Wrap Up | July 2018

Welcome one, welcome all, to my July Wrap Up. It’s been a pretty good month overall. Although I’ve had a massive impending deadline at work which is super important of 1st August (fingers crossed all is well since I’m writing this post the day before then!) and has made me a little stressed, thereby aggravating my skin (ugh) again, there have also been some good things to come out of this month. For a start, me and Liz went to see The Killers play the Macron Stadium in Bolton as part of their UK Wonderful Wonderful tour. We’d caught them earlier in the tour when they stopped by Liverpool but we jumped at the chance to see them again. Unfortunately, the venue itself was terrible and the organisation wasn’t just shoddy, it was downright dangerous. (Although I’m not one for writing letters, believe me, a complaint letter is pending on this occasion.) However, The Killers themselves were incredible. There’s something about their music that just makes complete strangers feel it’s acceptable to grab you and pull you into a dancing circle of people for no other ulterior motive than simply wanting to belt out All These Things That I’ve Done together. It’s genuinely great. I’ll be keeping an eye out for when The Killers visit the UK again because I’ll be there, with (metaphorical) bells on.

In terms of my reading, July has been a funny sort of month. As you will see from the post below, my productivity definitely fluctuated in July, but I didn’t realise just how badly it had until I put together the dates I’d started and finished these books. Even so, it picked up towards the end of the month and I managed to get some books read and discovered a new favourite graphic novel series, so that was very pleasing news! Also, I started participating in Laura’s The Full Monte readalong, where we’re reading Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo in six weeks – check out my weekly posts on that, if you’re curious. On top of making progress in that, I also managed to re-read a book I’ve been meaning to for a long time now and I’m also tentatively making my first steps towards finishing off some series I really need to finish.

It’s safe to say that I well and truly embraced my newly purchased Scribd subscription (with a little back-up from my Audible account on one occasion) as you can see from the fact that every single one of these books was either an ebook or audiobook. I’ve been very pleasantly surprised by the amount of new and interesting releases available on Scribd so I’m really happy I took the plunge and signed up, though I will say that my physical TBR is now looking on with jealousy since I’ve sorely neglected it this month – let’s hope August sees a return to my bookshelves so they don’t feel too put out by my new love for Scribd. (I swear I’m not spon.)


So without further ado, let’s take a look at the books I read in the month of July:

In June, I read a total of 7 books 7 fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads (marked by *). This amounted to 1873 pages in total.

In terms of format: 4 were ebooks and 3 were audiobooks.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, 2 were contemporary romancewas YA sci-fi/romancewas a classic; and were contemporary graphic novels.

Onto the books themselves…

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Wrap Up | June 2018

Welcome one, welcome all, to my June Wrap Up. Let us all ignore the fact that we’re 6 days into the month and I’m only just posting my Wrap Up, ok? Cool cool cool cool no doubt cool cool. (Can you tell I’ve been watching Brooklyn 99 lately?)

In terms of life, June was pretty damn ok. Work’s being a little bit busy and generally stress inducing, a fact I only realised when my eczema flared up on my hands). For some reason, the UK at the moment is enjoying actual summer, as in it’s summery and sunny and not just a sun peeking out from behind grey cloud every once in a while. It is properly summer which is… novel. And kind of teasing when you’re mostly stuck in work 9-5 Monday-Friday. It turns out that this is what being an adult is like – watching university students outside your office window enjoying themselves chilling out with a nice cold pint outside a pub whilst you’re squinting at data at your job. I used to be on the other side of that equation (mostly, anyway), so now I’m getting major envy of anyone able to enjoy the sunshine. Yes, I am actually enjoying it being warm – it’s something of a revelation this year and I have to say I’m glad for it, after being a winter person for so many years of my life. Turns out summer isn’t as unbearable as I thought it was!

Aside from the weather, I have very little to report in June. Liz and I went to Chester Zoo finally and it was a very nice day and a fun day out for all involved. We also went for a walk at Croxteth Hall which, again, was very nice and I should have visited it sooner considering I’ve lived here for almost 2 years now and I’m quite the sucker for period houses. I also visited Wagamama’s for the first time ever and discovered I probably quite like it and ought to go back soon and explore more of their menu. We went there for tea before going to the cinema to see Ocean’s 8 and I have to say I thought it was a bloody great film. I don’t think it deserves anything like the criticism it’s getting, it was a completely necessary film, and fucking refreshing, let me tell you. It helps that Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett are some of my favourite people ever and seeing them concoct a heist plan whilst dressed in leather pants and/or in suits is (apparently) my jam. I’m not mad about it.

