First Ten Books I Reviewed

I stopped doing Top Ten Tuesday but I just couldn’t resist the trip down memory lane!

My first 10 books I reviewed, with links, are:

10. Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Into the Darkest Corner


9. Teardrop by Lauren Kate



8. God is an Astronaut by Alyson Foster

God Is an Astronaut


7. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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6. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

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5. A Place for Us by Harriet Evans

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4. How We Deal With Gravity by Ginger Scott

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3. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project - Audiobook


2. The Throne of Glass Novels by Sarah J. Maas

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2)The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5)


1.City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think about them?

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Artsty Reader. Every week they post a new Top Ten list and invite everyone to share their answers.


2019 Magical Read-a-thon OWLs

I saw this too late last year and knew I HAD to partake this year.

So what is it? OWL Exams! You know, the Ordinary Wizarding Levels from Harry Potter. Each subject from Hogwarts has a prompt for a book to read. This was originally started by Book Roast, the original announcement video for the read-a-thon is below:

This is super exciting because she’s not only put together the book prompts you need to read for the subjects, but also what subjects to sit to get specific careers! It’s all incredibly well thought out and beautifully presented.owls-2019-prompts

This time in my head I’m just going to give it a go and see how I do (In my head I want to aim for a Hogwarts Professor, Magizoologist or Curse Breaker!)

The books I’m thinking of reading to fulfil these prompts are below…

Image result for ever aliceImage result for good omens bookImage result for the star touched queenImage result for six of crowsImage result for Lyrebird bookImage result for rivers of londonImage result for allegiant bookImage result for The waking landTrudiCanavan TheMagiciansGuild.jpgRelated imageImage result for angel of stormsImage result for empress of seasons red cover

Will you be participating in the read-a-thon? What career are you planning on pursuing?

First Quarter Quell 2019 – 3 Month Wrap Up

Welcome to the first Quarter Quell of 2019. This is where I look back at the challenges I set myself at the beginning of the year and see how much progress I’ve made on them. It’s always nice to see a bit of progression, no matter how small. I’m really please with how well I’m doing this year

I set myself the following challenges at the beginning of the year: 

  • To get above 75% on NetGalley
  • To read more pages in total than the 2018 total
  • To read at least 20 books I already own.
  • To read one classic book and one non-fiction book.
  • To complete at least 26 of the Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge.

To get above 75% on NetGalley: In December 2018 it was at 73%, it dropped don to 72% because I HAD to request The Rosie Result as I loved the first two (1+2) but I’ve managed to pull it back up to 73%. So… no progress.

Books that are sitting on my shelf, still to be read, include:

  • Traitor to the Throne – Alwyn Hamilton
  • Allegiant – Veronica Roth
  • Age of Swords – Michael J Sullivan
  • The Best of Adam Sharp – Graeme Simsion
  • The Lying Game – Ruth Ware
  • Ever Alice – H.J.Ramsay

To read more pages in total than the 2018 total (12,670 pages): So far (according to Goodreads) I’ve read 3941 pages = 31% of 2018’s total.

To read at least 20 books I already own: I’ve managed 6 books so far. All the books to date here on my Mount TBR Challenge page.

To complete at least one classic and one non-fiction book: I’ve already read 4 non-fiction books this year (Lily Allen, Manhunt, Forensics and Mind Maps for Kids) so that half was an easy tick off!

To complete at least 26 of the  Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge(14/52 completed)


Since the beginning of the year, I have ticked off:

