Books

2018 Bookish Goals Update – January to June

The first half of 2018 has been and gone and I’m here to give you a bookish goals update for this first 6 months.

My full goal for reading is 25 books for the entire year, but I feel like I will most likely beat that considering so far I’ve read 23 books!

I also had 4 other goals, some I’ve done better on than others… Those goals were:36099753

  1. Read Carrie Fisher’s 4 fiction books – I’ve read none so far and only own 2, I need to work on that!!
  2. Read 5 classics – I’ve read 1… Again, I seriously need to work on that, but I just haven’t been in the mood for them at all.
  3. Read 5 non-fiction books – I’ve actually read 6 so far, focusing on the Kray twins and Queen Victoria. I’ve really enjoyed learning though.
  4. Complete 3 series – I’ve completed 1, the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. I have plans to complete another soon.

Now to get on with the list of books I’ve read and their ratings!

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  1. Victoria & Albert: A Royal Love Affair – Daisy Goodwin & Sara Sheridon (5/5)
  2. Beauty & the Beast: Lost in a Book – Jennifer Donnelly (5/5)
  3. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (4/5)
  4. Fallen – Lauren Kate (4/5)
  5. Torment – Lauren Kate (4/5)
  6. Passion – Lauren Kate (5/5)
  7. Rapture – Lauren Kate (5/5)
  8. The Tudors: Lady Jane Grey to Elizabeth I – G. J. Meyer (4/5)
  9. Leia, Princess of Alderaan – Claudia Gray (5/5)
  10. Harley Quinn Volume 1: Hot in the City – Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti (5/5)
  11. The Profession of Violence: The Rise & Fall of the Kray Twins – John Pearson (4/5)
  12. Harley Quinn Volume 2: Power Outage – Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti (4/5)
  13. Monster Orphan Spy – Matt Killeen (5/5)33784284
  14. Still Me – Jojo Moyes (5/5)
  15. Open Road Summer – Emery Lord (3/5)
  16. Criticizing Photographs – Terry Barrett (3/5)
  17. Frances: The Tragic Bride – Jacky Hyams (5/5)
  18. Victoria: A Life – A. N. Wilson (5/5)
  19. Stolen – Lucy Christopher (3/5)
  20. My Real Name is Hanna – Tara Lynn Masih (4/5) ARC
  21. Everything Leads to You – Nina LaCour (4/5)
  22. Harley Quinn Volume 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab – Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti (4/5)
  23. Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco (5/5)
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Book Haul – January to June 2018

Between January and June, I managed to accumulate 19 books. This may sound like a lot but I did also get rid of some books and so many were purchased within the first month due to Christmas money.

I was given 3 books and I bought 16. These are all physical books, as I don’t include ebook ARCS here.

I’ll begin with the 3 books I was given. The first being sent to me as part of my university course, the other two as gifts from my dad. They are:IMG_5663

  1. The Photograph as Contemporary Art – Charlotte Cotton
  2. Legend: The Notorious True Story of the Kray Twins – John George Pearson
  3. Postcards to the Edge – Carrie Fisher

Next, I will go into the books I bought towards the beginning of the year. I can’t specifically remember how many, but I think about 7 of these books were from then or at least close to it. Those books are:IMG_5671

  1. Surrender the Pink – Carrie Fisher
  2. The Fellowship of the Ring – J R R Tolkien
  3. The Two Towers – J R R Tolkien
  4. The Return of the King – J R R Tolkien
  5. The Victoria Letters – Helen Rappaport & Daisy Goodwin
  6. Leia, Princess of Alderaan – Claudia Gray
  7. Our Story – Ronnie & Reggie Kray

The rest I bought after that and they are:

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  1. Orphan Monster Spy – Matt Killeen
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag – Oliver Bowden
  3. Stalking Jack the Ripper – Keri Maniscalco
  4. Assassin’s Creed: Underworld – Oliver Bowden
  5. Assassin’s Creed: Desert Oath – Oliver Bowden
  6. All That She Can See – Carrie Hope Fletcher
  7. On The Other Side – Carrie Hope Fletcher
  8. Winter’s Snow – Carrie Hope Fletcher
  9. Wilde Like Me – Louise Pentland

So far I’ve read only 4 of them but hope to work on that during the rest of the year!

