The Sunshine Blogger Award

I’ve been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by Kelsey from There’s Something About KM – thank you very much! You can check out Kelsey’s answers here.
I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but here goes…

First, the rules:
Thank the blogger who nominated you by linking their blog.
Answer the questions.
Nominate 11 blogs with 11 questions.
List the rules as well as display the award logo on your post.

I’m going to bend the rules just a little and not tag anyone, but if you do fancy it, then feel free to have a go. On to my answers…

1) What is something you’re obsessed with right now?

I’ve been watching The Haunting of Hill House and it’s pretty addictive. I’m trying to space out episodes so I don’t end up binging the whole thing. I actually would have enjoyed a whole series just set in the house timeline, because that’s one creepy old house with so many ghosts lurking (I’ve also been trying to spot as many of the background/hidden ghosts as I can, but I’m pretty sure I’ve missed quite a few!).

2) Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?

Not really. I sometimes make notes of passages from books that caught my attention, usually something lyrical/funny/striking.

3) What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My capacity to get lost in whatever book I’ve chosen to pick up at the time. A bit of escapism is always good.

4) If you could travel anywhere (fictional or non-fictional) right now, where would you go?

Non-fictional (but based on my fictional readings) – I’d love to travel on the Orient Express.

Fictional – Totally random but I fancy a visit to the Chocolate Factory from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Just thinking about it is making me hungry!

5) What book would you take with you, and why?

A travel guide relevant to wherever the Orient Express happened to be going. I don’t tend to read when I’m away, so hopefully a travel guide would be a useful compromise.  Or…


Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie of course!

6) Which book do you find yourself always recommending?


At the moment it’s The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. I enjoyed this book so much that I had to buy a copy when it came out in paperback even though I’ve already read it. It’s just so different.

7) Have you discovered any now-favorite books by reading about them on a book (or general) blog?


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. I read somewhere online that there’s going to be an adaptation of this book and it sounded like a great story so I got a copy and sure enough, it’s a new favourite and one that I would read again.

8) What is the last book or magazine or movie or item you checked out from the library?

The last book was Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J. D. Barker and I really hope I get around to starting it soon.

The last movie I put a request in for was Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

9) What is the last object you used for a bookmark (can be an actual bookmark)?

Through the course of my last read I used a variety, one of which was an actual real bookmark. I also had a little paper bookmark and even a paperclip at one point!

10) Do you keep track of all the books you own (in a spreadsheet, notebook, etc.)?

I use GoodReads to keep track of my reading.  I can refer back to it if there’s a sequel due and a long wait before publication.

11) What is your favorite reading weather?

I love a cool, grey autumn afternoon with gentle rain pattering down the windows. I’ll sit and read and occasionally look outside to watch the world go by as I enjoy a lovely mug of tea. Fantastic!


Thanks again to Kelsey for nominating me for this, I enjoyed answering your questions. As always, if you’ve enjoyed reading this and haven’t done it yourself then consider yourself tagged!

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The Finally Fall Book Tag

I’ts Book Tag time again, and what better way to enjoy my favourite season than with an autumn themed tag?

This tag was created by Alina on her booktube channel Tall Tales, and you can watch her video here.  I was tagged by Kelsey (thank you!) and you can check out her answers here.
Let’s begin…

In fall, the air is crisp and clear: Name a book with a vivid setting.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I really want to re-read this. I remember the black and white tents of the circus, the fact that it appears without warning, and the magic contained within the story as being very striking. It could make a really good movie or tv series.

Nature is beautiful… but also dying: Name a book that is beautifully written, but also deals with a heavy topic like loss or grief.

Christmas under the Stars by Karen Swan deals with loss and the aftermath. I thought this story was based on a great original idea and I enjoyed it a lot.

Fall is back to school season: Share a non-fiction book that taught you something new.

I still haven’t managed to read enough non-fiction to be able to answer this question. I keep saying I’m going to try and give it a go, but then all these beautiful looking/sounding works of fiction keep dragging my attention away.

In order to keep warm, it’s good to spend some time with the people we love: Name a fictional family/household/friend-group that you’d like to be a part of.

I would love to be part of Roland Deschain’s ka-tet in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Not quite sure how that would work out when faced with all manner of monsters/demons/strangeness, but I’d have the group to help out, wouldn’t I?

Also, I’d like to join the Weasley family from the Harry Potter series. Or possibly become a member of the Order of the Phoenix. Something in the wizarding world anyway.

