to-read

December: Bedside books

What books do I have on my bedside table this month? I’m setting myself the challenge this month of reading all of the books I’ve bought over the last month or two but haven’t read yet. There aren’t too many so it shouldn’t be that difficult (fingers crossed!).

I don’t have anything remotely christmassy on my to-read list! I’ve seen lots of Christmas-themed romances floating about, but to be honest I’m always put off by the covers. I know, I know, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but they just don’t appeal. Even though I love cute and fluffy romances!

Does anyone have some good recommendations for Christmas-themed books if I get a little bit of time?

I also have to read 16 (!!) books before the end of the year if I want to hit my Goodreads target. That doesn’t seem like it will happen, but I think I will probably end up reading a few more than the ones below – this is just a rough outline of what I have left to read. I want to get as close as possible to my goal!

So, here’s my to-read pile for December:

The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1)

I’ve read this before and am currently in the middle of my re-read for it and really enjoying it! I think it’s technically classed as dystopian, but I think of it as a dystopian-fantasy mix. Set in a future where England is a republic ruled by Scion, Paige is a clairvoyant. Clairvoyants all have special abilities that involve interacting with the aether, and this is outlawed under Scion law; anyone found breaking the law will be sentenced to death. When Paige is captured, she assumes she is headed for the tower, but she is actually taken to the destroyed (or so she thought) city of Oxford, where she finds out there’s more to fear than just Scion.

The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

I don’t think I’ve read the second book before (I read the first book ages ago; I’ve definitely not read the third), and as I’m enjoying book 1 so much, I’m looking forward to moving on to this one.

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon

The Song Rising (The Bone Season, #3)

This is the last book currently out – the fourth is due to be released in Jan, and I’ve got an ARC to review, which is why I’m re-reading them all now. I’m not sure yet whether I will read all three of these back to back or whether I will alternate them with a different book in between. I think we’ll see how much I’m enjoying them and whether I need a break!

The Magpie Society by Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch

The Magpie Society: One for Sorrow

There’s something about the idea of a murder mystery set at a strange school that really appeals to me, y’know?

This book has two points of view: Ivy (straight A-student, the school is like home to her) and Audrey (who is new to the school and becomes Ivy’s new roommate). I believe they don’t get along in the beginning, but when news of a murder rocks the school, they end up investigating it together. Each author wrote one viewpoint each, so I’m quite interested to see how that reads.

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove, #1)

I’ve seen this book absolutely everywhere and just feel like I must read it! Set in a world where witches are hunted, we follow Lou, a witch, and Reid, a witch hunter, who – you’ve guessed it! – fall in love. I love a good enemies to lover story.

Sisters by Daisy Johnson

Sisters

This is the story about twins, whose mother moves them across the country as she thinks they all need a fresh start. However, the house has a ‘troubled life of it’s own’ and soon the sisters find themselves drifting apart, their relationship changing. I’m very excited for this one!

So that’s it! What’s on your December tbr? And have you read any of these books – what did you think?

wrap up

November wrap-up

This is the end of my first full month blogging, so this is my first ever end-of-month wrap-up! I think I’ll probably play around with the formatting and what I include in these as I go, but here’s my first one.

How has November been for you? It’s absolutely flown by for me, but I’m ok with that as it’s been lockdown here, it’s now almost December (and I really need all the Christmas decorations to life my mood) and it’s almost, almost the end of this hellish year. I know 2021 isn’t going to be a magical salve to fix the world’s problems, but at least it feels like we’re moving on a bit.  

I’ve read more books in November than I have in ages – mostly because of book blogging, I think. So that’s one very good thing that has come from starting this blog already!

Ok, so let’s get into my November wrap-up – and remember to tell me in the comments how yours went!

Books I’ve finished this month:

Books I’ve finished this month (the rest were e-books!)

So that’s 8 books, which is really good going for me! I still have a couple of reviews to write up to end the month.

Audiobooks I’ve finished this month:

  • Dear Joan and Jericha: Why he turns away by Julia Davis and Vicki Pepperdine – this is a book based on a podcast that I really enjoy (Dear Joan and Jericha). I decided to listen to it as an audiobook because I think their delivery is the best bit of the podcast – and I probably wouldn’t have got round to actually reading it. I’d probably give it 3 stars. I recommend to fans of the podcast, but would definitely suggest you try that out first before thinking about the (audio)book – it’s a very specific type of humour, I think!

