S4S – Please Santa!

Good afternoon friends! 

How are we all this chilly yet sunny Sunday?! What are you reading? How is December going for you?

Today I’m coming at you with a #SixforSunday with wishes from the North Pole. Yes we’re talking:

Six books you wish Santa would bring you

Now we all know that Santa can bring pretty much ANYTHING don’t we? My choices clearly reflect that! 

  1. Six of Crows Collector’s Edition – Leigh Bardugo
    This is actually on my Christmas list, so fingers crossed!
  2. Pages and Co sprayed edges edition – Anna James
    This is actually sold out… but Santa can work miracles, yeah?
  3. Song of Sorrow – Melinda Salisbury
    COME ON SANTA. IT IS SO CLOSE TO NEXT YEAR. IT MUST BE TIME.
  4. Against all Gods – Maz Evans
    AGAIN. HOWARE. I’ve been waiting forever.
  5. The Day I Was Erased – Lisa Thompson
    NOW would be nice Santa.
  6. The Boy: His Stories and How They Came to be – Oliver Jeffers
    I am a MASSIVE fan and would LOVE this thanks.

So there we go… challenge set Santa!

Share your #SixforSunday choices with me! I’d love to know what is on your list! 

See you next week! Keep your eyes peeled in the next few weeks for 2019’s #SixforSunday topics!

S x

The Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

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Y’all know by now that I am utter BATB trash. I love it so much. Belle is my ULTIMATE Disney princess, I think she’s just a wonderful, wonderful person. When I saw the Beauty and the Beast book tag floating around, I knew I needed to engage, because, well, I’m predictable AF. 

‘Tale as Old as Time’ – A popular theme, trope or setting you will never get bored of reading.

I’m not a massive “trope” lover. However, I am a SUCKER for anything romantic. I read a book recently where they were like “oh yeah we know it’s not going to go anywhere” and to everyone around them, it was CLEAR AS DAY something was going on. So yeah. Or the bad boy who is secretly a proper softie. 

Belle – A book you bought for it’s beautiful cover that’s just as beautiful inside too.

Let’s be real, I buy a LOT of books because of their covers. I’m a TOTAL cover fiend. You can’t beat Sara Barnard books though. They have the ultimate sheld appeal – all that metallic sparkly goodness.

Beast – A book you didn’t expect much from but pleasantly surprised you.

Hmmm… this is hard. I don’t know that I have an answer for this one! Let me think about it!

Gaston – A book everyone loves but you don’t.

Oh man, Caraval. Now I don’t NOT love it… but I was just decidely underwhelmed by it. I’m still totally on the fence as to whether I want to read the second one.

Lefou – A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart.

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell has some absolutely amazing “sidekicks”. That story is VERY special.

Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiér, and Cogsworth – A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught you something valuable.

Oh man, so so many books. I’m going to have to go for Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig. That book is one that I truly believe everyone should own, or at least read once in their lives.

‘Something There’ – A book or a series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end.

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green. I struggled so hard to get into this book because the first 80% is just set up. I just found it quite a hard slog… but by the end I was into it.

‘Be Our Guest’ – A fictional character you’d love to have over for dinner.

SO MANY. I’d love to have Belle over most though I reckon.

And there you go! Don’t forget to tag me in any tags you’d like to see me do. Tags are becoming a Friday staple on here! 

Let me know your thoughts! 

S x 

BOOK BLOG: April Tucholke

The Boneless Mercies: a beautifully brilliant book!

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“Frey, Ovie, Juniper, and Runa are Boneless Mercies – death-traders, hired to kill quickly, quietly and mercifully. It is a job for women, and women only. Men will not do this sad, dark work. Frey has no family, no home, no fortune, and yet her blood sings a song of glory. So when she hears of a monster slaughtering men, women, and children in a northern jarldom, she decides this the Mercies’ one chance to change their fate. But glory comes at a price …”

ANY book that has this gorgeous a cover is SURE to catch my eye. Just look at that turquoise, the black and the foil… and yes, that gold is metallic and shiny (my picture just does it NO justice at all). I had high hopes for a book with such an incredible cover, and my gosh, this book did not disappoint. 

