Spoopy Memes Book Tag! Versions 1 and 2!

Hello all! It’s that time of the year again… time to celebrate SpOOpY SeaSOn… WhooOOoOOOooooHHh! Last year the lovely Emily at Embuhleeliest tagged me in her Spoopy Memes Book Tag and I didn’t get the chance to do it- so I’m rectifying that by doing that one and the one from this year! (tbh I liked them both and couldn’t choose between them 😉) Thank you so much for tagging me! Let’s jump into the rules…

If you’d like to do this tag, please link back to this post so I can see your answers!

  • Feel free to use the banner above if you’d like, and I highly suggest you copy over the memes, as they give the questions context.

Time to get spooky! What books will you be reading to celebrate this time of year?

I love spooky season so much, I’ve actually made a tentative tbr!! At the time of writing this, I’ve already read a few, but I still have to read Winterwood, Ninth House and maybe even Gideon the Ninth!

Do you put up decorations for Halloween? If so, describe them! Even better, show them!

Oh dear, I’ve got to confess I’m pretty lazy when it comes to decorations (as much as I appreciate looking at decked out houses!) I usually just carve a pumpkin… sometimes not even that. HOWEVER, this year I do have a super cute bubonic plague plushie sitting on my desk that my friend got me… does that count? (probably not, since that’s it’s home now!)

What is the scariest book you’ve ever read? What made it so scary?

I struggle to read scary books (even children’s ones) so the first scary book I can remember getting through was Turn of the Screw. If I hadn’t had to read it for uni (and I hadn’t had all the lights switched on) I don’t know if I’d have finished it, because it’s so creepy!!

What’s the last book you read that truly shocked you, made your jaw drop, or made you chuck the book across the room?

This may be a shocker, but I’m going with a recent memoir I read called Inheritance. It’s about a woman who finds out in her fifties that her father isn’t her father- and I can’t count the number of times it made me gasp!

What’s a book that’s fallen out of the spotlight that you still really like and try get people to read?

Demon King– it’s not got the spotlight on it anymore, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still an electrifying fantasy series!

Are you dressing up this year? If so, what as? If not, what would be your costume if you were?

I’m not dressing up, but if I were, I’d dress up as a human! Cos humans are weird 😉

What is your opinion on the word ‘spoopy’, and memes that follow its theme?

It’s loads of fun- just like this tag! And on that note, time for PART 2!

Name a character that keeps repeating the same mistakes, despite having multiple opportunities to prevent them

I’m going left of field and picking some characters that IRRITATE ME TO DEATH- both Marianne and Connell from Normal People *repeatedly* cheat on their SO throughout the story… and for what? Why can’t they just be a couple? Maybe it made sense in the weird social dynamics of high school… buuut once you’re adults at the same uni/working in the same city- what’s the point of (literally) screwing over other people? What do they gain from it?

Name a book where the characters got their just desserts

The first character that popped into my head was Umbridge- because if anyone deserved to get chased by centaurs, it was her. That said, I don’t know if everyone in that book got their just desserts!! (RIP Sirius!!)

Name a book that tries to put a positive spin on something terrible

Man’s Search for Meaning– Frankl’s positive and constructive worldview is astounding, especially considering the horror he endured. This book doesn’t just shed light on his own experience, it can lead others out of their own personal darkness.

Name a book that delves into an existential topic

The Stranger- I just loved the dark humour in this. 

What trope or theme in a book do you really like that you don’t feel gets enough attention?

I love the trope where a character goes into the “wild” and comes back transformed. It’s a pretty common trope- you can see it in every fantasy from The Hobbit to Ravencry to Winter of the Witch, BUT not many people seem as lowkey obsessed with it as I am 😉

Name a character whose humour is consistently underappreciated by those around them

Oof I see this in books all the time and yet I struggled to think of the answer! Until at last the perfect character smacked me round the face and reintroduced himself: Jalan from Prince of Fools. He’s hilarious- but not everyone in the series appreciates that about him!

Name a book (or two or three) that has helped you get through this year

Books are always my go-to in tough times (so needless to say I’ve needed a lot of fluffy, escapist and fantastical reads to get through the dumpster fire that is 2020). I was completely transported by Once and Future Witches, I had a wild ride with Aurora Burning and Sorcery of Thorns was just a joy to read! 

What are your plans for Halloween this year if you celebrate it? How do you plan on spending what’s left of October?

I’m planning on surviving it!!! 😉 Given how the last year’s been going, who knows if what’ll happen? 😉

Annnd on that terrifying thought, I’m going to love you and leave you! I tag anyone that wants to do this!

And for everyone else- do you enjoy spoopy memes? Let me know in the comments!

The Guilty Reader Tag!

Ahh reader guilt- we’ve all been there! I have to admit, I’m the kind of person that is almost self indulgent with guilt (I’m sorry for the number of times I apologise, but when I’m not apologising, I’m probably just thinking about saying sorry) which is why this tag is perfect for me! The original tag was made by Chami @ Read Like Wildfire and I was tagged by the lovely Laura @The Corner of Laura! Really recommend checking out, cos she does lots of fun tags and I love her unique style of reviewing! Let’s find out just how guilty I should be feeling…

One. Have You Ever Re-Gifted A Book You’ve Been Given?

