Top Ten Tuesday  .  Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish. But has a new home over at That Artsy Reader Girl and you can check out her post here.

This week’s theme is Top Ten Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Much About and is brought to you with the assistance of Goodreads since I occasionally forget not just the plot but also that I loved the book. Also this past could be titled ‘Books I Want to Re-Read (despite my TBR) That I Know Are Good I Just Can’t Remember Why’.

1. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

I really need to re-read these. It’s been long enough that I need a refresher. And I’m hoping to get back to Avonlea before the end of summer.

2. The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White

I have a favourite E. B. White and it’s this one. The box set was a beautiful gift but this was the one I fell in love with. I’ve re-read it a few times but sadly that has not meant I remember it as much as I want to.

3. Malory Towers by Enid Blyton

I loved these as a kid but because I collected the set then I haven’t re-read it in years. I didn’t realise I’d forgotten so much unroll my sister read them and I didn’t remember who she was talking about.

4. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

A really silly old bear but I love him and want to catch up with all my friends from the One Hundred Acre Wood.

5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I love it. It plays with my emotions but when I listened to it on audiobook I realised I’d forgotten most of the plot. I’m blaming that on reading it on an e-reader the first time.

6. To Love a Sunburnt Country by Jackie French

There’s a handful of books which have made me cry and I know why this one did but that’s all of the plot I remember. Also it’s my second favourite Matilda Saga book (even though it’s the wrong size) so you’d think I’d have read it again.

7. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
Another book I want to read side by side is this and The Boy at the Top of the Mountain. They are both heartbreaking but for different reasons so one day. Maybe before I finally get around to watching the movie.

8. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Again by listening to this one on audio I realised how much I’d forgotten. This was the first book whose release I had counted down until. What I really need to do is re-read this and To Kill a Mockingbird together.

9. Act of Faith by Kelly Gardiner

A beautiful book, perhaps record-breaking for the number of quotes I stole from it so maybe I’ll re-read this beautiful piece of YA historical fiction.

10. Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

This was like a whole entire year ago (over 100 books ago) so no wonder I don’t remember it. I’ll probably re-read it with Between Shades of Gray.

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The Saturday Stack . 08

Welcome to my blog and the Saturday Stack. Here I give you an update on my reading life.

BOOKS I’VE ACQUIRED

From libraries:

You Don’t Know Me by Imran Mahmood

BOOKS I’M READING

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloane  I’m only two chapters in but loving it. I think I just connect with her writing style.

BOOKS I’VE FINISHED

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

This book was heartbreaking and challenging. I love learning and recognise that I am priveliged enough to have had a secondary education but was left wondering whether or not I would have stood up for my right to be educated in the face of death as Malala had.

The book was a conversation, a girl telling you her story. It begins with explaining her culture and her society and then retells the events of her life. I don’t remember being bored at all during it.

Would definitely recommend it.

My Rating 💭purpose 💭/2 originality 💭engagement

Overall Rating 4.25/5 stars

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I always forget that sci-fi ranks fairly low down on my favourite genres list but invariably I don’t remember that until I’m half-way through a book. If I’m honest I picked these up because of the hype and I get why they got so much of it. When I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down but I also didn’t ever pick it up (of course my week has been crazy busy so that’s part of it).

In some ways it’s a typical sci-fi, set hundreds of years in the future with spaceships, artifical gravity and AI but in other ways it could be a contemporary YA novel written some time in the future. There’s a girl and a boy and the destruction of a planet and a fight for survival.

The book is written as a collection of files (think text messages, emails, pictures and transcripts) and I loved this idea. I also loved that the swearing was blacked out but it just made me realise how much of it there was and I personally find swearing unnecessary in books.
But it was a good read. I don’t regret it, I’m just grateful that the final book cones out in March so I’ll (hopefully) remember what happened and not have to re-read it.

My Rating 💭purpose 💭originality 💭/2engagement 💭/2writing skill

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

BOOKS ON MY TBR

I honestly don’t know what I’ll read this week but I will be starting Storyland by Catherine Mckinnon on Friday (sort of a long story). I’ll just pick whatever book takes my fancy.