And I’ve come to the conclusion that I wouldn’t mind being Hercule Poirot’s sidekick, although of course I’d leave the crime solving to him while I documented the adventures.

The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground: Show us a pile of fall-colored spines!

This is the drawback to being an avid library user – I DON’T HAVE A PILE OF PRETTY BOOKS for this prompt.

Fall is the perfect time for some storytelling by the fireside: Share a book wherein somebody is telling a story.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. It’s years since I read this for the first time, but I remember it being enjoyable and I’m very much looking forward to Diane Setterfield’s next book.

The nights are getting darker: Share a dark, creepy read.

One I’ve read – The Shining by Stephen King. There were a couple of really creepy scenes in this book. Room 217 anyone?

One I want to read and have been informed it’s creepy – NOS4R2 by Joe Hill. This is one I’ve meant to read for a while now, so hopefully this will be the season I finally pick it up.

The days are getting colder: Name a short, heartwarming read that could warm up somebody’s cold and rainy day.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling. It’s a short read, and there’s something magical about that first realisation that Harry is actually a wizard and a wonderful home and family awaits him at Hogwarts. Yes, things may take a darker turn as the series goes on, but I love the innocence and discovery in the first novel.

Fall returns every year: Name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.

It’s not an old favourite but new one – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. The paperback version has recently been published which is the perfect excuse for a re-read.

I also think I’ll end up re-reading Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, because I really enjoyed that. I might even try the audio version for a change.

Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: Share your favorite cozy reading “accessories”!

First and most important – the biggest mug of tea that I can possibly hold in one hand whilst holding my book in the other! And maybe some biscuits or something sweet to savour while I’m reading.
Thick fluffy socks.
Cozy clothing.

Spread the autumn appreciation and tag some people!

As always, if you’ve not had chance to do this tag yet, or are now seeing it for the first time and fancying giving it a go please consider yourself tagged.

The Life’s A Beach Book Tag

It’s Book Tag time again!
There’s still enough of summer left for a summer-themed tag I think, even though I’m just about at the point now where I’m very much looking forward to the cooler weather of autumn. This tag was created by The Left Handed Book Lover and I’ve seen it around on a few blogs recently so thought, why not?
On to the books…

1) THE SAND
A BOOK THAT STUCK WITH YOU LONG AFTER YOU FINISHED READING

     

Can I choose two? If I don’t I’m going to be stuck here deliberating between them forever and then we’ll never finish the Tag. So, I’m going for A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles and The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton.
The former has some wonderful characters who you can’t help but think about once the novel is done. The latter is just so well plotted, and really delivers on the murder mystery with a twist. I want to read them both again sometime.

2) THE SUN
A BOOK THAT BURNED YOU

Burned may be the wrong word for my thoughts on this, but I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline after seeing the movie trailer and knowing it was something I wanted to see. I thought I’d read the book first for a change and while I did enjoy it, a lot of the references were lost on me, which took away some of the enjoyment.
And I never did get around to seeing the movie, but I definitely will…

3) THE WAVES
A BOOK THAT CALMS YOU DOWN AFTER A LONG DAY

            

Strange that murder mysteries can be calming but Agatha Christie’s books have a very readable quality about them that I find quite calming.  There’s often humour involved, especially if Hastings is around, and there’s a certain sense that no matter how bad or unintelligible things seem, you know that in the end Poirot will sort everything out and order will be restored.

4) THE BATHING SUIT
A BOOK WITH A PRETTY, SUMMER-Y COVER

Circe by Madeline Miller. The pic doesn’t really capture the lustre of this cover. It’s so intricate and very pretty. I can’t wait to read the story.

5) THE BIRDS
A BOOK THAT IS EVERYWHERE

The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse. I’m going by my local library request list for this one. Usually I take out books and there is no one else waiting for them at all but this one, well, it seems that everyone wants to get their hands on it. I was told there were at least 30 other people in the queue for the book, so it was definitely one of the more popular books I’ve requested recently.

6) THE COMPANY
A BOOK WITH WONDERFUL CHARACTERS

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. The three main ladies in this story are all striving in a difficult world and reading of their adventures with fire demons and ice kings is proving to be a great experience so far.

7) THE ICE-COLD DRINKS
A BOOK YOU ABSOLUTELY GULPED DOWN

Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan. It was a very long book but I read it in less than a week. I just couldn’t put it down, and kept finding extra reading time in my day just because I wanted to finish one more chapter.

