2020: Mid-Year Freak Out Tag!

2020: Mid-Year Freak Out Tag!

I can’t believe that it’s July. I don’t think there’s been such a weird year in my entire life. So when the lovely Anne from Rooting Branches tagged me in the Mid-Year Freak Out tag, it seemed like a good way to look back at the books I’ve been reading in 2020 and take stock before looking forward!

1: Best book you’ve read so far in 2020!
It maybe shows how 2020 is going, but it’s The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It was just a really honest depiction of depression. I can see myself coming back to it over and over in the future.

2: Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2020!
I haven’t actually read many sequels so far this year. Although, Katherine Howard: The Tainted Queen by Alison Weir* is the fifth book in the Six Queens series and it was another great addition to the series. I do want to read more sequels, it’s really nice to get a new plot with all the world-building already done in your mind.

3: New release you haven’t read yet, but want to!
I’ve been pretty good at actually reading my pre-orders this year so I don’t have any unread at the moment. But, my copy of My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell is currently in quarantine at Waterstones and I’m having to balance my want to read it with my fear of actually going to get it. Truly a 2020 problem!

4: Most anticipated release for the second half of the year!
I’m so keen to get my hands on Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. The news of the publishing date push-back ruined my whole day when I found out. At least an October release date makes it perfectly timed for Halloween season!

5: Biggest disappointment!
Not an individual book, but more a feeling I’ve had when reading. It seems to be getting harder and harder to immerse myself in a book. Hopefully it’ll pass soon.

6: Biggest surprise!
I knew I was probably going to enjoy How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather but I didn’t think I’d love it so much! I didn’t know much going in and was expecting the usual fun YA that’s mainly action and romance, but it ended up being a really smart and impactful story about bullying.

7: Favourite new author! (Debut or new to you)
Valerie Valdes’ debut, Chilling Effect* was an absolute romp of a space opera and I’m dying to get my hands on the sequel. Space cats!!!!

8: Newest fictional crush!
I’m not sure it counts because it’s more a I-want-you-in-my-life crush rather than romantic but I love Jeeves! I just finished My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse and immediately moved on to The Inimitable Jeeves. They’re such fun books and I want Jeeves to fix all the problems in my life.

9: Newest favourite character!
Hazel from Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens was a treasure. I really enjoyed the way that she wasn’t the leader of the detective society, so she got dragged into a lot of drama. I related to her a lot.

10: Book that made you cry!
I don’t really cry at books, I’m afraid! I did get a little choked up at Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, but who didn’t?

11: Book that made you happy!
I don’t know about anyone else but it has been so stressful lately that almost no books have been making me happy. However, Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome will always pull a laugh from me.

12: Favourite book to film adaptation that you’ve seen this year!
I’m not sure I can claim this since I’ve never read the books, but the Netflix series Virgin River has been an absolute delight. I found myself wanting to read a romance which is not really my genre. Maybe I need to ease myself in with some paranormal romance and see how I get on.

13: Favourite review you’ve written!
I’ve only written one full review this year- yikes! But I was very fond of A Messy Affair by Elizabeth Mundy* and really liked my review.

14: Most beautiful book you’ve bought (or received) this year!
I was blessed by the ARC angels and got my hands on an early copy of The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow* and that cover? Every time I look at it, I swear I find something else I haven’t noticed before. Hopefully the book inside is just as beautiful.

15: What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
I don’t really need to read anything but I’m trying to keep up with all the books I’m purchasing… which is more than usual in lockdown! Top of my TBR is Wranglestone by Darren Charlton, Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett and The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin!

That’s all folks! I think everyone and their mother has done this tag by now so if you haven’t, I tag you!

What books are you looking forward to in the tail end of 2020?

Fiction Friday: Winter Wonderland Book Tag!

Admittedly I had no idea what do to for today’s Fiction Friday, mainly because my plan of reviewing Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with my friend who is a Harry Potter Virgin ran into problems when I made her watch the first episode of Lost and got her hooked enough that we haven’t been reading together. My bad! Anyway while scouring for ideas I was watching old YouTube videos and found a tag that Priscilla from The Readables did last year, you can watch it here! And here are my answers!

1. What book is so happy and sweet that it warms your heart?
This would have to be Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome. I was thinking about Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone and thinking about how it was actually kind of dark when the quote; “But then again, everything has it’s drawbacks as the man said when his mother-in-law died, and they came down on him for the funeral expenses,” came to mind and reminded me that Three Men in a Bot has no dark side and truly just makes me happy.

2. What is your favourite book with a white cover?
World War Z by Max Barry. Not exactly festive but this is my favourite book with a white cover and actually one of my favourite books ever. I normally read it in Summer though.

