Wrap Up | March 2019

Welcome one, welcome all, to my March Wrap Up!

Two important and entirely unrelated events happened in March – Captain Marvel was released and I went to hear V.E. Schwab speak at Waterstones in Liverpool. Both of these things were awesome and experiences that I wish I could repeat. On the one hand, Captain Marvel was amazing – from its nineties-heavy soundtrack to Brie Larson kicking ass and doing it FOR HERSELF (not to prove anything to anyone, let alone a dude), I loved everything about it. And, on the other hand, hearing V speak about her writing process was great – she’s always so inspiring and this talk/signing was no exception. I made sure to get my unsigned books of hers signed too and let her pick her favourite of the Illumicrate ADSOM character tarot cards to sign – she picked Holland, for those who are curious!

Moving onto other bookish things, how did March’s reading go? Well, it was an odd sort of reading month as I felt like I was in something of a slump even though I know that, deep down, I was doing pretty well, I just happened to be reading reasonably long fantasy books. Considering the ratings I ended up giving these books I read, it’s clear to see that I was reading some really brilliant books too so I couldn’t be too disheartened by how long it seemed to take me to finish a couple of them. I was also very aware that the Magical Readathon and Camp NaNoWriMo were both on the horizon in April so I didn’t want to tire myself out with reading and writing too much in March.

But before looking to the future, let’s look at March in more detail, shall we?


In March, I read a total of 4 books 4 fiction and non-fiction – and was a re-read (marked by *). This amounted to 2267 pages in total.

In terms of format: 2 were hardbackwas a paperback, and was an ebook.

As for genre, were fantasy and was a historical fantasy.

Onto the books themselves…

Continue reading

Wrap Up | February 2019

Welcome one, welcome all, to my February Wrap Up. February has been a bit of an odd month. It felt like the month where not much happened, all in all. January is always a bit of a struggle with the winter blues and post-Christmas come down, but February is meant to feel a little bit more hopeful and cheerful. I’m still torn on how I actually felt about the month, looking back on it now, but it was the month where I tried to get my arse back in gear with a bunch of lifestyles and admin stuff, mainly: culling my room (finally clearing some clothes and books), properly cataloguing my books (FINALLY), getting back into a semi-regular schedule of gym-class attending, and feeling more motivation to get better at my blogging and social media game. The highlights of the month were a visit from the girls from university (we mostly just low-key hung out and also went to see Rhod Gilbert’s comedy gig which was very good) and the new/recent releases I got to coo over, namely King of Scars, The Kingdom of Copper, and The Priory of the Orange Tree.

In terms of my reading, after last month’s participation in many a readathon (ok, three, but that’s a lot for one month!), February was a month which was relatively low-key. I didn’t participate in any readathons or readalongs and instead I just read what I wanted to and that, unsurprisingly enough, consisted of fantasy. I didn’t read nearly as many books as I did in January but that’s more than ok because I’m still slowing chipping away at the prompts for the Around the Year in 52 Books reading challenge, and well on my way to completing my 52 books read in 2019 Goodreads goal.


In February, I read a total of 4 books 4 fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads (marked by *). This amounted to 1734 pages in total.

In terms of format: 3 were hardback and was an audiobook.

As for genre, were YA fantasy and was a fantasy.

Onto the books themselves…

Continue reading

Wrap Up | January 2019

Welcome one, welcome all, to my January Wrap Up. January is, quite rightly, often portrayed as either THE BEST or THE WORST – there’s nothing inbetween. Some people see January as that arbitrary annual start of the ‘new you’. There are entire industries that depend on (and feed into) this constructed narrative and, hell, I fall for it every year when I make yearly goals and resolutions. Even so, it’s easy to feel slumpy, cold, isolated, sad, or all of the above, during January. It feels like the longest month for many of us paid monthly (when did the 28th feel so far away???) and, for students, it often feels like you’re just slumping around the house for term to start again (I remember the feeling well).

Personally, I don’t know quite where I stand on January as a whole. A few baltic cold days have meant that getting to work has been a headache, being in work has been bearable only because I have a hot water bottle clutched to my body 80% of the time, and time after work has mostly been spent getting warm again and snuggling up without wanting to go outside for any reason. My one thing I intended to do this month (see the Kaiser Chiefs play) ended up being cancelled due to illness so I’ve mostly just worked, ate (way too much), ignored the gym calling out to me desperately, and (luckily enough for this post) read a bunch of things.