8) THE FUN MEMORIES
A BOOK YOU CAN’T WAIT TO RETURN TO

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. It’s the one book I already know I’m going to have to own a paperback of (and from what I’ve seen it’s a very pretty paperback too!).

And so concludes the Life’s A Beach Book Tag.


As always, if you’ve not already done this and you fancy reminiscing over all the amazing books you’ve read recently, feel free to consider yourself tagged.
If you’ve already done it, leave me a link to your post so I can check it out.
See you next time for another Book Tag!

 

The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag: 2018 Edition

It’s Book Tag time.

I can’t believe it’s that time of year already, but I’ve seen this tag appearing quite a lot over the last few days and it made me realise that yes, we actually are now in that Mid-Year period once again. I’ve been enjoying most of my recent reads, so here’s to remembering a few of them in a tag, the Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag!

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018:

I can’t choose just one, but I’m going to try really hard to limit myself.  Both of these were 5 star reads for me, so I’m going for…

     

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

  2. Best sequel of 2018 so far:


The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams.
I love Tor, Vintage and Noon and their adventures are getting more and more dangerous and exciting as the books go on. Whatever’s going to happen next?!

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to:

The Outsider by Stephen King. I cannot wait to start reading this, it’s definitely high up on my TBR pile.

4. Most anticipated release of the second half of 2018:

The Corset by Laura Purcell.
Melmoth by Sarah Perry.

I’ve really enjoyed previous books by both of these authors, so I’ll be looking out for their new releases.

5. Biggest disappointment of 2018:

I hate this category title, it sounds really harsh, so I’d rather call it books that in the end just weren’t for me and I’d go for The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton.

6. Biggest surprise:

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton.  I enjoyed everything about this book from the setting and the characters to the mystery and the twists.

7. Favourite new author (debut or new to you):

            

 

 

 

 

 

 

Agatha Christie. I cannot believe that it’s taken me all this time to discover someone so well-known. I was really missing out there, wasn’t I? Still, I have a massive catalogue of books to go at now, and am going to enjoy each one.

8. Newest fictional crush:

I’m obviously missing out on something here because sit and think as I might I’m drawing a blank on this answer. Help!

9. Newest favourite character:

     

Poirot! How could he not get a mention during this tag. I like Hastings as well.

10. Book that made you cry:

It hasn’t happened yet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t. If any of my favourites don’t make it to the end of Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan, which I’m reading at the moment, I don’t think I’ll be very happy.

11. Book that made you happy:

There were a couple of little scenes towards the end of Murder on the Links by Agatha Christie that had me smiling.

12. Favourite book to movie adaptation of 2018 you’ve seen:

I’m going to have to say Murder on the Orient Express for this, even though I’ve already mentioned that book. I know that movie came out last year but it was only a couple of months ago that I finally saw it and I don’t think I’ve read anything else that’s been made into a movie. Well, I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline but I haven’t seen the movie version yet so I can’t really use that one.

13. Favourite review you’ve written this year:

Here I go again, dropping the names of books I’ve already used:

                   

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The Mysterious Affair at Styles and Murder on the Orient Express, both by Agatha Christie.

14. Most beautiful book you bought or received this year:

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin has a beautiful cover, and the story was very good.

15. Books you need to read by the end of this year:

There are countless books I could mention here, but I’ll limit myself to these….

More Agatha Christie
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower
Circe by Madeline Miller

And so concludes my 2018 edition of The Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag.


As always, if you’ve not already done this and you fancy reminiscing over all the amazing books you’ve read so far this year, feel free to consider yourself tagged.
If you’ve already done it, leave me a link to your post so I can check it out.
See you next time for another Book Tag!

 

The Book Courtship Tag

It’s time for another Book Tag. I’ve seen this one around on various blogs recently and thought it looked fun, so here goes…

Phase 1: Initial Attraction (A book you bought because of the cover)

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower is a lovely looking book, and based on the summary it’s one I would have picked up regardless of the cover design, so being so pretty is an added bonus.

Phase 2: First Impressions (A book you got because of the summary)

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin. I found out about this book online a while before it was published and I knew it would be one I’d have to check out:

The year is 1831

Down the murky alleyways of London, acts of unspeakable wickedness are taking place and no one is willing to speak out on behalf of the city’s vulnerable poor as they disappear from the streets.

Out of these shadows comes Hester White, a bright young woman who is desperate to escape the slums by any means possible.

When Hester is thrust into the world of the aristocratic Brock family, she leaps at the chance to improve her station in life under the tutelage of the fiercely intelligent and mysterious Rebekah Brock. But whispers from her past slowly begin to poison her new life and both she and Rebekah are lured into the most sinister of investigations.

