Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention #7

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Hello all! I’m really excited to be doing another one of these posts today, because there are just so many bloggers who deserve more attention, and this crop has some exceptional talent! Let’s just jump into it!

Holly @Nut Free Nerd– Many of you may already know Holly’s brilliant blog- but if you, theny you’re in for a real treat! I really enjoy her takes on classics and like getting great recs on all kinds of lit fic. That’s why I LOVE her unique takes on the TTT meme- her one lately on Opening Lines in Classic Novels that Feel Very Relevant was amazing, but you can check out a few more here. Holly also has some great posts on classic recs for every month. Her taste is so sophisticated and brings books I’d never heard of to my attention 😊 And besides all her fun posts and lists, she also writes reviews in such a unique way, addressing them as a letter to the book itself!

Words and Nocturnes– this is a great place to go for thoughtful posts on books, comics and movies (lately she had some really interesting thoughts on comics in particular). She always piques my interest in a great many unusual books. Aside from her lovely insights into literature, she also talks about her writing journey.

Samantha @Bookish Villainy– I love Bookish Villainy’s thorough reviews and fun posts. Recently, I especially enjoyed her list on Books to Escape in While Social Distancing. I also appreciated her thoughtful take on How Minimalism Both My Book Collection and My Reading Experience, where she talked about decluttering books and what we can take from minimalism (even if we’re not minimalists).

Caitlin Althea– Caitlin has a range of fun lists and tags (lately she reacted to some *spicy* twitter takes and it was a highly entertaining read!). More recently, she also had an excellent discussion on bloghopping– which I highly recommend checking out- I really liked her candour there! Plus, she has an awesome selection of favourite posts for the month!

Witty and Sarcastic Book Club– oh my goodness Witty and Sarcastic has such amazing insight and recommendations into books- she even introduced me to my favourite book of the year so far, with her incredible review of Ten Thousand Doors of January! Exploring so many different genres and honest opinions on books, you’ll be sure to find countless ways to grow your TBR over there. And, in case that wasn’t enough, she’s also super generous and friendly on Twitter, always sharing the blogger love!

Macey @Brine and Books– aside from being super friendly, Macey writes intricate musing on books. I very much enjoy her takes on loads of classics- both the unfamiliar and familiar. Plus, she has such great diary-like entries catching up with her month and some excellent creative writing too.

Wakinguponthewrongsideof50– stepping away from the books for a moment, this is a really stimulating blog on a whole range of topics. I struggle to pin it down to just one thing, because it could/should simply be defined as ***life***. What I love about Waking Up On the Wrong Side of Fifty is how well-reasoned she always is.

Amanda @The Below Average Blog– don’t let the name fool you- this blog is way above average. Amanda writes in such an entertaining way and her blog is so full of personality. She covers so many different topics- from books to movies to video games (and occasionally her bird Froley). I particularly love to hear her thoughts on geeky pop culture- like Game of Thrones and Star Wars.

Sophie @Sophie’s Corner– Sophie is extremely multi-talented. Her blog is full of entertaining posts and tags on books, writing and crafts. And when I say multi-talented, I mean it (guys, she made her own wedding dress and looked stunning!!)

Sam @Modern Witch’s Bookshelf– Sam is someone I’ve been following for ages, because she has such stellar content 😊 Not only does she have intriguing insights into books in a great many genres and age categories, she also always seems to make reading fun and sociable (check out her post on Bookopoly!)

And lastly, just for some light-hearted fun I thought I’d share something I found on Instagram: Army Men Around the House– enjoy!

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Of course, there are loads more bloggers who deserve *all the attention*- so who do you think I should be looking out for? And do you know any of these bloggers? Will you be checking them out? Let me know in the comments!

