Thursday, 25 January 2018

Shelf by Shelf #1

Welcome to the first shelf in the series. It's a little misleading actually, since this first one isn't actually a shelf and is more of a 'stack of books without a home yet' ;) We all have them, right?! So in the process of shuffling books around and trying to fit them onto the main bookcases, I pulled these ones aside as they're ones i'd love to get around to over the next few months. I know it's not really realistic for me, but it's better to reach for the stars than the kerb.

So what do we have here?
The Wizard of Earthsea
How to be Bad
Carve The Mark
There's Someone Inside Your House
Juniper Lemon's Happiness Index
Girl of Ink and Stars
The Story of English
Dangerous Creatures
A Monster Calls
Ready Player One
The Creakers
Lucifer Vol 1
When We Collided

I fully appreciate that for some people (myself included) this might be an entire years worth of reading. Well honestly, i'm embarassed by it too. As you'll see over the coming weeks, I have hundreds of books that have gone unread. I'm not proud of it, and i'm certainly not proud of the waste of money it'd be if I never read them. However! That's why I brought in my No Purchases 2018 Goal and why i'm doing this Shelf by Shelf mini series. To highlight the issue more solidly for myself. Hopefully as the weeks go on and i'll get more and more off these shelves too :)

Have you read any of these? Do you recommend any to be pushed higher up in my TBR? Let me know what you've had on your shelves forever!

Until next Thursday....!

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Really Liked but Can’t Remember Anything/Much About

This week's topic is 'Books I Really Liked but Can't Remember Much About'. Admittedly, I had to scroll through Goodreads before even contemplating what kind of thing might be on this list and honestly, it kinda turned into a different list: Series' I Loved But Can't Remember Enough To Finish Them and Need To Re-read Them All Again.

1. Eragon by Christopher Paolini - I devoured these books when I was younger and as with anyone else who read them back then, I endured years and years of waiting. By the time the next book in the series was released, it had been several years of waiting and the majority of the plot had vanished into the depths of my mind. To this day I haven't finished them because i'm concerned that the re-reading of them will take away some of the magic. Plus they're huge books! It's a committment.

2. Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw - I was introduced to Wintercraft by my cousin. I read the first 2 books and LOVED them ferociously. Then I was off in uni and adult life was kicking in. I literally can't remember a thing about them anymore and didn't get to finish the series!

3. Demon Trappers by Jana Oliver - Oh this series <3 I loved every second of reading them. I still remember that feeling of the latest book turning up on the doorstep. I just wish I could remember the ins and outs of them! I've got a basic idea of the overall story but it makes me sad that I can't remember much of them now.

4. Shades of London by Maureen Johnson - I read the first 2 books of this series in pretty quick succession after discovering her on YouTube shortly before the first one was released. I can't remember anything about them now but I do know that I didn't get round to reading the last one yet and so a whole re-read is in order.

5. Red Letter Days by Rachel Caine - I was sent a copy of the first book by Harlequin 4/5 years ago and read it in 1 sitting. Since then I acquired both books in the series and forever had the intention to read the second and add to my Rachel Caine collection. Sadly I never did and now I remember next to nothing about the entire thing.

6. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld - I got these books around the same time as I was reading Hunger Games for the first time. It took me AGES to get through the first 3 books even though I was enjoying them because I was away at university. However, by the time things settled down, i'd forgotten almost everything other than the basics and so, surprise surprise, I didn't finish the series. I'm still determined to though.

7. Inside Out by Maria V Snyder - This book has been in my head for SO long and the worst of it is that I literally can't remember what it was about bar crawling around in some pipes etc. I remember being really excited reading it as it felt so different - so I have no idea how I didn't get around to reading the next book.

8. Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton - 1 word - Sebastian. I can't really elaborate because other than the name Sebastian I can't remember a damn thing about it. These books need to move up my TBR immediately.

9. The Maze Runner by James Dashner - These are a little awks because I remember the films so clearly. I can't remember the books at all though, which again is probably why I didn't get around to finishing the whole series. I'm excited for the next movie coming out though!

10. Talon by Julie Kagawa - UGH I stinking loved the first 2 books in this series. I even have the next one! But by the time I even remembered it was a thing, they'd run out of my head again. A re-read is definitely in order for these.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Letters Between Friends: Dear Holly

Dearest Holly,
It feels good to be writing to you again! This is only week 3 and I already find myself thinking throughout the week 'I must remember to share this with Holly!'.