Books I’ve started (but not finished):

Books I’ve bought this month:

I thought this would be a good way to keep track of my book spending – as it’s risen exponentially since I started blogging – and keep one eye on my growing tbr pile! I don’t necessarily have to have read all the books I’ve bought in the month I’ve got them, but I would like to finish them within two months I think.

  • Sisters by Daisy Johnson
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
  • The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
  • The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon
  • The Magpie Society by Zoe Sugg & Amy McCulloch

Post round-up

I’m not too happy with my output towards the end of this month – it’s been a bit irregular and I’ve still got some reviews outstanding. So that’s something I definitely want to work on in December and the new year.

Personal round-up

I thought this might be a nice little section for you to get to know me more! So here’s a little round-up of what’s been going on in my life:

  • We decorated the flat for Christmas this week. We drank some mulled wine, put up the decorations and then watched a Christmas film on Netflix (The Princess Switch, not sure I would recommend but will probably watch the sequel!)
My festive living room!
  • I moved into this flat with my boyfriend in August, and since then we’ve been slowly decorating it – we bought lots of the essentials when we moved in, of course, but left the optional/more expensive things. I’ve just bought some really pretty prints from Etsy for the wall – I’m very excited for these to arrive this week…
  • … if they ever do! That brings me on to the last thing, which is that five (5) parcels we’ve been expecting over the last two weeks have gone missing in the post!! One of those was someone resending one of the things that got lost (to no avail!). I know Royal Mail is slow because lockdown/Black Friday/Christmas shopping converging, but this is a bit ridiculous. Especially as I’ve been trying to buy from small businesses (like those Etsy prints!) and it’s much worse for them having to resend things than, say, if an Amazon order went missing.

Anyway, that was a bit of a random monthly recap for my personal life but, to be very honest, it’s not like there’s much going on right now, considering I’ve barely left my home in November and have only seen one person the entire month.   

How has your November been? How much have you read? Let me know below or feel free to leave your November wrap-up in the comments so I can visit your blog and give it some love ❤️

For more of my reviews, connect with me on Goodreads.

For more pictures of pretty books, follow me on Instagram.

You can support independent bookshops this Christmas and shop for any of the books I’ve talked about this month at Bookshop.org (affiliate link).

book review

Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I loved this book so much! I’d heard it recommended on the High Low (a podcast with Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes) and then had seen nothing but good reviews online, so I was actually a bit worried I’d hyped it up too much in my mind before I started to read. But, luckily, it was even better than I thought it would be.

This novel is set in the 1950s and follows Jean, a writer at a local newspaper. When a woman writes into the paper saying she thinks she had a virgin birth, Jean is the one who gets the story – and so meets with Gretchen and starts researching her background in order to approve or disapprove the claim. However, Jean starts to get more and more entangled into Gretchen’s life, making friends with her and getting close to her family. This relationship gets complicated when Jean starts to develop feelings for Gretchen’s husband. The more Jean unearths about Gretchen’s background, the further away the truth seems to get.

The characters in this novel are incredibly life-like and the period setting is immaculate; I felt immersed in Jean’s world. I didn’t always like Jean, but I empathised with her and understood her. This novel deals with multiple themes, the chief of which being loneliness, duty and love. Jean is almost forty and lives with her mother, who is a difficult and dependent woman. They have their routine and her mother hates it to be changed. Jean is chafing against the routine and monotony, bored and despondent about her life, and the interesting case both gives her something unusual for her to focus on. The way she is drawn to Gretchen and Howard is party because of her like for each of them, but also because they offer a life so completely different to hers: a loving marriage, a beautiful child. However, as they say, the grass isn’t always greener.

Chambers’ writing is seamless; it’s charming, wry and full of humour. I felt completely absorbed in the novel and the time period, and I felt so charmed by it. It was a real joy to read. She makes writing seem easy – it’s not obviously, in-your-face complicated prose and winding sentences – but that ease and deftness is always a mark of true talent. The mystery of the immaculate conception was well-written; I was kept guessing and enjoyed reading Jean explore the different avenues, while also getting swept away and putting it to one side because of the other things happening in her life.