Top Ten Tuesday  .  Bookish Resolutions/Goals

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish. But as of this week, it has a new home over at That Artsy Reader Girl and you can check out her post here.

This week’s prompt is ‘Bookish Resolutions/Goals’. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the little pie charts I made with some of my goals for the year.

From Instagram . . .

1. Get over my Pride and Prejudice

I’m proud, I hate admitting that I can’t understand books. And I’m prejudiced, I avoid classics. But this year, although I haven’t figured out which ones yet, I want to read some classics. They write in a different way to modern authors and I have a soft spot in my heart for the children’s ones I’ve read.

Joining in with the #austen18 challenge on bookstagram

Am also considering reading War and Peace

2. (Sonnets from the Portuguese and) Other Poems

One of my goals this year is to read more poetry. And this is actually the book I’m starting with. It was my reward for completing NaNoWriMo so I’m looking forward to finally enjoying it. But I’m hoping to read at least one more.

3. Read more of My Story

This was one of my favourite series growing up and one of my goals is not to read more historical fiction (well maybe it is . . .) but to read more biographies (I’m aiming for at least two).

Actually I’ve read my first – I am Malala


4. Read More than Only, You Sierra

My tendency is to read books that are pretty similar to my life. But this year I want to read beyond my life experience. This will probably be based on the author and the characters they choose to write about. It also includes branching out a little into adult fiction. I’m happy to take recommendations.

5. To Love a Sunburnt Country

I’m from Australia and I don’t think I read very much Australian literature. So each month I’m hoping to read at least one book by an Australian author because I love this wonderful country.

6. Lose The BFG* TBR

BFG = book filled Goodreads

I might be stretching it a bit. But seriously I add more books to my Goodreads TBR than I take off it, so two books each month are going to be chosen from there.

7. Don’t be a The Book Thief

I have too many books on my shelves that do not belong to me that I haven’t read simply because my friends don’t charge overdue fees and libraries do. My goal is by the end of the year to have returned all the books I do not own. And actually I don’t want to be overly ambitious with library borrowing either. And read the books I own but haven’t read because otherwise they are a bookish thief of sorts.

Other resolutions . . .

8. Finding (my books by) Serendipity

serendipity  noun  the occurrence and development of events by chance in a helpful or beneficial way

I want to take a chance on books, to judge them by their cover and perhaps find new favorites. So I will go wander around libraries and bookshops and hopefully try something new and fall in love. 

9. Stop being The Naughtiest Girl Again

I can say again because every year I swear I’m going to sleep more but then I pick up one more book. So this year I want to set aside regular times for reading that don’t come out of my sleeping time.

10. Make sure that Five have Plenty of Fun

I read because I love it and I don’t want to lose that. I’ve set some pretty low goals because I want to achieve them but I’ll also abandon them if they ruin my love of reading and it becomes a chore.

The Saturday Stack . 07

Welcome to my blog and the Saturday Stack. Here I give you an update on my reading life.

BOOKS I’VE ACQUIRED

From Libraries:

The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie

Storyland by Catherine McKinnon

Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine

BOOKS I’M READING

Technically I’m in the middle of Catch-22 but it is going round in circles and seems disjointed so I just need a day to sit and read which I don’t have at the moment.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai Although this book is heartbreaking but I’m loving it.

BOOKS I’VE FINISHED

Girls in Pants  by Anne Brashares
This book was probably the one I related to the most but because I’ve left it a week to write this review I don’t actually remember what happened in it. Thank goodness for the Wikipedia page. 

My Rating  💭/2 engagement  💭/2 enjoyment

Overall Rating  3.5/5 stars

Forever in Blue by Anne Brashares

Maybe I was just over the series or there was too much focus on the relationships rather than adventures but I this is probably not my favourite. However the ending was good.

My Rating  💭/2 engagement

Overall Rating  3/5 stars

BOOKS ON MY TBR

Illuminae and Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman  Finally getting round to these two.

And then I’ll probably read Ash and Quill and The ABC Murders if I find the time.

