Tag: weekly feature

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I read in one sitting

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I read in one sitting

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. There are quite a few books which I’ve read in one sitting, so it’s been hard narrowing this list down to just ten titles. I can’t read in one sitting as much anymore, because 

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books titles which are questions

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books titles which are questions

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. I normally struggle with topics about book titles because my mind just goes blank, but this week’s topic has been surprisingly easy! I do have one author in particular to thank for that, so 

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Reasons I love reading

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Reasons I love reading

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

I’m glad this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a chilled out topic, because my brain is exhausted from my first week of training at my new job! I’m sorry if I post less regularly for a couple of weeks, but I’ll try to be here for Top Ten Tuesday each week, no matter what.

This week, I’m sharing ten reasons why I love reading.

…because it involves active concentration

I don’t enjoy watching TV or films because they involve passive consumption. You sit, you watch, you turn your brain off for a couple of hours and just enjoy what you’re seeing. Or, at least, that’s how it’s supposed to happen. When I watch TV or films, my brain wanders off by itself and I find myself feeling fidgety, distracted and impatient. By the end of the show I’ve either gone and grabbed something else to do while it plays in the background, or I realise I’ve hardly absorbed anything I’ve seen because my brain has been on its travels.

When it comes to reading, however, I catch myself doing and can stop myself. If my brain is thinking about other things I look away from the book and stare into space for a few minutes until I’ve followed the thought through to its conclusion, then I give myself a little mental shake and return to reading. I take in a lot more when I’m reading, so it feels satisfying, entertaining and it’s a worthwhile time investment.

…because it will never end

Yes, each individual book I read comes to an end, but reading isn’t a hobby you can ever finish because there are too many books in the world for anyone to rad them all in one lifetime (not even taking into account the books written in other languages which I wouldn’t be able to pick up).

I don’t like video games much because most of them are over when you complete them. Yes, you can play them again, but it’s not as engaging or fun second time around. That’ll never be a problem with books, because even if I read all of the books I own then I can just head to a library!

…because it’s fun for all the family

I read books out loud to my partner, and we both read books all the time to our Baby Bumbles. It’s great to have an interest like reading which you can share with family members of all generations.

…because it makes me feel smart

I know that reading doesn’t inherently make you smarter, but when I discover that I’ve read a classic book which is on one of those ‘Books You Must Read Before You Die’ lists, I feel a little burst of pride.

…because it’s a great way to make friends

The bookish community is a wonderful place. Since starting my Booktube channel I’ve made so many great bookish friends (to add to the collection of folks I’d gathered through this blog and over on Twitter). I’m yet to meet any of my bookish friends in real life, but I HAVE made some real life friends who are bookish, and I treasure them greatly.

…because it’s a great way to connect with colleagues

This works well for me because I used to work in a library, so bonding with my colleagues involved gushing over books all the live long day and it made me some lifelong friends. However, I’ve only been working for my new company for a week and I’ve already had conversations with two different people about the books we’re currently reading. This is a win-win, because I get book recommendations and feel more comfortable in a new environment!

…because it allows you to explore different lands (both real and imaginary!)

I’m not somebody who has travelled across the globe. In fact, I’ve only been to Ibiza on an all-inclusive holiday with my mum when I was 12. I’ve never even been to Scotland! So reading gives me a taste of a different cultures and locations across the world, and is helping me to decide which of those locations I would like to visit when I’m older.

You also get to explore imaginary, awe-inspiring and thought-provoking worlds which have literally been crafted from scratch in someone’s MIND. That is so amazing!

…because it helps you understand other people’s viewpoints

There are some life experiences which I will never have. By reading books from the viewpoint of people who have experienced those things, it will give me a greater sense of understanding of their feelings and their struggles, and increase my sense of empathy.

I think reading is one of the reasons why I’m always patient with customers, and forgiving if they’re in a bad mood and they decide to take it out on me. You never know what someone has going on in their personal lives, so it’s always best to practice forgiveness and try to brush things off instead of taking them personally.

…because it makes for amazing home decor

You don’t have to own physical books to be a reader. You don’t have to have an extensive library, and you’re just as legitimate of a reader if you only own eBooks or audiobooks.

