer.
  2. The Family Upstairs – Lisa Jewell. I think I said before that I am relatively new to Lisa Jewell but I really enjoyed this one and cannot wait to progress onto the next one in the series. Long term followers know that I absolutely love a psychological thriller and this was just that. Edge of the seat kind of stuff really!
  3. Takeaway – Angela Hui. I blogged about this book because I absolutely loved it and I’ve decided that this is my favourite non-fiction book of the year so far. It talked about Chinese culture, that food is the language of love and the importance of family. It was an excellent read and one I couldn’t recommend highly enough.

Now onto September. September was a much slower month for me. I was back at work, with the relentlessness of the daily grind and reading went out of the window. Then I was completely thrown by the death of a Queen and finally I got poorly. How the mighty have fallen! Upon reflection, I always tend to read more when it’s holiday time. It’s a shame that during the most stressful times, the one love I have, seems to vanish… Does anyone else have the same issue?

Anyway, in September I managed to read 8 books. This was a real surprise because there was about two weeks where I didn’t pick up a book. Regardless, again there were some good choices here and writers that I know I enjoy so that helps also. Let’s check out the shelves!

It’s a little easier this time to pick my top three because there’s less to choose from and there’s a couple I wasn’t too keen on. I read them but they aren’t books I’d rave about, if that makes sense? I did blog about The Sun, The Sea & The Stars previously, so I’ll leave that out.

  1. The Man Who Died Twice – Richard Osman. I was a little late to the party with this one but they are excellent books. I love the characters, I love the group and I love the mystery. All completely relatable and remarkable. 
  2. How Do You Like Me Now? – Holly Bourne. Wow! I’d never heard of Holly Bourne but I absolutely love her writing style. I felt like it was hearing my own thoughts but being voiced much more eloquently. 
  3. Four Aunties and a Wedding – Jesse Sutanto. I got the first book, Dial A For Aunties, in a book subscription box and then I saw that the next one was out. I find the writing style really funny and this book was a easy read. I also love the fact that the characters were larger than life and completely out there. 

The round-up has been really strange for me. I feel like I’ve messed up but I do enjoy looking back and seeing what I’ve read. Bring on October with autumn leaves, scarves and hopefully more books. My aim is to read the book choice for September as soon as possible and get blogging about it. It’s time to prioritise my blog and I again!

Until next time my dears.

Big Love xxxx

Reading Round-Up: July

Hello Loves!

I hope you’re all well. You may have guessed from my previous post that I’m on holiday now (finally) and I’m getting back into the swing of reading and resting!

Today I want to share with you my reading round up for July. July is my favourite month – my birthday, summer and the days are just a bit lighter and longer. It also means school is finishing. I have to say, I’ve found this July really difficult. I’ve barely read (only since I’ve been on holiday) and work was really a case of surviving and getting the job done. I’m on the road to recovery now but it’s been tough. I’ve had lots of doubts along the way but I’m pleased I’ve managed to read the books I did.

In July then, I’ve read 6 books – all of which have been after the start of the summer holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I am pleased with 6. But, it’s only now really that I recognise how much I was struggling before. Never mind! My life for the next month is the sea, sunshine, books and beach donuts! Let’s check out the shelves!

It almost seems silly picking a top three. I’ve blogged already about The Lamplighters – I still adore this by the way – and Shape of a Boy. In the interest of being fair, I’ll put the other four books in order of how much I enjoyed reading them and the narratives produced.

  1. The Other Passenger – Louise Candlish. I’m a huge fan of Louise Candlish. She really is the queen of plot twists and this one really kept me hanging until the very end. Perfect for the summer!
  2. Dial A For Aunties – Jesse Sutanto. This was really funny and I did also love the cover. A touch far fetched by the end (a murder, a freezer and a family trying to hide it) but enjoyable nonetheless.
  3. Counterfeit – Kirsten Chen. This was another good read really with an interesting plot. I picked it because it’s to do with real and fake handbags and the people who get mixed up in that. Really different to what I’ve read before.
  4. The Pact – Amy Heydenrych. Just because I’ve put this one 4th, it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it. I really really did and I had to finish it – it was so compelling. But I did manage to work out the ending in terms of who killed Nicole. Regardless, it was a thriller of a book.