Top Ten Tuesday  .  Ten Books I Meant to Read in 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is created by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their post here. But as of next week, it will have a new home over at That Artsy Reader Girl and you can check out her post here.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a bookworm in possesion of a ginormous TBR must be in want of more books. 

One unfortunate side effect is that we never get around to reading the books that we said we would. So here are Ten Books I Meant to Read in 2017 but Didn’t Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!).

1. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

This has been on my TBR for forever. But I have a copy at last and now that I’ve done this post I can go read it.

2. Illuminae and Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman 

I know Obsidio is one of my highly anticipated reads for 2018 but I haven’t actually started the series yet. And this will be my next lot of books that I can finally read now that I’ve blogged about it.

3. Five Children on the Western Front by Kate Saunders

I got given this book last Christmas (well two Christmases ago) after deciding I wanted it for myself but not telling anyone. It is sort of a continuation of a classic and I love reading those. And a book about war which I am incredibly interested in. 

4. The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

This is a book that I own and I swear that before two years ago I’d read all the books on my shelf but then I was reintroduced to public libraries . . .

It’s set in World War II so it is going to be heartbreaking but will hopefully be good as well.

5. Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I haven’t yet read this yet despite loving Counting by Sevens so much that I bought Short simply because she wrote it. The cover looks fun and I don’t think I’ll be disappointed by the time I invest in it.

6. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

I went through a phase where I re-read the entirety of this series (by my count there are ten) every year but I haven’t read it in several years. I had planned to re-read it last year, but I never got round to it. So this year will be the year.

7. The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

I added this to my TBR because of this review over at Purple + Yellow. I went so far as borrowing an ebook of it, but true to my nature I never ended up actually reading it (because I only read ebooks when I’m desperate or sick).

8. Storyland by Catherine McKinnon

So this book is set in a period of Australian history that I don’t know much about but it looks interesting. It will probably be my February Australian author read (see next week’s post on resolutions). But it also looks interesting because it seems to span generations connected by one part of the land. 

9. Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine

I did have this book on reserve st the library and was hoping to sneak it in as one of my last reads of 2017 but that didn’t work out so is it’s definitely going to be read this year.

10. Henry IV Part I by William Shakespeare

I do want to read more Shakespeare this year but I especially want to read this one. I haven’t read many of his histories but the synopsis I heard of it was pretty interesting so I hope it lives up to my expectations.

The Saturday Stack . 06

Welcome to my blog and the Saturday Stack. Here I give you an update on my reading life.

BOOKS I’VE ACQUIRED

From libraries:

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares

Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares

BOOKS I’M READING

Girls in Pants by Ann Brashares  I’ve been loving this series so far.

And I’m happy that I’m back to only trying to read one book at a time.

BOOKS I’VE FINISHED

Everything I Know About Writing by John Marsden
Well I finished this one at last. It only took me about a month. But I just found it a really practical little book full of ideas on how one can improve one’s writing. It was also written quite plainly and simply so that it was incredibly easy to understand and packed full of examples from different books.

My Rating  💭/2 purpose  💭/2 originality  💭/2 enjoyment

Overall Rating  3.5/5 stars

Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This book follows a fireman called Guy Montag who lives in a future where books are considered evil and so are burnt. But eventually his beliefs are challenged and he is forced to decide what he truly believes.

So I saw a cover of this book on instagram (the one where you can burn it) and that intrigued me. It took me a while to actually borrow it of course but when I did I was surprised at how small it was.

But good things can come in small packages. Like all dystopians should be, this book was scarily relevant even today and by reading it I was reminded of the danger that comes when people are not free to have their own opinions, when learning is not valued and when people make the choice to be distracted rather than engaged. It made me consider how I’m spending my time in this social media age and whether I am voluntarily submitting myself to a state of affairs where I do not think and just take what is put in front of me.

My Rating  💭purpose  💭originality  💭/2 engagement

Overall Rating  3.75/5 stars

Auggie and Me by R. J. Palacio

So this book has three different short stories. It is more a companion novel than a sequel but it was nice seeing some of the other people in Wonder who I wanted to learn more about.