Like you, i've had a stressful week. Monday was officially 'Blue Monday' which is nationally recognised as being the most depressing day of the week - and I really did struggle. Getting back into the swing of things post the festive fun has been difficult and work has been, well, pretty dreadful to be honest. However i'm happy to report that so far I am coping well and all of the things i'm doing to protect my mental health are going well. As you mentioned, I've recently started a BuJo for the first time. In the interest of being honest here, i've missed a LOT of days but that's only helping me to realise that I have little structure to my days right now and my habit tracker is very miserable! I'm only easing in to it though and so maybe i'll share a few snaps throughout February so you can see exactly what i've been tracking. It'd be great to see yours too!

Jumanji was GREAT! I enjoyed it much more than I anticipated and I think it'll definitely become a dvd purchase in the future. We also ended up at the cinema last weekend too to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi and OH MY DAYS it was brilliant! It's so wonderful watching new characters thrive in such an old and beloved setting. Star Wars will truly be timeless and I can't wait to experience my future children watch it too. Plus, BB8!

You always have such a wonderful time at Les Mis. I'm just hoping that after all these years, it stays on the stage a little longer so that after the wedding is all paid for and our purse strings are a bit more loose, I can go with you and see the magic. Maybe we could find a stagey show a bit closer to home later in the year.

This weekend has been very film heavy too. In 24 hours we managed to fit in 7 Disney films and a LOT of pizza & cake. You know you've found The One when he happily sits through HSM 1-3 with you without much of a grumble. I have another long week ahead of me at work this week. I have the kind of job that half kills me July-October but the rest of the year is completely dead. Finding ways to challenge my brain for 8 hours a day is probably the hardest part of working for my company. However, next weekend we blissfully have no plans and so i'm hoping to crank out a couple of books. I'm half way through The Magician's Guild by Trudi Canavan, 2 thirds of the way through a MV novel (re-read!) and about a quarter into the final White Rabbit Chronicles series. I'm determined to smash my TBR this year!

I'll end this here and every letter hereafter with a little update on my reading challenge - to keep me motivated! As of writing this, i've completed 5/50 books which puts me at 3 ahead. Score!

Can't wait to hear from you next week xx

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Shelf by Shelf

Shelf By Shelf

Let me start by saying this: I love shelf tours.
I could spend hours and hours watching people on YouTube do tours of their shelves, getting inspiration for organisation tips, book recommendations etc. I've been wanting to do a blog version for a long time now but there's always some excuse or other. Well NO MORE! I'm going to do a mini series showcasing each shelf but there is a note to add to this. I am well aware that the books are in no particular order. You might well find book 5 showing up before book 1. My shelves are ALWAYS a work in progress and it's been less than 24 hours since the books all even made it to the shelves. Bare with me!

I'll be posting these on Thursdays and i'd also love to know what else you'd like to see here! Give me some content ideas, guys :) So to introduce this mini series, i'd just like to share what they look like as a whole. See you nextThursday for a more indepth look!

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Top Ten Tuesday | Bookish Resolutions/Goals

So! This is the first week of That Artsy Reader hosting TTT - hurrah! It's sad to see the demise of Broke & The Bookish but onwards and upwards. This weeks topic is: Bookish Resolutions/Goals. I already posted a little about this so i've tried to think a bit more about my long term goals. As usual, I couldn't actually make 10, so here are 5 Resolution/Goals I have for 2018!

1. Organisation
The organisation that I had for my books works really well for me, but over the weekend i've tried to mix it up a little. So until now I had bookshelves for those i'd read and bookshelves for those I hadn't or wish to re-read. The unread/re-read books have taken over my house in the last couple of years for various reasons and it just looked....well....awful. So i'm trying out a new system and fingers crossed it works out.

2. No purchases in 2018
I've mentioned it a couple of times but it seems worthwhile to say it here as it's my biggest bookish goal this year. Throughout 2018 I'm attempting to purchase no new books! So if they are free, netgalleys, gifts or one of the few pre-orders I made in 2017, they're all good to go! I haven't struggled at all yet but there are a few books coming out this year (MAUREEN JOHNSON!) that might push me over the edge. Fingers crossed I can hold off and get things as birthday presents etc. Wish me luck!

3. What I Want/When I Want
Having struggled to read, well, anything over the last few years i've decided to take a What I Want When I Want approach. All I want to read is comics and graphic novels? Fine. Want to re-read 60 books rather than 10 new ones? Fine. No more putting pressure on myself for anything. I'm easing back into the blogging world and trying to find my own entertainment from it rather than providing entertainment. If I start and half read 50 books this year, well that's an accumulative 25 "read". I'm focusing on the actual reading part rather than the finished products.