So there we have it! Another 6 books read and more on the horizon. I do like to mix it up with the thrillers and the more chic lit bits. A variety is always better. Plus I do end up getting paranoid if I read too many thriller books!

Here’s hoping for a better reading month in August! But for now, it’s beach donut time!

Until my next post, take care all! Big Love! Xxx

Reading Round-Up: June

Morning Loves!

Today I want to share with you my round-up for June! I’ve read some amazing books in June but I do feel like my progress was slow. For my fellow educators, June is a funny month because there’s still official examinations but they’re coming to a close and you get some gained time from those students leaving but all the jobs you need to do are bigger and more time consuming. Anyway, it’s nice that some of the pressure has gone at least!

June is also the month where I mentally start making the switch to summer vibes. You may have all seen my Book Bingo book for June which was all about summer! I’m right there and counting down to the holidays.

Before I get my flip flops and sun cream out prematurely, let’s check out the shelves for June! I managed to read 8 books in June which is a bit less than normal but still quite acceptable.

These 8 books I really, really enjoyed. I say it every time but picking a top three has been difficult. I’ve reviewed The Summer I Turned Pretty which I loved and The Wild Year which was a complete joy. Hmm. Let’s see!

  1. Lost Property – Helen Paris. This book was utterly adorable. I go through phrases of reading books with city settings (I tend to go through a London or Paris phrase) so this book called to me. It tells the story of the incredible woman who works in Lost Property for London’s transport and the items that are left behind and some of the people who collect them.
  2. Careering – Daisy Buchanan. I’m a huge Daisy Buchanan fan actually. I’ve shared a couple of her books now because her writing style is just incredible. I love how true and raw it is as well. This one is all about a young woman and her demands of work on her life. Very apt for me at this point!
  3. Thrown – Sara Cox. I’ve managed to bag myself a really lovely signed edition. As well as that, I absolutely loved the story. It focuses on four women and how their lives are intertwined through a pottery class. Watch out for Sheila though! She was a bit nosey for me!

And that’s June! The thing that I’m most excited about now is JULY. July is my favourite month in the whole year because it’s the end of exam marking (I’m half way there so far), summer break and my birthday as well! SO HAPPY IT’S JULY. I can hopefully make a proper dent in my TBR pile too.

I hope you all had a wonderful reading month and I wish you lots of reading time in July. Enjoy the sunshine and I’ll see you next time!

Big Love xxx

Reading Round-Up: May

Hi Loves!

I hope you’re all well and enjoying this changeable last day of May. It’s either brilliant sunshine here or pouring with rain with a big thunder clap thrown in for good measure. I know I won’t finish the book I’m reading today so I thought I’d crack on with my round-up post for May (on time for I think the first month ever…) and share with you some of my favourite reads of this month. I’ve got a couple of reviews I need to get on with so expect those in the next few days too.

In May I managed to read a brilliant 14 books. I’m really happy with that as it’s been pretty full on at work. It’s also been helped by the release of the new ‘Quick Reads’ too which are a godsend for when you’re exhausted. Regardless, a book is a book and reading is reading. Let’s check out the shelves!

I know I say it every month but picking a top three is tough! Anyway, hopefully I’ve done this list some justice.

  1. Again Rachel – Marian Keyes. I loved Rachel’s Holiday and this next book didn’t disappoint. My only regret is that I was so late to this party. This book is all about what comes next for Rachel twenty years later. It was brilliant!
  2. Insatiable – Daisy Buchanan. This book is modern and fresh and shows the need for us to be loved. I really loved the protagonist, Violet, too. I enjoyed the writing style of Buchanan so much that I’ve also got Careering on my to be read pile.
  3. The Uncommon Reader – Alan Bennett. This was one of the books I bought to celebrate the Jubilee. Small yet mightily funny, this book tells the story of the Queen and her enjoyment of a travelling library.

I’ve got a couple of reviews to put up, one for a blog tour and one for my book of the month: The Manager and Honeymoon respectively, both of which I thoroughly loved. I need to get a wriggle on with those too! Have you read any of these? What takes your fancy?

