Books

February Wrap Up 2020

This is a little late and despite reading lot’s this month, I didn’t record what I read…(I’m really annoyed at myself) However, this post is just going to be the books I remember from the top of my head, so is not an accurate number. (Hopefully I can work out exactly when I have the time, so I can ensure I get my 100 books a year read!) Anyway, here’s my February reads:

-Dear Evan Hansen: This year I aimed to read more ‘popular’ books, and as I’ve seen this floating everywhere, I decided to pick it when I saw a copy at the library. I did enjoy this book as I love YA but there was just something cringey about it. I understand the content is supposed to be this way, I can’t quite pinpoint what I’m trying to say. I didn’t relate to any of the characters, and didn’t particularity enjoy the ending at all. 2.5/5

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins: In light of reading more popular books, I thought this was a good start. I’m a wimp, and stay away from thrillers. This wasn’t scary though! I wasn’t invested in the story, and it’s not because I didn’t relate to the characters in any way. I’m mostly dissapointed as I expected something more unique. 1.5/5

Miss Peregrine ‘A Map of Days’: I’m going to save my review for a full blog post once I’ve finished the series, sorry! (spoiler, I’m thoroughly enjoying!)

-Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan: I picked this book up at a second hand book store as I had a long journey ahead and was near the end of my current read. I found this in the YA section, but had never heard of it before. I really enjoyed the characteristics of the main character, younger than the usual teen but very intelligent and unique. The story was sad, but always had a distance that I can’t quite describe. It was an easy read, but very enjoyable. 4/5.

-We bough a zoo by Benjamin Mee: Again, I picked this up at the thrift store for like 20cent. I’ve heard of it before, so decided to give it a go. It was okay! I guess you’ll enjoy it more if this is your usual interest. I expected it to be more on the zoo, not the family/ finance behind it. But I suppose that is my error! I just found it boring, and was waiting for the story to pick up. If you want a light read, this is a choice! 2/5

-The boy who steals houses by C.G. Drews: I really liked the title, which made me pick this book up at the library. I enjoyed the two brothers, both very different. The main family house really brings warmth when reading. I liked the story line, until the end… It was a really good book still, especially if you love YA. 4/5

-Lord of the Flies: I can’t believe I’ve only just read this book, a true classic! The book started of slow, and didn’t seem to pick up speed until 3/5th’s in when it suddenly changed line. There was a few main characters, but none stood out to me, and I saw them as a collective of boys. I imagine it may seem a little gruesome if reading at a young age. I wasn’t expecting the abrupt ending, it felt like a short read. But one everyone should read! 3.5/5

Books

January Wrap Up 2020

I read 12 books in January, and have already started book 13 but don’t think I’ll be able to finish before the end of the day, so it’ll be in February’s wrap up! I am very happy with the amount I read this month, and if I have a low month hopefully this month will make up for it. I’m on target for 100 books a year! I read some great books this month, and can’t wait for next month! What was your favorite book of January?

  • To kill a mocking bird: I couldn’t believe I had never properly read this book, and I’m so glad I finally got around to it! I have a separate post on this, which I’ll link at the end! 4.5/5
  • Alice in wonderland: I absolutely love the movie, so decided to give the book a read,and I adored it! I truly felt I had fallen into a wonderland, ending up very confused but very fascinated and humored! I know it’s technically for children, but I still think it’s a great read for adults too! 4/5
  • Alice through the looking glass: I wasn’t aware that there was a 2nd story, so was even more intrigued to read this one. It had a little more structure than the first, but still ultimately mind boggling! I think I even prefer this one to the first! 4.5/5
  • Innocent by Cathy Glass: Cathy Glass will always be one of my favorite authors, I have read all 30 or so books she has! They are all very similar in structure, in that it is fiction with Cathy being a foster carer, and each book is about one of the children in her care. I enjoyed ‘Innocent’ as much as her other books. I would recommend only for adults, as well as the potential trigger warnings! 4/5
  • A good girls guide to murder: This is a YA book that I found in a thrift store for 30 cent and had no expectations going in, I’d never even heard of it! It was very much YA if that makes sense? but it was a good read, and i enjoyed the depth of characters! definitely recommend if you love YA and crime! 3.5/5
  • Danny the champion of the world by Roald Dahl: Roald Dahl will always have a special place in my heart as I grew up surrounding by his work! Somehow along the way I missed this one, and of course I had to read it! It was hilarious and warming just how all Roald Dahl’s work is! 5/5.
  • Finding Stevie by Cathy Glass: Another foster care book about a teenage boy called Stevie whom is struggling with his gender identity. This book bought up important topics, and would be great for the older generation of adults who don’t have as much knowledge. I’m use to reading about children, so found the adult perspective less … ( can’t think of the right word?) 2.5/5
  • The words that fly between us: I picked this up in the library when I had some time to spare in the library, I really liked the title. It was in the YA section, but felt targeted to a younger audience. I read it in one sitting, but didn’t stand out to me. 2/5.
  • We are all completely beside ourselves: I tried reading this book a few years ago but gave up after a few chapters, I had it on my shelf so decided to pick it up one last time. I finished it this time! It was intrigued by the content of the story and wanted to find out what happened but felt it slow and difficult to get hooked, this may be the writing style? I’m not sure? 3/5
  • When God was a rabbit: Again I found this at a thrift store for 30 cent and was intrigued by the title. This is my least favorite book of the year, it lacked a story line and was just a bit drab… Not many words on this, sorry! 1/5
  • Silent boy by Torey Hayden: This is an author who writes fiction of her stories as a special ed psychologist and I read every book. This teenage boy in the story has selective mutism, and the change the boy has incredible. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I was interested the whole way through out, and Torey makes me want to go into this field of work! 4.5/5
  • Lost child by Torey Hayden: Torey hasn’t released any books recently, and suddenly came out with a new one in 2019, as soon as I found out I ordered straight from prime. I was so excited to delve into the world of Torey again, and this book was no exception. I should put a huge TW on these books, as most have child sexual abuse in. 4/5

