O.W.L.S Readathon Wrap Up

Hi Readers

This is a readathon that was created and hosted by Book Roast that I have been taking part in for the majority of April. It came with 12 challenges based on Hogwarts subjects and I was attempting to complete all of them. However I wasn’t quite able to do that.

Ancient Runes – A book with a Symbol on the cover: For this I was supposed to read H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker, which was on the Women’s Prize longlist. But I never got around to it.

Arithmancy – A book with a Number on the Cover or Title: I read Call The Midwife: A True of the East End in the 1950s. I love this TV show and after reading the original book I can see why it’s so brilliant. 

Astronomy – A Sci-Fi book: I ended up reading The Giver by Lois Lowry for this during cosy reading night. This was a reread and I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time round. I think this book is a great introduction into the dystopia genre. 

Care of Magical Creatures – A book that has Magical Creatures: Saturday was Deweys and I read Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire for it which has Vampires in it. So far I’m finding this series to have a better concept than execution.

Charms – A Fantasy book: For this I read A Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor, which is a novella following Zuzana and Mik. I love these two characters, they’re the light comic relief who are so cute and must be protected at all costs. I’m very scared to start the last book. 

Defence Against the Dark Arts – A book with a Secret Society: I read Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire for this. This is a series where children who have visited another world (like Narnia or Wonderland) come back and struggle coping with normal mundane world who don’t believe in the adventures they’ve been on. They’re sent to a rehabilitating boarding school by their parents, hence the secret society. I’ll do a full review of these books once I’ve read the third one. 

Divination – A book featuring Prophecies: I decided to reread Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief for this and again I’m always shocked by how much I’d forgotten. I’ve read this book maybe four times now but I barely remembered anything. 

Herbology – A book with a Nature Related title or cover: I read The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins this month in preparation for the new BBC Adaptation (which I’m thoroughly enjoying.) The cover has trees on it basically. 

History of Magic – A Historical Fiction: I wasn’t able to complete this challenge unfortunately. I was meant to read The Trick to Time, another longlisted book, but I’m going to save it for another time. 

Muggle Studies – A Non-Fiction book: I read A Room of One’s Own during Deweys which is a non-fiction ‘essay’. It’s a very interesting look on how a women’s place in society affected the literary world which admittedly is something I’d never thought of before.

Potions – A book with Alchemy: For this I read Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor. There’s a kind of Frankenstein like alchemy in this. I struggled with this book not going to lie but I will still be reading the last one. 

Transfiguration – A book that deals with Transfiguring/Shapeshifting: In Stardust by Neil Gaiman a Star transforms into a woman so I’m saying that counts. I love this book a lot and I’m hoping to watch the movie very soon (although I hear they’re very different.)

Let me know if you took part in this readathon and how you did!

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

Down The TBR Hole #3

Hi Readers

This is the third in my Down the TBR Hole series where I go through my Goodreads ‘Want To Read’ shelf and basically sort it out and get rid of all of the books I no longer want to read. Here’s the next 10 books.

  1. A Fifty Year Silence – Love, War, and a Ruined House In France by Richmand Mouillot Miranda – Delete – This just doesn’t interest me anymore.

  2. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Keep – This is one I actually own. I liked Americanah but I think this is one I could love.

  3. Etto and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper – Delete – Honestly no idea what this is or where it came from.
  4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – Delete – I have lost all interest in Outlander not going to lie.

  5. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden – Delete – I know this has a lot of praise, but I just don’t want to read about Japanese culture by a white male American.

  6. Classical Mythology – A Guide to the Mythical World of Greeks and Romans by William F Hansen – Keep – I’m still sort of interested in learning about myths and classic literature. I just can’t shake it. I think I may dive into it soon.

  7. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George – Delete – This is a random fantasy book that I am never going to want to read.

  8. The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye – Delete – Same^

  9. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale – Delete – Same^^

  10. Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren – Delete – Same^^^

Kept: 2
Deleted: 8

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

Dewey’s 24hr ReadAThon TBR – April 2018

Hi Readers

Another readathon is around the corner and this one is one of my favourites, Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. This is where you dedicate 24 hours to reading. Sleeping is optional, lots of food and a pile of books is essential.

I’m going to be using this readathon to hopefully complete the last of the O.W.L.S readathon challenges as well, so, here’s my TBR.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones and Beneath the Sugar Sky Doorway by Seanan McGuire – One will complete the Charms task and the other will complete the Nature challenge. These are quick fun reads that I should hopefully speed through.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman – I did read this last year but honestly I remember very little of it. But I do know that this will complete the Transfiguration challenge.

The Sense of an Ending by Julie Barnes – I remember the trailer to the movie really intriguing me when I first saw it and I only just found out it was originally a book, so I’m excited to get to this. This will complete the Arithmancy task (as it has the year it won the manbooker prize on the cover.)

The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers – This will be my ‘overnight longer’ read to complete the Astronomy task.

Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame – I have a faint memory of reading this as a child but I don’t remember anything. This will complete the Magical Creatures task.

That completes the O.W.L.S readathon challenges but I feel like I may be able to read more than this. So, if I do finish all of these then I’ll pick up The Nightingale by Kristen Hannah, which I’ve just picked up from the library. I’ve wanted to read this for such a long time. I’ve heard a lot of love for this book.