Julian was interesting and set mainly after the end of Wonder. It made me understand where he was coming from but did not excuse his behaviour in any way.

Pluto is narrated from Christopher’s perspective and spans from before to sell after Wonder. It looks at the ideas of friendship and how it changes over time.

Shingaling was possibly my favourite and runs during the events of Wonder from Charlotte’s perspective. The whole idea of this story is about finding and being friends.

This book was sweet and it was lovely to catch up with this world. I didn’t like it as much as Wonder but that would have been hard to achieve. On the other hand, I’ll go back to Wonder with more appreciation for the minor characters now so I don’t regret reading it.

My Rating  💭/2 purpose  💭/2 engagement  💭/2 enjoyment

Overall Rating  3.75/5 stars

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

This was such a fun summer read. I wouldn’t read it in the middle of winter but lying outside in the sun is perfect.

The story follows four girls as they go about their summer adventures. It had enough romance without going over the top. Enough conflict and teenage angst to be believable. And enough turns to keep me engaged but not falling off my seat.

This book was about finding out who you are deep down inside. It is perfectly sweet and I feel like all the girls are friends of mine now.

My Rating  💭/2 originality  💭/2 engagement  💭/2 enjoyment

Overall Rating  3.5/5 stars

The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares

If book one was about finding yourself, this one is about finding out how you work with others in the picture. Although it was all of five minutes between books it was fun to see the new summer adventures that these girls went on.

My Rating  💭engagement  💭/2 enjoyment

Overall Rating  3.5/5 stars

BOOKS ON MY TBR

Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares  Because once I start reading a completely published series I don’t stop.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller  I didn’t get round to it this week because I an away from my physical TBR and I’ll need this to get back to it so I read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants instead.

And then I think I have I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai as well as Illuminae and Gemina by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman up next in my physical TBR.

Top Ten Tuesday  .  Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is created by The Broke and The Bookish. Check out their post here.

So apparently I read about thirty new authors in 2017. But 2017 for me was a year of ‘meh’ and a year of ‘this book is incredible, why don’t I have a fortune to buy it?’. And that is why the same books and authors keep on coming up. Hopefully you’re not all sick of them yet. But next week will be different, I promise.
So here are my top ten new to me authors in 2017 whose work I enjoyed. (The month which follows their name is the month I first read their work.)

1. Arthur Miller  January

I’m not quite sure I would be interested in reading any of his other plays but I can’t deny how incredibly powerful The Crucible was not how enduringly relevant it is. 

2. Rick Riordan  January

I’m not quite sure whether I like reading this series or not. It is definitely not as complex as some of the other stuff I’ve read but it is so addictive. 

3. Ruta Sepetys  January

Her work is so incredible. But I need to go and re-read it someday when I have the time. It was probably some of my favourite historical fiction this year.

4. Lauren Oliver  July

I can’t quite put my finger on what it is, but Lauren Oliver seems to write really well around tough issues in society whilst still being engaging to a YA audience.

5. Agatha Christie  August

I love this woman’s skill. She truly is a genius (and me saying it multiple times does not change this fact). Hoping to read more of her works this year.


6. Anne Bronte  September

I just loved the writing in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and it is possibly one of the first classics (written prior to the twentieth century) that I’ve actually enjoyed. 

7. Vaddey Ratner  September

There are some prose texts that have a short of poetry about them, a way of writing which flows. In the Shadow of the Banyan was one of these. But it was also an engaging read and informative about a round of history that I have not read much about.

8. Dennis Hamley  December

These books (Ellen’s People and Divided Loyalties) were about people and about war possibly my two favourite ingredients in books. 

9. Mary-Ann Shafer  December

Surprise, surprise the author of my favourite book of the year (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) is on this list. I can’t say anything more than the characters seemed like old friends even though I’d never met them before.

10. Robin Roe  December

A List of Cages was one of my last reads of the year. I had to include Robin Roe in this list because although I wasn’t engaged with the book as I could have been, it was a powerful story that made me stop and think about some of the issues in this world.