The Boneless Mercies tells the tale of Frey, her friends and a journey through some wicked and wild enemies. Frey and her friends are Boneless Mercies – young women who are hired by people to do mercy killings for anyone who can pay. None of these girls fell into being a Mercy on purpose, they all became mercies because of the way their lives fell into place. No matter though, they are frightfully loyal to each other and there is an awful lot of love between them. I think they friendship might be one of the things I loved most about this book… their unrelenting loyalty and love for each other. We all need friends like that. 

There’s some BRILLIANT themes of life and death in this story. The way that death is approached in this story was fascinating to read. There’s no glorification of death, but a gentle acceptance of it and a giving of death. I loved the girls’ dedication to their jobs, even when they don’t want to do that job anymore. 

Another thing I love SO MUCH about books is the incorporation of folk stories and myths (I know, what a surprise, I’ve definitely typed that sentence before) and this book doesn’t shy away from it. There’s a lovely sense of storytelling in this story. “Storytelling can keep you warm on the coldest of nights” (that’s not a direct quote, but it’s paraphrasing a quote!) You see the girls’ lives and the lives of the ones they meet through their storytelling, and it made me feel like I was sat by a fire, listening. This is the perfect book to read while sitting next to a fire… just incase you want a recommendation! 

I have to take a very little moment here to write a little appreciation for Trigve here. I don’t wanna give any spoilers, but guys. I think he’s just wonderful. If there is to be a book 2, I need my shipper heart to be happy, thanks! 

I’m not gonna lie, yes, there was a bit when I cried (again, no one will be shocked by this!). This book made me 100% invested in these girls’ lives, and I needed them all to keep powering on, keep surviving. Cause I tell you now… I WOULD NOT. In the cold and the snow and the outside all the time? NO THANKS. 

If you, like me, are a lover of books with BRILLIANT characters, some incredible storytelling and set in an intriguing world, then this is 100% the book for you! GO GO GO FRIENDS.

My Goodreads review:

A brilliantly written book with characters I absolutely adored. There was so much in this that I need time to process it. Badass characters, a sense of mythology and an interesting world. I REALLY hope there’s going to be a second one.

Have you read The Boneless Mercies?
Do you think you’d be a good Mercy killer?
RECOMMEND ME BOOKS LIKE THIS PLZ. Thanks.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments, because I need to know if ANYONE ELSE was with me on the Trigve thing. I love him. A massive thank you to Olivia at Simon and Schuster for senging me this book! I wholeheartely loved it! 

S x 

 

BOOK BLOG: Sam Usher

Snow: the perfect addition to your shelves for the wintery season!

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“Every child loves a snow day—no school and snowball fights galore! But Sam has to wait for Granddad, even though all the other kids have already gone to the park . . . and all the dogs . . . and all the zoo animals! Only when the two finally arrive does Granddad see why Sam was in such a hurry—and they have the best time playing with everyone in the snow.”

As a massive fan of the book Storm, when I saw there was another Sam Usher book (with a very festive snowy theme) I knew I needed to treat myself to it! I mean, just look at that cover. Who wouldn’t want to know more about the penguin casually strolling down their street? 

Snow tells the story of a very impatient young boy who wants to go out into the snow, while his grandfather thinks they should stay in for a little while. There’s so much joy in the young man’s face when he sees the snow. We’ve all been there. Wanting to be the first one to stand on snow – is there anything more irresistable than a patch of freshly fallen snow? 

When they do eventually get outside, they wander down to the park and end up having an awful lot of fun with a new bunch of friends. It’s all a bit silly, but this would make a perfect readaloud. Kids will love this story. What’s more fun than snow ball fights? Snowball fights with animals… obviously! 

With gorgeous illustrations, characters who are realistic and a brilliant portrayal of family (I loved seeing this story of a young man and his grandfather, rather than a mam/dad or sibling), this book is going to be a great one to read aloud to kids (and adults alike!). I am loving this Weather series from Sam Usher and can’t wait to get even more! I would recommend wholeheartedly getting on the series! I own Snow and Storm so far, I need to check out Rain and Sun. 

