Livin' La Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-Two What I Read In March 2020

Livin’ La Vida Lockdown: Day Twenty-Two What I Read In March 2020

Better late than never, right?! March was a strange month and I found myself in a slump, particularly as news about the virus started to pick up speed. That said, I managed 4 physical books, 2 ebooks and 1 audiobook. Pretty good going, huh?

First up I finished my book club read of The Near Witch by V.E Schwab. Now I have loved everything I’ve read by Schwab but because of that I put off reading it until right before. In the words of Hermione Granger what an idiot. For a first novel this was pretty amazing and it was a 4.5 star read for me.

Next up I got to Great Goddesses by Nikita Gill that I borrowed from my friend Fred. I find Nikita Gill very hit and miss and this was no different. It was a 3 star read for me, while it was good I didn’t really know enough about greek mythology and had to keep stopping to look stuff up.

I got to a highly anticipated read of mine, partly because I knew the author at university and that is The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper. Two guys move to a NASA facility as their parents have been chosen for a space mission. There’s a love story, social media and space – the last of which I didn’t realise I’d be that interested in. A 4 star read for me and there’s a review coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled.

Another LGBTQ based book which explores the world of drag – The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. This is a novel written in verse and while it did take me a little while to get into and get a rhythm with it. Because of the breaks I took while reading it I gave it 4 stars rather than 5. It also has a review coming soon.

I finally got around to getting to one of my Sara Barnard books that I won in a Twitter giveaway. Now, fair warning I love A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard book a whole lot. It features a girl who has selective mutism and a guy who is deaf and it’s their story of getting to know each other in a hearing and speaking world. It was excellent and, of course, it got 5 stars from me.

I also got Scribd in this month which meant I could catch up on some poetry collections I haven’t been able to get hold of or been able to afford before. Break Your Glass Slippers by Amanda Lovelace is the start of a new collection and it was okay. Again, this is another poet I have mixed feelings about. This collection was a 3 star read for me as the collections are starting to feel quite repetitive.

And last but not least another Scribd read and a book I’ve been curious about for a long time it’s The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren. This romance was excellent and I absolutely loved reading it. It’s enemies to lovers, it’s passionate without being over the top and I want to read more Christina Lauren soon.

Did you get through many books in March? Any recommendations for me? Let me know below!

Livin' The Vida Lockdown: Day Eighteen - Reading The Time Away

Livin’ The Vida Lockdown: Day Eighteen – Reading The Time Away

As I mentioned in my last blog, I decided to take part in the Easter Readathon! Five Prompts, four days and me. As of writing I’ve finished one book, Watch Us Rise, and I’m 60% through my second and I think that’s pretty good going, especially seeing as I struggled to get into the reading mindset today. While I woke up early my brain needed frequent breaks – one of which made me very proud of myself.

I’ve been struggling a lot with going outside, something I touched upon in previous blogs because of anxiety and panic attacks. I wanted to get out in the sunshine but taking our normal route made me feel uncomfortable because it’s around and through a big park…which meant idiots. Lots of them.

Now, we don’t have a garden. You can bet if we did I would have been sat there with a pile of books and a large glass of something depending on the time of day. What we do have, however, is a little bit of grass to the side and behind our building. I decided it was a good test of my levels right now and made sure I could get some air.

It worked! I managed to sit out for about an hour and not once did I have any kind of panic attack. People ask but why do you have them? I wish I could tell you. Anxiety and panic attacks are rarely logical – that’s the most frustrating thing.

Coming back inside I sat down and read, and I mean really read. I got through almost 50% of The Eve Illusion in a few hours and felt my superpower coming back. My mountain of books I haven’t read now seems like a challenge rather than a guilty secret.

This reader is back guys!

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.

Blogmas 2019: Everything I Read In November 2019

Well, I’m glad November is over! It’s probably the least I’ve read all year with no audiobooks as I haven’t been working at home much! That said, I was impressed with most of the books I read in November, so here they are!


A Winter’s Promise – Christelle Dabos

So, this is one of our book club reads for January chosen by my friend Maddie and I am in LOVE with this book, I can’t wait to read the next in the series and there will be 4 books altogether! This was originally published in France and has been translated so there are some points where it doesn’t flow as well BUT it’s a magical book that I gave 5 stars.

City of Ghosts – Victoria Schwab

My second Schwab book and another Maddie recommendation and it LOVED it, this is at the younger end of teen but it was completely gripping and I couldn’t put it down. Again, this is the first in a series and I can’t wait to read the next one after Christmas! Another 5 star read.

