My Favourite 2019 Blogging Moments Tag!

orangutan tag 2

I can’t believe we’re coming to the end of 2019! Which means it’s about time we start wrapping up the year… I saw over on Bookcorps (the original creator of the tag) and thought it might be a fun roundup, especially since I don’t do wrap ups. 

What’s your favourite book review?

woke

Not gonna lie, I had a lot of fun writing my review for Woke 😉

What’s your favourite discussion post?

thoughts orangutan

I really liked doing a couple of posts on free speech this year- especially Calling Out Call Out Culture and *All the Warnings*. Both of them were really overdue, particularly cos I’d spent so long doing research on the latter.

What’s your favourite fun post?

(By “fun post” I mean a post that doesn’t fall under a particular category like reviews, discussions or tags do.)

I’ve written a few, but I had the most fun doing the Most Pretentious Post You Will Ever Read

What’s your favourite book recommendation post?

hogwarts logo

I loved doing recs based on Hogwarts Houses. I even roped my sister, the Monkey Baby, into helping me out with her Hufflepuff perspective for part 2!

What’s your favourite book/bookish photo?

I really don’t have one! I’m not much good at bookish photos! So, here’s a random selection of book porn…

All of these are well worth reading by the way!

What’s your favourite original idea/blog post?

Let’s be real, I liked taking the piss out of how some people read reviews, aka my post how not to read reviews aka poking some trolls under the bridge 😉

What’s your absolute favourite blog post you wrote this year?

orangutan fairy tale knight in shining armour0003

I’m really glad I took the plunge on a few posts this year, but I really enjoyed doing my defence of fairy tales and classics, cos sometimes our most beloved stories need defending from Nincompoops!

Have you reached any blogging achievements this year?

I don’t think I hit any WordPressy official targets, but I did hit 5500 followers this year 😊 Which I’m immensely grateful for! So thank you to everyone who’s been following along this year!

orangutan thank you

I’m not tagging anyone, since I wasn’t tagged (also I’m being lazy 😉 ), but please feel free to do it if you like!

 

Waffle Book Tag

waffle book tag

Since this is the perfect time of year to get cosy and, well, eat a lot, I thought it’d be fun to finally do this tag. Thank you so much to the fantastic Kelly @Another Book in the Wall for tagging me to do this- really recommend checking her out, especially because she writes and hosts amazing discussions on YA!

The Rules

➽ Link back to the original creator, Kat @ Novels & Waffles (check her out too, she’s so sweet!)

➽ Feel free to use any of the waffle graphics in this post, just make sure to credit Kat! (as you can see, I used them cos they’re amazing!)

➽ Tag as many people as you want (or don’t want) to. No pressure here, folks! ♡

belgian waffles classic

christmas carol

For this time of year, let’s go with Christmas Carol!

whole wheat waffles

little women

Trying to keep to the Christmassy theme, I’m gonna go with Little Women.

eggo waffles

peter rabbit

I had to look up what Eggo is (turns out it’s an American thing)… which is why I thought it might be fun to flip that on its head and choose a quintessentially British book that (some) Americans may not be familiar with: The Tale of Peter Rabbit. I can’t tell you how warm and fuzzy I get whenever I think about Beatrix Potter- her books made my childhood and ultimately is why I’m in love with the Lake District. So yeah, this is a real nostalgia-fest for me!

chocolate waffles

cress

Cress! She’s super sweet and my favourite character in the Lunar Chronicles.

blueberry waffles.png

words in deep blue

Words in Deep Blue… see what I did there 😉 Okay, but in all seriousness, this is a book about grief that made me cry *the whole way through*. But it’s so beautiful and uplifting and gorgeously written that I can’t recommend it enough!

waffle cone

evelyn hardcastle

I’m going with the Seven and a Half Deaths Evelyn Hardcastle– cos it was by far the most unique thing I’ve read this year! Even that title stands out from the crowd!

maple syrup

wizard heir

I’ve binged a lot of brilliant series and powered through some pathetic bilge… but one that I’m glad I finished was the Heir series by Cinda Chima Williams. Warrior Heir wasn’t my favourite book, but I’m glad I read it, because that series ended up being delectable!! I especially loved Wizard Heir!

waffle iron.png

last kingdom (2)

I’m gonna have to steal Kelly’s answer and say my Kindle. I never thought I’d want an ereader, until someone on my degree course pointed out it’s really useful for books that are no longer in copyright. Of course, once I got it, I ended up hooked on all the other wonderful ebooks that are so easy to get and stock up on. And while I still love physical books, it’s safe to say I’m a Kindle convert!