Finales that disappointed me

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We all know what it’s like: the first flushes of love as we fall for a new series, waiting with baited breath for the next instalment, feeling our heart pound as we near the end… only to feel nothing but an anti-climax. Nothing is more disappointing to a bookworm than a series ender we didn’t love. For me, whether I love a series for eternity can come down to those final pages- so, it’s a lot of pressure, but it’s gotta be made to count. As much as I’ve raved about series endings I enjoy– and more than once!- there are unfortunately plenty that have let me down:

kingdom of ash book cover

Kingdom of Ash– so I’m going to start with one that was far from terrible. In fact, I even enjoyed it for the most part when I read it and had some satisfaction when I finished. AND YET oddly enough when I look back on this, I’m disappointed with how it turned out. Because *spoiler alert* this is the kind of story where all the main characters wear plot armour and only expendable characters die. Despite all the explosions, there was no fireworks and consequently no spark for me. It relied on a series of “eh whatever” plot conveniences that have niggled away at me over time. It leaves me with an empty feeling when I think about it. I will say this could just be a case of me outgrowing a series- yet I can’t help but feel a pang when I think of this series. As much as I devoted time to it, I’ve no desire to reread it and have since unhauled my books… and to me, that’s immensely disappointing.

queen of air and darkness book

Queen of Air and Darkness– this was another book I liked less and less over time AND is another book that put me off a series. In this case, I blame the book. It was just designed to bridge the gap between this and another (clearly more important) series. It was slow and exhaustingly repetitive and made the entire series redundant. I’m annoyed that I ever wasted my time on it.

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Breaking Dawn– as much as I will say I think people are too harsh about Twilight, this book was a trashfire. Aside from all the long-winded and anti-climactic elements, this book has a grown man fall in love with a baby?!?! WHO SIGNED OFF ON THAT IDEA?! Ugh, even all these years later, I still wish I could get that ending out of my head. I rue the day teenage me ever picked up a book on sparkly vampires, because I should’ve known it was only going to be downhill from there.

Harry Potter and the deathly hallows

Deathly Hallows– yep, I was one of those teens that was disappointed with this ending. Largely because I didn’t like the copycat elements from Aslan in Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (…plus a whole bunch of other complaints over the years, which made me develop a complicated relationship with Harry Potter). Now, while I still don’t think it’s the perfect ending, I will say I have (just about) reconciled with my old mate Harry Potter. I think I can get on the same page with this ending now… but I’ll never love it.

shadow study

Shadow Study– I loved where the poison study series started, however hated where it ended up. It went from something startlingly unique to just another generic fantasy- and I can’t quite forgive it for that.

final warning maximum ride

The Final Warning– another series that took off and soared to great heights… before ultimately getting shot down and tumbling to its doom. I get the feeling the author had no idea where it was heading- cos this was just blatantly bizarre. Oh, and in this case, I found out this wasn’t the *final* finale… but let’s be real, I’m never going to read on.

ashes to ashes

Ashes to Ashes– another waste of a series where I felt like the promises were left unfulfilled. Unlike the endings I’ve complained about for being too kind, by contrast I felt this was far too much of a punishing end.

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Inkdeath– I loved the concept of Inkheart, but this was just not an ending I enjoyed. Fortunately, unlike a lot of the other books on this list, the first book can be enjoyed in its own right as a standalone.

immortal reign

Immortal Reign– this was wayyy too easy an ending. I know it sounds callous (cos it is) but I prefer my endings to feel like they count and this didn’t.

our dark duet

Our Dark Duet– it’s not just super long series that I’ve dedicated my time to that can disappoint- this duology held a lot of promise in the concept, but I did not like where this went. I particularly disliked the shift in villains. Above all, it felt rushed and unsatisfying.

queen of ruin

Queen of Ruin– ditto with this duology. The more I look back on this, the more frustrated I am that this took such a strong start and let it fizzle out. Somehow this simultaneously managed to be both stuffed with fluff and cut to the quick too fast. Worst of all, the character work was lacking. It decidedly ruined the series for me.

And that’s all for now- thankfully! Have you read any of these? Do you agree or disagree? And what series disappointed you by the end? Let me know in the comments!

