October Wrap Up

I feel like I’ve managed to read a lot more this month, and I think that’s because I’m blogging less. I’m not worried about writing reviews for books, just trying to enjoy them. I’m trying to get through all the books I got last Christmas which are shamefully still sitting on my TBR (ready for a new bunch in a couple of months!)

What I Read

Another Beginning by Lauren James

The Hunger Games and Catching Fire (Audio Books) by Suzanne Collins

Monster by Michael Grant

The Creeper Man by Dawn Kurtagich

Electric Dreams by Philip K Dick

Book Post

After being really good last month and not requesting any books, I went on a little spree this month. I just couldn’t resist!

Purple Hearts by Michael Grant

(Thanks Electric Monkey)

Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

I Am Thunder by Muhammas Khan

Renegades by Merissa Meyer

(Thanks Macmillan Children’s Books!)

Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan

(Thanks Puffin!)

Minority Report by Philip K. Dick

(Thanks Gollancz!)

A Shiver of Snow and Sky by Lisa Luedecke

(Competition win – thanks Lisa Luedecke!)

A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen

(Comeptition win – thanks Walker Books!)

I also had my beautiful, limited edition of The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage arrive. I can’t bring myself to start it yet, it feels it needs a special occasion/hours to sit down and binge read!

What I Wrote:

I slacked off a bit on the writing front at the beginning of the month and slowly brought myself back into it by deciding to do NaNoWriMo again this year. So I’ve planned in detail and am hoping to get the bulk of the novel written in November (fingers crossed) So if it’s a bit quiet on here in November then that’s why!

What I watched:

TV

This month has been all about Louis Theroux. We started off watching his new series on the BBC, and then binged some of his older ones on Netflix and Prime. I could watch him go just about anywhere, I love all his shows.

Films/What I Did

This month we watched The Autopsy of Jane Doe which was super creepy and fun – I’d definitely recommend it. We also got my sister to babysit and had our first date night in months. We went to see It and loved it – that perfect mix of creepiness and gore and laughs. I need to rewatch the original now, as I only have vague memories of being terrified of that when I was a tween!

What Little Moore Did

Little Moore is growing far too fast! He’s really into speaking at the moment and his vocabulary is growing by the day. He loves to say ‘car’ still, and now has a wide range of animal noises he can do, from camel to elephant to giraffe! He’s teething at the moment, which seems to be a never-ending trauma – I can’t wait for him to finally have his full set of teeth!

September Wrap Up

This has been a bit of an odd month. Once again, the amount I’ve read has really dropped off, though the books have been brilliant, and I’ve barely been blogging. I think I’m getting out of this funk now so we’ll see what October brings!

What I Read

Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

The Huntress: Sky by Sarah Driver

We See Everything by William Sutcliffe

No Shame by Anne Cassidy

Book Post

Because I’ve been so behind on reading and blogging I’ve not requested any Netgalley books this month – very restrained for me! I did have 3 gorgeous pieces of book post though:

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James

(Thanks Walker Books!)

Monster by Michael Grant

(Thanks Electric Monkey)

Electric Dreams by Philip K. Dick

(Thanks Gollancz!)

What I Wrote:

I’ve written about a chapter and a half of the latest pass at my novel, which is basically a complete rewrite. I’m really into it but progress has been slow due to busyness/stress/illness. I’m making myself commit to just 10 minutes of writing a night – and then any more is an added bonus for now!

What I watched:

TV

The Defenders was as amazing as I imagined. I’m so in love with Luke Cage and Daredevil – such amazing characters and actors! We also watched A Series of Unfortunate Events which I had mixed feelings about. The style and actors were all amazing but I found it a bit repetitive, like the books really.

Films/What I Did

We didn’t watch any films at home this month, but I did take a trip to London to see The Room – if you don’t know it, it’s widely known as the best bad film ever and is absolutely hilarious. I took my best friend as a birthday present and we met Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero too, which was awesome.

 

What Little Moore Did

Little Moore is about to change rooms at nursery now and loved his settling in session – apparently he cried when he had to go back to his old room! He also had an allergic reaction this month and looks like he won’t be able to eat lentils for the foreseeable future – very sad for us as lentils are a staple in this house!

My Dream Reading Space

As an avid reader, I read anywhere and everywhere I can – curled up on the sofa, on my lunch break at work, while cleaning my teeth – anywhere I can squeeze some reading time in! It’s not always ideal, but when you gotta read, you gotta read…

I can’t pretend I don’t wish I had my own special space, just for reading. It’s something I daydream about, and when someone from Arhaus got in touch about a post inspired by their website the cogs started whirring in my mind immediately! I had great fun browsing their site for the perfect pieces for my dream reading space (if only I had somewhere to put it all!)