That was fun! Tagging: Witty and Sarcastic Book Club, the Paperback Piano, CJR the Brit, Misty, Green Tea Librarian and anyone else that is craving waffles wants to do this!

And that’s all for now! What’s your favourite delectable series? Let me know in the comments!

Bookish Heavenly Virtues Tag!

christmas tag

Eons ago, I confessed my Deadly Bookish Sins to the world, so I think it’s only fair in this season of giving to balance it out with some virtues 😉 Thanks so much to the brilliant Ola @ Re-Enchantment of the World for tagging me to do this one!

CHASTITY: Which author/book/series you wish you had never read?

wideacre

Oof I can think of a few. I wish I could unread everything I’ve ever read by Philippa Gregory, but mostly Wildacre- cos why?!?!?! That book was all manner of weird and icky and I wish I could just erase it from my mind!

TEMPERANCE: Which book/series did you find so good, that you didn’t want to read it all at once, and you read it in doses just to make the pleasure last longer?

The problem with great books is once you start reading, you realise it’s delectable and no matter how much you try to abstain- you just want to gobble them up all at once! For me, there are two authors who always make me feel this way: Laini Taylor and Katherine Arden

CHARITY: Which book/series/author do you tirelessly push to others, telling them about it or even giving away spare copies bought for that reason?

I personally try to fit books to people- like, if you’re a Harry Potter fan, I’ll push Carry On at you until you *read it*! If someone ever asks for a Non Fic rec or wants something more meaningful, my book of choice will always be Man’s Search for Meaning. Then there are just perennial favourites like Dorian Gray… You get the idea, I’m a book pusher and I have a problem 😉

DILIGENCE: Which series/author you follow no matter what happens and how long you have to wait?

winds of winter

Let’s be real, when (if) Winds of Winter and Dream of Spring finally come out then I’m gonna read it!!! I don’t even care it’s good anymore/better than the show/a rambling shambles- I just WANNA SEE HOW IT ALL ENDS AND GET ON WITH MY LIFE! (yeahhh I think like a lot of GOT fans, I have an unhealthy relationship with this series…) (also, fun fact, GRRM also appeared in my Deadly Sins Tag as an author I have a love-hate relationship with… which I didn’t realise until I’d already written this)

PATIENCE: Is there an author/book/series you’ve read that improved with time the most, starting out unpromising, but ultimately proving rewarding?

the-black-magician-trilogy

Trudi Canavan’s Black Magician Trilogy- no contest! Seriously, I nearly DNF’d the first one and thought only the last hundred pages or so were worth reading. HOWEVER, the rest of the series was *brilliant*! It actually ended up being one of my favourite fantasy series of all time. So, if you do pick it up and find the first one painful to get through, I highly recommend you power through! It gets so much better!

KINDNESS: Which fictitious character would you consider your role-model in the hassle of everyday life?

to all the boys

Thinking of quiet heroes is a real challenge! I think there are a few contemporary heroines who make me feel like this- most notably it’s gotta be Lara Jean- who manages to be a great sister and is someone who I’d want as a real life friend!

HUMILITY: Which book/series/author do you find most under-rated?

Again, there are a few. I have to say Isaac Bashevis Singer is really underrated with modern audiences. And though I’m assured Radnoti has an audience in his native Hungary, I think his poetry should be read more widely, because it is so exceptionally beautiful. Lastly, I absolutely loved Wolf in the Whale, which came out this year- while dark in some areas, it’s also one of the most unique fantasies I’ve read in a while!

That was fun! Tagging: Lila @Hardcover Haven, the Book Prescription, Sofii @A Book A Thought, Jennifer @Out of Babel, Xandra @Starry Star Books, Weird Zeal and anyone else who fancies doing it!

Alright then- that’s all for now! I wanna know what’s your most heavenly bookish virtues? Let me know in the comments! 

 

Finally Fall Tag!

autumn monkey 2

Hello all! Yes, I know we’re quickly moving into the winter season, but fall’s not finished yet… Thank you so much to the wonderful Witty and Sarcastic Book Club for tagging me- she’s one of the friendliest book bloggers out there, always has fantastic insight and amazing recommendations- highly recommend you check her out!