-Laura

Book Review – My Real Name is Hanna by Tara Lynn Masih (ARC)

39346604Book: My Real Name is Hanna

Author: Tara Lynn Masih

Format: eBook

Rating: 4/5

Review: To begin with, I want to point out that this book was an eBook I received as an ARC from NetGalley for free, but all thoughts are still my own. The release date for this book is 15th of September 2018.

This book is about a young teenage girl named Hanna, who is a Jew, and it is a story about her and her family’s survival during the Holocaust. This is slightly different to what I’ve read before with Holocaust books, as this does not feature within a Nazi concentration camp. Her family and extended family are forced to hide in a forest and survive as well as they possibly can. It’s a beautiful story about family, friendship, strength and survival. I feel as if I learnt something when reading this book, and although the characters are fictional (minus Hitler), it is based on true stories of survival of such a horrific era in history.

It’s written from the first person perspective of Hanna, who is telling her story to her daughter. Because of it being written in the first person, we really get to know Hanna. We read her thoughts, feelings, memories and more. She’s a strong and intelligent girl who really helps her family during their time in hiding. I highly recommend this book, as it is well-written, educational and emotional. It’s a wonderful book.

-Laura

Christmas Book Haul 2017

Christmas has been and gone and now we’re firmly into January of 2018! To begin with, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a great new year. I want to also mention that this post is not for bragging. I love watching book hauls and reading posts about them so I wanted to join in with what books I got for Christmas. Only a few of these were given on the day and the others were purchased with Christmas money. So I will separate this post into 2 sections.

The books I actually got for Christmas were ‘Star Wars Made Easy’ by DK, ‘Victoria & Albert: A Royal Love Affair’ by Daisy Goodwin & Sara Sheridan and ‘Victoria: A Life’ by A. N. Wilson. I have already read the book by Daisy Goodwin and Sara Sheridan and I gave it a full 5/5 stars.

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The other books I got for Christmas were purchased with money I received and are ‘Leia, Princess of Alderaan’ by Claudia Gray, ‘Victoria: The Heart and Mind of a Young Queen’ by Helen Rappaport and ‘Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag’ by Oliver Bowden. The third being part of a series I am collecting, and the first 2 being ones I am desperate to read this year. Leia actually being on my list of 10 books to read this year!

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As you can probably tell, I’m very fond of the Victoria series on ITV at the moment, and have been trying to learn more about Queen Victoria, as I realised I didn’t know much about her before and I’ve always been keen on learning about the monarchy throughout history, such as I’ve been learning more about the Tudors too. What books did you get for Christmas? I’d love to know!

-Laura

Book Review – Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

34187776Book: Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Format: Paperback

Rating: 5/5

Review: This is a book that was on my list of top 10 books to read this year and I decided I had to get round to it as quickly as possible. The book sticks with part of the film where the Beast gives Belle the library and he seems to be becoming happier. It’s about Belle finding a book she’s never seen in the library before and she’s able to go into it. She does, as it provides a sort of escape into a new world, it gives her a break from her life in the castle. It helps her discover who her friends really are and it makes her realise how much she cares for Mrs Potts, Chip and even the Beast himself. It also opens up her determination as she wants to understand this new world she’s discovered but also opens an inquisitive side to her as she discovers things that aren’t quite right with this new world and the whole story can get very tense in some places. Belle seems much more open to discussing her past with those who live in the castle and that moment where she does talk about her life before the castle is a really sweet moment. Going away from Belle and more onto the Beast, we see more of a transformation of the Beast. There are more humorous moments with him and we see how much he truly cares for Belle and that he cares more for Belle than he lets everyone see. In all, the book is really well written and interesting and is a wonderful addition to the story of Beauty and the Beast.