Good luck to anyone else taking part in Dewey’s!

Thanks for reading,

Jess X



Women’s Prize Shortlist and My Thoughts

VnpPchZi_400x400Hi Readers

Earlier this morning the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2018 Shortlist was announced and I’m very happy with it. 

A couple of days ago I shared my prediction of what I thought would make the shortlist. I only predicted three right, but two of the books I haven’t read yet so I’m excited to give them a go.

Here are the 6 shortlisted books, along with the reviews I did for 4 of them:

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
When I Hit You by Meena Kandasamy
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
The Idiot by Elif Batuman
Sight by Jessie Greengrass

There are no real surprises on here for me personally. The Idiot and Sight I didn’t get around to in time so I don’t really have opinions on them yet. I did try and read Sight but I got too busy and couldn’t finish it. So I will be reading those before the winner is announced in June. 

I’m a little sad Eleanor Oliphant was left out of this shortlist but I completely agree that all of these books deserve a spot here. They all explore such tough and important current topics, we have racism, domestic abuse, sexism, motherhood and language. The authors explored these topics in such fearless and powerful ways.

Without having read the whole shortlist, my initial thoughts are When I Hit You by Meena Kansamy will be the winner. But I’m going to do a Winner prediction a bit closer to the time. I may do a couple of rereads as well.

As for right now, I encourage all of you to pick up the books on this shortlist (and Eleanor Oliphant.)

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

Spring Cosy Reading Night Plans

Hi Readers

Lauren from Lauren and the Books is hosting a Spring reading night, taking place tonight from 7 – 10PM BST and I of course plan on taking part. 

I’m really excited for the books I have on my TBR and as I’m still taking part in the O.W.L.s Readathon these books coincide with that readathons challenges. So, here’s what I plan to read. 

First I will be finishing Heart Berries by Terese Mailhot. This is a non-fiction which I am almost finished with. I just have a few chapters to go. This will complete the Herbology ‘Nature’ task. 

Then, I want to read The Giver by Louis Lowry. I have read this before but I think it was maybe 4 years ago now. I remember next to nothing about it. I’ll be reading this for the Ancient Runes ‘Symbol’ challenge. 

And then, if I have time, I will start Simon VS the Homo Sapians Agenda. I’ve wanted to reread this for a while now and I’m quite excited to. This doesn’t tick off any of the O.W.L.S challenges though.

Let me know if you’re taking part in cosy reading night this evening!

Thanks for reading,

Jess X


Women’s Prize: Shortlist Prediction.

VnpPchZi_400x400Hi Readers!

It’s not long now until the shortlist for the Women’s Prize is announced. This year I’ve been following this prize very closely and have read over half of the longlist. I did plan on reading the whole longlist but in all honesty I would’ve needed an extra month to do that.

Haven’t Read:
Miss Burma by Charmain Craig
Idiot by Elif Batuman
Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundhati Roy
A Boy In Winter – Rachel Seiffert

Plan To Read:
The Trick to Time by Kit De Waal
Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon
H(A)PPY by Nicola Berker

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Sight by Jessie Greengrass

Read & Reviewed:
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Elmet by Fiona Mozley
When You Hit Me by Meena Kandasamy
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

Out of the books I have read these are the ones I think HAVE to make the shortlist:

When I Hit You: The Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife by Meena Kandasamy
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsee

There are still books on the longlist I haven’t read that could make it, and a book I did read and personal didn’t enjoy could also make the shortlist. So here’s the other two books that I think could make up the rest of the shortlist.

Three Things About Elsie by Joanna Cannon – Because I’ve just heard such glowing reviews for this.

H(A)PPY by Nicola Barker: Because this has the sci-fi element I think the shortlist needs.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for all of these books. I’ll see you on the other side to share my thoughts on the shortlist. Hopefully they’re positive thoughts.

Thanks for reading,

Jess X

Down the TBR Hole #3

Note: Created by Lost In A Story.

Hi Readers!

Here is the next 10 books on my Goodreads TBR shelf and my verdict on whether I keep them and still aim to eventually read them, or to delete and not bother with them. 

  1. Sabriel by Garth Nix – Keep: I’m still quite excited about this trilogy. 
  2. Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder – Delete: I read the original Poison Study trilogy and I’m just not interested in reading the companions. The reviews aren’t great for it either. 
  3. The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima – Keep: Another fantasy series. I’m excited about these too. 
  4. Graceling by Kristin Cashore – Delete 
  5. Fire by Kristin Cashore – Delete: I just have lost interest in these now. A few years ago everyone was reading these, but I remember people had mixed feelings. 
  6. Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee – An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown – Delete: I don’t know where this came from or why it’s on there. I must of had a phase of wanting to read history books but then just forgetting it ever happened. 
  7. The Alchemist by Michael Scott – Keep: This looks interesting. Has mixed reviews but I want to give it a shot. 
  8. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller – Delete: I just don’t think I have the patience required for this. 
  9. Beauty – A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast by Robin Mckinley – Keep: I love a good retelling. 
  10. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco – Keep: I own this one so I have to at least try it.

Kept: 5
Deleted: 5

Thanks for reading, 

Jess X