Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

It’s the start of the new year! Begin as you mean to go on… I haven’t been to the gym once and I didn’t leave the house for two whole days, hurrah!

Haha, I have actually had a pretty good week. I’ve managed to read FIVE books so far. I know! I’m incredibly shocked too. They’ve all been good but none of them incredible so far.

Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1)Black Butler, Vol. 2 (Black Butler, #2)Black Butler, Vol. 3 (Black Butler, #3)Forensics: The Anatomy of CrimeMy Thoughts Exactly

After looking and longing and pining every day since the sales began I finally caved a booked a holiday for August. We’re going to Dubrovnik! Woohoo! any suggestions for things to do would be brilliant ūüėÄ

Image result for dubrovnik croatia game of thrones

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.

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2019 Challenges

For the past couple of years I have been setting myself a few challenges. I love seeing a little bit of progress as the months go by and seeing what I’ve achieved at the end of the year. It always gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.

In previous years I rolled over incomplete challenges, but as that the same ones keep being incomplete it’s time to let them die.

My 2019 targets:

  • To get above 75% on¬†NetGalley
  • To read more pages in total than the 2018 total (I‚Äôm not sure I‚Äôll be able to beat 2017 but that would be brilliant)

2018 – 12,670 pages (43 books)
2017 ‚Äď 19,113 pages (55 books)
2016 ‚Äď 16,084 pages (59 books)

2019 Around the year in 52 books

Again, like last year, I‚Äôve decided not to set myself a number of books challenge as otherwise I feel guilty about adding children‚Äôs picture books and making it look like I‚Äôve read more than I have ‚Äď this is why I‚Äôve set the pages challenge!
The DiabolicThe Graces (The Graces, #1)The Complete Sherlock HolmesThe Locked Ward: Memoirs of a Psychiatr√ʬĬ¶Forensics: The Anatomy of CrimeLes Mis√ɬ©rables

Last year I only read 8 of the books I intended to at the beginning of the year and only completed one of my targets so lets see if I do any better this year…


What are your challenges?
Can you recommend me any books I’ll enjoy?
Which book on my list should I begin with?

Final Quarter Quell 2018

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The year has come to an end! So lets have a look at the reading challenges I set myself at the beginning of the year:

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

  • To read my pre-ordered books.¬†(Court of Mist and Fury¬†and¬†Angel of Storm)
  • To get above 75% on¬†NetGalley
  • To complete¬†The Sherlock Holmes Collection
  • To read more pages in total than the 2016 total (16,084 pages)
  • To read at least 25 books I already own.
  • To complete at least one classic (other than Sherlock Holmes)
  • To read at least 5 of the books delivered to me in my¬†illumicrate¬†boxes, including any new ones I get.
  • To complete at least 26 of the¬†Around the Year In 52 Books¬†Challenge.

Here’s the progress I made after 3 months, 6 months and 9 months.


To Read My Pre-Orders:¬†The first book I read this year was A Court of Mist and Fury! It was a brilliant book which was a great start to my year. I still have Angel of Storm to read – I didn’t even look at it this year.

To get above 75% on NetGalley:¬†In December 2017 it was at 70%, by June it had dropped down to 69%. Thanks to doing ARC August, it’s now at 73%. I’ve been a lot better at requesting books this year and have only requested books that I know I’ll read.

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

  • Traitor to the Throne ‚ÄstAlwyn Hamilton
  • Age¬†of Swords¬†‚Äď Michael J Sullivan
  • The Best of Adam Sharp¬†‚Äď Graeme Simsion
  • The Lying Game¬†‚Äď Ruth Ware
  • Opposite of Always – Justin A. Reynolds

To complete The Sherlock Holmes Collection:  In December 2017, I was 88% through with just The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes left to read. I haven’t picked it up this year.

To read more pages in total than the 2016 total (16,084 pages): According to Goodreads, I read 12670 pages = 79% of 2016’s total. Whoops.

To read at least 25 books I already own: I definitely set the bar too high on this one. I’ve managed 20 books which I still think is quite impressive. All the books to date here on my Mount TBR Challenge page.

To complete at least one classic (other than Sherlock Holmes):¬†Yeah… that didn’t happen. The oldest book I read this year was Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman #1) by Neil Gaiman,¬†released in 1989. It’s still older than me…

To read 5 of the books delivered to me in my¬†illumicrate¬†boxes:¬†¬†I read 2¬†books ‚ÄstThe Smoke Thieves¬†and A Thousand Perfect Notes.

