Top Ten Tuesday (#51): Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish where they post a list idea and everyone is welcome to post the list with their own answers.  This week the theme is Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List.

Throw a Book Themed Party

We threw a Harry Potter party before, complete with costumes, games recipes and Harry Potter Ring of Fire, and it was so much fun.  I’d love to throw another book themed party, maybe using The Hunger Games Ring of Fire, or a Game of Thrones inspired party using the Inn at The Crossroads recipes.


Get my NetGalley ratio up to 95%

This one feels like a bit of a pipe-dream at the moment, but it’s fun to think about! I’ve been slowly working on my ratio and it’s getting much better but it still has a long long way to go.


Review 200 books

This one’s pretty self-explanatory, it’s just a nice round number to aim for!


Meet 20 authors

I’ve only met one author since I started blogging (Robin Hobb), and I’d really love to meet more.  I don’t exactly live in a tourist city, and I’m not very organised about checking for events, so I’d like to make more of an effort!


Host a blog event

I love love loved taking part in sci-fi month, and I always love taking part in events like Bloggiesta and readathons.  Eventually I’d like to host an event of my own, no matter how small 😉


Make bookish crafts

I occasionally like to try and convince myself I’m a creative person (though mostly I’m just a lazy person), and I’d like to try a few book inspired crafts.  Some especially fun tutorials are these mini book pendants, this library bag, this book iphone dock.


Take part in a book club (online or in person)

I’m not really picky whether this is online or in person, but I’d like to take part in a book club.  Obviously, in person would be better, but I haven’t found any – any good online club recommendations for me?



I took part in NaNoWriMo (and won!) in 2011, but I haven’t taken part again since.  I’ll have started my MSc by the time November rolls around so I’m not sure that’s practical, but I’m thinking of maybe taking part in Camp NaNoWriMo this July.


Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter

I’ve done the Harry Potter Studio Tour, and loved it, but I’ve not yet made it to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is definitely on my list, and although it’s going to be a while before I can afford it, I can’t wait to finally go.  My other half is a big Harry Potter fan too, so at least I won’t have to bully him into it!


Have a reading space

I do admittedly have to afford to move out first, but when I do, one thing I really want to have is a reading space.  Being realistic, I don’t mind if that’s just a section of a room (for now!), as long as I’ve got a bookish space to relax and read in.

What’s on your bookish bucket list?

Top Ten Tuesday (#50): Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish where they post a list idea and everyone is welcome to post the list with their own answers.  This week the theme is Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 TBR List.

Before going into my list this week, I thought it might be good to have a look through some of my previous seasonal TBR Top Ten Tuesdays.  A quick recap:

Spring 2013: 9 out of 10
[4/4 sequels]
[1/2 new releases]
[4/4 for review]

Autumn 2013: 3 out of 10
[2/3 sequels]
[0/4 standalones]
[1/3 review books]

Winter 2013: 5 out of 10
[2/3 sequels]
[3/4 review]
[0/3 books I own]

So er…I’m getting worse!  Now, in all likelihood, this is probably just because my TBR list is increasing exponentially, but I’m going to try and give myself the best shot by picking several sequels & review copies, because those seem to be the categories I’ve actually been reading!

The Sequels

1. Bitterblue

I really enjoyed Graceling, and although it took me a while to get into Fire, I’m very keen to get started on Bitterblue.  I’ll probably start this in the next week or so.

2. The Angel

Sometimes, a guilty pleasure is just what you need!  I loved Nora as a character, and I’m hoping to finally get back and read more of her this season.

3. Fire with Fire

Burn for Burn was a free read on PulseIt that I read mostly just to take a break from some more serious fantasy, but I ended up really enjoying it.

4. Beautiful Darkness

Beautiful Creatures was a quick and easy read, and although not wowed by it, I did really enjoy it, and I’d like to continue the series.