Books

My top books of the decade (2010-2020)

I decided to do this post, purely so I can look back in the future. I can’t remember exactly when I read these books, but they’ve definitely been in the past 10 years. This decade I read mostly YA books! This list isn’t in order, but are the most memorable books I’ve read in the decade.

  1. Flowers in the attic by Virginia Andrews. I read this at the start of the decade, but still remains my favorite book of all time. I’ve got a post dedicated to reviewing this so I’ll link that below if you want to read why I love it so much. The sequel is good, but definitely not in my top of the decade.
  2. Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger. I read this at the start of the decade too, and I was the perfect age to read this book. This book also remains in my top 10 reads of all time! I think my age played a huge role in that, as I related a lot. I want to reread it again soon to see how it differs at this age. This is a book everyone should read!
  3. It’s kind of a funny story by Ned Vizzini. This is a great book about mental illness, and is an easy read for those wanting an introduction to books about this genre. It’s an easy read made for teens but includes some important points on depression whilst still having humor. The movie is also great!
  4. All the little lights by Jamie Mcguire. I went into this book without any expectations but I came out adoring it. The characters had such unique aspects that I was addicted. I didn’t expect this book to make the top, but it definitely does!
  5. When elephants fly by Nancy Richardson. This made it into my top books of 2018 post. I felt so close to Swifty the elephant in this story, and still often think of her… I never thought I would be this connected to a fictional animal!
  6. The book theif by Markus Zusak. I think this book will forever remain in my top favourite. It’s so unique! Written by death? This is all I need to say… Go and read now if you haven’t!
  7. My heart and other black holes by Jasmine Warga. I read this book when I was really struggling with my mental health, and thus has stuck with me. It’s a YA book about suicide, and is a huge trigger if you’re struggling. Despite this, I didn’t predict the scenarios of the book, and read it in one sitting. I want to reread this whilst I’m well to see how it differs.
  8. Stolen by Lucy Christopher. I read this as a teen, and absolutely began my love for YA books. I’ve read this book so many times. I don’t relate to the characters, yet they are both unique in such different ways. It is a quick read, and is in my top YA picks.
  9. We were liars by E. Lockhart. I had to read this book twice as I was confused the first time. There is so much depth to this book. Another YA pick, which has won many awards, and I can understand why!
  10. The Harry Potter series. I dislike any type of fantasy, but at the end of 2019 I decided to try and see what all the hype is about… If you’ve read my posts, you’ll know how significant this is. I still need to publish my review on this… (too much pressure)
Books

My reading habit book tag/2020 edition

  • DO YOU HAVE A CERTAIN PLACE AT HOME FOR READING? My favorite place to read is in the bath… I can spend hours submerged in a steamy bubble bath with a good book!
  • BOOKMARK OR A RANDOM PIECE OF PAPER? I like to have a bookmark, I have a couple of special ones which I love to use, but I often forget them if I start a new book if I’m out. My current book is has a candy wrapper as a bookmark…
  • CAN YOU STOP READING ANYTIME YOU WANT OR DO YOU HAVE TO STOP AT A CERTAIN PAGE, CHAPTER, PART ETC..? I HAVE to finish at the end of a page, even if it is mid sentence, is that odd?? I feel too much pressure if I have to finish at chapters.
  • DO YOU EAT OR DRINK WHILE READING? I love to snack… Therefore I grab my favorite bowl and fill it with little nibbly snacks that can be eaten without paying attention whilst I read. (Does that make sense?). I also love a hot mug of freshly brewed coffee!
  • CAN YOU READ WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC/WATCHING TV? I can, but prefer not to! Unpopular opinion, but I’m not much of a music listener…
  • ONE BOOK AT A TIME, OR SEVERAL AT ONCE? Definitely just one book at a time, I like to get to know each character well for a couple days! The only time I read multiple is if it’s a coffee table or self help book.
  • READING AT HOME OR EVERYWHERE? Everywhere!! No matter where I am heading, I’ll always bring a book to read. I read on public transport often.
  • READING OUT LOUD OR SILENTLY IN YOUR HEAD? Silently (or not silent for my mind…) in my head. I love reading out loud, but don’t think anyone would appreciate that!
  • DO YOU READ AHEAD OR SKIP PAGES? Reading ahead is not something you’ll ever see me do!
  • BREAKING THE SPINE OR KEEPING IT NEW? Breaking the spine! I love a pre used book more than a new one…
  • DO YOU WRITE IN BOOKS? Nooooope!
  • When do you find yourself reading? Morning, afternoon, evening, whenever you get the chance or all the time? ALL THE TIME
  •  What do you do first – Read or Watch? Always have to read the book before the movie, although it’s rare the books I read actually have adaptions.
  • What form do you prefer? Audiobook, E-book or physical book? Without a doubt physical book! Although I use my kindle too.
  • Do you have a unique habit when you read? Not that I can think of…
  • Do book series have to match? I don’t mind! I don’t actually own a single set of series…
Books

