My Birthday Bookhaul


I am eventually showcasing the books I got for my birthday! It has taken me far too long, but here are the two books my boyfriend was kind enough to gift meπŸ™‚
The first is Marie Condo’s the art of tidying – I’ve wanted to read this book for a while having heard good things about it, and when I presented the boy with a list of books I wanted he seemed to think this was the funniest option (I am not a very tidy person…) I’m about halfway through it so far and while it is pretty motivating it is also very bizarre and maybe takes things a bit too far… Once I’ve finished it I’ll whack up a review so you guys can question it with me. 
The second book was this gorgeous edition of The Jungle Book. Every year he’s bought me a Penguin Clothbound Classic and I’m gathering quite a collection now. I love how they all look lined up on the shelf and the jungle book is a beautiful addition! The monkeys are adorable and the green is so striking. It’s also a book that I’ve never actually read so it will be nice to read it in such a beautiful form!
~ Becca X

Finally, an update

So it turns out I lied. I haven’t got back to my regular posting schedule. I’m probably not going to get back to my regular posting schedule for a while. Whatcha gonna do.


All of the posts I mentioned previously are still in the works. They are. I just haven’t gotten around to actually writing them yet. You see, this month has been super, mega hectic and I’ve been prioritising other things. Like moving house. Because that happened. And it’s great, but things are still pretty up in the air. We have no furniture, only half our bills are sorted out and we only got internet yesterday – all of these mean that blog post writing has been tricky to say the least, and just not at the forefront of my mind. Eventually everything will settle down and, fingers crossed, I will be able to get internet on my laptop for the first time in six months, so I’m optimistic that at some point in the not too distant future I will return from my unexpected blogging vacay and return to interacting with y’all. In the mean time, just bear with me.


From a book update point of view, I’ve actually had a fairly good month (at least in comparison with the last few…) This is because I FINALLY FINISHED OUTLANDER AND HAVE BEEN ABLE TO READ OTHER THINGS AND IT IS AMAZING. Not having internet has meant that I’ve had a bit of time to actually sit and read before going to bed, and I am a good chunk of the way through the Siren. I’m not reading at the same rate as I was at the end of last year, which makes me sad, and I’m massively behind on my Goodreads challenge of 50 books, but I’ll get there.


Overall life is good, so watch this space – eventually I’ll be back!

~ Becca x


Sorry that a post didn’t go up yesterday guys. I spent my entire weekend sorting bank accounts, and packing kitchenware, and otherwise lamenting my lost childhood, and I barely had time to go for a walk with my mother, let alone sit down and write a post. (It turns out I own rather a lot of stuff and packing it all up was more than a two day job…) So this is my very sub-par apology post.


I do have a very belated haul to go up (and many many post ides that I’ll hopefully be able tow write once the chaos dies down) but I have yet to finish taking the photos for it, and that isn’t something I can do at my desk at work without incurring some very odd looks, and subjecting you to some terrible backgrounds. Hopefully it will go up on Wednesday, and maybe I’ll get one up on Sunday if I have internet. Maybe. Or maybe don’t get your hopes up just yet.


Love y’all,

~ Becca x

Books from my Childhood – Eyewitness

I think it’s important to introduce children not just to fiction, but to non-fiction too when introducing them to reading. In large part, I know a lot of people who much preferred non-fiction books as a kid, although admittedly I wasn’t one of them. But it’s also a great was to teach them about different styles of writing and engaging with writing, as well as enabling them to learn about the world around them. Imo, non-fiction can even be more engaging, because children’s non-fiction books usually have a lot more pictures, and smaller snippets of writing than do fiction books, but still retain the same difficulty lexically and semantically, and I think that it seems less daunting to those who don’t just want to read massive chunks of text, or prefer to have illustrations to spark their imagination.

When I was a child, my main source of non-fiction were the Dorling Kindersley Eye Witness books. My Grandfather bought us a lot of them, and over time my sisters and I built up a pretty substantial collection. I loved that the topics they covered were so wildly varied – from Ballet, to Ancient Egypt, to Gemstones, to Birds, to Cars – so there was literally something for everyone, and something for every mood. The layout of the books was clean, and easy to navigate. The pictures were great. They were fun and informative, and in many instances sparked my interest enough that I went and looked things up, or asked my parents questions about things that weren’t included in the books themselves. They were invaluable study guides for primary school projects, or make-believe games that we wanted to make realistic. They were also pretty big books, and they stacked together pretty well, so they made great stools/towers/weights/doorstops/whatever-else-our-imaginations-dictated-they-need-be, which is rather useful in a kids book, even if it isn’t their primary purpose…

To me, the Eyewitness books were a great way to get children thinking and engaging and asking questions – Dorling Kindersley just did non-fiction perfectly.

