Booking Ahead: December 2018

Booking Ahead is a feature on Pages and Tea where I glance through my never-ending TBR list/pile and select a few potential reads for the coming month. If I’m not reading books I love talking about books I’d like to read, so this post is a perfect excuse to do just that.

Welcome to another Booking Ahead.
December, already?!? Next thing you know it will be Christmas. With that in mind I’ve added at least one festive looking cover to my potential reading selection for this month. Here are a few books I hope to sample over the next few weeks…

New Books

Someone Like Me by M. R. Carey – I’ve read Carey’s previous novels and enjoyed them all, and I’ve seen some great, non-spoilerish reviews for this latest which have all made me quite excited to get started on the book.

The Lingering by SJI Holliday – Another book that I keep seeing everywhere at the moment. It sounds really creepy, set in an old asylum now used as a community dwelling, but I can’t wait to start it. Am intrigued about the bath bit, because I’ve seen that mentioned in quite a few reviews already.

The Christmas Lights by Karen Swan – It’s that time of year again folks! The arrival of December usually sees me reaching for the latest from Karen Swan.

Books from the Backlist

I’m not sure I’ll manage anything from the Backlist this month. I requested so many new books from the library and as usual they’ve all arrived at the same time. I have no idea how I’ll get through them all before the loans expire but I’m going to give it a good go.


What are you hoping to read this month? Have you read of my picks, and if so what did you think?
See you again next month for another Booking Ahead.

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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!

Booking Ahead: November 2018

Booking Ahead is a feature on Pages and Tea where I glance through my never-ending TBR list/pile and select a few potential reads for the coming month. If I’m not reading books I love talking about books I’d like to read, so this post is a perfect excuse to do just that.

New Books

Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness – Another book in the world of the All Souls trilogy sounds intriguing.

A House of Ghosts by W. C. Ryan – A mystery surrounding people stranded on an island in a storm. Also, there may be ghosts. Sounds good to me!

The Corset by Laura Purcell – I loved The Silent Companions so I was always going to check this book out although I’ve seen some mixed reviews around for it. I’m still really looking forward to starting it myself.

Books from the Backlist

I’m not sure what I fancy from my huge Backlist pile this month, but hopefully I’ll find time for at least one – it seems like a very long time since I added anything to my Beat the Backlist challenge.


What are you hoping to read this month? Have you read of my picks, and if so what did you think?
See you again next month for another Booking Ahead.

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.

Booking Ahead: October 2018

Booking Ahead is a feature on Pages and Tea where I glance through my never-ending TBR list/pile and select a few potential reads for the coming month. If I’m not reading books I love talking about books I’d like to read, so this post is a perfect excuse to do just that.

Is it just me or do there seem to be many many great sounding new books coming out around this time? There are so many titles that have caught my attention lately that narrowing it down to a number I might stand a chance of reading over a month is going to be tough.

New Books

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower – I’ve started reading it at last! I thought this beautiful looking book would never reach the top of my TBR pile, but I’m glad it did because so far it’s very good.

An Unwanted Guest  by Shari Lapena – I’ve never read anything by this author before, but the story of people trapped in a snowbound hotel with no power whilst a murderer may be among them caught my eye.

The Corset by Laura Purcell – I’ve started seeing reviews around in various places for this book, and I enjoyed The Silent Companions so much that I really hope the library get their stock in quickly because this sounds perfect for the current season.

A House of Ghosts by W. C. Ryan – I’ve seen two other book titles mentioned in comparison with this book – And Then There Were None and The Silent Companions. Based on my comment above, and my newfound love for all things Agatha Christie, you can imagine that i’m pretty intrigued about this book.

Books from the Backlist

NOS4R2 by Joe Hill – I’ve had this book my my TBR list for so long. I’m hoping to read it as part of my Readers Imbibing Peril read-a-thon, which runs for the month of October.

I have a feeling I’ve probably still chosen too many books here, but I’ll give it a go and see now I get on. I wonder how many other new books are going to try and distract me throughout the month?!


What are you hoping to read this month? Have you read of my picks, and if so what did you think?
See you again next month for another Booking Ahead.

Top Ten Tuesday: Falling into Fall 2018

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Click on the link for more info and to find out about future topics.