The one thing I didn’t enjoy about the novel was the very, very end and that’s because it felt shoehorned in. If you read the author’s note, this event is something that inspires the author to write the whole novel, but to me it didn’t feel like that was the case when reading. It felt more like she’d written the whole book and couldn’t decide how to end it. This is a personal opinion and might be because I’m a true hopeless romantic at heart and wanted everything to end happily!

Small Pleasures is both heart-warming and heart-breaking, full of both wit and sadness. I adored it and it’s definitely in the top 5 novels I’ve read this year – full rankings yet to be determined!

For more of my reviews, connect with me on Goodreads.

For more pictures of pretty books, follow me on Instagram.

If you’re interested in buying this book, you can do so and support independent bookshops at Bookshop.org (affiliate link).

book review

Review: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires follows Patricia, a housewife in southern America in the 90s. She joins a local book club with other women, and they use the book club as a chance to discuss life’s ups-and-downs as well as the books. Until a new, suspicious neighbour moves to town and they learn that local children are going missing… This book deals with a lot of themes, including misogyny, racism, domestic abuse and sexual assault, all wrapped up under the guise of a light-hearted vampire novel – and the author has varying success in making these themes fit the novel.

This review has taken a lot of consideration, as I wasn’t 100% sure what I thought of the book as I finished it. Now, having thought about it for a while I will say that I think this novel is less than the sum of its parts. What I mean by that is I enjoyed the novel as I was reading it, I liked the characters, I liked the theme of the novel, but once I’d finished and stepped back I was left with a feeling of ‘is that it?’ And it’s taken me a while to figure out why that is.

To begin with, I think the novel is too long. There’s not actually much that happens over the course of the novel, and more than that, it takes a really long time for the characters to twig that there’s anything wrong at all. Despite the fact that one of the characters is clearly attacked by a vampire in the first couple of chapters, and the fact that one of their neighbours is allergic to light and has to be invited into a house, no one even says the word vampire for at least 200 pages!

And though I liked Patricia and the rest of the female characters, and I was pleased to see female friendships at the forefront of the novel, I did think they were a bit flat overall – a bit over-the-top and stereotypical/cliched (i.e. one character is a feminist so anytime she talks it’s to bash men, which I think it meant in good humour but is ok the first time but after that becomes a bit reductive). None of them felt fully-rounded. The men were also the same: all of the husbands became reduced to one homogenous group, so I couldn’t keep any of their names straight or knew much about them at all, really.

However, I will say that the author did an amazing job of depicting the labour that comes with being a housewife. He’s clearly a person that has a lot of respect for women who are housewives, and the amount of work/stress it entails. Through Patricia, the main character, he managed to depict all of the stressors and labour women have to deal with day-to-day, and the way this can take a toll on a person. The way Patricia was treated, especially by her husband, really made me feel for her, and it felt incredibly realistic. She was dismissed, belittled, patronised and gaslit – and though not pleasant to read, it felt realistic, and I was glad the novel showed Patricia and her friends fighting back against this and gaining the courage of their convictions.

As a trigger warning, this book also contains sexual assault. This is where I think the novel went a bit too far, as the sexual assault is used (in my opinion, anyway) as a plot point – which I’m tired of seeing in novels. It’s just used to motivate the characters and push the story along, and is fairly quickly forgotten about after that.

I also think this book tried to introduce a conversation about race – the local children that go missing are all Black, and the police don’t pay attention to the concerns of the parents. But, the problem is that in a book that overall, to me, didn’t feel well-rounded, this felt quite reductive, too. Something as big and realistic and important as crime against Black people being ignored by the white police force feels really at adds with the content of this novel. Again, I think it came from a good place (I know nothing about this author, so am assuming that) but I feel like it was ill-judged. To me, you need much more time and space and gravitas to discuss something so terrible (and again, so likely to happen in real life) – it shouldn’t be the throw-away plot point for the book. And as the white characters ultimately come in to ‘save the day’ and help out the lone Black character in the novel, it felt very white-saviour to me. However, I am of course open to hear other people’s opinions on this, and maybe others liked the fact that it was tackling this sort of subject?

There’s some good writing in this book – when it gets to some of the more horror-focused scenes, Hendrix does a good job of creating vivid and sometimes sickening images (think rats, insects, weird gross things coming out of mouths). I personally enjoy horror books, so would’ve liked more horror scenes, and more tension throughout the novel, but I think it was too weighed down by the other things the author had to say to really bring that to the forefront.