That being said, my personal library is my pride and joy. Acquiring a new gorgeous special edition fills my heart with such happiness, and I love seeing them up on the shelves decorating my living room. I even ended up impressing my midwives with my home library when they arrived for my homebirth!

…because there’s nothing I’d rather do with my time

When I have a bit of downtime, I automatically want to read. There’s nothing I would rather do in the world. I read while I’m walking, I read while I brush my teeth, I read before bed… I’ve even read at a concert in the past because I was that addicted to the book I was reading on the journey to the venue.

I don’t know who I would be without reading, and I think that’s one of the reasons I love reading so much. It’s a huge part of me, and I’m pretty happy with who I am at the moment. If reading has contributed to that, I owe it a lot, and that’s enough of a reason for me to love it.

I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday! What’s the biggest reason you love reading?

Thanks for visiting, and I’ll see you again next week,

Alyce

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TOP TEN TUESDAY: 2021 Anticipated Releases (July-Dec)

TOP TEN TUESDAY: 2021 Anticipated Releases (July-Dec)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. As I mentioned during my January to June anticipated releases list at the start of the year, I won’t be featuring any of the books I mentioned in my most anticipated 2021 releases video 

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Bookish wishes

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Bookish wishes

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. Today’s topic is such a fun one! It was hard to think of ten bookish wishes, so I’ve got a wide variety of them. They’re in no particular order, but feel free to let 

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Summer TBR

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

It’s been three months since I posted my Spring TBR, and I’ve only managed to read two books out of the ten featured there. I am still intending to read the other eight books soon, but I won’t be mentioning any of them again in this post or it would get very repetitive! I also won’t be mentioning the eight books I shouted out in my mid-year freak out book tag video on Saturday, so make sure to check that out if I don’t mention your new favourite book down below.

Without further ado, here are another ten books I’m hoping to read (but probably won’t)…

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

Ooh, we’re starting off with an ambitious one! I’m planning to get A Court of Wings and Ruin read this month, because I enjoyed A Court of Mist and Fury much more than I had expected. If I enjoy the third book as much as the second, it won’t take a lot of convincing for me to get through the A Court of Frost and Starlight novella, and then I’ll be ready to read the newest Maas release.

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

I hadn’t heard of All American Boys until it popped up on the newly added section on Borrowbox, but it was actually released back in 2015! All American Boys sounds like it’s going to be hard-hitting, as a boy gets brutally beaten by a police officer and his classmate sees the events play out but isn’t sure what to do for the best. I think this is going to be a powerful discussion of police brutality and the impact that bystanders can have if they decide to take action. As I already love Jason Reynolds’ writing, this is a 5 star prediction for me.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I was meant to read An Ember in the Ashes last month, as I’m trying to take part in Bookish Buddies’ EmberintheAshalong. Unfortunately I didn’t read it in time, and I’m now halfway through A Torch Against the Night‘s month and I still haven’t started the first book in the series! Catching up with this readalong is a huge priority of mine over the summer (hopefully in time to read the final book, A Sky Beyond the Storm, with the rest of the participants).

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix

I’ve heard amazing things about Grady Hendrix’s writing, so when I saw The Final Girl Support Group on NetGalley I couldn’t resist pressing the request button. I did NOT expect my request to be approved, and I lost my shit when I saw that the publisher’s had decided to let me access an early copy. This is one I’m definitely going to get to before release date, but it’s out on the 13th of July so I don’t have long to pick it up!

The Girls Are All So Nice Here by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

I loved Laurie Elizabeth Flynn’s debut novel, Firsts, so I’m looking forward to diving into her first adult novel. This is a thriller about two girls who attend their college reunion, and someone who is out for revenge because of their past actions. It sounds like it’s going to be perfect for fans of Friend Request and The Perfect Girlfriend – both of which I really enjoyed – so I should actually get around to reading this one over the summer.

I’ve also just discovered that Laurie Elizabeth Flynn wrote a free Wattpad prequel novella to Firsts, and I haven’t read that yet, so even though that’s not officially on this list I’ll be getting to that soon too.

