Top Ten Backlist Books I Own & Still Need To Read


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’s a great way to learn more about the bloggers you follow and to find lots of new books. This week’s topic is “Top Ten Backlist Books I Own & Still Need To Read.”

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? 


October Wrap Up

I’ve hit that low point of the year, it’s probably due to being back at work after 6 weeks off, and I don’t have the motivation to blog any more. Every time I go to write something I have that niggling voice in my head saying “what’s the point, Em?”  So, I apologise, and I will get better at posting because I have done and read some amazing things over the past couple of months, especially as I’ve finally gotten out of my reading slump!

I went to the Body Worlds experience in London. It was really weird but interesting. After a while you start to forget that these were once living, breathing people.

Books Read in October

Hollow World by Michael J. Sullivan Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

Talking with Serial Killers: The Most Evil People in the World Tell Their Stories by Christopher Berry-Dee Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

The More You Ignore Me by Jo Brand Gold_Star.svgGold_Star.svgGold_Star.svg

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


Blog Posts

sunday smiles

Sunday Smiles – Cambridge


Books I Bought In October.


Currently Reading: 

The Life and Loves of a He Devil

Looking Forward To In November…

  • My birthday! We’re going to the Harry Potter themed escape rooms! I’m very, very excited!
  • It’s our 10 year anniversary so we’re going for afternoon tea and to see The Lion King.

How was your October?

Talking with Serial Killers by Christopher Berry-Dee

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

Title: Talking with Serial Killers: The Most Evil people in the World Tell Their Own Stories
Author: Christopher Berry-Dee
Series: N/A
Publication: 31st May 2003
Genre: Nonfiction, Crime.

Around the Year in 52 Books – A book that intimidates / scares you.

My Thoughts (2)


An investigative criminologist, Christopher Berry-Dee is a man who talks to serial killers. In this book, their pursuit of horror and violence is described in their own words, transcribed from audio and videotape interviews conducted deep inside some of the toughest prisons in the world. Berry-Dee describes the circumstances of his meetings with some of the world’s most evil men, and reproduces their very words as they describe their crimes and discuss their remorse—or lack of it. This work offers a penetrating insight into the workings of the criminal mind.

My Thoughts

I have a morbid interest in serial killers. If I could do any job in the world, without needing a degree or prior training, I would love to look into the psyche of serial killers; finding out their motivations and what compels them to commit these crimes.

There is no denying that Christopher Berry-Dee is a skilled interviewer, getting some of these murderers to talk to him and admit things, which they haven’t done for other people. In some cases they haven’t spoken to journalists in years, if ever. However, a lot of this book felt like Berry-Dee was giving himself a pat on the back.

“The Most Evil People In the World Tell Their Own Stories.” Except they don’t.  I probably would have rated it higher had the title not misled me. There are only a few direct quotes from the interviews or letter correspondence with the killers, usually at the start or end of the chapter. This book is a series of mini biographies about the different serial killers. They usually started with the background of the place, then the background of the person before then listing the murders, some in more detail than others. Most of the information is stated as fact. Although the majority of it is, some of it certainly couldn’t be confirmed unless he witnessed it firsthand, such as the emotions of the murderers and the victims whilst the crimes are being committed, or in the case of McDuff, a detailed description of the lethal injection from the injectee’s point of view (eg. “he contemplated the end, which he thought would be painless…” “McDuff felt pressure in his chest. It was a suffocating feeling…” “He was dizzy and hyperventilating.”)

An interesting subject but the misleading title, lack of direct quotes from the killers, and unreliable narration left me less impressed than I hoped. I was going to get his conversations with female serial killers but after reading this book, I don’t think I will.

My Thoughts (1)


Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

Yesterday was our housemate’s birthday so we decided to surprise him by taking him to Cambridge. This kind of backfired as the trains weren’t running from our station, something we discovered after we bought the tickets. Four hours later, we arrived in wet and miserable Cambridge. We went around the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Science, which was really cool; they had collections of rocks, minerals, fossils and skeletons. We then went around Cambridge town, managing to stumble across the exits of the colleges instead of all the entrances. Because of how long it took us to get there, it meant we could walk around the outside of Trinity college but were unable to get into the Wren library as it closes at 12:30. We were able to go into King’s College chapel for the Evensong which was very nice. I would also recommend the SmokeWorks which was delicious! I especially loved the topped chips and that you turned on a lighting system to get the waiters to come over to you.

I would definitely like to return to Cambridge again, probably on a warmer and sunnier day!

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.