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

I’ll admit I didn’t know that much going in but I’ve seen snippets of Greta’s speeches. This little book contains 11 of those speeches which are all pretty similar. I have the utmost respect for her and what she is doing but I much prefer watching her rather than reading her speeches. 3 stars for me.

Full Disclosure – Camryn Garrett

This book is going to be huge, if it’s not then I don’t know what’s going on. An incredible read about an HIV positive teen who’s navigating relationships, friendships and life as a young adult. A 5 star read that I loved and am so grateful I got an ARC of this.

They Called Us Enemy – George Takei

I didn’t really know anything about Japanese American injustice until I heard about it from George Takei. This was incredibly important in current times and I think everyone should read it. 5 stars!

I backed this on Kickstarter because I enjoyed Sarah and Stef’s other adventures, so I got this for me and Ali. It’s a cute book of comic strips about their time in Canada. 4.5 stars.

What did you read in November? Let me know in the comments below!

What I Read June 2019

What I Read in June 2019

Hello, hello, hello!

June turned out to be a fantastic month for new releases, out of the 8 books I got through, half of them were new and I loved all 4! So, let’s crack on with what I read in June.

First up, Saved as Draft by N.D. Chan this was send to me by the publisher via Netgalley and is a mix of poetry and prose on their own relationships. I gave this 3 stars, while there were parts I enjoyed it wasn’t that memorable for me.

Next was a book I knew I needed as soon as I read, Royals – now renamed Prince Charming, the first in the series earlier this year. All I will say is enemies to lovers with a bisexual protagonist. It’s really sweet and I read it in a matter of hours – 5 stars.

It’s been a really long time since I read Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone and I used to read it every summer growing up, I was feeling a bit down so I thought going back to one of my favourite books of all time was a good idea. I fell back into the world and of course it’s a 5 star read. Duh!

I also picked up some new poetry in June, now I will admit this was a cover buy. It is such a beautiful cover, I couldn’t say no. This Is The Journey was great introduction to Alison Malee, I’ll be trying her other works to see how I get on, I gave this 3 stars.

I listened to Phoebe Robinsons second book Everything’s Trash But It’s Ok after loving her first last year. Phoebe is absolutely hilarious but also has some great points about burnout, body image and recent politics. I’d highly recommend the audiobook because Phoebe is hilarious, 4.5 stars.

Also this month (a great one for new releases) was the amazing Hannah Wittons latest book The Hormone Diaries – The Bloody Truth About Our Periods. This was an excellent look at hormones, periods and sex and once again Hannah has done a great job, 5 stars and a review coming soon!

My final two books I didn’t think would make it by the end of the month that drove me INSANE because they are two of my most anticipated reads. Red, White and Royal Blue is one of the best, sweetest and most wonderful books. It’s up there as one of my favourites. The fictional First Son of the United States falls in love with the Prince of Wales. If that doesn’t pull you in I don’t know what will.

And finally some of my faves, The Try Guys , released their first book The Hidden Power of F*cking Up which went right in as a New York Times Number 1! This book is all about trying, failing and everything in between. I love their Youtube channel and they have done so well in the first year of a new business, a tour, a book. They are on FIIIIIIIRE! 5 stars, it really made me think about what I was doing with myself and how important failing is.

A good month for reading I think! What did you read? Let me know in the comments below.

What I Read in April 2019

At one point I thought April was going to be a terrible month reading wise, I seemed to be in a total funk. So, it was pretty surprising when I found a new favourite author this month! Also, audiobooks are a wonderful way to help out when you’re struggling with concentration!

First up, poetry. I was sent a copy of Your Heart Is The Sea by Nikita Gill. This was an incredible collection and one I completely related with. It’s also a lot longer than most poetry collections, I gave this a full 5 starts and I think you’ll love it.

I also bought a copy of The Mermaid’s Voice Returns In This One the third part of Lovelace’s magic series. This one was ok, but seeing as it was one of my most anticipated reads of the year I felt a little disappointed. I seemed to lack the depth that the others held for me, but not a bad collection I gave it 3 stars.

So I might have found a new favourite author to add to the list. Why didn’t I get to the wonderful Taylor Jenkins Reid before? I’d heard about The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo but hadn’t gotten around to it so first up was Daisy Jones and The Six (5 stars). I was hooked, I devoured it and felt like the characters were living in my head.

I immediately went and downloaded the majority of the rest of her other books. Next up was Evidence of The Affair (4 stars), told through letters and a short available on Audible, it was excellent. I also downloaded Evelyn Hugo on audiobook – I’d heard this was a great way to listen – every minute I could I had my headphones in or my speaker on (5 stars).

