Books · Hauls

Library Haul #2

Hello bookish friends!

I don’t often do hauls since I rarely purchase books but I’ve accumulated my fair share of library books in the past month or so that I’m very excited to read, so I thought I’d share them with you, whilst also encouraging all of you to go to support your local libraries!

Now I Rise

Now I Rise by Kiersten White

This is the sequel to And I Darken which I read back in April and adored so this is at the top of my TBR for July. The writing in the first book was so beautiful and I fell properly in love with both the main characters (but mostly Radu, bless). So much happened in the first instalment so I’m very excited to see where the story goes from there.

Flame in the Mist

Flame In the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

I wasn’t the biggest The Wrath and the Dawn fan but I really enjoyed Ahdieh’s writing style and her world-building so I’m interested in seeing how I feel about her second series. I love that it isn’t set in a Western fantasy world, which I’m kind of getting tired of, but I’ve seen quite a few mixed reviews so.. we shall see!

From Twinkle, With Love

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

I am so in the mood for a cutesy summer contemporary – I’m actually saving them all until August where I’m going to read mainly YA contemporaries the whole month. I’ve heard amazing things about Menon’s first book (which I still need to get my hands on!) and this one in particular is about a girl who’s into film-making which is so. cool.

The Smoke Thieves

The Smoke Thieves by Sally Green

I’ll admit, this was a total cover-borrow. Also, the pages are sprayed hot pink. HOT PINK. I did later look up the blurb on Goodreads and it sounds very much my kind of book. It follows multiple perspectives in a high fantasy YA, including a demon-catcher and a princess which just sounds awesome. I didn’t pick up Green’s Half Bad series so I have no idea if I’ll like her writing or not, but I’m hoping to get to this one really soon!

Renegades

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

The second I saw this available at my library, I snatched it up. I inhale-read Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series but haven’t really heard much of anything about this one. All I know is that it involves superheroes and honestly that’s enough to get me excited!

An Ember in the Ashes

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I’ve been meaning to get around to this series since it first came out but I just… haven’t. For some unknown reason since literally everyone is in love with it! I think since the latest instalment recently came out I’ve been seeing lots of hype so I plan to get to this really soon. That way I can actually understand what people are talking about when they rave about this series!

The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part in the Forest by Holly Black

Since I read The Cruel Prince back in January, I’ve been craving a dark, twisty faerie story so thought what better than another Holly Black faerie book!? All I want from this are the same kind of feels I got from TCP – lyrical writing, angsty characters and plot twists galore.

The Abyss Surrounds Us

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

Okay, so this is the only book I bought, rather than borrowed, but I had to talk about it! It’s a sapphic read that I keep seeing recommended around Twitter and it involves sea monsters so, when I saw it had reduced in price, I had to get it. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things and it’s the perfect length for a readathon, so I think I’ll save it for then – ’tis the season for readathons, after all!


So that’s it for some of the library books I’m most excited to read! Have you found any gems in your local library lately?

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Books · Hauls · Library

The Haul of Mysteries

Hello bookish fiends!

‘Tis the month of October where darkness falls upon the land and I rush to my favourite haunt: The Library. In anticipation of rainy days and cold nights, I’ve borrowed some creepy and dark and mysterious books to keep me company.

A Fever of the Blood

A Fever of the Blood by Oscar de Muriel

This is probably the book I’m most excited to have picked up. I recently finished reading the first book in this Victorian-era mystery series and had a great time reading it so I wanted to get my hands on the next instalment asap! This one is about witches in Lancashire and will hopefully be just as creepy as the first book.

Murder As A Fine Art

Murder As A Fine Art by David Morrell

I’ve been on a bit of a Victorian-era murder mystery binge lately. I’ve always enjoyed these kinds of stories but now I am really in the best kind of mood for them. This one follows a writer who has become the latest suspect in a mass murder case as the murders seem to be eerily familiar to those described in one of the essays the protagonist has written.

Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula

Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula by Loren D. Estleman

I mean, Sherlock Holmes plus the Count himself. Possibly the best (monster) mash-up I’ve heard of. Hopefully the story lives up to the concept. It’s relatively short at only 188 pages so it should be a quick, fun read.

Poirot #1

The Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha Christie

What’s a mystery haul without the Lady of Crime Fiction herself? I’ve watched many an adaption of Agatha Christie’s stories and I feel like it’s about time I read one. This is Poirot’s first appearance so I’m starting from the beginning.

Goth Girl #1

Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse by Chris Riddell

These books are very well-loved and since Halloween’s coming up, it seemed like the perfect time to pick up the first book in this series. It seems quite charming and dark and whimsical which is exactly what I like to find in a children’s novel. Also, the illustrations look wonderful.

Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

I’ve seen this book on a lot of people’s autumn reading recommendations lists so I thought it might be a good time to give it a go. It’s had pretty mixed reviews but I enjoyed Blake’s previous novel, Antigoddess, so hopefully I’ll like this one too. It’s about three siblings who have to fight each other in a game of life or death in order to become Queen.

The Diviners

The Diviners by Libba Bray

This is another murder mystery, but this time set in an atmospheric 1920’s New York. From the blurb I’m guessing there might also be supernatural or paranormal elements? Hopefully because this book sounds exactly like my cup of tea. It’ll be really interesting for me to read a murder mystery set in this era, halfway across the world, too.

Monstress

 

Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu

I first heard about this wee gem from Thoughts on Tomes and we tend to have very similar taste when it comes to graphic novels in particular. The story seemed complex and the art style looked so very beautiful (which it is, holy crap). I’m currently reading this and loving it. It covers some really dark themes, so it’s probably best to do a little research before you pick this one up (I’ll speak about CWs in more detail once I’ve finished it).