Series I can’t bring myself to finish and books I cannot bring myself to start!

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A long while ago, I saw a fantastic post by Ali over on I Wuv Books about series she cannot bring herself to finish. I was inspired to follow in her footsteps… Only, I have to admit, I don’t have so many open-ended series. It’s not just because I’m a series finisher- but because I’m getting happier to quit series I’m not loving. So, in order that this list has a little more substance, I decided to include books I’m scared to start as well. Time to take it away:

shepherd's crown

Discworld– starting with the big confession (and the big reason I wanted to make this post): I cannot bring myself to finish Discworld. Guys, I basically have Shepherd’s Crown and a couple of others left… and I can’t do it. I’m not emotionally ready for it to be over! In fact, I’ve made up my mind to reread my favourites before I pick up the last one.

final-empire

Mistborn– so, I *loved* Final Empire when I read it a few years back… then instantly heard the second one wasn’t as good. I hesitated to pick it up (partly cos I’d just had an emotionally scarring experience with a different series, where the second one let me down, and the third still wasn’t out…) Now it’s been *ages* and I can’t believe I haven’t finished this series- even though I hear from no end of sources that it ends well! (and I own the rest!) Again, I don’t want to make excuses, but I would rather to reread the first one before making my way to the end.

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Secret of the Commonwealth– this is another where I’ve heard *not such great things* about it. Plus, the final one isn’t out yet, which makes me slow off the mark (…not that this excuses me much, since I’ve owned this book close to a year now and it’s my very last unread physical book).

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Goldenhand– this is a bit of an unusual one, because here Garth Nix resurrected one of *my all time favourite* series. I *adore* Abhorsen, so I would love to savour this addition. Yet, it’s also been such a long while that I think a reread refresher would be helpful! (and also thoroughly enjoyable 😉)

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Last Kingdom– I’m really torn about continuing with this series- because while I liked reading the first couple of books, I do feel like I’m enjoying the TV series more and don’t want to read spoilery content. That said, I would like to at least catch up to where the show is at. Plus, what if Netflix cancels it? Then I’ll definitely want to read on!

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Princess Bride– gosh I love the movie so much, even though I’ve owned the kindle edition for *ages*, and even though the idea of not liking it is inconceivable… I’m still scared to pick it up!

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The Gardens of the Moon– for this one, it just comes down to the fact that there’s SO MUCH HYPE. I’ve been burned by older fantasy series before and I’m worried I won’t enjoy it… but even more worrying is if I love it, because then there’s a helluva lot of books to get through! #BookwormProblems- amiright?! 😉

And that’s all I’ve got for now! Do you have any series you’re scared to start or finish? Or just books you’ve been putting on the backburner? Let me know in the comments!

Summery Romance Recommendations! Lots of Fun and Fluffy Reads!

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Yes, it’s summer (I know, I can’t believe it either!) so that means I’m whipping out some romance books and looking to catch me some sun! (which, fortunately, has its hat on and is coming out to play- even in the UK!)

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Unhoneymooners– who doesn’t like a bit of hate to love? This book was a trip on a number of levels and had me thoroughly entertained!

worst best man

Worst Best Man– another book I read not long ago, this also features enemies to lovers. And boy does this couple have reasons to dislike each other… which makes it all the more fun!

When Dimple Met Rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi– this is in the hate-to-love vein, since it starts out as quite a one-sided affair. But it certainly heats up over the course of the book!

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PS I Like You– this book relied pretty heavily on miscommunication, but let me say this clearly: I really liked this book. It left me with a big, dopey smile on my face.

