Monday 26th June 2017 marked twenty years since the original publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Everywhere you turn online, someone is telling you what they love about this series, so I’m sure you’ve heard everything I can say on that subject elsewhere already. Instead, this is a mini shelf tour of my Harry Potter collcetion. In itself, this shelf is evidence of my love for the series.

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Summer 2017 Top ‘TBR’

As a rule, I don’t like to write prescriptive TBRs. I usually don’t manage to stick to them. But I have so many unread books on my shelves at the moment that it’s starting to feel like a little bit of planning might be necessary to be sure I’m paying attention to the things I really want to. Having so many books around the house makes me very happy, but it also means that browsing as an activity is split between bookcases and rooms.Read More »

May Wrap Up (2017)

May has been a slower reading month, and that’s because for the most part it was a writing month. The other factor was reading A Court of Wings and Ruin and needing quite a while to recover from the trauma. So the theme of the month then became rereading YA fantasy. I’ve also been dipping into the Throne of Glass series again, but I’m not recording them as it’s more of a skipping between favourite scenes. I am also slowly reading a collection of short stories by Ali Smith, but that is being savoured, one story at a time…Read More »

Literary Festivals and Expectations

Until a couple of weeks ago, I’d been to fewer bookish events than I would like this year, mostly due to focusing on my MA course. However the arrival of Bath festival was a brilliant chance to get back out and hear some really amazing authors interviewed by amazing people. My health unfortunately meant I didn’t get to everything I wanted – but I did have a great week at what I was able to do.

All of this got me thinking about what makes a good literary event – what is it that we’re looking for when we turn up and take our seat? Someone I know commented on an event being directed towards readers rather than other writers – which surprised me, because that’s what I had expected from this kind of event. But what you walk in expecting will influence how you feel about whatever it actually is.

Stage ready for Ali Smith at Bath Literary Festival, May 2017

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April Wrap Up (2017)

This month has been an improvement, reading-wise. I’ve got into a better rhythm and felt properly engaged with at most of the books I picked up. More importantly, I feel motivated to read again for reasons other than uni or meeting my reading challenge goals. Whisper in case it hears, but the sort-of reading slump might be in retreat…Read More »

Chit Chat

I don’t have anything to review this week, so this is just going to be a general life catch-up and witter. This year seems to be going very fast – and I’m sure I say this every single year, but honestly, are we actually really truly (over) halfway through April? Where is time going and how can I get it back?Read More »

Reading… lots of things, slowly

I have yet to finish a book in April. In some ways that makes me sad. GoodReads informs me that I’m four books ‘ahead’ of my target. But for the most part, it isn’t that I haven’t been reading, it’s just that I’m reading more things slowly.

Over the past couple of years since I’ve been setting myself reading goals, my habits have changed. One of the first things I found when I made reading a deliberate action rather than a fortunate occurrence was that I actually finish more books if read them one at a time. Focus is good for me. Perhaps this is related to how much I invest in what I’m reading – reading just one thing is less exhausting. That is particularly pertinent to fiction in some ways, but equally, non-fiction takes a certain amount of attention just to be able to absorb the information and follow the arguments a writer is making.Read More »

March Wrap Up (2017)

Continuing the theme from February, my reading this month has felt scattered. I’ve only felt really sunk into a few books – even ones I did really enjoy I read at such a pace that I never quite settled into that feeling. I’ve been a bit all over the place generally this month, so it makes sense for that to be reflected in my reading. I’m really hoping that in April, with a break from Uni, I’ll start to feel a bit more organised again, and a bit more satisfied in what I’m reading.Read More »