  • The Graces¬†‚Äď Laure Eve
  • Diabolic¬†‚Äď S. J. Kincaid
  • Wintersong ‚ÄstS. Jae-Jones
  • The Walking Land¬†¬†by Callie Bates
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer ‚ÄstLeigh Bardugo
  • Nyxia¬†‚ÄstScott Reintgen
  • Artemis¬†‚Äď Andy Weir
  • The¬†City of Brass¬†‚Äď S.A.Chakraborty
  • Blood and Sand¬†‚Äď C.V.Wyk
  • Light Years¬†‚Äď Kass Morgan
  • Empress of All Seasons – Emiko Jean
  • Wild Magic – Tamora Pierce

‚úst To complete at least 26 of the¬†¬†Around the Year In 52 Books¬†Challenge:¬†(37/52 completed) Hurray! A challenge I actually managed to complete!

2018

The books I read this year: 

  1. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  2. A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  3. Preludes & Nocturnes (The Sandman  #1) by Neil Gaiman Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  4. The Disappearance of Winter’s Daughter (The Riyria Chronicles #4)  by Michael J. Sullivan. Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  5. Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shausterman Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  6. Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #1) by Neal Shausterman Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  7. Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms #6) by Morgan Rhodes Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  8. Blood For Blood (Wolf by Wolf #2) by Ryan Graudin Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  9. Clean by Juno Dawson Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  10. Claude in the City (Claude #1) by Alex T Smith Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  11. Wonder by R.J.Palacio Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  12. Claude on the Slopes (Claude #6) by Alex T Smith Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  13. My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  14. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  15. Plaques and Tangles by Nicola Wilson Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  16. Claude on Holiday (Claude #2) by Alex T SmithGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  17. Claude: Lights, Camera, Action (Claude #10) by Alex T. SmithGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  18. Claude Going for Gold (Claude #9) by Alex T SmithGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  19. The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  20. Claude in the Spotlight (Claude #5)  by Alex T SmithGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  21. Claude in the Country (Claude #4)  by Alex T Smith Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  22. Claude at the Circus (Claude #3) by Alex T Smith Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  23. Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  24. Best Foot Forward by Adam Hills Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  25. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  26. Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  27. The Novice (The Summoner #1) by Taran Matharu Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  28. You Only Live Once (Gracie Dart #1) by Jess Vallance
  29. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  30. The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  31. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before  #1)  by Jenny Han Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  32. Trust Me, I’m a (Junior) Doctor by Max Pemberton Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  33. A Life of Crime by Harry Ognall Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  34. How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  35. Tokyo Ghoul (Tokyo Ghoul #1)  by Sui Ishida Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  36. Talking with Serial Killers: The Most Evil people in The Wold Tell Their Own Stories Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  37. A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G.Drews Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  38. Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  39. The More You Ignore Me by Jo Brand Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  40. The Life and Loves of a He Devil by Graham Norton Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  41. Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2)  by Jay Kristoff Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  42. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg
  43. James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes by James Acaster¬†Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

My targets for next year to come soon…

 


How did you do with your yearly challenges?

Have you read any of the books that I have this year?

My 2018 – A Non-bookish Look Back

I have little diary which I record all our trips and days out in. I’m so glad I do because I sometimes forget all the amazing things I have done throughout the year. 2018 has been a pretty incredible year. (All links are to my reviews)

Plays

I LOVE going to the theatre and I saw so many brilliant things this year. We went to see  The Birthday Party, The Play That Goes Wrong, A Comedy About A Bank Robbery, Mouse Trap, The Woman in Black and a few Pinter Plays.

All of the plays I’ve seen this year have been brilliant. I’ve been recommending The Play that Goes Wrong to all my friends, two of which have been convinced to see it and loved it too, I was laughing the entire time.

Comedy

I have seen so many incredible comedians this year, including;¬†Rhys James,¬†Shappi Khorsandi, Sarah Millican, Joe Lycett, Jason Byrne, Daniel Sloss and Felicity Ward. Again, they were all brilliant. I’ve seen Daniel Sloss about 8 times now (check out his Netflix series if you haven’t seen it already) and I bough my friends tickets to see Felicity Ward as she was so fantastic.

 

Weddings

I got married! This probably should have been one of the first things on my list. We had a tiny little wedding and then had a huge party a couple of weeks later.

Two of my uni friends also got married this year so it’s been a wonderful year of love and celebrations.