To Kill a Mockingbird: Micro-review

This is my first review of the decade/ new year, and what a great one to start with. This year I aim to read more classic fiction, all those books everyone should read in their life time. I decided to start with To Kill a Mockingbird and what a great introduction was this.

Firstly, my favorite genre for the past few years has been YA, and this book surprisingly gave me this vibe. I’m not sure why, but I expected this book to be slow. I was wrong, I flew through this book, and finished it within 24 hours of starting. (Writing this on January 4th and I’ve already finished 3 books thus far). I think ‘Coming of age fiction’ is going to be my new YA.

I’m going to try and make this spoiler free… The characters were all unique, the infamous Atticus Finch, a distant man and quiet father yet you still feel great emotion pouring from him was a strong basis to this book. The siblings Scout and Jem. These two were definitely my favorite characters, both very different yet I can’t pick one. Boo Radley displayed a great mystery to his character, and one that I’m sure will fascinate the audience. Despite often forgetting about him during parts of the story. I was very intrigued by his character. I was also fond of Calpurnia.

This book involved heavy topics, including racism, domestic violence/rape, death ect, yet due to the story being written by Scout, the youngest of the siblings, it had a great aspect of innocence to it. I can see why many middle schools choose this for English class, and wonder what I would have thought if I read this as a teen. The story flowed well, language was beautiful yet not difficult and made me not want to put it down.

The story line kept me intrigued, I fell in love with the characters, I can understand why Harper Lee will forever be seen as a great author. I have no faults on this novel, and give it 5/5. To Kill a Mocking Bird is a book everyone should read and can’t believe I didn’t pick this up sooner. I have ‘Go Set a Watchmen’ by Harper Lee, but am not going to read it straight away. Everyone had to wait 45 years after To Kill and Mockingbird… I definitely won’t leave it that long to pick up the next one, maybe a few months. Have you read both?

Books

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck; Book micro review

I recently decided to delve into the world of classic fiction. All the books I feel everyone should read in their life time. I can’t believe I had never read Of mice and men. Especially as lot’s of people seem to be introduced to it when in highschool.

Firstly, it is a very short read. Easily read in one sitting, although I read it over two days. It wasn’t a difficult read, but still displayed beautiful language.

I only seemed to connect to the two main characters, Lennie and and George. None of the other characters seemed to stay in my mind. There is only one female character in this book, who I don’t think was named. George and Lennie are friends in the era of the great depression, both of whom are migrant ranch workers. Lennie displays some type of mental disability, and George has always looked out for him. You can clearly see the protectiveness George has over Lennie, and the commitment that they share.

I’ll try to avoid spoilers. The ending of the book really took me by surprise. To summarise in one word; EMOTIONAL.

I can’t believe this is the first time I’ve read Of mice and men. I feel it’s a book all ages could read, pre teen aswell as adults. It’s a short and emotional read, a classic that everyone needs to read at least once. A solid 4.5/5 from me!

Books

TEN SHORT STORIES by Roald Dahl; Book review

I’m writing this review on a train journey,instantly after finishing the stories, of which I flew through. Roald Dahl is my favourite childrens authtor, and upon finding out he also wrote adult books, I was very excited to delve into them.

I have read very few short stories, so went into this book open minded. Some of the stories were 10 pages long,others only 3. I enjoyed how you could read an entire story in just a few minutes. The aspect I enjoyed most about these short stories in the particular were the endings, often witty and clever. Stories you want to share with others mid conversation.

There is an underlying darkness to ending of each story, which really adds another element, and often takes you by surprise. My favorite of the stories was ‘Parson’s pleasure’. The stories are too short to give you any details without spoilers..

Roald Dahl is an author I adore, and this collection of stories just emphasizes that. I love the language used, the attention to detail , the way the stories unfold. I was hesitate to read some of his books not targeted for children and I didn’t want my opinion tarnished. (not that it could) This book bought me so much joy.

I definitely recommend this book to all ages and genre lovers. I found this book for 30 cent in thrift store! I adore my copy, a vintage style and the pages are tinted with age. Oh so beautiful! If you have read my post on my book minimalism, you will understand how significent it is for me to keep this book on my shelf.

Definitely a 10/10 read!