Third Quarter Quell – 3 Month Wrap Up

Copy of Monthly Wrap Up.png

Welcome to the third Quarter Quell of 2018. 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. Half way through the year I wasn’t doing particularly great on any of my challenges. Since then it has been the Summer holidays, six weeks of potential reading time and things haven’t exactly gone to plan…

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.

To Read My Pre-Orders: The first book I read this year was A Court of Mist and Fury! What a great way to start the year, it was a brilliant book and it half ticked off one of my challenges! 🙂 Just Angel of Storm to read now!

To get above 75% on NetGalley: In December 2017 it was at 70%, by June it had dropped down to 69%. It’s now at 72%

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

  • Traitor to the Throne – Alwyn Hamilton
  • Age of Swords – Michael J Sullivan
  • The Best of Adam Sharp – Graeme Simsion
  • Godsgrave – Jay Kristoff
  • The Lying Game – Ruth Ware

I did ARC August this year and ticked off 4 books.

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 yet this year.

To read more pages in total than the 2016 total (16,084 pages): So far (according to Goodreads, not including children’s picture books) I’ve read 10016 pages = 62% of 2016’s total.

To read at least 25 books I already own: I definitely set the bar too high on this one. I’ve managed 16 books so far. All the books to date here on my Mount TBR Challenge page.

To complete at least one classic (other than Sherlock Holmes): Yeah, that’s not going to happen… But I have read more non-fiction books this year!

To read 5 of the books delivered to me in my illumicrate boxes: This challenge is going really, really badly. I’ve read 1 book – The Smoke ThievesI like the sound of A Thousand Perfect Notes and I’ll probably read Wonder Woman and CatWoman eventually, but the others aren’t really grabbing my attention. The books I still have to read are:

  • The Graces – Laure Eve
  • Diabolic – S. J. Kincaid
  • Wintersong – S. Jae-Jones
  • The Walking Land  by Callie Bates
  • Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo
  • Nyxia – Scott Reintgen
  • Artemis – Andy Weir
  • The City of Brass – S.A.Chakraborty
  • Blood and Sand – C.V.Wyk
  • Light Years – Kass Morgan
  • A Thousand Perfect Notes  – C.G.Drews
  • CatWoman – Sarah J. Maas

I still have the November box to come…

✓  To complete at least 26 of the  Around the Year In 52 Books Challenge(28/52 completed) Finally! One target I’ve actually managed to achieve!

Reading Challenge 2018- 9 months

In the past 3 months I have ticked off:
5. A book about or inspired by real events – This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
6. A book originally written in a language other than English – Tokyo Ghoul, tome 1 (Tokyo Ghoul #1) by Sui Ishida (25.9.18)
8. An “own voices” book* – To All The Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han (2.9.18)
10. An author’s debut book (their first book to be published) – The Novice by Taran Matharu 
12. A book set in Africa or South America – Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart 
13. A book with a plot centered around a secret (forbidden love, spies, secret societies, etc) – Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
16. A narrative nonfiction – The Red Parts by Maggie Nelson 
17. A book you expect to make you laugh – Best Foot Forward by Adam Hills 
33. A book connected (title, cover, content) to a word “born” in the same year as you (link– Trust Me, I’m a (Junior) Doctor by Max Pemberton
42. A book that takes place on, in, or underwater – To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo 
43. A book with a title that is a whole sentence – How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne (25/9/18)
47. A book where the main character (or author) is of a different ethnic origin, religion, or sexual identity than your own – A Life of Crime: The Memoirs of a High Court Judge by Harry Ognall (22.9.18)
50. A book with a warm atmosphere (centered on family, friendship, love or summer) – You Only Live Once by Jess Vallance 

See all the challenges I’ve ticked off here.

Extra Reads:

Claude at the CircusClaude in the CountryClaude in the SpotlightMiranda The Explorer (EARLY READER)

Currently reading:

The Pharmacist of Auschwitz: The Untold StoryThe Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man (The Hundred-Year-Old Man, #2)

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

Phuket, Thailand

We went to Thailand for our honeymoon. We went in August which is during their wet season; the temperature was still mid 30’s. We spent 3 days in Bangkok followed by days in Phuket. The two places were contrastingly different. As they were so different, I’m going to break the holiday up into two posts, this one is all about Phuket!


Phuket was a completely different atmosphere to Bangkok. It was calm and relaxing and completely wonderful. We stayed in Karon, on the west side of the island. It was a small place made up of mainly hotels, pubs, restaurants and stalls. It had a nice beach which was a bit rough to swim in but roughly 15-25 minute walk down the road was Kata beach which was a lot calmer.