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Holidays

We went on two amazing holidays this year. We went on a ‘mini-moon’ to¬†Iceland,¬†which was incredible. It was a beautiful country. We saw whales, swam in the Blue Lagoon and even got a peak at the northern lights. Then in the summer we went on our honeymoon to Thailand¬†– Phuket and Bangkok. This again was incredible. We bathed elephants, kayaked around the islands and saw amazing temples.

Days Out

We has a lot of incredible days out. Our afternoon teas included the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory themed tea, tea at Brown’s hotel and a cute dress up one at Betty Blythe’s. I also did a tea making course, yum!

We did a lot of Harry Potter themed activities. We went to the studio tour for the fourth time, saw the exhibition in the British Library and did the Engima escape quest.

I also went in a helicopter!


What amazing things did you do this year?

 

My 2018 Bookish Awards

Can you believe we’re at the end of 2018 all ready? The time has just flown by!

I did this post last year and loved seeing and hearing everyone else’s thoughts. So here we go again!


BEST DEBUT BOOK I READ THIS YEAR

I’ve managed to read a fair few debut books this year. A surprisingly large amount of them were non-fiction!

THE NOMINEES ARE…

AND THE WINNER IS…

To Kill a Kingdom

TO KILL A KINGDOM BY ALEXANDRA CHRISTO

It was easily one of the best books I’ve read all year. It’s the type of book that keeps you reading, and you’re thinking about it when you’re not reading. I loved that it was a stand alone which wrapped up beautifully, it was a twist on¬†The Little Mermaid and it flicked between POV.

~

MOST WORTHY OF ALL THE HYPE

There have been many hyped books. Some I’ve read and loved, some not so much, and others I haven’t gotten around to yet…

THE NOMINEES ARE…

AND THE WINNER IS…

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY BY SARAH J. MAAS

I purposely saved this books to be my first read of 2018. At the end of the year it still remains one of my favourites, and I favourite of the series. If you haven’t read the series yet, what are you waiting for?! DO IT!

~

MOST DISAPPOINTING BOOK I READ THIS YEAR

Moving on to some not so nice awards to receive‚Ķ Luckily, I haven’t read a huge amount of disappointing books this year.

THE NOMINEES ARE…

  • Genuine Fraud¬†by E.Lockhart
  • The More You Ignore Me¬†by Jo Brand
  • Talking with Serial Killers¬†by Christopher Berry-Dee
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
  • A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G.Drews

AND THE WINNER IS…

Talking with Serial Killers: The Most Evil People in the World Tell Their Own Stories

TALKING WITH SERIAL KILLERS BY CHRISTOPHER BERRY-DEE

This was the biggest disappointment for me as it didn’t live up to what it said on the cover.¬† It wasn’t really the serial killers ‘telling their own stories,’ There were only a few direct quotes from the interviews or letter correspondence with the killers, usually at the start or end of the chapter. The book was a series of mini biographies about the different serial killers which followed the same structure each time.

~

WORST BOOK I READ THIS YEAR

This award seems mean, but let’s be real here… we all read books we don’t like and I’m only being honest. I completely understand that some of these novels might be books you love, but they didn’t do anything for me!

THE NOMINEES ARE…

AND THE WINNER (LOSER?) IS…

Turtles All the Way Down

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN BY JOHN GREEN

I didn’t rate any books below 2 stars this year but this book wasn’t great. I’m not sure John Green spends much time around teenagers. Unless y’know, teens all speak pretentiously about the universe and space? Honesty, I don’t even think most people speak like this. And the plot? What plot? Urgh.

~

BEST BOOK I READ THIS YEAR

Now onto a super happy, fantastic and most important award! I’ve read a number of great books this year so this one is REALLY hard…

THE NOMINEES ARE…

AND THE WINNER IS…

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)

GODSGRAVE BY JAY KRISTOFF

Gahh. This is literally everything you want in a book. If you haven’t read Nevernight yet, you must.


2018 STATS

Let’s have a quick look at how I rated the rest of my books this year…

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź¬†‚Äď 12 books

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź-¬† 17 books

‚≠ź‚≠ź‚≠ź¬†‚Äst 9 books

‚≠ź‚≠ź¬†‚Äď 5 books

‚≠ź¬†‚Äst 0 book

DNF STATS

I technically didn’t mark any books as DNF as I intend to come back to all of them at some point, I just wasn’t in the mood for them at the time or got distracted.

Incomplete books ‚Äď 12 books

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)

Title: Godsgrave
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Nevernight Chronicles
Publication:  7th Spetember 2017 by Harper Voyager UK
Genre: Fantasy

Around the Year in 52 Books¬†‚Äď A book with a map

My Thoughts (2)

(Goodreads)

A ruthless young assassin continues her journey for revenge in this new epic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff.

