Bird Mugs, Good Books and Writing

Over the last few weeks I’ve been a bit absent from this blog, which will probably be the case for a while longer. I’ll still review everything I’m reading, but I’m just busy. Blogging has always been something fun for me to do and I’m determined to keep it that way. Much as I love posting regularly twice a week it’s just going to have to wait a while.

I bought this mug in the Lake District. It holds a pint of tea and makes me very happy. 

Aside from my MA, I’m just busier than I’d anticipated. Making time in the week seems to only produce more things that need doing in it! July was slow reading, my smallest wrap up since I started writing them (although only by books, not by pages). 

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July Wrap Up (2017)

July. I went on holiday, I wrote and wrote and wrote, and reading time has been sacrificed to that. But, that’s ok. My reading is probably going to be thinner until October, and that’s just how it’s going to be.

I feel like I’ve been reading quite a bit – really it’s finishing things that I’ve been having a problem with. Which is why I’ve brought back the ‘Books I Started This Month’ list, just to make myself feel a bit better. I was loving The Sunlight Pilgrims by Jenni Fagan but after The Clocks in This House, the succession of present tense books was sneaking into my writing, and rewriting scenes into the past tense gets boring really quickly, so I’ve had to pause it for a while. Read More »

Holiday Book Haul

Another holiday in the Lake District, and I have come home again with a lovely stack of books. The little bit of Cumbria that my husband and I have visited with friends over the past few years has several lovely independent bookshops, most particularly Fred Holdsworth in Ambleside and Sam Read in Grasmere.

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Jan – June 2017 | Half Year Goals

2017 Reading Progress: 30/50 books

My reading so far this year has been interesting. I’ve felt like I’m in a slump for most of the year, yet I’m still ahead of my target by five books. In part I think this is down to University reading – not only were there a number of books I had to read by a certain date, it has reinforced the habit of reading, whether I feel like it or not. I have spent a lot of time flitting between books I haven’t finished, picking things up and getting distracted, and this is probably where the slump-like feeling is coming from.

Despite this, I have read some really amazing books this year. I’m glad to be ahead of my target – for the next few months, I’m going to be mostly focusing on writing rather than reading, as my final MA hand-in of 40,000 words approaches at the end of September. My June wrap up was a bit thin compared to usual, with just three books, and this may be the trend for a while yet. If I do end up behind on my target, I should have time to catch up from October though. Fingers crossed…!


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June Wrap Up (2017)

June has been surprising. I feel like I’ve spent a lot of time reading but it’s been slow progress. Whether measuring by books (three) or pages read, this month was my lowest total so far this year. I am mired in uni work – between now and September I am on the final stretch with a lot of writing to do, and because of that I’m distracted. My brain is ‘on’ constantly, and mostly inside my own book. I’ve been slowed down because I have to take notes – I read something and it gives me ideas, so I still there staring at the wall thinking of how I can apply this to my writing instead. My mind never stops whirring and it’s took three genuinely amazing books to get me to pay attention at all. All three of will be in my thoughts when I come to write about my favourites of the year.Read More »


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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