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Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants– an old ’un, but a good ’un! If you’re craving summery feels, with all kinds of relationships, then this is the series for you! Plus it’ll feed your wanderlust- and on that note…

love and gelato

Love and Gelato– a sweet, summery read set in Italy- this has all the right ingredients for a top-notch romance!

with the fire on high

With Fire on High– speaking of delicious reads, I read this recently and couldn’t get enough of it! I practically devoured this unique contemporary about an aspiring chef!

the boy who steals houses

The Boy Who Steals Houses– as with the last one, this leans a little away from romance, focusing more on family… (luckily though there is still some love in the air and ach-gosh-darn it’s so adorable!!)

second chance summer

Second Chance Summer– I know, I know, I’ve mentioned this book so many times before… that’s just cos it’s such a fab summer’s read! Just make sure you have some tissues handy! And with that in mind…

song-of-achilles

Song of Achilles– oh boy this’ll make you weep. While perhaps not as obviously summery as the other books on this list, I do feel the setting of Ancient Greece and Troy gives it that summer feel. Plus, the romance gets a little heated 😉

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Heartstopper– and finally ending on something super-cute to cleanse the palate. These graphic novels are a light and delightful romance read!

And that’s all I’ve got for now! Have you read any of these? Do you plan to? And do you have any romance recommendations for me? I’m dying to hear them, so let me know in the comments!

Great books I don’t talk about often- a slightly summery edition!

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I don’t know about you, but I tend to go on a lot about the same old favourites again and again, because, well, they’re my favourites. Yet this means I often don’t talk about all the other books I enjoyed. This was one of those Top Ten Tuesday topics that I missed… and am deciding to do months later, cos why not? 😉 It should never be too late to revisit a topic or books you enjoyed- and with that in mind, let’s get right into my first choice:

brideshead revisited

Brideshead Revisited– it’s been a while since I paid a call to Brideshead and that was remiss of me. A nostalgic read, much of the story takes place over a single summer before the onset of war. The novel has a note of both indulgence and impending tragedy.

persepolis

Persepolis– okay, other than the climate of Iran, this doesn’t have much that relates to summer, BUT this memoir set around the revolution and its aftermath is such a powerful book and I definitely don’t talk about it enough!

summer that melted everything

Summer That Melted Everything– another historical setting, this time focusing on the AIDs crisis, the novel has elements of magical realism and an unusual plot. Also, the writing is *on fire*.

summer of impossible things

Summer of Impossible Things– another magical realism story with exquisite prose, this tells the story of leaping across time to save someone you love.

astonishing colour of after

The Astonishing Colour of After– I will admit, this has very rich, purple prose. Yet there is a lot that is *astonishing* about this summery read, as it evokes strong feelings of grief. Plus, it strongly ties culture to character development and world building- which I loved!

bridge to terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia– another book about loss, this is phenomenally moving and great for both children and adults. Also, the imaginative world of Terabithia and the evocative feel of childhood in the story gives me strong summer vibes.

list of cages

List of Cages– I don’t know why, but contemporaries just work for me in the summer. Plus, I’m genuinely surprised I haven’t mentioned this book much before! This was an emotional and beautiful book.

aristotle and dante discover the secrets of the universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe– another beautiful book that I can’t believe I don’t talk about more (I’m actually really shocked about it- cos I’ve not even mentioned it once before). Lyrically written, this coming of age romance definitely gets heated. And it doesn’t hurt that a lot of this takes place in summer- which makes it perfect for this list 😉

what if it's us

What If It’s Us– rom coms also really work for me in summer- and this book is a great one for that! With some fantastic characterisation from both authors and some strong subplots, this delivers on some showstopping cuteness! I will admit this does have a tinge of sadness to it- yet ultimately, I was happy with the ending.

nomad partridge

Nomad– I wanted to end on a more joyous note, which is why I chose this comedic parody of a celebrity going on a ramble… which it’s absolutely the weather for!

And that’s all for now! I’ll definitely come back to this topic- I have so many more to talk about! But for now- I want to know, have you read any of these? Did you enjoy them? And do you also forget to talk about some of the great books you’ve read? Let me know in the comments!

The Very Best Books About Books and Stories Within Stories

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One of my absolute favourite tropes in books is stories within stories and today I’m gonna share some of my faves!