4. Not Just Reading
This links into the last one a little. I'm realising that having a bookish blog doesn't just mean I review books. If I don't post a single review in 2018 but there's regular content discussing all kinds of bookish things then i'll consider that an achievement too.

5. More Non Fiction
This is probably going to be the most challenging for me. I want to read more Non Fiction, particularly the books that I already bought as part of Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf so as not to breach goal #2. I've had some of these books for a long time and ALWAYS choose Fiction over them. I WANT to read them, so i'll try and set aside some time this year to get through a couple of them.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Ten Books We Meant To Read In 2017 But Didn't Get To (and totallyyyy plan to get to in 2018!!)

Narrowing this list down to 10 is the most taxing thing i've done so far this month. I was a huge slacker in the reading sense last year and i'm hoping I can do a lot of making up this year. Here are just some of the books I missed out on but definitely plan on getting to soon!
  1. Moxie - Jennifer Mathieu
  2. Carve The Mark - Veronica Roth
  3. Caraval - Stephanie Garber
  4. Wonder Woman: Warbringer - Leigh Bardugo
  5. Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman
  6. Wintersong - S. Jae-Jones
  7. Stillhouse Lake - Rachel Caine
  8.  Strange The Dreamer - Laini Taylor
  9. The Creakers - Tom Fletcher
  10. All That She Can See - Carrie Hope Fletcher

Monday, 8 January 2018

Letters Between Friends: Dear Holly

Holly from The Arts Shelf and I decided that this year we're doing a mini series 'Letters Between Friends' in 2018! Holly sums it up better than I could so honestly I just want to dive in!

Hi Holly!
By the time you read this we've officially finished the first week of the new year and it's been one week since I saw you in person. I hope you had a blast bringing in the new year with your family. Parties with my future in laws are exactly as you would imagine, and so we were still up celebrating at 4am *yawn* i'm still crazy tired.

Your goals for 2018 sound wonderful and achievable. I wrote a post about my own goals here: 2018 Goals. For the first time in ages i'm incredibly excited for the upcoming year. As the clock struck midnight, I could finally start shouting that i'm getting married next year! So many things to organise and plan. On that note, i'm considering starting a bullet journal. I'm doing a lot of research at the moment and have drafted a few ideas but either way, it's almost time to go shopping and pick out this years organising tools. We do share a love of Paperchase after all....<3

I'll admit, i'm writing this a little early as it wont be posted until Monday but this weekend i'm having a gorgeous, lovely and quiet weekend with Alex (we're going to see Jumanji!) and I don't want to have to rush anything. You're going to see Les Miserables in London this weekend - i'm crazy jealous! I can't wait to read all your tweets. One of my favourite things is seeing my friends in their happy places and I know how much fun you're going to have. We don't have much booked in this year but i've still got a theatre hangover from seeing The Addams Family in August. As you mentioned in your post, we share a love of Carrie Hope Fletcher - rightly so! She was an astonishing Wednesday Addams, I wish you could have seen her. Hopefully Alex and I will make it to see Les Miz one of these days, we're both big fans of musicals.

I'm easing back into my diet this week but i'm finding it really difficult with so many temptations still around from Christmas. I know it's just a matter of getting back into a routine so i'm trying not to feel so disappointed in myself! I'm hoping that by next week it will have settled down and I just go back to having treats on Sundays. Maybe next time i'm down your way we can go to Nandos or Frankie & Bennys. There are many upsides of living in such a beautiful seaside town but the biggest downside is being so far away from places to go out for dinner! It always feels like a real treat when we get to go further North.

As for reading challenges, i've set myself a goal of 50. I'm doing a lot of shifts by myself at the moment as my team have opted for earlier hours which has meant i've snuck in a little reading and i've already finished 1 book, albeit a graphic novel. Have you read the Locke & Key series? I'm completely addicted. I'm not too far off finishing volume 3, maybe tomorrow night at work ;)

That's all from me this week, it's just been a quiet one of enjoying the calm of January and making the most of getting things organised.

Cazz xxx

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Top Three New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2017

First off, I haven't done these in FOREVER.
Secondly, I know it's supposed to be 10 and i've only picked 3 but give me a break! I spent the majority of the year crying and re-reading old books =P 

1. Joe Hill
I'm not sure if this counts but as it's my list, I say it totally does! Locke and Key was recommended to me and I was hooked instantly! As I write this, i'm almost done with Volume 3 and i'm so mad it took me so long to actually read! Excellent content, incredible art work and just all around great stuff.