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

winternight bear

The Winternight Trilogy– I just adore that Russian setting. And, as the nights get cooler, it’s perfect for this time of year!

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

astonishing colour of after

The Astonishing Colour of After– it’s a bit heavy on the purple prose, but it’s powerfully vivid and covers the topic of grief in a really unique way.

Fall is Back to School Season. Name a Nonfiction Book that Taught You Something.

Gulag Archipelago, 3 volumes

I don’t read a huge amount of Non-Fiction but the Gulag Archipelago taught me *a lot* about the Soviet Union.

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 love to be a part of.

my harry potters

Okay, I’m gonna try and not steal the Weasley family answer, buuuut it’s hard to come up with something different! So, I’m gonna stick with the Harry Potter theme and say the Marauders. *Phew* *wipes sweat off brow* just about got away with that 😉

The colourful leaves are piling up on the ground. Show us a pile of Autumn-coloured spines. 

autumn spines

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

name of the wind

The first book that came to mind was Name of the Wind– which I feel weird about picking cos I wasn’t a fan of the sequel… buuuut it’s really the perfect book for this, since the narrative structure and distinctive storytelling style makes this a stellar read! (hopefully the third and final book, whenever it comes out, will be a return to form)

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

the woman in black

Well, if you’re looking to be properly *creeped out* then you can’t go wrong with the Woman in Black!

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

secret countess

Anything by Eva Ibbotson- though I’d particularly recommend the Secret Countess.

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

So many. There were a few I wanted to reread this year, but never got to. I hope to reread Sabriel (just cos it’s amazing). And I also wanted to reread His Dark Materials before the new adaptation came out (which I’m LOVING btw!!!), but that didn’t happen. I also plan to reread the first Mistborn series, so I can finally have the pleasure of bingeing the entire series. Problem is, I’m a massive mood reader, so it’s really anyone’s guess what I’ll read next 😉

Because Fall is basically over, I’m just gonna tag a few people, but feel free to do it if you want to!

Tagging: Jennifer @Bookmark Your Thoughts, CJR the Brit, the Green Tea Librarian, Sam @Rivermoose Reads, Journey into Books and Keira @Headphones and Hyperbole

And that’s all for now? What book gives you autumnal vibes? Let me know in the comments!

The Perfect Book Tag

orangutan tag 2

Hi all! I’m still thinking quite a bit about writing and I saw this really fun tag over on Sara @the Bibliophagist‘s site and thought it would be fun to do (even if I wasn’t tagged- I know, what a rebel I am 😉 )

The Perfect Genre

pick a book that perfectly represents its genre

Well, obviously I’m picking fantasy, but I feel like this is such a versatile genre I could really pick anything. So, I’m just gonna pick Shadow of What was Lost, because it both epitomises the genre and doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

shadow of what was lost

Still really need to read the sequel!

The Perfect Setting

pick a book that takes place in a perfect place

This was possibly the hardest, because there are so. many. remarkable settings. That’s why it might be disappointing that I’m gonna go with possibly the most cliché answer and saying Hogwarts. But c’mon, this is the perfect book- I can’t really get any better, can I?

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_Cover

The Perfect Main Character

pick the perfect main character

idiot

Prince Myshkin- a tragic figure with a heart of gold (it’s also been pointed out to me that Dostoevsky has a tendency to make his heroic characters basically Jesus- so make of that what you will).

The Perfect Best Friend

loyal and supportive, pick a character that you think is the best friend ever

good omens tv

Okay, yes I’m cheating a little cos I don’t think you can have one without the other and I just think Crowley/Aziraphale are the best fictional friendship ever!

The Perfect Love Interest

pick a character you think would be an amazing romantic partner

carry on

Gotta be Baz from Carry On

The Perfect Villain

pick a character with the most sinister mind

vicious

Alright, choosing Victor Vale, even if it’s not clear whether he is a villain… which makes him the perfect villain!

The Perfect Family

pick a perfect bookish family

the boy who steals houses

Oh I really, really want the Laineys from The Boy Who Steal Houses to adopt me- so them!

The Perfect Animal or Pet

pick a pet or fantastic animal that you need to see on a book

Well not exactly as a pet… but I *love* dragons!

rhaegal dragon

The Perfect Plot Twist

pick a book with the best plot twist

poison chris wooding

No spoilers- but it’s gotta be Poison by Chris Wooding!