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The Neverending Story– I don’t talk about how much I *love* this book often enough. This fantasy does more than take the reader on a journey through a story- it brings life to the idea of falling in love with reading.

fahrenheit-451

Fahrenheit 451– starting with a sizzling read about how books can set you free, this is easily one of the most powerful books I’ve ever read.

guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society– this heartfelt story tells of how books can bring people together in the darkest times.

book thief

The Book Thief– clue’s in the title 😉 One thing I love about this book (and there’s a lot to love) is how it shows the redemptive power of books. What starts as book thievery soon becomes so much more- it becomes a reversal of the quote: “Where they burn books, they will, in the end, burn human beings too”.

shadow of the wind

Shadow of the Wind– this is more than a mystery- it’s a mystery that revolves around a book. A love affair with a book that starts in the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, this is an utterly unique tale that’s perfect for any reader.

broken things

Broken Things– likewise, this is a mystery. Yet, in this case it’s a fundamentally personal story of how you can be bonded through a shared narrative and how you can grow up with an idea. The book itself is woven so tightly with the fictional novel that you’ll scarcely know where one begins and the other ends.

hazel wood

Hazel Wood– another case of a fictional collection of stories, here we get to explore these complex gothic fairy tales. Though written for this book, the Hinterland stories have their own authenticity. They are, in their own right, cleverly constructed and rich in meaning.

ten thousand doors of january

Ten Thousand Doors of January- here, the book within the book has a special purpose. It opens up worlds within worlds. What’s special here is how it adds another layer to an already layered tale. Ultimately, these stories mean more than you might first realise.

eliza and her monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters– I’m changing things up with a web comic that marries fantasy and reality. Eliza is a special book for many reasons- not least the fun illustrations. What I really liked was how this comic allows more themes to enter the story- including mental health awareness and how the internet can collide with the outside world.

radio silence

Radio Silence– in this generation defining book, the fictional show brings thematic depths and creates conflict. It’s a brilliant way to use a story within a story.

words in deep blue

Words in Deep Blue– I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this is so much more than a regular contemporary. Using references to books, characters grow and connect within the story… leading us to connect with them in turn.

reading lolita in tehran

Bonus: Reading Lolita in Tehran– thinking of other books that bring people together, this memoir talks about a book club in Tehran. I read this recently and really liked both the analyses and how the books can intersect with life experience.

And that’s all for now! What are your favourite stories within stories? What books within books have a special meaning for you? Let me know in the comments!

Books Featuring Kindness – Mental Health Awareness Week

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We’re moving into mental health awareness week and I have to confess it’s a subject that’s been on my mind lately (tbh not something I typically talk about, but let’s just say I was doing ok… and then a global pandemic came along and laughed in my face!). And with the theme this year being kindness, I thought it was a worthy subject to highlight in books. Now is a time, more than ever, that we could do with a little bit more kindness in our lives!

wonder

Wonder– an impactful story that focuses on friendship and kindness. I love how this isn’t just one individual’s struggle for acceptance, it’s about other people learning to be accepting.

stargirl

Stargirl– a story that seems to be about first crushes and friendship, it ends up being so much more.

anne-of-green-gables

Anne of Green Gables– what I love about this is not only how it begins with an act of kindness, but how it continues to assert the importance of kindness across the series and has one of the most good-natured heroines in literature.

the morning gift

The Morning Gift- Eva Ibbotson’s characters are fundamentally kind- some of the kindest I’ve read. So, of course I knew I had to include one of her books. The reason I chose this is not just for the heroine’s unwavering goodness, but because in this case, the love interest’s act of kindness is not just generous, but a lifesaving act.

hitler's canaries

Hitler’s Canaries– similarly, this is a story of lifesaving kindness. Hitler’s Canaries is an inspirational and incredible story of enduring humanity- and it’s based on real events. If you are looking for a positive WW2 story, then this is perfect.

goodnight mister tom

Goodnight Mister Tom– this evacuation story is so moving on multiple levels, not least because it is about finding love and support in an unexpected place.

