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?

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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)

2019

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?

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.

e-books:

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: 

Nothing…


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?

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:

e-books:

ARCS:

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.
  • WE’RE SEEING HAMILTON!!!!!
  • 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)

(Goodreads)

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)

4-stars

Final Quarter Quell 2018

Copy of Monthly Wrap Up.png

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 – Alwyn Hamilton
  • Age of Swords – Michael J Sullivan
  • The Best of Adam Sharp – Graeme Simsion
  • The Lying Game – 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 – The Smoke Thieves and A Thousand Perfect Notes.

  • 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
  • Empress of All Seasons – Emiko Jean
  • Wild Magic – Tamora Pierce

✓  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 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… Luckily, I haven’t read a huge amount of disappointing books this year.

THE NOMINEES ARE…

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…

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – 12 books

⭐⭐⭐⭐-  17 books

⭐⭐⭐ –  9 books

⭐⭐ – 5 books

⭐ –  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 – 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 – 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 – it 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

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!

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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?

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.

e-books:

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?