1. A book that was nominated for or won an award in a genre you enjoy – The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (6.1.18)
3. A book where the author’s name contains A, T, and Y – Black Butler Vol. 3  by Yana Toboso (3.1.18)
4. A book with a criminal character (i.e. assassin, pirate, thief, robber, scoundrel etc) – Manhunt: How I Brought Serial Killer Levi Bellfield To Justice (22.1.19)
11. A book related to one of the 12 Zodiac Chinese Animals (title, cover, subject) – Red Dragon by Thomas Harris (5.1.18)
15. A book by an author from a Mediterranean country or set in a Mediterranean country – Circe by Madeline Miller (30.1.19)
18. A book related to one of the elements on the periodic table of elements – Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime by Val McDermid (2.1.19)
25. 4 books inspired by the wedding rhyme: Book #3 Something Borrowed – Mind Maps for Kids: Max Your Memory and Concentration by Tony Buzan (18.3.19)
34. A book with a person’s name in the title – The Rosie Resultby Graeme Simsion (19.1.19)
37. A book set in a school or university  – Picklewitch and Jack by Claire Barker (4.1.19)
38. A book not written in traditional novel format (poetry, essay, epistolary, graphic novel, etc) – Black Butler Vol. 2  by Yana Toboso (3.1.18)
40. A book you stumbled upon – Belinda Blinked (Belinda Blinked 1) by Rocky Flintstone
42. A book with a monster or “monstrous” character – Hannibal by Thomas Harris (11.1.18)
44. A book related in some way to a tv show/series or movie you enjoyed (same topic, same era, book appeared in the show/movie, etc.) – Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (24.3.19)
50. A book that includes a journey (physical, health, or spiritual) – My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen (1.1.19)

See all the challenges I’ve ticked off here.

Currently reading:

Belinda Blinked 2 (Belinda Blinked, #2)Ever Alice

Top 5 things I’ve done in the past 3 months:

  1. My 1 year wedding anniversary (today!)
  2. Starting driving lessons.
  3. Getting onto my masters course
  4. Seeing Six, The Musical and Hamilton.
  5. Our few days away in Bath.

Have you read any of these books?
How are you getting on with your resolutions?

Six the Musical

Last weekend we went to Six, the Musical. I honestly can not recommend it enough! The songs are funny, witty, intellectual and catchy. Everyone left the theatre buzzing – I’ve never felt the audience respond in such a positive way.

The show is based around the wives of Henry VIII; Catherine of Aragon, Anne Bolyne, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Katherine Howard and Catherine Parr. We know their names, we know their fates “’cause all this time, I’ve been just one word in a stupid rhyme.” But now they’re ready to tell their story. Live. As they compete to see who is the biggest victim at Henry’s hands. Spoiler alert: It’s not Anne of Cleves

Why hasn’t it hit her?
He doesn’t wanna bang you
Somebody hang you

Each Queen has at least one song by themselves, telling their story. They are full of wonderful lyrics based on their past. I personally love Anne Boleyn’s  Don’t Lose Ur Head,  Anne of Cleves’ Get Down and Katherine Howard’s All You Wanna Do. I can’t shake the songs out of my head. Katherine’s song is really catchy but even more powerful as you watch it, as it dawns on you that yes, she probably was abused. They certainly don’t teach you that at school.

Hans Holbein goes around the world
Painting all of the beautiful girls
From Spain, to France
And Germany
The king chooses one
But which one will it be?

Each Queen had a different costume which, according to their Twitter, is custom and handmade. They are all modern by link to the Queen in one way or another. Anne is in green, Catherine of Aragon has a crown, there are even some funky green ruffs.

We’re one of a kind
No category
Too many years
Lost in history
We’re free to take
Our crowning glory
For five more minutes…

A wonderfully uplifting musical incorporating feminism, diversity, history and pop. I would highly recommend this to everyone. And I have.

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

Hello, lovelies. We’re in March! I love this time of year; spring showers, longer days, warmer weather, beautiful flowers popping up. What’s not to love?

Again, my work week has been a rollercoaster of emotions as I’ve had to lead a Key Stage Two assembly by myself, for the first time, which was rather scary. I’ve had meetings scheduled, meetings cancelled and some rather good news.

Evil Genius with Russell KaneOutside of school, it’s been wonderful. Have I mentioned I’ve really gotten into podcasts? I’m currently working my way through My Dad Wrote a Porno, Evil Genius, Like Minded Friends, David Tennant in Conversation with…, Private Parts and Standard Issue. They’re pretty much all comedies, or involve comedians. There’s a definite theme. If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them.

milton-jones-chapel.jpgYou’ve probably figured that I love comedy. One of the places I love going to is Live at the Chapel in Islington. You sit in the church, drinking tea and watching comedy. Last night we saw Joel Dommet, Rhys James, Nina Conti and Milton Jones. It was FANTASTIC. Check the venue out, you won’t regret it.

I also started driving lessons today. This is a big step for me as I’ve been putting it off for a long time. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting but I felt exhausted after it.

What’s made you smile this week?

Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

February Wrap Up

What a month. What. A. Month. I have had wonderful highs but also a LOT of stresses, it’s been a whirlwind of emotions. At the beginning of the month I managed to get last minute tickets to see Ian freaking McKellen. He was incredible, telling us anecdotes and reading us Shakespeare. We’ve also been to see Avenue Q, Hamilton and Home I’m Darling, all of which were incredible. We also had a wonderful few days away in Bath. Oh, and I found out I’ve been accepted onto my Master’s course!

Books Read in February

My reading hasn’t been brilliant this month. I haven’t been motivated to read but I have gotten into podcasts. I love Evil Genius by Russel Kane, My Dad Wrote a Porno by Jamie Morton, James Cooper and Alice Levine and David in Conversations With by David Tennant.

Picklewitch and Jack

Picklewitch and Jack by Claire Barker Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

My class loved this book so much they’ve named their table group after Picklewitch. I, however, didn’t enjoy it as much. Picklewitch is a naughty little witch who loves birds, nature, magic and cake. She sets her sights on being friends with Jack, winner of the ‘Most Sensible Boy in School’ award for three years in a row. However, Jack isn’t quite so happy that she has decided to choose him as her new best friend.

 Blog Posts

sunday smiles

Sunday Smiles – Reading and booking holiday

Sunday Smiles – Avenue Q and Home, I’m Darling

Sunday Smiles – Bath and Hamilton


Books Acquired In February.


The Belles: The most talked about YA book of 2018 by [Clayton, Dhonielle]The Surrogate: A gripping psychological thriller with an incredible twist by [Jensen, Louise]Dumplin' by [Murphy, Julie]Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by [Remini, Leah]

Currently Reading: 


Looking Forward To In March…

  • 1 Year wedding anniversary ❤ We’re going on a dinner cruise for it ❤
  • Starting driving lessons.
  • Seeing Six the Musical

How was your February?

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

It’s back to work tomorrow after a wonderful half term.

We started our half term by spending a few days in Bath. We spend the first, wet, day in Longleat, which is always fun regardless of the weather. We then spent the second day in Bath itself. Highlights of the trip were;

Thermae Bath Spa (£36, £40 at weekend) – we didn’t book so we queued for about an hour. The unlucky people in front of us were under 18 and didn’t have ID so didn’t get in. We got in about 5 which was perfect as we were able to see the city from the rooftop pool during sunset.

Bath Abbey- I would highly recommend booking a trip up onto the roof (£8). There are 202 steps but you stop off at the bell ringing room, the clock and the bell room on the way.

We also went around the Roman Baths, Pulteney bridge, up to the Circus and Royal Crescent and around parade gardens.

We then went to see this small play. You may have heard of it? Hamilton?! I went in knowing nothings about it other than it includes hip hop. I’m sure you’ve heard all about it’s rave reviews, and it lives up to them. I just a few minor issues with it like, what was the point in including Peggy? I couldn’t always hear what they were saying due to annunciation so found myself a little confused in the first half, I found myself thinking ‘is it over now?’ due to all the belters at the end of songs, and there were fans, or possibly Americans, in the audience who kept cheering unnecessarily. Regardless of those minor issues, it was very good and there is no denying that they are incredible singers, especially the person playing Eliza. I also loved the king.

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What’s made you smile this week?

Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

After a long old week of parents evenings, trips and observations… IT’S FINALLY HALF TERM! Hurray!

Avenue Q Last weekend we went to see Avenue Q at Wimbledon. I’ve always wanted to see it and this is the first time it’s been on stage since I’ve been in London. It was brilliant; the staging, the singing, the muppets, the songs, the voice control, everything! It’s going on tour around the UK and I believe there might still be tickets left. If you don’t mind puppet sex and songs about porn, it’s for you!

We kicked off our half term with a Harry Potter Tour bus then seeing Home, I’m Darling. I’ve lived in London a while, and am a HUGE Potterhead, so I’ve seen and done most HP themed stuff. Because of this, I wasn’t going into the tour with huge expectations but was pleasantly surprised as there were a couple of new things I learnt. We started off at St Paul’s, where they filmed the spiral stair cases in the bell tower and destroyed the Millennium Bridge. The tour guide also pointed out lots of London history and trivia as we went around, including the gum artwork on the Millennium Bridge. We then went to the locations for the Ministry of Magic, Gringotts, Leaky Cauldron entrances and finally Platform 9 3/4. It was a lovely mix of Harry Potter, London sight seeing and trivia.