See you next time!

Big Love all xxx

Reading Round-Up: April

Hey Loves!

I hope you all have had a great start to May. I was relieved to have a bank holiday here just to adjust with going back to school! It’s always a little more intense this time of year because we are approaching exams and it’s all just a little bit much… Much love to all the educators out there! I feel you! Anyway, today I wanted to share with you my round-up for April. I’m absolutely buzzing about this because in March I was really disappointed with myself. This month, probably because of a two week holiday in reality, I am sooo happy because I felt like I was really making a dent in my to be read pile. Now, I may have also ordered more and found more in the community telephone boxes but…the point still stands.

Now, I am really thrilled to say that I managed to read 19 books in April. There were some absolute corkers in there too! I literally cannot wait to share them with you. Some I’ve blogged about already so for the interests of sharing more books with you all, I’ll not include them in my top three. Let’s check out the shelves!

So, I already reviewed The Mad Women’s Ball and The Lost Apothecary already and it was crystal clear that I absolutely loved those books. I’m still raving about them with my friends now. Likewise with Rachel’s Holiday, what an incredible book that is too and I really hope you enjoyed those posts. I’ve attached the links to the titles above just in case you missed them. Now, onto my top three which is an ever increasing difficult decision.

After some deep deliberation, I’ve decided my top three are as follows:

  1. Yinka, Where is Your Husband? – Lizzie Damilola Blackburn. I loved this for the honesty, the family and the pressures that brings, the representation of the single life and the pressure to get married. It’s also really well written and incredibly funny. I always find that honesty is the best policy and this shone within this book. Want a story with a strong female lead? Then this is for you.
  2. The Storyteller – Dave Grohl. I heard such amazing things about this book and I am thrilled to say it absolutely lived up to expectation! I found it a really engaging piece of non-fiction – so much so that I’ve added this to my curriculum! (If anyone knows how to tell Dave Grohl himself – let me know!) Lots of music stories and famous people but also really humbling. Loved it.
  3. Queenie – Candice Party-Williams. For some strange reason I missed the boat with this book. I found it by pure chance and I read it in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. Like Yinka, it was honest and reflective, meaningful and incredibly open. I am so glad I managed to finally catch up with this one and read it!

And that’s it! Don’t get me wrong, this month was really successful for reading and there’s other books on that list that I really enjoyed. I had the best break with reading and resting. It was much needed and I am really grateful for it. I’ve got myself into a bit of a reading slump following this but I’m sure it’ll come back.

Let me know what amazing books you’ve read recently and I’ll be sure to add them to my to be read pile! Continue to stay safe and well and surrounded by beautiful books.

Big Love xxx

Reading Round-Up: March

Hey Loves!

Let me be the first to wish you a very, happy April! Has anyone else noticed the rain/sunshine/sleet/hail/snow? March seemed to go in the blink of an eye for me, partly because I spent most of it ill or injured… but I have high hopes for April. To all my friends in education, if you’ve broken up for Easter enjoy! If like me you’ve got one week to go – don’t worry! We got this! (She says hopefully!)

It’s hard not to feel disappointed in myself for March really. I didn’t complete my reading challenge (I started four different books for it but I think it was more me, than them. Apart from one: Still Life which had no speech marks in. What is that even about? I spend my working week encouraging children to use punctuation so I really cannot spend my weekends reading books without it – sorry…) But I did manage to read 9 books which considering the circumstances, I think is ok. There were some great ones in that 9 thought so I can wait to present to you the shelves. Let’s check them out!

Like I said before, I’ve had a fair few books that I failed with last month but the ones I read were brilliant. My top three are as follows:

1. The Curfew – Tim Logan. Logan is one of my favourite writers so I got this book and devoured it in a day. It’s just as gripping, thrilling and terrifying like the other novels. I don’t think it’s my favourite but it’s definitely a must read.
2. The Last Supper – Rosemary Shrager. You may have heard of Shrager for her culinary endeavours as she is a popular chef in the UK but this is her first dabble at writing and I really loved it! I got myself a signed copy too because I had a good feeling about it. This book contains two of my favourite things: whodunnit and food. What’s not to love? I hope she has more planned!
3. The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside – Jessica Ryn. This book gave me all the warm feelings I needed when feeling rubbish. I found this in my local Salvation Army store as I was dropping some donations off so really fell on my feet. For the bargain price of 50p, this book has become one of my favourites.