I enjoyed the experience of reading this novel, but I don’t think I’d ever re-read it. There are parts that I really enjoyed and parts that made me mad/uncomfortable – and I think that’s why this has been such a difficult review to write, because it’s a struggle to align those two halves of the book!

For more of my reviews, connect with me on Goodreads.

For more pictures of pretty books, follow me on Instagram.

book meme

WWW Wednesday | 18 Nov 2020

Hi everyone! I’m participating in WWW Wednesday again today, which was originally hosted at Daily Rhythm and has been revived by Taking on a World of Words.

The three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

Blood And Ash Series (2 book series) Kindle Edition

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout. This is a re-read – I actually only read it back in June for the first time! – but I wanted to refresh myself before reading A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, which is the final book on my tbr for November! As I’m ahead of the game, I thought I could definitely squeeze in From Blood and Ash, and still have time to maybe add another book in before the end of the month. Yay!

It’s really nice to be back in one of JLA’s worlds. I used to read her all of the time but FB&A was the first of hers I’d picked up in a while – and she just writes with such warmth and humour that her books feel cosy to me. She’s definitely the sort of author I’d read when I was feeling down, as her books are just such good escapism.

What did you recently finish reading?

Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers, which is definitely vying for top spot on my list of favourite books I’ve read this year! I’ll write a full review soon, but to summarise: I adored this novel. Jean is a journalist for a local newspaper in the 1950s, and is as surprised as anyone when someone writes to their paper to say that she thinks she had a virgin birth. Jean sets out to research the story and prove (or disprove) the claim, and as she does she becomes more and more involved in the life and family of this woman. Chambers has such a wry style of writing, infusing warmth and wit into every chapter. By the end of the book, I was fully invested in the characters, who were all well-written and vivid. It’s a heart-breaking and heart-warming story in equal measure. I definitely recommend you read it!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Sisters: the exhilarating new novel from the Booker prize shortlisted  author of Everything Under: Amazon.co.uk: Johnson, Daisy: 9781787331624:  Books

When I’ve finished FB&A, I’ll move straight onto KOFAF I think. Once I’ve finished that, I think I’ll pivot back to more literary fiction and pick up Sisters by Daisy Johnson, which I’m really looking forward to! It’s a gothic thriller about twins and their mother who move to a new house to forget their past. Once they get there, they realise that the house has a ‘troubled past of it’s own’ and the relationship between the twins starts to change. I enjoyed Everything Under by Daisy Johnson and have been wanting to read this since I first read the blurb, so I’m very excited to pick it up.

That’s it for me this week! Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? If you’ve taken part in this tag, let me know below so I can check your posts out too!

book review

Review: The Haunting of Brynn Wilder by Wendy Webb

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Published: November 2020

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

After a devastating loss, Brynn Wilder escapes to Wharton, a tourist town on Lake Superior, to reset. Checking into a quaint boardinghouse for the summer, she hopes to put her life into perspective. In her fellow lodgers, she finds a friendly company of strangers: the frail Alice, cared for by a married couple with a heartbreaking story of their own; LuAnn, the eccentric and lovable owner of the inn; and Dominic, an unsettlingly handsome man inked from head to toe in mesmerizing tattoos. But in this inviting refuge, where a century of souls has passed, a mystery begins to swirl. Alice knows things about Brynn, about all of them, that she shouldn’t. Bad dreams and night whispers lure Brynn to a shuttered room at the end of the hall, a room still heavy with a recent death. And now she’s become irresistibly drawn to Dominic—even in the shadow of rumors that wherever he goes, suspicious death follows.

Blurb, NetGalley

I’m not going to lie – I found this book very difficult to finish. I considered putting it down multiple times but didn’t – partly because I’d got it through NetGalley and wanted to give it a fair shot and partly because I’m terrible at letting go of books and hate not knowing how things end!

I wonder if I misunderstood what type of book this was going to be? But it was filled under mysteries and thrillers on NetGalley and so I presumed it was going to focus primarily on the mystery mentioned in the blurb and be quite a ghostly read. There are ghosts in the novel but only a few and it was very tame. But at it’s heart this book is a romance novel with a minor supernatural element. But the problem was that neither of the main characters were strong or interesting enough to sustain a romance plot.

