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

Out of my comfort zone ~book tag

  • A book that is an exception when it comes to genres or elements you don’t typically like

Miss Peregrines home for peculiar childen (and subsequent novels). I have no idea how I first picked up this book, but I’m so glad I did. I’m now on book 4. The movies is also great! (Although I’m a wimp as I find it a little spooky haha)

  • A book you enjoyed from a genre you previously held some stigma against

You’ll be surprised but Harry Potter… I refused to read any fantasy as I assumed I disliked liked all fantasy, oh was I wrong!

  • A book you didn’t know was out of your comfort zone until you started reading it

A monster calls by Patrick ness. It’s not that it was ‘scary’ but it was definitely a shock to the system in comparison to my usual reads. I really enjoyed it.

  • Pick a friend who motivates you to pick up books you might not normally be interested in—is there a book they convinced you to give a try?

As my blog is anonymous I can’t name names, but a book someone lent me was ‘The Kite Runner’ it’s a book I’ve heard about, but didn’t give it a second glance. I’m so glad I was told to read this!

  • A book that is out of your comfort zone, but you would like to read

This previously would have been Harry Potter (if you’ve read my other posts, you’ll know) but I know I think it would have to be the ‘Red Queen’ series. I’m still not the biggest fantasy fan, but it gets sooo much love in the book community!

  • A book or genre so outside of your comfort zone that you’ll probably never give it a chance-

I know it’ll sound harsh to some , but Manga is genre that I doubt I’ll start getting into.

This was a really fun tag, which made me think about my reading choice! I tag anyone reading this, I’d love to see how everyone’s differs! Happy Reading 🙂

Books

The GoodReads Book Tag

What was the last book you marked as ‘read’? Counting my 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan.

What are you currently reading? A map days. The fourth Miss Peregrines peculiar children book.

What was the last book you marked ‘TBR’? The boy who steals houses by C.G Drew

What book do you plan on reading next? The fifth book of the Peculiar children series! (I normally hate fantasy, and am so intrigued by this dark fantasy series I’m loving…)

Do you use the star rating system? I do! I like having a consistent system for rating books!

Are you doing a 2020 reading Challenge? I’m doing my own challenge, which is 100 books this year!

Do you have a wish-list? Not particularly, mostly just of a TBR as I rarely buy new books anymore!

What book do you plan to buy next? The new Cathy Glass book that came out last week. (I only buy new books that I can’t get 2nd or in the library because they’re new)

Do you have any favorite quotes, would you like to share a few? I’m not one to remember book quotes unless I write them down. But my favorite quote is ‘A comfort zone is a nice place to be, but nothing ever grows there’

Who are your favorite authors? I’m not particularly an author reader, more genre attracted! But Cathy Glass and Torey Hayden are my favorite non fiction authors!

Have you joined any groups? I can’t find a group that works well for me, but I hope to!

I tag everyone who’s currently reading this! I enjoy answering tags, and I hope in a few years to compare how my answers have changed. Happy reading everyone!

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

My 2020 Bookalutions

I’m not one for making new years resolutions (I don’t think you need to wait for the new year to give yourself a fresh start) but decided to make a few book related goals I would like to accomplish this year, and for the whole decade.

-My main book goal is to record EVERY book I read on paper. I am currently in my favorite coffee shop studying and writing blog posts, and on my walk home I shall pop into a independent store (or end up in TJmaxx) and buy myself a special notebook to do this. I’m going to try and find a strong one as I imagine it will take years to fill up. I hope this is a habit I will keep for life. I’m just about to finish a book, and thus this evening the notebook will hopefully begin! I can’t wait to see the book slowly fill with books I’ve read.

-Secondly, I want to keep my orignal goal of reading 100 books a year. This seems overwhelming to say out loud, but it works out to only 8-9 books a month, which is manageable for me! I completed this 5 years in a row! Although this year I’m not sure I did, as I didn’t record any of my read books, nor did I do monthly wrap ups on my blog which I could have worked out overall. Which is a shame… Hence why my first goal is so important!

– Write more book related blog posts. I enjoy my blog in the sense I can write about anything I please. I find it helpful writing about my mental health, and will still do this, but I would like to write more book ones as I do thoroughly enjoy them once I’ve started. I aim to do at least a monthly wrap and an individual book review a month, with a mixture of other posts.

– My last goal is to delete my TBR and not make a new one. This probably shocks all of you with a book blog… I struggle with spontaneity and having lists for literally everything. Therefore, I thought taking away this list would help combat this struggle. It’s a list I refer to quite often, but without it, it won’t increase my anxiety. (If that makes sense?) In comparison to removing a list related to my degree ect. I will pick a book as and when I finish the current one. I’ll still have a TBR in the sense that I have books on my shelf that I want to read, and have a specific shelf for this. (I’m currently writing an update post on my book shelf and how it recently significantly changed)

Do you have any bookalutions?