My 7 Top Tips To Read More

My 7 Top Tips To Read More

I have had a lot of messages recently about how much I read and how on earth do I read so much. Partially, it’s because I’ve been posting my reading updates on Instagram (don’t forget to follow me here) with everything I finish and so far, so good for 2020!

So I thought why not pop it in a blog and share with you guys how I get through an average of 100 books per year.

Read short books to get you in the swing of things

There is no point in starting War and Peace if you’re not a regular reader of you’ve been in a bit of a slump. Shorter books are a great way to get into a story and feel a sense of accomplishment that you’ve finished a book!

Read what you enjoy!

Love romance books? Go for it. Think YA is incredible? I agree? Or maybe you want to read about farms in the 1800s? You do you. There can be a lot of snobbery over what people read but, honestly, it’s no one else’s business if you enjoy it.

Join a Book Club

I took a chance, joined a book club and met some of my closest friends as well as being introduced to some of my new favourite books like A Winter’s Promise.

Book clubs are great to encourage you and introduce you to books that you might not have tried otherwise. Also the good ones also have sweet treats, just saying.

Absorb books in the best way for you

Hardback, paperback, ebook, audiobook – they’re all ways of enjoying a book. Some people enjoy listening and get more from it.

Take a book with you wherever you go

This is where the Kindle app is great because you’ve always got a book on you as long as you have your phone and you can get books for as little as 99p!

Or just put a read in your bag so if you get delayed/ are waiting for something/ have a quiet lunch break and are in the mood to read.

Set time aside to read

Whenever works for you but if you really want to read make time for it. For me, it’s normally in the evenings so I can get away from screens and chill out.

I also used to use any time I was on a train or bus because the only other thing I could do was sit on my phone. I’d probably read a lot more if I didn’t have my phone…

Goal orientated? Set that goal!

If goals work for you – set one. Even if it’s 1 book for the whole year or , if you’re completely mad like me, 100 books. I love having a goal and tracking them on Goodreads and it really motivates me to keep reading when I’m in a slump.

Everything I Read in 2019

Everything I Read In 2019!

Well, what a reading year it’s been! I smashed my goal of 100 books (although at times I wondered if I would!). I’ve read some absolutely incredible books, found some new favourite authors and had my heart broken by words more than once this year.

So, here’s all the books I read in 2019…

January

Becoming – Michelle Obama

You Are A Badass At Making Money – Jen Sincero

Everything I Never Told You – Celest Ng

Unnatural Vol 1, – Mirka Andolfo

Saga Vol 8 – Brian K Vaughan

Notes To Self – Emilie Pine

Born Lippy: How To Do Female – Jo Brand

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing – Hank Green

Pop Star Jihadi – Nick Tyrone

February

Soho – Richard Scott

Hard Pushed: A Midwife’s Story – Leah Hazard

Some Girls Survive On Sourcery Alone – Thiahera Nurse

Royals (Prince Charming) – Rachel Hawkins

Snotgirl Volume 2 – Bryan Lee O’Malley

What Would The Spice Girls Do? – Lauren Bravo

Standing Female Nude – Carol Ann Duffy

Heartstopper Volume 1 – Alice Oseman

Camouflage: The Hidden Lives of Autistic Women – Sarah Bargiela

Far From The Tree – Robin Benway

If My Body Could Speak – Blythe Baird

A Story About Cancer With a Happy Ending – India Desjardins

Saga Volume 9 – Brian K Vaughan

March

You Do You – Sarah Knight

The Burning – Laura Bates

Eye Level: Poems – Jenny Xie

Five Feet Apart – Rachael Lippincott , Mikki Daughtry (Contributor), Tobias Iaconis (Contributor)

Ctrl, Alt, Delete: How I Grew Up Online – Emma Gannon

Mind On Fire: A Memoir of Madness and Recover – Arnold Thomas Fanning

My Solo Exchange Diary Vol 2 – Kabi Nagata

Voices of Powerful Women – Zoë Sallis

Internment – Samira Ahmed

That’s Not What Happened – Kody Keplinger

April

Your Heart Is The Sea – Nikita Gill

Daisy Jones & The Six – Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Mermaid’s Voice Returns In This One – Amanda Lovelace

I Found My Tribe – Ruth Fitzmaurice

Evidence Of The Affair – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Blossoms in Autumn – Zidrou