No- I don’t think that’s the best way to get rid of a book you don’t like. What if you have friends in common? Best to just give it to charity.

Two. Have You Ever Said You’ve Read A Book When You Haven’t?

Haha nope! What would be the point? I get embarrassed easily and am a horrible liar- so that sounds like a lot more trouble than it’s worth!

Three. Have You Ever Borrowed A Book And Not Returned It?

Kinda… I borrowed a copy of Little Women from my school library and then a bottle of water leaked in my bag and destroyed it! Rather than tell them (see above about getting embarrassed easily) I just paid to replace it (which doesn’t make the most sense cos it was an honest accident).

Four. Have You Ever Read A Series Out Of Order?

Hard one! I read the Anna and the French Kiss series out of order. I quite like the first one, so tried a sample of the second, but wasn’t feeling it. I then skipped to the Isla and the Happily Ever After, which I LOVED, and decided to go back to Lola and the Boy Next Door (it was okay in the end, though still not really my cup of tea).

Five. Have You Ever Spoiled A Book For Someone?

Oh yeah- I spoiled Game of Thrones for my sister a couple of times. One, because she said she’d read the third book (when what she meant was she’d read Part 1). Two, because I thought she said she was never going to finish it (apparently she changed her mind). She spoiled the last line of Harry Potter for me though (which my brother spoiled for her) so I guess we’re even. (Ahh this kind of squabbling is what siblinghood is for, amiright?! 😉)

Six. Have You Ever Dogeared A Book?

Oh yeah! Loads of times! Especially if it’s non-fiction and I don’t want to take notes there and then. I just fold back the pages and come back to it (I’m an animal! 😉)

Seven. Have You Ever Told Someone You Don’t Own A Book When You Do?

Haha no! I’ve been tempted when people ask to borrow something I don’t want to lend- I just choose between a) standing there in awkward silence until they forget they asked, b) laughing while still not answering until I glow red in the face or c) saying “I’m sorry I don’t lend books…” carefully *avoiding all eye contact*…

(just kidding, I usually do all three)

Eight. Have You Ever Skipped A Chapter Or A Section Of A Book?

I’ve skim read before, especially if it was something (mind-numbingly boring) that I was set for uni. I’m learning to just give up on books now if I feel that urge!

Nine. Have You Ever Bad Mouthed A Book You Actually Liked?

I had to really think about this, because bad-mouthing makes it sound, well, bad. That said, even if I like a book, I can sometimes still see its flaws. There have been times when I’ve enjoyed a book that I’ve ended up being hyper-critical of, because it did one or two things I didn’t like. I still don’t like certain reviews I’ve done for books I truly enjoyed (like Song of Achilles) because I got really pedantic about my issues with it and didn’t talk enough about why I loved it.

Okay I guess the verdict is…

I probably enjoyed that more than I should have! Let me tag a few of you wonderful people: Kat, Bookstooge, Zezee, Jennifer @Out of Babel, Rivermoose Reads, Journey into Books, Ola and Piotrek @Reenchantment of the World and anyone else that wants to do it!

Are you a guilty reader (just like me)? Do you feel any other reading guilt? Let me know in the comments!

The Beatles Book Tag! *Original*

Hello one and all! It’s a lovely day for a tag! Last month I had so much fun composing my answers to the Folklore tag that I wanted to do something similar with my all-time favourite band the Beatles… and since I couldn’t find an existing tag, I decided to create my own! Taking some key songs from their repertoire (not just my faves), I did a mash up with some questions and jammed in some graphics (which anyone is welcome to use).

And now for some (pretty straightforward) rules…

Rules:

  1. Tag back to the original creator Orang-utan Librarian (me)
  2. Thank whoever tagged you
  3. Tag people and keep it going!

Okay let’s rock ‘n roll!

Mr Knightley from Emma– because he is the best Austen heartthrob- and Darcy’s girls can fight me on that 😉

Big Magic– this is so perfect for any creative type! It felt like it was giving me a great big hug!

The Hating Game– this working girl’s rom com is just the antidote to a hard day’s night!

Big Little Lies– I know this may seem like an unusual choice, yet when I was going through a tough time, this really helped me get out of my own head for a while. And sometimes that’s the best thing a book can do for you!

Noughts and Crosses– oof this gives me a book hangover whenever I read it. I also learned a lot about the world from this as well. It definitely knocked me for six.

Bronze Horseman– I thought long and hard about this one (because I’m a cantankerous monkey and there’s a lot of books I don’t like). I went with Bronze Horseman in the end, since it has so few redeemable features! I hated the romance, I despised all the characters and the plot was dumb… apart from that the Russian setting was rather appealing. So maybe I’ll just jet off to Russia (Covid allowing) and leave this book behind 😉

Fangirl– there are quite a lot of books about aspiring writers, but I chose this one because, not only does it capture the feeling of trying to find your footing in the world of stories, it’s also as fun as the song!

Long Way to a Small Angry Planet– because of the lizard sex.

Eleanor Oliphant– I mean, it’s meant to be because they both have Eleanor in the title 😉 In all seriousness, this book had a far more poignant note to it than I expected and spoke volumes about the nature of loneliness in our society.