Brynn, the protagonist is fine but boring – she is nice and kind and everyone likes her and she has the typical main character trait of having had everything that could possibly go wrong with a person have happened to her in the last year. She just had no personality! For example, Brynn arrives in town in order to escape from her life, and within days she is having creepy dreams and seeing things she thinks might be ghosts. She talks to some of the other residents and they are like ‘of course you are seeing ghosts, they are real’ and she just accepts that and it’s not a plot point in the novel at all?

Dominic, the love interest, is equally as bland and nice – apart from the fact he’s supposed to be a bit of a ‘bad boy’ but this never goes anywhere.

And this is the crux of why I didn’t enjoy this book: nothing goes anywhere. Nothing actually really happens. I was reading, trying to work out what the book was heading towards and then I got to the end and found out the answer was: nothing. The bits of the novel that are thought were the main parts of the plot end up being loose ends and any questions asked are never answered. I was reading this on an e-reader, so without a physical indication of how far through the book I was, and I was actually surprised when it ended as I didn’t think it possibly could without answering anything.

This book ended up being a cheesy insta-love story filled with lots of creepily nice people, with no plot or point. I think what is worst is that I like and read romance novels, but even that part of the book fell flat and lacked chemistry. My rating is 1.5 stars as I would not recommend this book to others, but do think that there is possibly someone out there that would enjoy it!

For more of my reviews, connect with me on Goodreads.

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book meme

WWW Wednesday | 11 Nov 2020

Hi everyone! Today I thought I’d participate in WWW Wednesday, which was originally hosted at Daily Rhythm and has been revived by Taking on a World of Words.

IMG_1384-0

The three Ws to be answered are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

The Haunting of Brynn Wilder by Wendy Webb

I’m currently reading The Haunting of Brynn Wilder (thanks to NetGalley & the publishers for sending me a copy in return for an honest review). This novel follows Brynn Wildre, who is spending her summer in Wharton (a tourist town on Lake Superior), in order to rest after a difficult year. I’ve only just started it so I don’t know exactly where it goes from here, but judging by the title and the blurb, I would assume some spooky things start to happen at the old inn she is staying at for the summer! There’s also definitely a romance brewing with the other guy who is staying there for the summer.

So far I’m enjoying this novel, though I’m probably about 80 pages in and not too much has happened yet – it’s still setting everything up. It will be interesting to see how (if) it picks up and what ghostly things are going to happen!

What did you recently finish reading?

50892433. sy475

I just finished reading One by One by Ruth Ware (courtesy of NetGalley & the publishers), which I absolutely flew through! I have a real up-and-down relationship with thrillers as I love the idea of them but often find them disappointing – but I actually really enjoyed this one. It was fast-paced and kept me guessing a fair amount of the way through. I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a thriller to read!

Just before that I finished The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. I haven’t posted a review on this one yet as I still feel like I’m formulating my thoughts. I did enjoy reading it but when I finished I was left with a bit of a ‘is this it?’ feeling. I think maybe the parts were better than the whole, but still a solid three star read at least.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Hhmm, this one is difficult! I never know exactly until I pick it up, as I’m such a mood reader, but I think it will probably either be A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout (book 2 in the From Blood and Ash series) or Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers. Both very different types of books – it just depends what I feel like!

It’s just those two and then Pandora Sykes’ essay collection left on my tbr – so it looks like I’ll actually be way ahead for November, as I’ve also read two other books not originally on my tbr!

Have you read either AKOFAF or Small Pleasures? Which do you think I should read next? And what are you currently reading?

For more of my reviews, connect with me on Goodreads.

For more pictures of pretty books, follow me on Instagram.

book review

Review: One by One by Ruth Ware

One by One by Ruth Ware

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Publisher: Harvill Secker

Publication date: 12 November 2020

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Snow is falling in the exclusive alpine ski resort of Saint Antoine, as the shareholders and directors of Snoop, the hottest new music app, gather for a make or break corporate retreat to decide the future of the company. At stake is a billion-dollar dot com buyout that could make them all millionaires, or leave some of them out in the cold.

The clock is ticking on the offer, and with the group irrevocably split, tensions are running high. When an avalanche cuts the chalet off from help, and one board member goes missing in the snow, the group is forced to ask – would someone resort to murder, to get what they want?