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

A Girl Called Shameless – Laura Steven

May

Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust – Hédi Fried

The Cut Out Girl – Bart van Es

White Rose – Kip Wilson

Love Looks Pretty On You – Lang Leav

How Not To Lose It: Mental Health – Ana Williamson

The Paper and Hearts Society – Lucie Powrie

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row – by Anthony Ray Hinton (Introduction), Lara Love Hardin

June

Saved as Draft by N.D. Chan

Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling

This Is The Journey by Alison Malee

Everything’s Trash But It’s Ok by Phoebe Robinson

The Hormone Diaries – The Bloody Truth About Our Periods – Hannah Witton

Red, White and Royal Blue – Casey McQuiston

The Hidden Power of F*cking Up – The Try Guys

July

Heartstopper Volume 2 – Alice Oseman

[Dis] Connected edited – Michelle Halket

Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want To Come – Jessica Pan

Look Closer – Stewart Lewis

 The Power – Naomi Alderman

Calm the F**k Down – Sarah Knight

Misfit – Charli Howard

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé – Morgan Parker

Vicious – V.E. Schwab

August

Eat, Drink, Run – How I Got Fit Without Going Too Mad by Bryony Gordon

The Disconnect – Keren David

Birthday – Meredith Russo

The Truth About Alice is – Jennifer Mathieu

American Royals – Katherine McGee 

The Stolen Ones – Vanessa Curtis

Can Everyone Please Calm Down? A Guide to 21st Century Sexuality – Mae Martin 

Aphrodite Made Me Do It – Trista Mateer

The Good Immigrant edited – Nikesh Shukla

The Flat Share – Beth O’Leary

September

Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed – Jack The Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

The Other Mother – Jen Brister

Sex, Power, Money – Sara Pascoe

Archie 1941 – Mark Wade

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Artwork – Emily Carroll

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me – Mariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

October

Postscript by Cecelia Ahern

It’s Not Ok To Feel Blue And Other Lies by Scarlett Curtis

Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield

The Liar’s Daughter by Megan Cooley Peterson

Over The Top by Jonathan Van Ness

Freedom by Jaycee Dugard

Truth To Power by Jess Phillips

 Twas The Night Shift Before Christmas by Adam Kay

Heartstream by Tom Pollock

Dear Girls – Ali Wong

November

Full Disclosure – Camryn Garrett

Our Super Canadian Adventure – Sarah Graley and Stef Purenins

A Winter’s Promise – Christelle Dabos

City of Ghosts – Victoria Schwab

They Called Us Enemy – George Takei

No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference – Greta Thunberg

December

The Perfect Dress – Louisa Leaman

Tunnel of Bones – Victoria Schwab

Break The Fall – Jennifer Iacopelli

Love Her Wild – Atticus

Journey to The Rise of Skywalker: Allegiance – Ethan Sacks

The Truth About Magic – Atticus

Which books did you read in 2019 and what are you hoping to read in 2020? Let me know in the comments below!

Please note: A number of these book I was gifted or sent for review. This does not impact the rating or review they have been given.

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2018!

I hate to alarm you guys but, we’re halfway through the year… It’s fine, it’s cool, I’m not freaking out, you’re freaking out. That also means it’s time for the Mid-Year Book Freak Out and I am so ready! I’ve watched and read these tags for years and finally wanted to have a go myself.

The best book you’ve read so far in 2018:

Only Child - Rhiannon Navin

This is so, so hard… probably Only Child by Rhiannon Navin, her debut was incredible. Absolutely incredible. It is a pretty tough novel about a school shooting seen through the eyes of a child who loses his brother. A novel about family and grief, through the innocent eyes of a little boy.  The writing is incredible, the story heartbreaking and it’s a book that stays with you. I can’t wait to see what Rhiannon does next. My full review is here.

Your favourite sequel of the year:

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This was an AMAZING follow up to A Court of Thorns and Roses . There was excellent character development, the plot was brilliant and I wish I could say more but I don’t want to ruin the series. I just didn’t see the twists and turns coming and I loved it so much.

A new release that you haven’t read but really want to:

Tyler Johnson Was Here

Tyler Johnson Was Here has been all over Booktube and I hadn’t seen it anywhere in my local bookshops and then I went to Foyles and there it was. Not only is this a really important novel about race the cover is beautiful. I really, really hope this lives up to the hype. Full blurb here.

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:

The Curses - Laure Eve

I loved The Graces last year and the publication date for the second novel keeps changing so I’m really hoping we do get this in 2017, even though it says the scheduled release is currently the 6th September 2018 according to Amazon. I need this book in my hands after the end of The Graces. Need, need, need.