Neverwhere– I love this mythical take on London!

Wideacre– this is a weird one, because it’s a supposedly feminist story… and yet the heroine is a raging sociopath who sleeps with her brother. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for femme fatales… it’s just (call me crazy) but this doesn’t scream empowerment. I don’t really get what Gregory was going for here (and I’ve spent wayyy too long trying to puzzle the message out of this message-driven-book). If it’s that the patriarchy makes women evil, then it takes away what autonomy women do have. And if it’s that women who defy men and take power turn into lunatics… then YIKES!

Good Omens– not only did this make me laugh (because *duh* it’s by Pratchett and Gaiman) it also has a beautiful moral about the value of humanity.

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society– short and sweet, this epistolary novel delivers on *every emotion* under the sun. It packs in character’s experiences, different war stories and a huge amount of heart.

Daisy Jones and the Six– I jived with this story set in the rock ‘n roll scene so much- not least because the audiobook was such a fun time!

The Bride Test– Hoang’s contemporaries just make me so happy!

13 Reasons Why– I truly believe stories featuring suicide, depression and mental health are important… just not like this. I do occasionally hear that this helped some people and don’t want to take that away from anyone, yet I’ve always felt this particular novel (and subsequent show) does more harm than good. It teaches quite a lot of misinformation and ideation in its desperate attempt to get a message across.

Peter Pan– this was my favourite story growing up… because I didn’t want to grow up at all!(some might argue I have achieved this goal mentally, if not physically 😉 )

Catcher in the Rye– this is such a popular book to hate on- and yes I get it, Holden’s annoying, but he also speaks with such a strong teenage voice and I recognise so much of him in real life!

Circe– I genuinely think this is genius. It not only reimagines the Greek myths, it gives them new life and a new voice. There’s something infinitely magical about Miller’s retelling.

Perks of Being a Wallflower– well, more like this shouts infinite wisdom! There are still lines from this book I murmur to myself, messages that I pocketed away for rainy days and thoughts that I needed to hear.

Secret Countess– it’s not just Ibbotson’s hopeful story that brings a smile to my face, it’s her wonderful leading lady, who represents a kind of fairy tale goodness that’s rare and rewarding to read.

The Hobbit– easily my most reread book, I find new wonders each time I go there and back again.

Annnd time for a quick Bonus Question: What’s your favourite Beatles song?

That’s a hard one for me, because it often changes, but right now it’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Alrighty then! Since I don’t know who likes the Beatles, I’m going to be tagging some lovely people at random: Meggy @ChocolatenWaffles, Journey into books, Sam @RivermooseReads, Kay @Hammock of Books, Kristin Kraves, Meeghan, Katie @Never Not Reading, Evelyn Reads, Ruby Rae Reads , Read Between the Skylines, Laura, Meltotheany, Embuhleeliest and anyone else that wants to do it!

And that’s all for now! Are you a fan of the Beatles? If so, what’s your favourite song(s)? Let me know in the comments!

The Behind the Book Blogger Tag!

Hello all! Today, I thought it’d be fun to pull back the curtain and give you get a peek behind the scenes in… the behind the book blogger tag! Thank you so much to the wonderful Tiffany @Read by Tiffany for tagging me to do this! I absolutely love her gorgeous blog design and fun posts- plus she’s recently started a youtube channel which is well worth checking out if you enjoy booktube! Okay, let’s get this show on the road!

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer all the questions down below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn @ Allonsythornraxx
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about, to do this tag

1. Why did you start blogging? & Why have you kept blogging?

Coming to the end of my degree, I wanted a place where I could be honest about my opinions about books and hopefully have fun with it. I think the biggest change for me was that I came to vent my opinions into thin air… and some people listened?! From that, I found other people’s blogs and got an insane number of recommendations. I’ve had a blast and realised there was so much more to this hobby than meets the eye. All the lovely, inspirational, entertaining people along the way have made me love being a part of this community! You guys are the best! ❤

2. What is your favourite type of blog post to write?

Ooh it’s hard to choose! I love writing discussion posts, but I also like making people laugh if I can!

3. What are your top three favourite blog posts?

This is subject to change at any moment, but here goes:

4. What are some of your favourite things to do to relax?

Well, obviously I like to read! And I love to draw- especially bizarre and funny little cartoons! Also, a huge fan of yoga!

5. What are three of your favourite things?

Books, chocolate and listening to music!

6. What are your proudest blogging moments?

Hitting 100 followers was the first time I thought “*whoa* something cool is happening here!” I’d also say when I was featured on Freshly Pressed just about made my day/week/year. I got so much great feedback from people who weren’t followers and found some really cool people! I think also on a personal level, there are people in my real life who’ve read the blog and liked it. That meant a lot to me.

7. What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

Well I’ve mentioned a few already, so I suppose the one thing left to mention is that I love to write stories!  

8. Describe your personality in three words.

Bananas, blunt, bookaholic!