Summary from NetGalley

One by One follows a group of employees on a corporate retreat in a ski report. They become stranded there after an avalanche, where one of the members of the group goes missing. After things start to emerge which makes the person’s disappearance suspicious, the group have to start questioning whether one of their own is a murderer.

Thrillers are such a hit-and-miss read for me, usually. I love the idea of them and I get excited about the blurb but oftentimes they are a let-down: I find that they can be badly written, poorly paced and easy to work out. However, I can confirm that none of these things were true for One by One, which is my favourite thriller I’ve read this year.

The first thing I will say about the novel is it has an almost relentless pace, jumping straight into the main plot and action. It didn’t take too long to get started, and once it did, I was hooked – I devoured this book in a day, which isn’t something I do all too often anymore.

The set-up of the novel is ideal for a thriller – they’re cut off in the middle of nowhere, so there’s a closed pool of people that could be the murderer. The novel does a good job of throwing your suspicions on to one person and then another, never letting you stick on one person for very long. I did start to suspect who the murderer was, but I thought it was handled well enough (and gave you enough doubt) that I wasn’t absolutely sure and couldn’t work out how.

The book is split into two points of view – Erin, one of the hosts at the ski chalet they are staying in – and Liz, an ex-employee of Snoop. I liked this as it gave you a chance to see multiple perspectives of the group and how they acted. Both narrative voices were distinctive, and Ruth Ware did a good job of making Liz feel rather cold and distant at times, like her characterisation in general.

I would definitely recommend this to thriller fans! The pacing is excellent, the writing is really good and the characterisations are done well. It also didn’t feel like something too outside the realm of possibility – sometimes these sorts of novels push that a bit – and I was tense enough to want to know what was happening, devouring the novel until I got the answers.

For more of my reviews, connect with me on Goodreads.

For more pictures of pretty books, follow me on Instagram.

book meme

End of the year book tag | 2020

Hey everyone! I’ve seen a lot of bloggers I follow do this tag and I thought it would a fun thing for me to do too – especially as I’m still relatively new to blogging, I thought it could be a nice way to get to know me a bit more.

1. Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

How Do We Know We're Doing It Right?: The Sunday Times bestselling essay  collection: Amazon.co.uk: Sykes, Pandora: 9781786332073: Books

I started reading How Do We Know We’re Doing It Right by Pandora Sykes a couple of months ago and need to finish that. It’s an essay collection, so easy to dip in and out of, which is probably why I haven’t picked it up in a while.

I also really liked the first couple of essays that I read, and then was less keen on the most recent one or two, which also explains why I haven’t been rushing back to it! I was aiming to finish it this November (or at least make progress), but my tbr has gone a bit off-piste so I’m not sure I’ll get to it. Hopefully by the end of the year though!

2. Do you have an autumnal book to transition to the end of the year?

I read quite a few autumnal books in October – I read The Haunting of Hill House (5 stars, would recommend) and I’ve just finished The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. Anything supernatural or gothic feels very autumnal to me!

3. Is there a new release you’re waiting for?

I just read an ARC of One by One by Ruth Ware (thanks to NetGalley), which comes out 12 November – it was very good and I would definitely recommend it to fans of thrillers. I don’t actually have too many anticipated books for the end of the year – I think as I’ve been quite behind in reading this year (the pandemic really threw me off!!), I’ve been trying to catch up rather than look ahead.

4. What are the books you want to read before the end of the year?

Oh, so many!

There are a couple of books I bought recently that I need to get round to:

  • Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers
  • Sisters by Daisy Johnson
  • Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Then there’s loads I haven’t bought but have my eye on, but I probably shouldn’t list them all out!

5. Is there a book that you think could still shock you and become your favourite?

I’ve heard mixed things about Addie LaRue, but when people like it they seem to absolutely adore it, so we’ll see whether I feel the same way! I’ve also heard some really good things about Small Pleasures.

However, Maggie O’Farrell’s Hamnet is probably the book of the year for me so far and it would take a lot to replace that at the top stop!

6. Have you already made reading plans for 2021?

Not really! I want to read more consistently than this year (I didn’t read anything for about 2 months earlier this year due to… well, life) and I would like to keep up blogging and my Instagram. I set a reading challenge on goodreads every year, but that’s as much of a plan as I’ve got…

What about you? Are there any books that you’re still aiming to read by the end of the year? I’d also love to know what your favourite book has been so far this year!

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