Your biggest disappointment:

Clean Juno Dawson

I try not to be negative but I really hated this novel. I made me so angry and irritated as someone who has and does live with a mental health condition. This was just very privileged and I don’t think it did the recovery process justice. Reading about a rich girl who gets whisked to a rehab that gives you Calvin Klein pjs just didn’t appeal to me when most people wouldn’t have that opportunity. Obviously, these are just my feelings.

Biggest surprise of the year:

Saga Vol 1 - Brian K Vaughan

Saga was something I meant to get around to, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. It was absolutely amazing and I’ve been making my way through all 8 volumes ready for volume 9 to come out in October.

Favourite new-to-you or debut author:

The Exact Opposite of Okay - Laura Steven

I definitely fangirled when Laura Steven replied to me on Twitter. I tried to get all of my friends to read this as soon as I finished. This is the kind of YA voice that we need! This looks at sexism and double standards but also manages to make you laugh the whole way through? You can read my full review here and then get on and buy it people!

Your fictional crush:

Rhysand – the ACOTAR series. Do I really need to say more?

New favourite character:

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Feyre – A Court of Thorns and Roses

I think Feyre is an absolutely amazing character. I read all three of the ACOTAR books in a month and I just found her to be a great protagonist. She’s not perfect, she has her own mental battles to fight. I think she’s ace and I wish I could go into more detail as to why but I don’t want to ruin the series.

A book that made you cry:

With The End in Mind - Katheryn Mannix

With the End in Mind: Death, Dying and Wisdom in an Age of Denial by Kathryn Mannix

A book about death making me cry? Not exactly a shock. I read this for the Wellcome book prize and it was beautifully written. The kindness, compassion and intelligence of this book is nothing I’ve ever seen before and it will definitely get you talking.

A book that made you happy:

A Court of Frost and Starlight - Sarah J Maas

This book just felt like coming home. This is the novella to accompany the ACOTAR series which, I know, I’ve gone on about a lot in this blog. This is a short read with all the feels. I can’t wait for the next novel in the series!

Your favorite book-to-movie adaptation that you’ve seen this year:

I haven’t seen any book to movie adaptions this year! None that I can remember anyway…

Favorite book post you’ve done this year:

Hmmm, tough one. I actually think it’s the unpopular opinions book tag! It was good to get a few things off my chest!

The most beautiful book you’ve bought/received this year:

The Surface Breaks - Louise O'Neill

The Surface Breaks – Louise O’Neil

Just look at this cover, isn’t it so, so beautiful! Even without the dust jacket, it was beautiful.

What are some books you need to read by the end of the year?

I wrote a post about the books I wanted to read in 2018 and there are only two on there I need to read to meet my goal. I’d also like to get around to the following 2018 releases:

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy – Anthology

Notes on a Nervous Planet – Matt Haig 

How to Be Famous – Caitlin Moran 

Just wanting to point out that, obviously, I didn’t come up with this tag, it has been floating around forever! If you do this tag yourself, I’d love to see your answers so link me below!

 

February Book Wrap Up

February Wrap Up!

 

Here we are again with another month worth of reading! Just like January, I managed to get a good number of books in…9! So here’s my monthly round up for you all!

Brave – Rose McGowan

Almost everyone has heard the name Rose McGowan in the past few months. This is the story of her life and the ‘cult of Hollywood’ as she describes it. The first woman to speak out against Harvey Weinstein after he raped her and started a movement. I gave this 5 stars, a tough but much-needed read.

A Court of Mist and Fury – Sarah J Maas

Last month I couldn’t help but rave about the amazing A Court of Thorns and Roses last month (review to come) I had to read the next one as soon as possible. This was the biggest one in the trilogy and I loved it, I’m 100% a fan of the series. This one also got 5 stars.

Clean – Juno Dawson

I used to like Juno Dawson’s books but this one just wasn’t good in my opinion. It made me incredibly angry and I don’t want to say anymore because there’s no point in being mean but nope, would not recommend. This got 2 stars.

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body – Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay looks at the body in this non-fiction book, specifically hers and what our impressions are of ‘fat’ bodies. She talks about how being raped impacted her and how she now feels about her body. I gave it 3 stars.

