Top Ten Favorite Summer Activities That Aren’t Reading

35fed-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. They’re currently on a break until mid-August so I’m choosing some past topics I missed out on in the meantime. As it’s my last week before summer, this week I’ve chosen “ Top Ten Favorite Summer Activities That Aren’t Reading”

Travelling

I love going new places, both in the UK and abroad. Here’s a link to my reviews of my travels abroad, including Paris, Barcelona and Rome.

BBQs

My family host a themed BBQ every year and this is one of the highlights of my summer – full of yummy food, cocktails and events. Last year we did a circus themed one where everyone did a circus act, the year before was a teddy bear’s picnic.

Drinking by the river

I love walking along the river and them sitting, watching the sunset and drinking cider. yum.

Ice cream

I particularly love gelato. Especially cherry gelato. yum!

Pimms

I sense a theme of food and drink… When ever I think of summer I think of sitting on the garden patio and drinking Pimms.

Sleeping In

I don’t get to do this normally so summer is a perfect time for me to catch up on sleep.

 


What activities do you enjoy doing during summer?

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

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.

My Sunday Smiles

  • Our local MP visited our school this week. I audibly laughed when he asked my shiny faced 5 year olds if they knew about Brexit. We also learnt not to let them ask their own questions that hadn’t been pre-planned as one of them, confident as you like, asked: “What’s the fastest dog in the world?”
  • This time next week I’ll be on my summer holidays, my energy levels are very grateful for that!
  • I had a wonderful meet up with lots of university friends which is always lots and lots of fun!
  • After my reading slump, I’ve completed THREE books this week! (round of applause for me) I just haven’t been motivated to write the reviews for them yet!

What made you smile this week?

Top Ten Books That Tackle Tough Issues

35fed-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. They’re currently on a break until mid-August so I’m choosing some past topics I missed out on in the meantime. This week I’ve chosen “ Top Ten Books That Tackle Tough Issues”.

Emily’s Books

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – I’ve literally just finished this one. It covers rape and suicide. It’s pretty amazing.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma – An amazing book that covers the taboo subject of incest. It delicately approaches it, not glorifying it or condone it, but suggests how it may be lead to.

Me and Mr J by Rachel McIntyre (my review– tackling the issue of student/teacher relationship. It was, like Forbidden, not condoning it but suggesting how it could happen. It was a very interesting but difficult read. It also covered bullying too.

The Sister Pact by Stacie Ramey – About death and suicide of a sibling. It also deals with grief, drugs, sex and friendship issues. (my review)

Lets Get Lost by Sarra Manning – I adore this book. It mainly deals with grief of a close relative and the feelings of guilt. It also touches on bullying.

A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer – A terrifying story because it’s true. About an emotionally and physically abusive mother.

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen (my review)– It wasn’t light and fluffy as I first would have expected for a Dessen book. I’m reluctant to say the issue as it would ruin the book but a very, very good read.

Image result for thirteen reasons whyMe and Mr JLet's Get LostForbiddenThe Sister PactImage result for a child called itDreamland

Alex’s Books

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell – A children’s book about gay penguins.

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy – It deals with forbidden love, reconciliation of faith and suicide. It was so controversial that he never wrote another novel afterwards.

Heretic by Ayaaan Hirsi Ali – A non-fiction book about the need for an Islamic reformation to make it more compatible with modern Western society.

Image result for and tango makes threeImage result for jude the obscureImage result for Heretic by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Top Ten Books I’ve Read Due To The Blogging Community

35fed-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. They’re currently on a break until mid-August so I’m choosing some past topics I missed out on in the meantime. This week I’ve chosen “ Top Ten Books I’ve Read Due To The Blogging Community”.

Some of these I loved and others not so much….

Click on the book cover to see my reviews!

 

When Dimple Met RishiLady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)One Of Us Is LyingAnna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Holding Up the UniverseEverything, EverythingAll the Bright PlacesCarry OnWhen We CollidedHarry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)


Which of these books have you read?

What books have you read because of the blogging community?

Second Quarter Quell 2017 – 3 Month Wrap Up

3-monthly

Welcome to the second Quarter Quell, my 3 month wrap up where I look at my challenges I set at the beginning of the year and see how much progress I have made on them. It’s always nice to see a bit of progression, no matter how small. 🙂

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

  • To read my pre-ordered books ( Court of Thorns and Roses + Court of Mist and Fury)
  • To get above 70% on NetGallery
  • To complete The Sherlock Holmes Collection
  • To read more pages in total than the 2016 total (16,132 pages).
  • To complete at least one classic (other than Sherlock Holmes)
  • To read the books delivered to me in my illumicrate boxes – Nevernight, The Graces, The Diabolic.
  • To complete at least 26 of the  Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge.

15209252_10154135413840678_1653964156_nThe Complete Sherlock HolmesA Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)


To Read My Pre-Orders: 
Still not completed despite taking ACoMaF on holiday with me.