2. Matt Haig
2017 was a bad mental health year for me and I received one of his books LAST Christmas. I've actually got a couple of his books on my never ending TBR but in 2017 I finally picked one up and devoured it. Looking forward to seeing what else he's written!

3. Giovanna Fletcher
I've been watching Tom, Giovanna & Carrie for a long time on YouTube and knew she was an author but honestly just didn't think it would be my kinda thing. However, I spent a LOT of 2017 following the Fletcher family (in a non creepy way....!) and finally dove in and loved her writing style. I actually met her recently too!

Monday, 1 January 2018

2018 Goals

2018....nice to see ya!

Like the majority of people reading this I am TERRIBLE at keeping up with resolutions & goals etc but it doesn't stop me trying. I find it a really healthy way to go into a new year with something to aim for. I personally use the term "goal" because it really is a target to aim for and not something to be upset about not achieving. Every step taken towards a resolution is worth celebrating! With that said, several of my 2018 goals are not for the long term; just a short boost to the new year. So here's what i'm working towards this year, both bookish and none bookish!

I actually started this one a little earlier - 30th to be exact! I spent SO MANY HOURS in 2017 endlessly scrolling through facebook over and over and over get the point. I failed my reading challenge and though i'm not blaming it entirely on facebook, I can count just how many hours I wasted LAST WEEK on it instead of reading, and I definitely could have finished a couple more books. My mental health often suffers for it too. With everyone so excited to share every bit of both good and bad news, it can become a bit of a nightmare with the constant comparisons between my life and theirs. Though I fully expect it to only last a couple of weeks, i'm truly looking forward to the app being deleted for a while and just focusing on what I'M doing instead of everyone else!

I struggled with this one for a while and what to do. I know a lot of people have started setting their challenges on goodreads to 1 so that the pressure was off for the rest of the year. I could do that, I guess but it just wouldn't be as exciting to me. I love checking how far ahead I am or how far behind. Getting that little bit of a rush when you're slacking a little bit and having to binge read over a weekend! So I needed to find a balance between the two. Eventually I decided that i'm just sticking to the original 50 book challenge. 2018 is set to be a busy year for me and 50 will definitely be challenging - I only just made it last year! (53/65)

Buying Books
This is another one that definitely isn't achievable for an entire year but i'm excited about nonetheless.  For as long as it lasts - NO BOOK PURCHASES IN 2018! Oh yeah, you read that right. At some point in the new year i'm going to do some shelf tours - probably in the form of photos because it's less anxiety ridden for me, and you'll start to see the problem I have. My shelves have gone WAY past loaded now. With help from my fiance (did I mention, i'm getting married...;)), we decided that pre-orders don't count as i've had some in the bag for months now and that if anything MAJOR comes out (i'm talking series that i'm already invested in) then he will buy them as gifts for birthday/anniversary/valentines/christmas etc throughout the year so that I don't have to wait too long. As I said, one Waterstones trip with Holly and i'm sure that will all go out of the window but i'm going to try! As a little side note - it's been a LONG time since i've actually bought any books already and i'm SUPER proud of myself. 2018 is the year of slaughtering that TBR!

Weight Loss
I know this is probably at the top of everyones list after all of the gorgeous christmas food but i've actually been working on this already (i'm on week 8!). Granted i've put on 4lb over the last 2 weeks off plan but i've still lost over half a stone already and i'm excited to get back on plan after NY dinner with the in laws.

Enjoy Our Home
This sounds crazy, right? But after almost a year of being homeless and saving for our 2019 wedding, my fiance and I are looking forward to spending a lot of time at home. We've got so many box sets, films and books to get through, plus we've started a growing board game collection (Would anyone be interested in board game reviews on here?! Let me know!). We're hoping to have friends over for film and games nights and just generally get cosy and make the most of our home & save money. Don't worry, we won't become complete hermits - we got a weekend away & concert tickets for Christmas!

So those are my goals - some more difficult than others but i'm genuinely looking forward to seeing what happens! I'll also try and keep you updated on them as and when. You'll notice i've not made any goals to keep blogging & post reviews etc - 2018 is about putting less pressure on myself. Of course i'm hoping these last few posts are a sign of great things to come, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Happy new year!
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