9. What are your top three pet peeves?

Okay here’s a few things that are bugging me lately:

  • Moralising books (an old favourite)
  • Performative lower case (I’ve never liked bad grammar and this just seems like the most egregious example lately, because somehow it’s even worse than hypercorrection, because highly educated professors are choosing to write like children!?)
  • Virtue signalling corporations (we all know what you’re doing and see through it. Please stop pretending to be all virtuous and noble and oh-so-just, whilst turning a blind eye to horrific human rights abuses, all to make some bank… that’s effed up! And yeah, in case you can’t tell, this is a pointed jab at The Mouse That Shall Not Be Named)

10. What’s something your followers don’t know about you?

The first thing I ever wanted to do with my life was be an inventor, because I desperately wanted a real, working broomstick! Also, this may have come up, but I really like cats and wish I’d had one as a kid. I also used to make potions out of whatever I found in the garden or bathroom cabinet. Basically I’m an aspiring witch 😉

Okay that was fun- I tag: Laura, Celine, Meeghan, Beck, Sam and anyone else who wants to do it!

How about you? How did you get into blogging? And did you have any unusual aspirations as a child? Let me know in the comments!

Which Characters from my Favourite Books am I?

Hello all! I have a reallllly big guilty pleasure: I love online quizzes. Yeah I know it’s illogical and about as accurate as reading a horoscope- but if Buzzfeed wants to try and gauge what Westerosi house I am from my choice of breakfast cereal, then I’m all for it! And since it’s becoming a bit of a tradition for me to do a post like this every year, I stole this from the wonderful Katie @Never Not Reading! I thoroughly enjoyed her answers (and found I have a lot in common with her, which I kinda already knew 😉) and love reading her posts in general- so *highly recommend* checking her out!

Now let’s jump into the questions!

Six of Crows

Quiz: Which Six of Crows character are you? (Grishaverse.com)

What I think I’ll get: maybe Inej?

What I got: Kaz!

Oh wow- not sure if this is true- but I’m happy cos he’s wicked smart!

Percy Jackson

Quiz: Which Percy Jackson character are you? (Playbuzz)

What I Think I’ll get: I’d love to get Annabeth!

What I got: Yay I got Annabeth!

I feel like this has affirmed my whole existence 😉 Athena is easily my favourite Greek goddess and I love Annabeth!

The Raven Cycle

Quiz: Which character from The Raven Cycle are you? (Buzzfeed)

What I think I’ll get: I want to get Ronan, but don’t think I have much in common with him!

What I got: Blue Sargent

Well I think that was rather random, especially cos lots of the images had been taken down, but that said I think it’s somewhat accurate (at least the outspoken part)

The Lord of the Rings

Quiz: Which Member of the Fellowship Are You? (Playbuzz)

What I think I’ll get: Well I’d like Eowyn…

What I got: Aragorn

Well that’s very flattering

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Quiz: Which “Simon Universe” character are you? (EpicReads)

What I think I’ll get: Simon I suppose

What I got: Simon!

Really like the description here! Makes me feel all warm inside! (like the book did)

Harry Potter

Quiz: Which Harry Potter character are you? (Buzzfeed)

What I think I’ll get: I think I’m most like Luna Lovegood (don’t know if that’s an option though)

What I got: Dumbledore?!

I get Dumbledore so often in these quizzes and I don’t really get how! I have so many feelings about Dumbledore- not all of them good… so I never feel amazing about getting him! Sorry!

Quiz: Which Hogwarts professor are you?

What I think I’ll get: Really want McGonagall! (cos I’m basic 😉) But, let’s face it, I’m gonna get Dumbledore again…

What I got: I’m going to leave it for you to guess hahaha!!

This is just part of the course now! I’m just going to have to embrace it (and get myself a silver beard to cosplay with)

(oh god I just remember that I did this as a kid)

(I’m not kidding, it’s all coming back to me and I’m guessing that’s why I keep getting Dumby).

Pride and Prejudice

Quiz: Which Pride and Prejudice character are you?

What I think I’ll get: I desperately want Elizabeth!!!

What I got: Elizabeth!!

Aha this makes up for being a secretive old guy with a beard! While Pride and Prejudice isn’t my favourite Austen novel (just cos I love her others so much more) Elizabeth is the best Austen character! And I’d love to be considered anything like her!

And that’s all for now! Do you enjoy quizzes too? Do you identify with any of these characters? Let me know in the comments!

Quickfire Fantasy Tag!

orangutan tag 2

Hello all! Keeping up with the theme of escapism, I thought I’d take you all on a quick ride through some fantastic fantasy stories. I was tagged eons and eons ago by the brilliant Katie @Never Not Reading and the great Joelendil– both are fantasy buffs, so I highly recommend checking them out if you need amazing recommendations and want to read thoughtful reviews in this genre!

The Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Link to the creator’s blog (wordpress.com) in your post
  • Answer the prompts below – all fantasy books!
  • Tag 5 others to take part
  • Enjoy!

5-Star Book

ten thousand doors of january

Ten Thousand Doors of January– I know, I know, I never shut up about how this transported me, how it was beautifully written and how I loved how it explored different relationships… but just can’t get over how good this was!!