Have you read any of Sam Usher’s books?
What’s your perfect wintery read aloud?
Are you a snow lover, or not a fan?

Let me know your thoughts! Speak to you soon… fingers crossed the snow stays away! I don’t want to run into a bunch of animals throwing snowballs at me! 

S x

 

BOOK BLOG: David Long

Egypt Magnified: the perfect book for any Egypt loving bookworm! 

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“Grab your magnifying glass and explore the sights and sounds of ancient Egypt in this fascinating search-and-find adventure, packed with over 200 things to spot.”

When I was approached by the publishers as to whether I would like a copy of this book for review, I knew instantly that I would ABSOLUTELY LIKE A COPY FOR REVIEW. I am constantly on the lookout for engaging and brilliant non-fiction books. We all know that non-fiction books of the past could be dull and just collect dust… but recently non-fiction books are becoming more and more desirable. And this book does not disappoint! This would make the perfect Christmas gift for any non-fiction loving wannabe historian in your life! 

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Egypt Magnified comes with a brilliant magnifying glass so you can play a “Where’s Wally?” type game in the book. With sections covering everything from The Nile and The Desert to Tutankhamun’s Tomb, this book is just brilliant. (Why yes, I did in fact take about half an hour of my time when this arrived to play with the magnifying glass… unfortunately, I never was any good at Where’s Wally!)

With gorgeous illustrations by Harry Bloom and JAM PACKED with facts, this book is educational and fun – a perfect mix! I learned a fair few things when I gave this book a read… and I’ve taught the Egyptians before! Each page is about a different topic, and along the top is the “10 things to spot” section. The pages are filled with information, illustration and intrigue! 

I can’t recommend this book enough – to parents, teachers, librarians and ANYONE ELSE. It has such a brilliant place in homes, schools and libraries. I can’t wait to pass it on to Year 4 for when they study the Egypians – I just know it’s going to go down SO well. (So well in fact, I’m jealous that they get to have it! If there could be a Greek edition, that’d be awesome!)

What period in history would you most like to delve deeper into?
What’s your favourite type of non-fiction book?
Can you recommend me any new non-fiction books?

A massive massive thank you to the publishers over at Quarto for sending me this absolute delight! 

S x 

The ‘Totally Should Have’ Tag

Hello again! Just me back with more tag goodness! I’m loving the tag lifestyle here.

I don’t remember where I saw this tag, but I’ve had the notes about thgis tag in my blogging notebook for months so I fitured I would get round to posting it finally! This is the ‘Totally Should Have’ tag, where I weigh in on books that totally should have… something or other!

1. Totally should’ve gotten a sequel

Image result for simon vs. the homosapien agenda

Hmmm… Simon vs the HomoSapiens Agenda. To be fair, I just want a sequel of Simon and Blue goodness because my word I ship that HARD.

2. Totally should’ve had a spin off series

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Floored! I would’ve loved to see more about the lives of the crew, especially Hugo (despite the fact I thought he was a dick ha!) or Kaitlyn (cause she was an absolute darling).

3. An author who totally should write more books

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Oooooooooooooh, interesting question! Emery Lord would be one of my candidates! Most of the authors who I think should write more books are currently writing more books, so I don’t know that I can nominate them.

(If you’re reading though Barnard, Salisbury, Evans, Hargrave et al… I mean you lot!)

4. A character who totally should’ve ended up with someone else

I have NO idea for an answer for this question. As a serial shipper, this is something I feel strongly about. Let me get back to you!

5. Totally should’ve ended differently

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The ending of Thunderhead BAFFLED me. I still loved it, but I just didn’t get it. I’m very much looking forward to the third book… but yeah, BAFFLING.

6. Totally should’ve had a movie franchise

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I stand firm that Six of Crows deserves a movie or 3.

7. Totally should’ve had a TV show

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The Extinction Trials by S.M.Wilson would make a great TV series in my opinion.

8. Totally should’ve had only one point of view

Again, this is one where I’m torn because I LOVE multiple perspective books. I don’t think I’ve read one that I didn’t like the other perspective. Some books have TOO MANY perspectives, which BAFFLES me to no end.