The Review Copies

5. Prince of Fools

I’m so excited about this one. The cover is gorgeous, and I’m craving some great fantasy.

6. Echo Boy

I loved Matt Haig’s The Humans last year, and the plot sounds great. High hopes for this one.

7. Prisoner of Night & Fog

I’m only an occasional historical fiction fan, but the niece of Hitler is far too interesting a concept to pass up.

8. Renegade

Mila 2.0 was an enjoyable dystopian, with a believable, complex main character, and I’m looking forward to seeing where the story goes next.

From my shelves

Both The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Ocean at the End of the Lane where gifts from Matt, books I’d been eying up but resisting.  I’d like to read both sometime this season, because I keep putting them off in favour of things I ‘should’ be reading instead.  Hopefully no more!

9. The Cuckoo’s Calling

10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Do you have any suggestions for what to start with first?

Top Ten Tuesday (#49): Top Ten Favorite Fantasy Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish where they post a list idea and everyone is welcome to post the list with their own answers.  This week the theme is Top Ten All Time Favorite Books in X Genre.

I guess it’s no surprise that I chose fantasy for my genre this week! For most of these, I love the series as the whole and it was tough to choose an individual favourite, but I’ve done my best.

Magician’s Gambit
Belgariad #3

If you’ve seen a few of my Top Ten Tuesdays before, it#s absolutely no surprise that David Eddings would feature on this list. I loved both the Belgariad and Mallorean series, and they remain my favourites. Eddings’ characters in particular, are fantastic.

A Storm of Swords (part 2)
A Song of Ice and Fire #3

I struggled to decide which book to include from the series, but I eventually decided on A Storm of Swords: Blood and Gold, because this is one that I remember racing through, and then desperately waiting for my partner to finish so I could talk about it.

Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter #6

I’m not quite sure why, but Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince has always been my favourite of the series.

Assassin’s Apprentice
Assassin’s Apprentice #1

I’m still not quite sure whether this was the right Robin Hobb book to include! I started with this series and loved it, but then I also absolutely loved her Liveship Traders series and the Rain Wild Chronicles. I eventually (just about!) decided on this, but I’d really strongly recommend any of her series.

Dragons of Autumn Twilight

This was another one of the books that I read when I first started reading, probably fairly soon after David Eddings’ series. I don’t re-read this as much as the other features on the list, but I love the characters and the humour.

Poison Study
Study #1

Maria V. Snyder has great female leads, supporting characters you’ll want to take home, and solid fantasy world-building.  Like Robin Hobb, I’ve loved all of her series, and went with this more because it was my first venture than because I had a definite clear winner.

Throne of Glass
Throne of Glass #1

Throne of Glass was one of my top ten reads for last year, and I also really enjoyed Crown of Midnight. A seriously kick-ass (yet also feminine) heroine, romance, drama, magic and intrigue – what more could you want? Heir of Fire is one of my most-anticipated reads this year and I can’t wait to see where the story goes next.

The series I have high hopes for:

For all three of these books, I’ve only read the first book so far, but I loved them. I’m hoping the sequels live up to the first book – if so, these will definitely join the ranks of my top fantasy series!

Graceling Realm #1

Crewel World #1

Paper Gods #1

Do you have any fantasy recommendations for me?

Top Ten Tuesday (#48): Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish where they post a list idea and everyone is welcome to post the list with their own answers.  This week the theme is Top Ten Popular Authors I’ve Never Read.

I loved this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! I have books by a few of these authors (Gillian Flynn, Veronica Rossi & Laini Taylor) on my shelves already, I just haven’t managed to actually start them yet. The rest are authors I’ve heard loads about but I’ve never got around to picking up their books.  Please feel free to tell me what you think about these authors, I’d love to know which books you think I should start with.

Gillian Flynn

Richelle Mead

Stephanie Perkins


Sue Monk Kidd


Veronica Rossi


Julie Kagawa


Nicholas Sparks


Laini Taylor


Khaled Hosseini

Lee Child

Any recommendations on where to start?  Who would you recommend?