Continue reading “My Dream Reading Space”

July Wrap Up

Once again, it’s been a slow month, but I’ve really enjoyed the books I’ve read, especially the two from The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White. This month also marks my first audio book, which is pretty cool.

What I Read

Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson

S.T.A.G.S by M. A. Bennett

And I Darken by Kiersten White

Now I Rise by Kiersten White

City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

A Change is Gonna Come by various authors

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

 

Book Post

Absolutely no book post this month, which hasn’t happened in a while but has given me some much needed catch up time! And I’ve still had some awesome books from NetGalley:

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

(Thanks Bloomsbury Children’s Books!)

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow

The Princess and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

(Thanks First Second Books!)

Sky by Sarah Driver

(Thanks Egmont!)

Indigo Donut by Patrice Lawrence

(Thanks Hodder Children’s Books!)

There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

(Thanks Macmillan Children’s Books!)

What I Wrote:

Still chipping away at the editing. I’m trying to focus on the story structure and have made a timeline that zigzags across my study, and I think that’s really helping to visualise the story.

What I watched:

TV

Pretty Little Liars finally ended, and after watching the finale I’ve gone right back to the start to see it all again. There’s so much stuff from the earlier seasons that I don’t even remember!

Films

I can’t think of anything significant we’ve watched this month, other than a god awful horror on Amazon called Slaser.com It’s badly shot and badly acted, with a terrible, nonsensical story. Good for a laugh if you like those ‘so bad it’s good’ horror films though!

What I Did

My best friend and I did a breakout room at ClueHQ in Coventry and were their fastest two person breakout. Yes, I’m bragging, but we thought it was pretty cool! Still going with the driving lessons and starting to get nervous for my test. Hoping that by this time next month I’ll be able to drive!

What Little Moore Did

Little Moore is finally getting more confident with his walking. He’s taking more steps between us now, and will happily potter about a little on his own between toys and furniture. He’s also got a Cozy Coupe – you know, those big red and yellow cars everyone had as kids – and is obsessed with getting in and out of it.

June Wrap Up

I’ve had a bit of a slower reading month than usual this month, but I’ve read some amazing books and am getting back into the swing of things again now.

What I Read

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Day 7 by Kerry Drewery

The Hundred Names of Darkness by Nilanajana Roy

Lumberjanes Volume 3: A Terrible Plan by Noelle Stevenson

Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Book Post

I’ve realised I’ve not been including my NetGalley books on this list so I’m adding all my NetGalley TBR onto this month’s new books.

The Death House by Sarah Pinborough

(Thanks Gollancz!)

And on NetGalley…

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

(Thanks Hodder and Stoughton!)

A Change is Gonna Come by Various

(Thanks Stripes!)

We See Everything by William Sutcliffe

(Thanks Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

What I Wrote:

Ugh I’m stuck in editing hell at the moment. It feels like there’s a billion things to do and I don’t even know where to start. Any tips appreciated!

What I watched:

TV

I finished watching AMS: Roanoke and I think it’s actually been my favourite season so far. Super creepy and gory and I loved it. They still don’t know how to end things though: I feel let down by each final episode, though this season wasn’t as bad as previous ones.

Films

We watched Beyond the Gates, a film that’s been on our radar for a while and I finally bought it for Nathan for Father’s Day. It’s got a great retro board game horror thing going on, a bit like an adult Jumanji (though not as scary in my opinion!) It was good but I think we were expecting more from it.

What I Did

I finally did my theory test – and passed it! I’ve been revising like mad each evening for the last month or so and it paid off in the end. There were a few questions I had to guess but it all worked out in the end. Plus I aced the hazard perception (69 out of 75!) so I’m clearly very perceptive 🙂 Now I just need to practice and get the practical test done. Watch this space!

What Little Moore Did

Little Moore still isn’t walking, though we think he’s getting close. He’s more stable on his feet now and will walk holding just one of our hands. Think he just needs the confidence to do it now. He’s been enjoying the hot weather in the daytime, playing in the garden and paddling pool with his cousin, but not so much at night. 30 degrees is way too hot to sleep in!

May Wrap Up

I’ve stuck to my word this month and been alternating between my books and review books. I like reading a mix of new and older books and it’s nice to see each pile finally going down!

What I Read

Like Other Girls by Claire Hennessy

The Sign of One by Eugene Lambert

This Careless Life by Rachel McIntyre

Release by Patrick Ness

The Fallen Children by David Owen

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

The Wildings by Nilanjana Roy

The State of Grace by Rachael Lucas

A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond

Book Post

I’ve realised I’ve not been including my NetGalley books on this list so I’m adding all my NetGalley TBR onto this month’s new books.