guernsey literary and potato peel pie society

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society– I have such a deep love for this book, because it shows people coming together and supporting each other in the darkest times. It is about going above and beyond for the sake of humanity- and that is simply wonderful.

eleanor oliphant is completely fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine– I thought this was going to be about romance, but it’s a lot more about the redeeming nature of friendship- and it is all the more beautiful for it.

a man called ove

A Man Called Ove– if you told me about Ove, a crotchety and depressed old man, I’d expect I wouldn’t like it. Yet, for its really dark subject matter, it actually ends up being a surprisingly redemptive read, showing how we can save each other from ourselves. In this heartrending tale, we can see what we owe to each other.

christmas carol

Christmas Carol– speaking of redemption, Dicken’s classic is one of the most famous examples. Here is a story about how realising that human connection is more important than profit- and that’s perfect for any time of the year.

five people you meet in heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven– surprisingly for its subject matter, I found this a light and life-affirming read, showing the positive impacts we can have on each other’s lives- without even knowing it!

before I fall

Before I Fall– more than just a contemporary, this was an unexpected story for me. It showed how people can have hidden depths, how friendships can be more important than we realise and how (ultimately) it is vital that we do the right thing.

eat pray love

Eat Pray Love– this is more than just a physical journey around the globe and I got a lot more out of it than I expected. Yes, the author is giving and promotes positivity. Yet what I liked the most was how it was just as much about being kind to yourself, as others.

And I’ll end on that note! What did you think of these books? Do you plan to read them? And what are some of your favourite books featuring kindness? Let me know in the comments!

Bloggers who deserve more attention #6

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Hello all! And today’s an exciting day, cos I’m picking up my series of Bloggers Who Deserve More Attention and talking about some TOPNOTCH people from around the blogosphere! Let’s just jump right into it!

Flora’s Musings– not only does Flora have some fab reviews on all different genres, but I adore how she combines the meme Book Blogger Hop with her Friday Finds. It’s just such a great way to do this feature, cos it gives me a chance to find more books and more blogs to follow!

Thoughts of a Reader– Sarah has both excellent recommendations and cool list ideas. Recently, I especially loved her idea of going through her highest rated books and seeing how they compared to her own ratings. Plus, she also joins tons of readathons, so you can follow along with those too!

Metalphantasmreads– Amanda’s riveting reviews often introduce me to books I hadn’t heard of before. Plus, her fresh takes on popular books always get me to look at books I enjoyed from a fresh perspective!

Meeghan Reads– Meeghan is such a delight to talk to, cos she’s so friendly! Plus, really enjoy her lists, fun content and cute aesthetic!

Linda @Pages and Papers– I love Linda’s ideas- they’re so unique- especially her recent social distancing tips from Robinson Crusoe (genius!!!). On top of that, her discussions are brilliant- especially recommend her posts: why you should read sci fi and why the humanities matter.

Bookertalk– Karen’s discussions on blogging, writing and reading are always thought-provoking and worthwhile. I enjoy her interesting thoughts on less well-known books- particularly how she frequently reviews Welsh books. I could go on forever recommending her posts- she has a huge collection!- but (…for now…) I’ll just point you in the direction of 5 things I wish I knew about blogging.

Katie @Never not reading– Katie is one of my favourite people on the blogosphere!! This isn’t the first time I’m mentioning her posts and it certainly won’t be the last! She always comes up with clever original content and lists. Right now, I’m very much looking forward to the outcome for her Harry Potter Superlatives post!!

Camillea Reads– Camillea has such thoughtful posts, I get really wrapped up in them. And I also appreciate how thorough and well-thought out her reviews are! Plus, her aesthetics and photos are really pretty!

This is one for the books– if you’re looking for fair, balanced and well-developed reviews (which of course you are), I highly recommend checking out Katherine @This is One for the Books! She reviews from a variety of genres, including historical, literary fiction and classics.

