top ten tuesday

Reviewing My 2016 Resolutions (and NEW bookshelves!)

reading-and-blogging-resolutions

Even though I rarely check in on them to see how I’m getting on, for some reason I still feel it’s necessary every year to sit down and write some bookish and bloggish resolutions. Occasionally, I’ll even do a couple for “real life” as well. Visualise it, write it, achieve it, and all that jazz! Without further ado, let’s review last year’s resolutions to see how epically I managed to fail in 2016!

1. Actually Get Some Bloody Bookshelves!

THIS one, I have achieved!

harry-potter celebrate gif

We’re off to a good start. Finally, finally, I have beautiful bespoke bookcases to call my own.

new-bespoke-handmade-walnut-bookcases

These were designed by me, with a 3D visual of how they would look provided by my sister (to make sure I LOVED the design before I went ahead with buying the materials!), and they were handmade by my dad. A true family project! They’re walnut veneer, with solid walnut edging, and clear varnish finish. And I am IN LOVE with them. I’ll be doing a post all about them soon, with lots of pictures!

2. Revive Babes and Books!

This was a massive fail. I honestly can’t believe it’s been so long since we buddy-read a book! The group consists of me, Brandie @ Brandie is a Book Junkie and Stef @ Caught Read Handed. Check out previous Babes and Books reviews. What do you think girls, should we give this a go again in 2017?

Babes and Books Feature

3. Make Review Notes!

I did actually make some review notes in 2016, but definitely not enough! It SO helps to have notes when writing up reviews, especially if like me, you’re quite behind in getting the reviews posted for the books you’ve already read. I should really focus on this in 2017, it would make life much, much easier.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Favourite Books of 2016

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Favourite Books of 2016

I am STRUGGLING to believe another year has passed already since I last did a Favourite Books of the Year TTT. However, I can legit confirm that my Favourite Books of 2015 post was ON POINT, because looking back they have all stuck with me in massive ways. That’s great, I hear you say, but I’m ignoring the elephant in the room, right? Where have I been for the past month?! No excuses, life just got really busy in December and I was noticeably absent in the blogosphere. Fear not, fellow Book Geeks! I haven’t disappeared, I just decided to prolong my absence and take a break until the end of the year, and I intend to schedule a TON of posts to get 2017 off to a great start.

But for now, back to my favourite reads of 2016.

ttt-favourite-books-of-2016

1. The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman – This was a slow burner, that really took some time to get going, but once it did – I was hooked. I can’t wait for the next instalment to see where this story goes. Think Pride and Prejudice meets Shadowhunters! My Rating: 4/5*

2. Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight – I loved the writing style, plot, and the variety of formats used to tell this story (email, text, timeline hopping). Completely immersive and gripping, I finished it at 1AM on a work night! My Rating: 4/5*

3. The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh by Marina Fiorato – Possibly my absolute favourite book of the year. This was an INCREDIBLE read that I thoroughly enjoyed, and would happily reread many times over. Based on a true story, you won’t believe the strength, fortitude, and feisty-ness displayed in this novel. I loved it so much, I reached out to the author – check out my interview with Marina Fiorato. My Rating: 5/5*

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books I’ve Recently Added To My TBR

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Books I’ve Added To My (massive) TBR

I can’t remember what life was like before Book Blogging, when I bought books to read them right away, and when I only owned a handful of unread books. When I didn’t know about loads of the latest releases, and wasn’t getting tons of recommendations from awesome bookish people. Now that I am involved in this community, I’m consistently adding to my TBR pile. So here are 10 books I’ve recently added to my TBR, which sound pretty awesome.

top-ten-tuesday-new-tbr-2016-1

1. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: I feel like one of the only people left on the planet to have not read this. It’s often referred to as a brilliant dystopian and feminist text, which sounds right up my street. When I saw this gorgeous cover, I couldn’t say no.

2. Nina Is Not OK by Shappi Khorsandi: This is supposed to be a fantastic contemporary novel, and I’ve seen it around a lot in the community. I won a copy of this through Goodreads First Reads.

3. A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson: Now and again I love to sink my teeth into a great non-fiction book. I’ve started a few with high expectations over the past few months, and none of them have blown me away. I read a couple of pages of this in the bookshop and instantly fell in love with Bryson’s witty writing. Expecting great things from this.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Pre-Blogging Books I STILL Haven’t Read Yet

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Eight Books From Before Blogging That I STILL Haven’t Read Yet

If I were to tell a “normal” person that I have over 300 unread books, that I read an average of 60 books per year, that I started blogging over 2 years ago, and that there are some books I own from the pre-blogging days that I just haven’t quite gotten around to reading yet, they’d think I was insane. Luckily, I discovered the Book Blogging community. Behold, the top ten books I’ve been meaning to get to, since before I started blogging…

TTT Preblogging Books

1. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult, purchased in 2012.