Always Going to Recommend

Discworld– because it’s funny and I’m certain there’s (at least) one book in there for everyone! If you want a twist on traditional witchy tales, then go for the Witches stories. If you need subverted fantasy tropes, give the City Watch stories a try. And if you just need eccentric and bonkers, then go for the Death books! Etcetera Etcetera! (there are basically a million reasons to try Terry Pratchett!)

Own It But Haven’t Read

Oof so many!! I’m gonna go with Lies of Locke Lamora and Finnikin of the Rock  because I’ve heard such incredible things about them (and can’t believe I haven’t got to them yet!). Oh and let’s throw in my more recent purchase of Thorn– just to add to my growing tbr guilt!

Would Read it Again

sabriel

I’m definitely planning on doing a reread of Sabriel at some point! (hopefully soon!) I think it might be good for an autumnal read.

In Another World

For me, it’s gotta be another favourite and that’s the world of His Dark Materials. Yes, it seems like our world, but it’s very, very different. After all, we don’t have armoured bears, witches and daemons… and we’re missing out!

Back on Earth

Neverwhere– I just love the way Gaiman magically recreates our world and shows us the wonder that hides in plain sight!

This tag has been around for so long, it’s almost legendary at this point, so I’m not tagging anyone specific- just consider yourself tagged if you’d like to do it! And I’d love your top, newest fantasy recs! Let me know in the comments!

The Folklore Book Tag!

orangutan tag 2

As I mentioned in my monthly wrap up, Taylor Swift’s surprise album drop basically made my month, so when I saw this tag that gives combines the songs with books, I just had to do it! If this isn’t your thing, that’s fine, there’s no bad blood, just maybe skip this because (in case you can’t tell) I’m gonna go FULL FANGIRL! But if you are a Swiftie, enchanted to meet you, welcome to Wonderland! We’re gonna be FEARLESS today!

I wasn’t tagged, but thank you to the amazing Ruby Rae Reads for bringing this to my attention and the incredible creator Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink for making such a wonderful tag! (look at what you made me do 😉) Seriously though, check both of those out if you loved this album as much as I did! I know most of you need no invitation, but I used this as an excuse to relisten to the music as I answered the questions 😉 Also, I spent *way too much* time on this post, picking out books for Swifties that match the mood of the songs, so hope you like it 😊 Okay, without further ado, it’s time to freak out about Folkore and the fact that there’s nothing stranger than fiction… are you ready for it? 😉

THE RULES

  • Link to the original creator: Ilsa @ A Whisper Of Ink
  • Tag at least 3 people.
  • Declare the rules and list of prompts in your post
  • Thank whoever who tagged you and link to their post

the one

What a catchy one to kick off the album! This tune feels like old school Taylor and I’m digging it!

We Were Liars

we were liars

I picked this cos it has that retro, buzzy feel to it- even if at the same time it’s technically a bit downbeat.

cardigan

The second I put this on for the first time, I knew this album would be a favourite! I just wanted to get wrapped up in it. It feels fresh and nostalgic at the same time; it parallels her older music and yet is so much more mature. Listening to it again now, I’m transported to another world and love how Swift once again makes Wonderland references (see what I mean about her links to her older stuff! Ah!!)

Peter Pan

peter pan

Partly cos of the Peter Pan references, but mostly cos I’m lowkey obsessed with it.

last great american dynasty

This wasn’t my favourite, but it also gives me vibes from early Swift and is still a strong song. Plus, I love how she’s now telling other people’s stories and tying them into her own life.

Daisy Jones and the Six

daisy jones and the six

I’m stealing Ruby’s answer because it was perfect! I can’t help it! Not only does this book have unconventional characters to match the song, the rock n’ roll vibes also make this feel ALL AMERICAN to me. Plus, if you’re in the mood for some smooth listening, I really recommend this one on audiobook as well!

exile

This is where the album took me off into another plane. Alas, this asks for a book I don’t like, so gonna oblige (with something other people might actually enjoy)

Normal People

normal people

Recently, I wish I’d not bothered reading Normal People, because ***there were so many signs*** I wouldn’t like it- after all I didn’t like Conversations with Friends. And while it was an improvement on her previous book, her writing still isn’t for me.

my tears ricochet

Ahh this song!!! An instant new favourite!! It feels really specific… and yet so personal to me? I’ve no idea how Swift manages to pull that off. I’m haunted by this song and when I’m not listening to it, I still miss it in my bones (damn those are some exquisite lyrics)

Sadie

sadie

I’m pairing this with one of my favourites from last year. I’d never really listened to many audiobooks before this one, but Sadie was in a league of its own and made me sob. It also goes with this song *perfectly* imo.

mirrorball

Such a pretty song, it makes me want to spin around the room, and if you don’t like it then hush… 😉

Big Magic

big magic

The amazing thing is it’s one of those books that makes so many people it was made just for them.

seven

Oh my god this song  takes my breath away. It feels like a folksong, yet has something very modern about it.

Heidi

heidi book.0

It’s been years since I read this, yet I’ve still got love for it!

august

Absolute perfect summer song for this august! I want to cancel plans and just listen to it again and again 😉 Plus I like how reminiscent it is- I get lost in memories when I put it on. What’s great is that the tune feels ostensibly happy, yet wistful, blending in the longing lyrics. I’ve no idea how Swift manages to give her songs multiple meanings, but somehow Taylor gets me feeling all different emotions simultaneously.

