My Christmas….so far!

Christmas is my favourite time of year, the getting together with family, seeing my son so excited about it all, the food, the drink, the presents and how it all makes me feel….so happy and content!

I’ve done the normal stuff like buying presents and wrapping them (my most hated task!), buying the Christmas dinner and 356753366 desserts and put my tree up.

We also went to see Santa in the North Pole complete with elf workshop, reindeer and strangely, Harry Potter and Elsa…..but it all was amazing!

Disclaimer – not actually the North Pole, a garden centre by where I live!

  • Was Christmas jumper day for me at work and my son in school where we donated money to a cancer charity.
  • Had my work Christmas party…was free drinks and I defo took advantage of that…it did not feel good the next day!
  • Took part in a drive to get food items for a food bank here.
  • Had Christmas lunch at work with my team….so delish!

Disclaimer 2 – not the actual turkey I ate!

And now the countdown to the BIG day! πŸŽ…πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

What Christmas-y things have you done?

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2019 New Release Challenge…I’m in!

Thank you to the Unconventional Bookworms for hosting! You can find full info here.

I thought it would be great to do this challenge as I’m doing Beat the Backlist so this will make sure I dont miss out on all those new releases I want to read!

Without further ado…..the 2019 New Release Challenge is a year-long challenge in which we aim to read books released in 2019.

The rules for the 2019 New Release Challenge are simple:

Books have to be released and reviewed in 2019.

Other challenges can be used as well, if you are participating in the Netgalley / Edelweiss challenge or in the COYER challenge, books can count towards more than one challenge, as long as the ones you use for the 2018 New Release Reading Challenge qualify to the other rules.

The minimum length for a book to qualify is 100 pages, it can be in any format though, physical, e-book, ARC or audiobook.

The New Release Challenge is open from January 1st through December 31st 2019, and sign-ups are open until September 1st 2019.

You don’t have to be a blogger to participate, you can link to your review on Goodreads or Booklikes instead – so don’t be shy!

There are five levels in the 2019 New Release Challenge but I’m going for:

1-30 books per year – New Release Newbie

Can’t wait to do this!

Anyone else joining in?

Books I already NEED in 2019 part 1!

 

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Do any of you follow Book Bird?Β  You really should!Β  She has the most amazing list of books that are due to be released in 2019 and 2020!

I spent some time looking at these pages and realised there are so many books I want need in 2019 – there were so many that I had to split this up into 2 posts!

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller – I loved Daughter of the Pirate King and I love anything Viking inspired!

The Wicked King by Holly Black – I have ordered the special Faecrate box for this book and I cant wait to get my hands on it!

Slayer by Kiersten White – I have never read this author, but I really want to.Β  I thought to myself, where’s better to start than a vampire slayer?!

Stain by AG Howard – I love a good fairytale retelling and Princess and the Pea is one I’ve never read.

Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer – I fell in love with this authors writing in Beneath the Haunting Sea and, according to Kirkus, magic pulsates from every page in this book!

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner – whaaaaaat? A tale about Sherwood Forest and no Robin Hood, well a dead one it seems…bring on Marian!

Never-Contented Things by Sarah Porter – never read this author but the cover caught my eye and the blurb more so, dark faeries, bring it on!

Finale by Stephanie Garber –Β  no explanation needed, I need this book!

Wait – can you hear that?

It’s the sound of my bank account crying!

Are you excited to read any of these?

Goodreads: Journey in books!

The joy! Goodreads sent me an email with my 2018 stats….to say I was excited was an understatement <—– yes I actually got excited! Probably embarrassingly, this is the first time I have ever seen this!

Stats

I knew I had read 183 books by 11 December so by the end of the year it will be a few more but……

  • My shortest book was 8 pages!
  • My longest book was 992 (any guesses on what book?!)
  • Average length was 273 pages (I thought it would be bigger than that but I was still wow’d!)


Well I have been a generous bunny this year! 2018 was the year I started reading my tbr so the majority of books I read were books that I coveted and knew I would love so am not really surprised by this!

I’m off to cringe at myself at how excited I got about this……what were your stats this year?

A reflection! And my 2019 books plans!

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I started 2018 with plans to get my tbr under control and try to get my love of reading back instead of stressing about all the arcs I have to read and rushing through books when I want to savour every word!

Looking back I think I have got closer to my goal but there is more I can do so I decided to look at what I’ve done this year and making plans for 2019.

This is what I did in 2018:

  • Beat the Backlist
  • Summer Reading Challenge
  • Sequel September
  • Arcs – requesting when and what I want
  • Netgalley – it’s like heaven in a website
  • Review teams x 6
  • Remember November
  • Planned my monthly books to read
  • Buying books like it’s going out of fashion and not reading half of them
  • Fairyloot, not read even half books received.
  • Goodreads challenge

Goals for 2019:

I think I’ll be starting off with a tbr of around 70 (unless I go out of control with the buying!)

Beat the Backlist

Already signed up!

Summer Reading Challenge

Loved this and would love to do again this year as it helped me read a mix of new releases and backlist books.

Sequel September

Loved this and a challenge does spur me on so still want to do this if I do have any sequels to read.