Although I felt like I was reading quite slowly throughout the month, I somehow managed to read quite a few things. I cannot deny that some of those things were comic book issues and graphic novels/bindups but, hey, they still count. I took part in three readathons (with varying degrees of participation and/or success), Bout of Books, Winter Biannual Bibliothon, and 24in48. I’m also very pleased that I managed to tick off quite a few challenges towards my Around the Year in 52 Books reading challenge, as well as making a serious dent in my usual annual Goodreads goal of reading 52 books. I’m hoping that such a productive and positive start to my reading year will mean that once this momentum inevitably runs out, I have a little room to slow it down if need be and/or take the time to read some longer books if I wish. (I’m looking at you Les Misérables and War and Peace.)

But I’m getting somewhat ahead of myself, let’s re-focus and have a look back over how the bookish stats for my January look…


In January, I read a total of 12 books 12 fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads (marked by *). This amounted to 3323 pages in total.

In terms of format: 7 were paperback, were ebooks, 1 was an eARC, and was an audiobook.

As for genre, were YA fantasy, 2 were contemporary/romance, was children’s fantasywere fantasy graphic novels, 2 were fantasy/horror comic books, and was a classic.

Onto the books themselves…

Continue reading

2018 | A Bookish Year In Review

As you can see from the title of this post, this is my ultimate monthly wrap up – it’s my year in review for 2018. This means I’m going to look back at the stats for everything I read in 2018, month by month, and there’s some nice visual representations of the books too. If you want to see what my top books of the year were, please see the companion blog post: Best Books of 2018.

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

JANUARY

jan2018

The Wicked Cometh by Laura Carlin | 3/5 stars | Review
* Princess Diaries: Take Two (Princess Diaries #2) by Meg Cabot | 3.5/5 stars | Review
The Winner’s Crime (Winner’s Trilogy #2) by Marie Rutkoski | 4/5 stars | Review
The Fandom (The Fandom #1) by Anna Day | 3/5 stars | Review
Sourdough by Robin Sloan | 4/5 stars | Review
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert | 4/5 stars | Review
The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo | 5/5 stars | Review

Read: 7 books | 2236 pages
Fav: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

FEBRUARY

feb2018

* Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | 5/5 stars | Review
The Power by Naomi Alderman | 5/5 stars | Review
The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli | 4/5 stars | Review
How Not to Be a Boy by Robert Webb | 4.5/5 stars | Review
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig | 5/5 stars | Review
Carol by Patricia Highsmith | 3/5 stars | Review

Read: 6 books | 2292 pages
Fav: The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Continue reading

Wrap Up | December 2018

Welcome one, welcome all, to my December Wrap Up. After a reasonably slow reading month in November, largely due to concentrating my efforts on NaNoWriMo instead, I was back with a vengeance in December and determined to finish the year on a high. I’ve long since surpassed my Goodreads Reading Challenge of reading 52 books in the year but I still had a fair few prompts from Around the Year in 52 Books to address and, as you might have seen in my December TBR, I became determined not to end the year without having at least tried to catch up at the eleventh hour and finish the challenge. So how did I do? Let’s see that, and which books I read in December…


In December, I read a total of 11 books 9 fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads (marked by *). This amounted to 3144 pages in total.

In terms of format: 2 were paperbackwere hardback, and were audiobooks.

As for genre, were fantasy, 3 were classics, 2 were non-fiction/memoir1 was a contemporarywas YA historical fiction, and was gothic.

Onto the books themselves…

december2018.png

Continue reading

Wrap Up | November 2018

Welcome one, welcome all, to my November Wrap Up. As mentioned in my previous wrap up, I was writing the post from Disney’s Caribbean Beach resort, and the holiday did affect my reading pace quite dramatically. Then, November rolled around, and I was trying to focus all my efforts on NaNoWriMo. It turns out working full time, trying to write 50,000 words in a month, blog at least sometimes, and also read is a bit of a difficulty to juggle. I’ve never felt that more so than during NaNo this month. Even so, I still think I didn’t do too bad of a job in maintaining a steady reading pace (although said pace was quite slow) throughout the month and I’m glad I managed to read a few things- all of which I really enjoyed! Let’s have a look…


In November, I read a total of 4 books 4 fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads (go me!). This amounted to 1544 pages in total.

In terms of format: 4 were paperback.

As for genre, 2 were contemporary, 1 was a historical fantasy, and 1 was a classic.

Onto the books themselves…

Continue reading

Wrap Up | October 2018

Welcome one, welcome all, to my October Wrap Up. As we’re nearing the end of the year my reading pace seems to be slowing down slightly but that’s ok and I partly blame being on holiday for that. My holidays have been stacked towards the end of the year which means I haven’t read quite as much as I otherwise might have. Very excitingly, I write this post from my hotel room in the Caribbean Beach resort at Disney World in Orlando, tired after a long day wandering around Magic Kingdom and watching their fireworks show Happily Ever After. It’s my first time at Disney and it’s been amazing so far… but all this merriment hasn’t left the most time for reading and I’m kind of ok with that. However, the rest of the month was pretty good for reading I think.