This weeks theme is:   Books on my Fall 2018 TBR


My favourite season is (almost) here. I absolutely love curling up with a hot drink and a brilliant book while the weather outside turns cooler. There also seems to be some fantastic sounding books either just out or coming very soon, so there’s plenty of (hopefully) great reading to look forward to. Here’s a selection of some of the titles that have caught my eye recently…

The Corset by Laura Purcell – I loved The Silent Companions by the same author, so I can’t wait to start this new tale, billed as a Victorian chiller.

Melmoth by Sarah Perry – The Essex Serpent was so good that I knew I’d pick up whatever Sarah Perry wrote next, and this story of folklore, superstition and legend sounds intriguing.

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower – I’ve had this book on my TBR pile for a while now and I’ve seen some great reviews of it, so I’m hoping that I’ll start it within the next few weeks.

Transcription by Kate Atkinson – A young woman recruited into the world of espionage in 1940 sounds like a fascinating beginning to a story. This will be my first Kate Atkinson.

Time’s Convert by Deborah Harkness – We’re really being spoiled at the moment, with a tv adaptation of A Discovery of Witches and a new book featuring familiar characters from the All Souls trilogy.

The Labyrinth of the Spirits by Carlos Ruiz Zafón – So exciting! I’ve read all the other Cemetery of Forgotten Books series (The Shadow of the Wind has probably had a couple of re-reads too!) so getting my hands on this new instalment is something I’m looking forward to.

The Mystery of Three Quarters of Sophie Hannah – It’s Poirot as written by Sophie Hannah. My recent discovery of Agatha Christie and especially Poirot makes me really curious to see how another author writes such a famous character.

Halloween Party by Agatha Christie – A Poirot story, and picked solely on the basis that Halloween is approaching, so why not?

The Feed by Nick Clark Windo – Everyone relies on The Feed. Then The Feed collapses. Imagine a world where the technology we use so much is suddenly no longer there, and then someone really important to you goes missing. This sounds so good.

NOS4R2 by Joe Hill – I’ve probably featured this one on an autumn themed TBR list before, so hopefully this time I’ll get around to reading it. It seems perfect for this time of year.


And so you have just some of the books featuring on my TBR list/pile at the moment. What are you hoping to read this autumn?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Hidden or Not-So-Hidden Gems

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Click on the link for more info and to find out about future topics.

This weeks theme is:   Hidden Gems (which books haven’t been talked about as much or haven’t been marketed as strongly that you think deserve some recognition?)


I’m back for my first Top Ten Tuesday in quite a while. I thought I’d use this week’s topic to remember some of the books I’ve really enjoyed over the last few months. Whether you’d call them hidden gems is debatable, because at least one or two of them I’ve seen mentioned almost everywhere, but an opportunity to talk again about good books is one not to be missed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton – A time-travelling, body-swapping, Christie-esque whodunnit-type mystery. Still possibly my favourite read of the year so far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles – Charming characters, lovely writing. The story of Count Alexander Rostov, living under house arrest in the Hotel Metropol remains very memorable.

       

Wrath of Empire by Brian McClellan – This is the second book in his new fantasy series, so go check out Sins of Empire first, because you’re in for a treat. There’s also the Powder Mage books to discover as well.

              

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – I’m new to Christie and this was the book that started it all. Probably the least ‘hidden’ gem on my list, but when I saw the new movie version I actually had no idea at all about the twist in the tale. Also check out The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Murder on the Links.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – Myth, folklore, frost demons, fire demons, and a whole host of determined leading ladies, I really enjoyed Spinning Silver.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant – Killer mermaids! Tense and exciting and well worth a read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys – A mystery tale involving a bequest from a stranger which sends main character Eve to the French Riviera in search of answers. If you’re missing the hot weather of summer, the atmosphere of this book may suit you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Time of Dread by John Gwynne – A new fantasy series and the first book I’ve read by this author.

       

 

 

 

 

 

The Bitter Twins by Jen Williams – A second-in-series book. Check out The Ninth Rain then continue the adventure with Tor, Vintage and Noon (and some rather fantastic talking war beasts) in The Bitter Twins.

       

Force of Nature by Jane Harper – And to conclude, yes, you guessed it, another second-in-series book. This one is crime, featuring Aaron Falk as the main character. He previously appeared in The Dry which you may want to check out first, but I do think you could dive straight in with this one if you prefer.


So, there you have it, a few of the books that have stayed with me beyond the initial reading. Hopefully you’ll discover something to enjoy. What have you been reading lately that you’d call a hidden gem? As always, do let me know, because a TBR list/pile can never have too many books on it!