Top Ten Tuesday (#47): Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Blogger/Reader

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted at The Broke and The Bookish where they post a list idea and everyone is welcome to post the list with their own answers.  This week the theme is Top Ten Reasons I Love Being A Blogger/Reader.


It’s all my own

Blogging is something that’s completely my own.  A few of my friends know I blog, but only Matt knows the link.  Being able to say whatever I want, to fangirl until my heart’s content or to talk about geekiness without worrying is freeing.  I love my friends and family, but I also love having something that’s just for me.


It keeps me busy

As you all know by now, Matt’s away doing his MSc, and I’m still job-hunting, which means I have a huge amount of free time right now.  I love reading, but I can’t read all day every day for months without getting burnt out.  Blogging provides a different way to keep busy.  No matter what time of day it is, I can always find something blog-related to keep me busy if I want to, whether it’s writing a review, brainstorming post ideas or leaving comments.

I can share my love of books

The bookish community share my love of books, and I love being able to share in that!  I love being able to rave about a book I love with other people who also loved it, and who understand the need to jump up and down and talk about it forever.  I also love having a different opinion to someone else on a book because it can generate great discussion, and make me consider a book from a point of view I might not have thought of.


It’s opened me up to new books I might never have got around to

Although my ever-growing TBR list is not good for my budget, it is good for my reading.  Blogging has opened me up to books I might never have heard of or got around to.  From adding a book to my TBR from browsing, to getting your opinions on what to read from my own shelves, to events like the Ninja Book Swap, I never feel like I have nothing to read, because there are recommendations everywhere!


The community

Although I love how much I can get done right now (even if that is just reading and watching TV), my current jobless, long-distance relationship state can be, well, a bit lonely.  The bookish community are absolutely lovely, and those times when I connect with someone, whether through comments or Twitter, can honestly make my day right now.  I’m making a real effort to get back into commenting at the moment, because I’m pretty rubbish at it, but if comments make my day, they may well make someone else’s too!



I love that no matter what a day throws at you (boredom, heartbreak, anger), I can pick up a book and get lost in it.  It doesn’t matter if it’s fantasy or contemporary, sci fi or crime, the rest of the world just falls away while I’m absorbed in a fantastic world with characters that seem to come to life.


Books connect you with people

The David Eddings books are the books I read with my dad as a kid, the books that got me into reading.  He shared them with my mum when they were younger, and I then went on to share them with my best friend and my partner.  Now all five of us have that shared connection.  Similarly, my boyfriend shared with me the Cassandra Clare series and the Terry Goodkind series.  I love having those memories, those debates over favourite characters and best scenes, and they’ll forever be something we share.  I really love connecting with someone by reading one of their favourite books.  By reading someone else’s recommendations you’ve made an effort with something important to them, and the two of you have a stronger connection for it (even if you debate the book rather than fangirl together).


A reader gets to live a thousand lives….

There are things I can enjoy by reading that just wouldn’t be possible in my real life.  Reading gives me a chance to explore things like getting stranded on Mars (The Martian), living in a dystopian or steampunk world, riding a dragon or going to Hogwarts.


Explore other places, cultures, perspectives

This is similar to the point above, but from a non-fantasy point of view.   There are things I read about that I COULD (theoretically at least) do, but won’t, like joining a polygamous cult or taking lessons on being submissive at a BDSM club or starting street racing.  For a thousand and one different reasons, these things are never going to happen in real life, but I can read about them consequence free.



As well as providing an escape and being damn good fun, I love books for being inspirational.  That could be by reading about the life of someone who inspires me, and thinking, ‘I’d love to do that‘.  It could be by reading about a heroine that makes you want to be like her, or it could be by reading one of those fantastically written, absorbing books that re-ignites your love for writing.

Why do you love being a reader or blogger?