I also listened to I Found My Tribe, a story about a family grappling with Motor Neuron Disease and the relief of the sea (4.5 stars). I was also given access to an early release of Blossoms in Autumn, I thought this was incredibly sweet with great art, but the plot changed at the end and kind of ruined it for me (3 stars). And last, but definitely not least, Izzy O’Neil is back in A Girl Called Shameless and once again Laura Steven has knocked it out of the park cementing her as one of my favourite authors.

So there we have it 2 more favourite authors in a single month, let’s hope that May carries on the same way. What did you read last month? Let me know in the comments below.

What I Read In September

It’s finally time to let you all know what I read in September, maybe a little later than normal. It’s better late than never! So, there’s a bit of a mix in the month of September. I read a few shorter things just to try and get my reading mojo going.

So, let’s get cracking shall we!

A Spark of Light - Jodi Picoult

A Spark of Light – Jodi Picoult

I was lucky enough to get an early release copy of this novel, especially as I have read almost all of Jodi’s books. This is another novel with multiple perspectives and a tough subject matter. Set in a women’s health clinic, a gunman holds hostages. A range of beliefs, backgrounds and more. I’ll recommend this novel – perhaps not my favourite of Jodi’s but still a worthwhile read.

 

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She Wants It – Jill Soloway

Jill is one of the writers of the Amazon hit show Transparent, who came up with the idea after her own parent came out as Transgender.  I didn’t know this before reading. I don’t know what his book was trying to be at all, it started as a memoir but certainly didn’t finish that way. I wasn’t keen on this one at all.

Disconnected

[Dis] connected – various

Wow, wow, wow. This is absolutely beautiful, one of my favourite collections of the year. Want to know my full thoughts? My review is here.

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Lovely Seeds – R.H. Swaney 

I received this from Netgalley too and it is a truly beautiful collection that really spoke to me. If everything is a little overwhelming and you need to feel okay this is a great one to pick up.

Ask-Me-His-Name-Elle Wright

Ask Me His Name – Elle Wright

This was a heavy book but also beautiful. Elle’s son Teddy died when he was merely a few days old, every parent’s worst nightmare. This details how she and her husband got through the initial shock and how they continue each day while keeping Teddy alive in their thoughts and hearts.

Sun - Van der Steen

Sun – Wilbert Van der Steen

This was a really great read. I flew through this with an intriguing art style and a story that I was really invested in, I absolutely loved Lucien and his relationship with his Grandfather. I will not spoil anything in this review BUT I thought the ending was fantastic and I can’t wait to read the next instalment! Another great read thanks to Netgalley.

 

 

 

What I Read in July & August 2018

What I Read in July and August

I have a confession to make! You might have noticed that I didn’t post a what I read post in July. Honestly, I forgot and then I felt like it was too late AND I only read 5 books in July. I completely lost my mojo, which is mostly due to having a lot of other things on my mind and recovering from my stay in hospital. BUT, it came back in August thanks to my YALC haul so let me share with you some of the awesome (and not so awesome) books I’ve read.

July

How To Be A Grown Up – Daisy Buchanan

A light-hearted book on growing up. This was a nice book to read, it had some useful insights but didn’t particularly stand out to me – I gave it 3.5 stars.

Plum – Hollie McNish

My regular readers will know I loved Hollie’s collection on motherhood so I wanted to pick up another collection. Plum is about growing up with added poems Hollie wrote as a child and teenager. Another 5 star read.

Notes On A Nervous Planet – Matt Haig

I love Matt Haig’s writing. This is such a relatable book, whether or not you’ve struggled with mental illness, it’s one to read. Short and easy to read chapters that will really make you think and give you a little pick me up. 5 stars review here.

Saga Vol. 5 – Brian K Vaughn

It’s so hard to write about these because if you write about ANYTHING after the first one then you post spoilers. Still loving it, still solid. 5 stars

Moonrise – Sarah Crossan

I loved this novel, even if it made my heart hurt. This looks at the brother of a death row prisoner. It is entirely written in verse which actually works really well, so much so I want to try her other novel One again. 5 stars and will make you very emotional. You’ve been warned.

August

Orbiting Jupiter – Gary D. Schmidt

If you need a good cry read this novel. Short, sweet and heartbreaking all at the same time. It’s a novel about second chances and a young teen who just wants to see his daughter. 5 stars, review here.

She Must Be Mad – Charly Cox

Poetry about being a woman, mental illness and body image. I enjoyed Charly’s first collection and think there will be more to come, one to watch. 4 stars.

Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee – Mary D Thompson

I read a few darker novels in August, starting with this one. Two girls are abducted and only one comes back, what happened? This was a thriller and a half! I gave this 4 stars and there will be a full review coming soon!