As always seems to be the case, I took part in a couple of readathons: the Charms Extra Credit readathon and Victober. I did better than my cynical self thought I would do with both of them so I’m reasonably pleased with that. Both the readathons were wonderfully hosted so I’d recommend checking them (and their hosts) out and joining in in the future if either of them seem like your jam. As I was taking part in Victober – a readathon in which you read Victorian novels throughout the month of October – a large portion of my reading was (understandably) focused around that. However, I got organised, made a schedule and everything, so that I could finish my Victober efforts just before I went off on holiday, so that my holiday reading could be less… demanding of me, shall we say? I think it worked out quite well even if, as it stands at the time of writing, I’ve only started one book so far on this holiday – and that was on the plane journey here. Still, we’ll see what November brings… but first, let’s wrap up October properly.


In October, I read a total of 5 books 5 fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads (go me!). This amounted to 1242 pages in total.

In terms of format: 3 were paperback and were ebooks.

As for genre, 4 were comic books/graphic novels and 1 was a classic. (I know, I’m as surprised as you are by these stats for October.)

Onto the books themselves…

Continue reading

Charms Extra Credit | Wrap Up

This past week I’ve been loosely participating in the Charms Extra Credit readathon, as orgnanised by the lovely Gi of the Book Roast. This is supplementary to the OWLs and NEWTs readathons that she runs and is a fun and creative way to get a little head-start on your exams before the next round of the readathons. If you have no idea what I’m talking out, it might help to check out Gi’s Extra Credit announcement video!

I decided to take part even though I’m focusing most of my energy this month on the month-long Victober readathon. Because Victober can be quite demanding in terms of the types of books you’re reading, I decided to take it easy with Charms Extra Credit and help myself out a bit by being kind to myself and choosing mostly graphic novels and comic books for my TBR. Let’s wrap this readathon up and see how I did, shall we?

The Challenges & How I Did

✓ Alohomora: read a book that’s first in a series 
Lumberjanes, Vol. 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters, and Brooke Allen
This was really cute! I already knew I’d adore the art style and bright colours because I’ve had a peek at Noelle Stevenson’s character styles before thanks to Nimona . The story line was weird and wacky but it completely fit with the larger-than-life colour palette. I’m hoping to read more volumes in this series and see where it goes!

✓ Accio: book that’s top of your TBR
Saga, Vol. 9 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
I cannot with Saga anymore. I was not prepared for this and, friends, neither will you be for this volume. I hated that I loved it because, oh boy, that ending was something. I love this series with all my art, the story, the CHARACTERS, the art style, the HUMOUR, the HEARTBREAK, and, yep, I now officially feel personally victimised by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples.

✗ Incendio: words ‘fire’ or ‘flame’ in the title/series name, or flame picture on the cover
Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2) by Claudia Gray
This is the book I unfortunately didn’t get to during the readathon. In a previous month I’d listened to maybe 40% of the audiobook before setting it aside and I thought this readathon would be a good opportunity to maybe pick it up again. I think the problem I’m having with it is that it’s not immediately gripping me like the first book in the trilogy did (I loved the imperial Russian setting), so I’m less excited to make it a priority in my TBR. It’s a shame, but I didn’t even think about reading this book this past week.

✓ Rictusempra: book that ‘tickles you the right way’ (exciting trope/theme/genre)
Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince, Issue 1 by V.E. Schwab, Enrica Eren Angiolini and Andrea Olimpieri
The comic I have waited months for and it was awesome! I wasn’t sure what I’d think of the art style at first, and even as I turned the first few pages, I still wasn’t sold… but then I fell into the story of V.E. Schwab’s Red London all over again and I was hooked. Maxim is going to be a fantastic protagonist to this comic book series (well, he already is) and I’m super excited for the next issue. (Full disclosure: it felt a little bit lot like cheating including a 32-page comic for a readathon challenge whilst some participants are over here reading full-length books but, hey, I’ll readathon how I like.)

✓ Lumos: book with a light cover
Captain Marvel, Vol. 1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez
I really enjoyed this one! I’m a sucker for the MCU so I’ve always meant to pick up some of the more recent comic book arcs and this has always been on that list. The art was bold and colourful but, to me, still felt recognisably ‘superhero comic book’ style. I’m not going to lie, though, some of the storylines in this confused me because I thought I was missing something. As it was the first volume in a new iteration of Captain Marvel, I thought I wasn’t expected to have knowledge of her previous escapades, but even so I felt like at times the story just expected me to go along with stuff that wasn’t explained all that well. Controversial opinion? I don’t know, maybe I’m just not used to reading this kind of comic book series where there’s so much history and lore behind the character. I’ll still try to pick up other volumes though because Captain Marvel is bad-ass and I dig it.