Only 1 arc a month

I might be absolutely lying to myself here but I’m totally going to try! (Updated: I have 4 arcs for January already #failed)

No Netgalley

Well this isn’t hard for me now as I am a UK blogger and trying to get a book from Netgalley is like trying to get blood out of a stone!

Review team

I love the authors whose review teams I am on so this won’t be dropped!

Remember November

This really spurred me on to hit my goals so would love to do again.

Fairyloot

No way I’m giving this up! I love it! I just have to include the book in one of my monthly reads. Also they have introduced a monthly readalong so I will join in that!

Plan monthly reads

To an extent…..won’t do this every month so I won’t be putting that much pressure on myself.

Goodreads Challenge

I set this at 175 books for 2018 and I completed in November. But I haven’t enjoyed all of it along the way. 96 books will be set as my challenge for 2019.

So with all this and stopping buying books I don’t actually need, as long as I read a mix of new releases and backlist, I reckon I’ll be set.

This all sounds easy enough….let’s see if I can pull it off!

Review Regurge: Josh and Hazels Guide to not Dating by Christina Lauren

 

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You know when you have an author that is hit or miss for you?Β  Well this author (or authors!) is that for me……but I really loved the sound of the premise for this book and I LOVED IT, ITS ONE OF MY BEST READS FOR 2018!

You can see my original postΒ here.

Blurb

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take – and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and taste for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter and tendency to say exactly the wrong thing will. Their loss. Not everyone can handle a Hazel.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college. From the first night they met – when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes – to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them . . . right?

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The blurb really made me smile so I knew I needed this and to simply put it, this is hilarious. Genius. Beautiful.

Hazel is just a scream! She actually made me out of breath reading her!!! In her words,
‘I tend to be too chatty, too silly, too exuberant, too random, too eager.Too Hazel-y.” I was worried she might grate on me but she didn’t, she was just so genuine that I loved her.

And Josh, his dry wit had me smirking. Their friendship, their love, just them! ‘We have nowhere to go but up.’

I picked it up to read a few chapters before bed and I nearly finished in 1 sitting (a girl’s got to sleep!) But I had a smile on my face from start to finish.

You need this book in your life. It is one hell of a pick me up!

 

 

 

The Weekly Epilogue: my fab reading week!

Welcome to The Weekly Epilogue! Hope you all had a good week?

Getting ever so close to Christmas! Its going by so fast though…time needs to slow down! Although I won’t miss my son arranging the Xmas deccies for the 45764336th time!

Was a good reading week! I had a few days off work this week so was able to read more than usual. I kicked off my December reads and also read 2 arcs and a new release!

Bound by Love by Cora Reilly

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

The Selection by Keira Cass

T.A. by Jamie Begley

Oh Come, All Ye Sinners Anthology

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Have 2 December reads left:

Nightblood by Elly Blake

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

How was your reading week?

What books did you read?

My 1st Illumicrate Unboxing!

I wanted to try out a few book boxes to see if I want to subscribe to any others in 2019.

I saw it was Illumicrate’s 3rd year anniversary box so I expected great things! I looked at their past boxes and they were fab.

Theme = Clever Ruse

  • Circus Banner inspired by The Night Circus and Caraval. These aren’t really my thing but my son had it!
  • Stag Amulet Necklace designed by Fable and Black Not sure I’ll ever wear it but it’s pretty.
  • Diner drink cosy to keep your drink warm, designed by @gicatam I might take this to work but not sure I will use it often.
  • Mulan inspired scarf with artwork from Feifei Ruan I don’t wear scarfs but will give to my Mum!
  • Warcross Woodmark with artwork by @chattynora Love this and I love Warcross so will defo use this.

Empress of all Seasons by Emiko Jean

Hardback βœ”

Exclusive cover βœ”

Sprayed edges βœ”

Signed bookplate βœ”

And a surprise book of Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

So all in all, not great for me apart from the books. I need to have a serious think after Christmas as the past boxes looked so good.

Fairyloot Unboxing – November 2018

Fairyloot – November

Theme -BATTLES & GALAXIES!

This theme is all about epic battles and galactic adventures!

THIS BOX WAS SO GOOD! I LOVE IT ALL (<– yes, shouty caps!!)

  • A galaxy bath bomb by Little Heart Gifts. It smells so good, can’t wait to plop it in my bath!
  • An exclusive passport cover by Fairyloot. I love this and will defo use it!
  • A festive wooden ornament by Catarina’s Book Designs and features a quote from Shakespeare. This is going on my tree!!!
  • A space coaster set designed by Miss Phi and has quotes based on The Lunar Chronicles (which I’ve just finished reading!)…you know I’m using them!!!
  • Galaxy straws! They are metal so reusable and come with a brush to clean! Love it!
  • An iron on patch designed by KDP Letters featuring a quote from Red Rising.
  • A tote bag designed by Evie Bookish based on The Illuminae Files. To say I love it is an understatement!
  • This box also came with a bonus item of a free ebook download of Atlas Fallen by Jessica Pierce. I’ve claimed my copy and can’t wait to dive in!

BOOK OF THE MONTH

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

  • Hardback βœ”
  • Has exclusive art illustrated by @morgana0anagrom βœ”

I so wanted this book and now I have a beautiful copy, I couldn’t be happier