Fantasy Encyclopedia

Fantasy Encyclopedia by Judy Allen

This was the only book I bought in this haul and I am so happy that I did (for only £2.81 yay bargains). It has some great illustrations and contains a little information on every imaginable creature from folklore and legend, plus quite a few I’d never before heard of. This is a great coffee-table type of book to flick through and dip in and out of when you need a bit of a break from the real world.


So that’s it for this library haul. What are some of the books you’ve borrowed lately? Any creepy books you can recommend me?
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#library · Books

The Summer Reading Challenge

Hello bookish friends!

The Summer Reading Challenge is essentially a readathon created by libraries that encourages children to continue reading over the summer period. The challenge is to read a book for each week of the summer holidays. Each year there is a different theme for the challenge. This year was called ‘Animal Agents’ where a crime had been committed and, with each book read, another sticker would be received, so that when you’ve completed the challenge, you will have also figured out who committed the crime. It’s always quite an interactive challenge, with there being lots of extra quests to complete alongside the main challenge.

As a volunteer for the Summer Reading Challenge, you have to ask children questions about the book(s) they’ve read each session they come to and ask them whether or not they liked it, who their favourite characters were, who they’d recommend the book to, etc.

This is the second year I’ve participated in the Challenge and I think I enjoyed myself even more than last year. It’s such a wonderful experience, listening to children tell you about their passion for reading. Particularly when it’s a Roald Dahl book or a Harry Potter book! I had one child who was telling me about Chamber of Secrets (after having read it for the first time) and I asked her if she had seen any of the films. She said she had only seen the first one and was planning to read each book and then watch the corresponding film afterwards. I had such a huge grin on my face. That child made my day. I also felt so jealous! Imagine experiencing all that magic again for the first time!? She was so lucky!

I guess the point of this blog post is to encourage people to, if they can, participate in the Summer Reading Challenge next year. With all the library cuts in London, staff need volunteers now more than ever and, honestly, there’s no better feeling than seeing how happy a child gets when they have completed their sixth book. If you’re not sure if you’ll be any good around children, don’t worry, I’ve always felt the same. Turns out, kids are just tiny people and they’re actually pretty easy to talk to and have jokes with. Also, they all genuinely love reading and get really excited telling you about the books they’ve read. So you’ll be fine!

I had the best time this summer volunteering and cannot wait to do it again next year. If you want to know anything else about volunteering for your local library, please don’t hesitate to ask me anything you like! I also work in a university library, too, so if you ever find yourself wondering about libraries and how they work from a behind-the-scenes point of view, hit me up!

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Books · Hauls

Library Haul #1

Hello bookish friends!

I don’t tend to buy books very often and when I do, they tend to be either new releases or Birthday/Christmas presents, so hauls aren’t really a thing I can ever really do on my blog. BUT, library books are a different matter entirely. Some people have a book-buying problem. I, however, have a library-borrowing problem.

So I thought it’d be cool to share all my recent borrows from the various libraries I’m a member of. I have a much lower threshold for borrowing books, too. Usually, when I buy books, I’ll look it up on Goodreads for the reviews and take a long time weighing up whether or not I actually need to own the book. But, with library books, if I think a book looks interesting, I’ll borrow it on a whim. Which makes my reading life a lot more exciting!

The Hidden Kingdom

1. The Hidden Kingdom by Ian Beck

I’d never heard of this one before I picked it up but the cover really intrigued me. I looked it up later on Goodreads and it’s meant to be a Japanese-style fantasy world which sounds incredibly interesting to me since I’ve mainly only come across European type of fantasies. Also, the prologue mentions demons and Hades so I’m all in!

Under the Never Sky

2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

This one has been on my radar for a while. It had a bit of hype when it first came out in 2012 and I heard really great things from reviewers I trust, so I’m pretty excited to start reading it. The only thing that had put me off until now was the cover because, I mean, look at the state of it. Eurgh.

Steelheart

3. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

I’ve been making my way through all of Sanderson’s Cosmere books and I’ve never before read anything else of his so I thought I’d start with his Reckoners series. I’ve heard it’s action-packed and fast-paced so I’ll be interested to see if I like his other non-Cosmere works, too.

Graceling

4. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

This is another fantasy series I’ve heard great things about and have been meaning to pick up for a while. I really like the idea of this series being companion novels, too. Also, the main character sounds badass and I am all about that.

The Dream Thieves

5. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

I read The Raven Boys about a year and a half ago and gave it a solid four stars. No idea why I haven’t picked the sequel up yet! I think that’s a common theme throughout this post – books I’ve been meaning to pick up for ages!!

The Rasputin Dagger

6. The Rasputin Dagger by Theresa Breslin

This is another one I knew nothing about when I picked it up. The title is what originially intrigued me – I love anything to do with 20th Century European history. It’s set in 1916 St Petersburg, Russia and follows Nina, who is looking to escape her past and Stefan, who wants to change Russia for the better. The synopsis mentions the royal family, Rasputin (obviously!) and two mysterious daggers. My kind of thing!

The Name of the Wind

7. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I’ve never seen this one at any of my libraries before so I was so happy to see this on the shelf! It’s a long-ass book so I’m not sure when I’ll be motivated enough to pick it up but this is a very well-loved book/series so I’ll get to it soon. Promise!


So that’s it for all the library books I’ve borrowed in the last couple of months. Have you picked anything exciting up from the library lately?
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