 

So, all in all, I think 4 out of 5 challenges is pretty damn good! (We’ll ignore the fact they were all really short books, ‘kay?) This means that, if/when I participate in the OWLs readathon next year and if/when I choose to study Charms, I’ll be able to start my book for that challenge 4 days earlier than the official start date of the readathon. Not bad, eh?

Did you take part in the Charms Extra Credit – what did you read? If you didn’t, let me know what you’ve been reading lately anyway as I always love to hear book recommendations. Let me know in the comments below!


Goodreads | Twitter| Instagram

Wrap Up | September 2018

Welcome one, welcome all, to my September Wrap Up. As a month, September was pretty great for one key reason – I started off the month with a quick jaunt to Barcelona, a city I’ve never been to before despite having frequented coastal Spanish towns for yearly family holidays since I was 18 months. How I managed to reach almost 26 years old having never visited Barcelona, I don’t know. But I’m SO glad I finally got to see it because it was beautiful and I loved the city and it’s a place that I know I will be visiting again in the (hopefully near) future.

September also brought my friends’ wedding which was a whole experience. The trip meant a long weekend spent in the ever picturesque Cambridge and having that city as a backdrop for your wedding makes for a rather lovely day indeed. I’m so incredibly happy for my friends and it made me realise suddenly that yep, we’re now officially all grown ups and I should expect many more of these sorts of events in the future. (Also, side note for Future Emma in case she somehow miraculously ends up getting married: have a ceilidh at your wedding reception, they’re so much fun.) Since I was spending time with school friends (some of whom I haven’t seen properly for a sustained period of time for years), reading wasn’t exactly a priority. So that was a good portion of September taken up by, you know, going outside and doing things and socialising.

Because of all this, you will see from the statistics below that my reading pace took a sharp nose-dive this past month. I don’t know what it was – being on holiday for the first week and spending too much time eating paella to think about reading whilst there, or having fun at a friends’ wedding, or just not really finishing as many books as I started this month. On which note, I am halfway through the audiobook for V.E. Schwab’s latest release City of Ghosts and I’m reading A Discovery of Witches which is taking… a while to get through. What’s more, I’m not sure when I’m going to finish either of these current reads because with the dawn of October comes Victober and thereby a restricted monthly TBR. Still, before I turn to October, let’s break down September, shall we?


In September, I read a total of 3 books 3 fiction and non-fiction – and was a re-read (marked by *). This amounted to 1195 pages in total.

In terms of format: 1 was hardback and were paperback.

As for genre, 1 was historical fictionwas YA dystopian; and was fantasy/sci-fi.

Onto the books themselves…

september2018

Continue reading

Wrap Up | August 2018

Welcome one, welcome all, to my August Wrap Up. Life wise, August has been a bit of a non-month. Nothing terrible happened, nothing amazing and new happened. It’s very much the month of transition, as summer has its last gasp and we begin to head into Autumn. For me, August has been the month of trying not to spend too much money because we’ve started to pay off a lot of the holiday to Disney and saved for our upcoming trip to Barcelona at the beginning of September.

Meanwhile, reading-wise, August was the month I finally finished The Count of Monte Cristo – let the hallelujah chorus begin… I’m so glad I managed to finish that beast of a book and, despite some rocky patches where I considered throwing in the towel, I did end up having a tonne of fun doing weekly updates for it as part of the Full Monte readalong, hosted by Laura of Reading In Bed. Aside from finishing that tome, August was mostly dedicated to the NEWTs Readathon, as hosted by Gi of the Book Roast. I was very excited to take part in this and I immensely enjoyed the theme of the readathon. Unfortunately, I didn’t plan my TBR with enough care or realistic idea of what I could actually get read in the space of a month. I think if I’d been better at planning, and putting in some shorter books for the first grades, I would have done much better than I ended up doing. Still, it helped me to read a bit more than I would have, and it did tick off some books I’ve been meaning to get to. It’s also meant I’ve half-read quite a few other books which isn’t ideal considering we go into September with a trip away looming during which I can’t pack hardcovers, so most of these half-read books will have to wait until a week or so into the month to be completed. Such are the troubles of a reader, eh?

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves with what I’ll read in September without first taking a look at what I read in August…


In August, I read a total of 9 books 8 fiction and non-fiction – and were re-reads (marked by *). This amounted to 4181 pages in total.

In terms of format: 3 were hardbackswere paperback2 were ebooks/eARCs and 2 were audiobooks.

And as for genre, 2 were fantasywere YA fantasywere YA contemporary; and were classics; and was an autobiography/memoir.

Onto the books themselves…

Continue reading