Release by Patrick Ness

(Thanks Walker YA!)

This Careless Life by Rachel McIntyre

Monster by Michael Grant

Flight of a Starling by Lisa Heathfield

(Thanks Electric Monkey!)

City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

(Thanks Rock the Boat!)

And on NetGalley…

STAGS by M. A Bennett

(Thanks Hot Key Books!)

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

(Thanks Hodder and Stoughton!)

Now I Rise by Kiersten White

(Thanks Penguin Random House!)

What I Wrote:

I’m still reading through my first draft and making scene notes. While the beginning was better than I remembered, the end is just as terrible as I thought and the amount of work needed there makes me dizzy! Slowly starting to chip through it though and I’m looking forward to making some big changes.

What I watched:

TV

Tragedy struck our Green Wing rewatch when I found one of the discs missing 😮 I was so gutted we stopped and went on to Kimmy Schmidt instead, in preparation for the new series (which is excellent). We’ve also started watching The Office (US) boxset, which I got for my birthday and is one of my favourite series. I’ve also finally started watching American Horror Story: Roanoke. It’s been on my to-watch pile for ages and it’s pretty creepy so far.

Films

I don’t think I watched a single film this month, which is not like me! Planning a horror film sleepover with my sisters for June though so should be watching some interesting things soon.

What I Did

This month I’ve finally plucked up the courage to start driving lessons again. It’s been a while and I’m pretty rusty, but it’s not as horrendous as I feared and I’m hoping to take my test this year. My little sister turned 17 this month and has also started lessons and I’m determined to pass before her!

What Little Moore Did

Little Moore now has six teeth and is still toddling around using his walker/various parts of the furniture. He’s not confident enough to walk on his own yet, and while I can’t wait to see him do it, I’m trying to enjoy the time we have left of him only being able to crawl! He also got his first bike this month and he loves going for a walk around the block before dinner in these warm summer evenings.

April Wrap Up

For half the month I’ve been getting through my backlog of review books, but towards the end of the month, I started going back to birthday and Christmas books. There’s just not enough time to read all I want to!

What I Read

Naondel by Maria Turtschaninoff

Room Empty by Sarah Mussi

Here Be Dragons by Sarah Mussi

Labyrinth by Jim Henson and A. C. H Smith

The Circus by Olivia Levez

If Birds Fly Back by Carlie Sorosiak

Ms Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why

I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson

The Opposite of You by Lou Morgan

Girlhood by Cat Clarke

The Sign of One by Eugene Lambert

Waiting for Callback by Perdita and Honour Cargill

Book Post

The book post slowed down a bit this month, giving me a chance to catch up, but I still had a couple of fabulous books come through:

The Adventures of Owl and the Pussycat by Coral Rumble and Charlotte Cooke

(Thanks Faye Rogers/Wacky Bee Books)

Girlhood by Cat Clarke

(Thanks Hachette Kids!)

What I Wrote:

After doing so well for the first three months of the year, I’ve given up tracking what I’m writing. But I’m still writing, and that’s the important thing! Now I’ve left my first draft alone a bit I’ve returned to it and am reading through, making notes and editing. Good news is it’s not as bad as I thought! Bad news is there’s still a lot of work to do. I’m enjoying it though, and that feels good.

What I watched:

TV

We watched the first season of Outcast, which was really good and has made me want to read the comics more. We went straight on to Legion, which was a bit weird and I wasn’t sure at first, but the ending was incredible and all the actors were just amazing. We’ve started watching Green Wing now, which is an old favourite of mine and never fails to make me laugh.

Films

I sat down to write what we’d watched this month and came up with one film…not like us at all! My sister came for a sleepover and we watched Knock Knock, an Eli Roth film. I’m a big fan of his but this wasn’t one of his best. Keanu Reeves was wooden (surprise!) and the plot was a bit meh. There were some fun moments though and the ending gave me a chuckle.

What I Did

This month I was lucky enough to see Garth Nix at the Oxford Literary festival. It was amazing to meet an author whose books I’ve been reading for so long! It was also my birthday, but this was a bit low key as we all came down with a vomiting bug – the perfect birthday present! We made up for it with a trip to a children’s farm – Little Moore loved pointing at all the animals and I loved feeding the goats.

What Little Moore Did

Little Moore has another two teeth and is moving around more than ever. He’s really into everything and it’s hard to keep him entertained sometimes, especially when all he wants to do is explore the kitchen cupboards (note to self: do more baby proofing). We went to a local farm and he enjoyed pointing at all the animals and watching me feed the goats. He’s also started trying to join in with hand actions when we do nursery rhymes and screams and claps when we finish. So cute!