James Bond Island Tour

We booked this through Two Sea Tour Company and I cannot recommend them enough. We left the harbour at 5:30am to miss all the traffic and the tour groups. There were only 8 people in our tour group so it was very inimate and two people are in a kayak at a time. We didn’t see anyone at our first two stops, and saw the hoard of people at them as we sailed past them on our way back. The first stop is Panak Island, where you canoe through the caves into the lagoons. They are so peaceful and beautiful, it is incredible scenery and wonderful to hear all the noises of the animals around you. It was definitely my favourite part of the day. Next is the beautiful Hong island where there are more beautiful caves and animals. The third stop is James Bond island famous for being a film location for The Man with the Golden Gun. We then ate an incredible, freshly made, 7 course thai meal as we sailed to a beach. The food included thai green curry, spicy fish and things wrapped in banana leaves. It was one of the best meals we ate our entire time out there! Whilst on the tour they took photos which were all made available to us for free, they would also purposely row us to a certain spot to take photos of us using our own cameras as well as theirs. On top of that, they gave us a tote bag and a really good waterproof bag for free! I could not recommend them enough!


Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

This was by far the best experience I had! Most of the elephants in the sanctuary are rescued, they are a strictly no riding sanctuary. We chose to do the whole day experience but the half day tour would have been enough. We arrive and fed the elephants bananas. Then we went on a trek with 3 of them (including the mum and the baby) through the jungle, this was a lot harder than I was expecting. We got them some banana leaves and we also found some jack fruit which we ate. We then had a bit of time on the beach. Some of the group went to cut down some bamboo for the elephants whilst I chose to return and feed the elephants again with the afternoon group. Then we gave the elephants a mud bath (although, I think it might be more apt to say the elephants gave US a mud bath) and then washed them off in the water. I had a grin of sheer joy on my face for most of the day. They took photos throughout the day which were made available for free on facebook. Again, I could not recommend this experience enough, it’s a definitely must! Book here.


Tour of the Island

We booked a half day tour through Tour East Thailand – this was OK. We went to Karon Viewpoint where you can see 3 beaches, Promthep cape, we visited Wat Chalong (this was the best bit), a cashew factory, drove through Patong and then finished in a Gem factory (which I really disliked). For me, the Gem factory really ruined the whole tour. Up until then we had a pleasant time, we saw parts of the island we wouldn’t have been able to get to by ourselves and the guide was well informed (if a bit racist). We were followed the entire way around the gem factory, with the person trying to get us to buy things that were way out of our price range and not letting us look at anything on our own.


Thai Massage

This was a must. How can you go to Thailand and not have a Thai massage? My Mr had never had a massage before so was relived to find out it was clothes on. They pull, put pressure on parts and twist your body into weird yoga-esk poses. It was wonderful

Dinosaur Mini Golf

This was really cool. It was, as it said, dinosaur themed mini golf. You had to jump over the river and go through a volcano, surrounded by trees and dinosaur replicas. It was a really fun hour or so. Next door was a restaurant attached and the waiters wore Flintstones-esk costumes and they had Fred and Wilma on the toilet doors!

Things we missed but sounded interesting:

  • Phi Phi Island tour – I would have loved to have gone but my Mr isn’t a confident swimmer so wouldn’t have enjoyed the diving elements and on the days we were there, the sea was too rough and lots of the tours were cancelled.
  • Snorkling
  • Big Buddha – We could see it from where we were staying but it was about a 2 hour walk and we weren’t up for that!


Have you been to Thailand?

What would you love to see/do?

See my other travels, including Paris, Iceland and Barcelonahere.

Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

As we find ourselves coming into autumn, with the rain hammering against my window, I find myself remembering why I started this post up. When I was in Uni, I found myself getting quite depressed. Actually, that’s wrong. It wasn’t quite depressed. I was depressed. I found a good way of helping myself get back into a positive frame of mind was to write down 3 good things that happened that day. Some days it was really easy and I would exceed that 3, other days I wrote down things like ‘I got dressed’ or ‘I left the house’. A few years on and I find myself not needing to do it every day but this weekly Sunday Smiles is a gentle reminder to myself to look for the positives in each day.

BuyLumie Bodyclock Starter 30 Wake Up to Daylight Light Online at johnlewis.comAdditionally, I find my Lumie Bodyclock light lamp very helpful this time of year. Instead of the alarm going off and waking up to a dark room, this lamp gradually lights up before the alarm goes off, meaning your boy wakes up gradually and to a light room. It’s helpful for people who suffer with SAD but also for those who find it hard getting up in the morning. 🙂

On to this week… It’s been an incredibly uneventful week with me not leaving work until at least 5 most day (considering I arrive at 7:20am, that is late). On the bright side, due to network changes, I can’t access the server at home meaning I can’t do any more work even if I wanted to. Silver linings.