Hester and Rebekah find themselves crossing every boundary they’ve ever known in pursuit of truth, redemption and passion. But their trust in each other will be tested as a web of deceit begins to unspool, dragging them into the blackest heart of a city where something more depraved than either of them could ever imagine is lurking . . .

Phase 3: Sweet Talk (A book with great writing)

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. I really enjoyed the descriptive writing in this book, the locations, the seasons changing, the mysterious air surrounding the serpent.
I also really liked Cora and Will, and the way their friendship developed throughout the novel.

Phase 4: First Date (A first book of a series which made you want to pursue the rest of the series)

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, the first book of A Song of Ice and Fire. They’re such massive books but once I’d started I was hooked.

Phase 5: Late Night Phone Calls (A book that kept you up all night long)

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. All at sea with killer mermaids on the loose, I couldn’t put this one down because I needed to know whether the crew would escape and who would survive.

Phase 6: Always On My Mind (A book you couldn’t stop thinking about)

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell. So spooky, so atmospheric, and I’m still thinking about the ending…

Phase 7: Getting Physical (A book you love the feel of)

I love any paperback book. Just the perfect size to be comfortable and portable for on-the-go reading. Give me a paperback and I’m a happy reader.

Phase 8: Meeting the Parents (A book you would recommend to your friends and family)

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. I read this recently because I’d watched and enjoyed the new movie. I had a great time reading it, even knowing the outcome, and I’m now going to read more Poirot books. I had no idea I’d been missing out, somehow Christie had always passed me by, so I’d recommend this hoping someone else may get as much out of reading it as I did.

Phase 9: Thinking About the Future (A book or series that you know you’ll re-read many times in the future)

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m currently enjoying my first ever series re-read. I don’t often re-read books as I have so many new books to try and fit in, but there’s definitely something comforting about revisiting a favourite series.

Phase 10: Share the Love (Here’s who I’m tagging)

Anyone who’s seen this and fancies a go at the tag themselves. Enjoy!

The Spring Has Sprung Book Tag – 2018 Edition

It’s Book Tag time!
It seems to have become something of a little tradition here on the blog that I fill in this particular tag around this time of year. I think this is my third attempt, so, here are my 2018 Spring Has Sprung tag choices…

1. FLOWERS: LOOK ON YOUR BOOKSHELVES. WHAT IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK BOTH INSIDE AND OUT?

Glancing at my massive TBR pile right now it’s a tie between The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin and The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower. I’m only picking based on the outside of these books as I’ve only read one of them so far, but they’re both so pretty that I couldn’t miss out on mentioning them here.

2. GRASS: WHAT IS A BOOK THAT YOU FIND THAT OTHERS LIKE WAY MORE THAN YOU DO?

The Black Magician books by Trudi Canavan were recommended to me with such total love and admiration that it ended up being a LOT to live up to. I enjoyed what I’ve read so far, but I still have the final book on my TBR pile and so far it hasn’t found it’s way to the top.

3. RAIN: WHAT’S A GREAT BOOK THAT LIFTS YOUR SPIRITS WHEN YOU’RE DOWN?

I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling last year as I started my first series re-read and I enjoyed every moment of rediscovering the magic of Hogwarts for the first time.

4. DEW: WHAT’S A BOOK THAT MADE YOU FEEL ALIVE?

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant.
Killer mermaids, danger, peril, being lost at sea without any real hope of rescue, horror, romance, this book had the lot.

5. STORMS: WHAT’S A BOOK THAT YOU FOUND UNPREDICTABLE?

The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell. There was so much going on, and so many questions regarding the history of the big house and what had happened there, and the wooden companions themselves, that I was fascinated.
There was an ending I never saw coming which left me wishing I could talk about it with someone who’d read the book at the same time as me.

6. RAINBOW: WHAT WAS A BOOK THAT YOU STRUGGLED WITH, ONLY TO BE HAPPY THAT YOU READ IT IN THE END?

I think my answer to this is going to have to be similar to last year because I have such a massive TBR pile, and it’s getting bigger all the time, that I don’t tend to sit and struggle with a book. I’ll move onto the next one and hopefully find something to enjoy more instead.

7. CHILLY WEATHER: WHAT’S A BOOK THAT YOU COULDN’T FINISH OR DIDN’T ENJOY?

Origin by Dan Brown.

