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? 😉


  • 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.


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!


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)



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.


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.


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


heidi book.0

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


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


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!


This gives me chills. It steals my words.



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


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


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


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!


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.


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 …



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.



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


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!

Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – ahh it’s August 2020!

monthly mini reviews version 2

Hello all! Last month was a little bit better (by 2020 standards 😉)- I’m happier being out of lockdown here in the UK and glad to say I got out a little more.

orangutan in the great outdoors

Plus, there’s always yoga to keep me more positive 😊

orangutan yoga

One thing I did learn is if I say I’m taking a hiatus, I need to actually do it! (but what are plans this year, amiright?!) So I didn’t take a proper break, I just got worse at blogging- whoops!

Anyway, as much as I’ve been enjoying talking TV these last few months, I didn’t watch anything in July except season 3 of the Crown… which admittedly was fun for all the wrong reasons. I mean, I enjoy the “history”, but wow, this season took some serious liberties. Case and point calling the ex-king, who was a rather famous fan of Hitler and the Nazis, a progressive?! I wouldn’t get so excited about him meeting with Emperor Hirohito either (a questionable historical figure who at the very least signed off on allying with, you guessed it, Nazis). So weird to glorify a man who was friends with fascists late into his life. My guess is the whole look-at-royals-marrying-for-love subplot (even if Wallis Simpson was a Nazi sympathiser) was paralleled with Charles/Camilla so that we don’t blame them for their affair. It also got a chuckle out of me when Wilson (made to mirror Jeremy Corbyn) was a leftie (lol). But whatever, the show is royalist propaganda… so what can we expect? (I’m just being a grouchy Brit, it was still very entertaining).

What MADE MY MONTH was Taylor Swift’s surprise album drop: Folklore! I didn’t love Lover, but thank goodness for Folklore. This was just what I (and millions of fans around the world) needed. It offers sensational storytelling, lovely lyrics and some much-needed escapism. I could go on forever and always about how Swift took it to another level here and how I was enchanted by every. single. song- but for now I’ll just say that this is what I’m going to be listening to well into august (also my god I think I have new favourite Swift songs and this might even knock 1989 off its perch of best album!)

alice network

The Alice Network– yes, after reading Huntress last month, I had to hunt down another of Quinn’s books and fortunately I was able to instantly connect with the Alice Network (and no I won’t apologise for terrible puns 😉). It was, as you can imagine, another brilliant historical fiction. Well researched, it brought two eras of history to life, this time focusing on WW1 and the aftermath of WW2. Quinn had excellent control of both the timeline jumps and the multiple povs, creating a compelling story I couldn’t stop reading. The one issue I had was that I personally wasn’t as keen on Charlie as a main character and so didn’t enjoy her perspective as much or fully buy into her romance. However, it was still a very satisfying read. Tense in all the right places and with a brilliant finale, Alice Network delivers a fast paced, gut-wrenching spy novel.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

loveboat taipei

Love Taipei– okay, I initially didn’t get why this was so underhyped, but by the time I got to the end, I understood. This had some seriously dodgy elements… and yet I still kinda liked it? I know, I know- that makes no sense, just hear me out (or don’t- I wouldn’t blame you 😉). This had a love square and so-called friendship that’s MESSY af- but it was also very immersive and I completely believed the characters were real. Especially the main character, who was torn between what she wanted and what her family wanted for her. I thought it had a strong opening, concept and felt connected enough that I went along for the ride (however bad it got). Not sure I’d actively recommend it, but I’ll admit I enjoyed most of it (though perhaps not super into the how the romance panned out).

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

fountains of silence

Fountains of Silence– I had such mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, the crimes that occurred in Franco’s Spain is an important story that needs to be told. Plus, some of the perspectives were powerful- particularly Puri’s. On the other hand, it wasn’t the smoothest read. As much as I pushed through it pretty fast, it could be a struggle, because I wasn’t interested by all the minutiae and stories. A lot could’ve been cut for a punchier plot. The ending, especially, could’ve been tighter. And, while there was some strong writing, this was far from Sepetys best. It didn’t sparkle enough for me and I only got a hint of the Spanish setting. In short, I think it’s good this book exists, I just think it could’ve been better.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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Nevermoor- The Trials of Morrigan Crow– people have been raving about Nevermoor for years- and I get why! What a clever, entertaining and funny work. The concept and world building were wunderful. The characters were really well drawn- there wasn’t a single case of a poorly sketched figure in sight- they all felt like real people. And wow that ending is basically the best! There wasn’t a single thing I didn’t like. I am so excited to continue on with this story and I think this is the most *perfect* book for kids since Harry Potter!

Rating: 5/5 bananas


his and hers

His and Hers– this is a hard one to talk about, but an easy one to recommend. I loved how this thriller handled dual povs- it was so well done and absolutely added to the story. Flicking between Her perspective (an alcoholic, out of work TV presenter) and His (her detective ex-husband) we come face to face with a serial killer, as both are implicated in a spate of killings. As with all the best thrillers, this had plenty of “oh shit” and “wtf” moments. This pacey page turner delivers all the twists and turns. While I suspected some of them, there were many parts I wasn’t expecting. Most importantly, I had no idea whose story to trust. I did have some lingering questions, yet ultimately this really packed a punch.

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

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who did you tell

Who Did You Tell?– this was another solid thriller, featuring sordid secrets and a stalker. Again, I didn’t know how much of the narration to believe, with the focus on a recovering alcoholic. I really liked how this addressed the topic of alcoholism- cos it didn’t just use it as a crutch for the story or a convenience for the narrative. No, here it was about the trauma that is involved in substance abuse. This gave it some emotionality that I often don’t feel in thrillers. I also liked the slow reveal and clean structure. Plus, the final reveal was fabulous.

Rating: 4/5 bananas


clap when you land

Clap When You Land– written in verse, this was another flawless contemporary from Acevedo. I was prepared for heartbreak, but not for how heart-warming it would be. Focusing on the aftermath of a plane crash that reveals explosive truths, this was surprisingly action packed and I whizzed through it. It went beyond simply dealing with the topic of grief to take the story to even greater heights. The characters were not just shaken, but re-shaped by events. It was a beautiful journey and deserves all the applause. I’m really into every single one of this author’s releases!

Rating: 5/5 bananas


the library book

The Library Book– as you can imagine, a book that talks about how wonderful libraries are is preaching to the choir. So, unsurprisingly, I rather enjoyed this book of brief essays and stories about the glory that is the library. Being an anthology, there were of course parts I liked more than others (my favourite being the deeply personal one from Stephen Fry). It was amazing to read about all the ways it can change lives and the amazing benefits it offers. I liked that it put flesh on the bones of library life. Also, I rather like the reminder that LIBRARIES ARE A PLACE YOU CAN GET FREE BOOKS!! So, no, it wasn’t a life-changing read, but it was a little affirming. And yes, I know that there’s another more famous book (watch this space).

Rating: 4/5 bananas


That’s all for now! Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Let me know in the comments! And I hope you’re all staying safe and well!