9. Totally should have a cover change

ANY COVER THAT HAS A PERSON ON THE FRONT. Not an illustration, but an ACTUAL person. Anyone who knows and has ever been book shopping with me will know that this is very much my least favourite thing about covers.

10. Totally should’ve kept the original covers

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH. Controversial. I do not know though. I think MOST cover changes are done for the GOOD of the covers having shelf appeal.

11. Totally should’ve stopped at book one

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Me Before You. That second book I did not believe AT ALL and haven’t gotten round to reading the third book because I disliked the second one so much.

There we go!

Do you agree with any of my answers? 
What would your answers be?
Have you got any covers that you hate?
DO you agree with me on the “take people off the covers of books”?

Speak to me! Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

S x

 

Friends Tag: Aoife edition!

Hello friends!

Today, my lovely Irish friend Aoife (yes, her of Pretty Purple Polka Dots fame!) is here to give her answers to my Friends tag. I’m loving seeing posts for this tag, so please feel free to join in – I’ll take your posts on my blog, or post your own answers on your blog! Either way, I’m loving all the answers so far! (Check out THIS post for more information!)

So I best hand you over!

Ross: Seems harmless, but problematic – Name a book you had problems withImage result for stags mabennettStrangely, I have read a few books recently that didn’t go down very well with me. I could have picked any of them, but I’m going to go with STAGS by M.A Bennett.

(Hello, just me… I have not read this yet!)

Monica: neat and tidy – Name a book/series that ends satisfyingly
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Simon vs the HomoSapiens Agenda. OH BLUE!

(Me again, I couldn’t agree more. This book is adorable!)

Chandler: funny and relatable – Name a firm fave
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Holly Bourne
has cemented herself as one of my all time favourite authors. She is incredible at not just telling important stories about mental health, but making them funny and relatable.

Phoebe: reliable and friendly – An author you always rely on

If you haven’t read Isabelle Broom yet, make sure you pick up one of her books – pronto. Keep your passport nearby too; all of her books involve travel, and they have some amazing settings.

Rachel: she grows on you over time – Name a book/series that’s grown on you over time
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I felt that Still Methe final book in the Me Before You trilogy, started off a little slow. I did enjoy it once it got going, and I thought it was a good end to the series.

(I BLOODY loved Me Before You… I didn’t enjoy the second book so much. I’m still on the fence as to whether I want to read this one… this could be convincing me!) 

Gunther: always there, always ignored – A book you’ve had on your TBR forever
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Good God, I have books that have been on my TBR for years. I try to knock them back as best as possible. This month I will read The C Word by Lisa Lynch as my Beat the Backlist year-long challenge.

Carol and Susan: keeping it diverse – An LGBT+ book you love/hate/wanna read
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At the moment I’m reading Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman. I’m not too sure how I feel about it, I’m not really sure I like the narrator’s voice in this!

A massive, massive thanks to Aoife for popping by to answer my Friends Tag! You should go check out her blog – Pretty Purple Polka Dots.

Let me know if you want to join in!

S x

Wrap up warm!

YOU ASKED FOR IT… so I’m delivering.

This week’s wrap up is all about SCARVES.

How do I wrap up warm in winter?
That is the big question.
When I’m out and about in the cold of Newcastle (because let’s be real it is MOSTLY cold in Newcastle!), how do I keep warm?

I have a very slight, but very real, obsession with scarves. If we’re going to be realistic about life, I have a slight obsession with checked scarves in particular. I have a REAL LOVE for checked scarves.

They’re like a weakness of mine.
I have no shame.

If I’m ever shopping in town, I am instantly attracted to the checked scarves (stripy tops, but checked scarves), in all shapes, sizes and colours. I’m particularly fond of the scarves that are practically so big they could be blankets. 

A very quick persual on this thing called the interwebs and I have seen at least 10 scarves I would happily part with some hard-earned cash for.

Let’s take a look at some, shall we?