I Capture the Castle

i capture the castle

Not only does this have that very memorable Midsummer scene, it also has a bittersweet vibe going for it that makes me think of this song.

this is me trying

When I hear the first few notes of this song I’m just YES! All in! Again, it feels like she’s taken her old style and elevated- she’s not just trying, she’s succeeding (and smashing it)

Secret Garden

secret garden

Yes, it deals with loneliness and sadness, yet it’s ultimately uplifting!

illicit affairs

Not gonna be so popular with my opinions on this one, but I have some mixed feelings about this one, cos I love the storytelling, though not the story as much. That said, I’m sold on the bridge… a million little times!

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

tess

I’ve not had one of those in a while, so I’ll just go with Tess, because I vividly remember every book hangover Hardy gave me!

invisible string

Another new favourite! Upbeat and beautiful, it’s just so pretty to think there’s a golden string tying me to this song 😉 The lyricism is luscious and the story gorgeous. I felt fated to fall in love with it.

Memoirs of a Geisha

memoirs of a geisha

I feel like that about so many books- but I’m going with this one because, not only did it heal a broken heart once, it also goes well with the music.

mad woman

The piano in this is crazy good and I’m loving the mad woman in the attic vibes.

Vasilisa from Bear and the Nightingale

girl in the tower

When you think about the story, especially from Girl in the Tower, this feels fitting for the song as well!

epiphany

This gives me chills. It steals my words.

Rebecca

rebecca

Much like the song, my love for this atmospheric read often takes my breath away.

betty

I really do like how she embodied different characters for this album- it adds to the genius of her storytelling

Achilles and Patrocles from Song of Achilles

song-of-achilles

This is another book that will leave you a puddle on the floor…

peace

Really calming and definitely brings me peace (even if it says “never bring me peace”)

Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer

strange the dreamer

Not much of a peaceful character, but I’d die for him just the same!

hoax

The melody for this is just exquisite. Personally, I get to this song and feel like it’s carried me back to the feelings I had at the start… so I have to go back to the beginning and listen again (it’s cyclical, so it’s really not my fault!)

Lonely Hearts Hotel

lonely hearts hotel

This comes down to miss-marketing, cos it couldn’t live up to the promise of “being like the Night Circus”, because, well, it’s nothing like that. Instead of being fantastical and whimsical, it’s gritty realism (with a hint of lyricism)- which wasn’t for me. It’s a shame, because the author is so talented, I still wish I liked it.

Tagging…

Okay, well I’m not sure who is a Swiftie, so I’m just tagging Meggy and Kat directly (cos I think they are!) And of course any other Swiftie that wants to do it!

And for a ***bonus track*** before I go, I’m gonna …

RANKING THE SONGS!! 

playlist

Obviously, this is not going to be an objective list (and probably not even my final opinion), it’s just gonna come down to my personal taste at the moment. On the plus side, there’s not a single song on this album I dislike… On the downside, that made ranking these nigh on impossible! After choosing the ones I listen to on repeat, I had to play songs off against each other to figure out which ones I liked more (which wasn’t exactly a chore 😉). Anyhoo, here’s my ranking:

Invisible String- because this song makes me happy

My Tears Ricochet- because this song makes me sad (and I don’t even care if these are not technically the “best” on the album, they’re the ones that move me the most, ya know?)

Epiphany- this song is just magic to me.

Exile

Cardigan

Hoax- I really struggled with where to put this, cos I wanted it to be higher but couldn’t put it above the others!

Seven- this song is too pretty! Like a lot of the songs, the bridge steals the show.

Mad Woman- I love this more and more with every listen.

Illicit Affairs- this was so hard to place, because I think I prefer the One overall, but this bridge is *insane*!!!

The One- though this would never take the number one spot, on any other album this would be so much higher

August- erm I have no justifications at this point, cos I love this song and I (almost) wish I didn’t prefer the others so it could be higher!

Peace- I’ve no idea how this is so low down the list- it’s just that I love the others so much? Same goes for the next two.

Mirror Ball

This is Me Trying

Betty

Last Great American Dynasty

I just know this is going to change haha! But that’s what I’ve got for now! Are you a Swiftie too? What are your favourite songs on the album? Let me know in the comments!

Never Have I Ever Writing Tag!

orangutan tag 2

Hello all! Would you believe we’re in another Camp Nano? I’m not really participating (too much work) but I did find this brilliant writing tag! And you know what they say? “If you can’t write, do a tag!” (yes, that is a thing people definitely say 😉 ) Really grateful to the marvellous Mary Drover for tagging me! I love when she talks about writing and thoroughly enjoyed her writing for this.

This (very cool idea) was created by the Long Voyage- so definitely check out the original here!

never-have-i-ever-tag-writer-edition

. . . started a novel that I did not finish.

I’m not sure I count the ghost story I started when I was seven? It seems a bit harsh to include that! 😂 I feel like, generally speaking, if I get serious about a story, I’m going to finish it.

. . . written a story completely by hand.

lord of the rings writing gif

Yes- and I still (sort of) do? I wrote my first three books completely by hand. Then, when I started working on the trilogy, I realised I wanted to type up every few chapters, so that I could have a clearly overall vision (which led to me developing some edit-as-you-go techniques).