Garth Nix at Oxford Literary Festival

I was lucky enough to win two tickets to see Garth Nix speak at the Oxford Literary Festival last weekend. Big thanks to Maximum Pop for the tickets!

I’ve loved Garth Nix since I was a young teen, so getting to see him was a bit of a dream. I took one of my friends from uni with me, who is just as much of a fan and I know she really appreciated the chance to go.

Little Moore also came along with us, as Nathan was working at the weekend. I was a bit worried as you don’t want to be the annoying person that’s brought a screaming baby along to a talk. My plan was to give him a bottle and for him to fall asleep while Garth Nix spoke, but of course, that’s not what happened! As soon as the talk started he seemed to perk up (despite having got up at 6am to get to Oxford!). He kept chatting along with Garth Nix as he spoke, which was kind of cute and funny but I was really worried about annoying people and interrupting things! We had front row seats and I eventually decided to pop off towards the back to try and be less disturbing.

Despite all that, everyone afterwards said how good he’d been, including Garth Nix, which was really sweet. He even tried to make Little Moroe laugh, but that’s easier said than done!

The talk itself was brilliant. Garth Nix is charismatic and a born storyteller. He made the audience laugh a lot and kept us all really captivated. The hour went far too fast! The audience got involved too with a fun game with some beautiful Frogkisser! cards. I also got my old, battered copy of Sabriel along for signing. This was the first Garth Nix book I read and it was really special to me to get it signed.

This was a really great day out and it was amazing to meet one of my favourite authors. It’s made me want to get all my old Garth Nix books out and give them a read again.

March Wrap Up

I read a lot this month! I read the whole Sin Eater’s Trilogy by Melinda Salisbury (all the feels!) and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (even more feels!). I’ve been neglecting my Christmas books because of an influx in review ones but I’m planning on getting through some of them in April.

What I Read

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (reread)

Frogkisser! by Gath Nix

The Giant Jumperee by Julia Donaldson

Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane by Caroline Baxter

Following Ophelia by Sophia Bennett

The Sleeping Prince by Melinda Salisbury (reread)

The Scarecrow Queen by Melinda Salisbury

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Doing It: Let’s Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton

One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

The Huntress: Sea by Sarah Driver

Book Post

This month I had some more gorgeous book post, including:

The Wildings and The Hundred Names of Darkness by Nilanjana Roy

(Thanks Pushkin Press!)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

(Thanks Walker Books!)

Here Be Witches by Sarah Mussi

(Thanks Shrine Bell!)

Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane by Caroline Baxter

(Thanks Faye Rogers!)

I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson

(Thanks Electric Monkey)

Doing It: Let’s Talk About Sex by Hannah Witton

(Wren & Rook!)

Naondel by Maria Turtschanoff

(Thanks Vicki Berwick/Pushkin Press!)

Into the No-Zone by Eugene Lambert

(Thanks Electric Monkey!)

What I Wrote:

Predictably, my word count has gone lower than last month (I mean it’s technically more but February has less days so…) I’m not going to make excuses but at least I’m still writing! I’ve been working through some exercises in Juliet Mushen’s Writing for YA book and have found them really enjoyable. I’m planning to start editing next month and want to have a solid plan in place when I do.

Total word count: 17,765

What I watched:

TV

We rewatched the first season of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and went straight onto the second season. I thought the first was perfect, even better second time round. I love Rachel Bloom and the songs are amazing. The second season seems a bit more aimless. It’s wandering around a bit and I think it’s lost the point after such a concept driven first series. Still, the songs are incredible and it’s just as funny. I’d really recommend it if you haven’t watched it yet.

Films

We’ve gotten a bit lax on the film front again as we’ve both been really busy. But, we did manage to get out to the cinema (second night out since Little Moore was born!) and saw Get Out. I adored it, and so did the rest of the cinema. I know because they were all clapping and cheering on the main character, which was a bit weird but fun. If you’ve not seen it yet then get on it, it’s amazing.

What I Did

Aside from our cinema trip, it’s been a relatively quiet month. So much so that I can’t think of anything to put here, which is a shame but hey ho. On to the next section!

What Little Moore Did

Little Moore is enjoying exploring the house more and more. His favourite thing to do is pull himself to standing and try to crawl inside the washing machine, or play with the cupboard under the sink. He’s also started using his walker and taking some clumsy steps around the living with it. And he finally has teeth!! It’s taken a year but he’s had two pop through and the rest look like they’re on the way (cue more crying and sleepless nights).