To get above 70% on NetGalley: 
In December it was 64%, in March it was 65%, and now it is… 66%. Woo! I’ve started only requesting the books I really REALLY want. That still doesn’t stop me going on a requesting spree!
I still have a few great books that I need to get round to:

  • Traitor to the Throne – Alwyn Hamilton
  • This Secret We’re Keeping – Rebecca Done
  • Allegiant – Veronica Roth
  • The Bone Season – Samantha Shannon
  • Age of Swords – Michael J Sullivan
  • The Best of Adam Sharp – Graeme Simsion

To complete The Sherlock Holmes Collection: 
In December I was 88% through with just The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes left to read. I’ve made no progress on this at all.

To read more pages in total than the 2016 total (16,132 pages): So far (according to Goodreads) I’ve read 11317 pages = 70% of last year’s total!

To complete at least one classic (other than Sherlock Holmes): I completed The Great Gatsby back in March, Animal Farm in April and I am currently reading 1984.

To read the books delivered to me in my illumicrate boxes:  
I haven’t read any of the original ones I meant at the beginning of the year. I’ve got even more because of the February and May boxes. I’ve only read one of them so far – whoops.

  • Nevernight – Jay Kristoff
  • The Graces – Laure Eve
  • Diabolic – S. J. Kincaid
  • Wintersong – S. Jae-Jones
  • Red Sister – Mark Lawrence
  • Truth or Dare – Non Pratt (2/6/17)
  • The Walking Land  by Callie Bates

dsc_0073

To complete at least 26 of the  Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge(30/52 completed)

Reading Challenge 2017
Since March I have ticked off:

1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016 – Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare (31/5/17)
2. A book with at least 2 perspectives (multiple points of view) – You’re the One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher (6/4/17)
8. A book written by a person of colour – When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (13/6/17)
10. A dual-timeline novel – On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher (11/5/17)
16. A mystery –One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus (4/5/17)
19. A New York Times best-seller – The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida (6/04/17)
34. A book set in or by an author from the Southern Hemisphere – Big Little Lies by Liane Mortiarty (18/6/17)
47. A past suggestion that didn’t win (link) – A Children’s Book Published After 2010 – Claude on the Slopes by Alex T. Smith (19/5/17)
48. A banned book – Animal Farm by George Orwell (6/4/17)
49. A book from someone else’s bookshelf – Dreamland by Sarah Dessen (1/5/17)
52. A book set in a fictional location – The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes (12/4/17)

See all the challenges I’ve ticked off here.

Currently reading:

Nineteen Eighty-FourGrimm's Fairy StoriesThe Complete Sherlock Holmes


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

Help, please!

I’ve found myself in a bit of reading rut lately. Every book I pick up I’ve ended up putting down after less than 50 pages.

These are the ones I’ve tried reading, with no luck:

Angel of Storms (Millennium’s Rule, #2)Nineteen Eighty-FourGraceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It AllThe Best of Adam Sharp

… and these are the last books I’ve read that I enjoyed:

Truth or DareOne of Us Is LyingDreamland

Have you got an suggestions of books I could read to pull me out of this rut? I don’t really have a genre I fancy reading at the moment – I guess just anything easy and enjoyable.

Thaaaaanks!

Top Ten Best Books I’ve Read In 2017 So Far

35fed-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. This week’s topic is “ Top Ten Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 So Far”.

Click on the pictures to link to my reviews.

5-stars

Truth or DareAnimal FarmNina is Not OKClaude In The City

4-stars

One of Us Is LyingDreamlandYou're the One That I Want by Giovanna FletcherA Book of Spirits and Thieves (Spirits and Thieves, #1)UsCrystal Storm (Falling Kingdoms, #5)

Honorary mentions – as I re-read them in February half term and they’re basically all 5* in my eyes.

harry-potter-re-read


What are the best books you’ve read this year?

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

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.

My Sunday Smiles

We had our annual 3 days of summer this week! It was glorious. Except I was in school.

This weekend it was West End Live in Trafalgar Square, where different old and new musicals showcase a few songs. It was wonderful to see lots of new musicals and add a few to my To Watch list.

Image result for westend live 2017


What made you smile this week? 

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Series: N/A
Publication: 9th February 2017 by Penguin (Originally published in 2014)
Genre: Fiction, humour

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge – A book set in or by an author from the Southern Hemisphere

Advanced Reading Copy provided, in exchanged for an honest review, from the publishers.

My Thoughts (2)

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

My Thoughts

I went into this with no expectations or knowledge of the book (or TV series) at all, and was just blown away!

So much happens! I feel like either I can’t talk about any of it otherwise I’ll have to talk about all of it. The three women are all at different crossroads in their lives but the one thing the all have in common is that their children are all starting the same kindergarten. The book flicks between the three different mothers; Madeline, Celest and Jane. It also flicks between their stories and the present, where members of the school community are being interviewed about a murder, except we don’t know who has been murdered or who is involved.

It was one of those books that you pick up and before you know it, you’re over half way though and it’s dark outside. It’s full of mystery, drama and hilarity. Definitely worth picking up!

My Thoughts (1)

4-stars

Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t

35fed-toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new top ten list and invite everyone to share their answers. This week’s topic is “ Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t”.

Most of these are well know so I’m just going to put the picture up and not any detail.

Untitled design (1)

What series have you yet to start?