The Perfect Trope

pick that trope you would add to your own book without thinking

I’ve never written this, but I love enemies to lovers. Like in the Hating Game…

the hating game

The Perfect Cover

pick that cover that you would easily put in your own book

hazel wood

Hazel Wood (also an amazing book)

The Perfect Ending

pick a book that has the perfect ending

Okay so I’ve got to admit a few very different endings just popped into my head, so I want to mention them all (just picture them all smushed together, even though they’d probably be a really weird ending). Firstly, Secret Countess is a gorgeous, fairy tale finale, and I love it. I’m also a sucker for the more tragic conclusions like in the Broken Empire trilogy. And I frickin ADORE the highly unique ending of Circe. Dunno what all of those would look like together, so make of that what you will 😉

Only going to tag a few people for this: Sophie, Kat, Katie, Tiffany, Marie, Jennifer, Witty and Sarcastic Book Club and anyone else that wants to do it!

So, what do you think of my answers? And I’m really curious about what trope you would most like to write? Let me know in the comments!

The I Dare You Tag

orangutan tag 2

Phew- I feel like I’ve been pretty daring this week, so I thought I’d chill out… by doing the dare you tag 😉 Seems quite appropriate now we’re in the heart of the *SCARY SEASON*. Thank you so much to the marvellous Mary Drover for tagging me to do this- she’s got such a fascinating blog, with so much on writing, books, yoga, food and so much more! You’d be mad not to check it out!

Now, you’ve done that, let’s get into the tag!

(warning, may contain controversial opinions…)

What book has been on your shelf the longest?

I have the same answer as Mary for this, cos hello, I’m a millennial:

my harry potters

What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

At the time of writing this post, I’m currently reading the Dispel Illusion (so far soo not been able to catch my breath!!), just read Bone Witch (eh s’alright) and up next is p-r-o-b-a-b-l-y Small Spaces… or Vanishing Stair… or maybe something else equally Halloweeny (what? You wanted an actual answer? I’m a mood reader!)

What book did everyone like, but you hated?

Okay, I’ve got a lot of these, so I’m gonna list a few like Mary did. Time to piss everyone off I guess…

  1. The Fault in Our Stars– I’ve made no secret of the fact I didn’t like this book. For me, the narrative was a flatline of continuous despair and the pretentious prose felt absurd. Also, I will never think the callous use of Anne Frank was okay, okay?
  2. It Ends with Us– on a completely different note, here’s one I’ve never talked about before, but… oof this one still hurts. Lots of people love this book because of the way it boldly handled the sensitive subject matter, and I can respect that, BUT I hated it for its soapy, simplified, inauthentic approach.
  3. The Bronze Horseman– ugh to the cheating, ugh to the gross love interest and ugh to the dishcloth protagonist. Ugh ugh ugh.

I’ve actually realised I have *a lot* more of these. Maybe I’ll do a follow up post if I’m feeling brave…

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

ulysses joyce

Well, I kind of know my reading tastes by now and I figure it’s suuuuper unlikely I’ll want to attempt another steam of consciousness novel. I’ve never finished a Virginia Woolf book or ploughed through Joyce’s Ulysses– and I probably never will. That didn’t stop me from downloading all the free ebook versions though….

What book are you saving for retirement?

Gosh, I don’t know, maybe some of the above? I have a number of challenging books on my tbr as well- such as the works of Jung, Dante’s Inferno, Swann’s Way etc- but I like to think I’ll get to them before I retire 😉

Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

Wait till the end! What do you take me for?! I’m not some uncivilised, well, ape.

Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

Oh, I quite enjoy them. Maybe I’m sappy, but I find so many of them written with warmth and charm and lovely expressions of gratitude! (okay, yes, I’m very sappy)

Which book character would you switch places with?

emma movie

I’m gonna go with Austen’s Emma, cos has a lovely lifestyle and also she gets Knightley- what more could a girl desire?

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (place, time, person?)

Hmm I think many books have the power to transport you back in time and place.

Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

Ahhh this is embarrassing. I once soaked my school library copy of Little Women (by accident!) so rather than giving back the damaged version, I pretended I’d lost it and paid to replace it. I think I still have the mouldy and kinda disgusting version somewhere in storage.