~ Becca x

An Update: Book Buying Bans

I’ve decided that it might be nice to do a quick update every month or so. Because clearly I need more post series to commit to… In all serious though, I find that when life gets hectic I tend to put off posting, and doing updates will not only make sure that I do actually post at least once, but will also give you guys an idea if what’s going on if it all goes a bit quiet over here!

This month, the biggest change is that I have put myself on a spending ban. I got a couple of books for my birthday which I still need to do a haul of (I stupidly left them at my parents’ house) but other than those I have decided to try and resist buying books as much as possible. The main reason for this is that in the last two weeks I have both booked a holiday and started the process to rent a house. Money is less abundant than it was previously, and much as I love books, there are other things which are more important to spend my money on. Like food. And rent. The joys of being a grown up. 

That being said, there are a few books which are coming out soon that I know I won’t be able to resist buying. The top three are:

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

The Winner Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

The Crown by Kiera Cass

I’ve got a month or so before any of them come out, but I already know I won’t be able to resist. It’s all I can do not to press the pre-order button now!

~ Becca X

Beautiful Books: Winnie the Pooh

I have yet to meet someone who has anything bad to say about Winnie the Pooh. Everything about the stories is so innocent, and sweet and heart-warming that I think it almost epitomises childhood beauty.


This is multiplied ten-fold by this edition, which I acquired from my Grandfather’s shelves. (The one tucked behind is The House at Pooh Corner, which was my Mum’s when she was little, and it doesn’t technically live on my bookshelf. Yet.) It’s a simple hard-back which, I discovered after a brief google, cost half a crown. That’s 12p. 12p! But even though it isn’t the fanciest of editions, it’s worn and loved, and shows just how enduring the story is. It’s gorgeous and is one of the books I display front on on my bookshelf. I want to show it off. Not just for the book itself, but for the childhood joy that  it represents.


 I do have to admit though that I had never fully read the original Winnie the Pooh until this summer – I’d seen the TV shows, I’d read the children’s abridged versions, I’d owned the paraphernalia and even played the video game. But somehow I’d never read the original story in its entirety. I am pleased to say that, aged 22, I was just as enamored by it as my Grandfather was when he was given it as a child nearly 70 years ago.

Books can be beautiful for so many reasons, and often those reasons don’t become apparent until you actually open them up. In this case though, I think it’s beauty is pretty obvious from first sight!

~ Becca x

Books from my Childhood: Animal Ark

Today’s post will probably be quite short. I’m sat at my desk on my lunch break, half distracted by a bag of pom-bears, and I don’t have all that much time to write. But it’s probably the only chance I’ll get all day, and I’m trying to keep to my regularly scheduled updates thing…

So for today I thought I’d show you another book from my childhood. In my experience, there is always that one, endless series of children’s books which everyone is obsessed with. They’re always just the right difficulty to be accessible to those who have just learnt to read independently (as with the Puppy Patrol and  Dancing Shoes books I’ve already talked about), but this time, instead of just being good stories, they become a schoolyard obsession. You read them because everybody read them. They were the it thing. Looking back, you’re not even sure if they were actually any good, but at the time, they were basically the whole universe.

The Rainbow Fairies is one example that stands out, from when I was old enough to be exasperated at just how bloody many there were and why would any child want to read all this they are all the same… But the ‘it’ book from my playground years was the Animal Ark Series, by Lucy Daniels.

They basically tell the story of a girl called Mandy Hope whose parents are vets who has very repetitive adventures saving a variety of in-danger animals. But did nine-year old me care that they were both mundane and implausible? Not a jot. I ate them up. I stayed up until the small hours of the morning secretly finishing them after my parents had gone to bed. I asked for the omnibus for my birthday (and I still have it). My sister named a fish after Mandy Hope (then it turned out the fish was a cannibal so no idea what that says…). These books were the BEST. And while now I fully see how tedious they must have been for my parents and I have 0 desire to ever read any of them ever again, there is still some serious nostalgia around the whole series for me. Enough so that, a couple of years ago, when me and my uni friends discovered that Lucy Daniels was, in fact, NOT A REAL PERSON but was instead a collection of different authors, we were positively distraught. I still feel betrayed thinking about it now.

From this ramble, I’m not sure if I love these books, or hate them, but I know that at the time, they were the absolute bomb.