Home I'm Darling. Photograph of Katherine Parkinson, wearing a 1950s floral skirt and an apron, holding a tray with two cocktails We then went to see Home, I’m Darling, a play that was originally in the National Theatre but has been brought back, following a sold-out run, and is currently in the Duke of York’s Theatre, Leicester Square. Judy hates her job so when the company begins to downsize she decides to take voluntary redundancy to be a stay at home wife. With an obsession passion for the 1950’s, she wears vintage 50’s clothing, has everything from the 50’s in her home and a perfect 1950’s housewife. (I adored the dresses and want all of them for myself. I’m about the same size as Katherine Parkinson, right?) Humorous and thought provoking, Home, I’m Darling, encourages the audience to think about the gender divide, what women want and how they might successfully find it

What’s made you smile this week?

Sunday Smiles is a weekly meme created by me at Tumbling into Wonderland Books. It runs every Sunday. Want to find out more or join in the fun? Check out the details here.

January Wrap Up

January has just rushed by and I feel like I’ve hardly done anything except read and work. I’ve made an amazing start to my 2019 reading challenges. ticking off 9 books already! I have also taken big adult steps this month and booked in my first driving lesson and written up my application to start my Masters.

I booked Dubrovnik for August, which I am VERY excited about. If you have any recommendations for what to do, hit me up.

Did you hear that the Harry Potter Studio Tour is opening up a new exhibit? We booked tickets to go in May for my sister-in-law’s birthday. It is perfect timing! I’ve been 4 times already and I’m still buzzing to go again!

Books Read in January

My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime by Val McDermid Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

Black Butler Vol. 2  by Yana Toboso Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

Black Butler Vol. 3  by Yana Toboso Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

Red Dragon by Thomas Harris Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

Hannibal by Thomas Harris Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

Manhunt: How I Brought Serial Killer Levi Bellfield To Justice Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg


Blog Posts

sunday smiles

Sunday Smiles – Reading and booking holiday

2018 challenges

2019 Challenges

Books Acquired In January.

Book form:



Cover Image for Kill [redacted]

Currently Reading: 

CirceLes Misérables

Looking Forward To In February…

  • Seeing Avenue Q! I’ve been wanting to see this since doing Performing Arts in school, it’s just never on. I’m very, very excited.
  • A few days away in Bath. We’re hoping to go to Longleat and a day in Bath itself. Apparently they have an amazing open air spa.
  • Seeing my sister’s new rabbits. Can’t wait for snuggles.

How was your January?

The Rosie Result by Graeme Simpsion

Title: The Rosie Result
Author: Graeme Simsion
Series: Don Tillman #3
Publication: 5th February 2019
Genre: Fiction

Around the Year in 52 Books –  A book containing a name

My Thoughts (2)


I was standing on one leg shucking oysters when the problems began…

Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are about to face their most important challenge.

Their ten-year-old son, Hudson, is struggling at school: he’s socially awkward and not fitting in. Don’s spent a lifetime trying to fit in—so who better to teach Hudson the skills he needs?

The Hudson Project will require the help of friends old and new, force Don to decide how much to guide Hudson and how much to let him be himself, and raise some significant questions about Don’s own identity.

Meanwhile, there are multiple distractions to deal with: the Genetics Lecture Outrage, Rosie’s troubles at work, estrangement from his best friend Gene…

And opening the world’s best cocktail bar.

Hilarious and thought-provoking, with a brilliant cast of characters, The Rosie Result is the triumphant final instalment of the much-loved and internationally bestselling Don Tillman trilogy.

My Thoughts

We had The Wife Project, then we had The Baby Project, now we have The Hudson Project.

Don has been married to Rosie for 4,380 days and their son, Hudson, is now 11. Don’s happiness is starting to go down hill as Rosie is having trouble and work, Don is in hot water after his latest lecture goes viral and Hudson is having trouble at school.

Don decides that in order to learn how to be a good parent, as well as a good husband, he needs to give up his job and get help from old friends.

This is a wonderful conclusion to a very entertaining series. It is still as heartwarming and quirky as the other books, with bigger topics at it’s core.

My Thoughts (1)