Time Bomb – Joelle Charbonneau

This was an advance reader copy I received on Netgalley. The story focuses on a range of different characters and their perspectives of being inside their high school when a bomb goes off. They all need to work together while trying to protect themselves. This was an ok book, I read it quite quickly but I didn’t think it was that memorable!  This one got 3 stars.

But You Did Not Come Back – Marceline Loridan-Ivens

This was heartbreaking, really, really heartbreaking. This is a letter from Marceline to her father who was murdered in Auschwitz after they were separated. The things she would have told him in response to a letter he managed to get smuggled to her in the camp. I picked this up in passing and I’m so glad I did, it’s something that needs to be read. I gave this 5 stars.

Why Have Kids? – Jessica Valenti

I’ve read Valenti’s work before in Sex Object but this was different. I don’t have children but found this interesting from both sides. This would be a very controversial read but I still enjoyed it. That could change later on in my life. I gave it 3 stars.

A Court of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J Maas

The final piece of the A Court of Thorns and Roses series. This didn’t go exactly how I thought it would but it was still brilliant. I couldn’t wait to get through and see what happened at the end. I’m glad there’s a 4th book coming soon!

This is Really Happening – Erin Chack

Buzzfeed writer Erin Chack wrote a collection of essays about her working life, having Cancer at the age of 19 and meeting her partner whilst still a teenager. I listened to this and I enjoyed it but at times it felt a little all over the place, which is why I gave it 3 stars.

Mysogynation – Laura Bates 

I’m still reading this at the time of writing this post BUT once again Laura Bates has written brilliantly. The book is a collection of pieces she has written and published. So far, so good!

Don’t forget if you want to keep up with what I’m reading we can connect on Goodreads! What are you reading at the moment? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Only Child Blog Tour

Blog Tour: Only Child – Rhiannon Navin

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‘We went to school that Tuesday like normal.
Not all of us came home . . .’

I was honoured to be asked to be a part of this blog tour for Rhiannon Navin’s debut novel. I had read and loved it before I was asked to take part. Before I start this review I want to be mindful of the past few weeks events in Florida, this review may be distressing as it also relates to gun violence against children.

Six-year-old Zach is having a normal day at school, that is until a gunman enters his school. Hiding with the rest of his class and teacher, Zach listens to the ‘pop’ in the school, something that he won’t forget. Thankfully, Zach and his classmates survive and after finally being reunited with his distraught mother he thinks everything is ok, that’s until Zach’s parents ask him where his older brother Andy is but he’s not coming home.

This novel is a whirlwind of emotion and is written incredibly well. Told solely from the perspective of Zach, making it even more heartbreaking, the innocence of a child makes all the difference. Seeing not only the horror of the day itself but the impact this has on a child and on a family in the aftermath, I don’t even know how to begin to describe the emotion. This isn’t an easy read, but it is an important one.

I’ve read novels before focusing on the subject of a school shooting, they’ve made me feel deeply sad but this was different. The simplicity of the way Zach tries to process what has happened and how his family changes. I also found it interesting that Navin showed raw emotion and didn’t hold back. She showed a mother who needed justice no matter what, a father coping with his youngest child and a little boy confused by the feelings he’s experiencing. Can he be happy and sad at the same time?

In times like these, I think this is a vital read, it may be fictional but this could quite easily be a reality for a child or young person at school. For this, I applaud Navin for her portrayal. There are no dark details in this, it is simply the force of emotion that moves you alongside Zach. I, of course, gave this five stars. I cannot recommend the novel enough to everyone. A heartbreaking, poignant read.

Thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for this early release.

unpopular-opinions-book-tag

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag!

Well, I wouldn’t be a good book blogger if I didn’t talk about the good and the bad! I loved watching this when Cece over at Problems of a Book Nerd did this tag! Keep in mind these are my opinions but I’d love to know yours at the end of this post!

What is a popular book or series that you didn’t like?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I really hated the twist to me it just seemed kind of boring? I’ve met very few people who agree with me!

What is a popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love?

So, I took a look at this list to see what people had claimed to hate. I couldn’t believe Jane Eyre was on there, I absolutely adored it! It was incredible and a wonderful novel.

What is a love triangle in a book or series where the main character ended up with the person you did not want them to end up with?

This is a difficult one, most of the time I agree with what the author says BUT I didn’t like what happened in The Hunger Games. It didn’t feel like Katniss got the ending she deserved, not did Gale, nor did Peeta.

What is a popular book genre that you hardly reach for?

Romance, it’s not something that I’m interested in and I find them too samey.

What is a popular or beloved character that you do not like?