-Laura

Top 10 books I want to read in 2018

Like most book lovers, my tbr is huge, and there are always some books we want to read more than others on our tbr piles. So here are my top 10 books I want to read this year! Most of these I own but some I don’t yet but will do. This is in no particular order…

1. Still Me – Jojo Moyes

2. Beauty & the Beast: Lost in a Book – Jennifer Donnelly

3. Victoria: A Life – A.N Wilson

4. Leia, Princess of Alderaan – Claudia Gray

5. Stalking Jack the Ripper – Kerri Maniscalco

6. Assassin’s Creed: Renaissance – Oliver Bowden (a reread because I want to finish the series)

7. Fallen – Lauren Kate (as I want to read the whole series)

8. Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII – David Starkey

9. Saucy Jack: The Elusive Ripper – Paul Woods & Gavin Baddeley

10. Doctor Who: Time Lord Fairy Tails – Justin Richards

Those are my top 10 although I want to read so many more books than that. As you can tell I like history and I’m weirdly fascinated by Jack the Ripper (and love Victoria & the Tudors) and there are 2 series in particular that I do really want to complete. What books do you really want to read this year? Please let me know!

-Laura

Top 5 books of 2017

In 2017 I read 27 books, and my average rating for the year was 4.3/5 stars and I read some seriously incredible books. Here, I wanted to let you guys know my top 5 books of 2017. These are in no particular order, except number 5 was my favourite of the year! The list is summarised and below will be explanations with accompanying book covers.

  1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  3. The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
  4. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
  5. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline:

12279616I read this book fairly early on in the year but I just found it really interesting. It takes place in the future and everyone pretty much lives their lives in this virtual world called the Oasis and they’re all involved in this contest. There is action and there’s friendship and it’s a seriously interesting book that I recommend to anyone, especially if you like more sci-fi, kinda techy books.

 

Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn:

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This was a book I’d been meaning to read for ages and I’ve even done a full review of it and I found it to be incredible. It’s dual perspective and can be quite emotional and shocking in some places, it really messes with the reader. It can be a bit violent and there is some bad language so it’s definitelty not for younger readers but overall it was really interesting and enjoyable and again, it’s highly recommended.

 

The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness:

6043848I’ve kind of included this to represent the entire trilogy. I’ve owned this trilogy for a while and just never got around to reading it (the 3rd book being over 600 pages was a tad intimidating) but once I found out that there’s gonna be a film in 2019 with Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland in it, I got a bit excited and read the entire trilogy as quickly as possible. It’s an interesting concept of peoples thoughts always being able to be heard and it was also another very action-packed book and was really fun to read. I think pretty much everyone has read this at this point but in case you’re very late to it like I was, please do read it! You won’t regret it.

 

Wonder Woman: Warbringer – Leigh Bardugo:

34443972I love love love Wonder Woman! The film came out in 2017 as well so I got to watch that and I adored the film and knew I had to read this book too and it was sooooo good! It’s to do with teenage Diana Prince trying to help the human world because of this Warbringer, who she must either cure or kill to get rid of the curse. Diana is as lovely and wonderful and powerful as she was in the film and this is one of those books you need to read if you love Wonder Woman.

 

The Princess Diarist – Carrie Fisher:

28585312This is actually the first book I read in 2017. At the end of 2016, Carrie unfortunately died due to a heart attack and as a fan of her as Princess Leia while growing up, I was very upset by her death. I loved her and Princess Leia and I really wanted to dedicate the beginning of the year to reading her autobiographical books. This was the first one I read, which was a late Christmas present from my father (a lot of her books sold out pretty much the minute she died, so getting this was a pain) and I took the time to read it and appreciate it. This book is more about her when she was first becoming Princess Leia and involves a lot of diary extracts and discusses the affair she had with her co-star and on-screen lover, Harrison Ford. This book was lovely and sad to read and it lead me on to reading Schockaholic and Wishful Drinking, both books I also adored.

 

So those are my top 5 for the year of 2017, let me know what your top 5 books were!

-Laura