Oh man, look at them all. I genuinely don’t know which one is my favourite.
(These are all taken from either Pinterest, ASOS, New Look or Dorothy Perkins). 

In fact, if I think of all of the wooly scarves I own, they are ALL checked. I have a pink and white one; brown and orange one; red and blue one.

In short, I am Steph and I love checked scarves (or checky scarves as I call them). x

S4S – Characters you’d love to see together

Happy Sunday friends! 

How are we all? Are we all ready for more #SixforSunday? 

Today’s challenge is a TOUGHIE. Just as I have the past few weeks, I have TOO many options for the 6 I’m allowed to choose! Today I have to only find 6:

Characters you’d love to see together

  1. Jack (from Jack of Hearts and Other Parts) and Simon (Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda)
  2. Jupiter (Nevermoor) and Felix (The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club)
  3. Stella (The Polar Bear Explorer’s Club) and Owl (A Girl Called Owl)
  4. Twylla (The Sin Eater’s Daughter) and Sorrow (State of Sorrow)
  5. Twylla (The Sin Eater’s Daughter) and Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows)
  6. Tilly (Pages and Co) and Property Jones (The Bookshop Girl)

There we go, some MG and some YA choices! This was a lot of fun! My list surprises me… I definitely have a whole chunk of others I’d love to see. If you’re interested, talk to me! I’d love to share more of my ideas! 

S x

The Reader Problems Tag

HAPPY FRIDAY. How are we all? Have we all survived another week? What have we all been up to? Today I come to you with a tag I’ve seen floating around for a while. I don’t recall where I first saw it, but I stole the questions from my friend Aoife’s blog (check it out here)

Let’s go with the “reader problems tag”!

1. You have 20,000 books in your TBR, how in the world do you decide what to read next?

I am 100% a mood reader, so I will read whatever I am in the mood to read. If I HAVE to read a book, I am so much less likely to actually enjoy reading it.

2. You’re halfway through a book and you’re just not loving it. Do you put it down or are you committed?

I’m a finisher. I’m stubborn. I will finish a book through thick and thin. Unless I GENUIENLY can’t wade through any more of it, I’ll stick by it.

3. The end of the year is coming and you’re behind on your reading challenge, do you try to catch up? And if so, how?

I’ll just keep reading? If I get to my target, great. If not, no one died because I didn’t read the books I said I would… so it’s all gravy.

4. The covers of a series you love do. not. match. How do you cope?

Lol, I’ll cope because I HAVE TO. If the publishers then release the series with matching covers, you KNOW I will be buying the matching covers. I’m all for matching.

5. Everyone and their mother loves a book that you do not. Who do you bond with over your shared feelings?

Tbh, I’ll survive. I have a merry band of book loving friends who will listen to me. We have differences of opinions on books and that’s cool.

6. You’re reading a book in public and you’re about to start crying. How do you deal?

Cry, lol. I always tell the story of coming back from YALC last year, when I was reading The Last Wild by Piers Torday (brilliant MG book, would recommend to all of the humans) and I was genuinely bawling. The man beside me tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was OK because I was crying so hard, ha!

7. The sequel to a book you loved just came out but you’ve forgotten a lot of what happens. Are you going to reread it?

Not likely. I might reread my review or check out the synopsis on the internet. Or I’ll ask one of my friends to remind me of the plot.

8. You do not want anyone to borrow your books, how do you politely say no when someone asks?

I don’t generally say no? I dunno, my books are very precious to me… but I wouldn’t deny someone.

9. You have picked up and put down 5 books in the last month. How do you get over this reading slump?

I’m not often in a slump, but if I ever am… I try and read something OUT of that type. I’ll read an MG if YA isn’t tickling my fancy, and vice versa.

10. There are so many books coming out that you are dying to read, how many do you end up buying?

Most of them? I work hard for my money, so why shouldn’t I treat myself?

11. After you purchase all of these books that you’re dying to read how long do they sit on your shelves before you get to them?

It all depends on WHO it is and how much time I’ve been waiting (Salisbury, Barnard, Evans… I’m looking at you!)

If you fancy taking on this tag, go for it! I’d love to hear your thoughts on my answers!

S x