My favourite books this year (2018)

  • Picture1When elephants fly by Nancy Richardson Fischer: I didn’t expect to fall so in love with this book. I became so emotionally attached to Swifty the elephant which is the main reason I enjoyed this book so far. I hadn’t read a book quite like this before, I found it interesting that the story also had a huge focus on mental illness, schizophrenia but the illness wasn’t actually present in any of the characters. I really recommend this book!
  • All the little lights by Jamie McGuire: I only read this book a few weeks ago, it was my favourite read of November. Again, the characters is what made me love this book so much. The ending also made it for me, really wasn’t what I was expecting, no spoilers here!
  • Letters to the lost & More than we can tell by Bridid Kemmerer: I loved this sequel, I found it so emotional! I really liked how the second book wasn’t about the same main characters as the first, but still had them in the story. Was a few potential trigger warnings, especially in the second book. If I had to choose, I would choose the second as my favourites! After reading this sequel I’m going to have a look into the author!
  • A list of cages by Robin Roe: I gave this book a very high rating in my monthly wrap up. I had this book on my TBR for a while and am glad I finally got around to it. I enjoyed the diverse of characters, Adam was my favourite. Again I would put a TW on this book as there was a lot of child abuse, and was particularly traumatising towards the end. I felt very strong emotions in this book, and definitely recommend everyone adds this to their TBR!
  • Made you up by Francesca Zappia: I put this book in my top books on mental illness as this is about a girl with schizophrenia. I was interested in the portrayal of complex mental illness, and felt I got a little insight. I really enjoyed this book, and connected with the main character, it felt like I was experiencing everything with her.
  • Words in deep blue by Cath Crowley: I’m putting this book on my yearly favourites purely for the bookstore this book was set in. I became so attached to this setting, one of my all-time favourite environments from a book and yes; tears were shed! This book has beautiful cover too. I recommend to anyone who enjoys YA.
  • When we collided by Emery Lord: I was really surprised by this book as I didn’t enjoy the authors other books. I adored both main characters, as well as the setting of the book. One of the main characters has bipolar disorder. I enjoyed how this book was still light hearted, despite the character being in a manic episode. I feel it was a good YA on mental illness.

 

What I accomplished in 2018

2018 has a been a memorable year for me, purely from the progress in battling my mental health. It’s been a super hard,but rewarding year overall! I thought I would make this post to show(and prove to myself) how much I have achieved. I ‘tag’ anyone reading to do this for themselves, I’d love to see what other people feel they have accomplished this year. I think it is a positive form of reflection, especially for me and those who struggle with worthlessness. So is what I am proud:GettyImages-831648638-compressor

  • Starting a degree in Psychology: After taking a 2 year break from education to focus on my mental health, I have started a degree, which I am studying online. I’m a few months in and am really enjoying it. I aim to do a masters, maybe a Phd, so have at least another 3 years of studying left.
  • Results: I got 97% on an assignment for university, which really surprised me as I was worried I didn’t do well. I’ve been at least a week ahead of studying since the beginning, and aim to keep it this way.
  • Completed 3 months of CBT: I finally found the courage to start professionally working on my intrusive thoughts, and I stuck it out. Although it didn’t end well(my therapist left to open his own practise in another state so we had to finish) I still managed 3 months of daily therapy.
  • Became a barista: I left my last job because of mental health again. Recently I got a new part time job to do along side my degree. I’ve been there a month now, and I relatively enjoy it!
  • Combating intrusive thoughts: This is a huge thing for me,I have been consumed by my brain for so long, that it feels amazing to gain some control. I’m not completely better, but recovery is so worth it!
  • Read 100 books: I’ve already completed this with 4 weeks left of the year. 5th year in a row that I’ve read a hundred books a year!
  • Doctors: After struggling with my physical health for two years, I finally managed to force myself to go to the doctors office. (I only started this process a few days ago,it’s very overwhelming and has filled me with anxiety. Will do an update soon)
  • Balance: I have found a comfortable place in life, I feel productive, like I am now on the right track. I adore my living situation, am still with my partner of 5 years, getting a degree, earning on the side, all whilst enjoying things like travelling to other countries and reading.
  • Starting a blog: Lastly, I began this blog 3 months ago. I had wanted to have my own blog for a while but never got round to it. I’ve enjoyed having a platform to talk about books and mental health. Thank you to everyone who has supported me!

