How I use a Filofax-type Planner

For a few years on and off I’ve tried to be a slightly active member of the Planner community, but for some reason, I’ve just never been able to keep up with it. When using a planner as a weekly diary, I found myself often forgetting to write things down and because I was so busy with school I rarely ever had anything to write in other than Birthdays or school holidays or things like that, especially as my school provided us with our own planners to keep track of homework and exam dates and lesson cancellations.

Now that I am no longer in school, I still currently don’t have much to do and anything that needs writing down and remembering is often put into the calendar on my phone. So now I use a planner for keeping track of books and a few other things. As someone who buys a lot of books and reads a lot of books, I needed to be able to keep track of what I was reading so I thought a planner would be the best thing and I found it to be really useful.


I used to use a Personal sized Filofax (Gold Saffiano) to keep track of my books, but I have recently moved into an unbranded A5 planner which was £6.99 on eBay (where the picture comes from, I own the blue one!) and I’m using it for the same thing and even slightly more. In my planner I have the books I’ve read throughout the year (starting at 2012, when I first started using Goodreads), book goals for the year, books I have bought throughout the year (name, author, where I’ve bought it from and the price) and other things such as keeping track of my savings account, blog stats, Instagram stats and just other non-bookish things.


I enjoy colour coding things so using Procreate on my iPad pro, I have created backgrounds to print onto Filofax paper and those are what I use for inserts. They’re not the prettiest at the moment but I think over time they will look better.

Does anyone else use a Planner to keep track of books? I’d love to know!





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.


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!


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!


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!


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:


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!


Bookish goals for 2018

Happy new year everyone!! 2017 was an interesting year for reading. I succeeded with my goal of reading 20 books during the year despite doing my A-levels and I feel like I found some really interesting books to read. But with a new year there must be new goals, so… what are these goals I’ve decided to set for myself?

For a start my goal is 25 books. I will be doing open uni so that’ll take up a fair bit of time, but hopefully I’ll also have plenty of time to allow myself to read, which is why it’s low still, but a tiny bit higher than last year.

Within this goal of 25 books, I want to specifically read fiction books by Carrie Fisher. I read her memoir books last year and loved them (for those of you who don’t know, Carrie Fisher is Princess Leia and unfortunately passed away from a heart attack at the end of 2016) and I want to read her fiction books, of which there are 4. I do need to buy these books but I wanted to eventually anyway to complete the collection of her books.

Another bookish goal of mine is to read some classics, and I’m thinking of about 5. I didn’t really read many classics last year apart from for school, and I do enjoy them so I want to actually read some for my own enjoyment, and not have to analyse them or anything.

Another goal is to complete at least 3 series of books. I usually avoid them although owning a fair few unread or half read series, so I really need to get on with completing them.

And my final goal is to read at least 5 non-fiction books. I own books on Jack the Ripper & monarchs throughout history (eg. The Tudor’s and Queen Victoria), so I really want to get around to them to complete them and learn more about history.

So in summary my goals are:

1. Read 25 books

2. Read the fiction books by Carrie Fisher (4 books)

3. Read 5 classics

4. Complete 3 series

5. Read 5 non-fiction books

Please let me know your bookish goals for 2018 and I hope everyone has a fantastic year!

– Laura

A Bookish Summary of 2017

I am terrible at keeping track of what I’ve read without Goodreads, so luckily I’ve been using that for around 5 years for book tracking. My goal for 2017 was to read 20 books, and I actually managed to read a total of 27 books! I set the goal so low because this is the year that I completed my A-Levels, so I didn’t think I’d be able to read much during the first half of the year.

According to Goodreads, my total of 27 books is approximately 9,818 pages! My shortest book was Shockaholic by Carrie Fisher (at around 162 pages) and my longest book was Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness (at around 603 pages). I’m seriously impressed with how I managed to do, and my next post will be about what my bookish goals are for 2018.

This year I didn’t really set myself any specific goals. I wanted to obviously reach my 20 book target, but I also just set myself a mini goal of reading Carrie Fisher’s biographical books, which I did and I really enjoyed them and felt myself learning so much about Carrie (Princess Leia for those who don’t know). You’ll notice a theme with next year’s book goals as well and how they linked to the one goal I completed this year.

Goodreads has also said that my average rating for the year was 4.3/5 stars, which means I read some incredible books this year, and I really did! A future post will be coming up about my top 5 books for this year so you’ll hopefully all be able to see more of what books really amazed me.

Overall, I’m pleased with how 2017 was with books and I’m looking forward to reaching my goal next year. What goals did you guys give yourselves? Did you complete them? I’d love to know!


Pre-Christmas book Haul

So as 2017 is coming to a close, and Christmas is soon on its way, I wanted to do a little pre-Christmas book haul. There are only 9 books here that I’ve accumulated over the last few months (I am trying to not buy any believe it or not!) but I wanted to share them. I’ve only read 3/9 of these new books and I have done reviews of them which I will link to. I will also note now I did not pay more than £5 for any of these books, I tend to search around on the internet and in Charity shops for good deals and I hope this doesn’t come across as bragging!

IMG_1393Out of the 3 I have read, 2 were eBooks from Netgalley so I’ll begin with those. From Netgalley I received ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ by Heather Morris and ‘A Taxonomy of Love’ by Rachael Allen. I thought both of these books were really good and interesting and they both get released in January 2018, so actually quite soon!

The other book I bought and have read is ‘Wonder Woman: Warbringer’ by Leigh Bardugo. I absolutely love Wonder Woman, so when I discovered this book I did not hesitate to purchase it and read it as soon as possible. I thought it was great and can’t wait to experience more of these DC superhero books. But, before I got my Wonder Woman book, I actually bought a comic/graphic novel too! I bought ‘DC Bombshells Volume 1: Enlisted’ by Bennett Sauvage and although I haven’t read it yet, I am excited about it! And a random book I bought to help finish buying the series before I read them all is ‘Assassin’s Creed: Revelations’ by Oliver Bowden. I keep picking the books in this series up for cheap prices in charity shops and on eBay, and I’m only missing a few of them now, so hopefully, in 2018 I will finish buying them and will read them all!

I’m also a fan of Beauty & The Beast, so I did purchase ‘The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince’ by Serena Valentino and ‘Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book’ by Jennifer Donnelly. Again, these are books I haven’t read yet but am looking forward to reading next year.

The last 2 books I actually got from my dad. I love reading about history and for a very long time I’ve found the Tudor era very interesting and dad had these two books he hadn’t read so I was allowed them. Those books are ‘The Tudors’ by G.J Meyer and ‘Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII’ by David Starkey. They both have tiny text and book by David Starkey is quite big, so I think those books will take a while to go through but I look forward to it. Hopefully they’ll be able to educate me more on the Tudor era.


So there is my pre-Christmas book haul. I am so excited for Christmas right now and although I may want to do a Christmas haul I probably won’t, as sometimes they can come off quite badly as ‘bragging’ and I don’t wanna seem like that! I only shared this because I find these sorts of posts and YouTube videos very interesting.