~ Becca x


Ten Thousand Skies Above You – Claudia Gray


Following my completion of Bound, I was enjoying reading something fast paced again and couldn’t bring myself to go back to outlander again just yet. I will finish it eventually but instead I decided to pick up Ten Thousand Skies Above You. I bought this book at Christmas and it’s just been sat on myself since then. I’ve been desperate to read it but was busy with other book and so it just languished instead. The decision as to what to read wasn’t really that difficult. 
I really enjoyed A Thousand Pieces of You when I read it, and I enjoyed the second book just as much. For starters the cover is equally beautiful – it’s the kind of thing I’d love if I ever got my own book published and I love having these books on my shelves. The story itself was also really enjoyable. 
It was fast paced the whole way through with enough twists and turns to keep me gripped, even if it wasn’t massively complex. The best part of the book, as with the first one, was the world building. With so many domensions playing a role, it would be easy to skim through them quickly without a second glance, but Claudia Gray spends enough time in each to not only allow the plotline to develop fully, but also to give you a real sense of that world, and how the characters differ and what’s important. Everything feels very distinct and thought through, and it feels like, should they become important again later on I would still remember each one and feel attached to it for its own particular reasons. Often I think that world building can be the most underdeveloped part of a book, so I loved the fact that here it was the most central aspect. 
Overall, the second book had a much darker tone than the first, but without being too gritty. It went a layer deeper into the overall conspiracy, and gave away just enough to make me really look forward to the next book in November!

Bound – Susanne Valenti


Can I just start by saying two things – 1) I am so impressed with how rapidly Susanne has managed to get these out. Seriously. I’m used to having to wait years between reading books and then hardly remembering what happened in the last one, but here it’s just a few months and it’s the absolute best. More authors should be like that. 2) I also really like the cover change which the whole series has undergone. It looks cleaner and fresher, and I think it reflects the books themselves a lot better!

Anyway, on to business, because unsurprisingly, I loved this book. There will be spoilers in this, obviously, as it’s the fourth book and I tend to do discussions more than anything, but for once I’ll throw that warning out there. Because Coal is back! I knew I missed him in the last book, but I didn’t realise how much he changed the dynamic as a character until he returned. I like the fact that the whole tone shifts, rather than just a small change in the way the characters act, and I think Susanne did an amazing job of showing how both Maya and Coal have changed yet still work together in the right way. Where the third book felt a bit grey to me, this one is a lot more inline with the first two books, although with everything a lot more developed and vivid.

Speaking of relationships, I think this is the first book where I haven’t completely hated Taylor. That isn’t to say I actually like him, but I did enjoy seeing how he was changing, as well as his dynamic with Alicia. it’s something that I think will become really interesting later on. Overall, I love the way all relationships are approached in the books, as they never feel forced or idealised. Maya and Coal in particular, although they have a few things to work on, seem to have an actually healthy relationship on the whole, and its great how each romantic relationship is shown as completely individual, yet very much real, if that makes sense.

As always the plot-line moves quickly and has the right balance of action and slower paced stuff which allows for world building and character development. I’m particularly interested to see the city again, particularly now that the main characters are seeing it from a different point of view. It was the part of the first book that initially hooked me and I’m intrigued to see how it’s going to come into play the second time around. The one thing I didn’t like so much, was the whole Creeper section. Now this isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy reading it – it was tense and exciting and a lot of fun – I just don’t get what it was there for. I still don’t know what’s going on with them, and it was all concluded before anything had the chance to be properly explained. I’m really hoping that that plot line comes back into play later on, because otherwise it just feels like a convenient plot device to add some action and I want it to be more than that.

Overall, I loved the book. Having been reading a very long, fairly slow book for the past two months it was exactly what I needed. Even if they sometimes feel a bit rough around the edges, although definitely less so as the series goes on, I fell in love with Susanne’s writing from the off and Bound did not disappoint. Go read. Go.

~ Becca x

P.S. Considering there appears to be no birth control outside of the city, I do feel at least one of the characters should be pregnant by now. *cough*Maya*cough*

An Update from the Sofa


I have been AWOL for the past few weeks and I wanted to say that I’m sorry and I’m still here! I know it’s been an absolute age since I last posted, but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to post more regularly now. 
Life has been hectic – alongside the usual, I’ve also been trying to book a holiday and look for a flat, both of which add a whole pile of extra chaos and have meant that my focus hasn’t been on the blog as much as I would want. 
Also, I’ve been reading the second Outlander book since I reviewed the last one and it’s just so darn long. I’m enjoying it but it’s taken so long to finish that I haven’t had any book reviews to post or really had any impetus to think about books. I’ve spent more time on Netflix because I’ve just been in a br of a slump with it all. But, I’ve taken a break from it for a bit to read a few other things, and there’s already a book review in the works, along with a couple of other posts. Hopefully things are back on track!

In a way it’s been good to have a bit of time away without having to worry about the blog, and I definitely seem to go in cycles of posting regularly and then not posting at all, but I don’t want it to stay that way!

~ Becca x