But, enough about my rather mundane life, how was my reading during the month? Once I discovered it existed, most of my reading month was wholly dedicated to Jami’s Marvel-A-Thon so my reading was dictated by the challenges there. Let me tell you, it worked, I’ve read the most I’ve ever read in a month (I think?), and I had a great time doing it too. I think I like longer readathons like this that have a lot of prompts/challenges, because it’s super challenging, but also very rewarding. And, let’s face it, the fact it was MCU themed really helped keep up my motivation. The downside was that the TBR I wrote for June was concocted before I knew about the readathon so I only managed to complete 2 out of the 8 books on there – I still don’t think that’s too bad though?


So without further ado, let’s take a look at the books I read in the month of June:

In June, I read a total of 13 books 12 fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads (marked by *). This amounted to 4303 pages in total.

In terms of format: 4 were paperbackwere hardback, was an eARC, and 3 were audiobooks (marked by ^).

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, 4 were YA fantasywere children’s fantasywas YA mysterywere fantasywere graphic novelswas non-fiction, and was YA contemporary.

Onto the books themselves…

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Marvel-A-Thon | Wrap Up

Welcome all – how are we on this lovely Sunday afternoon? It’s July. Ju-ly. Can you believe it? I can’t. If it wasn’t for the strangely seasonal and sunny weather we’ve been enjoying in the UK for the first time in as long as I can remember, I wouldn’t believe it was July. However, the fact it’s now 1st July means we say goodbye to the month-long Marvel-A-Thon readathon which has been running all throughout June.

(If you have NO IDEA what I’m talking about, please pop over to my Sign Up & TBR post first because I explain about the readathon and its challenges over there.)

I did surprisingly well during the Marvel-A-Thon – I even kept up to date using my tried and tested method of the Twitter updates thread. More importantly, I was smart about saving my “skips” in the earlier rounds, utilising the buddy read system, and taking tactical “buddy give/gain” opportunities when they came round. So I’m REALLY pleased with the challenges I managed to read for during the readathon and I LOVED the entire concept of the readathon so I really hope Jami runs more (or similar) readathons in the future too. For now, though, let’s look at how I did in more detail…

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Wrap Up | May 2018

Welcome one, welcome all, to my May Wrap Up. As a month, May has been pretty damn great. We’ve had not one but two Bank Holidays (which has meant glorious 3-day weekends), during one of which I went home to visit family and during the other of which me and Liz had a couple of our friends from university visiting Liverpool. We took advantage of the very lovely (suspiciously so) weather we’ve been having here in England and walked around Liverpool before chilling with a picnic in the park with them on one day and visited beautiful Chester on the other day. It was a very low-key and enjoyable visit and it makes me realise I actually don’t hate summer and hot weather after all – for someone who has vehemently defined herself as a “winter person” for so many years, this has been quite the life-altering revelation.

As far as other fun happenings, I managed to score tickets to see one of my favourite comedians, Dara O’Briain, at the Liverpool Empire whilst he’s touring his latest show. It was SUCH a good night and the show is, as expected, hilarious. I took Liz along and she came away saying she really, really enjoyed so I’m really glad I persuaded her to come and that she enjoyed Dara’s stand-up – I was like 87% sure she would though, to be fair! I also managed to handily coordinate needing to be in Oxford for a work meeting with visiting my friend Ceyda there for a couple of days and getting to see V.E. Schwab give Pembroke College’s Annual Tolkien Lecture (I have a post about that, if you’re interested!). Oxford was, as always, beautiful, and I even participated a little bit in the (frankly ridiculous) tradition of May Morning which resulted in a 4:30am wake-up call so that I could stand at 6am at the foot of Magdalen Tower and hear a choir sing a hymn before walking down the High Street amidst Morris dancers and folks dancing to drums. It was very odd and very Oxford and I’m glad I made the effort to see it because it really is quite something. (I posted about it on Instagram, if you’re curious to see evidence of the weirdness.)

But, enough about my life, how was my reading during the  month? Well, it’s safe to say I pretty much ignored my well-intentioned (but very ambitious) May TBR (apart from 2 whole books from that list) but I did still read a few books, so that has got to count for something, right?