As I said before, I’m hopeful for a better reading month in April which should lead to a better blogging month too. Thanks for sticking by me though!

Big love all xx

Reading Round-Up: January

Hello Lovelies!

I hope you’re all well. Have we read any exciting books in January? January is a difficult month because there’s the post Christmas slump and the fact that it’s dark and cold all the time. Anyway, I’ve got a small window of opportunity so I thought I’d just write my round-up post while I’m sat with a Diet Coke waiting for my next gym class. But, you know when you’re so exhausted, you sit down and like melt into the chair? I’ve also got some drama with my tights – the elastic has gone! Anyway, that’s my current state. Hopefully you’re in a better position than I am!

Anyway, I can’t wait to round up my books from January! I did have a wobble in the middle of the month where I panicked because I have so many books to read and I couldn’t get into any but thankfully, I managed to get through that! It can be very overwhelming though, especially if others around you a reading loads!

Regardless, I read 12 books which is an increase on January 2021. I’m really, really chuffed with that! There’s been some absolutely gems in this list too so I can’t wait any longer. Let’s check out the shelves!

Picking a top three has been really hard… I’ve reviewed An Inspector Calls, Lockdown Secrets, Codename Villanelle and The Sky Above the Roof. That makes things a bit easier! (Is that cheating though? Hmm…) Anyway, my top three are:

  1. The Assistant – S.K. Tremayne. Oh my gosh this book! It was absolutely terrifying. It impacted my sleep. I reached a point where I could only read this in daylight. It was a strange mix of desperately wanting to read it and being absolutely frightened to death by it. If you’re a thriller fan, absolutely read this book. BUT, I did warn you!
  2. The Love Hypothesis – Ali Hazelwood. This book was utterly adorable. I love it so much. I was a touch worried about the sciencey stuff but to be fair, it didn’t impact it at all. It was cute, cosy and just left me wanting it for myself. Loved it.
  3. Storm in a C Cup – Caroline Flack. Nearly two years ago, Caroline Flack committed suicide. It’s taken me that time to read this book because I found the whole story utterly heartbreaking. This book was funny, charming and devastating. I did enjoy reading it but it made me feel the loss even more. We have to do more to protect people from the media.

What a brilliant reading month. I am exhaustedly buzzing! Do let me know if you’ve read any of these and how you’ve found them. Also, let me know any books I need to add to my TBR pile too!

Until next time my sweets!

Big Love xxxx

Reading Round-Up: December

Hi Loves!

It’s New Years Eve! I can’t believe it really. I’m fairly certain I won’t get anymore books read this evening so I wanted to share with you the final round-up for this year because I have a glass of fizz and ultimately lose the ability to type. I’m hoping being as it’s only late afternoon in the UK, that I’ve still got plenty of time to wish you all a Happy New Year too! Before all that excitement though, let’s check out what I’ve managed to read in the month of December.

Now, I must say, I am pretty proud of myself this month because I’ve managed to read a total of 19 books. This is the highest amount I’ve ever read in a month and the last time I managed to do that was in August. To be perfectly fair, I think this is down to school holidays because all I do is sleep and read with mealtimes thrown in. Out of these 19 books for this month, I’ve managed 16 during the two week break so it really is down to having that time. Long live the holidays! Anyway, before we get to my favourites, let’s check out the shelves!

I’m so chuffed because I’ve read a real range – some that have been on the shelf for a while, some that I’ve bought and read in one sitting. I’m also really pleased with the range of fiction and non-fiction. I’ve had a bit of a good run with non-fiction. I do find that I have phases with non-fiction but there seems to be some seriously good non-fiction out there at the moment which I’m desperate to read! Lastly, I’m also really pleased with the wintery / Christmassy reads I’ve got through too.