. . . changed tenses midway through a story.

Maybe? I presume I did this when I was starting out, but I’ve not noticed anything like this in a while (actually, now I think about it, I’m so scared I’m going to find an error like this in my writing now or WORSE miss it entirely!!)

. . . not researched anything before starting a story.

guilty judge

Hehehehe oh so very, very guilty! I could use the excuse that I’m a fantasy writer- but most people know that’s not gonna wash. I don’t know why either, cos I love to plan, yet I like to dive straight into the story than get bogged down with details. I do tend to fall down (very specific) researching rabbitholes while I’m writing though. My biggest problem is that- while I like to base a lot of my character’s interests on things I’m genuinely interested in- there are some occasions when I have to include something outside my interests. Let’s just say I can be less-than-enthusiastic about research in those cases… which CAN HAVE DIRE CONSEQUENCES! Moral of the story: don’t be like me 😂

. . . changed my protagonist’s name halfway through a draft.

Does it count if they change their name in the context of the story? Either way, I’ve considered changing a character’s name, and have definitely done it to minor characters, but never a main one (as of yet). Once I fall in love with their character name, I’m keeping it, no matter how stupid it may sound (actually, fun fact, I often give characters deliberately awkward names, cos I feel like I was saddled with one IRL and I shouldn’t have to be the only person on the planet to suffer with a name I don’t like!)

. . . written a story in a month or less.

I WISH!

. . . fallen asleep while writing.

you fell asleep

How would this even happen…? Writing is like a total workout, combined with operating heavy machinery, combined with flying… all of which demand your utmost attention! I don’t know how you could fall asleep at the wheel like that?

. . . corrected someone’s grammar irl / online.

guilt

Oh god yes, guilty (like, super, super guilty- I feel so bad about being such a grammar Nazi these days- I try to stick to ranting on my blog and to friends now)

. . . yelled in all caps at myself in the middle of a novel.

NOPE! (that’s just something I do on the blog 😉)

. . . used “I’m writing” as an excuse.

Haha no! Even if I am, in fact, actually writing, I’m scared to tell people! It just puts pressure on me- I’d sooner tell someone I was clipping my toenails than tell them I was in fact up to my elbows in a fantasy world, delivering an 80,000 word baby 😉 (and that’s a gross image you’ll never be able to unsee 😉)

. . . killed a character who was based on someone I know in real life.

Haha oh yes. I don’t know if this is going to make it better, but I based the character on a stereotypical mean girl I knew, then got bored of having them in my book and killed them off…

. . . used pop culture references in a story.

Hmm I think so- I just don’t often keep them in the edits. Sometimes they just feel like a private joke between me and me (I mean, I once referenced a political slogan I wanted to make fun of and it gave me a good chuckle… but no one that read the book noticed!)

. . . written between the hours of 1am and 6am.

Of course! Though (at the moment) I’m surprised to say my hours are more sociable than they used to be!

. . . drank an entire pot of coffee while writing.

mad hatters tea party

I don’t drink coffee, so it’s tea all the way! (and yeah, I can drink an entire pot of tea while writing- who wouldn’t?)

. . . written down dreams to use in potential novels.

it was all a dream

Yup! And I’ve done it as well. Sometimes they literally end up as dream-sequence type scenes, where a character dips their toes in another surreal world for a moment or two, and (hopefully) returns changed. Very useful! Thanks subconscious!

. . . published an unedited story on the internet / Wattpad / blog.

Oh yeah- way back when I was on Figment I put out a novella I was working on (it was pretty useful to get feedback as I worked to be honest)

. . . procrastinated homework because I wanted to write.

Absolutely! I procrastinated classwork with writing, so why wouldn’t I do the same for homework? 😉

. . . typed so long that my wrists hurt.

Yup! Easy thing to do!

. . . spilled a drink on my laptop while writing.

fear

No- and I hope it never happens- the horror, the horror!

. . . forgotten to save my work / draft.

Ahhh no!!! I hope this never happens to me either! (I feel like we’re going through all my worst nightmares now!)

. . . finished a novel.

Yes- it’s a bit complicated to count them (since I’ve rewritten a few), so let’s go with 6 (original works).

. . . laughed like an evil villain while writing a scene.

evil laughter

MWHAHAHAHA! (absolutely)

. . . cried while writing a scene.

I feel so heartless for saying this, but no. Not even when I kill my most precious darlings. I have horrified myself to sleeplessness though.

. . . created maps of my fictional worlds.

Nothing so cool as in Mary Drover’s tag- but I do always like to have some idea where my characters are- so whether it’s a poorly sketched out high fantasy world or a regular map from this world with a few new place names marked on it, I always have something like this. (weirdly though I often make this somewhere in the editing phase, so I can correct my mistakes!)

. . . researched something shady for a novel.

Oh absolutely- I think “world’s deadliest poisons” would give most people cause for concern if they didn’t know I wrote 😉

That was so fun, I’m tagging:

Kat, Marie, Sophie’s Corner, Out of Babel and anyone else that wants to do it! 