8. WARM WEATHER: WHAT’S A BOOK THAT YOU LOVED AND WANTED MORE OF?

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. It was SO good, and I could definitely have read more, which leads nicely onto the next question…

9. GREEN: WHAT’S A BOOK THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT REALLY WANT TO?

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden is the sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale, which I really enjoyed, so I can’t wait to get back to Vasya and her adventures.

10. PINK: WHAT’S A BOOK IN WHICH YOU FELT A STRONG CONNECTION TO THE CHARACTERS?

The Ninth Rain by Jen Williams had some great main characters. Vintage, Tor and Noon were all great to read, and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of The Bitter Twins to go on further adventures with them.

11. PURPLE: WHAT’S A BOOK THAT WHEN YOU READ IT, YOU FEEL SAFE?

I started my Harry Potter series re-read and I’m really enjoying it. There’s something really comforting reading a well-loved and well-known series for the second time, and I look forward to picking up The Goblet of Fire sometime soon. I can’t believe that until now I’ve only read these books once.

12. ORANGE: WHAT BOOK DO YOU FEEL IS INTELLIGENTLY WRITTEN?

I’ve sat thinking about this one for a while and I guess all books are intelligently written, aren’t they? So, I’m going to take this opportunity to mention a few other reads I’ve enjoyed recently that haven’t made it into this tag in any other category so far.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
Strange Weather by Joe Hill
A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab

13. YELLOW: WHAT BOOK PUTS A SMILE ON YOUR FACE?

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley. I loved the magic, other-worldly air to the whole story, the imagery of the golden pollen trails, and the stone figures that may be more than they first appear.


So, there’s my latest edition of Spring Has Sprung.
As always, if you want to have a go at the tag then consider yourself tagged. Enjoy!

The How I Choose My Books Tag

I think it’s time for another Book Tag. I haven’t done one for a while, so I’m looking forward to this. I haven’t been tagged, but spotted this over at not-so-modern girl and thought I’d give it a try. So, let’s get started….

1. Find a book on your shelves with a blue cover. What made you pick up the book in the first place?

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King.
This was always one I was going to want to read. I usually enjoy a Stephen King novel so always look out for his latest offerings. I had this on my wish list way before the cover reveal, but such a gorgeous cover is definitely a bonus!

2. Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy but did. Why did you read it in the first place?

The Inn Boonsboro series by Nora Roberts. I doubt I would ever have picked up this series, but someone who’d just finished the first book (The Next Always) told me how much she had enjoyed it. She really sold it to me so I decided to give it a try. I ended up reading all three almost back to back. It was just something very different from my usual reading tastes and I think that was probably why I enjoyed it so much.

3. Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick up a book at random. How did you discover this book?

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I bought this based on already having read the rest of the series.
I discovered the series in the first place via the first movie. I remember going to see it at the cinema and really wanting to read the book as well. The rest is history.

4. Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

Someone recommended the Black Magician trilogy by Trudi Canavan. I thought the first book, The Magicians’ Guild, took a while to get going, but once it did I really enjoyed it and am reading the final book of the trilogy at the moment.

5. Pick a book you discovered through book blogs. Did it live up to the hype?

I saw Caraval by Stephanie Garber literally everywhere and it sounded so intriguing. I think I may have become a little over-hyped though and didn’t end up enjoying the novel quite as much as I thought I would.

6. Find a book on your shelves with a one word title. What drew you to this book?

Carnivalesque by Neil Jordan. Okay, I admit, initially it was the cover that drew me to this book, all blue and gold with stars, it just drew my eye.
But the story, of a young boy who goes to a carnival and ends up trapped inside a mirror sounds like it might be good.

7. What book did you discover through a film/TV adaptation?

Cell by Stephen King. I’m trying to read as many Stephen King books as I can anyway, but this particular title came to my attention after I watched the recent movie version. I enjoyed the movie but I didn’t like the ending and wanted to see whether the book came to a less grim conclusion. I won’t spoil anything here, I’ll just say that I definitely preferred the ending of the book.

8. Think of your all-time favourite books. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin – I gave Game of Thrones a try previously, but didn’t think it was something I would get into, all those strange character and place names, and I hadn’t read much in the way of fantasy at that point, so I put it aside.
Then I saw that it was going to become a tv series and something about it caught my imagination again, so I had another attempt to read the first book. I have no idea why it seemed so different second time around but I became totally hooked.


If you feel like having a go at this then you’re tagged.
Have you read any of the books I chose this time? If so, what did you think?
Until the next time…