It’s no surprise that it’s been hard to pick a top three here (don’t I say this every month?) but here goes!

  1. Coming Up For Air – Tom Daley. I read this book in one sitting. I’d go as far as to say, I was incredibly rude to anyone that was near me at the time when I was reading this book because I barely came up for air myself. I was captivated, immersed and finished the book praying that I could be best friends with Tom. Whether or not you’re into sports, read this book. Every felt lost? Like you’ve let anyone down? That you want more from life? That someone has judged you? Read this book. What an inspirational young man Tom is. I am in awe.
  2. The Good Bear – Sarah Lean. This book was one I finished this morning. It was so beautifully written and reminds me (not that I need it as an animal lover anyway) how awesome animals are and how we need them in our lives. It’s a story of a bear who is misunderstood and a little girl who tries to save him. A perfect wintery tale!
  3. The Jolly Christmas Postman – Janet & Allan Ahlberg. The reason why this book has to feature is because on Christmas Eve, I read this book with my favourite tiny human. We had the absolute best time and I realised that it would be a memory that I will treasure for ever. Slowly but surely, I am passing the love of reading to children wherever I can. We even read all the letters and did the jigsaw that came in the letter to Humpty Dumpty too. What a magical time.

I’ll be back in the New Year for the launch of my reading challenge for 2022 which I hope you all join with me with and I’ll reveal just how many books I managed to read this year too. All that is left for me to say is, have a very Happy New Year. Have the BEST time and celebrate safely.

Big love all! xxx

Reading Round-Up: October

Hello Loves!

How are you all? I’m been so lucky and had a week in the sun before heading back to work. I went back to my ‘heaven is a place on earth’ place: Cyprus. It’s such a beautiful country which always helps me reset and restore the harmony and resilience I need for school! Anyway, back in the UK, Now the clocks have gone back, we are firmly into Autumn – arguably the most beautiful season in the UK. I really hope you’re all enjoying it!

I was utterly exhausted so where I had a bumper summer of reading, October wasn’t quite like that. When I find I’m struggling, I always go back to books for children. I think there is a real art to writing a children’s book. There are lessons in there that help us as adults. I’ve found that this month I have read more children’s book than I have for a while previously! Also, I’ve defaulted back to writers that are my ‘safe bets’. I know I’ll enjoy them so I pick them to take the pressure off!

Regardless, I managed to read a total of 13 books in October which I’m quite pleased with! Let’s check out the shelves!

As always it is a difficult decision to pick a top three but I’ve given it my best! I’ve also picked ones that I think and hope you guys would love too!

  1. The Cat Who Saved Books – Sosuke Natsukawa. You absolutely need to add this book to your list now. I cannot praise this book enough. I really need to review it properly because it’s wonderful on so many levels. It’s just pure magic. We follow a cat who sets challenges for those who see its presence. These challenges are all challenges we can relate to so read it and find out! I have a really big soft spot for translated books as well and I think we are so lucky to be able to have access to these as well as our own classic British writers.
  2. Fledgling – Lucy Hope. Another book that I strongly urge you to put to the top of your reading list. I LOVE it. I was so lucky to receive an advanced copy of this. It’s released in the UK on November 4th so all head out and buy it. It tells the magical story of a gothic adventure set in Bavaria. It includes angels and owls and a boy where things are not as they really seem. It’s stunning.
  3. The Audacity – Katherine Ryan. I love Katherine Ryan. She’s deadpan, brutal, honest and fierce. Within this non fiction piece, there are many examples and scenarios that I can relate to within here. Even if Katherine’s comedy isn’t your style, her writing is something else. I really enjoyed this book and found it incredibly insightful.

That’s it! There’s some absolute beauties in this months reading, some of which I’ve never even heard of and I’ve just found them on my travels. I’m so grateful that I have the reading bug to be honest – I can’t imagine my life without it and I’ve realised that it isn’t about how much you read, it is about what you read and the impact they have on me and my life.

Lastly, I hope you’re all continuing to stay safe and well. I can’t stop looking at my holiday photos so here’s another one for you all! Enjoy!!

Big love all xxx