I did that thing again. I watched the movie before I read the book. This really doesn’t happen that often, and it was before I was a big Picoult fan, but regardless it happened, I can’t take it back. Apparently, the book and movie versions are quite different though. The movie made me cry like crazy. (The song below is featured in the part where I was blubbling, though the video uses clips from The Notebook instead).

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Top Ten Tuesday – When Books Have Made Me Want To…

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do

As much as us Book Geeks read for escapism, there are times when we wish our favourite fictional tales would become our reality (though for some of these, the reality probably doesn’t live up to expectations – but isn’t that the great thing about reading? We can quasi-live different experiences from the comfort of our own sofas!).

1. Discover I have magical powers: It can’t just be me who thinks this, right? Any time I read a Fantasy novel with magic in it, I instantly want to have those powers! (I’m specifically thinking of Harry Potter with this one, but there are other books that have made me yearn for magical powers too). We all want a bit of abracadabra in our lives.

Matilda Flying Books Gif

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Top Ten Tuesday – Fave Reads With Less Than 2000 Goodreads Ratings

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Favourite Reads With Less Than 2000 Ratings On Goodreads (2016)

It’s been AGES since I’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday post, and I really miss them! I managed to do 51/52 in 2014, and now I hardly do them at all! I went and had a nosy at today’s topic, and it inspired me to get writing, so here are my Top Ten Fave Reads that have less than 2,000 ratings on Goodreads.

TTT Goodreads Low Ratings

1. The Double Life of Mistress Kit Kavanagh by Marina Fiorato. 

Published: Feb 2016 #Ratings: 96 Average Rating: 4.03 My Rating: 5/5

Where do I begin with this book?! I received a copy from the publisher, and it was absolutely amazing! I cannot praise this book enough. I haven’t even gotten around to doing a full review on it yet, but here’s a synopsis of my thoughts: historical, romance with a twist, based-on-true-story, kickass female, feminism, amazing!

Amazing Gif

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Top Ten Tuesday – BookTubers You Need To Be Following

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten BookTubers You Need To Be Following

Occasionally, there are rumours and whispers of competitiveness and “drama” between Book Blogs and BookTube, I’ve written about this before – about how we’re intrinsically different but not in competition with each other, and about how we should support each other more. Today’s TTT topic was the perfect opportunity to share my favourite BookTubers, I spend a ridiculous amount of time watching all of them 😀

Ariel Bissett

Passionate, charismatic and charming as hell.

Baz Pierce

Sass, sarcasm and shade.

Books and Quills

Publishing industry insights, diversity and experience.

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Top Ten Tuesday – Recent Best and Worst

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Seven Best and Worst Recent Reads

It has been a LONG time since I’ve done a TTT post, but I felt I actually wanted to talk about this week’s topic, so here I am joining in! For a while, I rarely read a book I didn’t enjoy, and I credit Book Blogging with this, as I was able to weed out the ones I knew weren’t for me. In 2016, I’ve been branching out of my comfort zone a little more, and sticking with some disappointing books to the bitter end, because I’ve wanted to write full reviews on them. This made it easier to put together the disappointing books, but I’ve had to go back to my reads towards the end of 2015 for the Best Reads. A lot of my reading lately has fallen in the 3* category, which means for the purposes of today’s post, they fit in neither the Best or Worst end of the spectrum. Yikes.

Recent Best Reads

1. November 9 by Colleen Hoover – Colleen always gets a mention with me somewhere. November 9 isn’t my favourite of CoHo’s books, but it was one I highly anticipated, and really enjoyed. It has everything a great romantic contemporary should – intrigue, swoons, romance, banter, and angst.

2. The Proposal by Tasmina Perry – A very random purchase for me, having never heard of the book or the author before, BUT I gave this one 5*. That’s huge. My 5* reads are as rare as unicorns. Dual historical/ contemporary timeline, romance, drama, betrayal and débutantes. Fab, fab, fab.

3. Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill – Insightful, gripping, and honest feminist fiction. While not “realistic” as set in a dystopian near-future, it is also creepily realistic in its portrayal of women and beauty standards, women and what society expects them to be, and how women relate to, and treat each other.

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