The Geeky Jock– Em’s blog is a fantastic place to go if you’re looking for excellent reviews and entertaining takes on memes (especially her contributions to Top Ten Tuesday). Also, I loved her fun take on Marie Kondo’s “30 books” rule recently- it was great to see what books she’d choose! (love her good taste! 😉)

The Crooked Pen– straight up, this is amazing content. Rachael’s posts on writing and books are amazingly thought-provoking. Lately, I loved her posts on Why Canon Matters, How Not to Suck at Reviewing, Diary of a Pantser Turned Plotter– and more!! Each one is written with clarity and refreshing honesty. In addition, she also has some intriguing reviews!

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Of course, there are loads more bloggers who deserve *all the attention*- so who do you think I should be looking out for? And do you know any of these bloggers? Will you be checking them out? Let me know in the comments!

Book Characters I’d Love to Spend Isolation With… And Ones I Wouldn’t!

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Lately, I’ve been thinking not just about the books I want to read in lockdown, but who I might want to spend it with… and who I wouldn’t! When it came to the latter, I thought not just about villains, but the kind of characters who would get on my last nerve. Enjoy!

 

Best case scenario…

matilda books

Matilda– I mean, she’d be a really quiet house guest who just wanted to read. Bonus points for the fact she can fly me over some snacks with her mind!

bilbo baggins

Bilbo Baggins– cos he’s nice and chill and could provide plenty of food from his pantry.

night of cake and puppets

Zuzana– she’d make the best friend! Also, we can share our love of cakes. Speaking of…

lara jean covey baking

Lara Jean Covey– not only is she phenomenally sweet, she’s also an amazing baker and seems to have an endless supply of crafts. Oh, and she likes old romance movies. Basically, she’s the best person to be stuck indoors with!

witches greebo

Greebo– yes, he can be grumpy, but at least he doesn’t talk!

royal assassin

Nighteyes– are you sensing a theme? Just not sure I want to be around humans anymore!

mrs tiggy winkle

Mrs Tiggy Winkle– yeah, she’s prickly, but at least she’ll do my laundry!

cinderella cleaning

Cinderella– I’m not saying I’d make her do the cleaning… buuut maybe she could get some of those mice on board? Plus, she seems like a cheerful sort (though maybe she can tone down the singing a bit). On that note…

mark watney

Mark Watney– he’s the kind of person who can perk you up, even in the most dire situations!

magnus bane

Magnus Bane– cos he’s fun and he has magic and I’m in dire need of some entertainment! I’d sell my soul for it in fact! (tbh I was going to pick Satan, but I thought he might fob me off with an apple 😉)

Worst case scenario…

thewitches

The Grand Witch– she’d probably turn me into a mouse and get the other people to squash me.

dolores umbridge

Dolores Umbridge– Dolores company would be punishing at the best of times- but if we’re locked in a house together?! Oh hell no!

ramsay bolton

Ramsey Bolton– for obvious reasons. Actually, there’s a whole bunch of GOT characters that would fit on this list, but he’s the absolute worst.

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Mrs Danvers– not the kind of person I’d want to be cooped up with at the best of times- but under government-imposed quarantine?! I can practically hear her “go on, go outside and contract Covid-19, I know you want to…”

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Mr Rochester– I don’t fancy spending quarantine in an attic!

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Celaena Sardothien– don’t get me wrong, I’m not in the anti-Celaena camp and found her entertaining in the books. BUT she’d get on my last nerve in lockdown! Just put away your weapons, stop showing off and sit your ass down!

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America Singer– she was basically already in isolation in Selection and we know how she acted: “ohhh who do I pick” *whine whine whine*

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Edward Cullen/Jacob Black/Bella Swan– all of them together, specifically.

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Alec D’Urberville– just about the biggest perv on the planet. And on that subject…

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Beatrice Lacey– she’d probably get a ridiculous attachment to my house and try to kill me so she can take it off me (jokes on her, cos I’m renting!)