So without further ado, let’s take a look at the books I read in the month of May:

In May, I read a total of 5 books 5 fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads. This amounted to 2066 pages in total.

In terms of format: 3 were paperbackwas an ARC, and 1 was an e-ARC.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, 1 was YA fantasywas fantasy, and were YA contemporary.

Onto the books themselves…

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Wrap Up | April 2018

Welcome one, welcome all, to my April Wrap Up. April opened up with the end of the Easter weekend which, for me, meant a whole lot of relaxing and doing not very much apart from staying home and reading. There were 2 very important events on my calendar for April – seeing Hairspray when its UK touring production came to the Liverpool Empire and seeing Avengers: Infinity War. I enjoyed both very much – though “enjoyment” seems a loaded word for the latter, for reasons why you can check out my “discussion” post about it but DO NOT read it unless you’ve seen all the MCU films, Infinity War included. Aside from this, there were a couple of book releases and readathons in April and it’s been generally a good month overall in terms of books, films, work, and life in general.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the books I read in the month of April:

In April, I read a total of 7 books 6 fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads (marked by *). This amounted to 2129 pages in total.

In terms of format: were paperback and 1 was an audiobook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, 2 were YA fantasywere children’s fantasy, was a YA dystopianwas science-fiction, and 1 was non-fiction.

Onto the books themselves…

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Wrap Up | March 2018

Welcome one, welcome all, to my March Wrap Up which is relatively on time, for me at least. March as a whole was ok – I officially started my new job, I still work for the same place but I’ve moved into a newly created role, a promotion for all intents and purposes, so this month ended up being a lot of me trying to find my feet when none of us at work really fully know what my role entails until I do it for some time and work out what the teething problems are. That’s fine, but it has made me feel a little unsure and, at times, like I’m achieving nothing. It’s going to be a slow process into making this job my own, I think, and I’m trying to be ok with that. That has probably affected my reading a little in this past month but hopefully now I’ve found my feet a little, it’ll be on the up from here on in.

Aside from work stuff I also was fortunate enough to see Wicked as it is currently touring the UK and made a stop in Liverpool. It means I’ve finally seen a show at Liverpool Empire and I’ve also managed to tick off one of my ‘must see’ musicals from my list. It was also really good so I’m glad we got tickets and saw it. The Fiyero wasn’t quite to my tastes but he was accomplished enough, and the Elphaba was amazing so that redeemed that really. I also thought the Wizard and Madame Morrible were great! Like I said, I’m just glad I finally got to see a musical that, up until then, I’d only experienced through the original cast recording.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the books I read in the month of March:

In March, I read a total of 6 books 6 fiction and non-fiction – and was a re-read (marked by *). This amounted to 2572 pages in total.

In terms of format: 2/3 were paperback, 2 were hardbackwas an eARC, and 0/1 was an audiobook. I should explain the weird X/Y numbers – I read one of these titles by alternating the print and audiobook version throughout so that has messed with my statistics a little. I’m sure I’ll figure out how to settle it when it comes to my overall wrap/statistics at the end of the year.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, 2 were fantasy, 1 was a YA dystopian, 1 was YA fantasy, 1 was contemporary, and 1 was historical fiction. Quite the nice spread of genres which is something of a change for me!

Onto the books themselves…

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Wrap Up | February 2018

All in all, February has been a pretty damn good month – I’ve got around to reading some books that I’ve been meaning to read for months/years at this point and, personally speaking, life is just pretty good. The January blues seemed far behind as I officially signed a contract for my promotion at work  (which technically starts tomorrow on 1st March – woo!); my parents came for a flying visit to Liverpool and I introduced them to the Tavern and they loved it; I saw a couple of films I had been anticipating and enjoyed them immensely (Early Man and Black Panther); and I became quickly obsessed with the Winter Olympics, limited basically to the mixed doubles curling (John Morris and Kaitlyn Lawes all the way, “HARD KAITLYN HAAAARD”) and the ice skating (what a rollercoaster ride of emotion discovering Virtuemoir has been for me). So February has treated me rather well, professionally and personally speaking. And, as I said, reading-wise it’s also been very consistently brilliant and I’m happy with where my reading is at now we’re two months into 2018.

In February, I read a total of 6 books fiction and non-fiction – and was a re-read (marked by *). This amounted to 2292 pages in total.