My Name is Jensen by Heidi Amsinck

My Name is Jensen is released on August 5th, but Muswell Press kindly sent me an early copy for review! Getting this read before its release date is going to be my top priority, but based off of how gripping the synopsis is this book will basically read itself to me. A journalist finds the body of a homeless man on her way home from work, and she’s forced to call her ex-boyfriend – a Detective Inspector – for help. Drama, drama!

The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

I haven’t read Joan He’s Descendent of the Crane yet, but The Ones We’re Meant to Find was featuring in May’s OwlCrate so I’ll be reading this as part of their readalong towards the end of the month. As far as I’m aware, The Ones We’re Meant to Find is about two sisters who get separated and are trying to find their way back to each other. It’s been described as similar to We Were Liars (which I haven’t read) and Black Mirror (which I haven’t seen), so if I enjoy this book I’ll have to explore those things as well.

Such Pretty Things by Lisa Heathfield

I loved Lisa Heathfield’s Paper Butterflies, so when I discovered she’d written an adult horror novel I borrowed it from the library straight away. Unfortunately, I still haven’t gotten to it, and my loan is expiring very soon! I’m hoping to borrow this one again and get it read as soon as I can, because I don’t read many horror novels but I’ve always wanted to read more of them.

Summertime Stories by Enid Blyton

I meant to read Summertime Stories last summer, as I read Winter Stories in December 2019. Sadly, I didn’t remember to pick it up until September, so I decided to leave it for another few months and I won’t let myself forget to read it this year. Enid Blyton’s short story collections combine a ton of short tales – most less than 15 pages – with some strong educational morals about manners and nature (among other things), and these are a breeze to get through very quickly.

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Wither featured on my ‘These books will self-destruct in 12 months’ list, so I need to try to read it at some point before May 18th 2022. However, I’m currently reading Lauren Oliver’s Delirium – another dystopian which gives me similar vibes to Wither – and I’m enjoying it a lot, so it’s pushing Wither up my TBR by association. Hopefully I’ll get this one ticked off during the summer months.

I hope you enjoyed this summer TBR post. How many of the books on your spring TBR did you get to? Are you planning on picking any of these up soon yourself?

Thanks for reading,

Alyce

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TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I want more like

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books I want more like

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is all about books I’ve loved that I want to read more like. Whether that’s more from the same author, the same genre or a certain theme in the 

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten books I rated too highly

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten books I rated too highly

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. I’m sorry for disappearing for a few weeks! The past few Top Ten Tuesday topics haven’t been inspiring to me, but I’ve also been having a difficult mental health spell and trying to concentrate 

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten most recent reads

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Ten most recent reads

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is focused on the ten books I’ve read most recently. I’m proud to say that I’ve already reviewed a few of them (for once!), so if you’re interested on my detailed thoughts on any of these books, I’ll link those reviews below.

Sean and I spent April reading the entire YA Book Prize shortlist, so four of the ten books I’ve read most recently were featured on that shortlist. If you’re interested, I did a YA Book Prize reading vlog and then Sean and I uploaded a discussion video where we talked in depth about each of the books on the shortlist, so that could be a fun watch if you have a few hours to spare!

Without further ado, let me shine a spotlight on the ten books I’ve read most recently…

Melt My Heart by Bethany Rutter

Melt My Heart was a five star read for me, and was one of the books I read as part of the YA Book Prize shortlist. Following a girl called Lily Rose who accidentally ends up dating the boy her twin sister is obsessed with, this was everything I wanted from a YA contemporary and more. It’s the perfect coming of age novel, exploring sexuality and body positivity, as well as discussing whether university is really as essential as people think. Featuring great bi rep and a confident and unapologetic fat main character, Melt My Heart makes me wonder whether Bethany Rutter could become one of my favourite authors in time.

Scent by Isabel Costello

I really enjoyed Scent, and gave it four stars. Scent tells the story of a perfumier called Clémentine, who is surprised when her ex-girlfriend turns up in her life over 20 years since they last saw each other. Their relationship ended badly, and the reader gets to see it play out as the story jumps between the present and the past, making for some exquisite pacing.