Okay this house is getting realllly crowded! I’d better stop! Do you agree or disagree with any of my picks? Who would you like to spend isolation with? Who would you hate?? Let me know in the comments!

Does My Taste Follow the Crowd? Discussing My Top Ten Highest Rated Books I’ve Read (And Beyond) – Inspired by Thoughts of a Reader

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Over on the *terrific* Thoughts of a Reader, I saw this brilliant post comparing her highest rated on Goodreads with her own ratings. It immediately got me thinking about whether my own taste lined up with the highest rated books I’d read. After my discussion on the Goodreads Choice Awards, I figured it could be a fun “does my taste follow the crowd 2.0”. Of course, what I soon discovered was that a lot of the same popular authors/series came up repeatedly, which skewed the results a little and is why I didn’t exactly stop at ten. Let’s get to it:

court of mists and fury

A Court of Mist and Fury– 4.65- I personally gave it 4/5, so I get it, but I also think this comes down to some very loyal fans (Maas *dominates* this list).

heartstopper 2

Heartstopper 2– 4.66- I gave it 4/5- and I definitely understand why this has a high rating. It promises cute and fun and romantic- and it delivers!

march 3

March book 3– 4.64- again, my rating was 4/5 bananas (this is becoming a trend). I found this whole series pretty moving and, given the subject matter, think the rating is deserved.

crooked kingdom

Crooked Kingdom– 4.60- I gave it *all the bananas*- it’s safe to say, I’m fully on board with this one.

kingdom of ash book cover

Kingdom of Ash– 4.60- hmm I have more reservations about this one. I gave it 3 ½bananas 3.5- I was pretty satisfied at the time, but I feel less so over time. Unfortunately, this was the kind of finale that made me fall out of love with the series a little bit.

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Clockwork Princess– 4.58- my rating was 3/5, so I guess I’ve got to be one of the few people on the planet who didn’t love the resolution to the love triangle. That said, this is still my favourite of Clare’s series and I get the hype.

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Wise Man’s Fear– 4.57- oof I’m not feeling this one, I only gave it 2/5 bananas. This sequel just didn’t work for me at all. *Fingers crossed* for the finale though.

queen of shadows

Queen of Shadows– 4.57- I liked this one (my rating was 5/5) though it wasn’t my fave (funnily enough, for all the Maas books on here, that one didn’t make the cut).

harry potter and the half blood prince

Half Blood Prince -4.57 -my rating was 5/5 bananas- which kinda surprises me cos I had some issues (actually it surprises me even more that, by this reckoning, this is seemingly the most popular Harry Potter book? The next highest rated is Goblet of Fire and tbh I get that more… which I guess is just my own bias showing).

heartstopper 1

Heartstopper 1– 4.57- as with the second one, I gave it 4/5 bananas 😊

And because there were so many repeats, I decided to do some honorary mentions for high rated books where I get the hype:

Becoming– 4.55- I gave it 4 and completely get the hype (especially for the audiobook). It was very insightful, though I wanted more from it in some areas (but I get why there were gaps).

Maus– 4.55- totally worth the hype OMG- one of the best memoirs of all time!

House of Hades– 4.55- this might be my favourite Rick Riordan books!

Storm of Swords– 4.54 definitely the best Game of Thrones book- so I get it!

Skyward– 4.54- Sanderson is another popular author on GR and I *totally* get it! All the bananas!! And beyond!

In Order to Live– 4.48- another brilliant memoir!

Winter of the Witch– 4.51- this is one of the most satisfying series enders I’ve ever read! Safe to say, if you liked Bear and the Nightingale, you’ll likely love this.

To conclude, I’d have to say my taste doesn’t deviate much from the crowd. Sure, I may not always rate something as high and perhaps would’ve loved to see more favourites make it on here, but I rarely seem to disagree entirely.

So, if you’ve read these books, do you agree with the high ratings? Do you find your taste generally follows the crowd? Or are you a total rebel? Maybe you don’t even use Goodreads… 😉 Let me know your thoughts in the comments!