3. You’re sitting in a nice comfy chair, wearing a onesie, with a lovely warm hot chocolate but what MONSTER are you reading?
Honestly I haven’t read many monsters this year, I attempted Game of Thrones but had to put it down a couple hundred pages in. The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson is on my Christmas TBR so I’ll say that one! I’d love some monster book recommendations, I tend to shy away from them!

4. It started snowing so you decided to have a snowball fight! What fictional character would you love to have a snowball fight with?
Hmm. I’d have to say Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird, she’d be amazing in a snowball fight.

5. Sadly, your fire is beginning to go out. So what book would you tear the last few chapters out to throw into the fire?
Either Endgame by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton or Season to Taste by Natalie Young. I really didn’t like either of those books so I’ll sacrifice them to the flames. Reminds me of that scene from The Day After Tomorrow where they burn the books in the library.

6. What book is so close to your heart that you would gift it to someone this Christmas who hasn’t read before but wants to get into reading?
Okay, I’m going cliché here but Harry Potter. It’s a great series for people who want to get into read but- apart from my friend- who hasn’t read it these days?

I tag everyone! Seriously, I want to see everyones answers. Please link me if you do a post or answer in the comments!

Fiction Friday: The Reading Habits Tag!

I got my laptop back! Those that follow me on Twitter or Facebook, my laptop broke this week. It was very dramatic. You never know what you have until it’s gone. Either way I didn’t have much time to plan todays Fiction Friday but when I saw this tag on Hayley’s blog I knew it was meant to be.

1. Do you have a certain place for reading at home?
Not really! Mainly in bed but the sofa and the hammock get some quality time too.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I read with mini sticky notes to stick in when I like a quote or when I want to Google something so I either use a sticky note or the plastic container of them. 

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain number of pages?

I can just stop reading but I like to have a bit of finality when I decide to stop. Although if I’m not enjoying a book than it’s at risk of getting tossed into the abyss that is down the side of my bed.

4. Do you eat or drink when reading?

Sure, but I find it distracts me a little. I prefer it to be just me, the book and maybe a cup of tea or a bottle of water.

5. Do you watch TV or listen to music whilst reading?

Heck no, I’m still getting into the swing of reading again and I can’t have any distractions. Although I love reading in the car.

6. One book at a time or several at once?

I seem to have developed a really bad habit of starting loads of books at once so at the moment I’m trying to get my ‘currently reading’ down to about 1-2.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

Reading at home preferably but everywhere if I’m out and about.

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?
Silently in my head, but lately I’ve found myself skipping over words- anyone else do this?- so I’ve been slowing down and it’s like I’m reading out loud but in my head if that makes sense!

9. Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?

Heck no. Imagine skipping a few pages of Harry Potter and suddenly boom. Troll in the dungeon. Treat every book like there’s going to be a troll in the dungeon in my opinion.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

I hate breaking the spine. I have certain books where I don’t care because I know I’m going to read them over and over. My World War Z book looks like it got dropped off a cliff. But I like to keep my books pretty and new-ish.

11. Do you write in your books?

Like I said before, I read with sticky notes- I’m actually thinking about doing a post on this if people were curious so no, I never write in books.

12. What are you currently reading?

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone by JK Rowling with my friend.
Startled by his Furry Shorts by Louise Rennison for nostalgia. 
Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin that I borrowed from my trainer.
Drawn by Cecilia Gray, a book I got off Netgalley.
John Dies and the End by David Wong, I’m about half way through and taking a break.
And The Boy in the Book by Nathan Penlington which I got from Book Bridgr and am loving.
Or as I call them; too many books.

I tag everyone but especially Joe and Amy from the Bookolio blog, Holly from Holly, Quills and Ivy and Ashley from Legally Redhead!
If you want to see more of my reading habits you can see what and when I’m reading on Goodreads!

Blogmas Day 19: A Christmas Tag with my Cousins!

I thought I would do a bit of a twist on the usual blogger tag and get my cousins to answer the questions with me so- the answers in green are me, Imogen. Red is Trina, the youngest. Blue is Beccy, the oldest. Okay! 

Trina, Me, Beccy ❤

Favourite Christmas movie?
Elf. The Holiday. The Nightmare before Christmas.

Are you on the Naughty list or the Nice list?
Nice. Naughty. Nice. 

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Real. Obviously real. As real as a tree can be.

Hands down, what’s your all-time favorite holiday food and holiday sweet treat?
Potatoes and Mince Pies. Roast potatoes, parsnips, erm- Pigs in blankets and Christmas nuts. Potatoes and Buche de Noel.

Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?
Giving, I like wrapping things. Giving, it’s nice knowing people appreciate what you get them, but it’s also nice getting them. Giving, but I don’t like watching people open them.

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

New York. Yeah, New York. Somewhere snowy on the top of a mountain in a little chalet.

Are you a pro-present wrapper, or do you fail miserably?

Pro, absolutely. Fail, I just end up with a mass of cello tape. Pro, obviously.

Most memorable Holiday moment?

The thing- the time when Rory, Rory’s one job- You had one job! -Was to take the ham out of the oven when we all went out and he forgot. And then he did it twice! When Uncle David was really really drunk dressed up as Santa Clause to deliver the presents to the stockings and he tripped over the bed! Probably playing Polly Pocket on the landing.

What made you realize the truth about Santa?

I can’t remember finding out, but I’m sure it was a horrible day. Well I found a photocopied version of my list to Santa covered in Argos references and Amazon references of where my mum was going to buy all my presents! And I stormed to their bedroom and confronted them! I don’t remember, I think I was told at school- but that might have been the Easter bunny.

Have you ever had a White Christmas?
Yes. Well- dirty grey. 

Where do you usually spend your holiday?
Home. Here. Here.

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
No. No, that would ruin Christmas. Yeah, that would ruin Christmas.

What makes the Holidays special for you?
Family. Everyone together, jolly food, cats. Yeah- Family.

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?
*Attempts several times* If there’s 8 then yes, if there’s 12 then no. 

What holiday tradition are you looking forward to most this year?
Food. Oh yeah food. *distracted by the nuts she’s trying to eat* Can’t get my nut out. Er- Food?

Do you like to stay in your PJ’s, or dress up for Christmas? 
Pj’s- then dressed up- then Pyjamas about an hour later.

Have you ever made a snowman?
I think we made a small one. Yeah, the year of the grey snow.

It’s Christmas time. What are you reading? 
The Last Runaway by Tracey Shaveleir- Shaverly- Something. Nothing really- I was reading a book about the Holocaust. Very Christmassy.

White lights, or colored lights?
White. Coloured. White.

When do you usually know and feel that it’s finally the holidays? 
The Christmas adverts. Erm- all the christmas lights, the music, the coke advert. The frantic clean-up when you guys are coming up.

I hope you enjoyed that! If you want to do this tag then- quick because you’ve only got a day!
Happy Christmas Eve everybody!

Autumn is Awesome Tag!

I thought I’d ease myself back into blogging with a nice easy tag and this one was so cute, I just had to, even though Autumn is nearly over- I have 4 more days! This is a tag by Rachael Whitehurst, one of my favourite Youtubers, and you can watch her video here.

I was struggling to find a picture for this post but flicking through my albums I found this one which just screams early Autumn in England to me!

1. Favourite/least favourite thing about Fall?
My favourite thing would be the return of my favourite TV shows or the change in the weather. I hate summer, the heat and the sun, it’s not for me. 
My least favourite thing would be that it gets so hard to take decent photographs as the sun is out for about two minutes a day in England at the moment.

2. Favourite clothing item for Fall?
I recently got a new coat from ASOS that I’ve had my eye on for months, I snapped it up during the 20% Student Discount time and boy am I glad I did. Green is my favourite colour and this Ted Baker Jacket is a wool/cashmere blend that is so lovely and warm. I love it. And it’s on sale right now. For less than I paid. Isn’t that always the way?

3. Favourite makeup trend for Fall?
A little Snow White-ish. A pale base, simple eyes and dark lips. 

4. Favourite fall food/drink?
Favourite Fall food would be Oranges. I’ve been eating about 3 a day, it’s a bit ridiculous but they’re so tasty this year.
And favourite Fall drink would probably be tea. I love tea as it starts getting colder for warming me up and sipping in front of the TV.

5. Fall TV show premiere you are were looking forward to most?
The Walking Dead! The Walking Dead! The Walking Dead! The Walking Dead! It’s back and it’s awesome. I love it. 

6. Favourite Fall tradition?
I don’t really have any that I can think of! I guess making the christmas pudding is a big one in my family. And doing my Fall clean, my house is invaded by family over Christmas so I spend all of Fall cleaning and on the 28th December they all go home and it looks like a bomb has gone off.

I tag everyone but specifically; Ashley from Legally RedheadSiobhan from Siobhan EmmaAngela from Paper Love StoryVicki from Lets Talk Beauty, and Grace from Grace Talks Beauty. All of whom I have had the pleasure of speaking to whether it be Skype, Twitter or even in person and they’re all lovely women who I recommend to everyone. ❤