Conquer your fear, conquer the world

Mia Corvere, destroyer of empires, has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry do not believe she has earned it.

Her position is precarious, and she’s still no closer to exacting revenge for the brutal death of her family. But after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it is announced that Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself into slavery for a chance to fulfill the promise she made on the day she lost everything.

Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold, secrets are revealed and the body count rises within the collegium walls, Mia will be forced to choose between her loyalties and her revenge.

My Thoughts

That ending. That God Damn ending.

I had to force myself to savour this book and read it over a couple of days instead of devouring it all at once. It was everything a sequel should be Рit deepened our understanding of the characters, it furthered the plot, and it ripped out your heart and stabbed it multiple times was brutal and emotional.

Godsgrave is one of those books that has it all; gladiators, assassins, plot twists, love, slavery, murder, bisexuality, , violence, sexual content, world building. I honestly can’t wait to see what the next book is like.

Side note: I personally found having the kindle edition made reading the footnotes a lot easier as I ended up skipping a lot of them when I read the first book in paper back.

My Thoughts (1)

5-stars

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

Image result for woman in black stage showWe went to see¬†The Woman in Black¬† on Friday. Oh man, if you haven’t seen it yet, go! I was on edge the entire time but it was SO good! There are only three actors in the entire show, the two main men playing multiple roles. It’s set in a theatre so they use the bare minimum props, lighting, sound effects and simple costume changes to tell the story.

Yesterday was our annual uni christmas meet up which is always a laugh. We’ve been lucky enough to see each other loads this year due to various weddings ‚̧

Our flat has been smelling delicious. I get myself very worked up over buying people gifts. I have a lot of TAs and LSAs this year so I’ve decided to go for the cooking touch. We’ve been making brownies, mashmallow ricecrispy squares and truffles. Of course we’ve¬†had¬†to taste test them as well…

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.

November Wrap Up

Can you believe that we’re in the final month of 2018 already? The years seem to be going by quicker and quicker. November was a wonderful month for me. It was mine and Daz’s 9 year anniversary so we went for afternoon tea at Browns and then went to see¬†The Lion King. I won a competition so went to see¬†Fantastic Beasts 3 days before it’s official release. I managed to get a deal on tickets to see¬†Pinter at the Pinter starring Lee Evans and Keith Allen. We also went on a Ghost Tour of London, which was an interesting experience. Then to top it all off, it was my birthday, so we did the Enigma Quests’ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry escape rooms and crazy golf!

enigma

Books Read in November

The Life and Loves of a He Devil by Graham Norton Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

The Life and Loves of a He Devil

Blog Posts

TTT

Top Ten Backlist Books I Own & Still Need  To Read

I might just being petty but I’ve decided not to do TTT any more after they used one of my suggestions (Top Bookish Items I Own/Would Like To Own) and didn’t credit me.

Other

My Top Ten Hidden Gems in London


Books Acquired In October.

Book form:

The Locked Ward: Memoirs of a Psychiatric OrderlyWild Magic (Immortals, #1)Empress of All Seasons

e-books:

The Da Vinci Code: (Robert Langdon Book 2) by [Brown, Dan]How Not To Be a Boy by [Webb, Robert]The Memory Collector: The emotional and uplifting new novel from the bestselling author of The Other Us by [Harper, Fiona]Water for Elephants: A Novel by [Gruen, Sara]

Currently Reading: 

The Locked Ward: Memoirs of a Psychiatric OrderlyGodsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)


Looking Forward To In December…

  • IT’SSSSSSS CHIIIIIIIISMAAAAAAAAS! I can’t wait to go home and see my family ‚̧

How was your November?

My Top Ten Gems in London

1.  Forbidden Planet

Full of books, comics and merchandise for (almost) every fandom you can think of. They also get amazing authors and graphic designers coming in for signings every so often – it’s definitely worth going to see. (Leicester Square)

2. Chin Chin Labs

They make ice cream using liquid nitrogen and create some amazing flavours (including vegan friendly recipes). They also make the most AMAZING thick hot chocolate with marshmallow fluff (again, vegan option is available). (Soho and Camden)

3. Museum of London

We are so lucky to have so many amazing museums and galleries around London, and for free. One of my favourites is the Museum of London. This is a literal walk through time including lots of child friendly information and interactive displays. My favourite part is walking through the Victorian shops. They also have some really cool exhibitions on, I went to one about Crimes where they displayed evidence from famous crimes around London (including Jack the Ripper) and death masks and hanging ropes. (Nearest tube is Bank)

4. Soho Theatre

If you know anything about me, you know I love seeing comedy. I usually see at least one a month (laughter is the best medicine). The Soho Theatre is one of my favourite places to go. They have big comedians at amazing prices, they do a lot of work in progress shows and all the rooms are small and intimate. Comedians I’ve seen here include: Jack Whitehall, Daniel Sloss, Shappi Khorsandi, Nina Conti and Rhys James.