In terms of format: were paperback, 2 was an ebook, and 1 was an audiobook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, book was young-adult fantasy1 was sci-fi/dystopian; were young-adult contemporary; 1 was non-fiction/memoir; and 1 was a romance.

Onto the books themselves…

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Wrap Up | January 2018

January has turned out to be a pretty good month in general. Everything seems to be moving up and onto good things. I feel like I’ve got into a swing(ish) of work, reading, blogging, and life in general and I’m off to a good start with all my resolutions for 2018, including the book-related ones!

I’ve also implemented a Bookish Savings Jar in an effort to read my own damn books and stop buying books so impulsively and it’s working quite well so far – if nothing else, at the end of the year I’ll have quite a tidy little sum of money, and it will also make me more conscious about when/why I buy books if I’m effectively fining myself an extra £1 on top of the purchase price every single time I buy something. Likewise, having to put £1 in a jar for each book I finish has also made me be more selective about what I am reading. As this month has shown, it does not stop me reading, it just makes me think more carefully about what I am reading and I often make sure a book I want to read also fits with the Around the Year in 52 Books challenge which I am participating in.

So far, so good, and I’m really pleased with how much I managed to get read in this past month. Let’s hope the rest of the year continues in a similar fashion, shall we?

In January, I read a total of 7 books fiction and non-fiction – and was a re-read (marked by *). This amounted to 2236 pages in total.

In terms of format: 1 was hardback, were paperback, 1 was an ebookwas an e-ARC, and 1 was an audiobook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, books were YA fantasy1 was historical fiction; 1 was young-adult contemporarywas contemporary/magical-realism, and 1 was a classic.

Onto the books themselves…

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2017 | A Bookish Year In Review

It’s that time of year again – the time when I wrap up all of last year’s reading into one handy post for reasons.

But first, how did 2017 in general go for me personally?

As far as years go, 2017 was much better than 2016. For a start, no beloved family members passed away so woo, congrats family, you hung on in there. The fallout from my nanna’s death is still lingering though, which sucks, but that’s life… unfortunately. Elsewhere, 2017 was the year that I finally felt like my life was getting sort of to the point I wanted – I feel on top of the house and bills that go along with it which I share with Liz (check out her blog here if you’re so inclined); I sometimes exercise and eat well (emphasis on the sometimes); I travelled to the US for the first time and loved it; I booked a holiday with Liz to go to Disney World (!) in 2018; I saw The Killers live in Liverpool (best night ever); I got to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (the magic is SO good), Phantom of the Opera (twice!), Les Miserables again (my fav) and Hamilton (in a word… phenomenal); and, perhaps most importantly, I finally got a job in my chosen field and I feel like I’ve settled into it well and I’m valued as a member of the small team in the office. So, 2017, despite an overwhelmingly crap year for politics, the uncovering of disgusting levels of sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood, and the world at large generally going to shit, for my own little blinkered view of the world, it was alright.

But that’s not what you’re here for, is it? This post is aaaall about the books. If you want to see what my top books of the year were, please see the companion blog post: Favourite Books of 2017. This year I surprised myself by not just necessarily including all of the books that were my favourite in any given month – some slipped off my radar as the months ticked by and others stayed with me for longer than I expected.

But, first things first, let’s take a good look at every single book I read this year, because the graphics and statistics are deeply satisfying to me.

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December 2017 | Wrap Up

Welcome one, welcome all to my slightly belated Wrap Up post for December. Now I am  back in Liverpool after being at home for Christmas, I am reunited with my laptop and its image-editing software so I can finally bring you my wrap up for how I did with my reading in December. As we got into December, I had quite a few reading challenges left to complete for the Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge but I was determined to complete it because I knew I’d already failed one reading challenge (the Book Riot Read Harder) and I didn’t want to fail another. Therefore, a lot of the books I read in the month were specifically chosen to fulfil the parameters of the prompts I had left in the reading challenge – I even got super serious and devised a December TBR to make sure I’d get it done, look at me all organised!

In December, I read a total of 8 books fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads (marked by *).

In terms of format: 1 was hardback, were paperback, 1 was an ebook, and 1 was an audiobook.

And as for genre, very broadly speaking, 2 books were thrillerswere YA fantasy, 1 was historical fantasy; 1 was young-adult contemporary1 was non-fiction, and 1 was a classic.

Onto the books themselves…

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