Snape. I don’t care what he did towards the end he was a bully and a coward. Sorry, not sorry.

Who is a popular author that you can’t seem to get into?

E.L. James, I don’t get the 50 Shades thing, I had to read some for uni and before that, I wanted to know what the fuss was about. The writing was awful, truly, truly awful.

What is a popular book trope that you are tired of seeing?

People being arseholes/ terrible people and the only reason given is that they have a mental illness. Over it, add some depth.

What is a popular book or series that you have no interest in reading?

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I read Meyer’s Heartless a while ago and it just wasn’t the kind of book I thought it would be and I was disappointed with the plot. It’s because of that I won’t be picking up the Lunar Chronicles.

What is a movie or TV show adaption of a book or series that you like more than the book/s?

Bridget Jones! I couldn’t stand the books when I read them, I couldn’t get on with the writing style at all but I absolutely love the films.

 

What unpopular opinions do you have? Are you going to do the tag? Let me know in the comments below!

The ULTIMATE book Tag!


I saw this on Susanne’s blog and felt like this was a tag I HAD to do! A book tag and the ultimate book tag at that? Sign me up! So, let’s get this started.

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Most of the time I don’t and it’s great! Although I don’t think I could do it non stop for hours, that’s when I feel a little green, I have to have a glance out of the window every now and again. I’ve never actually been sick, I’ve just felt a little off.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you?

Markus Zusak wrote The Book Thief beautifully. The way he created a novel with death as one of its main characters and was able to make me laugh, smile and cry is nothing short of magical. His style is truly magnificent.

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3. Harry Potter series or Twilight saga? Give 3 points to explain your answer

Harry Potter.

  1. Hermione and Ginny are bad ass girls in the books, in comparison Bella’s really not that smart.
  2. I fell in love with Harry Potter as a child and I’m still obsessed with it. I think I always will be.
  3. Because you can just fall into the world and after 7 books you can just sit and read it again.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so what’s in it (besides books)?

Nope, just a rucksack for me but there is almost always a book in there. Who am I kidding there’s always a book in there.
5. Do you smell your books?

Yes.

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6. Books with or without little illustrations?

I can read either but I think it’s cool when there’s a little illustration, it doesn’t even have to be of the characters just an object or something to make it more real.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later is wasn’t quality writing?

I really liked Twilight when I was younger but now I look at it and think oh no, how did this get published?

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

My parents didn’t believe I could read books as quickly as I did so they used to try and test me…I always got it right. I was obsessive over any new Jaqueline Wilson books that came out.

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9. What is the tiniest book on your shelf?

I have a few of the Penguin books that were 80p, they’re all cute and old.
10. What’s the thickest book on your shelf?

Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism.  No word of a lie you could kill someone with that thing.
11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as an author?

Yes and yes. I’d love to have a book out in the not too distant future.

12. When did you get into reading?

As soon as I could I did. Not to me though, I always hated being read to.

13. What is your favourite classic book?

Jane Eyre, one of the only classics I’ve wanted to read more than once and loved.

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14. In school, what was your best subject?

English, Music and Drama. My family was gutted when I didn’t do Performing Arts at college and when I didn’t do Music at uni…I stuck with English though!

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated, what would you do?

Most people who know me are well aware that I binge read and would probably half expect me to have to return it so it would be no problem.

16. What is a lesser known series that you know that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?

I honestly don’t know any…sorry!
17. What is a bad habit you always do while blogging?

Not keeping up with my scheduling when I know I’m not going to have a change to blog that day, bad Chloe!

18. What is your favourite word?

Fuck…I use it far too much. I just find it funny how such a small word can offend people and have lots of different ways of expressing yourself.

19. Are you a nerd, dork or dweeb? Or all of the above?

Nerd. Forever a nerd.

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20. Vampires of Fairies? Why?

Fairies, the Vampire in Scooby Doo made me have a lot of nightmares. Stupid Vampire wasn’t even real. Hmpf.
21. Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?

Angels because I’m a wuss.

22. Spirits or Werewolves? Why?

Two words. Remus. Lupin.

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23. Zombies or Vampires? Why?

Vampires, Zombies scare me shitless.
24. Love triangle or forbidden love?

Forbidden love. So done with over dramatised love triangles.

25. And finally: Full on romance or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Hmmm, if I had to pick I’d say the latter but I’m not against a romance if they’re few and far between.

Let me know what your answers are and I tag anyone who wants to do this tag!!