There have been lots of birthdays meaning there’s been SO MUCH CAKE in the staff room. I’m super proud of myself for actually showing some self control and only having one piece all week! (Let’s just ignore the fact that I ate Nutella straight out of the jar today.) I was also really proud that I was able to do a move in yoga that I couldn’t do without use the wall to help me balance a few weeks ago! Hurrah! Baby steps.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and remember to look after yourselves ❤

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

It was my first full week back at school. I fell asleep before 9pm on Friday and slept for a solid 10 hours.

Image result for ain't no tired like first week of school tired

We’ve decided that it’s time to sort ourselves out. We’ve cut down on takeaways, joined up to the gym and are going out for walks on the days we don’t go to the gym. Last weekend we walked along the river to London and managed 8 miles. This weekend we went to Richmond park and walk around the perimeter. We did 11 miles in total! I’m so proud of us for smashing last weeks total! Plus it’s a person best on number of steps for the day (25,907 steps). My feet are less proud and are screaming out in protest. Hopefully next weekend we’ll get even further!

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.

This is Going to Hurt: Secrets of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay


This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor

Title: This is Going to Hurt: Secrets of a Junior Doctor
Author: Adam Kay
Series: N/A
Publication:  7th September 2017 by Picador
Genre: Non-fiction, medical, biography

Around the Year in 52 Books – A book about or inspired by real events

My Thoughts (2)


Welcome to the life of a junior doctor: 97-hour weeks, life and death decisions, a constant tsunami of bodily fluids, and the hospital parking meter earns more than you.

Scribbled in secret after endless days, sleepless nights and missed weekends, Adam Kay’s This is Going to Hurt provides a no-holds-barred account of his time on the NHS front line. Hilarious, horrifying and heartbreaking, this diary is everything you wanted to know – and more than a few things you didn’t – about life on and off the hospital ward.

My Thoughts

I was first introduced to this book when the author was in dictionary corner on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. He read snippets from his book and I couldn’t help but snort laugh. I had to buy it and definitely don’t regret doing so.

This book consists of extracts from a diary Adam Kay kept whist he was a Junior Doctor working for the NHS. The book is funny, heart warming, heartbreaking and, as he was an obs & gynae doctor, sometime disgusting.  It was eye opening to see just how many hours doctors are expected to do, on little sleep, food or toileting, to see the effect the job had on their families, their social lives and their mental health.

As it is a collection of diary entries, I will share my favourites.

“Three a.m. attendance at labour ward triage. Patient RO is twenty-five years old and thirty weeks into her first pregnancy. She complains of a large number of painless spots on her tongue. Diagnosis: taste buds.”

“I missed what the argument was about, but a woman storms out of gynae outpatients screaming at the clinic sister, ‘I pay your salary! I pay your salary!’ The sister yells back, ‘Can I have a raise then?'”

“‘In order to encourage use of public transport’ there is no staff car park at the hospital – an admirable sentiment that would land me with a two-hour-twenty-minute commute each way.”

“Prescribing a morning-after pill in A&E. The patient says, ‘I slept with three guys last night. Will one pill be enough?'”

“Sending a patient home from the day surgery unit following laparoscopic sterilization. I tell her she can have sex again as soon as she feels ready, but to use alternative contraception until her next period. I nod at her husband and say, ‘That means he has to wear a condom.’ I can’t quite work out why their faces are a picture of horror, melting like the Nazis at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. What have I said? It’s perfectly good advice, right? I look at them both again, and realize the man is actually her father.”

A book which will have you going through a roller coaster of emotions and leaving me with the feeling that maybe my work hours aren’t so bad as I thought. I already respected those who work in medicine but even more so after reading this.

My Thoughts (1)


Sunday Smiles

sunday smiles

My Sunday Smiles

Image result for there's no tired like first week of school

<– Literally me on Thursday night. The children were back to school on Wednesday and it’s been an interesting week. I’m in Year 3 so it’s a big jump up from infants for them, which I don’t think they were expecting. The lack of playtime in the afternoon definitely shocked them.

I bought a Triwizards Tournament cup as my reward for the table of the week. Their little faces when they saw how big it is was very sweet. Even more so when I turned on the blue light.

Image result for tim minchin backI LOVE seeing comedians, everyone needs a good laugh every now and again. I am thrilled that this week I managed to get tickets for Tim Minchin who has been on my list of comedians to see for years. I also went and treated myself to Hamilton tickets too!

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.