This Is Where It Ends – Marieke Nijkamp

On to another dark book, this time centring around a school shooting. Told from multiple points of view this was a novel full of suspense and intrigue. 4 stars.

Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes – Holly Bourne

I used to love Holly Bourne but her adult novel left a lot to be desired and her newest made me frustrated. The novel follows teenager Olive who does not want to know her mental health diagnosis. After a crisis, she is sent to a remote therapy retreat which has the best treatment possible (no waiting list, just ‘luck’). Some parts of it were lovely and there were some good ideas it just didn’t feel realistic to me. 3 stars.

Vox – Christina Dalcher

This is one of the hottest novels of the year and for good reason. This novel is set in the future of the states, women can only speak 100 words a day, they cannot work, they cannot travel. While I felt like it was a slow start and there were a few plot holes I did really enjoy it and I keep recommending it! 4 stars.

Please Don’t Grab My P*ssy – Julia Young

This is a short, fun but powerful book. Poetry, satire and awesome illustrations. Some of them were a little bit of a stretch but I enjoyed it all the same. 5 stars.

The Choice – Dr Edith Eger

A memoir of a phenomenal woman. From teenage Auschwitz survivor to an internationally acclaimed psychologist working with those who suffer from PTSD and trauma. An interesting read and one filled with kindness and positivity. 4.5 stars.

 

What have you read in the past few months? I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

monthly favourites lifestyle blogger

January Favourites!

Well, we’ve finally got to the end of January! A long and pretty gloomy month as far as the outside goes! For the majority of us, it’s also meant that there hasn’t been a lot of spare cash, so it’s been a pretty tight month too, with little to spend so this is definitely going to be a shorter favourites post than usual.

 

Books

It’s been an amazing month for books, so much so I wrote a roundup for the month, but there are three that I have to mention. The first hasn’t been released yet, but you’re going to want to add it to your TBR. Only Child by Rhiannon Navin is a tough read that focuses on the aftermath of a school shooting from a child’s perspective. Next up is A Court of Thorns and Roses, something that I have finally given into and fallen in love with, I can’t wait to keep reading the series, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Finally, Love, Hate & Other Filters is a stunning debut and will be on top 10 lists this year, I have no doubt, read my review here.

 

Couple Paramore 2010, 2013, 2014, 2018

Music

My biggest music highlight was going to see Paramore for the 4th time! Every time I see them I feel like I reach another big point in my life. The best part was seeing it with Ali. I wrote about it here.

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Watching 

I started watching back in November I think? I am definitely hooked though. I’m not a hardcore Trekky but the series is absolutely incredible and I’m really excited to see where it goes next.

 

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Fashion

With money being tight this month there wasn’t much to go on fashion or beauty BUT there was one. I picked this up in New Look for under £5! I absolutely love the fact it compliments my figure after a bit of weight loss too!

Top 5 Blogs 

Life Update: I’m Being Published! 

I’ve Been Hiding My Face! 

How’s 2018 Going So Far

Harry Potter Haul: Updated

My Goals For 2018

 

What were some of your favourites, anything I should check out in February? Or maybe one of mine has inspired you! Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday Seven: Books on my TBR

This week, I wanted to share with you seven books that are currently on my TBR pile. I actually have stacks of books that I haven’t read yet and can’t wait to, so picking seven is pretty tough. Here are just some of the books I own that are working their way up to to be read pile.

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Schindler’s Ark 

I’ve meant to get around to this for a long time. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book and its portrayal of the Nazi’s terror in occupied Poland and an unlikely hero.

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Dreadnought 

After hearing about this from Cici on her Booktube channel I had to get hold of a copy and was ecstatic about receiving a review copy. Superheroes, LGBTQIA characters and humor. Sign me up!

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Something In Between

When immigration is such a talked about topic in both the UK and the US right now, I need to read this. A novel about a high achieving and for all the outside, a perfect student, who has a secret past as an illegal immigrant meaning she can’t get ant financial help to go to college.

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All About Mia 

I LOVED The Art of Being Normal , so when I found out that Williamson was releasing a second novel I snapped it up in my local Waterstones. A novel about being the middle child, growing up and always being the source of trouble, I can’t wait to read it.

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Girls Will Be Girls 

I picked this up on a trip into London, I want to read a lot more feminist literature and this seemed like a good addition to the list.

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Soulmates 

Now, this isn’t something I’d normally pick up but seeing as I loved Holly Bourne’s other books so much I need to read through her first.

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The Zookeepers Wife 

I really want to see the film of this when it comes out but can’t stand going to see the film without reading the book first if I can help it. I need to get a move on!

What’s on your TBR pile? Let me know in the comments below!