And for now, I want to know, what guilty writing secrets do you have? Fess up! 😉

Mid Year Freak Out Tag 2020

orangutan tag 2

Hi all! And it’s already June… LOOKS LIKE WE MADE IT! Somehow 😉 It’s a bit of an annual tradition for me to do this tag, so I don’t need an invitation (aka I wasn’t tagged) I’m just gonna go for it!

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2020

ten thousand doors of january

There are quite a few contenders, but I have to go for the simply *exquisite* Ten Thousand Doors of January

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020

supernova

Supernova was such a satisfying conclusion! My review’s coming soon 😊

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

aurora burning

I’m going with Aurora Burning because I loved the first ones and I *need* the next instalment!

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

invisible life of addie larue

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue just sounds so incredible! (and let’s be real, I’m a fan of Schwab’s writing, so it’s a must-read for me)

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

queen of ruin

Queen of Ruin– I just wanted to like this so much more than I did. And it’s the kind of book that I like even less when I think about it :/

BIGGEST SURPRISE

diviners

For pure enjoyment, I have to go with the Diviners series.

FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR

book of atrix wolfe

Patricia McKillip!

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

enchantment of ravens

Honestly don’t have one, so I’m just gonna plug a (sort of romantic) book I really enjoyed: Enchantment of Ravens

 NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER

with the fire on high

Emony from With the Fire on High– she just felt so realistic and likeable to me.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

wild swans

I don’t think any book has made me cry (which is a bit of a change) but Wild Swans seriously moved me.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

bookish and the beast

Bookish and the Beast just MADE ME SO HAPPY!!!

FAVOURITE BOOK TO FILM ADAPTATION

ps I still love you

Hmm I think the only one I’ve watched is PS I Still Love You and it was cute (plus I preferred it to the book tbh).

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

Buying books? That’s a thing you can do?! LOL! Seriously though, I’ve not bought any books since lockdown and the ones I have got aren’t exactly beautiful- so I’m just gonna go with another anticipated release:

once and future witches

(that also happens to look so pretty!!!)

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

I’m being really chill about what I read right now, cos I just think mood reading is the way to go in this (crazy) year. But it’d be nice if I finally read:

Since this is an old one, I’m not tagging anyone specific- just feel free to do it if you like! What I wanna know is what’s your favourite book so far this year? And what are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments!

The Book Predictions Tag

orangutan tag 2

Hi all! This week is gonna be pretty busy for me, so I fancied taking my mind off things by looking forward to some of the books I have on my endless TBR and making some predictions… which is gonna be interesting since I’m such a mood reader! Thank you so much to the fantastic No Reads Too Great for tagging me to do this one!

Now let’s see if I have any divination skills…

THE RULES:

  1. Pingback to the creator of the tag, @bookprincessreviews 
  2. Tag the person who tagged you
  3. Find an answer to match each prompt
  4. Have fun!

All of these prompts are your predictions for your…

Next Read

Gosh starting with the hardest question for a mood reader!! I just bought All the Pretty Things the other day and would quite like to pick it up (cos I’m definitely feeling the slow burn thriller). But then, I also got Wakenhyrst from my library overdrive and that’s got temptingly gothic vibes. Plus, I also got approved for Ruth Ware’s One by One on Netgalley, which I couldn’t be more excited for… DO YOU SEE MY PROBLEM?!?!

Next 5 Star Read

Ooh so many!! I have a few lined up in my Overdrive holds that I’m hella psyched for:

I just want to read them all asap (but also hoping that they all don’t come at once lol!)

Next 1 Star Read

Okay I have no idea why I would pick up a book that I’d predict will be 1 star?! I’m not exactly shy about saying NAH to a popular book that doesn’t sound like it’s for me. Also, I’m really happy to say, I haven’t rated a single book 1 star this year. And it’s not cos I’m shy about sharing my feelings (you guys will know that’s not the case by now!) but because I’m getting so much better at DNFing. I’m much happier just putting the book down than letting any ambivalence curdle into hate. Also, since I’m so absorbed in other things, it’d take a lot right now for me to finish a book I was hating! I think it’d take a special kind of loathing for me to power through… so, touch wood this doesn’t happen!

Next Love Interest (or Character that Seems Really Cool to You)

gideon the ninth

Well I bought Gideon the Ninth the other week and I’ve heard amazing things about that… but I have no idea when I’m going to read it! (hehe oh dear, this tag really wasn’t designed for mood readers- was it? 😉)

Next Book You’ll Be Buying

sorcery of thorns

This is also hard to predict! Yeesh! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a complicated book buying procedure (yes, I really do mean procedure). I prioritise books by how much I want them, then organise by price and then see how much budget is for the month. I very nearly bought Sorcery of Thorns the other day, especially after reading Enchantment of Ravens, but decided to push it off in the end (it’ll happen though! That book is going to be a beauty!)

Tagging: Journey into Books, Beware of the Reader, Hammock of Books, Meeghan Reads, Corner of Laura and anyone who’s not a mood reader LOL! Unless of course you want to struggle through this like me 😉

And that’s all for now! Do you struggle to pick your next read as much as me? What are your thoughts on reading a book you predict will be one star? Let me know in the comments!