Wranglestone by Darren Charlton

Wranglestone is another YA Book Prize shortlisted book. Following a boy called Peter who lives on an island in the middle of a lake, this is a post-apocalyptic novel focused on a community who find themselves in terrible danger when the lake freezes every winter and the dead are suddenly able to get closer to them than ever before. I gave Wranglestone three stars because something about the writing style feels muddled to me, but I really appreciated the fact that there’s finally a YA zombie novel with a gay romance – something I’ve never seen done before!

Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury

My penultimate YA Book Prize shortlist read. Protagonist Alva believes that her father is a murderer, so she is plotting to run away from home and go and start a new life for herself away from the constant risk of death. She has played by the rules for living with a murderer for years, biding her time, but enough is enough. However, she soon discovers that all is not as it seems in the Scottish highlands, and there might be darker things than her father lurking in the shadows. I would have loved this book even without the supernatural elements, but they made it impossible to put this book down. This deserves the five stars I gave it!

Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cory McCarthy

A queer sci-fi King Arthur retelling which blew me away! I gave Once & Future four stars, because it’s impossible to resist being hooked by the story of Ari, the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur, and poor Merlin who is growing younger every time a new Arthur is found. I struggled to connect to the start of the story because there was a lot going on very quickly, but as soon as teenage Merlin rocked up I was gripped. I gave Once & Future four stars, and I can’t wait to read the sequel later this month.

Loveless by Alice Oseman

The final book I read for the YA Book Prize shortlist, Loveless was a reread for me which I enjoyed more the second time around. The first time I read Loveless I gave it 3.5 stars, but after rediscovering this story I bumped it up to four stars. Loveless tells the story of Georgia, who is undertaking her first year at university. She’s never been kissed and never been in a romantic relationship and people treat Georgia as though there’s something wrong with her, but when she joins the Pride Society she discovers that she’s not as alone as she thought. This is the first book I’ve read about asexuality, and I think it’s going to help an awful lot of people in the future.

Kate in Waiting by Becky Albertalli

I still can’t believe that I was able to take part in the blog tour for Kate in Waiting. Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is still one of my favourite books of all time, and I enjoyed Kate in Waiting almost as much. Telling the story of Kate and Anderson, best friends who constantly have communal crushes, this book focuses on the importance of friendship (while also putting together a high school adaptation of Once Upon a Mattress!). I’m a sucker for musical theatre and I love YA contemporaries that celebrate friendship, so it’s not a surprise that I gave this book four stars.

Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab

The third (and currently final!) book in the Cassidy Blake series, Victoria Schwab’s third middle-grade novel sadly disappointed me. I still gave it four stars, but compared to the first two – which were instant five stars and new favourite books – this one didn’t live up to my expectations. There’s an overabundance of Harry Potter references which kept throwing me out of the story, and the location of New Orleans wasn’t explored quite as thoroughly as I was hoping it would be. However, this book did inspire me to pick up Mina and the Undead by Amy McCaw, which is living up to my expectations so far!

The Ruby Locket by Melissa Wray

When Odyssey Books approached me about reviewing The Ruby Locket, I jumped at the chance. I love YA dystopians, even if the genre does seem to be a bit tired, so I was looking forward to exploring a dystopian world which I knew nothing about. I’ve already reviewed The Ruby Locket, and I ended up giving it three stars: it wasn’t bad, but it didn’t impress me all that much. There were too many extremely short chapters so it was hard to get fully absorbed in the story, but the concept of the Okodee (people with fast healing and unnatural strength) was intriguing and I would be interested in reading more about them in the future.

Heaven Has No Regrets by Tessa Shaffer

My most recent read was Heaven Has No Regrets, which I read via NetGalley. Unfortunately, I really didn’t like this book and ended up giving it two stars. I explore the reasons why more thoroughly in my review, but my main issue is that it contained extremely graphic descriptions of one of the main characters purging due to suffering with bulimia, and I found it to be very triggering. This is a book which I should have DNFed, but I was too stubborn and forced my way through it to the detriment of my own mental health.

I hope that you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday list! Feel free to link your posts down in the comments so I can see which books you’ve read recently.

Thanks for reading,

Alyce

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TOP TEN TUESDAY: Colourful Books

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Colourful Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. I’m loving the fact that Top Ten Tuesday are having so many colour-related prompts at the moment. Last week’s topic was book titles that would work brilliantly as Crayola colour names, and this week’s