November Wrap Up 2018

I again had a little bit of a busy month, but managed to read 7 books. I have settled into my new job, and have kept up to date with my degree. I have found a good balance of work, study and reading time. Here is a mini review of the books I read in November;

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  1. Heretics anonymous by Katie Henry: I enjoyed this book as it had a little difference in the school setting. The characters were fairly unique, but I didn’t connect well with them. I liked how the main character was comfortable with his believes. I enjoyed the book, but wasn’t super overwhelmed. I enjoy the book cover! 3.5/5
  2. Highly illogical behaviour by John Corey Whaley: I’ve had this on my TBR for a while and was glad I finally got around to reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was about an adolescent boy with severe agoraphobia. I liked how the characters connected despite the initial circumstance. I enjoyed the realism of the main character not being cured at the end. I’m very interested about books on mental health, and would definitely recommend this one! 4.5/5
  3. Letters to the lost by Bridid Kemmerer: I was prepared to feel emotional upon reading this series, and I had a right to be! It’s emotional! I really enjoyed both main characters, and felt their emotions just like they did. I appreciated the anger the characters felt towards each other, and wasn’t the standard fall in love. I really enjoyed this book. 4.5/5 
  4. More than we can tell by Bridid Kemmerer: This is the second book to the letters to the lost. It was just as good as the first. I really liked how it was about a different character, but still had the two main characters from the first book entwined in. I would book a trigger warning on this book, as there was a fairly detailed description of child abuse (physical; burning and broken bones). It was different to the first,but just as good! 4.5/5
  5. All the little lights by Jamie McGuire: Again a book that was on my TBR for a while, I read this on kindle. This was my favourite read of the month! I don’t want to give spoilers, but the ending was not expected! I enjoyed the thrill of finding the truth. It has a ya vibe, with a little bit of a dark background. The little aspects of the book made it special , the mother, the race of the teenager, family history, the house, trust ect. I would recommend to people who enjoy most genres! 5/5
  6. Girl against the universe by Paula Stokes: I liked how the focus on the book was about mental health, and improvement, the main character believes she is cursed due to the events that have happened in the past, she suffers with PTSD. I enjoyed the character development. A little cliche with the love story with the tennis player, but I enjoyed this character too. I was so happy that the big event at the end didn’t destroy her as I feared it would. The main character came out stronger, despite still struggling, I enjoyed that. 4/5
  7. That’s not what happened by Kody Keplinger: Not my average read, I avoid all media and books that involve shooting, terrorism, murder, mass disaster ect. I said I would challenge myself this month, so I did. This book was about a school shooting in America and is written in the perspective of the survivor. It makes me anxious reading on these topics, I am currently 83% in, and aim to finish this evening,hence putting on my November wrap up, but won’t be giving it a final rating until I’ve completed it.

 

My favourite book covers

I saw a tag similar to this, and thought I would do my own version. Here are 5 of my favourite book covers;

  1. 031The Book thief by Markus Zusak; This is a favourite book of mine, I took this photo 3 years ago. I particularly adore this edition as I bought it preloved, and it feels extra special. It’s one of few books that I actually held on to. It’s quite a thick book, but light weight. The cover beautifully portrays the story.
  2. I’ll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson; This picture I took a long time ago too. Yellow is my favourite colour, the main reason I love this cover. Also, the edging of the pages are coloured. I love this, and not many of my books have this feature. Despite the beautiful book cover, I wasn’t a fan of the book so I donated my copy.017
  3. First and then by Mills; I haven’t read this book yet, I have it on my TBR! I adore white and soft coloured books. The white back ground with the water coloured rain drops is beautiful in my eyes. I think this would look aesthetically pleasing on a bookshelf.
  4. A million little pieces by James Frey; I have both books by this author and they are both beautiful in person, the photo really doesn’t do it justice. The crisp white back ground and soft colours with a little bit of glimmer makes this book simply beautiful. The second book is the same but with a navy background. I can’t remember the story well, just that I enjoyed them, I may reread them soon.
  5. It’s kind of a funny story by Ned z; This is a little biased as this is one of my favourite books (&movie) but the cover has a beautiful design which fits the story well. As said above,yellow is my favourite colour! I really enjoy how the cover relates to what the main character draws in the story. My edition is also printed on very nice paper, I’m not sure how to describe it.

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My blogs name in books

Spell out your blog’s name. Find a book from your TBR that begins with each letter. (I used books I’ve read before) Have fun! I tag anyone who’s reading now. 