5. Thames Boat Tours

I’ve only recently been on these but I had a great time. The stops include; Westminster, London Eye, Tower Bridge and Greenwich. They do live commentary as you sail down the Thames. I’ve lived in London for the past 6 years and learnt lots of new things (including where Ian McKellen’s pub is!)

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, bridge, sky and outdoor

6. Royal Parks – St James’, Richmond and Bushy Park.

We are blessed to have so many beautiful Royal Parks in London, with Hyde Park and Green Park being two of the most popular. My personal favourites are St James’ for the pelicans, Richmond for how large and diverse it is, and Bushy Park for the deer.

7. Afternoon tea -BBakery Tea Bus, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The are so many different afternoon teas in London to suit everyone’s mood and need. Posh hotels? We’ve got it. Themed tea? Check. Quirky toilets? I’m looking at you Sketch. I’ve been lucky enough to try out quite a few – my favourites so far are;

Bbakery tea bus tour – have afternoon tea on an old route master whilst seeing the sights of London. They introduced me to my love of Rooibos tea!

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea – From smoking cocktails to bacon jam to surprising flavours. This was an absolute treat!

The Savoy – Oh my goodness. The best scones I’ve ever had. Plus, I just had to check out how posh the toilets were.

Brown’s Hotel – We went here for our anniversary. It’s the oldest hotel in London. We were seated next to the fireplace with a live piano playing throughout the afternoon. How wonderful!

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8. Tea – Bird&Blend Tea Co., Twinings

I am a tea addict. My shelves are jam packed with every variety of tea you could possibly want. I have a tea subscription and this year I even have a tea advent calendar! (Thank you, Bird & Blend tea!) Bird & Blend are slowly popping up all over London. I went there for a tea making course and fell in love. They showed me how to make macha properly and how to make iced tea using loose leaves. Yum! Twinings caramel rooibos tea remains one of my favourites and I love visiting their 300 year old shop whenever I’m running low on supplies.

9. Escape rooms

London has a lot of escape rooms. So far, I’ve only tried one. Engima Quest’s¬†School of Witchcraft and Wizardry quest. For a Harry Potter fan, this was so much fun! You had to solve the challenges to pass subjects. For each subject passed you got a grade. Of course, we managed to pass all 6 subjects and get “Outstanding”. I’m reluctant to reveal any of the secrets but would highly recommend this to anyone and everyone!

enigma

10.  Theatre Shows

One of the delights of living so close to London is the amount of amazing theatre I’ve seen. From the huge musicals The Lion King, Wicked, Matilda to Shakespeare at the the Globe to the National Theatre to Pinter plays. If a play/musical has been there for a while, it’s worth seeing. I would recommend ANYTHING at the Royal Court Theatre, everything I’ve seen there has been thought provoking and engaging.


Hopefully some of the things you love are on my list and I would love it if you have discovered something new!

Have you done any of these things?

What do you love doing in London?

Top Ten Backlist Books I Own & Still Need To Read

TTT

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. It‚Äôs a great way to learn more about the bloggers you follow and to find lots of new books. This week‚Äôs topic is ‚ÄúTop Ten Backlist Books I Own & Still Need To Read.‚ÄĚ

There were a huge amount of books I could choose from, so I’ve selected books that I physically own and chosen the first ten that I’ve heard lots of people talking about.

Top Ten Backlist Books I Own…

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)Black Butler, Vol. 3

Godsgrave (Nevernight Chronicles #2) by Jay Kristoff

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Class #4) by Sarah J. Maas

Black Butler Vol.3 by Toboso Yana

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor) by Mark Lawrence

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1)Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor, #2)A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, #2)

A Clash of Kings (A SOng of Ice and Fire #2) by George R.R Martin

The Tattooist of Aushwitz by Heather Morris

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Stranger the Dreamer (Stranger the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes #1) by Sabaa Tahir

The Tattooist of AuschwitzThe Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyStrange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)


What books are on your backlist?

Are there any books on my list that I should prioritise?