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

woke

Since it’s nearly Halloween and I apparently want to scare people off, I’ll go with Woke– which I gave to my brother for his birthday and just wrote a (satirical) review for.

Which book has been with you most places?

songs innocence large

Okay, time for a weird confession (that I’ve probably made before 😉) I sometimes like to take my copy of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience around with me like a talisman. Partly cos it’s small, partly cos it’s pretty, mostly cos even if I have my phone/kindle I need at least one physical book with me at all times.

Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

This is probably the hardest question! The only things I really remember hating from school was the contemporary poetry- most of which I still hate. I have, however, developed a deep respect for Seamus Heaney after reading his terrific translation of Beowulf recently. Sooo don’t know if that counts as an answer, but moving on…

Used or brand new?

I get most of my books used, but would probably prefer to get them new, cos if I could shower authors/publishers/booksellers with wealth, I would.

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

da vinci code

Unfortunately, yes. The Da Vinci Code was one of my first (non classic) adult books. Suffice to say I wasn’t impressed and it took me many, many years to go back to adult books after that.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

stardust

A few times. I not-so-secretly prefer the Stardust movie, for instance (though the book is still good!)

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

feast hogwarts great hall

Of course! I get hungry at just the mention of food- in fact this question has just made me so hungry I can’t think of an answer right now! Maybe the extremely obvious answer Harry Potter– which made me wish Hogwarts was real all the more! Rainbow Rowell is pretty good at making me hungry too. As is Jacqueline Wilson.

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

Two of my friends, who both vigorously recommended Discworld to me- obviously they earned my eternal trust with that tip 😉

Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g., outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

the martian

The first one that springs to mind is the Martian- which was a surprisingly delightful read- especially for a newbie to the sci fi genre like me!

That was fun, now I dare: No Reads too Great, Jennifer, Mim Inkling, Embuhleeliest, Meghan, Corner of Laura, Rivermoose Reads, Journey into Books, Zezee and Naty

So have I shocked any of you with my opinions?! (probably not, if you’ve stuck around this long, you’ll know I’ve said worse  😉  Really curious though, do you have any shocking opinions on books everyone loves, but you hate? I dare you to let me know in the comments!

The Fall Bucket List Book Tag

autumn monkey 2

Autumn is awesome! I can’t be the only one that loves autumnal activities- which is why I am so excited to do this fall bucket list book tag! Thank you so much to the terrific Tiffany for tagging me to do her fantastic new fall tag! I really enjoyed these prompts and absolutely loved the graphics as well, so am glad she says you can use them in the post 😀

The Rules
  • Link back to theoriginal creator in your post.
  • Feel free to use any of my graphics in your post, or create your own!
  • Tag 7 other people at the end of your post, and let them know you’ve tagged them.

light a scented candle

my lady jane

My Lady Jane– this funny take on Lady Jane Grey is the epitome of light-hearted! Which is surprising, considering how dark the history is… but never mind that, because even historical-accuracy-stick-in-the-muds (like me) can enjoy the heck out of this book!

drink pumpkin spiced lattes

six of crows

Six of Crows– this book is so deserving of the hype!!! And it’s the kind of dark and atmospheric read that really suits the autumnal months!

apple picking

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone_Book_Cover

Harry Potter– I mean, is there another answer? Whether you love the Golden Trio, the Marauders or Dumbledore’s Army, this book is packed with charming friendships.

cozy sweater

goose girl

Goose Girl– this is an older Middle Grade read, but it’s definitely the kind of book that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

cinnamon rolls

to all the boys

To All the Boys I Loved Before- Tiffany predicted that most people are gonna pick Lara Jean… and I am indeed doing just that! But this book isn’t just about a talented chef- it’s so much more than that! The romance, the family aspect and individuality of the characters all blend perfectly to create the ultimate YA contemporary!

pile of leaves

northanger abbey

Northanger Abbey– ahh Austen always has the power to make me squeal with delight! And this parody of a gothic novel is just right for (us scaredy cats in) spooktober!

That was so much fun! I’m tagging: Kelly, Lucy, Keira, Rachael, Lisa, Bookmark your thoughts, Journey into Books, Kristin Kraves, Green Tea Librarian, Emily @Embuhleeliest, Miminkling and anyone else that wants to do it!

What cosy books you most like for autumn? Let me know in the comments!