Intrusive thoughts are getting the better of me today, so thought doing this tag would be a nice distraction. Instead of using books from my TBR (I don’t really follow one) I used books I’ve read before. I shall be rating each one out of 5 as well. Here goes; 

F- Flowers in the attic by Virginia Andrews (of course) 5/5

L-Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NG 3.5/5

O- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey 2/5

W- Wonder by R.J. Palacio 4/5

E- Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon 3/5

R- Room by Emma Donoghue 4/5

S- Star girl by Jerry Spinelli 4/5

 

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I- If I stay by Gayle Forman 2/5

N- Never let me go by Kazuo Ishiguro 2.5/5

 

 T- The book their by Markus Zusak 5/5

H- Holes by  Louis Sachar 3/5

E- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell 2/5

 

B-Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire 3/5

R- Running with scissors by Augusten Burroughs 3/5

A-All the bright places by Jennifer Niven 4.5/5

I- I was here by Gayle Forman 1.5/5

N- Never Never by Colleen Hoover 3/5

Reading Habits Book Tag

I saw this tag on  Audra’s book blabbing! I tag anyone who reads this. I love reading others answers!

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  • Do you have a certain place at home for reading? If I am at home, I mostly only read in my bed! Preferably snuggled under blankets with a snack.
  • Bookmark or random piece of paper? I don’t use either, I just remember my page number.. Although I do have a beautiful handmade bookmark!
  • Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages? I can’t stop randomly, it has to be at the end of a page or chapter, preferably on the left, not right page haha. The amount read doesn’t bother me.
  • Do you eat or drink whilst reading? I always have my glass water bottle to hand, and prefer having a snack, mostly a bowl of crunchy crisps or nuts.
  • Multitasking: Music or T.V. whilst reading? Tv is a big no! I only listen to music while I read if I am on a train or plane.
  • One book at a time or several? Only one!
  • Reading at home or everywhere? Everywhere, my most common places are my local coffee shop and my bed.
  • Read out loud or silently in your head? Silently in my head. Although I sometimes read out loud to my partner.
  • Do you read ahead or skip pages? Never!
  • Breaking the spine or keeping it like new? Breaking the spine..
  • Do you write in your books? Nope, never! (I have once when I gifted my partner a book when we were long distance)
  • Do you read the back page before finishing the book? No way, I’m not going to give myself a huge spoiler.

Thank you for reading my version! I enjoy doing book tags, but I feel they are too simple for a post, I like writing and putting time into my blog,making it unique to me. Therefore, from now on I won’t often be joining in on tags, just occasionally. I’m trying to alternate between mental health posts and book posts.

A-Z Bookish Survey Tag

  • Author you’ve read the most books from: Cathy Glass, I’ve read all 24 books by her
  • Best Sequel Ever: The 5 books of ‘Flowers in the attic’
  • Currently reading: We both die at the end by Adam Silvera
  • Drink of Choice While Reading: Cold brew!
  • E-reader or Physical Book?: Definitely a physical book
  • Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School: Craig from ‘It’s kind of a funny story’
  • Glad You Gave This Book A Chance: Little Women
  • Hidden Gem Book: Flowers in the attic (I mention too often, sorry)
  • Important Moment in your Reading Life: I’m not sure, finding a book fairy in a park?
  • Just Finished: More happy than not by Adam Silvera
  • Kinds of Books You Won’t Read: Fantasy & horror
  • Longest Book You’ve Read: I never look at page numbers so have no idea haha
  • Major book hangover because of: Someone please explain what this means?
  • Number of Bookcases You Own: Reduced my shelves to 1!
  • One Book You Have Read Multiple Times: Catcher in the Rye
  • Preferred Place To Read: My favourite Starbucks or bed
  • Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:“All the reading she had done had given her a view of life that they had never seen.” from Matilda
  • Reading Regret: Who ever regrets reading?
  • Series You Started And Need To Finish (all books are out in series): I never really read series..
  • Three of your All-Time Favourite Books: Flowers in the attic, the book theif, catcher in the rye.
  • Unapologetic Fangirl For: I’m not really
  • Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others: Every time Cathy Glass is releasing haha
  • Worst Bookish Habit: Not exploring different genres
  • X Marks The Spot: I have no idea what this means haha
  • Your latest book purchase: A special edition of Matilda 
  • ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late): Made you up by Francesca Zappia

Struggling with intrusive thoughts today, so thought I would distract myself by doing this tag. If you read this post, I tag you! Make sure to tag me so I can enjoy reading yours too!